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First Ambassadors Webcast (Aug 23) - Questions here
Posted August 22nd, 2012 - 6:30 pm by from Emeryville, United States (Permalink)
Hey Ambassadors –

In light of the big announcement today, and as there’s a lot going on here at CS headquarters, it seems like a good time to have our first CS Ambassadors Webcasts.

Meredith (Communications Manager) and I will be going live tomorrow, Thursday, at 7PM and Friday at 7AM (local San Francisco times). If you have any questions about, well, anything (!) – this would be a great forum to ask.

If you can’t make either of these times, please don’t worry. We will record the video and will also transcribe the text so that everyone who can’t make it can still see and hear what we discuss. Also - please understand that this is a temporary communication solution. The technology might not be perfect (keep your fingers crossed!), but at least we’ll be able to connect in a more human way. I’ve had a great time meeting very many of you, and now, finally, I won’t have to be text on screen to everyone else.

So – Please go here for the webcast and use THIS THREAD to submit questions for us to answer. (You can begin submitting questions right now! Also note, you’ll probably have to open two tabs if you want to ask questions and watch the live video at the same time.)

Thanks all,
Bill

Posted August 22nd, 2012 - 7:03 pm from Bristol, England
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 1:25 am by from Emeryville, United States (Permalink)
Thanks Pat!
Anyone else??
& feel free to solicit questions from your non-Amb peers.

I'd rather not be looking at a blank screen...

Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 3:07 am from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 5:30 am by from Mumbai, India (Permalink)
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 6:40 am from Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 6:52 am by from Utrecht, Netherlands (Permalink)
I have asked these questions often before and always without an official answer; so here I go again :)

Who is responsible for the CS Wiki and what will happen to the content on it?

Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 7:42 am from Ascoli Piceno, Italy
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 7:44 am from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 8:32 am from Haarlem, Netherlands
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 9:30 am from Paris, France
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 10:11 am from London, England
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Posted November 24th, 2012 - 4:30 pm by from Lagos, Nigeria (Permalink)
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Posted November 24th, 2012 - 4:32 pm by from Lagos, Nigeria (Permalink)
I am so glad that you point all this out, TheMonkWithoutAFerrari.

Please, let stop random signups, lot of scam people are coming on board and if we can take most of the point raise by TheMonkWithoutAFerrari from Dubai, I think it will be perfect and give CS more confidence in anybody that wish to become new member.

Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 9:09 am from Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 9:26 am from Logonna-Daoulas, France
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 12:15 pm from Paris, France
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 11:42 am by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
Hi Bill.

I have gathered a few questions from non-ambassadors members.

Given the schedule of the video-conference (weekday, 4AM and 4PM in Central European Summer Time) is very unlikely that many people from Europe can make it. Nonetheless, I will post the questions here and hope somebody will answer to at least a few of them.

The first seems to be a very frequently asked one.

################


0) Which will be the Couchsurfing Inc. revenue model?


1) In consideration that it's thanks to the endless generosity of hosts who the site keeps on functioning (more or less), thus investor's money flowing: Where can this altruistic minds deposit their bank data to receive a *small* contribution of the freshly printed $15.000.000? Is it sufficient to send a CUQ?


2) How much is the data of a CS member worth? (From the perspective of the latest investor)


3) Will the Terms of Use (privacy issues etc.) of the new website be different from the present ones and if so, will users be able to opt out, that is, deny automatic migration to the new website?


4) When will CS finally stop deleting profiles of abusers together with their negative references?


5) How much did the amazing "upset servers" animation cost?


6) What happend to the New Hampshire scholarship/grant fund? How many scholarships have been funded in Year 1?


7) What percentage of CS do the new investors own?


8) What happened to the latest CS blog shut down at http://blog.couchsurfing.org where we were supposed to get all the latests news from headquarters?


9) Has Tony Espinoza acquiered any CouchSurfing experience now and where can we see his profile?


10) If $7.6 million and 6 dedicated developers got us a dumb app for smart phones rated 3.3 by users without the possiblity to view one's mail, read or post to groups or update any profile information, what kind of app will $ 15 million give us and will 6 more mobile app developers be hired?


################

Thank you for your time,
Piergi

Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 4:01 pm by from Lyon, France (Permalink)
Same kind of questions:

1) how do they expect to make a return of investment with all this money they spend on couchsurfing?

2) Where do they want to bring couchsuring in the next 5 years?

