• Tokyo group moderators/natives:

    I would like to propose a new rule. We're not supposed to have couch requests in the main Tokyo group in the first place, but lately I have seen NOTHING BUT "introduction" posts by travelers who are like 3 months to a full YEAR or more from their Tokyo travel dates.

    I COMPLETELY understand that people want to plan ahead, but when 10 posts about someone planning a visit next season knock down all the posts by people who live here and want to find something to do TODAY or this week, it becomes rather counter-productive.

    The bottom line is that frequent "Let's maybe get a drink in six months" posts are burying all of the comments by people who actually live here or who are actually visiting soon that are trying to connect in the short-term. They belong somewhere other than the top of our main page.

    We need couch requests in the couch request subgroup (if at all -- people should inquire directly), and maybe even set up an "introduction" thread to keep the main group current.

    I'll happily step up to be a moderator and get to work cleaning things up if others are too busy to do so. Just tell me how to proceed!

    Cheers,

    Jeff

    PS: Sorry for bitching, but a city as big and popular as Tokyo should be a place where CS absolutely, completely and utterly THRIVES. I have to fight harder to find people and activities in this group than when I was in Philadelphia, a city with a fraction of the population and tourist traffic. We need to tidy up to make our community more effective!
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    PPS: I know the "new" (disastrous) CS style is lending itself to this, so maybe we need to tell them to clean up their each-new-itteration-gets-more-and-more-awful website in general... Just my two cents from someone who is fairly active both on and offline.
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    I absolutely agree! Specific personal surfing requests make for the best CS experience, not general pandering for just a place to sleep 73 weeks in advance. Is there anyway to clean this up?
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    Right behind you on that one.

    But while we are at it, can we include all 'Please help me surprise my girlfriend by having her sent 1000 postcards form all over the world' and other wannabe-whimsical-but-really-just-very-lazy group pleas...
    You'd think by now even the laziest of CSers would have realised it wasn't very creative nor original, but I swear I keep seeing at least two or three a month.
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    Hi Jeff,

    I can't agree with you more! And I also second what Dave said about the postcards - lazy and lack of good imagination!

    As far as I'm concerned, the only cities that I know which are still in the "group" zone is where I'm living - Taiwan. For some silly reasons, we still have Taipei Group, Tainan Group and such, but you can't search them unless you've already been group members before CS changed the format. Try to type "Taipei" on the top "where would you like to go", if you don't believe me, I'm sure you'd go nowhere. *sigh

    Yuki-san and some ambassadors around the world, including the one who I met here in Taipei, were discussing/arguing about the problems on the Ambassador Forum a while ago and unfortunately this disaster is still the answer.
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    Honestly everyone, at first I was worried I'd get flamed for being to harsh! SOOO happy that you guys are backing me up. I'll write something up and send it in, and I suggest that everyone else does as well. Make sure to put "Tokyo group" somewhere in your subject line so they realize how many people from our community want to see a change.

    Gregor -- they absolutely need to shuffle some staff, because it gets worse every time they tinker with it. Pleasing to the eye and usability are two entirely different things, and I feel like they are going for aesthetic over function!

    Cheers everyone. Let us rain down criticism until they bring back a more user-friendly experience!
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    I would like to point out that I respect everyone's right to express their point of view and, thus, it is not my intention to offend those who have freely exercised this perceived right by contributing to this tread.

    However...

    Whilst some of the concerns underlining the key points illustrated in Jeff's overly-exaggerated 'bitching' are appreciated, and contrary to the responses in support of his recommendation, I stand to oppose.

    Before I state my reasons, allow me to highlight one important, and therefore crucial, element which governs everyone's use of this website as, by evidence to the existence of this somewhat inconsiderate, ill-manned and therefore offensive trend, it is apparent not every has taken the time nor liberty to inform themselves with the clearly worded Terms and Conditions.

