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The Alaska Collective?

From the most directly available news source about CouchSurfing it seems that the next Collective will be held in Alaska. And congratulations to Doogy, who seems to have been hired to work for CS. I wonder what his official function will be. Translation:

i have been hired to work for CS but then [i] have to decide before March 8 if I move to Alaska with the group for this Summer…

88 Responses to “The Alaska Collective?”

  • @ valeri, @ everyone really its just you mentioned this.
    i too would be sad if the success of cs is only measured in the number of members, but sheer volume of members (regardless of idle profiles likely never to be used again) seems to be the goal for these guys.
    cs has reecently been marketed to the press as ‘a cheap way to travel’, hooray, more surfers who see cs as merely a free hostel! many more, a majority maybe even, that do not care how it is run and will never think to express any desire for change, thus leaving the lt or whoever with that feeling that ‘most of the members are satisfied with the status quo’.

    i have used cs for years through my friends, and ‘couchsurfed’ without the site across my country just by meeting amazing people on the streets or bars or wherever, i didn’t think that a site built around that pastime could have such a shoddy top-down ‘ocracy’

  • stop donating for CS! you won`t benefit from it…

    Is it time to start an expanded campaign in the local groups of CS?


  • Ricardo & Ana Lamego from Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal (Permalink)
    > what do you think?

    I think I understand less and less of this org everyday.
    - First they set a collective in a location remote enough to be far away from not one but ALL the areas with higher density of members.

    - Now they set the next collective not only in a remote location but in a country plagued with visa problems and general border hysteria which is going to make it impossible for some people to join.
    Really! At last they could cross the border and set it to Canada. It would solve most problems!

    - With almost half a million people *already* synced and tuned to the CS ideology and needs, I see no logic in looking for people outside CS.Ricardo & Ana Lamego from Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal (Permalink)
    > what do you think?

    I think I understand less and less of this org everyday.
    - First they set a collective in a location remote enough to be far away from not one but ALL the areas with higher density of members.

    - Now they set the next collective not only in a remote location but in a country plagued with visa problems and general border hysteria which is going to make it impossible for some people to join.
    Really! At last they could cross the border and set it to Canada. It would solve most problems!

    - With almost half a million people *already* synced and tuned to the CS ideology and needs, I see no logic in looking for people outside CS.

    looks like more and more people are taking the red pill :) or at least getting there.

  • Yes Daz, the diversity of people now being openly critical is much greater – no longer just those “bitter” OCS pirates.

    Here from Community Communications group is MSDANNY Australia country ambassador being openly critical of the Communication Guru’s latest newsletter.

    “I´ve just read the latest collective news.

    It leaves the reader a bit dissapointed. When I receive a newsletter I expect to get news from the current project – not an announcement of when I´ll get them. But better than nothing.

    ( is there a reason why the picture quality of the slide show has to be so extraordinary bad? )”

  • Why do people keep bullshi**in and talking to people like they were knuckleheads???

    Crystal Murphy from Birmingham, United States
    Hey Guys!!!

    I know to many of you it seems like not much was accomplished in Thailand. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Actually, Thailand has been the most productive collective to date. The team leaders are currently preparing a summary of sorts of exactly what each team accomplished during the collective. Expect to see this very soon :)

    Summary ?? Where was the content ? where was the dialogue with the members ? (ALL the CSCT members LOGGED into couchsurfing almost EVERYDAY from pai and phuket and the other places.
    Summary without content wow!!Are we dumb???

    Most of what happened isn’t visible to everyone. It was a lot of preparation for what is to come in CS. Think of Thailand as laying the foundation and Alaska as building the framework.

    This is the funniest BS part.NOT VISIBLE ,BUILDING FRAMEWORK?
    You build framewords without discussion with your ambassadors with the guys who are doing such an awesome job at the wiki. I feel back for lei (his thailand group was a failure)

    Personally, on the PR & Media side of things, we have made amazing strides. Not only are we building a reallllly strong team, but we also have a crisis communication policy, a story idea database and media coverage tracking tool, and member media-related documents including a media relations policy.

    THis is also funnier. THe PR group had one google document.Jim stone hid the contents of the group from everyone who was not a member out of embarassment. The PR threads where really lost.

