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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.

 

Whats the problem with night-time PST maintenance. It stops idle skivers checking out GC.com on the bosses time in the UK B)

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"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: "

Well, I've seen all of those complaints made many times, so if the intention was to prevent them then it's not working ;).

 

That is why you have to have uniform guidelines.

That's an oxymoron. If a guideline is uniform, applied with rigidity and without thought or flexibility, it's not a guideline it's a rule. A quideline allows for the person interpreting it to do so having regard to his own knowledge and experience and the particular circumstance he's judging.

 

You have to remember this is a worldwide community.

And in the world we have different mores/laws/guidelines because every country has its own culture and customs. As I said in a similar thread a few days ago, successful international companies recognise the disparity that is bound to exist in their different markets.

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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.

 

And jeep promotions B)

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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::):) "

"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.

 

I think we are going to struggle here if there is such a blanket lack of flexibility. If reviewers are allowed discretion then we have common sense. As the reviewer guidelines state, the permitting of one cache does not permit any other cache (ie, no precedent is set).

 

By all means have guidelines, but allow some leeway, otherwise you have to account for every eventuality.

 

Well they are doing it in the UK, why can't we?

Caching is different around the world. We can't have rigid, unflexible rules, because we are not forming a beauraucracy, so we allow reviewers to use discretion! We're sorry, but we cannot comment on individual caches or decisions.

 

Our reviewers are so much more strict than those other reviewers!

Ditto

 

Why do they get to get away with things no one else can?

Ditto

 

Indeed it is a worldwide community, and as such there are very many different cultures and preferences. "My way or the highway" can only be divisive.

 

Thanks for your answer but it did sadden me :P I'm sure there's a middle ground though :lol:

Edited by PopUpPirate
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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 point has been made already, but I'm going to go for my "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it's a duck" argument for a second time in a week!

 

Simply recommending a local pub is not (normally) solicitation under any reasonable interpretation. There are bound to be exceptions, but those are the ones caught by the reviewers.

 

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

 

Nope, have to disagree with this one. Simply because that's (kind of) what we've had for the past few years, and it's worked fine. Reviewer's aren't making up the guidelines, they're interpreting them. Just what they're meant to do, and it's worked fine.

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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.

Contact Groundspeak directly via the contact address. The guidelines for cache review have nothing to do with this issue. Let's stick to the topic.

 

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?

Somebody complained.

 

"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! :) "

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

Well, I've seen all of those complaints made many times, so if the intention was to prevent them then it's not working B).

 

That is why you have to have uniform guidelines.

That's an oxymoron. If a guideline is uniform, applied with rigidity and without thought or flexibility, it's not a guideline it's a rule. A quideline allows for the person interpreting it to do so having regard to his own knowledge and experience and the particular circumstance he's judging.

 

You have to remember this is a worldwide community.

And in the world we have different mores/laws/guidelines because every country has its own culture and customs. As I said in a similar thread a few days ago, successful international companies recognise the disparity that is bound to exist in their different markets.

You are thinking locally. I am talking globally. I may need to delve into your post more deeply later this evening.

 

And jeep promotions B)

Feel free to write to Jeep. Their legal department set those rules, not Groundspeak. In addition, those were travel bugs, not caches, and have no bearing whatsoever on the current discussion.

 

Indeed it is a worldwide community, and as such there are very many different cultures and preferences. "My way or the highway" can only be divisive.

 

Thanks for your answer but it did sadden me :laughing: I'm sure there's a middle ground though :laughing:

Divisive -- maybe. I think the free-for-all would be more so. Based on the fact that the way things were being done here generated a complaint, this may very well show that if there was consistency in forum guideline application, that this may never have cascaded into the big picture issues now being faced.

 

I do think there is middle ground, yes. Patience is the key at this point folks. I know it is hard, but be patient please.

 

Nope, have to disagree with this one. Simply because that's (kind of) what we've had for the past few years, and it's worked fine. Reviewer's aren't making up the guidelines, they're interpreting them. Just what they're meant to do, and it's worked fine.

It might have worked fine for you, but not for others. Hence, the complaints. Just go to the topics I linked to the other day in the GC.com Web Site Forum regarding the commercial guidelines. Read them and then think of your situation. There is disparity there.
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I've been to the USA, many times and travelled all over. I've even been to the Cheers bar :). 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.

 

I disagree... but that's off topic for this thread. I have been constantly amazed by how family-encompassing eateries and pubs here are, franchised and independent. The point is that we DO use them for gathering places after cache runs, or as stops on certain cache runs. And therefore we have the same listing issue. And it really hasn't been a big deal.

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Divisive -- maybe. I think the free-for-all would be more so. Based on the fact that the way things were being done here generated a complaint

 

A complaint? Look how many complaints this sudden change has generated...

 

I have no real feeling towards this issue, I'm sad we have lost good reviewers but I'm not so much into caching any more so this will not affect me too much.

