I'm not sure why this is downvoted. That stigma in dating is still alive and strong today, and Airbnb is still stigmatized for some of the younger people I know outside of Silicon Valley. Part of the article talks about trust, which is pretty important. Both couch-surfing and dating have lacked identity and trust, which makes it more comfortable. The last thing you want is for someone to axe murder you or spike your drink and not know who it was. If you get axe murdered, knowing who it was is your last concern, but at least it acts as an enormous deterrent. Identity is the reason places like Hacker News don't completely degrade to the rules of Crowd Psychology (well, most of the time).
That friend in Illinois was very uncomfortable with the idea of sleeping in some random person's house, and I didn't realize how absurd it sounded until I was listening to myself explain it to him and his very uncertain reaction. The reputation/trust element removes that "randomness." So much so that I won't book with listings that don't have any reviews, and I tell my friends the same thing.
That comment, while accurate, was almost literally just rephrasing something already in the comment it replied to, yet presented it as some kind of rebuttal. It doesn't look like the poster had really read what they were replying to.
Personally, I think the "weird factor" around AirBNB will probably be harder to erode than the one around online dating. I think the existing hotel industry comes a lot closer to meeting a wide range of people's needs for accommodations than the standard informal "go out to a bar or meet people through mutual friends" thing does, and for someone like me, who travels fairly infrequently, I don't mind spending more once or twice a year to have that extra identity/trust from the known quantity of an actual hotel.
"A lot of people were initially hesitant (and still are)"