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Temporary Senate/ Sponsorship Working group 
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Post Temporary Senate/ Sponsorship Working group
This potential sponsorship deal is obviously a Big Deal and could alter the direction of this site considerably, so it needs to be dealt with by as representative a group as possible.

To that end, I propose a temporary working group to help C@W and Riblit assess the proposed deal and offer a user perspective on its merits and pitfalls.

As this group will have no executive power, I don't think the 'election' process need be very rigorous. I'd suggest a nominator and seconder for a GCA member in good standing, an agreement from the nominee, and then (depending on number of nominees), an online vote via poll.
If the number of nominees is small, then they can be deemed 'elected' by default.

Their brief is limited: to assess the proposed sponsorship deal in discussion with C@W and Riblit and, based on those discussions, make recommendations to the general membership. They can decide if consensus is required, or if each individual's opinions should be shared.

Once the sponsorship decision is made, the group disbands and has no further brief.

I don't know what the timescale we have to play with is, so I'd appreciate some guidance from C@W or Riblit on that. I'm sure it needs to be fairly speedy, though, so let's not dilly-dally too much!


03 October 08 2:08 pm
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Assuming this meets with general approval, I'd like to make two nominations:

Richary
Rhinogeo

Both have been around the game for awhile, have numerous finds of caches from both sites, have been active in these forums (>500 posts) and expressed opinions on this topic in the original thread.


03 October 08 2:12 pm
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Some ideas can be brought in from past discussions:
2.5 years ago
http://forum.geocaching.com.au/viewtopic.php?t=5367
2 years ago:
http://forum.geocaching.com.au/viewtopic.php?t=6298
Interesting commentary on who the "honchos" are and what they might take on.

I would like to see one person from each state / territory. This gives us representation of the whole community rather than just the big states taking control.

Years of geocaching experience would be a good attribute to have in Senator, provided they were not simply joining to get us to go back to the old ways. Sometime those with more experience yearn for their perceived better times while newer caches don't have the baggage.

Post count is an indicator of involvement in the community, but doesn't take into account that a lot of posts here are padding and not worthy of being counted.

GCA hides and finds could be taken into account. Those are the people who are actively encouraging the growth of the GCA website. Not everyone has a GCA cache close to them and not everybody hides, this needs to be considered carefully.

By default, your current site administrators / developers will form part of the Senate, but as additional seats, not replacements. We are the ones who will set up the discussion areas and provide the information as we know it from the current sponsor. There is no getting away from us being involved in this discussion. I hope that's OK. There are 8 states / territories plus 3 developers makes for 11 people.

The indication was that this all may start in November. We are in October now, so let's get this going quickly. By quickly, I mean by early next week. There should be lots of people who read the forums regularly enough to read and provide a nomination / vote.

Personally I would like to target next Friday 10-Oct-2008 to get back to the sponsor. That gives us one week to get the senate together, get some discussion going and identify what if anything we want to counter offer to the sponsor.

Let's not get bogged down in details, but let's not just assume someone else will care either. It's your site, your game, volunteer and have some fun along the way shaping the community and the website.


03 October 08 4:00 pm
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Whilst geocaching experience does count, I believe some business acumen would be more beneficial in order to make such an important decision for GCA.

I'd prefer cachers advise what there employment background is to get a more business like approach to the decision makiing.

Hopefully we have some lawyers, accountants, business owners, advertising/marketing gurus, etc. who know what to look out for in the fine detail and ensure that the interests of GCA are protected in whatever arrangements are entered into. The geocaching gurus would know if they have met those cachers with such expertise and would be able to vouch for their credibility.

Obviously, some legal entity must also be created to represent GCA so that it can legally enter into an agreement.

The resolution as to the legal entity may draw out the time frame in which to come to an agreement with the potential sponsor.

With no disrespect intended, I don't know how the "Senators" can enter into any formal arrangement with a potential sponsor. I'd be questioning the expertise of the sponsor if they are prepared to make an agreement with a bunch of guys they have no idea as to who they are.

Please take this in the spirit of generating debate and taking a devils advocate position to ensure balance.

Whilst initially opposed to sponsorship the debate has made me see reason that there may well be away to make the sponsorship arrangement work without making geocaching mainstream.

My background is 25 years as a Financial Administrator, 10 years as a self employed bookkeeper/accountant and 15 years working for a not for profit community housing organisation managing over 150 properties.

I'd be happy to assist if no one else in SA wants to put up their hand.


