Diaspora appears to be getting desperate. The once-hyped saviour to our social networking privacy woes has written an open-ended blog post, pleading for further contributions to help sustain the open-source project into the future.
Diaspora initially raised around $200,000 from 6,000 voluntary donations over a year ago. Now, one month before their first beta version is due to be released to the wider public, the ten-person strong team are requesting more community-sourced funding to enable them “to build more great features”. A copy of the blog post was also sent via email to the 500,000 or so individuals who have signed-up for early access.
Diaspora are requesting a contribution of $25 or any amount that you “feel comfortable with”. While I wholeheartedly support crowd-funding, something about this request for money doesn’t feel right. The timing certainly isn’t right. They haven’t even released the project properly to the public. Hardly anyone has seen the fruits of their community-funded labour. Although, that said, donating does get you in instantly.
Where has the initial $200,000 went? The vast majority has been spent on their own wage bill – which may or may not be justifiable. This ill-timed plea just sounds like a last-ditch effort to save the Diaspora project.