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Tony Espinoza (CEO) Discussion - Week 6
Posted April 16th, 2013 - 2:34 am from San Francisco, United States
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Posted April 16th, 2013 - 5:43 am from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted April 16th, 2013 - 6:52 am from Perth, Australia
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Posted April 16th, 2013 - 9:33 am from Saint-Brieuc, France
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Posted April 16th, 2013 - 10:13 am by from Playa del Carmen, Mexico (Permalink)
Hello Tony.
I try my best to follow your weekly "threads" but sometimes I arrive late and miss some "episodes".
please forgive me in advance If I miss some points.

1) I sent you an email requesting to contact you directly on Skype some time ago but no reply.
2) I am wondering if you really want to solve the "geographical" issues you have with the CS world mapping or not.
Why don't you assign a "Paid" person from CS team to gather all info about Geographical mistakes, making a campaign asking input from all over the world and to fix these issues.
it is really a shame because as a mainly "travelling" site, having geography properly set should be a priority to any other "cosmetic" feature.
3) I received the "ambassador" package last week.
Interesting to see the wristbands with the CS logo but not sure how I should use them. It's a pure marketing feature so I just give them out right?
Just for your information, I am amongst one of the hardcore event organizers in Europe.
We organize big events (reaching easily 300 participants) and we buy T shirts and wristbands.
In the past when I met Casey Fenton I asked why CS couldn't centralize the production of wristbands or tshirts for couchsurfing events and he said it was a legal issue because of the "no profit" status.
Is there still a legal issue with that now that we are BCorp?
what I am trying to say is: Massimo, Florian, Zuli, Leandro, Andras, Aga, Tom, Don etc each organize big events in their city. They all have to find a company who produces wristbands and Tshirts and pay them in advance.
What if CS with their immense investment funds (sorry for being ironic here) contacts ONE producer, gets a very good price from them and puts in contact the above mentioned organizers with this producer and send the wristbands and Tshirst with the Event logo and the CS logo?
we would all save a lot of money and CS would have a much better marketing than now...
I work in sales for over 10 years (i even applied for a position in CS...) and I cannot believe you haven't thought of it.

4)This is part of what I wanted to tell you privately but I can anticipate it publicly too.
CS has a biiiiig potential in very active and experienced CSers (as myself).
Many have been Pissed Off (not sure if that is too vulgar...sorry if it is but I am not usually a politically correct person! :) ) by the recent CS changes and happenings and have either left CS for another Site or simply stopped being active.
What to do with the ones still here? do you want to take advantage of their experience and knowledge and energy or do you want to consider them just as one among the others?
I think it would be stupid not to take advantage of these precious people. It would be stupid to keep a Ferrari in your garage sitting next to the lawnmower and maybe using it LESS than the lawnmower itself...

Posted April 16th, 2013 - 12:22 pm from Athens, Greece
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Posted April 16th, 2013 - 12:28 pm from Athens, Greece
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Posted April 16th, 2013 - 6:44 pm from Managua, Nicaragua
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Posted April 16th, 2013 - 8:53 pm from Paris, France
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Posted April 17th, 2013 - 12:51 am from San Francisco, United States
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Posted April 17th, 2013 - 3:09 am from Edwardsville, United States
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Posted April 17th, 2013 - 6:20 am from Athens, Greece
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Posted April 17th, 2013 - 7:10 am from Miami, United States
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Posted April 17th, 2013 - 4:43 pm by from Uzice, Serbia (Permalink)
Thanks for the new navigation. Hope it will make it easier for people to use the site. I'm still getting used to having to use the left side of the navigation panel :)

Is it possible to have a direct link to our home page (https://www.couchsurfing.org/home) and not the place page? I mean both the couchsurfing icon and the home take us to our place page. One could at least get me to the dashboard which shows almost everything I'm interested in when I log in and what I consider to be 'home'. (I know I have it in the navigation bar!)


When logging in, we are taken to our 'home' page which still doesn't show unread/received messages nor couch requests, so many of my friends keep on telling me that they didn't receive any message from me because they log in, see there are no numbers above the messages or the couch, so they assume nothing came through and they log out. I have to keep on telling them to actually HAVE TO check their CS inbox/couchmanager to see the true status of received messages and couch requests (apart from the bug showing numbers when there are no unread messages!)


'Find a place' search box is available only when on the Place page meaning I have to go back to my 'home' page every time I want to search for places. The 'where would you like to go' box was there no matter which page I was on.


Geolocations pages make no sense because they are not connected to country groups and literally no one ever goes checking them and the threads created are by newbies who don't know that country groups do exist and that their questions would certainly get answers if posted on the right place. Not to mention that some countries are not even there, for example when searching for Kosovo it re-directs you to the Skopje Area?! I DO hope that geographic issues get the same amount of attention and priority as the Surf/Host engine does now, honestly!!

Posted April 17th, 2013 - 6:07 pm from Edwardsville, United States
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Posted April 17th, 2013 - 10:11 pm from San Francisco, United States
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Posted April 18th, 2013 - 12:07 am by from Uzice, Serbia (Permalink)
What is the key info or links you need from the classic dashboard? We will build a new dashboard sometime later this year, so this would be great to know.

