Thanks Thanks:  0
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 113

Thread: What we are attempting to do.

  1. #1
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    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.



    At the outset I would stress that while I am a member of the Geocaching Association of Great Britain this post is entirely off my own back.



    As I understand the current situation a decision has been made by yourself and others that the United Kingdom has been less strict with it's reviewing and forum moderation than you would normally expect on one of the many American forums. As such they were told to become much more stringent and follow the guidelines with less lee way. They have then resigned due to that and other related actions .



    I do understand your thoughts that it is better for everyone to be operating under the exact same rules but I don't think that it really needs to happen. Has anyone actually complained that we are given more leniency or are allowed more freedom? Is there any commercial reason that you feel all the countries need to conform? (totally understandable if so)

    The thing is that both Australia and the Netherlands, to the best of my knowledge, have a certain level of freedom to act within their own set of guidelines while still remaining under the umbrella of groundspeak. Could you please explain why this could not be done for us?



    The question over recommending public houses I believe has been put to you but I will reitterate. The Public house holds a unique place for the british people as I hope you found out on your recent trip to an event that under the present rules would not be allowed unless I an incorrect?

    They are places where families go before and after walks/ caches etc. and form an integral part of the British culture. I do not think the same applies to similar establishments in the USA. But like any establishment some are more friendly towards families and weary travellers than others. I am aware that a large number of cachers welcome information as to whether a local public house falls into the nice category or not when travelling a long distance to go caching. So while in the strictest sense that does fall foul of the commercial guideline it is welcomed to the UK cachers.

    The counter argument is that once one is allowed there will be a flood of "go to this shop or this resturant" but that is where flexibility comes into play. I can say with certainty that when a UK reviewer makes a ruling it has been accepted by the UK cacher population as they have shown consistancy and fairness in their application of the guidelines.



    The sum of this argument is that some negotiation should be allowed to solve this current discord. It is my belief that if the UK reviewers and moderators were allowed to continue with their fair and firm interpretation of the guidelines with the UK holding a slightly detached position. We have seperate laws along an often common theme. We have a similar culture. But we do not always totally agree with how we each do things, surely some level of uniqueness and originality should be welcomed not suppressed?




    At the moment there is a great deal of resentment being directly towards GC.com by a normally calm happy group of people. You have to remember that before all this occured it was very rare that there was anything on our forums that required any moderation. They are a very calm and relaxed affair usually.



    I would greatly appreciate it if you could consider my points and see if you could show the British community that you are able to reconsider a mistake and rectify it before lasting damage is done to the trust that has built up over the relatively few years that our hobby has existed. I do not think that the hobby would suffer in fact diversity would strengthen it. Your UK customer base needs some reassurance and flexibility not a strict rule.



    Thank you for your time."

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    S. E. Wales
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    A polite and reasonable letter, in my opinion. Let's see what happens

    Lucilla

  3. #3
    The Molinnis Crew Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by Mrs Blorenge@Apr 29 2008, 09:01 PM
    A polite and reasonable letter, in my opinion. Let's see what happens

    Lucilla

    Agree with Mrs B, well put and thought out.

  4. #4
    The Wilkerson Family Guest

    Default

    Very well put. It will be interesting to see when and if there is a reply.

    Richard

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    194

    Default

    Well put Matt, and if you get a result my (our) actions will not have been in vane.

    Dave

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    5,520

    Default

    Yes, very well put indeed, Matt, and I hope you get a result...!
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Staffordshire Moorlands
    Posts
    47

    Default

    I agree with the others, The email was clear and without emotion so in the very least is due a polite and decent reply.
    Well done

  8. #8
    molfrew-mosstoad Guest

    Default

    Very well put mate, heres hoping for a result

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Cambridge
    Posts
    572

    Default

    Nicely put - lets see if you get a reply.
    Happy Caching

    Gazooks

    - Setting a good example for children takes all the fun out of middle age.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    North Wales
    Posts
    676

    Default

    Please be patient whilst waiting for a reply Jeremy is a very busy man and is not always in the office. There might be a possibility that he's on a business trip and if so he won't see the letter until his return.
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  11. #11
    [MF]taz Guest

    Default

    There might be a possibility that he's on a business trip
    Is that code for "He may be busy geocaching" ?? :socool:

  12. #12
    moote01 Guest

    Default

    Very well written Matt :socool:

  13. #13
    sTeamTraen Guest

    Default

    Warning: this is a very long post! I've attempted to structure it a bit, but it may appear to ramble a little. Sorry for that.

    Most of the people reading this will have seen my posts in the UK forum on geocaching.com. Some of you also know that I'm one of the reviewers for France. I hope that my not being a current UK resident (I left the UK some years ago) will not disqualify me from contributing. I hope, also, that the people who I know from the UK Geochat will understand those points where I take a different view from them. This post is being made entirely at my own initiative and it is not a "plant" for Groundspeak; it certainly doesn't represent the views of anyone but myself.

