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worries for our community changes

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WS Member WS Member's picture
worries for our community changes

I dont understand why WS is going to a commercial huge 3 day bike meeting in Las Vegas (1500 dollar entree) what on earth are we going to do there.

and would like to say that handing out free stuff such as a bike from the WS board is not appropriate and does not fit the spirit at all: the meeting of the cyclist and the host itself and whatever happend there is more than enough . Also i cannot imagine a lot of enthousiasm of members to order WS cloths

and can we please take out the cycling tourist and make him/her a cycling traveller again

i really dont get the point of a booking system, we are very frequent guest and host and think it fits the commercial hosting but not at all the WS

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Correction

Just to clarify, the cost of attending Interbike will be approximately $300 (total, all expenses), not $1,500 as you incorrectly have stated.  

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Attending Interbike

 

Sorry i got it wrong but i still fail to understand why the community needs to be represented at the commercial Interbike event. Thanks in advance for the answer

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Let's not make Warmshowers a brand

I have to agree on this. The greatest thing about Warmshowers has always been its non-commercial status. Warmshowers is a community, not a brand. Why are we selling clothes? Why do we have to involve money in any of this? I have donated happily, to keep the site running and support the amazing people behind it, but I don't believe in trying to "upgrade" Warmshowers in the way that capitalism tells us is an upgrade, that is, by expansion, branding and renewing. I am also worried.

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Let's not make Warmshowers a brand

I agree completely. If this does not change and we can go back to the excellent community it once was, and very soon, I will not be a warm showers member in the near future.

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Clothing

I have to say that I am all for the merchandising and am really trying to push this forward.

Warmshowers is growing rapidly, but not in the US.  I review daily membership, and about 7% of new members come from the US.  The percentage of funding for WS that comes from the US is huge.  We need growth in the US to support the infrastructure of the organization (as well as come up with strategies for fundraising in the rest of the world).  

I am completely against WS adventising to get members.  I think it needs to grow from attraction.  We need to grow this community from the cycling community to keep the focus in tact.  It is just as important to have representation at Interbike as it is to sport representation in the form of a jersey when on the road.  My jerseys always spark conversation when I am on tour.  Why not make the conversation about Warmshowers?

I have been a volunteer with this organization for over 4 years.  I have never made a dime from this.  Despite my time spent volunteering daily, I still make donations.  From the inside, I see what it takes to keep this organization afloat.  I see the costs.  And I have seen the crucial state we were in July 2016.  After needed expenditures, upgrades, and admin changes, we are back on solid ground and moving forward.

And let's remember this is all about reciprocol hospitality for touring cyclists and those who support them.  Let's enjoy the shared journeys!

Ken Francis

WS Board

 

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Why does eveyone hate change?

Why does eveyone hate change?

Been a member for over 9 years, great to see it grow, improve, evolve and change.

Keep up the great work, keep it moving forward.

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This is not about hating

This is not about hating change.

This is about Warmshowers not becoming a commercial venture.

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Sounds like whiners whinging

I guess that depends on your viewpoint.

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change

I don't know if it's coincidence but...

I've been a WS members for over 12 years. Living in Istanbul, I used to have about 20 requests for hospitality per year, and host about 5-10 times. It was fun. 

The last two years, I've had only 2-3. It could be the war in Syria, or it might be my cooking. It might also be that Istanbul had about 15 hosts in 2007 and now it has 250. 

Warmshowers should stop doing things which target larget cities. Members in small towns and villages are far more valuable. Don't actively try to get rid of people of course - just don't do anything to encourage new members. The community is big enough. 

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How effective are the changes ?

We seem to have had an explosion in Membership over last couple of years ( maybe doubled ?)

is there any evidence this has led to more " Stays" ?

More Requests ? ( assuming that's a good thing..)

a "better" Request / Stay ratio ?

I think it's undeniable that the changes have caused
1. some anxiety, particularly among "veteran' members AND
2. quite a few bogus / lapsed/ useless memberships

Apart from " more members" , are there any performance Indicators that justify the "new look" WS..?

[ That is, apart from asserting that the old model was in some danger of collapse, as seems to be the principal justification

...]

