Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Geocaching Australia governance issues
Laighside Legends
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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by Laighside Legends » 25 April 12 9:55 pm

Think about this from the event organisers opinion. You would want to publicize it as much as possible. Announcing it in the main forums for the country would be a major part of this publicizing. If you did this and then your event got "shut down" by groundspeak you would be very angry with them, maybe to the point of choosing GCA over them... Hence I don't think this will happen and I don't think that is what the guideline was suggesting.
I think this is very different to having GCA/garmin as a sponsor of the event.

What about the pile of GCA :frog / :gnome 's at the event? They are promoting GCA.

Why just mega's? Why is it ok to organise the SA June LWE on GCA?
What if you organise an event with GCA as a sponsor and then get 500+ people in attendance? Does it become a mega?

Any change GCA makes is going to disadvantage Australian cachers in one way or another. The guideline change is clearly aimed a garmin and I doubt it will effect GCA's (little) involvement with mega events.

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

Post by CraigRat » 25 April 12 10:01 pm

I didn't want to do a rebuttal as it won't help things, but I feel I have to:
roundcircle wrote: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/
Navicache does not charge to play. Anyone can sign up and play for free.

That leaves two, who is the other site? Opencaching?
They may be owned by a for-profit entity, but as far as access to the game and access to data is concerned, it's 100% free, no restrictions. It is, in a sense a non-commercial commercial site. Makes no business sense to me, but there you have it.

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

Post by CraigRat » 25 April 12 10:18 pm

Laighside Legends wrote:Why just mega's?
GC have specifically chosen to place this clause on mega caches.
Laighside Legends wrote:What about the pile of GCA :frog / :gnome 's at the event? They are promoting GCA.
No, they are GCA caches but they are no more 'promoting' this site than a GC driveby is promoting that site. no GCA event or cache at the Mega had any endorsement from the GCA site or its Senate or Administrators. The event organisers at the previous mega actually shut an event down that was to be on the wagga site (a gca/pathtag thingo) for fear of upsetting GC.
Laighside Legends wrote:What if you organise an event with GCA as a sponsor and then get 500+ people in attendance? Does it become a mega?
Well, reading their guidelines, no. The organisers cannot have us as a listed sponsor.

All we are saying is that that is fine, but we won't be using this site as a tool to promote a Mega BECAUSE of these rules.
There's a principle at stake.

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

Post by caughtatwork » 25 April 12 10:23 pm

Laighside Legends wrote:Any change GCA makes is going to disadvantage Australian cachers in one way or another. The guideline change is clearly aimed a garmin and I doubt it will effect GCA's (little) involvement with mega events.
The change is not clearly aimed at Garmin. It's a blanket statement. If you organise a Mega-Event. It takes a year of your life. You engage in the GCA space. Groundspeak in a fit of pique, quote the guideline at you and jerk your listing, everyone loses. You lose a significant investment. Put aside whether you would move your caches to another site. You have lost your event. Do you now wish GCA has kept away from your event? Do you challenge the rule you knew was in place and hoped it was "aimed at Garmin" but in reality you knew you were taking a punt? A punt that you lost? Do we make a change to protect your events or do we all agree to take the punt and hope we don't lose? The community calls this one. That's why it's in the public area. For discussion.

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

Post by Bewilderbeest » 25 April 12 10:28 pm

Okay, this is a very interesting thread. Im going to try and avoid speculating about Groundpseaks motivation for the new guideline.

(With bush lawyer hat on), my understanding is that sponsorship involves some kind of agreement to provide support, either in cash or in kind, to some kind of activity. If there is no agreement in place, its not a sponsorship.

I believe Groundspeak have said that the mega-event listing cant refer to another listing site. It doesnt say anything about the content on another website.

Discussion/notification/awareness raising activity on another website does not necessarily constitute sponsorship or endorsement of anything. I'd support seeking Groundspeaks view on this issue, as has been discussed above. Surely they cant realistically expect to moderate content, especially opinions (such as views expressed in forums), on other websites? Its like trying to police peoples conversations in the supermarket!

