March 13th 2017

When I established the forums in 2005 it was to offer a more richer web experience and greater functionality than the platform where we started this social adventure in 2003, Yahoo Groups. The forums were once a busy hive of activity and provided locals and visitors with a wealth of information just like the Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group on Facebook today.

It was a time where we didn't have the many social media platforms we have today, and it was a different time in terms of mobility and technology. There was no instant access to information, no Google Maps and a very limited base map on your GPSr. Mobile connectivity for me was a 9600bps Infrared connection from a Nokia to a laptop and in later times to a PDA using WAP.

As we moved into the social media era so did our forums users. Geocaching Ireland moved there too, and we have a thriving community on the Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group on Facebook. As a result, forum activity isn't what it used to be and I have taken the decision to disable new registrations to the forums and to make the forums read only so any information there can still be accessed.

The discussion hasn't ended, it has just moved. Join us on the Facebook Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group .

Donnacha

Event Caches and GC.com's Commercial Guideline

Geocache Placement and Review Discussions

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Croaghan
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Event Caches and GC.com's Commercial Guideline

Post by Croaghan » Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:16 pm

As some of you may be aware GC.com are becoming very concerned at the exploitation of geocaching as a marketing tool for certain businesses and companies. Although this is mainly a US issue they have decided that they will enforce the Commercial Guideline in a strict sense across all caches listed on the site. It doesn't affect established caches or events but anyone publishing recently may have noticed me bringing it to their attention during the review process.

This is the Guideline (Link):
Commercial Caches

Commercial caches attempt to use the Geocaching.com web site cache reporting tool directly or indirectly (intentionally or non-intentionally) to solicit customers through a Geocaching.com listing. These are NOT permitted. Examples include for-profit locations that require an entrance fee, or locations that sell products or services. If the finder is required to go inside the business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, then the cache is presumed to be commercial.

Some exceptions can be made. In these situations, permission can be given by Groundspeak. However, permission should be asked first before posting. If you are in doubt, ask first. If you do not have advance permission, your reviewer will refer you to Groundspeak.
There is a certain amount of flexibility with this but as the highlighted section states feel free to ask me in advance if you are unsure.

The main effect this will have is on Event caches. The following is no longer allowed on a cache page:
  • Repeated mentions of a venue
  • A description of the venue that reads like an advertisement
  • A description of the services offered by a venue
  • A menu posted on an Event page
  • A link to the website of the venue
  • Recommended accommodation
  • Links to any local businesses (including accommodation, pubs, hotels, shops, etc.)
There is a way to work with these restrictions and still respect the wishes of GC.com. You can include a link on the event page to either of the following:
  • A forum thread detailing all the information that visitors may require
  • A personal website away from GC.com detailing the information as above.
I understand that many of you may not like or agree with these restrictions but I will be enforcing them as required by GC.com and I hope I continue to get cooperation from cache owners as I've experienced so far.

Please note that any events that fulfil these restrictions at publication and then change to include any of the prohibited information run the risk of having the event page archived by GC.com. I won't be taking such a draconian approach and will instead contact the cache owner to remove any issues but if any other reviewers see violations they have the power to archive the event page.

If you disagree with this stance or you have any queries/comments you want to make direct you can of course contact GC.com using the general email address contact@geocaching.com

Thanks,

Niall
Volunteer Reviewer for Geocaching.com (Ireland)

Reviewing as Croaghan
Caching as dino-irl

GC.com Profiles: dino-irl Croaghan

GeocachingIreland/Leave No Trace Guidelines

Donmoore
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Post by Donmoore » Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:00 am

So the Glansman event is an ok listing for an event even though it mentions the resturant by name a number of times? I have no problems about this I am just a bit confused now as at what point is ok and not ok to mention the name of location of where the event is being held??? We need a new seriuosly confused smiley.

This is all starting to be a bit baffling. In the whole I have no prblem with what is happening at the minute as long as it does not interfer with my enternal search to find my lost lunch box.


What about caches that are on or in an area you have to pay to go into? again in general I have no probs with it other than I would like to know before hand as I won't usually cache with Cash.

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Croaghan
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Post by Croaghan » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:38 am

So the Glansman event is an ok listing for an event even though it mentions the resturant by name a number of times?
Yes it is. FYI (and I assume that kagemu hasn't a problem with us discussing it like this) but he initially submitted the cache with a lot more information that would have been ok a few months ago but now has to be removed. We discussed the page prior to publication and IMO the page content now strikes a balance between lack of commercial content and providing basic information for anyone wishing to attend the event. Kagenu has also taken my advice and started a thread here, linked from the cache page to offer more detailed information that GC.com would prefer be kept off the cache page.
I have no problems about this I am just a bit confused now as at what point is ok and not ok to mention the name of location of where the event is being held???
Which is why it's recommended and highlighted in my OP that you should ask beforehand for some advice if you're unsure. If you make the effort to work with me then I'll be as accommodating as possible.
What about caches that are on or in an area you have to pay to go into? again in general I have no probs with it other than I would like to know before hand as I won't usually cache with Cash.
If the area is run by a "not for profit" organisation then that is okay. If it's a private enterprise then it's against the guidelines. Some of these caches have been around for a long, long time and as such are now "grandfathered". If you see a recent cache like this then I would appreciate an email and I will take action to rectify the situation.

