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To some, an air ambulance service is a worthy charity

 

As this is a comment directly due to comments I made elsewhere, maybe you'd like to quote me in full. As the reference to the Air Ambulance, was to not being allowed to be mentioned as a thank you by any unfortunate UK cacher having to use their services and the inability to link to their web site as they are a Charity and as such mention about Donations on their websites which might generate a couple of donations from UK Cachers. No Charity Solicitations but as it's a charity they can't mention it.

 

Please do not use what I post else where in your arguments against the UK Caching Community. Oh and I did mention a UK cacher who had to use the services of another UK Charity which again can't be mentioned now for the same reason.

 

Yours and Groundspeaks view of the Commando thread is at opposite ends of the opinions on it from those of the UK Community. And to be honest neither side is going to agree that the other side is right.

 

Where on earth do people get the idea that they are representing the the views of the UK Caching Community, when they quite clearly fail to appreciate the views of sections of that community.

 

For me the commando challenge posts were irritating. We all have hobbies outside caching BUT a geocaching forum is not the place to chat about them, it's all the more irritating when these activities are fund raisers and you're left with the niggling suspicion that it is a ploy to advertise the event or solicit sponsorship.

 

Views differ within the UK. Will those who claim to represent UK views please make the effort to understand all the views within our own country before they start arguing about UK/US divisions? All they are doing is damaging our hobby based on the opinions of just one small clique within it!

 

If you must discuss non-caching things maybe we need a "UK chat" forum on here to remove clutter from the UK forum itself. It works on other forums and allows those who don't like the non relevant chit chat to view and partake in relevant discussions and easily filter out the non-relevant stuff if they wish to do so.

 

Uktim, you are way off the mark in regards to the commando challenge! :lol:

The CC is not a hobby!!!

A group of us last year entered a team as "Geocachers" in a social aspect. This to me was no different than a group of cachers meeting at a pub or at an event, remember the whole team were cachers.

Forget the charity side of things, it was done as a social thing, for a laugh and for a challenge.

This year it was decided to see if any other "Nutters" wanted to play. :D

Most of us in this life enjoy a challenge, to try and push the boundries and to look back and say "I did that" :P Look what I accomplished :)

The charity side was always and still is a side issue, it is a bunch of cachers socialising in a way that is different in some way.

 

It can't be helped that some threads "Irritate" people, there are threads on there that irritate me, :) if you don't like the topic, then don't read them :)

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Uktim, you are way off the mark in regards to the commando challenge! :lol:

The CC is not a hobby!!!

A group of us last year entered a team as "Geocachers" in a social aspect. This to me was no different than a group of cachers meeting at a pub or at an event, remember the whole team were cachers.

Forget the charity side of things, it was done as a social thing, for a laugh and for a challenge.

This year it was decided to see if any other "Nutters" wanted to play. :P

Most of us in this life enjoy a challenge, to try and push the boundries and to look back and say "I did that" :) Look what I accomplished :)

The charity side was always and still is a side issue, it is a bunch of cachers socialising in a way that is different in some way.

 

It can't be helped that some threads "Irritate" people, there are threads on there that irritate me, :D if you don't like the topic, then don't read them :)

 

Irritating and on topic posts are fair enough. I perceive a line between cachers going caching and cachers doing other things.

 

To put to much focus on any one event is rather unfortunate. The problems for me would start if everyone started talking about everything that a group of UK cachers did together. I know of at least one other forum where this has taken over to such a degree that it's very very useful to be able to filter out the chat between the various social groupings. IMO this is where it becomes useful to have a seperate "social" forum that you can take or leave.

 

A line needs to be drawn somewhere, IMO this one was a "fair cop" and had nothing to do with cultural differences as so many people seem to be suggesting. Or maybe I'm more American than I'd like to think :D

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uktim I can see what you are saying.

 

There are many side issues being discussed on this thread but the basic one is that the UK should have an amended set of guidelines to work for the UK and that should be enforced by UK reviewers who understand the subtle differences.

 

I'm sorry that you feel I am speaking out of turn by saying that I am attempting to represent the UK cachers but that is a seperate issue that should be discussed elsewhere, please feel free to PM me or begin a thread either on these or the GAGB forums. This puddle is already muddy enough without another side issue being discussed. :lol:

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uktim I can see what you are saying.

 

There are many side issues being discussed on this thread but the basic one is that the UK should have an amended set of guidelines to work for the UK and that should be enforced by UK reviewers who understand the subtle differences.

 

I'm sorry that you feel I am speaking out of turn by saying that I am attempting to represent the UK cachers but that is a seperate issue that should be discussed elsewhere, please feel free to PM me or begin a thread either on these or the GAGB forums. This puddle is already muddy enough without another side issue being discussed. :)

 

My concern is more about what is being suggested than who is suggesting it.

