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Tag Archive for 'OpenCouchSurfing'

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More CouchSurfing Censorship

Not content with blocking Kasper from the Wiki for a week, Jim Stone has now made the block indefinite. Furthermore, he has removed sysop (admin) rights from myself, Phauly, Tgoorden, and Calum (not me, another one!).

It seems that Jim wants to keep all the power for himself. No longer will he be sharing his Wiki admin rights with us mere CouchSurfing Corporation Customers, no, no, no. He’s a paid member of staff now, he’s special… :)

It’s a little ironic, I was thinking about unblocking Kasper from the Wiki, but I decided it would be better to try and talk it out with Jim. With hindsight, perhaps that was a mistake. Jim apparently ain’t one for talking.

CouchSurfing – An Equal Opportunities Employer

According to the job spec for the new CouchSurfing Lead Software Architect, CouchSurfing is an equal opportunities employer. Yeah right.

The position is “contract at-will” under US law apparently. This means either party can terminate the arrangement, at any time, for any reason. In other words, this means absolutely zero job security. If the verification propaganda starts to fail, and members stop donating money, you can bet the paid developer will be the first person to get fired.

The person is expected to work 40+ hours per week, 6 days per week. According to the spec, the position will be “an amazing opportunity for adventure”. Of course the unlucky candidate won’t have any time for such adventures as they’ll be on their computer 6 days a week working for CouchSurfing.

My condolences to whomever is unfortunate enough to be given this job.

CouchSurfing is Hiring

It was announced yesterday that CouchSurfing is seeking to hire a full time developer. They’ve just hired two core volunteers (Jim Stone and Mattthew Brauer). Where are they getting all this cash from? If they’re each paid $2’000 USD a month, between those three and Casey, that makes $96’000 a year.

So the CouchSurfing Corporation is finally starting to pay off…

The CouchSurfing Censorship Plot Thickens

I learned today that Jim Stone blocked Kasper’s account 4 weeks after Kasper moved the pages in question. As I suspected, without warning, discussion or otherwise. In typical CouchSurfing Corporation Style.  Glad to see Jim is settling into his new job, getting the hang of how CouchSurfing runs things. He’ll fit right in.

CouchSurfing Censors Strike Again

Kasper (long standing CouchSurfing volunteer, founder of the CouchSurfing Wiki, ex CouchSurfing Tech Team Leader) was recently blocked from the CouchSurfing Wiki. Jim Stone (newly hired CouchSurfing staff member) explained the reasons on this group post.

Jim says that Kasper blanked a bunch of pages, then posted links to another web site. In other words, Kasper moved content from one Wiki to another. Kasper explained that he felt the content was more appropriate on the other Wiki.

In typical CouchSurfing fashion, there was no discussion, no explanation, no consultation, Jim simply blocked Kasper’s account. Gotta love dictatorships huh?! :)

CouchSurfing Disappointments

Today I’m reminded of my time in Nelson, New Zealand. I went there, at my own expense, to volunteer for CouchSurfing. When I arrived, I found a job that was urgent. The servers badly needed upgraded, they were very out of date. I researched the situation, investigated a solution, figured out how to do what was required. Then I needed some information from Casey Fenton. I met with Joe and Casey and Casey agreed to pass the information to Joe the following day.

My work was dependent on this information. The information never came. To the best of my knowledge, this information was never given to Joe. My time was wasted.

Unfortunately, I feel this summarises the CouchSurfing “Visionary Leader”. Casey is a great talker, a very friendly guy. When speaking with him you feel like you’re genuinely connecting. However, beyond that connection, in my view, there is no substance. I think Casey is a politician, he tells you what he thinks you want to hear, then he does whatever he was going to do anyway.

It saddens me that CouchSurfing has so many great users and yet such a poor organisational structure. I hope networks like BeWelcome and CrashAtMine will lead to better things.

The CouchSurfing Corporation

Warning: This post contains sarcasm, read it at your own risk. You have been warned.

CouchSurfing recently announced that they have hired two new staff. As we’ve come to expect, there were no interviews, no positions advertised, no visible application process. Instead, Casey invited two of his close friends to join him in receiving a salary from CouchSurfing.

In other news, Chris Burley said in a recent group post, “I wish you the best with democracy, it is known that it tends to crush minority voices. Besides, the majority rarely knows best.” Wow, that’s an interesting statement. But we all knew CouchSurfing isn’t a democracy, didn’t we? Now we do.

One might suggest Chris is in danger of falling foul of the US Patriot Act if he’s not careful. ;-)

I’ve Been Fired!

This morning I woke up to find an email in my inbox telling me that my volunteer services are no longer required by CouchSurfing.

Apparently I have “fundamental differences in ideology and communication styles”. I’ve asked for clarification on that, fundamentally different from whom. I’m not holding my breath for an answer!

One thing was stated clearly in the email, CouchSurfing is not going open source. Not now, not any time soon. So at last the OpenCouchSurfing campaign has received one answer. That’s real progress I think.

Interesting times… :)

A Sad Day for CouchSurfing

At least three volunteer developers have resigned from the CouchSurfing Tech Team on account of the new NDA that all volunteers will be required to sign.

The new NDA includes a non-compete clause preventing volunteers from working with any other travel or social networks. It also requires that volunteers transfer their Intellectual Property rights to CouchSurfing International Inc.

I heard that somebody describe it perfectly, they said “it’s not volunteering, it’s slavery”. is Back is back online after almost 20 hours of down time.

This downtime was especially frustrating for a number of reasons.

1) It was unannounced. Even on the public developers list, there was no forewarning of the upgrade. No doubt travellers were left stranded while the site was down for almost a full day.

2) It clearly wasn’t planned well enough. There are so many willing and skilled volunteers who could have helped with this upgrade, if it weren’t for CouchSurfing’s ludicrous NDA.

I warmly encourage you to take action now, join the campaign, sign the petition.