held my breath when the email arrived, my heart making an uneasy jump. After four months of collecting data, doing interviews with stakeholders and sending out an extensive online survey to all Hostwriter members, a team of external evaluators got back to us with a first interpretation of their findings. These two sentences were highlighted in bold letters: “The results speak for themselves. Congratulations for your great work!“.

What a relief! After years of voluntary work, we’ve been on a rollercoaster ride of growing funding and increased opportunity ever since. At this stage of the journey, it felt crucial to take a look into the mirror and make sure that we were still on the right track.

Almost 10% of our 4.000 Hostwriter members from 76 countries participated, representing well over half of the countries where we have members. Here’s some of our key findings and lessons learned:

Most of our members (75,5%) joined Hostwriter after it was personally recommended to them by a colleague.

Expanding the professional network was the main objective (75,5%) of our members to join Hostwriter.

Most activities evolved around the exchange of advice and the search for co-authors. Both giving and taking are reasons for using Hostwriter.

The Hostwriter network is a place to find potential colleagues for story collaborations (47,5%) and it provides advice and information (43,5). A pioneering portion of our members has already published an investigation with another Hostwriter member at this point (8,8%).

We’re thrilled that our members reported positive effects from being in the network, either in the form of helpful advice, story collaboration or couch surfing with a colleague! Hostwriter’s priorities for  2019 are based in our member’s feedback express in the survey.

A peek behind the curtains by Hostwriter’s CEO Tabea Grzeszyk
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(This article was also published on Hostwriter’s Medium channel.)