Crowd Surfing

One of my favorite artists working today is Amanda Palmer. Though I do occasionally rock out to her music, I'm much more inspired by how she leads her tribe. She loves her fans; they are an intimate part of her life. She relies on them not only to pay her (often using a pay-what-you-may model), she also leans on them for places to crash, lyrics for songs she's writing - even the hat and milk crate she used during her Ted talk.  

In almost every major city in America, Amanda can tweet in the morning and have a place to stay that very evening withing 3 hours. Not just some random person, either - someone who's looking forward to seeing her, someone that kinda already knows her (through her art), someone she's gonna enjoy meeting.


I dream of the day I'll be able to do this, too.


CouchSurfing, a web community I've been a part of for a couple years, is kind of like this, but not nearly as cool. You can request a place to stay from other people on the site. There's a closeness in this community; we all have something n common (re: we like to meet and stay with strangers from the Internet), but it's not as intimate as the connection Amanda has to her fans.


It's also not as fast. CouchSurfing arrangements usually take a week or so to line up - that's nothing like the 3 hour turn around available to Amanda through her tribe.


Last week I started planning my trip to Detroit that I'm on right now (having a blast by the way). In addition to sending CouchSurfing requests; I also sent out a request on Facebook. I was blown away to get responses back from four different people offering support of some kind.


Screenshot from 2013-08-22 09:53:21


Emily offered to host me Wed and Thur night, so guess what? Not only did I find a place to stay, more importantly: I got to catch up with an old friend I haven't seen in years.


The response to my Facebook post was so much richer than a CouchSurfing request because it came out of my own community, an existing group of people online that care about me enough to read what I post, and respond to a request.


I want to fill the rest of my life this way: old friends, new friends, adventures, trust, and beautiful cities like Detroit.


So blessed; so pumped.