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What is and what is not a commercial cache?


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Secondly, in the very common situation at UK events where you need to book food directly with the pub at which the event is being held, how are attendees supposed to do that without a menu, a link to the pub, the phone number of the pub, or even the name of the pub? Telepathy?

 

 

Well thats just bu**d the Mega event.... you try organising a Mega event where 800-1000 people are going to turn up on the day without pre-organising food

 

The manager of the hotel (nb Hotel name withheld to stop 800 cachers turning up !***) in question will just think we are crazy not getting everyone to look at the menu beforehand and pre-book !

 

Oh yes lets just turn up on the day and expect the hotel to serve 800 meals in two hours !

 

This is just turning common sence into a farce !

 

*** by the way how are 800 people going to find a venue now they dont know the name of the place having to use a GPS when we are not allowed to drive on UK roads using them.... I think there will be some major accidents around harrogate in August !

 

Come on Groundspeak, this is another Wherigo farce... try thinking major decisions through before opening your mouth !

 

May I please make a comment that these are my thoughts as Harrogate Hunters and not at all related to the UK Mega committee !

chill man, things are back to normal!

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UPDATE -- Groundspeak has just told me that you are still allowed to put the name of the pub and the address in your event cache pages, so cache on as you have been before!

 

Hang on. You are supposed to be the spokesperson for Groundspeak and you didn't know that. Or have the goalposts been moved again ?

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I have to say well done to mtn-man for being a calming influence. I do think that Groundspeak have made a right pig's ear of this, though.

 

It reminds me of when I get advice in business from lawyers. It takes experience in business to know what to go with and what to question. This has all the hallmarks of people who are great entrepreneurs but maybe not that experienced in business tieing themselves in legalistic knots when what is needed is a deep breath, to stand back and just think about what is common sense.

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I'd echo the comments that this is a ridiculous situation.

 

I do appreciate mtn-man taking the time to comment, but mostly it does seem to be a case of email Groundspeak for clarification. I think this was one of the points that was made in the resignation postings of L & E - that rules are being made behind the scenes but that we don't know about them. Do Groundspeak really want to constantly be getting emails?

 

I think that common sense should be able to tell any of us what is or is not a commercial cache. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it's a duck. It it looks like a commercial cache to the local reviewer then it's a commercial cache. It's that common sense approach which we've had the benefit of over the last few years, and it's that which is now sadly going to be missing.

 

We have done a lot of caches in areas where we don't know nice places to eat or drink. We have genuinely appreciated it if the cache setter has recommended their favourite local pub to us. Never had a bad recommendation yet! These are not commercial caches in any reasonable interpretation of the word, but they're going to be caught and prohibited by these new rules.

 

I really do think that this needs to be reconsidered. Yes, keep and enforce the ban on commercial caches, but please be sensible in the interpretation of what these are.

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Pathetic !

 

Also, is your photo of the KFC chicken not also advertising ?

 

Typical small minded USA.

 

I have to say, I don't think that's fair. I thought Mtn-man was trying to balance it out. And the picture of a very big chicken did bring a smile to my face. :)

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Hey everyone, just got home for the day and the wife wants to pop out for a bite to eat. The talk of pizza in my earlier posts has us hungry for pizza now! :) I'll read up in a bit and answer any other questions I can. Thanks for being nice to me and I hope I can help further.

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bahh blimming humbug ............From my understanding the rules read 'you are not allowed to use GC.com to advertise YOUR own business ie YOU should not gain so should therefore have no vested interest in the meeting place/venue. Bizarre to not allow folks access to menus, websites, etc familycachers, handicachers, people with specific dietry needs and those with limited finances all need the information provided by 'commercial' websites or the phone number of the venue!

 

so from this Dorsetgal is also correct ...to use a businessname as a caching name and then to have links on any parts of the GC website to your business would be in breach of these rules, would it not? I certainly wouldn't want it to become the norm that people can have 'sock puppet accounts' so that they can then send people an email saying thanks for visiting my cache with a whopping great big linky banner across it!