    As Greg (mtn-man) suggested in the geocaching.com forum, I don't know if you will get a reply from Groundspeak, but if you do, it quite likely won't be from Jeremy, but from Bryan, aka Rothstafari. Groundspeak is not a huge multinational, but it does run like any other company, with internal communication channels and all their associated issues, and Bryan is the person in charge of this sort of thing. He also has a rather more diplomatic style than Jeremy (older hands who remember some of Jeremy's posts when he was more active in the forums will know what I'm talking about).

    Having talked to people in Groundspeak over the past few days, and knowing quite a few of them personally ("In Real Life"), here's one thing I can tell you for sure: they are very upset - as in "personally cut up about it" - about the loss of Lactodorum and Eckington. Their communication style may not always reflect it (how do you really convey "upset" in a mail?), but that's the truth. The lackeys are good people and they view the volunteers as not far short of family. Like any family, things get said, things get regretted, sometimes things take a long time to heal. But this is not some kind of autocratic, jackbooted regime; nor are there people in sharp suits and braces pacing up and down and shouting "f*** 'em". (The tone of the debate over the past week could have benefited from a wider acceptance of this.) Neither is Groundspeak on some kind of a mission to silence criticism. I challenge you to find another commercial organisation in the world which allows as much criticism of itself on its own Web site, provided it's done openly and in a civilised tone. (Calling people "Nazis" does not meet that criterion; nor does using sock puppets. Those are the only things for which people had their posting rights suspended, AFAIK. Incidentally, at least one target of the "Nazis" comment is Jewish.)

    Nobody at Groundspeak imagines that they are going to become millionaires in short order; in fact it's hard to see how the founders could sell out, because the database has very little value other than for geocaching. Compared to other Web services, geocaching.com collects almost no information about you. This is a Good Thing™ from our point of view and something which is widely underestimated. Groundspeak has always been more about a bunch of guys doing their own thing - with all the pluses and minuses which that entails - than making a load of money. (After nearly eight years of this game, Jeremy's office is about 13 feet square.)

    Back to the issue which brought us here: the fundamental problem from Groundspeak's point of view is the same as for any other company whose business model is built around user-generated content, namely, where to draw the line. Let's face it, everyone would like things, in Burger King's phrase, "your way", but Burger King won't give you foie gras on your Whopper or let you lie on the floor to eat it. And even YouTube has standards sometimes, it seems.

    Here's an example: in any given month you can be sure that American military personnel will submit for review, caches with some or all of the following themes:
    - "Support our troops in their fight against evil Muslim terrorists"
    - "Support our troops in their fight to protect our country"
    - "Support our brave troops in Iraq"
    - "Support our troops"

    After much discussion among the volunteer community, it has been decided that every single one of those is off-limits, not least because the easiest place to draw a line is through the point marked "zero". This gets Jeremy some very, very nasty hate mail. It gets the poor support people at Groundspeak some very unpleasant phone calls. So this company, which many people in Europe like to imagine as some kind of evil American multinational, regularly gets called unpatriotic, and worse, by Americans. (Incidentally, Jeremy is a former serving member of the US Air Force.)

    Similarly, you can't have a cache which invites people to something as inoffensive as giving blood or looking for a missing child. This is not because Groundspeak are Jehovah's witnesses or child murderers. It comes down to a very simple philosophy: the site is about geocaching. Nothing else. Any advertising or promotions should be paid-for and should help support the site. It's probably a stronger philosophy for being simple, but of course it has to work in the real world. The question is whether anything less simple would give fewer problems.

    One of the strong points of the UK caching community, unlike many in the US and some in Europe, is that historically there has not too much paranoid searching for minor inconsistencies among listings ("you wouldn't publish my cache because of XYZ guideline problem, but here's one which you published last week which in my opinion is ten times worse", optionally followed by "therefore you are oppressing me"). Undoubtedly this has to do with the stable and consistent reviewing style over the years, plus perhaps a pragmatic aspect to the national character.

    However, when you don't have a problem, it can sometimes be difficult to understand when other people have it. (For example: as an English person, who didn't find out what a Catholic was until about the age of 14, it took me a very long time to begin to understand what the whole Celtic v Rangers thing was about.) Well, it turns out that Groundspeak has to handle a substantial number of calls and e-mails from people in many countries and states who consider that they have been personally wronged by decisions made by volunteers.

    There is also the specific local "problem" of the common language which means that, when American cachers are looking for examples of inconsistency with which to beat up Groundspeak, they will scour the forums and the cache titles and listings, and they are far more likely to come up with something if it's written in English. Had the UK forums and caches all been written in German, maybe none of this would have been noticed. Still, the world is as it is, and at least UK cachers can understand pretty much every word that's on the site (occasional discussions about "color" and "-ized" notwithstanding); the absence of multilingual versions is a huge issue for other countries.

