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Why I am thinking of quitting Warmshowers - terrible communication from most "hosts"

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WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Free bed

I have hosted great people and been hosted by great people and totally love the concept of warmshowers. While home I am usually happy to host, but I realise I really only want genuine cyclists who are touring and it feels good to give them somewhere to stop and regroup for a few days. Where they can shower, sleep, and  feel safe. We will go out of our way to pick them up, show them local sites, feed them whatever. But we are NOT a free bed for tourists travelling by car or backpackers. Even if they once got on a bicycle and are thinking of doing it again. I find it hard to say no, but am going to from now on. Cyclists only please.

WS Member Portrait de Piotras
Possible improvement?

The main reason of a bad responsiveness is, I think, that members dont check their message boxes often enough and not systematicly. Becouse it is not anything you think of at the first place dealing with your everyday obligations.

I think one way to improve this situation would be to  connect each message/request to  its recipien`s email addresse, I mean,  sending a WS message would automaticaly generate an email to the recipient´s  email address with an information that a messag/requeste from WS member had been sent to his WS message box. Similarly as it is organized on f.in. TripAdvisor´s forum.

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Uhhhh, I get my requests in

Uhhhh, I get my requests in my email. You don't Piotr?

WS Member Portrait de Piotras
No, I dont.

No, I dont.

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
checked your spam? If yes you

checked your spam? If yes you should report it 

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
checked your spam? If yes you

checked your spam? If yes you should report it 

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Even forwarding requests to

Even forwarding requests to people’s e-mail inboxes is no guarantee that they will read it and respond. There is a big generational change now where many young people no longer check their e-mail on a regular basis. They do all their communication over Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger. They might respond to an alert from the WarmShowers mobile app, however, which underscores how the app is probably now the most important thing for the WS organization to maintain.

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
That is how it works now

Well, that is how it works now.
It does not help when people do not read their mail.

Wilfried, you seem to be missing a few things. Don't you get email notifications of each message in this thread?

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
After 2+ years ...

Concerning low response rates someone wrote that we need 10x more members. Yes, that would be fine. But today that would only mean I not have to write 30 requests (without response) but 300. Which would not cost me 3 evenings per week but 30.

So Once More my question (which is not responded to and is not answered by anyone) is : Does WS forward messages (of members !!!) Yes or No ??? Sure ? I don't think so, there must be a (partly ?) bug in this part of the mailingsystem. Not one response to 30 requests ???

And I still think many emailadresses are not being used anymore by members. How easy can it be to clean up the members database. Does (can) the WS emailserver system see "unknown recipient" returns when it sends (forwards) member messages ?
If not that will be the end of WS (community) in the future. That is, except for those members that don't use WS actually (at all) but switch immediately to a social media like whatsapp. So members that Don't Use WS actually.
If it does see "unknown recipients" returns cleanup can be very (very !) easy. Delete (yes !) all those accounts since they don't actually exist (not, speaking in a way of "community" that is). It is just as simple as that.

There is also another very simple method of having email adresses being up to date : send (and announce) a verificationcode that must be entered to continue. Although somewhat secundary it could also be of help to have people sign in by email adress, not by nickname (anymore). If one must sign in by email adress one will soon realise about it being correct currently for responses or not.

It is very nice to have a lot of members. "Existing" members that is. Maybe they will even donate if a decent response rate will happen.

My last remark is a question : does anyone really related to the WS Organisation read this actually ? How can I know that ? Then this post has started 2+ years ago ...

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Look at response rate

Before making the effort to write a request, it is always wise to look at their response rate. 

Warmshowers has now removed inactive members from the map (it would be interesting to know how many). There were "members" there that had registered five years ago and never logged in again. Clearly, one should have learned that it is not much use to write to such people. Chances are highest with hosts that have at least one reference from the current season. Follow up with a text message if there is no answer.

Yes, it is disappointing that leadership does not engage in dialogue here. They only send out "Newsletters", mainly requests for donations and sometimes small pieces of top-down communication. Generally unsigned. They are not reacting on Twitter or Instagram either. I do not know what they do on Facebook since that account became secret.

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
I agree

I agree that the 6-months cleaned-up map is now very usefull. But not really. Even 6 days is critical (for the cyclist). Why not have ie a 1-month/1-week filter ?

I also agree on not writing on forehand to members with a low response rate. Please let us have that filter to !

It is like having a big warehouse with 1000 articles in stock. Then you notice that 900 articles have a red label. Those are the articles "we have not sold for the last 6 months". Why then have 1000 articles at your website ?