 

oh well the full moons nearly waxing or is it waining? maybe some sense will prevail soon!

Edited by minxyy
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Geetings from the USA-

 

I've been following this thread with great interest. We recently (about 5 months ago) experienced the same thing you are now going through.

 

I don't know why TPTB won't just come out and explain the "commercial" event guidelines. It appears thay have imposed strict control over what the reviewers and moderators can say about it. Instead, they require all event caches that violate the "unwritten" guidelines to be refered to Groundspeak. The reviewer isn't allowed to comment or coach the event hider in any way. Go figure!

 

Here is what has been gleaned by Michigan cachers from their contact with Groundspeak on the subject of events and how to avoid bumping up against the "commercial" guidelines. This is by no means an official list, just our experiences. Your experiences may vary:

 

1. Keep your event page simple. Place a link on the event page to an off-site page for more information.

 

2. It is always OK to mention the event location by name and address. They allow this so that the cacher can find the location.

 

3. Sponsors can be named on the cache page SOMETIMES but can not be a clickable link.

 

4. What is not allowed is promoting the business with multiple mentions and discussions about how great they are and menus & pricing, store promotions, etc. on the cache page.

 

5. All commercial information like menus, sales, lodging, etc. must be placed on a separate page (off GC.com) and linked to the event page with a generic link like "Click here for more information". On that page you can place almost anything that pertains to the event and is of a commercial basis. This insures that the cache page will not bump up against the commercial guidelines and allows the cachers to get the information they need.

 

6. Any mention of auctions or raffles is forbidden on the GC.com page.

 

7. Any mention of sales of event geocoins is forbidden on the GC.com page.

 

8. Talking about door prizes is OK.

 

Here is a link to an event that follows the evolving unwritten commercial event guidelines: 3rd Annual SW Michigan Chili Cook Off

 

Now of course you can ask permission from Groundspeak to violate these "rules" but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for approval.

 

Mtn-man - you input on this interpretation (if you're allowed to) would be appreciated.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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OK, I'm full and I know a lot of you are sleepy (or asleep). Let me see if I can give some further input.

 

Right off, know that I am only a volunteer. I'm a cacher just like you guys. I'm not really any kind of spokesman for Groundspeak, but I do know the guidelines pretty well. I am one of two volunteer global forum moderators. I've seen the growth of geocaching and Groundspeak since I started on my join date and since I became a reviewer in March of 2002. I reviewed lots of caches in the UK way back when, until some of the first local reviewers were brought on. I know Moss Trooper and Tim & June from those early days. I am a tad surprised by Tim & June's comments to me, but no biggie. I know people are hurting. That's why I want to help. I am no absolute authority and have already had to correct myself once in this topic. I am a cacher too, like I say, and I like to make people feel better. (Probably why I like events so much -- I like having fun with other cachers and making them laugh.) Abuse me if you feel the need, I've got pretty thick skin, but stick to the forums guidelines of course. :)

 

One thing you have to understand is that these guidelines are not new. They have been around for many years. I honestly don't know where we go from here. Being a volunteer, it isn't a decision I make, though I can give input like any other volunteer. I've known about the things on your local cache pages since I was asked to step out of reviewing caches in favor of local reviewers. I can answer the question posted by the title of the topic everywhere else in the world, but not here. I understand events and have tried to help with that (though I was corrected as you saw and now know that answer at least). I'll continue to try to help as best I can. I hope I have done some good.

 

I am glad the big chicken made one of you laugh at least. :)

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Mtn-man - you input on this interpretation (if you're allowed to) would be appreciated.

My input would be that everyone in the UK should ignore your post at this time since it represents your personal opinion and is not applicable to the questions in this topic. Considering your derogatory comments, it should be painfully obvious that they are not representative opinions from Groundspeak.

 

There are no "unwritten" guidelines being applied here. I would ask that you stay out of the topic and let the local cachers discuss the issues.

Edited by mtn-man
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Mtn-man - you input on this interpretation (if you're allowed to) would be appreciated.

