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Ordered to Remove a Menu Link

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As suggested by Ted and someone called "CacheDrone", I am taking this matter to the forums. Below is an account of what has transpired.

 

The first notice for this was the following:

 

Hello fellow geocacher and host of this event,

 

Recently there were some concerns raised about commercial content within event caches. Some updates are required on published events that have commercial aspects, whether intentional or unintentional. Please edit or remove the follow items.

 

*** Please remove the link that takes players to the menu for the venue location. This is viewed as advertising or promotional of the venue. ***

 

Thank you for your prompt attention on this matter and should be addressed within 48 hours. If you have any questions please contact me through my profile or you may contact appeals@geocaching.com if you want to discuss leaving this content.

 

Here is my post back..

 

Hi,

 

That is just about the most ridiculous thing I have heard regarding cache pages in a while. While I indeed understand the non commercial aspect of caches and event caches, it puzzles me that allowing the menu of the restaurant we are holding the event at would not be allowed to be shown to the participants. What's next? We won't be allowed to actually say the name of the place we are having the event for fear of advertising it? That should then lead to not publishing the coordinates of the venue for fear people might actually show up and purchase something! Heavens, that would be a shame.

 

I won't be removing the link to the menu as I feel it provides our guests and potential guests with an idea of what they might find at the restaurant. Sort of like, oh.. I dunno, a cache description page that tells the cache hunter what to expect when they arrive? Or should we not put any hints or descriptions of the area of caches now either for fear of it being considered promoting an adjacent building or famous tree? If one of our potential guests at the event feels the menu isn't to their liking, they can pre-plan to get a different meal or eat ahead of time. Sort of like pre-planning to bring rubber boots to a cache or to wear sandals. Unless of course letting a cacher know that there is a large pond they have to wade into to get the cache is now unacceptable?

 

Unless I can get a better explanation than "Recently there were some concerns raised about commercial content within event caches. Some updates are required on published events that have commercial aspects, whether intentional or unintentional." I won't be removing the link.

 

I expect a better explanation than that to blindly follow. What are the recent concerns? Who brought them forward and who is deciding to force event cache owners to make blind changes to their events? Is there a discussion panel that is taking place or has taken place? Are there published minutes which allow cachers time to respond in a public forum type manner?

 

I find it hard to believe that events held at commercial campgrounds will not be allowed to publish the campground name, fee rates or any other distinguishing features.

 

Please give us a better explanation before you force me to remove a valued service from my event cache page.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brendan of eelow and beelow

 

cc'd to cachedrone and appeals@geocaching.com

 

The reply from Cachedrone

 

Please remove the HTML link to the restaurant's menu. What you could replace it with is "Their menu is available online from their own website". If a person is really interested in knowing the prices they could research this on their own. This is not the same as recommending to people what they should bring with them to find a cache.

 

The recent concern is that a link to a business is commercial. Businesses, like a restaurant, make money and the use of a cache page whether directly or indirectly to advertise or promote is not permitted. It the restaurant wishes to advertise with Groundspeak they may contact Groundspeak to arrange this.

 

My response

 

Hi,

 

Actually it is the same as giving people the information they need to find a cache properly. What is to prevent you from telling me to remove the name of the restaurant we have booked for the event? This is advertising for them much more than the menu would be. On many cache pages, the description clearly states what is best to bring to the cache, what research you might have to do to solve a puzzle (maybe read a sign from a company! Gasp, what? We would be advertising that company by telling people to read that sign!!), yet not usually a mention of the actually place the cache is hiding such as in what mall parking lot. Are you telling me that the opposite is now true for events in that we can advertise the actual place but nothing else to do with them? I find this highly suspect and odd. If I am allowed to name the actual place I am having my event, then why can I not place helpful information for the event?

 

The information you are asking to have removed is a small link to a PDF menu that is provided online for patrons of the establishment we are going to for the event. This allows them to pre-plan as I stated before if they wish to eat at home or at the venue.

 

Are you stating below that if we link to the actual restaurant, that would be ok since we say the menu is available from the website?

 

None of my original questions were answered from your email and until they are answered, the link will stay online. I have seen no cause to take it down and have the full backing of my event attendees on this. Many of them found it very useful to have the menu link.

 

Also, on top of the other questions I want answered, if I put the PDF on my own person website and linked to that, would that be acceptable?

