Posts Tagged ‘Membership’

Who Are We?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

One of our goals at this collective is to enhance the user experience of a CouchSurfer. A general goal, but an important one none the less. When we began discussing different ways to accomplish this goal, we realized that we only had a vague impression of who CouchSurfers were. Sure, from profile polling we could tell that the average age is 26, most of us speak English, we all like to try new things, and we like to meet new people. What we were having difficulty figuring out was where people were having trouble with the site. We knew where we were having trouble and what processes are complicated, but finding what was complicated to users of different experience levels was a challenge.

Enter the User Research Team! Created during the Thailand Collective, this team is made of of people around the world who specialize in user research! They have come up with some incredible solutions for us to find out how and why surfers use the site in the way they do. The team has just started an audience research project that will help us define our group of users. We can see who is just joining the site, and how they manage to find what they are looking for compared to the site use of surfers who have been active since the birth of CouchSurfing – and everyone in between.

Knowing who we are helps in every aspect of CouchSurfing. The goal is to simplify everything, and allow people to find what they are looking for without having to think about searching for it. We will be able to identify groups of users, and present them with tailored navigation options that offer no more and no less than what they want.

Recently we posted a news item with a survey for focus groups, and the response has been incredible. The strength of the CouchSurfing community is evident in the number of people who are willing to donate their time towards the improvement of the experience.

International CouchSurfing Day

Thursday, June 12th, 2008


Happy International CouchSurfing day everyone! Get out and connect with your local CouchSurfing community!

Today we are going to be heading to Turnagain Pass to throw some snowballs at each other. What are you doing?

To see what is going on in your area, check out local events or the wiki.

Down Time, Groups, and New Members

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

You may have noticed that CouchSurfing was having some problems over the past few days. If you got the "Site Temporarily Down" message every other time you tried to visit the site, you weren’t alone.

The start of the Northern Hemisphere Summer (traditionally a high travel time) combined with the new member load (we are at 8000-9000 new members a week!) put some sudden unexpected stress on the system. To fix the problem, we shut down group postings for a while, taking a large load off of our main database system while we handled some issues. Casey stayed up until 4:30 am making sure that everything went smoothly, and he was replaced by Walter who took on the rest of the night.

Things are running smoothly now, and we are still working steadily on more ways to speed up the site.

Below is a graph of weekly signups for the past four years… We are growing at an exponential rate! Keep passing on the word and enjoy the Surfing Season!


More detailed statistics and cool information can be found at: