Back to top


28 posts / 0 new
Last post
Unregistered anon_user's picture

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.

WS Member WS Member's picture
good members, but just dont understand

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!

WS Member WS Member's picture

I agree with Bicycle Fish; WS would be better off without the member that is non-responsive.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Saying NO

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.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
Sorry, but the message I get

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!

Unregistered anon_user's picture
Guilty Conscience?

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.

WS Member WS Member's picture
What were the response rates

What were the response rates of the hosts you contacted?

Unregistered anon_user's picture
It Ran The Spectrum

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.

Thank you!

WS Member WS Member's picture
Really you shoudn't be

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.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
A Solution Is At Hand

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.

WS Member WS Member's picture

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.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Respond v Accept Request

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

WS Member WS Member's picture
The different colours just

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'.

WS Member WS Member's picture
That's an average response

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?

WS Member @wsadmin@'s picture
Number of initial requests answered over total number of initial

The site-wide responsiveness is calculated as

initial_requests_answered / total_initial_requests

But it's not completely representative of what we all want to know. We probably want to know a lot of other things like "What percentage of hosts ever respond, or respond most of the time?" and "What percentage of hosts offer hospitality when contacted?".

It will be possible in the future to do the first of those, we'll see about the second. But right now, the responsiveness stat is skewed because there are many very responsive hosts who respond to every request (and have lots of them) and many unresponsive hosts who get just a few requests, so the responsiveness stat can certainly be improved.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Do the numbers not seem

Do the numbers not seem inflated to you Randy? To me those figures just aren't even close to what I see on the site - I would have trouble believing the site wide response rate was ever over 50% in the last few years. Just out of interest when are the stats compiled in relation to the yearly removal of inactive members?

Finally, it seems the years for the stats are incorrect as the 2015 response rate has already been compiled and we already have 2016 numbers for feedback:

WS Member @wsadmin@'s picture
Calculation explanation

The calculations are based on the self-reported "when we met". Some silly person (or 2 of them) put feedback in for the future - 2016. It doesn't seem worth chasing down those two feedback entries and editing them.

I agree that the

responsive hosts / total hosts

is represented here. But I think it's a realistic representation of

message initiations replied to / total message initiations

And I think we have great potential to improve this by making sure people who don't intend to be hosts aren't listed as hosts (and not making "available" the default, as you've said). Also, when we get responsiveness in as an element we can query on for users, we'll be able to make "not available" people who clearly aren't.

WS Member WS Member's picture
But when in relation to the

But when in relation to the yearly removal of inactive members are the stats compiled?

WS Member @wsadmin@'s picture
Stats are updated at least daily

The stats are more-or-less real time. They're cached, but they get updated at least every day. Yearly removal of inactive members is done all at once in early January each year.

With future message responsiveness capability, we'll be able to do something far less destructive with those who seem unresponsive, just make them "not available" and let them know about it. And we can do that more than once a year.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Well that's blown my only

Well that's blown my only theory out of the water.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Not all threads are hosting

Not all threads are hosting requests. For some of my guests there are two threads in my message board. They started a new thread when they got closer to my home, after I had agreed to host them.

WS Member @wsadmin@'s picture
That's understood and even

That's understood and even mentioned in the FAQ. It's just the fact that we have no way to calculate responsiveness except in this way. It's trivial in those cases to just reply though...

WS Member WS Member's picture
Future dated FB

I am one of the people who has provided future dated FB, both to Hosts and Guests. I give it to Hosts who give me a meaningful reply, or really ANY reply; to Guests who ask me with a comprehensible Request. After the visit, I can amplify the FB as necessary. I really like to do this, it means I can express my thanks to Hosts even if the outcome is NOT a Stay ! Contrary to Randy above, I don't think this is " silly" at all.

WS Member WS Member's picture
I think the part he meant was

I think the part he meant was trivial was when you reply to a message simply to maintain your response rate. Twice now, I have had potential guests start a new thread to write to clarify a detail. I have specifically replied to their new message rather than continue on the established thread. This is simply to keep my response rate from going down. Sigh.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Feedback to prospective hosts

Feedback to unknown prospective hosts doesn't make much sense to me, what use is it to the community? If you wish to express thanks then surely a personal message would suffice.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Advance FB - a great idea !

Thanks Paul. I can't explain the logic better than I have above. Suffice to say, that a meaningful Response is such a rare commodity in the New WS ( as evidenced in this thread ) that I will continue to offer public appreciation to anyone who assists the Community by Responding. For what it's worth, several of my recent Hosts have had both poor Response stats and poor FB reciprocation. My efforts to explain the importance of these two different if relaed aspects have been unsuccessful, even face to face ! / btw : my Advance FB is clearly labelled as such, for ethical reasons ! Cheers

WS Member WS Member's picture
Possible approach

My idea:
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.

WS Member WS Member's picture
ask for an answer helps

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.

Topic locked