Reciprocity and free hospitality concept couchsurfing

Ancient Greece[ edit ] In Ancient Greecehospitality was a right, with the host being expected to make sure the needs of his guests were met.

Reciprocity and free hospitality concept couchsurfing

The growing popularity of CouchSurfing poses significant ques- of hospitality tions about the way hospitality is performed in an era of Reciprocity and free hospitality concept couchsurfing communications, network hospitality online social networking and alternative travel.

The studies in this issue bring fresh technology insights to the sociological and cultural significance of hospitality in a networked reciprocity world by offering detailed accounts of the new possibilities and new problems that risk emerge when complete strangers encounter one another online and accommodate one another offline.

Reciprocity Beyond Borders: The Case of CouchSurfing Network in Hanoi, Vietnam

We live in a world where new technologies and online social networking platforms are creating new hybrid spaces of social interaction, enabling new forms of intimacy and togetherness at-a-distance and redefining who counts HOSP 1. These emerging patterns of mediated sociality prompt two interrelated questions for hospitality scholars.

First, how do we make sense of hospitality in such a world? For example, what new kinds of hospitality practices are emerging online, offline and in-between, and how do they challenge conventional practices of hospitality?

The conceptual framework of hospitality brings our attention to the way questions of power and social control, reciprocity and exchange, or risk and trust unfold in these new technological contexts, enabling us to reflect more broadly on the shifting terms of togetherness in a mobile and networked world.

These are some of the practical and theoretical questions that the articles in this issue aim to address.

Hospitality exchange -

Taking the online hospitality exchange network couchsurfing. It is meant to refer to the way CouchSurfers connect to one another using online networking systems, as well as to the kinds of relationships they perform when they meet each other offline and face to face.

According to Wittel, social rela- tionships look and feel different today because sociality is no longer premised on community, but rather on diffuse networks of people and technologies. Unlike community, which for Wittel refers to a sense of stability, coherence and belonging derived from long-lasting social ties, physical proximity and shared history, network sociality is fleeting, dispersed and managed at a distance by a range of technologies.

Inseparable from the technologies of transportation and communication that mediate these mobile social connections, network sociality alters the quality of both online and face- to-face relationships: As the ethnographic accounts offered in this issue suggest, these features extend as well to the hospitality encounters CouchSurfers coordinate online and implement offline.

Like network sociality, network hospitality involves intermittent face to face and online interactions that are often attenuated and brief, and yet emotionally intense.

However, as we will see, network hospitality also entails various forms of immobility. It is also evident in the fact that for many members, participating in CouchSurfing is confined to hosting at home because they lack access to global travel.

Network hospitality emerges out of this complex interplay of mobility HOSP 1. In this sense, it is emblematic of the emerging forms of hybrid and on the move togetherness that characterize contemporary social life more generally. Through rich and nuanced accounts of the way people participate in CouchSurfing, the articles included in this issue help us make sense of network hospitality and the way it reflects these broader social changes.

Before introducing the articles, I will first provide some back- ground on the CouchSurfing project and then touch on some of the features that make CouchSurfing such a compelling topic of research for critical hospi- tality studies.

Network hospitality in practice Couchsurfing. CouchSurfing was originally launched in by Casey Fenton, an American Web developer who got the idea for the project when he found himself with cheap plane tickets to Reykjavik but nowhere to stay.

Instead of booking a hotel, Fenton used the Internet to spam thousands of students at the University of Iceland hoping one of them would offer him a place to crash for the weekend.

Within 24 hours, he had offers. The network grew quickly. Today, CouchSurfing has over three million members in more than countries and facilitates tens of thousands of face-to-face hospitality encounters across the world each week. CouchSurfing emerges out of a long history of hospitality amongst travel- lers, but represents a recent trend of establishing formal networks of hospi- tality exchange online.

The first hospitality network, SERVAS International, was founded in by Bob Lutweiler as a non-profit cooperative to promote tolerance and world peace through person-to-person interactions in a post- war world.