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Fewer requests due to more hosts

Hey Kathy

We too have noticed similar on bothe hosts and guests.

Have lost count of the amount of times we've asked to stay somewhere only to never hear. 

Now we're on tour, we don't even try to contact a host because most rarely reply. Its become easier to camp out. Maybe the guests coming to Instanbul are tired of getting no response to their requests. Many hosts seem to have joined on a spur of the moment to get another profile out there.

We live in a small town and have also noticed less people????? We answer everyone within a few days

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Fewer requests due to more hosts

Hey Kathy

We too have noticed similar on bothe hosts and guests.

Have lost count of the amount of times we've asked to stay somewhere only to never hear. 

Now we're on tour, we don't even try to contact a host because most rarely reply. Its become easier to camp out. Maybe the guests coming to Instanbul are tired of getting no response to their requests. Many hosts seem to have joined on a spur of the moment to get another profile out there.

We live in a small town and have also noticed less people????? We answer everyone within a few days

WS Member WS Member's picture
Fewer requests due to more hosts

Hey Kathy

We too have noticed similar on bothe hosts and guests.

Have lost count of the amount of times we've asked to stay somewhere only to never hear. 

Now we're on tour, we don't even try to contact a host because most rarely reply. Its become easier to camp out. Maybe the guests coming to Instanbul are tired of getting no response to their requests. Many hosts seem to have joined on a spur of the moment to get another profile out there.

We live in a small town and have also noticed less people????? We answer everyone within a few days

WS Member WS Member's picture
Just to add that I also view commercialization as a negative, no

Just to add that I also view commercialization as a negative, not a positive.

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Concurence

Dear, i agree with you. In short, we are going corporate and these hidden tension are usually intrepreted as toxicity even when it is not. you are on point on all 3 issue.

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Stopped hosting.

CouchSurfing is a business since 2011 and WarmShowers decided to follow the (bad) example.

Today warmshowers.com(mercial) is redirecting to warmshowers.org(anisation) but it should be the other way around.

We had registered for a Free and Open Source Software.

I will not support this scam, so that ws.com makes profit out of my hospitality. I refuse to host until the code is available on GitHub again.

Meanwhile, I urge every host to stop hosting and the travelers (who are not tourists) to try other FOSS websites.

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Not for profit

Warmshowers.org is a nonprofit entity run by a volunteer Board of Directors.  It is in no way patterned after Couchsurfing.  As a Board Member, I can say that we never discuss, mention, or try to model WS after Couchsurfing or any other hospex for that matter.  Warmshowers is unique.  The only profits made are the gains made from the memorable encounters and experiences shared by WS members.

WS has grown into a large, international organization.  Code must now be protected in order to keep the website and membership information safe.  WS has grown, but it is still working to maintain its mission: “To provide the technology and platform for the sharing of safe, reciprocal hospitality among touring bicyclists and hosts who support them worldwide”

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"Code must now be protected

"Code must now be protected in order to keep the website and membership information safe."

Did WS pay for this advice?

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"Code must now be protected

With due respect, this sentence is nonsense. I'm the archive scientist for a major NASA astronomy instrument: we use and contribute substantial quantities of public code. We benefit from the openness, and do not fear it.

There is the old phrase "with many eyes, all bugs are shallow" -- it's a matter of culture. Yes, certain classes of vulnerabilities can be discovered more easily with more eyes, but those eyes can be just as easily those *contributing* (including security contributions) as those intent on harm. And with a closed codebase, there is at once an imposed division between insiders and outsiders.

The Linux kernel, as just one of many examples, is deployed to hundreds of millions of machines worldwide, and is developed in the open.

I look with substantial misgivings at a board and executive leadership that does not exploit every opportunity to build a broad community invested in the tools, the leadership, and the spirit necessary to realize their stated mission, and to eliminate the boundaries that impede that process wherever possible.

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Of course it is nonsense. I

Of course it is nonsense. I just wish to know if it's nonsense that Ken thought would placate the community or if it's nonsense that was dispensed to the board by the very people they contracted to code the site.