You also state this "Businesses, like a restaurant, make money and the use of a cache page whether directly or indirectly to advertise or promote is not permitted." However isn't Groundspeak doing the same by allowing advertisers to promote directly on our own created webpages? Shouldn't we be allowed to say if we want to have outside advertising on our event and cache pages?

 

The double standard here is endless. I do understand the limits on advertising for business, etc, however this has gone way too far in my opinion. Having a link to a menu for an event venue is mearly helpful and not advertising. As I said before, if an event is held at a private campground and it cost money to get in (such as..say, Geowoodstock!), would Groundspeak not allow the advertisement of the name of the campground? Would they not allow any information to be posted about costs?

 

Let's have some serious answers here before we come to a conclusion on this one. Please answer my questions. They are now numerous and have yet to receive any attention. If you cannot answer them directly "Cache Drone", then please have someone at Groundspeak contact me to discuss this further.

 

Brendan

eelow&beelow

Regarding GC18B03

 

Response from Geocaching

 

Hi,

There seems to be a small bit of confusion. First please understand that when a reviewer asks you to remove something from your cache page this is not an option. If you disagree you should remove it and then contact Groundspeak and appeal the decision at appeals@geocaching.com. The reviewers have full control on what is on a cache page. When they are wrong we deal with it through the appeals process. In this case the reviewer is correct.

 

Posting or directly linking to the menu is promoting the business this is not allowed per the guidelines. You are allowed to post the name and the location of the event. Fees and additional costs need to be on a separate page.

 

Commercial Caches

 

Commercial caches attempt to use the Geocaching.com web site cache reporting tool directly or indirectly (intentionally or non-intentionally) to solicit customers through a Geocaching.com listing. These are NOT permitted. Examples include for-profit locations that require an entrance fee, or locations that sell products or services.

 

The cache page can not be used to promote a business. Posting the menu directly or linking directly to it from the cache page is promoting the business. while we understand that your members would like to know what is served and what it costs we can not allow this directly from the cache page. You may create a separate page that contains the menu or the link to the menu and from your cache page link to the new page with the wording "Click here for more information"

 

I hope this helps you better understand the requirements of the guidelines. I will check back on your cache page in 24 hours and look at the changes you have made to assure that the guidelines have been met. You are welcome to appeal this by writing appeals@geocaching.com but you must remove the link first.

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

 

Thanks,

 

Michael LaPaglia

Community Relations Specialist

 

 

It went on from there. I decided to heed the "warning" and remove the link, however once I edited the link to something different, someone (possibly CacheDrone) decided to remove what I had edited it to, even though it met the guidelines in every way. I have yet to hear back from them on why it was edited even though it was approved prior to the edit by Michael.

 

So, I would like to throw this out there to the masses. Why is it we cannot post a menu for our guests? Why is this considered advertising but the glaring exception to the rule (posting to actual name of the restaurant) be allowed? Shouldn't guests have the right to know for dietary concerns if they can eat at the restaurant or not?

 

A question I did not have answered was, would an event be allowed to post a map of the venue if it allowed those with physical challenges such as persons in a wheelchair to know if they could attend or not?

 

There are a ton of other questions this also brings up, but I want to hear from everyone on this matter.

 

I understand that not everyone agrees with me or agrees with Groundspeak, but lets keep it civil and hopefully informative and perhaps even enlightening.

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...So, I would like to throw this out there to the masses. Why is it we cannot post a menu for our guests? ...

 

The real answer is this. "Because you were told you can't".

 

That said a liking to a menu would be a courtesy worthy of extending to all potential participates. Linking to the menu and saying that you can find it online are both pointers but one saves some work.

 

If there were really a commercial issue with meeting at a restaurant they would not allow cache events held in restaurants to be listed at all. As proof of that concept jus try to get a cache approved inside a restaurant.

 

What you want to do is fine. Just not with the one person that you need to have it be fine with.

 

Modifying owner cache pages against the owners wishes is another issue. It clouds the line this site likes to maintain that cache owners are responsible for their caches and this site isn’t when the site itself gets involved with modifying the owners listing.

 

Bottom line. My vote on the menu is a thumbs up.

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ok i agree with you but i kinda think that you went a little too far with it, the thing i dont get is this ->

 

You may create a separate page that contains the menu or the link to the menu and from your cache page link to the new page with the wording "Click here for more information"

 

so you are not allowed to link to it directly, but you are allowed to link to a page that all it has on it is a link to the menu, i dont see what this intermediate page does that allows it to come under the rules now?

