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Tag Archive for 'wiki'


It’s been in the pipeline for a while. In fact, I should have done this in 2006 ;) Still, now it’s 2009 and I’m happy to hereby announce

“WikiCouch is open to anyone and everyone. It is in keeping with the philosophy of inclusion and open hospitality. We believe in decentralized control, self-moderation and that everyone has something valuable to contribute.”

* Available under the Creative Commons ShareAlike Attribution license.
* Open for editing to anyone. You don’t have to log in – but it’s appreciated if you do – you can also log in with OpenID.
* Independent from the official CouchSurfing organization, but supportive the CouchSurfing community.
* Very soon: a version in French and in other languages if requested by the community.
* We have registered several domains, and there will be a discussion about the domain name where all participants are welcome to join.
* Several nice extensions are installed, and if needed I’ll be happy to install more.
* The costs of running a wiki are very low – to me. No worries about that, I’m happy to take care of the technical and financial aspects of the server.
* In the future we’ll have XML dumps for downloading.

Let me know if there are any issues. And… Enjoy!


CouchSurfing has been mostly offline the past 48 hours – due to a “power outage”. Great, especially now that I tried to organize my goodbye meeting in Trento.

Hint: don’t use MyISAM tables for mission-critical data. And try to get some MySQL support engineers working on it. Oh but wait, one year ago there actually was a MySQL support engineer that joined the Collective with money out of his own pocket and was working for CouchSurfing in his own spare time.

Now, since I am still blocked from the wiki that I founded, can someone please add the following text to

==Trento meeting 11th and 12th January==

Call +39 33 47 18 30 42 (Kasper).


Jim sets an good example

“For an good example check out the guide for Birmingham.” (sic!) Jim is still happily keeping up with the volunteer coordination (for 2000 US$/month). Unfortunately, doing this, he is encouraging volunteers to break copyright law. The text at the article on the CouchSurfing wiki about Birmingham looks a bit too similar to the article at Wikitravel.

My original intentions for the CS Guide were to make it into an alternative of Wikitravel, not a lower-quality spin-off. But if this is the direction chosen for the CS Guide I suggest using a Creative Commons ShareAlike Attribution license for the entire wiki (or at least for the Guide) instead waiting for legal action.

What happened to Chris?

I don’t really think it’s a great loss for CouchSurfing, but apparently Chris Burley is now a former “CouchSurfing Leader and core member of the Tech Team”.  The rules for “removal of Leadership Team members” are quite sincere. Now I know that Chris was embarking upon a wonderful study which would take quite some time, but that wouldn’t imply that he’d have to give up his role as a Leader and core member of the tech team. So, what happened, and why?

After Jay Wellingdon Couch invented the couch in the year 1895

't Must be said, one couch to burn is better than surfing

~ Oscar Wilde on CouchSurfing

After Jay Wellingdon Couch invented the couch in the year 1895 people have come up with many uses for this remarkable device. Couchsurfing is one of these: the act of taking a couch and jumping off a big cliff, usually they run after the visionary couch lemming. This is called “the mission”. For this reason Couchsurfers are not known for their old age. They usually tend to flock with other would-be couchsurfers in small congregations. Bigger congregations are also known to take place sometimes, which can have detrimental effects on the couch populations in some areas, especially in places where there is sea and lots of couches to steal. Anyone critical of the mission is usually thrown of the cliff anyway.

Some people just can't get enough

Some people just can’t get enough

There is even an organization and a website dedicated to this act of surfing couches, but most people on this website only watch other people surf with their couch. This is usually called interspecial understanding, though only few people really understand the deeper act of understanding other species.

Because not everyone owns a house next to the sea it is also allowed to burn yourself on other people’s couches. Couchsurfers frown upon financial transaction and judge each other on the “size” of their “couch”. Because of this, it is not a dating site.

Some couchsurfers are only just fakers and prefer Burning stuff. The Leadership Team of the organization are known for their yearly gathering at this festival. Sometimes they also practice the act of burning dog. During these events they often honour Host, the Greek god of hostility. The relationship between the visionary couch lemming and the leadership team is not quite clear, as the existence of them belongs more to realm of mythology – besides these, rare sightings of popes and cardinals carrying yellow flags and chanting hymns of the long-lost holy couch have been reported.

“Participate in creating a better burn, one couch at a time” – quote by visionary couch lemming, circa 2007 (unknown origin)

Tom Cruise showing Oprah how to properly use a couch.

Tom Cruise showing Oprah how to properly use a couch.

In 2007 a splinter group of unhappy couch surfers, led by Tom Cruise, started OpenCouchSurfing, a terrorist organization entering people’s homes to slice open couches and hide themselves for unexpecting old ladies. They made the news in many places, especially in Nelson, a picturesque little town also known as the Florida of New Zealand, where many old ladies where found dead – with their couches slit wide open. The crazed couch surfers become especially violent when they hear the phrases “No worries” and “You rock!” – or the now infamous “Big hugs” – a phrase bringing along a series of gory massacres across the globe after its introduction to couchsurfer lingo.

Other related notorious organizations are Hostility Club, BeHorny and CrashAtMines (aka CrashAMime), all of which serve the noble mission of hostility ie the act of worshiping Host.

From Uncyclopedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike NonCommercial license

Reviving an idea – Rideshare

During the CouchSurfing Collective in New Zealand several people had been working on a rideshare system. Unfortunately the CS volunteering environment is (was?) not the right place to do this. So I was happy when Meinhard today wrote something about a rideshare system in a chat. “Imagine a “lifts to Trento” box on your homepage!” For this we need to create some stuff:

We decided to put it at the Crash at Mine wiki, because it’s open, available under a free license and, well, Morgan is a laid back Ozzie. In the future we’ll probably have to move it elsewhere though, somehow Crash at Mine doesn’t seem appropriate for a rideshare system ;)

Launch of Open CouchSurfing – don’t panic

Welcome fellow couchsurfer. Perhaps you are wondering what this site is?

You’ve probably noticed that CouchSurfing has become a very big organisation. There are over 200.000 active profiles and 30.000 people log in every week. And there is no indication that the current rate of growth is going to slow down soon.

There are quite a few people within the CS organisation that feel that in order to sustain this growth, we need to have a more Open, Free and Inclusive organisation. Right now, the “top” of the CS organisation (admins) is a very closed and non-transparant structure. There is no direct representation, it is almost impossible to find out what is being discussed, there are no meeting notes publicly available, etc etc. CouchSurfing could easily become a much more open and representative organisation, if enough people want it to be. We are all volunteers for this organisation, simply by hosting people, organizing meetings and helping each other we make Couchsurfing into what it is. We should be included in every level of the decision making process and not be considered just users.

The current closed structure does not seem very good for CouchSurfing. Communication fails regularly, questions don’t or can’t get answered and there is often a sense of unilateral decision making. On a more practical level, the way the site development is being run is very inefficient, precisely because of the constant desire to keep things secret.

That’s why we turn to you. Help us make CouchSurfing the Open and Free organisation it can be. Get involved. Bring your ideas here and help us improve CouchSurfing.

You can start here (Wiki).