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Keeping the discussion open

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WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Keeping the discussion open

I didn't get the chance to comment on the post about member donations (Increasing Warmshowers Income Through Annual Member Donations: https://www.warmshowers.org/node/78970 ) since the donation mechanism has been put in place so I thought I'd continue here with the hope of continuing input from members. I was another member who brought up concerns about the proposed method for soliciting donations, I suggested an alternative and like several others, was quickly dismissed as being against donations altogether. The repeated reliance on this false dichotomy of 'you are with our proposed method of increasing donations or you are against donations altogether' whilst failing to address the substance of alternate proposals certainly gave one the impression that this decision was set in stone before it was even put up for discussion. But as was mentioned on the other thread this is a site with over 60,000 members and you can't please everyone.

Moving beyond this, I was disappointed to discover that members' donation status were to be made public to the WS community on their profiles. Again, there were a number of articulate, well reasoned points against going down this path from people with experience in other hospex sites which were not addressed to my knowledge. I say to my knowledge because it was also revealed that there was a debate running in parallel on the Warmshowers Facebook page which I had no knowledge of or access to as I am not a member - could we in the future confine important discussions to warmshowers.org or at least reproduce them on these pages? I see no reason why I should have to join Facebook to follow a debate about the future direction of this site.

Getting back on topic, I would just like to reiterate my disagreement with the decision to publish information regarding the donor status of WS members and with the the specific method employed on the site to increase donations. The arguments in contra have been well articulated by members such as Jean-François Beaulieu and Christopher Culver in the locked thread, I would like to have a better understanding of how these decisions were reached with specific regard to the concerns and alternatives put forth by such members. Were these arguments taken into consideration? How were they rebutted in favour of the path that was ultimately taken by WS?

WS is the only hospex site that functions for me at the moment and is in many ways an example for others to follow. That does not preclude WS learning from the mistakes that led to the downfall of sites like Couchsurfing and Hospitality Club - many of the expressions of concern on the previous thread were from members who saw first hand how these sites deteriorated. Even putting aside the specifics of the decisions made, the way the discussion was handled has caused myself and clearly a number of other members to feel uneasy. When I wrote about the need to take into consideration the 'cost' to the capital of trust and goodwill that WS has accumulated over its history this is precisely what I was referring to.

I would like to appeal to the Warmshowers board to take the time to directly and concisely address the issues outlined here, on the locked thread, and on Christopher's thread. I know I and many others would consider the time invested doing this a significant gesture in moving forward. Specifically pertaining to this thread, concerning the decisions taken regarding the site strategy for increasing donations and the use of donor badges, and keeping in mind that being against a certain model of fundraising does not equal being against fundraising altogether and that almost all arguments against donor badges were based on concerns about the negative consequences for the community as a whole and not the requests of individuals wanting to opt out:

1) Were the concerns and alternatives put forward by WS members spoken about by the board?

2) If so, on what basis was this input rejected in favour of the decisions that were ultimately taken by the WS board (ie: what were the counter arguments in favour of badges and the more intrusive annual membership model of fundraising?)

3) Were the operations of other volunteer run non-profit hospex sites such as BeWelcome investigated and taken into consideration by the board before these decisions were reached?

4) If so, on what basis were these alternatives rejected in favour of the decisions that were ultimately taken by the WS board?

5) Is there a way of directly contacting board members outside of the WS messaging system?

6) Who has administrative powers to lock or delete threads and ban members?

I would welcome any further input from the board or the WS community and hope an open discussion can continue on this forum for the benefit of all.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
display of contribution/membership status

I agree, I am not sure why the status has to be displayed. I can see that it would appeal to people who like to 'look important' but the essence of Warmshowers is about hospitality and generosity so it seems an odd fit.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
It is indeed an odd fit.I

It is indeed an odd fit.