 

As yet no-one seems to have come up with what I would regard as a subtle difference that is worthy of a UK specific guideline. I'm really struggling to understand what the issues are :lol:

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part of the issue is that for around seven years with the permission of one of the sites owners The UK Reviewers [originally Approvers] have used a relaxed application of the Commercial Guideline to allow Pubs and similar to be mentioned, this was due to complaints by respected members of the UK community and who went on to petition that person to get that relaxation. This worked without issue for those seven years. All of a sudden Groundspeak have decided that this Guideline has to be strictly enforced. There are more details to this issue, which due to the confidentiality I'm placed under by Groundspeak I am unable to discus at the moment. Some of these issues revolve around why my 2 colleagues resigned.

 

other relaxations of the guidelines as applied by the local Reviewers, and which is exactly why local Reviewers were originally appointed. Cover caches physically on or under Bridges. next to Railway lines, near to Government Buildings. The local Prohibition on caches in Dry Stone Walls [which if you check is not in the Guidelines]. These are just a few of the ways the Guidelines are applied differently not just here in the UK but other parts of the world.

 

What is being asked for is the ability to allow local Reviewers to apply the Guidelines in a way that their experience shows works for their community. Not the rigid application which is now being expected and supported only by some in the whole Geocaching community. What is not being asked for is a free for all on the way the Guidelines are applied.

 

And just in case you feel I do not have the knowledge or experience to judge how best to apply the Guidelines in a way that suits the UK Geocaching Community.And which is now being removed. I personally over the last 23 months of being a Reviewer have personally published multiple thousand caches, and have discussed issues with my former colleagues about cache submission on daily basis. Of the 28,000+ active caches in the UK, between 3 of us we've published well over 25,000 of them. And there has possibly been a handful of caches which had issues, due to decisions we've taken.

 

I believe the above demonstrates what you requested

 

As yet no-one seems to have come up with what I would regard as a subtle difference that is worthy of a UK specific guideline.

 

The application of ridged Guidelines (Rules) is not needed or desired. As has been shown, what is not allowed in one location is fine in another or even multiple other places. By allowing for regional Guidelines removes the complaint that a cacher in location A is refused a cache. This person then actively searches and finds a cache in location B which was allowed even though it is the same as the cache at A. The cacher at location A then runs back pointing out the cache at location B. What is not currently taken into account is that the cache at location B was allowed, due to the fact that it was suitable for location B as it worked for the local community. And the cacher at location A was only able to find the cache at location B due to both locations having a common language. How many caches are there that the cacher could not find due language differences? Sounds daft, well it's a actual fact!

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Looking at the last couple of pages on this thread, there are clearly some contributors who are more concerned with the semantics of picking over others postings than the reason this was started. It is going around in circles, bitching over things that are totally irrelevant to the problem.

 

Why go off on tangents about EU Data protection?

 

Who cares what Miss Jenn's Avatar is!

 

The Commando Challenge was an invitation to take part in a fund raising event, no matter how it is dressed up, but it looks to me that it was only a small element of the problem.

 

Deceangi makes a lot of sense and there is an issue over the plug being pulled on something that existed for years, namely certain latitudes in UK Cache postings.

 

Could someone, (one of the Mods or a Groundspeak lacky) please give a definitive list of the problem subjects: according to the last 5 pages it has been... Pubs and Charity Fund-raising, all on the topic of solicitation.

 

So Miss Jenn had a bad day at the office and had an apparent error of judgment in the way she handled the situation, which was the last straw for out 2 departed reviewers. About time a lot of people took some 'chill pills' and let some serious negotiations continue with GSP, the Reviewers and GAGB. The perhaps we'll get somewhere.

 

(Or else this thread will be longer than the UK Pub Quiz, but have far less credence)

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The problem subject is the negotiation and allowing of the regional specific guidelines that have existed for the last 5 plus years.

 

We are calling for Groundspeak to reverse a mistake made a couple of weeks ago that removed these.

 

Once that has been agreed then hopefully they will see the sense of just restoring the regional guidelines that have been operating and formalise it by putting them down in writing so that this does not happen again in a couple more years.

 

:P

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Why go off on tangents about EU Data protection?

 

Who cares what Miss Jenn's Avatar is!

 

I don't know why you consider it appropriate to raise issues that have already been closed but since you do and since those points are clearly aimed at me then I'll answer.

 

The data protection issue was raised because mtn-man said he was going to export personal data from GAGB to Groundspeak. mtn-man would not have been aware that such an action would be in contravention of strict UK and EU laws on data protection so I mentioned this in order to ensure that GAGB did not inadvertently find themselves in an awkward situation as this would not have been good for UK caching. You will see that the GAGB chairman echoed and confirmed my concerns and as a result mtn-man dropped the suggestion.

 

MissJenn's avatar is relevant because it is symptomatic of the "error of judgement", as you correctly describe it.

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Sorry Folks it's not fair to single out Miss Jenn and say she had a bad day. The policy was changed after what appears to have been a so called informed decision within Groundspeak. The events preceding this change of policy, the way it was made, and the fact that this change in policy has come about despite the UK Reviewers operating in the same manner with permission for years. Because we speak a common language so can be used as examples for other people to beat Groundspeak with. The fact that the reaction of my colleagues and from members of the UK Community, even from people who have disagreed about many other issues. Has come as a bit of a surprise to Groundspeak. A change in policy which despite what some would have you believe is not supported throughout the whole worldwide community, and before anyone disputes that fact I'd suggest they ask Groundspeak to confirm that. To others, even within the UK community who think this is a storm in a Tea cup. This is a major issue that affects the whole world wide Geocaching community, but only the UK community has become vocal about it in public and thats due to the fact that 2 respected members of the community felt unable to continue in the situation they had been put in.

