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Bulk and spam mails from wwoofers will be a big problem!

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Written on May 08 2012 08:16
felicia
WWOOF Host
Topic creator
Registered Since:
Apr 15 2007
Posts: 52
I did not know why I did not get answer from wwoofers sending request to me and I said they where varmly welcome. No answer back.

I have now written so many mails to wwofers and got enough answers to understand that this will be a big problem in the future or maybe it is already here.

A lot of (or just too many) wwoofers sending bulk-mails to many hosts. And I got some answers that they say it is working very good. They can choose from many hosts.

This will spread out at discussion forum. I got some answers that they say that they have read at these forum that they must send out bulk. Otherwise they get no or too few answers.

And hosts will be very tired to get requests from wwoofers that they said yes to and then get no return-answers from the wwofer or that they say they had changed their plans and have choosen another host.

There are so many more people who wants to come than there are hosts (more than ten times I think).

After winter-period most farms needs help (with planting etcetera).

I do not know how many hosts feel this is a problem at this moment. But I belive that in the future there will be problem.

(it is a smaller problem that wwoofers use friends account to the wwoof-site and that they use google to find wwoof-hosts. But it is also a growing problem).

The only solution (there are maybe more) I can see is that a wwoofer can send only one request every 24 hour through the web-site.

/Anders
Written on May 08 2012 08:53
rodrigo
WWOOF Coordinator
Registered Since:
Jan 07 2009
Posts: 154
Hi Felicia,

Unfortunately it is a two side problem.
Some hosts doesn't answer at all the WWOOFers inquiries, so they can't be waiting forever to book their itinerary.
I know some WWOOFers that sent one ore two messages and after one week (as they got no answer) send a handful of them.

My suggestion to the Hosts is to have two standard emails, one to accept and other to deny the WWOOFer and just Copy/Paste it to ALL inquires.
On the standard acceptance email it can be a phrase like this:
"You will be welcome, but please have in mind that we receive a lot of inquires, so please answer us back if you really want to come".
In case the WWOOFer answer back, them you can type a personalized message.

This isn't a final solution to this issue, but I think it may minimize this problem.
What is your opinion?

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Written on May 08 2012 11:39
felicia
WWOOF Host
Topic creator
Registered Since:
Apr 15 2007
Posts: 52
Yes. It is a two-sideproblem.

Anyway I think it is really rude and very bad that hosts does not answer requests. Some wwoofers who has been here has said that like from five-six mails only one host answer.

One of the reasons, I belive and think, is that hosts have got so many bulk/spam-mail that they themselves want to look for wwoofers.

To solve this problem is not easy.

If one make it not possible for wwoofers to send more than one mail per 24 hours it will cut half of the problem.

One can also make a "red flag" or a jumping smiley or something like that, which everybody can see that the host has not answered mails. They have unanswered mails.

Both things must be done. Otherwise it does not work.

Maybe some hosts will be irritated and leave. But so what. This is a big problem and it is getting worse.

To make these both changes is possible for the programmer of the site.

Many host also have also a place at helpex.

I talked to the owner or ruler of that site. There is also a very big problem with spam/bulk there. He has tried to solve the problem with possibility to see how many mails a helper have sent the last 14 days. Not the content but how many characters/letters each mail has. And also to have a possibility to warn other with click on a button ssaying "bulk mails from this helper".

I had some proposals to him how to make the system better. He said that it was like I wanted in the beginning of helpex. But hosts wanted to have the possibility to direct communication to the helper. Many did not like to log in to make an answer.


On wwoof you must log in to make it possible to give an answer to a wwoofer.

I do not think your idea will work. ""You will be welcome, but please have in mind that we receive a lot of inquires, so please answer us back if you really want to come".
In case the WWOOFer answer back, them you can type a personalized message."

Because it does not take away the problem that hosts does not answer. (because they get to many bulk). It is easier for a host to just do not answer.

During the years I have got very many requests from specially Bordeaux region. It is university and high-school students who must do there internship in an English spoken country (I guess English host are too tired of them and in Sweden everybody speaks English). They want to improve their English and they are interested in organic farming etc bla, bla, bla.

They are not interested in farming. Not interested in organic farming. These persons must do one or two months internship. Some just want to train more English.

I have no good experience at all of this type of persons.

In my opinion they are liers. They will come of a half hidden reason. I can give very good knowledge of ecological farming, building etc. But not to people who not are interested in it. Some have not even been interested in our culture or lifestyle.

I have always given a polite answer to these people. It would be easier not to answer because I am tired of them.

I have written my profile so unpleasant as possible trying to stop getting mails from them. "Here we work at least 12 hours today during the summer and when sun is up even more. And sun never goes down." Like that. But maybe nice wwoofers do not take contact instead.

For me it is not a big problem. But for the wwoof-system I am worried.

The host cebaztian divided wwoofers in groups. It is a good description. Subject: wwoofer presentations).

"I have discovered a few different traits in woofers.

1. The slightly older ones that has been to many farms and like the "lifestyle".
The level of ecology and the quality of the food can be more important for this group.
2. The total beginners often young that hardly has touched a farmtool in their life.
But they love animals and love nature.
3. Some that study things related to farming and actually see a professional life ahead within the business/lifestyle.
4. Some that are looking for "sightseeing" and some vacation with a purpose in a new country and getting it fairly cheap.
5. Some that really like the "couchsurfing" perspective where the actual meeting of different people/lifestyle is the important.
6. Some that are fleeing from social/economical/emotional problems and just want a change of air to sort out their life.
7. Some that see the woofing as work that has to be endured, and everyday wish for an easy task they can do as slow as possible hoping food will arrive soon.
8. Some that eagerly asks to start new projects and get all sweaty and one has to call them in for supper or when it gets dark."

I think most of hosts wants to have wwoofers who are interested in their work and who wants to get knowledge of ecological farming at its sourrondings (culture, lifestyle, etc).

/Anders