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How was the community consulted on the new website?

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How was the community consulted on the new website?

This bit in the recent August newsletter rather puzzled me: “We have arrived at this method after conversations with the community.” Could we please have some explanation from the board of what exactly these “conversations with the community” consisted of? There has never been a significant discussion on these forums about these proposed changes, so it is unclear to me how the community at large was consulted.

Personally, it is extremely hard for me to believe that there was ever a large and organic push for a calendar-based system from the bulk of the active community. Tourers know that bicycle-touring is a means of transportation inherently subject to uncertain arrival times: gear sometimes fails, climbs prove too tough for your route to be done in one day; a less energetic spouse insists late in that day you take the longer way there instead of the more difficult shortcut, etc.

Sure, many hosts want clear arrival times, but they can make that clear in the pre-arrival correspondence. Many other hosts sympathize with tourers and their particular challenges and are perfectly fine with vague arrival times that could be off by a day or two. If the board wants to make using a calendar-based request tool a requirement, it is as if WarmShowers is now discouraging that more welcoming and sympathetic form of hospitality.

So, where exactly was the community calling for this?

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It is something to see.

It is something to see. Personally as a host prefer firm dates, but i understand that when cycling you can have delays or even be in advance.
A calendar can however be useful even to see this thing. If one see that there is just one day available know that cannot change, if there are more days available can try. would be nice to have a flag in the profile that host can raise to say that is not accepting last minute change of dates.
Another thing that i hope be ready and that i would see better advertized in advance so one can make the change is to have an API that flag as available or unavailable days with just one call from curl so if someone have a personal calendar the various clendars can be simultaneously updated.
Look at my profile: I have a link to a calendar that show availability, as soon i preaccept a guest, whether from WS, CS, BW or TR the status in tha calendar changes, in every profile there is the link to the same calendar.
If one site have an inline calendar would be useful to have this syncronized, without having to login or doing as I had to do on CS, to set their calendar always available and putting the link to my one, with result that a lot of time i have to write a messge explaing why their calendar cannot work.

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I was also a bit surprised

When reading through the monthly updates here, there was once a statement that some discussion/voting had taken place on FB. Not only that some people don't like to use FB, it is also unavailable or at least unusual in quite a few countries.

Even though I understand that you probably reach more people on FB than through this forum, I wonder why you couldn't at least have a link here or in some of the newsletters, rather than having discussions/voting on FB exclusively. I particularly refer to the discussion that seems to have taken about the new web design/logo. I tried to find it on FB, but I failed. Probably, it had already disappeared in between hundreds of tour reports and other topics.