My input would be that everyone in the UK should ignore your post at this time since it represents your personal opinion and is not applicable to the questions in this topic. Considering your derogatory comments, it should be painfully obvious that they are not representative opinions from Groundspeak.

 

Geocachers of the UK have collectively lobbied for and received permission to have the names of pubs on event cache pages. They asked for permission. This is within the guidelines and there are no "unwritten" guidelines being applied here. I would ask that you stay out of the topic and let the local cachers discuss the issues.

 

Ok, now I am confused! It seems that he surmissed the current interpretation of the guidelines quite well, even mentioning the fact that you CAN name the place of the event once. Though I realize that this is a regional forum and they have their own views about what is happpening out there, it effects us all. Or is GC now touting REGIONAL guidelines?

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Geetings from the USA-

 

I've been following this thread with great interest. We recently (about 5 months ago) experienced the same thing you are now going through.

 

I don't know why TPTB won't just come out and explain the "commercial" event guidelines. It appears thay have imposed strict control over what the reviewers and moderators can say about it. Instead, they require all event caches that violate the "unwritten" guidelines to be refered to Groundspeak. The reviewer isn't allowed to comment or coach the event hider in any way. Go figure!

 

Here is what has been gleaned by Michigan cachers from their contact with Groundspeak on the subject of events and how to avoid bumping up against the "commercial" guidelines. This is by no means an official list, just our experiences. Your experiences may vary:

 

 

6. Any mention of auctions or raffles is forbidden on the GC.com page.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

 

Oh dear, so this cache we had last weekend, organised by the Nevada Geocaching Assn was in breach...

 

Raffle

But then it was an Event, so perhaps a raffle is allowed????

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So the way I read all this is :

 

If you mention that you had a great pint and meal at the nearby "The Dog and Duck" on a cache page it would have to be approved by Groundspeak themselves and not our local guys ?

 

So, if every new cache page did that they would all have to be reviewed by the USA. I wonder how many caches are submitted on a daily basis and I wonder if they could cope over there.

No, that's not correct. If I reviewed a new event cache description that mentions the name of the business in three different places, I would write to the cache owner and ask them to mention the name just once. If I reviewed a new traditional cache page and it mentions the name of the business, I'd ask the owner to remove it.

 

In both cases, I would cite the Commercial Caches guideline. In that guideline, there is express mention of writing to Groundspeak for an exception. I have handled three event cache submissions with "business name issues" this week alone, and have easily been able to resolve the questions by working with the organizer. If the organizer disagreed with me or wanted a special exception, such as for a Mega-Event, I would invite them to contact Groundspeak. I've also seen Groundspeak make exceptions under the Commercial Caches guideline -- the point being, it is their decision to make and not mine.

 

I don't see Groundspeak being swamped with e-mails. The majority of cases are easily handled by cooperation between the cache setter and the reviewer.

Edited by Keystone
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UPDATE -- Groundspeak has just told me that you are still allowed to put the name of the pub and the address in your event cache pages, so cache on as you have been before!

Of course it's allowed.

 

I just looked at the first ten or so events on the gc.com calendar (from various parts of the world) and every one of them mentioned the venue by name. Common sense.

 

a.

Edited by SlytherinAlex
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My subtle modification to the listing should ensure compliance. Now about Walmart :)

 

One of the biggest challenges in trying to run any sort of business or activity in the 21st Century is that the slightest quality control error can be all over the planet within a few minutes. It used to be that your quality plan called for 99.8% of widgets, or whatever, to be up to spec. Now, if you ship one bad widget, the whole world can read about it.

 

A couple of years back there was a spate of bashing of Dell Computer on the blogs after someone who had a problem with their brand new PC and a couple of bad support calls, posted on their blog how terrible Dell was. Now of course nobody would want to be in their shoes, but do the numbers: perhaps 2% of people who buy a computer have a problem when it arrives, and perhaps 1% of all support calls go wrong. So if Dell sells five million computers a year, around ten people will have a problem and be very frustrated after two bad support calls.

