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Archive for the 'Gadget' Category

What To Do With The Extra Money?

Couchsurfing’s strategy is “not sustainable”, concludes a Couchsurfing interim marketing consultant in a presentation given in San Francisco last Summer. “In order to keep cashflow, you would need to grow all the time”.

The consultant Mirek, also a CS-member, served at Basecamp from 16-21 July 2009 for Gadget and Matthew Brauer. The presentation of his ideas and conclusions can be found online (pdf, odp ).

Some Couchsurfing Facts from the presentation:

  1. CS has 15-20 thousand new users each week
  2. 5.6% of them pay verification fee of 26 $
  3. That makes more than 20.000 USD flowing in every week = ca. 1 mln USD a year.
  4. Expenses = 700-800 K USD
  5. 200.000 USD of surplus, and growing…
  6. Big Question: What to do with the extra money?

Mirek has some nice other nice observations about the organisational model of Couchsurfing. “Your present structure is based on a ‘family business’ model: tasks and responsibilities are ‘automatically’ assigned to people (mainly insiders).”

He advices to give it more structure, to have better defined functions and thinks it is a bad idea “to pay salaries to people staying [at Basecamp] up to one year, even if you have enough money. This would spoil the CS atmosphere and cause lot of formal (legal) obstacles.”

Interesting enough, Mirek explains to see donations as “a loan of trust”, which CS has to repay, “by improving the value you bring to CS users.” Couchsurfing should do that by “improving the website and services” and the organization, “so you are able to create a better product”.

Ambassadors Support Team Leader: Warning: 3 out of 101 references are negative

WARNING: Unpleasant Explicit Imagery Following.
Be careful if you have heart problems and don’t watch before, during or after meals.

Have you been wondering why so many Global Ambassadors left CouchSurfing the past months? Did you think people were making a fuss about nothing? Well, check for yourself, and realize that Gadget has enjoyed a promotion to the Leadership Team after the events described below, of which CS management must have clearly been aware.

Naked Gadget Showing The Finger

“Gadget has a gadget for anything and everything that your little heart could possibly desire – he was a real lifesaver for some of us Burning Man virgins!
UPDATE: This was a hard reference to update because I always considered Gadget to be my friend. While I appreciate him, he overstepped my boundaries on several occasions by touching me inappropriately and ignored my requests for him to stop, especially when he was drinking.”

“I first met Gadget at Burning man two years ago, but it was my experience with him at Vienna calling in June of this year that made it clear to me that he has no respect for me, as a person. At Vienna calling when we were all on a train headed from a picnic to a dance club, he pulled down his pants baring his buttocks to everyone in the train car behind him, which I was personally offended by. When we were in the dance club he came up to me and put his face between my breasts while at the same time grabbing my crotch. I never want to be alone in a room where Gadget is.”

“I have met Jonathan several times at a gathering and it was generally fine. However, a few incidents happened. He told me private information about other volunteers while we were not in a private setting. I witnessed him misbehaving in public transportation. At the final party, he danced very close to me and did not seem to hear me when I was telling him to back off. Later, he lost his balance and fell on me as I was crouching, grabbing my body. I was shocked and told him sharply that he was going too far. When I discussed this with Jonathan via email, he admitted he behaved poorly, had a few drinks too many, could not remember these incidents and apologized. I would not be in a setting involving alcohol again with him.”

Mooning in Vienna public transport

Note how TTT (General Manager) and Weston (Tech Team Leader) were right next to the Ambassadors Support Team Leader when he was showing off his bottom in Vienna’s public transport.

Getting ready for mooning, witnessed by Two Other Leaders.

Censorship at CS

Thomas and I saw this coming: the “Moval” of the resignation of Brian. In short:

Afbeelding 3

You could see that coming. But in the post itself Chiara Gandolfi asks:

It might be me, but as of now I fail to find it in Ambassadors Private…

Can we have the link? Thanks

Since Chiara is a City Ambassador, I guess that she should be able to check the Ambassadors Private. Nothing there though? Gadget says later on (in another censorship) the post “Probably still is in transit” and “The post is moved. Check the guidelines for the group”…