• ...or is the main New York City thread becoming increasingly dominated by "host me! host me!" postings? I remember a time in the really not-so-distant past when posts like that really were reserved for more emergency situations. Luckily the NYC Group has a whole separate sub-group for these needs. It's a tad annoying to jump on this site, looking for activities/meetups and such, and have to trudge through generic posts about needing a place to crash.

    User Tim Smith had a very comprehensive response to a similar post, but I would go a step further to say that not taking the time to look through NYC users and lightly "tailoring" (god, I hate that sounding like a cover letter or résumé tip) your requests (hopefully you are generally interested in staying with said people) reveals a lot about where Couchsurfing seems to be heading. I've needed a place to crash for economic reasons (I was very kindly put up for quite a while by a guy in France when I moved there), but its important to attempt to invest yourself and your time in a couchsurfing relationship with your (potential) host when requesting a couch - whether that's through participating in a new or common interest, sharing a dish from your place of origin, or wanting to get to know the host over coffee/tea/drinks.

    The free-ness of Couchsurfing is a wonderful quality for travelers and those without immediate shelter, but it comes with a need to truly attempt to engage others in the community. Generic posts with very little background information that simply state a need for a couch somewhere down the line give off a Craigslist-like feel. These posts really do need to go in the "Last Minute Couch Requests NYC" group. I'm honestly not sure how frequently members respond to requests in that group, but hey, there's always a time to really get that going.

    Sorry for my long, perhaps petty, rant. I'm in no way a "leader"-like member of the NYC community. I just want to see more postings about activities rather than "I'm coming from X date to X date. Willing to stay in X borough. I'm waiting for your reply.".
    Private_message
    completely agreed. the new format makes it easier to post in a highly visible front page which everyone is taking advantage of. But since it's easily achieved, the encounters that come out of it are not quite so cherished.
    Private_message
    Daniel I agree with you and Tim, I hope people really understand the meaning of Couhsurfing and I hope surfers take the time to do it the right way. They also should invest some of their time building their profiles including adding at least a pic. Xio
    Private_message
    Dude. It seriously makes me angry/sad to all of those posts. And it's not these people's fault, it's this whole new design and lack of moderation/guidelines.

    By the way, I'm sorry if my copy and paste replies to people get annoying. I'm really just doing it to help people while I remember how good it was (or thought it was!) over the past three years I've been on.

    Cheers
    Private_message
    This is what my friends on cs and myself have been chatting about this week, and a reason I am thinking of not hosting anymore and why they refuse to host anymore. This is now like a craigslist post and either the first gets it, or whoever 'appears' better gets chosen in this 'pick me, pick me' wild west of hosting now . It also devalues the host and though it may help surfers with more options when the host is devalued the actual relationship formed is just not strong anymore. Gone are the days where i got personal requests and someone was actually thrilled and excited that i chose them to host. It seems gone are the days where my cs even wanted to spend that much time with me, they seem to have 1000 other options out there that they promised someone else they would do with.... . anyway, perhaps things will change,
    Private_message
    thanks for keeping the conversation going on this! i'm not sure what sort of prompts CS gives new users when they are signing up these days, but perhaps this is something that they need to consider making clearer to new users during the registration process.
    Private_message
    I'm a newer member but have seen a huge difference between when I joined and now. Not only is the new places page format not regulated, but it's also now like a facebook page with people posting statuses that make no sense and have no purpose. When I joined, CS seemed like such a great site and I can only imagine how it was when it started or even up to a few years back. People seem to use this site only for a free place to stay (shallow acquaintances, limited experiences) and although CS is largely about sharing the "couch"space, it's about a whole lot more. Back in the day, people traveled and had to worry about finding a hotel/hostel and now, people complain that it's expensive so want to find somewhere free so they can get their "backpacking trip" checked off their bucketlist. Or back in the day, people were brave enough to meet locals on their own and request a place to stay after forming a bond, rather than begging for a tile on the floor so they won't be homeless because they assumed this website would solve all their problems.

