Sponsorship Opportunity

Geocaching Australia governance issues
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caughtatwork
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Post by caughtatwork » 02 October 08 12:04 am

pjamesk wrote:I'm in two minds about this offer.

On one hand I see what people are saying about it being free and open. And going with a membership type option to raise money for ongoing maintenance.
But to take you back to several forum topics about the fee /no fee (or whatever you want to call it) that came about for the funding of a new server that eventually ended up being the current donation drive.

These posts revolved around what you could or would get for your membership buck there was a lot of indecision about it because we already get so much for nothing. So it does come back to "what would I get for my subscription that I don't get now" (not that I'm taking this topic there, please not again). With this in mind to offer much more would mean a bigger server at a bigger expense?
With the increases that C@W was indicating, 6 signups per day, this site is going to grow but how many would want to pay? it would be interesting to know what % of gc users pay.

On the other hand I see that GCA could grow with sponsorship and can see that sponsorship of "cache of the year" type prizes could increase the quality of some caches. It doesn't matter whether a cache is published on gc or gca you will always get crappy caches. It's up to the existing cachers to educate the "newbie's". With sponsorship money this could be done with special events and with good marketing.

So I'm still on the fence with this one but leaning towards the yes side. Its a bit hard to make an educated decision without all the info but I can understand why you cant say anything.

It would be good to know is the marketing only directed at geocaching or is geocaching only a small part. This could make a difference to the amount of people directed to gca.
The ownership is an issue......
Last reply for the night. Remember, you are many and I am one.

I wish we had of been approached a couple of months ago and avoided the donation drive and the awful pain that will come should be get a sponsor. But if wishes were money, er, I'd be rich :-)

We will never know how many GC users pay. They of course have a larger customer base so they can afford a lower % rate of payers.

If someone could take up the cause to get a true Senate representative, say one from each state and territory, we could give more information to those people. We just never got the senate up and running. Of course, we would be bound by their decision, so we would need to fair an equitable about setting up the senate. If someone would like to do that, I'll watch with interest.

Good marketing and special event are a most excellent idea.

I believe, though our discussion was short, that it was Geocaching Australia ONLY as the approach.

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 02 October 08 12:04 am

caughtatwork wrote:The question of bribery is an interesting one and one that has not real means of addressing. The fallback plan should the sponsorship get yanked involves multiple daily backups of the data and code offsite. We could easily have the data send off to two or more places so that one of your developers would always have a copy ready to start up again. If necessary and there was an association or entity that owned GCA, then additional copies could be created each night ensuring a viable recovery option.

Legal questions over which entity would sign a contract are to be discussed and agreed.
Thanks for the replies! You have obviously spent a night on the email, just as well GeoSportz is over :lol:

I think from a legal point of view they will need someone to sign a contract with from their company perspective, which leads to the question "who owns" GCA now. The current registration info doesn't help that much!

Domain Name geocaching.com.au
Last Modified 05-Mar-2005 04:26:41 UTC
Registrar ID Bottle Domains
Registrar Name Bottle Domains
Status ok
Registrant Corporate Hoore
Registrant ID OTHER 092 516 115
Eligibility Type Other
Eligibility Name Geocaching
Eligibility ID NSW BN BN97842724 (NSW)
Registrant Contact ID C20851-02-BD
Registrant Contact Name Geocaching Admin
Registrant Contact Email admin@geocaching.com.au
Tech Contact ID C33747-BD
Tech Contact Name Geocaching Admin
Tech Contact Email admin@geoaching.com.au
Name Server rev.modernnoise.com
Name Server doc.modernnoise.com

I think we need to be clear that we maintain control of the domain/server at the very least, but otherwise your answers in previous messages satisfy my concerns.

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caughtatwork
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Post by caughtatwork » 02 October 08 12:09 am

Yes,, my fingers and brain are nearly dead now, but I hope to provide information as we go along from now on so we can address new questions / issues and not get bogged down with the same question over and over.

We intend to own the domain name, no questions.

The domain I'm pretty sure is registered to Ideology.

The deal (I believe and hope) is that they buy the machines, they host them for us, but we have root access as superuser. They effectively become ours, but they're not really ours. Same as if I leased a machine from someone. Same deal, but we don't pay.

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Post by caughtatwork » 02 October 08 12:13 am

OK, One final, very last thing to say.

