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Thread: The GAGB it's future and purpose

  1. #1
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default The GAGB it's future and purpose

    The below was posted by someone. It is a thought provoking comment that I felt needed to be raised on the open forums for people to read, digest, think about and comment on. It's touches on several aspects that are extremely important and need to be addressed. So:


    The GAGB seems to consist of:-

    1.A forum visited by a dozen or so regulars who pop in, add a couple of letters to a couple of threads, maybe answer a quiz question, then depart as soon as they arrived.

    2.The GLAD.

    We are offering our members absolutely nothing apart from a little used off-topic forum and a static database that, let's be honest, only the reviewers and people having permission problems ever visit.
    News and local issues are being catered for on the GS forums - and even more so on local forums.
    Caching stats are looked after - very well - by icache, which stole a march on us by taking up where GeocachingUK left off. It's not as though we didn't have the chance to get in there, either. We were just too slow.
    Tech issues are covered in the GS forums, on Chris's site, and elsewhere on the web.
    It seems like even my Facebook camping events page gets more visitors than we do here.

    Let's face facts - the site doesn't work. There is very VERY little here to bring in new membership, let alone keep them. How many visits would we even get if the reviewers didn't direct people here? We can't compete against the other caching forums - even newly established ones. So what, exactly, can we do to improve things?

    As an example - the only way forward I can see is as a general information site such as
    this. Ok - it's got nothing to do with caching, but it has a format that we could use. We need to build on what we can actually offer people that they aren't already getting elsewhere - which we don't seem to be doing at the moment.

    In fairness, it's not just the web end that is WAY overdue for a revamp, but the whole ethos of the GAGB. The caching community in this country doesn't need us, so we either come up with something that makes them want us, or we are as dead as the site.

  2. #2
    RuberyBlue Guest

    Default

    As some people will be aware, I raised a similar, although not so negative post just over a week ago. After some valid comments I have decided to take up the challenge of trying to get some new direction and liven the place up.

    See suggestions 1 - 17 (so far!)

    I believe there are some very successful regional forums but also some that are dead men walking. This can water down the collective strength of GB caching

    The GC.com forums are the natural stop off point for new cachers and also have great value. However they are US'centric, inflexible to UK users needs and wants (charity anybody?) and most of the time infuriating. Check out some of this weeks posts

    We need a co-ordinated national forum without the usual cross pond restraints - the GAGB seems like a good start that needs a little more drive/ ooomph.

    Incidentally I can't see the post in the forums that is referred to in the initial post - Any reason?

    RB

  3. #3
    RuberyBlue Guest

    Default

    Incidentally visitor numbers, although not huge, have been around 60 minimum each day this week.

    RB

  4. #4
    The Web Rat Guest

    Default

    Could you provide a source for the above post, I'd be interested in reading the whole thread.

    TIA

  5. #5
    keehotee Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Web Rat View Post
    Could you provide a source for the above post, I'd be interested in reading the whole thread.

    TIA
    No, sorry - that was a post that I made in the committee only section of the forums. The rest of the thread is probably not relevant at this point in time.

  6. #6

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    The Forums: I visit, not every day but only check out the General Geocaching topics bit. I'm not into waymarking, trig points, games or quizzes. I answers posts if I can.

    The GLAD: The most important part of the GAGB from my point of view (as a reviewer that is). I am concerned about how uptodate it is. Here is one example. The FC for South East GLAD links to an application form that was originally hosted by The Hornet when he was a reviewer. That site has changed and the form isn't available. The page needs updating.

    I know the GAGB is run by volunteers and I know there have been issues with the server and cost etc. I'm a volunteer reviewer and also run the resource website (which I pay for myself but that is only 25 a year). It is not easy finding time. But if you want to keep people interested in the GAGB website it needs to be uptodate and have the information people need.

    Chris
    The Blorenges
    Graculus - volunteer reviewer

  7. #7
    FuzzyBears Guest

    Default

    As a non GAGB member but a long time forum user looking in can I add my 2p worth..

    1. Get rid of the membership. The GAGB says it represents all UK cachers so why need a membership The only thing I can't see is the members only bit of the forum of which I am a member???? (I can see the need for forum membership to control the 'nasty' people who spam places like this)

    2. Instead of treating the local forums as competition try to work with them. I try to post anything of interest from here on the EAC forum but have been and would be happy to work closer. I think there is a need for a non G.com national forum and the local forums should be just that... local.