 

And as for Miss Jenns Avatar she is holding a custom made Geocaching based Hiking Staff. So is at no time is she trying to be offensive. So please stop trying to vilify her over it.

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Sorry Folks it's not fair to single out Miss Jenn and say she had a bad day.

 

<snip>

 

And as for Miss Jenns Avatar she is holding a custom made Geocaching based Hiking Staff. So is at no time is she trying to be offensive. So please stop trying to vilify her over it.

Too bloomin' right. Miss Jenn has been active behind the scenes in trying to achieve a resolution so please do not attack her in this way. :P

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All of a sudden Groundspeak have decided that this Guideline has to be strictly enforced.

 

(I'm trying to cut through all the chat) - Isn't the most important point that we don't understand why Groundspeak suddenly changed their interpretation of this guideline?

 

Perhaps a frank explanation would be in order: if we knew what was really behind this change we might be able to direct our advice a bit more efficiently.

 

Some points to consider;

 

1) I agree with the general approach of banning all charity solicitations (direct or indirect) posted without prior permission.

 

An example: I think that this is history now so I believe it won't upset anyone, but many will remember a certain US-based Charity. Would it have been fine to allow a thread which talks about events to raise money for such an organisation? Yet there were bound to be many US cachers who would think it to be a good cause. IMO, Groundspeak are wise to keep their distance from all fundraising efforts unless it's something that they have looked into in some detail (and can be shown to directly benefit geocaching).

 

2) The "Railway line" example is a bad one, as the guidelines allow for local variation in this area.

 

3) Some people seem to think that the detailed discussion about mentioning Pubs on cache pages was somewhat at a tangent to the main discussion. I regard it as central: sometimes you can only get to the bottom of an issue by finding an example and using it as a probe to see what the problem really is. This seemed like a good example that everyone could relate to, and may have had the side effect that we'll get an exception for these cases.

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An example: I think that this is history now so I believe it won't upset anyone, but many will remember a certain US-based Charity. Would it have been fine to allow a thread which talks about events to raise money for such an organisation? Yet there were bound to be many US cachers who would think it to be a good cause. IMO, Groundspeak are wise to keep their distance from all fundraising efforts unless it's something that they have looked into in some detail (and can be shown to directly benefit geocaching).

 

Funnily enough, this example was one that came to me early this morning and made me think there is some rationale behind the decision. No-one is saying that the majority of charities are Political with a big P, but in this case there would certainly have been a set of very opposing views had it ever come up. And, as expressed previously, even "normal" charities can put peoples backs up. I did a bit of time with an animal charity but some people hated the fact that money went to that when there were people in need.

 

One man's meat is another mans poison as they say. And no, I'm not trying to divert the topic onto vegetarianism! :P

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My personal opinion is that the principal (or apparantly principal) purpose of a cache or thread in the forums should not be for a commercial, political or charitable entity. That would have still taken out the 2005 Aussie tsunami cache, I think, but allowed the UK one, for instance. I don't see why McDonald's, The Cheshire Cat pub, the NRA, Noraid, Tesco, the Moral Majority or your local satanists shouldn't be mentioned on a cache page or forum thread as long as the mention isn't the principal reason for the cache or thread, even though I personally object to several of these organisations. Some people will be offended, but I don't think there is (or should be) a right not to be offended. (Let's face it, some people are offended by current policy!)

 

Right, having solved that, I'll get straight on to ending war and famine.

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Why go off on tangents about EU Data protection?

 

Who cares what Miss Jenn's Avatar is!

 

I don't know why you consider it appropriate to raise issues that have already been closed but since you do and since those points are clearly aimed at me then I'll answer.

 

The data protection issue was raised because mtn-man said he was going to export personal data from GAGB to Groundspeak. mtn-man would not have been aware that such an action would be in contravention of strict UK and EU laws on data protection so I mentioned this in order to ensure that GAGB did not inadvertently find themselves in an awkward situation as this would not have been good for UK caching. You will see that the GAGB chairman echoed and confirmed my concerns and as a result mtn-man dropped the suggestion.

 

MissJenn's avatar is relevant because it is symptomatic of the "error of judgement", as you correctly describe it.

 

Actually, they were not aimed AT you,just examples of what I felt were distractions, but since the cap fits.... :P

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Was this a five day argument, or the full half-year? :P

 

I'm getting a clearer picture of why two reviewers and moderators who'd played their part in the Groundspeak machine for many successful years decided they weren't the right cogs any more. They were no longer the right thread (to mix metaphors for a moment), and this meant they could no longer be screwed into Groundspeak policy; perhaps because of a retrograde switch from Metric to Imperial (I hope you're enjoying the subtext). The trigger was being summarily overruled on a decision about what is and what isn't a solicitation on the forums. Well, it's Gropesqueak's forum, I guess they can do what they like with it. A more diplomatic wording of the closures might have been wise, but diplomacy isn't everyone's forte. That was the trigger. It wasn't what caused a build-up of pressure.