    And that being - all current members of couchsurfing.org (hereinafter 'CS") are taken to have read, fully understood, agreed and accepted (and thereby bound to) the Terms & Conditions (including the Community Guidelines) prior to accessing, as well as during the continued use of, the service/s offered by CS.

    With that said, I find it astonishing at the level of criticisms expressed in Jeff's post, including many of the respondents, toward other members of CS in general and CS itself.

    Firstly, it must be understood by all that CS is a global community project aimed at providing a free platform for its members to "...arrange stays and travel" and "...communicate with one another", inter alia.

    Thus, and as the name (ie, 'coughsurfing') suggests, the primary objective (if not the sole objective) of CS is to offer an avenue for the exchange of communications between those generous enough to willingly offer a place to stay to those seeking and/or willing to accept the invitation or vise-versa.

    And, needless to say, it is only too sensible that members take advantage of the service - this should be encouraged, if not fully embraced, for obvious reasons.

    Therefore, why should it not be acceptable for member's to post an expression of interest for a possible place to stay ahead of time and do so in the main arena of any one geographical group?

    The reasons, according to Jeff et al, are "we're not supposed to have couch requests in the main...group in the first place" and the inundation of postings by members whose travel itinerary should exclude their rights to do so for the sake of his, and others like him, immediate needs.

    I would like to ask Jeff to provide a reference which clearly states no couch requests permitted in the main arena.

    Apparently, and notwithstanding the fact he had clearly expressed an understanding of people's need to plan ahead, Jeff somehow feels overwhelmed and compelled to 'fight harder to find people and activities in this group' against other members who have no intention of being presently available, eg anytime up to and including a year from now. How selfish of them, right Jeff? (Perhaps it is worth while that I refer you back to paragraph 6 and 7 of my response).

    As I mentioned earlier, the claims put forth by Jeff are an over exaggeration on his behalf as I fail to find any member whose posting/s could be used as a reference to support his concern.

    To the contrary, many a posting can be found from members who are merely, and understandably, wanting to organise a place to stay ahead of time, eg from now up to and including 3 months, as a contingency plan rather than leaving it to the last possible moment.

    Doing so in the main arena, such as this, satisfy the primary objective as mentioned will not only attract more views and therefore increases the chance of a response, but it does not breach any rules or conditions as set forth by CS - at least until CS believe there is a need to amend its rules, which of course it reserves the right to do so at any time and "at its discretion".

    Members interested only in organising activities should do so in the sub-groups rather than in the main arena. A fortiori, posting anything other than the above mentioned is only secondary to the main feature of CS and, therefore, should take second preference.

    One last thing, the success of the CS is based on self-moderating. The last thing CS, and perhaps the rest of the CS community, would want is to have a number of highly zealous individuals coming to CS with their authoritarian mind-frame and dictate how CS and other members should behave. There are other sites for that.

    Any members who become dissatisfied with the free service/s offered by CS, any changes made, and/or no longer agrees to the Terms and Conditions, should not access and/or utilise the service/s rather than whinge.



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    Speaking of generous people, am I not, or other members who post in this thread, generous enough to put some words/better suggestions on here? Have a look at our profiles and speak, please, seriously.
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    @ McGregor

    Yes, that may have been the case before but it certainly isn't the case now. And I never said it is "unrealistic" but, rather, it is "inconsiderate" towards other members in general.

    @ J Lee

    I need not necessarily look at profiles but only at the views expressed.

    Additionally, what you may inwardly regard as merely offering a suggestion is not what it appears to a reasonable person reading it which, prima facie, looks very much like, in Jeff's term, "bitching".

    Incidentally, I never impledly nor expressly stated anyone to be not generous. I suggest re-reading my response before making any attempt at insinuating the above - seriously.


