30 December 2009

Couch Surfing - The Missing Quick Manual

What is CouchSurfing?
CS is an online social network dedicated to advance cultural understanding by sharing hospitality with one another. The experience is highly beneficial to all parties involved.
How does CS work?
Members that are about to travel search online for members that live near the desired destination. The travelers then send requests via the online platform. If the recipients are willing to host then phone numbers, addresses etc. are exchanged and the marvelous experience is about to happen. Members can decide if they want to host somebody or only want to offer a dinner or a sightseeing tour.
Is it free and safe?
CS is free. CS is voluntary and bases upon mutual trust and responsibility. There are several ways CS tries to show that members are reliable and safe to surf. Firstly references are written for both hosts and travelers and secondly can members verify their address and thereby their CS-identity.
How do I write a good request?
Read or at least scan the profiles and refer to statements to show that you are not simply sending a serial mail which are generally ignored. Address the host and say thank you. Tell what you can offer (present, skill, cooking). Say something about you. Specify meeting times and places. Exchange phone numbers. Ask if you need to bring something (sleeping bag). Say thank you in the local language to show your interest in the culture.
Your request should not be longer than 15 lines because people tend to be busy and refrain from reading long texts. To uphold the member‘s privacies use the implemented CS messaging engine to communicate.

Watch a movie (Morocco, EURO-Tour, Poland & the Baltics) about my CouchSurfing experiences!

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