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?