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Posts tagged with : Community News for the frontpage
If you want to know what kind of people joins BeWelcome there's a nice way to get some first sight. It's not a definitive profile of all membership, but it gives some hints. You just sort groups for the member count.
If you do it, you can tell clearly where most people is coming from (CS & HC) but you also see how they like to move (Hitchhikers, Cyclists) and what they eat (VegansVegetarians) and how much they like to cook!
You can see some political tendencies aswell (Alternative ways of living & consuming, Enviromentalists, but also on the second page Anarchists and Open source) and some popular hobbies or practices (photography, dumpster diving, and a lot of volunteering!).
We have a almost the same amount in families and queer, and 50+ group is also popular, it seems prety diverse!. Some popular or most active places are Berlin, Paris, Tolouse, London, Amsterdam and other european classics. Happily some southern hemisphere is represented too :)
This is a very small sample, but an interesting one. What kind of people BW attracts? Do you feel comfortable here? Would you invite anyone? What do you think?
Happy new year to you all from the dev team,
We just released a new version of the software running the site.
Bigger problems addressed were:
- The verification icon is now always displayed as soon as you verified another member (and vice versa).
- If you receive a new message this will be indicated with a small number after 'My messages'.
- A nasty bug that could link your profile to a group description was also fixed.
Smaller problems addressed were:
- If you need a new password the email will now contain your username as well.
- The number of comments in the search results is now correct.
- All the offers and restrictions you set in the accommodation section of your profile are now shown as icons on your profile.
For a complete list of fixes see http://trac.bewelcome.org/wiki/Changelog_1.3
Thanks to abyssin, beatnickgr, crumbking, guaka, James_Oder_Dave, jeanyves, jsfan, lantti, mahouni200000, matthias, pablobd, planetcruiser, sanderr, shevek and TimLoal for all their help.
Let us know what you think about these changes in the comments below!
BeWelcome switches to OpenStreetMap
20 December 2012, Rennes, France - On Friday, 14 December, worldwide hospitality exchange network BeWelcome released a major update to their website www.bewelcome.org, dropping Google Maps as default map provider in favor of free and open source OpenStreetMap.
BeWelcome decided to make the switch because thanks to thousands of individual contributors OpenStreetMap mapping material has greatly improved over the last years, and because implementation through third party services has become painless.
With this step volunteer-run BeWelcome also underlines its strong non-profit values - in a time where internet-based "peer-to-peer hospitality" communities are subject to increasing commercialization by venture capitalists.
When BeWelcome was launched in 2007 all mapping features were implemented using Google Maps, the only free up-to-date maps with search and embedding capabilities available back then. Over time, and also with contributions by BeWelcome members themselves, the free alternative OpenStreetMap (OSM) matured and other websites switched over from proprietary services. In some parts of Russia or Bosnia for example OSM even offers more detailed maps than commercial alternatives.
So when BeWelcome was approached by an OSM spokesperson in Germany earlier this year, the topic was discussed in the community and the switch was made a priority, additionally fueled by the fact that Google introduced a pricing model and ads for its maps service.
A few weeks later one BeWelcome software developer presented an almost complete integration of OSM based on the free Cloudmade/Leaflet API. His work was then extended by a team, recently included in the main development environment and finally launched to the live website.
"With the switch we are getting closer to becoming completely independent from using commercial services. I am convinced that our users will appreciate our commitment to privacy and non-profit projects." says founding member and active volunteer Matthias Hess.
Meinhard Benn, technical coordinator and programmer at BeWelcome notes: "OpenStreetMap is all about people and their passion for sharing, just like us. So it's a perfect match." He adds: "Google Maps will remain an optional layer for the time being, but depending on user feedback we will either ditch it completely or at least allow users to choose alternative commercial map providers to have less of a mono-culture."
Frank Van Den Block, chairman of BeWelcome's legal body BeVolunteer confirms: "The switch to OSM is a logical next step in the evolution of BeWelcome. Nothing beats a map created by thousands of individuals and constantly updated by dedicated volunteers. Open Source means freedom, and that is something we can never have enough of."
Links and contact
BeWelcome is a hospitality exchange network - a worldwide community that lets you share your home or a place to stay for a few nights, make new friends from different cultures and help others on their way. In contrast to similar commercial networks, BeWelcome is a registered non-profit that places value on open source and contributions made by their members. BeWelcome has created a legal and organizational framework which ensures that it will always remain non-profit, open and free. Every member is encouraged to help guide the community, participate in core decision-making and contribute to the development of the website.
Thanks to the hard work of an expanding team of contributors, BeWelcome has grown from a small project with a handful of members in 2007 into a vibrant and enthusiastic community. Its membership base has more than doubled in 2012, now comprising 30,000 registered hosts and travelers. It is an organic self-managed organization without the need for investors, stockholders or venture capital. Everyone passionate about alternative travel, cultural exchange, making new friends, and sharing experiences with like-minded people in every corner of the world will feel right at home in the BeWelcome community. BeWelcome plans to continuously improve its service and innovate new ways of serving its cause.
OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. Two major driving forces behind the establishment and growth of OSM have been restrictions on use or availability of map information across much of the world and the advent of inexpensive portable satellite navigation devices.
Founded by Steve Coast in 2004, it was inspired by the success of Wikipedia and preponderance of proprietary map data in the UK and elsewhere. Since then, it has grown to over 900,000 contributors, who collect data with GPS devices, aerial photography, and other free sources. This crowdsourced data is then made available under the Open Database License. The site is supported by the OpenStreetMap Foundation, a non-profit organization registered in England. (Source: Wikipedia)
We are happy to announce that we just "BeWelcomed" our 30,000th member. Over the last couple of weeks we have seen quite a few new members, much more forum activity and lots of feedback and questions about our little community.
Of course we'd choose quality over quantity any time, but it would be hypocritical to say that an open-source hospitality network does not care about an increase of its user base. After all, BeWelcome is in the first place about meeting people, and what better way to do that than with a thriving community?
So get your travel boots on, arrange a meeting in your town or open your home to strangers and see the world!
it has long been in the making, a bit more than two months, but we hope this was worth the wait:
- Complete overhaul of all maps - we are now using free and open source OpenStreetMap as our default map, with the option to switch back to a Google Maps view
- Many, many bug fixes in map and city searches along the way
- Group membership management improvements
There are a few more smaller changes and improvements. Read more details in the complete changelog, if you are interested.
With this release we are taking another step towards supporting the non-profit world by including work from other volunteer-run projects into our site. We feel this is worth a press release, which will be sent out shortly. Stay tuned.
Thanks fly out to abyssin, beatnickgr, crumbking, lantti, James_Oder_Dave, jsfan, mahoun200000, matthias, midsch, pablobd, sanderr, shevek and toub for making this release possible by testing, commenting and contributing code. We would also like to thank Cloudmade for supplying their fantastic free API service to embed OpenStreetMap material into any website.
Let us know what you think about these changes in the comments below!
May non-profit hospitality exchange prevail! :)