Profiles for couples and friend groups

Was going to suggest exactly this! Workaway.info does this kind of effortlessly, and I think it’s great. I love the option of categories of linkage, too. Great idea, Jesse! (I hope you don’t mind people using your real first name on here!)

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Will explore this!

Really like this point.

So I just tried to sign up for a workaway.info account, and it requires me to pay so I’m not doing that haha. Could you elaborate a bit more on how they do this - is it during the sign up phase? Is there a section under account settings? Can they request to link with someone on their profile etc.?

Can’t find any screenshots in Google Images either, so if it’s not too troublesome, maybe you could…? :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s fine with me! In fact, it probably makes more sense for me to make my username my first name rather than my last name…

I had a joint CS profile with a female travel companion in Japan and Korea, we found it a lot easier to be hosted, surprisingly most of the time we were hosted y women.

Some hosts even told us that they wouldn’t have hosted us if we had requested as individuals and the references that we got spoke separately about both of us.

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We have the same case, I would not refer to it as “problem”.
For +10 years we have 2 accounts on CS, and in real life also still 2 addresses.
My address is on an uninteresting place for travelers, while Amy’s place, where I live unofficially, is right in the middle between 2 interesting cities.

We both stated very clear in our profile that they had to read both profiles and would stay with the both of us.
Amy ended up to be the host with all the references and me with a lot of references, but not as host.
People were kind enough to write 2 references for us, and in a lot of cases the guests ended up with 2 references if they stayed with us.
We’re used to it and have no complaints about it, so it works.

@Aleja
Being in IT, I can imagine mixing 2 profiles has it’s challenges for a website like this.
Like all things, if it’s been giving enough thought, an elegant solution can be found for every problem.
But is it worth the effort ?

@Matrix
We have mixed results for us as guests finding hosts, single men, women and couples,
even once with a bunch of children.
My experience is that traveling as a couple open doors a lot easier, compared if you’re a man traveling alone.

Yes!! When I said combined I was actually imagining something linked, not the 2 profiles mixed, but something like a section right under your name that states “this person liv s/trevels with…” and a link (name a profile pic) to the other profile, and that the request/offer arrives to both inboxes. The more complex part are the references, because I can imagine times when you want to give the same reference to both, and others when you want to individualize.

Anyhow, I imagine this is not simple to pull out, and it’s not a priority, so it’s up to the guys who actually do the work to decide if it’s worth the hustle. :slight_smile:

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Hey @kellyt, sorry, just saw your reply.
So it’s part of the main profile/home page settings, listed here -

Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 11.06.48 AM

And when you click to link your profile, you just copy/paste their URL or their username if you know it. I can’t remember well but the last time I did it the other person just needed to accept and then we were linked!

Hope this helps!

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I like that! We would just have to make sure that a request is sent and the other person not only agrees to link the profile, but also to the type of link. Either person could cancel/delete the link at any time immediately (without the other person’s approval).

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Hi,
Hugh and I have been together 36 years, so it is unlikely that we would even think about separate profiles. I’d suggest what is important in profiles is that an honest portrayal is given, be you a couple, a single, a family… real name , real age, real photo, real location. I remember in Couchsurfing the profiles that were portrayed as 101 years old or as a dog, a cat, a pair of feet, location Antarctica and so on. That seemed a bit silly when the basis for a hospitality exchange is honesty.

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The linking profiles could be good, but I’d guess it’ll be relatively difficult to implement, if the ‘combined’ profile is to display at least a bit about each of the group members: it’ll need completely different layout so it’s obvious, who the group is - also how the messages and feedback is handled. If this gets realized, I’m fine with that. If there’s just a link “this person is linked to that one”, one has to still visit two profiles to get the basic info, still can confuse one household for two and has to leave two sets of feedback, that’s a bit uncomfortable and I won’t like it.
Basic couple/group profiles could be implemented right away just by changing a few fields: multiple genders+ages, one “multiple persons” checkbox, custom formatted name.

Linking profiles is not hard to do from a tech point of view.
And i personally ignore request sent by a shared profile.
I can tell a lot of sad stories, such when it happened that the two people were traveling separately and got two references for the same time in different places, but this wasw just silly. fact is that the other people spent later the references of the other one alone.
Or when I had a couple that said that could speak french, english, spanish. I assumed that they could speak the three languages, so was safe to have them together with a group of three from mexico, of which two spoke only spanish. Actually of the french couple one spoke english and french, the other one spanish and french. And to privilege the partner they always at the table spoke french, so one of the mexicans, the only one tha could speak french, had to translate during all the dinner between french and spanish. and left a neutral reference telling that due this duty she was not able to enjoy the meal.