    How does Crystal Murphy from Birmingham, United States get her news??It definately was not done on the group. maybe a hidden google group ssh ambassadors cannot be trusted.

    THEY ARE building? still buidling it took 6 months to even to start talking what did shonali shetty do there?

    Our dedicated Public Relations team is developing a media training module that will help prepare our spokespeople for the calls they’ll be fielding from reporters. This module not only clarifies the media’s goals and challenges, but helps a potential spokesperson focus his or her thoughts, develop key messages for a targeted audience, and hone his or her interviewing skills. The training and support will ensure that the CS passion and messaging will come through, loud and clear.

    If media relations interest you, stay tuned. The Public Relations and Media Team will soon be looking for experienced volunteers to join them. In the meantime, we’ll be flashing our pearly whites for the paparazzi, with pleasure!

    And thats just the tip of the iceberg. Each team at the collective has been doing a great job at putting their volunteer time to use.

    I see 100′s of beer bottles, fashion shows ,snorkeling in each photo from the csct??
    I would like to see how donna cooks to books to show all those beer bottles

    * Public Relations & Marketing Team
    Description: This team creates press releases and other documents promoting CS externally. It establishes press relationships and finds marketing opportunities.
    Requirements: Established relationships with major media outlets. Press release portfolio. Marketing strategy understanding.
    Position 1 filled by: Shonali Shetty
    Position 2 filled by: Charish Badzinski

    WHERE are the press opportunities?

    CouchSurfing also chose Badzinski from among 200 applicants for 11 positions to go to Thailand for two months to work on the group’s public relations and marketing needs.

    Wow what did she do ?Aint she special ?

    And yes in the next collective expect to see a lot more communication. I have seen some of the really cool things to come, and lets just say I CANT WAIT!!!!! Alaska is going to be awesome!!Hopefully this helps answer some questions! Crystal

    Yipped crystal cant wait. but wait a minute how did she know she was already selected? ;)
    RAD!! HI5 :)

  • sounds more and more like a business endeavour everyday.

  • How they get caught trying to take credit for work NOT done at thailand
    One lot of event organizers the Collective team (FROM THAILAND???) has been assisting are from the Gigswapping group. They are organizing a string of extraordinary music events in Utrecht, Vienna and Pardubice in April 2008. These events are providing CouchSurfing musicians the chance to showcase their talents – check out the details here!

    This reminds me who the CSC NZ too credit for JOHNS search work

    Our Nomadic Full-Time Headquarters – from Thailand to Alaska We want more fabulous volunteers to come join us at our next CouchSurfing Collective in Alaska
    March 21st, 2008
    Participants from Thailand will start arriving in Alaska in the beginning of May and new participants will join us on 1 June 2008. This Collective will operate until 22 August 2008.

    How do the participants from thailand get to be selected AGAIN . AND it looks like the tickets are ALREADY BOOKED :)

  • What if I just want to visit the Alaska Collective?
    In order to maintain a productive and comfortable living space for participants, the Collective house will not be open to unannounced visitors. We have reserved space for several short-term participants who will be pre-approved based on their applications


  • Ricardo & Ana Lamego from Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal (Permalink)
    Talk is easy and I don’t like to criticize without offering alternatives.

    Last year I contacted a CS member who owns a property (under an hectare) between Porto and Lisbon about having an international meeting there. We haven’t talked about the building itself but she said the place was big enough for +- a 100 members to camp. Plenty of water, hiking trails in the mountains and close enough to a lake where we can have activities like canoe trips, river safaris, etc
    Back then she offered it at no cost asking only for some work done in return.

    Porto, Lisbon and Faro serve a few low cost airlines with dozen of connections to several European countries and daily flights to major hubs. Any location between these 3 cities will work just fine. In the interior everything will be cheaper, including hosting and food.

    One of the biggest CS communities (in total habitants/cs members ratio), friendly people, warm weather, good transports and loads of broadband internet connection services up to 24MB, makes this a remarkably good option for holding a collective!

    There’s no health issues or visa problems but check it out here:

    And to anyone reading this, what about your country? Can it offer a valid alternative to Alaska? Let us know!


