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Gc.com Vs. Geocachingpolicy.info

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Readers may recall an earlier thread that turned into a discussion of the Geocaching Policy website. In posts to that thread, the site was denounced by a cadre of the gc.com volunteer approvers. After the thread died, subsequent attempts to communicate with those approvers were ignored by them. In frustration, the following letter was sent certified mail to Groundspeak and received by them on 4 April 2005. The letter was signed by a member of the Geocaching Policy website, the text of which follows:

March 31, 2005

 

Mr. Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak, Inc.

<address deleted>

 

Dear Jeremy:

 

I’m writing to you personally to express my disappointment with the way you and other Groundspeak/geocaching.com representatives have publicly treated the GeocachingPolicy.info website on the forums your company sponsors. I cannot conceive of any justification for the behavior exhibited by you and your delegates. The fact that your agents are volunteers in no way mitigates the fact that they are using the forums in their official capacities within entities that you own and head. If that were not the case then they should have not used their cache reviewer accounts while libeling the policy site. You recently issued a plea for honesty in forum postings. You should encourage those who represent you to adhere to the same standard.

 

I was even more surprised and disappointed by your posts. Can you explain how voicing your displeasure with my choice of personal pronouns contributed to the discussion at hand? I read your postings as personal attacks, something that I thought was not tolerated in those forums. Coming from the owner of the company, it was even more disheartening to see, because it also implied that you approved of the manner in which your appointees were posting.

 

All I want is to understand why there is such antipathy towards the policy site from Groundspeak/geocaching.com in the first place. The site doesn’t compete with yours. It’s not a listing service. Those of us involved seek no financial gain. We don’t even claim a copyright, but we note Groundspeak’s rights. Where is the threat? It costs us time and money to do what we do there. We only want to do it better. It seems that the people who might obtain the greatest benefit from that effort are the very people who are the most vehemently opposed to and dismissive of that effort. None of us who work on the site understand why that is so, and when the question is asked, as it was asked several times by several people in that thread, it is ignored or snidely rebuffed by those same individuals. So I am asking you, as the owner of the company:  What is it about the site that you and your representatives find so offensive that you seem collectively compelled to incivility when the topic comes up?

 

If there are things that can be done to improve the site, we would all very much like to know about them. If there is something that is harming geocaching, point it out. Please don’t treat your customers in this fashion without at least the courtesy of explaining why you feel you’re entitled to do so. I have learned to expect neither courtesy nor reply from your agents; I beg you to set a better example.

 

Sincerely, and on behalf of the teams,

 

<signature deleted>

 

Some five weeks later, no reply has been received.

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Um... no disrespect, but why did you post this in the website technical forum? This forum is about how the site functions in regards to programming, hardware, and such. Not for philisophical discussion.

 

EDIT: Nevermind the last paragraph (I deteled it - dumb mistake on my part).

Edited by New England n00b

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As I understood it from the thread they reference in their letter, some geocachers who find geocachingpolicy.info to be highly useful would like to see it referenced/linked on the Resources page.

 

That is a feature to be added...if GC.com didn't have such a disdain for the site.

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As far as I could tell from looking at the older thread, there were 2 main gripes...

 

1) Domain registration that failed to give good contact information for the owner (while I own a few and don't want my home address/phone listed with them, there are ways around that other than anonymizing the registration... in my case, I have a PO box and a SkypeIn number, both pretty cheap)

 

2) Using a sock puppet account in the forum here, which was and still is wrong.

 

As far as the information on the site, if any discrepancies were brought up, the true policy could be verified against the true authorities for the areas referenced. Aside from that, I have to agree with the argument of whoever this guy is. GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) is a very well known thing to anyone who works much with computers, as the information you get out of something is only as good as the information (or lack thereof) that goes in.

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The link from the first post in this thread isn't enough? :lol:

Edited by Maeglin

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Seems pretty simple. To me, a listing on GC.com would imply an endorsement. But GC.com has no knowledge of what vetting procedure (if there's any at all) that these policy listings went through. As such, they don't want people placing caches based on those policies, then complaining when their cache is denied because it violates a rule not listed or inaccurately listed on the site.

 

I don't see how your letter changes any of that, so I'm not surprised that you didn't get a response.

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Ok, all in all this is pretty petty. i read through the post that started all this and as an outside observor it seams nothing more than a playground fight.

 

Policy Editor posting his letter to GC.com and mentioning they never responded just seems to be another "nanananan" taunt.

