Couchers vs BeWelcome, why to sign into the first?

I have shared to some inactive users of couchsurfing, the new platform Couchers.org. We have won some new users.

Some of them, didn’t know about it, others changed to BeWelcome cause was the one they found as alternative at the moment, and others stayed in Couchsurfing paying “a low annual fee”, because didnt like Bewelcome. The last ones would at the end change to Couchers.org… .free is better.

But, How to call the people to Couchers and explain advantages over BeWelcome? BeWelcome is also a non-profit, i dont know more than that. Nevertheless, couchers.org has other advantages.

  • Nice logo
  • Nice name
  • Clean, simple and nice website

By the way, did the government team call BeWelcome to join the community and make just one?

Hi Juan Carlos, I don’t know all the details, but part of your question is answered here on the Couchers.org FAQ: Frequently asked questions | Couchers.org

One of the main takeaways is that Couchers is trying to be as close to the original Couchsurfing.com website as possible, while other platforms have slightly different missions. Couchers.org is basically pressing the “reset” button on Couchsurfing.com, building it as close to the original as possible, but avoiding all the mistakes that Couchsurfing.com made in the process.

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An idea why not try to work with Bewelcome and maybe Trustroots

I think there should be one community away from couchsurfing

What about having a feature where events can be cross posted

Having 2 communities will just fragment hospex I feel

Prior it was just mainly on CS

plus having somewhat of a decentralized community will prevent a group like CS management from having so much power over the community

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Great arguments to call people… thanks

It will always be up to people and their preferences. BeWelcome is after CouchSurfing the largest hospex platform so its understandable that for many people who are not willing to pay CS fees BW would be their number one choice. I am on all popular hospex platforms, BW, Trustroots and Couchers. They all are free so I always suggest people to join all of them and see which one suits you best. Couchers in my area currently offers more active hosts than BeWelcome or Trustroots so depending on the city, you might have actually a better luck with Couchers than with other hospex platforms.

I especially like Couchers for the reasons you mentioned: Clean, simple and nice website.
A good reason to tell your people in order to join could be that the website is rapidly growing. I think there is a 13 year gap between BeWelcome and Couchers and to me Couchers is already more user friendly and better looking platform.

FAQ explanation is pretty clear but here is a different statement made on social media by one of Couchers co-founders about it: “While we understand your point that the couch-surfing community should come together and work on existing projects (such as BeWelcome and TrustRoots), there are many of us out there that didn’t find these platforms a right fit for our needs. That is not to say we think these platforms are inherently bad, they are simply suited for a different niche. There is space for everyone, and health on one platform will benefit the others!”

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I also like all of the platforms. But a consideration to me is whether one indeed sees hospitality exchange as a niche thing or not. I don’t see it as such and I also believe to work beyond a niche a platform needs to be usable for a member base in the millions. And that’s where I’d see the main difference right now. I don’t think any of the other volunteer platforms are eager to attract or hold users in this number. But I see the ambition, strategic thought and actual work put into it with Couchers.

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Couchers definitely has strategic vision…and I think that is great…

If people would like to user Couchers for host or surfing I think that is great

Maybe events could be the big thing where people could cross post
Maybe some feature between the sites for that or people could just do it themselves. I think the thing is the hospex community in some ways didn’t really seem to have a home after the paywall as many people left CS. By having the community decentralized…if any platform decides to pull some bad stuff like CS the community will still have a home per se.

Many may know what happened to WarmShowers it is not just CS

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We actually participated in a hospex summit this year and discussed this very thing with leaders from BeWelcome and Trustroots. You can watch the whole thing on youtube :slight_smile: @nolo @aapeli and I all spoke at some panels.

This is the thread that pertains to it - HospEx Summit

However, despite the great conversations and topics that were covered, none of us got the impression that we can work together to the extent you suggest; all of us have very different agendas and visions for what the future should look like, and it was generally agreed that having different options is a good thing. There’s room for everyone running a non-profit, in my opinion.

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Definitely every site has different visions. You want things to be separate in many senses…mainly I was thinking cross event posting. I saw the Hospex summit it was very nice…
We were both writing our messages at the same time actually…

Aw, thank you! We had fun, too. I hope we can do it again someday.

