Our plan for the next iteration in couch surfing

We plan on building a platform that works for the whole community. We've talked to a lot of people and put a lot of thought into the issues with Couchsurfing™ so we can fix them and build something better.

Primarily we want it to be:

  • Free for all users forever
  • Managed by the community
  • Modern and well built, adapting to user needs
  • Accessible and safe

We fundamentally believe that a tool like this can enhance the experiences of its users and communities that use it if it is executed correctly.

We want to include the best parts from all the other hospitality exchange platforms out there. This includes hosting, surfing, messaging, live hangouts, planned events, trip planning, maps and many more.

If you have ideas for features you'd like to see, please let us know.

Our plan

These are the key concepts that we will build into the foundation of the platform.

Non-profit structure Governance

We will be structured as a non-profit. There is no need for investors. We will explore various revenue models with the community.

Community-first with an improved verification system Governance

We will prioritize communities by building them into the foundation of the platform. We will open communication channels wherever we can. We will also incorporate an improved verification method to re-institute so members can better trust each other.

Member accountability Design

The community can be made to be safer by introducing an accountability measures. If everyone is publicly accountable for their behavior, then the community will be able to filter people out if they are seen to be detrimental. This will be our first positive step in making the community safer, especially for women. This will also be used to filter freeloaders out of the platform.

An improved review system Design

We want reviews to be more accurate reflections of people, letting members know if others are assets to the community or potentially harmful. In order to make people accountable, negative reviews must be destigmatized. While keeping the system simple, we introduce a new score called Community Standing that reflects these ideas better.

Better host matching Design

We will build a system that encourages a healthy spread of surfers with different hosts in order to make local communities larger and more active. We will also explore methods of pairing surfers and hosts with better personality fits, and give members more flexibility in filtering their searches for other users.

Build it right Technology

Our platform is developer-led, and we will prioritize building it well and scalable from the start. Having open communication channels with the broader community will allow us to prioritize and tackle bugs and other issues.