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As suggested by Ted and someone called "CacheDrone", I am taking this matter to the forums. Below is an account of what has transpired.

 

<snip>

 

What's next? We won't be allowed to actually say the name of the place we are having the event for fear of advertising it?

 

<snip>

 

Gasp, what? We would be advertising that company by telling people to read that sign!!

 

<snip>

 

 

Not really leaning either way on this topic. Just thought to mention sarcasm rarely helps.

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This seems silly (although I think you got a bit carried away with your complaining, like it or not, they own the site, they set the rules, not you). Perhaps someone in the know could clarify things a little before we go too far in to this.

 

A few questions I have to add:

 

If this cache was approved, and then the guidelines changed, what ever happend to grandfathering?

 

I can think of many cases where having a link to the restaurant's site is just plain good courtesy to those wanting to decide if they should attend or not (if you aren't familiar with the restaurant and want to know what kind of place it is before you go would be one example).

 

I can certainly see a problem if the cache owner put a big logo on their page, or started putting coupons on the cache page or something like that, or if they were to put the menu/prices etc directly on the cache page, but really, this seems silly.

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I, too, agree that there is no place for commercial involvement in geocaching. The link that Brendan provided on the event cache page was put there simply to provide attendees with a courtesy to a preview of what will be available for a meal that evening. I appreciated being able to browse the menu in advance. In my opinion, naming the restaurant is more of a commercial benefit than anything else. This doesn't even come close to the commercialism of the NOGPS caches which seem to have been given carte blanche.

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I, too, agree that there is no place for commercial involvement in geocaching. The link that Brendan provided on the event cache page was put there simply to provide attendees with a courtesy to a preview of what will be available for a meal that evening. I appreciated being able to browse the menu in advance. In my opinion, naming the restaurant is more of a commercial benefit than anything else. This doesn't even come close to the commercialism of the NOGPS caches which seem to have been given carte blanche.

 

Aww shucks Ted, you beat me to the NOGPSTH argument. You are always one step ahead of me!!

 

On the earlier point about "just try and get a cache approved in a restaurant", I was just out in Victoria and there is a cache downtown that tells you to look around for the hint. The hint refers to a coffee shop and the cache is inside the shop up on a counter. You ask the server for it. Geez, inconsistency here???

 

The best argument ini my mind is the advertising that takes place all over the geocaching.com website and how commercial that is. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with it, just as I don't have a problem with a menu link on the CREW page.

 

The problem is, they may be thinking "its our site, we can make whatever rules we want" but if those rules make no sense to the users of that site that basically pay for it to stay running, they are on dangerous ground from a business perspective.

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Blind and senseless following of rules. If posting a link to the menu is really a concern, that is, if it really threatens to undermine geocaching with commercialism, then holding an event in a restaurant should not be allowed either.

 

No law is black-and-white. It is the interpretation that makes it fair, or not. Rules are (should be) like that, too.

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Apparently, humour is no longer allowed on Geocache listings...

 

Please do not place unneeded or unnecessary links on the page. For humor or other reasons. Please leave the page as it now is.

 

Michael

Groundspeak.

 

This is after they yet again removed my attempt at humour at having to remove the link to the menu.

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I love that I can't link to the restaurant menu, but I can post a link to a site that links to the original linking thought.. if you get my drift..

 

lol

 

I believe Groundspeak needs to clearly define the rules here and not decide based on "some concerns". Why not simply spend the time and outline it properly instead of making rules on the fly based on whatever the heck they think is important? It is clear that many users agree that linking a menu is ok, so where are those people who brought up the concern that specifically led to banning links to menus? I'd love to hear from them and the reasons why they thought it important enough to gather up many petition signatures or a focus group at Groundspeak to ensure this kind of horrendous miscarriage of commercialism stays off the site. Or did that not really happen and someone just thought it was a way to respond to what is more likely one or two people complaining that one event somewhere had a link to a website that was commercial?

 

Also, if you feel I have taken this too far, I'd love to hear why. I understand that this isn't my site and that I don't run or own it and "they" can make rules as they please, but as dano said, blindly following the rules isn't really what makes the world great. We should always question everything to ensure it is done for the right reasons.

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Hey, I have a real crappy cache that nobody likes that centres on a National Historic Site and I have a link to the site as well. They charge a fee to enter the museum so it must be commercial. Do I need to remove that link? Please let me know as I don't want to be violating any rules.

