• Hi all, especially regulars om the Wellington board.

    You may or may not be aware of some of the recent CS website changes. They tend to come along each week, bit by bit, and sometimes are announced after the event.

    But recent ones that effect this board include the 'equalizing' of 'weight' for flags - if you flag a post as inappropriate, off-topic, or a couch request, etc on a board that it shouldn't be on, there used to be certain people whose 'flags' had more strength and the post disappeared immediately. This is no longer true, and CS software now needs multiple flags before posts get removed. This means that, for example, someone new to the board might see a couch request here, not realise that it had been flagged and might disappear soon, and they might be encouraged by the post's presence to post their own couch request.

    So, regulars who recently have been helping out flagging post that shouldn't be here, please don't think "others will do it and the post will disappear"; we need more flags now to get them gone, so please take the few seconds to flag.

    Also, the New Member Welcome Team has been shut down due to 'inconsistent messages' (see https://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=14210136 and https://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=2125&post=14210243 ), so new CSers no longer receive welcome messages from the local team member with advice on the area, on CS social events and on how to request couches, etc...which will probably lead to more posts on the place bards as people will have less initial intro knowledge...
    A couple of people have privately asked how to flag;
    That suggests there are more people out there who don't know.
    So, hover mouse over a post, look to the right and a small down arrow will appear.
    Click on it for a drop-down menu.
    Make your choices.
    I realize people are posting in the wrong areas, but come on people.... show some compassion!!! And chill out. It's JUST an internet forum. It's not like they are wasting trees on sending letters or something. Don't like it? Unsubscribe for emails!! I have been a part of many CS cities, every single one of them has the same issue. Yet, I have NEVER seen such a vendetta placed against people who don't even know they are doing something wrong. I know when I travel, internet time is limited. Or extremely slow. Or not opening the page you want it to. I also know that CS makes it really hard to use mobile phones or iTouches to make a request. Let's be even more honest and know that you have to search for a forum, then join, then post. And yes, they should post in the last minute area. But I have searched and not seen it on the first search. Slipped my vision.

    I have heard from surfers I have met that they believe the Wellington group is "unfriendly", "a bit b**chy", and "flat out rude ba**ards". Do you really want people thinking of us this way. And guess what, I get grouped into that category because of others who are rude.

    This weekend, due to Homegrown, was an exceptionally trying weekend for us. We got A LOT of emails. But it was our duty to do what we could and host as many as possible. It IS NOT those people fault for being in the right city at the wrong time. But, I did what I could. For the people who want some individual couch request and personal touches. Your not hosting them in a B&B!!! Dear lord, your letting them sleep on your couch/floor. Get over yourselves. I personally think a general post is a great idea. If fancy hosting someone, I see who's posted a thread. Easy peas-y.

    Some of you people should be ashamed of yourselves. I cannot believe you are part of a 'community' and acting this way. It embarrasses me to be associated with people who are being so cruel. Especially this weekend in particular. I bet you slept in a warm bed last night, how many of those posters do you think didn't??
    No, when people sign up they are told how to request couches. The rest of us do not need to wade through posts int e wrong place when there are clear pathways to the right places and in fact are places especially set up for this type of last minute thing.
    Especially those of us who have a specific role to actually keep an eye on these forums.

    Further, It is nobody's 'duty' to do anything, CS is only a communication tool and we host as and when we feel like it. if some feel the need to do it all the time and rescue everyone, go ahead, but it is not in any way a 'requirement'. If it looks like you'll do anything to help anyone, though, be careful of being taken advantage of; you may not want to do it so publicly.

    Woody, we are hospitable, as the number of full couches this weekend is one example of, and CS prides itself on being tolerant. But that does not include being a walkover.

    I don't know why people would say bad things about Wellington CS, considering the number of events we try to organise (though of course there are still many times free for more events if anyone wants to organise them), guidelines and city info we put up (before stickys got removed), willingness of people like Monique to meet almost anyone for coffee and walkabouts, etc.
    Oh yes, I also should have clarified; flags are actually meant to assist new people who have somehow missed spotting/forgotten the correct ways to make couch requests to do so, and thus flags guide them to make their requests more effective.
    When a post is removed for being a couch request, the system sends the poster an automatic email explaining why it was removed and explaining about couch request button, open requests, etc.

    Yes, it would be nice if there was still a sticky thread or note at the top of the forum to point out the pathways and point out the sub-groups for last-minute requests or flatmates (subgroups created precisely to keep the main board free for what is was meant for, and to focus last-minute or flatmate searches topics in one place for people who are willing to/interested in hosting last-minute people, etc), and perhaps CSHQ will bring stickys back once they notice the increase in flags since they removed them worldwide.