 

However, I do feel that as an adult of sound mind I'm more than capable of parsing information and making my own judgments based upon it. If someone mentions a good pub/restaurant/view along the way for me to check out while hunting a cache I feel that I am more than able to make my own decision as to whether or not I would visit the location and if I did as to what activities I would undertake whilst there. In the same way I can watch a McDonalds advert without feeling the need to run out and get a Big Mac, I can also read a cache listing without feeling coerced into visiting any establishments mentioned within.

 

I can see the relevance of a "no commercial caches" guideline as I would be miffed if I went on a cache hunt only to discover I had to part with some of my hard earned just to obtain entry to the cache site, but I don't feel pointing out a good local pub or whatever along the way is really the same.

 

I don't think this is really a cultural issue, I often cache when on holiday (I mean vacation :-) and I would appreciate any local knowledge offered to me from a cache setter as much then as I would when at home, be it a good place to park, a good place to drink or a good place to find some free wifi and log my caches :)

 

So long as I am provided with all the information up front and left to make my own informed decision then I don't have an issue with someone mentioning somewhere along the way which may be of interest to me, more often than not I would probably appreciate it.

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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.

 

 

Actually, that's not strictly true. All Starbucks in the US were shut down at the same time a few weeks ago for staff training, because the guy in charge was disgusted at the variation he found when visiting different branches..

 

But not really relevant to this thread :)

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I've been to the USA, many times and travelled all over. I've even been to the Cheers bar :P. 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.

 

You're quite right, none of them have the atmosphere of a British pub. Many of them still allow smoking so the atmosphere is like a British Pub used to be until last year! :)

 

US bars come in many categories, many of the ones around me are quite sociable, apart from the fact that they all have gaming machines inset into the bar (but then its Nevada, not Utah). Equally, many serve food 24/7 and have no windows or clocks, but then the customers tend to sit there a long time with a small beer in comparison with their UK equivalent who wants to get them down his neck before closing time. :mad:

 

 

edited for typo!

Edited by careygang
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That is why you have to have uniform guidelines.

That's an oxymoron. If a guideline is uniform, applied with rigidity and without thought or flexibility, it's not a guideline it's a rule. A quideline allows for the person interpreting it to do so having regard to his own knowledge and experience and the particular circumstance he's judging.

 

 

So how about Uniform [application of] guidelines. :mad:

 

mtn/man is being very objective in his comments, yet there are some posters here that just seem to want to dissect the comments made by others like an overzealous Professor marking term papers, rather than taking the general contribution to the discussion. :)

 

Sorry this took 3 posts, I haven't mastered the multiple quote thingy!

Edited by careygang
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careygang, I expect that to happen. I've put myself in the firing line and have been in the forums long enough and know some will parse my words out. I will say that I don't like being taken out of context though. If you are going to quote me, use the whole context of the quote. And to that end...

 

Divisive -- maybe. I think the free-for-all would be more so. Based on the fact that the way things were being done here generated a complaint

 

A complaint? Look how many complaints this sudden change has generated...

You must look at exactly what I said -- all of what I said.

 

Divisive -- maybe. I think the free-for-all would be more so. Based on the fact that the way things were being done here generated a complaint, this may very well show that if there was consistency in forum guideline application, that this may never have cascaded into the big picture issues now being faced.

If the forum guidelines were applied the same as all of the other forums, then complaints would never have come about. The sudden change you refer to is one of conformity with what everyone else outside of this forum has to conform to. Keep in mind my post #20, where I boil this down to a nutshell. The rest of the world has pretty much lived with the way things have been. Step back for just a moment and look at this objectively from the perspective of everyone else who has had to abide by the guidelines.

 

FYI, to quote multiple posts, click this button on the posts you want to quote: p_mq_add.gif

It will change to this: p_mq_remove.gif

Then, go to the very bottom and click this button: t_reply.gif

You can do this across multiple pages, but the forum software only allows so many quotes. Be sure to preview your posts so you don't "over-quote". :)

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That is why you have to have uniform guidelines.

That's an oxymoron. If a guideline is uniform, applied with rigidity and without thought or flexibility, it's not a guideline it's a rule. A quideline allows for the person interpreting it to do so having regard to his own knowledge and experience and the particular circumstance he's judging.

 

You have to remember this is a worldwide community.

And in the world we have different mores/laws/guidelines because every country has its own culture and customs. As I said in a similar thread a few days ago, successful international companies recognise the disparity that is bound to exist in their different markets.

I do want to expand on this one. I know what you mean by oxymoron, but like I say, you have to think globally.

 

When I talk about flexibility in the guidelines, I see that as allowing a cache that is 490 feet away instead of 528 feet away since you have to walk around a big building to get to the other cache. Allowing flexibility rather than a hard and fast rule allows for real world, common sense obstacle flexibility in this case.