    I partly hope with this huge influx of new people (which is great! but needs some moderation and guidance) that this becomes a fad that eventually quiets down and the people on the site can go back to how it was... although I don't see that happening in the age when every website wants to be the next social media.
    Private_message
    We need to figure this shit out. People are getting shitty advice from random people who don't even live in NYC, legitimate events are getting shut out or drowned out, and all I see are bad planners looking for a handout.
    Private_message
    Perhaps there is a shortage of hosts? I am really having a hard time finding somewhere to stay durring Fashion Week. :/
    Private_message
    There's always a shortage of hosts and space. This is NYC
    Private_message
    Goodness, wish I was living on my own so I could host people.
    Private_message
    Hi Daniel,

    Recently (I think it was actually yesterday Jan 23), the Places page was redesigned such that there is now a big "Surf" button above the Conversations, so there are not so many requests in the conversations any more. But the reasons that there were so many couch requests in the Conversation are two things that Couchsurfing has done:

    1. Allowed people to become a member of the website with one click via Facebook.
    2. Allowed people to start a conversation without first "joining" what used to by the city group.

    I imagine that these steps were taken to make it easier for people to join and use Couchsurfing, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, the ease of joining has the unintended consequence of really crappy couch requests via this process:

    1. Someone hears about Couchsurfing and how they can stay for free when they travel in almost any city in the world.
    2. They go to www.couchsurfing.org
    3. They see they can easily log in with one click via Facebook.
    4. They find the page of the city they want to visit.
    5. They see a huge button that says "Surf" (used to be they saw that they could start a conversation, many of which were also couch requests).
    6. They think, "Cool, let me ask for a couch."

    All in just a few clicks. And why wouldn't they? There is nothing in the process above that would guide them do something different -- nothing that points them to any pages that advise new hosts or surfers such as http://www.couchsurfing.org/new_surfer or http://www.couchsurfing.org/tips

    Essentially, it is TOO EASY to join Couchsurfing and request a couch and/or post a message in the Place page of any city. I honestly don't blame new users for doing this. How and why would they know better? The fault is in the website interface. Hopefully new member education will soon be a priority for the people who run this website.
    Private_message
    Interesting, I never get any couch requests.

    I have many references, all positive (actually one is neutral), a great place on the upper west side, and even offer my place through the emergency group.

    It must have something to do with the 56% response rate. I was off CS for a while, got a ton of requests. These expired, and now I can't even get the requests to bump it back up.
    Private_message
    Adam, your lack of couch requests is probably a result of the new default sort settings when someone searches for a couch, which is "by relevance" -- although it's not really clear what the criteria are for relevance. What is clear is that many people have told me that when they do a search, most of the results they see are new members that have very few friends and references. I think Couchsurfing was trying to increase the visibility of people who haven't hosted very much, perhaps giving them more opportunities to host. What has actually happened is that experienced and reliable members (such as yourself) are seen much less, so you get many fewer requests.
    Private_message
    Although I sympathize to a degree, yeah, it is a whiny post. It also implies that there is a "right" way to surf. The truth is, though, I've met many a host who does not mind having little interaction with their surfer because they are very busy, but they want to host because while they were traveling they relied upon Couchsurfing, and they want to pay it forward, or give back to karma. It takes all kinds, but I think a surfer should not assume that's how it's going to be.
    Private_message
    I stopped hosting because of the blank profiles (and other reasons) and also because one time this guest came with no luggage.. I thought the kid was gonna kill me and shit.. he was gonna stay like 3 or 4 days but had no backpack or anything.. not even a toothbrush.. I told his ass to go to the woods.. this may or may not be relevant but I thought I should share that.. I'm not sure why I'm writing this.. I need entertainment.. but true story for sure.

    It looks like you're posting an email address or phone number. To protect your privacy, don't post any personal contact information here.

  • It looks like you're posting an email address or phone number. To protect your privacy, don't post any personal contact information here.