Monday, January 31, 2011

CouchSurfin' USA

The people asked for social networking.

And God said, "Let there be networking." And so He created MySpace.

But the people wanted more. And they prayed and thumped their chests and cried out for more.

And so God (and possibly Mark Zuckerberg) created Facebook.

But the people were still not satisfied. Neither the Book of Faces nor the Space of Mine sufficiently appeased their desire to be heard.

And so God created Twitter. And He said, “Go forth and speaketh in 140 characters or less.”

And so, the people tweeted.

But the people still were not satisfied. And so God created…


What is this “couchsurfing” we speak of?

A recent phenomenon (the first couch was surfed, circa 1999), it all began with, “a service in which members offer a spare couch – or bed, or floor space – to fellow couchsurfers, at no charge.”

The concept has since grown to include many other sites at which people can rent out apartments and homes all over the world. ( and are just two popular newcomers to the scene.) 

Couchsurfing takes social networking to a whole new level. Though some say that the very nature of social networking ironically makes us anti-social (interactions are far more limited across a computer screen), this concept allows for entirely new friend-making possibilities.

Couchsurfing networks bring together the virtual and the real. It also brings together random strangers. (Unlike traditional social networks which help us more deeply connect with people we already know.)

So where will social networking take us next? 

And God said, “Ye faithful social networkers, sit back and think about it.”


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  1. I knew being a couch potato was more social than I was told. Maybe couch surfing could be an olympic sport.

  2. Nice story Jamie. Yes, couchsurfing networks (a good concept for travelers) can bring together the virtual and the real. But, I think the majority are happy with being 99% virtual when involved in virtual activities... On another level: virtual/real reality may already be blended beyond recognition....

  3. Very well stated, and as you said: "Couchsurfing takes social networking to a whole new level." Yet couchsurfing could easily evolve the way of MySpace, on a downward and possibly irreversible spiral, as 'Net history teaches us.

    Facebook seems to generally point the way, as does Twitter, for it's what the people want that determines the direction of social media as a whole. All else becomes a folly of the egos of those who don't keep a pulse on what people want. And the beat goes on... this ancient quote perhaps sums it up best:

    There is nothing permanent except change.
    ~ Heraclitus of Ephesus (c.535 BC - 475 BC)