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Below is the copy of a message I have sent to Jeremy and via mtn-man to try to open some level of negotiations to try and resolve the present problems.

 

This was only posted on monday so it is not a great surprise that I have yet to get a reply but I hope it clarifies that things are being attempted. I would stress that I am not posting this now to brgin any bad feeling towards the Groundspeak authorities, quite the opposite, I hope that this will show people that we are attempting to sort the problem out before it gets out of control.

 

"Hi, I do not doubt that you have received more than a few messages from cachers from the United Kingdom in light of the recent events.

 

 

At the outset I would stress that while I am a member of the Geocaching Association of Great Britain this post is entirely off my own back.

 

 

As I understand the current situation a decision has been made by yourself and others that the United Kingdom has been less strict with it's reviewing and forum moderation than you would normally expect on one of the many American forums. As such they were told to become much more stringent and follow the guidelines with less lee way. They have then resigned due to that and other related actions .

 

 

I do understand your thoughts that it is better for everyone to be operating under the exact same rules but I don't think that it really needs to happen. Has anyone actually complained that we are given more leniency or are allowed more freedom? Is there any commercial reason that you feel all the countries need to conform? (totally understandable if so)

 

The thing is that both Australia and the Netherlands, to the best of my knowledge, have a certain level of freedom to act within their own set of guidelines while still remaining under the umbrella of Groundspeak. Could you please explain why this could not be done for us?

 

 

The question over recommending public houses I believe has been put to you but I will reitterate. The Public house holds a unique place for the british people as I hope you found out on your recent trip to an event that under the present rules would not be allowed unless I an incorrect?

 

They are places where families go before and after walks/ caches etc. and form an integral part of the British culture. I do not think the same applies to similar establishments in the USA. But like any establishment some are more friendly towards families and weary travellers than others. I am aware that a large number of cachers welcome information as to whether a local public house falls into the nice category or not when travelling a long distance to go caching. So while in the strictest sense that does fall foul of the commercial guideline it is welcomed to the UK cachers.

 

The counter argument is that once one is allowed there will be a flood of "go to this shop or this resturant" but that is where flexibility comes into play. I can say with certainty that when a UK reviewer makes a ruling it has been accepted by the UK cacher population as they have shown consistancy and fairness in their application of the guidelines.

 

 

The sum of this argument is that some negotiation should be allowed to solve this current discord. It is my belief that if the UK reviewers and moderators were allowed to continue with their fair and firm interpretation of the guidelines with the UK holding a slightly detached position. We have seperate laws along an often common theme. We have a similar culture. But we do not always totally agree with how we each do things, surely some level of uniqueness and originality should be welcomed not suppressed?

 

 

At the moment there is a great deal of resentment being directly towards GC.com by a normally calm happy group of people. You have to remember that before all this occured it was very rare that there was anything on our forums that required any moderation. They are a very calm and relaxed affair usually.

 

 

I would greatly appreciate it if you could consider my points and see if you could show the British community that you are able to reconsider a mistake and rectify it before lasting damage is done to the trust that has built up over the relatively few years that our hobby has existed. I do not think that the hobby would suffer in fact diversity would strengthen it. Your UK customer base needs some reassurance and flexibility not a strict rule.

 

 

Thank you for your time

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They are places where families go before and after walks/ caches etc. and form an integral part of the British culture. I do not think the same applies to similar establishments in the USA.

 

But like any establishment some are more friendly towards families and weary travellers than others. I am aware that a large number of cachers welcome information as to whether a local public house falls into the nice category or not when travelling a long distance to go caching. So while in the strictest sense that does fall foul of the commercial guideline it is welcomed to the UK cachers.

 

 

You're saying cachers that live in the US all make long hikes or cache runs and go straight home without visiting any watering hole / eatery beforehand? :lol: We seem to have exactly the same concerns about which place can take large groups of muddy people, dogs, kids, or enough parking or none of the above...or which ones have terrible grub. We also have exactly the same concerns about where to go, meet up before or after a cache run and whether we should list suggestions in the event or cache page or not. As far as I can tell, we just work around it, give the co-ords or maybe sneak in the name of the place in the hint for events ;) and have a great time.