 

What I have a hard time getting my arms around is the monopolistic UK only cultural thing. People from the US have posted that in fact coffee houses in America have turned into gathering places that are important in the community for us. Bars are also. I am honestly shocked that people are saying there is no way there can be a comparison. Why not? Is there some monopoly on social gathering spots in the UK that absolutely cannot possibly exist in other parts of the world? It would be easy for me to argue that you guys are just as much clueless with this line of thinking as many of you seem to say some of us are clueless in our understanding of the pubs (hypothetically, in general terms and not pointing fingers at any particular people -- work with me here). Our bars are not just places to get drunk either. When I was in college, we went to the bar to hang out together and shoot pool. We now go to one of the local "grills" (serve drinks and food) to watch away hockey games with some of the other local fans. We discuss when to meet on another discussion board. This is why I have said earlier that we are more alike than some of you think. We are all human beings. We like to socialize. Sure, it isn't exactly the same, but are we not doing the same basic socialization at pubs, bars, grills and coffee houses?

 

That said, why does any of this matter when you go find a cache.

Think about that, again, stepping back and thinking objectively about it.

 

That said... :mad::) ...I will say again that I do think there may be middle ground here. Resist the temptation to flame or be snippy. We have a good discussion going here.

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Having caught up with this discussion this morning there's a couple of points I'd like to make (without direct quoting but it should be obvious where I'm coming from). First off, many thanks mtn-man for your calm and reasoned responses. I realise we might not agree but I'm glad this is continuing to be a civil discussion.

 

You mention a complaint being made about a forum post. I have looked back through my correspondence with Groundspeak about this particular thread and no mention was made to me, the forum moderator, about a complaint from a geocacher. Yes, one of your colleagues did PM me about it but I replied explaining why I was continuing to allow it. This centred around my view of the difference between Charitable and Commercial.

 

You mention people taking a "local" view of things in this discussion. Yes, I suppose it has tended to concentrate on a UK centric view of how certain guidelines have been interpreted. I would argue that this is because this is a UK forum, populated by mainly British people who know most about their own situation. I'd bet good money (well a little bit!) that if this discussion were taking place in another regional forum a similar insularity would be apparent. Looking at the message you quote when making this point I notice the poster is actually pointing out how different countries have differing standards. In all my correspondence about these matters I have personally tried to extend my arguments to include ALL other nations and regions. This game is wider than just the USA and UK as you rightly say, so all regional differences have to be catered for.

 

Finally I would like to say that as far as I am concerned this is more than a discussion about pubs being mentioned on cache pages.

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What I have a hard time getting my arms around is the monopolistic UK only cultural thing. People from the US have posted that in fact coffee houses in America have turned into gathering places that are important in the community for us. Bars are also. I am honestly shocked that people are saying there is no way there can be a comparison. Why not? Is there some monopoly on social gathering spots in the UK that absolutely cannot possibly exist in other parts of the world? It would be easy for me to argue that you guys are just as much clueless with this line of thinking as many of you seem to say some of us are clueless in our understanding of the pubs (hypothetically, in general terms and not pointing fingers at any particular people -- work with me here). Our bars are not just places to get drunk either. When I was in college, we went to the bar to hang out together and shoot pool. We now go to one of the local "grills" (serve drinks and food) to watch away hockey games with some of the other local fans. We discuss when to meet on another discussion board. This is why I have said earlier that we are more alike than some of you think. We are all human beings. We like to socialize. Sure, it isn't exactly the same, but are we not doing the same basic socialization at pubs, bars, grills and coffee houses?

 

That said, why does any of this matter when you go find a cache.

Think about that, again, stepping back and thinking objectively about it.

 

That said... :mad::) ...I will say again that I do think there may be middle ground here. Resist the temptation to flame or be snippy. We have a good discussion going here.

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.

I've been in quite a few as well: admittedly only in California (but I'll have chance this month to try some other areas :P ). Many of them were almost exactly the same as fairly typical English pubs (I know about this subject fairly well: I was even invited to the launch of Britain's biggest pub guide a few years ago). I guess that they vary in style across America. Not surprisingly.

 

The point is that the guidelines seem to allow mention of such establishments, whether in the USA or the UK (or anywhere). Can mtn-man confirm that the guidelines in this area are applied as written?

 

Finally I would like to say that as far as I am concerned this is more than a discussion about pubs being mentioned on cache pages.

I know that it's a lot more than this, but the pub issue appears to be an oft-quoted gripe which I was hoping to lay to rest by pointing out that there's nothing in the guidelines that says you can't mention such places on a cache page.

 

If we have confirmation that this is allowable we can at least leave this aspect out of further discussions as there would be no need to ask for any UK-specific leeway.

Edited by Happy Humphrey
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That said, why does any of this matter when you go find a cache.

It matters because finding a cache is not (always) just walking 500m into a wood to find yet another plastic box under yet another fallen tree. There may be a reason why the cache is placed there. There may be some history associated with that wood. There may be interesting and/or educational things to see and do nearby. The owner wants you to know about these things. The entire cache page is an advert which says "Come and visit my cache. You'll have a great day out."

 

So the owner needs to be able to mention those things. The canalside visitor centre with its cafe and ice-cream stall, the village pub dating from the 13th century with its original oak beams and roaring log fire, the nearby castle and church. All of these will be owned or managed by commercial or, more usually, charitable organisations. Listing them on the cache page is helping a tourist - the cacher - and gives purpose and interest to the cache.