    3. Is the GAGB too web based ... Unless cachers visit forums how do they know it's even there... Events are the place to meet the cachers... Contact the event setter and ask the if they wouldn't mind printing off a few leaflets to have at the event. Ask GAGB supporters to be more pro-active.. After nearly three years I still meet people at events in this area who don't know there even is an EAC forum... but they do after I have left.
    I know they are hated but have a design, on site, for one side of a calling card leaving the other side free. We used them quite a bit at the start and they brought in members.... Ask supporters to add a line to the bottom of cache logs saying "XYZ supports the GAGB" as a link to this site. Nearly everyone reads cache logs

    4. Discourage the us and them attitude to G.com on theis forum.. I don't go on the 'main' forum much because of the anti G.com posts... because all it does is end up turning UK cachers against each other and makes no difference at all to G.com but still drives away 'normal' cachers. This forum offer the chance to post what you can't over there but all people seem to do is moan about what they can't do and not what this great hobby can still do. The GAGB guidelines are used by the reviewers as UK specific why not try to use them to help get what you want

    5, The web site is already a good information site but doesn't invite you to 'have a dig' as NobbyN says the only reason people visit it is to look up the database

    I hope I haven't trod on too many toes but I believe that whether we like it or not the GAGB is here and has become part of the UK caching infrastructure and as such should try to reach out to ALL cachers
    Last edited by FuzzyBears; 25th February 2010 at 03:53 PM.

  8. #8

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    I have had some 'calender cards' made witha 2010 calender one side and along with our caching name and a piccy on the other side is a GAGB banner. We leave 2 or 3 in cache boxes for others to take.
    Last edited by DrDick&Vick; 25th February 2010 at 05:42 PM.

  9. #9
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    Thanks for all the comments so far.

    By hearing the negative and positive we get to direct the future of the association. We need to hear why people don't use us and how we can amend that.

    I hope that between us all we'll be attending more events this year. But as has been said it comes down to all the members and users of this forum to spread the word.

    The original post came from a committee only thread and the rest of the topic is not relevant to the content of this thread.

    Please keep coming with the replies.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blorenge View Post
    I'm not into ... trig points.
    That's a cry for help if ever I heard one

    I look in here most days, mainly because of the trig angle, but I do skim through other stuff as well and try to answer any questions etc if I can. I very rarely bother with local forums.

    My main interest in GAGB is as a coherent and non-commercial alternative to Groundspeak, not because I have any particular issue with that company, but because I think monopoly of any sort is bad. In my opinion, an opportunity was missed when opencaching.org.uk set up a separate (and little used) forum; a tighter degree of cooperation could have provided critical mass for non-Groundspeak caching on these islands.

    And as has been said already, the whole 'membership' thing is ridiculously complex for such a small organisation.
    Last edited by agentmancuso; 25th February 2010 at 08:23 PM. Reason: afterthought

  11. #11

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    I run one of the regional forums that have been mentioned but I sort of fell into it accidently I had a domain and I was playing around with different forum and blog software when someone found it and registered an acoount and then spread the word and it took of so quickly there was nothing I could do but continue

    I no longer cache but still visit this forum from time to time purely out of habit to be honest.

    I have mentioned the GAGB to people from time to time but the feedback I mostly got was "Why do we need another organisation when we have Groundspeak/Geocaching.com that has all we need ",

    I found it difficult to convince them that we should have a UK voice for if/when GSP/GC decided they would change things that had a major effect on us in the UK we would have an organisation that could speak on our behalf but most people seem to think that GSP/GC wouldn't do that .

    How the GAGB gets around this apathy is the million pound question that I personally don't have an answer to. :

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blorenge View Post
    The GLAD: The most important part of the GAGB from my point of view (as a reviewer that is). I am concerned about how uptodate it is. Here is one example. The FC for South East GLAD links to an application form that was originally hosted by The Hornet when he was a reviewer. That site has changed and the form isn't available. The page needs updating.
    The FC South East page has now been updated. I tried to get in contact with them a few weeks ago without success and have tried again tonight.

    We are also aware of some other issues in GLAD which we are working to resolve. However, if anyone has specific issues then please let me know and either I can advise if it's being addressed or progress it if not.

  13. #13

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    Where else can cachers find details about permissions agrements ?
    We like Greens

  14. #14

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    It would be useful if it was possibe to download one or more Memory Map or Google Earth overlays that showed the areas covered by Landowner Agreements and/or refusals.


    Mike

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by von-horst View Post
    It would be useful if it was possibe to download one or more Memory Map or Google Earth overlays that showed the areas covered by Landowner Agreements and/or refusals.


    Mike
    Agreed. This is on the to-do list.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by von-horst View Post
    It would be useful if it was possibe to download one or more Memory Map or Google Earth overlays that showed the areas covered by Landowner Agreements and/or refusals.


