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Casey Fenton needs to go.

Disclaimer: I am not OCS, if the OCS doesn’t like me utilizing their venue, I can perfectly understand them removing this, so go ahead Callum or whoever runs this site ;)

That title works to grab everyones attention. Hello there lazy bums in Thailand, celebrating ineptitude under the sun!

I was thinking how all the work of the motivated volunteers full of ideals and good intention can be saved. The title was my only answer. One thing i have learned is that people dont really change, i dont expect Casey or the majority of his buddies to be different, despite all the visionary leadership.

Why do I point out that people don’t change? Because I am convinced that they would have to change if Couchsurfing is supposed to progress. Couchsurfing as a website and Organization has grown beyond the size that is governable with the attitude and management employed by Casey and his appointed BurningManBeer Buddies. We are dealing with an Organization that is crooked and mismanaged from the Top. Casey might be a nice guy, he might be a good coder, he might even have that MC1R sexyness to get all the good bitches in the pack, but he is about as good as a manager as Paris Hilton is an expert on Quantum Mechanics.

From the Top down, it was all about happiness and fun, NEVER about accountability and results. Casey initially, when first launching public, already made a claim on how cs is a 501c3 non profit. He either made a false claim, which would make him a liar and crooked person, possibly a felon, since he collected the donations, or an amazingly inept manager. You don’t run an Organization without knowing its legal status, dot! I tend to go with a third option though. He is a hopeless dreamer, who wants to make a 501c3 and heal the world, but gets ahead of reality way too much. This pattern was followed in the whole CS team and Spirit of Organization. Sure, it would be great to have a good manager, but lets settle for someone who COULD be a good manager, such as TTT, but who actually sucks ass since he settles for having a manager title, rather than doing the job, just like Casey and 501c3. On CS, the culture of Vaporware needs to go. The people will not change, so unless they go, Cs will never proceed beyond the Fratboys who would LOVE to be cool, but end up being drunk failures.

They ALL lack the self confidence to critically reflect upon their managerial skills or the apparent lack of. The root of all this is of course, Casey. He appointed Managers who lack the wit and gut to debate with a dissenting community. A dissenting community that actually argues constructively and is kind enough to share all the solutions.

CS, thanks to the pressure built up by Pickwick, is about to arrive in the cloud of Accountability that is the real world. I hereby Claim that there will be no milestone accomplishment at the Thai Collective, which will make it nothing more than an expensive party for Casey and his equally inept cronies.

You run an Organization and fail to deliver, you go. If is all about buying Caseys’ Burning Man crew 4 Months of sponsored Holidays on the beach along with pussy that would not be available to this elusive group of mediocre men, then is indeed a brilliant success for aforementioned visionary leader and his associates. It would of course make it a racket and scam, morally at least, regardless of how it would be judged by a legal professional.

If Couchsurfing is not a racket and scam but instead an organization with genuinely good intentions, then it is a failure on all accounts. Absolute top-performing professionals in their respective field get alienated or sacked by a management that has possibly not even learned how to spell (project) management. The Couchsurfing Management in its current incarnation is a direct result of Casey Fentons inability to accept superior skill from employees and volunteers. The current management has a track record of rejecting highly skilled employees and outside advice, lacks skill and self confidence along with the inability to accomplish anything themselves.

You guys all need to go. I am glad CS is in the Real World SOON, legally speaking. Casey and friends, you guys talk all the talk, all the time. I have yet to see anyone walk the walk. I invite you to prove me wrong, but you and me, we both know, you fail.

p.s. i invite everyone to personally attack me on my position, preferably somewhere in real life

p.p.s please, since i am so full of shit, be so kind and make a list of all the accomplished managerial successes of the current leadership team, since thats all that it takes to turn my whole posting into a pile of shit. hint: most mangers work 45-50h a week and deliver results correlating to this

68 Responses to “Casey Fenton needs to go.”

  • @ tgoorden

    I by the way might add that if the atmosphere on CSC seems quite bitter and agressive to me, it is probably also a reaction to anonymous insulting trolling in comments to articles (I write this because I read that there was/is a discussion to forbid anonymous posting and not to react to trolls). That means that my whole statement is not only about the “articles” here, but also about the comments, of which some were pretty harsh as a reaction to the troll(s).

    I think if you allow yourself to react to the provocations of anonymous Trolls and CS people and go down on their niveau, it will seriously damage the image and credibility of OCS (what is a bit what I wrote above).

