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governance of the website 
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Post governance of the website
caughtatwork wrote:
A steering committee is generally implemented to steer the group towards a strategic end. I'm not sure we have a strategic end. We have lots of tactical goals, but I couldn't tell you what the strategic goal really was.


good point. the objective of the website was initially to get rid of ads and provide a backup plan should gc.com go in the wrong direction. life was simple: it was a personal website and we did what we wanted with it.

offering to host the bbcachers(?) forum that pyrenees kid set up changed that, because with a forum comes a sense of community. after a while the sense of community eclipsed the personal nature of the website: woodiebro allowed us to use his logo on the website, team landcruiser expanded it to include the name, people started posting and away it went. there are recent posts where people say that gca is a collective, not owned by anyone, which shows how some people view it.

so GCA is a combination of website and community. we've articulated the objective of the website in back in thread #2

our objective is to find a governance structure for the website, not the community. it could be that the two are linked, if the community gets some kind of governance structure, then it that would obviously have a bearing on the governance of the website. there's another thread on the governance of the community: an australian geocaching association

your thoughts on governance of the website?


Last edited by ideology on 01 February 08 10:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.



03 May 06 10:22 am
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I am only a new cacher, but I do belive that the control of the website should be done as a colaborative effort. I would hate to see the site get as controled as GC.com, but a "community voice" may become essential depending on the direction that cache placements take. <br><br>

Most of the longer standing cachers are quite set into the original rules laid down by GC.com, but as newer blood comes in the possibility of people devising new and unusual cache designs gets bigger. With that comes the danger that placements could fall into several negative areas. The only thing I would like to see as far as governance is a veto forum set up to manage "valid" issues with caches. This design would allow the community to voice concerns, and if necessary vote on the validity of different cache designs.
<br><br>
I love this sport and intend to be doing it for many years to come.


03 May 06 6:21 pm
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what sort of collaborative effort would you like?


04 May 06 8:50 am
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Well, we could publish a list of guidelines, specifying the sort of things that the community feels is important to include and exclude in cache placements, then have some sort of scheme where volunteer reviewers check out new caches to make sure they comply before they get put on the site...

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Actually, I would like to see a group of volunteers who have a right of veto (post-publishing probably, to avoid _some_ of the politics!) and are committed to running their eye over all new GCA caches.
Not to be as rule-bound as the other site, but just to catch the obviously stupid caches.

At the moment, I could set up a cache that looks like a surface-to-air missile at the end of the runway in Perth Airport and get it listed. Or that April 1st joke listing with the bomb-shaped cache on the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

If it was a slow news day, the press would pick it up and have a field day, potentially causing the nanny state to take notice and ban geocaching.

We could avoid the perception of elitism or whatever by having a mechanism where vetoed caches are listed in a forum with a poll attached. If the poll shows that a majority approves the placement, the veto is vetoed and we live with the consequences. (Maybe a minimum number of votes, too, to stop the owner and his mate from being the only positive voters!)


04 May 06 12:48 pm
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Bear_Left wrote:
Well, we could publish a list of guidelines, specifying the sort of things that the community feels is important to include and exclude in cache placements, then have some sort of scheme where volunteer reviewers check out new caches to make sure they comply before they get put on the site...

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Actually, I would like to see a group of volunteers who have a right of veto (post-publishing probably, to avoid _some_ of the politics!) and are committed to running their eye over all new GCA caches.
Not to be as rule-bound as the other site, but just to catch the obviously stupid caches.

At the moment, I could set up a cache that looks like a surface-to-air missile at the end of the runway in Perth Airport and get it listed. Or that April 1st joke listing with the bomb-shaped cache on the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

If it was a slow news day, the press would pick it up and have a field day, potentially causing the nanny state to take notice and ban geocaching.