 

Otherwise all we have are cache pages that say "An ammo box in a pretty wood. Original contents: logbook, cuddly toy. Bring your own pen".

 

The key thing is judgement. The "quacks like a duck" joke is a good one for these circumstances. As Michael (CSC) says above, we are all adult enough to understand when someone is trying to sell us something rather than simply providing information that we may find useful.

 

We have a good discussion going here.

Sadly that's all it is. I'm sure we're all grateful to you for taking the time to join in, but the problem here is of Groundspeak's making and leaving an unpaid volunteer to defend the indefensible isn't helping to resolve it.

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Finally I would like to say that as far as I am concerned this is more than a discussion about pubs being mentioned on cache pages.

I know that it's a lot more than this, but the pub issue appears to be an oft-quoted gripe which I was hoping to lay to rest by pointing out that there's nothing in the guidelines that says you can't mention such places on a cache page.

I agree. As you pointed out above, the problem is that that guideline says one thing and is being interpreted as meaning something completely different. The guideline, like all guidelines, relies on the judgement of the reviewer. Or at least it used to, which is how we got here.

 

To resolve this particular problem needs either Groundspeak to say that reviewers can once again exercise their judgement or for that particular guideline to be re-written to say what Groundspeak actually wants it to mean. Then we can move on to some of the other issues.

 

If we have confirmation that this is allowable we can at least leave this aspect out of further discussions as there would be no need to ask for any UK-specific leeway.

I wouldn't say that it's "UK-specific leeway" that we're asking for. That's makes it sound - and indeed has been taken to mean, as mtn-man says above - that the UK is asking for special treatment: some exemption from the rules. This just isn't true at all. What we're asking for, surely, is that all reviewers in all countries be allowed to exercise their judgement in applying the guidelines?

 

I once queried a particular cache where I thought a guideline was not being appropriately applied. The reply I got from Groundspeak was "This is the reason that Groundspeak has guidelines and not rules. The reviewers have latitude to allow caches that are different at times." Exactly so, and long may it continue.

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If I understand what has been said in this post, there is no problem mentioning commercial premises in a cache page, provided there is no need to enter and spend money, ie park at the pub and walk to the cache.

 

I would therefore assume that most events would not be permitted, since you can't meet in a pub and not buy a drink! If I go to an event held in a pub, I know what to expect, and it is my choice to go or not.

 

The other issue is with the forums. If you can't mention charitable or commercial subjects, why is it permissible to mention brand names or where to buy them from in the gps forum? :) Why am I allowed to say buy ABC Gps from XYZ shop?

 

Surely this topic also contravenes the rules since several establishments have been mentioned by name :mad:

 

Ivan

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If I understand what has been said in this post, there is no problem mentioning commercial premises in a cache page, provided there is no need to enter and spend money, ie park at the pub and walk to the cache.

 

It seems that, partly due to the slightly unfortunate wording and layout of the guideline, this is how a lot of people believe that the guideline officially works. When you combine that with how it's been applied in the UK up to now, it would be very reasonable for people to think that way. However, it isn't how Groundspeak sees it at the moment.

 

If we can at least get all parties to agree that this is one of the sticking points, then we're making progress. As Peter says, the debate is about more than pubs, and as Happy Humphrey and mtn-man have been saying, it should probably not be about people in one country saying that their social culture is vastly different to another's. Having lived in several different countries, my experience is that people are very, very similar, once you avoid being distracted by the different colours of wrapping paper.

 

(FWIW, when I was in Seattle in February, I went to an event in a pub that was every bit as good and authentic, right the way down to the food and the IPA brewed on the premises, as any pub I've ever been into in Britain. Really.)

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We have a good discussion going here.

Sadly that's all it is. I'm sure we're all grateful to you for taking the time to join in, but the problem here is of Groundspeak's making and leaving an unpaid volunteer to defend the indefensible isn't helping to resolve it.

More on the other stuff later (busy day at work), but let me say this. While I am a volunteer and all, in a small way I do sort of speak for Groundspeak at this point. I know people see the moderator tag and many take it as official, so I parse what I say very carefully in the context of somewhat representing them. I don't see it as indefensible, which is why I keep posting. I have been in contact with them almost every day via email or phone, except over last weekend. They also appreciate the calm tone I am using and have been told "no you idiot" only one time (so far). :):mad: What I can do is explain the current situation, which is what I am doing. When some of the ongoing discussions in the background are finalized, you will most certainly hear from Groundspeak and MissJenn. As mentioned, she has also been on vacation so I have not minded being here and posting with you folks. I really do want to thank you all for keeping things good natured for the most part. This could have been much uglier, but it really hasn't been. That is a tribute to you and you should be proud of that.

 

Groundspeak is most certainly listening to you and they are reading all of this.

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I wouldn't say that it's "UK-specific leeway" that we're asking for. That's makes it sound - and indeed has been taken to mean, as mtn-man says above - that the UK is asking for special treatment: some exemption from the rules. This just isn't true at all. What we're asking for, surely, is that all reviewers in all countries be allowed to exercise their judgement in applying the guidelines?

