Website Feature Update: WWOOFer Community List

Apr 8, 2024

The WWOOF website is at the centre of how WWOOF members connect. Built and managed by the Federation of WWOOF Organizations (FoWO), the website is an online platform shared by WWOOF groups around the world. The Common WWOOF Platform, as we call it, unifies the WWOOF movement by bringing together all of the WWOOF communities in one place.

While WWOOF is not a large resource-rich group of organizations, the FoWO IT Team (including Pedro from France & Cash from the U.S.) is dedicated to continually making upgrades and improvements to the website over time. As we make those updates, we’ll communicate those to you here, in our news feed.

What is the New Feature?

WWOOFer Community List will allow hosts to actively search for and reach out to WWOOFers who might be a good fit for their farm. Before this feature, hosts could only receive Visit Requests from WWOOFers who found their profile on the host directory.

This will be useful to hosts who are located in less popular regions of Canada, hosts looking to set up a specific type of learning exchange, and hosts who want to find WWOOFers who are a better fit for their farm.

How To Use This New Feature

From the WWOOFer tab in the main menu, hosts will be able to review WWOOFer profiles in a directory and filter their profiles by variables such as language, diet, availability, and the farming practices that they’re interested in. When a host finds a WWOOFer who they are interested in connecting with, they can click on their profile, review their description and reviews, and then send them a message. 

The WWOOFer can then review the host’s message and profile and, if they are interested, can turn the message into a Visit Request. 

*Not all WWOOFers will be listed in the directory. Only those WWOOFers who opt-in will be listed. 

The History of WWOOFer Community List

This feature will be new to some, but familiar to many. A similar feature was present on the old WWOOF Canada website.

In October 2022, when WWOOF Canada moved to the new website without this feature, many hosts were surprised to find that they could no longer search for WWOOFers. We did our best to explain, but the reasons that this feature did not appear at launch were complicated.

The short answer is that we, along with the many other WWOOF groups investing in this feature, wanted to ensure that it would not be used as a tool to seek “workers” with certain qualifications, instead of WWOOFers looking for educational opportunities. We understand that our hosts appreciate the help that their WWOOFers provide, but in the end WWOOF is an educational organization, not a labour organization, and the tools we provide must support that.

That said, we knew that a WWOOFer Community List feature would also have many benefits. We see this feature as integral to WWOOF’s long-term vision. We want a platform that builds a greater sense of community, that creates opportunities for two-way connections (Host to WWOOFer and WWOOFer to WWOOFer), and empowers hosts to find WWOOFers who are the best fit for their farm. 

This feature has been built specifically to curb those concerns, while still allowing our hosts the freedom to set up enriching WWOOF exchanges. We think that we have done that. We hope that you enjoy it!

P.S. This is just the start. We expect to see many more exciting upgrades and improvements to this feature in the coming months and years. 

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