Considering the sh*t storm Facebook's currently weathering for their privacy issues, the emergence of social networking tools with more control comes as no surprise. This week Mozilla Labs introduced their own personal version: sudoSocial.
Brought to you by developer Austin King, sudoSocial is described as a "stream publishing platform." Essentially a lifestream service, such as FriendFeed, sudoSocial aggregates your activity (so long as it can be offered as an RSS or Atom feed) from across the Web and plugs it into a single, sharable flow of data:
Mozilla Labs sudoSocial screenshot
After logging in with an OpedID account, users can pick through their online presence, deciding which bits of it get to live inside the feed and which they'd prefer to leave out. It takes a few minutes to start filtering in (the website says just five, but I waited for approximately 20) but once it does it will also appear as a stream on your admin page:
Notice the 'Hide Entry' links in the upper right-hand corner of each post. This way you can be selective about what your public feed displays without having to completely remove a source.
Don't Say 'Facebook Killer' Just Yet
It doesn't take a second glance to see that the platform is not awesome. Moreover, you have have to possess a certain level of skill if you want to mess with the look and feel of the stream, or add interactive interfaces.
Then again, this is an extremely, extremely early iteration. Austin himself seems a bit unsure of the exact aim of the platform, but the focus on more privacy and control leads one to believe that it is -- at least in part -- an answer to the backlash against Facebook.
One of the most common excuses heard for the failure of Quite Facebook Day was simply that we don't have an alternative. And while it's hard to imagine something bigger than Facebook, it was once hard to imagine something bigger than MySpace when Tom was ruling the Web waves.
This is not to say Mozilla will be doing any usurping, but it will be interesting to see how people react to such solutions. If you're curiosity has been piqued, go ahead and try it out for yourself.