Mushon Zer-Aviv - former teacher of one of the Diaspora students - makes the point that Diaspora's funding success endangers both Diaspora, Kickstarter and you. His main advice:
They should change their milestone promise ASAP, as this is not what they should accomplish in the next 4 months and they should not be held back by it.
The reality of the situation is that these kids got into this in the first place, because they really wanted to write code. Now it has exploded to the point where code will be only a small part of their responsibilities. So far, they've kept their heads down, but it's certainly clear that the massive public anticipation and scrutiny of their activities is not going to be particularly helpful to their mission. There's already a large chorus of haters who will actually get pleasure out of seeing them fail.
I'm optimistic about all of this. As a sometime teacher myself, I wish more students had the temerity to throw themselves headlong into such exciting and significant undertakings. I could never side with those who favor bitching and armchair criticism over making real things.
It could be some time yet before an open standard for sharing data emerges with significant support from developers around the world. Certainly, Diaspora now has the leverage to get the message out, but the proof will be in the protocol. There's still a lot of unanswered questions and prior art to be reviewed and integrated.