 

I once queried a particular cache where I thought a guideline was not being appropriately applied. The reply I got from Groundspeak was "This is the reason that Groundspeak has guidelines and not rules. The reviewers have latitude to allow caches that are different at times." Exactly so, and long may it continue.

:)

 

Really you would think that we would be held up as an example to the rest of the world as to how well it is possible to run the reviewing and moderation with the lightest of touches.

 

We should be explaining how to do it and bringing theirs up to our standard, but unfortunately the opposite seems true. :mad:

 

Thank you Mtn-man for all your replies, maybe with the exception of where your keyboard seems to have been stuck into repeat ohmy......didn't really add to your explanation.

 

I would ask a question though. You say missjenn is discussing this. With who? surely it might be beneficial if someone from the UK was involved? I am sure that the other members of the GAGB would be more than willing in the circumstances to get involved.

 

You are right that this is global not local but if the wheel falls off the car you don't take out the engine to fix it.

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Lots of debate, though few straight answers do I see!

 

It appears reading through, that one person complained. This leads to two well respected reviewers/moderators resigning and still no proper answer to the question.

 

Why is what has been fine for the last five years now become an issue?

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Had a wander through the forum guidelines, it mentions commercial solicitations are not allowed, though I couldn't find anything on charitable ones?

 

can someone point me in the right direction please as that is why threads were apparently shut?

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Commercial Postings/Solicitations are not allowed. Commercial content as a direct or indirect (either intentional or non-intentional) attempt to solicit customers through a forum post will be edited or deleted. Notwithstanding the above, Groundspeak reserves the right to include limited commercial content in this Forum, in its sole discretion.

Asking for a charitable contribution is a solicitation. The above covers both. It just goes into more detail regarding commercial posting. Geocachers talking about GPSr's that they like and asking for advice is OK. Magellan or Garmin (or anyone) coming in and posting a topic promoting a new line is not allowed unless they get permission to do so.

 

People within Groundspeak are discussing this in the office. Input from GAGB and UK cachers in general should be posted here as it has been. Like I say, they are reading these forums. There is some call for reviewer input since we would have to follow and apply these guidelines. You do have to understand that the thought process is focused on making this work for everyone, not just the UK. Your thought and ideas are important and are indeed being considered, so keep posting them here.

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Commercial Postings/Solicitations are not allowed. Commercial content as a direct or indirect (either intentional or non-intentional) attempt to solicit customers through a forum post will be edited or deleted. Notwithstanding the above, Groundspeak reserves the right to include limited commercial content in this Forum, in its sole discretion.

Asking for a charitable contribution is a solicitation.

Just as in the similar guideline on caches, it doesn't say that. Groundspeak is adding that interpretation without including it in the guideline. Commerce <> charity. And mentioning either does not automatically mean that the post is soliciting (which I use here in the American sense). Did I mention that good judgement is the key to sensible interpretation of guidelines :)?

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If we have confirmation that this is allowable we can at least leave this aspect out of further discussions as there would be no need to ask for any UK-specific leeway.

I wouldn't say that it's "UK-specific leeway" that we're asking for. That's makes it sound - and indeed has been taken to mean, as mtn-man says above - that the UK is asking for special treatment: some exemption from the rules. This just isn't true at all. What we're asking for, surely, is that all reviewers in all countries be allowed to exercise their judgement in applying the guidelines?

Actually, the guidelines do not allow for commercial content.

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.

A reviewer exercising their judgment does not mean going against what the guidelines say, which is sort of what you are saying. "Non-intentionally" covers mentioning ice cream stands, a great burger place or the nearby pub. Generally speaking, you may not think you are endorsing them by just saying they are nearby. In fact, you really are if you think about comments telling people about them. That is non-intentional solicitation -- basically a recommendation. You have been allowed to do this in the past with the pubs, but no one else has. The question at this point is will it continue after the current discussions conclude.

 

It seems to me that once again it seems we get drawn into a debate instead of getting actual answers.

That is because at this point there is no answer to give beyond what is in the current guidelines. I've said repeatedly that the discussion as to whether to leave them as they are is continuing right now. You are not getting any actual answers because at this point there are none to give. I've asked for patience. This debate is to try to help get your point across. That is why I say to keep the discussion going as you feel additional points need to be made. I think there are good points being made, though I may or may not personally agree with them, but whether they will have impact will remain to be seen. They are indeed being taken into consideration.
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We can debate and question until we are blue in the face, the true answers are never going to be given until someone from Groundspeak comes and answers them. mtm man has done his best to answer things ( I don't mean to demean him in any way) but in my opinion, its not for him to hammer this out as in the end he has no real answer as he has very little sway in the big scheme of things

 

It looks like Groundspeak prefer to hide behind an unpaid volunteer instead of coming and facing up the problems/issues that may be present. this will not go away quickly people feel too strongly about it

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TBH, I wouldn't post anything which solicits...um, requests any contribution towards any charity after reading the guideline quoted by mtn-man. It seems clear enough to me. Many people would request an exception to be made in some cases, but that doesn't alter the guideline.

