Trustious is a social network start up made by my colleagues at the German University in Cairo that was founded in early 2012. It is currently in the alpha phase with registrations open exclusively for GUC students, since I’m one of the aforementioned students, I shall review this nice start up here.
Now let me start off by saying this, when I say social network, I don’t mean Facebook-esque network, or even Twitter, my first impression of it was actually that it is more of a Twitter/Foursquare hybrid (Fourwitter?
Twitsquare?), but the more I used it after registering the more wrong I found out I was. In a nutshell, Trustious is web site which helps you decide where the best burger place in town is, or what people say of a certain novel, it’s more like the equivalent of ratings on Amazon products, but with places and pretty much everything! Pretty innovative since we need something like that in Egypt.
Interface wise, the website is VERY welcoming and clean, although a little sluggish, but that is understandable since it’s not even open for public yet. You are greeted with cards of different things on the website, as in the image below, and you get to read the opinions left by other members and can vote them up if they were helpful.
You can then browse for specific items when you click the categories icon up top, and you can tell that this website won’t stop at just being for restaurants! There are lots of categories to cater for every need.
To the top right of the page you have three buttons, the home button, a stream button, and the profile button, we already covered what the home looked like, and we’ll move on to the stream. It’s basically your list of trusted people’s activities on the website, be it new entries or opinions. I’ll get to “trusted people” in a minute.
Alternative for Facebook’s “friends” or Twitters “Followers” is Trustious’ list of trusted people, and while it is a nice concept, I think the way they tackled it wasn’t very nice, you can view the entire (yes, the entire) list of people registered on the website by clicking your profile and clicking on connect, now this doesn’t seem very nice, to me at least, is because, well, you have a list of everyone on the website! It somehow feels wrong. You can always search for a single person using the search bar.
You can edit your profile to show an avatar and a description of yourself, though for some reason my avatar wouldn’t be uploaded, but this is basically what your profile looks like.
And this is what another person’s profile looks like.
When someone thinks you gave a helpful opinion, you get a notification that tells you so, you can control what notifications you get in the settings screen.
Now that we’ve covered how the website looks like and what your profile does, let’s go into what this website is about. The website uses data added by the user to populate its database, I started out and there was already tons of entries, however I wanted to find out how to add stuff anyway, and that’s when my first issue came to light. There is no clear “add item” anywhere in the website, so I did a simple search of the item, it wasn’t there, but a nice little notification told me that I can add the item if it’s not there, much like how adding a place in Foursquare works.
Adding a new item is as easy as it gets, you’re only required to fill in a few fields and you’re good to go, unless you want to fill in more fields. I couldn’t however find an area to upload a picture of that new item.
Now where the website really shines is in its restaurants sections, why you ask? Because it’s the most active so far, restaurant profiles have restaurant menus in them, which is a really nice touch, and lots of opinions about the restaurant!
Lastly, adding an opinion is also very easy, you just go to the restaurant or item you want to add your opinion on and click on “express”, you’re then greeted with a nice simple box in which you write your opinion and give it a rating out of 100%.
All in all, I think this is a really promising start up, and the minor bugs that are present will surely go away by the time for public release.