 

Since I know for a fact that we live in a free and protected society, I am unaware that anyones is suppose to respond to a letter send to them - well, unless it is the IRS of course. :lol: By that time your pooched! ;)

 

Just forget about it and go on with your life, stiring up this kind of petty dirt is really cheap. IMO.

 

This board has been so great since I joined. The humour is tactfull, the help outstanding, why tarnish it with this?

 

mrking

 

EDIT: Spelling

Edited by mrking

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Seems pretty simple. To me, a listing on GC.com would imply an endorsement. But GC.com has no knowledge of what vetting procedure (if there's any at all) that these policy listings went through. As such, they don't want people placing caches based on those policies, then complaining when their cache is denied because it violates a rule not listed or inaccurately listed on the site.

 

I don't see how your letter changes any of that, so I'm not surprised that you didn't get a response.

Good points Prime Suspect.

 

Since you also said the letter was signed by "A member" I also don't see why the members shouldn't be known.

 

Look at Todays Cacher as an example. I believe they are affiliated or should I say 'approved' by Geocaching. (Please correct me if I'm wrong) I think part of the reason is that Groundspeak/Geocaching knows who they are dealing with if any issues were to arrive.

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Um... no disrespect, but why did you post this in the website technical forum? This forum is about how the site functions in regards to programming, hardware, and such. Not for philisophical discussion.

 

EDIT: Nevermind the last paragraph (I deteled it - dumb mistake on my part).

I think it is a good choice to post here. Where would have them post it? The Geocaching Topic forum? That is a public forum that anyone with internet access read, this is members only forum. Why should a non-member even care what is going on between geocachingpolicy.info and geocaching.com?

 

Actually, why should any of us care about a private letter Policy Editor wrote to Groundspeak.

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Seems pretty simple. To me, a listing on GC.com would imply an endorsement. But GC.com has no knowledge of what vetting procedure (if there's any at all) that these policy listings went through. As such, they don't want people placing caches based on those policies, then complaining when their cache is denied because it violates a rule not listed or inaccurately listed on the site.

 

I don't see how your letter changes any of that, so I'm not surprised that you didn't get a response.

If you took the time to actually go tot he geocachingpolicy.info web page. You would have noticed that most of the links go to the web sites of orginization that controls the land and some even link directly to the policy on thier web site.

 

For example the Arkansas State Parks link goes to http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/things/geocache/

 

You can't be serious when you say that geocaching doesn't want geocachers to place geocaches based on these policies. These are the geocaching policies of the land owners/managers, linked directly to the land owners/managers web site.

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I'm happy the thread was started as I now am aware of geocachingpolicy.info. I emailed some updated info regarding newer regional policies in my area just now.

 

Seems like a great idea to me if the policy info is not posted on GC.com. Even if it is why not work together. The previous thread about this just seemed to degenerate into silliness.

 

I occasionally come across new caches that are placed where they probably should not have been approved. I usually inform the cache owner and leave it to them of they want to archive or move it. Usually I hear back that the cache placer was not aware of the policy. If info is available why not use it.

 

Why should the info be so coveted that it can't be made available and shared?

Edited by maleki

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Ok, all in all this is pretty petty. i read through the post that started all this and as an outside observor it seams nothing more than a playground fight.

 

Policy Editor posting his letter to GC.com and mentioning they never responded just seems to be another "nanananan" taunt.

 

Since I know for a fact that we live in a free and protected society, I am unaware that anyones is suppose to respond to a letter send to them - well, unless it is the IRS of course. :D By that time your pooched! :D

 

Just forget about it and go on with your life, stiring up this kind of petty dirt is really cheap. IMO.

 

This board has been so great since I joined. The humour is tactfull, the help outstanding, why tarnish it with this?

 

mrking

 

EDIT: Spelling

This is starting to look like that Buxley Waypoint thing all over again.

 

Ever since I've started geocaching I've never known Groundspeak to just jump in to something without looking in to it first. Then they desided if the partnership would benefit Groundspeak. This process for some of Groundspeaks partners has taken years. Groundspeak is above all a business and I'm sure they plan doing what is right for the the business.

 

Personally, I really don't see how geocachingpolicy.info can benifit the geocaching.com website. The geocaching community, Yes. The geocaching.com web site, No.

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Your sock puppet account has been banned. If you wish to discuss any topics you can do so under your own account.

 

Groundspeak has no official relationship with the web site nor the editor. I also do not have any interest in working with an unnamed entity.

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The link from the first post in this thread isn't enough? :D

Whoops, totally missed that...

