Beginning on 1 January 2013, the answer is now "no".
We appreciate that you are attempting to make the logging process more efficient, however, the use of “auto-response” e-mails and third-party websites is not permitted, for two main reasons:
- People do not need to wait for permission to log your EarthCache. Requiring someone to wait is not supported by the EarthCache guidelines. People should send their logging task answers to you, then log your EarthCache. When you review their logging task answers, if there is a problem, you should contact them to resolve it. If there is no problem, then their log simply stands.
- The types of questions/answers used by “auto-response” e-mails and websites are too limiting and usually do not provide a strong educational experience, which is a vital part of EarthCaching. Logging tasks that ask for highly-specific, generally short answers, such as “15 meters” or “brown”, do not meet the educational goals of EarthCaching, and do not allow for enough flexibility or interpretation.
Furthermore, the proper review of logging tasks is considered one of the basic maintenance duties that must be performed by EarthCache owners. Because no physical container must be maintained, it is expected that EarthCache owners take the time to review logging submissions on their own, without automated aids.
Although there have been EarthCaches published in the past that use auto-response e-mails, this will no longer occur, as autoresponders are now prohibited by the January 1, 2013 update of the EarthCache guidelines.