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AdditionallyWarmshowers most

AdditionallyWarmshowers most likely runs on an open source operating system using a open source web server and a open source environment to run server side code. All this doesn't make Warmshowers less but more secure.

I decided some time ago that I wouldn't donate again until the code of the new website is published on GitHub and this statement of a board member confirms that I was right to do so.

I wish Trustroots wasn't invite only so that those of us who don't agree with how WS is run these days could all move over. These days I still get more requests on WS than on Trustroots. I still hope for a major shift in the future.

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"WS has grown into a large,

Commercial doesn't mean non-free.

"WS has grown into a large, international organization."

Great.

"Code must now be protected in order to keep the website and membership information safe."

Non-sequitur. What you are arguing is security through obscurity.
The argument is indistinguishable from thinly veiled trickery, with no basis in reality. I am hoping you are mislead, but misleading others is where that has to end.

" WS has grown, but it is still working to maintain its mission: “To provide the technology and platform for the sharing of safe, reciprocal hospitality among touring bicyclists and hosts who support them worldwide”

It was at-least open, now it is non-free, seeing as it is closed source. It would be great if it was free (libre) software, like all the projects it relies on… https://github.com/warmshowers/Warmshowers.org/blob/develop/docroot/COPYRIGHT.txt

If it isn't fine to use libre software, and you are, why not undo the hypocrisy and license what you provide atop it freely?

WS Member WS Member's picture
WS and centralizing control

Yes, many disturbing developments seem to have taken place in the last few years. What is a "community" held in the iron fist of an unaccountable administration?

I was extremely disturbed to read in the call for potential board members to put themselves forward. Of course, such positions are not elected by the community, but chosen by the current -- unaccountable -- board. And this poison pill was included: "All Board members are required annually to sign agreements concerning confidentiality, and the reading of educational material."

Consider what this implies as to who such members are actually accountable to. Having served on several non-profit boards and having created one myself, this is a new one for me, though perhaps it is the "new norm."

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Public Code

I agree with you. No one seem to notice that WS is slowly shifting towards corporate. I have to say it, WS Management keeps saying run by a board of volunteer. Yes, i understand that volunteer too needs allowances.  The way i figure it, it seems like 5 person are all powerful to veto members. I agree that position should be filled with merit and qualification but now, we have gone commercial. I agree the need for stipends to be paid to volunteer. Its all fun and game but the more i scrutinise this, its like an MLM scam. i have been on WS for like 3 years and new guys coming in like "gimme me money" "listen to me" "sorry bro, you cant do this you cant do that". The reason why i didnt quit WS because i still have faith in the system. Not in the people running it. I can relate if some people who cycle half way across the world and suddenly affected by malaria. I dragged myself out for emergency to help fellow cyclist in the middle of the jungle. do you know where Tambunan is unless you Google it? thats why i am here.

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Now Accepting Applications for Board of Directors

They sent me an e-mail with this title ^above^. Of course I applied immediately, to make WarmShowers free as it's supposed to be. What is unclear to me is who is selecting. I would like to see the list of applicants, and users would be able to vote amongst us.

Making it proprietary for "security" was the greatest non-sense ever heard. I'm wondering if the current BoD is avoiding wikipedia for the same reason.

Meanwhile, I'm happy to see that i'm not anymore muted from forums (my "reply" button was removed for a while).

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Application For Board of Director e.g.

Hey, you received that email as well? i do not know how this work. If i apply, will that mean i represent the whole Oceania? or the Far East? Yes, my reply is hasty./ As yours, i felt like i have been shadow ban, my reply button is missing for a few hours,

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I just hope that things will change for the good.

Once I read that message, it was already too late to apply: too many volunteers applied already. Great of course so many volunteers, I do not necessarily need to be there. I just hope that things will change for the good. As has been said on this topic before, but also on other occasions like in facebook posts, it has been pretty dramatic the past few years. So called improvements were no improvements. Luckily the community is still alive with all those great people and that is the only thing that counts. It would have been great though if that damn website would have been really improved, but the nightmare kind of continues. Luckily I'm still able to find my way and for that thankful.