I have only ever hosted on WS and it is unlikely I will ever use the site as a guest (and, as I have written in numerous threads, I host because I get something out of it, I don't believe it is some sacrifice or that I am providing a service to WS and therefore should be exempt from any consideration when talking about donating) - and I care naught about the level of financial investment of potential guests.

The question was asked on the locked thread how can guests be more invested, and how can a host tell a bit more about how invested the guest is? The answer has always been there - through the profile and request of the guest. My concern is only what type of person the potential guest is, $10 will have no influence on my decision. On a site promoting open hospitality exchange for cyclists, members should be judged on who they are, not what they have given and that means through their references as hosts and/or guests and through the person they describe in their profile. To confer status on members through dollars I believe runs in counter to at least the publicly espoused values of hospitality exchange - this should be the one place where those considerations are left behind.

I am not asking for my status to be hidden BTW (nor those of other conscientious objectors), I am concerned about the broader negative impact this will have in terms of altering perceptions/expectations and fostering yet another community where, in some way, status can be bought with dollars (do we not have enough of these already?).

WS Member Imagen de wsadmin
Donation status is optional

Just so you all know, displaying donation status is optional. You can turn it off on your profile. Please see https://www.warmshowers.org/faq#t58n85428

If you don't want it to show, please turn it off, regardless of whether you choose to donate or not.

Thanks,
-Randy

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
As I said my concern (and

As I said my concern (and those of just about every member who has spoken out about this) is about the potential negative impact on the community not the visibility of my individual donor status. Offering an option to hide one's donor status does not address this.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
No labels, please!

I just got an email notification regarding this new membership thing. It seems to me that even if we abstain, we are in fact being forced to choose to show our status. Even if you call it "optional." In Couchsurfing I had donated, not to verify my identity for them or to acquire any status but simply out of joy for such a beautiful initiative at the very beginning, well, in my case, early 2008. However, when they started screwing things up and gave us this "option" of not showing our donation status, I chose to remain anonymous, i.e., not to show it, but there was always this nagging doubt that maybe some (even if a minority, sometimes it's a decisive minority) might not choose me as a guest because my profile did not show me as a donor (although I was).

So it's like going to a party or meeting and everybody gets a name tag, but some people get a fancier name tag because they have paid for their ticket (Optional Ticket, since it's a potluck of sorts), but we who have donated but don't necessarily want to "advertise" it, get no name tag or simply the same tag as all other non-donors. So what is all this crap about name tags? Eliminate them all together! Really, I think the solution would be to have no indication whatsoever on donor status on the profiles. Those who donate will get a certificate or whatever for their tax-deduction, and if they wish they can talk about themselves as such if they participate on forums and need that "identity boost."

WS Member Imagen de wsadmin
Not a bad analogy

The nametag analogy is not a bad one. It's like everybody gets a nametag (donor or not) and everybody gets to choose whether to wear it or not.

Many people are quite private about their donations. For example, my wife and I choose to keep ours private - https://www.warmshowers.org/users/randyfay

Many people are quite proud and want to wear it as a badge, and then there are the many, many hosts who would be interested to know if a new member who wants to be a guest has even a tiny stake in the community, so a donation status can be the first sign of credibility for a new member.

So do make your own choice about your nametag, as described in https://www.warmshowers.org/faq#t58n85428 - everybody gets to choose whether to wear it or not.

Thanks,
-Randy Fay
Warmshowers.org Webmaster and Executive Director

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Well, I think many of us

Well, I think many of us don't like the concept of the name tags. Eventually, sticking with the analogy, we can ask each other our names, exercise our memory, etc. Besides, Randy, you say that everybody gets a name tag, donor or not, as what? As a member? But it won't say what kind of member? That is, the profile of the Free Trial Member will look exactly like the $1000 donor, right? If it's just a distinction between registered members and visiting members, that would be ok, but really I don't see much point in it, and anything else would just make people self-conscious or discriminating. It's not necessary, and maybe even negative.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I wish the donor's status

