What does People Like Us mean to you?
Who are we, and what do we stand for?
Why are we here?
Around the middle of last year, we started thinking about PLU, who we are and what we want to be. You know this is a continual process for us but we want to be the best home exchange community in the world, and that means that we have to improve all the time.
Our community is at the core of everything we do. We share our homes, but PLU is all about our people.
Trust. When we exchange, we're letting someone into our home. We do that with confidence when we feel like we know the person we've invited. Trust has to be earned, not just freely given. It builds up in layers as we interact with each other. It's why our community is so important. The relationships we build here give us the trust to let people into our homes.
People Like Us is the only home exchange community in the world with a 5.0 rating from TrustPilot. No other organisation comes close. I'm incredibly proud of it because it's a rating of our community. It shows how we feel about each other, and how we want to be.
What do I want us to be?
I want us to be the best. Not the biggest, but the best.
I want us to be trustworthy, generous, kind, respectful, friendly, cooperative, and honest. I think we already are. But we can always do better, and the platform can always do more to help us exchange and to promote the qualities we want.
So, what's first?
Let's start with a new look! Today we're launching a new front page of our website.
The changes all centre around who we are: putting people first, what we stand for right up front, making it easier to understand what's different about PLU. Plus, it's all wrapped up in a fresh new feel.
The new look is going to extend throughout the website in the coming weeks and months. I'll re-do our informational pages in similar branding and with a similar style.
On our search page, member photos will be bigger, more prominent and clearer. Your name will appear on your property card for anyone who's logged in (in whatever format you opt for in your privacy settings).
Starting today, we're introducing new badges for our members. The first ones that will be introduced today will recognise the loyalty and experience of our community members: the number of PLU Years, the number of years since Premium members first activated their home profile. We'll date it back to when your home was first activated on the site.
We'll also be introducing badges today for Premium subscriptions, embossed with a gold star for our Premium Gold members (subscribing for 3 years), a separate gold badge for our Founders, and a badge to represent if the member has a 100% response rate.
In future, we'll introduce more badges to show status, experience and activity.
And what's next?
My themes for 2023 are community and experience. Expect lots of changes throughout the year that you're going to love.
Our community will always be our most important asset. Expect changes this year that enhance our community, help us to find people that share our interests, communicate (think group messaging!), and to build closer and deeper relationships. I want to make PLU even more PLU-like! I will be starting on these things tomorrow so you'll start seeing the first changes this month.
I always want our members to have the best experience possible while you're using the platform, and to get great value out of your membership. I want you to be able to exchange as much as you want, wherever you want, and to be able to do it with confidence. My second theme is about removing the friction from the exchange process. If there's the perfect exchange out there for you, I want to make sure you can find it! I want the system to find it and tell you about it.
As always, let me know your feedback and any ideas you have. I'm always available to talk.
Bring on 2023! It's going to be a big year! ❤️