Community standing score

Hi guys! I’d like to start a discussion on what makes up the community standing score for a user. Here are some initial thoughts from @itsi and @aapeli on how they envision it to work.

I want to get into the nitty gritty of what factors really make up your community standing score. Here are my initial thoughts based on what has been discussed so far - please make sure you read through everything, including the justifications (indicated :asterisk:) at the bottom, before jumping to respond.

What’s the purpose of the community standing score?

  • To encourage users to partake in the platform and community in a positive manner
  • To address the ‘Super Host Effect’ where people only interact with a certain pool of people with hundreds of references :zero:

Starting structure:

  • Community scores will be from 0-100 (max).
  • When you’ve signed up for the platform, you have a baseline score of 50. This is an arbitrary, neutral score that everyone will start out on. :one:

How scores will increase:

  • When you are active in terms of confirmed interactions (host/surf/hangout/attend an event)
  • Have been positively rated for interactions in terms of safety ONLY :two:
  • Have your identity verified (capped at 3 people) :three:

How scores will decrease:

  • As time passes, we decay the score components for the increases above (towards 50, not 0). For example, you may have gained X amount of points from an interaction six months ago - we’ll put less and less weight on that activity within your score. This is so that it’s reflective of the user as time passes, and also helps prevent people from maxing out their score and staying up there forever (Super Host Effect).
  • Have been negatively rated for interactions in terms of safety
  • Have multiple, reoccurring reports made of you in terms of abuse of the platform. e.g. Spamming 'hi hi hi hi wan 2 go on a date with me" on multiple profiles


:zero: As per the discussion in here, references will be converted to being a ‘Guestbook’ where people can leave notes to you on their experience, instead of being a measure of your worth on the platform.

:one: Setting the average to 50 will normalise not having a high score.

:two: I feel that we should only include objective ratings for safety in the community standing score, and not how positive or negative an experience is. Interacting with people from different cultures is extremely subjective and sometimes personalities might just not mesh. I don’t feel like users should be penalised for being awkward, for example. (I’m quiet in large social situations sometimes, maybe to the point of seeming anti-social - I’d be sad if someone didn’t recommend me because of that. I’m just shy :cry:)

:three: Being verified should IMO be included in the score, because there is a measure of safety in verification.

That’s all the ideas I have so far, let me know your thoughts and suggestions!


:one: So the starting score should be 50, but given that we imagine the vast majority of experiences will be positive, then the average score for users will sit a bit higher than this. We can aim for a normal distribution around 75.

:two: I think this is an important point, we’re all awkward depending on the context or people. But how much people enjoy someone’s company should definitely be included. A compromise here should be a ‘neutral’ score that’s clearly indicated. If you choose that option, then you know for sure that it won’t impact a user’s score. One user on the forum said this option is extremely important to them, but I can’t find the thread :sweat_smile: I don’t imagine people will give negative scores for people being shy or awkward, especially in larger social situations.

:three: I think verification is a separate but extremely important metric and something that can be filtered on. Much like we have it in the alpha, I think it should stand there with equal importance next to community standing, but because it’s already so relevant, should not be included in the calculation of community standing.


It might be difficult to verify if people actually attended an event.


We could potentially ask the event organise to verify attendence but this could be annoying, innacurate, and easily gameable. Maybe QR codes?? Seems inorganic.

So what you’re saying is that if you’re extroverted, you’re going to be scored higher than someone who is introverted. And a community is going to center around high scoring individuals again based on subjective things like their personality, not how they engage with the platform :confused:

Hmm point taken!

Good point, especially for bigger events. I guess we could have events generate a QR code like @itsi suggested, and leave it up to the users if they want to verify their attendance with organisers? If the score doesn’t matter to them, they don’t have to.

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It’s a good point and something we should be conscious of in any case. More extroverted people are more likely to go to more events and hangouts and meet more people so that’ll be reflected in their score, and I doubt there’s much we can do about that.

Can you explain how you think it’ll be an issue though when it comes to rating experience. At least for me, how extroverted a person is doesn’t affect how much I’ll enjoy their company, especially if I’m doing things like hanging out with people that prefer 1-on-1 interactions

Just to draw a parallel, extroverted person takes part in 5 interactions (events, hangouts etc). introverted person takes part in 5 interactions as well.

An extroverted person may receive 4 out of 5 “positive experience” ratings. Conversely, an awkward or quiet person, or someone with a different culture and mannerisms of interacting with people, may get 1 “positive” and 4 “neutral”. (Might be a bit exaggerated but you get what I mean).

