What’s cooler than having a friend you can visit in a wonderful location? Having friends you can visit in lots of wonderful locations around the world. That’s the idea behind Tripping, a website that connects travelers with people that can offer the insider’s experience of their hometown.
Founded in 2009, Tripping is a “global community of travelers...that connect with each other for travel tips, shared cups of coffee and homestays in over 175 countries.” The site also aggregates “the widest selection of local home rentals on the planet,” providing a platform that makes traveling more affordable and offering a way for travelers to take in more than the local hotel.
But opening up your life (and belongings) to someone you’ve never met does come with a level of risk. Who are they? How do you know that they are who they claim to be? What kind of reputation do they have? As a recent survey found, the number one thing that prevents people from joining the collaborative consumption movement is trust.
Tripping already has some safety measures in place. Through its TripSafe center it offers anonymous ratings, references, validation, a travel support line and more. But a recently announced partnership between Tripping, Shareable Magazine and TrustCloud, a service that “measures your virtuous online behaviors and transactions online then turns it into portable TrustScore you can use anywhere,” provides hosts and travelers with reputation scores that will be integrated into Tripping.
Rating users based on their online presence through websites including LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, Trip Advisor, EBay and Facebook, TrustCloud provides a “trust system” that allows people to get a better understanding of who users are. Much as a credit score provides insight into someone’s financial trustworthiness, a TrustScore “engenders increased confidence and safety for those involved with Tripping and the rapidly growing sharing economy,” says Xin Chung, founder and CEO of TrustCloud.
In the sharing economy, reputation is a valuable currency. As people, companies and organizations develop ways to increase trust between strangers, reputational tools such as TrustCards will become part of our online profiles, offering a way for people to see, at a glance, a verification of identity, a measurement of responsiveness, longevity and consistency across social sites and what kind of reviews one has received in peer-to-peer marketplaces.
TrustScores offer a level of transparency that allows us to make more informed decisions about who we open our lives, our belongings and our homes. With increased transparency and trust comes increased opportunity. Having friends and connections everywhere not only makes traveling more affordable, it increases the level of cultural exchange and experience exponentially.
As part of the partnership with Tripping and Shareable, TrustCloud is launching the I Trust Sharing Sweepstakes today to raise awareness of the importance trust and safety in the sharing economy. You can enter the sweepstakes through October 1st. The top prize is a $500 travel accomodation credit on Tripping.com. You can follow contest updates on Twitter here.