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Thread: Why the no commercial caches guideline?

  1. #1
    Icenians Guest

    Default Why the no commercial caches guideline?

    Hi,

    I've been looking to become a member of the GAGB again and as part of that thought I'd check the guidelines to see if they've changed over the years.

    Almost all of the guidelines have a sensible and common sense reasoning behind them. Permission, wildlife, kids, etc. Why the no commercial guideline? Where is the justification behind this guideline? Surely that is down to the listing site. Some don't allow commercial whilst others do.

    Kev

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    I agree 100%

    It's a while since I looked at the GAGB guidelines and I'd forgotten that one was there. While GSP don't allow anything vaguely commercial, there's no good reason I can think of why local best practice should disallow the idea.

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    It is certainly one to consider when the guidelines are next reviewed.

    Possibly goes back to the software in caches incident?
    Last edited by Mongoose39uk; 20th October 2008 at 08:06 PM. Reason: fuddled

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hornet View Post
    I agree 100%

    It's a while since I looked at the GAGB guidelines and I'd forgotten that one was there. While GSP don't allow anything vaguely commercial, there's no good reason I can think of why local best practice should disallow the idea.
    But would it be allowed to be listted 'over there'?
    I have a Geocaching problem...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear and Ragged View Post
    But would it be allowed to be listted 'over there'?
    Probably not but there are other listing sites out there that may allow it.
    "I Cache, therefore I am"

  6. #6
    uktim Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hornet View Post
    I agree 100%

    It's a while since I looked at the GAGB guidelines and I'd forgotten that one was there. While GSP don't allow anything vaguely commercial, there's no good reason I can think of why local best practice should disallow the idea.
    Surely it's got to be a good to keep commercial caches out of the game. What do cachers stand to gain from commercial caches?

    At present the GAGB doesn't even allow commercial adverts on it's forums!

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    Quote Originally Posted by uktim View Post
    Surely it's got to be a good to keep commercial caches out of the game. What do cachers stand to gain from commercial caches?

    At present the GAGB doesn't even allow commercial adverts on it's forums!
    Some listing sites may think so, some may not. That's not the point. The GAGB guidelines promote good practice for "low impact" caching relevant to this country. GAGB isn't a listing site so doesn't have to be bound by the internal constraints imposed by any particular company.

    As for what cachers stand to gain from commercialism, you only have to look at the recent Garmin/Blacks/Millets geocoin promotion to see a generally welcomed commercial venture.

  8. #8
    uktim Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hornet View Post
    Some listing sites may think so, some may not. That's not the point. The GAGB guidelines promote good practice for "low impact" caching relevant to this country. GAGB isn't a listing site so doesn't have to be bound by the internal constraints imposed by any particular company.

    As for what cachers stand to gain from commercialism, you only have to look at the recent Garmin/Blacks/Millets geocoin promotion to see a generally welcomed commercial venture.
    Of course it was welcomed everyone likes a free gift, but is caching any better off for it

    There's no denying that we all benefit from commercial activities for much of our lives, but I find it hard to see how caching would gain from allowing commercial caches. If we consider the risks of creating the sort of intense activity that the Garmin coins caused around quiet cache sites it doesn't seem consistant with the ethos of low impact caching.

    I can think of at least two ways that I could use my own caches to increase revenue from things that I already do. The present guidelines wouldn't allow me to do so and I think that it is quite right that they prevent such activities. Caching is a hobby, if we want to profit from it we can sell cache containers, GPS units, swag, geocoins etc, please let us keep the caches themselves free from blatant commercialisation.

  9. #9
    Icenians Guest

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    The problem I have is that as I cache on Terracaching I'm a sponsor, and therefore an approver, of caches. This guideline puts me in a difficult position.

    As a GAGB member I would be agreeing to the GAGB guidelines, as an approver I can argue against dry stone walls, etc but not against commercial caches as they are not disallowed on TC. So if one of my sponsors wants to place a cache that is clearly commercial what right do I have to stop that? It becomes a personel view.

