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 What is this?
The Hospitality Club is the world's largest hospitality exchange organization. We are thousands of friendly members world wide who offer each other free accommodation when traveling. Membership is free and joining just takes a minute - we would love to have you onboard!

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Introduction to the Forum
Since we implemented the Forum some months ago, it has become a hotspot of HC activity. Many members meet, exchange tips and tricks, help each other, make plans or simply hang out here. To help newbies find their way around and to make some more complicated issues a bit more transparent for old timers we put together this little introduction.

First time on the Forum? Please take some minutes to look around, read some posts and check out all categories. We took great care in setting up categories that make most sense to keep the quality of the Forum high and so members can quickly find what they are most interested in. Before you post, please always take a minute to read the Sticky for the respective category - you will usually find good explanations about what to post there. Then, dive right in - a good idea would be to post an introduction to the New Members category.

Maybe you have already seen that you can subscribe to single threads (when you post, there is a field asking for your email address) or even entire categories. This way you will get every new post conveniently by email.

Rules and Moderators
Please take a moment to read the Forum Rules. We have a volunteer team of moderators who keeps an eye on the Forum and makes sure the rules are followed. We have learned from the past discussions and adapted the rules accordingly. Sometimes things can get a bit heated or inappropriate posts appear and they edit or remove them. Moderating is always a touchy issue - please dont be upset if one of your posts is affected and give those volunteers some credit, they are doing a tough job. You can always complain to us by using the Feedback Form if you feel they have made a mistake.

Explanation of the rules
To make the rules a bit more transparent, here are some explanations. One of the most complicated issues is the fact that we do not discuss new features and HC strategy in the Forum (rule #4). We always encourage member feedback and listen closely to our members, and thus it might seem logical to have such discussions in the Forum. Why do we prefer to have such discussions directly in other communication channels and not in the Forum? A couple of reasons:
- it is mostly a communication decision: at the moment, we do not have the resources to adequately participate in those discussions. The club is run by volunteer teams who specialize in tasks (more info on the Detailed Volunteer Info page). Our focus is on getting the huge amount of work done that building the HC brings. If we set up a Forum category for such discussions you would expect us (and rightly so) to participate and explain many of our actions in detail. Consequently, we would have a lot less time to actually get the work done. Because of this, we decided to offer you a direct communication line through the Feedback Form. You can be 100% sure that we listen and consider every feedback sent, even if it sometimes takes a long time for us to respond or implement your suggestions. It is part of our philosophy to constantly improve the club by carefully considering all feedback. If we had those discussions in the Forum and couldnt keep up with answering and discussing, it would look like ignorance. Trust us, we are not ignorant, just very, very busy with actually running the club - for you!
- some members have very strong feelings about certain suggestions or opinions, and some discussions have become very nasty and aggressive. We prefer to keep this arguing out of the Forum and in private email-discussions, even better, phone talks or face-to-face discussions. This way, everyone "saves face". Some discussions are more efficient and to the point in private than in public.

We know that some of the communication from the volunteer teams could be better. Again, please trust us: we are working hard to improve. Sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes we just dont explain our actions well enough. It is all new territory for us as well - motivated volunteers working through the net, building a rapidly growing network. One thing we learned to improve the communication is an extended FAQ to answer the most common questions and suggestions. Please bear with us while we work on this over the next months.

As with all texts and features on the site - feel free to share your opinion about this introduction and the Forum with us, we will listen! And now, have fun reading and posting!!

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