 

I'd take any post that is attempting to attract custom to any commercial organisation to be against the guideline. Is a charity a commercial organisation? I would say yes: part of a charity's job is to raise money via commercial means. So there's no need to include the word "charity" as it's covered by the "commercial content" part.

 

Only my opinion! :)

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Actually, the guidelines do not allow for commercial content.

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.

You missed out the important explanatory part underneath...

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.

...the clear intention is to ensure that there is no dubious motive behind the cache listing, involving using a business in the finding of the cache.

 

I take the "indirect" version to mean you don't actually force the cacher to be a customer, you just force him to enter the premises. The "direct" one is that they have to actually buy something to be able to find the cache.

 

If there's a mention of some business in passing, which you can totally ignore without jeopardising the chances of a find (e.g. "go round the back of the Microsoft building to find a shorter route to the park entrance", or "if you've found this cache and it's lunchtime, you may be interested to note the Dog and Duck at the end of the lane"), it doesn't seem to be picked up by this guideline. You don't have to enter these buildings, much less purchase anything.

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TBH, I wouldn't post anything which solicits...um, requests any contribution towards any charity after reading the guideline quoted by mtn-man. It seems clear enough to me. Many people would request an exception to be made in some cases, but that doesn't alter the guideline.

 

I'd take any post that is attempting to attract custom to any commercial organisation to be against the guideline. Is a charity a commercial organisation? I would say yes: part of a charity's job is to raise money via commercial means. So there's no need to include the word "charity" as it's covered by the "commercial content" part.

 

Only my opinion! :)

 

seconded :)

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Commercial Postings/Solicitations are not allowed. Commercial content as a direct or indirect (either intentional or non-intentional) attempt to solicit customers through a forum post will be edited or deleted....

Asking for a charitable contribution is a solicitation. The above covers both.

 

Neither post 191570 nor 189846 (The Commando Challenge threads) asked, either directly or indirectly, for any donation - but they were both locked by MissJenn seemingly for just mentioning the charity aspect. How far down does the commercial ban extend? If somebody won a new GPS in a raffle run by a charity - or with a lottery win - would they be able to mention it in the forum? Or would that be seen to be soliciting for donations?

 

Geocachers talking about GPSr's that they like and asking for advice is OK. Magellan or Garmin (or anyone) coming in and posting a topic promoting a new line is not allowed unless they get permission to do so.

So by following that logic - Geocachers talking about pubs you may want to visit while caching would be OK. Pub owners or brewers (or anyone) coming in and posting a topic promoting a new beer is not allowed unless they get permission to do so.??????????????????

Edited by keehotee
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You missed out the important explanatory part underneath...

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.

...the clear intention is to ensure that there is no dubious motive behind the cache listing, involving using a business in the finding of the cache.

Keep in mind that it says "Examples include...". It does not spell out every possible example. You would need a whole lot more room for that.

 

How far down does the commercial ban extend? If somebody won a new GPS in a raffle run by a charity - or with a lottery win - would they be able to mention it in the forum? Or would that be seen to be soliciting for donations?

That would be past tense. Somebody won and they are only saying "Look what I got!". They don't even have to really mention where they won it, only that they did. If you came in before the raffle or before the lottery and told people to go check out the opportunity to win, that would not fly.

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Geocachers talking about GPSr's that they like and asking for advice is OK. Magellan or Garmin (or anyone) coming in and posting a topic promoting a new line is not allowed unless they get permission to do so.

So by following that logic - Geocachers talking about pubs you may want to visit while caching would be OK. Pub owners or brewers (or anyone) coming in and posting a topic promoting a new beer is not allowed unless they get permission to do so.??????????????????

Sorry, you edited your post...

 

A GPS is an integral part of geocaching. A pub is not.

 

In addition, you are becoming irrational. :) If you are going to be angry and irrational, I may not reply to you. I have a meeting to go to and will be out for a while. I'll post later this evening.

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Geocachers talking about GPSr's that they like and asking for advice is OK. Magellan or Garmin (or anyone) coming in and posting a topic promoting a new line is not allowed unless they get permission to do so.

So by following that logic - Geocachers talking about pubs you may want to visit while caching would be OK. Pub owners or brewers (or anyone) coming in and posting a topic promoting a new beer is not allowed unless they get permission to do so.??????????????????

Sorry, you edited your post...

 

A GPS is an integral part of geocaching. A pub is not.

 

In addition, you are becoming irrational. :) If you are going to be angry and irrational, I may not reply to you. I have a meeting to go to and will be out for a while. I'll post later this evening.

Sorry, my bad - should have posted the second part as a separate post but got lazy..... especially after promising myself I wouldn't get embroiled in the pub debate!! Grrrr.

 

However, as to the CC threads being closed - I've tried emailing MissJenn (perfectly civilly) requesting an answer, but have yet to receive a reply. No doubt she's been inundated with similar emails since her return from vacation....?

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Actually, the guidelines do not allow for commercial content.

I didn't mention commercial content, did I? But since you did then, yes, that guideline, like of them, is subject to judgement.