    As I mentioned in a public forum post, there is no realistic alternative to the volunteer system. Given the peanuts (zero) that Groundspeak pays the volunteers, I think they get some pretty good people, but as anyone who has ever tried to organise volunteer labour in any sphere knows, there's only so much you can ask of them. Groundspeak got a pretty tough reminder of that last week, and you can be sure that they will learn from it. But any compromises which are made, will have to take into account the trade-off at the other end. You will already have seen one or two posts from people saying "what's the big deal with finding the pub, round here we have to do it from coordinates" and the last thing Groundspeak will want is to have dozens of US volunteers complaining that everyone wants an exception for the Historic Roadside Inns of Massachusetts or whatever.

    (By the way, as quite a lot of people seem not to know, the commercial guideline is not, in fact, a blanket ban. It basically states that if you want to mention the name of a business, your reviewer will refer you to Groundspeak. This is, among other reasons, to save the reviewers from flak; if the business name is denied, they can say it wasn't them who denied it. In fact the whole review system is set up so that, if the cacher wishes, pretty well every decision can be confirmed by Groundspeak. If you've never had experience of that, it's because you've had reviewers with good communication skills.)

    I personally think that consistency is something which you can only maintain so far. The solution which I instinctively prefer is some form of regional (or national) guidelines, to be established in conjunction with local/national associations. But there's probably well over a hundred associations worldwide. Some countries or states have more than one, and they don't always agree on very much. How much time will it cost to set up something which is fair for everyone? How many disappointed associations will withdraw their cooperation because they didn't, say, get the 0.1 mile proximity limit reduced in their very densely populated area? What will the consequences of allowing regional guidelines be in three years time? They will probably be minimal from our end, but Groundspeak will feel the full effect, and it's their mortgage payments, rather than ours, which depend on it.

    There may be a clue to a way forward in this Seattle area newspaper article
    "That was the biggest surprise," said Irish. "People actually wanting to get together and talk about their experiences, and these organizations that have been created around geocaching."
    Jeremy knows a lot about GPS technology, and the Web, and running a tech company, and even, yes, geocaching. But I suspect that he may have underestimated how damn important it is to many people. It is to me - I can honestly say it has literally changed my life - and I'm pretty sure it is to Peter, Dave, and Dave, and everyone else who's made it this far through this post. The tone of the posts in the last week has reminded me at times of the anger - which I've witnessed first hand - of people faced with a sudden bereavement, and I don't doubt the sincerity with which that was expressed.

    I think there is a strong case for emphasising the social side of the game, whether it's by allowing a degree of off-topic threads in the forums or Happy Humphrey's suggestion of allowing the cache placer to include a recommended pit-stop place. But ultimately it's Groundspeak's call as to if, and/or how, they try to do that.

    Nick aka sTeamTraen aka riviouveur

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brighton
    Posts
    71

    Default

    Originally posted by sTeamTraen@Apr 30 2008, 06:24 PM
    Warning: this is a very long post! I've attempted to structure it a bit, but it may appear to ramble a little. Sorry for that.
    At last, a sensible, measured response to put the other side of the coin!
    I have stayed out of the discussion up to now, feeling that there must be many things that the US reviewers have to put up with that we know nothing about. I certainly would not want to have to review those 'Troops' caches!

    Thank you, sTeamTraen for adding some balance.

  15. #15
    Lactodorum Guest

    Default

    Thank you Nick for your well thought out and very reasonable reply. I'm sure others will take issue with parts of it and I'll leave them to do so.

    My only point I'd like to make is that even with all the possible problems with so called "inconsistencies" you rightly mention, we had a system which worked almost (&#33 without a hiccup for around 5 years.

    It was not the UK reviewing team that changed everything over the past weeks and months, it was Groundspeak. If they are so "cut up" about it maybe the first step to rectifying the current difficult situation would be to discuss it with those closely involved. That and being prepared to listen to what is being said.

    Yes, there have been some intemperate postings recently but there have also been some positive suggestions. These need to be taken on board if things are going to improve.

    Feel free to pass on these comments if you think it would help.

    Peter

  16. #16
    davy boy Guest

    Default

    Nick An excellent post and well worth reading BUT i still think it could have been handled better by groundspeak.
    We still may have had our two long standing reviewers if it had!

    Eg locked threads by the yanks,people being banned.

    Whats the point of us having uk reviewers if the yanks keep treading on their feet, have they done it to the french side of things? As i am sure you would not have liked it!

    ps its not just about the pub/commercial thing.

  17. #17
    Malpas Wanderer Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by sTeamTraen@Apr 30 2008, 05:24 PM

    There is also the specific local "problem" of the common language which means that, when American cachers are looking for examples of inconsistency with which to beat up Groundspeak, they will scour the forums and the cache titles and listings, and they are far more likely to come up with something if it's written in English. Had the UK forums and caches all been written in German, maybe none of this would have been noticed. Still, the world is as it is, and at least UK cachers can understand pretty much every word that's on the site (occasional discussions about "color" and "-ized" notwithstanding); the absence of multilingual versions is a huge issue for other countries.

    Thank you for this very informative post.

    The efforts of the volunteers is greatly appreciated, it is also noticed and wondered however why all the most informative postings and answers are coming from the unpaid personnel.