 

In the same way, it is simply inconceivable that with 150,000+ caches published in the last 12 months, that there will not be some that are 20 feet from US railroad tracks, or 100 feet from another cache, or have the name of a company in their title, or mention the web site of a restaurant. Groundspeak volunteers do not have a five-page checklist sheet to fill in before a cache is published. They get home from work, open the queue and (shock!) maybe a beer, and try to do the best job they can on each cache, juggling their - sometimes mutually contradictory - obligations to Groundspeak, to their local caching community, to the cache placer, to the game in general, and to their families, many of whom don't see much of them at the weekends either because volunteers also like to (gasp) go caching.

 

I can see two alternatives to this process:

1) Paid reviewers. $8 an hour and if the word "Wal-Mart" appears in a cache listing and you cannot absolutely prove that it wasn't added by the placer after publication, you're fired. Queue here to apply for this exciting career opportunity, because like certain fast-food chains, they'll always be hiring due to the 250% annual turnover rate. (Oh, and as a cache placer, don't forget to attach your Paypal receipt number for the $2.99 approval fee when submitting your cache. Special discounts apply for a series of 10. Caches will be published from 9am-5pm Pacific time, and you can call your reviewer at international premium rates with an average hold time of around 10 minutes.)

2) No reviewers. That might work. Perhaps everybody who places a cache is as dedicated to quality caching as us (for any value of "us"). Or it might just result in geocaching being banned from huge areas of every country because nobody would be able to stop morons listing their caches in protected wildlife areas, or on the gates of an Army barracks, or wherever. Or placing 100 micros in an ammo can so you can drive up and score 101 smileys. No proximity rule, no maintenance plans, no archiving of abandoned caches. Freedom! (I'd give it three months, tops.)

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Or is GC now touting REGIONAL guidelines?

You say that as though you think it would be a bad thing? One of the causes of the current angst is because Groundspeak has failed - not once but many times - to recognise that there are cultural differences in this international hobby. Every major company knows that it has to handle its operations in different countries in different ways: Groundspeak has yet to learn this.

 

The Scouts have been mentioned elsewhere as a model, but there are many others. Every international hobby has a hierarchical organisation where local needs are managed locally, consistent with regional guidelines which flow from, and contribute to, a common international philosphy.

 

So yes, Groundspeak should be touting regional guidelines. It's the only way to prevent a fracturing of the hobby into separate country-specific groups. Some of this has already happened, of course, but it can be prevented from becoming worse.

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I would ask that you stay out of the topic and let the local cachers discuss the issues.

 

 

Sorry?

 

There are two good discussions regarding commercial content on cache pages here and here. That forums is the appropriate area for the discussion.
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You must have missed this one...

Cacher nicknames can be a business. They can have links to their business on their profile pages. You just cannot do any thing of that sort on the cache page itself. There are two good discussions regarding commercial content on cache pages here and here. That forums is the appropriate area for the discussion.

Dare I ask, is this the future?

If post on here are not directly related to UK Geocaching then we will be sent packing to the main forums :rolleyes: .

I did answer the question, but in case anyone wanted more of the detailed history behind that answer, it is best to read those topics. When there are active topics that answer the question you ask, I think linking you to those discussions seems to make sense. It isn't that you cannot discuss it here in this sub-forum, it is that it is already being discussed at this time in another part of the same forum in a different, more applicable sub-forum.

I think this is a regional issue being discussed by the local cachers in the region. If you read the whole topic, you see that this is one of the main points being put forth.

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A little confused...I guess I wont be holding any more events (after tomorrow) for fear of being a rule breaker. I bearly have the techy know how to put a link on a cache page let alone setting up an independent site to attach a link to.

 

I just wish someone would try to explain in simple terms (and I mean very simple) what's allowed and what isn't. After all, I just want to hunt tupperware!

 

Sarah

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Mtn-man - you input on this interpretation (if you're allowed to) would be appreciated.

My input would be that everyone in the UK should ignore your post at this time since it represents your personal opinion and is not applicable to the questions in this topic. Considering your derogatory comments, it should be painfully obvious that they are not representative opinions from Groundspeak.