 

We're going round in circles. The guidelines are either guidelines or rules: Groundspeak needs to make up its mind which it is. If it decides they're guidelines then the reviewers have to be allowed to use their judgement in interpreting them. It's that straightforward.

 

I agree with mongoose39uk: we're simply being fed platitudes until we all get bored and go back to caching. Nothing is going to change here.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, a first for the UK Forums

 

Alan White and myself agreeing :).

 

The debate has been good and I thank mtn-man for his time and patience. I just feel enough time has passed now and it would be nice to have some answers.

 

However, I feel we may not get them very quickly or succinctly. :)

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Ladies and Gentlemen, a first for the UK Forums

Alan White and myself agreeing :).

Yeah, I thought about saying that myself :D.

 

The debate has been good and I thank mtn-man for his time and patience. I just feel enough time has passed now and it would be nice to have some answers.

 

However, I feel we may not get them very quickly or succinctly. :)

Or, much more likely, at all. This will all die down very soon because we're all getting fed up posting the same things and just having meaningless guidelines quoted back at us. And that's just one small part of the issues which caused Peter and Dave to resign.

 

The trouble is, we're in a cleft stick. We can either keep posting our concerns and receive no answers. Or we stop asking and Groundspeak will think we don't care. Either way the problem goes away for Groundspeak. I tell you, if Groundspeak were, say, my credit card company or my ISP, my business would have gone elsewhere a week ago.

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Hello.

 

 

Please rest assured that your many communications to me personally and to Groundspeak more generally are not being ignored. Quite the contrary, actually. I have already responded to some of you but have not gotten to all of you yet.

 

 

As has been pointed out already, I was away on vacation. (I was in a place where it doesn’t rain every day: what a lovely change from Seattle!) There is always that painful period right after getting back where you actually have to accomplish 2x as many things on any given day as "payback" for taking the days off. Further, there is much going on beyond the view of these forums – both directly related to your concerns and related to other people’s concerns in other parts of the world.

 

 

Know that we are taking some time to consider the points of view from the community. This matter (or better put, these matters) will not be resolved satisfactorily by simply firing off a quick response to nobby.nobbs or to the other posters. There have been a few examples of knee-jerk reactions or ignorant posts – None of us wants Groundspeak’s responses to belong to that set.

 

 

Please be patient.

 

 

mtn-man has responded to many of the questions, and he hasn’t been wrong yet. Well, there is that one thing he said … :) Seriously, thanks for being here and for being you, Greg.

 

 

And thanks sincerely to all of you who have posted with thoughtful messages, constructive criticism and passionate energy. Don’t think that we are not listening just because we aren’t ready to respond yet.

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For the last 6 1/2 years, Geocaching.com has been relatively ad-free. With the exception of the ever present banner ad on the left-hand navigation bar, and the occasional promotion (like Jeep!) we have concentrated more on the creation of Premium Member content to help cover the ongoing costs of site maintenance , upgrades, and ever growing hardware and network costs.

 

As we have been moving into an extensive re-architecture of Geocaching.com to keep up with the ongoing traffic increases we have been faced with the reality that we need to raise more money. This will help us to create a permanent solution to the site slowdowns that have plagued us for so many years - aka our V.2 version of the web site.

 

We've been doing testing with the Guide to Purchasing a GPS unit page and have found that Google's ad serving technology is extremely well done. Of course! They're Google! And we feel that placing two unobtrusive (and surprisingly helpful) ads on the page will actually be something that folks wouldn't mind. The current plan is to only show them to users who aren't logged in or are not Premium Members - though once we add a feature for PMs to turn them off we'll add them for everyone (except, of course, those PMs that don't want them). The thought is that the ads will actually be useful on the page and not something that won't fit there.

 

In lieu of raising Premium Member fees we felt that the advertising would be a much easier "burden" on the geocaching community - and we hope - a beneficial one. So expect tweaks and changes to the ad campaigns as we test out new ways to display these ads to be the most effective - and least irritating.

 

So yes TPTB made a commercial decision to extend the amount advertising on the Groundspeak website for the reasons given. As Premium Members we probably prefer this rather than increasing membership fees, especially as we stand to gain from improvements to the site. Of course an increase in fees might well have turned people away from being PMs.

Groundspeak are relying upon geocachers to click on the adverts of commercial enterprises so that the advertisers continue to finance current and future development.

It is a great shame that TPTB will not permit Events to announce a link up with charitable institutions that may be geocaching related in some small way. Geocachers could then choose whether they wish to support the event and/or charity or not.

I would hate to think that if I, or a fellow geocacher, had slipped and been injured in some remote location while out caching were left to die because a SAR dog or local air ambulance (both of which rely on donations to continue their invaluable work) wasn't available to find and help us :D

The UK mods/reviewers, IMHO, have been excellent in maintaining a fair balance to ensure that non-geocaching related charities have not been allowed to exploit geocaching in the UK and that any commercial ventures e.g. pubs have been given mention only to enable us to get an even greater enjoyment from our hobby/addiction.

 

So come on Groundspeak please use some sort of rationality on this matter and have a rethink on how you wish to read and deploy your guidelines.

 

You could make a lot of people very happy!

