• ...in Couchsurfing.

    Curious to start a discussion, and hoping it will result in renewed faith in this project. I'm going to assume some of y'all are in the same boat. For me, it began before the site change, the incorporation and all that jazz. I've become less active in the community over the course of the last year and a half. Let me be clear -- this is NOT a smear on the local community. Rather, it's more on how the breadth and scope of the project has become so wide as to, in my opinion, water down the quality of its outputs.

    Many of us have seen a fast decline after the new boards were implemented, which took away many (all?) of the oversight from local ambassadors. Now it appears as if CS has truly become all about the one thing it has always claimed it shouldn't be: a free place to stay. Nothing more. There is a lot of entitlement exhibited by many new members in the way they post direct to the wall instead of sending couch requests. However, I'll even give some benefit of the doubt that the new site does format encourages them to do so.

    Basically, I'm asking for your stories. Are the majority of you still having the sort of high-caliber experiences you had when you first joined? I'm not referring to good times currently had with CS friends-turned-best buddies. I have met some of my best friends through CS, but I wouldn't continue categorize those as "CS experiences".

    I suppose I've become a bit disheartened over time with something that used to bring such excitement and joy to me. I surfed, traveled and hosted in the full CS spirit, had fantastic experiences that far surpassed my expectations, and was inspired to fork over the hospitality in return. In more recent times, I find it exceedingly difficult to find co-travelers or hosts when I travel. The surfing requests I receive are bland and uninspired.

    I've lost the spirit :(. Change my mind.
    I joined a couple of years back, but was not really active in the community until only recently. So, I'm not really sure what it was like before, and what's changed since? Out of curiosity, what was different before the change? I hope you regain your spirit in either case, it's a great concept and a great community.
    I personally have found a significant change in the calibre of requests I get and the experiences I have had. I've not had a CS'er stay on my couch because the requests I get are "I want a free place to stay. Can I stay on your couch?" This isn't necessarily a reflection of the new format, although it certainly does encourage that. I am seeing a lot more posting happening on the main boards/walls looking for couches instead of well thought out, informative requests.

    I find, in the past, I had the best of times when I was traveling finding groups to meet up with while overseas, but am struggling lately. I don't know if perhaps it's me, and am starting to get a complex! haha :)

    I certainly do agree with you though- things have changed, at least in my perspective.


    I am new to CS and have yet to host through cs (though i have hosted many others outside of CS) and have yet to be hosted.

    I thought it might be good for you to see that some people are still joining CS in the origional CS spirit (as I understand it to be from those I have spoken to and posts I have read)

    I joined CS because I want to see the world, the people and the places for what they really are. To understand and to appreciate the cultural differences and different ways of thinking about things. I cant think of a better way to travel than to meet and engage with the people in that country and even better if that person is willing to spend some time with you and show you their country through their eyes. Perhaps this is now an idilic view of CS but I hope not.

    Well I hope I have begun to show you that not all those new to CS are just trying to freeload. I hope you continue in the community because I think people with this mentality are the only ones that will kep the community alive.

    Good luck
    Thanks for you replies, everyone. I appreciate it. I'm glad to hear that old and new members alike are forging positive experiences.

    Where are you traveling these days, Alissa? I haven't seen you in Boston since last fall at my nacho party :) . It sounds like you've been have a great time bouncing around. Are you teaching ESL as you go? I'll be freeing myself from the corporate reigns this year, and SO excited to get out into the world again.

    Faye- Best wishes as you start up your CS adventures. I hope I did not discourage you too much! It's just a bit of a different ball game now, but I wish you the best of experiences.
    Dear Broo -
    do not get discouraged or disheartened. Life is a journey and everything changes. You are probably a different person now than when you joined this community and started having these great experiences. Believe me when I tell you that you do not see or feel things the same way as the years go by.
    However, I do feel this is a great concept and it should go forth and be supported by people of courage, integrity, vision, and awareness. Your past great experiences should serve as a shining example of how this site and this community should continue to operate.
    One must keep the flames, even add new timber, to keep the fire of the great thing going.
    I think this is a worthy idea and those of you and us who believe it it, must keep up the fundamental support. If you get posts on the boards which are thoughtless and careless - ignore them.
    If you get thoughtful and meaningful requests from surfers, then respond to them and have the best experience you can possibly have.
    Perhaps the proliferation of various online sites and groups has diluted the meaningfulness of this endeavor, but carry on!

    I would love if brazilians moderators read this... they are so stubborn.

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