Why should I join you guys and what’s the difference?
We hear this question sometimes and it often includes phrases like “—why don’t you help BeWelcome instead?” or “—what’s wrong with Couchsurfing?”. Complete reply would be lengthy and complicated, but I’ll give you some food for thought.
About Couchsurfing many have written much better than I could and one of the latest good reads comes from Nithin Coca: The improbable rise and fall of Couchsurfing. Check it out.
I made a simple Comparison of Hospitality Exchange platforms to support discussion.
Gary gave us some valid feedback:
It still doesn’t really answer what the difference between TR and BW is and why people should use TR over BW if they were to choose one. They both seem pretty similar to me and good alternatives to CS with their open source, non-profit ethos. This would potentially fracture a community needlessly by setting up something that isn’t dissimilar to BW and would essentially be targeting the same audience with similar values. If it had been exclusively for hitchhikers then that would be a different story(like WS is for cyclists) but you seem to be marketing it in a way now with the addition of “and other travellers”, that I don’t see the distinction myself between what you have decided to create from the ground up and what BW has dedicated their time to already. Why not continue support their cause instead and help them to grow?
BW is a great project, great people, great community. Unfortunately it’s very static because of the way it’s governed and the initial code base. I and quite a few other people (many coders) got the impression there’s no way to move BW forward in a significant way after trying for 5+ years. Personally I want to pick up what CS dropped in 2007 (by refusing open source), when there was amazing momentum to change the world in a significant way.
We did our best. I spent over a year trying to improve things; it was time to move on.
I and others still support BW and help them if they need our help.
In my comparison I included CouchSurfing, HospitalityClub, BeWelcome, WarmShowers and Trustroots since these are the sites that are — or in the past had — a change to become non-profit and open source. That’s the only sustainable way of running hospitality exchange networks in our opinion.
All this said; we wouldn’t like to think Trustroots as an alternative to anything specifically. As Carlos said to me earlier, it just doesn’t compare well on many aspects. In our FAQ we write:
Trustroots isn’t on purpose an alternative to anything specifically. There are many people to whom Facebook, CouchSurfing or other tools aren’t suitable for multitude of reasons. We encourage using any tools you wish in parallel. We are trying to make it easy to gather your contents from these sites also to Trustroots.