I agree with Marlies here. Often, the more hosting experience someone has, the less likely they would be to host me- because they’re probably booked solid. And most of the people that hosted me over the years, I ended up being their first guest. And people (like me) move around a lot, so I think the last guest I had was maybe three years ago, because I’ve been doing work trade for a couple years.
just agree with all your suggestions @Emily
- delete people who didnt log in at all for maybe 1 year or 1,5 year?
- show only active users altho frankly i may be taking a break and forget to log in for 3 months, this doesnt mean i want not to meet a traveller or a local with an interesting meet up idea. So maybe send email newsletters to inform inactive members of what is going on next week and if nothing is going on, still send newsletter about what is going on in other countries/cities nearby just to give new members ideas about making events/getting engaged. Warn people on sign up if they dont log in for a full year their account will be put to a state of dormant and they wil be contacted about keeping it or not (give them a chance?). SOmething like that. IN couchsurfing i found profiles 10 or 13 years old with log in for all those years. No idea why the person didnt bother deleting their profile and sorry for sounding '‘negative’ but many of those dormant profiles have a reference of their LAST experience that person had being very bad.
CS has actually already implemented this system of ‘Joe is missing you. Do you want send a message?’, when it’s been a while you haven’t logged in.
I like the idea of deactivating the profiles, not deleting them. They can just be reactivated on next login.
I’ve had a few couchsurfer friends pause hosting when their priorities shifted (jobs, school, family) but came back after a couple year hiatus. I second the idea of deactivating versus delete.
Yes, altho thats weird. I understand heavy workload not allowing someone to do anything else but i met couchsurfers who started singles and when they married they didnt pause and just continued but adding to their profiles that now they are not single anymore but married evenw ith children. I trust these more than those who pause and use it and pause. Unless they have workload or a safety reason for pausing completely. There are some nutters out there who will not leave you even after you hosted them. We all met those type of person even outside hospex but it makes me very sad when someone i gave care for a few days turns out to be someone who sends weird messages long after i hsoted. For this reason for a while i was hosting only women. (Im a woman) and then i started hosting men again after taking a ‘break’ from hosting men travelling alone. But i never really took a long break enough to call it quits. When i dont host i still meet up but then my meet ups in a new country/city were attacked for reasons unknown to me yet and so i could not go on. In fact the hospex community is small cause its a very particular lifestyle that most people dont share. Its in its base maybe a bit ideological, like ‘‘non-consumerist’’ or '‘anti-consumerist’ (correct me if im wrong). Im not trying to make it ‘political’ here just saying what I think from meeting many couchsurfers. Many of them are very political actually and love couchsurfing for this aspect, of non-consuming/sharing economy and they are conscious about it. I was not so conscious I just go crazy for language learning and cultural information from the people themselves not from academics… I was myself (and my family for a while when i was hosting with elderly relatives living near me) a ‘‘specimen’’ of culture for my guests.Thats actually what airbnb claims its different from booking.com or hotels.
I never understood the feature ‘‘wants to meet up’’ in couchsurfing until it was explained to me very recently. When you dont want to host/ cannot host but still have the time to show a traveller around your town or co-host an event.
This feature it is said allowed people to be contacted even when they say they dont host. I avoided contacting them thinking ‘‘yes they want to meet up but this doesnt mean i can message them’’. BUt when it was explained to me this is a feature that means they welcome meet up messaging (not for hosting), then I felt sad i never used it, cause in some occasiosn i didnt find a host, but i found interesting locals who said ‘‘want to meet up’’ but i didnt send a message thinking they dont want arbitrary messages.
RIght now i cannot host at all as im travelling. I can meet up and want to meet up even as im traveling solo. I dont need hospex for just a drink, i can just go drink or go with someeone i met in the aeroplane or waiting long hours in some bus stations etc. What i miss is meeting up with people for specific hobbies of mine. SOmething that trustroots.org is focusing on. BRinging people together not just for hosting and ‘share economy’ but because they have a strong interesting in building with earth, veganism, etc. There are even platforms for renting a room that allows you to write if you are vegan or vegetarian or omnivore, because for some people ideological overlapping is improving their comfort levels with a stranger.
Absolutely do not display profiles that have not logged in over the past 90 days.
Send an email warning on day 85 to inactive users that their profiles will not be displayed in search if they do not log in over the next 5 days.