    This looks like a way better option.Portugal was one of the first countries to put couchsurfing on the map.

  • Crystal Murphy from Birmingham, United States
    ok as for communication needs—trust me everyone knows we need better communication. I talked to Mandie for awhile and there really are some cool projects she is going to focus on in Alaska….stuff to help better communication. Better blogging, rss, etc. So that should help.

    looks like that huge bucket of alcohol and the orgasm cocktail wiped mandies memory . Now refresh our memory wasent that supposed to be done at the CSCT the THAI COLLECTIVE ?? OK if this is going to be done at the NEXT ONE .WHAT was done at the thai collective??
    I think MANDIE is on the payroll of cs now so she is using SPIN.

    She also is getting some people to help out out–which is why she posted in the comms group for comms volunteers. Its big job.

    Why do people over exaggerate ? BIG JOB

    I know there is also work being done to help better communication between groups so members can get the info they need.

    she says I KNOW!! WE DO NOT KNOW!!!

    People do actually do work at collectives. As for how they chose the location who knows,

    :) who knows ? :)

    but if you are not going to be paid for a few months while u dedicate your time to making the site better, isnt it at least nice that they are doing it at a pretty location? I mean cut them some slack, most of the members arent paid here, so its nice to have a few perks.

    PERKS :)

    The collective in general is changing. Its a more of a moving hq….this means if u cant make it to thailand or alaska, it could very well be making it to your part of the world next.

    MOVING HQ = making it to your part of the world what BS!!!!!

    So yes its frustrating to see things not being taken care of, but i do know these things are being worked on in some sort of fashion….so patience….I know its not what u want to hear, but yelling at people wont get you anywhere either….

    In short dissenters shut the hell up!!

  • Hahhah Contact person: Mattthew Brauer Last updated: March 25, 2008
    Has gone beind all the backs of ALL the ambassadors and the CSN :) .Too bad for the people who had HIGH hopes and kept refusing to take the red pill. NO DISCUSSION > HIS DECISION IS FINAL.

    This looks like Mandie will vanish after the csct
    What we need in your application:
    CouchSurfing Username (if applicable):
    Are you able to attend the Alaska Couchsurfing Collective between 1 June – 22 August 2008? If yes, there are additional questions you will need to complete.
    he was always some slimy weasel :)
    JOIN US!!!!
    We’re gonna party, party
    party till the break of day
    and there’s nothing or no one to stand in the way
    we’re gonna have us a good time
    dancin’ till the morning light

  • Wow, they really are going after $$$$$.

    Prepare for a bombardment of “Donate! Donate! Donate!” pressure in the coming months.

    This also from the volunteer position ads on idealist site:

    “The roles of Fundraising and Grants Coordinator requires a leader and strategist with specific experience in a wide range of fundraising techniques and funding sources. Most importantly, the applicant must demonstrate a solid track record of success increasing revenue for related organizations and be confident in accomplishing the goal of increasing CouchSurfing revenue by at least 25% within six months. Your time will be divided approximately as follows: 30% developing long-term fundraising strategies with specific objectives and priorities, 30% implementing these strategies through hands-on fundraising, and 40% developing and managing a volunteer fundraising team.

    We intend to solicit funds from a variety of funding sources including member donation drives,, large gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations, grants, and public events, as well as possible corporate sponsorships and fee based services. We also intend to solicit a variety of funding types including cash, temporary living/office space, equipment, vehicles, and services. This will require an applicant with broad experience and a wide skill set. It will also require the development of a fundraising team consisting of roles dedicated to specific funds sources or types. “

  • We have submitted an application for 501c3 federal non-profit status, and we anticipate attaining this status during the Alaska collective. However, there can be no guarantees. Fundraising strategies must reflect this evolving status.

    This is the reason the Collective house will not be open to unannounced visitors.

  • So… they’re expecting to obtain 501c3 status by june 2008? That’s rich… I lost track to be honest, but the application must have taken at least 2,5 years by then. So much for credibility, I guess :)

  • The search is on!! :)

    Location: Places >> North America >> United States >> Alaska

    Tell me what’s great about Anchorage
    Casey Fenton for alaskamatt
    “Partied, exchanged computer shit, etc.”