 

Another powerful tool is the ability to email the owner or other local cachers for recommendations if the caching trip really is that remote :)

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I propose that anyone wishing to discuss this without fear of gagging goes HERE

To be honest I have seen little or no signs of gagging going on in any of the related threads :lol: , so many thanks to the Mods and to Groundspeak for allowing the discussions to continue despite a few inappropriate comments.

 

That said I do agree that GAGB would be a better place for this discussion, and many others for that matter.

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To be honest I have seen little or no signs of gagging going on in any of the related threads :lol: , so many thanks to the Mods and to Groundspeak for allowing the discussions to continue despite a few inappropriate comments.

Thank you for noticing that. For the most part, the discussion has been allowed to move on as long as the posts were not spamming posts across other non-applicable forums and such.

 

In addition, I do hope the email sent to Jeremy was sent to the contact address. He is rarely involved in issues like this at this point. If you sent it to the contact address, then I am sure it will be directed to the right people. Keep in mind that I am just a volunteer and can only give an impression or opinion, but I really am not the decision maker regarding these issues. I've just tried to help out and post answers to questions that I think I can answer.

 

As long as you post within the guidelines for the forums, there should be no gagging fraggle69. Feel free to discuss this here or there, or even both.

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The message was sent to his personal contact and I only sent a copy via yourself mtn-man as you had shown an interest. It is not an attempt to create trouble it is purely trying to show our concerns and see if some compromise could be achieved. Jeremy jointly owns this site so he is the person who needs to know what is going on and reply.

 

And in case there is any confusion I had said that it was a personal message because at that stage I had not had the chance to discuss the matter with the full GAGB committee. I believe that I can now safely say that the message should be considered an official request from the Committee and as such from every member of the GAGB.

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They are places where families go before and after walks/ caches etc. and form an integral part of the British culture. I do not think the same applies to similar establishments in the USA.

 

But like any establishment some are more friendly towards families and weary travellers than others. I am aware that a large number of cachers welcome information as to whether a local public house falls into the nice category or not when travelling a long distance to go caching. So while in the strictest sense that does fall foul of the commercial guideline it is welcomed to the UK cachers.

 

 

You're saying cachers that live in the US all make long hikes or cache runs and go straight home without visiting any watering hole / eatery beforehand? :lol: We seem to have exactly the same concerns about which place can take large groups of muddy people, dogs, kids, or enough parking or none of the above...or which ones have terrible grub. We also have exactly the same concerns about where to go, meet up before or after a cache run and whether we should list suggestions in the event or cache page or not. As far as I can tell, we just work around it, give the co-ords or maybe sneak in the name of the place in the hint for events ;) and have a great time.

 

Another powerful tool is the ability to email the owner or other local cachers for recommendations if the caching trip really is that remote :)

 

Again you missunderstand the cultural place pubs and inns have in our culture.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4913550.stm

 

http://www.ratebeer.com/Beer-News/Article-312.htm

 

You need to read the second one

 

Also worth looking up the Camra site as well

 

Next time you are in a British pub, spend a moment looking around you to get a feel for the history of the place and its special atmosphere.

 

.

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On the "pubs" topic, a particular interest of mine(!) over the years, I have had the opportunity to compare some US bars and inns with UK ones. Often they are surprisingly similar (in atmosphere and as a part of leisure culture - although perhaps not decor or history), so I think that many Americans will have a notion of what we're talking about even if they haven't been to the UK.

 

Example.

 

Any guidebook to British walks isn't complete without its list of pubs and restaurants, and such a list has the same advantages and hazards as a mention in a geocaching on-line guidebook (i.e. GC.com).

 

IMO, Groundspeak should apply a worldwide guideline that allows a certain reasonable mention of commercial "refreshment" establishments where the reviewer judges them relevant to the cache location. After all, if you can waymark them why can't you mention them in a cache description? The two sites are both within the Groundspeak Portal.

 

On this topic I would like the GAGB to press for a more reasonable worldwide guideline rather than a special relaxation of rules for the UK.

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Some good points here.

 

It's the difference between Waymarking and geocaching that I REALLY can't get my head around. Especially if v2 is integrating the two to a greater or lesser degree, how is it that one can waymark a pub but not mention in in a cache description?

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how is it that one can waymark a pub but not mention in in a cache description?

Yes, I have some trouble with that. Checking the geocaching guidelines again, in fact there's nothing there suggesting that even a list of local pubs and restaurants would be against the guidelines (as long as you don't have to enter them to complete the find), so I don't know where this restriction is coming from. Is it just an imagined restriction?

