Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing Staff Are Heading Out into the Wild

Our Mobile Software Engineer, Nathaniel, spent over two years surfing with his wife, Kim, around the worl ... Read More

Couchsurfing Staff Are Heading Out into the Wild

Our Mobile Software Engineer, Nathaniel, spent over two years surfing with his wife, Kim, around the world. Dylan, a member since 2005 (and another of our software engineers), practiced yoga on a rooftop overlooking the Ganges River with a group of Couchsurfers.

Nathaniel hitching a ride to the Dusseldorf airport with his host, Niels.

There are countless others. And they (ahem – we) have been spending most of our time in front of our computers.

So starting this Friday, September 6th, Couchsurfing HQ is sending staff out into the world of Couchsurfing. There will be someone away from the office – surfing every week of the year – making sure we are always connected to the community. (And also ensuring we get away from our desks once in awhile.)

Every week we’ll be featuring the story of a staff member here on our blog. Subscribe here to keep up-to-date with who’s out surfing and when. We hope to see you out there!

Dylan working on standing desk
Dylan working away at his standing desk.

Should we come to your city? Fill out this form to request a visit.

 

 

 

About Marian Schembari

Marian comes to Couchsurfing via New Zealand via London via New York and has been a traveler since first studying in Spain. When not running social media at Couchsurfing she bakes, blogs, practices yoga and explores San Francisco like a boss.
This entry was posted in All, Company News, Featured Post, Staff in the Wild and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Lion Girrl

    Great idea! And to make it REALLY work, please have all of the staff HOST surfers a few weeks a year – and you don’t even have to take off work to do it! (Because normal CSers don’t.. they fit surfers into their lives. All that needs to happen is that all the staff puts their couch status to MAYBE and receive requests like a normal person, then they can see how the ENTIRE process works – not just the receiving end. Otherwise it’s weighted rather unfairly, no? Also, since Tony Esposito had a separate profile for surfing – I suggest the same for all staff members, where it is NOT said that you work for CS! Then and only then will CSHQ start to have the usual surfing experiences, both good and bad. The way you are doing it now, you are loading the dice for a good outcome, so let’s please be fair about this!

    • Couchsurfing_HQ

      You are 100% right Lion Girrl! In fact, many of our staff members have been hosting for years. I (Marian) just hosted a wonderful Italian photographer last week. Alex, our Mobile Engineer, hosts all the time with his family of four, which helps his children learn so much more about the world around them. I agree that it’s unfair if we ONLY surf. Couchsurfing staff need to be active in the community, in whatever capacity that may be – surfing, hosting or attending/organizing events.

      I’m on the fence on whether we should have separate profiles. For reference, I’ve been a member of CS for years before I started working here. What about my references, groups and friends? Do I need to start from scratch just because I’m now a staff member? Couchsurfing is both my social life and my job, it’s often hard to separate the two. I agree that mentioning CS in your profile can be tricky as you might get more (or less!) hosting offers. That said, some staff members chose to mention it, others don’t.

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! We’ll be refining the program as it moves along, so your feedback is really useful. We’ll be sharing stories from “out in the wild” on the blog. Do you think we should share hosting and event stories too?

  • Pingback: How to Couchsurf Through Mexico: In the Wild with Martina | Couchsurfing News Blog

  • Guillermo

    One of the experiences CSHQ should try is reading and selecting potential hosts’ profiles, writing personalized requests, taking the risk of not finding a couch…
    The “request a visit” buttom works exactly in the opposite direction, you ask hosts to apply to have the honour to host someone working for CS… regardless his/her interests, personality, age, CS experience…
    How will we encourage new members to complete their profiles and look for meaningful interactions rather than free accomodation if not even you guys do it?

    • Couchsurfing_HQ

      Hey Guillermo,

      That’s a great point, apologies if there’s any confusion. Couchsurfing staff members will ALWAYS find hosts using the website (as difficult as that can be with our site right now). The point is for staff members to experience the community the exact same way as the rest of the community does. No special treatment or “workarounds”.

