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Would it take too much Bandwidth?


Malpas Wanderer
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I rarely post on these forums and this is my first post here on the all nations forum. I write from the United Kingdom.

 

The UK forum and others seem to be alive with posts, mainly concerned with:

  • The interpretation of what constitutes a commercial reference in a cache listing
  • The change of this aspect from a guideline to a more rigid rule
  • The difference in Nations/Countries/Religious cultures and how fixed rules integrate into such cultures
  • The resignation of two UK volunteer reviewers/forum moderators.
  • Caches Archived but known to be physically present causing a litter problem.
  • Reference to Charitable causes.
  • The way forward

 

Whilst I try to view many of the UK forums I do find it difficult to follow the topics, and especially in this case the initial cause/problem etc. I also appreciate it must be far more difficult for anyone trying to pick up the threads if they try to follow them long after they are started or cachers returning after long absences.

 

The UK forums topics have referenced out to some United States forums and whilst we both have use English as a language I can appreciate there are vast cultural differences, word meanings being a major example where UK words have a vastly different interpretation in the US, I have little knowledge of variations in other nations cultures.

 

Now to the crux of the posting reason.

 

The increase in forum activity seems to have been borne by the change of a guide line to a rule or the more rigid enforcement of said guideline or rule. This change did not seem to be well publicised and in itself the lack of understanding caused many forum topics to diverge from the original topic.

 

Would it be a better delivery method that any changes to the Groundspeak rules, terms and conditions etc be notified to individual registered geocacher by email? Would it take too much bandwidth? This would ensure all cachers were aware of any important changes including those that do not visit the forums and cachers returning from long absences etc. who could then base their forum replies on true facts.

 

Apologies for the length of this post and lack of smileys I do not understand them, this post was raised in the all nations forum as I though it should be presented to the whole geocaching community. It was made in good faith in the interests of all geocachers.

 

I welcome direct/indirect response from appropriate Groundspeak representative.

 

Colin

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There's lots of topics on these forums about issues that ocurred 3-4 years ago, but usually somewhere down the line someone links to it or explains what happened in a nut shell. :rolleyes: I think it's a good idea to have some sort of notification by e-mail about rule changes or updates. I don't see how that would be a bandwith issue when we already get plenty of daily and weekly e-mails from them. This may be a good post for the Geocaching.com Website forum.

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Would it be a better delivery method that any changes to the Groundspeak rules, terms and conditions etc be notified to individual registered geocacher by email?

I'm not sure how much bandwidth it would take to send out 1 million plus E-mails. Maybe a bunch. Maybe not. I would say my biggest objection is that it's unnecessary. The guidelines and their respective changes primarily effect those folks who are hiding caches. Everyone who submits a cache for publication has checked the box saying they read and understood the current guidelines. If they are just checking the box without reading the current guidelines, then I won't waste any sympathy on them. If there are guidelines that are creating doubt for an individual cacher, it's a simple matter to query a reviewer for an updated interpretation.

 

Worst case scenario? Someone submits a cache or event that has had a whole lot of work go into it, and it gets denied because of a guideline violation that the owner wasn't aware of, or the owner wasn't aware of a new interpretation of a guideline by Groundspeak. The owner has to simply open communications with Groundspeak to determine what needs to be changed on the cache page to get the cache/event published.

 

Certainly not worth loosing sleep over.

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I'm going to move this thread to the Geocaching.com website forum, since its primary point is to suggest/discuss ways for the website to communicate with members about changes in the Cache Listing Requirements / Guidelines.

 

In this regard, I note that the weekly e-mailer is often used to highlight guideline changes and other issues of concern. Groundspeak is receptive to suggestions on subjects to be featured in the weekly e-mailer.

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I was thinking along similar lines to the OP in that changes to the guidelines should be notified to cachers, maybe the weekly Emailer would be a good mechanism but changes should be made prominent in the mail. Also, on other forums that I visit there's a system whereby when the site organisers make an announcement every visitor to the forums gets a red banner at the top of the page saying "ANNOUNCEMENT", once you've visited the announcement page the red banner disappears, it's a good way of informing members of any changes of policy. I guess this system is a feature of the BB software used so may not be available for this SW.

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I've a much simpler change Groundspeak could implement to highlight when the Guidelines have been revised.

 

On the submit and edit a cache page there is a check box that says.......

"Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache."

 

Just change that to read

"Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache. (Last updated March 2008)"

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Featuring any updates in the weekly email newsletter releases would be a good idea, but there have been no new guidelines released since February 20, 2008. It already says on the guidelines page right at the top when the latest new release was. I don't know how adding that next to the "yes I have read" text would have done anything in this case since most of the issues are forum management related. In addition, the recent changes to the guidelines pretty much dealt with relaxing the guidelines that were addressed.

Edited by mtn-man
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Featuring any updates in the weekly email newsletter releases would be a good idea, but there have been no new guidelines released since February 20, 2008. It already says on the guidelines page right at the top when the latest new release was. I don't know how adding that next to the "yes I have read" text would have done anything in this case since most of the issues are forum management related. In addition, the recent changes to the guidelines pretty much dealt with relaxing the guidelines that were addressed.

There have been no new guidelines, but Groundspeak (and perhaps reviewers themselves via discussions in the reviewers private forum) continuously refine the interpretations of the guidelines. When the guidelines are updated (as they were in February) I suspect that there was some discussion in the reviewers forum as to what they mean. The general geocaching public is not privy to these discussions. Sometimes a small change in the guidelines results in what seems like a big change to those cachers whose cache pages are affected. Prior to some recent change, events were allowed to contain some limited amount of links to commercial sites that had information related to event or the venue. Some reviewers did check to make sure that the event or the event page were not being set up simply to advertise some business. Somewhere guidance was given to the reviewers to consider any links to a commercial site as possibly being in violation of the guidelines. They were told that these caches would have to be approved by Groundspeak. I could be 100% wrong but this is my analysis based on the information available to me from reading the guidelines and recent discussions in the forums.

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I've a much simpler change Groundspeak could implement to highlight when the Guidelines have been revised.

 

On the submit and edit a cache page there is a check box that says.......

"Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache."

 

Just change that to read

"Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache. (Last updated March 2008)"

Most people don't submit new caches often enough for that to be meaningful.

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Thanks for your editorial. The topic is regarding a delivery method for guideline changes. Please stick to the topic.

 

Um, Toz's comment was a response to the person questioning whether guideline changes need to be delivered at all. (ie, someone arguing for NO delivery method.)

 

It is quite relevant to the topic.

 

I have to wonder if your warning would have been posted had someone else posted toz's message. I have to conclude it would not have.

Edited by benh57
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