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The best argument ini my mind is the advertising that takes place all over the geocaching.com website and how commercial that is. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with it, just as I don't have a problem with a menu link on the CREW page.

 

That (IMO) is probably the worst argument you can come up with. Groundspeak is a commercial organization, as such they can put what ever commercial ads they like, anywhere they like. Not allowing individuals to place ads is as much about protecting us as it is about protecting them (think about it, why should Groundspeak give free advertising to someone? If they pay for it, thats another story, but there is no reason they should give it away).

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eelow & beelow, thanks for posting your story around here. it serves as a warning to all of us preparing events and such, although not all reviewers look as stubborn as your does.

 

all in all, me thinks it would be of Groundspeak's best interest to clarify the allowed content of a event at a restaurant webpage (there are a lot of those around) so that situations such as yours stop happening. because whether we want or not, we are promoting the restaurant from the moment we choose it as the event venue - and making it all about something commercial.

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The problem is, they may be thinking "its our site, we can make whatever rules we want" but if those rules make no sense to the users of that site that basically pay for it to stay running, they are on dangerous ground from a business perspective.

 

It is "their site" and they have a monopoly on the game of geocaching. And we all know what happens when monopolies exist. For an example, go back and take a look at Jeremy's comment when asked for a change that would allow cache owners to see who have put a watch on their listing. His response: The Number Watching feature is useless and we will probably eliminate it. Duh.

 

As players, we have only two things we can do in protest. One, don't place any new caches. Two, cancel or not renew Premium Memberships. Both those activities, if done by enough players, sends a big message to Groundspeak that the players need a bigger voice in how geocaching is run.

 

While I am not a prolific cache placer, I have personally made a decision not to place any more caches due to the draconian approval process.

 

I am torn on the Premium Membership fee. I would love to cancel it (recognizing that one player's $36 will mean nothing to Groundspeak but I would feel better). However, the need for those Pocket Queries is too great right now. Perhaps, we need to form player alliances and share pocket queries and eliminate some Premium Memberships.

 

I applaud eelow and beelow for taking a stand.

 

Tequila

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I understand that groudspeak charges for advertising on the site, And that helps pay for the service they provide. Allowing any commercial cache would eat into potential revenues. That being said, they have to come up with well thought out answers to the questions that are going to come up. Here are my questions.

 

1) What is the difference between a link on the page that takes you there directly, and a link to another page that has only on link on it, and quite possibly an auto submitting link that the user does not even have to click? Both do not display any information on the cache listing other than maybe “Click Here For More Information” yet take the user to the same place.

 

2) Is it true that placing something in a cache listing or log that has nothing to do with the cache itself but draws attention to a business, money making venture, or something that charges fees would be considered commercial in nature and must be removed?

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I do understand that Groundspeak makes money form advertising on their website, but I have yet to see an ad for Mcdonalds, burgerking or any other restaurant for that matter.... in fact, the last place I am going to go for information on dining is here!

 

So I fail to see how posting a menu could constitute a threat to advertisers they (Groundspeak) would want to attract.

 

Furthermore,

 

If I was in the market for a new GPS I would not buy one from a place that sold hamburgers and wraps...

 

I guess for me it comes down to the letter of the law VS the flavor of the law... It seems someone is a little overzealous in their enforcement and need to take a step back and realize what is actually meant by their policies... that or enforce it equally throughout the site...

 

I do agree with the monopoly theroization...

 

That's my 2 cents, or perhaps $36.00 :smile:

 

DD

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I do understand that Groundspeak makes money form advertising on their website, but I have yet to see an ad for Mcdonalds, burgerking or any other restaurant for that matter.... in fact, the last place I am going to go for information on dining is here!

 

So I fail to see how posting a menu could constitute a threat to advertisers they (Groundspeak) would want to attract.

 

Furthermore,

 

If I was in the market for a new GPS I would not buy one from a place that sold hamburgers and wraps...

 

I guess for me it comes down to the letter of the law VS the flavor of the law... It seems someone is a little overzealous in their enforcement and need to take a step back and realize what is actually meant by their policies... that or enforce it equally throughout the site...

 

I do agree with the monopoly theroization...

 

That's my 2 cents, or perhaps $36.00 :smile:

 

DD

 

I agree. We need more clarification on where the line is. Then apply that fairly and equally.

 

A question for the event owner. Was that link in there before or after the cache was approved?

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The link was indeed there before the cache was approved. The posting about having me remove it happened yesterday. It was published about 2-3 weeks ago.