03 October 08 4:22 pm
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Senators provide input into the decisions. A legal entity will enter in to the contract if the Senators agree on behalf of the community.

Basically the senate gets a proposal (eg. sposnorship).
They discuss pros and cons (and ramifications).
They agree to proceed or not proceed (11 senators including 3 developers, it would be a simple majority).
We move ahead based on the decision.

This assumes that you, the people, vest your power with your Senator. If they decide yes and you don't like it, then a bit like real politics, tough luck buster.

That's why I prefer people who have an active interest in GCA as a site. I would hate to see the senate taken over by people with interests in shutting the place down or restricting the ongoing development.

Mind you, nearly 100 views and only 3 posts. Makes me think that people will go along with whatever we (the vocals ones) decide.


03 October 08 5:32 pm
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I am very grateful for the work and wonderful goodwill that c@w and others have done to build a community for Australian cachers.

This is definitely a time when more representation from well-respected geocachers across the country could help reach a broad consensus decision.

In another thread on the Senate, c@w wrote:

Quote:
At the moment, the developers do what they feel is good and fun, but no-one gets to approve it.


This shows up when this issue first started. First we were going to sell some stickers or coins, and then we were going to do a donation drive. Half way through the donation drive, we accidentally sabotaged that by announcing a possible sponsorship. It seems to have lurched around a bit - which is understandable. No we weren't doing subscriptions - that is a BIG decision too - made by one or two people. Note: I did put my money where my mouth was for the donation, and it was more that a GC premium membership because I really value the contribution to the Australian caching community.

I don't believe the senate or working party should just look at the sponsorship deal. It should holistically look at all ways to make GCA more financially self-supporting. All ideas should be put on the table for this group.

It seems to me that at the moment that one simple goal is to continue how we are but raise $6000 annually to upgrade and support the servers - presuming we continue with C@W and other developers goodwill.

How much is the sponsor going to provide? $6000? That is a paltry sum compared to their potential benefit/return.

Should we test the likelihood of a company like Johnny Appleseed etc to advertise on the site?

As others have said, a paltry annual $5 fee per GCA member would cover this $6000, or sustained donation drive could still work - if it hadn;t been trumped so quickly. We need to emphasize that the cost of the server is actually the cost of providing the community environment.

Fee-paying or donation-giving members have demonstrated their commitment to GCA, and should be able to vote on major recommendations of the Senate so that there is still people power.

There are a number of "kilo" cachers in the ACT who all have a strong commitment to the caching community. They are also well-respected by the ACT caching community and all would seek feedback from the community they represent.

winglen won't appreciate this - but I nominate them to represent the ACT. winglen's muggle life probably would make them very good senators.

Regards
Ben


03 October 08 5:55 pm
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I'D like to volunteer the BRONZE for the senante :lol:


03 October 08 6:29 pm
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SecretSquirrel-BJC wrote:
I don't believe the senate or working party should just look at the sponsorship deal. It should holistically look at all ways to make GCA more financially self-supporting. All ideas should be put on the table for this group.

It seems to me that at the moment that one simple goal is to continue how we are but raise $6000 annually to upgrade and support the servers - presuming we continue with C@W and other developers goodwill.

How much is the sponsor going to provide? $6000? That is a paltry sum compared to their potential benefit/return.

<P>while I agree with SecretSquirrel-BJC about the senate should look at more than just the sponsorship deal. The thing is that is the main thing at the moment.</P>
<P>In the short term (until the 10-10) this needs to be the main issue that is dealt with. once a response has got back to the sponsor and waiting for a response back use that time to look at other options. Yes I know its not much time but unfortunately we don't have time so lets use it wisely.</P>
SecretSquirrel-BJC wrote:
Should we test the likelihood of a company like Johnny Appleseed etc to advertise on the site?

<P>For all we know it could be a company like Johnny Appleseed</P>

Jardry wrote:
Obviously, some legal entity must also be created to represent GCA so that it can legally enter into an agreement.

The resolution as to the legal entity may draw out the time frame in which to come to an agreement with the potential sponsor.