    I've extracted the language item from your post as I wondered if this issue was just a UK thing or across all countries and intimated such in my OP raised. As yet there has been no response by countries other than UK/USA, it would have been nice to have received some feedback to see how universal a problem there might be.

    Thanks again for putting so much into your unpaid position it is appreciated.

  18. #18
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    Thanks Nick for your thoughts. They don't seem to be too dissimilar to what we actually want.

    The easiest solution is that there are a set of base guidelines that groundspeak operate with.

    Then as each area becomes large enough with enough members to form a body to represent themselves with their own reviewers then I see no reason why they cannot open negotiations to have their own variations.

    Groundspeak take great care to state that there is no precedence to be taken from the publishing of any cache so it would be the work of moments to stress that this carries moreso when the precedence is in an area that has it's own guideline variations.

    We are not asking for huge differences. We are asking that we are returned to the system that has worked without hitch for 5 years.

  19. #19
    kewfriend Guest

    Default

    A few days ago, I also quietly contacted MTN. I will not copy what I wrote or his reply here but the gist of what I said, (in far less words than sTeamTraen aka Nick :P) highlighted the culture and language issues. Our interchange was friendly.

    It is surprisingly easy to get culture wrong: an issue in one country or region is simply not an issue in another and vice versa. Something viewed as commercial in one forum is viewed as having no commercial import in another. Something political in one arena, is irrelevant in another.

    In the light of MTN's reply I can re-interate what sTeamTraen said.

    Damn it - I'll truly miss Lacto & Eck - who will I be able to take the p*ss out of - any chance of ..... ????

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    194

    Default

    Originally posted by kewfriend@Apr 30 2008, 09:41 PM

    Damn it - I'll truly miss Lacto & Eck - who will I be able to take the p*ss out of - any chance of ..... ????
    AFAIAC under the present conditions.........................forget it

    Mind you if you want to take the p*ss out of me here go ahead :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  21. #21

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    0

    Default

    I have to wonder if anyone at groundspeak is actually capable of answering a straight question. It strikes me as they just try to divert you into a debate at every given opportunity.

  22. #22

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Staffordshire Moorlands
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Originally posted by Mongoose39uk@May 1 2008, 08:22 PM
    I have to wonder if anyone at groundspeak is actually capable of answering a straight question. It strikes me as they just try to divert you into a debate at every given opportunity.
    Or they have either go no idea what to do without climbing down, or are just hoping it will quieten down and eventually return to 'normal'

  23. #23
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    I can only hope that we're not being strung along, the suspision part of me thinks that there might be one or two people who are keeping the debate going until people get bored with it. But that wouldn't be true would it... opcorn:

  24. #24

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    0

    Default

    Have kept quiet on this for a while seeing if we would get any answers.

    I don't think we will :angry:

  25. #25
    Lactodorum Guest

    Default

    This may seem strange coming from me but I would urge patience in waiting for a definitive statement from Groundspeak. You may well have seen that Miss Jenn has posted a "holding" response in the GSP forum and I believe her when she says it is being discussed at GSP HQ.

    I too wondered about the conspiracy idea that if they waited long enough it would all blow over but I genuinely believe that is wrong. The situation that led to my resignation was not a minor local spat but a more fundamental methodology of how Groundspeak allows for variation in how the game is conducted worldwide. If they are to change, it will need more than a few days discussion.

    I think we can be assured they haven't forgotten about us! h34r:

  26. #26

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    North Wales
    Posts
    676

    Default

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Deci
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  27. #27
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    Deci thanks for all the work and talking you are doing. How you are fitting time in to eat I have no idea!

    I understand that jenn is discussing this with others but it might do them good if they discuss it with some people who are UK cachers. We have had the good fortune to operate under the better interpretation of the guidelines and so might have some useful input to help GS figure out how they can improve the situation for everyone or how the status quo can be restored for us.


    It would also mean that any final decision would not look again like a decision imposed upon us but rather a workable compromise that has been negotiated.

    There more important thing being it would remove the need to take up yet more of your valuable time.


  28. #28
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    quick test message.

  29. #29

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Warfield, Berkshire
    Posts
    436

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lactodorum View Post
    The situation that led to my resignation was not a minor local spat but a more fundamental methodology of how Groundspeak allows for variation in how the game is conducted worldwide. If they are to change, it will need more than a few days discussion.
    I also consider that there are indeed fundamental issues that need to be addressed.

    First amongst these is governance. Who governs caching in the UK? I would suggest that nobody does, which is why we are where we are now.

    I think that governance and directory services are two functions that need to be kept totally separate. The fact that Groundspeak self-evidently attempts both is destructive. The fact that Dave, Peter and Dave managed to lubricate the fault line for so long is actually quite a remarkable achievement.

    The case I would like to make is that cachers in ther UK need a strong unified voice for dealing with many organisations, of which Groundspeak is but one. I would further argue that this should be GAGB. GAGB needs to come of age and take on the role of governance for caching in the UK.

