Today I want to share two interesting projects with you I took from the congress on the second day.
The first one is called “social swarm”. It is an initiative with the goal to choose and adapt one of the may open distributed Facebook alternatives and bring it to the masses.
The second one is called “secure share”, which is one of the most promising of those mentioned alternatives. Opposed to others they do not just provide a decentralized server network but aim to create a secure P2P communication system for data exchange. On top of this a social network could be created.
I briefly want to share my opinion without going too much into technical or political details.
Both projects are very promising and ambitious. I especially like the idea that we can only succeed if we go for a single solution. This is one of the reasons why open projects often fail in favor of proprietary systems. Also the secure share technical approach is well designed with current and upcoming problems mind. Whats missing is something in-between.
The main problem I see is to find out what people really want and need. What could be reasons for them to try a new social network or even switch from Facebook. Political as well as technical approaches must be based on this. I think they are on a good track, but still far away from a complete concept.
And the second one is the practicability. The technical approach must be usable with current technology. Over the last years you could see a big hype in web-applications and web-service based architectures. The reason for this is that you get HTTP communication through almost all NAT-Firewalls and Proxies. In fact it is desirable to come back to real peer-to-peer communication. But unfortunately this is not possible with our current infrastructure and we cannot rely on IPv6 and a (possible) law on net neutrality. But this is another story…
Nevertheless I hope those projects will very soon be able to come up with something to try out and get visible in the media. I would love to participate, but will only remain as a passive watcher, since other projects are more important for me.