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Difference between Diaspora and Hubzilla

Original post https://framasphere.org/posts/1003816

Diaspora has one goal → Diaspora. Everybody within Diaspora is keenly aware that they are a part of Diaspora. The goal is to be a part of Diaspora and aligned with whatever the Diaspora community is aligned with. There are other interests represented in Diaspora, but they (#hashtags) only exist to filter content. There are no smaller “communities” per se. It is designed as a large melting pot. Communities are expected to find themselves within the large melting pot and organise themselves. But there are no community tools – like forums, events, file repositories, that kind of thing. So communities can’t organise if they wanted to. All they have is hashtags.

Hubzilla has one goal → to connect communities. These could be dating communities or shopping communities or social network communities or small business websites used by small businesses. In these cases people will be a part of whatever community they are already a part of, but at the same time they will become members of a larger community. As you know, some of these people are Diaspora members and aren’t even aware that they are part of a community that is larger than Diaspora (“the federation”). In their mind – they just think they are part of Diaspora, or part of a dating website or shopping forum. But they can communicate (socially) with people from other communities. The purpose of hubzilla is to connect communities and their resources and assets together both socially and most important – with privacy. So sure, some people will use it as a large social network just like Diaspora. But growth and stability doesn’t come from building a giant social network – it comes from building on existing communities and linking them together.

There are hundreds of thousands of special interest websites and forums on the web where people discuss things and have already built communities. Drupal, phpforum, wordpress, all bring people together into communities. But what these other software packages don’t do is connect the communities. This is where the next web explosion will come from. Currently if you want to connect communities, you need to do it through facebook or twitter. Hubzilla allows you to connect communities on your own privacy terms. We let you adapt the software to the way your community works instead of doing like Diaspora does and mold everybody into a single interface which only sends posts back and forth and chooses who to share with. That’s really all it does. Most existing web communities have rich forums, file repositories, photo albums, calendaring, web pages and libraries, chat rooms – all kinds of community resources and they adapt different software to provide these. Many have different rules and policies and it can be tricky to connect communities with different rules. You need flexible permissions. We have that. The permissions work no matter where you are and what community you’re in and what website you’re using.

So yes, hubzilla could turn into a large “social network”, but it is one that is build from the bottom up rather than from the top down. By developing from the bottom up, we ensure that both the individual and the community have control as it grows. When you build from the top down, it forces people into a rigid and limited world view that is decided by the project leaders and leads to a homogeneous community. This is how we differ from the hordes of projects trying to be a “social network” and take on Facebook. Our project respects diverse communities and gives them the tools to maintain their identity and privacy when and as they connect to the larger network and link to other communities and people.