> One place for cache data that would pretty much guarantee > it being freely available forever would be usenet. You > wouldn't have the fancy web interface options for logging > finds, etc, but it would be available freely to anyone as > long as usenet exists.
This is a good model, and indeed, most early caches were advertised on sci.geo.satellite-nav.
One impediment is archiving. Right now, Google's consolidated Usenet archives are available free-of-charge, but might not always be.
If a suitable standard form were developed through consensus, caches could be advertised by either posting on Usenet (to sci.geo.satellite-nav or to alt.rec.geocaching), or via e-mail directly to the database. Preferably, automated filters could be used to import these entries into the database, eliminating the need for manual intervention. Other geocaching related web sites (or anyone else) could extract the entire dataset from the public database at regular intervals, allowing easy synchronization, mirroring, and archiving. Cooperative geocaching web sites could exchange updates with the public database via Usenet or direct e-mail form interface. E-mail and Usenet article processing employ relatively simple interfaces, for which there exists a number of documented, well-understood packages, so that no exotic middleware need be used.