Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by caughtatwork » 25 April 12 1:55 pm

Big Matt and Shell wrote:
CraigRat wrote:
Big Matt and Shell wrote:take the approach of removing features from GCA is silly but it is c@w and Craigrats site to do as they see fit.
No it isn't
No it isn't silly?

I think the best thing to do is to check what Groundspeaks' requirements are before making any rash decisions. I know just the bloke to do it too!
If you can do that it would be great.
Please confirm that GCA sponsoring a Mega-Event through prominent information on our Events pages, via our daily emailer, via the cache page, via forum posts by the organising committee, via any solicitation of donations to GCA will be accepted. Of course, solicitations of donations from GCA (if provided) will require a prominent Geocaching Australia logo on the cache page. That's what we were asked to do for the latest Mega-Event, so let's be clear about what we can and cannot do before the Mega-Event gets delisted.

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by Big Matt and Shell » 25 April 12 1:58 pm

Gotcha! I was refering to this, making changes before anyone has really had a chance to comment
CraigRat wrote:Promotion of Mega Events in the dashboards has been removed.
Can we just wait and see what comes back from the GCA community and Groundspeak before making further changes?

I see two different things. Sponsorship and Promotion. I see what GCA is doing is promoting the Mega. Similar to placing a newspaper advertisement. GC may be happy to have someone promote rather than sponsor

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by CraigRat » 25 April 12 2:03 pm

Big Matt and Shell wrote:Gotcha! I was refering to this, making changes before anyone has really had a chance to comment
CraigRat wrote:Promotion of Mega Events in the dashboards has been removed.
Can we just wait and see what comes back from the GCA community and Groundspeak before making further changes?

I see two different things. Sponsorship and Promotion. I see what GCA is doing is promoting the Mega. Similar to placing a newspaper advertisement. GC may be happy to have someone promote rather than sponsor
You don't get it: we don't want to actively promote their exclusive MEGA caches.
We don't want anyone to seek approval to do one way promotion.
If someone cant even say thanks to us for helping them on a website because of groundspeak's rules then we have no inkling to allow active promotion from this end.

THEY have turned it into a commercial cache type essentially.

It's another step towards the over-commercialisation of the game and it's something we abhor.
(yes, you could say the same about PM caches or whatnot, but this has ramped Mega caches specifically into a new category of cache types, with community coming a very very distant second to groundspeak's commercial interests)

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by belken » 25 April 12 2:15 pm

My thoughts are that this is why I believe all that comparison to corporations such as holden coke and pepsi is nonsense. GCA is not a competitor to Groundspeak. As far as I know there is only one geocache listing service on this planet that is in it it to make money. So comparing any listing service to the Grounsdpeak site is nonsense.

The only reason we don't mention other sites on Groundpeak is that it is their policy. Its not GCA's policy. Its is not because they will lose a shitload of revenue to GCA its just a simple fact that it is there policy.

As far as I know every one who has responded to this thread so far also pays a yearly subscription fee to Groundspeak. So before we go off half cocked I think we need to take a deep breath and find out what it means and are they going to implement the policy literally.

If they do and we decide to take a harsh stance GCA will not benefit at all.

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by CraigRat » 25 April 12 2:23 pm

belken wrote:My thoughts are that this is why I believe all that comparison to corporations such as holden coke and pepsi is nonsense. GCA is not a competitor to Groundspeak. As far as I know there is only one geocache listing service on this planet that is in it it to make money. So comparing any listing service to the Grounsdpeak site is nonsense.
Groundspeak's wording is 'cache listing service' not 'commercial competitor', and this is important.

At a non financial level we are both.
We have a non-trivial amount of caches in several states.
Those who currently hold the reigns of the server consider the site a listing-site with forums. not the other way around.

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by belken » 25 April 12 2:27 pm

I lost my last post.

How many Mega events has GCA sponsored. I believe the answer is none. I don't see where the occupying of a booth is taboo. Just the listing and sponsorship.

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by CraigRat » 25 April 12 2:36 pm

I said this to Matt in an email but I'll post this statement here:

Everyone is saying the new rule is to stop Opencaching.com assisting MEGA event organisers (or riding on the coat-tailes or whatever).

It should be said that Opencaching.com whilst owned by a commercial company does NOT charge for any of it's services and is therefore not a financial competitor to groundspeak on ANY level, this new ruling from them locks out ALL community based listing sites from being mentioned in anything significant to do with any MEGA. There are no other for-profit geocaching sites out there.

So why should we give these events any prominence or publicity?

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by CraigRat » 25 April 12 2:38 pm

belken wrote:I lost my last post.

How many Mega events has GCA sponsored. I believe the answer is none. I don't see where the occupying of a booth is taboo. Just the listing and sponsorship.
Not financially, but we have provided assistance and promotion in co-operation with the organisers, and recieved some recognition on their webpage for the last mega (not as a sponsor).

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by Dvixen » 25 April 12 2:49 pm

Oi. That new rule reads more like a threat by a 4 year old having a tantrum than a rule that has been thought out for potential repercussions.

I think GC.com needs to make a distinction between listing services that are not for profit (and registered as such in their appropriate country/state) and those owned by a corporate entity. (Since this does seem like it is derived from the GC.com/Garmin dummy spit.)

This change in its extreme wording interpretation can mean any sponsorship - presence, promotion, cash, discussion - is in violation of the new terms. I think in the long run this change is going to have a negative impact on both the game and the individual groups like GCA, BCGA, etc, that are run by not for profit volunteers.

