I wanted to run my own social networking site just for me and my friends using a FOSS project, so I was excited about Diaspora, then I saw that it requires Node.js. I have no interest in setting my server up for that. I imagine this selection was made because developers think Ruby is cool and PHP is boring and lame. Unfortunately, whatever the justification was, to make Diaspora work you need to have, you know, Diasporas, but if the only people using the project are those that manage their own Node.js server, then the already puny market size of available Diasporas has just shrunk by several orders of magnitude. It really needed to be a project that could be installed on any generic LAMP server, but the developers are so rarely interested in this boring aspect (this is actually the case across many engineering fields, it's why companies hire marketers) that left to manage their own projects they fail to achieve their stated goals.
So I took a look at GNU Social, which is written in PHP. Unfortunately, they also fail the marketing test. The project seemed to revolve around making a 'federated' social networking system. However, the actual features of the social networking seemed to be trumped by trying to make the federated system work. From a marketing perspective, they put the cart before the horse. How many users want a circa 2009 facebook clone? I bet a fairly high number, but GNU Social doesn't even offer that level of functionality. The 'federation' of the system should be viewed more as a distribution element, so, you know, before going to distribution, you should have a product that people want to distribute, and GNU Social is not that.
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Why are owning a domain and running a business from that domain considered the same? What if I own a domain and lease it out? Why should I have my personal details made public for a business which I do not own?
Who is to oversee this whole thing? Most likely, a bureaucracy that is incapable of handling the tsunami of complaints it will receive. The scammers, who presumably this proposal is intended to protect us from, will just fill in fake whois information as they always have and hide behind that, while all of the legitimate users will be hurt by all of the unintended consequences. And, without a doubt, all of the people at ICANN involved in making the proposal will profit, and none of them will be harmed.
A recent example that I came across is Amazon Vine Reviewer cortezhill. I saw a 5-star book review that was nothing but content quoted from the book, followed by "--- excerpt from book's Introduction." I only had to browse to page 4 of the user's reviews to find a review that was not a glowing 5-star review of an item. This is simply the stupidest part of any review system I have ever heard of: send people free stuff and receive positive reviews. Isn't this what review apparatus is supposed to protect against? Amazon's keeping it provides complete transparency on their objective.
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