In the meantime, have you considered bookmarking the dashboard for yourself?


Classic dashboard IS my home page. I like the fact that I can see surfers looking for a host, surf report, pending friend requests and events calendar plus search bar for easy finding members, activities and groups and what not all in one place. I believe I wouldn't like to see missing any of it with the new dashboard ;-/

I have TOO MANY bookmarks, so I'd be loosing time searching for the ones I need when I already have it in the navigation bar. 2 clicks instead of one. Guess I'm just too lazy :)

The icons for Couch Requests and Messages should always show the latest unread messages! Are you seeing this in your account or can you point me to a member that’s seeing it? We need to fix this bug ASAP.

They don't show when I log in, at least not when I'm using Mozzila. Just checked it with Chrome and it's fine. My friend checks the site on his mobile phone and it also doesn't show when he logs in.
Anyway, my inbox shows 2 unread messages and when I choose 'show only unread messages' it shows none. I can send screen shots if needed.

This is a technical issue. That new Places search bar is written in the new Rails system. Pages like CouchSearch are in the classic PHP system. In June we’ll move the equivalent of both those tabs (Find a Couch and Host a Traveler) into the new Rails system and then showing the search bar everywhere will be an option.

Longer term we’d like to get that search bar to be universal. For example, if you type the name of a friend or someone you’ve been messaging with, it should take you to their profile. It should also show you threads that are related to your search, not just Place pages. I expect to get to building this sort of feature in the second half of 2013.


Nice. Looking forward to it.

Absolutely. Geography is a big priority. Starting May 1 we will have a dedicated group where the team will post changes being made in real time and also take feedback from the community on how to improve geography. It will be an ongoing process.

I know Country and Region Pages don’t don’t look like much now (8 posts in Serbia), but when we get this working later this summer I think it will be a valuable resource. In the meantime, do you think we should turn off those conversations?

The team fixed the Kosovo problem before I told them (I’m not the only one learning here).


There have been some changes in the meantime indeed. My city has finally got its place page and most of the places around are merged well except a few and I'd be happy to work on it and get it fixed.

But, still there are a lot of things I don't get like when typing Kosovo, Macedonia or Albania I get to the capital city place pages, but when I type Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro or Slovenia it takes me to the country page..?!

If the country groups get taken over by the country pages, then I assume we'd be able to follow them too, otherwise there's no point in having both. As for now I think the conversations should be turned off because they probably make people frustrated because nobody answers them (at least that's the sensation I got after checking many geolocations pages). Maybe a line saying - check the country group and a link to groups would help them more (for now). Anyway, from my so far experience country groups have always been less used than city groups.


Thanks.








Posted April 18th, 2013 - 7:16 am from Athens, Greece
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Posted April 18th, 2013 - 10:28 am from Saint-Brieuc, France
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Posted April 18th, 2013 - 7:33 am from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted April 18th, 2013 - 8:17 am from London, England
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Posted April 18th, 2013 - 11:31 am from Hannover, Germany
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Posted April 18th, 2013 - 4:31 pm from Edwardsville, United States
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Posted April 18th, 2013 - 7:38 pm from San Francisco, United States
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Posted April 18th, 2013 - 10:33 pm by from Uzice, Serbia (Permalink)
Great to see the list. I will make sure we build the new dash with this in mind.

You can see for yourself what's on the current dashboard: https://www.couchsurfing.org/home
Though I guess others might prefer other things added/taken away.. I find it a useful place :)

I just verified on my machine in both Windows and Mac versions of Firefox that the icons in the nav bar correctly indicate when I have messages.

What version of Mozilla?

Yes, please clear your cache and send me screen shots.


Cleared the cache and sent you the screen shots.

Great. Please let me know how best we can continue to adjust.

I have already sent a suggestion for Serbia, but honestly I and everyone else would be happy if the geo problems wouldn't have to be adjusted but solved. As already said - it's a shame a travel site has such a lame geography!


And I also second the idea of letting everyone know about the forthcoming changes or already made ones either through blog posts, a pop-up window when logging in or even better emails, if not every time than from time to time, something like - Hey, we've changed some things on the site. Check what's new! I know changes happen often now, not even I can follow them nor notice every single one, so finding out about them should bring more good than bad whether one wants to get email about it or not. For example Photobucket sends me emails every time there's a new tool, an upgrade, a change, whatever, so I'm always up-to-date.




Posted April 18th, 2013 - 10:34 pm from Athens, Greece
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Posted April 18th, 2013 - 10:55 pm from Saint-Brieuc, France
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Posted April 19th, 2013 - 10:00 am from Los Angeles, United States
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Posted April 19th, 2013 - 3:40 pm by from Copenhagen, Denmark (Permalink)
I agree the history is very important. Just a few days ago I had two people that wanted to get in touch with each other after an event, and without the history I could not have found their profiles.

Posted April 19th, 2013 - 8:11 pm from San Francisco, United States
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Posted April 19th, 2013 - 10:58 pm from Managua, Nicaragua
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Posted April 20th, 2013 - 8:35 am from Miami, United States
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Posted April 22nd, 2013 - 1:55 am from Melbourne, Australia
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