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Quo vadis hospex?

Short and cynical comments on some could-be-existing networks:

  • * – Easygoing consumerfriendly network run by a bunchfull of burning men buddies with no strategy for the future at all. As they eat up an amazing amount of donations and the market for virtual social networks collapses with the international cashflow a simple sellout isn’t an option anymore. When the fun is over, I won’t share the hangover.
  • * – The google-ad homebase of a single men gathering people who don’t mind censorship in communication. If the communication system is working at all. Estimated 2 years behind reality. Hard to signup for newbies and without technical improvements a living dead.
  • * – Surviving from the stoneage of postwar hospitality exchange still not yet at home in the digital age but muddling through anyway.
  • * – Some core volunteers still suffer from restrictive mindsets (courtesy of, so progress in really opening up the network is small. Restrictions are still restrictions even if the code is GPL. The open source rebuilt of a common hospex-software is probably to slow to really suffer in the decline of big hospexnetworks, but may offer some software for other experiments (still a shitload of work).

Short but nevertheless also cynical theses for the future of hospex:

The hospitality exchange scene is and always was diverse. This won’t change, no, in the future the number of networks will probably rise and the importance of each one for the whole scene will shrink. I see two main future options / possibilities:

  • * Hospex as a gadget/plugin in other (commercial) networks like f**kbook, MyShit, soon T-Couch, iHospex, MacSleep, Sleepbucks and others – nothing I’d really care for, but something that would definetly keep some idiots out of things I like. There’s nothing wrong with it, but please leave me alone.
  • * Hospexnetworks with very specialized communities like gay boyscouts, polite gamblers, frustrated florists … A disadvantage of this kind of networks is the absence of bigger diffences within them, as there is always a common interest / category. So somehow it’s a bit limiting and cultural exchange simply fails with out differences. A solution could be megasearches between open parts of these networks, profile transfers and easy access. Besides smelling like violating privacy all over the place, it’s all theory right now.

And why this ranting?

I’ve spent and still spend some of my free time to volunteer for hospex networks, but from time to time it’s good to reconsider engagement. Right now it feels like being stucked between something halfdead, that is still working from an user-only point of view, and a luck of ideas/projects to improve/develop things.

So maybe it’s time to look for something useful to do in other areas?

6 Responses to “Quo vadis hospex?”

  • midsch, thanks for sharing, I love this post, really put a smile on my face. Nice to see this blog being light hearted and fun again. :)

  • A social community grow by the people who make up the network.A well programmed site is not a precursor to a stable or large community.But yes rules do play a role in that community.

  • Perhaps time for them to start up a “couchsurfing foundation” to channel all the excess cash to support external hospitality related projects.

  • A strong community does not need a a lot of money nor does it need the best programmers.It needs a the right mix of people who can spread the word and have the right attitude to build a strong community.The idea and UI should be easy for a newbie and that is all to get a strong community growing .The rest follows..

  • Nice post, nicely summed up all the points. So yes, why not move on?

    But why always creating a new community? Are we so selfish that we just want to be under the same?

    I still love this idea…

  • in regard to bewannabewelcome:
    it is very true that, apart from a few key idealists like pietsah, the majority of the bewelcomers were happy goons of veit, promoting his censorship and bullshit for a long time happily. i am rather convinced that the majority of the bewelcomers chose their path not out of the idealism that they pretend to have picked up again after throwing it away being veits goon(i tend to think they never had any) but because they saw themselves in a more powerful position within bewelcome.
    its mostly a sad and pitiful bunch, oh well

    “I still love this idea…

    repeating the typical mistakes of veitklab and caseysurf are we?
    why make something professionally and sound if you can piss away motivation and dedication of volunteers with shitty planning and execution. druppel is junk.

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