Hi everybody :-)
Even though it says on my profile that I’ve been a member of this community for over 6 years, the truth is I have actually only used it once for being hosted, and it was also only very recently that I started to explore and participate in the forums — the true heart of any online community, in my humble opinion.
So far, I have a few conclusions I would like to share with you:
- Unfortunately, most topics are currently not very active, and compared to other online groups this one seems pretty “dead” or empty, with some new topics started and no-one even bothering replying.
- The actual format and coding of the forum is, well...how to put it: let’s say this is the only time when I use my phone that I need to hold it horizontally in order to see the whole title of a topic (and I currently have a brand new company-provided iPhone which works great with every other site/forum).
- The fact that I was even looking for the WS App just goes to show how uncomfortable it is to navigate and to participate from a phone with the current configuration. Unfortunately (again), there is no App, and it’s not something I would normally care about because I always try only to install the really essential, but it is the case that I have only donated money for supporting websites twice in my life: to Warmshowers and Wikipedia.
It seems to me if the technical part is not upped a little and the forums do not become an essential part of the conversation among members (and with the management team), this community could be heading to all the wrong places, and it would be a pity considering what a great philosophy it was built upon.
In case anyone is reading this ^^ I would like to recommend Discourse as an open-source and free option for an online forum, in my opinion it’s been the best I’ve tried from all the forums I’ve had experience with (both for laptop & smartphone): https://www.discourse.org/
Javier, the WS website forums are pretty abandoned, and I think they are deliberately neglected by the WS leadership. Most of the discussion where WS leadership actually participates is on the WS Facebook group. Don't ask any uncomfortable questions about WS development, though, or you will be banned from the Facebook group straightaway.
You are too optimistic in thinking that the forums could be “essential part of the conversation among members (and with the management team)”. In general, the WS board has not encouraged discussion among members on what the future direction of the site will be; the WS board prefers to do its deliberations behind closed doors, and the WS community simply has to accept whatever the board has decided on.
Thanks for your reply, Christoph,
I was reading an old thread about the App development and this friction with the new management could already be sensed from the beginning....was extremely shocked to know donations had been in the six-figures amount EACH YEAR 8-o
With a fraction of those resources well managed not only the forums but the website as well could have such an upgrade...
Maybe it is time to start a WS spinoff ;-) Freeshowers.org