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First reactions

As expected, the topics addressed on this site have caused quite a few reactions already. For the sake of Openness, we will try to list as many as possible on the Wiki in Category:Reactions.

A very interesting reaction came from Leonarde Silveira, one of the admins. Most of the conversation was over the phone, but in summary he was definitely not against opening up a dialog. His main concern was a too polarized view on this site, the fact that the “other side” of the discussion is underrepresented. In my opinion this is certainly a valid concern; it is a valuable exercise to add possible reasons for the current situation. I did encourage him (and hereby other admins as well) to also send us their view on some of our topics, which he promised to do. Other than that, logging all of the discussions and different viewpoints seem like a fair and balanced approach.

9 Responses to “First reactions”

  • Leo is one of the Founders, not an Admin.

    I don’t think any of us is against the idea of openness in principle …


  • Dan, it’s very weird that you don’t consider Leo an admin. First of all, he’s listed on the admin page: and secondly he definitely has admin rights on! Maybe you mean something else? He might also be a founder, but it seems he’s definitely an admin as well.

    But, ok, if you’re not against openness “in principle”, why not put it in practice? You can help us make this happen today.

  • I think one of the reasons to launch this website was exactly because the views of the Founders/Admins are underrepresented.

    My presence at several Collectives, and the peek I had in the “AdminGoodness” group (thanks to Leo by the way) has given me some insight in the current situation.

    Everybody wants to do the right thing, but most Admins/Founders highly value keeping information behind closed doors. Sometimes that is justified by arguments like “but nobody knows the history”, Casey “has to personally know people to trust them”, other times it’s justified by “we could get sued for that” (uttered by people without any legal background).

  • This may be a dumb question, but what is the benefit to Couchsurfing to have an NDA? Apart from Casey, everyone else works for free right?
    So how does CS expect people who work for free to give away all rights to their work? Won’t these just refuse to volunteer. Is it even legally binding – there is no compensation after all.

    Is CS worried a competitor may attract these volunteer programmers over and let them implement it? So what, didn’t CS get it for free? ie. from volunteer programmers.

    Besides, the power of CS is in the people not the code. If someone starts a new website, people aren’t going to flock to it for no good reason.

    It seems like couchsurfing in it’s essence is about openness, sincerity, honesty, taking the path less walked & making the world a better place. I understand that some policies cannot be advertised lest they get taken advantage off and I believe that everyone has their heart in the right place.

    But in an organization that promotes cultural understanding, shouldn’t communication be the biggest priority?

  • azarethroy wrote:
    Is it even legally binding – there is no compensation after all.

    Hmm.. maybe not. It has to do with “consideration”.



  • Whether an NDA is legally binding is a matter of state law in the state where Couchsurfing is incorporated.

    I think that the NDA is flat out a bad idea. The act of enforcing the NDA, should the “Leadership Circle” actually be able to prove somebody in breach, would start with a letter from a lawyer demanding the offender cease and desist from their actions.

    If, after this letter, the leadership circle can prove (to their pay-for-play lawyer’s satisfaction) that said offender is persisting in violating the NDA, one gets into a lawsuit situation that will cost- at a guess $20,000 US to start.

    The fact is, CouchSurfing is representing itself as a community and should act like one if that is the goal. Welcome people, support members in reaching out and participating with other communities, share tools and ideas that can grow the whole world of social networking sites.

    The only reason for an NDA is if there is a competitive aspect.

    Who are we competing against?

  • Leonardo Silveira

    Well, my view on this is very simple….I would like to avoid the idea that the best man win. THis is not a hand gun duel. I see it as a cooperation of minds that want to achieve the best, using their brains to find common ground. When those americans in the south wanted to abolish slavery, they got a deal where it took 10 years of phasing it out… so all the slave ownners did not go out of business you know. They compromised. So, the way I see it, both sides need to put out the pros and cons of their ideas and merge them together, find a middle ground. SO far, I have yet to see fairness. I am seeing lots of argument and self defense. So, Obviously I gotta be in the middle because it is the logical place for me to be based on my beliefs.

    Phasing things in, create a common ground.

    For example, by allowing Kasper to see it in there, was just a very normal thing to me, as he was demanding the truth so to build his case stronger and become more convict of his ideas. That is what I do: when I see a friend suffering because he or she needs the truth for himself, I can´t say no. I will risk everything for the truth. So, I helped the case in my oppinion.

    thanks for listening.


    ps: perhaps some people will say I am just really bad at applying political powers or just undecided, but believe me, the feeling of truth is so beautiful to me, kind of like listening to certain songs by ben harper or a great orgasm.

  • ScotchScotchScotch

    The NDA is obviously Casey’s scheme to own the code. IMO, he’s nothing but a self-serving, scheming weasel, using the “free, open, and kind” ethos or spirit as an appealing marketing face. He might also personally believe in that spirit, in principle, but from day one, the whole operation has been all about “what’s in it for Casey”. I feel he’s a fundamentally dishonest person, and expends great effort in snowing people, for his own, personal gain.

  • Just to make it chrystal clear: OpenCouchSurfing is not about attacking Casey or anyone directly like the comment made by “ScotchScotchScotch”.

    I have a lot of respect for Casey (even if I disagree with him sometimes) and while the language I use is pretty direct, it’s aimed at very concrete issues and we *do* offer solutions along side of our complaints. And I definitely don’t buy into the conspiracy theories that are floating around.

    Our Modus Operandi has been stated very clearly on the OCS Wiki:

    So, while we will leave the comment up for the sake of openness, please keep in mind that it is not the OCS way of improving things.

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