 

Basically, my interpretation is that it's only a "commercial cache" if you have to "go inside the business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service" in order to find the cache. So there should be no problem saying "here are links to the websites of two pubs in the area which might be good for lunch".

Events might fall foul of this but I can't see how it applies to the average cache.

 

Unless someone knows better?

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Again you missunderstand the cultural place pubs and inns have in our culture.

 

 

I'm from the UK (first 29 years of mah life and hiked a great deal, with the frequent pubs stops) and fully understand the differences. I wasn't disagreeing with the CULTURAL aspect... I was just saying that in the US we have exactly the same issue...people travel (very) long distances to cache and the local hostelry is very important to know, and we have exactly the same needs and wants which translate to the same quagmire of commerical listings in caches.

 

(And to be honest, the cultural differences really aren't that different... the buildings may not be as old and steeped in history, but people certainly have their "locals" and places you you can come across in the middle of nowhere once hiking. The range of beers here now is flabbergasting and if anything, the microbreweries/restaurants/ale houses etc ARE extremely kid friendly and often do serve as social hubs. The parallels between them and the UK pub are very strong nowadays. I can't see how it justifies such a conceptual shift with the gc.com website)

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On the "pubs" topic, a particular interest of mine(!) over the years, I have had the opportunity to compare some US bars and inns with UK ones. Often they are surprisingly similar (in atmosphere and as a part of leisure culture - although perhaps not decor or history), so I think that many Americans will have a notion of what we're talking about even if they haven't been to the UK.

 

Good point, especially since - depending of course very much on where you are in the US - an American roadside inn is perhaps more likely to be independently owned and operated than a UK pub these days.

 

I'm seeing two strands to the arguments in defence of pubs. On the one hand there's the "traditional meeting place of the British" argument, which would be great except that anyone over 40 can probably remember that "traditionally" the kids had to sit in the car with a Coke and a packet of crisps while Mum and Dad got to see the (horrors!) beer taps. On the other, yes, many pubs are now family-friendly places, but that's got a lot to do with corporate marketing departments, laminated menus of microwaved food, etc, and if you look at their business model, selling alcoholic drinks is not the top activity. Of course, there are exceptions, but I can't see a guideline that allows pubs to be mentioned only if they're in the CAMRA top 1000 or whatever; and the two arguments do seem to contradict each other somewhat.

 

IMO, Groundspeak should apply a worldwide guideline that allows a certain reasonable mention of commercial "refreshment" establishments where the reviewer judges them relevant to the cache location.

 

... (out of sequence)

 

On this topic I would like the GAGB to press for a more reasonable worldwide guideline rather than a special relaxation of rules for the UK.

 

Now there's a thought. The potential downside is that the reviewers are not great fans of being asked to judge. In the end that was a major factor in the death of virtuals. But it could be the basis for discussion, and an official approach from the GAGB would certainly some weight.

 

After all, if you can waymark them why can't you mention them in a cache description? The two sites are both within the Groundspeak Portal.

 

Just on this specific point: I think Jeremy's comment was something like "Yamaha makes cars and violins". I get his logic although I don't think that it quite addresses the issue. To some extent I think that the strict anti-commercialism of geocaching.com compared to Waymarking is part of the "traditional charm" of the site. Kind of like, er, a country pub...

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I'm seeing two strands to the arguments in defence of pubs. On the one hand there's the "traditional meeting place of the British" argument, which would be great except that anyone over 40 can probably remember that "traditionally" the kids had to sit in the car with a Coke and a packet of crisps while Mum and Dad got to see the (horrors!) beer taps.

You did get a draughty outhouse sometimes, with the old chairs that had been chucked out of the pub years ago to sit on...

The potential downside is that the reviewers are not great fans of being asked to judge.

They have to judge all the time when being asked to check that guidelines are being followed. Even the "cache saturation" guideline, which seems to be one of the most objective and well-defined, can be ignored if the reviewer sees fit. The "pub" guideline would merely be looking out for (and questioning the submitter about) cases where the suggested refreshment stop is clearly nowhere near the cache approach. Perhaps such places should be additional waypoints.

 

I would hope that in cases where the relevance of a suggestion isn't obvious without onerous checking, visiting cachers will complain anyway and alert the reviewer.

