With a successful Kickstarter campaign, Trsst.com is setting out to change social media and security.
D.C. area digital entrepreneur Michael Powers is the man behind Trsst.com, a new open source social network. Trsst.com will operate like the love child of Google Reader and Twitter, according to the folks at Wired Magazine, letting users “…post your own stream of consciousness to the web but also read all sorts of online feeds streaming in from elsewhere.”
The new social network was developed over the recent concerns over security, especially who sees and handles your information. Here’s the secret: The application won’t sit on one special server owned by one company but will be accessible from competing providers offering the service, sort of like how email companies work today, where you can receive a Hotmail message on your Gmail. The service will also have the ability for you to encrypt direct messages and information at your own choosing and, most importantly, know if someone is tampering with your messages.
Trsst’s Kickstarter campaign has raised over $48,000 surpassing that amount with more than $65000 as of Sept 14. While good news for Powers and Trsst.com, Wired does bring up some of the issues in these open-source social networks, primarily, no one is there.
Sites like Diaspora* are essentially ghost towns, with Wired adding that, “It was hard to convince anyone to come to a place where they’re weren’t any people.” It appears that open source social networking is really a niche thing, popular to a really small community and not the larger populace on the Facebook and Twitter. So, it may take a while for Trsst.com to sneak up on Zuckerberg or even make a dent into Facebook.
Powers is hoping to counteract this by making Trsst.com friendlier to other clients like Twitter, but even in this situation, can there be an active and robust community to actively use this network?
Trsst looks like it will be a hit: an easy application with compatibility and security, which has been on more and more people’s minds since the NSA leaks. Still, even following the NSA leak and outrage, people haven’t left Google and Facebook in droves like some forecasters were predicting.
So Trsst may not be the answers to all of our concerns on online security and social networking, but there is still a chance that it may be a hit with a niche community. We could look forward towards integration with the likes of Facebook, though that may go against the intended goals of the site. We’ll just have to wait and see when the site drops in December of this year.