    So flags are not be unfriendly, they are being helpful and guidance-like.
    Paul, I would like to thank you for insulting me directly. Shows me EXACTLY who you are. We may all have different opinions. But I was very conscience not to group everyone into a certain category, or insult anyone directly. Everyone had their say for weeks. I chose to shed a different light on it all. We will never all agree to everything. That is what is great about the world. But, at least I did not stoop so low as to directly insult someone. Classy Paul. Give yourself a round of applause for insulting someone on the internet.
    I agree with a lot of what David says, but I'll point out again that flagging a post does lead to it being removed (eventually) and the poster privately receiving an automatic email explaining the couchsurfing tools and why a post was flagged - so there's no need to email them ourselves to explain all that, OR to publicly berate them on the board.

    I do make the exception from last Friday, though, when someone had a post flagged and removed, received an email telling him why, then (ignoring all the other threads which the system had not yet got round to deleting and which also showed comments and frustration of couchrequest posts in the wrong forum), posted the same thing again.
    At that point I chose, deliberately, to stop being restrained and polite about it. Sometimes that is a choice to make. Parents and teachers do it (use up the roundabout polite ways and decide to be direct and forceful) all the time, and it is a choice that anyone in a responsibility position should be willing and able to make.

    There are definitely people here who don't wish to flag. Fine, don't. But please don't ask others to ignore the guidelines (this paragraph not aimed at David), or write as if everyone who'd like a couch has a 'right' to one; being invited onto a couch is a privilege that many people see as needing to be earned. If you'll take anyone who simply asks any-old how, fine that's nice of you, but I suggest you don't aim to be immigration minister.

    Flagging and even occasionally telling people on the forum that they are being flagged (though that is a little redundant, as covered above), isn't 'rude', it is 'direct'.
    But yes we should remember that no matter how many times we've seen these posts and may be frustrated by them, the poster MAY be on their first visit to the website, so shouting at them won't help anyone but the flag flag will lead to a helpful correcting email being sent to them.

    "I thought if I put the request on here as well as making an open request, using the last-minute board, and sending individual couch requests, it would get wider audience".
    Maybe, but people looking for guests will be looking at the open requests and last minute parts of the website, and people wanting general Wellington info/discussions will be on the Wellington place page not wanting to wade through other stuff to find what they're looking for. If you put an advert/request for a car or desk in the Trademe flatmates section it would 'get a wider audience' for while, but it would get removed for being in the wrong place.

    This post is designed to ask those willing to take the time to flag to please do so. If you don't want to, don't. But if you are willing then this lets you know that with recent CS 'equalising of weight of flags' and removal of stickys (at the tops of the conversation boards), reminding people not to post couch requests there, we can't assume others have flagged so we don't need to.

    It would be nice of less such post appeared at all due to better earlier guidance, or one flag (from approved people) went back to getting them instantly removed, but the case at the moment is that those willing to flag need to please do so.

    Point about 'limited internet time'?
    Manage your time and budget better, everyone has to eventually, this can be one of many learning points that lead you to doing so.
    Don't like to be so organised? Fine, you're perfectly within your rights and remain a perfectly valid human being...but don't complain when you have 'limited internet time'.
    1 - not re-making point, am refocusing the thread back to its point. Want to make focus om other things? Stat your own thread.

    2 - I don't like posts about killing chickens bare-handed, so I don't go to those forums or web pages. When you go to a certain web page you should know roughly what's on it. Someone can't know whether or not they like a post without reading it. Once read, if its in the wrong place, the internet is too much of a labyrinth already to have things any which-where and not try to keep 'this page for this', and 'that page for that'.

    Using the word 'righteous' seems to be an attempt to stir things up and pass judgement.
    Hmmm... I need to proof-read more or change spellchecker...
    Thanks for saying all the things I wanted to say...but with significantly more elegance and tack. I'm still a work in progress.
    This thread was about asking people willing to flag, to please flag as one flag no longer has a significant effect on the system's algorithms for keeping the boards focused om the topics they are designed for.

    Some reasonable points have come up about what may/should be said at the time of flagging, and on whether it is worth it or nice to privately email a poster in addition. If you feel the time or need to privately email (in addition to the system's auto-email), fine, nothing to stop you. You might find yourself overloaded, though, since the recent changes in access to and information on the site.

    But some of those points being made did not come across as, "be gentle with flags and think about emailing the posters".

    They came across as "don't flag, we SHOULD accept every little lamb who doesn't know how to use the site as it is intended, or chooses not to use the site as intended, or has not organised their money/online time very well, or heard about a 'free bed website' a few minutes ago', because as CS members we are duty bound to rescue everyone we can".
    Which is simply not correct, encourages mis-use (the internet, much like the motor vehicle, is an integral part of modern life and communications, not a tool to use with no monitoring/organising), and is also naive.

    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.