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What we ( the GAGB) are attempting to achieve


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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 :).

 

Quick fixes are usually the worst kind. They are generally knee jerk and ultimately have a knock on effect that results in more (and greater) problems than they fix.

 

It's clear that there has been a recognition by Groundspeak that there are problems, as shown by Deceangi's posts, so lets keep the constructive contributions coming and stop expecting some form of Magic Wand to fix everything in 5 minutes! :)

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the reaction of the UK community including the sending of hate mail :) has surprised Groundspeak,

I'd like to make the comment that such action is deplorable and does nothing to help. :)

 

I hope that the individual(s) concerned will follow up with an apology once they calm down. At least to reduce the tarnish on the image of UK geocachers.

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the reaction of the UK community including the sending of hate mail :) has surprised Groundspeak,

I'd like to make the comment that such action is deplorable and does nothing to help. :)

 

I hope that the individual(s) concerned will follow up with an apology once they calm down. At least to reduce the tarnish on the image of UK geocachers.

 

Seconded, not my week, first agreeing with Alan White and now with HH :D

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You are thinking locally. I am talking globally.

I'm sorry, but to me it seems quite the other way around! You seem to be saying that, despite there being over 250 countries represented on GC.com, the rules of the game should reflect the culture of only one... the US. You appear to be extending your local culture across the globe, which is, IMHO, the exact opposite of global thinking.

 

They are determined that any solution must be a Global one and not just to fix issues with one region.

Is that "Global" as in "all 50 states and Canada"? :)

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So far I haven't said much on this subject 'cos most of what I think has already been said by others (& often expressed much better than I could hope for), but I too feel that a "quick fix" is not what we need, as it's just likely to cause more problems down the line. Whatever happens needs to be properly thought out and then swiftly implemented. It seems that GS are taking our concerns onboard and are going to do something - I just hope it's the right thing for us, and everyone else !

 

As for:

the reaction of the UK community including the sending of hate mail :) has surprised Groundspeak,

 

I was honestly surprised to hear that this has happened, it's totally unacceptable and I hope that whoever did it is thouroughly ahsamed of themselves :)

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A good start towards a fix of any duration would be an acknowledgment that there is something to fix, an apology to UK cachers, and an expression of regret that two well-respected reviewers decided to resign. In the eleven days since this issue started there has been only one posting from Groundspeak on the subject and that doesn't contain anything other than "we're listening, we're thinking, we'll get back to you".

 

I don't know how big Groundspeak is, but I do know it's not a huge multi-national organisation, where decisions have to passed up and down several layers of management and passed between marketing, sales, legal and operations before anything can actually be agreed upon. The way it's being described, we'll have to wait years for any solution. By then we'll have had several more discussions. Remember, all this has happened before, and the only reason that it didn't blow up last time was because Peter and Dave decided to withdraw their resignations.

 

So let's start with an apology, preferably from the person who started it, along with a less confrontational avatar and less wielding of it.

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I think that prior posts by Rothstafari and Miss Jenn from Groundspeak have been quite clear both in expressing regret over the resignations, and in acknowledging that the commercial and charity guidelines are being examined. I direct you back to those posts.

 

In fact, those guidelines have been under discussion for quite some time. It is a constant, deliberative process to ensure that the listing guidelines and forum guidelines are workable for the community. The guidelines typically are updated but once or twice per year. It is difficult to plan cache hides or forum threads if the rules shift monthly. I can only recall one instance where there was an immediate shift in guidance, and that was the limitation on charitable solicitation threads announced in January 2005.

 

That being said, because of the ongoing discussions, I am confident that we won't be waiting for years or even months for further guidance.

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Please rest assured that your many communications to me personally and to Groundspeak more generally are not being ignored. Quite the contrary, actually.

 

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!)

 

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.

FWIIW I thank J. for her measured reply. As she knows, both on some of my own caches and TBs there's been the odd 'clash of culture' with GC.COM - and its usually been well-ish resolved - and with no ill-feeling whatsoever.

 

There is no doubt that if GC.COM do sit on their hands, it will 'blow over', but the end result will be less of a community in the UK. I'm not sure what its like outside the UK, but one of the things that does characterise the UK geocachers is that we do get to see each other (both by accident :) and by design :D ) quite frequently. We UK limeys certainly 'chat' with each other extensively.

 

Because we do use the same language, it is certainly true that (and GC.COM is not alone here) that US persons assume a greater cultural overlap than there in fact is. A non-contentious example: in the UK slinging a bottle of wine onto the back seat of the car along with the rest of the shopping is done without a second thought - in many US States it is a potential criminal offence.

 

When it comes to what is understood by 'not for profit' there is another clash of cultures. We simply do not see the issues in the same way - even if we agree the same principle. So, for instance, organsing a cache based around the Macmillan Nurses Cancer Charity might be viewed as worthy and of no financial import in the UK, but seen as a direct invitation to fund a research organsiation hiding behind the concept of a charity by the US.

 

TRUST is needed. Trust by those going and doing the looking for and placing of caches that TPTB have their best interests at heart in running GC.COM, and TRUST by the TPTB there is no surreptitious plot to undermine the principles on which GC.COM was founded. The trust has taken a little battering of late - both ways.

 

My only comment on any new moderators and reviewers for the UK, is that it will be better to take someone on who will be seen as capable of 'batting for both teams - home and away' than a Napoleon imposing a monolith culture. Finding those individuals may not be an easy task. Understanding that it may be neccessary may also not be an easy task.

 

I wish Jenn, Dave (aka Deci), MTN and those who have served us so well in the past my very best wishes. I am sure that wise counsel will prevail.

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From my point of view, and I know you won't like hearing this, I really don't think an apology is due. Don't get too ruffled. Let me explain. I want to go back to a reply from The Hornet.

 

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.

While I and other colleagues may be moderators and reviewers, we are first and foremost *geocachers*. My complaint should hold no more weight than others, but it should most certainly hold no less. If I see something that I think is wrong as a member of the community, I should be able to report it as any geocacher within the community can since that is what I am.

 

Now to the apology you are asking for. If a company asks either a volunteer or paid employee to do something and they flat out refuse, then the volunteer or paid employee that refuses to do it resigns, you are saying that the company should apologize? I disagree. Keep in mind that they were only being asked to do the same thing that other volunteers agree with and do everyday and that in the above post The Hornet even says his opinion differs from Groundspeak. They were not fired or asked to leave, but were asked to comply to the same standards that all other volunteers comply to. They quit. That was their choice.

