Had Couchers appealed to an English-only market, this could have been used as the tagline in a sort of turning-it-on-its-head way . But might be a risky proposition considering the size of francophone community.
Wanted to add a couple more points to this:
CS, notwithstanding its current fiasco, did create a worldwide phenomenon of, well, a couchsurfing community and is the reason we’re all here discussing a newer better version of it. Without CS, this community, trend of home-sharing (HomeShare? ) including Airbnb, wouldn’t have existed or at least would’ve looked much different. I think it would be good to keep some similarity in the name to uphold this history and honor the tradition that it is. And the word Couchers does this quite well - although I do agree about the French faux-pas, but I’m sure it’ll go away with time.
There’s so many other ‘alternatives’ to CS that are existing like BeWelcome, TrustedRoots and Warm Showers. All these names come off as what they actually are - ripoffs of CouchSurfing and not very original. CouchSurfing - the name had a history to it, and thus certain recognition to go along with it. Changing the name to some collection of thesaurus-looked-up buzz words would accomplish nothing short of that lost recognition and equating Couchers more with BeWelcome/TrustedRoots/WarmShowers etc and less with CS.
Idk…I think BeWelcome, Trustroots and Warm Showers, these are actually great names and inspiring projects. Personally I’d be happy if Couchers is linked more to them and their histories than to Cs. Though as a name, I’m all sold for Couchers by now anyways
I personally like the simplicity and ring to “Couchers” but I can understand the concerns behind the French verb coucher.
“couch crasher” doesn’t have too bad of a ring to it, and the term “to crash on a couch” (“Hey, can I crash on your couch?”) is common in [American] English.
I think there might be initial confusion because of the events called “couch crashes” but that would be easily overcome.
I like Couchers, since it does refer to the origin of the group of people building it, in a way…
But maybe an option to combine "made up"word with a meaning (e.g NIF - New International Friend)
I do believe that it’s a very hard mission to come up with a name that would sound great internationally, without it having a different meaning in some language somewhere, but specifically the French issue collides with the whole “it’s not a dating platform” agenda…
Couch in English comes from French couche which means bed or sleeping place.
Se coucher means laying down or going to bed.
Really some people see problems everywhere.
Didn’t we have an other topic about this were we could vote for Couchers or Couchers.org?
For me this personally so far the only thing I don’t like about Couchers, the name. It should never be about the (free) couch, it should be about a cultural exchange and making connections/learning from each other in some perspective. By naming it Couchers we indirectly say that it’s only about the couch and this may attract freeloaders.
Antonio started this thread in August and apart from not liking the word couchers, disliked the word surf (as in couchsurfing) so much that he/she wouldn’t host someone who used that term.
I took the word surf out of couchsurfing and liked the sound of couching.
Alarm bells should ring if a host won’t host because of something they dislike.
I have never arrived at a train station and found the platform full of hosts eagerly wanting to put me up for the night.
In fact, in Rome and London, with all their millions and I was battling to find anyone to host me - maybe they don’t like sharing a bed with an old man
I think Antonio made a perfectly valid and genuine suggestion.
Just some mindless brainstorm…
Or simply reclaim the name Hospex
There are a lot of great names out there, but unfortunately most of the domain names (for example www.couchclub.org) are already taken or are prohibitively expensive.
I’ve been a lurker in the community for a while and have enjoyed the conversations! I wanted to express a concern I’ve had for a while about the name Couchers. I personally feel it’s too close to “couchsurfing” and will ultimately prevent this platform from getting its own unique identity.
This hit me hardest when I was thinking about submitting a logo design for the group, and I realized that the only defining characteristic of the name “coucher” is a couch and the act of sitting on it… But this platform will be SO much more than that - it will be about cultural exchange more than the surface on which you’ll get to sleep at night. In addition, I remember that a French-speaking person in the forum had previously brought up that the word has sort of a sexual connotation in French. Shouldn’t the name of the platform be something that reflects its message and transcends languages?
I strongly urge the community to come together and find a new potential name. I know that we haven’t found a good alternative yet, but I also know I’m not the only one who has expressed concerns about the existing name. Why don’t we compile ideas from all of us and have a discussion to select our top choices?
Some ideas of mine:
philoxenia or filoxenia
Sorry if my first post sounds like I’m dishing on the amazing work that has been done so far by the development team - I am not, and I really admire and look forward to seeing this platform develop! I just have held this opinion for a while and wanted to voice it.
Hey there Natalia and welcome to the forum!
I’m in complete agreement with you and always have been. I don’t know that there are many people who are strongly in favor of the name Couchers, but the fact is by this point in time we’ve all gotten really used to it. I proposed a few alternatives of my own a while back as well. They are…
Of these, the domains that were available for cheap were…
Honestly I find the name Couchers so off-putting I have trouble even telling people about it sometimes. I’ve since sucked that up but I’d rather be proud of the name from the get go. So yeah, I love your idea of proposing alternatives and then narrowing them down and maybe having some kind of vote. It’s just so very important that the domain names are readily available and there’s no chance of having any conflict with existing organizations/businesses.
Is it important to have .org? There’s options like .travel, .meet, .world, .exchange … that could work, depending on a name.
SoJourney is so so good! I’m all in for a vote on names, is that something that the developers team could organize? Maybe we could all submit a name (or list thereof) along with the price of the domain name after a search on namecheap or something similar. Or, we could all vote on the top 5 or so and the developer team could decide on one based on practical/URL issues.
Aw thank you! I’m sure we could organize an shortlist and a vote, but first I’d want to hear from someone with more authority that changing the name is a possibility or an option still on the table!
I think that was the idea, since it indicates the non-profit nature of our project. I think we do want that signaling.
I think we’re still at the same point as we were on this as months ago. If we can find one name that everyone can get behind then sure, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. We have a small sample of people and even amongst them, there’s no agreement. And there are far more things to direct our energy towards. See: The urgency of the product release
That being said, let me re-state the case for Couchers.org.
Our identity is going to come from so much more than our name, but even then there is identity to forge. Our narrative is that we are the community reclaiming couch-surfing. It is not CS’s term, and we are taking it back. The very act of couch-surfing is about non-transactional generosity, curiosity of people, friendship, and the building and sense of local and worldwide community. That forms the basis of our values and mission. It is the core activity to the platform, and we empower and support the communities that form around this activity.
We should be sure to enforce this narrative in our branding, so it doesn’t seem we’re just something like CS, and that effort will come closer to the release.
I know that some people are concerned that being reactionary will stifle our sense of self, but as long as we are aware of that and build our identity on these core ideals and through active community building then it is not an issue. Being reactionary has let everyone know what we stand for, and has brought in everyone here. We currently have the largest active volunteer force in hospex, and more people working on this than are employed in CS. This strategy is working because we are clear about our goals. The name Couchers.org helps embody this. The lack of clarity in both BeWelcome and Trustroots has been to their detriment.
Great reply Itsi. Agreed 100%.
Other platforms are already in the “CS rejection” niche, BW and TR, aiming to be different, more idealistic, sometimes too naive.
If couchers manages to become the successor of CS it would be a huge accomplishment. It seems like a lesser goal but it’s not, CS is (or was) a hugely successful community. And the name is vital to reach this goal.
I think you’ve made a good point that maybe we don’t want to double down with the couch imagery in the logo too. This could be a good place to show some of the other values. There have been some other ideas so far like people linking hands, or visual representations of communities