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The link was indeed there before the cache was approved. The posting about having me remove it happened yesterday. It was published about 2-3 weeks ago.

 

That doesn't seem to matter much. It happened to me once, too. I think the higher-up Powers That Be find out about the recently-approved cache (maybe they monitor more closely the caches approved by a less-experienced cache approver), note the so-called problem with it, and contact the area cache approver to rectify the situation with the cache owner.

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I submitted an event for publishing the beginning of this week, it's a new restaurant in the area. Hence, I included a link for it, simply so people could view the menu. (Since I was bsing lazy, it wasn't even live, one had to cut and paste it.)

 

I received a note form the reviewer that it had to be removed before it could be published, once I did so, it was published within hours.

 

Not saying it's right, wrong, or otherwise at this point, but simply stating the occurrence. I haven't really thought about the issue to decide what else to say about it. There is a chance it may have been the same reviewer, since I'm in the same province, and we only have the two reviewers at this point in time that I'm aware of.

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The link was indeed there before the cache was approved. The posting about having me remove it happened yesterday. It was published about 2-3 weeks ago.

 

That doesn't seem to matter much. It happened to me once, too. I think the higher-up Powers That Be find out about the recently-approved cache (maybe they monitor more closely the caches approved by a less-experienced cache approver), note the so-called problem with it, and contact the area cache approver to rectify the situation with the cache owner.

 

I had a similar incident recently where, innocently, my cache violated a gc.com rule. The local cache approver did not pick up on it and approved the cache. Only when someone else brought it to his attention did he immediately archive it.

 

Perhaps our local approver needs to spend more time understanding the rules and reviewing the cache completely prior to approval. I would sooner deal with an issue beforehand and rectify it. In my case, the integrity of the puzzle was ruined and an interesting concept went nowhere.

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Here in Michigan this has been hitting us. First I heard that the MiGO Winter Social had to remove content about a silent auction to benefit MiGO, a non profit group. My wife is having a hard time getting an event approved that was basically copied from one she did last year.

 

If GC.com wants to strictly enforce their current rules that's fine, but don't go to previously approved events/caches and make everyone change them. They need to revise the rules online and set a date for them to go in to effect. An explanation would be nice also.

 

Posting info about meals, lodging, etc is very helpful to attendees. It's not like a business is placing an event or other cache to solely promote their business. We would all agree that would be wrong.

 

Their current rule states:

"Examples include for-profit locations that require an entrance fee, or locations that sell products or services. If the finder is required to go inside the business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, then the cache is presumed to be commercial."

 

Could this mean that any cache or event placed inside a park that charges an entrance fee not be allowed any more? GC.com really needs to rewrite the rules for what defines a commercial cache. I'll play by them, I just need to know what they are. My wife was told that she couldn't put the business name on the page, then she was told she could place it once.

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I've been thinking about this a bit more.

 

I can (sort of) understand this if its directed at a larger issue that is being faced. In other words, eelow&beelow's cache is fine 'per se' but they are worried about how to unequivocally distinguish it from other, more suspect caches. I'd really like some input from someone 'in the know' here. Until we get that we're just speculating.

 

Dale

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Far too many rules and far too little common sense being applied here!

 

I won't mention how helpful it would be to know the menu in advance for those on strict diets, special dietary requirements or even limited budgets. Oh, guess I just mentioned it. Silly me, or should I say silly you (GC.com) this isn't commerialism this is being helpful and respectful of others needs.

 

In a recent log I had mentioned visiting the cache since I was in the area playing hockey at Beatrice Ice Gardens (renamed since being bought out by Canlan Sports). Now the arena is a commercial venture - did I violate a rule by making mention of this commercial venture?? What if I said I had travelled to the cache via the 407. Is this another violation since the 407 is a toll road??

 

GC.com need to have a good look at how disruptive some of their decisions are in what is suppose to be a "game". Do we really want to get to the point of cache listing with nothing more than supplied co-ordinates and log entries of "found it"? For the love of the game I certainly hope not.

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What about this one?

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...7f-839f6c2e9203

 

Isn't this the most BLATANT form of commerialism?? How did it pass the SNIFF test?

 

Apologies to Dennis for using his cache to illustrate yet another uneven application in the "rules" as dictated by GC.com.

 

Wow! This Walmart advertisement is allowed and a menu for an event isn't?! Unreal!

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What about this one?