3) what the goal of all those new transformation:
Is the goal to get more and more users ?
I migh sound like an old prick, but 8 years ago, when you wanted to suggest a member to join the CS community there was a disclaimer: please only invite people who have the cs spirit. We want to preserve a little community with peopel that understand our mission than gather as much people as we can.
Honestly this kind of fade away => most people look for a couch, but don't intend to host.

4) Are we going to have a detail financial report on how those 15M will be spend?
I know cs keep saying that we are an organisation and that everything is transparent, but i neevr accessed easly where the money goes in details..; (money put in the rent of teh office in SF, slaries, , etc...) I know this probably have to do on the ergonomy of teh website, but if we coudl be sure to keep a clear picture on that kind of topic that would be ace.

5) a question to everyone that are implies and put money in our cs community (and i do thanks them for that) would be a good etstimony on : what is cs for them? how they define it ?

voila that would be my 2 euros cents.
Quiche

Oh yeah my bonus quetsin: Can we do a couchsurfing dating app? cause there are many single people in here, would be ace to date someone who actually like to travel :D

Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 4:29 pm from Seattle, United States
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 5:19 pm from Richmond, United States
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 7:26 pm from Bristol, England
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Posted August 23rd, 2012 - 8:03 pm by from Buffalo, United States (Permalink)
just a few questions:

how does cs corp plan on keeping the community quality instead of quantity? or if there is to be quantity, then how to educate and welcome in new members to the cs culture and philosophy?

how will you get new members to take the organizations ideals seriously?

will cs have a revolutionary official culture or philosophy in the future as in the past, or will they try to dumb down the organization to make it more user friendly?

how will you make the site more user friendly to people that don't speak english as a primary language?

how are they planning on making money off me in the future?


have they ever thought about writing a cs handbook?

will the bcorp donate any of their profits to charity? will we see a financial report?


can we have a real information based newsletter that lasts longer than like 3 seconds?


what will the new site be like? what are the changes?

Posted August 24th, 2012 - 2:09 am by from Oakland, United States (Permalink)
These questions aren't specific to ambassadors but since ambassadors tend to create lots of events, I feel its quite relevant:

Can we make a Couch Crash event tool with easy to use sub-events, a calendar, and simple communication among organizers?

Can we allow organizers to make changes to their events within 24 hours of the start time?

Please fix the activities/events pages. If possible, can we compromise between the 2 systems somehow? Having 2 separate events systems is a little annoying.

Posted August 24th, 2012 - 2:24 am from Managua, Nicaragua
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Posted August 24th, 2012 - 1:33 am by from Auckland, New Zealand (Permalink)
I'm currently waiting on some couch surfers to arrive and we may head off for the weekend so unsure if will be able to watch the live feed but I do have a couple of questions...

1. If we know an amb. who has both verbally and physically assaulted women plus digitally stalked them to the point they are too scared to call the authorities, should CS be turning a blind eye due to the fact no police report is filed against them and their apparent status within CS(this includes being a mod for many groups including, City, Country and region)?

2. What's going on with "contact us"? I've sent half a dozen comments/questions within the last month via there, yet not get a single answer or result back(are these actually going to someone???)!!!


Posted August 24th, 2012 - 1:43 am by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
Hey guys,

Getting ready to go, see you in about 20 minutes! We've got our fingers crossed that the video will work; it's not exactly state-of-the-art but hopefully it'll make it through the hour.

We're going to try to answer all of the above questions. Feel free to add more and we will see how many we can get through.

Meredith

Posted August 24th, 2012 - 1:45 pm by from Emeryville, United States (Permalink)
Hi again everyone. Gearing up for round 2. Going on in ~15. See you soon!
-B

Posted August 24th, 2012 - 1:58 pm from Logonna-Daoulas, France
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Posted August 24th, 2012 - 1:58 pm from Logonna-Daoulas, France
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Posted August 24th, 2012 - 2:01 pm by from Cairo, Egypt (Permalink)
On Board from Egypt..
It's working fine

Posted August 24th, 2012 - 2:04 pm from Ascoli Piceno, Italy
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Posted August 24th, 2012 - 2:03 pm from Logonna-Daoulas, France
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Posted August 24th, 2012 - 2:23 pm from Bantul, Indonesia
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Posted August 24th, 2012 - 2:39 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
There's no limit to viewers, sorry to hear that it's not working for you! We'll try to learn more about the technology for next time...

Posted August 24th, 2012 - 2:57 pm by from Cairo, Egypt (Permalink)
As long as it gonna be a major upgrade for Couchsurfing either in the website design, tools, amb. program, or whatever else..