Just on this specific point: I think Jeremy's comment was something like "Yamaha makes cars and violins". I get his logic although I don't think that it quite addresses the issue. To some extent I think that the strict anti-commercialism of geocaching.com compared to Waymarking is part of the "traditional charm" of the site. Kind of like, er, a country pub...

Yes, I see the logic too, and of course Waymarking will have some different guidelines to suit. But there are common features to both activities and it's surprising that such a different approach is taken to these things.

 

I think that we'd all agree that we don't want geocaching to be awash with recommended pubs/restaurants/hotels, and to be confronted with adverts for a cacher's favourite businesses at every turn. I quite like the conservative and functional look. But this is a matter of degree, and opening the door a little doesn't mean that we can't stop people pushing it wide open.

Edited by Happy Humphrey
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The message was sent to his personal contact and I only sent a copy via yourself mtn-man as you had shown an interest. It is not an attempt to create trouble it is purely trying to show our concerns and see if some compromise could be achieved. Jeremy jointly owns this site so he is the person who needs to know what is going on and reply.

 

And in case there is any confusion I had said that it was a personal message because at that stage I had not had the chance to discuss the matter with the full GAGB committee. I believe that I can now safely say that the message should be considered an official request from the Committee and as such from every member of the GAGB.

Then I will clarify. Please don't take this the wrong way. While Jeremy is the president of Groundspeak, based on the nature of the request I would tell you that there are people within the company who would deal with this. He is busy with other things at this point regarding the coding of the site. If you notice, he rarely posts in the forums lately and only does so when discussing the workings of the site. It is not that your issues are unimportant, it is just that he has other important people working with the company that deal with these issues. He might even have input after getting to your note, but he will ultimately leave the decision to those that make those decisions. It is like my position in the company I work for. There are decisions I make every day without going to my boss, the owner and president, since my job is to handle those decisions so he is free to handle the things that the company president deals with every day.

 

Let me boil this down to a nutshell. That's part of my job where I work. What this boils down to is geocachers from one country out of over 250 countries worldwide requesting that they have special, more relaxed guidelines, different from everyone else on the globe.

 

I will forward the letter you sent to me to MissJenn. She is the one who will need to handle this in conjunction with some of the other people at Groundspeak. Since this letter was posted publicly, she is aware of it already. I am not saying that you will be flatly turned down. I am not saying that you will be granted any exception. I am not saying anything regarding the request as an official statement coming from Groundspeak. I will say that your request will be given very serious consideration, and that this honestly isn't just a patronizing statement. Your concerns and requests are indeed important ones and that the right people for the decision making process are on it. That's not Jeremy at this point.

 

Regarding the context of the message itself, I have expressed some of my thoughts to MissJenn, but she is busy catching up on all of this after just coming back from a short vacation. Give the discussion some time. It is already underway.

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What this boils down to is geocachers from one country out of over 250 countries worldwide requesting that they have special, more relaxed guidelines, different from everyone else on the globe.

It's little awkward to talk in general terms as I don't know ALL the issues that have caused this "difficulty". But perhaps you could offer your opinion on one specific problem that seems to be causing some ill-will; that of mentioning commercial establishments in a cache description.

 

There seems to be nothing against this in the guidelines (see my earlier post), but there's a perception that there's a worldwide ban on mentioning any restaurant/bar/pub/inn in a cache (non-event) description, even as simply a "good lunch stop" suggestion.

GAGB appear to be lobbying for a relaxation of this ban for UK caches, but I can't see that any such ban exists in the first place, so such special treatment is unnecessary. Am I just missing a guideline here?

 

If you agree with me, it doesn't mean that GAGB should stop seeking clarification on regional flexibility issues in other areas, but at least it would put the "pub" issue to rest.

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It's little awkward to talk in general terms as I don't know ALL the issues that have caused this "difficulty". But perhaps you could offer your opinion on one specific problem that seems to be causing some ill-will; that of mentioning commercial establishments in a cache description.

 

There was also the issue of forum postings mentioning charities being pulled by a GC lackey - although how these differ commercially from posts on the "general" forum as well as the UK forum extolling the virtues of different GPSr's, software, and even shops is beyond me

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B) I f this is not commercial what is? Lets go geocaching

 

From the page:

"It is the first "Commercial" event to be published in the UK in association with Groundspeak"

 

Groundspeak has always agreed to grant certain commercial exemptions with permission. That's all this one is. I don't see it as related to the current thoughts on what mentions on a page can make something "commercial".