    I think of all the clubs and societies of which I am a member. They all have articles of association, elected officers, committees, often regional groups, newsletters, affiliations to other bodies etc. They also have membership fees which not only demonstrates a proper commitment from those who subscribe, but also provides income to cover operating costs which in turn allows the organisation to provide a decent service level to members and act on their behalf, including lobbying.

    At the moment, GAGB has the beginings of this. Recent events demonstrate clearly that it's time to get up and organise. Here's what I mean:

    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    At the outset I would stress that while I am a member of the Geocaching Association of Great Britain this post is entirely off my own back.
    In his letter to Groundspeak, the first thing that nobbynobbs did was make it clear that he was speaking as an individual, not on behalf of GAGB. This shows clearly his tacit knowledge that GAGB currently has no teeth and denied him the high ground to tell Groundspeak (our supplier) that they are in error.

    If GAGB organises properly, assumes the role of governance for caching in the UK, then it has the right to tell Groundspeak and others what the rules are in the UK, not meekly request that they should reconsider!

    The second issue is diversity. Groundspeak has a near monopoly on caching in the UK, GAGB's web site tacitly acknowledges this by having no mention of the other directory sites. However, Groundspeak has limited the scope of caching by eliminating certain types of cache from its directory, that are still supported by other directories. GAGB should play a pivotal role in encouraging innovation and diversity in caching in the UK. This includes setting the challenge to the directory services to meet our evolving needs.

    Roderick Parks (sandvika)

  30. #30
    keehotee Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    The second issue is diversity. Groundspeak has a near monopoly on caching in the UK, GAGB's web site tacitly acknowledges this by having no mention of the other directory sites. However, Groundspeak has limited the scope of caching by eliminating certain types of cache from its directory, that are still supported by other directories. GAGB should play a pivotal role in encouraging innovation and diversity in caching in the UK. This includes setting the challenge to the directory services to meet our evolving needs.

    Roderick Parks (sandvika)
    I have to agree with you here... (much as it agrieves me to agree with anybody - lol (joke))

    This is the Geocaching Association of Great Britain, not the Groundspeak Association of Great Britain - there are other listing sites out there that never get a mention. This is mainly of their own doing through lack of promotion - just try Googling "geocaching" and see how many hits the Big Green Frog gets - but also down to us. The main criticism of them seems to be that there just aren't any caches around to find on the alternative listings - but 8 years ago there weren't any Groundspeak caches to find either....... all it's going to take is for a few more people to list on the other sites (Terracaching and Navicache) for there to be an "alternative" to go to.
    As I said on "the other forum" (when I still could), this will upset the number chasers - but if all you want to do is find caches, there's nothing to stop you using other sites. Perhaps what's really needed is an independant (of Groundspeak) statistics site (Cacher of the Month is the closest thing I can think of at the moment).......???

    p.s. No - I haven't listed on either of the alternatives - yet. But I might - even if I do keep using Groundspeak.
    Last edited by keehotee; 6th May 2008 at 11:40 AM. Reason: edited to correct typo's

  31. #31
    moote01 Guest

    Default

    sandvika,

    The problem with what you propose, is that the GAGB is not really about placing caches, but about landowner negotiation, constitutionally it was never setup for the listing of caches, and to amend that within it's constitution would pull it far away from it's initial goals.

    This would be as difficult, if not more as actually setting up a UK cache listing body. So the best approach would be start a new organisation that would deal with cache listings, and leave the GAGB to the work it specialises in.

    Moote

  32. #32

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Barnoldswick, Yorks/Lancs Border
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by keehotee View Post
    As I said on "the other forum" (when I still could), this will upset the number chasers - but if all you want to do is find caches, there's nothing to stop you using other sites. Perhaps what's really needed is an independant (of Groundspeak) statistics site (Cacher of the Month is the closest thing I can think of at the moment).......???

    p.s. No - I haven't listed on either of the alternatives - yet. But I might - even if I do keep using Groundspeak.
    What we would need is a portal to all the Geocaching sites, that would allow the user to perform location based searches, and return all the Geocaches from all the sites.
    Getting permission to use Groundspeak's data would be hard, but geocacheuk.com already has the permission......... Teasel would have to find a way to add the "other" Geocaches to the database.

    I think this is what the Australian Geocaching site pretty much does.

  33. #33
    keehotee Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moote01 View Post
    sandvika,

    The problem with what you propose, is that the GAGB is not really about placing caches, but about landowner negotiation, constitutionally it was never setup for the listing of caches, and to amend that within it's constitution would pull it far away from it's initial goals.

    This would be as difficult, if not more as actually setting up a UK cache listing body. So the best approach would be start a new organisation that would deal with cache listings, and leave the GAGB to the work it specialises in.

    Moote
    I didn't mean that anybody use the GAGB site as a listing site OR a statistics site - sorry if it came across that way. The GAGB does what it does very well - there's no need to add to their workload or constitution.

    What I had in mind was a site purely for recording finds - be they sourced from Groundspeak, Navicache, Terracaching, or even letterboxes - to appease the number chasers, but also to give people a place to log a running tally - similar to Cacher of the Month, but daily, not monthly - and not necessarily with a "leaderboard" either.
    This would not be a listing site - there are already enough of those, even if 2/3 of them are under-used - but would rely on people visiting to add their own find numbers........

