27 January 2012

Flight 8 Is On Diaspora

Yes Flight 8 is branching out into social media, in an attempt to get more exposure for the club and also share more information and photos, as well.

Flight 8's internet presence consisted of just a website only for a number of years. Initially run by Flight Captain Mike Shaw, then current webmaster Adam Hunt took it over. On 26 August 2007 the old website was replaced by a new one written in XHTML to make it web standards compliant and also make it load and work better.

Then on 12 August 2007 Mike Shaw launched this blog, with the urgent question "Does the Canadian Owners and Pilot's Association Flight 8 need a blog?". With 101 posts to date (not counting this one) it seems to be fulfilling its purpose and occasionally draws debate on contentious issues.

On 25 January 2012 Mike Shaw moved the flight onto Twitter. Not one to be outdone for social media, Adam Hunt opened a Diaspora account for the Flight on 27 January 2012.

Since most people have never heard of Diaspora, some explanation is in order. Diaspora is a social media network that was created by four students attending New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences: Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg and Raphael Sofaer. Like a lot of people they had serious issues with Facebook and the fact that it is a private company that owns the rights to everything you write or upload and sells your data to advertisers, tracks you everywhere on the internet, doesn't listen to its users and is generally evil. This article has a lot more detail on the problems with Facebook.

The four students started something better, what Facebook should have been from the start: a free software project to create a disbursed social network where anyone can host a "pod" or server to be part of the network, where you own your own data and where there is no advertising or profit motive behind it all. This article explains more, as does the Wikipedia article. As of January 2012 Diaspora is still in "alpha" development phase, but it works pretty well at this point and is worth supporting as a project.

Flight 8's Diaspora account can be viewed without being a Diaspora member, having an account or without signing in. Of course you can join Diaspora on any pod you like and participate there as well. In the meantime the Flight 8 page will carry meeting announcements, photos and other information.

Both the Twitter and Diaspora pages are linked from the main navigation menus on the Flight 8 website, so they are easy to find.

Will there be more social media forays for Flight 8? That depends on how these ones work out! You will have to stay tuned to find out!


Adam Hunt said...

For anyone interested in signing up for Diaspora these two pods are currently recommended as they have good uptime performance and accept instant registrations (some other pods require an invitation). The fist is the one I use, the second is the new Canadian pod:


Adam Hunt said...

Diaspora users should be aware that there is a bug right now with the Diaspora software and as a result photos are not visible cross-pod. Meaning that if I post a photo at www.joindiaspora.com/u/copaflight8 that users on joindiaspora will see the photo, but users on other pods will see just the text.

You can always use that direct link to see the photos for now and your own account to comment.

It is alpha software still, so this sort of thing is expected. Hopefully it will be fixed soon!

Adam Hunt said...

Recently the Flight 8 page on JoinDiaspora.org (JD) has only been visible to signed in users, but this seems to have now been fixed as of today and public posts on the page are visible to anyone on the internet.

This was why I located the Flight 8 account on JD in the first place as not all diaspora pods allow public posts to be seen by signed out users. This is a real boon to club and organizational accounts as we are trying to get the maximum exposure and not just be seen by other Diaspora users!

Adam Hunt said...

It looks like cross-pod photos are now visible! Diaspora seems to be getting better every day!