I’m excited to start a new project for hosting hitchhikers. My friends, let me introduce you Trustroots!
Me and other hospex activists are creating a new volunteer based gift/free-economy project. While hosting will be at the core of Trustroots, it’s not limited to it.
This project started from an idea to create “Hitchwiki Hosts”. We were frustrated with CouchSurfing and later with BeWelcome not really moving forward, and thus we decided to act.
For now Trustroots is very simple. You can create a profile and see other travellers willing to host or meet on the map. Map format works great for hitchhiking and for rural hospitality.
Eventually Trustroots will be “suitable” also for broader audience but at first we’re focusing mostly on hitchhikers. In the future you could join other communities such as “geeks”, “digital nomads” or whatnot. You could choose to host travellers from, say “hitchhikers” and “geeks” only. We’ve been running something called “hackercouch” for geeks inside GitHub. It’s a fun hack but shows well how there’s a need for all sorts of specialized hospex platforms.
Trustroot is a non-commercial OpenSource project with strong ideals, just like our other projects Hitchwiki, Nomadwiki and Trashwiki. While our wikis are projects for collecting knowledge, Trustroots will be the community platform for them. It’s not a startup.
Our aim is to create a more solid non-profit legal base later down the road. Hitchwiki is backed by German hitchhiking club Abgefahren e.V. and Trashwiki/Nomadwiki are independent projects run by Kasper, me and Philipp. Kasper and Philipp started Hitchwiki back in 2006 — I joined the gang in 2008.
We will need a lot of help from everyone to test, code, design, plan, organise volunteering and legal base structures, and so on. Please let me know if you would like to help in any way!
For those wondering why I’m not helping BeWelcome anymore; I’ll be elaborating more about this later. In short; we were doing our best volunteering for BeWelcome. While it’s an awesome project, it has its problems behind the curtains. After a year or so me and many others left the project. We thought we can be way more efficient on our own.
I wouldn’t like to call this an alternative for CouchSurfing or BeWelcome (although it de-facto is), because it sets a little bit negative and rebellious tone for the project. Additionally in the future Trustroots might be more than just a simple hospex-map. I’m thinking in terms of combining data from our other projects, free ridesharing, borrowing bikes etc. But that’s the future and I have my long term vision:
Somebody said: “I would love to see hitchhikers leave CS and FB for their chats”. I promise to work hard to make this happen. Might take a year or two but eventually, slowly. (via)
Now go ahead and try Trustroots!