So.. Could you please briefly summerize or develope (even later as a minute of meeting) in two forms of business plan and action plan what gonna happen ?

For instance..enhancing current tools or developing new tools.. As long as the upgrade gonna be gradually, so according to the action plan, we'll know what's the next tool(s) gonna be developed. All of us will focus our efforts on this tool(s) instead of brainstorming in everything at same time.

To be cont.

Posted August 24th, 2012 - 3:00 pm from Pompano Beach, United States
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Posted August 24th, 2012 - 2:43 pm from Logonna-Daoulas, France
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Posted August 24th, 2012 - 2:53 pm from Ascoli Piceno, Italy
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Posted August 24th, 2012 - 3:00 pm by from Auckland, New Zealand (Permalink)
Thanks for your answers.
I don't wanna bug individual members so I'll keep trying the "contact us" till it either works or given an alt method.

As to the safety question, could a link be posted up with the updated process for such instances.
I wouldn't want to distress the people again about this particular Amb.(those that would rather forget him), but I can try and get one particular person to come forward, as is someone I'd believe would be great as a(if she chooses to accept)Amb. But as long as the other Amb is still about, I know that would be too tormenting for them...

Posted August 24th, 2012 - 4:42 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
Hi Thomas,

I've made a number of recommendations about how to better communicate (in the upgraded site and email systems) to members what to do in case of a negative experience; the Safety Team and I are also working on an update to the information in the Safety Center.

As for the particular case, make sure to contact Bill and share the information with him, if you haven't already. As he said in the call, he feels strongly about maintaining ethical standards in the Ambassador program.

Meredith

Posted August 29th, 2012 - 4:00 am from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted August 29th, 2012 - 8:11 am from Logonna-Daoulas, France
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Posted August 30th, 2012 - 7:16 am from Los Angeles, United States
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Posted August 30th, 2012 - 8:21 am from Bristol, England
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Posted August 30th, 2012 - 8:26 am by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
Yes, please post the promised transcripts and recordings.
Thanks.

Posted August 30th, 2012 - 11:45 am by from Marseille, France (Permalink)
Yes, please, a short summary...
Thx a lot
Daniel

Posted August 30th, 2012 - 12:48 pm from Managua, Nicaragua
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Posted August 31st, 2012 - 1:44 am from Fort Worth, United States
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Posted September 4th, 2012 - 8:12 am from Ascoli Piceno, Italy
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Posted September 5th, 2012 - 11:35 am by from Perth, Australia (Permalink)
I'm curious too to see what was discussed during the webcast.

Any eta on the transcript?

Posted September 6th, 2012 - 5:45 pm by from Emeryville, United States (Permalink)
@Claudia - Aware of those concerns. I agree with most of what you say.

@Arika - Yes. I'll give much more notice next time. Shooting for late September for next webcast. (To correspond, roughly, with site upgrade.)

@Daniel - Working on it. I should be done before end of this week. And I'll definitely file this under "lessons learned" for the next webcast. It takes a lot of work to get all the follow-up together (that includes transcripts).

-B

Posted September 6th, 2012 - 5:49 pm from Mannheim, Germany
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Posted September 11th, 2012 - 3:05 pm from Seattle, United States
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 6:29 pm by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
Tomorrow we celebrate the third week.

At this point, I am afraid two possibilities are appearing:

1. either they need to heavily edit the content of the webcast (for whatever reason)
2. or they are hoping we just forget about it (it wouldn't be the first time).

Please someone (Bill?) prove me wrong, hopefully posting a link to the recording.

Posted September 11th, 2012 - 1:44 pm from London, England
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Posted September 17th, 2012 - 11:38 am from Logonna-Daoulas, France
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Posted September 19th, 2012 - 7:05 pm from Mannheim, Germany
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Posted September 21st, 2012 - 11:56 pm by from Emeryville, United States (Permalink)
Hey all -

There's no excuse for the delay on this - it's just requiring long hours to get it all together. The transcription is almost to 30 pages and still not quite complete. I'm also figuring out how to host the video and audio files (Groups can't accomodate multimedia) and it needs to be in a way that's easily accessible to everyone. Anyway - I realize the excuse isn't worth much. Just want to say that I'm really sorry I had to deprioritize this over the past weeks.

I also promised another webcast in 5-6 weeks -- ~4 weeks ago. So that's rapidly approaching. I'll alert everyone as far in advance as possible, but please take note that a second webcast will probably happen in the first or second week in October. I think Meredith will be out this time around and I'll pull in someone from the Engineering Team. I'm sure you want to talk about Privacy, which makes sense. We also need to discuss site upgrade & amb program.