I wish the donor's status would not be mentioned in the profiles. I understand the point of ws to raise money but I don't see the point of showing who donated or not, especially since there are huge differences of standards of living among the many countries where ws members live.
Another thing: this thread shows that it seems that more people would opt for not mentioning the donor's status on the profiles. Are there anybody out there who would prefer to see the donor's status?
If not, it should be dropped.
The profile can give a prospective guest or host a good idea of who they are about to meet, regardless of money involvement with the organisation.
That's my piece of opinion for now,
have a good day!
Catherine

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I agree with this. I wouldn't

I agree with this. I wouldn't care about donator status on my profile just as I don't care about verified member status I have now on CS. While few years ago I wanted to support the idea by donating, little did I know it would soon backfire on me. The CS as I knew died but whenever I log in and see under my own profile "Verified member" I think to myself "Why did I give money for this crap?".
A good way of collecting donations is just asking for donations. For example BeWelcome has this sorted out in a decent way. When you log in you can see some sort of a donato-meter and anyone who is willing can contribute without being rewarded with tags that promote elitism instead of core values of hospex communities.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
"A good way of collecting

"A good way of collecting donations is just asking for donations. For example BeWelcome has this sorted out in a decent way."

Indeed, BeWelcome does this in a sensible way, as does Wikipedia. I pointed this out the first time I saw the donation screen, only to receive a message from Randy that my complaints are in vain, because what's done is done.

One cannot help but feel that Randy's insistance on more aggressively pushing members to donate, is based on a desire to draw a nice, big salary from the organization. Donations aren't being solicited just to keep the site going, but to keep money flowing into Randy’s pockets.

As I said in the last thread, there is a definite conflict of interest here in who is being tasked with managing the new donation system. The salaried person whom WarmShowers hires for other aspects of the site, should not have a role in WS fundraising.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Amazed by using this language

"One cannot help but feel that Randy's insistance on more aggressively pushing members to donate, is based on a desire to draw a nice, big salary from the organization. Donations aren't being solicited just to keep the site going, but to keep money flowing into Randy’s pockets"

This seems to me in what they say in Dutch, throwing/slinging with mud.

Tailwinds, and we really hope that Warmshowers stays a communtiy where people feel connect with eachother, if not, unsubscribe.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
This isn't an accusation made

This isn't an accusation made lightly, nor is it idle "mudslinging". Rather, I am deeply concerned about the conflict of interest here, where the sole site developer is now able to essentially push the WS membership into donating the salary that he wants. See my comments in the other thread, which is now locked. My worries about Randy’s role in these recent site changes arose from seeing him dismiss not only my individual comment left on the donation form, but nearly every other concern raised by members here on the forums. There needs to be discussion about donation involving only people who do not have a financial interest in the matter.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I don't mind

Sorry but I don't mind if you can see that we donate yes or no. If we want to host somebody or if we are guests, we just read the profile of the person. For us that is way more important then to see if somebody donated yes or no. For us it is also very!!! important how the request is written.
During our long membership we noticed there is a change going on in the Warmshower members. In our opinion there are more people using Warmshowers in a different way then we think it should be. We where contacted by people who drive their car for 3 hours, do a cycling trip for 4 days and go from Warmshower to Warmshower. We where contacted by people like," I only spend 5 dollars a day so please do you have a tentspace for tonight.". We really don't mind to pay something for this good organisation in the hope Warmshowers stays Warmshowers, a group of people riding bikes, and feeling connected with eachother AND their bikes, and their tours !
Tailwinds, and go biking !!, You are welcome to stay at our place, on one of your tours.

Karin and Marten

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
"That does not preclude WS

"That does not preclude WS learning from the mistakes that led to the downfall of sites like Couchsurfing and Hospitality Club - many of the expressions of concern on the previous thread were from members who saw first hand how these sites deteriorated."