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It's little awkward to talk in general terms as I don't know ALL the issues that have caused this "difficulty". But perhaps you could offer your opinion on one specific problem that seems to be causing some ill-will; that of mentioning commercial establishments in a cache description.

Honestly, I'm on the fence. I see it both ways. I do indeed totally understand where you (UK cachers) are coming from regarding the importance of these pubs and how they relate to the culture and life and living in the UK. Remember, I used to review the UK a long time ago. The US is not there yet totally in that regard, but there are establishments that are gathering places here in the US as Maingray points out.

 

An example would be the "Cheers" show, to an extent. Those places exist in the US and have "regulars" and are a part of the local culture, but admittedly not nearly to the degree with the history and longevity that you guys have. It is something somewhat borrowed from you folks I guess, something you have down to an art.

 

I go to the same Starbucks every morning. I always go inside and never "drive-thru". I like the folks that work there. I am actually getting to know some of the customers that frequent the place at the same time I do. When I come in, the employees call me by name and know what I want. That is different though, because I am there for ten minutes. If I placed a cache nearby, would I like to say that it is near my favorite coffee shop? Makes no difference for the find in my opinion, so probably no. Still, US coffee shops are becoming similar to the pub experience, especially the local non-Starbucks more "pubish" type places. People hang out and enjoy each other's company and drink beverages.

 

I still prefer those with suds though. B)

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The coffee shop argument doesn't really apply to this.

 

Starbucks et al are just like mcdonalds et al. they have all their supplies shipped in from a central point and so you are fairly assured of the exact same quality whenever you visit.

 

Whereas a public house, even when part of a chain is very different.

 

Thank you for passing this to miss jenn, hopefully we can move further towards some discussion on this subject.

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Still, US coffee shops are becoming similar to the pub experience, especially the local non-Starbucks more "pubish" type places. People hang out and enjoy each other's company and drink beverages.

 

Yeah, we've all seen "Friends" B)

 

Anyone got a waypoint for Central Perk???

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B) I f this is not commercial what is? Lets go geocaching

 

Quite a number of people seem to think that the "no commercial references" things is some kind of religious vow of silence by Groundspeak, a bit like when Blue Peter made something from a washing-up liquid bottle and had to put black tape on the word "Fairy" (although you could always see the picture of the Fairy).

 

The real reasons are much simpler:

1. Advertising space is available on the site, and promotional partnerships are always welcome. But Groundspeak is not a registered charity and feels that, if your business is benefiting from its presence on the site, you should pay for it.

2. More generally, and this also touched on the "solicitations" guideline, this site is about geocaching. It's not intended as a social network for people who enjoy geocaching.

 

I think that an understanding of this second point is important to understanding quite a lot of the events of the last 8 or 9 days. Should the forums (and/or parts of cache listings involving the "p" word) become a social network for geocachers? That's a perfectly legitimate question, and one which I think Groundspeak needs to think about very hard. But right now I think that it's the - almost unseen - sticking point.

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I do indeed totally understand where you (UK cachers) are coming from regarding the importance of these pubs and how they relate to the culture and life and living in the UK.

But what guideline prevents a mention of a nearby decent pub (or even a good Starbuck's) in a cache description? I just don't see one: am I just having a DNF on the controversial edict?

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But what guideline prevents a mention of a nearby decent pub (or even a good Starbuck's) in a cache description? I just don't see one: am I just having a DNF on the controversial edict?

 

The one that says:

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.

 

However, it does then go on to say, in the same paragraph:

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.

 

One way to interpret it, could be that it means that the whole paragraph - including two preceding sentences - relates to a requirement not to have to enter the business (etc) to find the cache. However, the word "indirectly", and especially the instructions given to the reviewers, make it clear that the official interpretation is that the whole listing cannot be used to mention the names of businesses, or indeed even a suggestion that if you go to these N/E coordinates, you'll find a nice pub. Unless - and here is the scope for discussion - Groundspeak gives their approval for an exception.