Deleting inactive users isn’t as effective as simply making them invisible in search. In certain countries I’ve noticed people do not log in for months or even years due to connectivity issues — a bunch of West African and East African nations stand out here — and then create new profiles after 1 or 2 years because they can’t remember the password and/or lost their old email account and/or can’t remember. Having the inactive profile still in the database can help Trust & Safety cut down on user fraud and abuse.
I agree with making profiles inactive rather than deleting them entirely. Not sure about 90 days though (seems too short to me) if people are just interested in hosting (not surfing/events) they may not have any reason to check it and then they won’t ever get requests.
This is in response to a lot of comments, but I guess I don’t understand this deactivating approach. Wouldn’t it be better to give individuals the power to set their own filters? You could easily set a filter to not show anyone in a search if they haven’t been active in the last x days. What advantage does deactivating an account give?
@Itsi, not sure what others would say but the problem when looking for hosts was often that deactivated profiles would show up in a lot of places unless you really went out of your way to filter them out. For new members, it might be better if search results only show active members, so I suppose deactivating accounts would be a good way of ensuring that.
I also think deleting/deactivating accounts would save space in the long term, if space is an issue.
I think it’s best if we classify them according to what percentage of requests they have actually accepted.
I feel this could be unfair. People may see this as a pseudo-guarantee of getting a couch and therefore flood the host with requests, which would both overload the host and disadvantage those who are pickier about who they host. I believe it should remain a question of quality, not quantity.
And otherwise, yes, I agree with those who promote deactivation over deletion. Many surfers are currently travelling as students while living with their parents: they’re happy to host once they get their own place, but that can take a while. Deleting profiles such as these can discourage future hosts from rejoining the platform, whereas if they can just reactivate their profile when they’re ready to host, it’ll keep them motivated and involved because they will still have all their references and will gain trust from future surfers easier than someone (re)starting from scratch.
Two months is far too short. It would be a guaranteed way to get rid of the members that are mostly hosting.
Hosts have no reason to log in unless there is a request. In many places this would only be likely in the the summer months. So the period should be at least a year. Then send a reminder.
I agree with not deleting profiles so easily.
Moreover, I suggest that references never be deleted. They could remain anonymous.
Anonymizing written references is not so straighforward. That’s one of the reasons for separating a calculated score from the written feedback. If you want to share more thoughts on that, we also have a dedicated topic on Deleted profiles for discussing conceptual and technical aspects of deletion.
In any case, welcome to the forum @guru!
Hi Emily, Maybe something to think about is why heaps of people join the various hospitality clubs, but then let go without getting invloved. Or worse, let go after getting involved. I see mention in the replies here of a reminder email to users who haven’t logged in for ages. It would be useful if there were some check boxes and possibility for those people to say why they haven’t logged on. That feedback might be useful.
For example, for a while there I was a member of a group on Couchsurfing of 50+ people. Oh dear… I just couldn’t imagine hosting a member telling me about their endless health issues , how dreadful is the president of USA, and the latest version of virtue signalling.
Hugh wants to sing them a song, and I want to show off a new magic trick . We started to feel as if we were outsiders as we enjoy life. Yeah, I know that makes us sound in this day and age like as if we are airheads and not interested in deeper issues of life. But our reasoning is that we are only hosting for a night or 2 and want it to be fun and entertaining.
I see no point sending a reminder email to someone who hasn’t logged on since the day they joined.
I like the idea of deleting accounts that haven’t been used in 12 months or so and it may make members become a bit more active, even if it’s just to log in and see what’s going on.
Any level of activity is better than none.
I think a little nudge to be active again should stay decidedly positive and not signal possible deletion at all. I actually received a reminder mail from findacrew just today that seems a very good model to me, both the message and the general approach to unlisting profiles:
Please don’t delete inactive profiles!! You’d be deleting profiles of people on hiatus, and their referenceswould be lost if that person signed up again.
Instead of deactivating inactive profiles, just make the search default to sort by last login. Or maybe display profiles that have last login within the last 3 months before profiles where last login was longer than 3 months ago.
I think there’s two separate issues we’re talking about here.
- We want to make sure ‘inactive’ profiles aren’t being shown up in searches
Rather than deactivating/deleting (we should definitely never delete btw), I think the answer should just be well tuned default filters that users can change. E.g. make sure the default setting is that people inactive in the last 2 months don’t show up, but you can alter/disable that in your search filter settings. I think the only case for ‘disabling’ an account is if that user personally wants to hide their account temporarily.
- How do we make inactive people more active.
This is where we can use email marketing campaigns to nudge them back on, and this will require a lot of testing and iteration.