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Four students at the NYU Courant Institute have raised more than enough money to spend the summer writing the code for a “privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network” that they are calling “Diaspora.”

As of mid-afternoon today their web site said they’d raised $33,179 from 1027 backers. They had been seeking $10,000 to support themselves over the summer while they finished the project.

Their web site describes the project: “Enter your Diaspora ‘seed,’ a personal web server that stores all of your information and shares it with your friends. Diaspora knows how to securely share (using GPG) your pictures, videos, and more. When you have a Diaspora seed of your own, you own your social graph, you have access to your information however you want, whenever you want, and you have full control of your online identity. Once we have built a solid foundation, we will make Diaspora easy to extend to facilitate any type of communication, and the possibilities will be endless.”

Diaspora site here.

There’s a word I love: “Quixotic.” It was derived from great novel “The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha.” I think it applies here. It’s great.

Tom Kelchner