Should follow the same model as CS, or find a new model?

Couchers doesn’t seem to be going too far away from the CS model.
The name is similar, the platform just about the same. One difference is no joining fee.
Perhaps, the bigger picture may be to find something unique that Couchsurfing doesn’t have.
Would it be a good idea in this planning phase to find something unique that CS doesn’t offer?
I would see the main goal of couchers being a club for travellers.
Perhaps expand on this to include more than meet ups and accommodation, but also the travel component, linking transport options like flights, boats and road. It may have budget airfares, or special deals on bus companies.
If couchers was ever going to develop something new it should be now with the aim to attract members, rather than relying on memberships coming from other couchsurfing clubs just because it’s free.

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I think it would be wrong to say we are using the CS or any other existing model. The primary aim that BW and TR try to progress is enabling the activity of couch-surfing. CS’s primary aim is profit that they hope to gain also by encouraging this activity.

In all of these scenarios, what we have all observed is emergent communities that have formed around this activity. We all know and love them. People that start meeting up weekly and organising events, welcoming new people to their town and facilitating trips and language exchanges.

Where our model is different is that we explicitly canonise these communities as central to the platform and the organisation. These communities will be responsible for ensuring moderation, safety, community growth and general growth of the couch-surfing movement. We put a lot of power in their hands instead of centralising it. This model may only seem like a subtle change from the outside but is extremely fundamental to the future direction.

In terms of other functionalities that can be provided. The scope should be any activity that encourages non-transactional, in-person interaction between people and interaction with one’s community. This is why events fit so well into the couch-surfing model, they have the same underlying principle. Other people have suggested things like ride-sharing arrangements and things like that, and it’ll be fun to explore these ideas for implementing features after the first proper version has been rolled out.


Yip, I agree we can expand and put more services than CS does not have the cs platform is limited, CS members are pushing the envelope and CS slowly adapts these changes like couch crash, but still not not embrace social media ie fb, whatapp, ig that many people are using to communicate

members want to network and meet and plan as a natural progression evolving

on the other hand the platform expands too much it dilutes and people have no idea what’s going on and breaks down ie if something is planned and discussed in whatapp but not communitcate in the events calendar or pictures posted in ig but nobody see it to reinforce past events or request discussed in fb and nobody see it member think nobody cares

each of these platforms present something unique and the cs app is very limited

so my proposal is to create a team to discuss the good things that each of these platforms have we need min of 2-3 people the first phase and discuss what do we like about each and then go from there

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Here’s an idea. Many other hospitality groups concentrate on travellers/tourists. People passing through for a few days. That has had a lot of problems and good things.
Perhaps an audience of people who are our " guests sharing our city" here but overlooked are international students and those here from overseas on temporary work visas. The plus is that they are here for a while and have some degree of independence, but need our friendship and support.
This has international relations ramifications in that if we build good relationships with these people they hopefully go back to their home and tell others good stories about our country.

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I think that’s a great point that we will easily miss if we follow the cs layout too much. If a central aim is to connect people, we can’t think within a closed platform, that’s like a networking model from a past internet era. We have to offer a variety of access paths and contact points. That could mean embracing fb and other social media groups, rather than spending ressources trying to chip away from the activity there.

On the other hand, we’re not just aiming at picking up customers right where they are within a business logic, but want to provide a space for shared community ressources. So a standalone platform seems essential as well.

I’d say it just has to be balanced.

That’s what BeWelcome and Trustroots are doing, in different manners, with different philosophies.
BeWelcome is more the conservative side of hospex, Trustroots is like the liberal side with its focus on alternative lifestyles, what I found new about couchers (from the website and messages from the founders) is that it can recognizes the strengths that CS had instead of demonizing everything about it.


Many people weren’t around to witness this, but CS was pretty damn great at one time. There was nothing wrong with the old model which is why it was working so well back then. The sale that led to it’s demise turned out to be very unfortunate but is still evidence of what it once was, obviously no fool would fork over millions for what it has become. If it ain’t broke there is no need to fix it, thus we could offer exactly what CS used to be minus all of the reasons it is failing right now and be just fine. It would take zero effort to differ from CS in that case because the changes they have made, all of which have led to its decline, have caused it to diverege into something entirely different than the era we would recreate. To present anything resembling the old CS is indeed something entirely new and exactly what is needed. There is no need to water this down with other services already present elsewhere, the real couchsurfing is what is currently missing from the planet. Also in my experience with volunteer work and community involvement the people with the most ambitious ideas are NEVER the ones willing to do what it takes to implement them.