<P>Within the GCA community there are already 2 legal entities, Geocaching Tasmania Incorporated and Geocaching NSW. It would be good to see each state and terrritory have its own legal entity and the senate be made up with representatives from these groups</P>
<P>while I think it is good to have representatives that have been caching for a long time and are active within the community don't forget the newcomers or ones like myself that have a strong interest in the future of GCA, but just don't have the numbers and have sat on the sidelines watching these forums for most of the time thinking that my inexperience would not have much bearing on most issues until recently</P><P>I have more to say on the subject of the sponsorship but I will post that in the appropriate forum</P>


03 October 08 7:13 pm
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Papa Bear_Left wrote:
Assuming this meets with general approval, I'd like to make two nominations:

Richary
Rhinogeo

Both have been around the game for awhile, have numerous finds of caches from both sites, have been active in these forums (>500 posts) and expressed opinions on this topic in the original thread.

Thanks for the nomination ... I think :wink:

To paraphrase Jim Hacker ... If asked if he wants to be a member of the GCA Senate, the generally acceptable answer for a geocacher is that while he does not seek the office, he has pledged himself to the service of geocaching, and that should his colleagues persuade him that that is the best way he can serve, he might reluctantly have to accept the responsibility, whatever his personal wishes might be

FWIW, I'm a Geological Engineer working more as a Civil Eng administering the maintenance of State roads infrastructure in NE Vic

In a previous life I was General Manager of Operations for an Industrial Minerals & Chemical processing business and often spent my weekends working as a mobile DJ for weddings and 21st birthdays

When I was much younger I was a Vertical Displacement Engineer (a.k.a. lift driver) at David Jones in Bourke Street, Melbourne :P

I have also held several senior elected positions in voluntary organisations

Most importantly I care about geocaching and its future :)


03 October 08 8:12 pm
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rhinogeo wrote:
Papa Bear_Left wrote:
Assuming this meets with general approval, I'd like to make two nominations:

Richary
Rhinogeo

Both have been around the game for awhile, have numerous finds of caches from both sites, have been active in these forums (>500 posts) and expressed opinions on this topic in the original thread.

Thanks for the nomination ... I think :wink:

To paraphrase Jim Hacker ... If asked if he wants to be a member of the GCA Senate, the generally acceptable answer for a geocacher is that while he does not seek the office, he has pledged himself to the service of geocaching, and that should his colleagues persuade him that that is the best way he can serve, he might reluctantly have to accept the responsibility, whatever his personal wishes might be

FWIW, I'm a Geological Engineer working more as a Civil Eng administering the maintenance of State roads infrastructure in NE Vic

In a previous life I was General Manager of Operations for an Industrial Minerals & Chemical processing business and often spent my weekends working as a mobile DJ for weddings and 21st birthdays

When I was much younger I was a Vertical Displacement Engineer (a.k.a. lift driver) at David Jones in Bourke Street, Melbourne :P

I have also held several senior elected positions in voluntary organisations

Most importantly I care about geocaching and its future :)


Great background and would be an ideal Senator.


03 October 08 8:52 pm
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I would like to be on the senate, but I will not be presumptuous and nominate myself, as I don't believe that I have the experience needed based on the suggestions made by C@W. However I do think I could make a contribution to the discussion as a senator.

I will only nominate myself if a more experienced member from Qld doesn't nominate.


03 October 08 9:32 pm
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We are not after 'experience', we are after people who can objectively look at the offer, weigh up the pro's and cons and make a balanced, informed decision.

The number of finds or hide does not make you any less worthy of nomination.

We have more users with <1000 finds than those with >1000 finds.
We here value the input of all the users, and historically those users without the big numbers have been more supportive of our site and our services.

Do you care about the site?
Do you want to help keep it going (by whatever means is decided?)
Do you want to weigh up the options, rather than nominate to block or alternatively rubber stamp the deal?

If yes, feel free to put your hand up!


03 October 08 9:54 pm
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I'm going to have to nominate Spindoc Bob, and Webguy for NSW.

I also think it is time for Geocaching Australia Inc. May be we're being pushed towards it, but it may not be such a bad thing.


03 October 08 11:14 pm
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I would like to think people would nominate THEMSELVES.

We want people who have an interest in the Geocaching Australia Web site.

This is about the funding proposal for the site, not anything to do with associations (for now) or peoples opinions about caching in general.

To quote PBL:
Quote:
Their brief is limited: to assess the proposed sponsorship deal in discussion with C@W and Riblit and, based on those discussions, make recommendations to the general membership. They can decide if consensus is required, or if each individual's opinions should be shared.


(sorry if I sound a bit snarky, it's just that the focus keeps drifting)


03 October 08 11:24 pm
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CraigRat wrote:
I would like to think people would nominate THEMSELVES

PBL beat me to it :shock:


03 October 08 11:54 pm
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