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...7f-839f6c2e9203

 

Isn't this the most BLATANT form of commerialism?? How did it pass the SNIFF test?

 

Apologies to Dennis for using his cache to illustrate yet another uneven application in the "rules" as dictated by GC.com.

 

Wow! This Walmart advertisement is allowed and a menu for an event isn't?! Unreal!

 

What about the add for the OGA on the page that links directly to the OGA site? How is that allowed?

Edited by Keith Watson

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What about the add for the OGA on the page that links directly to the OGA site? How is that allowed?

 

Be careful. Our "friendly" local cache approver is dangerous enough by himself without us feeding him new targets to vent on.

Edited by Tequila

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What about the add for the OGA on the page that links directly to the OGA site? How is that allowed?

 

Be careful. Our "friendly" local cache approver is dangerous enough by himself without us feeding him new targets to vent on.

 

Just demonstrating the un-equality of the application of the rules. Most caching associations sell memberships, t-shirts and other assorted items. How are they any different?

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Please keep this thread to the removal of the Menu link from an event page. This thread is not about associations or commercial caches. Bashing a Volunteer Reviewer will also not be tolerated (and I don't want a reply on how this has or has not been done).

 

If you want to know what is permitted on your event listing or would like to have content that might be viewed as commercial, please ask Groundspeak. As volunteer reviewers we have been requested to be careful on what is on event listings and to watch that event listings do not become commercial advertising after review and listing. The guidelines for the commercial are listed here

 

http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx#commercial

 

Thanks.

Edited by Cache-tech

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Apparently, humour is no longer allowed on Geocache listings...

 

Please do not place unneeded or unnecessary links on the page. For humor or other reasons. Please leave the page as it now is.

 

Michael

Groundspeak.

 

This is after they yet again removed my attempt at humour at having to remove the link to the menu.

 

Making fun of a decision that Groundspeak made clearly is pushing an agenda. You can't use the cache page to push your agendas either. What's the big deal? They said NO, you appealed.. you lost.. Move on. They have every right to say NO. I believe it even says in the guidelines that just because a cache is approved doesn't mean that a cache exactly the same must be approved (paraphrase)

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Apparently, humour is no longer allowed on Geocache listings...

 

Please do not place unneeded or unnecessary links on the page. For humor or other reasons. Please leave the page as it now is.

 

Michael

Groundspeak.

 

This is after they yet again removed my attempt at humour at having to remove the link to the menu.

 

Making fun of a decision that Groundspeak made clearly is pushing an agenda. You can't use the cache page to push your agendas either. What's the big deal? They said NO, you appealed.. you lost.. Move on. They have every right to say NO. I believe it even says in the guidelines that just because a cache is approved doesn't mean that a cache exactly the same must be approved (paraphrase)

 

Trolling your mindless views is also pushing an agenda.

 

I did appeal, they told me to create a forum thread, so I did. I also removed the link. What did I do wrong exactly? Also, my attempt at humor the second time had nothing to do with Groundspeak, yet it was removed.

 

If we don't question the rules, we become mindless drones...

Edited by eelow&beelow

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Please keep this thread to the removal of the Menu link from an event page. This thread is not about associations or commercial caches. Bashing a Volunteer Reviewer will also not be tolerated (and I don't want a reply on how this has or has not been done).

 

If you want to know what is permitted on your event listing or would like to have content that might be viewed as commercial, please ask Groundspeak. As volunteer reviewers we have been requested to be careful on what is on event listings and to watch that event listings do not become commercial advertising after review and listing. The guidelines for the commercial are listed here

 

http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx#commercial

 

Thanks.

 

Sorry, but the underlying theme here is indeed commercial caches and what is considered commercial or not.

 

Cache-Tech, can you please help us understand from a reviewer perspective, why something very small and helpful to most people can be ordered removed because it is considered commercial, yet you published the cache mentioned above that is blatantly an advertisement for that company?

 

Why is there a double standard here? As I understand it, the name of the venue your event is being held at can be mentioned on a cache page, but advertising a specific company on a cache page is a no no. So why is that cache and I know of many other like it being allowed, yet my cache was forced to remove the link to the menu?

 

I am not trying to argue. I would like someone to clarify this issue as it is clearly something that many feel strongly about.

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I do understand that Groundspeak makes money form advertising on their website, but I have yet to see an ad for Mcdonalds, burgerking or any other restaurant for that matter.... in fact, the last place I am going to go for information on dining is here!