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I really love this idea of linking profiles with different linking types.

The things I would appreciate the most with this:

  • Having those links show up easily recognizable on each profile.

  • Being able to (automatically or manually with a simple button click) forward couch requests to partners/housemates

  • Or the better option, have group chats from the get go where you can add people from your linked accounts to specific chats/requests/trips.
    I don’t know if this should be automatic for partners/housemates. I can imagine situations where housemates might not always be relevant (maybe they’re not always home) but still would like to stay linked as to not have to set this up again and again. Or where you want a partner linked but don’t actually live together.
    So there could be a checkmark for each partner/housemate to include them automatically in every couch request but the default should probably be off and you can add them manually to the conversation.

  • When you have interacted with a group of linked people, you could have the option to write one reference for everybody that gets automatically copied to each profile or leave separate references if you prefer so.

I hope this is still being planned to be implemented!

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It absolutely is! But it might be a while before it is implemented since we still have a lot of other features to roll out first (eg events) and some other things need to be improved first (onboarding, references and messaging).

Thank you for the feedback and ideas!!!

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Yeah, don’t worry, I didn’t expect it to be on top of the list. Just wanted to know, if it’s still somewhere on it since the bulk of this discussion has taken place back in September. Thanks. :smiley:

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If I’m being honest, other than the core features we’ve yet to roll out, this is one of the features I’m most excited about! It will be super useful to be able to link profiles based upon housemates, life partners, and travel buddies!

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I have done it before through CS and I don’t see why we could not have special joint profiles for people who want to travel together

I think it is mainly because of transparency: the persons behind joint profiles can split/separate and you would have references from hosts that could mainly refer to only one of the two persons and are not representative.

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Now I also write a reference about all the people if I hosted a group

About linking profiles: the kind of link could be different: cold be a “housemate” one, useful just because the guest can easily know who are the other people in the house, but no more (it is not fair to leave a reference to someone that is not actually the one that invited you unless it explicitely ask for it - think about a couple where one of the two is in the condition and in the mood to have guests and tend to them, and has accepted you, and the other is extremely busy at work, with little or no time to give to other people).
the other link is the travelmate link. This is the link passed to hosts and that can be used to leave references.
Otherwise note that for privacy reason this link is published together with hospitality requests sent to a possible host, but it is not present in the profile of anyone.

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I really like the linking concept as described by @Jesse and others above. I’ve used the profile linking feature on workaway.info that folks mentioned, and I think it’s a great tool. I definitely share the concerns around group/shared profiles mentioned by others, as I have also had experiences where the group/couple broke up and so the past references basically became useless at best, or even completely misleading.

I don’t use Airbnb too much, but if I’m not mistaken I think they also have some kind of system now that encourages each individual traveler in a group to have their own profile that can then be linked when making a request. I think the argument there is similar in that it not only helps with coordinating/communicating but also encourages everyone using the service to actually have a profile on the service where folks can leave (potentially negative) feedback about them.

I see @Jesse mentioned this feature is now planned, but it’s waiting on available developer time while more important things are worked on. That sounds good, I just wanted to check in since it’s been a little while. Have any more specifics been hashed out behind the scenes on exactly how this could be implemented, or at least how a version 1 of the feature would work? Would it be useful to discuss some of the finer details while we’re waiting?

For my own sake I was just going through some different scenarios in my mind. I believe the workaway.info implementation is pretty simple because each profile is either for a host or a traveler, but not both, and linking is just on the traveler side. (At least this is my understanding, so someone correct me if I’m wrong.) Whereas for Couchers each profile is potentially doing both hosting and traveling. These might even overlap in time.

For example, Person A lives with their partner Person B and they always host together as a couple. They want to be linked so that requests from travelers go to both of them and either one can respond and everybody involved sees all the messages back and forth. Afterward, everybody would be prompted to leave an individual reference for everyone involved. Probably it’s okay if folks just want to write one blurb if that seems appropriate, but it should exist as a separate instance, so to speak, on each person’s profile.

But now suppose Person A is going away for the weekend with some other friend Person C, but Person B is staying home because they have to work :frowning: . A and C want to link their profiles so they can send joint requests, see all the messages, do all the references, etc. But since it’s just for the weekend, Person A and B don’t necessarily want to be de-linked, even temporarily. They might still be actively accepting or in the discussion phase with future guests for the following week or still getting around to writing references for guests from the previous week. Is there a good way to handle this kind of complexity? (So that Person B isn’t getting messages related to the A & C trip, but A is still getting messages about A & B’s hosting stuff.) Seems like it should be possible right? Are there any other complex corner cases folks foresee?

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