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Tips for those who still care about the CouchSurfing Wiki

I just found these Tips on Developing a Wiki Community. From my long-lasting experience setting up wikis and making sure that they keep on growing, it’s pretty accurate. And it’s not only very useful for the CouchSurfing Wiki. Here’s the most relevant parts to whatever has happened in CouchSurfing:

The biggest difference between a group of 50 and a group of 43,000 is that a small group needs to value each individual much more highly.

Note that there are probably 50.000 active surfers, but at most, only a couple of hundred people who can be called more or less active volunteers (and most of them are less active). Unfortunately, individuals outside of the Leadership Circle have never been valued very highly within the CS organization…

If you walk into a non-profit agency to volunteer, there’s somebody there to say hello. They get you oriented, and they check in with you about how things are going. If it’s a successful, active program, then other volunteers are there too; they talk to you, and help you out. There’s always a sense that your participation is important, and appreciated. If you’re not getting paid for being there, then they need to give you something, and usually what you get is pride, satisfaction and appreciation.

…and sometimes it’s humiliation, alienation and frustration instead.

But, well, I’m happy to announce that I will be getting paid to work on researching Trust Metrics at the Fondazione Bruno Kessler in Trento, Italy. And even though I haven’t even started officially yet, I already feel proud. But I already started, of course, I can’t resist the temptation of setting up a new wiki about a fascinating topic. Ironically, the job is a direct result of the appreciation for my work at CouchSurfing.

Adesso, io vado imparare anche l’italiano!


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