Extroverted person is going to have a higher community score and more users would be inclined to connect with him or her more than the introverted person (while comparing). It seems to be implicitly penalising personality differences by baking it into an ultimate ‘score’, even if that wasn’t the intention.

On CS, how you determined whether you wanted to hang out with someone was looking at the profile and browsing through references. This gave a good picture of how the person was like as a whole across different interactions - maybe he or she would be interesting to meet with! But if you have a score that’s going to be filterable, you might filter away these potentially interesting, quiet people in favour for the louder people, without any context of them as a person.

Am I making sense? :joy:

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Yes, but I think you might be overlooking the fact that people want to be around extroverted/not awkward people generally. I mean, I love you, and I love plenty of introverts, but I would prefer to stay with an extroverted stranger over an introverted stranger… and I don’t think I’m in the minority. If I have awkward and quiet people show up to my meeting, we do our best to make them comfortable, but at the end of the day if they are so shy or awkward it’s not fun for others I might want to be able to say it affected my experience.

You’re going to have to campaign pretty hard for the shy people of hospex because I don’t see shy people using it that much… or really ever? I can’t think of a many surfers I’ve had over the years who I would define as shy :sweat_smile: I had some more quiet and not as social hosts/guests, but if they were shy to the point of being uncomfortable then yea, I’d want to make a note of that as a warning to others. Do you see where I’m going with this?


Hmm yes, I do see where you’re coming from. That’s human nature to want to hang out with someone of the same frequency.

But the spirit of community that we’re trying to push for is one that is inclusive of all types and cultures of people. Already I’m seeing on this forum users who are concerned how the way they state things will come across the wrong way just because they might not be so good at expressing themselves.

I’m not only talking about black-and-white issues where someone is so awkward to the point of making you uncomfortable (that’s a “negative” of course). My point is that we’re all different, experiences with one another are subjective, and even the scoring difference between “positive” and “neutral” is going to affect who you’re going to meet subconsciously. I think that unnecessarily limits who you are going to encounter in your couchers lifetime and is quite unfair to users - shy or not. You’re going to miss out on meeting potentially interesting people because the scoring is kind of binary.

That’s probably true. Though, there is something to be said for knowing what kind of people you’ll probably meet. Couchsurfing had a saying that couchsurfers are “friends that you just haven’t met yet.” I liked that culture to be honest. It’s nice going into a group of surfers and feeling like they are your kind of people, feeling like you instantly fit in. Perhaps all the low-scoring introverts can gather and commiserate together while the extroverts go off and party! :rofl:

I’m kidding! But in the early days of CS it was not uncommon to just instantly like everyone you met. Perhaps I’m just feeling nostalgic for that.

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Hahaha I know you’re joking, but a low score also means I’m potentially unsafe. See why I’m only advocating for objective measures to be put into the score? If you like to party, that should be a separate thing in your profile, it shouldn’t give you a higher community standing score.

Anyway, I was only thinking of it as an issue in a social context (a la Hangouts, Events) - if an experience was rated based on hosting/surfing expectations, for example, then it would be a different story and I don’t see a problem with that.


Maybe you should let the community decide. Not that this should be the case, but I don’t know if it’s problematic for people who are extroverted to have higher community standing scores if all it means is they have interacted positively with the community more.

Edit: to add to that, it shouldn’t suggest you’re unsafe, but only that you are less safe than someone who the community knows better.


Ok, ya, it’s a very subtle situation and I’d like to hear more opinions on this from other members of the community as well! I’m going to shut up and go away for awhile :stuck_out_tongue:

If in the first place you’ve got events in mind: yeah, probably. If I’m thinking of host/guest interactions I don’t share that opinion at all. To play advocatus diaboli I could easily think of very introverted people I’ve had a good time and become great friends with; or of extroverts who got on my nerves all the bloody time. These are extremes to make a case, of course: Realistically speaking, I just don’t think there’s going to be a very significant effect.

My general feeling on the topic: Let’s try it, let’s especially set the decay to start quickly but then slow down so that while you may keep a high score for some months or years you could hardly be at 100% for a long period of time if you wouldn’t receive 100% ratings on a daily basis – and let’s evaluate the whole thing after a while with the option to drop the scoring altogether if it’s not doing its job. I’d specifically suggest to set a time to meet up here in the forum again and check the opinions that have changed – more in favour, more against? – rather than just doing a poll.