    We don't have to go to the stage of 'cache sponsored by Blacks' stage to be classed as commercial but just placing one that requires buying a drink in a pub would be commercial. This sort of thing is not discouraged on TC as the idea is to allow creativity.

    I don't see that the Commercial guideline falls within the remit of the GAGB in the same way as the others do.

    Kev

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    Premium member only caches are commercial caches.

    Very similar to the camping thread with this one
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning."

  11. #11
    uktim Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icenians View Post
    The problem I have is that as I cache on Terracaching I'm a sponsor, and therefore an approver, of caches. This guideline puts me in a difficult position.

    As a GAGB member I would be agreeing to the GAGB guidelines, as an approver I can argue against dry stone walls, etc but not against commercial caches as they are not disallowed on TC. So if one of my sponsors wants to place a cache that is clearly commercial what right do I have to stop that? It becomes a personel view.

    We don't have to go to the stage of 'cache sponsored by Blacks' stage to be classed as commercial but just placing one that requires buying a drink in a pub would be commercial. This sort of thing is not discouraged on TC as the idea is to allow creativity.

    I don't see that the Commercial guideline falls within the remit of the GAGB in the same way as the others do.

    Kev
    It's just as valid as any other guidelines that may be issued IMO. It would be a mistake to start removing guidelines merely because someone of a conflict of interest for a few indivduals. As a reviewer your primary duty is follow the rules laid down by the body you are reviewing for, it doesn't follow that any organisations you belong to have to alter their guidelines to accomodate TC reviewers any more than they should make changes to accomodate GS reviewers. Such conflicts often exist in life and it's down to each individual to deal with them rather than asking for rules or guidelines to be altered.

    As an aside "Sponsored by Blacks" would be far more acceptable than a requirement to buy a drink to complete a cache. I could insist that you had to buy a geocoin on the way back to your car in order to log our cache but it wouldn't really be fair or in the spirit of caching IMO.

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    I'm all for less rules, and always on the onus to say "Yes", or "Publish", so I wanted camping to be a free-for-all and I'd say also with sensible commercial stuff too

  13. #13
    uktim Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by PopUpPirate View Post
    I'm all for less rules, and always on the onus to say "Yes", or "Publish", so I wanted camping to be a free-for-all and I'd say also with sensible commercial stuff too
    Who defines what is sensible? No commercial caches is a simple "rule" that avoids leaving reviewers with the hard job of defining "sensible". Do we really lose much because this rule exists?

    I'm sure we only have the dry stone wall thing because it's easier than promoting common sense and good behaviour. Maybe we should remove that "rule" as well?

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    I'm always wary of rule creep, and it's easy to have no churchyard caches, no commercial caches, no caches in railway stations, no caches in bus stations, no caches in recreation grounds, no caches in parks, no caches in retail parks, no caches with risk, no caches that discriminate against the athletically challenged, no caches in farmyards, etc etc

    Far better to allow the reviewers to use that uncommon sense that they possess, rather than being bound by the book. So - who defines what is sensible? The reviewer of course. The hard job is not defining sensible - it's using discretion, which should be a prerequisite for publishing any cache. Again - with the onus on "Yes".

    The other options are drafting out a series of rules for hypothetical situations and being bogged down by buero... buero... red tape

    It's a fun activity... gc.com aren't the governing body... lets keep the rules out of it please

  15. #15
    Icenians Guest

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    Maybe I shouldn't have brought up the reviewing bit, it isn't relevant within the GAGB! GAGB isn't a listing site so has nothing to review.

    My point is that most of the GAGB guidelines are about protecting the wildlife, environment, and cachers. Commercial caching is a different thing and seems to be a preference that someone has. It doesn't fit in with the others.

    I strongly disagree with the comment that we shouldn't ask for rule changes. Just because a guideline or rule was valid once doesn't make it valid forever!