Yes, history does seem to be repeating itself here. I would encourage everyone to discuss these recent developments on WS with our peers on other hospitality exchange sites like BeWelcome and Trustroots. Get the word out to those activists who resisted the downfall of earlier hospitality exchange sites when the community’s concerns were ignored. It would also be good for people to familiarize themselves with other hospitality exchange discussion forums if necessary – in the past, when sites have suddenly changed direction, censorship of discussion forums has occurred, so who knows how long the WS forums will be open to such questions from the community. We’ve already seen one thread locked.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Feedback

This is a community of touring cyclists. It is a community of sharing hospitality, stories, and miles. It spans the globe. I have only been a member less than 2 years but have enjoyed all the experiences I have had. Like the old Visa commercial used to say, "Everything else is priceless". So why put the energy into resisting a donation the size of the cost of an inner tube or beer? Especially when it is not even required?

The previous thread, now closed, gave us great feedback and direction. We on the Board heard what was said. The thread was closed because it started to repeat itself and seemed to be more about venting on a problem. Despite resistance, we have also received incredible positive feedback, and the donations have been incredible!

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere will be here soon... Shouldn't we be training and preparing for our next ride?

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
"So why put the energy into

"So why put the energy into resisting a donation the size of the cost of an inner tube or beer?"

Goodness, Ken. Did you even read the first post in this thread? As bathysphere wrote: "I suggested an alternative and like several others, was quickly dismissed as being against donations altogether. The repeated reliance on this false dichotomy of 'you are with our proposed method of increasing donations or you are against donations altogether'..."

Why do you continue to depict those unhappy with the chosen means of soliciting donations as being against donations entirely? This is not the first time you’ve done this. You did the same exact thing on the last thread, and I complained to you about this in a response to your private message to me.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I agree with Christopher.

I agree with Christopher. Many of us have suggested many ways of solving the problem of revenue. It's not a matter of not using donations, that is the MAIN way. Then there could be discrete ads like CGOAB does. But what is the plan? What are the projected expenses and how much needs to be raised for the next year or so? Beyond that, the issue this thread raises is whether to have donors distinguished from non-donors. I'm against that, for the reasons I've already stated. Why ask us? Are you asking us? If so, why not just send an email to all those who have donated so far and ask them. And then send an email to all those who haven't donated and ask them, too. And then, if there is going to be some semblance of "democratic process" or group participation, so be it, let that be the criteria for deciding, but document and publish it. Otherwise, do whatever you want, you have the power.
Just as an anecdote, today I looked on the list of my references, and not one of them (at least not in the first 6 or so I looked at) has donated. I'm not going to reproach them anything, but it's a sign that there are many who have not donated. We don't need to know who has donated or how much. Just make more people donate willingly and anonymously. But publish the general goals and targets met, etc, on the home page.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Another attempt to keep the discussion open.

I would like to appeal to the Warmshowers board to take the time to directly and concisely address the issues outlined here, on the locked thread, and on Christopher's thread - I know I and many others would consider the time invested doing this a significant gesture in moving forward.

Specifically pertaining to this thread, concerning the decisions taken regarding the site strategy for increasing donations and the use of donor badges, and keeping in mind that being against a certain model of fundraising does not equal being against fundraising altogether and that almost all arguments against donor badges were based on concerns about the negative consequences for the community as a whole and not the requests of individuals wanting to opt out:

1) Were the concerns and alternatives put forward by WS members spoken about by the board?
2) If so, on what basis was this input rejected in favour of the decisions that were ultimately taken by the WS board (ie: what were the counter arguments in favour of badges and the more intrusive annual membership model of fundraising?)
3) Were the operations of other volunteer run non-profit hospex sites such as BeWelcome investigated and taken into consideration by the board before these decisions were reached?
4) If so, on what basis were these alternatives rejected in favour of the decisions that were ultimately taken by the WS board?
5) Is there a way of directly contacting board members outside of the WS messaging system?
6) Who has administrative powers to lock or delete threads and ban members?