Donations: There are 63 people who have donated so far. That's not a very high number given the number of people who "said" they would donate and haven't.

The total is about $3,500, but the average is in no way representative of anything. I know one man who has kindly donated around $1,000 from various efforts.

So $2,500 / 62 people = $40 per person.
To achieve the $5,000 for future years we could need 125 donations, or nearly double the number of people donating now, even at the same level.

Thank you very much indeed for your support. Anything you offer is very much appreciated.

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 02 October 08 12:21 am

Another final comment from me on the funds raised - if we go ahead and the site is fully sponsored, I would have no problem if the funds after any further costs were distributed between the developers and ideology as a thank you for all the hard work and dedication you have put in making this site what it is. I know none of you were in it for financial gain.

But if the money is there and not required to maintain the server - I vote for a thank you for those that have made it possible. I am sure you have all put in well over $1000 worth of time to make it happen.

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Post by GammaPiSigma » 02 October 08 12:36 am

Thank you Caught At Work for taking the time to reply in such a comprehensive and enlightening manner.

The money raised via donations may still be required so don't let it go just yet, anyway it's water under the bridge. I was more than happy to donate (not as much as I had hoped) and I would donate again next year if required. This site had given me so much yet asked so little.

The GCA website ownership needs to be sorted out first then I feel the sponsorship matter can be dealt with. As to the possibility of accepting sponsorship, if it was me I would like to see the fine print before making a decision.

Mike (pi).

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Post by Jardry » 02 October 08 8:15 am

caughtatwork wrote:OK, One final, very last thing to say.

Donations: There are 63 people who have donated so far. That's not a very high number given the number of people who "said" they would donate and haven't.

The total is about $3,500, but the average is in no way representative of anything. I know one man who has kindly donated around $1,000 from various efforts.

So $2,500 / 62 people = $40 per person.
To achieve the $5,000 for future years we could need 125 donations, or nearly double the number of people donating now, even at the same level.

Thank you very much indeed for your support. Anything you offer is very much appreciated.
If anything, the 62 people that have donated conceivably believe the GCA site provides similar benfit to the GC site as $40 is almost equivalent to a GC premium account.

I also believe if push came to shove and there was a distinct possibility of the site closing, donations would come out of the woodwork.

Likewsie an enforced membership of $5 from the 2,000 or so semi-regulars would maintain the site.

Thatnks C@W for the responses to our issues. Whatever the outcome, it will be a defining moment for GCA.

Your comments have made me more determined to support GCA caches.

Jardry

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Post by ideology » 02 October 08 9:36 am

lots of great discussion!

yes, the domain is owned by i! through one of our companies. we are happy to transfer it to an appropriate entity (eg a geocaching association, developer, elder-statesperson of the gca community, new association formed just for gca, etc) to help the site.

we chose .com.au all those years ago because (a) it was most memorable and the most well-known australian domain extension, (b) we (dimly!) recall that .org and .asn were harder to get because at the time you needed to have an incorporated association, whereas for a .com.au at the time you only needed to have a company or business whose name had a nexus with the domain name you were seeking, and (c) at the time we registered it, we never thought gca would grow into what it is today! maybe some enterprising person should register the .org.au and .asn.au and do something with them!

as for funds raised, thanks but we shall politely decline because we weren't doing it for the money

our key concern is that c@w burns out. he has put in a huge amount of time developing and now seems to have become the chief fundraiser, gca shop buyer, gca shop manager, gca salesperson, sponsorship manager, public relations officer, senate secretary, negotiator, head waiter and dishwasher!

reading between the lines (and fyi we've never actually met... we might have spoken on the telephone once but we really can't recall, so our reading between the lines is literally reading!), our take that he (and presumably the other developers) have been presented with a potential way to ensure the stability of the site that doesn't involve them doing all these extra jobs of raising money

so if you are saying "i'd be happy to donate", that's awesome! but it kind of doesn't solve the developers' underlying problem, which is longer term. so if people feel strongly that they want to continue a donations system, it would be great if someone would put their hand up and say "i'll do X" (where X is greater than simply receiving and accounting for the money, which is already kindly done by GTi. X could be "i'll run a fundraising campaign for the next 3 years" or maybe as i! did for year 1 we said we'd underwrite a shortfall of donations if that was a showstopper [the risk of which has gone down in our humble opinion], etc) our view is as jardry says, that donations would come out of the woodwork, but someone would need to manage the campaign to get the donations, etc, allowing c@w and his merry colleagues to focus on development. any offers?