    Now, where did I put that long bow. Better get some practice in

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    Quote Originally Posted by uktim View Post
    Of course it was welcomed everyone likes a free gift, but is caching any better off for it
    Is caching any worse for it?
    Muggle - One Voice - One Vote

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    As a GC Reviewer I have to apply GC's Guidelines, additionally we apply Local Guidelines using the GAGB Guidelines as best practice for the protection of Geocaching in the UK, to avoid Landowners placing Blanket Bans.

    Which is why we refuse to publish caches in/on Church-Graveyard-Railway Property without proof of permission. Note that is not No, but simply obtain and provide proof of permission. I've recently published several caches on Church property, where the Cache Owner had obtained permission.

    As for the No commercial caches, Groundspeak have a stated policy about that, but other sites don't. As such it should be down to the GAGB membership to discus that Guideline, to see if it should be removed. As it has no affect on the future of Geocaching in the UK as regards to Landowners saying a blanket No.

    Maybe once the election have been completed either the Chairman or one of the committee members, would be interest in starting a official poll of the membership about keeping or removing the No commercial Caches Guideline. This would allow those who review on other sites to know the actual opinion of those concerned enough to vote within the UK Community.

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

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    It seems to me that there isn't really any reason to ban commercial caches in our guidelines. I can't remember why this particular guideline was introduced but I wonder if it's somehow bound up with GAGB itself being strictly non-commercial, which perhaps isn't a valid reason for that ban, as we're not a listing site.

    But if you're an approver for Terracaching, remember that it is only a guideline, and it's only "binding" if the cache in question is being placed under a blanket agreement that requires caches to meet GAGB's guidelines. Obviously we can't make you observe that guideline in that situation, but we would hope you would to avoid potentially jeopardizing the agreement.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
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    OK, here's a hypothetical - not likely to happen but possibly, just possibly could.

    Let us assume an organisation (let's call it the GAGB) creates a set of guidelines for placement of cachecs and a member of said organisation negotiates a blanket permission for the placement of caches on all a certain landowners' property.

    But the organisation has decided there shall be no ban of commercial caches in said guidelines.

    The landowner readily sees this as a good thing and says one of the prerequisites of a cache on its property shall be the advertising - on the cache page - of all its properties, including those in which it has commercial interest.

    GC.com will not publish it - terracaching and navicache might well - but asdvertising potential is drastically reduced. Landowner withdraws blanket permission.



    As I say VERY unlikely to happen, but if GAGB withdrew the commercial guideline............


    Best to leave it up to the discretion of our sterling GC.com reviewing team as to the commerciality of a cache listing. I have, somewhere on file, an email from a GSP lackey assuring me that local reviewers have absolute discretion about the commerciality of cache descriptions.... .................................................. .....................mind you - but that's another (very old) story

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icenians View Post
    The problem I have is that as I cache on Terracaching I'm a sponsor, and therefore an approver, of caches. This guideline puts me in a difficult position.

    As a GAGB member I would be agreeing to the GAGB guidelines, as an approver I can argue against dry stone walls, etc but not against commercial caches as they are not disallowed on TC. So if one of my sponsors wants to place a cache that is clearly commercial what right do I have to stop that? It becomes a personel view.

    Kev
    The GC.com reviewers use the GAGB Guidelines as 'extra' requirements that they hope cache-placers will follow before their cache gets published on GC.com. (I say "hope" because if someone puts their cache into a plastic binbag and doesnt mention it, then the reviewer won't know anything about it unless some other cacher lets them know about it.)

    I would have thought that you, as an individual, could be a member of GAGB (if you generally support their Guidelines etc) without feeling obliged to use their Guidelines when reviewing caches for Terracaching. Why should Terracaching caches need to follow all the GAGB Guidelines, if they don't feel that they are appropriate for their sort of listing site?