The SERVAS network originally consisted of only a few hundred members whose contact details were published and distributed on paper.

Mailing List

For decades, members relied on telephone calls or handwritten letters and postcards to arrange homestays with other members around the world. By the late s, the Internet made paging through printed lists obsolete and a handful of new online networks began to replace the SERVAS model of hand- written requests with sophisticated online networking systems.

Several hospi- tality exchange organizations appeared online around this time, including Hospitality Club, Global Freeloaders, Hospitality Exchange and, eventually, CouchSurfing.

Like SERVAS International, these networks were prima- rily non-profit projects guided by the belief that world travel, interpersonal exchanges between people from diverse cultures and the generosity expressed through free hospitality, could spread tolerance, friendship and world peace at a grassroots level.

The CouchSurfing interface is similar to online social networking sites like Facebook.

Reciprocity and free hospitality concept couchsurfing

Each member has an online profile with details about their biographical information age, gender, hometown and educationphotographs of themselves and personal information about their past travel experience, interests and philosophy on life and travel.

In addition HOSP 1. Hosts are potential travellers who happen to be at home, while travellers are potential hosts who happen to be on the road. Furthermore, the social activities arranged through the site are not limited to hosting travellers.

Members of CouchSurfing can join local groups that plan events like happy hours or camping trips where members in effect host one another as they socialize with their local CouchSurfing community as well as with guests passing through.

Hospitality Networks: The Couchsurfing Concept – The Drawing Board Emerging out of two related transformations in economic production, namely the rise of the information age and the shift toward late capitalism, the network society revolves not around hierarchical structures but around non—linear complexes of social and technological flows such as globalization or the Internet. In other words, network sociality is the social logic of a networked world.

Unlike Facebook, however, CouchSurfers join the network in order to connect to strangers, not to interact with pre-existing friends and acquaint- ances Rosen et al. In other words, instead of taking offline relation- ships online, CouchSurfers join the network with the intention of making connections online that they can then parlay into face-to-face encounters on the road.

A typical CouchSurfing experience involves the traveller searching the website to find a list of available hosts in her destination and then contacting potential hosts with a request to surf with them.

It is common for the traveller and the host to exchange several e-mails, and maybe even phone calls, as they solidify their plans to meet. Following the visit, both the host and the surfer are expected to log on to the CouchSurfing site again to leave references for each other and rate their hospitality encounter.Couchsurfing is a website to facilitate hospitality exchange between global travelers and local hosts.

As Couchsurfing was initiated, it was just an alternative accommodation for budget travelers. However, now Couchsurfing has been recognized as a stylish way of travel, which brings new forms of tourist experiences and scenarios. In the light of the transformation of Couchsurfing, this study.

Reciprocity Beyond Borders: The Case of CouchSurfing Network in Hanoi, Vietnam

Reputation and Reciprocity on Debra Lauterbach, Hung Truong, Tanuj Shah, Lada Adamic International, Global Freeloaders, Hospitality Club, and CouchSurfing., the community which we study in this paper, is the by far the largest and most popular As for reciprocity, this concept has been studied in many.

Although the term "couchsurfing" loosely refers simply to staying with hosts while you travel, over 4 million couchsurfers a year turn to for a safe way to find hosts who offer free .

Hospitality Networks: The Couchsurfing Concept Posted on March 5, May 27, Author Posted By: Peter (CS) is a social network whose members host each other when travelling, show their visitors around, and organize various meetups and social events. Couchsurfing and its alternatives are mostly based on a simple concept: each user has a profile, where interests and personal information are listed, people can contact each other asking for a free stay.

CouchSurfing works as a system of reciprocity, in which hospitality as reciprocity 6. well as cultures is exchanged between hosts and surfers. Through hospitality sharing new tourism 7.

Toward a network hospitality | Germann Molz | First Monday