Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Surfer Quality going down?

I took in another couple from the open Couch Request my preferred way of hosting and as usual had a more than positive experience with them. They cooked a fantastic Italian meal within minutes of walking through the door and were such nice people I was sad our time together was so short.

When my couch is set to yes I am not short of personal couch requests but the quality is less than desired. Shall I share, let's assume it goes descending 1 - 10.Bear in mind I'm just printing one page because I cbf going through everything

#2 was the OCR I was talking about above.
#3 clearly not reading my profile requested a month in advance, I declined and said to ask again in one month
#5 defies my usual rule of over 25 and is a 20yr old German girl but I am very positive about her profile and request.
#6 Another request to far in advance but very personal and nice and someone I would definitely host I asked her to request again 2 weeks prior.
#7  20 year old french girls with nothing in their profile and can't even mention my name in the request. I dislike hosting under 25 european backpackers generally and they must have a very good request/profile to consider them
 #8 I considered hosting her but she requested only a day or two in advance. Also her request pretendeded it was personal when it clearly wasn't. I dislike that kind of message
Why I'd Like to Meet You
You look open mind, easy going and as a local you know the best spot in the city and can show me around a bit if you feel like. Just a general good vibe about your profile. Sweet day! 

really? do you really think that I believe that message was sent just to me. I understand copy paste but please try and at least put my name and maybe ONE sentance of personalisation.

#9 Her entire profile is in Italian. Her references is in Italian. Honestly when you are travelling an english speaking country make the effort to write in english!!!! Or don't request from non-italian speaking hosts!
Also this is why she wants to meet me:
Why I'd Like to Meet You
You are in darwin? Would you be willing to accommodate? If you need more information ask me everything what you want. Also if you want I can give you my contacts for me to know better, perhaps through facebook or skype. We are polite and respectful, we have a great desire to meet new people and to experience a magical trip! Both me and my boyfriend speak Italian and French ... we're not very good with English but want to learn! I hope you understand what I have written!
See you soon!

Sure its nice enough but its not giving me a reason to really choose her.

#10 Also too short notice and another impersonal message. But actually I considered hosting her if I had more notice I probably would have!!!


Fact is a year ago I Ioved to take fresh new profiles and was full of positive experiences but now I can see the surfer quality is so diluted I am much more ruthless in my decisions. And since that my quality of surfer (except that one crazy guy) has been impeccable. I no longer accept requests from new profiles unless the request & profile is absolutely outstanding. I need at least one reference to choose my surfers and they can't just be generic "X was a good guest clean and friendly"

If a surfer is a GREAT surfer than say that in the reference now I often choose my surfers based on the glowing references. And vice versa as a surfer be personal about your references. In this destroyed community we need that extra information to make the right choices. I am somewhat guilty now of choosing surfers who have something in their references about their cooking haha. And people who host are also considered more carefully.

So do I believe the surfer quality has gone down? No, I still think there are incredible couchsurfers out there and will continue to be for at least a year but with the increasing number of sexual predators & freeloaders flooding the system this will become less and less and eventually these good people will migrate to other websites and the new potential awesome people will be flooded with negative experiences and give up before they ever experience the true magic of couchsurfing. Soon the community will just be left with those grim few who hold on wishing for a better way. There is no sustainability with the current model and the destruction of community built with love by volunteers is evidence of a failed corporation.

Soon all that will be left on couchsurfing is 5 million 20 year old couchsurfers.

1 comment:

Brooke O said...

Ah, she who was so opposed to OCRs when they first became a feature :P And wow, Couchsurfing has changed a lot! If only you were on Tumblr, I could follow/reblog you :P Eh, maybe I'll just link to your posts when I remember to check them.