    If anyone wish to continue with discussion, I suggest we do so behind closed, ie feel free to msg me privately..
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    @Danniel, my bad. Just want you to know I did re-read, carefully, your post, and I misunderstood your intention.
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    Found this on Paris Area. https://www.couchsurfing.org/n/threads/paris-ile-de-france-france-hi-i-am-looking-for-a-place-to-crash-in-center-of-paris-it-will-be-my-first-time-in-the-city-so-i-m-hoping-to-hear-fro

    Paris is the most popular city, and on CS the most active community. The locals keep telling people not to ask for couch on the forum but it happens many times a day...

    ps- a couple of weeks ago, I saw someone posted a thread on Berlin Area who claims to its members not to request couch on it.
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    Well it's easy, if you see somebody posting a CouchRequest, pass your mouse on the right side of the message, a little arrow heading down will appear... click on it, then flag this post, then CouchRequest... if several people do it, the message will be taken down, and then person will receive a message from CS to explain the process and encourage them to find a couch another way... so it will help people looking for something else than a couch, and help them find a couch...

    About the messages sent too early in advance... I personally do not do that, but well, everybody's different...

    Peace & love!

    David ツ
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    Whoa there, Dan. Can I offer you a tissue?

    How many references do you have? Oh, zero? You've hosted how many people? None? How many couches have you surfed? Zero again?

    You're a lawyer. I never studied law. I wouldn't diss you on a public forum over legal matters, because I'd just look like an asshole. I wasn't asking -- or directing my thoughts to -- the peanut gallery... You're SUCH a lawyer, BTW. Referring to the CS Terms and Conditions (and even referencing your own paragraphs -- WOW, you're a pompous narcissist and I bet you love the sound of your own voice when you speak).

    The OLD CS (before you even became a member) was divided into main groups based on country/city/region, with individual subgroups below them. This was logical. This kept things uncluttered. This made it easy to find out what's happening NOW. And dude... in any city I've ever visited or joined the groups of (back when you HAD TO JOIN THEM), there was ALWAYS, 100% OF THE TIME, a rule against posting couch requests in the main group!

    Again, AS I SAID, I understand that people want to plan ahead. But we need easier access to information and activities for the people who are HERE NOW.

    Might I add, in conclusion, a quote that I adhere to: "Don't shit where you eat." I see you're visiting Tokyo soon. Good luck.
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    @ J Lee

    It's ok. I am glad you re-read my post.

    @ Lambert

    No offense taken.

    @ McGregor

    My points are (in the most simplest terms) ..

    1. As I understand it to be, the primary purpose of CS is to create a platform as a means of providing a service for travelers to seek a 'couch' from anyone who can offer just that. Why is it then unacceptable for members to make use of this service?

    2. Many of you may be regarded as veterans with stories to tell of the experiences and pleasures gained from using this service. However, allow others with the same opportunity to gain and share similar experiences instead of trying (whether intentionally or not) to deprive them of these by calling for changes.

    3. I am certainly not against changes or suggestions for improvement but not at the expense of other CS members. In other words, respect the right of all members to enjoy the service provided by CS.

    4. What Jeff is suggesting will, in essence, ultimately deprive members the right to enjoy and utilise the service of CS as it was designed to do.

    5. I find it difficult to support Jeff's suggestion especially when the examples he provided as reasons for his proposal are gross exaggerations of the facts. If, in deed, members are posting a comment to seek something in a year's time, I can fully appreciate and understand Jeff's position. However, that is not the case as I can not find one single post from any member doing just that.

    6. There are adhoc sub-groups in many of the main groups which anyone can refer to for activities. Jeff only needs to make himself known in any of these sub-groups if his only interest is to seek, or participate in, current or upcoming events/activities.

    7. I think, there hangs a veil which hides Jeff's intention and inner desire to become a moderator. If only he was less critical towards fellow members to satisfy his own selfish needs, I would not have made my voice known.

    @ Jeff

    Your response makes for leisurely reading. I look forward to more.

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    Daniel,

    Ignoring your digressive assertions regarding other members and what you infer to be their hidden agenda, the main flaw in your verbodiarrheic defense of CS's "rule of law" is that you work under the tragic misapprehension that CS's one and only purpose is to optimally provide all travellers with an easy and free lodging solution during their travels.