  34. #34
    moote01 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by keehotee View Post
    I didn't mean that anybody use the GAGB site as a listing site OR a statistics site - sorry if it came across that way. The GAGB does what it does very well - there's no need to add to their workload or constitution.

    What I had in mind was a site purely for recording finds - be they sourced from Groundspeak, Navicache, Terracaching, or even letterboxes - to appease the number chasers, but also to give people a place to log a running tally - similar to Cacher of the Month, but daily, not monthly - and not necessarily with a "leaderboard" either.
    This would not be a listing site - there are already enough of those, even if 2/3 of them are under-used - but would rely on people visiting to add their own find numbers........
    Oh my post was not clear either, I was refering to sandvika's post who was saying that the GAGB should look at being a listing site.

  35. #35
    Alan White Guest

    Default

    I agree with everything that Roderick says, except for this bit:
    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    Who governs caching in the UK? I would suggest that nobody does, which is why we are where we are now.
    Somebody does govern caching in the UK. Groundspeak does, and that's why we are where we are now.

    As I said in discussion with Bill elsewhere, the reason why I'm not a member of GAGB is because I perceive (incorrectly, Bill has said) that GAGB is entirely focussed on discussions with landowners. I'd love to see GAGB grow into the voice of caching in the UK. To do that it must expand its horizons and market itself.

    But Groundspeak and the other listing sites don't have to listen to GAGB in respect of what is listed. GAGB can, and has, make guidelines about how caching should be done in the UK but the decision about which caches may be listed rests with the listing site. The only way out of that is to have a listing site which agrees entirely with the objectives of GAGB and agrees to list caches only in accordance with GAGBs's guidelines. This needs a symbiotic relationship, which history shows we're never going to get with Groundspeak.

  36. #36
    HoweFamily Guest

    Default

    In my understanding, Groundspeak does not govern caching within the UK, but merely governs what is listed and discussed on Geocaching.com, which is used by the majority of cachers.

    Caching I think by its very nature cannot be governed (except on private land, etc) but there are a set of adpoted guidelines formulated by those who have tried to provide the means to easily hide and seek (and log) caches, and agreed by those who wish to use the services provided.

    The problem is that in some cases now, some of the cachers no longer wish to agree to or be bound by the guidelines as rigidly applied.

  37. #37
    moote01 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HoweFamily View Post
    In my understanding, Groundspeak does not govern caching within the UK, but merely governs what is listed and discussed on Geocaching.com, which is used by the majority of cachers.
    Well that is the case, but now they wish us not to list caches that mention Public House names etc. Not very good if you are arranging an event in one.

    Quote Originally Posted by HoweFamily View Post
    Caching I think by its very nature cannot be governed (except on private land, etc) but there are a set of adpoted guidelines formulated by those who have tried to provide the means to easily hide and seek (and log) caches, and agreed by those who wish to use the services provided.
    There has to be some rules, we can't just not have them. The most basic rule is the 0.1 of a mile; but beyond this rules need to reflect local and not USA, custom and practice; things which are OK in the US might not be in the UK and vice versa.

    Quote Originally Posted by HoweFamily View Post
    The problem is that in some cases now, some of the cachers no longer wish to agree to or be bound by the guidelines as rigidly applied.
    Not entirely true; what has been said both here and on the Groundspeak forums is that the cultural differences should be reflected. Groundspeak rules are US based and don't take into account both UK lifestyle and laws.

  38. #38

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Ashbourne, Derbyshire
    Posts
    449

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moote01 View Post
    Well that is the case, but now they wish us not to list caches that mention Public House names etc. Not very good if you are arranging an event in one.
    You are allowed to mention a pub if you are having an event there just not on a regular cache page.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtn-man on geocaching.com
    UPDATE -- Groundspeak has just told me that you are still allowed to put the name of the pub and the address in your event cache pages, so cache on as you have been before!
    Full Post https://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/in...&#entry3443626
    "I Cache, therefore I am"

  39. #39
    HoweFamily Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moote01 View Post
    There has to be some rules, we can't just not have them. The most basic rule is the 0.1 of a mile; but beyond this rules need to reflect local and not USA, custom and practice; things which are OK in the US might not be in the UK and vice versa.
    You misunderstand me - I don't mean there are no rules on the websites - I mean there are no rules full stop.
    If I wanted to go out and put a container and log book somewhere and call it a cache, then provided it wasn't on private land I would be free to do this and AFAIK no-one could stop me. I could then "publish" my cache anywhere I wanted for people to find. Therefore, fundamentally, no-one actually governs caching itself - just the websites.

    Just to make it clear to everyone - I am NOT advocating this approach!!! Alan White said in his post that Geocaching.com govern caching in the UK and I'm just making the point that they do not. Obviously I acknowledge that they do hold an enormous amount of power and influence currently.

