The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Hey man, you got a couch I can crash on? You do? Killer! Then maybe you'd like to share the wealth by joining The CouchSurfing Project.

It's kind of kooky idea: You sign up, thus putting out notice that travellers are welcome to come by and stay for a spell. Should you get the wanderlust, you can put out the call to other CouchSurfer members. The network stretches from Indiana to India, so there are plenty of options (provided you can get yourself to wherever you're going).

Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is: What about the psychos? Apparently, like many Web-based ventures, the guys behind this are relying on a self-correcting system of "verification"; that's basically referrals from one user to another. It's a nice idea, but I really don't see how this is anything to put faith in; for instance, I notice that Leo, one of the founding members, is himself not verified as of this writing.

Still, I guess if you're adventurous (and trusting) enough, you could really have some keen experiences through this. Just watch out for Funky Couch Syndrome; better keep a good supply of Febreze on hand!