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Thread: Guideline management

  1. #1

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    Default Guideline management

    If you were elected how would you propose that the GAGB deals with unpopular and/or unworkable guidelines.

    Recent examples being-

    The urban guideline.

    The breaking ground guideline

  2. #2

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    GAGB should describe a best practice approach to cache setting which includes reference to these subjects. The rules should be left to listing sites.


    Caching since 2001
    Founder member of GAGB (2003)
    Committee (2003-2013)
    Chair of GAGB (2010-2012)
    Negotiator of 18 Landowner Agreements
    GAGB Friend

  3. #3

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    We should reconsider our guidelines from scratch, with the single-minded emphasis being on creating a minimal set that begs no questions and inspires confidence in the land owners from whom we seek permission to cache.

    It is fine to elaborate on the guidelines and provide what-if scenarios as guidance to our members, but must specifically exclude rules or regulations, which are the remit of the listing sites, if they so wish.

    We should espouse the benefits of having these guidelines, in terms of consent received, to participants in other activities where there is cross-over with Geocaching.

  4. #4

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    Firstly I would look again at the guidelines and rewite them using my experience in guideline writing form OC UK to do so I would also improve them and use my knowledge from the other side of the fence to make them a better system in general.

    Thanks
    Geocaching Womble (Dominic)
    Last edited by geocaching womble; 18th November 2012 at 11:13 AM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    GAGB should describe a best practice approach to cache setting which includes reference to these subjects. The rules should be left to listing sites.
    I've probably cross-posted these thoughts in another of these sub-threads - so apologies in advance but I'm struggling to negotiate the overlaps which seem to be springing up between them :

    Anyway - I don't personally see how the above statement is workable IF GAGB intends to continue to negotiate landowner permisson on behalf of the geocaching community.

    As a landowner - if GAGB negotiated permission with me on the basis of GAGB guidelines, claiming to represent the GB geocaching community and then - when an issue arose - tried to point me in the direction of an individual listing site which didn't fully subscribe to GAGB guidelines to get the issue resolved - I'd promply withdraw that permission - simple as that

    On that basis I think communication and negotiation with all major listing sites is fundamental to guideline review - with the optimum outcome from my perspective being at the very least a set of core guidelines common to all listing sites. Without this I don't see how GAGB can confidently and responsibly claim to represent GB geocachers when negotiating landowner agreements.

  6. #6

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    The Guidelines were being worked on until some events caused that to stop.

    The rules are set by Groundspeak - the GAGB can only set Guidelines/ Best Practice and even the breaking ground is still unclear IMHO as we were discussing yesterday as I was still unsure on the interpretation of it as you know.

    Lilian

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mollyjak View Post
    The Guidelines were being worked on until some events caused that to stop.

    The rules are set by Groundspeak - the GAGB can only set Guidelines/ Best Practice and even the breaking ground is still unclear IMHO as we were discussing yesterday as I was still unsure on the interpretation of it as you know.

    Lilian
    That doesn't quite fit with my understanding - and I think if one of the objectives of the next committee is to review this issue, I think clarity will be essential.

    Groundspeak sets Groundspeak's guidelines - other listing sites, as far as I know, set their own guidelines.

    GAGB sets other guidelines / suggests best pratice - I think from a GB point of view i.e. the dry stone wall guideline which is of particular relevance to the UK, where such walls are common - but less relevant or completely irrelevant where such walls are not common.

    How much influence GAGB guidelines have on those employed by the major listing sites - or the other way round - I'm not sure.

    It's those sorts of things that I personally think should form the basis of any guideline review.

    I think a useful way forward would be to consider all of the guidelines side-by-side to find places where they already agree - as I expect there will be plenty of them.

    Guidelines which already agree across all sites could form the basis of the core guidelines that all agree to subscribe to. Can't see why anybody would object to this, if those guidelines are already universally accepted.

    Further dialogue might lead to the enhancement of that core set of guidelines so that ultimately landowners can feel highly confident that all geocachers, or at least those who subscribe to the major listing sites, will adhere to certain, hopefully high, standards of conduct - regardless of which listing site(s) they prefer to use.

