With the entire internet attacking Mark Zuckerberg and the folks at Facebook for their extreme approach to Privacy (or the lack thereof,) many influencers including Leo Laporte have deleted their Facebook accounts in protest. With that being the case — the concept of an alternative to Facebook has been brought to the forefront of the tech industry's buzz. Here are a few of the interesting alternatives to Facebook that can help you connect even if you do decide to oust Facebook from your daily routine:


Diaspora aims to be a distributed network, where totally separate computers connect to each other directly, will let us connect without surrendering our privacy. We call these computers ‘seeds'. A seed is owned by you, hosted by you, or on a rented server. Once it has been set up, the seed will aggregate all of your information: your facebook profile, tweets, anything. We are designing an easily extendable plugin framework for Diaspora, so that whenever newfangled content gets invented, it will be automagically integrated into every seed.


TrustWorks is a software company that enables private conversations within enterprise and social networks.  When a user needs assistance on any personal or business matter, the system sends a confidential message to one member of the community who has the relevant knowledge.  This contrasts the “news feed” model of Facebook, where users read as much or as little as they choose; it also contrasts the “email to all” model of LinkedIn Answers, which sends questions to many people.  For matters that are too sensitive to broadcast, or which require immediate responses, one-on-one communications get a faster and safer response.

“The more people we know, the less we know about each one,” says founder Aaron Sylvan, “so TrustWorks solves the problem of finding who to ask.”  Users ask questions about travel destinations, personal health problems, recommendations and referrals, as well as serious business questions.  A confidential database allows the system to find which friend, classmate, or co-worker has experience with Venezuela or cancer or knows a great babysitter.  Users provide their information on an opt-in basis, and questions can be asked or answered anonymously, by email or SMS.


webNetwork lets anyone start their own social networking community site with profiles, pictures, videos, music, events, and more. The software is fully template based, so you can change the look and feel of the site to make it stand out from others. It runs on your own server (which can be provided by Web Scribble), meaning you own that data, and no one else!

A social network can be your primary site, or part of your existing site. If already have a site and you'd like to add some interactive and community based features, adding a social aspect using webNetwork is a great way to do it. As with all Web Scribble products, updates and support are free for a year.


SNABBO is a free-to-use social networking website created expressly for the Baby Boomer generation. The name “Snabbo” is an acronym for Social Network Allowing Baby Boomers Only. Driven by nostalgia for the “good old days”, members are encouraged to use a photograph taken any time during the 1940's through the 1980's as their Profile page picture. The more information members provide about their past, the more likely someone can rediscover them. A member may list other names they have been known as during their lifetime. For example, you might have been known as Margaret Smith in elementary school, Maggie Smith in high school, Tootsie Smith in college and finally Meg Eldringhoff when you got married. Members are also able to list (with corresponding years) towns they grew up in, schools they attended, companies they have worked for, military service and organizations they have joined. Snabbo's “Find Friends” feature is able to successfully search for a person even if all you can remember is their nickname when you knew them in elementary school.

Statistics indicate that Baby Boomers are the fastest growing online population, so much so that the phenomenon is referred to as the “silver tsunami”. However, this demographic may be more reluctant, than their younger Facebook counterparts, to post personal information on the Internet. In order to address the privacy concerns of their members, Snabbo became a licensee of the TRUSTe Privacy Program. Snabbo also states clearly in their privacy policy that they will never share personally identifiable information to third parties for marketing purposes. Finally, Snabbo offers members opportunities to explore a wide variety of shared interests through features like Groups, Blogs and Discussions. Snabbo has an easy-to-use Photo Album that can help members create, organize and share pictures. All in all, Snabbo provides a Boomer-friendly exposure to what might be a first time online social networking experience.


SocialGO.com is a do-it-yourself platform that enables anyone to quickly and easily create a fully functioning online social network, with features and functionality similar to Facebook or Myspace.  With SocialGO you are your own network and are not simply populating a master network (Facebook). With this set-up comes complete data ownership & control—including content and network API, which is becoming a hot button issue in the social networking industry. By customers owning their own platforms there is the distinct advantage of being able to customize a network with HTML, Javascript Flash and other source code anywhere in the network. With this control of the network comes the ability to monetize content, completely white-label a network, and control the advertising banner.  With the SocialGO platform an organization or business can integrate social networking features (like video chat or instant messaging) into an already existing web-site. Although there is an entry-level free network option, SocialGO's premium user created network is priced for everyone at $25/month.


JackTheDonkey.com is a free social network where users can ‘give a poop' about charities and causes…simply by sharing content with others. Have a picture or “deep thought” you think other people might enjoy seeing? Please put it on JackTheDonkey.com, the community where being “social” makes 1.1 cents every page impression for your choice of more than 20 charities from Canada,  The US and UK.  Some people call it Facebook with a conscience. The members of our community call it giving a poop freely, regularly and socially for the charity of your choice.

Added to the JackTheDonkey.com community in May 2010, “iGiveapoop” provides unsigned musicians with the opportunity to directly better the world as well. 
In my honest opinion — I'm sticking with Facebook, since a) I don't feel like my privacy is at risk, and b) I don't think my information is important enough to have to be top secret.