Interesting article in the NYTimes: Rivals Seize on Troubles of Facebook.
Ultimately, I doubt there’ll be enough momentum for any of these sites to really take off. And yes, I say that despite me backing Diaspora*. But I believe they will fail to attract a serious following because in the end, you go where your people are, and they’re not there yet. Herd mentality meets chicken & egg.
I—as an end user—would need to decide whether my jumping ship @ FB is more important than loosing the “posse” I’ve built there during the time I’ve used the site. And I think for most people the answer would be “no”.
That being said, I approve of all of these efforts to build some much needed competition for the four thousand million pound gorilla that is Facebook. The prospect of having a portable profile (see Diaspora* for more info) is exciting, but while I hope that their plans come to fruition (especially their hosted service) I remain skeptical.