 

Note the word "non-intentionally". My guess is that that's there, at least in part, so that the reviewers don't have to make judgment calls. The end result is pretty harsh, but there's always going to be a trade-off between rigidity and inconsistency (although very often, the same people who complain about one, also complain about the other). If you think that right now it's pretty easy to find a cache listing which bends the rules (or indeed drives a "Coach and Horses" B) through them, imagine what it would be like if the words "or indirectly" and "or non-intentionally" were removed. (Don't forget that, just as people don't talk about the train which came on time or the day when they decided to walk home and it didn't rain, you don't get to see all the caches which never made it through the review process.)

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B) So, I have a cache right outside a quite unique pub here in Devon, the reason for the cache is to get people to go and have a look at the pub as it is that unique.

I have also suggested people go inside and have a look around, I have not however told them to spend any money in the pub!!

 

So if we follow the ridiculously strict guidlines of TPTB I should archive this cache??

Mmmm and if we follow this even furthur, when I put caches out miles from anywhere and people have to spend money on petrol to get there, perhaps I am just swelling the coffers of BP and Esso and doing my own bit of commercialism! B)

 

Perhaps i should just archive all my caches. :laughing:

 

Disclaimer

PS, just because i have mentioned BP and Esso i am in no way suggesting you buy your fuel there, nor am i in any way getting a free swimming pool from them for mentioning their companies on this forum as an advertisment.

PPS If any of you are involved in petrol distribution and i have failed to mention your company, please put the swimming pool in the post and i will ensure i do mention your company on my next visit to these forums :laughing:

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So if we follow the ridiculously strict guidlines of TPTB I should archive this cache??

 

Not at all.

 

If you were to submit the cache today and the reviewer felt it was commercial, he or she would ask you for your arguments and ask a Groundspeak lackey to decide. Exceptions to the commercial guideline are made quite regularly, provided people ask. They aren't always mentioned on the cache page, which would be nice.

 

Meanwhile, the rules for "grandfathering" caches which don't meet the guidelines are generally fairly generous. I think it's very unlikely that anybody from Groundspeak is going to come and pick a fight over this one.

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However, it does then go on to say, in the same paragraph:

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.

 

Makes you wonder how the cache that sits in front of the reception desk at GC HQ in Seattle ever got approved. B)B)

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The coffee shop argument doesn't really apply to this.

 

Starbucks et al are just like mcdonalds et al. they have all their supplies shipped in from a central point and so you are fairly assured of the exact same quality whenever you visit.

 

Whereas a public house, even when part of a chain is very different.

See, that is where you are assuming. They are nothing like McDonald's at all. No one uses McDonald's as a gathering place. Frankly, you want to eat and leave as soon as you can because it is sterile. Our coffee shops are warm and inviting. I thought we were talking about the social networking aspect of things. Frankly, if you are only promoting pubs because of the differing foods, then I would move to the side of this being a totally commercial argument. I thought the whole point was the social network aspect of the pubs. Is that in fact not the case? B)

 

Still, US coffee shops are becoming similar to the pub experience, especially the local non-Starbucks more "pubish" type places. People hang out and enjoy each other's company and drink beverages.

Yeah, we've all seen "Friends" B)

"Central Perk" is pretty good example actually.
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The one that says:

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.

 

However, it does then go on to say, in the same paragraph:

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.

 

One way to interpret it, could be that it means that the whole paragraph - including two preceding sentences - relates to a requirement not to have to enter the business (etc) to find the cache. However, the word "indirectly", and especially the instructions given to the reviewers, make it clear that the official interpretation is that the whole listing cannot be used to mention the names of businesses, or indeed even a suggestion that if you go to these N/E coordinates, you'll find a nice pub. Unless - and here is the scope for discussion - Groundspeak gives their approval for an exception.

 

Note the word "non-intentionally". My guess is that that's there, at least in part, so that the reviewers don't have to make judgment calls. The end result is pretty harsh, but there's always going to be a trade-off between rigidity and inconsistency (although very often, the same people who complain about one, also complain about the other). If you think that right now it's pretty easy to find a cache listing which bends the rules (or indeed drives a "Coach and Horses" B) through them, imagine what it would be like if the words "or indirectly" and "or non-intentionally" were removed. (Don't forget that, just as people don't talk about the train which came on time or the day when they decided to walk home and it didn't rain, you don't get to see all the caches which never made it through the review process.)

I see it as quite a clear guideline, and not really as you (and others) interpret it.

 

The intention is to prevent caches that are set up so you're told to (for instance) walk into a particular pub, ask for the manager, and order dish number 99 (not on the menu) to which the manager replies "you really want number 25" (the missing cache coordinates).

