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I've read about this in the latest Linux Format: http://friendica.com and it is a very nice piece of software. I've tried Diaspora, but it is written in ruby, and this is in PHP. The thing I like most is the federation with other services. I've got it setup on a SecureDragon shared account, with the facebook connector. This means I have all the updates facebook friend post, I can comment on them and like it.
As we all know, edit: most of the people who choose to use open source software like open source social networks, but sadly most of the general population just use the blue bird or the other blue thing. This enables me to use my "own" services with a bit more control, while still being able to connect, read and interact with other people who use facebook.
Now I was curious on your opinions about Friendica. The server I've set up is open for registration, and the facebook plugin is enabled. Also the on-site chat plugin is enabled. And the twitter connect.
I would like to see some people register, and see if the facebook and twitter plugins work as you expect. Also for me so that I can see how the load is (actually, @kuJoe will see that and suspend me if it gets to high ;) ).
Here is the site: http://sparklingnetwork.nl