Alternative sites to check out on Quit Facebook Day

Happy Quit Facebook Day. 

Think of the endless invitation to Mafia Wars or pleas to search for a missing cow on Farmville, not the constant updates from friends who just have to tell the world that they “just can’t wait for Friday” or that a “Sausage, eggs and mee goreng and a cup of Nescafe Gold” really perked them up today. All that could come to an end.

Nestor Arellano


Last time I checked the Quit Facebook Day movement, which officially starts today has only signed up 26,977 committed Facebook quitters out of the social networking site’s 400 million members. So good luck with that.

However, writer Steven Vaughan-Nichols has come up with a list of seven alternative sites that you might what to check out. We have his list here but you can also read the whole story on

WikiHow also has this step-by-step advice on Facebook-weary on how to kick the habbit – How to Quit Facebook.


Here’s Steve’s list:


While this open-source project is still in beta, it’s an interesting take on social networking. Instead of being under the control of one company and one set of administrators, Appleseed works via a distributed server software package tied together with the ASN (Appleseed Social Network).

That means that as a user, you select and log into an Appleseed site. Once there, you connect with friends, send messages, share photos and videos, join discussions and participate in all the usual social networking stuff. Don’t like the specific Appleseed site you’re on? Then sign up for a different one and, according to the site, “immediately reconnect with everyone in your network.”


Diaspora, for all the headlines it’s gotten, is still not much more than an idea.

Technically, Diaspora sounds a lot like Appleseed. It’s also going to be built from open-source software, and it’s going to be a distributed network server application. The first Diaspora code release is slated for September.


Rather than being a social network, Elgg is designed for companies and groups to run their own social networks.

You can either run your own Elgg installation — according to the Web site, the developers will be happy to help you — or you can host your site with a provider that specializes in Elgg sites. Starting later this summer, you’ll also be able to host it on itself.

While businesses and social groups may find Elgg interesting, it’s not really a Facebook competitor in and of itself.


Lorea describes itself as “a project to create secure social cybernetic systems, in which human networks will become simultaneously represented on a virtual shared world.” It’s an experimental social network that combines some aspects of social networking, such as communities and real-time updating a la Twitter, with blogging.

Lorea may be less a Facebook competitor than a site for programmers who want to explore the fundamental concepts of how social networks should work.


Unlike Appleseed and Diaspora, the Vodafone Group’s OneSocialWeb is not only hoping to become a social network itself, but also to be the focal point for all the other social networks you may belong to.

For example, if OneSocialWeb works as planned, it will provide the common infrastructure from which you can access all your friends’ information, photos, comments, etc., from Twitter, Facebook and other networks.

Of course, for this to work, the other social networks would have to agree to play by OneSocialWeb’s rules — and I suspect they won’t want to make it easy for users to jump from their own network to another.

Look for a public OneSocialWeb beta later this summer.


Like Elgg, Pligg is an open-source platform for building social networks. The key difference between the two is that Pligg is also a content management system.

Specifically, Pligg is a CMS that enables users to submit and vote on news articles, like Digg. Besides the usual up-or-down voting system, Pligg offers a chance to rate the articles using a five-star scale. While more than good enough for this kind of story-sharing, Pligg really isn’t going to be the basis of a Facebook-type network.

Here’s the good news: is already up and running, and it is a real would-be Facebook competitor. Here’s the bad news: It is still very rough.

For instance, when Steve  asked it to find members of whom he already knew by using his Gmail contact list, it instead offered to let him invite everyone on his thousand-plus address book to join him on

The interface, which owes more to Twitter than to Facebook, is easy to use. It also enables you to use other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter from In short, is trying to be both a social network and a social network client.

It may, eventually, do quite well at all these jobs. But for now, it’s a work in progress.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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