  • “is not an attack against the people? Right…”

    of course it is an attack against people. MY WHOLE posting was an attack directed at specific people. people who hold a position/office which they are to be held accountable for their activity in regard to this position they hold. if you run an organization that has a rather strong offical anti dating abuse stance, yet hold a rather liberal interpretaion of whats just good times and whats dating in regard to yourself, it becomes disputeable if you are morally suited to lead an organization which rules you defined yourself and, in plenty of peoples opinion, including anti “ocs” people, ignore these rules yourself.
    you can define the volunteers of subordinates of the leadershipteam, and usually, it leaves a bad taste if there is a sexual relationship between leaders and their subordinates.
    generally speaking, i do not dispute that my statement will be interpreted as personal attack or whatever, but i hope you understand that there is a different way to look at it, considering corporate politics and all that stuff.

  • @Michel83: I think my recent post What is OpenCouchSurfing is relevant here.

    You, and others, talk about OpenCS doing this, doing that, or becoming this or that. You speak as if OpenCS is a single body. It is not. It is a channel for communication. Each person may speak in their own style, may take their own approach.

    So while I understand that your style is not the same as zak0r’s, I would ask you to respect each person’s right to communicate in their own words and their own way. Each to his or her own.

  • @Michel

    You raise interesting points, to which I’ll add some nuance:

    How do you define the correct “tone” of communication? Isn’t it just what YOU find acceptable? I’ve seen this sort of suggestion dozens of times so far in and outside CS (most of the time not directed at me, but still). What I’ve also noticed is that the the same people that voice this suggestion hardly ever openly speak about what bothering *them*. At best, it’s trying to help on a “meta” level, at worst it’s just a waste of time. If you want to help in a different tone, open up your own communication channel and try to improve things. Seriously. Try to judge the ideas by their merit, not just their tone. And, as Callum says, don’t look at this as an organization where zak0r is some kind of spokesperson.

    I am 100% about improving CS (just “change” is not the right word, it has to become better). The idea that we’d like to see it “destroyed” because we’re bitter is a silly idea that has been floating around purely to make us out as the “bad guys”, in a typical American/Hollywood way. Please don’t fall for simplistic suggestions like that. Besides, CS can’t really be destroyed as it’s a community that will continue to exist regardless of what CS does. The idea of a community instead of a “service” is crucial the ideology on OCS by the way.

    You are right that OCS people should continually set the right example by reflecting upon ourselves (practice what you preach). However, if you have a short look at our mailing list, you’ll see that that is precisely what we do, constantly. In fact, we had a discussion on precisely this topic (a call for Casey’s resignation). (
    From that example alone it’s very easy to see that we do not just agree with each other constantly, that we DO ask for feedback and, most importantly, that zak0r can post it anyway, because OCS is NOT an organization.

    As always, remember that the internet = serious business.

  • @ tgoorden
    Of course it is what I find acceptable. What else? There is no general rule for what is acceptable. I just give you my impression, that’s all.
    I never claimed my impression is a universale rule.

    I have been speaking about what’s bothering me about HC and CS often enough and I also already did some posts also on the OCS website about that, but as you don’t know me personally you can’t know that.
    I also have to admit I did see the “mailing list” AFTER I posted all that stuff here.
    But right on:
    Even if I hadn’t been ever saying my opinion, would that deny me to be critical towards OCS blog entries?
    The “If you want to help in a different tone, open up your own communication channel and try to improve things.” is dangerous- isn’t it the exact way people on CS argue? The “do some practical work or shut up” thing?
    So I’m not allowed to give you my impressions on a “meta level” if I don’t do practical work for OCS ideas (I do know OCS is not an organization btw, but more about this further down in my post)?
    I do think I can suggest good things without being practical (for what I simply don’t have the time).
    I’m aware that you probably didn’t mean it that way, but please you be careful not falling for the CS style of argumentation, because that’s what you say when you talk about the meta level being at most annoying, by that you deny me the right to have a constructive opinion as long as I’m not practically involved. Also annoying people can make good suggestions, you know.. ;)
    Same goes for the “bad guy” part. Yes, I’m aware CS wants to make you look that way. So what? Does that mean that only because I have some critic about OCS I am falling for the “Bad guy” thing? I never said you want to destroy CS, did I? Didn’t you realize I do agree with the general OCS idea? That said, I do judge ideas on their merit, but if I like the merit I can STILL critisize the tone. I can critisize the tone of a OCS blog and still like the idea of OCS. What’s that thing like I have to like everything or nothing? I also do critisize CS and still like the idea of CS.
    Just like CS is becoming paranoid about you guys you are also becoming completely paranoid, suggesting that I’m falling for the bad guy thing only because I say smth critical (just like these days on CS I can’t say smth critical without being put in the “OCS corner”). I suppose these paranoia come, alas, out of a very realistic and real experience, but please don’t generalize about everybody being critical.

