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Local Societies and Publishing Rules


Malmis
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I wonder why the rules recently have been changed that you may not have a organization/society name or shortname included in the cache name, event name or in the cache description?

 

I live in Sweden, and for about 1½ year ago, i, with some fellow geocachers started a local society named "Intresseföreningen Geocaching Uppsala" (eng: The Geocaching Society of Uppsala).

We have been hosting a lot of events under our shortname GCU (Geocaching Uppsala) everytime. But now suddenly we are not allowed to do that anymore. Why?

 

Our society was started to increase the amount of geocachers, geocaches in Uppsala, Sweden.

In 1½ years, we have gone from about 350-400 geocaches in the Uppsala area, to about 950 geocaches right now.

Almost every cache that members have published have had a link to our society webpage and also a slogan like "Intresseföreningen Geocaching Uppsala, för dig som vill få ut lite mer av geocaching!"/"The Geocaching Society of Uppsala, for you to get some more out of geocaching!".

In those 1½ years, there have not been any problem at all to name our society, but now.. we can't event have a shortname or "Uppsala" and "Geocaching" in the same sentence.

 

So please, someone tell me the lack of supporting local geocaching societies?!

Edited by Malmis
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As far as I'm aware, there's been no change in our instructions re geocaching associations and groups. Links to state, national, regional and occupational geocaching groups are okay on cache pages are okay.

 

There may be something specific to this situation that makes it different.

 

Has the reviewer(s) explained? If their explanation doesn't make sense, try an email to contact@geocaching.com or take the next cache to appeals.

 

I suppose it's possible that a reviewer might suppose that the "no links to social agendas" in the commercial section applies to

geocaching associations.

3. It contains links to businesses, commercial advertisers, charities, political agendas or social agendas.

 

http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=307#commercial

 

A good deal of the information about reviewing is only available in English, and is loosely organized. A new reviewer (even a not so new reviewer) who wasn't around for such a conversation might not know.

Edited by palmetto
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As far as I'm aware, there's been no change in our instructions re geocaching associations and groups. Links to state, national, regional and occupational geocaching groups are okay on cache pages are okay.

There may be something specific to this situation that makes it different. Has the reviewer(s) explained?

If their explanation doesn't make sense, try an email to contact@geocaching.com

 

I suppose it's possible that a reviewer might suppose that the "no links to social agendas" in the commercial section applies to

geocaching associations.

3. It contains links to businesses, commercial advertisers, charities, political agendas or social agendas.

 

http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=307#commercial

 

A good deal of the information about reviewing is only available in English, and is loosely organized. A new reviewer (even a not so new reviewer) who wasn't around for such a conversation might not know.

 

The reviewers who have started to deny theese things are not new reviewers, and they added theese rules at 2012-01-29 under "marketing".

 

They added specific rules for societies:

 

Swedish:

"Geocachingföreningar

 

För geocachingföreningar gäller något mindre stränga regler kring marknadsföring. Följande undantag gäller.

- En länk till föreningens webbsida är ok.

- En mindre logga är ok, maximalt av samma storlek som stat-baren på geocaching.com (200x50 pixlar)"

 

English:

"Geocaching societies

 

For geocaching societies comes to something less strict rules on marketing. The following exceptions apply.

- A link to the association's website is ok.

- A smaller logo is ok, the maximum of the same as the state bar at geocaching.com (200x50 pixels)"

 

(google translated...)

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Not sure if this is the sticking point, but most groups I've seen have "geocachers" in the title, not "geocaching."

 

Hopefully one of the Groundspeak staff will join this discussion; if not, you should email them (contact@Groundspeak.com) and ask for clarification.

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Our group, SWAG, has an event once a month and our name is included in the cache name and in the description. In fact we have one this Saturday.

 

Interesting, maybe need to ask them again WHY they added theese rules.

 

It's always better to talk with the reviewers than to use the Forum.

IF You want an answer that is.

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So this seems related somewhat to my thread about what I can say about some commercial item I've placed in a cache.

 

For a long time there has been a no commercial/no solicitation rule about what you can put on the cache page. Originally, the intent seemed to be to prevent someone from creating a cache at their business and use the cache page as advertising. But what happens when some cacher hides a cache outside their favorite restaurant and says "After you find the cache, stop in for a burger"? With advent of viral advertising that too was see as a commercial agenda. The reviewers came up with some rules of thumb for controlling this: No mention of the business name, No suggestions about buying something, Etc.

 

Overtime some of these rules were incorporated into the guidelines. Reviewers were now faced with new issues such as whether the name of an organization could be mentioned on the cache page. All of a sudden you couldn't place a cache that mentioned the Boy Scouts or the local sports team because that would be seen as an agenda. Now it seems that Swedish reviewers are concerned with local geocaching organizations. They've gone and created some rules for mentioning them. Seems they still can be mentioned but only in a limited way.

 

There is also a no commercial guideline in the forums. It has been used not just to lock threads but to remove threads that talk about swag, software, and other games related to geocaching. Groundspeak views such discussion as advertising for the companies that produce the swag, software, or related game. Geocachers innocently wanting to know about some special swag item they found in a cache or asking why some people seem to remove the game piece of another game from caches don't get answers because their threads are locked and removed.