I will leave the questions regarding the decision to contract staff, the proposed budget and the proportion allocated to salaries, and questions of accountability and transparency to Christopher's thread, I hope these can be answered too.

Thankyou.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Hello Paul, My name is Alex

Hello Paul,

My name is Alex Rosenblatt and I am a volunteer with the "trust and safety" component of Warmshowers and I serve on the board. Thanks for taking the time to summarize your questions — I agree that these are important points to answer and be clear on. I want to make sure that I talk with everyone who was involved with making these decisions before I respond.

Until we create an easier way to contact board members directly, you and anyone else please feel free to email me directly at rosenblatt.alex [at] gmail.com.

Sincerely,

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Hi Alex, thankyou for your

Hi Alex, thankyou for your response.

Thankyou (and thanks to Louis also) for providing a means of direct contact with board members (I hope these details can eventually be incorporated for all board members on the Contact Us page).

I appreciate you being thorough in this and will look forward to your further input.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Hi Alex, It's been almost 2

Hi Alex,

It's been almost 2 weeks since your reply. Any chance of an update?

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Hi Paul, Thanks for checking

Hi Paul,

Thanks for checking in. This is still an ongoing conversation - I've brought the questions proposed above, to the board to ensure that they are seen by everyone, even if they are not on these forums. We have a "leadership" meeting on Friday the 20th to discuss many topics and these forums conversations and questions are on the agenda.

We intend to have more open conversations after this meeting and I'd love to have those in this thread in these conversations. After the meeting on Friday, I will post an update or link to an update in this thread.

Alex
rosenblatt.alex[at]gmail.com

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Thanks Alex, much

Thanks Alex, much appreciated.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Hi Alex

any progress with the questions I outlined above? If not, is there any chance of them being addressed at the May 31 meeting?

Cheers

Unregistered Imagen de anon_user
Donor status

If you examine the profiles of the many people hosted by Randy Fay, Ken Francis and many others, you will note that most ( <20% ) have not donated. Is it because they believe in ths original model of reciprocal hospitality eventually and therefore do not feel a need to donate to pay Randy's salary. Food for thought ..

Unregistered Imagen de anon_user
Donor status correction

Of the profiles I've examined less than 20% have donated.Approximately 80% have not. Perhaps Randy or Admins. could tabulate precisely what % of the WS members have donated as a whole and post those figures.

WS Member Imagen de wsadmin
Incredible results, incredible generosity of the community

As of today, as you'll note on the front page, $28,586 of the goal $60K has already been donated. In other words, we're almost halfway to the goal and less than a month into the fundraising drive. It's beyond anything I could hope for.

The $28,586 has come in 1,029 donations. 1,113 other members have signed up for the two free memberships. It's quite surprising that almost half the people who have jumped through the hoops to select a membership have made financial donations.

I find it surprising that more than 4% of our membership has already committed to one membership or another, with nothing really so far but an explanatory email and the site changes.

This community is generous in many, many ways and it's enormously appreciated.

Thanks,
-Randy Fay
Warmshowers.org Webmaster and Executive Director

Unregistered Imagen de anon_user
Donor status

So you're not concerned that 96% of the members have chosen. NOT to commit to a level or to donate ?

WS Member Imagen de wsadmin
We have hardly asked yet

We had been planning to send out an email before now to the whole membership asking them to take action on this. However, the response has been so overwhelmingly positive that we think it's better to go slowly. I would suggest that most of the membership doesn't even know about this request yet. The vast majority of our community does not log in often. We have sent out an email explaining the organizational changes, that all of you should have received, but it did not directly ask people to take action. That was by design, because we wanted to focus on explaining the changes to the organization. We're trying to take it slowly and make sure that everything is well communicated to everyone.

Bottom line: It's very early now. I'd be super happy if 50% of the membership had taken action to choose one of the free or paid memberships by the end of 2015, and if 70% had done so by the end of 2016.

