Why did you sign up for Couchers.org?

As above.

To be upfront about it, we’re working on our messaging for a new landing page, and would like to get an insight as to what pushed you guys to sign up for this new platform :sweat_smile:

It would be very helpful if we could get more elaboration past “I’m frustrated with CS”!

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For me it’s because I want to be part of the community. At the time I joined couchsurfing it was already falling apart, I met only few people there to hang out but most of the requests were either spam or very suspicious looking.
I love hosting people, most people I hosted were either people I met somewhere online or people I met around the city with nowhere to stay that night, and I am still friend with a lot of them.
So I want to be a part of the community that is working on creating a better experince for everybody.

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I am so annoyed with the way CS treated the community: pay or drop dead.
That’s the main reason.

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My motivations, that I guess also made me come across couchers:

  • a general fascination that we can have online platforms that enable us to connect and share time and life with other humans worldwide, beyond keeping the conversation online and also beyond dating or other specific causes as reasons for doing it. and that each of these platforms has its own promise how it will make this magic happen
  • a general interest that we can build a web/digital sphere that strengthens individual agency and community relations, instead of supporting disenfranchisement by otherwise unconnected entities
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I personally signed up because I thought the current couchers.org website addressed a lot of the issues couchsurfing had, and in detail. Being able to put faces to the people in charge of the project also helped. I saw a future where couchers can potentially be a good alternative to couchsurfing.

Didn’t join bewelcome and trustroots because the communities seemed too small and niche to be effective/fruitful, (and also no push to try them out since we can’t travel at the moment).

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Hi Kelly,
Behind the scenes there is a discussion going on through Facebook which involves some of us older hospitality group members. I’m talking people in their 60’s who are still active and able to host, and still interested to meet offer things to their community.

I had a look at Bewelcome and saw there were quite a lot of people who had moved there as a “protest”. I’m not sure if that’s a good way of getting things moving on the right footing.

Here offers something new and a chance to take a breath to really think through what we want in a hospitality group, and how we can work things in this challenging environment. The world really has changed momentously in the last few months. It might be starting afresh as we are doing here is the best opportunity to make something viable. And happy.

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I signed up because I had be longing for something like Couchers.org for the past five years or so. There is so much to improve when it comes to hospitality exchange, and when I had a read through on the website I was really convinced by the work @Itsi, @Aapeli, and some of the other volunteers had already put in, completely out of their love for the concept and without any desire to earn money from it. That was really inspiring to me personally, as I had always wanted to join something like this, but never saw the opportunity (and don’t have any technical skill to speak of, hehe).

Also, let’s be real, I have had a lot of free time lately and have been hungry for a new project to get into ever since the pandemic started :slight_smile:

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I joined becuase CS has lost its vision. After 15 years on the site I now only get generic, copy&pasted requestes from surfers who are generally just free-loaders, and weird random “lets be friends” from people with whom I have nothing in common (sleazy creeps to be perfectly honest.)

Why I did stay with CS was because of the events, the gatherings, the people I met and those to meet again who are die-hard with a couch-surfing passion.

I know Couchers.org is going in the right direction, and I want to be a part of that, to help the site flourish and community to grow, far far away from profit hungary CEOs

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omg im terrible at Math - 12 years hahaha

The more I was hosting and meeting CS’ers last 11 years I understood that the current platform is not that good working and CS is not open for a dialogue with critical members to improve it. The introduction of a contribution model without notice is just a big no in way of ethics. Not even speaking about their censorship. So this forum is already a big thumps up! :smiley: Already reading the main page of Couchers I got really excited since it sums up perfectly all the current problems of CS.

Joined BeWelcome and TrustRoots as well. But seeing how slowly BeWelcome is progressing I have not much trust in it that they become a good platform since there’s no difference in way of approach in references (comments on BeWelcome) and towards safety. Their decision making is too slow since they only make big decisions once a year during the yearly assembly which is too slow in way of making progress and improvement of new technique (but understand why, they don’t want to make the same mistakes as CS). They introduced a new website just last year which is still years behind (no offence towards all the great volunteers which put a lot of work and effort in it).

