Monday, January 25, 2010

The lost cause

For 2 years the core members in bewelcome did not care about its users and now they send an email

sad sad sad

let history not be forgotten and the BOD meeting minutes on the bewelcome wiki show how creativity was shot down at the BOD meetings and its was the BOD which made the last decision hence stiffling the community ,choking it till it existed no more.
Also the mailing lists of the dev will show the arrogance of the dev past and present on bewelcome which ultimately killed the project.

from the start till now bewlcome still consist of the SAME active members (closed circle of friends)

One of the things always worried me is the fact bewelcome is too european centered
The European centricity of BW is actually a very interesting point and it deserves a bit more explanation:

* BeVolunteer/BeWelcome was founded in Europe (France) and you can clearly see this in the membership numbers. In a way, this is normal: we will always grow in concentric circles around Europe.
* This specific travel culture (online hospitality exchange) is a lot more dominant in Europe than anywhere else. Even Couchsurfing (an American org) has more members in Europe than in the US!
* Some things, like safety, communication and verification are incredibly hard to do in places where you might not have an official address.

This all means that hospitality exchange will probably always be "bigger" in Europe than anywhere else. But that's not neccesarily a bad thing, it is just what it is.

by tgoorden (totally sad reply)


"The biggest problem is people who sign up with good intentions, and then after a few logins they give up and never show up again.

I imagine the number one reason is the experience when using this site."

I really doubt that. I think reason number one is that they don't have that much use of the site. Either they don't get guests or they don't find hosts - that would be the main reason in my eyes.

This shows that the core decision makes have for the past 3 years had no idea on what is causing the network to fail.

"The biggest problem is people who sign up with good intentions, and then after a few logins they give up and never show up again.

Dear BeWelcome member,

Today I am going to ask you for your help. Today I am going to ask you to make a difference.

BeWelcome is a website, but it's also a community which you have chosen to be a part of. It is also a place where ordinary people like you and me have put in thousands of hours of voluntary work to make the community interesting, fun and functional. It may surprise you, but no one has ever been paid for any of that hard work.

BeWelcome is unique in another way, because it is the only truly democratic online hospitality exchange network. This means that this is the only place where your voice, your opinion truly matters. BeWelcome is built on this promise, this opportunity:

"Creating a hospitality community based on collective work, democracy and transparency."

But we're in serious danger of losing this opportunity. We are not growing as we'd like to grow. We have trouble keeping our donations flowing. We're simply not seeing the usage and the support that BeWelcome needs. Out of frustration regarding this current state of affairs and because of serious time constraints, Florian has stepped down as chairman of the board of directors of BeVolunteer (the legal organization underneath this all) and asked me as former vice chairman to take over. I would like to personally thank Florian for his voluntary work so far, but especially for the strong wake-up call he is giving us in this way. Because he's right: making BeWelcome work sometimes seems like an impossible task with very little in return.

That's why we need your help. We need you to speak up, to let us know if you still care about this project.

You can do this in many ways:

* You can vote with your feet. You can log in and make your presence known:
put up a picture, update your profile, write a reference, join a group. Or - if you are not interested any more in participating - terminate your account.
* You can participate in this evaluation phase by letting your voice be heard in our forums. Tell everyone what you think should be done. Make suggestions.
* You can make an even stronger statement: donate. This one is simple; if we can't get enough donations, we will simply not be able to afford the rent for the website servers anymore. This will be the end of the community no matter what. You know BeWelcome doesn't ask for money often, so when we do, it's serious. Donate.
* Volunteer. Join one of the many efforts to make BeWelcome work. Or, show your appreciation to any of the hard-working volunteers out there.

I'm going to do my part as well. Together with the entire board of directors, I will try to reach out to other organizations to form long-term alliances. We will also listen to you, read and process all of your suggestions/comments/questions and create a poll in the very near future that will determine where BeWelcome is headed.

Show that you care. Make this community live.
Log in, participate, debate, donate, volunteer or send thanks. Make a difference.

Thank you,
Thomas Goorden, new chairman of BeVolunteer, and the BoD


  1. instead of just linking to all of bw communication (forum, mailinglist, reports) it would be pretty interesting if you could point out the specific points and actions (or the absence thereof) the bod or core members shot down creativity in the past

    also it would be interesting what you role hase been? have you been or are you actively involed in trying to push creativity in bewelcome? are you an outside observer? ...

    Thanks for clarification

  2. A lost cause would indicate there the cause is beyond rectification.
    Would also mean all efforts to rectify the behavior of the core failed.

    Before asking questions it would be good to know your role in this project?

    Also what use is it now? with the same core members,same bod members ,same server admin? since its incepction. why should anyone even make the effort ?

  3. The main problem is bewelcome does not have a mission or core.If you look at their discussions you see they cannot agree on whether bewelcome is going to be a hospitality site .
    The ideas where more to families meeting up in real life site .
    Meeting in real life (but having a virtual site to meetup) which is already taken by