Well, there’s no reason not to post your events on all the platforms if you’re running one. In fact, I’d 100% encourage organizers to do that for visibility and growing the community spirit we all share!

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BeWelcome turned into CS refugees. The same people with a lot of weird attitude and vibes. I should know. I’m one of them.

Also BeWelcome couldn’t handle the volume of new people at first. The admin of BeWelcome have a very outdated way of thinking, in my opinion. I had to argue with them about adding a block feature, and blocking people can be for people’s safety. They were only thinking of the feature as “avoiding people”, and so what if people want to us it for that? Safety should be at the forefront of their minds and it often times isn’t.

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For me the existence of this forum (and Town Hall and socials) is also a very big thing. The fact that the team listens, and you see how keen they are on making this platform a better place for everyone, means a lot.

I also always mention that the beta of the platform was rolled out only this spring. Yes, maybe some features don’t work perfectly, and others are not built yet, but it’s just a question of time. BW has been around for 13 years and is much less convenient than Couchers is now.

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The focus of Couchers is to host and surf above events and hangouts… My thought.

I agree, the block option should be active and the goverment should be able to kick out accounts following some rules. I had a very bad experience in airbnb of some host that should be not in the platform at all but airbnb just think in money.

People with weird attitude is everywhere.
Block feature as was proposed on BW was an hostile attitude, with severe legal implications and completely against social etiquette, probably because it come from one of coldest places in NA, so does not know what is a warm welcome.
Maybe in an US-Based socila such feature are tolerated, but for european culture that is unacceptable.
If people does not want to have its messge seen by everyone send it as a private message to selected people, does not post in a public group and then ask that some people be banned from that group just because she do not want her messges seen by such people.
BW has many defect, but is (maybe too much, but better err on the excess side) quite respecting individual rights.
About OP observation of the site: maybe i have an old style attitude (I wrote my first on line informatoon system on 1981 and published my first web site on 1993), so more transactional, but i find much more usable (or better less unusable) BW site than couchers one [for messaging couchers is terrible!]

PS: in minutes will arrive my first 2 couchers guest … let see what happen.

Oh, come on :sweat_smile: you realize that Couchers is still in its beta (meaning unfinished) state, right? The messaging feature will be improved soon (as soon as the appropriate safety measures are in place) - kind of unfair to compare an almost-two-decades-old website to something that hasn’t even been launched yet in its final form :stuck_out_tongue:

Couchers has already enabled a few great experiences for me through people I’ve hosted and met - I hope your first hosting experience goes well! :smiley:

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Messaging on couchers is terrible, terrible is the fact that you get a message that does not give you all the message, but just tell you that someone sent you a request on a certain day, but without the text, so you are forced to go on the site.
And if you do not do within 300 seconds another message arrives, reminding you that you have an unread message.
Given the experience with WS and CS i sincerely say the the safest way for contacts is just gicing a mailto:link, where everyone can send a message from preferred app, keeping one or more copi on own device and/or server, and the same for incoming messges.
The way that you did on couchers does not allow to be used when one is offline, not even for reading the past messages.

About first couchers here: they arrived 30 minutes late because they misunderstood instructions (when I explained them the error and they looked again at the instructions their faces changed colour …).
more info on friday

That’s actually a fair point. I agree that it would be good to show the full message in your inbox for the purposes of having it accessible offline.

I think I know what you mean. Currently, I get two consecutive messages whenever I get a request:
1st - “You have received a request from X!”
2nd - “X wrote a message in their request”

I think it would be reasonable for the first message in the request to just be grouped with the request itself (all requests come with messages, after all). Then, new messages should lead to email notifications (depending on whether the user is active on the app and/or their (future) notification preferences.

I add another thing: even the messages that you sent from the app must have an email notification, including all the text, that is a major problem for all hospex platforms, since if you are offline for any reason (including a temporary down of hospex server) you have no copy of what you really have sent.
And this is a major reason (beside some legal constraints) to have all arrangement made via email outside the platform.

Thanks for testing out the systems! User testing is critical for making this as good as possible. Of course we’re not going to get everything right the first time, so the feedback is important.

Long term, we’ll look into various notification options (including receiving messages via email) and saving data locally so users can access messages on the app even when offline.