Facebook dropped the ball and a unique window of opportunity has just open up for Diaspora*, to attract new users, in mass, but it will close just as fast.
Let there be a prompt on the home page, or a splash screen, that allows a new user to select one, of two paths, into the rabbit hole when experiencing their first impression of the project, when registering as a new user. One path is for people, such as grandparents who are more accustom to a dial-up phone or anyone else who eschews computer jargon, who are not technically inclined, and the other path leads to the current set-up employed to both inform and register a new user.
Create an automated system to assist a new user who wants to create an account, keep it simple, really simple, for individuals who are not technical or proficient with a computer. Many people don’t care about a centralized or decentralized network, don’t yet care if their data is being harvested and sold (on FB), don’t care about pods, hard drives, or wingnuts for that matter, so make the automated system for these people who just want to create an account to socialize with their friends/family and/or the global community. In time, if these new users return and continue to use the system and develop the curiosity to discover more about how diaspora* works, they can peruse the wiki and tutorials at their leisure.
Registration log-in prompts a new user for a diaspora* ID, but I have yet to find any information on the site to explain both what it is and what I should enter, so I left it blank.
If not a splash screen, atop the web page, offer two radio buttons for registering a new account. One might say, “New user non-technical registration” and the other “Registration for computer programmers”.