Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Couch Surfing

Memula tahu pasal Couch Surfing nie dari Jaja...dia dikenalkan oleh kawan dia pulak. Dari luar rasa memang seronok la....tapi bila baca thread dari Vietnam (Hue) bagaimana CS dari China dikenakan oleh sekumpulan CS di Hue, memang terlalu banyak keburukan CS nie. Mungkin dari mata pemula CS nie, nak melihat kebaikan dan menyatukan semua orang. Kalau kena orang yang baik memang bagus..tapi kebanyakan orang yang baik nie pulak selalu diambil kesempatan oleh CS yang jahat. Ada beberapa jenis CS, ada yang sengkek...makna, nak duduk lama kat tempat tu secara percuma..tapi siapa yang tahan. Selalu mat saleh la perangai buruk macam tu. Depa nie, boleh bagi semua yang ada pada depa...makna SEX la...for free. Tapi sebagai balasan, orang tu kena la bagi tinggal percuma dan selalu end up depa mesti buat taik punye. Dah banyak thread yang aku baca, macam jenis manusia. Tapi yang paling bagus e-mail2 tu ialah tips - mana tempat nak pegi, nak makan, nak tido...bila time elok pegi..dan mcm2.

The CouchSurfing Project is the largest hospitality exchange network, with over 1.75 million member in 237 countries and territories. According to Alexa it is currently the most visited hospitality service on the Internet, averaging around 40 million daily page views July - December 2009.

How it works

After registering, which is free, member have the option of providing very detailed information and pictures of themselves and of the sleeping accommodation they offer, if any. More information provided by a member, and other members improves the chances that someone will find the member trustworthy enough to be their host or guest. Security is often measured in the reference established by networking. Volunteers may verify names and addresses. Members looking for accommodation can search for hosts using several parameters such as age, location, gender and activity level. Home stays are entirely consensual between the host and guest, and the duration, nature and terms of the guest's stay are generally worked out in advance to the convenience of both parties. No monetary exchange takes place except for compensation of incurred expenses (e.g. food). After using the service, members can leave a noticeable reference about host or guest.

Instead of or in addition to accommodation, members also offer to provide guide services or travel related advice. CouchSurfing provides editable travel guides and forums where members may seek travel partners or advice. CouchSurfing's main focus is "social networking" and members organize activites such as camping trips, bar crawls, meetings, and sporting events.

Their website features a searchable database of hundreds of upcoming events organized by CouchSurfing members, including the annual "Berlin Beach Camp" which draws over 1,000 attendees, the annual "WinterCamp", and a New Year's Eve party hosted in a different city in Europe every year.

Security Verification

Security verification

There are three methods to ensure security and trust, which are all visible on member profiles for potential host and surfers to see prior to arranging anything with each other:

1. Personal references, which hots and surfers have the option to leave after having used the service.

2. An optional credit card verification system, allowing members to "lock in" their name and address by making a credit card payment and entering a code that Couch Surfing mails to the billing address. This also allows CS to recuperate some costs by requiring a fee for verification. For fairness the verification fee is base on a sliding scale, taking into account the the Purchasing Power Parity and Human Development Index of the country of residence.

3. A personal vouching system, whereby a member that had been vouched for - originally starting with the founders of the site - might in turn vouch for any number of other members he or she knew or had met through CouchSurfing, and trusts.


Casey Fenton

The CouchSurfing project was originally conceived by Casey Fenton in 1999. Accoring to Fenton's own account, the idea arose after finding an inexpensive flight from Boston to Iceland. Rather than stay at a hostel, Fenton randomly e-mailed 1,500 students from the University of Iceland asking if he could stay. Fenton ultimately received more than 50 offer of accommodation. On the return flight to Boston, he began to develop the ideas that would underpin the CouchSurfing project.


The mission statement of CouchSurfing is Create Inspiring Experiences : "CouchSurfing seeks to internationally network people and places, create educational exchanges, raise collective consciousness, spread tolerance and facilitate cultural understanding. As a community we strive to do out individual and collective parts to create a better world, and we believe that the surfing of couches is a means to accomplish this goal. CouchSurfing is not about the furniture, not just about finding free accommodations around the world; it's about making connections worldwide. We make the world a better place by opening our homes, our hearts, and our lives. We open our minds and welcome the knowledge that cultural exchange makes available. We create deep and meaningful connections that cross oceans, continents and cultures. CouchSurfing wants to change not only the way we travel, but how we relate to the world!".

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