Inactive memberships

I just typed my suburb in Perth WA into CS to find hosts and it came up with 17,592 names - there aren’t even that many people living in my suburb.
I then narrowed the search down to those members who had logged in during the last week - 57 names came up.
I then looked through those members and didn’t see any that lived in my suburb.
How will overcome those two problems - eventually having millions of ‘members’ who have never used the site and be accurate when it comes to somebody who wants to find a host in a particular location?

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FIrst of all, welcome! It’s great to have you here, Colin!

You pose some very good questions. The discussion here touched on these topics a bit, so that discussion thread may be worth a read.

My thinking is that unlike a for-profit platform that would benefit from having an inflated user and visitor count, Couchers is non-profit and has no incentive to keep inactive profiles around. At the same time, we don’t want to remove people who simply may have not used the platform in a while (months or years). So I think a combination of the following should help:

  1. When searching for hosts or people to meet up with, show active members only by default, with most active members at the top. You can use search filters to allow you to see people only active in the last X amount of time.
  2. If an account has been inactive for X amount of time (maybe 1 year? 2 years?), send an e-mail and/or push notification to the person asking them if they want to still remain active, and if there is no response then temporarily “hibernate” their account. If they log in someday, they can immediately reactivate their account.
  3. When searching, make it much easier to increase or decrease the search radius and allow people to search by maps (rough geographic location only to preserve privacy) so you’re only seeing relevant profiles.

I’m sure there are other things that could be done to address these issues too. This is a great topic worth digging into, so thanks for bringing it up!


On trustroots they just introduced a search option “Online in the past 6 months” and it’s selected by default. That seems like a easy fix to the search results aspect of this.


I agree there needs to be a way to deal with inactive members, as there are more inactive then active at present but yes, I have contacted members who have not surfed or hosted in years and then hosted me. In my opinion, I think that members who do not intend to surf or host, only use the chat function. They usually do not fill out their profiles. So I suggest that potential users must complete the basics of a profile and maybe fill out a join questionnaire here where they say yes to a few basic questions. Giving them a few easy hoops to jump through first before they have access to the chat feature should be enough to weed out the inactive members before they start.

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I think the solution is to have good filtering both as the default and as extra filters when needed.

What do you think of our current initiative of showing people a big prompt on the dashboard if they haven’t filled out at least a few sentences in their “about me” section and uploaded a photo?

fill out a join questionnaire here where they say yes to a few basic questions

We actually just released our Community Guidelines, where users have to tick a few basic points off before they enter the platform.


Welcome to the forum, @newdawn2001!

I can see how this could be a good deterrent for inactive members (and I like @aapeli 's idea of having a big, bright box on the Dashboard reminding people to fill out their profiles). I personally wouldn’t want to impose any restrictions based on the degree of “profile-filling,” because that could be impractical for some people. Let’s say you meet someone at an event, you want to invite them to join Couchers, and then add them as your friend/message them/invite them to another event. They may not have time to diligently fill out their profile right there, and it wouldn’t be too nice for that to prevent them from interacting with others on the platform.

Another idea that was brought up last year on this thread is to “hibernate” users’ accounts automatically after some time of inactivity, before which they should receive a couple of reminder e-mails – e.g. "Hey, we noticed that you haven’t logged onto Couchers in the past 5 months - are you still active? If you don’t [ insert simple action such as clicking a button ] before [ insert date ], we will temporarily hibernate your account, meaning that your profile will not appear in search results in order to give your fellow Couchers clearer picture of who is currently active on the platform. Don’t worry, though - if your account becomes hibernated, you can always reactivate it by simply logging on to the platform!"

or something like that.


I like it, but I wish it would disappear after the requests are filled! It is still asking me to upload a photo - which I did several weeks ago, and to fill in my “Who I am” section - which I have done yesterday. (Yeah, I was slow - needed to find something to say).

It would also be nice to be logged in automatically, instead of having to sign up every time you open the main page.

Otherwise, I support hibernation. Here is some important documentation about it.

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I had a look at your profile: it seems you filled in the “Additional information” section, not the “About me” section. This prompt looks only at the “about me” which is currently empty!

You should remain logged in, not sure why it’s not working? Do you deny cookies or site storage?

You are right. I put something in the “About me” section and now the prompt has disappeared.

By the way, here is why I filled in ‘Additional info’ before ‘About me’. I found the latter too directive and didn’t know what to write. In the ‘Additional info’ box, I feel more free to express myself as I wish.

Apparently the address ‘’ does it, but the address ‘’ keeps the login info. Since I am on a computer, I used naturally the former one. Otherwise, I don’t deny more or less cookies for Couchers than for any other site.


I see there´s a Couchers member that is an Adélie penguin in Antarctica. Is that a problem or just so openly silly that no one cares really? Maybe someone made a test to see if members are srutinized?


Sorry, I just can’t stop laughing. A penguin!

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I think that’s the community builder for Antarctica :upside_down_face:


Please keep the penguin! It’s so adorable!


Thanks for pointing the penguin out, I hadn’t seen her yet - and I definitely second keeping her! :smiley:

@n.spark Is a big fan of the penguin haha

Jokes aside, this one is obviously a fake account but has been used for some functionality testing.

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Yes I love that penguin! She’s adorable and owns her style.