    Adiitionally, I think this model would allow each listing site to continue to set it's own guidelines above and beyond the core - provided of course the core guidelines were not contravened.

    Could be a win-win-win

  8. #8

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    There was a great deal of debate on whether GAGB had a mandate to put out a set of guidelines (revised into a Guide of "Best Practice") and considerable time and effort was put in by individuals (particularly Tony!) to try and make one size fit all - this was still being worked on over the year - before other events overtook it. One of the main problems was that no matter how well intentioned an organisation is, there will always be :-
    a. Some persons who will ignore all guidelines (best practice)
    b. Some persons who will not bother to read them
    c. Some persons who object to "Being told what to do"
    d. Some dedicated semanticists who will always object to "the wording"
    e. Some "bloody minded" individuals who pick holes just for the sake of it
    So good luck with it who ever wants to take it on :wacko:
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palujia View Post
    There was a great deal of debate on whether GAGB had a mandate to put out a set of guidelines (revised into a Guide of "Best Practice") and considerable time and effort was put in by individuals (particularly Tony!) to try and make one size fit all - this was still being worked on over the year - before other events overtook it. One of the main problems was that no matter how well intentioned an organisation is, there will always be :-
    a. Some persons who will ignore all guidelines (best practice)
    b. Some persons who will not bother to read them
    c. Some persons who object to "Being told what to do"
    d. Some dedicated semanticists who will always object to "the wording"
    e. Some "bloody minded" individuals who pick holes just for the sake of it
    So good luck with it who ever wants to take it on :wacko:
    Cool - let's forget about it then.

    What else do we have left with which to reinvent and rejuvenate the GAGB and make it an organisation people will be queueing up to join?

  10. #10

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    Thumbs up

    I think Palujia's comments illustrate why we need to focus purely on guidelines that support our objective of getting landowner consent. We must expect listing sites to do their own thing if they want to.

    Let Groundspeak trouble itself over 'breaking the ground' - that's too much detail when seeking consent to cache. What impression would a set of fussy and detailed guidelines give a land owner? I'd suggest it implies that we lack confidence, we are scared that we'll do something wrong.... which does not inspire confidence in return and would make consent harder to gain.

    We have to demonstrate confidence, show that we know what we want and know what is reasonable. If the land owner wants to negotiate on the terms - fine - but don't saddle the negotiation with someone else's problem to start with!

    Anything is possible with consent, let's go for the most permissive consent agreements we can get. If a major land owner is comfortable with caches being recessed in some way or other then that's a win for all of us.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    I think Palujia's comments illustrate why we need to focus purely on guidelines that support our objective of getting landowner consent. We must expect listing sites to do their own thing if they want to.

    Let Groundspeak trouble itself over 'breaking the ground' - that's too much detail when seeking consent to cache. What impression would a set of fussy and detailed guidelines give a land owner? I'd suggest it implies that we lack confidence, we are scared that we'll do something wrong.... which does not inspire confidence in return and would make consent harder to gain.

    We have to demonstrate confidence, show that we know what we want and know what is reasonable. If the land owner wants to negotiate on the terms - fine - but don't saddle the negotiation with someone else's problem to start with!

    Anything is possible with consent, let's go for the most permissive consent agreements we can get. If a major land owner is comfortable with caches being recessed in some way or other then that's a win for all of us.
    So obtain consent based on a set of guidelines which are claimed to be adhered to by the entire geocaching community, and then allow listing sites with their own, differing guidelines to authorise placement of caches which contravene those the landowner agreed to, on the basis of that original agreement?

    If you're going for as permissive as possible - why bother with guidelines at all?

    If all that matters is consent then surely it's a simple yes/no question to the landowner?

    Or better still - just leave the guidelines entirely to the listing sites.