 

In order to protect the "spirit of geocaching" as a fun light activity free from solicitation and commercialism (other than Groundspeak commercialism) we have seen reviewers and forum moderators taking extreme action. It isn't even clear that Groundspeak's policy is that extreme, but they do seem to have have encouraged it by creating an environment where the volunteers feel they must take immediate action when a commercial name is mentioned and in generally backing the volunteers when these decisions are challenged.

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Our group, SWAG, has an event once a month and our name is included in the cache name and in the description. In fact we have one this Saturday.

 

Interesting, maybe need to ask them again WHY they added theese rules.

 

It's always better to talk with the reviewers than to use the Forum.

IF You want an answer that is.

 

We have already done that, but also interesting to see if someone from Groundspeak or other reviewers could answer here too.

And of course also see how it works in other countries than Sweden.

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As far as I'm aware, there's been no change in our instructions re geocaching associations and groups. Links to state, national, regional and occupational geocaching groups are okay on cache pages are okay.

There may be something specific to this situation that makes it different. Has the reviewer(s) explained?

If their explanation doesn't make sense, try an email to contact@geocaching.com

 

I suppose it's possible that a reviewer might suppose that the "no links to social agendas" in the commercial section applies to

geocaching associations.

3. It contains links to businesses, commercial advertisers, charities, political agendas or social agendas.

 

http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=307#commercial

 

A good deal of the information about reviewing is only available in English, and is loosely organized. A new reviewer (even a not so new reviewer) who wasn't around for such a conversation might not know.

 

 

 

The reviewers who have started to deny theese things are not new reviewers, and they added theese rules at 2012-01-29 under "marketing".

 

They added specific rules for societies:

 

Swedish:

"Geocachingföreningar

 

För geocachingföreningar gäller något mindre stränga regler kring marknadsföring. Följande undantag gäller.

- En länk till föreningens webbsida är ok.

- En mindre logga är ok, maximalt av samma storlek som stat-baren på geocaching.com (200x50 pixlar)"

 

English:

"Geocaching societies

 

For geocaching societies comes to something less strict rules on marketing. The following exceptions apply.

- A link to the association's website is ok.

- A smaller logo is ok, the maximum of the same as the state bar at geocaching.com (200x50 pixels)"

 

(google translated...)

 

So it seems that they do allow mention of local societies. Perhaps they draw the line when they feel that it is being over done and crosses the line of being an agenda.

 

e.g.

Probably OK - This cache was placed by the Futzpuzz Geocaching Society

 

Might not be OK- "This cache was placed by Europe's largest and most active geocaching organization, the Futpuzz Geocaching Society. If you'd like to join this fun organization sign up on our website at www.futzpuzz.com. Dues are cheap and we sponsor numerous fun activities.

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So it seems that they do allow mention of local societies. Perhaps they draw the line when they feel that it is being over done and crosses the line of being an agenda.

 

e.g.

Probably OK - This cache was placed by the Futzpuzz Geocaching Society

 

Might not be OK- "This cache was placed by Europe's largest and most active geocaching organization, the Futpuzz Geocaching Society. If you'd like to join this fun organization sign up on our website at www.futzpuzz.com. Dues are cheap and we sponsor numerous fun activities.

That could be a big part of it. Our group has no fees. Donation are taken to help pay for events etc. The only thing you will ever HAVE to pay is for a campsite, meal tickets, T-shirts and swag at the annual campout. That is only if you want that stuff. You can still show up and not partake of all that.
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There was a period of time where we were getting event listings denied because it contained a link to our local geocaching group and on the group's page there were links to companies that donated swag to the event.

 

We successfully managed to get that resolved. After all, if you can't even link to a site that links to a commerical site that sort of breaks the concept of the WWW.

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So it seems that they do allow mention of local societies. Perhaps they draw the line when they feel that it is being over done and crosses the line of being an agenda.

 

e.g.

Probably OK - This cache was placed by the Futzpuzz Geocaching Society

 

Might not be OK- "This cache was placed by Europe's largest and most active geocaching organization, the Futpuzz Geocaching Society. If you'd like to join this fun organization sign up on our website at www.futzpuzz.com. Dues are cheap and we sponsor numerous fun activities.

 

But why are we then denied to have a shortname for our society in the name of a event?!

We wanted to add "GCU" to the name, and we have had it before.

The only thing we were allowed to do, was adding a small picture with our logo and adding a related web page, but not in the text.

But we could still not write "Geocaching in Uppsala" in Swedish, because they envolve it with the name of our society.

 

So again, i need to ask, why be so hard to geocaching societies that work hard to get people geocaching?! I don't say that we don't take money for membership or something like that, because that we do, that's a bit of the point of our society to get a balanced economy so there will be no need to take private money to host a "big" event. But that's OT, because we don't write that in the description on our geocaches. We just want to have our logo and our name in the description and name of event/caches.

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We just want to have our logo and our name in the description and name of event/caches.

It sounds to me that your reviewer is interpreting the guidelines a little too tightly. Perhaps you should send an email to appeals <at> geocaching.com and ask a Lackey to look in to it.

+1

 

Washington State Geocaching Association (WSGA) uses our full name and our abbreviation in cache names and bylines all the time; we also have green 'join WSGA' banner we put on some event pages. Example 1 Example 2

Edited by hydnsek
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