-B

Posted September 22nd, 2012 - 8:48 am by from Perth, Australia (Permalink)
Couldn't any multimedia be stored on a Google drive and linked to from a group post?

Posted September 22nd, 2012 - 2:55 pm from Paris, France
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Posted September 22nd, 2012 - 11:06 pm from New York, United States
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Posted September 24th, 2012 - 3:47 am from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted September 24th, 2012 - 3:22 pm from Seattle, United States
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Posted September 26th, 2012 - 7:49 am from Los Angeles, United States
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Posted October 5th, 2012 - 12:55 am from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted October 12th, 2012 - 10:22 pm from Welcome Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
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Posted October 16th, 2012 - 12:29 pm by from Perth, Australia (Permalink)
We're getting close to three months from the original post in this thread.

Posted October 17th, 2012 - 10:50 am from Logonna-Daoulas, France
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Posted October 22nd, 2012 - 3:47 pm by from Lyon, France (Permalink)
We need at least a reply from Bill and Meredith.

No communication, again.

Posted October 26th, 2012 - 5:05 am from Mannheim, Germany
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Posted November 4th, 2012 - 10:58 am by from Bratislava, Slovakia (Permalink)
I agree with the_juanderer's opinion.

Let's make a AMB FAQ, so we could get answers to our questions earlier.

Bill, if you already have a video, just make a youtube channel for a private group, and post the link here.
thanks

Posted November 7th, 2012 - 1:50 pm by from Perth, Australia (Permalink)
If you are after an amb FAQ, I would suggest having a look at this archived group

http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=20198

and this is the categorized library to go with it

http://wiki.couchsurfing.org/en/Q_%26_A_Info_-_Ambassadors

Posted November 8th, 2012 - 3:46 am from Managua, Nicaragua
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Posted November 8th, 2012 - 10:00 am from Miami, United States
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Posted November 8th, 2012 - 10:59 am from Managua, Nicaragua
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Posted November 10th, 2012 - 7:45 am from Royken, Norway
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Posted November 10th, 2012 - 8:01 am by from Perth, Australia (Permalink)
I can't speak for the current CS management, but I can try to answer those questions based on when I was last involved in the ambassador coordination.

- What is an ambassador?

Ambassadors are the active members of the community, they are the ones organising events, helping other members be active in the community (or doing what else they want to keep the communities active) and making the community what it is.
If you want a short simple answer, an ambassador is a cheerleader.


- Does CS want to have ambassadors at all?

Yes CS does want ambassadors, as they are the active members of the CS community. Without active members, there is no community and with no community there is no CS.


- Why does CS have ambassadors and what for?

See above.


- What kind of ambassadors does CS want to have?

Active ambassadors


- Does CS want to have ambassadors everywhere, on a global scale?

Yes, the idea is to have ambassadors all over the world, in any area that there are CS members.


- How to become an ambassador?

It had been planned that it would all be automated, so any member can just fill in a simple online form to be an ambassador.
For now though, contact Bill.


- When will it be finally possible to add new people again?

Right now, Bill should be able to add new ambassadors right now.


- What is expected of an ambassador?

To be active in the community, organising events, attending events and by just being an active CS member.


- How does CS support and motivate volunteering ambassadors?

Good question...
I had a range of programs that were going to be run to support and motivate the ambassadors, but I am sure Bill has some ideas on this.

Posted November 10th, 2012 - 12:07 pm from Managua, Nicaragua
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Posted November 5th, 2012 - 1:35 pm from London, England
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Posted November 5th, 2012 - 3:02 pm from Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Posted November 5th, 2012 - 3:21 pm by from Utrecht, Netherlands (Permalink)
It looks like the whole homebase went on vacation together, I can't find any of them who has logged in the last two days...

Posted November 5th, 2012 - 4:16 pm from Mannheim, Germany
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Posted November 9th, 2012 - 8:15 am from Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Posted November 10th, 2012 - 12:40 am from Miami, United States
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Posted November 13th, 2012 - 8:50 am from Batu Ferringhi, Malaysia
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Posted November 21st, 2012 - 6:03 pm by from Utrecht, Netherlands (Permalink)
Almost 3 months further now...

Posted November 22nd, 2012 - 9:11 am by from Perth, Australia (Permalink)
As Jasper has pointed out, we are nearing 3 months on this.

