http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9197882/Open_source_social_network_Diaspora_goes_liveThe students' plan with Diaspora is to allow participants to retain ownership of all the material they use on the site, and retain full control over how that information is shared. It will also allow users to divide their social connections into individual groups, called Aspects, and control which groups see which material, according to the website.
Given that they rapidly raised $200,000 in financing already I can see that Diaspora is wanted. Given how Facebook "owns" everything a person puts on it (and gives itself the right to use all of it as it sees fit) Diaspora will be a refreshing alternative. http://joindiaspora.com/
Will it work? Well, just ask MySpace what happens when someone comes along with a better idea. Here's hoping.