Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

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

Post by caughtatwork » 27 April 12 5:09 pm

OMG. It's like I'm invisible down here with my head stuck in the sand.
http://forum.geocaching.com.au/viewtopi ... 35#p194235

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Just a cacher
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Re: Groundspeak "listing-service exclusivity on Mega-Events"

Post by Just a cacher » 27 April 12 6:04 pm

I see you C@W. I hear what you're saying. I just don't know what we can do about it.
I don't think we should promote GC stuff, particularly, but I didn't have a problem with it, until THEY obviously started to have a problem with it. Why should we give them free plugs (and/or a reason to get upset)?

I sort of hoped that we could all play nicely together, but that obviously isn't going to happen. I would like to be able to say we can do without GC, but I don't think GA is big enough yet, for most of us to use it exclusively.

For what it's worth (not much, I know!), I'd LIKE to be able to divorce GA from GC totally, as soon as it's practical, and not rock the boat in the meantime.

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

Post by rinsemesocks » 28 April 12 12:32 am

caughtatwork wrote: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. We will also remove any reference to a Mega-Event on any cache listing page, list of upcoming events, etc, etc.

This is a proposal, discuss away.
Is there anything to discuss really. This is not a dummy spit by gca. You would only promote a mega-event on GCA if there was some acknowledgement by the organisers of your support. If they won't (or can't because they would be de-listed), then tuff on them. The organisers need to put pressure on gc.com to pull their head in. As it stands, it seems that gc.com don't need gca to support mega-events because of the mega resources gc.com put into the promotion of them.

Besides, imagine being told when selling your car, if you list your ad in the fairfax press, the murdoch press would pull your ad from their paper (or vice versa). gc.com is just a listing service. they dont own the caches or events.

I therefore agree that the mods should shut them down.

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

Post by Richary » 28 April 12 1:26 am

rinsemesocks wrote:
caughtatwork wrote: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. We will also remove any reference to a Mega-Event on any cache listing page, list of upcoming events, etc, etc.

This is a proposal, discuss away.
Is there anything to discuss really. This is not a dummy spit by gca. You would only promote a mega-event on GCA if there was some acknowledgement by the organisers of your support. If they won't (or can't because they would be de-listed), then tuff on them. The organisers need to put pressure on gc.com to pull their head in. As it stands, it seems that gc.com don't need gca to support mega-events because of the mega resources gc.com put into the promotion of them.
I think GC do need GCA to promote a mega as a lot of people find out about it here. Do you read the emails GC send every week with the latest updates? I don't. And it seems like a dummy spit by GCA to ban any talk of a mega that is listed on GC. That said I understand that C@W and craigrat are coming from different directions here.

We have forums that GC has no control over, if they want to delist an event because someone has dared to talk about a mega on another site they will achieve nothing except to make sure there are no megas as they will simply piss people off. And they would need to monitor a lot more than here (though we are one of the few listing sites as well).

Yes, maybe we can't promote it as C@W says with special listings on the front page or mailouts. But then again GC need to pull their heads out of the sand and realise that what is/has been done on this site has helped them get the numbers to the mega. And also that posting things on here isn't diminishing their user base, anyone who is already here to see it is most likely a GC cacher anyway. I don't know of any exclusive GCA finders who aren't already on the other site.

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

Post by rinsemesocks » 28 April 12 9:32 am

It is the principle of it, and this will be the thin edge of the wedge. It will move on to events and other things. Why promote directly their so-called event for no acknowledgment.

If people who use the gc.com service feel miffed about not posting about megas on gca, then complain to gc.com who started it by not being clear.

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

Post by lemmykc » 28 April 12 10:02 am

roundcircle wrote:
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.
I am a tad confused about the advertising part. Half the advertising on GC.com would have to be to their own shops. They couldn't make too much from advertising on the site, seriously.

Also, has Matt got a reply from Groundspeak yet? I am following this thread heavily and despite only being 14yo, I am quite interested in this whole aspect of things. All arguments are valid as I see it. At the moment, anyway.

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

Post by solomonfamily » 28 April 12 10:54 am

My 1.5c

GCA, is an important part of the way I play the game - We load GCA caches along side GC based caches etc....