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
"Why not have ie a 1-month/1

"Why not have ie a 1-month/1-week filter ?"

This would be too much. Many active hosts do not log into WS weekly or even monthly, unless it is the main season and they are getting requests from other cyclists.

Also, as I said, younger generations are using the internet differently from many older members. Younger people are unlikely to just log into a website (or at least one that is not a social‑media platform like Facebook) unless they have a real reason to. They expect to do most of their activity through apps. How does the WS app measure how often a person has engaged with WS?

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
The server will track how

The server will track how often it has been accessed by a client, it does not matter if that was a browser or an app.

WS leadership is indeed neglecting changes in internet usage. I would not use email to write to my daughter :)

The leadership is neglecting app development. The android app was not payed for with warmshowers funds and currently there is no app for iOS. In the 2018 Annual Report it is mentioned that supporting apps will be "explored". In their three-year-plan-forward! 

PS: The time for removal off the map is one year. Six months was the proposal from leadership, there were good arguments for a longer period, and yes, they listened.

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
To filter or Not to Filter

1- A filter means a selectable filter. If you can't select it yourself it is not a filter but a criterium. And a 6-months criterium is what it is at the map now. Completely (completely !) useless for me because as I wrote "even 6 days" is critical for a cyclist. "Thank you so much for your reply about Portugal but I am in Spain now".

2- According to your text active hosts are active even if they (choose to) not respond weekly or even monthly ? They decide to not respond since it is not the active season ? If they want to only be an active host in july and august they should put their status to "non-hosting" from september on. And/or add a remark in their profiel : "I only respond in the active season". I hereby ask WS for the next filter : "active season only yes/no". Correction, make that No to a criterium !

 

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
You are confusing two

You are confusing two completely separate features of WarmShowers:

* Response rate. This is the percentage of messages sent to a member that the member has replied to.

* Last login time. This is the last time that the member interacted with the WS website, and it is completely unrelated to whether that member has ever received requests or not.

If you wanted to filter out members who have not logged in during the last week or month, then you might be filtering out members who would respond to your request. It is just that so far, they have had no reason to log in to the website recently, because no one else has been sending them requests.

Unless a member lives somewhere popular where they do get requests often, then they really have no reason to log in to WarmShowers more than once every few months. One year is seen as a good cutoff date, but there are plenty of hosts who last logged in 3 or 4 months ago who would, if you sent them a request, respond and invite you over.

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Confused ? Yes I am !

I am a database expert for 20+ years. I am not confused with anything here at WS. Except for one thing : Discussions about Not Getting Responses are here for years. That however means that that one thing concerns the Whole thing.

Just one example (that I wrote about already) : I sent 30 requests to potential hosts in the (whole) northern half of Portugal. I did not get any respons. You just explained me that to your opinion that is the regular and normal way many (all these 30) hosts act. I indeed must admit that it was in october so it was out of the season. Or it means, as you state that they would login If they receive a request, they obviously did not receive my (30) requests.

To my opinion all you do is disputing and denying that there is a problem. IF you have Any SoLuTion(s) to make this system work please send them to Someone.

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Personally i have never lost

Personally i have never lost any WS notification (Maybe bacause i manage directly my email, so ws messges are automatically whitelisted).
But sometimes I have replied and got no answer from the perspective guest. Some days later a new desperate request , to which i answered "why you did not replied to my previous reply" ? and answer was that they never received my answer. i asked to ckeck, and eventually they found my first answer in theis spam folder.
Actually there are too many people that has very aggressive spam filters and do not check spam folder, then complauin that had no answers.
Some people put their p[hone numbers and when for a last minute request host call them, that number appear as deactivated.

WS Member Portrait de Piotras
one more point of view

I would like to contribute with one more point of view.

When I see “Message responsiveness””, e.g.: “1 response to 20 requests over the past year”, and at the same time also see “Active 2 days ago” ,it means for me that the member shows demonstratively humiliating attitude to all members of our community – he checks his account, and obviously reads incoming messages, and just shits in giving a word in response. Don’t say it might be result of faulty working website.

When I see such record, my reaction to a potential request from given member would be “No”, and a negative feedback with a motivation.

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Not all messages are requests

Not all messages are requests. Some correspondents start a new message thread to say "Thank you". When I get such a message, I always reply to keep my responsiveness up, but not everybody cares about that,

WS Member Portrait de Piotras
Thank you

You certainly don’t mean that 19 of requests in my example might be all carrying “Thank you” to  this one and only response… :-)

  

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Maybe not, but this web site

Maybe not, but this web site has some obvious defects. For example, logging in here does not make it visible that one has unread messages. To see that, one needs to open one's profile page, and the page with messages. 