 

So I fail to see how posting a menu could constitute a threat to advertisers they (Groundspeak) would want to attract.

Just happened to notice that one of the Google Ads at the top of the page was for Subway (yes..the sub people). So I guess Groundspeak are cashing in on the fact that we cachers need to eat after all.

 

I also think it's ridiculous that Groundspeak feel the need to disallow a simple link to a restaurant where an event is being held.

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There have been a few questions put forth in this thread as well as suggestions from approvers. How do we get an answers from groupspeak for these questions?

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This thread is not about associations or commercial caches.

 

It is if that's where the conversation leads. That's what happens naturally when people start talking. Each thing is connected to the next. That's my personal experience among humans, anyway.

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This thread is not about associations or commercial caches.

 

It is if that's where the conversation leads. That's what happens naturally when people start talking. Each thing is connected to the next. That's my personal experience among humans, anyway.

You know I really don't like it when someone points out my moderation post is in error due to "human nature". Please keep this thread on topic or it will be locked for going off topic. If you have an issue with association links on the cache pages, please bring it up to Groundspeak, same with commercial content caches. Thanks, once brought to Groundspeaks attention, each cache can be reviewed and dealt with accordingly.

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Why can't you respond to the questions being directed at you Cache-Tech? There is a clear question directed towards you that would help us understand why certain types of commercial caches are being allowed (the one specifically approved by you) as opposed to a link to a menu for a restaurant. If that isn't still on topic, then I don't know what is!

 

I did bring my concern up to Groundspeak and they told me to create a thread for discussion here. So i did that. The discussion has now led to some questions that are being directed at you, a representative of Groundspeak.

 

This thread is naturally progressing. What business is it of yours if it changes focus to include a broader range of discussion? Please tell me where in the rules for the forum it says that thread discussions cannot evolve into broader ranges. If it goes off topic, fine, but it hasn't.

 

... what you personally like and don't like is not on topic here, so please keep things on the topic of the removal of the menu link and the naturally evolved discussion on commercial content within approved caches.

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Maybe the restaraunt management would like to pay for a nice ad on the listing?. If they do everybody is happy.

 

Being in business I would be interested in this option if someone were to come to me looking to rent space from me, maybe I could add to the business done on the event this way. It would all depend on the value in the advertising however.

Edited by Manwithbeers

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Why can't you respond to the questions being directed at you Cache-Tech? There is a clear question directed towards you that would help us understand why certain types of commercial caches are being allowed (the one specifically approved by you) as opposed to a link to a menu for a restaurant. If that isn't still on topic, then I don't know what is!

 

I did bring my concern up to Groundspeak and they told me to create a thread for discussion here. So i did that. The discussion has now led to some questions that are being directed at you, a representative of Groundspeak.

 

This thread is naturally progressing. What business is it of yours if it changes focus to include a broader range of discussion? Please tell me where in the rules for the forum it says that thread discussions cannot evolve into broader ranges. If it goes off topic, fine, but it hasn't.

 

... what you personally like and don't like is not on topic here, so please keep things on the topic of the removal of the menu link and the naturally evolved discussion on commercial content within approved caches.

I am a volunteer of Geocaching.com, I am not a representative of Groundspeak. Groundspeak has provided us a set of guidelines to follow and we try to do this as best we can. Over time geocaching has evolved, caches that may have been listed even a year ago, would not be listed today. Since I have reviewed over half of the caches currently listed in Ontario, I am sure there are many examples of caches out their with my name attached as the reviewer. Any issues or complaints with those caches should be directed to myself through email or to Groundspeak directly and the issue will be reviewed. I will not however go through each cache that I have reviewed or another volunteer reviewed here in the forums. Thank you.

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Now we have rules on the direction that a forum post can go! What an intolerable abuse of power!! Shame on you GC.com.

 

The forum question was and still is - the completely arbitrary application of the "rules" and the complete absence of any common sense.

 

The event organizer is making an effort to give their visitors a positive geocaching experience by providing a link to a MENU. Yes a MENU. They should be encouraged and applauded for making this extra effort not unduly harassed.

 

Perhaps GC.com needs to prepare a list of advertisers that are allowed to be mentioned in cache listings. In the absence of this I'm going to have to guess that Wal-Mart is one of them given the many BLATANT and not so BLATANT references to them in many listings.

 

eelow & beelow is linking to a MENU for heavens sake!!! Get over yourselves GC.com.

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Any issues or complaints with those caches should be directed to myself through email or to Groundspeak directly and the issue will be reviewed.