  21. #21
    Icenians Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Blorenge View Post
    The GC.com reviewers use the GAGB Guidelines as 'extra' requirements that they hope cache-placers will follow before their cache gets published on GC.com. (I say "hope" because if someone puts their cache into a plastic binbag and doesnt mention it, then the reviewer won't know anything about it unless some other cacher lets them know about it.)
    Funnily enough, seperate thing really, but this was EXACTLY why I was against the GAGB originally. What was a set of guidelines for it's members has now become a set of guidelines over and above those of a listing site whether you are a member or not. If I, as a non GAGB member, sign up to a listing site then I expect to cache under that listing sites guidelines not an association I'm not a member of.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Blorenge View Post
    I would have thought that you, as an individual, could be a member of GAGB (if you generally support their Guidelines etc) without feeling obliged to use their Guidelines when reviewing caches for Terracaching. Why should Terracaching caches need to follow all the GAGB Guidelines, if they don't feel that they are appropriate for their sort of listing site?

    As you say, no reason I can't follow these guidelines. It was a guideline that stuck out from the others.

    Kev

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    My opinion is that the guidelines should be cut down to a subset that is agreed to be clearly desirable for all caches of any type. If there's a debate about a guideline it probably means that it shouldn't be there.

    For instance, the guidelines shouldn't include commercial caches, where the problems are very variable and unclear.

    Examples of those that are clear include caches in viable dry stone walls, buried caches (as defined!) and in animal burrows.

    Just out of interest, as far as I know the letterboxing types don't seem to have much of a problem despite being apparently lax about guidelines, permission and the like. How do they get away with it? I know that there are many urban "letterboxes" in London (for instance) but there's no need to even think about whether the site is permissable: you just place your tupperware box where you like. (http://www.spacehijackers.co.uk/letterboxing/)

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    I'm not entirely convinced that commercial caches would be good for the game. They would almost certainly require more rules/guidelines having to be enforced, so's things didn't get out of hand.
    I had thought of putting a commercial edge on some of my caches, but decided against it, as I felt that the benefit to the community was minimal, compared to you own.

    Anyway, I can't see it happening anytime soon on any GSP listed caches, GSP have that one in the bag for themselves.

    Edit: Sorry, forgot to mention! If a commercial cache policy was adopted, I'd be happier seeing trial period (eh...say 12 months), then a revision of the policy, before anything was set in stone.
    Last edited by jacobite; 22nd October 2008 at 04:51 PM.
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  24. #24
    keehotee Guest

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    They're guidelines, not rules.
    If anybody wants to create a commercial cache, go ahead - whether you're a member of GAGB or not.


    Then get it published

  25. #25
    Icenians Guest

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    As I don't cache on GSP I wouldn't be trying to list a commercial cache there.

    For the GAGB to truely be a caching associaton rather than a GSP association it needs to look beyond GSP and he guidelines should be guidelines that are help towards sensible UK caching and not simply a personel preference by someone on the committee once upon a time.

  26. #26
    Fluffy's Revenge Guest

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    It is nonsense that GAGB guidelines exclude members from participating in caches with a commercial element.

    This is not a rule about caches that GAGB would list, it is an attempt to restrict the legitimate behaviour of members. Unsurprisingly, the members ignore it (including, as far as I can see, all of the officers), undermining the credibility of GAGB.

    I suspect that the clause may have its origins in that great misconception in the geocaching world – that geocaching.com does not accept any commercially orientated caching.

    The fact is Groundspeak are a commercial organisation, they just don’t allow anyone else to gain commercial advantage from caches listed by them. Every geocahing.com cache is promoting this commercial organisation and many members of GACB are participating even further by paying them.

    Unfortunately for geocachers, Groundspeak have become hugely dominant. Dominance in the commercial world is very damaging, the dominant player becomes unresponsive to the customers – directing them instead of maximising benefit to them; extracting increasing financial gain while deteriorating customer value.

    It may be a bit of a caricature to point out that GAGB effectively promotes this dominant commercial company while restricting the growth of competitors.

    Personally I would like to see some strong competition and recognise that the vast majority of the best things in life are provided to us by commercial mechanisms.


    Fluffy

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    The GAGB doesn't promote geocaching.com above any other geocache listing site or organisation. The rule was put in place for a specific reason in the past, this reason was not wholey applicable to geocaching.com but wa the feelings of the committee of the time and its current usefullness is being debated - to suggest that it erodes the legitimacy of the GAGB is barking mad.

