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Tag Archive for 'sell_out'

501(c)(3)? Can Casey sell out?

The hottest thread in the Brainstorm group is probably the 501(c)(3) thread. The CS General Manager, the Volunteer Coordinator have posted, but apparently not with enough information to cast away doubts raised by a retired management consultant with plenty of experience with US law.

Apparently there is a way for Casey to sell out, as long as the bylaws are not sorted out properly. Of course, these are currently far away from public scrutiny.

As Callum wrote:

I think the key question for Casey / LT therefore is about the company byelaws. How was the company incorporated and are there any provisions for changing the company status? Without that information, I am of the opinion that if 501(c)(3) status is ever achieved, Casey could voluntarily remove that status, pay the relevant tax, and then sell CouchSurfing.

German article about Hospitality 2.0

For your interest: There is an arcticle about Couchsurfing in a German online magazin called Telepolis under the headline “Gastfreundschaft 2.0” (= “Hospitality 2.0″ – german only). I’ll try to summarize/translate some main points here. The article’s intention is more or less critical in a non-conventional way. So maybe there is something to learn out of it.

The author quotes the still not changed CS-Mission “Creating a better world” and starts with the following questions:

  • Is CS a globalization from the bottom, realising a cometogether of people solidly united from all over the world far beyond the leadership of profits?
  • Or is this all leading to a point where 270.000 people under the Couchsurfing logo will wake up with a hangover and have to realize that the party is over and they’re trained to be clients of another World Commerce Corporation?

After a general description of couchsurfing with some examples the author raises concerns, that a network like this is not spreading the idea of hospitality at all. On the one hand side the sophisticated criterias for searching and detailled profiles will bring only similar people to meet with eachother, excluding different people as a potential risk or at least too different. On the other hand side the networks could kill traditional hospitality, by replacing it with a technical solution or even worse simply with business models.

The author calls the CS Terms of Use a loud ticking bomb for everyone who is not deafening hisself because of enthusiasm about the idea. He recommend reading it and says he hasn’t read very often texts repeating in every thinkable detail the same thing: “We (the company) are allowed to do everything, you (the users) are not allowed to anything.”

A last quote (in bad translation):

“The thought, who obtrude the fan, the idea for this creepy conditions don’t suit the idea or the spirit of the community and are not invented from the founder of the CS-project, but from some mean consultants who talked him into it, should not calm down anyone: Very soon this kind of consultants will force him on selling to the highest bid. I for one haven’t found anything in the conditions, that would make such a buy-out difficult.”

My conclusion: Forget about CS corporation. Let’s save the idea. Which includes to think about the danger of creating networks connecting only similar people. Curiousity and openess has to be redefined and eked out everyday, that’s not a task for machines. At least if you want something else than clones of yourself.

Good night.