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Tag Archive for 'Hospitality Club'

CS becoming a for-profit business: A message from Hospitality Club Founder Veit

After the shocking news of Couchsurfing accepting a $7.6 million investment and becoming a for-profit company, I just wrote a message to the hospitality exchange community. Most important: Hospitality Club will never be a for-profit business, we are currently developing an open-source site for HC and some behind-the-scenes info on CS. Please read the statement here:

Oh, and a special shoutout to my haters here :-D

Project “Reuniting the Community”

A lot of the stuff BW is based on (money, texts, layout – see above) was taken away from HC and HC volunteers who worked on it for a long time without their permission. We will try to bring this stuff home and reunite the community. Since BW advertises having a “democratic” setup we will happily work together with them using this framework for the best of the community in our reunification efforts. And you can help us! Here’s how Project “Reuniting the Community” works:

Texts and code are copied, not taken away.    And above all, they should be copied if people want to copy them.
Money can’t be taken away from a non-existing organization.
I love the idea of reuniting the Community.

Phase 1: Right now, we are encouraging active HC volunteers to join BeVolunteer as “members”. BV currently has 45 members (see the irony of calling a network run by 45 people “democratic”?), a few of them are absolutely dedicated to HC. You have to jump through a few loops to be accepted by their “Board of directors” as a member, but the fun should be worth it. Basically, you just have to be an “active volunteer”, so just edit around the wiki a bit, join some of the many many discussions in their Forums, or translate a few sentences. Once you are a member, just let us know. We will reimburse you for any “membership fees” you have to pay to BV once the project has succeeded.

There are no membership fees, not even to become a member of the BoD.
Democracy is not a black and white question, but to me it’s a network ran by a single person is the least ideal form (i.e. HC).

Phase 2: We will make sure that HC-friendly people are elected to BV’s “Board of Directors” – the 9 people running the show (kind of interesting model of democracy). They could start making sure that links back to HC are added, and BW as organization stops its aggressive attacks on HC.

People’s profiles (like mine) are deleted for links from HC to BW…

Phase 3: The final step will be to reintegrate BW into HC, a simple “General Assembly” decision will be enough for that. Since both will be based on open-source software then, it won’t be too big of a problem. We might even continue to use their officially registered French NGO as the HC-NGO in France. And all will be good :-)
Sounds like fun? Then help us, or get in touch if you need more info and encouragement!

Great, finally an official organization for Hospitality Club!

See for a 1 page overview of the issues with HC.

Hospitality Club: Violent Communication

I’ve been a member of Hospitality Club since April 2004. I had over 100 positive comments and left about the same number of comments. Then I received this, out of the blue, after not even having logged in for about a month:

Hospitality Club: termination of your membership

Hello grappig,

you seriously abused our rules as outlined on, therefore we had to terminate your membership to protect other members and our network.


the Hospitality Club Abuse Team

The Hospitality Club
… bringing people together!

Rock on Veit!

Casey’s Magic

While reading an NY Times article about CouchSurfing (thanks Mary) I was reminded of the magic that Casey created in the CouchSurfing project. I’ve definitely lost track of the magic over the last few months since becoming involved in the inner workings of the CouchSurfing organisation.

There’s a great sense of community, a great PR image, a wonderful “feeling” when reading about CouchSurfing. It’s a feeling that Hospitality Club and BeWelcome definitely don’t have. It’s more bohemian, more offbeat and quirky, yet somehow more mainstream.

Casey struck a great balance between the hitch hiking “true” traveller and the mainstream. CouchSurfing appeals to people from all walks of life, and that’s undoubtedly because of Casey’s ability to pitch it well.

In many ways, this makes it even more tragic that Casey chooses to run the organisation in the way he does. There’s such a huge opportunity to do something really, trully exceptional here. Unfortunately, it’s being stifled by the closed door, backroom politics style of leadership.

So here’s my question. Can we create the same magic in another network? Can we recreate that wonderful bohemian feeling in BeWelcome? Or CrashAtMine? Or a whole new network? Or is it something uniquely Casey that can’t easily be copied? Is it a quality that can’t be replicated?