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Look at Todays Cacher as an example. I believe they are affiliated or should I say 'approved' by Geocaching. (Please correct me if I'm wrong) I think part of the reason is that Groundspeak/Geocaching knows who they are dealing with if any issues were to arrive.

Perhaps "partnered with" would be the more accurate term.

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Look at Todays Cacher as an example.  I believe they are affiliated or should I say 'approved' by Geocaching.  (Please correct me if I'm wrong)  I think part of the reason is that Groundspeak/Geocaching knows who they are dealing with if any issues were to arrive.

Perhaps "partnered with" would be the more accurate term.

Thanks Doc-Dean.

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Seems pretty simple. To me, a listing on GC.com would imply an endorsement. But GC.com has no knowledge of what vetting procedure (if there's any at all) that these policy listings went through. As such, they don't want people placing caches based on those policies, then complaining when their cache is denied because it violates a rule not listed or inaccurately listed on the site.

 

I don't see how your letter changes any of that, so I'm not surprised that you didn't get a response.

I don't think linking it is even an issue anymore, but it would be nice if GC would share what they know with GCpolicyinfo to make sure the information is correct and up to date.

 

What has a lot of us confused is the open hostility shown towards GCpolicyinfo by Groundspeak and the volunteers. Its gotta be more than the sock pupped account. There are other entities that have used sock puppets here without generating that level of antipathy.

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What has a lot of us confused is the open hostility shown towards GCpolicyinfo by Groundspeak and the volunteers. Its gotta be more than the sock pupped account. There are other entities that have used sock puppets here without generating that level of antipathy.

I agree. They doth protest too loudly.

 

I would definately support a single repository of policy information rather than go to the bother of preparing a cache, the cache page, and submitting it only to have it rejected because of a policy I knew nothing about and had no where to find it.

 

A park that has a policy on geocaching may have it listed somewhere on their websites but that does not mean they all do or that it is something that is easily found.

 

That being said, I would prefer to find all this information in one place rather than having to jump around.

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Seems pretty simple. To me, a listing on GC.com would imply an endorsement. But GC.com has no knowledge of what vetting procedure (if there's any at all) that these policy listings went through. As such, they don't want people placing caches based on those policies, then complaining when their cache is denied because it violates a rule not listed or inaccurately listed on the site.

 

I don't see how your letter changes any of that, so I'm not surprised that you didn't get a response.

If you took the time to actually go tot he geocachingpolicy.info web page. You would have noticed that most of the links go to the web sites of orginization that controls the land and some even link directly to the policy on thier web site.

 

For example the Arkansas State Parks link goes to http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/things/geocache/

 

You can't be serious when you say that geocaching doesn't want geocachers to place geocaches based on these policies. These are the geocaching policies of the land owners/managers, linked directly to the land owners/managers web site.

Actually, I did take the time to view the site. Yes, some of the links were to land manager sites.

 

And there were also links to text on club websites, and personal home pages. What confirmation is there of accuracy in those cases?

 

A few links were to on-line newspaper articles (some requiring log-on passwords). A look at the newspaper articles on geocaching demonstrates how good they are at getting the facts straight. And what about when the newspaper decides to start charging a fee to access their archives, which a lot of on-line paper sites already do?

 

All of which demonstrates a basic flaw in their website - it's a collections of links, instead of information. URLs can change at the whim of a webmaster, even on land manager sites (I've seen it myself), rendering what's on GCpolicyinfo useless (unless you happen find 404 error pages informative).

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I don't think linking it is even an issue anymore, but it would be nice if GC would share what they know with GCpolicyinfo to make sure the information is correct and up to date.

 

What has a lot of us confused is the open hostility shown towards GCpolicyinfo by Groundspeak and the volunteers. Its gotta be more than the sock pupped account. There are other entities that have used sock puppets here without generating that level of antipathy.

Agreed. The "Policy Editor" account has really been nothing but courteous with the exception of having been snubbed time and again for what equates to little more than asking for help in getting up-to-date policies and asking for the same anonymity given to those cache reviewers who wish to remain anonymous.

 

Just because PA tells me his name is Dave and Jeremy uses Jeremy as a username doesn't make them any less anonymous in the long run to me as I sit here in Boston and go to events that neither of them attend. It's not like the knowledge that GC reviewers could give geocachingpolicy.info is going to destroy copyright, sink Groundspeak's business model, or even cost them much time other than an e-mail once in a blue-moon when a policy might change in their area.