 

The other issue covers things like pub names. This seems a tad daft to me because arranging an event anywhere you'd be reasonably expected to have to buy food or drink is effectively a solicitation for that business. You won't get many landlords or landladies welcoming cachers who bring their own sandwiches and a thermos. Naming the pub seems small potatoes in comparison. This seems to be a classic case of missing the point to me. It's showing a lack of common sense- a phrase Brits are pretty fond of, because it covers a lot of ground. Which brings me on to:

 

A guideline is open to interpretation, and the best people to interpret it for any given population are members of that population, versed in what is appropriate and what isn't for that group. Which is why talking about a constitutional right to arm bears on US forums has been deemed ok by local moderators. It's appropriate for them. If a guideline isn't open to interpretation, it's not a guideline, it's a rule, and rules have to be universal to be fair. We're big on fair play in the UK too. I believe US citizens also think it's important. Nothing gets the average Brit's hackles up like signs of nepotism, cronyism and hyprocrocy- If a rule's a rule it needs to be clearly understandable and evenly -and transparently- applied.

 

So, where does this leave us? Looking for some compromise, I'd say. If Groundspeak wish to salvage some dignity from a situation of their making (I don't believe two well respected moderators and reviewers threw the towel in because they were mildly miffed, I think they did it because that was the only reasonable course of action they felt left open to them) they need to accept responsibility (that doesn't mean getting an unpaid representative to say sorry on their behalf) and suggest how to move forward. I call on Jeremy to make a statement before things deteriorate further.

 

In the meantime, UK cachers should be thinking of ways of presenting caches which pass review under the new regime. There's more than one way to skin a cat... :P

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I agree with all that. There is not one big issue, but several smaller ones, each of which on its own is a bit piddling in the great realm of things (and that it not to demean our former reviewers, I have said before that I appreciate the position they found themselves in). There is far too much distraction in these postings to get a clear focus.

 

It's hard to tread the line between not posting, because it's become a complete mess with sniping, etc, to thinking that you need to post to voice concerns.

Even now I get the feeling that someone somewhere will post a reply to this, not because they have anything to really contribute, but to pick some fault at my punctuation, grammar or just to contradict me for the sake of it.

 

By all means, make a valuable contribution, but lets stop the sniping... :o

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In the meantime, UK cachers should be thinking of ways of presenting caches which pass review under the new regime. There's more than one way to skin a cat... :o

 

Well it would take someone quite a long time to go through 25K caches that had had a slight text change after being published... LOL... ;):D

 

On a more serious note where is the best place to lobby Groundspeak? Is there a list of the 'top brass' ?

 

MaxKim

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Even now I get the feeling that someone somewhere will post a reply to this, not because they have anything to really contribute, but to pick some fault at my punctuation, grammar or just to contradict me for the sake of it.

What utter nonsense! No one would do that!

 

:o

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Here are my thoughts on the matter. I realise that my opinions are probably out of step with those of many people here, but I've tried to support them with reasoning. I'm afraid it goes on a bit.

 

GC.com is one of at least three worldwide cache listing sites. We have all chosen GC.com as our primary listing site, probably because it is the biggest, but maybe for other reasons. GC.com is run by Groundspeak, which is a commercial entity, and this has some implications.

 

GSP wish to protect the listings that they host from being used as free advertising space by commercial concerns. If there is to be commercial involvement GSP will wish to either benefit from or at least have the right of veto on it. I don't see that as being at all unreasonable.

 

Charities are commercial concerns; a charity is a money making enterprise just like a business. Further, many (most?) charities promote an "agenda" of one sort or another. Not every charity meets with universal approval. If the GC.com website / GSP forums is to be used to promote any given charity, then GSP quite reasonably wish to be involved in this decision, not only from the point of view of protecting their revenues but also of general PR/image control.

 

Caches that promote commercial concerns, eg by advertising or recommending them, or requiring that a cacher use their facilities to find the cache could be seen as a subversion of GC.com's listings in order to get free advertising. There are degrees of light and shade here: a cache that consists of a box stuffed with "shop at Bob's" flyers or samples of Bob's merchandise, or is hidden behind the counter at Bob's store (where you are expected to make a purchase) is clearly commercial. A cache page that states "Bob's shop nearby is a really good shop" is still commercial, but a little less so.

 

None of the above points are at all specific to the UK, and they form the basis for my conclusions below.

 

* It seems reasonable to me that GSP ask cachers to refrain from linking their charitable endeavours with caching - unless pre-authorised by GSP. This includes not using the GSP forums to organise charitable activities, or ask for donations. I don't see any problem with this, provided it's clearly published in the forum guidelines. As Mandy has shown with her calendars, it is still possible to promote a geocaching-related charity in co-operation with GSP. (My own feeling is that a link to a "JustGiving" page in a sig would do no harm, but it's within the rights of GSP as forum hosts to make the rules.) I don't see anything UK-specific in this, in fact it seems to me that it's a global matter requiring global consistency.