 

There are no "unwritten" guidelines being applied here. I would ask that you stay out of the topic and let the local cachers discuss the issues.

 

Let me say that I am sorry if I have stuck my nose in where it didn't belong. I meant no harm or disrespect to anybody or entity, only to share my experiences. Although some may not like the way I said it, I stand by my post and believe everything to be true.

 

If anyone would like to contact me off list I invite them to do so.

 

Now I'm going to go work in the garden for a couple of hours - spring is finally here!

 

Good luck everyone,

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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A little confused...I guess I wont be holding any more events (after tomorrow) for fear of being a rule breaker. I bearly have the techy know how to put a link on a cache page let alone setting up an independent site to attach a link to.

 

I just wish someone would try to explain in simple terms (and I mean very simple) what's allowed and what isn't. After all, I just want to hunt tupperware!

 

Sarah

 

Just carry on as you are - Don't mention the pub more than once on the cache page - and if you want to link to an off site page, I'm happy to given lessons.

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Or is GC now touting REGIONAL guidelines?

You say that as though you think it would be a bad thing? One of the causes of the current angst is because Groundspeak has failed - not once but many times - to recognise that there are cultural differences in this international hobby. Every major company knows that it has to handle its operations in different countries in different ways: Groundspeak has yet to learn this.

 

The Scouts have been mentioned elsewhere as a model, but there are many others. Every international hobby has a hierarchical organisation where local needs are managed locally, consistent with regional guidelines which flow from, and contribute to, a common international philosphy.

 

So yes, Groundspeak should be touting regional guidelines. It's the only way to prevent a fracturing of the hobby into separate country-specific groups. Some of this has already happened, of course, but it can be prevented from becoming worse.

 

Not at all, I just think that if a post with the title like this one "What is and what is not a commercial cache?" it will draw many cachers to it. Recently there have been a few threads related to what is and what isn't allowed on the cache and event listings, so any info I can gather is a bonus. We are in a community that is world-wide so some regional common sense must be used but overall it must stay within the 'spirit' of the guidelines. So I would just like to see something from GC that makes it a bit more clear.

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A little confused...I guess I wont be holding any more events (after tomorrow) for fear of being a rule breaker. I bearly have the techy know how to put a link on a cache page let alone setting up an independent site to attach a link to.

 

I just wish someone would try to explain in simple terms (and I mean very simple) what's allowed and what isn't. After all, I just want to hunt tupperware!

 

Sarah

 

Have a look at this cache (an archived event so no cache advertising). The way I read it is that this event cache would still get published were it to be submitted, even though it it quite clearly indicates that the event is to be held in a pub.

 

However, if I were to stick a magnetic film can on the lamp post close by (don't worry, that will NEVER happen) and state that the cache was close to a pub and post the same picture and information on the cache page, it would NOT get published as it would be a 'traditional' cache and not an 'event' cache.

 

Event cache.... pubs good

 

Any other cache... pubs bad

 

Think I've got that right but I guess someone will shout if I haven't :rolleyes:

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A little confused...I guess I wont be holding any more events (after tomorrow) for fear of being a rule breaker. I bearly have the techy know how to put a link on a cache page let alone setting up an independent site to attach a link to.

 

I just wish someone would try to explain in simple terms (and I mean very simple) what's allowed and what isn't. After all, I just want to hunt tupperware!

 

Sarah

 

Have a look at this cache (an archived event so no cache advertising). The way I read it is that this event cache would still get published were it to be submitted, even though it it quite clearly indicates that the event is to be held in a pub.

 

However, if I were to stick a magnetic film can on the lamp post close by (don't worry, that will NEVER happen) and state that the cache was close to a pub and post the same picture and information on the cache page, it would NOT get published as it would be a 'traditional' cache and not an 'event' cache.

 

Event cache.... pubs good

 

Any other cache... pubs bad

 

Think I've got that right but I guess someone will shout if I haven't :rolleyes:

After hours and hours of reading that seems correct..

Events are OK to point to the pub/hotel whatever..