    It is most emphatically not.

    Pray tell, why would I (and countless other users that make the backbone of the site) turn my house into an undiscriminating free B&B for the benefit of tightarse travellers and CS Inc's ad revenues?

    Exchanging with people, discovering other cultures from within and building a community that facilitates such exchanges through travelling, are the main reasons most people host. It *should* also be the main reason people surf, as opposed to merely trying to get a bed for cheap: as pointed above, this is CouchSurfing, not CouchBegging. It involves giving and receiving.

    This spirit has historically always been at the core of CS. And probably the only reason that such a crazy idea was successful in the first place.

    Now, I have no doubt that the new CS management strongly leans toward your vision of things. In fact, I won't be all that surprised when they introduce some pseudo-monetary hosting vs. surfing credit system to make it a truly optimised hosting market. Their current efforts at streamlining the system at the expense of all non-hosting related activities is a good indicator of that (exhibit A: the new horrendous forum system).

    But until then, I think I can speak in the name of most committed CSers (and in particular, those who put a lot of their energy into hosting travellers and organising activities) when I say that it is entirely up to us how organise our local discussion forum. And the overwhelming consensus is that we would much prefer to have meaningful/useful discussions regarding ongoing activities or community matters, than lazy requests by people who want to be hosted but cannot be arsed to contact hosts personally. As for Jeff's initial point regarding not posting prematurely, it really is just common sense and for the benefit of everybody (poster included): by the time these posters make it to the city, their 6 month-old post has long been forgotten and they would be much better served by a timely announce, *shortly* before their trip.
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    I think for casual users, it doesn't matter much what goes on in this general forum. I would say that is the majority of users.. just doesn't matter that much to us.

    on a personal level, I like seeing the variety of posts. most importantly, the premise of this site is surfing/hosting. if seeing that aspect of this site permeate throughout urks you, you may need some thicker skin.. skip it and move on like the rest of the annoyances in life..

    if you are feeling chafed by this free website (no matter what your position is) you may want to take a break or just offer less of yourself so you are not susceptible to being irritated.
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    It seems very apparent many of you feel strongly against the current status of CS to the extent of allowing yourself to be off topic when sharing your input. Not only that, you're very quick at making assumptions all the while disregarding the points I raised.

    Not once did I asserted CS as a place for "tight asses to beg for a free couch" (as some of you have put it).

    What I did say is, CS is designed to offer a platform as a mean of providing a free service for those seeking a couch from those willing to offer.

    That is to say, being a member and utilising the service offered by CS is free! I can not use plainer English to state it any clearer or to help any of you distinguish the difference in meaning.

    Maybe I should have elaborated further by saying CS creates real opportunities for people from across the globe to connect and exchange cultures, inter alia - all of which are but inherent aspects of the main feature of CS.

    Of course, no one is obligated to host in order to connect with others but, lets not forget, the idea of creating a way for people to connect by way of surfing and hosting was the foundation upon which CS was formed, hence the name 'couchsurfing'.

    I submit to everyone here to stop complaining. CS is for everyone to enjoy. If you're not happy, move on.
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    Hey Yuki!
    Didn't know you were on BW as well...
    Yes, I really hope we can move what's left of the old CS spirit to a new, more open, platform. So far, I feel that BW is still lacking many features to be a perfect replacement, but at least, it shows promises, and is guaranteed not to see the same kind of corporate takeover CS has. Of course, the main issue with BW is that it still lacks a sizeable community, especially outside Europe and in Asia.

    But your idea is great: let's try to start more activities there and encourage core CSers that feel so inclined to join in!
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    @Trevor,

    Could you clarify something for me. You speak of 'us' and 'our effort' when referring to CS's policies. Do you work for CS's management in an official capacity (I don't see anything in your profile that would indicate so), or is there a misunderstanding 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.

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