    No doubt the new committee after the forthcoming elections will decide what to do with the said rule, but that's for them to deal with taking into consideration the genuine feelings that have been expressed on here.

    How exactly is it that the GAGB is restricting the growth of the geocaching.coms competitors?
    Last edited by studlyone; 25th October 2008 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Removed a comment
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    Hopefully I can clear up a couple of points.

    First nope Fluffy's Revenge is not a troll and in fact has several caches on GC, so is just expressing a genuine opinion

    Secondly as has already been pointed out, the most likely reason the No commercial guideline was added. Was nothing to do with Geocaching.coms No Commercial Caches Guideline. But more likely due to the fact that the persons who wrote the GAGB Guidelines were active members during the Robin Lovelock incident. Which resulted in members of the UK Caching community, complaining severly to Groundspeak and Robin himself. Over the fact that he was leaving cd's containing comercial GPS software from his own businness as cache swops. This incident turned particularly nasty and resulted in a site ban of Robin by Groundspeak.

    GAGB was created not long after this incident. Oh and I can remember there was a vote not long after where the members had to accept the constitution by voting for it.

    From memory it was based on a Hospital Radio organisations, to which one of the original committee members belonged.

    And again from memory the GAGB Guidelines were created in consultation with Hampshire CC, with the No Dry Stone Walls Guideline, being created after discussions with either a expert on such or a Dry Stone Wall Organisation

    Oh and if you visit the What is GAGB About page you'll see the statement

    The founder members set out the aims and structure of the association, announced its creation on the major listings sites, and invited all UK cachers to join
    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
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  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy's Revenge View Post
    It is nonsense that GAGB guidelines exclude members from participating in caches with a commercial element.

    This is not a rule about caches that GAGB would list, it is an attempt to restrict the legitimate behavior of members. Unsurprisingly, the members ignore it (including, as far as I can see, all of the officers), undermining the credibility of GAGB.

    I suspect that the clause may have its origins in that great misconception in the geocaching world – that geocaching.com does not accept any commercially orientated caching.

    The fact is Groundspeak are a commercial organisation, they just don’t allow anyone else to gain commercial advantage from caches listed by them. Every geocahing.com cache is promoting this commercial organisation and many members of GACB are participating even further by paying them.

    Unfortunately for geocachers, Groundspeak have become hugely dominant. Dominance in the commercial world is very damaging, the dominant player becomes unresponsive to the customers – directing them instead of maximising benefit to them; extracting increasing financial gain while deteriorating customer value.

    It may be a bit of a caricature to point out that GAGB effectively promotes this dominant commercial company while restricting the growth of competitors.

    Personally I would like to see some strong competition and recognise that the vast majority of the best things in life are provided to us by commercial mechanisms.


    Fluffy
    Unsurprisingly, I agree with some of what you say. GSP's position within "the market" is unhealthy, which I believe will ultimately hinder the game.
    However, we must remember that the GAGB's primary function is to serve the community "over here", regardless of where caches are listed. (which they have done)
    The GAGB works for the benefit of it's membership, and as most of it's members are also GSP members, there has to be some form of cohesion between the two. There is a clear distinction between the two, and to suggest that the GAGB favours GSP over any other listing site seems a little unfair.

    BTW, why does Monty Python and the Holy Grail come to mind when reading your name, good one
    I'm just going outside, and may be some time!

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  30. #30
    Fluffy's Revenge Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by studlyone View Post
    The GAGB doesn't promote geocaching.com above any other geocache listing site or organisation. The rule was put in place for a specific reason in the past, this reason was not wholey applicable to geocaching.com but wa the feelings of the committee of the time and its current usefullness is being debated - to suggest that it erodes the legitimacy of the GAGB is barking mad.

    No doubt the new committee after the forthcoming elections will decide what to do with the said rule, but that's for them to deal with taking into consideration the genuine feelings that have been expressed on here.

    How exactly is it that the GAGB is restricting the growth of the geocaching.coms competitors?
    I am neither a troll nor barking mad and have countless psychiatrists reports that support this. Some of them may also say that I try to deal with the issues rather than imagine they are a manifestation of hypothetical personality traits.