 

I will say this... I am actually somewhat on your side here. I don't know if things will expand out or not. I've defended the current guidelines and agree to uphold them and have no problem with them, but if things were relaxed a bit I would have no problem with that either. Know that I will continue to defend and uphold the current guidelines though, despite any personal feelings either way. Deci, thanks for taking time to reply here and for excellently representing the UK and their feelings and wishes in this difficult time. MissJenn and Rothstafari, thanks for all of your efforts in the background with others at Groundspeak. And once again, thanks to so many of you for your reasoned and well thought out posts and views here. It is understandable that some of you are frustrated. The wheels are turning in the background, honestly. Though there are lots of discussions that go on constantly, this one really is at the forefront at this time. Thanks for hanging in there and being patient.

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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.

 

Do i take this to mean that a vocal minority (somebody) has affected some or part of this entire sequence of events ?

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Since I am being mentioned please allow me to respond.

While I and other colleagues may be moderators and reviewers, we are first and foremost *geocachers*. My complaint should hold no more weight than others, but it should most certainly hold no less.

When I was moderating this forum I got many (well not lots, but quite a few) Reported posts. Some of these I agreed with and actioned, some I disagreed with and in every case I responded with my reasons. If all cachers are equal why is it that this moderator/reviewer's report was the only one in the 5 years of moderating where I was summarily overruled, without my prior knowledge, and the post closed?

Now to the apology you are asking for.

I'm not sure if you are still referring to me or not but I would emphasis that I haven't asked Groundspeak to apologise to me.

Keep in mind that they were only being asked to do the same thing that other volunteers agree with and do everyday and that in the above post The Hornet even says his opinion differs from Groundspeak. They were not fired or asked to leave, but were asked to comply to the same standards that all other volunteers comply to. They quit. That was their choice.

Yes, that's right, I quit, just like that. Well no actually, I discussed it at length with Miss Jenn and others both by phone and by e-mail. I quit after I knew that my methods of working were no longer acceptable. It was not an easy decision and I only made it after I decided I could not change the way I had worked before.

 

Finally I would like to offer you and the people at Groundspeak my personal apology of any unseemly e-mails you may have received. I am disappointed that people I have worked with over the years have resorted to unpleasantness. If anyone who has sent an abusive e-mail is reading this then I would urge you to apologise. Civility costs nothing you know.

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the reaction of the UK community including the sending of hate mail :) has surprised Groundspeak,

Deplorable! I hope whoever sent this can find it within themselves to apologise. If not you should have your ISP address banned from GC.com. :)

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I'm not sure if you are still referring to me or not but I would emphasis that I haven't asked Groundspeak to apologise to me.

No, not referring to you regarding the apology. I was refering to the Alan White post, and others who have posted requesting an apology from Groundspeak. I do appreciate you well thought out replies in this topic. You have made your points well. I am glad you posted though, so I can add to what I said.

 

 

I don't think apologies are needed from you or Groundspeak. I explained my reasoning as to why I don't think Groundspeak should apologize. People here don't seem to seek an apology from you since to them you were working in their best interest. It just clashed with Groundspeak policies. You and Groundspeak disagree and you decided to move on. It isn't a good thing obviously, and it has put a strain on cache review. Except for the first day or so, the forum users for the most part have been moderating themselves rather well here. It happened and the best thing to do is to keep working it out and to go forward.

 

And go find a cache or two. :)

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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?

 

I've pretty much stayed out of this, however I have to say that I have yet to see anything that explains the reasons behind what Keehote has asked up above, about the commando challenge threads!

Has anyone actually explained why they were against the rules? or am i just being thick here and have missed the response? :)

 

I have seen the link about missjen commenting on the virtual cache in the states :D and the response form the cache setter :D , and I have to say that if that is the way missjen communicates with people on a daily basis within the forums, then i'm not surprised it's all blown up like this :)

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FewKinder and I chatted in the bath about this evening - OMG did I really write that - :D ???

Asking for a charitable contribution is a solicitation.
- yep we agree. However using a cache as a peg to draw attention to worthy works' we have no problem with, its a matter of common sense and sesnitivity - and no rules can legislate for that.

 

Now back to the bath ...... the bubbles were brilliant - just what we need to soften and tone the muscles before a hard day tomorrow at the Binfield Bash interspersed with the occasional dash to a cache. Oooooops - was that advertising :D:):D :D ????

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A good start towards a fix of any duration would be an acknowledgment that there is something to fix, an apology to UK cachers, and an expression of regret that two well-respected reviewers decided to resign. In the eleven days since this issue started there has been only one posting from Groundspeak on the subject and that doesn't contain anything other than "we're listening, we're thinking, we'll get back to you".

 

I don't know how big Groundspeak is, but I do know it's not a huge multi-national organisation, where decisions have to passed up and down several layers of management and passed between marketing, sales, legal and operations before anything can actually be agreed upon. The way it's being described, we'll have to wait years for any solution. By then we'll have had several more discussions. Remember, all this has happened before, and the only reason that it didn't blow up last time was because Peter and Dave decided to withdraw their resignations.

 

So let's start with an apology, preferably from the person who started it, along with a less confrontational avatar and less wielding of it.

 

It has been made quite clear that Groundspeak have acknowledged that there is something to be reviewed and that is what they are doing. :D

 

It is irrelevant how 'huge' Groundspeak is, whether they have 1000's of staff or 20, based in 10 countries or 1, the fact it that the phenomena that is geocaching has expanded into almost every country in the world and has to have guidelines/rules that ensure a common standard.

There are differences in language and interpretation of that language and a considered and well thought out response, taking a few weeks, is the sensible outcome. Demanding apologies or the elsewhere mentioned 'hate mail' just reflects on the (im)maturity of the poster/originator. :D

Equally, this post was taken onto a tangent about public houses. The whole point of a considered review of the differences that have arisen will hopefully look at everything, from mentioning establishments to the differences between US Charities and UK Charities, and the potential for geocachers to raise funds, i.e. Mandy's calenders.

Groundspeak polices have been successful in keeping our activity clear of all the multitude of fringe and downright illegal fund raising scams that exist in the US and are starting to appear in the rest of the world; that is why a carefully thought out response is required. :)

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Groundspeak polices have been successful in keeping our activity clear of all the multitude of fringe and downright illegal fund raising scams that exist in the US and are starting to appear in the rest of the world; that is why a carefully thought out response is required. :D

How have those policies been successful in the UK? By the 'savoir-faire' (tact) of the UK team of reviewers/mods! They have obviously used all of their experience, diplomacy and sense of humour (and there were times when they must have needed it) to enable the UK geocaching community to grow relatively HAPPILY. They have taken on board the guidelines laid down by Groundspeak and carefully administered the UK operation to ensure geocaching would continue to grow and appeal to the widest possible audience within the UK. They have treated all UK geocachers with respect (it's debateable whether we always deserved it), but they gave it!

The 'Team of Three' that we had in the UK were good, blidy good! There was never any Tiananmen Square, no Kent, Ohio incidents. They didn't make visible knee-jerk decisions that would reverberate forever and a day.