I agree that GCA should remove promotion of the GC Megas from their daily/weekly emails*.

I also lean towards the nixing of GC Mega discussions on the forums - if only because GCA is not allowed a reciprocal presence at any GC Mega. (Even the banner that was at the most recent Mega could be seen a breach of the new rule.) While it would suck to not have the information hub here on GCA - I see little reason for our GCA hosts to continue hosting organizer updates and links.

Banning Mega discussion outright OTOH, doesn't sit well with me. It also echos of the draconian bans on discussion topics on GC.com of pathtags and such.

*By extension I wonder if regular events will eventually go that way - BCGA regularly hosts/sponsors GC Events - how is that different from having an active presence at a GC Mega? (BCGA was an active Sponsor at http://coord.info/GC349MK Island Spirit 2012 Mega.)
Last edited by Dvixen on 25 April 12 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by caughtatwork » 25 April 12 2:49 pm

belken wrote:I lost my last post.

How many Mega events has GCA sponsored. I believe the answer is none. I don't see where the occupying of a booth is taboo. Just the listing and sponsorship.
Financially, none. Having a competitor store at the Mega-Event would be seen as "not a good thing" which is why, ultimately, GCA did not have a store at the Mega-Event. We felt it was a GC thing, so bringing GCA to the event would not be the right thing to do.

As far as allowing people to promote the Mega-Events in the forums, that space is not provided free. Someone pays. Everyone who buys something from the shop effectively sponsored the promotion of the Mega-Event as without the forum, there would have been none. If GCA were not a listing site, this would not be a problem. We are a listing site, so continued sponsorship (whether financial or simply space to allow the promotion and advertisement of the Mega-Event) could be construed as reason to jerk the listing.

I have taken Matt up on his offer to clarify the situation and until then we can continue the discussion. It's a proposal, not a decision. Remember we don't make decisions in the dark. We ask for your input. In this case, I saw something that may have an averse impact on Geocaching in Australia and opened a discussion.

This is not CraigRats site, nor is it mine, nor does it belong to any of the other members of the development team (albeit not currently active). If there is someone who would like to join the development team, they are more than welcome. If someone thinks I'm out of line in proposing a change or I have made changes in the past that are not to the benefit of the Australian Geocaching community I am happy to step aside in favour of others who would like to do the work for the site. Provide some credentials and a portfolio and you're in.

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by CraigRat » 25 April 12 2:55 pm

caughtatwork wrote:which is why, ultimately, GCA did not have a store at the Mega-Event. We felt it was a GC thing, so bringing GCA to the event would not be the right thing to do.
Just for clarity, we were graciously asked by the organisers to do so, we turned down the offer.

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by CraigRat » 25 April 12 2:57 pm

CraigRat wrote:Promotion of Mega Events in the dashboards has been removed.
I may have been a bit quick to jump on this.
Re-instated till we have a solid position on the matter.

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by belken » 25 April 12 7:30 pm

For what it's worth. I just finished a nice hour and a bit walk and my thoughts are thus.

No matter what Groundspeak says we do very little or nothing. The site supports free and open and as such should be free and open.

The benefits the site has in making it the place to meet for Australian geocachers far outweigh any gain(or lack of) we may have with a tit for tat spat with Groundspeak.

I would just like the comparisons to coke and pepsi, ford and holden, Mcdonalds and Hungry Jacks to cease. As it fails to acknowledge that this site has Groundspeak links all over it. Thus disproving the analogy. :wink:

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by caughtatwork » 25 April 12 7:58 pm

My proposal was not tit-for-tat.
To avoid any Mega-Event from being "delisted", I'm proposing that Geocaching Australia, including the site forums, will now ban, with extreme prejudice any and all references to Mega-Event activity.
Groundspeak has made a threats against the event organisers. I am (surprising as it may seem to some readers), trying to STOP Groundspeak jerking Mega-Events by giving them absolutely no excuse, however simple or convoluted in relation to sponsorship.

If Groundspeak say that other listing sites can sponsor Mega-events, give them money, give them airtime, give them webspace as long as the other listing site does not appear on the cache page, the situation is as it is now. If it is as it is now, why the wording change?

Something has triggered the wording change and I would like to ensure that the Australian community don't get caught up in some other spat.

We have, in the past, completely ignored Groundspeak and their legal threats to us (and yes, we have been threatened with C&D letters) because we are not in any way, shape or form doing anything wrong. The threat to jerk the listings is what has caused this discussion. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by roundcircle » 25 April 12 8:28 pm

CraigRat wrote: It should be said that Opencaching.com whilst owned by a commercial company does NOT charge for any of it's services and is therefore not a financial competitor to groundspeak on ANY level, this new ruling from them locks out ALL community based listing sites from being mentioned in anything significant to do with any MEGA. There are no other for-profit geocaching sites out there.
This statement is not correct.

1st. The company that runs the MadCacher blog has recently acquired NaviCache. So there are three "profit" based listing sites. That we're aware of anyway.
http://www.madcacher.com/new/navicache-com-acquisition/

2nd. One of groundspeaks revenue streams is advertising. Anything that pulls traffic away from GC.com reduces that revenue stream. Open caching does this to GC. And in A/NZ, GCA would have a significant impact on that revenue stream.

With the mainstream growth of the hobby, GC will need to be constantly vigilant about new threats to their business model. Mind you, the threat to pull "Mega" status has it's own risks. If they were to do that, it might actually drive a large group away quickly.

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