I agree with this, especially because I don’t necessarily think ‘introverts’ and ‘extroverts’ are actual things, just something people made up to way too simplistically classify people. Especially in the couch-surfing world where all of us enjoy meeting new people. If someone is very active, goes up to new people at events, actively tries to make a lot of friends and make people feel welcome, then that person is a great asset to the community and it should be both reflected and encouraged.

There are also tons of people who just don’t like hanging out in groups, but I think a better way to adjust for this is just to make sure the community standing is more weighted from surfing/hosting references than hangout/event/personal references.


This is what I was thinking as I read through this thread. It makes sense that the actual hosting and surfing reviews should affect your standing more than attending events, because that is the situation where someone can pose more of a threat/danger - being in a private space rather than a public space.

I love the idea of living scores that will constantly change and update based on more recent behaviour. Going further, I think it would be neat if it were impossible to ever reach 100% because “nobody is perfect” :stuck_out_tongue:


I agree! I admit when I was thinking of subjectivity it was very much in the context of social gatherings.


This sounds like a very good idea!

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I like the ideas, but my contribution is simple: keep it simple.

In the end whatever system or algorithm you use, it will never be 100% fair for all.
So I would go to have also a 100% subjective score, I want to be able to express my impression of a guest/host in one simple score, with free text to explain if I want too.



You cannot completely and objectibly meassure human interactions. Not everyone is going to click with everyone, and that´s ok, and that´s also why you cannot establish an objective score: let´s say A loves steak and B is a vegan. They may not have a lot of fun sharing dinner (maybe they will, but let´s play an imaginary world of absolutes to make the point). But they will fit perfectly with other people. So: everything is relative when you talk about human beings.

Some kind of review can be good, but you would have to think how much weight it has, because this can backfire.

Another thing that may impact the score is how much you actually USE the platform. How ofter you log in, hosting and replying to messages of course, if you use the forums and you commets are upvoted (or downvoted, like Reddit karma), how many hangouts you actually attended, the platform uses you gps for this, so they know if you went to the meeting point or got close enough with other users, wheter you like it or not or whatever privacy concerns you may have, it´s a fact, same goes for events. And if you create events taht people like, that can also give points, maybe after an event you said you´d assist you could rate it and that can give the host some points up or down. BTW I like the word karma, it´s more friendly and clear that “standing score” =)


Some questions for better understanding:
Example; I had times i used Cs a lot, and than i had times i didnt use it at all for no special reasons.
So if i make a break on couchers, my community standing core will decrease automatically or not?
If after a break i have low standing core this wouldnt motivate me to come back.
In cs when i blocked my calender for some time, i tend to have more request after that… Is it to motivate you to come back?

also what does community mean to you?

if i look for a host, honestly i dont care if he/she/they make events as well or active on hangouts. i want to find good person host.

For me community is not about being most active, its about having the respect for others, being a good guest and host. It should tell me: yes i can trust them , they are true part of this community and its standpoints.

I would discribe myself as introvert. Thats why i loved cs! Didnt need to stay as solo traveller in hostel full of strangers but could build connection with one special person i choosed to be my host (and as a woman not just travelling really touristic places, yes i could choose with whom i wanted to stay). Meeting such persons, also making real lasting friendships made me want to stay in Cs for a longer time than just one travel trip.
Maybe their can be points for Who makes you want to stay part of the community ?

In cs for example I mostly just check friendly stars. Mostly i dont even read references, but if not at least 75% gave you a friendly star, we would probably not match, so i wont host you. Still if you friendly i care for the number and numbers inside of references as well (how often hosted, how often surfed, which gender prefered, hosting people mostly from…)- so i want page numbers in my guestbook.

Will explain with example:
I used cs hangouts yesterday in my hometown. Was the only one… First ambassador wrote me- 58 references (just count host/surf, personal dont give stars) with 46 friendly stars- so 79% friendly for me. Than sex surferhost wrote me-88 references- 76 friendly stars so to me is 95% friendly. When writing with him, I noticed he really flirty- THAN checked references, all from woman. Still i met him, we had great time and he became a friend straight away, but he also told me yes he likes having sex with guest if they agree on it (he really handsome). He made comments like i saw you on tinder when writing (eventhough i dont have tinder)- honest question: would you want me to invite him to couchers?

I just think all of you would have prefered the ambassador?.. (Will meet him too)

i like that idea! Suggerates more that it is about being a good person host surfer and not most active one.

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