We could avoid the perception of elitism or whatever by having a mechanism where vetoed caches are listed in a forum with a poll attached. If the poll shows that a majority approves the placement, the veto is vetoed and we live with the consequences. (Maybe a minimum number of votes, too, to stop the owner and his mate from being the only positive voters!)
Could we say veto of irresponsibly placed caches rather than stupid caches? I see what you are getting at - veto to protect us as a community and keep our sport alive. But if it's the more general 'stupid' it is a bit more open to people's opinions - what they personally do or don't like, what makes their stats look odd, etc.


04 May 06 1:17 pm
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Snuva wrote:
Could we say veto of irresponsibly placed caches rather than stupid caches? I see what you are getting at - veto to protect us as a community and keep our sport alive. But if it's the more general 'stupid' it is a bit more open to people's opinions - what they personally do or don't like, what makes their stats look odd, etc.


Good point. I've obviously become soured already by my gc.com reviewing experiences! :oops:


04 May 06 1:52 pm
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Bear_Left wrote:
We could avoid the perception of elitism or whatever by having a mechanism where vetoed caches are listed in a forum with a poll attached. If the poll shows that a majority approves the placement, the veto is vetoed and we live with the consequences.


Sounds like a good idea. The cache could be vetoed back to draft mode after placement if there is a concern and subject to a peer review.


04 May 06 7:51 pm
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Someone please define irresponsibly placed.

Dingbats who would place a bomb like cache on a public structure woudn't give a rats as to whether "we" "place it back in draft mode" or not.

They've achieved their goal which is to troll and have provoke a reaction.

Part of the benefit of having GCA is that there are no rules. This will end up with dumb, stupid and irresponsibly placed caches.

A 60/40 poll to move it back into "draft" mode still means that there are 40% of the people who voted who think it's OK.

What % do we need to move something back into "draft"?

>80%, >90%, >95%, 100% or some other number.

Is one person (apart from the owner) in support a reason to leave it live?

Some dislike other listing sites for their "guidelines" which are subject to interpretation. This is not just GCA, but TC have similar issues.

We are either free and open or free and somewhat open which is essentially free and closed.

Please let the discussion continue.


04 May 06 9:01 pm
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caughtatwork wrote:
Someone please define irresponsibly placed.

Dingbats who would place a bomb like cache on a public structure woudn't give a rats as to whether "we" "place it back in draft mode" or not.



To take this another step.

That same person who wanted to continue to have the cache active could continue to do so despite any 'place it back in draft mode' actions.

The only way you could stop this sort of action is to have a 'Peer Review' step before a cache is activated and I suspect that this would not be accepted by a lot of the comunity as it is definately a step away from 'Free and Open'.

I would support such a step on any GCA cache as I am not opposed to the concept but it again comes down to what caughtatwork has said in another part of his post. At what percentage do you decide to accept that the community is OK with such a step being put in place if it is not 100% support.

PS Missed a bit of what I was going to say. If 'place it back in draft mode' can be bypassed or circumvented then it becomes moot that there is such an action available. (I'm disregarding the fact that it is already available by a behind the scenes action by TPTB. <--- another can of worms.)


04 May 06 9:36 pm
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I am thinking that when reporting a cache as a new hide, there could be a section with boxes to tick to say that the cache placement meets certain requirements, ( the requirements to be decided upon by the users of GCA )

Then when the cache is "live" and people find it perhaps there there could be, as well as the smilies and frownies, another icon for "needs reviewing".

Perhaps the need for reviewing could be locked into certain amounts of finds so that you would not have a newbie flagging a cache as "needs reviewing" when someone who has found a lot would not think twice about it.

Then if a cache is flagged as "needs reviewing", it passes to the in box of a well known and respected cacher within the GCA community to be checked.

Knowing the amount of time away from caches that the GC reviewers spend now the last thing we want is for them to review every cache that is placed.




I went geocaching one day and found...............myself.


05 May 06 12:12 am
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caughtatwork wrote:
Someone please define irresponsibly placed.

Dingbats who would place a bomb like cache on a public structure woudn't give a rats as to whether "we" "place it back in draft mode" or not.