    Job done.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Microdot View Post
    So obtain consent based on a set of guidelines which are claimed to be adhered to by the entire geocaching community, and then allow listing sites with their own, differing guidelines to authorise placement of caches which contravene those the landowner agreed to, on the basis of that original agreement?

    If you're going for as permissive as possible - why bother with guidelines at all?

    If all that matters is consent then surely it's a simple yes/no question to the landowner?

    Or better still - just leave the guidelines entirely to the listing sites.

    Job done.
    Our guidelines are needed to demonstrate that we consider the issues from the land owner's perspective and act responsibly. Negotiating without them would be plain cheeky and would be less successful than negotiating with them. Similarly, negotiating with Groundspeak's complex baggage on our back would be less successful than negotiating without it.

    It's about being pragmatic and getting the best outcomes for our association. I don't think we should claim to represent all Geocachers, only our members.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    Our guidelines are needed to demonstrate that we consider the issues from the land owner's perspective and act responsibly. Negotiating without them would be plain cheeky and would be less successful than negotiating with them. Similarly, negotiating with Groundspeak's complex baggage on our back would be less successful than negotiating without it.

    It's about being pragmatic and getting the best outcomes for our association. I don't think we should claim to represent all Geocachers, only our members.
    So when GAGB negotiates landowner permission, the permission granted will only be for GAGB members?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Microdot View Post
    Cool - let's forget about it then.

    What else do we have left with which to reinvent and rejuvenate the GAGB and make it an organisation people will be queueing up to join?
    QED!
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palujia View Post
    QED!
    What specifically do you think has been proven?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Microdot View Post
    So when GAGB negotiates landowner permission, the permission granted will only be for GAGB members?
    There's nobody who can negotiate for all Geocachers. We can only negotiate on our members' behalf, so technically, yes.

    In practice, provided our guidelines are a subset of the guidelines of listing sites - which they would almost certainly be if my minimalist approach is adopted - then for everyone who lists/seeks on those sites. It's our challenge to bring those listing sites that have a more relaxed approach (eg. Munzee) into the fold.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post

    In practice, provided our guidelines are a subset of the guidelines of listing sites - which they would almost certainly be if my minimalist approach is adopted - then for everyone who lists/seeks on those sites. It's our challenge to bring those listing sites that have a more relaxed approach (eg. Munzee) into the fold.
    That fits rather nicely with my idea for a guideline core that all subscribe to then :socool:

  18. #18

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    There should be an appeals process in the case of silly guidelines like the breaking ground guideline.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by The magna defender View Post
    There should be an appeals process in the case of silly guidelines like the breaking ground guideline.
    I agree. GAGB should negotiate with listing sites to remove guidelines that defy our collective wisdom I think we already have in the case of 'ground breaking', with positive outcome.

    (I've been 'breaking ground' for years - every time I drive a mooring pin into a canal towpath to secure my boat. An interesting juxtaposition for the situation that gave rise to that guideline.)

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    I agree. GAGB should negotiate with listing sites to remove guidelines that defy our collective wisdom I think we already have in the case of 'ground breaking', with positive outcome.
    How would you go about gauging the opinions of your membership in order to ascertain "collective wisdom"?

    Taking the case in question.. I read with interest all the debate on Facebook and the forums as well as listening to discussions at events etc. and there seemed to be more people who either agreed with the guidelines as they stood or weren't bothered one way or the other, than there was opposition to it.

    So how would you ensure that the negotiations which you undertake are actually on behalf of the majority of your membership and not just for the benefit of those who don't think they should be bound by any rules whatsoever?

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by lfc4eva View Post
    How would you go about gauging the opinions of your membership in order to ascertain "collective wisdom"?

    Taking the case in question.. I read with interest all the debate on Facebook and the forums as well as listening to discussions at events etc. and there seemed to be more people who either agreed with the guidelines as they stood or weren't bothered one way or the other, than there was opposition to it.

    So how would you ensure that the negotiations which you undertake are actually on behalf of the majority of your membership and not just for the benefit of those who don't think they should be bound by any rules whatsoever?
    I think if expressed opinion is mostly one way and our committee agrees, then that's a good enough to ascertain collective wisdom.