    From PINKFISH for alaskamatt Anchorage, United States
    Mar 25 Met in person
    Extremely Positive <<<<<<<<<<<<< :)

    He set me up with a car, a couch, lot’s of information about Alaska and Anchorage area, and a great party, and that all in 24 hours!

  • its making me sick…

  • It seems the volunteers are recruited for June 1st to August 22nd, but the house is wanted from April 15th to September 30th.

  • Mattthew Brauer from San Francisco, United States
    Location: Places >> North America >> United States >> Alaska
    Hi Elizabeth,

    I’m sorry you haven’t been able to find a way to volunteer with CS. If you’ve applied through the volunteer application, then you’ve hopefully received a message explaining that we’re behind on bringing in new volunteers because of a lack of team coordinators to manage these volunteers. We’re in a bit of a catch-22 there while we get through this time of huge growth.

    The good news is that we’ve made great headway with this issue in Thailand. These Collectives enable us to train and build tools for volunteer team coordinators who in turn are able to bring on new volunteers to their teams. I’m sorry these growth pains have been frustrating – they are for us too!

    It would be great if you can help Susy in her search, but if you have interest to volunteer in other areas, check out the Alaska Collective page and see if any of the remote positions are of interest to you.

    Other happenings
    Welcome to the 33rd Annual Girdwood Forest Fair Website!
    July 4, 5 & 6 ~ 2008

  • Location: Places >> North America >> United States >> Alaska
    PINKFISH from Anchorage, United States (Permalink)
    Hello everyone!

    I want to thank you all for helping me out in various ways to get this house hunting for the next collective going!

    Tons of information about the areas, tips to get to the housing market, leads to follow up, lot’s of meet ups over cappuchinos, and a warm welcome from all of you :-)

    I was able to present a couple of options to the team and we deceided to be stationed in Homer for this summer.

    Thank you all!


  • KNULP from Genova, Italy
    Hi all, my friends! Here are some pics about my short permanence at wonderful thai csc

    if you wants more check also

  • these photos are really nice…thank you for sharing them.

  • Looks like alaska is going the same way as thailand
    Location: CS Organization >> PROJECT TEAMS: Collectives >> CSC Alaska 2008 – Public
    Name Joined
    Picture Mattthew Brauer
    moderator 04/16/08
    Picture Casey Fenton
    moderator 04/16/08
    Picture PINKFISH
    moderator 04/16/08
    Picture Jim Stone
    moderator 04/16/08

    BUT the private group has 10 MEMBERS :) and 7 posts .

  • Jim Stone from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
    Guess who’s back in town? Yep, ME!

    While three months in Thailand was very, very cool I’m soooo excited to be back in my favorite city in the world. Yay! I’ve already seen a few of you and now, thanks to the blessings disguised by some unfortunate things, I’ll have the chance to see more of you old and even new friends.
    Location: Places >> North America >> United States >> California >> San Francisco Bay Area >> San Francisco >> True Primos of San Francisco
    What about those unfortunate things? Well, my motorcycle had to be towed to the shop today and it’s going to be sometime next week (Weds or Thurs at the earliest) before i’m able to see it again. Once I get it out (well, probaly after next weekend) I’m riding it 3k miles to Alaska, so while i’m not excited about spending more than the bike is really worth (and more money than i have in all, really) on getting it fixed I’m glad that it’ll be in the best condition it’s been in in a long time AND that I get the chance to meet up with more of you lovely people.

    So if you know me yet or not chances are (since you’re in this group) that we’d get along famously. And this leads me to my next question: got couch?

    Yep, I’m going to need to hit a few of your couches up if this is going to work, so I’d really appreciate it if any of you wouldn’t mind some extra company in your living room at night. It would be a HUGE help! What do you say?

    Hope to see many of you at Will’s tonight! What’s next?


  • In the Community Communications group
    PS: Of course, every time I try to volunteer no one gets the message. I am doomed.

    Shows how much the couchsurfing managers hate old people and people from Alaska . Yeah .

  • You need to be in your 20′s young and horny to get invited to the collective. That is the Fact. F UNIT.

