The urgency of the product release

Rome was not built in 1 day… but it has fallen in 1 day. :grin:

I do not identify myself in the “we” used in your statement in this specific post You made above.
The way mass-media presents all this CoViD-19 situation is just manipulative! The virus and the disease do exist, and in some cases the disease it is lethal, but the overall situation is by far less ugly than the mass-media and the governments wants people to believe.

Now I will write about CS in relation to me with the purpose to help some of you guys here have a more complete panoramic concerning some aspects: I have been using CS since 2009 every day; never used the Hangouts feature because it has been reported to me by several couch-surfers I met who gave it a try that most of those people who use Hangouts are usually needy people, boring, who have nothing going on in their lives, just a bunch of losers. All this time, almost 11 years by now, I never gave 1 cent to CS. When CS tried to manipulate those new members with “Verified members find hosts easier” I gave priority to those members that contacted me who were not verified and promptly declined every verified member that contacted me writing them “I prefer to host unverified members”. All this in sign of rebellion against the attitude of the administrators of CS. Now since May 2020 I am locked out my account. Since September I came to the conclusion that paying to CS the money they demand for the paywall is worth. I haven’t paid them yet because I don’t like the “annual subscription idea” so I am learning now how to give them the money my way, not their way. When I will finish speaking with my bank about this issue I will give them the money they demand for the paywall. Why? Because this paywall actually filters out all those people who joined simply because it was free but had no real interest in learning about other cultures, no real interest in traveling, no real interest in meeting people from other countries. So thanks to the paywall, those that will remain on the inside will actually be only those that truly have an interest in traveling and learning about foreign cultures. This is in theory. In practice it still needs time to be proven; time will tell if I am wrong or right about this. However, at least for 1 year I am willing to pay even just to see where is it going. I will pay.
Now you know that some old-school CSers are willing to pay.

P.S. Please someone flag my posts! I am getting bored if nothing interesting happens to my posts. :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: And the name of that category that @Nolo or whoever created it, it shouldn’t be “Inappropriate”, it should be @anon46748786 given that it was me who made you make it :grin:

Idk… to me this theory sounds like saying that the quality of hitchhiking will improve when you have to pay for the ride, because only those that really care about hitchhiking will be ready to do so?

For what it’s worth, I’ve been ‘inside the paywall’ this year, because I have a ‘life time membership’ with cs (whatever that will turn out to mean…). I’ve not received a single request that sparked my interest to host and the few times I hosted it was requests coming from long time couchsurfers that contacted me on trustroots.

I’d even say trustroots works a charm for experienced users. But it really doesn’t support onboarding and guiding new users. The community features we want to build are also aimed at supporting the healthy growth of the community, that’s why I’m quite excited to see this have such an importance!

Thank You Manuel for your feedback - is definitely useful for all of us here to better understand what is the current situation of the hospitality exchange platforms in general. Knowing this allows us to better understand who are the type of users that we should target to become our members and in which way we can outcompete the hospex platforms that are already established since many years.

I take this as a statement that makes sense in the world of Hitchhikers, because paying for a ride is not hitchhiking. Hitchhiking as topic is off-topic in this thread with regards to the title of the thread, but if anyone here is interested, I can write here below a true story that happened to me few years ago about hitchhiking and expected payments.

Dont worry guys. i am currently building a couchsurfing clone and took the inspiration from here. To be clear: I don’t work at couchers. I am creating a competitor and it will be 90% like couchsurfing with some improvements. I will be releasing it in January next year.

Really impressive. Do you do it all on your own?
But dont worry! i think so far noone works for couchers as a paid job, bc all are volunteers here. Do you want to generate income with your clone?
Its already a small community here, so if you ever feel lonely in your cs clone, you are welcome to come back!


Thanks for the support :slight_smile:

It will be open-source. Not planning to make any money from it. In fact, it will cost me money, because i have to pay the servers. I live in switzerland and make enough money, i don’t need to make more. I am driven by the fact, that a free clone of couchsurfing will ruin couchsurfing. I got banned, they won’t tell me the reason. Their support sucks. I am driven by revenge :smiley: To hell with them!

Yikes, sorry to hear that you got kicked out of CS. It happened to me as well but I still really love CS. It gave me such amazing friends and experiences.

I am all up for different platforms in the market that compete with CS. I think CS has enjoyed a strong monopoly over the years and it is time that there are similar platforms that offer the same or even better experience.

I am not sure though that it will ruin Couchsurfing though. It has over 15 million users (expect you and I) and I believe in the future it will only going to be strong, unless the CEO of CS screws up again ( I hope he does).

Anyway best of luck Tevlon. Waiting to see your CS clone soon.

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Hugh and I would be confident to offer hospitality during Christmas . It would be wonderful to see the website up and running by then, so we could invite people. I’m imagining that Australian interstate borders will be open and that New Zealanders can travel here freely. I think we should should celebrate that.

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Actually, NZers and people who have been in NZ for more than 14 days can already come to Australia quarantine free if they have a valid visa! I’m planning to make the trip in February. Even if the product isn’t ready yet, we can still try to me each other :slight_smile: and the same goes for everyone else!

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Hi guys,

For me, it’s is going way too slow and that’s a shame… I’m wondering when it will really arrive and if it will…

When most of us used CS, the website was minimalist but enough to create a community and be part of the traveling experience.
Just being able to find hosts in places we’d like to go, have a little profile so we can have hints on how to contact them and present ourselves is the base for me. It shouldn’t take so long to develop…
A sexy website with lots of features is really secondary. And as it was said in the beginning, you should keep such minimalist version so we can access the community in really low coverage places with the least bandwidth as possible.