They made sure that geocaching was able to grow in the UK by being fair and allowing our hobby to link up with the community. They made sure that everything that UK geocachers participated in, in the name of our hobby, would be of benefit to geocaching and not to promote vulgar commercial exploitation.

 

P

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I would also like to add the voice of the GAGB in saying that anyone sending hate mail to GS should send an immediate apology.

Feelings may well be running high but that does not excuse these actions.

 

I have expressed my thanks to all the time that Deci is putting in trying to resolve this matter and offered my help, as I am sure many others would do, to reduce the burden by assisting in any discussions so that the people who need to understand our position.

 

I think that you are being niave to think that one set of rules/ guidelines is going to fit all. To pluck one quick example. Is it not against the guidelines to place a cache within a certain distance of a railway line? This rule has been largely bypassed in the UK as it does not apply. This was because our reviewing team knew that the same legalities and practical issues did not apply.

 

What I suggested earlier was not a free for all. I suggested that a basic set of guidelines were set out. Then as a country became more self reliant in reviewers they could see where those guidelines clashed with their situation and state clearly ( after discussion) where they would be implementing them differently. Groundspeak has always had the No Precedence rule, why could this not apply?

 

As has been suggested a one size fits all policy is in danger of being one size fits the USA because that's what you know best. It would be a very easy mistake to make.

 

Would it not be a good idea for at least some of the discussions to appear on these forums to gauge response to your ideas? Not all of them as this would be impractical.

 

 

I would like to thank all of the responders to this thread who have supported our attempts to amend a mistake that has been made.

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I would also like to add the voice of the GAGB in saying that anyone sending hate mail to GS should send an immediate apology.

Feelings may well be running high but that does not excuse these actions.

 

I have expressed my thanks to all the time that Deci is putting in trying to resolve this matter and offered my help, as I am sure many others would do, to reduce the burden by assisting in any discussions so that the people who need to understand our position.

 

I think that you are being niave to think that one set of rules/ guidelines is going to fit all. To pluck one quick example. Is it not against the guidelines to place a cache within a certain distance of a railway line? This rule has been largely bypassed in the UK as it does not apply. This was because our reviewing team knew that the same legalities and practical issues did not apply.

 

What I suggested earlier was not a free for all. I suggested that a basic set of guidelines were set out. Then as a country became more self reliant in reviewers they could see where those guidelines clashed with their situation and state clearly ( after discussion) where they would be implementing them differently. Groundspeak has always had the No Precedence rule, why could this not apply?

 

As has been suggested a one size fits all policy is in danger of being one size fits the USA because that's what you know best. It would be a very easy mistake to make.

 

Would it not be a good idea for at least some of the discussions to appear on these forums to gauge response to your ideas? Not all of them as this would be impractical.

 

 

I would like to thank all of the responders to this thread who have supported our attempts to amend a mistake that has been made.

 

Well said.

This whole thing is about the fact that someone 'reported' the UK for breaching guidelines, and as I have said before, there is a cultural tendency in the USA to be a 'by-the-book' nation, thus our UK volunteer team were taken to task over it. :)

 

There are other areas of the world where there are clear breaches of guidelines, which are obvious yet allowed due to local circumstances. I have no intention of making a complaint about those caches or their reviewers, but this is why I say the time must be taken to have a well thought out response. Nobby.nobbs mentioned railways but lets just look at the list...

Caches may be quickly archived if we see the following (which is not inclusive):

 

* Caches on land managed by an agency that prohibits geocaches, such as the U.S. National Park Service or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (National Wildlife Refuges)

* Caches that are buried. If a shovel, trowel or other “pointy” object is used to dig, whether in order to hide or to find the cache, then it is not appropriate.

* Caches that deface public or private property, whether a natural or man-made object, in order to provide a hiding place, a clue or a logging method.

* Caches placed in areas which are highly sensitive to the extra traffic that would be caused by vehicles and humans (examples may include archaeological or historic sites).

* Caches hidden in close proximity to active railroad tracks. In general we use a distance of 150 ft (46 m) but your local area’s trespassing laws may be different. All local laws apply.

* Caches near or on military installations.

* Caches near, on or under public structures deemed potential or possible targets for terrorist attacks. These may include but are not limited to highway bridges, dams, government buildings, elementary and secondary schools, and airports.

 

There may be some exceptions. If your cache fits within one of the above areas, please explain this in a note to the reviewer.

 

So from that list am I now going to report every urban 'Sprinkler' micro I find? Because I'm sure a pointy thing was used to get it into the ground?

The railway line rule is fair enough in the great sprawl of the US, but not in the confines of Europe, where we build houses on old railway sidings, and then advertise them as 'within easy reach of the Station'!.

Targets for potential terrorist attacks? Well that could be just about anywhere. It's a fine sounding rule but quite frankly so broad brush that it is impossible to quantify in such a simple two line rule. There are plenty of caches at sports stadiums, under railway bridges etc, and I mean in the US, not just the UK. (I've done one at a US Sports facility on an access bridge, where a block of bang stuff [i won't use the word as some cloak and dagger search engine will find this forum] on match day would take out hundreds).

 

And the ones I alluded to a moment ago... All the caches on military installations in Iraq and Afghanistan, because they are placed by (US) Military cachers and it's not safe to place them outside the gate! :D

 

So when it comes to reviewing, 'common sense' is what is needed, not hard and fast rules.

 

What we do need to quantify is exactly were the problem lie, was it in the UK moderation or the UK reviewing? Perhaps it has been mentioned in one of these posts, but I haven't noticed it.

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What we do need to quantify is exactly were the problem lie, was it in the UK moderation or the UK reviewing? Perhaps it has been mentioned in one of these posts, but I haven't noticed it.

 

:D Nope, i don't think you have missed it, it is exactly what i asked for about 5 posts up, and still we wait.................................... :)

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Hi, a bit long but trying to input into the discussion :blink:

 

Firstly, I’m much more interested in talking about what’s acceptable on cache pages than forum threads since caches are much more important! :D

 

So far I’ve not had any problems with the Groundspeak guidelines in setting my caches. Whether things are guidelines or rules there’s always going to be some ‘interpretation’ needed unless the ‘guidelines’ are 18 pages long and written by lawyers (of course another bunch of lawyers would then happily argue with it!). I think the UK reviewing team have done a great job of using the guidelines within the spirit of Groundspeak's intentions. :(

 

I imagine that many people will understand the intent of the guidelines about commercial caches and solicitation and I for one agree with the guidelines. We don’t want caches that have alternative motives other than going and finding a box for the fun of it. :blink:

Having said that, I also think that just mentioning a pub or restaurant or whatever, that is local to the cache is fine and very useful. For example: I have a Motorway Mayhem cache, the point of which is to offer travellers a break. The cache page mentions a nearby coffee shop, also the nearby 24hr garage and its relative price (compared with M-way services), plus a burger van in a lay-by which is often present. It also mentions the lovely walk that can be done by the canal, that it’s good for dogs, and the other nearby caches if you want more ‘entertainment’.