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

Post by roundcircle » 25 April 12 10:34 pm

CraigRat wrote:I didn't want to do a rebuttal as it won't help things, but I feel I have to:
roundcircle wrote: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/
Navicache does not charge to play. Anyone can sign up and play for free.

That leaves two, who is the other site? Opencaching?
They may be owned by a for-profit entity, but as far as access to the game and access to data is concerned, it's 100% free, no restrictions. It is, in a sense a non-commercial commercial site. Makes no business sense to me, but there you have it.
On all three sites you can play for free. All three sites are owned by companies who are there to make money. Agreed that they have different revenue models. Sorry, but those three sites are commercial and competing for business.

GCA isn't commercial. But it is competing for the same business. The fact that GCA isn't commercial might make it more of a threat.

Not sure of the point of your rebuttal. But I think I reject it.

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

Post by rinsemesocks » 25 April 12 10:42 pm

You could easily get around it by holding the:

GC OzMega Event on Day 1, the GCA OzGiga Event on Day 2, and the OpenCaching Nano Event on Day 3.

Or, the GC OzMega Event in Building A, whilst Building B had the GCA OzGiga.

Lawyers would have a field day with this.

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

Post by CraigRat » 25 April 12 10:49 pm

rinsemesocks wrote:You could easily get around it by holding the:

GC OzMega Event on Day 1, the GCA OzGiga Event on Day 2, and the OpenCaching Nano Event on Day 3.

Or, the GC OzMega Event in Building A, whilst Building B had the GCA OzGiga.

Lawyers would have a field day with this.
We are not trying to get around any issues.
We don't have the issues, they do.

We just don't want to be validating their behaviour by providing one-way promotion.

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

Post by roundcircle » 25 April 12 10:56 pm

rinsemesocks wrote: Lawyers would have a field day with this.
I think the rules are clear. Groundspeak (GC.com) do what ever they like on their site. They are the final arbiter. End of discussion.

In fairness, GCA are the same at the GCA site.

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

Post by andiamo » 25 April 12 11:06 pm

It will be a shame if notification of Mega-Events can not appear on the GCA site - how many people would miss out on attending future mega events without discussions in the forums to know they were being held?

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

Post by caughtatwork » 25 April 12 11:07 pm

Bewilderbeest wrote:Okay, this is a very interesting thread. Im going to try and avoid speculating about Groundpseaks motivation for the new guideline.

(With bush lawyer hat on), my understanding is that sponsorship involves some kind of agreement to provide support, either in cash or in kind, to some kind of activity. If there is no agreement in place, its not a sponsorship.

I believe Groundspeak have said that the mega-event listing cant refer to another listing site. It doesnt say anything about the content on another website.

Discussion/notification/awareness raising activity on another website does not necessarily constitute sponsorship or endorsement of anything. I'd support seeking Groundspeaks view on this issue, as has been discussed above. Surely they cant realistically expect to moderate content, especially opinions (such as views expressed in forums), on other websites? Its like trying to police peoples conversations in the supermarket!
We provide an "in-kind" sponsorship. The last Mega-Event we were asked specifically to promote it on our site in a different way to a normal event cache. We also gave up our webhosting space to promote the activity. It seems that the definition of sponsorship is the question here.

Groundspeak DO expect to moderate things outside their control until shouted down. Look what they did to the YouTube cacherspoiler guy. This is the same thing. They try to moderate by heavy handedness until someone kicks up a stink. If you are OK with the rule, that's fine by me. If you think the rule is set up to penalise those who engage in other listing services, then it's not OK and Groundspeak should be told.

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

Post by caughtatwork » 25 April 12 11:09 pm

roundcircle wrote:GCA isn't commercial. But it is competing for the same business. The fact that GCA isn't commercial might make it more of a threat.