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Post by Dik: » 02 October 08 6:37 pm

While I don't feel qualified to contribute to the debate on this proposal, it is worthy to mention that I was just about to contribute to the fund when this topic was started.

I feel I shouldn't contribute until this question is resolved.
I am sure others would be doing likewise.

The debate is important, but don't make a decission based on contributions no comming in at the moment. The ground rules have changed, or at least are on hold.

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Post by Team Piggy » 02 October 08 9:24 pm

I am still if the sponsorship doesnt go ahead for a members option same as the US site.

For a minor ($5-20?) fee per year get access to higher level stuff on GCA. (Stats, maps etc etc).
Whereas you can still access (non member) caches and basics for free!

I think this would guarantee a yearly recurring income to fund server/bandwidth blah blah.

I know its not a preferred option but it certainly offers the $$ that are needed.
I dont really hear anyone complaining heartily about paying $40+++ AUD for GC membership ?

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Post by rhinogeo » 02 October 08 9:43 pm

Team Piggy wrote:I am still if the sponsorship doesnt go ahead for a members option same as the US site.

For a minor ($5-20?) fee per year get access to higher level stuff on GCA. (Stats, maps etc etc).
Whereas you can still access (non member) caches and basics for free!

I think this would guarantee a yearly recurring income to fund server/bandwidth blah blah.

I know its not a preferred option but it certainly offers the $$ that are needed.
I dont really hear anyone complaining heartily about paying $40+++ AUD for GC membership ?
I'm with the pig on this one :)
caughtatwork wrote:Free and open was originally about free and open. We dislike the idea of restricting functionality to only those who pay. Your point is valid though and our position may need to change
Who is 'We' :?:

Accepting the sponsorship deal as proposed will irrevocably change the game here in Oz

Do we really want to win prizes by finding caches or attract people to the game whose primary motivation is materialism :?: The rewards for me in caching are visiting new places, seeing new things and meeting new people (of course a smiley is nice too :P)
caughtatwork wrote:Your point is valid though and our position may need to change
Maybe it does ...

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Post by 5commer3 » 02 October 08 9:58 pm

Dik: wrote:While I don't feel qualified to contribute to the debate on this proposal, it is worthy to mention that I was just about to contribute to the fund when this topic was started.

I feel I shouldn't contribute until this question is resolved.
I am sure others would be doing likewise.

The debate is important, but don't make a decission based on contributions no comming in at the moment. The ground rules have changed, or at least are on hold.
I was thinking the same,
I too am willing to contribute, but things seem a bit up in the air at the moment so I am waiting to see the outcome,

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Post by caughtatwork » 02 October 08 10:10 pm

rhinogeo wrote:Who is 'We' :?:
We are the people who have previously discussed this and generally agreed that we would not restrict existing functionality to only those who pay. There is a thread that discusses this somewhere.

Maybe new functionality, but not the current functionality.

What others get from the game may not be the same as what you get from the game. We are also only talking about the GCA website being sponsored here, not the game in Australia. Please bear that in mind.

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Post by caughtatwork » 02 October 08 10:11 pm

Dik: wrote:While I don't feel qualified to contribute to the debate on this proposal, it is worthy to mention that I was just about to contribute to the fund when this topic was started.

I feel I shouldn't contribute until this question is resolved.
I am sure others would be doing likewise.

The debate is important, but don't make a decission based on contributions no comming in at the moment. The ground rules have changed, or at least are on hold.
Point accepted.

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Post by caughtatwork » 02 October 08 10:13 pm

5commer3 wrote:
Dik: wrote:While I don't feel qualified to contribute to the debate on this proposal, it is worthy to mention that I was just about to contribute to the fund when this topic was started.

I feel I shouldn't contribute until this question is resolved.
I am sure others would be doing likewise.

The debate is important, but don't make a decission based on contributions no comming in at the moment. The ground rules have changed, or at least are on hold.
I was thinking the same,
I too am willing to contribute, but things seem a bit up in the air at the moment so I am waiting to see the outcome,
Point accepted.

I wish we had the approach before we started the donation drive, but we didn't and so we got stuck with two options. Remember if we the community decide not to proceed with the sponsorship, then we're back to donations.

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