So i was reading the BeWelcome newsletter from March 2022, and telling my gf about the updates, she wondered why Couchers was created whereas BeWelcome is also a nonprofit organization entirelhy run and financed by supports, i told her that BeWelcome hasn’t updated their website in 15 years and that Couchers was created cuz there is no well made hospitality platform (maybe that’s not the only reason but it is my main reason), she suggested why BeWelcome and Couchers didn’t just merge into a new website, ie. BeWelcome-Couchers.org, i don’t really know why the 2 teams didn’t just work together but i guess the vision of the two websites is somewhat different, anyways
BeWelcome has 175.000 members, 45.000 people joined in 2021, and according to the newsletter they removed 18.000 accounts recently which were inactive accounts, unlike CS which prides itself on high volume of users (which are mostly dead paywalled accounts)
One thing BeWelcome has been talking about for years is updating their website interface to something more modern, this has yet to happen but their funding each year usually exceeds the goal of that year, what happens to the extra money i don’t know, hopefully it’s being piled up into a reserve
in any case, i use both Couchers and BeWelcome, the more the merrier
Probably a question for the founders to answer, not for me, but I kind of imagine how it goes.
Imagine you’re a team of 5 people with credentials, you know you can make the product you envision in 1 or 2 years starting from scratch, or you can join an already existing structure, at the lowest rank, you need to apply to be accepted in an association, you need to get to know the insiders and prove yourself to them, then you need to apply again to become a board member to gain some limited decision power, which might be completely useless if other board members disagree with you anyways since your philosophy is slightly different.
Which option would you chose?
The philosophy of Couchers is different. We want to grow, become large and reach a lot of people and get more people to use the platform. We believe it needs to be more modern and we need to aim at everyone, not just experienced or hardcore users.
Part of it is what @couchguy said: it’s hard to go in and make radical changes and experiment, both in the human side but also the tech side. But the bigger reason is a difference in philosophy: I don’t think BeWelcome has the same aspirations and goals as we do, we’re fundamentally building somewhat different things.
I have been on bewelcome for five years and here for less than a week… and yeah, this feels like the next couchsurfing.