 

In no way does this seem to me to be solicitation. The fact that the info is there I think is useful. No one has to go to the garage and the burger van or the shop or do the other caches, or even go and pray in the church that’s mentioned! The cache page paints a brief picture of what can be found near this particular M-way junction and allows prospective cachers to plan their journey and decide if they want to stop or not. This is exactly how I have used other MM caches when I’m travelling.

 

I was recently on holiday and, as usual, used the caches to help show me great spots around the area. Many were near churches or stations, but I didn’t feel I had to go by train or get on my knees! (Train companies are commercial, what about churches? esp US ones?!) :( One or two caches also mentioned the local pub nearby which was very handy when planning our day out, in fact led us to the local brewery! Without any mention of these things cache pages would become very sterile and uninformative, especially for visitors to the area. Caches would just be plastic boxes in a void rather than placed in a particular location. I’ve heard ‘Language of Location’ before now, well I like a cache page to paint a quick picture of the place it is in – why would I want to go there, what can I see, what else is round and about? Some of the details will no doubt be ‘commercial’, but so be it, I’m an adult and quite capable of deciding if I like the look of the pub mentioned and whether to go there or not. As long as it’s not a pre-requisite of finding the cache, I think it’s fine.

 

A final point. I think that just a strict ban on ‘commercial’ mentions of any sort ignores other ‘organisations’ which aren’t that different although technically they are charities. The charitable sector is huge and very, very diverse. Charities make profits, do marketing and all the other functions that businesses do, the only basic difference is that they reinvest the profit. Lots of people get good salaries and make their living in ‘voluntary’ organisations and many are not really any different from a small business person trying to make their living from providing a service. Why can we 'promote' a massive organisation like the National Trust but any mention at all of the corner shop or local pub might be banned? ‘Commercial’ is ill-defined and would need work if the intention is to ban all mention and would create anomalies and problems in itself. (Transport is a good example.)

 

I think the guidelines are quite clear in the examples they give and the way things have worked since I’ve been caching seems to have been ok, undoubtedly thanks to the common sense of the reviewers. I’m sure there is scope to reconsider and change words in the guidelines and be clearer in the light of experience. A complete ban on any mention of any sort of commercial concern on a cache page would, in my view, be a mistake and lead to uninformative cache pages. So, please leave the interpretation of commercial solicitation about where it is now (as experienced in the UK at least) and don’t take it to an extreme extent. ;);)

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The resigned reviewers themselves have said it was much more than the issue with closing that one topic.. If you want to know why they resigned, perhaps you should ask them for more detail. I personally don't think more information is needed, but if you continue to demand answers, perhaps you should go to the source. Like I have said, it was their decision to quit, not Groundspeak's.

 

I think the main issues being brought forth are the commercial and charitable guidelines for both cache page and the forums. Local reviewers cannot decide policy themselves. That is not Groundspeak's desire, and when reviewers come aboard they agree to follow the guidelines. If they feel a change is needed, they should present their case to Groundspeak and gain permission for these exceptions, not go off and make decisions for themselves. They should not be afraid to present their case to Groundspeak. If the argument is one that is presented well, they might get an exception. They did this with the pub issue at one point a long time ago. But you cannot expand the scope on your own without permission. I cannot decide to loosen up part of the guidelines in British Columbia and not use the same interpretation in the US states I review in. It isn't allowed, and it really isn't proper.

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One reason that a complete explanation of our reasons for resigning was to respect the confidentiality of discussions with Groundspeak.

 

However I would say that a major factor was the fact that after nearly 5 years of trying to apply common sense in interpreting the guidelines, and apparently succeeding to a fair extent judging by the reaction we have received from the local caching community, we were told that this approach was no longer acceptable.

 

If reviewers no longer have that discretion then absurdities such as disallowing perfectly good caches near railway lines, on road bridges etc. which have never caused problems here will be created. This surely cannot be good for the game.

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If reviewers no longer have that discretion then absurdities such as disallowing perfectly good caches near railway lines, on road bridges etc. which have never caused problems here will be created. This surely cannot be good for the game.

Those are perfect example of well thought out exceptions which could presented to Groundspeak for disposition.

 

One reason that a complete explanation of our reasons for resigning was to respect the confidentiality of discussions with Groundspeak.
Thanks for saying that. I knew that was the answer and hoped folks could hear it from you. :blink: Edited by mtn-man
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So Groundspeak recognise regional variations in circumstances but will not allow regional interpretation of guidelines unless it can be proven to work. 5 years of trouble free application of a variation says to me that our approach works (or rather worked).

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I've defended the current guidelines and agree to uphold them and have no problem with them, but if things were relaxed a bit I would have no problem with that either. Know that I will continue to defend and uphold the current guidelines though, despite any personal feelings either way.

 

Having said that, I also think that just mentioning a pub or restaurant or whatever, that is local to the cache is fine and very useful. For example: I have a Motorway Mayhem cache, the point of which is to offer travellers a break. The cache page mentions a nearby coffee shop, also the nearby 24hr garage and its relative price (compared with M-way services), plus a burger van in a lay-by which is often present. It also mentions the lovely walk that can be done by the canal, that it’s good for dogs, and the other nearby caches if you want more ‘entertainment’.

 

In no way does this seem to me to be solicitation. The fact that the info is there I think is useful. No one has to go to the garage and the burger van or the shop or do the other caches, or even go and pray in the church that’s mentioned! The cache page paints a brief picture of what can be found near this particular M-way junction and allows prospective cachers to plan their journey and decide if they want to stop or not. This is exactly how I have used other MM caches when I’m travelling.

 

I was recently on holiday and, as usual, used the caches to help show me great spots around the area. Many were near churches or stations, but I didn’t feel I had to go by train or get on my knees! (Train companies are commercial, what about churches? esp US ones?!) ;) One or two caches also mentioned the local pub nearby which was very handy when planning our day out, in fact led us to the local brewery! Without any mention of these things cache pages would become very sterile and uninformative, especially for visitors to the area. Caches would just be plastic boxes in a void rather than placed in a particular location. I’ve heard ‘Language of Location’ before now, well I like a cache page to paint a quick picture of the place it is in – why would I want to go there, what can I see, what else is round and about? Some of the details will no doubt be ‘commercial’, but so be it, I’m an adult and quite capable of deciding if I like the look of the pub mentioned and whether to go there or not. As long as it’s not a pre-requisite of finding the cache, I think it’s fine.