    There is no deliberate intention to promote geocaching.com above other listing sites. However there are (almost) infinitely more references to and links with geocaching.com that the others to the point that geocaching and geocaching.com are sometimes treated as almost synonymous. This is not surprising given its dominance and I thought it was undeniable.

    I was around at the time of the CD issue and saw it as one particular flourishing of the "no commercial caching" seeds that had been planted by Groundspeak, however this can only be a point of view, feel free to disagree.

    Its existence does undermine for the reasons I gave. It is a little like a Rugby Club advising its season ticket holders not to watch Soccer. Made even worse because the board all have Soccer season tickets!

    Fluffy

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    There are more references to and links to geocaching.com simply because of its dominance in the market. Its just a simple fact that more cachers use this listing site above the others that isn't promoting geocaching.com its just the facts of life. I agree that their dominance int he market is definitely not a good thing but until the other sites can match it in numbers of users then I'm afraid we will always see this disparity between references to the listing site.

    Its good to hear that you are neither a troll nor barking mad and have countless psychiatrists reports that support this. I hate having to sharpen me pointy stick to defend the forums from Trolls (BTW I edited my comment on my last post almost immediately after seeing someone vouch that you weren't a troll).

    I am not sure what you meant by this comment though, maybe you could elaborate it for me (its been a long week).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy's Revenge
    It is a little like a Rugby Club advising its season ticket holders not to watch Soccer. Made even worse because the board all have Soccer season tickets!
    :
    "I Cache, therefore I am"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy's Revenge View Post
    I am neither a troll nor barking mad and have countless psychiatrists reports that support this. Some of them may also say that I try to deal with the issues rather than imagine they are a manifestation of hypothetical personality traits.

    There is no deliberate intention to promote geocaching.com above other listing sites. However there are (almost) infinitely more references to and links with geocaching.com that the others to the point that geocaching and geocaching.com are sometimes treated as almost synonymous. This is not surprising given its dominance and I thought it was undeniable.

    I was around at the time of the CD issue and saw it as one particular flourishing of the "no commercial caching" seeds that had been planted by Groundspeak, however this can only be a point of view, feel free to disagree.

    Its existence does undermine for the reasons I gave. It is a little like a Rugby Club advising its season ticket holders not to watch Soccer. Made even worse because the board all have Soccer season tickets!

    Fluffy
    Ok, let's say your reasoning and analogy of the GAGB are correct?

    What would you do to correct the situation?
    I'm just going outside, and may be some time!

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  33. #33
    nobbynobbs Guest

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    In the not too distant past I tried to open a discussion with one of the other listing sites to be more connected to them. To date I've never received a reply despite several attempts made via different accounts.

    So it's not like the committee aren't trying to make it more inclusive of other sites, they just don't seem interested in the UK cachers association.

  34. #34
    Fluffy's Revenge Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by studlyone View Post
    There are more references to and links to geocaching.com simply because of its dominance in the market. Its just a simple fact that more cachers use this listing site above the others that isn't promoting geocaching.com its just the facts of life. I agree that their dominance int he market is definitely not a good thing but until the other sites can match it in numbers of users then I'm afraid we will always see this disparity between references to the listing site.

    Its good to hear that you are neither a troll nor barking mad and have countless psychiatrists reports that support this. I hate having to sharpen me pointy stick to defend the forums from Trolls (BTW I edited my comment on my last post almost immediately after seeing someone vouch that you weren't a troll).

    I am not sure what you meant by this comment though, maybe you could elaborate it for me (its been a long week).

    :
    The difference between us on "promoting" is now semantic and only relevant to people who seek to find disagreement rather than understanding.

    The "Rugby Club" comment was supposed to be more substantial.

    It is one thing for GBGC to say it wont promote (sorry I cant be elbowed to choose a different word) commercial involvement in caches but is an entirely different thing to effectively direct its members not to participate in any different form of caching.


