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What’s happening in the other networks


I just received a BeWelcome newsletter about what is happening there; main point was that they just had their first conference (where following my knowlegde everybody could participate, not only “approved people”, so if you want to go to the next one keep your eyes open for the dates). I’m not going to post the whole text here, but there were some interesting links in it that I’m pasting in at the end of this post. I want to point out that this is not supposed to be advertisement for BeWelcome, but an insight in other networks and more specifically a network claiming to be transparent and democratic.

I want to draw your attention to this line in their blog, which I found interesting (but make up your own mind!):

“We had 200 € in expenses, which covered all of the food and drinks for the entire weekend, except of course the party on Saturday night. The participants payed 9 € on average (2,2 € minimum, 11 € maximum), no BeVolunteer money was ever used. 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.”

As said, make up your own mind, here’s the links about the conference which were inside of the message:

(Sorry, I don’t know how to make the direct links on this site, you’ll have to copy-paste them) Update: Links have been added.

The video:

The blog:

The tech blog:

I hope nobody minds me writing this here; I think comparing the networks and their ideas is interesting for all of us. In my opinion the OCS site is not only about Couchsurfing, as the ideals of transparency and democracy (I dare to suggest all people writing here share those) are not about a specific network.

Nevertheless I want to draw special attention to Kaspar’s (in whose critical opinion about the conference I’m interested) stylish hat while he is “Couch-Surfing” (Couch-Relaxing? Being Welcomed on a Couch? Alright, I’m not funny..) in the video. ;)

All the best


10 Responses to “What’s happening in the other networks”

  • Michel83 quote “I think comparing the networks and their ideas is interesting for all of us. ”

    Yes it is good to see all the options .
    Alex of the hospitality guide has been doing a good unbiased job for years.though the site has become inactive recently

  • Just a quick note to say I converted your text to links and added a note to that effect. Please feel free to edit / remove my changes if you feel they’re inappropriate.

  • Michel, thanks for posting this. I was considering doing it myself and I’m always happy when other people do the things I was only thinking of.

    My critical opinion. Well, I think the weekend was awesome. It was great to meet some volunteers for the first time and to see people again I had met years ago. (And, Michel, on a personal note, sorry for not having been too social at the previous Berlin Beach Camp. I will make up for that next time.) The atmosphere was great and I feel it was a very successful unconference.

    Apart from that, I can only be critical of myself. I haven’t taken any responsibility within BW. I’ve only been taking part in some discussions and worked a bit on the wiki, that is still not open. I never had the perseverance to really get into the source code and I took up my usual stance of not taking more power than needed (i.e. I don’t have server access to the wiki). And I’m not even an official member of the BeVolunteer organization. But well, all that will happen when it’s the right time.

    So overall, BW is moving forward and for the money and effort it takes and the pleasure and progress it gives we should have many more of these unconferences.

  • @ Callum

    Cheers for the links.

    @ Kaspar
    Thanks for your impressions. Oh, and no worries about the last Beach Camp; different times, different moods.

  • Thanks for the post, Michel.

    As one of the “core” or alpha developers for, I am glad for any positive publicity BW gets. Our progress has been slow but steady. There is a very solid philosophical, democratic, and technical foundation for the future, created by an amazingly committed and talented group of volunteers (none of whom get paid). I feel that it’s just a matter of time before critical mass is reached; perhaps it’s already beginning now.

    I’ve been very impressed with the level of maturity, integrity, leadership, openness, transparency, adherence to democratic principles, tolerance for diverse viewpoints, willingness to solicit criticism and outside review. There’s always room to improve, but that’s part of the exciting challenge of BW.

    It’s a day vs. night contrast with my experience as a core developer for CS. After over and over again giving the benefit of doubt, I increasingly became disillusioned and ultimately disgusted with the management of CS.

    That is why, unlike many who express themselves here, I no longer support CS in any way, as long as it’s under the domination of Casey Fenton, but give all my support to BeWelcome. By posting here, I wish to give fair warning to potential CS volunteers, to save them from the kind of volunteering experience I had, but also hoping that they might instead chose to support BW.

    I don’t blame those who still work toward a better CS, but I feel that BW is a much better way for me to support the hospitality movement (and more, eventually).

  • @ matrixpoint

    I want to point out my post is not meant as publicity; I’m am positive towards BeWelcome and I think this is obvious in my post. Nevertheless was my post essentially is is not publicity but posting of links about which I hope people will make their own mind up. I want to give people different inputs, not make publicity.

    I by the way tell “strangers” only about Couchsurfing anymore (you could say: direct them there), since Hospitality Club slowed down since some time and I felt CS is the better working site (I actually used to advertise both).
    I didn’t advertise BW yet, as it is still very small and I want people to get to know the joy of hosting; but then again it can’t grow without advertisement, so I’m not being logical.
    I might start advertising BOTH CS and BW to people in future (like I used to do with CS and HC), maybe with some explanations why they should also support BW. I would hope people sign up for both then.


  • @Michel:
    On my CS profile it’s clear that I’m much more likely to host people when they ask me through BeWelcome. Which is pretty good advertising for BW, since my couchsearch rating is pretty good and there are quite a few people looking for places in Amsterdam. (And I still get _many_ requests directly through CS, which saves me a lot of time of course ;)

    To the uninitiated to hospitality exchange I mention both, still, but that will change once BeWelcome reaches 10.000 members.

  • i support both…like Hillary and Obama :)

  • @Michel: Understood.


  • Thanks for mentioning on here. It is true, the page has been inactive recently. I do look for people that would like to contribute to the page. Please just do through the wiki, post in the forum or get in touch with me (see contact page) if you have ideas regarding the page.

    I would still appreciate it very much when could put a link to HospEx Ne>t ( ) on the page. Maybe there are some people that have the same need to write more objective about ALL networks.

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