 

* It seems reasonable to me that GSP ask that local business recommendations are kept off cache pages. Whether these are for local pubs, cafes, petrol stations, whatever. I consider it highly unlikely that the quality of even a handful of caches would be reduced by stricly applying this restriction, so it's not at all onerous. I don't see anything UK-specific in this.

 

* I neither attend nor organise events, so I'm not well placed to draw any conclusions, but I can see that if an event is to be held in a cafe, bowling alley, pub, tea shop, bar, funfair, theme park, camp site etc then commercial conflicts are likely, and if someone wants to raise funds to cover the cost of the event by a raffle or sponsorship this too could raise issues. However, none of these issues is specific to the UK, and I presume each can be resolved by consultation with GSP.

 

* I can see no specific compelling need, nor indeed any general reason, for UK-specific policies in the area of commercial or charitable links with caches or caching activities

 

* Locally specific policies may be required in the area of criteria for acceptability of caches, eg different local legal requirements for permission, and specific local issues such as dry stone walls in the UK. These latter, I believe, we already have.

 

* GSP is a commercial concern, and entitled to raise revenue in the form of advertising/sponsorship. I personally can't see any conflict between this and the requirement that other bodies don't use GC.com listings for publicity. The argument that "GC.com is aligned with Jeep, so therefore I should be able to use GSP hosted forums/caches to advance my personal involvement with my favourite charity" just doesn't, in my opinion, hold water.

 

* GC.com has never hosted, to my knowledge, trigpoints (I could be wrong). The fact that GC.com hosts benchmark logging is not, in my opinion, an argument that GSP must necessarily also host survey markers from every or any other country in the world. Benchmarks aren't integrated with caches on GC.com (separate find count, separate search), and GSP do provide a facility for logging trigpoints (on WM.com). Further, there are at least two alternative (non GSP) services for logging trigpoints available elsewhere. Personally I think the benchmarks/ trigpoints argument is a red herring, the nature of which will probably change in V2 anyway.

 

* There are at least two other alternative international cache listing sites. Talk of building yet another, UK specific, site is - in my opinion - pie in the sky. Getting such a site up and running would be quite a task, keeping it running and ensuring 24x7 availability would be even harder.

 

That's what I think and why. All just IMO, and you obviously are free to disagree - and probably will! ;)

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On a more serious note where is the best place to lobby Groundspeak? Is there a list of the 'top brass' ?

It's Jeremy.

 

The Official list of the Top People at Groundspeak

Actually, the issue would not go to Jeremy or any of the others on the Official List. MissJenn is the person who is the Community Relations Specialist and would be the point of contact with these issues. Jeremy handles coordination of the site upgrade and the multiple web sites under Groundspeak (geocaching.com, Waymarking.com and Wherigo.com), Elias does technical infrastructure and Bryan does legal for the most part, with several other duties. The best place to make yourself heard to Groundspeak is in this forum (in this topic at this time, it is being read daily) or in the Geocaching.com Web Site Forum (specifically for web site related site request and features, etc.). Other than that, you should email the contact@geocaching email address. Those emails will be forwarded to MissJenn.

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Here are my thoughts on the matter. I realise that my opinions are probably out of step with those of many people here, but I've tried to support them with reasoning. I'm afraid it goes on a bit.

 

That's what I think and why. All just IMO, and you obviously are free to disagree - and probably will! ;)

 

I'm going to agree pretty much down the line here.

 

I know people have been upset by the change in how Groundspeak have decided to operate, and I feel sorry for those people - I have been in a similar positions as a volunteer in another field. Those people most directly affected have acted with dignity, and have kept their involvement with the hobby. I would suggest that those of us who take part in the hobby, but put far less back into it, should do the same.

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Here are my thoughts on the matter. I realise that my opinions are probably out of step with those of many people here, but I've tried to support them with reasoning. I'm afraid it goes on a bit... <snip>

 

A well written and well thought out argument and one that I fully agree with.

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Very well written and considered with lots of points I'd agree with. It's very much written from the POV of Groundspeak however! :D

 

As a regular event setter and attendee, it is crucial that information about the venue is permitted. I wouldn't see this as a conflict of interest - banner ads are present on many websites and forums, yet freedom to discuss pubs and venues is certainly not an issue. It would be extremely detrimental to not be able to mention this on a cache listing. The current system works very well - UK reviewers can release pub meets. This isn't a locality issue, not entirely anyway, but more of a case of letting the reviewers use their discretion. If a pub meet was listed as "STELLA 3 for £5 AT THE RED LION" then that's different. Placing an event cache called for example, "NE Cachers Monthly Meet - June 08" and in the listing stating the time and venue is... rather useful! To state that "There's a Subway across the road that does veggie sandwiches which the pub doesn't" may be useful. But putting it in huge letters, with a Subway logo, would be wrong. Again, let the reviewers use their common sense... they're quite good at doing it you know :D The whole UK event culture could be wrecked otherwise. ;)

 

I agree with the charity thing, however it does give gc.com a mixed image when a party are told "No you can't mention it's for charity". It just seems very... uncharitable. I understand why it's done, but it doesn't come across very well tbh... more of a PR excercise :D

