"A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Diaspora, a free
software project to create a distributed version of Facebook that
gives control back to users. Since then, of course,
Facebook-bashing and Diaspora-boosting have become somewhat trendy.
Indeed, Diaspora has now soared past its initial $10,000
fund-raising target: at the time of writing, it has raised over
$170,000, with 15 days to go. That's amazing, but what's more
interesting is the way in which Diaspora has done it.
"Of course, the sudden interest of mainstream media has helped,
but beyond the arithmetical implications of having lots of people
looking at your site, what's important is how the Diaspora team has
managed to turn those proverbial eyeballs into practical funds.
"It has achieved this by soliciting "pledges" of varying
magnitudes, with a corresponding reward for each level:"