It’s easy to change this! I included difficult because that’s me now - I’m in a tiny place with my partner so we don’t generally host at the moment but it does happen sometimes! I consider that different from say, your rental agreement or housemates not allowing it.
But I can also see the argument for it not being necessary.
If blank isn’t an option, what would the default be? Or include it in the sign-up questions?
In my opinion, keep the status as simple as possible and elaborate about the issues on the “about” section:
Can host - definitely can / even if difficult we’ll manage
Can’t host - definitely can’t / on the road / not allowed to host
Maybe - busy / not sure / could be if you catch me on a good day / in between busy days / try but I might not answer (also good for ratings, if someone is “maybe” and doesn’t answer it’ll not affect their answer rate, in case we want one)
Wants to meet / happy to show around - should be a separate status or checkbox
Yes, that’s probably a common concern! So either have this option somewhere else in settings or follow a setup similar to trustroots, I think that’s a good approach about hosting/not hosting in general:
and if can’t is selected, hide all the hosting information and show nothing or an explanation why not. e.g. be able to select traveling there.
When I say “can host,” I receive presumptuous messages assuming a decision has already been made (could be the language or culture). Some of the messages say, “hi XYZ, I arrive on the train at 6AM tomorrow. What is your address?” this has happened many times!
“Maybe” tends to draw out better requests and travelers, who take the time to write a more in-depth note. At times, for me, “maybe” means I am busy with work. Independent travelers are accepted, but those say they are looking for a host to hang out and go sightseeing with can not be accommodated at that point in time (of course, when I am not busy, I look forward to doing those things).
There are a number of active CSers in my city who cannot host (roommates refuse), but who meet up with people and take them on extensive tours of the city. People love it!
There was a period of months when my house was under renovation. It wasn’t feasible to host then due to workmen and construction activity.
But I did meet up with people. I read their public trips, and if they mentioned something I liked or knew about, I offered to take them. I took one person shopping at various music stores in my car so they could replace a guitar accidentally damaged on the trip. As a street musician, this was essential for their financial well being.
There is definitely value to having “maybe” as an option and conveys the same thing as “difficult” without the negative connotation associated with the word “difficult”.
I do not think people should be able to leave the section blank. It’s important to require people to set a status so when a surfer performs a search they can filter based upon this status.
Including “unavailable” with the status “can’t host” clearly indicates that not only can you not host, but that the person is unavailable to meet up, attend events or reply to messages.
It may even make sense to automatically set someone’s status to “can’t host / unavailable” if they fail to log into the platform for X number of weeks/months/years. The inactive person would of course be notified automatically about the change in status due to inactivity – and the message would encourage them to become active again!
That sounds annoying lol. I would immediately reject anybody with that kind of presumption.
I agree with what seems the general consensus that we only need one intermediary between the can and can’t host - maybe. I like the “Maybe” because it implies more of a negotiation - it says “message me and we can talk about dates and if it will work out or not.”
Hosting situations can change. Now I can host like 3 up to 6 people. During the yearly music festival I at one point hosted 29 people but mentioned beforehand that it would be a little bit cramped but we all would be having a blast together if we got along.
Sometimes when you know for example you will be having som medical operation and want peace and quite time you might not be in the mood to host during a few weeks/months.
So the following seems ok with me:
Might host, but ask
Might not host, but who knows, ask and maybe it’s possible
Will definitely not host
Might hang out with travelers
Taking a break for some time
Imo they should be kept separate because there are people who can host and also want to bring people around. If we only allowed “Can Host” or “Wants to Meet”, it kinda boxes people into an expectation of their role on the site. For example, I wouldn’t have contacted someone who was “Accepting Guests” to meet up on CS, but would have contacted someone who “Wants to Meet Up”.
I’d also like to explore if this “Wants to Meet” function/status can be highlighted somehow under Hangouts. Understandably, Hangouts is more impromptu, but it’s more under the same umbrella than with hosting.