 

I'd very much like Trigpoints to be on the site :D Benchmarks are, Trigpoints should be too. It's black and white, really. OK, you can use other sites to log trigs, including Waymarking... but it would be more convenient to log Trigs on gc.com - regardless of whether they are on your tally or not. Both or neither please - if Trigs aren't worthy, then Benchmarks are not either. Groundspeak are striving for consistency so in this case - let's have it please :D I can provide a GPX file of all UK trigs should Groundspeak wish to proceed with this :) If we were to upload them ourselves, then it would be a task that I'd be happy to run with and subdivide into counties for people to help with - I'd take Lancashire :D

 

The main point however is let's allow some DISCRETION and allow the reviewers to DO THE RIGHT THING for every cache that they review. :):D:D

Edited by PopUpPirate
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MissJenn is the person who is the Community Relations Specialist and would be the point of contact with these issues.

 

I work in customer support, at the sharp end. One of the most important aspects of such a role, in my opinion, is approachability. It is my personal opinion that wielding a "big stick" does not present such a persona.

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MissJenn is the person who is the Community Relations Specialist and would be the point of contact with these issues.

 

I work in customer support, at the sharp end. One of the most important aspects of such a role, in my opinion, is approachability. It is my personal opinion that wielding a "big stick" does not present such a persona.

 

And all we have had form missjen..................silence came the stern reply!!! ;)

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MissJenn is the person who is the Community Relations Specialist and would be the point of contact with these issues.

 

I work in customer support, at the sharp end. One of the most important aspects of such a role, in my opinion, is approachability. It is my personal opinion that wielding a "big stick" does not present such a persona.

 

And all we have had form missjen..................silence came the stern reply!!! :D

 

Sorry Folks it's not fair to single out Miss Jenn and say she had a bad day.

 

<snip>

 

And as for Miss Jenns Avatar she is holding a custom made Geocaching based Hiking Staff. So is at no time is she trying to be offensive. So please stop trying to vilify her over it.

Too bloomin' right. Miss Jenn has been active behind the scenes in trying to achieve a resolution so please do not attack her in this way. ;)

It is a hiking stick for Pete's sake. The tag line is a joke. She carries a big "hiking" stick.

By the way, I have not been reviewing caches since 1891. That's a joke as well.

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It is a hiking stick for Pete's sake. The tag line is a joke. She carries a big "hiking" stick.

Sorry about Rutson.

 

It's the Yorkshire "no nonsense" approach to humour, as seen in any Batley club. American Lasses attempting ironic wit? Eeh... wharever next, lad?

 

(I think I can get away with this, being part-Yorkshire misen).

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Here are my thoughts on the matter. I realise that my opinions are probably out of step with those of many people here, but I've tried to support them with reasoning. I'm afraid it goes on a bit.

 

8X=8X=8X=8X=snip8X=8X=8X=8X=

 

That's what I think and why. All just IMO, and you obviously are free to disagree - and probably will! ;)

 

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you.

 

I think the larger issue here isn't about what is and isn't allowed (I happen to dislike charitable threads - I feel they make people feel uncomfortable - and anyone who knows me knows that I do my bit for charity).

 

I think this is about the powers-that-be beating our experienced, understanding moderators and approvers with a stick and asserting their power from up-above. Having read Kewfriend's fantastic piece of satire, many a true word is said in jest.

 

I don't believe that the "Customer is King" or "The Customer is Always Right". I think the customer needs to managed properly. It's about respect. Respect for the customer and the respect of the customer.

 

As we all learned as children, respect must be earned. It cannot be demanded.

 

I also happen to disagree with the remarks from earlier posts about the Australian caching forum.

 

Yes, it's great that they do their own thing, but it's also very divided (I like to think that people from North, South, East and West of the United Kingdom and Ireland, ex-pats, commonwealth countries and so on come in here and vent off together for the good of Geocaching). The Aussies live in their own states and apart from the few that live on the border, they tend to stay in the state forum. Australia has a lot less people living in it than the UK.

 

I totally disagree with the GCA (Geocaching Australia) cache placement policies. There are no rules. You want to place a cache outside the houses of parliament in an Ammo can? go for it. Want to place 200 caches in the same 2 acre park? No problem. Want to solicit business by putting a cache in it? Go right ahead.

 

I think overall, the caching guidelines are fair. But what keeps coming out here is that they are exactly that. Guidelines. Forums need moderating, yes, but if this forum starts to get petty dictators running it (and can I point out that I'm not pointing at anyone in particular - it's actually been good to see Mtn-Man, a well respected, honest person). As for caching, well I would like to think that in the UK, we have some pretty good caches. Nice walks, nice places without being stupidly hard. Although I own and have done some silly caches, I've still yet to go to a supermarket car park and find caches every 0.1 in a lamppost. That's not what I started caching for. That's pointless. Yes, it is about the numbers, but not at any cost.

 

I used to check out a really good forum which had a particularly busy DVD Forum which pointed out current bargain basement deals and where to get those hard-to-find Region 3s. Unfortunately, it's now run by a bunch of dictators, the post count has gone down considerably and you're more likely to find better bargains at MSE and HUKD (don't ask, Google). It's not about the content; it's about freedom of speech (something the Americans supposedly harbour very close to their heart).