 

Although this might be a bit of innocent fun involving your geocaching mate who runs the pub, the effect might be to unintentionally (or intentionally) bring in a bit of extra trade, as cachers are forced to enter the pub and talk to staff. The more obvious direct one is that you actually have to buy a drink in a particular pub before you're given access to the key. Both "direct" commercial caches as they involve a commercial enterprise in the finding of the cache.

 

An example of an "Indirect" one might be that you're given the coordinates of the pub without actually knowing what it is in advance, and are given a cryptic task ("Ask Mr. Biggins for number 99"). You cannot find the cache without performing this task. There may be no intention to boost Mr. Biggins' trade, but the reviewer would see this as an unintentional side effect and disallow the listing: I see the word "unintentional" as being there to prevent arguments that "I didn't intend people to buy drinks, so it should be fine".

 

This is quite different from being faced with a normal traditional cache listing, where you can go and find the cache using a GPSr and without visiting any commercial premises but which indicates that there's a decent pub in the next village if you're hungry.

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I see it as quite a clear guideline, and not really as you (and others) interpret it.

 

I can fully understand why. As written, it does not explicitly convey the interpretation which is applied by Groundspeak and the reviewers. But if you want watertight rules, think about how much it costs to enact each line of legislation that goes onto the statute books in any given country, and people still find loopholes.

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As written, it does not explicitly convey the interpretation which is applied by Groundspeak and the reviewers. But if you want watertight rules, think about how much it costs to enact each line of legislation that goes onto the statute books in any given country, and people still find loopholes.

I understand, but the guideline seems so far from the apparent interpretation that it should be rewritten from start to finish. It's highly misleading. I think you should remove "explicitly" from your post.

I'm sure it will never be absolutely watertight, but at the moment it's leaking like a sieve. That's why I thought that there must be another "commercial cache" guideline somewhere else!

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Starbucks et al are just like mcdonalds et al. they have all their supplies shipped in from a central point and so you are fairly assured of the exact same quality whenever you visit. Whereas a public house, even when part of a chain is very different.

I think there's much more to it than just a charming lack of consistency, quality control and corporate ownership. I've never been to America, (though I've watched many an episode of Cheers!) but it does seem that British pubs are much more an integral part of the fabric of society than American bars, or even traditional British cafes or chip shops. I don't think it's to do with being old, or having regulars, or whether they're owned by a multinational, or anything quite so easy to measure.

 

Maybe the clue's in the name - Public House. Just like, say, churches or parks, they somehow "belong" to the public at large, regardless of who actually owns them, whether they make money, or whether you ever actually go in. It's why I used to walk to school down King Harry Lane, and I now drive over the Cat and Fiddle pass, listening to radio traffic reports about a snarl up on the Comet roundabout, without even for a second thinking that such references could ever be considered "commercial".

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We could argue the sematics of what is , or is not a commercial cache for years and still never come to a definitive answer.

 

The real problem here is that one size does not fit all when it comes to rules and guidelines.

 

Would it not strengthen the whole community if they knew that it was possible to have a flexible set of guidelines controlled by individuals with local knowledge.

 

Groundspeak make great emphasis on the fact that no precedence should be inferred by a cache's publication. Surely it is possible to reiterate that fact and then add that this applies without exception when the cache has been published in a different country that has negotiated local amendments.

 

This sounds like we are asking for a huge compromise from Groundspeak but, in fact, all we are asking for is for the system that has operated in the UK for the last 5 years to be reinstated.

 

Our reviewers were happy and so were we. Is that too much to ask?

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Would it not strengthen the whole community if they knew that it was possible to have a flexible set of guidelines controlled by individuals with local knowledge.

Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my. Absolutely not. Basically, you are saying it should be a free-for-all. Reviewers making up guidelines as they go along. As much as the reviewers get bashed for inconsistency over little minor things, I could not even begin to imagine where this would lead us.

 

OK, actually I can.

 

"Well, they are doing it in the UK, why can't we? B):):) "

"Our reviewers are so much more strict than those other reviewers! B)B):laughing: "

"Why do they get to get away with things no one else can? :laughing::laughing::lol: "

 

It would set up so much community angst that there would be no way to control it. That is why you have to have uniform guidelines. You have to remember this is a worldwide community.