 

Unfortunately, in today's definition of civility, the entry on backing down from a dumb and unnecessary arms race has been erased. Replacing it is the "party line" and "one-upsmanship"...the same stupid reasons that something like the anti-geocaching bill has arisen from in South Carolina. "If they'd only just talk to us..." and "A total ban is unnecessary and far reaching!"...sounds familiar. The same faults that the SC bill sponsors are guilty of are being perpetrated here too against Policy Editor.

 

Since GC.com and its reviewers don't need to look up policies, they don't see the need to help update a 3rd party source (one that is doing well if a county in Ohio is the only problem out of 50 states) for the rest of us to use. Considering any information given to geocachingpolicy.info fixes one of the complaints against it, it's really the information holders that are causing their own issues. That's just dirty pool, really. It's disingenuous to attack the straw man that you forced to appear. Add to that the hypocrisy of defending reviewers' rights to remain anonymous while requesting the opposite of someone else (who doesn't even want to talk with you on anything about your business other than the latest compilation of park policies). The whole thing stinks, but this looks to be another "lift carpet, move broom" procedure.

 

Finally, the fact remains that reviewers, as members of the geocaching community and not a part of GC.com or its review process, have intimate knowledge of nearby park policies. Yet, they refuse to take just a little time to send an e-mail every now and then to keep geocachingpolicy.info up-to-date for the rest of the community around them to use. This certainly weighs heavily against them as fellow geocachers in my opinion. We have always been a community that helps each other out andwhile cache reviewers do a lot, to actively withhold information that helps us all out is either selfish, stubborn, or a little bit of both. Either way, it's definitely disappointing.

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I also think that its a good idea to have a central repository for this information. Whether it is that site or not doesn't really matter to me. If they want to be it, they should go for it. They shouldn't expect GC.com to partner with them, however. Apparently, that bridge is burned.

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I think I could definitely add to the Groundspeak staff, in that my attention span is so short I would have disregarded the whole letter. Too many words, not enough straight information. I won’t comment further since I don’t even know what you’re talking about.

:D:D

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... The "Policy Editor" account has really been nothing but courteous with the exception of having been snubbed time and again for what equates to little more than asking for help in getting up-to-date policies and asking for the same anonymity given to those cache reviewers who wish to remain anonymous....

How do you know this? I am not privy to all communication that goes in and out of Groundspeak, so I don't know the back story here. I remember the old thread, and I thought 'Policy Editor' was a little presumptuous and rude, but that's just my opinion.

 

There are ways that 'Policy Editor' could obtain this information without getting it from GC.com. They should try alternate avenues.

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Ok, I’ll comment anyway. It sounds like someone has taken a bunch of personal time and money and started a site that is supposed to deal with the rules and guidelines for placing a geocache. If I’m wrong, disregard the rest.

 

We don’t need another site for this. Ever play telephone? The more the policies and guidelines are passed along, the more distorted they become. There are enough rules already; I don’t need yet another hurdle to placing a cache or another self-empowered entity telling me how/what/where to do it. Has it occurred to anyone that the policies and guidelines might be slightly vague for a reason? A wilderness in one part of the country may be completely dissimilar from a wilderness in another. How will that be worded? Just play the game, leave the rest.

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Looks like we have the final word from Groundspeak on this issue.

 

Now if we could just get a final word on the Buxley's Maps. :D

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I ask the Groundspeak volunteers to enforce policies that we have made them aware of. If a park emails me with a link to a new permit policy, that same day I can have that policy put into place for caches listed on geocaching.com with a quick email to the local reviewer.

 

What I don't want is to encourage a community to go to a website to gain information and then when we say 'This park now has a permit policy. To list your cache, you must go get a permit here .' Only to have the reviewers get a bunch of grief because the other site isn't up to date.

 

So, I choose not to to have the review team follow the policies listed on another site, that way I am sure that the info they have is the most current info we have been made aware of.

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I ask the Groundspeak volunteers to enforce policies that we have made them aware of. If a park emails me with a link to a new permit policy, that same day I can have that policy put into place for caches listed on geocaching.com with a quick email to the local reviewer.

 

What I don't want is to encourage a community to go to a website to gain information and then when we say 'This park now has a permit policy. To list your cache, you must go get a permit here .' Only to have the reviewers get a bunch of grief because the other site isn't up to date.

 

So, I choose not to to have the review team follow the policies listed on another site, that way I am sure that the info they have is the most current info we have been made aware of.

Hydee:

 

I haven't placed a cache for quite some time so don't know if this is already done.

 

Could there be something that before a person places a cache that they can send a message to their local reviewer 'before' placing a cache to the get guidelines for a particular park district?