 

Upset :):)

from Wolverhampton

 

P

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Ladies and Gentlemen, a first for the UK Forums

Alan White and myself agreeing :).

Yeah, I thought about saying that myself :D.

 

The debate has been good and I thank mtn-man for his time and patience. I just feel enough time has passed now and it would be nice to have some answers.

 

However, I feel we may not get them very quickly or succinctly. :)

Or, much more likely, at all. This will all die down very soon because we're all getting fed up posting the same things and just having meaningless guidelines quoted back at us. And that's just one small part of the issues which caused Peter and Dave to resign.

 

The trouble is, we're in a cleft stick. We can either keep posting our concerns and receive no answers. Or we stop asking and Groundspeak will think we don't care. Either way the problem goes away for Groundspeak. I tell you, if Groundspeak were, say, my credit card company or my ISP, my business would have gone elsewhere a week ago.

 

What we can do is post constructive and contributive comment to help the general debate rather than just exploit the opportunity to dissect others contributions. :D

 

On that thought, it is refreshing to see that this has opened up from the fixation on Public Houses/MacDonalds/Starbucks and reintroduced other elements of the original equation, the closure of the posts on charity events.

The official guidelines/rules about commercial etc are pretty well read by now, and whilst it is tempting to say that the English could be better phrased, it has to be remembered that they are not written in English, but American. What is crystal clear to an American reading those pages is not necessarily so to an English (Scots/Irish/Welsh) reader. We are after all, separated by a common language.

If we can resolve the issues over 'Public Houses/MacDonalds/Starbucks', in listings, perhaps the answer to charity event postings is to have a single pinned topic and any outside of that are closed/removed?

From a business sense, having Cachers involved in charity events can only ultimately reflect well on Groundspeak. A team of Cachers taking part in (or even winning) a charity event has to be good news, because it reflects well on the activity, which in turn gains publicity for Groundspeak. :D

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I'd like to take this chance to thank Jenn for her post, which was made around 7pm her time so outside of office hours. I spent a over a hour with her on the phone [which if you ask my O/H is a miracle seeing as I hate talking on phones, it borders on a phobia :) ]

 

One if the issues I raised was Nobbys letter and a need for a reply to it. I had a detailed discussion with her about several issues. Some relating to how I'm copping and the progress to wards finding New Reviewers. But a lot of the discussion was centered around the issues which are now causing such angst between the UK Caching Community and Groundspeak. I tried my best to present explanations from the UK Community's point of view, and not my own personal one. Which comes from someone looking out from inside, but whose also a member of that community . I believe Jenn now has a better understanding of how the UK Community views the issues which triggered off the unfortunate events, and thanked me for explaining things to her.

 

She also stated that she was extremely sorry to have lost Peter and Dave as site volunteers. And felt like the UK Community that it was a sad loss not only for the Community but also for Groundspeak.

 

One very important thing to come out of the discussion with her, we are not looking at a quick fix. In fact it will be a long slow haul, so please do not expect to see any quick changes in any policy set by Groundspeak. They are listening and taking in what is being said, not only in the UK but from the whole of the Geocaching Community.

 

Above all please keep the civil and constructive comments coming in, that aim to move both Groundspeak and the UK Community forward.

 

As a side issue, I also raised the issue of Groundspeak applying the UK and Ireland Regions filter. Jenn said she would look into this for me with the appropiate person in the office.

 

Once again please be patient, as we are in for a very long haul. If we wish to see things change we have to work together as a community. And present our ideas to Groundspeak in a thought out manner. I know it's frustrating as nothing that is visible which is taking place, but please remain calm, the issues have notand will not be forgotten

 

Deci

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Sorry, Dave. This sounds like just another pat on the head. The policy from Groundspeak is clearly to keep trying to smooth things over while changing nothing.

 

we are not looking at a quick fix. In fact it will be a long slow haul, so please do not expect to see any quick changes in any policy set by Groundspeak.

Which confirms my belief. What's required here is a quick fix. Not necessarily to try to fix immediately all the problems which caused Peter and Dave to resign, but a tangible recognition that there are problems here and Groundspeak are committed to doing something about them.

 

Think of it as the 10% tax issue :).

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I'm sorry but a quick fix is not going to happen, and something which was made very clear to me. Personally I'd love to see a quick fix, but at the end of the day it's down to Groundspeak. Changes are possible but it will take a extended amount of time to happen. They are determined that any solution must be a Global one and not just to fix issues with one region.

 

And explaining things to someone and having them understand that. Are 2 different things. Hopefully I've managed to get Miss Jenn to actually understand our side and not just know our side of the issues. Whether that will help things is some thing only time will tell.

 

If people are not happy with me discussing community issues on a one to one basis with Miss Jenn, then please say so and nominate someone who you feel is suitable.And I will see if it's possible for Miss Jenn to contact that person directly. At the end of the day my aim is to move things forward for the UK community.

 

And Allan the reaction of the UK community including the sending of hate mail :) has surprised Groundspeak,so the issues will not be ignored. They just will not be actioned in the short term,which in its self is and will cause them even more issues.

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