    It is made worse because of lack of definition, virtually everyone has participated in caches that have a commercial element in some way and thus there is a hint of hypocrisy.


    Fluffy

  35. #35
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mancunian View Post
    ..... Oh and I can remember there was a vote not long after where the members had to accept the constitution by voting for it.

    From memory it was based on a Hospital Radio organisations, to which one of the original committee members belonged.
    Hey, I remember writing (well more like editting) that Constitution....

    Yup, heavily based on the HBA Model Constitution... had to make a few changes as GAGB isn't a charity, doesn't have physical meetings.... but it was a LOT easier than writing something from scratch.

    The reasoning for doing it that way was simple: the HBA model constitution had been checked out by legal people, so stood a good chance, even after modification, of being a "reasonably sensible & legal document".

    I'm sure it's still "generally" ok, might need a few "tweaks" to keep it up to date, just like the guidelines will occasionally need a tweak.

    The GAGB guidelines were based on various things, and there is no question that the then GC rules will have played a large part. Also add that the Hampshire CC agreement was being worked on at that time.

    Back to the topic: should the guidelines allow commercial caches? One one hand it's good to keep commercialism out of the boxes, but then again, would allowing a SMALL AMOUNT hurt.

    The problem is that you allow a BIT of commercialism, and before you know it, you have bright blue containers with sflashing lights, sponsored / placed by some company or other "that meets the GAGB guidelines". Is THAT what we want?

    But they ARE just guidelines, and guidelines are there to be "broken" (just like actual rules!).

    Let's be brutally honest, how many caches are ACTUALLY placed without an ACTUAL permission in place? Quite a few more than many people would like to admit (but we all keep quiet about it, don't we?)


    Paul

  36. #36
    Fluffy's Revenge Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobite View Post
    Ok, let's say your reasoning and analogy of the GAGB are correct?

    What would you do to correct the situation?

    I have been thinking about your question and have identified 3 things: -

    Drop the commercial limitation on caching (and the apparent obsession against anything that makes a profit).

    Represent the best interests of cachers by expressing and debating concerns about the huge dominance of Groundspeak and challenging them for every erosion of the cacher’s interest. (i.e. if they do anything that would not have done if they had more than two equivalent competitors offering similar services).

    Actively stimulate the development of other listing facilities and technologies.


    Fluffy

  37. #37

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul.blitz View Post
    The problem is that you allow a BIT of commercialism, and before you know it, you have bright blue containers with sflashing lights, sponsored / placed by some company or other "that meets the GAGB guidelines". Is THAT what we want?
    I think we're losing sight of the fact that we're talking about GAGB guidelines designed to promote good practice in the UK. There's no need to worry about the country being swamped with commercial caches as the main listing site expressly forbids them. Other sites don't necessarily have this restriction but in practice it's what happens.

    Let's face it, what effect do people think it would have if GAGB decided to actively PROMOTE commercial caches? The whole debate is pointless as the listing sites have enough restrictions already in place.

    Now what would be nice would be if GAGB were allowed to REMOVE guideline restrictions that are not relevant here. For several years that's what happened as the local review team were trusted to use their best judgement. However those "Good Old Days" are long gone.

  38. #38
    Fluffy's Revenge Guest

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    What is the definition of “commercial”? I can think of three types of commercial activity, no doubt there are more.

    Charging for using or accessing a cache – (e.g. placing it in a place with an entrance fee)

    The trades being part of a commercial activity (e.g. geocoins)

    Promoting a commercial activity (e.g. a tourist attraction)

    Advertising a commercial enterprise (e.g. geocaching.com)

    GAGB are against all of this, which is why I have not joined.

    Fluffy

  39. #39
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hornet View Post
    The whole debate is pointless as the listing sites have enough restrictions already in place.
    But DO they? Yes, Geocaching.com has a set of rules that cover the commercialism, but I cant find any rules on the Navicache or Terracaching sites

    Paul

  40. #40
    Fluffy's Revenge Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul.blitz View Post
    But DO they? Yes, Geocaching.com has a set of rules that cover the commercialism, but I cant find any rules on the Navicache or Terracaching sites
    Paul
    But Geocaching.com's rules only restrict other people's commercialisation, not their own. They gain competitive advantage from it but I’m not sure that cachers benefit.

