A decentralized social network


Launched in 2007 by Dirk Olbertz, a programmer at Cologne, Germany-based Ormigo, is an open-source protocol designed to create a social network that lives on members' computers, rather than on servers owned by a company.

The project is still largely run by Olbertz and two partners: Alexander Kaiser, an art director and designer at Media Ventures GmbH in Cologne, and Daniel Hofstetter, a Swiss developer and blogger.

One place for all your web activity -- and your friends' activity -- with

People who want to use NoseRub create a profile at any of several sites using the protocol. Sites now using NoseRub include,, and more.

Your profile includes all web accounts and any personal information you want to share. People you share your profile with can see the activities you've aggregated there -- for example, the photos you've posted lately -- and can comment on your activities, or mark them as favorites.

How is NoseRub different from FriendFeed?

Unlike FriendFeed, NoseRub is an open-source project. No one owns NoseRub, and as its founders point out, no company can buy it and "bury" it -- a fate that's befallen a number of technology projects and products over the past couple of decades.

NoseRub doesn't live on servers controlled by a single company or group. It's a protocol that each user downloads onto his or her own server, enabling communication between other users while allowing each to guard his or her own information.

Some social networks serve a single purpose or interest, such as sharing photos, sharing videos or communicating with old classmates. NoseRub can unite all these different purposes with a single, open technology.

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