I would give members the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they logged in on the web browser because they got a notification, then did not see anything? Especially on an iPhone, it is pretty horrible to navigate this site. I have had surfers asking me for address, phone number, directions, although it is all on my profile. So even users on tour cannot navigate this horribly non-intuitive interface. 

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
It is strange since I alwais

It is strange since I alwais get a popup saying that there is a message to be read.
But i see another big problem: this morning at 845 i got a request to say for tonight. It was missign a key information, so at 856 I replied asked to reply a couple answers before i could confirm.
It is 1444 and no answer from them (but looks they have logged at least once after my reply). I have sent them now an answer telling that i consider thir reuest canceled. And is not the first thing, it is a thing that at least until one year ago on WS did not happened

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
@Leonardo : I have requested

@Leonardo : I have requested on my profile to have a 2/3 days notice, as people who are asking for a stay the same day are often on panic mode, desperate to find a place where to stay and send several unpersonalized requests everywhere. I understand that someone can have an emergency, but for me the criteria number one to reject a request is to received a template message.

In order to have this problem, we as hosts should be very clear on our profile page. Also, I have put my mobile number especially for people in emergencies, so if they can't bother making a call, they might not really be in a situation of emergency. :) 

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
actually in my profile there

actually in my profile there is a phone number, they could have called it, and it was my suggestion in my reply.

but they never replied, even if my reply arrived within 10 minutes, not even to say "we have found a different solution".
So this is not a problem of site, it is a problem of education of the guests.

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Totally agree with Leonardo!

Totally agree with Leonardo!
If you 'force' a host or whatever person in live to spend time on you, on your demand. Reading and reacting to your request. You should thank them for it and let them know if you found somebody else or whatever. We always thank hosts who respond to us. Also when they are not hosting us. We respond and thank them for their effort. Although one can't see faces when communicating with digital divices, one should consider the person at the other side as a human being. That's how we do things, but maybe we are getting old and have habits which became old fashioned … who knows. Its a shame though

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Totally agree with Leonardo!

I got 6 times the message this post wasn't send ... and i did not see it either. But look what has happended sorry!

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
I got 6 times the message

I got 6 times the message this post wasn't send ... and i did not see it either. But look what has happended sorry!

what happened ? I got 6 notifications !
BT#W going back in the argument: the people that disappeared wrote me on friday at 12, 16 hours AFTER their oaiginal time of arrival, telling that were sorry but had no internet connection ...
except that i hod see a connection from their account in the afternoon , maybe late to come, but still ok to answer.

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
I posted the messeage, got a

I posted the messeage, got a warning from warmshowers that it failed to post, and indeed I could not see a message Tried again to post it, got again a message that it failed and I again did not see the post..... and so on. Only later when I returned to the website again, i saw my message hab been posted so many times and removed them. This happens a lot lately. These error postings. 

And yup also while posting this - I got this message:

  • Unable to send e-mail. Contact the site administrator if the problem persists.
  • Unable to send e-mail. Contact the site administrator if the problem persists.
WS Member Portrait de WS Member
The technology of this forum

The technology of this forum is incredibly bad. Difficult to understand why, when there are several free open-source implementations available that are much better and are much more intuitive for users.

One consolation is that things were even worse when the new site was launched.

There is no clear way to improve this. The messages to "site administrator" maybe still go to Randy Fay?
But the current external contractor does not see them, and those programmers do not use this forum. The board does not use the forum either for its internal communication.

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
There is no clear way to

There is no clear way to improve this. The messages to "site administrator" maybe still go to Randy Fay?
But the current external contractor does not see them, and those programmers do not use this forum. The board does not use the forum either for its internal communication.

 

So we all are typing this in vain Pieter? Damn! ;-(

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
There is no clear way to

There is no clear way to improve this. The messages to "site administrator" maybe still go to Randy Fay?
But the current external contractor does not see them, and those programmers do not use this forum. The board does not use the forum either for its internal communication.

 

So we all are typing this in vain Pieter? Damn! ;-(

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
The Board is watching the WS

The Board is watching the WS forums. 

WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Totally agree with Leonardo!

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WS Member Portrait de WS Member
Totally agree with Leonardo!

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WS Member Portrait de WS Member
If you 'force'  a host or

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WS Member Portrait de WS Member
If you 'force'  a host or

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WS Member Portrait de WS Member
If you 'force'  a host or

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