    By these two reactions, the one about the meta lever and the one about the “bad guy thing” you are just confirming my fears.

    Maybe that’s why I have these fears: Human beings are human beings and stay human beings. Also the ones who like the OCS idea. Everyone, including you and me, could develop like Casey did.
    That’s why I was pointing out earlier that you should never think you are always and 100% the morally good and right ones and be annoyed by any opinion (like mine) denying you that and saying: “Wait, there’s 2% that I’m worried about!”. That’s what I did.

    By the way, I know zakor is not a spokesperson and OCS not an organization, nevertheless you are judged as such by the public and the whole idea of OCS will be judged on how the different people following that idea are presenting themselves and their critic to the public. I think you do have to think about how OCS is looking to the outside, otherwise I’ll be easy for CS to put the bad guy label on you.
    I think you make it to easy by saying OCS is not an organization but just an idea, because the “public” sees you as an organization.

    Anyway, I do get your points. I just say my opinion and was expressing my fears. Please don’t react as if I’d be someone from CS. I’m myself.
    If I would have seen the mailing list earlier I could of course have written them there and nuanced a bit better following what discussion had actually already been going on without me knowing.

    I by the way am aware that there are discussion about this on OCS, I can already see that by you discussing with me, that’s why you should keep in my mind my fears are fears. But please don’t reject them, but use them as an input (what you do out of this input is you’re business then).


  • @ tgoorden

    One more thing:
    Actually I am pretty busy these days and shouldn’t be writing long posts like that. :)
    So hope you don’t mind if I don’t answer you in case you do answer me…
    Actually I think you do understand my points and you anyway agreed about the self-reflection and pointed out the mailing list, on which I will keep an eye on.

    Of course I will read your post in case you answer to my last post but I think then we can leave it by that, as there’s no need for a further discussion about a topic where we actually both understand each other’s points and actually share quite a few of them.

    Alright, if you think I’m trying to escape then you’re right. ;) Gotta study. *sigh*

    Wish you a good week

  • @Michel

    1. If we can’t agree on a common guideline/tone, we can’t keep to it. There is a modus operandi though:
    Granted, not everyone keeps to it and it doesn’t work all of the time, but in those cases most people connected to OCS value speaking freely above repression.

    2. You are perfectly allowed (and in fact encouraged) to be critical. If I gave you the impression I was trying to shut you up or anything like it, then I’m sorry, it was definitely not my intention! All I’m advocating is action above discussing: If you think there is a different way of approaching the problem, I *really* hope you go for it. The people on OCS are as diverse as they get and there is room for you as well. I think most people here have enormous respect for mutual and sometimes disagreeing opinions.

    3. Whatever we do, we will be judged anyway. I also have no problem with wearing a label, it’s the nature of political activity. We make most of those labels ourselves (Free, Open, Transparent, Democratic, etc) and the negative labels (“haters”) are something we have to deal with regardless of zak0rs post.

    I do appreciate your input though. Specifically, *perhaps* there is something to be said for a genuine organization to be formed in the womb of OCS. The “CS members organization” or something…

  • I do agree with action over discussion; I was just a bit surprised, because your way of expressing this& vocabulary reminded me of the way of arguing (against critical non-volunteers) of CS people. But maybe I over-interpreted a bit.

    Hadn’t seen the modus operandi either yet…looks good though. Nevertheless I guess sometimes emotions take overhand (and we know that on the Internet we’re often much faster in being rough or insulting than in the “real” life). So next time I’ll have a problem with tone or content I’ll just post something like
    “Please remember *link*”. ;)

    I’m not sure about the discussion about labels and a genuine organization; I do understand the mistrust towards an organization, on the other hand it might strengthen the idea of OCS (although then there would be the need for a clear definition of it). Well, I don’t know…future will tell.