    TheWife
    HoweFamily

  40. #40

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    194

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HoweFamily View Post


    If I wanted to go out and put a container and log book somewhere and call it a cache, then provided it wasn't on private land I would be free to do this and AFAIK no-one could stop me. I could then "publish" my cache anywhere I wanted for people to find.


    TheWife
    HoweFamily
    ......and that, of course, was Howe (sorry!) it all started:

    http://geocaching.gpsgames.org/history/

  41. #41
    moote01 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by studlyone View Post
    You are allowed to mention a pub if you are having an event there just not on a regular cache page.

    Full Post https://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/in...&#entry3443626
    Looks link a classic U turn to me along with Mandy's calenders.

    Quote Originally Posted by HoweFamily View Post
    If I wanted to go out and put a container and log book somewhere and call it a cache, then provided it wasn't on private land I would be free to do this and AFAIK no-one could stop me. I could then "publish" my cache anywhere I wanted for people to find. Therefore, fundamentally, no-one actually governs caching itself - just the websites.
    You have answered this yourself, at least for England and Wales; all land in England and Wales is owned, this is what the Land Registry regulates, therefore all land is private and you would require permission from the landowner to place a cache. Unless you own that land that is! The GAGB negotiates on block with larger landowners (Councils, National Trust etc)

  42. #42
    Alan White Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HoweFamily View Post
    Alan White said in his post that Geocaching.com govern caching in the UK
    That is indeed what the words say - you have to read between them .

    What I was saying is that because Groundspeak is so powerful (not least because we allow it to be) then for all intents and purposes Groundspeak govern the hobby in every country as well as providing a listing site. The rules laid down by Groundspeak for listing on their site have become the rules by which the game is played, regardless of whether Groundspeak's rules are appropriate for every country.

  43. #43
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    And the reason that I prefaced my first comment with the fact that I was speaking personally was that I felt a thread needed to be started and I hadn't had the chance to check with the others that they agreed on my wording.

    After doing so I posted that I was talking for the GAGB.


    It might just be me but I am finding it hard to understand how we could take governance or what ever name you wish to use for all the UK caches. We already try to represent the interests of all UK cachers and have the accusation leveled at us that we never asked joe bloggs his individual opinion so we should be quiet. How exactly could we force all UK cachers to agree to be members of the GAGB when you yourself alan refused to do so.

    It would be great to actually have some muscle to force GS to do what we want answers on a postcard please.

  44. #44

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    194

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post

    It would be great to actually have some muscle to force GS to do what we want answers on a postcard please.


    ....regretfully, I suggest the answer to that could be written on something smaller than a postage stamp []

  45. #45

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Warfield, Berkshire
    Posts
    436

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moote01 View Post
    sandvika,

    The problem with what you propose, is that the GAGB is not really about placing caches, but about landowner negotiation, constitutionally it was never setup for the listing of caches, and to amend that within it's constitution would pull it far away from it's initial goals.

    This would be as difficult, if not more as actually setting up a UK cache listing body. So the best approach would be start a new organisation that would deal with cache listings, and leave the GAGB to the work it specialises in.

    Moote
    Moote, I think you missed the points I made. First, I think that governance and directory services are two functions that need to be kept totally separate. I'm proposing that GAGB assumes the role of gvernance. Therefore GAGB has absolutely nothing to do with placing caches or listing them.

    Second, I think GAGB needs to come of age and assume the role of governance for caching in the UK. Section C of the constitution is only part of what GAGB's remit should be and is weakly worded: voluntarily toothless. Landowner negotiation is just one facet of governance. Section C is self-evidently no longer fit for purpose, having no subscription (and making this an objective) is self-defeating. The rest of the constitution is organisational verbiage and essentially irrelevant to this discussion.

    I would like GAGB to be relevant and have Groundspeak et al defering to us for guidance with respect to caching in UK instead of imposing nonsensical rules without consultation. The boot should be on the other foot.

    If the GAGB Executive Committee think it's right that GAGB should limit itself to the single facet of landowner negotiation and not represent UK cachers to other relevant bodies such as directories, government etc. then let's please have this discussion quickly and reach an outcome either way. Frankly, time is now of the essence, we need to seize this moment and be decisive.

    Roderick Parks (sandvika)

  46. #46
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    If I'm reading between the lines properly is this what you suggest?

    That the GAGB decide a set of guidelines for cache placing in the UK to be listed alongside the landowner agreements.

    We then insist that all UK caches be placed in accordance with that list. The reviewers for the UK could then refer to that list and not groundspeaks?

    In principal I am in favour of that idea and I'm sure I could think of three people who would be able to make such a list between them.

    This sort of thing would need a vote by all members obviously but as we are only asking for everyone to agree to what has been running for 5+ years it shouldn't be too hard.

    Would this then be the first step to assuming governance of the UK caching? It's a good word but what else do you actually have in mind?

  47. #47
    keehotee Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    If I'm reading between the lines properly is this what you suggest?

    That the GAGB decide a set of guidelines for cache placing in the UK to be listed alongside the landowner agreements.

