What are the new (Sept 2012) rules regarding membership and required information?

Change is in the wind, and the wind is a blowin' at the IGO. If you have been paying attention lately you know that we have a new/revised set of bylaws (and they are now posted on the IGO web site) and some changes coming your way so that IGO can accommodate formal incorporation of the group and maintenance of our legal/legitimate non-profit status.

The critical change at the IGO site is a new set of requirements handed down from the State of Iowa. These requirements demand that IGO maintain a list of "members" complete with everyone's first name, last name, street address, phone number and date of birth. All of this information is REQUIRED by the state if we want to establish and maintain our new status.

We will never share this information with 3rd parties, but we simply have to obtain it in order to function legitimately.

Also, we need to have individuals ONLY as members. No more couples or families listed as a single 'member'. Sorry, another rule handed to us. And as long as we are listing rules...only those members who are 18 or older will be allowed to vote online, that's why we need your date of birth.

So, here's what we need you to do... Login to the IGO web site (not the forums!) and look on the left side of the page for your username. Below that you should see a "My account" link. Click it. Now you should be viewing your account info. Near the top of the page you should see an "Edit" link. Click it. Now you see even more of your account information with fields provided where you can edit things.

If you currently share an account with your spouse or someone else then we would like to you change your username at this time (so that your spouse or partner can create a new account of their own). Most of our IGO users specify their geocaching name as their username…that’s great! Keep it up, but make a small change. For example, if your real name is John Doe and your IGO username is currently “JD and Sons” then please consider changing your IGO username to “JD and Sons – John”. Simple enough, right? Later on your partners (sons) can create their own new accounts under their own names like “JD and Sons – Bob” and “JD and Sons – Pete”.

OK, whether you change your username or not, you also need to find the “Profile” button on your account page. Click it. Now you should see lots more information about your account, including a new section of “Required Info”. Note that every field inside this section has a red asterisk beside it. That means each of these new fields is REQUIRED. You won’t be able to save/update your account until you have filled in each of these, and if you don’t fill these in your rights and privileges as an IGO member (including the right to cast one ballot in the election) may be revoked.

Note:  As of July 2013 you are NO LONGER REQUIRED TO ENTER YOUR BIRTHDATE to qualify for voting.  Instead, you simply need to check the box indicating that you are at least 18 years of age.  If you fail to check this box you will NOT be elligible to vote. 

Once you have filled in all the required information, and made any other changes as you wish, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the form and click “Save”. If you don’t, all your changes will be lost and you’ll have to start all over again.

Now, if you are one of the folks who previously shared an account with someone, we ask that you visit the web site as a guest and use the “Create new account” link to create your own new account. The forms you need to fill in for this account will look very much like those that we just walked through.

There are two VERY IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS when creating a new account:

1) Create a username that is recognizable as something related to geocaching OR at the very least, don’t use an account name that ends in a long string of digits and be sure you fill in ALL the required info. Someone who tries to open a new account with a username of kjsnjkerp13432, for example, will probably be denied. Why you ask? Because spam bots typically generate nonsensical usernames like that and spammers are not welcome at IGO!

2) You MUST register using a UNIQUE e-mail address! If you previously shared an e-mail address with your spouse or partner, it’s time to go get a new address. Any valid e-mail address (even a free one from Gmail, Yahoo, MSN, etc.) will do, just so long as you can send and receive e-mail to confirm your registration.

Even if you follow these rules, your new account won’t be active immediately so be patient, somebody will review and authorize it in a day or two. Also, your required information will be reviewed by the Board and if you meet voting eligibility rules (18 or older and a resident of Iowa, or a non-resident who has petitioned for voting rights) you'll be declared an eligible voter...but that review could also take a day or two.