Unregistered Imagen de anon_user
Donor status

So 2% of all members have chosen to donate and 2% of all memhers have chosen free levels ? 96 % of all members have not responded at all ? That fact would have me both surprised and concerned .

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
A dissection ...

I've read through most of the threads regarding the change and thought a little about the process used to implement it, and the prospective strategy around its implementation.

Much of the discussion has become personality driven and for me I find this incredibly grating. I really don't care if Randy is a God or an Arse. I do appreciate how much hard work he has done over the years.

What's now happening though is a failing communications exercise. Its disjointed, has far too much warm fuzzy repetition and, frankly, someone needs to tell Randy to butt out. He's too close to the issue, and has become fuel for the fire.

Chris Russo - This is your watch.

Paul and Chris C (and others), we got you the first couple of times. You made some useful comments, but I'm looking for other input now. I'd like to hear from other people before it starts to look like a 1 ring circus.

What most concerns me most is parts of the strategy that's encompassed in this change.

Key risk -> SPOF.

That's true but not the whole story surely. In that respect the critique about lock in to current approach has merits. I haven't heard a clear articulation about why an incremental change to the current approach, by contracting Randy, eliminates more than the immediate risk.

That sounds to me like Randy is tired of carrying most of the load. Don't really blame him there if that's the case.

What I haven't seen is a strategy based out of a canvas of the potential options and why a largely steady as she goes approach provides the right people, direction and platform for WS. If it exists lets talk from there. If not can we have a dialogue about developing it.

Pragmatically the 60K feels pretty much like a stop gap where a do nothing scenario was going to result in a more precarious outcome.

We'd be better placed in the longer term to at least have some roadmap of what WS will do to ensure it can sustain a variable level of growth and demand upon functionality. I'd be reasonably confident there's a bunch of IT/ Strategy guys already joined up who have experience in some of this and can help shape that.

Cheers

Stephen

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I agree that there is a risk

I agree that there is a risk that even a year or two of $60K donation drives is just a short term fix, and that this should be discussed by more members, but this thread, this discussion forum is not visited by many members. There are more on the Warmshowers FB group, but I think the people involved here do not want to publicize it that much, because they would both lose control/power. The discussions on the FB group are likely to get "out of hand," but that is preferable to not having them. For now, this is just a discussion in a backroom.

I have to keep repeating that what WS should do is streamline, in line with the simplicity (the beauty) of bicycles, but management (BoD) apparently wants to add all these bells and whistles to a simple bike, or high-tech components, etc, etc. I also appreciate the time and effort all volunteers have given but I don't understand why or IF Warmshowers is in a crisis now. I believe a lot could be done by just maintaining the way WS has functioned so far (finding a team to replace or help out Randy, of course). Making WS grow like a dinosaur will make it necessary to maintain that same rate of funding. If you create a monster, you then have to feed it. Let's go the bonsai way. Small but fine.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I would say discuss away on

I would say discuss away on Facebook Ignacio. There are already 4 threads here, plus I posted on the BeWelcome forum as comparisons with that hospex site had been brought up several times. Excuse the FB illiterate question but for those of us who survive scrounging outside the ramparts of Fortress Facebook - is there any way we can at least observe the discussions in the group? Could a setting be changed to make the group visible to those of us who live in the heathen lands?

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
About the FB group and general discussions

I'm not saying there isn't enough discussion here, only that the number of people viewing the threads or participating is reduced. And I'm not a particular fan of FB but I happened to find out about the group there and find the discussion is more varied and lively somehow there. It seems there are 15.000 or so members in that group. As to the access to it, I'm not sure if it's only for members to post or if anyone can read (or not) but not post. Not sure, anyway, here's the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Warmshowers.org/

But there don't seem to be any threads there right now about this issue of WS expansion, funding, membership status, donations, etc.