They've achieved their goal which is to troll and have provoke a reaction.


My definition is the sort of cache placement that would frighten/piss off/cost money from the populace enough to make geocaching pop up above the radar in a bad way.

You know how just about every bloody article in the mainstream press mentions those couple of incidents in the States where someone (who's swallowed the Homeland Security scam) phones 911 about an ammo tin in a park as a WMD?

What if it wasn't a fairly obviously harmless box under a bush. What if some dingbat wanted to get his actions on the news? (Think firebugs who start major bushfires)

Stop traffic on the Sydney Harbour or Westgate Bridge in peak hour. Interrupt the opening of Parliament in Canberra. (I was looking for something horrible to suggest in Adelaide, but most of them have already happened for real...)

All it would take is a tip-off about the suspicious enough object secreted in a sensitive place, with a GCA note in it for the annoyed bomb squad to complain about loudly in the press conference.

And there it is when the reporters follow the link, listed on the GCA page as a legitimate, effectively endorsed, part of our game.

Hey presto, we're an underground organisation.


05 May 06 12:31 am
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caughtatwork wrote:
We are either free and open or free and somewhat open which is essentially free and closed.


Is, say, Linux free and open? You can use it, change it however you like, make your changes available to the public, etc. But to get your changes into the kernel, you have to pass the gatekeepers.

So, if you find a Trojan in the modified kernel you downloaded off some bloke's website, don't expect to get any sympathy when you try to claim that Linus wiped your hard drive!
If the Trojan _was_ in the official kernel, it'd be on Slashdot immediately.

Likewise, we can't stop any dickhead (someone pointed out what a mild term dingbat is!) from calling his hoax a geocache. But we can choose not to allow it on this site, with our implied endorsement.


05 May 06 1:15 am
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cache listing rules are interesting stuff, but in this topic, we're more interested in the governance of the website. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governance for the kind of thing we are talking about.

Chwiliwr mentioned "TPTB" and bear_left mentioned linux's gatekeepers, both of which infer some kind of governance model. the linux one is interesting - it does seem quite open, but then you have a of benevolent dictator sitting at the top. the groundspeak one seems corporate and happy to lock threads.

we should also define governance of what:
- data: this is the central part of what we mean by open. the thing that really annoyed us about groundspeak is that you couldn't get your data off there and move it somewhere else easily. so we wanted to make sure that that woulnd't happen at gca. hence: free and complete gpx files.
- source code: we've had a long-term plan of releasing the source code under an open licence. we've discussed using a creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence with the current developers (c@w, riblit, mind socket) and they are happy with that.
- naming and logos: we are annoyed and dismayed at the use of the gca logo on the geocoins. we can't say no because the logo is not ours: it's woodiebros. we asked him for permission to use it and he said yes. our only option is to change the logo for this site. we'd have done it already but for the fact that someone (cached?) has had it screen printed on the back of their spare tyre cover. this time we'll make sure that there's an appropriate licence in place! licence does not mean closed: it just means defined. (just as "open" doesn't mean "public domain")
- strategic direction: we wrote out the strategic direction of the site in topic #2 so it was clear to us what the potential was but it wasn't clear to other people. clearly what has happened is that we've built a site with objective "A", then offered to host the bbCachingAustralia forum which has grown into a community that does not necessarily have objective "A" and then asks why their website is doing "A"

your thoughts?


05 May 06 8:37 am
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I would like to suggest that on any governance issues that require voting on to finalise a decision, that the poll is not listed until after it is concurred that the discussion has come to the vote to be taken.

On this site, you can't retract your vote once it has been made, nor can you vote again. Both are good things.

Many times on here we see polls worded ambiguously, or peoples opinions change through the course of discussion.

This suggestion would alleviate those issues, and provide a mechanism similar to a meeting where discussion is held and a vote taken.

Also, was this to be an opt in area? Or will every decision be open to all?


05 May 06 9:06 am
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any more thoughts on this?


28 June 06 9:47 am
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