 

I think the guidelines are quite clear in the examples they give and the way things have worked since I’ve been caching seems to have been ok, undoubtedly thanks to the common sense of the reviewers. I’m sure there is scope to reconsider and change words in the guidelines and be clearer in the light of experience. A complete ban on any mention of any sort of commercial concern on a cache page would, in my view, be a mistake and lead to uninformative cache pages. So, please leave the interpretation of commercial solicitation about where it is now (as experienced in the UK at least) and don’t take it to an extreme extent. :blink::(

 

I think this is one of the keys to the problem here. Mtn-man and others believe that they're defending the current guidelines, but really they're not. What they are defending is Groundspeak's interpretation of the guidelines.

 

For reasons given already by me and others, I think that Groundspeak's interpretation is wrong. It is wrong to say one thing, and then interpret it to mean another. The guidelines do not prohibit they things we're getting annoyed about, but Groundspeak's interpretation of them does.

 

This puts the reviewers into an unacceptable position. They are aware of Groundspeak's interpretation, but most cachers are not. So they have to reject caches, or close threads, because they're forced to impose Groundspeak's interpretation, not because they're imposing what the guidelines actually say. We're not in a 1984 situation (it is, after all, just a game!) but this is just was Orwell was getting at when it talked about Doublespeak!

 

The guidelines are fine, Groundspeak's interpretation of them is wrong. Groundspeak should either accept a reasonable interpretation of them, or change the guidelines to make it clear what is actually required.

Edited by Rambling Meanderers
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If reviewers no longer have that discretion then absurdities such as disallowing perfectly good caches near railway lines, on road bridges etc. which have never caused problems here will be created. This surely cannot be good for the game.

Those are perfect example of well thought out exceptions which could presented to Groundspeak for disposition.

 

Hmmm wouldn't that undermine the reviewers completely? And as a cache-setter, I wouldn't want to "put-on" my local reviewer by submitting a cache and knowing that he would have to go to TPTB before being able to publish it (or not). As it is now, I trust his judgement... cannot Groundspeak do the same? :blink: I think this is perhaps the crux of the entire discussion.

 

Thanks again.

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I think this is one of the keys to the problem here. Mtn-man and others believe that they're defending the current guidelines, but really they're not. What they are defending is Groundspeak's interpretation of the guidelines.

 

For reasons given already by me and others, I think that Groundspeak's interpretation is wrong. It is wrong to say one thing, and then interpret it to mean another. The guidelines do not prohibit they things we're getting annoyed about, but Groundspeak's interpretation of them does.

Actually, I know 100 percent that I am abiding by and defending Groundspeak's interpretation of the guidelines. I agreed to do that and will do that or I will be removed from my position. This is Groundspeak's site. You must abide by their interpretation. You agree to abide by their interpretations. To me, that is common sense. They need to be made aware if reviewers/moderators would like exceptions to those interpretations. Reviewers/moderators should ask permission, not act on their own. This keeps Groundspeak from being blind-sided by those that say "they can do it, why can't we". At that point, Groundspeak can say that they gave permission for a regional exception. This is the case with the pub issue, but not the case with the charity issue. You have clear examples of where asking for permission works and permission was granted and all was fine for years and an example where permission was never asked and it has become a problem.

 

PopUpPirate, the current situation illustrates clearly why local reviewers *have* to communicate these exceptions to Groundspeak. Two of three reviewers quit without working out a transition period, leaving cache review in the area with a manpower problem. Groundspeak had to put someone in place from within the current ranks to assist the one remaining reviewer, who would be overworked without this help. If these local issues that are different than the published guidelines are not communicated to Groundspeak, how is the person who is stepping in to help going to know that these subtle differences are in fact in place? There are landowner policies in place on the GAGB site here, but there is no mention of any railway exceptions on that web page. In addition, seeing that the site was just hacked*, it would probably be good for this information to be stored directly on the Groundspeak database and not just linked to the site. It is not and is only linked back to the GAGB site (I may copy it all to the Groundspeak site later). Once again, this is an example where clear communication of local exceptions to Groundspeak is essential.

 

*By the way, not saying the UK reviewers could have ever imagined that the site would be hacked, but it is good to have info stored in a couple of places in case of hardware failure.

Edited by mtn-man
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PopUpPirate, the current situation illustrates clearly why local reviewers *have* to communicate these exceptions to Groundspeak. Two of three reviewers quit without working out a transition period, leaving cache review in the area with a manpower problem. Groundspeak had to put someone in place from within the current ranks to assist the one remaining reviewer, who would be overworked without this help.

 

OK, it was all mine and Dave's fault. We left summarily without discussing it with Groundspeak. We didn't try and sort things out for several weeks beforehand. UK reviewing is up **** creek and we put you there. At least everyone knows now.

 

Thanks you for clarifying things.

 

Deci, my apologies for landing you in the poo and causing you this unacceptable workload.

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I really don't think an apology is due.

To clarify, since I don't think that my perhaps too subtle point has been picked up, I believe that an apology is due because of the event that started this discussion. The problem started when MissJenn, someone of whom most people, including me, will not have heard, stepped into a UK discussion and closed the thread. No-one, now that we know who she is, will deny that she had a perfect right to do that. But the proper approach - certainly in the UK - would have been for her to contact a UK moderator and ask him to close the thread. Closing the thread without contacting a UK moderator - except in really serious cases and when a UK moderator may not be available - undermines the UK moderating team and upsets many UK cachers (remember, this exact scenario has happened before).

 

We now know, as the story very slowly becomes clearer, that the reason why MissJenn closed the threads is because the UK moderators had refused to do so. So does that mean that no apology is necessary? Well, no it doesn't, and for two reasons. Firstly, and slightly tongue in cheek but with a serious point, in the UK we apologise for everything, whether it's our fault or not. It's a part of our culture, and it goes a long way towards defusing a potentially explosive situation. If MissJenn's posts had started "I'm sorry but I really need to close this thread..." then I doubt that the issue would have reached the heights that it has. At the risk of repetition, it's about knowing the culture of those you're dealing with. Even so long after the event an apology could still help to calm things down, and would show that Groundspeak has respect for other cultures and the views of other cachers. Secondly an apology is due for MissJenn's avatar label: "carries a big stick". It is confrontational, wholly inappropriate, and shows disrespect for other forum members. Let's remember that having respect for others is one of the most important rules of the forum. And in case anyone thinks I'm reading too much into what might be intended as a joke, yes I could be. In other circumstances it's probably funny. In the circumstance in which we first saw it it isn't.

 

Remember, in life and certainly in business, it's often not what you do that counts, but how you do it.

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Secondly an apology is due for MissJenn's avatar label: "carries a big stick". It is confrontational, wholly inappropriate, and shows disrespect for other forum members.

