• Hospitality Club, Airbnb and Veit Spam

    by  • July 24, 2012 • Travel • 0 Comments

    Hospitality Club Spam

    Things in Hospitalityclub.org never changed since i first went to Berlin Beach Camp 5-7 years ago. Then volunteers from HC were brainstorming what to improve and what to do to make thing better. Then servers been crashing, mail didnt sent, many angry users. I also wanted to come and help volunteering but one girl gave advice: “They doing this every year, every camp, every meeting but things dont change. Owner takes all AdSense money and dont improve a thing”. After so many years its painfull to see the same – no move even so many people put evergy and time into this. Whats in exchange? Commercial spam and more money to Veit. Huh.  .


    Hi Edvardas,

    since 12 years we have developed HC from an idea to a world wide web of 700.000 friendly people. We believe in keeping hospitality exchange free and out of the hands of private investors. However, we also need to keep the site running and were always looking for smart ways to do so. Now a great opportunity has come achieving both. You can help us – with 5 minutes of your time you can support the club and us volunteers a lot, and meet even more friendly people. In this message, we also want to give you an update about the development of the site. We have developed a partnership with Airbnb, the largest community for paid private accommodation. Basically like Hospitality Club, with the difference that guests pays the hosts. For every hosting offer we as HC members add to their community in the next few days, HC will get a donation from Airbnb. When you host your first guest, we will get another donation. And even better – Airbnb is using HC as a test pilot to open up their platform to other non-profit organizations – every host can now decide to donate a portion or his entire hosting fee to a NGO. We are very excited about this partnership since it allows us as a community to further spread the idea of hospitality exchange and at the same time support Hospitality Club by doing something many of us love anyway – hosting! How can you help us? Until July 28 (Saturday) go to http://www.airbnb.com/partners/hospitality-club and click on the green button in the middle of the page to sign up as a host. It is a very short form (much shorter than in HC), filling it should only take 3 minutes. Just enter some basic info about your place (you can host Airbnb travelers the same way you would HC members, a sofa in the living room is fine, just be honest; and like in HC, you don´t have to host anyone – you can always decline requests). Of course it is free to sign up. Important: after signing up, add a description of at least 50 words (should be easy – what is your place like? what are nearby attractions? what´s the nearest public transport? what kind of guests would you like to host?) and a photo (can be of inside, outside, does not have to be professional) to your listing. Only then will HC receive a donation. If you have several places you could host people at, please add an offer for each one. That´s it – thank you and congratulations: you have just supported HC and are now an Airbnb host! If you drop us a quick email to airbnb@hospitalityclub.org with your HC user name and Airbnb member ID we´ll be able to thank you and keep you informed about the partnership. Now you could look around the site a bit and for example edit in your preferences whether you would like to be paid as a host or donate to HC. In this case nothing would change when hosting – you will essentially still welcome people for free, bring them in touch with the wonderful world of hospitality exchange and help us continue to run HC (we will use the income to pay our servers and are also considering to start a non-profit foundation for which we need some financial basis). A few thoughts: the essence of HC and Airbnb is very similar: people host each other, brought in touch by a social platform. With the small but very important difference that Airbnb hosts get paid by their guests. We have always been very strict about this in HC – no money can ever be charged by hosts, because we believe that true hospitality can only be exchanged if money is not involved. We will keep it that way. Nonetheless, Airbnb is an interesting experiment – through first hand experiences (I have hosted Airbnb members myself in the last months so I would know what I am recommending you here) and talking to a lot of people we have noticed that some of the actual hosting experiences through Airbnb can be very good. Even though guests pay, they often still love to get to know their hosts and see the place they visit through their eyes. Many people who might be too scared to try HC themselves are more easily convinced to test the waters away from hotels or hostels by a site like Airbnb. You can read more about the background of this partnership and find answers to the most frequently asked questions at http://airbnb.hospitalityclub.org If you have any questions or feedback, you can email us at airbnb@hospitalityclub.org or get in touch directly with me by phone: +49 173 7749 365 and +49 351 656 33555, or Skype:vkuehne Now an update about the further development of the HC site itself (we will send another more detailed update about this in the future): Ariel, an Argentinian member and programmer started some time ago to program a completely new website for HC. The web has evolved a lot in the last 12 years and we are planning to use the now available web technologies and bring you a much nicer and more user friendly site. Ariel is hoping to finish a first beta soon and looking forward to get help from other volunteer programmers. When this beta is ready, we will open it for testing to all members and then add the finishing touches together.

    Again, thanks a lot for your help and greetings from the wonderful city of Dresden, Germany,

    Veit and all volunteers (HC Founder, HC:veit)

    P.S.: And now please go to http://www.airbnb.com/partners/hospitality-club to create a nice hosting offer ————————

    Update 07/24/2012


    Dear Hospitality Club Local Volunteers,


    first of all sorry for the long silence and the seemingly comatose website. The basic functionality always worked, members still use the site to find hosts and guests…but of course things can and should be advancing much faster. However, a hard core of volunteers has never stopped working on the site and I’m happy that we finally got some news. Below you’ll find a HC Update (the first one in over 5 years!) that we will send to all members in the next 2 days or so.


    I actually wanted to ask you for feedback on the text before we send it out….but we have spent the last days trying to fix the server – it crashed under the load of the message sending, so I couldnt get this to you earlier. That’s also why the site was unstable and completely offline from Sunday to Monday. We got through with the fixing today (the good news is that it should be much more stable and fast from now on), and the deadline on Saturday is approaching, so we’ll start sending the HC Update right after this message here. If you have very fast feedback we might still be able to put it into the message though (you can reach me by phone, Skype or email).


    However, it would be great if you could test the Airbnb Signup routine yourself so you know what we are asking our members to do, and can make us aware of any problems we might have missed. Also, you could check http://airbnb.hospitalityclub.org/ – a wiki page with a lot more explanations and background that we constantly work on right now. And finally, IF we do extend the partnership with Airbnb past Saturday, we also want to send out the update in your local languages (I did Germany today), so then we would love to get some translation help.


    Thanks for all your help!


    Greetings from the wonderful city of Dresden, Germany,



    P.S.: And of course, once we have the new beta site we need lots of help testing and making it perfect…


    Hospitality Club Update: you can help us with a partnership




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