For people who would like to go traveling and meet locals it sounds there is nothing left since months… I’m hesitating to pay CS for a year as I’m willing to travel early 2021. It would be great to start promoting a free alternative. Cause it shouldn’t be about money as many interesting people we wish to meet certainly can’t afford it or just won’t.

So in my opinion a minimalist version should already be out. The important thing is to have a solid back-end with a database we could start filling. The design of the database is not so complicated. It can easily grow with more information (tables) in the next steps when the “real” version of the website will come. Why waiting building the community and allowing people to meet and help each others?
why would you wipe the test app database?

(I’m a software developer, freelance, I’ve experience in databases and back-ends, if needed I can help. Also for a building a non interactive website, just no vue or react, old school html with a minimum of js… or building a mobile app but that comes after )


Hi @mbruel welcome to the forum!

You might be glad to see that we do have a very minimalist version that you can have a poke at, which you can find here. We do update it now and again but much more work is being done separately that we won’t update through the alpha version. It’ll come as a beta release later on. (btw we likely won’t be wiping the alpha data).

We aren’t pushing this version though, and our official release will come later. As it stands, something like this has no benefit over the other alternatives apart from the momentum behind it. We’re not going to wait til we have all the fancy features but there’s a definite middle ground we should reach before a proper release. This includes things like city pages, groups and events that are necessary infrastructure to grow communities. If we go out to the public before this is built, it’s going to turn more people away than it brings in, because it won’t have more substance than all the other alternatives out there and people are sick of platforms without a minimum amount of usability.

I should also stress that in most of the world, we should not be encouraging travel for the time being. That’s why we want to lead with the community features to get those established which is far less risky


hi @itsi

What is the very minimalist version? I’ve only seen Will you have 2 versions of the website or just one?

About the release, the most important feature for me would be the city page. Well I’m not exactly sure what you mean by that but I suppose that it is to be able to search hosts by cities.
I don’t understand why we don’t have this already in the alpha version. So we could start experiencing creating requests… Is the back-end ready for it?

I didn’t try the other alternatives, but even if some are functional with a decent number of people on it (so we could find several couch anywhere in the world), in my opinion, if you release a first version that is simple without more features, it would not turn people away as long as there is visibility on the roadmap and the improvements to come. For me it would be the opposite, it would make clear that Couchers would be the way to go if the communication is there on where the platform will go and when.

So what is your roadmap? first release for May 2021?
Do you still need help for the back-end?

About the traveling in this fucked up sanitary situation, I guess we do not need to encourage people to travel but neither stop them to do it. I believe everyone can make their own decisions and be responsible about it. You can choose to not see people at risk. People at risk can choose life above caution and thus accept to meet people… and of course we should all be careful and avoid huge gatherings.

From the comments that some wrote above it seems to me, but maybe I am wrong, that some don’t like You. Me, I really don’t care what other’s think about me so here is my friendly advice: I really believe that if You, or anyone else, manage to create competition is good for the entire hospex “planet”, is a great idea - competition is always positive for the end-users, monopoly is not. But I also believe that whatever is done out of revenge only hurts more the person who is doing that. Instead, is better to forgive. And only after one has put its heart at peace and overcome the negative feelings that fuels the desire of revenge, when one has a “clean heart and mind” can decide if what wants to accomplish is worth or not.

I and other enthusiastic developers are working hard on the website. Maybe you would like to take a look at it at GitHub: ? I am curious what you think about it.


My preference would be to have the basic functional features such as:

  • a way to create local events (even if it’s a forum like this as an MVP)
  • profiles
  • searching function to find a host (just a general list with a search filter function - for specific cities - would be okay at first)

That way people can get on there and start meeting and surfing, which is really the crux of CS.

From there, additional safety features/member ratings/city groups etc can be added in, and then eventually enhancements to make it easier to use.

By keeping it invite only (for now) we can prevent any bad eggs from getting in there, plus it’s small enough for now to manually moderate.

I think that OG CSers will be pretty patient and forgiving if it’s really basic to start with, but everyone is here to meet, host and surf so if we can’t do that then a beautiful UX isn’t going to be that helpful for starters.


We just enabled public events as a preliminary feature on the forum! We don’t have a location feature for posts on the forum, so for a local event you’d need to spell out the location in the title and the post. It’s just an option to get started and we’ll remove it as soon as it’s available on the app!

Read about Publishing a public event and give it a try :hugs:

About surfing, @womxn already published the very first success story with @anon46748786 and @tieflow! So we can certainly find hosts and surfers on the forum already! After all, we should have a group of most dedicated people on here :smile:

You can actually see both a member’s location (if they set it) and contact them right from their user cards… try clicking @nolo. I promise to host you if you’e stranded in the Atlantic!


In “host a sister” fb group i also offer emergency couch.
I thought this would be great here as well but some of you seem to be really judgmental about people travelling now… Also when someone for example in fb groups asks for emergency couch we could share link to emergency host posts.

Im still an active host and also i changed my mind about product releace after posting in host a sister. You should make sth even if just basic by the end of the year. Even when not travelling, people now have time to fill their profile and daydream about travelling/checking for future hosts/connecting and forming community.

If you happen to be stranded in austria or daydream about travelling here, dont hesitate to write me :slight_smile:


It is February now. Where can we find it?

(No hurry though, I have not got my vaccine yet.)


Lol I’m blowing up couchers’ forums right nooow. I’m a little excited.

Where are we at with product release? Sorry if this info is already somewhere. On my phone and a lil hard to navigate.

I, for one, would LOVE a product release soon. Anyone else skeptical of this pandemic … lol or is this community not the place for conspiracy, deep rabbit hole vibes :crazy_face::crazy_face:


Hey Lilly! You can try the alpha version if you haven’t already. It’s at :slight_smile:

Beta coming by mid-March hopefully! :crossed_fingers: I think you’ve seen the logo design direction vote also :slight_smile: