Wow fucking put up a paywall so you can’t even see any of your past messages or friends without a subscription of 2$ a month, federated couch surfing when?! or are both sorta cool domains for a federated alternative

@onan maybe the first step is to open issues in all three of these projects and propose federation. They may not have ever heard of the idea or know that the exists at all.

already has an open issue since 2018:

already has an issue as well:

already has a fork of Trustroots who is working on adding ActivityPub:

Tagging @weex because I see them in the issues there already

Thanks to a few folks for pointing out the already existing discussion on SocialHub about hospitality exchange (I didn’t know this term before)

And thanks to @humanetech for starting a discussion about this on another part of the fediverse:

A random coincidence: someone submitted an article that made it to the front page of hacker news about this issue right before I started posting about this today

@liaizon can be done now, with existing Mastodon/Fediverse; I've seen the Fedi already being used to find short term and emergency accomodation for people but Fedi could do with either groups or a dedicated app. Might be worth investigating *why* Couchsurfing did this; was it simply for basic running costs or to pay lawyers/PR people following safeguarding failures and criminal cases a few years ago?

@vfrmedia yeah just having an instance devoted to it with some bots that keep track of cities and stuff would go a long way

@liaizon @vfrmedia I've seen an initiate to develop something like this, with people from BeWelcome, Trustroots etc. behind it, but of course I can't remember the project's name.

As for *why* Couchsurfing did this, well, isn't it just a classic example of a corporation enclosing digital commons? The usual path is: 1) a hobby/phenomenon starts, stuff is amateurish, 2) a corporation starts to offer services and look more professional, 3) the corporation registers the trademark, 4) ban amateurs.

@Stoori @liaizon

I just had a look into the history and Couchsurfing already went corporate in the 2010s; then a lack of revenue due to Covid stopping a lot of travel encouraged them to try and make it a paying service (also they offer services to verify IDs etc for security, though I'm dubious as to how that can be "safer" than a real community which regularly interacts)

@Stoori @vfrmedia yeah I was familiar with the term couch surfing for 15 years before the .com took over the name and decided it was controlled by them

@vfrmedia @liaizon I added an accommodation ontology to the sharing system in Epicyon recently.

@bob this would do the job (BTW I'm not getting notifications again from your posts, luckily I saw this in the first column).

Is there any way I can see a demo of this sharing system? (I did look on your site but couldn't find it)..

@vfrmedia @bob also didn’t get a notification of this from bob and only see this now that I am looking back at the thread.

@vfrmedia @liaizon From what I understand from the wikipedia article, they tried to run it as a non-profit in the beginning with some financial problems. Then the BDFL turned out to not be benevolent and sold the whole thing to venture capital with predictable consequences.
I think this is mostly a case against having a BDFL

@liaizon @frainz

Bolting it on to the existing Fediverse could work as there is already a global community here who are generally friendly, well behaved, diverse in age, ethnicity, gender/sexuality etc and even with folk being privacy aware they share just enough to ascertain whether they would be trustworthy (all the other services risk creating power imbalances, especially when relative strangers are desperate to find accomodation at short notice)

@frainz I have an account and have lurked but never tried to stay anywhere. Have used couch surfing a ton though.

@liaizon Hm, ok. I never had the guts to really try any of them, but CS always felt too corporate (made an account in 2014, I think). But each time I looked at bewelcome, there were far fewer hosts

@frainz stayed with folks in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan from couch surfing. Was sorta insane how many folks there were on it using it to gain language skills from travelers.

@liaizon replace “books and reviews” with “locations and terms” and there is already a fediverse model for what a federated couch share might be like…

@onan I wonder how close that codebase would fit. That’s a good idea!

@liaizon another possible close code fit …

… and what a great collection of links you and other have gathered!

@liaizon @onan

out of all 3, #Couchers seems to have taken the most effort to fully address the human/community safeguarding issues that plague any service like this (incidentally, I'm not sure if people realise that in many countries the moment they invite someone into their house they incur a formal legal duty of care to look after them and can incur legal penalties if things go wrong...)

@liaizon there is discussion right now in the @ohn #Matrix chatroom. The HN article led some new people to the room.

@liaizon When I was looking for a new job in 2016, I almost worked for the guy that bought the rights to it, and was trying to bring it back.

I ended up taking a different direction, especially after somebody told me the guy was kind of unhinged. But, I always kind of wondered about what happened to CS.

@sean @liaizon

Please support Mariah, let's federate couchsurfing:


and then it would appear on the sick ActivityPub map I am doing now for redaktor in the other window.
Would be nice if it has an `icon` property with e.g. a couch svg … :)

@sl007 @sean thank you Sebastian for posting the link to the SocialHub thread I didn’t think to look there but glad so much already came up over there!

@liaizon honestly can't put it into words how much the decision to paywall it has pissed me off

@GreenandBlack it’s really a rather large backstabbing of community trust

@liaizon brilliant - a federated couch surfing resource is a great idea!

Who will step forward and make it happen?

@liaizon Yah... @bigworldsmallsasha did a good blog post about this… and we too wondered how can a federated such platform look like. I think this is where that discussion happens…

@bigworldsmallsasha @tio thanks for the article, it’s funny even there people are thinking about the federated potential in the comments. Mentions of and . It’s incredible to me to think of how many areas of the internet would be better served if federated protocols became standard practice

@bigworldsmallsasha @tio I see you are the maintainer of so you are already more familiar with this space. I hadn’t seen your directory before. It seems a rather similar initiative to but with less focus on the software part

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