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I haven't placed a cache for quite some time so don't know if this is already done.

 

Could there be something that before a person places a cache that they can send a message to their local reviewer 'before' placing a cache to the get guidelines for a particular park district?

Eric, I get questions like that all the time. You are in my review territory and I would be delighted to help you. I hope you are thinking of placing a cache!

 

The geocaching regulations in Ohio are numerous and complex. I am advising on a new policy even as we speak. Fortunately, the local geocaching organizations do a terrific job of keeping their members up-to-date on the applicable policies. On your side of the state, you should consider joining NEOGeocachers, Central Ohio Geocachers and the newer statewide site. There is lots of good information there.

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In my experience, very few cachers even read the guidelines let alone look for any park policies. Expecting them to email a reviewer first is a pipe dream.

 

However the "contact us" link is on every page on the site. If anyone wants to email, its not that hard.

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I ask the Groundspeak volunteers to enforce policies that we have made them aware of. If a park emails me with a link to a new permit policy, that same day I can have that policy put into place for caches listed on geocaching.com with a quick email to the local reviewer. 

 

What I don't want is to encourage a community to go to a website to gain information and then when we say 'This park now has a permit policy. To list your cache, you must go get a permit here .' Only to have the reviewers get a bunch of grief because the other site isn't up to date. 

 

So, I choose not to to have the review team follow the policies listed on another site, that way I am sure that the info they have is the most current info we have been made aware of.

Hydee:

 

I haven't placed a cache for quite some time so don't know if this is already done.

 

Could there be something that before a person places a cache that they can send a message to their local reviewer 'before' placing a cache to the get guidelines for a particular park district?

At this time unless you know who your local reviewer is by either having a cache listed in the past or by some other involvement there isn't an *easy* way to contact them. This is something that we have discussed quite a few times in the office, but we have not come up with a great solution yet. It is something that has rarely been an issue in the past, but as the sport grows and as more policies are adopted it will become more important.

 

Until then emailing the site is the best option.

 

On another note, when a cacher seeks permission to place their cache at that time the land managers will make you aware of any listing requirements for the lands they manage. :D

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So, I choose not to to have the review team follow the policies listed on another site, that way I am sure that the info they have is the most current info we have been made aware of.

And the rest of us do without? I also get the idea from your post that you're concerned the reviewers will use geocachingpolicy.info as their lookup source instead of GC.com. That's not what's being suggested.

 

Wouldn't it be in the interest of all geocaching to have a site that anyone could look up current policy?

 

Should a land manager be required to contact every website if it wants to make them aware of a new policy decision? Because the answer to that is "No Geocaches Here". The community can use a place to check placement policies (not even just for placing caches, Hemlock, but even for knowing where to argue against restrictive decisions or whatever else it wants to do with the info).

 

Right now, the only people "in the know" under your system, Hydee, are the reviewers. Keeping the rest of us in a semi-aware state doesn't help you in any way and at worst causes reviewers to have to deny caches, keep redirecting individuals, or cause friction over misplaced caches.

 

Again, I point out that it shouldn't be some stipulation from Hydee or GS that has the reviewers helping keep geocachingpolicy.info current. It should be something they want to do to keep the entire community informed of current policies in effect in the geocaching world.

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On another note, when a cacher seeks permission to place their cache at that time the land managers will make you aware of any listing requirements for the lands they manage.    :D

Seems like that is the BEST way to get up-to-date policy info, instead of relying on a website that appears to me (and others) to be out of date/poorly updated.

 

I do agree such a central repository sounds like a good idea. But if someone (policy editor) decides to embark on such a journey, he should expect to have to do the research to make the site work. To purchase a domain name and then expect GC.com to do all your legwork doesnt seem very fair. If Jeremy intended for his reviewers to work to keep a policy info website up-to-date, I suspect he would just host it here.

 

...  The "Policy Editor" account has really been nothing but courteous with the exception of having been snubbed time and again for what equates to little more than asking for help in getting up-to-date policies and asking for the same anonymity given to those cache reviewers who wish to remain anonymous....

How do you know this? I am not privy to all communication that goes in and out of Groundspeak, so I don't know the back story here. I remember the old thread, and I thought 'Policy Editor' was a little presumptuous and rude, but that's just my opinion.

I agree with Sbell111. I also think the OP in this thread with the whole "us vs them" title is far from courteous.

Edited by Mopar

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So, I choose not to to have the review team follow the policies listed on another site, that way I am sure that the info they have is the most current info we have been made aware of.