So all these reasons let me join Couchers!

Just wondering why should we bash CS on the landing page? Just think from our own strength? You can mention all great functions why Couchers is so much better then CS without even mentioning them :wink:

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The marketing team was discussing this. It boiled down to, at this stage since the word is not being publically spread but specifically targeting people like us who are upset or dissatisfied with CS, the comparison on the landing page is helpful. But as we progress the focus will definitely shift to our own strengths/identity.

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Unfortunately I see in my local surrounding that most of the CS’ers are just ignorant and don’t care about ethics and censorship and they neither see the problems of current CS. They still might be interested to join since Couchers is for free. Think we should keep in consideration that those members are not waiting for a critical approach towards CS and might directly click away? (some local CS’ers got for example tired of me bashing CS :wink:)

Correct! Which is why I made this thread to get more answers that aren’t just “frustrated with CS”, so we can know exactly how to appeal to people truly passionate about culture sharing like you, while not bashing CS and building up our own identity as Couchers :slight_smile:

All your replies have been truly insightful, thank you!

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Ahhh, interpreted your post slightly different :wink: Sorry! And thanks :pray:t4:

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Just wondering if you found them to be mainly hosts, surfers, hangout/event types, or both? I wonder if hosts in particular are more concerned about the problems because they have invested the most into the CS community and platform?

Well for a start you have an actual public forum where people can write what they are thinking. Trustroots has been around for many years and they’ve not even gotten that far

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I really wanna see a new and improved website that, as the landing page says, does what Couchsurfing both did and didn’t do!

I loved couchsurfing, joined in 2011 and saw it “peak” I guess in terms of usership vs quality… and then tank rapidly. I miss the old pages so much and the random forums. I met some great people up until around 2015, then it changed dramatically. I was travelling in 2017 and god the hangouts! They were awful! A decent concept, sure, but they were so unreliable and the people were so flaky. The trust had totally gone.

Still, I can see couchers seems to have their ideas set out straight! And, as a couple other people have mentioned, BeWelcome is flawed and TrustRoots doesn’t seem to have hit the ground running. I think especially in terms of references etc there is a lot that could be done better. And, of course, the not-for-profit! I miss having a community to just browse every now and then, read some interesting stories about travelling etc. Now it’s all just promotional nonsense.

Anyway, I want a new community and some hope!

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Hey Benjamin and welcome to the forum. You’ve come to the right place :slight_smile: Nice to see you hear, the story you tell sounds pretty familiar! Hope to see you around.

I began a long time ago on CS. After a few years out of it I could finally host again; so I went back to the website 2 years ago…and found a dieing community. A paid dieing community, since I needed to pay to be able to enter my account again. It seemed there were 90% less active people on it then there used to be. It felt quite like thrown away money.
I want that fun community back.

I’m also on a helpout–for-bed-and-food website. I often feel those are settled ex-couchers :P. They often have small biological farms or creative café’s or small self-caring communities, etc. you can stay at for a few hours help a week. I sometimes wished couch surfing + that would be combined in 1 website. It creates a bigger age-group. Especially the last years it seemed to have taken over a bit (especially where I live) by students. Mainly because they could not find a room near their university in my country due to housing-shortage. Would like the diverse crowd back that it used to have. The 82 yo dude that is doing it’s pilgrimage walking to Spain, a 42 yo father with his 10 yo daughter that bike to Paris to fundraise money for cancer, etc. ánd the (international)students looking to stay a bit due to house shortage!

Long story short; I want the diverse people and all their stories back. The fun and the learning-experience.

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I agree! I’ve often thought there’s huge potential to combine all manner of shared economy things (like workaway, hitchhiking, and couchsurfing, and more) into one giant site that would basically be Facebook but for people who trust each other and want to share what they have in a non-transactional way :slight_smile:

Welcome to the forum, by the way!

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