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They are rolling in money, but what has it been spent on? The poor-quality website upgrade? Since the site is no longer open source, we cannot even see if further improvements are actually being made to the site on e.g. a Github repository. Some of the money seems to have gone to WS board members attending a Las Vegas bike expo, but it doesn’t look like actual members of the website benefited in any way from that.
Besides, sustainability for a hospex network is not a matter of how much money it has, it is a matter of how many members actually host and travel through the network and are committed to doing so in future. Couchsurfing got millions in venture capital investment and the community there has collapsed. On the other hand, some of the longest running, most close-knit hospex networks exist on just a few hundred euro a year or nothing at all. Average response rates are very low now, and there doesn’t seem to be any work to fix this. Some longtime members who would happily host dozens of cyclists are becoming disillusioned with the board’s secrecy and terrible new website. Money alone won’t fix WS’s problems.
I think your cynism may be a bigger problem for you Christopher. I a have recently joined couchsurfing and so far I would not say the community has collapsed. The groups are active and I've had useful advice via them. I've had an offer to be hosted for a recent weekend away and so I'm not in a hurry to complain that either of these have failed as yet. Sure there are problems but i'm not aware of any problems with the board of WS. The problem is dealing with the members who have come here not dubious reasons and how to get rid of them. Do you follow the facebook WS page? If you did you would see that there are plenty of active members.
Perhaps you could argue that collapse is hyperbolic but if you've just joined CS how would you know what has happened to the community from the time the volunteers rebuilt the site almost from scratch in 2006 through to venture capital and decline from 2011 onwards?
Similarly, not being aware of any problems with the WS board does not preclude the possibility of the existence of problems. In fact the last board chair Leanna Levine who took the position unannounced after Randy's unannounced disappearance admitted to me that the board chose not to inform the community about some worrying events that were very much in the interests of members to know about so as not to 'cause alarm'. Its also instructive to note that it was considered appropriate to have discussions at a board level about banning certain members from WS not for any abuse of the terms of service but for having different opinions (eg: during the debates around donations).
Finally, here we are on a forum that has been almost entirely abandoned by any official representation, bug reports are left to the goodwill of the community to sort out, suggestions for site improvements are ignored, questions that require an official response go unanswered (eg: https://www.warmshowers.org/comment/14022#comment-14022 https://www.warmshowers.org/node/237979 ). The site code being taken from the community with no consultation nor announcement is just another demonstration of the board's veering away from rigour and transparency.
If the culture of the board is one of concealment, refusal to engage in good faith with its members and negation of accountability it seems to me it would be entirely expected that most members would be unaware of the problems within it.
Why would anyone who has just joined warm showers even enter this discussion. Of course i'm not new to Warm Showers. That said, all your points above are new to me. I have nothing further to add. I don't know how I can influence anything or participate in any of this. All i know is when i have a problem I would ask for it to be addressed and its not well addressed, i will then know there is a problem. I am not saying i disagree with you. I'm just saying i know nothing about it and i don't know what there is i could do even if i did. I think for most of us, so long as the site seems to work and function as needed, we'll be fairly satisfied. Of course if something very underhand came to light like a lot of money was being stolen or something like that, we'd all be pissed off but i dont' think we'd abandon the site. Anyway that's all i can contribute to this discussion.
Where did I say you were new to Warmshowers?
You didn't i misremembered what you'd said. I'm not new to couchsurfing either though didn't use it for many years.
"I a have recently joined couchsurfing"
This is what gave me the impression that you had recently joined Couchsurfing. So you really don't recall there being much difference in the community and the administration of the site in the years prior to the 2011 for profit listing and venture capital funding?
You got me at the Las Vegas bike expo...you have my vote
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