Hello everyone!

We have a few nice WTMG updates to share with you! πŸ’š

Until a few weeks ago, we had big questions on how to continue with WTMG. By talking to many of you, we came up with the idea of rolling out a WTMG membership and this turns out to be working very well. In just a few weeks, WTMG already has more than 1.500 members – which is simply incredible. This not only means that WTMG can continue to exist, but also that we are going to be able to improve the platform step by step for both hosts and slow travellers. We are glad we dared to take this important step!

Thanks again to many of you for thinking with us and for your ongoing support! You are making WTMG possible! πŸ™

This summer, we’re already making several improvements to the WTMG platform! Since we’re only a small team of three (Manon, Thor and Dries), we improve WTMG step by step, and prioritize our tasks based on the great feedback and suggestions received from both hosts and slow travellers. Here’s an overview of what we have done this summer! If you have a request for any future WTMG improvement, please let us know by filling out the feedback form at the bottom of this page!

✨ What’s new:

πŸ“£ Open communication about WTMG

  • Member and garden numbers available to everyone. If you want to know the latest number of WTMG members and gardens, you can easily find them in real-time on the WTMG homepage. As you can see, WTMG already counts 5.442 gardens and 1.556 members!
  • Insights into what the WTMG team is working on. Since we want to be transparent about how we run WTMG and what it takes to run an initiative like WTMG, we will publicly share with the community what our team is working on. This summer update is a first attempt!

πŸ› οΈ Technical improvements

  • Improved privacy for hosts. WTMG only works well if we all play by the rules. Following up on reports and requests from hosts, we’ve taken two measures to better protect hosts’ privacy: the zoom level on the WTMG map is restricted for non-members and phone numbers are only visible to members.
  • Save your uploaded route (e.g. GPX file) in your account. While it was already possible to upload your route so you can easily find gardens along your way, you can now also save your uploaded route in your account.
  • Maintenance, security improvements and bug fixes: less exciting but equally important! Reported issues with copy-pasting messages in the chat and the verification email for new WTMG accounts have been fixed. We have also added additional security to ensure that public WTMG data cannot be displayed by third parties.

πŸŽ‰ Community building and support

  • The first WTMG meetup is coming up! On Saturday 26 August, we’ll be organizing a first garden gathering near Brussels where the WTMG community – a mix of hosts and members – comes together to meet and connect with each other. We can’t wait to meet up in person!
  • Travel & garden stories in the community space: you are now invited to share your travel & garden experiences with other members in the WTMG community space. There are already some beautiful stories to read! πŸ’š
  • Good to know: only one membership is needed to contact hosts when travelling with friends or family. We clarified this in the membership FAQ.

πŸ”Ž Research: smoother communication between hosts and slow travellers

  • We explored where mobile notifications could be useful. Our current communication method through email works pretty well. Yet, quite a few hosts and slow travellers have asked if they could get notifications for requests. Our goal is not to replace email, but to improve communication between hosts and travellers by introducing a complementary communication method to email. We’ve been through all user feedback, and identified solutions for different communication problems. Next up: making a final choice!
  • Defining what’s expected from profile pages. This is definitely one of the most frequently asked additions to the WTMG platform! Many of you have let us know that you want to be able to share a little bit more about yourself and want to know a little more about the person you’re talking to on WTMG. Before we come up with a solution for this, we want to clearly define what basic information both hosts and slow travellers would like to know from each other. By identifying the essentials, we want to make sure to keep things simple!
  • Figuring out how we can provide curated trips as trip plans. As mentioned in this blog post, we’ve manually created hundreds of slow travel trips over the last year. These curated trips contain all information slow travellers need to leave easily. As a next step, we’re exploring how to make these curated trips available as trip plans.

These are the tasks that we’ll be working on in August. Do you have any suggestion, feedback or idea for WTMG you’d like us to prioritize in the next months? Please don’t hesitate to share it with us by filling the form below (this link also works). Thank you in advance for thinking with us!

Inspired by the methodology described in the book Shape Up, we define our tasks in cycles of 4 to 6 weeks. At the end of each cycle, our team goes through all the ideas and feedback received, and discusses what to achieve in the next cycle. We keep you posted on our progress!

We wish you a great summer!

The WTMG team
Manon, Thor & Dries