 

Please don't take this as an Anti-American slur either. We all know that they have a World Series where only they can play, but there again, us Brits like to think that because we invented a game, we own it. There's some cachers that are becoming a bit holier-than-thou of late. I don't care if you've been doing this since 1947 with an OS map, a pencil and an apple. I still can't find 1/1s, but I enjoy looking for them and that's the way I play the game. Everyone plays the game differently: some people find it acceptable to return to the same cache time-after-time; some people like armchair virtuals; some people like spending considerably large periods of time working out puzzles.

 

I am surprised how long Ecky and Lacto put up with this carp (especially considering they're unpaid too!). Many thanks guys for all your hard work. Mr Hornet sir, you're more than welcome to move back darn sarf and start putting out some more caches around The Buzzard. To be honest, the quality of cache within the LU7 postcode has dropped remarkably since you left (well, OK, I own pretty much all of them now!)

 

Finally, my applauds go to Deceangi and his incredibly understanding family who can also hold his head up throughout this and I think that we all owe him a drink or two. I think without him, UK Geocaching would be officially dead.

 

Ooh and I have wonderfully broad shoulders so please feel free to attack, flame and/or discuss.

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Whatever is being discussed here, whatever you point of view, PLEASE stop harping on about Miss Jenn's humorous avatar. For God's sake it's a silly little picture, it's harmless, it's supposed to be fun. Whatever our disagreements she's a real person with real feelings, by all means challenge her but at the end of the day - show her some respect. ;)

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Whatever is being discussed here, whatever you point of view, PLEASE stop harping on about Miss Jenn's humorous avatar. For God's sake it's a silly little picture, it's harmless, it's supposed to be fun. Whatever our disagreements she's a real person with real feelings, by all means challenge her but at the end of the day - show her some respect. ;)

 

is your chin really that big?

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I thought we were getting somewhere with a rational discussion until a spanner was thrown in the works - thanks to Mtn-Man in particular and Miss Jenn for the hard work that I understand is going on behind the scenes :D There, that wasn't too difficult ;)

 

Can we get back on track please and consider the sensible posts 228 and 234 :D

 

Thanks.

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Well, I have read all the way through this thread and I am none the wiser

 

As I understand it we have guidelines which previously have been interpreted by local reviewers to ensure conformity with local custom, practice and law. That seems to be commonsense

 

Those guidelines are now to be interpreted globally by a US cabal that does not permit any local variation

 

I don't care for the 'this was our idea, and we decide the rules' argument. GS has been taking money from us for years to improve and run the website. I believe that gives us some say in how this sport develops, and in particular how local issues should be incorporated

 

A lot of level-headed people, whose judgement I respect, seem to share my opinion that asking for local input and then ignoring it in some crusade to impose a global policy is nonsense

 

My premium membership is due for renewal in July - if things carry on as they are (we will do what we want and don't care for your opinion and will buy you off with platituides until you get fed up and go elsewhere) it will not be renewed

 

I can waste the money on charity instead

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I don't care for the 'this was our idea, and we decide the rules' argument. GS has been taking money from us for years to improve and run the website. I believe that gives us some say in how this sport develops, and in particular how local issues should be incorporated

 

A lot of level-headed people, whose judgement I respect, seem to share my opinion that asking for local input and then ignoring it in some crusade to impose a global policy is nonsense

 

My premium membership is due for renewal in July - if things carry on as they are (we will do what we want and don't care for your opinion and will buy you off with platituides until you get fed up and go elsewhere) it will not be renewed

 

 

You didn't care to note the bit from the post before yours then...

.."hard work that I understand is going on behind the scenes.."

 

:D

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Those guidelines are now to be interpreted globally by a US cabal that does not permit any local variation

You must have just skimmed the topic. One thing I and others have noted is that pretty much all local guidelines are most certainly still in place. Bridges and rail lines are no issue in the UK. Dry stone walls are. Exactly the opposite is the case in the US. Nothing has changed with these UK guidelines. You have not been asked to change the way you write up cache pages at this time. The only thing that really changed is the closing of a couple of charity based topics in the forums. That is the main "global" aspect of things I've talked about. I've demonstrated why you have to think globally regarding that when I posted regarding various possible charities. To those who wanted to do the commando challenge, the air ambulance charity is a good one. My follow up post explains why some other global charity efforts might be offensive to UK cachers. Mandy's calendar initiative shows that if you ask for permission and if the charity cause is one that Groundspeak feels benefits cachers, it might be approved. OK, maybe the cute dog avatar helped. :D

 

"US cabal". :D Amazing what some people will say.

 

Yes, hard work continues at Signal's Ninja Cabal Empire Headquarters. :D

World domination plans continue with earnest. sekret.gif:D

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

 

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

 

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

 

...