Sorry Alan but that's a pointless argument you're making. Jenn has been around a long time and so has that avatar. I've seen an awful lot worse and by trying to make an issue out of it you're distracting from other more valid points that both you and others are making.

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mtn-man wrote:

There are landowner policies in place on the GAGB site here, but there is no mention of any railway exceptions on that web page. In addition, seeing that the site was just hacked, it would probably be good for this information to be stored directly on the Groundspeak database and not just linked to the site.

To clarify, GAGB's forums were hacked last night, but not our website, which is quite separate. In addition to routine website back-ups, I keep a back-up of the agreements myself.

 

---

Bill, Chairman GAGB

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PopUpPirate, the current situation illustrates clearly why local reviewers *have* to communicate these exceptions to Groundspeak. Two of three reviewers quit without working out a transition period, leaving cache review in the area with a manpower problem. Groundspeak had to put someone in place from within the current ranks to assist the one remaining reviewer, who would be overworked without this help. If these local issues that are different than the published guidelines are not communicated to Groundspeak, how is the person who is stepping in to help going to know that these subtle differences are in fact in place? There are landowner policies in place on the GAGB site here, but there is no mention of any railway exceptions on that web page. In addition, seeing that the site was just hacked*, it would probably be good for this information to be stored directly on the Groundspeak database and not just linked to the site. It is not and is only linked back to the GAGB site (I may copy it all to the Groundspeak site later). Once again, this is an example where clear communication of local exceptions to Groundspeak is essential.

 

*By the way, not saying the UK reviewers could have ever imagined that the site would be hacked, but it is good to have info stored in a couple of places in case of hardware failure.

 

I'm sure the information is backed up, if you copy the information off GAGB that uk cachers have worked hard on getting , can they copy the uk caches from the database without asking?

Edited by Munkeh
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You must abide by their interpretation. You agree to abide by their interpretations.

Perhaps that would be easier to do if the rule were couched in a way which made the intended interpretation easier? Or if the intended interpretation were published?

 

I did wonder how long the discussions would continue until someone said: "It's Groundspeak's ball. If you don't like it don't play the game." In playing a game, it's useful to know what size and shape the ball is, and how far it can be kicked. And when the referee allows play to continue it's because he made a judgement - within the rules - that that was the right thing to do.

 

Two of three reviewers quit without working out a transition period, leaving cache review in the area with a manpower problem.

I think that shows disrespect for two very well-known and highly regarded UK cachers. They clealry felt they were pushed into a corner and had no choice other than to resign. It would be no different if they were paid employees of a UK company: some things, despite discussion, are impossible not to walk away from.

 

There are landowner policies in place on the GAGB site here, but there is no mention of any railway exceptions on that web page.

Perhaps because there are no exceptions within GAGB guidelines for railways? They're GAGB guidelines, not Groundspeak's.

 

In addition, seeing that the site was just hacked*

Foul! That has nothing whatever to do with the current discussion. Nor do you, nor I, know anything at all about GAGB's backup and data security policy. Let's try to keep things on topic.

 

it would probably be good for this information to be stored directly on the Groundspeak database and not just linked to the site. It is not and is only linked back to the GAGB site (I may copy it all to the Groundspeak site later).

I'm no apologist for GAGB, but I hope you get GAGB's permission before copying their copyrighted material elsewhere. And since the GAGB landowner agreements database contains personal data (the names and contact details of landowners) it will be contrary to the UK Data Protection Act 1998 to copy that data outside the EEA without permission from the data subjects.

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Secondly an apology is due for MissJenn's avatar label: "carries a big stick". It is confrontational, wholly inappropriate, and shows disrespect for other forum members.

Sorry Alan but that's a pointless argument you're making. Jenn has been around a long time and so has that avatar. I've seen an awful lot worse and by trying to make an issue out of it you're distracting from other more valid points that both you and others are making.

Sorry, I disagree. I had never heard of MissJenn until this issue. And I find her avatar disrespectful*. These points are very valid in this context of this discussion, since that is where the problem started.

 

* Actually I find it worse than that, but given the rules of this forum "disrespectful" alone should be sufficient for it to be changed.

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it would probably be good for this information to be stored directly on the Groundspeak database and not just linked to the site. It is not and is only linked back to the GAGB site (I may copy it all to the Groundspeak site later).

I'm no apologist for GAGB, but I hope you get GAGB's permission before copying their copyrighted material elsewhere. And since the GAGB landowner agreements database contains personal data (the names and contact details of landowners) it will be contrary to the UK Data Protection Act 1998 to copy that data outside the EEA without permission from the data subjects.

Right on the web page it says:

The database will automatically keep track of geocaching.com caches in the UK.
It specifically names geocaching.com right in the text. I know the state organization I belong to welcomes the use of these local guidelines we publish on our site by Groundspeak since we have the same goals as Groundspeak to promote geocaching and keep it in as good a light as possible. We enjoy having as good a relation with Groundspeak as possible. Are suggesting that this is not the case here despite the text naming geocaching.com directly?
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I think this is one of the keys to the problem here. Mtn-man and others believe that they're defending the current guidelines, but really they're not. What they are defending is Groundspeak's interpretation of the guidelines.

 

For reasons given already by me and others, I think that Groundspeak's interpretation is wrong. It is wrong to say one thing, and then interpret it to mean another. The guidelines do not prohibit they things we're getting annoyed about, but Groundspeak's interpretation of them does.

Actually, I know 100 percent that I am abiding by and defending Groundspeak's interpretation of the guidelines. I agreed to do that and will do that or I will be removed from my position. This is Groundspeak's site. You must abide by their interpretation. You agree to abide by their interpretations. To me, that is common sense. They need to be made aware if reviewers/moderators would like exceptions to those interpretations. Reviewers/moderators should ask permission, not act on their own. This keeps Groundspeak from being blind-sided by those that say "they can do it, why can't we". At that point, Groundspeak can say that they gave permission for a regional exception. This is the case with the pub issue, but not the case with the charity issue. You have clear examples of where asking for permission works and permission was granted and all was fine for years and an example where permission was never asked and it has become a problem.

 

PopUpPirate, the current situation illustrates clearly why local reviewers *have* to communicate these exceptions to Groundspeak. Two of three reviewers quit without working out a transition period, leaving cache review in the area with a manpower problem. Groundspeak had to put someone in place from within the current ranks to assist the one remaining reviewer, who would be overworked without this help. If these local issues that are different than the published guidelines are not communicated to Groundspeak, how is the person who is stepping in to help going to know that these subtle differences are in fact in place? There are landowner policies in place on the GAGB site here, but there is no mention of any railway exceptions on that web page. In addition, seeing that the site was just hacked*, it would probably be good for this information to be stored directly on the Groundspeak database and not just linked to the site. It is not and is only linked back to the GAGB site (I may copy it all to the Groundspeak site later). Once again, this is an example where clear communication of local exceptions to Groundspeak is essential.

