My idea for an open alternative to Facebook

I am always getting ideas, and this might be a cool one. I want a new Facebook. I want to make my own version of it. Only, not centrally controlled, and not a direct single-place-to-go site to be social.

Why? Because I foresee a downfall. And because Facebook, if its not already there, is becoming an evil giant that not only controls your personal data, it legally owns it. Leo Laporte actually removed his account from there because of their policies. (although, he may have recreated one.) And its also becoming a source of malware, or rather a “vector of attack” for malware. The general public will never care about the privacy issues, even though they say they do, but that’s the problem, I think. We need something better.

We need an open-source version of it. It needs to be distributed, and federated, like email, and not centrally owned/managed on one persons servers. It also needs security by default. Also, everything needs to be opt-in by default. It needs to be simple.

I want to build this! Guess what, Google Wave has the beginnings of this. Problem is, Wave isn’t going anywhere, and it doesn’t have the federated services yet. If it did, Wave could potentially form into what I would want. (to some extent) Another thing, guess who else created some of the needed technology? P2P networks! all the file/mp3 networks out there already created, in part, the idea I’ve got. Only they did it for file sharing. I think some of those concepts, including the way email works, could be utilized for a “Facebook-like-net-web-app” that’s cross platform.

It would take these parts: (off the top of my head)
– A peering web service, that anyone can run on their own servers.
– A web service, that connects using the peering services, anyone can run and connect to the fbnet. (FB = First Byte, by the way!)
– A web app, where one can manage their profile. (that can be hosted by anyone on existing web servers)
– A client app, like for Winblows, Mac, Linux, Iphone, Droid, etc.

Technically it works distributed like email servers do, crossed with the way P2P servers work. Only, from a user’s perspective, its like email meets twitter and blogs, and personal web pages, complete with public profiles, wall’s, status messages, and comments like Facebook has.

Kewl idea, I think. But, just like all my other ones, it’s gonna take a lot of money!