 

Lets be very clear here. There is no complaint with this cache. The complaint is with the uneven application of the rules. Most everyone can appreciate a "Wal-Mart Superstore" cache as a BLATANT violation of the anti-commercial rule. BUT linking to a MENU - that would be a stretch.

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Blind and senseless following of rules. If posting a link to the menu is really a concern, that is, if it really threatens to undermine geocaching with commercialism, then holding an event in a restaurant should not be allowed either.

 

No law is black-and-white. It is the interpretation that makes it fair, or not. Rules are (should be) like that, too.

Exactly my thoughts Dano. Perhaps all events now need to be stopped because almost all have a commercial basis somewhere.

 

Ok more on topic: A menu is not a commercial advertisement PERIOD. People will be going to that restaurant because that is where the event is being held and the menu just lets them know what to expect and perhaps if there is anything to which they may have an allergy. Its really beneficial to the attendees and its just a courtesy to them.

 

What is commercial is having the event in the restaurant in the first place. That's what's bringing in the business. So, Groundspeak, if you really mean no commercial caches then the only consistent thing is to not allow events to be held anywhere that money is required to enter or use the facility or that advertises a product.

 

No not really because I don't think that is what is intended but if its going to be pointed out that there is rule about commercial listings then you either have to decide to consistently apply it and rigidily or you have to decide to apply some common sense when interpreting the rules. That's what's really intended by calling the rules guidelines not rules. Don't apply them rigidly but use common sense. That's why one listing doesn't set a precedent for another, because there is an assumption that common sense will be applied to the interpretation of a guideline, unfortunately not always the case.

 

Here's some common sense about this issue. Common sense says that adding the menu does not make the event listing any more commercial a listing than the event itself. Common sense also says that the listing isn 't any advertisment its just telling people where you can have a get together.

 

Common sense also says that a commercial listing is only a commercial listing when it is the owner of a business or a product who is trying to advertise that via geocaching. Common sense says that an event organizer who does not gain anything for themself, a relation, a friend is not creating a commercial listing.

 

To interpret this otherwise is not common sense and is being far too rigid about the reading of the guidelines (again not they are not rigid rules but guidelines requiring the application of common sense). By any applied common sense, the menu is OK in the listing.

 

JD

Edited by JDandDD

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Well put JD.

 

By my thinking, posting the menu link to make the fare more generally known to the participants may actually be detrimental to the venue. I look at the menu and think, "Geez, that looks like a real dog's breakfast. I'm going to grab a bite before I get to the pub so I don't have to settle for eating their food just because I'm there already." Whereas if I don't make the effort to look for a menu online, I'm eating what's there no matter what. I just can't see the free advertising or commercial value of the menu link. If anything's to be considered commercial, it's mentioning the venue in the cache listing at all. But I think that most of us would hate to see caching events held at mystery venues! :huh:

Edited by AdventureRat

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Apparently, humour is no longer allowed on Geocache listings...

 

Please do not place unneeded or unnecessary links on the page. For humor or other reasons. Please leave the page as it now is.

 

Michael

Groundspeak.

 

This is after they yet again removed my attempt at humour at having to remove the link to the menu.

 

Making fun of a decision that Groundspeak made clearly is pushing an agenda. You can't use the cache page to push your agendas either. What's the big deal? They said NO, you appealed.. you lost.. Move on. They have every right to say NO. I believe it even says in the guidelines that just because a cache is approved doesn't mean that a cache exactly the same must be approved (paraphrase)

 

Trolling your mindless views is also pushing an agenda.

 

I did appeal, they told me to create a forum thread, so I did. I also removed the link. What did I do wrong exactly? Also, my attempt at humor the second time had nothing to do with Groundspeak, yet it was removed.

 

If we don't question the rules, we become mindless drones...

 

Careful bub, next stop suspension.. Don't call me nor my views mindless.. Your reaction to the situation was childish. And your reaction to my comments (in a public forum where I have every right to voice my opinion) was childish..

 

What'cha gonna do?

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I found this interesting too.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...31-7fb68dbd7749

 

interesting links on that page.. guess it is not a two way street.

 

I stand by my monopoly comments. And what an interesting monopoly it is. We give Groundspeak their product (caches hidden) for free and then turn around and pay them to allow us to find them.

 

That person that is standing behind you forcing you to use geocaching.com and forcing you to find the caches should be placed under arrest immediately!

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