And the rest of us do without? I also get the idea from your post that you're concerned the reviewers will use geocachingpolicy.info as their lookup source instead of GC.com. That's not what's being suggested.

 

Wouldn't it be in the interest of all geocaching to have a site that anyone could look up current policy?

 

Should a land manager be required to contact every website if it wants to make them aware of a new policy decision? Because the answer to that is "No Geocaches Here". The community can use a place to check placement policies (not even just for placing caches, Hemlock, but even for knowing where to argue against restrictive decisions or whatever else it wants to do with the info).

 

Right now, the only people "in the know" under your system, Hydee, are the reviewers. Keeping the rest of us in a semi-aware state doesn't help you in any way and at worst causes reviewers to have to deny caches, keep redirecting individuals, or cause friction over misplaced caches.

 

Again, I point out that it shouldn't be some stipulation from Hydee or GS that has the reviewers helping keep geocachingpolicy.info current. It should be something they want to do to keep the entire community informed of current policies in effect in the geocaching world.

No one does without the information because...

 

When a cacher seeks permission to place their cache at that time the land managers will make you aware of any listing requirements for the lands they manage.

 

The only info that the gc.com reviewers are "in the know" about are the policies that we apply to caches listed on our site. We take the responsibility to make sure they are "in the know".

 

As for a central place for listing requirements that is effective then great. Rarely, if at all, will you find that the only people "in the know" are those that volunteer for geocaching.com. Actually in many cases they use the state organizations to keep them updated on their information.

 

To keep a central place updated only takes one volunteer from each state to take on the responsibility to seek out the information and communicate. There are lots of cachers in each state, start seeking out volunteers.

 

My personal opinion is I think it is rather lazy and selfish of some cachers to think that those who already volunteer lots of time should be expected to put in more. If you want to see something work then take the initiative to make it work.

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I also think that its a good idea to have a central repository for this information. ...

I changed my mind.

 

I don't really see the need for this after all. Many (most?) areas have local organizations that already handle this service. Since caches are placed locally rather than globally, I don't see the need for a master site.

 

If anyone has a question about policies in specific areas, he/she can inquire of the local org, an experienced local, or their reviewer. I guess they could also ask the land manager if it was affecting their sleep that much, huh?

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Of course all of this from people who's business model is based on the fact that people give them information that they then serve up to other people.

 

Amazing.

 

:D

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By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location.

You're supposed to be asking permission anyways. It shouldn't be our business to tell you about local policy. The land manager or ranger that you ask, will tell you about the policy :D It's just our job to make sure that policy is followed.

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Of course all of this from people who's business model is based on the fact that people give them information that they then serve up to other people.

 

Amazing.

 

:D

Not amazing, but your observation is right on the money. Policy Editor's posts would be the same as Jeremy going over to navicache or terracaching and complaining that those sites wont send him cache listings. If Policy Editor wants info for his website, he should go get it, not come here and bitch that Jeremy isn't giving it to him.

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If Policy Editor wants info for his website, he should go get it, not come here and bitch that Jeremy isn't giving it to him.

I don't have any info to give, actually. Local orgs have all the info.

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Not amazing, but your observation is right on the money. Policy Editor's posts would be the same as Jeremy going over to navicache or terracaching and complaining that those sites wont send him cache listings. If Policy Editor wants info for his website, he should go get it, not come here and bitch that Jeremy isn't giving it to him.

Not even close.

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Not even close.

Your post was too vague maybe?

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Not amazing, but your observation is right on the money. Policy Editor's posts would be the same as Jeremy going over to navicache or terracaching and complaining that those sites wont send him cache listings. If Policy Editor wants info for his website, he should go get it, not come here and bitch that Jeremy isn't giving it to him.

Not even close.

No???

 

Hmmm.... wonder who posted this; and on what website?

As we were building the site, we were able to find a number of policies on our own, but it has become more difficult for any of us to devote adequate time to that task.

 

We would like nothing better than to have the cache reviewers' policy information so that we could post it on our site. We happily receive all additions and corrections from any source. We strive to have the site reflect them as quickly as possible, though sometimes life interferes.

Edited by Mopar

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Not amazing, but your observation is right on the money. Policy Editor's posts would be the same as Jeremy going over to navicache or terracaching and complaining that those sites wont send him cache listings. If Policy Editor wants info for his website, he should go get it, not come here and bitch that Jeremy isn't giving it to him.

Not even close.

No???

 

Hmmm.... wonder who posted this; and on what website?

As we were building the site, we were able to find a number of policies on our own, but it has become more difficult for any of us to devote adequate time to that task.