In my 5sec of fame at Wagga when we won a 6th prize and was handed the microphone on stage, our thanks included GCA for the effort that goes into it. We really enjoyed the gnomes etc. I read and at times contribute to the forums etc. At Albury we had our own GCA event which was well attended for what it was, our event was on the web site and an announcement was made just prior to its commencement with the updated location.

I am disappointed in GC's policy, In my view Groundspeak should be encouraging caching communities and "local" organisations and their activities, it promotes and enhances the game which in turn leads to more caching activity and diversity.
caughtatwork wrote: I think the Albury guys were lucky the GCA shop didn't turn up with our big banner and tent [-X
I think GCA should have been there and at the time wondered why it wasn't...

If and if and if... If GCA was there I would have supported it, if GCA is at SA Mega? or at NZ and we attend? and I would happily put my name forward to roster on / help out.

Future Mega's need to have the conversation with Groundspeak, true but is there a way to not bury our heads in the sand? Individuals write to them with concern? or as a group?

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

Post by caughtatwork » 28 April 12 12:32 pm

I am in receipt of two pieces of communication from Groundspeak through a third party.

Groundspeak:
We had instances of Opencaching.com paying to sponsor Megas, and we wanted to avoid that in future. What you are suggesting is promoting the event but not through a competitor company’s site.
My response:
Does he know that Geocaching Australia us a competing listing site. It sounds like he doesn't know what we do.
Groundspeak:
This part of the guidelines may help to clear this up: “We reserve the right to refuse to publish or to retract publication of any Mega-Event that includes as a sponsor a competing geocache listing service.”
As they are not a sponsor, the guideline will be upheld.
Does that help?
My interpretation.
  • Groundspeak see us a "not a competitor company".
  • Promotion through Geocaching Australia is OK as we are "not a competitor company".
  • Sponsorship will get your listing yanked.
If we define sponsorship as:
  • The exchange of money
  • Provision of branded goods (e.g. freebies to hand out)
  • a paid presence at a Mega-Event
The listing will get yanked.

If we define promotion as:
  • The event organisers using the forums to disseminate information
  • The event organisers using the forums to garner interest and increase attendees
  • Using the "standard" list methods at GCA for events (i.e. no special or highlighted references to a Mega-Event
The listing should be safe.

This leaves the daily emailer in question. Any cache in the daily emailer provides a link back to the GCA website. I would construe that as a "sponsored link". i.e. GCA is using the GC Mega-Event information to drive traffic to the GCA website.

I light of my interpretation above, I propose the following in place of my original proposal.
  • We would leave the Mega-Event listings in place as standard lists of events and dashboards.
  • We would let the event organisers to use the forums as they do now (subject to not using the forum to name or link to any other sponsor site which is a current restriction)
  • We would remove Mega-Events from appearing on every list as we have done to gain prominence in states outside the host state.
  • We would remove all GC information from the daily emailer. New, changed, etc. i.e. The daily emailer would be GCA cache listings only.
That, in my mind, would render the use of the GCA website as a "promotion tool" rather than being potentially interpreted as a "sponsorship tool".

As I have mentioned before, this action would be to protect the Mega-Event cache listing from being yanked and is not intended not to "protect" GCA, nor is it a "dummy spit" by GCA.

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

Post by roundcircle » 28 April 12 12:52 pm

caughtatwork wrote: I light of my interpretation above, I propose the following in place of my original proposal.
  • We would leave the Mega-Event listings in place as standard lists of events and dashboards.
  • We would let the event organisers to use the forums as they do now (subject to not using the forum to name or link to any other sponsor site which is a current restriction)
  • We would remove Mega-Events from appearing on every list as we have done to gain prominence in states outside the host state.
  • We would remove all GC information from the daily emailer. New, changed, etc. i.e. The daily emailer would be GCA cache listings only.
That, in my mind, would render the use of the GCA website as a "promotion tool" rather than being potentially interpreted as a "sponsorship tool".
I don't think it's necessary to remove all the GC info from daily email as a result of this. But given the volume of caches and changes out there now i don't think it has the value it once did. So it's probably a reasonable thing to be doing anyway. If people still want the info they can set GC up to do the same thing. As long as they pay.

I think you have put forward a good proposal.

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

Post by Richary » 28 April 12 7:35 pm

caughtatwork wrote:This leaves the daily emailer in question. Any cache in the daily emailer provides a link back to the GCA website. I would construe that as a "sponsored link". i.e. GCA is using the GC Mega-Event information to drive traffic to the GCA website.

