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Should we have Geocaching Association in any form

Posted: 31 January 08 11:12 pm
by Richary
After the recent discussion, I thought I would pose this to see what people want.

1) No association, just donate to the website - if that can be done tax free for the people running it

2) An association to purely run the website with no other purpose

3) An association to help run the website, and represent geocachers in Australia to people like National Parks

In none of these proposals am I proposing any fee (joining or donation) should be required to access GCA. Or any change in functionality for paid or unpaid members.

Posted: 31 January 08 11:28 pm
by The Spindoctors
I'll point out that the reasons behind forming an association can be mutually exclusive. Ideally though, it would do both tasks.

Posted: 31 January 08 11:55 pm
by Richary
Good point Spindoc. We could have 2 separate associations. But now you have replied and people have started voting can't edit the poll to add that option!

Though I can see trouble getting people to donate to both!

Posted: 01 February 08 1:46 am
by GIN51E
I voted "No. Informal donations only"

but that's just because I'm uncertain as to what a GCA Association may do to GCA and caching in Australia in the long term,

otherwise I'd lean towards "An association to purely run the website with no other purpose" providing GCA features remained the same to all contributing and non contributing members.

as for the 3rd option I'll see if any comments begin to sway me in the other relevant threads.

Posted: 01 February 08 5:38 am
by swampgecko
I for one would rather see state/terrority level associations as I have stated before, but for the purposes of keeping this website up and funded, well anything is better than nothing.

Posted: 01 February 08 7:59 am
by Pesky!
whilst i voted for the representative association, I feel the option 3 has set itself up to cause problems, as not all people or of the opinion we need to "deal" with national parks. If we folow the guidelines,and the guidlines suggest some property and locations are off limits,then that is all the dealing we need. the 'Dealing' should not be limited to one entity,that has allready made its decision.

I 'm hoping that the 3rd option also includes providing good publicity , assistance with merchandising, and perhaps even giving major state wide events a hand( somehow).
I think though that all the other possibilities an association would bring, are not the focus of what is trying to be acheived at this stage.

Keeping this site alive is.

Posted: 01 February 08 10:59 pm
by Richary
Pesky! wrote:whilst i voted for the representative association, I feel the option 3 has set itself up to cause problems, as not all people or of the opinion we need to "deal" with national parks. If we folow the guidelines,and the guidlines suggest some property and locations are off limits,then that is all the dealing we need. the 'Dealing' should not be limited to one entity,that has allready made its decision.
<p>Valid point, though I was using NPWS as just one example - the one that has made the biggest impact so far. I can see State Forests, local councils etc also deciding that geocaching is a no-no until it potentially gets to the point where you can only place one in your front yard. OK, that's going to extremes but you see the point.<p>So if we have an association that can represent caching and publicise it to official stakeholders in a postive light, then those stakeholders can have a one point of contact in Australia where they can raise any concerns they may have, and someone with at least some seeming authority can hopefully allay those fears.<p>I'm not saying go out and tell them all about it, but set it up so when they do a search on geocaching on the first page they come up to is hopefully the official website with points of contact etc (which you don't get on the GCA homepage, fine as that isn't what it is set up to do).

Posted: 01 February 08 11:28 pm
by CraigRat
4) 2 Totally Different Entities

1 that meets the minimum legal requirements to allow the website to accept donations, and 1 that is a representative body, with all the elections, committees, NPWS Liasons and all that 'fun' stuff that people seem to be excited about.

As stated before, the ideals of GCA (The Website) are NOT representative of the geocaching community, and I don't think stuff like option 3 are inline with the sites directions and philosophies. We are an ALTERNATIVE to the generally accepted norm. The talk of having the website AND representative body in the same hands troubles me, given how we have positioned ourselves. If it all of a sudden gets ruled by committee, it becomes the same shade of beige that the other site is.....

A Representative body does not need to be run thru THIS website.
(Remember, this IS a site with an agenda, and does NOT proport to be representative of generally accepted opinions)

(and, yes, I will be pushing this barrow in each thread opened about these topics... it IS important that the 2 issues are handled as separate things..)

Posted: 02 February 08 12:01 am
by riblit
I believe we need two associations.

One for the web site funding, ideally this would be non state based, however unless it is a company it would have state incorporation because that's the way the government has chosen to do it. It could also be a business name but that has a few disadvantages.

I support an incorporated body because it persists as people enter and leave the game, it can open a bank account in its own name, a better idea than having a person open a second bank account in his/her own name as it avoids possible tax complications with the money being treated as personal income. Expenditure on a server etc for a game could be hard for a member to justify on their personal tax return.

Any association to represent geocaching to the "authorities" should be state/territory level as the laws and policies of the various state departments and associations vary state to state.

richary - NSW State Forests held a survey on the uses of their land a couple of years ago. Geocaching was listed as an allowed recreational pastime.

Posted: 02 February 08 12:03 am
by Cached
Aha, but the ideals of GCA as they stand have largely those of the benevolent dictator. As the owner of the site, he's entitled to move the website in that direction.

Once you move to another system, the community begins to have more of a say in what they expect.

If the senate had got off the ground, they could well have moved the website towards the shade of beige you refer to.

As much as I support the current and past activities of the website, it should be representative of the users who use it, and in the future, those who are willing to cough up to support it.

Posted: 02 February 08 7:52 am
by ideology
cached, that's an important point

we agree that the website should be representative of those who support it
the thing is, even if people are contributing to the cost of running the server, its only a small amount compared to the amount of time and support the developers put in

somewhere there's a thread from one of the developers saying that to put in a small piece of functionality took him over 40 hours of development work. granted there is some self-derived enjoyment out of doing it and seeing it work, but still, it's 40 hours of work compared to someone who is putting in $30 or whatever.

we're not saying that we want to see a bunch of developers doing what they want and assuming that people will donate for the server. the site would wither and die. at the other extreme, we also don't think a bunch of "honchos" (see other threads) telling the developers what to do would work either, because human motivation doesn't work that way!

hopefully what will happen is that if people contribute to the cost of running the server, they will be more vocal in the senate about what they'd like to see, etc, which would give the developers a stronger sense of what their users want. after all, a developer without any users is not going to be a very fulfilled developer

so we agree with the concept that the site should be representative of those who support it, but somehow we need to acknowledge all the different types of support that is given.