A brief history of hospitality exchange networks
Hospex was the first Internet based hospitality club, established back in 1992. Hospitality Club is the successor to Hospex, founded in 2000 by Veit Kühne. Read more CouchSurfing was started by Casey Fenton in 2003 and is currently the largest hospitality exchange network. Also the term "couch surf" has been around for decades, it used to mean staying on friends' couches. CouchSurfing is credited with changing the meaning to include international hospitality exchange. BeWelcome was started in 2007.
More about hospitality networks.