I am not an exceptional person but I have always altered my schedule to accommodate any and all requests to serve as a host to a Warmshowers traveler. Now I am on the road and struck by the dismal fact that most WS members don't even reply to a request for an overnight stay. Being a member of WS is not a fashion accessory; either you are a member or you are not. It should be taken more serious by those that claim membership. I don't mind receiving a "no" to my request but do not enjoy sitting by the computer waiting for that message that reads "sorry, I have a headache" or "I picked up a splinter" or other any number of other feeble excuses - just say "NO" and leave us cyclists to find other sources of accommodations. Those members that fall below a certain percentage point in their responsiveness should lose their membership so they can dedicate themselves full time to updating their Facebook page or watching a rerun of their favorite "Seinfeld" episode. I would rather be a member of an organization that has 100 members that fully participate than being in a group of 50,000 members with only 100 members carrying the full load.
16 posts / 0 new
Fri, 2015-08-28 12:42#1
An interesting perspective Rote. I believe there are at least two types of ¨non_responders¨¨
the first type is the one you describe, not reqlly committed to WS; there are a lot of these, especially recently...
the second type *are* committed and generous people but just don;t want to say ¨¨No ! They just dont understnd the importance of a response
I have tried to explain to the second type, but I find its rarely worthwhile, yet I still try for now;
FWIW I think we would have a much better WS without the first type!
I agree with Bicycle Fish; WS would be better off without the member that is non-responsive.
I have only a couple of times gotten requests when I have been "available" that because of the circumstances was not a good time for me. Even then I did not say No, I replied with an email explaining the situation…(my house is a mess because I have been sick, I am crazy busy because my car just broke down…whatever), and followed up with a request to find another host if possible. If they can not find another host, they are still welcome to come if they can handle me not being the most gracious host. I have had to be "unavailable" a lot this year because I have been sick a lot. I think that if you know that you are not up to hosting for whatever reason, that going unavailable is the best thing. There are definitely times when I am a much better host than others, but I do hate to say no. I hope that we can sort this out. I hope to tour someday and can see how frustrating it can be to be waiting by the wifi in hopes of a response.
Sorry, but the message I get from this is that you are requesting to stay with someone fairly close before you arrive, and what is annoying you is that you are having to "wait" for their response - "do not enjoy sitting by the computer waiting for that message that reads "sorry, I have a headache" or "I picked up a splinter" or other any number of other feeble excuses".
Firstly, membership of Warmshowers surely doesn't mean that you have to sit by your computer just waiting for an accommodation request to come in so that you can respond immediately. If you want an immediate reply, that suggests you are almost on the doorstep rather than giving your potential host a bit of notice.
Secondly, I have always felt that when I can't actually put someone up, it is only polite to explain why, on that particular day, I can't help them.
Are you really suggesting that when someone asks for accommodation on a day when I can't help, I should just email back the word No? How rude would that seem to someone from another country who doesn't understand that people like you demand brevity?
I really hope that everyone reading this has taken your point on board and simply provides a one-word response to your requests rather than undertaking to establish a friendly dialogue, which is what I thought warmshowers was about.
Oh yes - please don't ever bother to ask me. I wouldn't want to upset you by being friendly!
You make it sound as if my comment was directed at you specifically; guilty conscience?
If you have ever seriously toured on a bicycle and I mean riding much further than your local fish and chips shop then you would understand how frustrating it can be when plotting a route while waiting for a WS contact to respond to a message you sent them three days ago and no, I don't wait until I am at their doorstep before making contact.
Imagine calling your airline to book a flight and never hearing from them or having them call you back at the last moment to say their pilot can't fly because he has a pimple on his ass.
What were the response rates of the hosts you contacted?
Most of the people that did not respond had a response level that ranged between 2 and 25 percent. Some were up to the 50 percent range and what surprised me most was that there have been two people that did not respond that had a response rate in the 75 and higher range.
I do understand that summer is still a factor in people being out and about doing other things that have taken their attention away from their WS activities but it is easy for a member to mark themselves as being "Unavailable."
Paul, can you hear that noise? It is me applauding you in having a 100% response rate.
Really you shoudn't be expecting anything but crickets from members with response rates like that, why even bother contacting them? WS can be deceptive, all those pins on the map and the pages of results in list searches - one can develop unrealistic expectations. The reality is that it has a growing problem with response rates due mainly to a lack of search filters and the policy of requiring new members to intervene to mark themselves as unavailable. Considering that members signing up to host will in general be more conscientious and willing to invest time exploring the site to learn about WS this should be reversed as it is on most other hospex networks. As it is we have increasingly large numbers of members who have no intention of hosting clogging up searches for accommodation because they have left their status as available (eg: I haven't received a request for 4 months - not because nobody is coming here but because there are dozens of boludos who appear above me on searches who do nothing but absorb requests).
There are plans to introduce filters in the future and automatically setting members to unavailable once their response rate is below a certain level has also been discussed - I hope that the policy of marking new members as available by default will also change. Until then we can only grin and bear it.
I would recommend always having a plan B and keeping expectations fairly low which means you get to be pleasantly surprised when you do get an invite (and certainly I wouldn't bother contacting anyone with a response rate under ~50%).
Thanks for the applause - I could hear it when I squinted.
Paul, you offered a solution that was twirling in my own mind; don't even bother with the lower elements. That will paint a more realistic picture of what the map really should look like.
Thank you again.
To me the host/guest thing is mainly social. I like people. ...The lack of manners and courtesy of ignoring a contact used to get to me, but I soon reminded myself that all WS people are not perfect like me. In practice, one week out I contact five members of an area to meet the yes-or-no response rate of 1 in 5. Many times I have to use Couchsurfing to get the rate to work. Couchsurfing is more like 1 in 10, so I count my blessings.
There has been some confusion in the discussion above, as elsewhere , between the Response rate and the * Acceptance " rate. It's ok to say "no" ( I don't ask for any reason), but it's poor ettiguette to make No Response at all. / changing the Default to " not available " is a great idea; and those Not Available should not be on the map either. For that matter, what do the different colour pins actually mean anyway ? / I think I deserve a Gold Pin btw
The different colours just represent agglomerations of members that are in the same spot on the map (blue is 2-9, gold is 10-99 and red is 100+)
But still, gold pins for Jack and the Fish for being perfect, Reynaldo only gets a beige pin for being 'not an exceptional person'.
That's an average response rate somewhere in line with what I see on the site, and yet the stats page claims that it is 68% site wide (albeit in a steady decline from 81.5% in 2013) - can anyone explain to me the mathematical alchemy that goes into turning some fairly simple hard stats into these rubbery figures?
Hosts that maintain a response rate below 50% for at least one week should receive an email warning that their hosting status will automatically be switched to unavailable. If, after one more week, the host does not click a link in that email then their status is automatically switched to unavailable.
It made a huge difference when I started ending my mail just with a: please answer me, even if it is with a "No, I'm sorry but I can't host you. Good luck with your trip"
Suddenly the response rate went higher. I need no explanations why people cannot host me, just I like to know the options I have and asking for an answer really works. Even some peolpe copy-pasted that sentence haha with a smiley in the end wich was perfect for me.