 

*By the way, not saying the UK reviewers could have ever imagined that the site would be hacked, but it is good to have info stored in a couple of places in case of hardware failure.

If reviewers no longer have that discretion then absurdities such as disallowing perfectly good caches near railway lines, on road bridges etc. which have never caused problems here will be created. This surely cannot be good for the game.

 

Those are perfect example of well thought out exceptions which could presented to Groundspeak for disposition.

 

Excellent, thanks for clearing that up Greg.

 

It's a pity that that was not considered, late March/early April when Groundspeak chose to withdraw a dispensation that, I believe, was offered to the UK reviewing team some 6 years ago - Peter and I became reviewers.

 

But that is, to coin a phrase, water under the bridge.

 

Talking of which could you clarify another point for me regarding the summary closure of 2 forum threads because:

 

"it solicits for a charitable activity."

 

as:

 

"Commercial Postings/Solicitations are not allowed in these forums."

 

Point 1:

 

As I read the threads no one was asked to support any charity.

 

It was reported in one thread that last year a sum of money had been raised.

 

In both threads there were links to an external web site that carried details of the general even that teams would be competing in.

 

In neither thread was anyone asking for money - therefore I feel no one was soliciting (which - and totally incidentally - has a very different meaning in English Common Law to that in US Law :blink: )

 

Point 2:

 

I do not understand how a charity can be described as a commercial venture.

 

I fully understand and agree with the GSP forum guideline:

 

"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."

 

just as much as I fully understand - and disagree - with the cache listing guideline:

 

"Solicitations are off-limits. For example, caches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are not permitted. Geocaching is supposed to be a light, fun activity, not a platform for an agenda."

 

....but charitable threads are NOT in breach of the forum guidelines as currently published -

 

Which could bring me to another problem I have had with Groundspeak - but one thing at a time eh!

 

and, finally ("Thanks Heavens!", did I hear?

 

"Two of three reviewers quit without working out a transition period, leaving cache review in the area with a manpower problem. Groundspeak had to put someone in place from within the current ranks to assist the one remaining reviewer, who would be overworked without this help."

 

Shame on you!!

 

I think that is REALLY out of order. Peter - and myself through Peter - was in discussion of the issues for some weeks before we felt we could no longer continue our duties.

 

I look forward to hearing your response to some of these questions.

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I really don't think an apology is due.

To clarify, since I don't think that my perhaps too subtle point has been picked up, I believe that an apology is due because of the event that started this discussion. The problem started when MissJenn, someone of whom most people, including me, will not have heard, stepped into a UK discussion and closed the thread. No-one, now that we know who she is, will deny that she had a perfect right to do that. But the proper approach - certainly in the UK - would have been for her to contact a UK moderator and ask him to close the thread. Closing the thread without contacting a UK moderator - except in really serious cases and when a UK moderator may not be available - undermines the UK moderating team and upsets many UK cachers (remember, this exact scenario has happened before).

You are making an assumption that this offer was not made and turned down.

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I really don't think an apology is due.

To clarify, since I don't think that my perhaps too subtle point has been picked up, I believe that an apology is due because of the event that started this discussion. The problem started when MissJenn, someone of whom most people, including me, will not have heard, stepped into a UK discussion and closed the thread. No-one, now that we know who she is, will deny that she had a perfect right to do that. But the proper approach - certainly in the UK - would have been for her to contact a UK moderator and ask him to close the thread. Closing the thread without contacting a UK moderator - except in really serious cases and when a UK moderator may not be available - undermines the UK moderating team and upsets many UK cachers (remember, this exact scenario has happened before).

You are making an assumption that this offer was not made and turned down.

Why the use of selective quoting :D I hope that it is not a deliberate attempt to mislead/discredit :D

So to correct this, here is the rest of Alan's post where he quite clearly indicates a full understanding of the situation regarding the thread closure

 

We now know, as the story very slowly becomes clearer, that the reason why MissJenn closed the threads is because the UK moderators had refused to do so. So does that mean that no apology is necessary? Well, no it doesn't, and for two reasons. Firstly, and slightly tongue in cheek but with a serious point, in the UK we apologise for everything, whether it's our fault or not. It's a part of our culture, and it goes a long way towards defusing a potentially explosive situation. If MissJenn's posts had started "I'm sorry but I really need to close this thread..." then I doubt that the issue would have reached the heights that it has. At the risk of repetition, it's about knowing the culture of those you're dealing with. Even so long after the event an apology could still help to calm things down, and would show that Groundspeak has respect for other cultures and the views of other cachers. Secondly an apology is due for MissJenn's avatar label: "carries a big stick". It is confrontational, wholly inappropriate, and shows disrespect for other forum members. Let's remember that having respect for others is one of the most important rules of the forum. And in case anyone thinks I'm reading too much into what might be intended as a joke, yes I could be. In other circumstances it's probably funny. In the circumstance in which we first saw it it isn't.

 

Remember, in life and certainly in business, it's often not what you do that counts, but how you do it.

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You are making an assumption that this offer was not made and turned down.

Quite correct. You reported the post to me yourself requesting I close it. I replied declining to do so and outlining my reasons for that decision. As has already been pointed out, anyone one reporting a forum post is treated equally whether they are a moderator, reviewer or regular geocacher. Because of this I considered the matter dealt with. The next thing I knew was the thread had been closed by Groundspeak.

 

(Edited to add...) Whether or not I agreed with your request I absolutely accept your right to report your concerns. Sorry I forgot to mention that.

Edited by The Hornet
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Thank you for the kind offer to copy in the information from the GAGB site. This is thankfully unnecessary as, like any responsible website, we do regular back ups.

 

The fact that you recognize the validity of the GAGB and our agreements just adds weight to my earlier comments.

 

As the cachers of each country become unified and self reliant all they would need to do is set up a site on the basis of the GAGB upon which they could list all the locally organised agreements and likewise list all the amendments to the guidelines that apply to that country. As such when we get the site back up shortly I will offer a service to Groundspeak to carry a back up of the guidelines that have worked so well for the UK for the last 5 years.

 

Then we can put all this behind us and go on enjoying this great hobby.

 

I believe that the ex reviewers have done their best to maintain the confidentiality they were under whilst still reviewers, but if there are now questions and suggestions about what these discussions did or did not include coming from current moderators should they feel free to elaborate on the content and duration of those discussions?

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It specifically names geocaching.com right in the text. I know the state organization I belong to welcomes the use of these local guidelines we publish on our site by Groundspeak since we have the same goals as Groundspeak to promote geocaching and keep it in as good a light as possible. We enjoy having as good a relation with Groundspeak as possible. Are suggesting that this is not the case here despite the text naming geocaching.com directly?