      The reason we included the “request a visit” form is because so many community members have asked us to visit! Filling out the form is the most organized way to collect this information so we don’t lose track or miss anybody who wants to talk about the website in-person. It’s not about “having the honor”, it’s about being available to answer questions in the real world, helping organize events, etc.

      For example, if a Couchsurfer would like a visit from CS staff in Costa Rica and we happen to be sending a staff member to Costa Rica, we should make sure to connect the two people! Does that make sense? You’re absolutely right that staff members should find hosts and events the “old fashioned way”.

  • Sergey Pogodin

    To put it straight: you must fire all the developers who want travel instead of working hard… For the moment CS is the only web site I know with usability and design getting worse every update. I remember it three years ago: very old-style design, but great usability… Now it is odd design, just pretending to be modern, and very poor usability + inconsistencies and bugs.

    • Couchsurfing_HQ

      Hi Sergey

      Employees working hard and being active in the community should
      go hand in hand, in our opinion. The “Staff in the wild” project is not about
      “vacationing”. The (short) trips aim at keeping staff members in touch with the
      local communities while using the website like every other member.

      The post above describes Nathaniel’s and Dylan’s Couchsurfing
      travels BEFORE they started working for Couchsurfing. All our developers are
      currently working hard and, for what it’s worth, I can assure you that they are
      all dedicated to improving website and mobile usability.

      • Jean-Louis

        just another point nothing about the above comments

        but about when leaving reference of person you hosted or been hosted

        the first question is \ have you met this person face to face// hhuuummmm how can you not have met this person face to face when you hosted or been hosted by this person ,,, not wanting to offend anybody but please delete this question it is a stupid question

  • hassan

    bonjour a tous

    Je m’appelle HASSAN NAJOU, je suis du village d’Iskatafen dans la
    vallée d’Aît Bouguemez, au cœur des montagnes du Haut Atlas marocain.
    Guide diplômé et titulaire d’une licence en sociologie, j’ai grandi dans
    les montagnes que je connais particulièrement bien. J’ai choisi ce
    métier par amour, je vous ferai découvrir des paysages superbes, la vie
    des berbères, mais je peux aussi vous accompagner dans d’autres massifs
    ou le désert.

    avec une vaste expériences ou sienne des agences de voyage marocaine
    et étranger tel que : Atlas Sahara Trick , Âme d’ Aventure… HASSAN
    vous organiser des voyages ou Maroc sans intermédiaire pour profité plus
    votre voyages en plane du Sécurité , du responsabilité est de
    professionnalisme.

    N’hésitez pas à me soumettre vos envies pour explorer mon pays !!!

    Je peux vous accompagner :

    - sur tous les sentiers des montagnes de l’Atlas et ceux du désert

    - dans une randonnée chamelière au départ d’Essouira, le long de la côte atlantique, ou encore en direction du sud

    - pour 5 jours de marche (4 à 6 heures par jour) sans dénivelée

    - Les bords de mer, les dunes, les petits villages berbères, les sommets

    - Les circuit dans les villes impériales du Maroc : Rabat , Casa, Fès , Meknès , Marrakech, …

    - Les circuit dans les villes du sud Maroc.

    Je suis un homme amoureux de la natures c’est pas que de gagner ma
    vie mai j’aime la nature avec une grand connaissance de la culture
    berbères est la vie nomades venus partagé cette connaissance avec HASSAN
    NAJOU

    Mes coordonnée

    HASSAN NAJOU

    official guide

    langue:francaise,inglish

    e- mail : hassanvoyage@yahoo.fr

    tel: 00212610267904

  • John Waite

    Been a couchsurfer for several years but it keeps changing so much that I now cannot even log in. I keep getting couch requests that I cannot reply to. And it keeps telling me to get verified for $35 athough I have been a verified member for years. It has gotten too difficult to keep up with so to heck with it…..

    • Couchsurfing_HQ

      Hi John,
      You may have discovered a bug in our verification system! Thanks for letting us know. Please report your issue(s) to our Support Team at support@couchsurfing.com. They’re happy to help out.