  • Location: CS Organization >> PROJECT TEAMS: Collectives >> CSC Alaska 2008 – Public
    You need to send them POSTCARDS lol !

    So take out your stamps lick em and sent those lovely post cards by snail mail to homer alaska .

  • Jerme – what does some Jim being back in SF have to do with the Alaska CSC? Who cares?

  • By the way, the according to Community Communications group the comm team is growing. I can’t wait to see how you guys trash their every effort. Hooray for more well-meaning volunteers for you to drag through the mud!!


  • The new chick(with the nose ring) in the Community Communications group is hot!! I wont mind her being part of my f*cko group. Doogie will have more doggie days with them .

    J Stoner no we don’t thrash people till the steal other people work and are stoned lazy like you were in thailand. Stoned and drunk.

  • Jerme – what does some Jim being back in SF have to do with the Alaska CSC? Who cares?

    You stupid prick do you even read the date the comment was made?

  • Ok, guys. Please stop insulting each other in such an uncreative way. It’s anonymous versus anonymous anyway, so it’s like you are shouting at a wall: equally effective.

    Yes yes, OCS sucks. Yes, the LT sucks too. Now let’s see some arguments either way. Or even better, tell the world something it doesn’t know already.

  • tgoodden: “Please stop insulting each other in such an uncreative way.”

    Yes, OCS is supposed to be about *creatively* insulting each other. Let’s please get back to our core values.


    “Now let’s see some arguments either way.”

    Come on, Tg. OCS has *never* been about seeing both sides of any CS-style argument. Why not just be open and honest about that one? Or at least be open that you, as a OCS admin and founder, that you’re interested in creatively insulting the other side’s argument.

  • Doom stoner being a prick as usual !!

    The other side’s argument. ROLF!! There is NO Other sites. On CS ever one is super sweet . Looks at the new ambassadors !! Welcome !Welcome!!
    They do not even know where the new welcome group is located!!

    What would they know about the spending tricks of casey and his pal.

    Spend spend spend!!
    Spend on travel
    Spend on Booze , on paying money for 20 of his pals who are to lazy to earn any money on their own for a whole year.
    Orgies ! Raves! The STD/LSD/420 spreading network!! wow .
    The messenger of DOOM!!
    Stealing money one couch at a time!!

    Collective are Using up all the money the member donated to help cs after the crash . DONATE ! GET VERIFIED !! Give the collective Alaska slackers money to slack to 6 months!! They already slacked for 6 months in Thailand.

  • @Doom
    Sigh. “Creative insulting” is pretty obviously meant as a joke. (I’ll stop trying to inject some humor into this thread, it’s a wasted effort anyway.)

  • Trent Collins, from Couchsurfing said its users are advised to use the safety tools, “There have been NO major incidents within Couchsurfing and members are encouraged at all times to make sure that they are careful to see that they follow safety protocols to keep it that way.”

    This is what we call Creative lying.

  • Or just plain lying!!!! Or could be ignorance i suppose…

    can you post the actual link in some form? separate the fields so it doesn’t get stopped automatically by the site, because i can’t find it.

    But why the heck do people assume major incidents don’t happen on CS, simply because they haven’t heard of them?? Tons of us know they have.

  • Location: CS Organization >> Operations Experts >> Public Relations & Media
    Trent Collins Canada Quebec Montreal

    I’m also a member of the marketing and PR team so feel free to send me your communication ideas and stories.

    spin is a usually pejorative term signifying a heavily biased portrayal in one’s own favor of an event or situation; it is a “polite” synonym for propaganda. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, “spin” often, though not always, implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics.

    Public relations (PR) is the managing of internal and external communication of an organization to create and maintain a positive image. Public relations may involve popularizing successes, downplaying failures, announcing changes, and many other activities; but ethical P.R. practitioners can also convince companies to work more closely with its various publics and form win-win relationships

  • Location: CS Organization >> >> MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS >> Community Communications
    Seeing Jim stones comments here maybe he still is a nice guy not corrupted by power…
    Remember him to be the only one who was in dialogue with the members during the crash..

    No points to Mandie M and pink fish who ignored Pats call to help.

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