Sorry, I don't see your point? Not being obtuse: I genuinely don't understand. Please could you elaborate?

 

To reciprocate, I'll elaborate on mine. Firstly bear in mind, as I said, that I'm not an apologist for GAGB - I'm not even a member. Also know that I'm not a lawyer.

 

Those notwithstanding, your suggestion, nay your intended action, if I understand you correctly, is to copy some parts of the GAGB website, including the landowner agreements, to Groundspeak's servers. This may be unwise on two points. Firstly the copyright of GAGB's information will reside with GAGB and its contributors. Secondly, there are strict laws in the UK to protect personal data, and the landowner database contains personal data in the form of individual's names, phone numbers, email addresses etc. One of the protections provided by law is that such personal data must not be copied outside the European Economic Area except with the express consent of the individuals concerned. In effect, GAGB would have to contact every landowner whose personal data is in the GAGB database and obtain consent for the transfer of their data to Groundspeak. They may well agree, but the transfer cannot take place until that consent has been obtained.

 

I mention this not to be difficult but to protect GAGB, and therefore UK caching, against possible legal action. More productive comment would be better coming from GAGB.

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mtn-man wrote:

There are landowner policies in place on the GAGB site here, but there is no mention of any railway exceptions on that web page. In addition, seeing that the site was just hacked, it would probably be good for this information to be stored directly on the Groundspeak database and not just linked to the site.

My understanding, and Alan has said much the same above, is that under English law it would be illegal for GAGB to release personal data without the express permission of everyone whose details are in there. With all respect, our database contains rather more information than you, or indeed most people, are seeing. The web pages are just extracts from the database. There's a lot of personal contact information in there that's only visible to our committee, and most if not all of the agreements have been made on that understanding.

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You are making an assumption that this offer was not made and turned down.

Quite correct. You reported the post to me yourself requesting I close it. I replied declining to do so and outlining my reasons for that decision.

The thick plottens :D.

 

So the reason - or at least the catalyst - for this entire problem is because Keystone reported a UK forum post which he considered to be outside the quidelines (a perfectly valid thing to do). Peter declined to close the thread (a perfectly valid thing to do) so Keystone went to the top (a perfectly valid thing to do)?

 

Just one question: if Keystone had been A.N Other UK cacher who reported a post and received the same reply would Groundspeak's response have been the same?

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I can understand why this discussion continues, but I find it distressing: its very much a 'dirty washing in public' discussion. Can we return to 'status quo ante bellum', file our grievances away and simply adopt a posture that builds the community. I'd love Lacto and Eck back in the saddle.

 

I'd also love gc.com to say - ok this was slightly more than a storm in a teacup (hurricane perhaps), lets calm down, tidy up and move on.

 

Where has the greater damage come from:

a perceived UK commericalism that has caused thousands of UK geoachers to tear up 'their party cards' saying that any site that allows such flagrant commercial stinks

or

a perceived sense of UK injustice of mal-informed meddling that has caused thousands of UK geoachers to tear up 'their party cards' saying that any site that allows such hormone fueled foolishness is mindbogglingly childish

Lets get a sense of proportion here. Neither is true - and it's beginning to look like the Somme. If L&E decline a return (I suspect they might), then for heaven's sake get a team in place soon that carries UK and Seattle confidence. Nothing good will come from prevarication, ill-tempered mutterings, and one poor old UK reviewer stuttering along on his own.

 

Lets get organised - ASAP!!

PS If L&E agree to return to a status quo ante bellum - let them

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You are making an assumption that this offer was not made and turned down.

Quite correct. You reported the post to me yourself requesting I close it. I replied declining to do so and outlining my reasons for that decision.

The thick plottens :D.

 

So the reason - or at least the catalyst - for this entire problem is because Keystone reported a UK forum post which he considered to be outside the quidelines (a perfectly valid thing to do). Peter declined to close the thread (a perfectly valid thing to do) so Keystone went to the top (a perfectly valid thing to do)?

 

Just one question: if Keystone had been A.N Other UK cacher who reported a post and received the same reply would Groundspeak's response have been the same?

Still not quite the whole story. Therefore, it's not possible to answer the hypothetical question at the end of your post.

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Talking of which could you clarify another point for me regarding the summary closure of 2 forum threads because:

 

"it solicits for a charitable activity."

 

as:

 

"Commercial Postings/Solicitations are not allowed in these forums."

I'll try.

 

The Websters Dictionary definition of "solicitation" directs back to the definition of "soliciting", but also states it as a "moving or drawing force" with the synonyms of incitement and allurement. It has been pointed out by a person in this topic that the word solicitation in the UK, according to a Wiki entry, basically refers to prostitution solicitation. I personally think that common sense would dictate that the word "solicitation" as used in the geocaching.com guidelines has nothing to do with solicitation of prostitution. :D It does in fact refer to the dictionary definition I linked above regarding urging and requesting actions, since it has been pointed out that this is a US based web site. That dictionary definition says:

transitive verb

1 a: to make petition to : entreat b: to approach with a request or plea <solicited Congress for funding>

2: to urge (as one's cause) strongly

3 a: to entice or lure especially into evil b: to proposition (someone) especially as or in the character of a prostitute

4: to try to obtain by usually urgent requests or pleas <solicited donations>

intransitive verb

1: to make solicitation : importune

2: of a prostitute : to offer to have sexual relations with someone for money

I've highlighted the ones that apply. Ironically, following the "importune" link to the verb tense leads to the synonym of "beg".

 

The event name has the word charity right in it.

Royal Marines Commando Challenge Team Charity Event

The web site in question clearly says it is a charity event right on the main page.

2008 CHARITIES

 

The Organisers are pleased to announce that this year there are to be two charities who will benefit from the 2008 Commando Challenge.

The site is very up front about the fact that this is a charity endeavor. Forum participants in one topic even indicate that it is a charity event here and that you collect money and bring it to the charity event here. In the first post in the other closed topic, the poster also states that it is a "charity based event" and boasted about how much money was raised last year for charity.

 

It seem pretty clear it is a charity event. I hope that clarifies things and helps with your questions.

 

 

and, finally ("Thanks Heavens!", did I hear?

 

"Two of three reviewers quit without working out a transition period, leaving cache review in the area with a manpower problem. Groundspeak had to put someone in place from within the current ranks to assist the one remaining reviewer, who would be overworked without this help."

 

Shame on you!!

 

I think that is REALLY out of order. Peter - and myself through Peter - was in discussion of the issues for some weeks before we felt we could no longer continue our duties.

Sorry, but that part of my post is a statement of fact which illustrates the importance of the rest of my post. I see no reason to apologize for a factual public event that has transpired. While it is good that you were "in discussion of the issues for some weeks before we felt we could no longer continue our duties", the above is still a factual event. The facts are not pretty, but they are still facts.
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