D S N – Do Something Nice!

Image representing Cliqset as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

I planned on doing a piece on Distributed Social Networks (DSNs)for some time now but was too busy to actually write it. So when Status.net and Cliqset announced that they had integrated Salmon (a DSN protocol) I finally forced myself to sit down and write this. (I even had to re-schedule a few posts for this article to be published.)

So what are Distribited Social Networks and why should you care?

ReadWriteWeb compares the idea of a DSN as similar to our telephone system: being able to communicate with everyone, no matter which phone company they use, accross the borders of one company. DSNs try to make your data as portable as possible leading to the first principle of DSN


Because you’re data is portable across networks like Status.net, Google Buzz, Orkut and others, you as a user don’t have to register for an account on every single network. Instead you just write a messege to @vordichung@twitter and get my reply delivered to your Orkut Inbox.


Being able to use whatever network you feel most comfortable with you are not forced to use the one network most of your friends use just because they use it (talking Facebook here!). By that there will be a great(er) diversity of networks.


This and the fact, that networks will compete more fiercly for user sympathy gives you, the user, more control over your data. You will be able to pick a provider that suits your privacy needs best thus being freed of the dictatorship current social networks (again talking Facebook here) have over it’s users.

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