 

Thank you, nobby.nobbs, for this letter. We have indeed made some changes in policy. These changes affect the entire globe of geocaching and thus I posted it in the Geocaching Topics forum since it affects lots of people in lots of places:

Guideline Changes & Clarifications, response to needs of evolving community

I said on May 1 that I would respond here and so I am responding here as well. In effect, the changes that I link to above mean that if you want to mention a pub casually in a cache listing without soliciting customers or generating commercial gain, it can happen. It can happen in London, and in La Paz, and in Seattle and in anywhere else.

 

It did not seem like a good idea to have rules just for one location. Rather, we made some changes that affect all locations. I trust that the worldwide relaxation of the guidelines will be agreeable to many folks here.

Has anyone actually complained that we are given more leniency or are allowed more freedom?

Yes, people have.

 

Is there any commercial reason that you feel all the countries need to conform?

Yes. We feel that some things are best done consistently. Sure: some other things can vary from place to place. Hopefully, these are addressed in the written changes.

 

About forum threads (this is a quote from the linked thread):

It is Groundspeak's desire to maintain forums for the purpose of promoting the activity of geocaching and GPS usage. As a result, we intend to limit forum discussions that promote a commercial, social, political or charitable agenda insofar as the agenda does not reasonably relate to the activity of geocaching and GPS usage. Therefore, threads or posts perceived to have been made with the intent of promoting any of the above agendas will not be permitted.

 

...

 

We wish for the main Geocaching Topics forum to remain focused on geocaching. However we are willing to provide for more latitude in the regional and/or international forums for discussing topics that geocachers would find useful or interesting as a closer-knit community.

We have been listening. We have given these issues a great deal of thought.

 

Thank you to all those who have given us feedback.

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So, if I read this correctly, and in relation to the events that (as I understand it) have affected us in the UK, the changes can be summarised down to:

  • A cache listing can mention a local business (e.g. pub or campsite) if it's not the main reason for the cache, but it cannot link to the business' website
  • A charity can be mentioned in a forum post as long as it's not the sole reason for the forum thread, and the thread is otherwise geocaching related
  • All other business/charity mentions (including web links) require permission from Groundspeak

Sound like a fair interpretation?

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Miss Jenn, I would like to thank you and Groundspeak for listening to your customers and for coming up with this change/clarification. I fully support it and I think it is to the benefit of Geocachers around the world.

 

To the UK geocaching community, I urge you to support this new initiative and I hope that we can now get back to hunting lunchboxes as normal (including having a refreshing pint or two after a nice long walk! :D )

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Miss Jenn,

 

Thank you for taking the time to get back to us on these issues.

 

It certainly looks like a fair bit of time has gone into this.

 

I hope in practice this means local reviewers/moderators will be able to use their experience and discretion.

 

Hopefully now we can move on.

 

I am sure the new guidelines will get thoroughly examined!

 

Just one thing though..............

 

Can we have Eckington and Lactodorum back to take the pressure of Deci (though I am sure your post has gone a way to doing this).

 

Cheers

 

Tony

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Those guidelines are now to be interpreted globally by a US cabal that does not permit any local variation

You must have just skimmed the topic. One thing I and others have noted is that pretty much all local guidelines are most certainly still in place. Bridges and rail lines are no issue in the UK. Dry stone walls are. Exactly the opposite is the case in the US. Nothing has changed with these UK guidelines. You have not been asked to change the way you write up cache pages at this time. The only thing that really changed is the closing of a couple of charity based topics in the forums. That is the main "global" aspect of things I've talked about. I've demonstrated why you have to think globally regarding that when I posted regarding various possible charities. To those who wanted to do the commando challenge, the air ambulance charity is a good one. My follow up post explains why some other global charity efforts might be offensive to UK cachers. Mandy's calendar initiative shows that if you ask for permission and if the charity cause is one that Groundspeak feels benefits cachers, it might be approved. OK, maybe the cute dog avatar helped. :D

 

"US cabal". :D Amazing what some people will say.

 

Yes, hard work continues at Signal's Ninja Cabal Empire Headquarters. :D

World domination plans continue with earnest. sekret.gif:D

 

Those comments do you no credit and reinforce my impression that some people have been in the hierarchy of GS for too long and are too ready to accept the party line and unwilling to accept any criticism of it

 

Railway lines and dry stone walls are just fluff - we are talking about much higher level policy and vision

 

I will read the revised policy with interest

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Hi MissJenn,

 

Many thanks to your good self and the Groundspeak management team for listening to UK cachers and acting in such a positive and supportive way.

 

I am certain that the world wide caching community will benefit and grow stronger as the result of these changes.

 

Hey you lot - brush off your caching boots - the sun is shining - let's go caching :D:D:D

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Hey you lot - brush off your caching boots - the sun is shining - let's go caching :DB):D

 

I would... but the office needs me... B):D

 

 

..... I know what you mean I am sat at the back of my ICT suite at school waiting for the Year 9's who aren't involved with the SATs to come in :DB):D

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..... I know what you mean I am sat at the back of my ICT suite at school waiting for the Year 9's who aren't involved with the SATs to come in :D:D:D

 

Public holiday here. We're celebrating the French winning WW2, de Gaulle liberating Paris single-handedly by marching down the Champs-Elysées waving his revolver, no US or British forces involved. I think I'll go and wave my Colorado at Germany and see if any caches surrender. :D

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