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Autor Thema: What is CouchSurfing ?  (Gelesen 1453 mal)


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What is CouchSurfing ?
« am: 29. Juli 2011, 16:13:27 »

Media FAQ
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This FAQ is designed to assist the media with the most common questions asked about CouchSurfing as well as provide the answers to members who are being interviewed.

   1. What is the CouchSurfing Mission?

          * Our Vision Statement:  "A world where everyone can explore and create meaningful connections with the people and places they encounter."

          * Our Mission Statement:  "Create Inspiring Experiences"

          * The CouchSurfing community strives to do individual and collective parts to make the world a better place, and believe that the surfing of couches is a means to accomplish this goal. CouchSurfing isn't about the furniture - it's not just about finding free accommodations around the world - it's about participating in creating a better world.

          * We encourage you to read our Vision Statement to better understand our community and what we stand for.  Read our Mission Statement as well as our Guiding Principles to better understand how our organization operates.
   2. Who are the founders and how did they come up with the idea for CouchSurfing?

          * CouchSurfing has four founders: Casey Fenton, Dan Hoffer, Sebastien Le Tuan, and Leonardo Silveira

          * Three of the four co-founders, Casey Fenton, Daniel Hoffer, and Sebastien LeTuan, became close friends while working together at a start-up Daniel founded. The idea for CouchSurfing solidified when Casey bought a cheap ticket to Iceland for a long weekend one April. He came up with the idea of e-mailing over 1,500 Icelandic students in Reykjavik and asking them if he could crash on one of their couches. Exchanging emails with many of the students, he then had several groups of friends offer to show him "their" Reykjavik. After spending an amazing, crazy weekend just south of the Arctic Circle, Casey decided he would never again get trapped in a hotel and tourist marathon while traveling. Casey then invited Dan, Seb, and another friend and colleague of his, Leonardo Silveira, to co-found CouchSurfing with him.  Registered as a non-profit in 1999, the site launched in beta on Jan 1, 2003.  Casey has worked full-time to build the organization since the beginning, with the other founders contributing according to availability. Casey focused on guiding the organization's vision and coding, Seb and Leo on usability and design, and Dan on business strategy. Casey continues to help CouchSurfing pursue its vision as Executive Director.

   3. Who runs  If I have questions, do members answer them?

          * is a completely member supported and driven community.  The effort that goes into supporting the CouchSurfing community is done by people all over the world - hundreds contributing as volunteers from home, along with a smaller long-term team of employees and contractors.

          * CS Ambassadors are a group of committed members dedicated to making their CS community better by increasing participation in the site. This includes meeting with new members and helping out fellow Surfers in a variety of ways.

   4. How can you provide for the safety of your members?

          * CouchSurfing has implemented several precautionary measures for the benefit of its surfers, hosts, and community. Every user is linked to the other users in the system through a network of friend links, references, and vouching.

          * Our voluntary verification process checks a member's identity and address.  Once the process is completed a members profile identifies them as a verified member. For some people, verification may not be important. For others, it is crucial.

   5. Tell me more about being a non-profit organization.

          * CouchSurfing is a non-profit organization, funded entirely by the generous donations of our members.  Our guiding principles state that being a non-profit is essential to our Mission. Every month, thousands of CouchSurfers choose to support the community by donating.  We spend donated income efficiently towards our Mission.  In 2009, a 24¢ USD donation paid for a positive experience between two members.

          * Achieving our charitable mission requires gathering and spending resources, but we do so with the understanding that CouchSurfing's non-profit status legally mandates that all resources must be spent directly on achieving the mission rather than creating profit for private interests. The goal of CouchSurfing has never been about money, and using the site is free to all members. It's all about helping to reach our Vision of a better world.

   6. Is CouchSurfing free? Do the hosts expect anything in return for surfers staying with them?

          * CouchSurfing was created specifically so that everyone can travel the world and partake in cultural exchange. Staying with a host is also always free, and CS terms of use prohibit hosts from charging surfers. Many surfers like to bring their hosts gifts or treat them to a meal as a "Thank you," but this is not a requirement. There are infinite ways to reciprocate goodwill.

          * CouchSurfing considers "hosting" and "surfing" to be of equal value because both are necessary for cultural exchange. Therefore, members are not required to "earn points" by hosting in order to surf. Members are free to enjoy either or both aspects of the service as they choose.

   7. Is CouchSurfing just based in the United States?

          * CouchSurfing's members are located all over the globe, currently in over 238 countries and territories.  Most of these locations have ambassadors, and the network grows by thousands per week.  To learn more about the number of CS members in each locations and much more, visit the statistics page. A visual representation of where members live is shown on the World Map (yes, there really are CS members in Antarctica!).  The CouchSurfing website has also been translated by volunteers into several different languages.

   8. Are hosting and surfing the only ways to participate in the community?

          * No. Members who live in the same city or town organize frequent events for knowledge exchange, language practice, picnics, pot-lucks, and having fun.  Locals who are unable to host also meet travelers for coffee or meals or just to show them around town.

   9. Can you describe the typical CouchSurfing experience?

          * You decide to spend two weeks traveling around Europe.

          * You log on to and do a search for members within a few of the cities on your itinerary.

          * You contact interesting prospects from the list and outline your travel plans.

          * Several people accept your couch request. You adjust your plan to spend a few days in each city.

          * You confirm with your hosts, adjust travel plans, and excitedly fly off to experience CouchSurfing for the first time.

          * Your hosts share their knowledge about their area and their culture, giving you the true experience of a local.  In sharing hospitality, new ideas, and travel experience, you form fast friendships.

          * You arrive back home and are so excited about CouchSurfing you log online immediately to find ways to start helping the community advance the mission of the project!

  10. How do I find answers to other questions or request an interview?

          * Below are some links to help you navigate around the site:

                o CouchSurfing's Mission and Vision
                o Questions Frequently Asked by Members
                o World Map of CouchSurfing Members
                o Live Updated Member Statistics
                o Tips for Surfing and Hosting
                o Website Terms of Use

          * If you have any further questions or would like to request an interview, please submit a Media Inquiry.

© 1999-2011 CouchSurfing International Inc. - a Non-Profit Organization  
'CouchSurfing' and 'CouchSurfer' are registered and unregistered service marks of CouchSurfing International. r20539 - 2011-07-29 06:05:32 UTC