There is a chance that this may have been forgotten about by those in charge.

Now I am not asking people to over react, but looking at the group description, there is an email address that members can write to:

"Questions? Concerns? Please email Ambassadors@CouchSurfing.com"


Posted November 23rd, 2012 - 3:11 pm from Miami, United States
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Posted November 24th, 2012 - 6:29 am by from Perth, Australia (Permalink)
Michael you are right. I forgot to add in the mailto part of the link. Given that it is an email address and not a web page just clicking on it won't work.

Posted February 26th, 2013 - 5:35 pm from Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Posted November 24th, 2012 - 7:03 pm from San Jose, United States
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Posted November 25th, 2012 - 8:25 am by from Perth, Australia (Permalink)
I believe you can find the webcast and/or transcript here
http://goo.gl/QMET

Posted November 25th, 2012 - 8:44 am by from Utrecht, Netherlands (Permalink)
Somehow I had imagined Bill to look different...

Posted November 25th, 2012 - 9:40 am from Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Posted November 26th, 2012 - 12:46 am from San Jose, United States
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Posted November 26th, 2012 - 5:54 am by from Tampa, United States (Permalink)
I think this is an ongoing problem, but it's not because we are "ambassadors" but rather, unpaid staff, ie volunteers. As I have posted before, my experience in the nonprofit sector tells me that corporations which are for profit should not profit from unpaid staff. While companies often employ unpaid interns as trainees, I fail to see how an experienced, passionate - and might I add hardworking professional - ambassador/volunteer could be construed as a trainee. For nonprofits, it doesn't matter because it is a donation of a professional's time to a cause, which smart nonprofits can actually calculate as part of our bottom line. I think that the way around this is to offer stipends or some kind of incentives to ambassadors. As we know, CS is successful largely because of the PEOPLE involved - paid or not. That's what I love about CS.

Posted November 26th, 2012 - 6:53 am from New York, United States
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Posted December 6th, 2012 - 10:31 am from Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Posted December 10th, 2012 - 11:21 am from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted December 13th, 2012 - 12:46 pm by from Perth, Australia (Permalink)
whoops, an accidental bump

Posted December 14th, 2012 - 8:15 am from Los Angeles, United States
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Posted December 15th, 2012 - 4:06 pm by from Perth, Australia (Permalink)
You are right Edward, there really are no "accidental" bumps.

Soon this thread will be going for a third of a year. Maybe we could start running a poll on when think there will finally be that mysterious transcript.

Posted December 15th, 2012 - 4:35 pm from Burlington, United States
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Posted December 15th, 2012 - 9:39 pm by from Miami, United States (Permalink)
This post has been removed by the user.

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Posted December 16th, 2012 - 12:55 pm from London, England
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Posted December 16th, 2012 - 1:05 pm by from Copenhagen, Denmark (Permalink)
It does not matter so much to me that I do not get a transcript. It is more important to me that people keep their promises, or give a good explanation when they are not going to keep it, at least when they find out it is actually important to someone.

Posted December 18th, 2012 - 9:16 am from London, England
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Posted December 18th, 2012 - 11:19 am from Lisboa, Portugal
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Posted December 27th, 2012 - 11:42 pm from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted December 30th, 2012 - 10:11 pm from Victoria, Canada
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Posted February 28th, 2013 - 12:28 am by from Emeryville, United States (Permalink)
Hey all -

Merci and I got an email from Theresa reminding us about this - so it makes sense for me to publicly address. The most important thing: I'm very sorry that I dropped the ball on this!

A number of factors contributed -- mostly, it was a particularly busy time for the team here (and me in particular, if I remember correctly) and I made the decision to prioritize other matters. I think it was postponed for such a long time that eventually the project died on the vine and never made sense to bring back from the grave. And it seems really clear that I didn't communicate effectively throughout the process.

At this point, it doesn't make sense to continue to revisit. But I do apologize for the failed communication and so please accept the big time mea culpa from me.

Thanks for understanding & happy surfing,
-B

Posted February 28th, 2013 - 12:30 am by from Emeryville, United States (Permalink)
And I'm happy to stay connected about this or other matters. Just PM me!

Posted February 28th, 2013 - 1:30 am from Auckland, New Zealand
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Posted February 28th, 2013 - 12:30 am from Managua, Nicaragua
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Posted February 28th, 2013 - 1:16 am from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted February 28th, 2013 - 1:53 am by from Montreal, Canada (Permalink)
Thank you Bill!