Introducing Trustroots Tribes*

Trustroots Tribes grid

Today we’re introducing Trustroots Tribes*. A Tribe* is a group of people on Trustroots with similar interests.

How do you build a trust network that can scale up when it grows bigger? This question has occupied our minds for a long time. This started long before we actually founded Trustroots, when working on and using similar networks. In the initial phase we focused on getting especially hitchhikers on board and making the site ideal for that. It was a straightforward way of getting initial traction. Today Trustroots is over 16 000 members strong. We chose this approach because we know a lot of hitchhikers and 2 of us have been heavily involved in building up Hitchwiki.

Now it’s time for the next level!

Trustroots Tribes*

We want a world that encourages trust, adventure and intercultural connections.

Trustroots Tribes* are groups that you can associate yourself with on Trustroots. We’re starting with twelve tribes*: Hitchhikers, Nomads, Vegans & Vegetarians, Punks, Hackers, Dumpster divers, Lindyhoppers, Buskers, Families, Ecoliving, Musicians and LGBT.

Trustroots Tribes grid

If you’re a coder you probably want to join the hackers tribe*. As a musician you join the tribe* of musicians. It’s not necessary to be actively involved in the tribe* activity presently. For example, I have hitchhiked a whole lot in my life but these days I hardly find time to try to catch a ride somewhere. I still heavily identify myself with hitchhikers, I enjoy hanging out with people who hitchhike and thus I will join the tribe*.

“I only like hitchhikers”

We realize that many people want to stick only to one or two specific Trustroots tribes*. Having some control over who you want to interact with (or not) is important for better experience. More so if Trustroots grows bigger, as we would unavoidably become more mainstream as well. Already now we are seeing signs of people joining who don’t really identify themselves as hitchhikers. That’s fine, it’s not really something we could stop happening anyway. So far we’ve assumed those people are fine hosting hitchhikers.

We emphasize community.

We want everyone to be able to have that small site’s cozy community feeling no matter how different people join Trustroots.


At first stage, you will be able to join tribes* and they will show up at your profile. We will soon provide functionality to only allow people from your own tribes* to interact with you.

We expect that for the coming two years most people will choose to be open to everyone on the network.

In the near future we want to allow you to find members from map who belong to a specific tribe*.

We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency.

For now we’ve also decided to just have these 12 tribes*, see how things grow and develop before setting up new tribes*. When we’re ready for that it will probably be a staged process. A tribe* will be in an incubating phase until it reaches certain number of members. We don’t want to have a large number of very similar tribes* nor we want to have members scattered to tiny tribes*. Instead, what we want is to create a convenient way to create connections that inspire, that increase trust around the globe. So at some point we’ll have an acroyoga tribe* and you will automatically start meeting fellow acroyoga enthusiasts. Meanwhile we’ll also encourage people to look beyond their own tribes*, to create intertribal and intercultural connections.

To avoid that one person is in charge of a tribe* and can do whatever they want, or simply disappear, we decided to implement a more dynamic way of organisation. A model we’ve learned to work well with on Hitchwiki.

We want you to be able to go to a new place and immediately connect with people that you will have a great time with. Likewise when you’re home or just walking around in your own town.

Join Tribes*

Invite everyone from your community to join Trustroots as well!

Missing a tribe*? Send us your suggestions.

(*Before August 2020, Trustroots Circles were called “Tribes”.)


  1. Christopher Culver Avatar
    Christopher Culver

    Beyond allowing hosts to allow only requests from certain tribes, will there be a way to block requests from certain tribes? I don’t host families, for example, so even if a traveler is a member of the Hitchhiking tribe (a group I’d host), then as long as they are also a member of the Family tribe, it would be great if my profile didn’t appear on their map.

    1. Thanks Christopher, it’s an interesting point. In general we’ll aim to make it as flexible as possible — while keeping it easy enough to code+maintain and easy for everyone to use.

      It’s always a good idea to write preferences like this to your hosting offer anyway!

      Right now first priority on our roadmap is to let you find members on map who belong to certain tribes. Right after that or at the same time; don’t let people find you if they don’t belong to same tribes as you do. After that the roadmap gets a bit more fuzzy (it’s also on my todo to elaborate the roadmap publicly somewhere!)

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