It is good manners for a cache owner to add the entrance fee required attribute on a cache where it is required but unfortunately it isn't mandatory. The only way to influence this is to make a complaint by email to the cache owner or mention your dissatisfaction in your log.
Volunteer Reviewer for Geocaching.com (Ireland)

Reviewing as Croaghan
Caching as dino-irl

GC.com Profiles: dino-irl Croaghan

GeocachingIreland/Leave No Trace Guidelines

Donmoore
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Post by Donmoore » Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:15 pm

So it's ok to say i will be driving my Mazda to the event and having breakfast in McDonalds lunch in the Hilton and dinner in KFC ( good balanced diet i have) but i can't say thats where we will having these meals as a group. Actually don't answer that my head hurts.

What about Jeep giving away Jeeps every year surely that is the biggest commercial usage of GC ever?

sure the craic is mighty should give people lots of ammo to vent.

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Croaghan
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Post by Croaghan » Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:33 pm

You can say where the venue is....you just can't write anything that could be seen to be promoting the venue. It's simple really and I've provided a list of what you can't do.

The Jeep situation is different. They have paid Groundspeak for the privilege of using GC.com for marketing purposes. By enforcing this guideline in a more strict fashion GC.com are preventing unauthorised use of their site for marketing purposes. By enforcing a strict version of the guideline in a blanket fashion prevents anyone from complaining about favouritism for others when they can't promote their own business.

If you disagree with this move then you should use the email address in my OP and if you have specific concerns then you should contact me direct.
Volunteer Reviewer for Geocaching.com (Ireland)

Reviewing as Croaghan
Caching as dino-irl

GC.com Profiles: dino-irl Croaghan

GeocachingIreland/Leave No Trace Guidelines

Kagemu
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Post by Kagemu » Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:53 pm

For the general record:

I do NOT have any issue with GC.com guidelines regarding commercial content.

(Neither am I suggesting that anyone else has.)

I have always found Croaghan (and Erik before him) to be more than helpful when reviewing, approving and publishing any of my caches.

I don't really like to be singled out and I could have done without the bad publicity for "The Glensman" but in this instance I think it's really helpful to listen to our local reviewer and follow his advice - he's there to help as much as anything.

For that reason, yes, I admit I originally submitted a cache listing which read like a full page advertisement for the venue. I was happy to follow Croaghan's advice and am more than happy that Donnacha allowed me to post a thread on the forum.

If Croaghan requires a further change to the listing, I'll make it.

Besides, I can put all sorts of information on the thread and answer general questions for people in a way which would be much more difficult using GC.com or e-mail.
Donmoore wrote:sure the craic is mighty should give people lots of ammo to vent.
Not 100% sure what this is aimed at or where this quote is from but yes, the craic is good in the Glens but then the Glens are not a commercial enterprise and the craic is the enjoyment of other people's company in this part of the world and isn't associated with any particular product or venue.

If anybody has any further problems or complaints to make about "The Glensman" or any of my other caches could they make that complaint through the proper channels (ie by contacting the local reviewer) instead of first discussing it in public.

THE_Chris
Carrauntoohil 1039m
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Post by THE_Chris » Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:25 pm

Heres an awkward one.

This cache.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_de ... 642def3842

Its in Germany, but Im asking because I found it.

You have to pay to get into the Deutches Museum and the clues are inside. Obviously you'd have to cut down on the advertising in the listing.

But the owner gives a different set of clues that mean one doesnt have to go inside the museum.

How would this operate under the new rules? When you have an option to pay and go inside somewhere for clues, or theres a clearly marked alternate set of clues that mean you dont have to go inside, but both lead to the same box.

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Croaghan
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Post by Croaghan » Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:47 pm

Museums are a funny one. If it's a privately owned museum then I wouldn't publish if you had to pay to enter. Free to enter no problem.

If it's a public owned/not for profit museum then I'd probably publish it but make sure that the owner lets people know that it's not privately owned and that a fee is required to enter.

This cache that you point out is perfect as it gives an option to find the cache without having to pay the fee but gives an added dimension to the museum visit if you are intending to go in anyway.
Volunteer Reviewer for Geocaching.com (Ireland)

Reviewing as Croaghan
Caching as dino-irl

GC.com Profiles: dino-irl Croaghan

GeocachingIreland/Leave No Trace Guidelines

THE_Chris
Carrauntoohil 1039m
Carrauntoohil 1039m
Posts: 434
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:27 pm
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Post by THE_Chris » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:31 pm

Cool, thanks :D

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