Even a cache located at the pub or gaining information for say a multi starting outside a pub should be ok

BUT.

Do not try to arrange or mention anything that the venue/person/charity etc may profit from on the GC event cache webpage.

This also includes any merchandise sold at or contributing towards the said event. (Coins, Shirts etc).

Also food prices and orders.. Anything that may need to be paid for on the day or in advance.

This would also include say booking and paying for say a camping event?

All of there should be moved to a seperate website.

 

The major point over all that nobody should have to pay to attend an event or to pay to complete a cache.

 

That's how I see it..

 

Would a mod like to confirm.

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well, I guess that means that I won't be organising any more camping events....

 

I have trouble writing cache pages, I could never have my own website to link all the nitty gritty of camping to....

 

That's very sad... lots would agree that the camping side of caching is brilliant fun, and a community in itself. I can see it all dwindling, not everyone has the ways and means of hosting their own web pages.

 

Does this mean that my camping event due to be held on 30th May will be archived as it doesnt meet the "new" criteria??? It mentions the name of the site, their prices, and links to the campsite website????

 

If so, I think I should be told??????

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well, I guess that means that I won't be organising any more camping events....

 

I have trouble writing cache pages, I could never have my own website to link all the nitty gritty of camping to....

 

That's very sad... lots would agree that the camping side of caching is brilliant fun, and a community in itself. I can see it all dwindling, not everyone has the ways and means of hosting their own web pages.

 

Does this mean that my camping event due to be held on 30th May will be archived as it doesnt meet the "new" criteria??? It mentions the name of the site, their prices, and links to the campsite website????

 

If so, I think I should be told??????

 

Hazel

 

I think it would be unfair for them to archive your event that has been published, this even was approved so therefore should stand as is, if they would like you to change the content of your event page it would be permissible for them to request that you make changes and work with you should you require assistance in doing that.

 

Hopefully what is fair is as important to Groundspeak as it is for the local reviewers.

 

Lee

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but iit is okay to post commercial info in tag lines or is Founder & CEO -- Admin Brick Manufacturing Company non commercial ?

:rolleyes::(:) Ha ha ha! B)B)B) Now THAT'S hysterical. :)B):(

I hope we never edit good, clean comedy out of signature lines.

 

I only wish I could make some money off of that. If you read my profile you would see what an admin brick is, though I do collect odd bricks for fun now. I am the CEO of nothing, though I am second in line at the company I work for, not that that means much.

 

HazelS, your camping event will not be archived I would not think. You are already listed so I doubt they would remove it. Keep in mind that you can always ask for permission for links.

 

Madyokel, I think some clarifications will come from Groundspeak soon enough. For now, email them directly with questions for a proposed event.

 

(Oh yeah, more on the admin brick can be found on my personal web site too.)

Edited by mtn-man
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but iit is okay to post commercial info in tag lines or is Founder & CEO -- Admin Brick Manufacturing Company non commercial ?

:D:):D Ha ha ha! :P<_<<_< Now THAT'S hysterical. :):D:D

I hope we never edit good, clean comedy out of signature lines.

 

I only wish I could make some money off of that. If you read my profile you would see what an admin brick is, though I do collect odd bricks for fun now. I am the CEO of nothing, though I am second in line at the company I work for, not that that means much.

 

HazelS, your camping event will not be archived I would not think. You are already listed so I doubt they would remove it. Keep in mind that you can always ask for permission for links.

 

Madyokel, I think some clarifications will come from Groundspeak soon enough. For now, email them directly with questions for a proposed event.

 

(Oh yeah, more on the admin brick can be found on my personal web site too.)

 

Ohhhhhhhh those are nice :D

 

When you get fed up of being nice, and think you might want to throw a brick to vent your anger, throw one this way :wub: (actually I can think of a few folks who would want to throw a brick at me :wub: )

 

I dont really "do" coins to be honest but the few I have are very special to me.......I even have a Geocaching Secret Agents coin, one of only two I beleive in the whole of the UK. ;)

 

Mandy :D

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