I was dusting up my Couchsurfing profile today when I chanced upon these photos of Jimbo Wales, Wikipedia Founder, at our home in Chennai.
This was taken way back in February 2007 when we organized WikiCamp in Chennai. Jimmy Wales had come down to Chennai to keynote at this event. I hosted him for two days at my home when he was in the city. By then, I was already fascinated with the concept of couchsurfing. Infact, I briefly ran a site called ExtraBed, which was on the same lines as Couchsurfing but much more low tech. It ran on a mediawiki.
It was a wonderful experience hosting Jimbo. I was already fascinated with open knowledge and sharing and this experience only make a deeper impact on me. You should read this blog post about my experience.
I also did an audio podcast interview with him when he was at my home. An Interesting listen.
ExtraBed on NDTV
NDTV is doing a story on ExtraBed.in and CouchSurfing.com and they had come home to do a shoot. Alaphia Zoyeb, the senior NDTV reporter had earlier traveled for over a month in Europe and she had witnessed first hand how travelers widely used the Internet to find out places to crash and the wonderful hospitality of folks.
The story will be telecast tomorrow today (30th Jan) at 7:00 PM IST. It’ll appear in a program called ‘Southern Edition’ at 7:00 PM. Unfortunately, this program will only be viewable by folks in South India. I’ll try to capture it on video and see if I can put it up on YouTube.
ExtraBed.in has already got more people enrolled in a month what CaniCrash.org couldn’t in over a year from India. It’s heartening to see so many people open their doors to help people.
In the true spirit of a community project, quite a few people have pitched in to help. Paras Shah has helped design the new logo for ExtraBed. There are a few more variations of the logos he has done. Satish has created an Orkut community for extrabedders. And there’s even a Google group.
The only downside is the domain name isn’t working thanks to pathetic service by Sify. All the domains that I have booked through them have been having problems. I only hope the the domain gets resolved by the time the news appears on TV. In case the domain www.ExtraBed.in doesn’t work, try this http://extrabed.pbwiki.com .
Update: Sify has resolved the domain. Let’s hope they keep it that way.