Ilya Zhitomirskiy, 1989 – 2011

Ilya Zhitomirskiy

“This weekend we lost one of the brightest minds of the technology world, and one of our best friends. Ilya Zhitomirskiy was a crusader—or, as he called himself, a Dragonslayer—for freedom, privacy, and openness on the Internet. He believed in the power of technology to make the world a better place. And through the creation of Diaspora, he did.

His passions were infectious. His parties epic. He “dreamed a better, freer future, and threw himself completely into building what he dreamed.”[1] The thousands of tweets and hundreds of news articles reporting his passing are a testament to the influence of his words and the strength of Diaspora’s vision. “Every time I saw Ilya, he had a new plan to save the world. He was optimistic without irony.”[2]  It pains us greatly that we will no longer be graced by the bright-eyed idealist in the American flag shirt making us all believe in the open web.

As Ilya himself said, “There’s something deeper than making money off stuff, being a part of creating stuff for the universe is awesome.”

While his life ended, his vision and passion live on. The world needed his voice. We’ll miss you Ilya.

There are memorials planned for Friday, Nov. 18  in San Francisco, and Sunday, Nov. 20 in Philadelphia. In life, Ilya brought people together. In death, he would have wanted the same thing. Everyone is welcome.

If you would like to speak, share a memory, or anything else, please email us at “


That Diaspora has lost one of its early founders when it needs so much more work while it shows so much promise, is saddening. But i must admit that what shocked me most was seeing that such potential, such promise faded away in a body that was born 9 years later than me. The guy was 22 years old. Tragic.

My condolences to his family and friends.

You can get more info on how to honor his memory on the Diaspora page created for the purpose.

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