 

We would like nothing better than to have the cache reviewers' policy information so that we could post it on our site. We happily receive all additions and corrections from any source. We strive to have the site reflect them as quickly as possible, though sometimes life interferes.

And your point is? So what, they want to have the most up to date information and put it all together in one place. They are doing it to help the community. These people are horrible. They are looking for sources where they can.

 

I think we have all seen the deal here. It is more of the Animal Farm policy that runs this place. If you wanted to start a site like this the gates would open and you would be given all the information you wanted. If I were to start a site like this well I guess we have seen an example of what the response would be. Why do you even think they did not want their identities known? And again what does it matter. If they are gathering up useful information and give it back to the communtiy at large, who cares who the hell they are.

 

As I have said before it is something that might in some small way take away something that this site is not even doing. Well that certainly can't be allowed to happen. GC.com might loose what it thinks is its leadership role yet they won't do something to help make life for the community as a whole better. Then just post all of the information they have and be done with it. They certainly have the information because they can put their hands on it when someone hides a cache that goes against some obscure policy from some obscure local government agency.

 

Where is the shaking head smiley?

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I venture into this discussion with some trepidation...for what it's worth, my goal is not to perpetuate the we/them sentiment but to raise an issue that contributes to the friction, and which could reduce the friction if it was addressed.

 

This all started over Policy Editor's request to have a link to his site from gc.com and the lack of a response to his request. Prime Suspect offered a plausible explanation for why gc.com might not want to link to geocachingpolicy.info, but gc.com still has not responded, at least in this forum (I know it's a moot point with all the bad blood, but it didn't have to come to that). I suspect Policy Editor started this thread, and posted his letter, out of frustration with the lack of a response.

 

I had a similar experience in another Groundspeak thread in which linking from gc.com to a site was discussed. Hydee and I communicated - she was very responsive. We discussed (in PM's) several places on gc.com where a link could go. I had a very positive impression of Hydee (because of her responsiveness to my inquiries) and of gc.com.

 

Jeremy later mentioned in the public forum that he wasn't enthusiastic about the idea of a link. I PM'd Jeremy to ask why, and he replied, expressing some reservations, then referred me back to Hydee, whom he said was handling the matter.

 

I PM'd Hydee. No response. I PM'd Hydee again some weeks later. No response. :D

 

I'd accept a "no" answer, ideally with a brief explanation (whether I agree with it or not - it's your site, it's your call). I'll accept a "we're still considering it" answer. But it's frustrating (and rude) to get no response. I know that Policy Editor and I are not the only ones who've had this experience. It generates needless friction.

 

Gc.com could avoid a lot of hard feelings by simply responding to inquiries. A sentence or two would do - less time than it takes to defend gc.com in these threads!

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I haven't placed a cache for quite some time so don't know if this is already done.

 

Could there be something that before a person places a cache that they can send a message to their local reviewer 'before' placing a cache to the get guidelines for a particular park district?

Eric, I get questions like that all the time. You are in my review territory and I would be delighted to help you. I hope you are thinking of placing a cache!

 

The geocaching regulations in Ohio are numerous and complex. I am advising on a new policy even as we speak. Fortunately, the local geocaching organizations do a terrific job of keeping their members up-to-date on the applicable policies. On your side of the state, you should consider joining NEOGeocachers, Central Ohio Geocachers and the newer statewide site. There is lots of good information there.

Keystone:

 

I wasn't really asking for myself. I'm thinking for people in general. Most new players that want to place caches won't probably even know about their local groups.

 

I'm thinking of some kind of button or something when a cache is placed that is an 'option'. (Not mandatory) that says something like. "New to placing a cache? We recommend you contact your local reviewer first to see if the location you want to place a cache has any local policies"

 

Not exact wording but I think you get the idea.

 

(By the way, as you are aware we are already pretty cache flooded in this area, which is a good thing by the way!) :D

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It would be quite helpful to most cachers to be made aware of local policies. Not all use the forums, not all are active in local groups, etc. Some a true newbies and not even aware these options exist as I have often found. My experiences seem to be that most caches are hidden with no ones permission anyway. Perhaps your experiences are different. I'm sure permissions are not obtained for the seemingly thousands of lampost micros in shopping center parking lots but thats fodder for another thread.

 

If a cacher from lets just say Illinois, submitted a new cache, why not just 'drag' him/her thru a link that has ALL the known policies in Illinois that GC has been officially made aware of. A simple click of the mouse to acknowledge that they have read and are aware of these policies and their newly placed cache violates none of them would also protect GC.com from grief if the cacher was trying to bypass the policies.

