As Expected, Expectations Are Way Too High On Diaspora

from the you've-been-warned dept

Back in June, we wrote about some concerns we had about the amount of money and attention given to the NYU students who wanted to create Diaspora, a distributed Facebook. We had nothing against the project itself -- a distributed Facebook sounds great, even if other, similar projects have failed. If someone can do it right, that would be fantastic. Instead, the worry is that the combination of massive attention and a ton of money so early would (a) set up ridiculously high expectations while (b) limiting the team in adapting to a changing market. It's not clear if the second part is true, but the first part seems to certainly be coming true. When the team recently released it's extremely rough pre-alpha code, suddenly a bunch of security experts and the press pounced on them for having all sorts of security vulnerabilities.

But, uh, that's what you would expect at this stage of the game. It's pre-alpha for a reason, and they released it by saying that it had lots of security flaws. Now, your standard startup could release this kind of code without a huge spotlight shining on them, and it would give them time to work through the issues. But with so much attention on Diaspora, suddenly the press feels the need to point out every little flaw, even at the stage when such flaws are necessary. Hopefully the Diaspora team doesn't get exasperated by this -- because it could also make them either clam up, or start focusing too much on responding to these trumped up worries at this stage of the game.
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Filed Under: expectations, security, social networking
Companies: diaspora, facebook


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  1. icon
    Modplan (profile), 17 Sep 2010 @ 4:43pm

    Indeed, the entire reason why Diaspora is and has been released like this is to catch these problems and to spur development forward in general.

    Sometimes I wonder if over use of the term beta for all sorts of things has raised expectations of alpha and even pre-alpha services. The article also seems to point to users who apparently didn't take notice of any of these obvious concerns of alpha software.

    I've even seen people calling Diaspora vapourware long before it reached the scheduled time of public release.

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