....

We would remove all GC information from the daily emailer. New, changed, etc. i.e. The daily emailer would be GCA cache listings only.
I can understand this point of view, as of course GCA is not beholden to promote GC or any other listing site other than our own. And while the email does point back to our site, if people want to see the cache details they still need to click on the link to go to GC.

However this would be a big change. While I get new cache notifications from GC being a premium member, I also enjoy reading the summary that turns up with the GCA email each morning as it shows new caches in my state that are outside my alert radius.

IMHO not having the GC new/changed information in the morning GCA email would diminish it's value. Not to the point I would no longer read it or support the site, but it would still be a loss. Why do we include GC information currently? Because the members find it useful.

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

Post by Zalgariath » 29 April 12 12:07 am

Ive managed to keep quiet (for once :P) on the issue but now I think a good resolution is proposed I shall voice agreement. I like the proposed C@W solution, except as Richay pointed out to remove ALL GC stuff off the mailout as I too find it a useful service (when Im at home... or for stalking purposes over here :P) If we just remove the Mega Reference out of the email, the organisers will be protected and everyone else still gets 99.9% of the info they like for new GCA and GC caches :)

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

Post by blossom* » 29 April 12 9:23 pm

Zalgariath wrote:Ive managed to keep quiet (for once :P) on the issue but now I think a good resolution is proposed I shall voice agreement. I like the proposed C@W solution, except as Richay pointed out to remove ALL GC stuff off the mailout as I too find it a useful service (when Im at home... or for stalking purposes over here :P) If we just remove the Mega Reference out of the email, the organisers will be protected and everyone else still gets 99.9% of the info they like for new GCA and GC caches :)
Yes, I agree with this.

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

Post by Big Matt and Shell » 01 May 12 12:28 pm

Finally got a response but c@w already has it covered.

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

Post by Bewilderbeest » 02 May 12 11:53 am

caughtatwork wrote:I light of my interpretation above, I propose the following in place of my original proposal.
  • We would leave the Mega-Event listings in place as standard lists of events and dashboards.
  • We would let the event organisers to use the forums as they do now (subject to not using the forum to name or link to any other sponsor site which is a current restriction)
  • We would remove Mega-Events from appearing on every list as we have done to gain prominence in states outside the host state.
  • We would remove all GC information from the daily emailer. New, changed, etc. i.e. The daily emailer would be GCA cache listings only.
That, in my mind, would render the use of the GCA website as a "promotion tool" rather than being potentially interpreted as a "sponsorship tool".

As I have mentioned before, this action would be to protect the Mega-Event cache listing from being yanked and is not intended not to "protect" GCA, nor is it a "dummy spit" by GCA.
I agree that this is a good proposal, and I support it.

Regarding the daily emailer, others have suggested removing mega-event info only and leaving other GC content, to maintain usefulness. At the risk of opening a new can of worms, it is not unheard-of for non-Mega events to be sponsored. Therefore, to avoid potential issues in future I suggest removing all GC events from the emailer (if the proposal to remove all GC content doesnt go ahead) (noting that the solicitation guideline means this issue is unlikely to occur with other cache types).

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

Post by SamCarter » 02 May 12 3:40 pm

Bewilderbeest wrote: Regarding the daily emailer, others have suggested removing mega-event info only and leaving other GC content, to maintain usefulness. At the risk of opening a new can of worms, it is not unheard-of for non-Mega events to be sponsored. Therefore, to avoid potential issues in future I suggest removing all GC events from the emailer (if the proposal to remove all GC content doesnt go ahead) (noting that the solicitation guideline means this issue is unlikely to occur with other cache types).
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the original impetus for this discussion was Groundspeak's own Mega-event specific requirement for "listing exclusivity". (i.e., not sponsorship, per se, nor events other than Megas). [I confess I've lost track of the arguments. However, I like all that's in the GCA daily email, and if wiser heads than mine feel that we're not risking anything to organisers of events (which I think c@w had as his main concern, as opposed to just an "our site vs their site" argument which has also come into the discussion) then I'd prefer to keep things as close to as they are as possible. YMMV. IMHNC*.)

* I May Have No Clue

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