    If the issue is more nuanced or if our committee can't agree a unanimous position, then put it to a straw poll. If there isn't a decisive majority in that, it's probably not a battle worth fighting.

  22. #22

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    I've read all this and im amazed at how people think things through and how complicated people make things for everyone and themselves ...trust me working in retail I see enough crap but you learn to think smart and simple so
    we have sets of guidelines set by listing sites of which we are supposed to abide by ..obviously this is not always the case, can we or anyone directly affect that individual any other way than speaking to them or reporting the cache to the relevant listing site...and yes some guidelines my be a little fuzzy around the edges ...ask yourself this what is the % of UK geocachers that are members of the GAGB do you think that what ever you spend hours and months trying to wade through guidelines and what's right and wrong will it A - increase the GAGB membership B - make everyone happy C- change any of the guidelines ...
    Id take a guess that most of you will answer No to these , so why spend so much time on guidelines ..post the guidelines, post a best practice but it won't make people follow them or see them if again they are not members or don't care, what will make a difference is more people knowing about said guidelines and best practices ...don't be thinking I'm detracting from landowner permissions but don't you think that is a separate thing completely if a landowner doesn't want caches then they don't , if a landowner says yes fine but I don't want xyz then that's a specific we can highlight to our community but that is like I have said earlier a small % of the whole UK geocaching community ....this makes sense to me but maybe not to others ..

  23. #23

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    I'm not seeing any complexity - can you point me in the right direction?

    I'd have to say that I think landowner permission and guidelines go hand-in-hand.

    As a landowner, I'd want to know what to expect before granting permission and I think a concise set of core guidelines would at least give me a basic idea of what to expect from the majority of sensible, responsible geocachers.

    And yes, there will be exceptions to every rule - nothing's perfect



    Quote Originally Posted by walker clan View Post
    I've read all this and im amazed at how people think things through and how complicated people make things for everyone and themselves ...trust me working in retail I see enough crap but you learn to think smart and simple so
    we have sets of guidelines set by listing sites of which we are supposed to abide by ..obviously this is not always the case, can we or anyone directly affect that individual any other way than speaking to them or reporting the cache to the relevant listing site...and yes some guidelines my be a little fuzzy around the edges ...ask yourself this what is the % of UK geocachers that are members of the GAGB do you think that what ever you spend hours and months trying to wade through guidelines and what's right and wrong will it A - increase the GAGB membership B - make everyone happy C- change any of the guidelines ...
    Id take a guess that most of you will answer No to these , so why spend so much time on guidelines ..post the guidelines, post a best practice but it won't make people follow them or see them if again they are not members or don't care, what will make a difference is more people knowing about said guidelines and best practices ...don't be thinking I'm detracting from landowner permissions but don't you think that is a separate thing completely if a landowner doesn't want caches then they don't , if a landowner says yes fine but I don't want xyz then that's a specific we can highlight to our community but that is like I have said earlier a small % of the whole UK geocaching community ....this makes sense to me but maybe not to others ..

  24. #24

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    When you ask geocachers what they know about the GAGB they answer that they a) don't really know anything, or b)that the GAGB list landowner permissions. We need to grasp this issue, in order to negotiate or re-negotiate landowner permissions we need to be clear as an association where we stand. We can only be clear if we get rid of the controversy. I believe that there is some merit in negotiating with landowners on a very broad basis, using the listing sites guidelines as a starting point and then seeing how much the land owner would or would not agree to. It is commonplace for our local Forestry Commission contact to ask for caches to be placed at least 0.3 miles apart rather than the minimum distance allowed. This flexibility has allowed permissions to be gained. If we, as an association were to negotiate a sensible, forward thinking agreement which allowed limited permissions then it gives us sustainability and credibility rather than being viewed as being ineffective. Players need to see that the GAGB are being active in getting us into areas where permissions have previously been declined or entering into negotiation with listing sites when a guideline/rule is introduced which is causing dissent.

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