Diaspora social network goes alpha

Diaspora, the Facebook-killing (we can only hope) social network has begun inviting a select few to join its blank pages.

The developers say they're taking it one step at a time in an effort to get it right. Or, in developerspeak: "By taking these baby steps, we'll be able to quickly identify performance problems and iterate on features as quickly as possible."

The open-source-based project ,was as leaky as a colander when it was first shown off back in September.

From invite page you can get a feel where the site is going: You sort your chums into groups called - for some reason - aspects. "Aspects ensure that your photos, stories and jokes are shared only with the people you intend," the site claims. It says any photos posted on the site remain the property of the poster. "You own your pictures, pictures, and you shouldn’t have to give that up just to share them. You maintain ownership of everything you share on Diaspora, giving you full control over how it's distributed."

The site was dreamed up by a bunch of students in New York and is one of a number of open-source-based projects muscling in on the not-really-very-social-gibbering-into-cyberspace type space. A geeky example is The Free Software Foundation's GNU Social.

It's not yet clear how the site intends to make money. Flogging ads like everyone else no doubt.