    Have a nice week

  • “If is all about buying Caseys’ Burning Man crew 4 Months of sponsored Holidays on the beach along with p*ssy that would not be available to this elusive group of mediocre men.”

    While certainly crude, that is really all Casey’sClub has ever been about, and is still about. I’ve seen this sentiment or observation expressed elsewhere, more than once. There are quite a few other pointed comments in this post, that I couldn’t agree with more.


    “… Hello there lazy bums in Thailand, celebrating ineptitude under the sun!… Cs will never proceed beyond the Fratboys who would LOVE to be cool, but end up being drunk failures… They ALL lack [the willingness to] critically reflect upon their managerial skills or the apparent lack of. The root of all this is of course, Casey. He appointed Managers who lack the wit and gut to debate with a dissenting community.”

    This was spot-on, as well:

    “To put this in perspective, we could (theoretically) do 58 of these weekends with the money that Couchsurfing spends on their collectives and meetings in 3 months (as an example), without spending any of our donation money.”
    (from: “…whats-happening-in-the-other-networks”)

    Also very pleased to stumble upon this site! The primary logo is noted, and I’ve some (superficial) familiarity with the history and creator of it.

    Approximately two years ago, I was personally part of a groundswell of people who began noticing the fundamental, self-destructive problems that infected Casey’sClub. I had joined soon after “the great crash” story was picked up by several tech news sites, like Didn’t take more than a month to notice the political problems. So I, like so many others, offered countless words of advice, also volunteered direct support, and provided many well-meaning, objective observations. All to no avail.

    But, here we are today. Rock on!

  • My grouse is not related to the above.

    I am feeling frustrated having tried to login and re-register for couch-surfing. I constantly get the same old message ‘the username or email address is in use’ I have tried password retrieval and that also wont let me in.

    Now my real gripe is i cannot contact anyone to resolve this, why in the world don’t they have a method to enable one to write to them?


  • hi maggie did you try www . couchsurfing .com/contact. html ?

    or just Email the boss : casey(at) but if you read the forums you will realise they are BUSY with the COLLECTIVE.

  • I can only imagine that the email address casey(at)couchsurfing . com is absolutely full and your not all that likely going to get help near as fast as contacting the people that are organized to actually help you. Try www . couchsurfing . com /contact. html (without all the ridiculous spaces) as I’ve always gotten answers to questions that way within hours or less.

  • Thanks Guys at least I feel more hopeful now


  • helping hand
    June 7, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    I can only imagine that the email address casey(at)couchsurfing . com is absolutely full and your not all that likely going to get help near as fast as contacting the people that are organized to actually help you.

    is caseys email box is full would indicate
    1) casey NEVER checks his couchsurfing email
    2) Does not cause about the members of HIS site.

  • I just joined this Couch Surfing community. KUDOS to the guys who came up with such a BRILLIANT concept. However, I have not had much success over the past three (3) days and it could have something to do with the country where I am attempting to secure a couch. The country is Sweden. Too many of the men in that community are looking for people with whom they can hookup. NO problem, however, they NEED to be honest and say that is what they are searching. I have unfairly had my outgoing Emails BLOCKED because I called two (2) guys out on misrepresenting. That is grossly unfair! Couch Surfing MUST make significant changes to accommodate the diversified community. The Website is too simple and too linear. They NEED to insure that the right people get connected to the right people by psychologically preparing questions to authenticate who is legit. One girl wrote that one of the Swedish guys had a camera in the bathroom that she and her girlfriend secretly discovered. They abruptly left the space. Also, there is NOT any NEED to STOP members from sending Emails sinc we are all over 18 yrs. If a member does NOT wish to have contact with someone… they need to have an IGNORE button, NOT simply STOP people from making contact with others. HOW STUPID and PATHETIC is that? VERY!!!

  • I would love to know more on your stance, but until then I can’t agree with you. You didn’t provide a single example of HOW CS is being mismanaged. What exactly has you upset other than the fact that Casey is getting to party it up? I have an open mind – please elaborate. I don’t want to donate money to something that doesn’t deserve it, but you gave me no information whatsoever to indicate that.

  • The biggest example of mismanagement is that CouchSurfing Inc. still hasn’t obtained the 501(c)(3) status it pretended to have already back in 2004.

  • “2004″

    It was February 2003, before it was even incorporated in April 2003.

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