    Quote Originally Posted by paul.blitz View Post
    The problem is that you allow a BIT of commercialism, and before you know it, you have bright blue containers with flashing lights, sponsored / placed by some company or other "that meets the GAGB guidelines". Is THAT what we want?
    If we want to prevent bright blue containers with flashing lights why not say that?

    If a cache adheres to the rules and is popular why does it matter if it is commercial in some way? Personally I think it fundamentally wrong to prejudicially ban one of two identical caches because it has some commercial motive. If they are identical how can there be any reason to ban one? It appears to me to be some form of political or ideological imposition.

    It also appears to be contrary to the Constitution which says the purpose is-

    "To enhance geocaching and to progress it as an activity within Great Britain and Northern Ireland"

    Restricting forms of geocaching has to be contrary to that purpose.

    Fluffy

  41. #41

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    Jun 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul.blitz View Post
    But DO they? Yes, Geocaching.com has a set of rules that cover the commercialism, but I cant find any rules on the Navicache or Terracaching sites

    Paul
    To quote my reply more fully:
    There's no need to worry about the country being swamped with commercial caches as the main listing site expressly forbids them. Other sites don't necessarily have this restriction but in practice it's what happens.
    (my emphasis)

    I know what you're saying Paul and I endorse the sentiment, I'd hate to see lots of caches being placed as little more than adverts for companies. However I think with Groundspeak's explicit ban and Terracaching's peer review process we are well covered. I agree that Navicache hasn't anything in place but I don't see that as a problem just now.

    I just don't think it should be in GAGB's remit to seek to add this extra restriction on UK cachers.

  42. #42

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    Apr 2008
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    One area where a more relaxed commercial cache guideline would benefit cachers is tourist attractions that require an entry fee. Under GSP guidelines you can't place a cache within an area that requires an entry fee, which in my option is a hindrance, and given that the placer clearly wants you to visit the attraction, I don't feel that the placer or finder benefit from that rule/guideline. I know that some would argue that this could exclude those who can't afford the entry fee, but let's face it, cachers are spoiled for choice these days, and there's probably one hid round the next corner.

    This guideline has been an irritation to me in the past whilst placing caches that are to be listed on GC.com, but with GC.com having been taken out of the equation I can now reconsider these caches, and I feel the finder will be all the better for it.
    With placement permission, I think I can convince my reviewer to approve caches of this nature

    With that said, I'm still not convinced that promoting your own business through caches would benefit the game, and that's something I'm not happy to do myself.
    I'm just going outside, and may be some time!

    www.jacobitecaching.co.uk

  43. #43

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Warfield, Berkshire
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    This topic has been explored well during my absence, however some observations:

    All GC trackable items are commercial because a fee is paid to GSP for the tracking. "Wherigo" caches have a current $0.00 price tag however the fact that there's a price tag means "pay per play" is on its way.

    I liked the Wherigo concept, I did not like the fact that it requires expensive technology which makes it relatively inacessible. I started to investigate alternatives using (increasingly common) GPSr-enabled mobile phones. The software vendor involved would expect a return on investment, so "pay per play" was inescapable. I parked the idea because I figure caching is not yet ready to embrace this. Perhaps I'm mistaken, however, such caches could not be listed on GSP in any case.

    Premium features on listing sites, including member-only caches, licence fees for software tools to enhance the caching experience, mapping products: these are all commercial too and I don't hear cachers complaining.

    It's perfectly clear that our hobby is already heavily commercialised and the GAGB guidelines don't properly reflect this reality. So, change is appropriate.

    I also concur that GSP is over-represented on GAGB's site. In fact, months ago I dropped "geo" from my caching terminology down to changing the URL on my caching microsite to be neutral. GAGB should be Caching Association of GB if neutrality to listing sites is considered of primary importance.

    Roderick

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