 

When a new geocaching policy was recently started in a nearby county almost none of the cachers there were aware of it. I happened to notice Hydees post in the forums and went out to find affected caches that I had not found and noted the policy in my logs. Many of the cachers that had caches placed in the county FP's had their caches confiscated before they became aware of it. Some became awre of it only because I mentioned it in my log.

 

Another newbie cacher placed a cache inside a new state park area unaware of the parks policy. As a new area it slipped thru the approval process. If the cacher had been made aware of the policy the mistake might not have occured. The process of 'schooling' us does not seem that drastic.

 

I still don't get the 'policy' of keeping the policies private.

 

Just me...

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Some local orgs have the info, some pretty much exist to arrange beer and pizza evenings. Where local orgs take an active interest they most likely have the best information. Where they don't that leaves you with a policy site. Since only one exists and they have spent their own time and money to keep the site up and they are smart enough to recognize they need help to keep up with it and have asked for that help, I can only give a thumbs up to their efforts.

 

It's been pointed out "when you want to place a cache when you ask the land manager they will tell you their policy." That's partly true. It's easier to look up and see who has policies in advance then scout around. It's also not always easy to figure out who to ask plus when you do you may not get the right answer. Case in point. Boise Parks allow geocaches and do not regulate them, nor do they charge a fee. I asked them a question once and it got referred around until it hit their event coordinator who saw geocaching as an event and explained reservations and fee's. They sent me a form so I could RSVP with my total party #. It’s a right hand left hand thing. A policy site can point the way to the right person.

 

The comparison between Jeremy asking other sites for cache listings and geocachingpolicyinfo asking for help to keep their information current is apples and oranges. Geoachingpolicyinfo serves the community in the same general way that a local organization does. By being a resource that the community can use. They don't make regulations and I'll lay odds they would rather see geocaching self regulating so their site didn't need to exist.

 

The entire Policy Editor account issue is a smoke screen. Everyone knew it’s the people behind the Geocachingpolicyinfo the same way Today’s Cacher is behind Todays Cacher and Terragrafix is behind Easy GPS, etc. There was a precedent, evidently emulating those who came before and did the same thing was a wrong decision. If you need to work with them on a specific issue and it’s important to know who the heck you are talking to odds are you would of long ago exchanged phone numbers.

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I remember when there were no “dummies” books, no extra sites to tell me how to hide or find a cache, no superior cachers, and no local organizations. Funny, I made it through just fine. (Well, except for when a certain local approver was almost arrested looking for one of my better caches, but that was his fault for the method he was using, not due to the great cache he was looking for.)

 

There’s too much hand wringing and too much laziness. All the information is there, find it. To date I have yet to read the actual guidelines or rules about hiding a cache.

Edited by Criminal

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Actually, I did take the time to view the site. Yes, some of the links were to land manager sites.

 

And there were also links to text on club websites, and personal home pages. What confirmation is there of accuracy in those cases?

 

A few links were to on-line newspaper articles (some requiring log-on passwords). A look at the newspaper articles on geocaching demonstrates how good they are at getting the facts straight. And what about when the newspaper decides to start charging a fee to access their archives, which a lot of on-line paper sites already do?

 

All of which demonstrates a basic flaw in their website - it's a collections of links, instead of information. URLs can change at the whim of a webmaster, even on land manager sites (I've seen it myself), rendering what's on GCpolicyinfo useless (unless you happen find 404 error pages informative).

Welcome to the World Wide Web!

 

Yes, links are going to change. And information goes stale after a while. Does that mean that no one should ever link to another page on the WWW? Of course it doesn't.

 

Are you really concerned that someone would mistake a news article for actual policy? I'm not. News articles serve a purpose too.

 

The geocachingpolicy website can be a decent place to start if you don't know where to begin looking. I like the fact that there are links, so I go see the policy info myself. Even if the link goes bad (404) there is still enough information there to at least being a search of your own. Just because the page doesn't exist any more doesn't mean the website is gone or the policy info has been removed. Usually it has just been moved and updated. If geocachingpolic listed the policies on there website the policy information would be so out of date it would be useless.

 

As with any website that links to others on the WWW the webmasters need to keep the pages current. The fact that the webmaster was using a sock puppet accound and refuses to share info with Groundspeak concerns me. What concerns me is not the quality of the links on the geocachingpolicy website, but the fact that the webmaster might become board with the site or deside that it is just isn't worth his time to keep it current.

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