Yes, it IS up and running. Unless you’ve been following the blog, and/or checking their github link from their main page, it’s very possible you’ve missed this information. Especially with the big news of Googles answer to a social networking system , Google+ being released.
One thing that needs to be remembered is that the official site of joindiaspora.com was not intended to be THE main Diaspora site. In fact, there IS no main Diaspora site. This is because Diaspora is decentralized. You can run it on your own server, or join one of the many pods already up and running. Some of the most popular community run Diaspora pods are listed here: http://podupti.me/ and http://podup.sargodarya.de/ . I use diasp.org, but all of the pods are interconnected and you can communicate back and forth regardless of which pod you use.
Why is this still relevant, now that Facebook already has its new rival Google+?
Well, at Diaspora, we are people and not ad targets.
We can use whatever name we want.
We aren’t agreeing to give our information, pictures, etc away.
They were a bit slow getting out of the gate, and it has been slower to catch on BECAUSE they are not owned and run by a big corporation. If one registers at any of the pods (the joindiaspora.com pod is still only giving out invites, but all other pods are open registration), one can quickly see where Google+ got their ideas from. Diaspora has groups called ‘Aspects’ and although it isn’t as fancy and animated as Google+’s dropping into a ‘circle’ experience, it is actually more user friendly. You view Streams, you pick and choose which aspects you are going to post to… you get the idea.
There is another social network out there which, from the start, emphasized the classification of your connections into different groups, each with their own realm of discussion. Just as Google+, without any need for users to beg and protest, makes it easy to download everything from your circles to your profile and stream data through its “data liberation” panel, this other social network lets you download your photos and other data (xml).
Unlike both Google+ and Facebook, however, this competitor lets you not only restrict status updates or photographs to a limited number of “aspects” (like “circles” or “friend lists”) but also, with a simple click, easily share your postings beyond the platform through your linked accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Also unlike either Google+ and Facebook, this project is 100% free range Omega-3 open source; mostly written by a couple of guys (with at least some help from over a hundred total contributors) who raised a good chunk of money through their fundraising effort at Kickstarter last summer. That project is Diaspora*.
Read the full article here: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/remembering-diaspora-the-open-source-so…
Personally, I would love to see Diaspora flourish. It is the direction these sorts of platforms need to go. Open source, able to be independently run, able to interconnect. The biggest reason is because it puts it in the hands of the people, and not just the corporations.
Right now they do not have individual albums, but there is a photo service called cubbi.es that you can use to shift/click on any image online and add to an album that syncs with Diaspora. There is also the basic Share of multiple photos, but no actual separate albums. However I simply have a link to flickr right on my main front profile page, as well as a link to my business page and other places I frequent. Technically, you could put a link on your profile for individual albums that you have on other sites, Summer 2011 on Photobucket, or your Southern Gulf Islands set on Flickr. Also, I sampled uploading a bunch of my favourite pics at once into a status update, and it went quite nicely. The display is beautiful. If you click on my profile pic (and you are a friend/aspect etc) then you can see the photos archived.
A few nice features right out of the box is seamless posting to tumblr, twitter and facebook. Nothing to install. You just authorize the various sites by clicking on a button, and DONE.
They are working on integrating a chat service with Diaspora as well, this is apparently coming up quite soon, within the week. They are also working on an android app for Diaspora.
Soo, nope, it hasn’t disappeared! Register at any of the pods in the links above, and stop by and Vist Me at Diaspora!