I like to social network online but find Facebook to be terrible for 'having all my data' and don't trust them really so am careful to limit what I'm talking about and who I link up with. My main complaint really is the centralised nature of FB.
Here is an interesting alternate way of online social networking that some of you may not have read about:-
Instead of everyone’s data being held on huge central servers owned by a large organization, diaspora* exists on independently run servers (“pods”) all over the world. You choose which pod to register with, and you can then connect seamlessly with the diaspora* community worldwide.
You can be whoever you want to be in diaspora*. Unlike some networks, you don’t have to use your real identity. You can interact with people in whatever way you choose. The only limit is your imagination. diaspora* is also Free Software, giving you liberty over how you use it.
In diaspora* you own your data. You don’t sign over rights to a corporation or other interest who could use it. In addition, you choose who sees what you share, using Aspects. With diaspora*, your friends, your habits, and your content is your business ... not ours!
Find a pod that suits you. You might prefer a smaller pod, one which allows cross-posting to external services (such as Twitter), one based near you, or one based in a country that you know has good data security policies... The choice is yours! You can even host a pod yourself if you have some sysadmin skills.
Once you’ve decided which pod is right for you, based on the ratings and information at Pod Uptime and maybe recommendations from people you trust, sign up there and create a profile with as much or as little personal information as you like. You are in control about how much you share.
Start following some #tags related to your interests: it could be #music, #photography, #privacy or #linux - whatever you’re into. Share a public message with the #newhere tag to introduce yourself, and away you go. You’re now part of the vibrant diaspora* community.
diaspora* pioneered the concept of aspects, which means you can organise your contacts according to their role in your life. This means you can share something just with family members or work colleagues, knowing that no one you don’t want to will be able to see what you post.
Hashtags give you the freedom to label and follow your interests with ease. You can catch people’s attention by @mentioning them. Reshare posts you love so others can enjoy and comment on them too. And show your love for other people’s work by ♥ing it.
Want to help?
diaspora* needs people to write and test code, welcome and help new members, set up and maintain community pods, and spread the word about the benefits of diaspora* to others who might want to take part. Think you’d like to contribute to the project?