    Mike
    I have a set of Google Map overlays supplied by Graculus. I've uploaded them to our site and I'm in the process of adding links to them to the relevant agreement pages. It's a slow process, made slower by a problem with our GLAD editor.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  17. #17

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    I'm working with Bill/Dave on that at the moment. Unfortunately although I do have some areas covered from the Forestry in Wales/Scotland and National Trust Wales the licence I signed to use their digital mapping for reviewing purposes won't let me make it 'public'. This is to do with how the organisation has licenced the maps from the likes of the OS. Other organisations like CADW in Wales and the NT in Scotland just never replied to my emails!

    Chris (MrB)

  18. #18

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    The following agreements now have links to Graculus's Google Maps overlays:

    Berkeley Estate
    Blaise Castle Estate
    Bucks, Berks, Oxon Wildlife Trust
    Cairngorm Mountain
    Hants & IOW Wildlife Trust
    Isle of Man Wildlife Trust
    Lymington-Keyhaven Marshes Reserve
    Penllergare Woods Trust
    Roundhay Park Estate, Leeds
    Woodbury Hall Estate, Bedfordshire
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    We are also aware of some other issues in GLAD which we are working to resolve. However, if anyone has specific issues then please let me know and either I can advise if it's being addressed or progress it if not.
    Shropshire WT have now agreed that the agreement can be changed from trial to continuous, thanks to them.

    Edited to say that the contacts have changed and I'm discussing a suitable form of new words with them now.
    Last edited by The Wombles; 8th March 2010 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Added details regarding GLAD entry

  20. #20

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    I must admit, since joining I am one of the "off topic" junkies. I work nights and at about this time (lunch time 'ish) I log on to the site as the alternative is swamped with our colonial cousins ! I really hadn't properly read this thread until tonight and am a bit saddened by the negative aspects. I was really proud to join GAGB and, as I said in another thread, after being introduced, have got another couple going and joined. They are doing likewise. It is difficult to keep interest in any sort of forum, "she who must be obeyed" is a fanatic on "Border Terrier World", and they have similar problems. All we can do is encourage friends to join the hobby, view the forum and hope they will contribute. Regular contributors, even us quiz junkies, find all sorts of interesting, and useful threads, and, sometimes contribute our "four penneth" Cheer up !! my last set of cache co-ordinates put me in the middle of a lake (or was it Ulan Bator?)

    Cheers
    Palujia
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  21. #21

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    I spent the first 3 months learning about the activity, during that time I looked here and there on different websites to have answers to a few simple questions. Its only recently that I needed more then just a simple answer, and this is here I felt it was appropriate to do so.

    At some point, the UK will need an official voice. It might be here, it might not ... but as far as I know, its the best non-local forum.

    In March 2010, when I joined, there was less then 1,000,000 active caches according to GC.com. As of today, its just over 1,115,000! I am no mathematician, but that seems like a healthy exponential growth. I would be curious to know the direction of that growing interest, but if I look at my area ... the UK has a fair share of that number. I was in Marseille recently, second biggest city of France. There was around 200 caches, if you included the metropolitan area. Worthing, a small town in the south, has at least that amount, if not more.

    I believe it will be an interesting time for geocaching in the UK in the near future. I have seen here honest people who wants to look at the big picture. It does seem to be a small group of active participant, but when you pioneer something, it is often like that. We are lucky to have reviewers and thinkers interacting with us so much, I bow to their dedication and service to us. From the numerous posts they wrote, it seems to be their home and therefore the official home for the UK geocachers.

  22. #22

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    I agree with Angry Birds. This does seem to be the most representative National Forum. Although there do seem to be a lot more postings on the UK site on Groundspeak at the moment. I know that there are some, like me who like to browse, and often participate in most of the available forums, but are some of the others aware of GAGB ? I read one post which had a link to this one - can't remember which one but that seems to be a good idea. i.e. when posting on other sites give GAGB a "puff" and if allowed a hyper link. There are quite a lot of names I don't recognise from this Forum. As a relative Newbie I am not fully aware of all the Politics involved, but there does seem to be a groundswell of opinion that Groundspeak has a bit of a stranglehold on this wonderful hobby and therefore it can become a straightjacket. We are stuck with using them for locations etc but we seem to be second class citizens - Our National forum is right at the bottom of the list on their forum page - You can't tell me that it's because UK is at the bottom of the alphabet ??? Of am I being paranoid ?? I will await being shot down in flames
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  23. #23

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    I agree with Palujia and Angrybirds. I visit GAGB everyday when possible either to chat to other cachers, to get information, to find out what everyone else is upto ? I certainly promote GAGB on my website and I actually visit here more than the actual GC forum.
    The calender is certainly alot better to navigate on GAGB.
    Keep GAGB - "the UK Voice"

  24. #24

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    I must admit that I would like to join in the GEO chat, but the computer at work won't let me ! and the one at home goes into a hissy fit when I try to book on to it ? Comes out with some sort of error message. I think it's getting old and paranoid (like me) Any way to throw yet another spaniard in the works. I read on someone's thread that the number of Caches has exploded exponentialy over the last couple of years. SO if there are lots more caches out there SOMEONE is putting them out (the cache fairy??)
    and therefore if more people are taking interest in caching, it would be logical therefore that if even a small percentage of them are interested in the forums we SHOULD be gaining ground. Bit simplistic but hopefull!
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  25. #25

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    Because it is still a very Grounspeak centric activity, I think people naturally stay in their forums. There is also a few local forums that have life in them like SECaching, which make sense when people are active and in good numbers in a certain area.

