Profiles are the main point of information about each other. So it's an important task to fill out "YOUR" profile.
- Tell something. People make up there mind about you from your profile as they don't have any other information untill you meet in real life.
- If you have habits or needs, that could cause trouble mention them (or note them in your request / reply to a request).
- If you're a member of a hospex network most people would already guess you're openminded, want to meet people and like to travel. Writing this down is redundant information (although it tells something about you).
- It's the internet. So be careful.
- Explore the privacy settings of the hospex site. Some may allow you to show your profile only to other logged in users. Very often mandatory fields from the registration can be set to hidden as well.
- Sensible information does not belong on a public page. (It's your decision what's sensible and what not.)
- Some people have a simple rule: no real picture, no couch.
- Some networks allow to block profiles without a picture (or you simply need to upload one).
- People definetly look at the pictures, so choose wisely.
- Pictures tell different stories than (profile) text and a lot of people prefer them.
- It's the internet. Once released, you can't get it back. Some networks protect pictures from searchengines, but you'll never know.
- Unfortunately pictures of blond females tend to generate a specific kind of unwanted mails. ("Hiding" your real picture in your gallery and using a non-blond image for your profile helps in most cases.)
- If a picture offends you, click on too another profile. Don't cry for the authorities and start a flame war.
If you stumble upon a member with an empty profile, i.e. no pictures, no description, ask him or her to fill in some more info into their profiles. If the person has problems filling in the profile, you could offer some help if you're geographically close. At couchsurfing you can pre-emptively block couch requests from members with empty profiles ("Edit my profile" page, "Privacy" tab: choose "Yes" for "Contact by complete users only?" Members with empty profiles will then be unable to get "Couchsurf with.." or "Contact" links when they reach your page.) Additionally, a note on your own profile explaining that only members with completed profiles will be able to contact you, may (one hopes!) encourage people to fill theirs in.