Not sure of the point of your rebuttal. But I think I reject it.
The point was that they are not pay-to-play so in that role, they are not 'for-profit', but they may be owned by commercial entities. The competition aspect is clear. They all compete. Some on the same grounds, some on other offerings.

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

Post by caughtatwork » 25 April 12 11:11 pm

andiamo wrote:It will be a shame if notification of Mega-Events can not appear on the GCA site - how many people would miss out on attending future mega events without discussions in the forums to know they were being held?
You could subscribe to the Groundspeak newsletter or frequent their Geocaching Australia (!) forum. That's what they would like you to do so they can poke ads at you. GCA should (I hope) not be the sole site where people find out about Mega-Events. It's nice that we can help people bring together the discussion, but if that endangers the Mega-Event listing, we should avoid that level of promotion and sponsorship.

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

Post by Laighside Legends » 25 April 12 11:15 pm

caughtatwork wrote:
Laighside Legends wrote:Any change GCA makes is going to disadvantage Australian cachers in one way or another. The guideline change is clearly aimed a garmin and I doubt it will effect GCA's (little) involvement with mega events.
The change is not clearly aimed at Garmin. It's a blanket statement. If you organise a Mega-Event. It takes a year of your life. You engage in the GCA space. Groundspeak in a fit of pique, quote the guideline at you and jerk your listing, everyone loses. You lose a significant investment. Put aside whether you would move your caches to another site. You have lost your event. Do you now wish GCA has kept away from your event? Do you challenge the rule you knew was in place and hoped it was "aimed at Garmin" but in reality you knew you were taking a punt? A punt that you lost? Do we make a change to protect your events or do we all agree to take the punt and hope we don't lose? The community calls this one. That's why it's in the public area. For discussion.
I can see where your coming from here and fair point but I think if that happened most of the Australian caching commuinty would be very angry with groundspeak, maybe even to the point of having the event anyway, but on GCA instead. This is why I don't think groundspeak would do it. But that said they have done strange things in the past so I can see your point...

CraigRat wrote:
Laighside Legends wrote:What about the pile of GCA :frog / :gnome 's at the event? They are promoting GCA.
No, they are GCA caches but they are no more 'promoting' this site than a GC driveby is promoting that site. no GCA event or cache at the Mega had any endorsement from the GCA site or its Senate or Administrators. The event organisers at the previous mega actually shut an event down that was to be on the wagga site (a gca/pathtag thingo) for fear of upsetting GC.
Bit off topic but, how are they not promoting GCA? There would be many cachers who first discover GCA at an gc.com event because they see the :gnome / :frog 's and ask someone what they are. I fact, cachers taking :gnome / :frog 's an gc.com event are probably the best thing that ever happened for GCA...

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

Post by CraigRat » 25 April 12 11:16 pm

Ok.

Heres the summary of the situation as I see it:

GROUNSDPEAK have said they are to be the exclusive sponsor and therefore no other cache listing site can be a sponsor or have any prominence in the Mega event listings (note: they do not mention financial or in kind sponsorship) with the threat of delisting as a MEGA if this rule is broken.

Therefore I believe:

We should not provide any undue prominence or assistance in promoting any Mega Event caches via our site or systems including linkage or email notifications. If the organisers cannot even put us in a listing as a 'dirt level' sponsor then why should we provide a platform for advertising or promoting the Megas. This COULD be construed as some form of sponsorship and COULD cause issues for the organisers.

Remembering too that what the last mega was asking us for we have contemplated SELLING to Travel NT and Magellan and others, therefore it has a potential financial value. Giving that to an event== actual sponsorship. We'd usually expect a mention for doing this.

Impact on the Mega:
1) Slight inconvenience when the organisers get scared about the numbers three months out and come asking us to help and now we say 'sorry' instead of helping as we have done in the past.
2) They have to pimp it in the GC forums and other outlets as they do anyway, no loss to them
3) They don't end up with potential issues about what constitutes sponsorship

Impact on our site : nothing either way.

[edit: Clarified that this is MY position]

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