    For me, its not so much the forum itself, but the presence of the GAGB that is important. There are some challenges geocaching is facing that will require a national entity to represent us. While I am happy with Grounspeak and their ethos, I never been keen in putting all my eggs in one basket. From an IT guy perspective, one Microsoft is enough :P

    In January 2007, there was 346,000 caches ... there is now almost 1,120,000 caches and going up fast. GPS enabled phones probably gave a massive boost to geocaching (I started with an IPhone) and will likely continue to bring the numbers for some time.

    On the other hand, more caches, are likely to bring more complaints from Land Owners and Local Authorities. It would be wise to have people who can represent us to keep geocaching an acceptable public activity and promote it where needed. While I think there are other fronts that need fresh input, the efforts of the GAGB to negotiate agreements and kick our butt (mine first) to do the same is essential. That is the view of a newbie

  26. #26

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    Yes, It is a fact that with the growth of mobile phone "Apps" etc., a lot of the cachers don't realise that GAGB even exists. It is also a comforting thought that, as you say that the organisation does so much, unheralded and in a lot of cases, unthanked work so that we can carry out our hobby. As an experiment I asked the couple that started us off what they knew about GAGB and they knew that the Organisation existed, but nothing more. They use an Iphone and exclusively use Groundspeak. Just to download and record finds. They have little interest in the legal problems of landowner permissions, etc., and thought that "the Geocaching Site" took care of those sort of things. They were amazed that we had started to put out our own caches, as all they are interested in is their numbers.
    They seem to think that caches "just appear"!! They don't realise the amount of work that goes behind the deed. A bit of a modern attitude unfortunately. All we can do at this time is keep the faith, and spread the word !
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  27. #27

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    As some of you may know I sell a lot of geocoins on Ebay. If someone was to design a flyer that I could print off, I would gladly put that in the envelopes that I post out to promote the GAGB. Also I am holding a camping event in September (not published yet) and would quite happily have flyers there to hand out. This is the only forum that I have found that is friendly to all and it would be a shame if it all went to pot. So the more members we can get the better.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palujia View Post
    I must admit that I would like to join in the GEO chat, but the computer at work won't let me ! and the one at home goes into a hissy fit when I try to book on to it ? Comes out with some sort of error message. I think it's getting old and paranoid (like me)...
    Do you get a message saying "Block potentially unsafe component from being run? (Recommended)"

    I've been using Java to get into the Chatroom for years and I've only just started get this message over the last few weeks.

    I been choosing to live life dangerously and have been selecting the "No" option which means it then connects to the Chatroom without any problems.

    So far nothing disasterous has occurred... h34r:

  29. #29

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    Nope - I am getting "startup error.java.lang.error.unable to load interface
    pixx"
    So not sure, other than the fact that most computers don't like me on general principles !!!

    Ho hum, stuck again
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palujia View Post
    Nope - I am getting "startup error.java.lang.error.unable to load interface
    pixx"
    So not sure, other than the fact that most computers don't like me on general principles !!!

    Ho hum, stuck again
    Works for me.
    You have to accept/ignore all the warnings that windoze throws about the site being a high risk/dangerous site that is not to be trusted...

    However, as for some of the folks that are on there...
    I have a Geocaching problem...
    Work gets in the way!

    * Cache Walker -Caching by byway, not highway! CacheWalker.co.uk
    Walking and Caching in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire areas

  31. #31

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    My problem with it is that my username is not valid, probably due to the ampersand (&)

  32. #32

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    Logs me on as Bear.
    Presumably because there's a space either side of the and.

    Won't let me change nickname to B&R... Because of the & hmy:
    I have a Geocaching problem...
    Work gets in the way!

    * Cache Walker -Caching by byway, not highway! CacheWalker.co.uk
    Walking and Caching in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire areas

  33. #33

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    Just use RaggedBear... we'll know who you are.
    DrDick would also be recognised.


    MrsB

  34. #34

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    How can I log in as just DrDick, trouble is that I go straight to the chat window with no chance to login
    Last edited by DrDick&Vick; 6th July 2010 at 10:43 PM.

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