Archive for June, 2008

Introduction and first impressions

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Hello everyone,

My name is Walter Heck and I’m one of the tech team members that will be working their asses off for you this summer. I just arrived in Alaska last Saturday and wanted to introduce myself and give you my first impressions. Read more after the jump…

The house is getting more and more full, currently 17 or 18 participants are here (I don’t know the exact number, but we cooked food for 17 last night :) ). It is big and crowded, but a lot of fun. People are working all the time. Last night at 3 in the morning was actually the first time I walked into the living room when it was empty.

One of the things we all have a hard time getting used to is the daylight. The sun currently sets at 23:30 or so, and it rises at 4:00. My whole biorhythm is disturbed. This will probably be fixed in the next couple of weeks though.

On Saturday night we had a party for Cyril’s birthday. It was very good to have an informal party to get to know everyone.

Now on to the professional/tech stuff (which is why i’m writing this post in the first place :) ). Today we have an introduction day to find out who does what and things like that. Until then, I have been keeping busy with setting up the development environment and debugging some small things. I expect to have a specific project by the end of the day.

More later!

Setting the pace

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

We had our first house meeting on Thursday. It was a small one – just with the nine of us – but we recognized that we have a responsibility to set the pace for the newcomers that are set to descend upon the house over the weekend. They will pick up on whatever the general “mood” is here, which means we have to start putting the structure into our days now.

One such example – its been easy managing meals with our small group (who’s cooking, what time, the dishes!), but the only way to effectively manage 25 people is to put structure into the day. Could you imagine the chaos of over 25 individual people having input into what time they all want to eat dinner? Its working out these kinds of details that mean we can focus on what’s really important – our tasks and work that will benefit the members of CouchSurfing.First House Meeting

The general structure for our days here at the Collective:

- Lunch: 12 noon
- 1 – 5pm: mandatory working hours for everyone (participants then have the flexibility to choose how to fulfill the remainder of their commitment of 35 hours work per week)
- Dinner: 7pm

I think Laura, House Manager, has one of the most difficult jobs. She is responsible for so many of the minor details, including making the final decisions when group consensus can’t be reached! She will keep us all on track with the things we agree on in terms of house management – the scheduled meal times, the chores list, the designated meeting times.

It is all about getting the house running smoothly so our precious time here isn’t wasted.