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But what guideline prevents a mention of a nearby decent pub (or even a good Starbuck's) in a cache description? I just don't see one: am I just having a DNF on the controversial edict?

 

The one that says:

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.

It doesn't say that at all. Mentioning on a cache page that there's a good pub half way round a long multi is not "solicit[ing] customers" for the pub. It's providing a useful piece of information for the benefit of the weary cacher. It would only be soliciting if the cache owner had a financial interest in the pub. Which, in fact, was exactly how this guideline used (a few years ago) to be taken to mean.

 

When I mention during conversation in the pub that I found a good plumber I'm not soliciting for the plumber: I'm passing on helpful information to my drinking partners for when they next need a plumber, good plumbers being rather thin on the ground in the UK.

 

What the guideline says and how it's being interpreted by the reviewers under pressure from Groundspeak are two completely different things. As HH says below: it needs re-writing from scratch to say what Groundspeak want it to mean. Of course, that wouldn't actually solve the current problem, but at least everyone would then have the same understanding.

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It would set up so much community angst that there would be no way to control it. That is why you have to have uniform guidelines. You have to remember this is a worldwide community.

I'm all for equality.

 

Can the UK therefore expect equality of service and have the downtime for maintainance equally distributed around the clock instead of always during the night PST which means during the day GMT. UK Premium members pay equal fees but consistently receive an unequal service to those in the USA.

 

a.

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We could argue the sematics of what is , or is not a commercial cache for years and still never come to a definitive answer.

It's a bit more than semantics when they give guidelines which seem to define a commercial cache quite well then (allegedly) apply different unwritten guidelines! B)

 

The real problem here is that one size does not fit all when it comes to rules and guidelines.

 

Would it not strengthen the whole community if they knew that it was possible to have a flexible set of guidelines controlled by individuals with local knowledge.

Any type of cache can be placed anywhere you like, if it has the approval of the local reviewer. But if the local reviewer is likely to refuse the cache even though you think it's a valid hide but not necessarily within the guidelines (for instance a blatant commercial cache), contact Groundspeak with the plan before you spend too long on it and see if they'll let it through. So there is flexibility: you just have to take your case to the higher authority (and perhaps pay them enough!).

 

Actually, I think the guidelines cover it all and there's not much local interpretation required: it's only the (mis) application of the "commercial cache" guidelines by reviewers (presumably under instruction from above) that I take issue with.

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Would it not strengthen the whole community if they knew that it was possible to have a flexible set of guidelines controlled by individuals with local knowledge.

Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my. Absolutely not. Basically, you are saying it should be a free-for-all. Reviewers making up guidelines as they go along. As much as the reviewers get bashed for inconsistency over little minor things, I could not even begin to imagine where this would lead us.

 

OK, actually I can.

 

"Well, they are doing it in the UK, why can't we? :laughing::lol::) "

"Our reviewers are so much more strict than those other reviewers! :)B)B) "

"Why do they get to get away with things no one else can? B):laughing::laughing: "

 

It would set up so much community angst that there would be no way to control it. That is why you have to have uniform guidelines. You have to remember this is a worldwide community.

 

Ok then why up until last week have we not heard anything at all before from the u s about the way the uk forum was moderated?

 

Like a few of us said why change something that has worked for so long with no complaints?

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No one uses McDonald's as a gathering place.

They do in the UK. McDs is a popular gathering place for people of a certain age who aren't able to get into pubs.

 

Personally I wouldn't use either Starbucks or McDonalds, and wouldn't feel the need to mention either of them on a cache page. Pubs, many of which in the UK are centuries old and steeped in history and legend, are very appropriate things to mention on UK cache listings.

 

What next: we can't mention the car park for the cache because it charges a fee? Or what bus/train routes to use to get to the cache, because they're owned by private companies?

 

This guideline was and is fine. It's the recent transition to a rule, and the fact that it doesn't say what it means, that is causing the problem.

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I've never been to America, (though I've watched many an episode of Cheers!) but it does seem that British pubs are much more an integral part of the fabric of society than American bars

I've been to the USA, many times and travelled all over. I've even been to the Cheers bar B). I've been in many American bars and I can say that not one of them had the atmosphere that a British pub has. They aren't social places in the same way as our pubs are. They are simply places that serve alcohol in the same way as Starbucks serves coffee.

 

As Bill Bryson so succinctly puts it: [American bars] are places to get drunk in.

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