The first few threads I can see there right now are on:

- somebody in Australia offering fellow member a couple of concert tickets
- someone commenting and asking for opinions on Schwalbe tires
- a photo of so-called "bike porn"
- somebody writing a thesis on new trends in tourism and asking for help with a survey
- travel insurance in relation to visa requirements
- sharing a video of a South America tour
- sharing a link on the US Route 66 FB group
- stuck somewhere in NZ w/ a broken rim seeking advice on how to rebuild around a new hub

That's just a sampling of some of the threads. I think similar ones exist on this website, but they are somehow not as visited (at least not by me) because you have to go out of your way (sort of dig in there through the different topic sections) whereas in FB their all appear mixed in as one section with the threads with the most recent posts being bumped to the top.
In this sense, I see WS has a similar situation to that in Crazyguyonabike; there, too, the threads are classified and you have to go look for them.
The point I'm making is that if you all want to reach more people, you should either post also start a thread on the FB group, or send out an email to all WS members inviting to a specific discussion here, or both things.

Those topics on the FB group are pretty general, almost none of them related to WS activity per se, so they could just as well be (or should be?) in the other FB group called Bicycle Touring, which is also very popular. I think this is a reflection of the issue, maybe, I mean that the question is, does WS want to be simply and beautifully a group about hospitality, or do you really want to expand it to all aspects of bicycle touring with all that entails. I am for the simple list of potential hosts; it's cheaper, more efficient and less cluttered. The "all that entails" I referred to would mean costs of developing new functions, interface, etc, etc.

So why don't we leave the general bike touring discussions and software, etc., to such groups, and concentrate on hospitality? No mandatory donations (oxymoron?), no membership identity problems, just universal membership and occasional -as needed- fund drives to keep a simple and very efficient site running (which can be done for a couple of thousand dollars as BW and CGOAB and WS itself have shown).

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Sorry Ignacio

Perhaps I didn't express myself well - I'm agreeing with you, if we can involve more people then take the discussion also to Facebook - unfortunately it seems non members can't access it even to view but it would still be a useful exercise - I appoint you as the go between!

We are seeing arguments duplicated across threads here (another new thread with people arguing that hosts shouldn't have to pay, that guests should be charged per stay etc...) which can make the debate difficult, perhaps one giant bunfight on Facebook would be more efficient.

...and yes I agree entirely with your views on keeping WS simple.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
I'll try to get something

I'll try to get something going on the FB group by the weekend. There is no solution to the multiple platforms where this stuff is or can be discussed. I'll try to get more people from FB to participate here, too; or at least to have a look at the issues being discussed so that the discussion there can be more relevant.
Hopefully, though, the board of directors will take all views into account. On another thread I saw the statement (paraphrasing now) that now it is up to the board of directors to take responsibility, which sounds kind of definitive. Hopefully, though, they will feel (and act upon the fact) that a great part of that responsibility is not just checking off items of their own agendas but listening to as many members as possible and incorporating their opinions and wishes, which exist but have yet to be articulated.

WS Member Imagen de wsadmin
Thanks for caring about WS,

Thanks for caring about WS, Ignacio!

When posting in the FB group, please remember that it's 15,000 people, most of whom are busy thinking about bike touring and aren't necessarily interested in this. There have been quite a number of conversations there on these topics over the last 3 months, most of which have been valuable. The original posts on WS about our organizational changes, the plan to fundraise this year, and the annual report were all posted there and all resulted in significant conversations, as were the annual meeting minutes.

When you post over there, unlike here, though, you're likely to hit a number of people that never saw the previous info and don't have any background. So if you could please make sure that you provide for background the Email from the Board that went out recently and the Annual Report you should get a more informed conversation going.

Thanks so much. We love to hear from members, but when a lot of people are talking it's better for as many as possible to know as much as possible first.

And if you're trying to involve people in change, please make clear that the Warmshowers.org Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors who are all members and welcome input.

Thanks,
-Randy