It was just last week when the privacy-focused Facebook alternative Diaspora posted an update on its development status, promising to "go faster." It may need to do just that not only to please its community and woo new users, but to help stave off the competition from yet another startup that's just announced its plans to also provide a privacy-focused social network.

This one's called Altly, and it announced its plans to build an alternative to Facebook today with a lengthy manifesto on why privacy, personal data control, and data portability should matter.

But even if those are important considerations - and even with Facebook's track record of privacy snafus - building an alternative to the social networking giant hasn't been something that anyone's been able to do successfully.

What makes Altly different then? Well, its founder, for one thing. Dmitry Shapiro is a serial entrepreneur, the founder of the online video company Veoh, and most recently an executive at that other Facebook rival, MySpace.

Despite Shapiro's credentials, building a viable Facebook alternative has so far proven to be a Herculean task. Although the points he makes about Facebook's privacy flaws do ring true, Facebook has remained wildly popular.

Altly does have funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, but what the site will surely need is excellent execution in order to be successful. The product isn't ready for launch, but you can sign up and reserve your name. It could be a good sign for Altly that "Audrey" has already been taken (and not by me, I should add).