Welcome C$, Cash$urfing
C$ Corporation exploited the work of volunteers without keeping the given word (CS goes Corporate & uses ads)
CouchSurfing was builded up by volunteers, people full of energy, willing to help a non-profit organization. Thanks to those volunteers (me included) CS became really popular.
The founder (Casey Fenton), which always made clear that CS would never be a corporate, sold it and it’s now officially a for profit corporation where the members are business material.
When CS was a non-profit, I was volunteering a lot, spending my time, energy and money. I was doing it for a non-profit community. If I knew it would have been a corporate I would not have done it.
In 2012 CS staff even said: “We will never advertise on Couchsurfing. Ever.” – Now advertising is one of the main income tool for C$.
Censorship and manipulation
The discussions that are not welcome to cs executives get deleted. Or they get hidden by moving them in the bottom of the list.
Facebook VS CouchSurfing
Actually it looks like that Facebook is doing the exact opposite of CouchSurfing, they started as an Enterprise but they are more and more becoming beneficial for communities and social causes.
Many profiles have been suddenly removed without notification or explanation
Plenty of members on C$ got their profile deleted without even knowing why.
Good part of those persons happen to be, “by coincidence”, experienced couchsurfers which were previously volunteers and expressed their disappointment for the turn to “for-profit” of C$.
Deleting a profile is a bit like killing the person, shouting him “digitally” down.
Asking to the customer support of C$ why a profile is removed, they answer:
Unfortunately, that is all the information we can provide due to privacy reasons.”
The neutral reference I wrote for Casey Fenton (C$ founder & seller) has never been published on CouchSurfing
“I briefly crossed my path with Casey when he was in The Netherlands .
Of course I am totally thankful to Casey for founding CouchSurfing, he started something that we are all benefiting from.
I am also admiring him for doing things like using the same fork several time to avoid make dirty other cutlery.
I am a bit less thankful for his decision to sell CouchSurfing and make it a for-profit company, previously Casey always highlighted that CS is no-profit and always will be (it was also stated that CS would never get advertising on the website).
When CS was a non-profit, I was volunteering a lot, spending a lot of time, energy and money. I was doing it for a non-profit community, for everybody. If I knew it would have been a corporate I would not have done it.
In couchsurfing there is also quite much censorship going on in the background.
Be Welcome and Warm Showers, are real no-profit and more transparent communities.
Facebook vs Couchsurfing
Now it looks like that Facebook is becoming more and more ‘open’ style, while couchsurfing does the opposite.
When I still believed in CouchSurfing, I was promoting it with all my energies
– Trying to make CS Censorship-free – I failed;
– Spread the word and making CS popular – thanks to many volunteers, it worked out!;
and I was also willing to improve other segments:
– Getting categorized the inbox for couch request : “no”; “yes”, “maybe” section;
– Order events by date/popularity;
Getting the features:
– Geolocation couchsurfers on profile;
– Friendship types (good friend, acquaintance, etc);
Alternatives to CouchSurfing
- WarmShowers – Cyclist Oriented (many information’s and feature for Bicycle Travelers)
- BeWelcome – Open, non profit hospitality community
- TrustRoots – Hitchhikers Hospitality Community
- Rainbow Gathering – More than an hospitality community, a worldwide family
Volunteering Work/Accommodation exchange (20hrs of work/week = food + accomodation):
- WorkAway – The most well organized and structured website for work/accommodation
- HelpEx – Many volunteering opportunities, just the site interface is not too cleaned up
- Wwoofing – Organic Farm Volunteering, the first travel work/accommodation exchange community
Renting an affordable place:
- Airbnb.com – Rent from locals, biggest online community (mostly for few days, but often you can negotiate longer stays and prices and get great deals!)
- Roomorama.com – Similar to Airbnb, but smaller community, site with less features
- EasyRoommate.com – House sharing and renting ads (mostly for few months at least)
- HostelBookers.com – Cheapest Hostels Worldwide
- HostelWorld.com – Biggest Hostel website
You are welcome to comment and give your opinion!