    We then insist that all UK caches be placed in accordance with that list. The reviewers for the UK could then refer to that list and not groundspeaks?
    So - this is to be the Groundspeak Association of Great Britain after all, then?

    Any guideline list will only work as it does now - as a voluntary agreement - because there are other listing sites out there that don't rely on review before publishing.........

    And Groundspeak does not govern all geocaching in the UK any more than the Rugby Union governs all rugby in the UK.....!!! (did ya see what I did there...)
    Last edited by keehotee; 7th May 2008 at 05:35 AM. Reason: edited to add rugby analogy - sorry RL fans

  48. #48
    sTeamTraen Guest

    Default

    If you sat down to come up with a set of cache *placement* guidelines, you'd end up with something pretty close to Groundspeak's. (I'm distinguishing "placement" from "listing" here.) In fact as far as I know the current UK placement guidelines are similar to Groundspeak's apart from the dry stone wall restriction, which the Americans would undoubtedly adopt if they had any such constructions. And I don't think you have to stay 150ft from a railway in the UK, which even the allegedly internationally-unaware lackeys know is US-only. (Incidentally, it's a trespassing issue - it's even a Federal law, I think - and nothing to do with safety. Groundspeak apparently does not care if you get hit by a train. )

    Jeremy told me once that in an ideal world, the placement guidelines would consist of four words: "All local laws apply". I would guess that minor local adjustments to the placement guidelines could be negotiable; for one thing, the problem of people from Nebraska complaining about inconsistency are greatly reduced. Make sure you avoid the "B" word ("buried"), the exact definition of which causes major hassles in some European countries, but I don't think that's a big issue for the UK.

    On the *listing* guidelines, I hope that Groundspeak will do something sensible in the reasonably near future. This might be a worldwide relaxation of some of what some people see as the more "Puritanical" items, or some form of official support for regional variations. The former will be easier to do, since the latter will require negotiation with several major countries' leading Geocaching associations simply to decide what is and isn't acceptable to all, or at least a substantial majority, and is in itself a potential can of worms - what would happen if, say, the Geocaching Association of Scotland were to be formed as a breakaway? - but it may come one day, given issues in other countries.

    Which reminds me, I never did find out what the "current exceptions" for Australia and the Netherlands were, which Matt mentioned in his original post. The reviewers for those countries haven't been able to enlighten me either. Can someone explain?

  49. #49

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Warfield, Berkshire
    Posts
    436

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    If I'm reading between the lines properly is this what you suggest?

    That the GAGB decide a set of guidelines for cache placing in the UK to be listed alongside the landowner agreements.

    We then insist that all UK caches be placed in accordance with that list. The reviewers for the UK could then refer to that list and not groundspeaks?

    In principal I am in favour of that idea and I'm sure I could think of three people who would be able to make such a list between them.

    This sort of thing would need a vote by all members obviously but as we are only asking for everyone to agree to what has been running for 5+ years it shouldn't be too hard.

    Would this then be the first step to assuming governance of the UK caching? It's a good word but what else do you actually have in mind?
    You don't need to read between my lines, just the lines themselves!

    Yes, the GAGB decides what cache placement guidelines should be for UK and what is acceptable and not acceptable in the listing.

    It takes the leadership role in persuading (or even requiring) the directories to accept and follow this as UK practice and ideally appoint reviewers to the directories to follow UK practice for UK listings. For directories that do not have a formal review process, adopt an informal approach of reviewing caches that are published and working with the cache placers to ensure they comply with the cache placement guidelines and do not bring caching into disrepute.

    This would allow Groundspeak to stop its unwelcomed spread into governance and focus on its remit as a directory.

    An important step in this direction would be to be impartial with respect to the directories. At the moment, the GAGB web site looks and feels like the geocaching.com association....Get the groundspeak logo and "recognition" off the home page (it's not an accolade, it's a less than minimum requirement of them.....); ensure that Navicache and Terracaching and any others are given exactly the same treatment on the "links" page, without passing any judgment on which sites are large/small/popular/unpopular. That's self-evident to cachers anyway and GAGB should represent the users of all the directories.

    Then play an advocacy role. In the existing situation, getting a national newspaper to cover the advertising issue GS has with respect to pubs and charities would show how out of touch they are (shame on them) whilst also drawing attention to our hobby and thereby drawing people in to it.

    Play a colaborative role. It's self evident to me that the average age of cachers is quite high. We are mostly not young hooligans, but mature people who enjoy an outdoor game responsibly. There must be synergies with The Ramblers Association. We quite possibly form a sizeable minority in the National Trust, English Heritage etc. and could be using good influences like the CITO principle to gain favour from them in the form of permissive attitude, then cultivate them to who knows where!

    At the moment, I would gather that Groundspeak would preclude us from mentioning National Trust or English Heritage as it would be promoting charity, which is counter-productive. Let's work to raise the level of the game, not reduce it to the lowest common denominator.

    Roderick (sandvika)

  50. #50
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    Some interesting points that I will make sure the other members of the committe read. Thanks.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •