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Everything posted by tozainamboku

  1. I'm not sure why this is an argument that the event as listed on geocaching.com must last 30 minutes. If you are getting a group together to go on a hike, you would probably list a time when you should be at the trailhead. You might say "We'll leave from the trailhead promptly at 7:05 AM so be on time. People will likely show up early. Some may even arrive more than 1/2 hour before the start time. As you got closer to 7:05 more people would show up. Perhaps at 7:00 the group leader will say a few words about the hike or take a head count. Maybe a 7:05 some car will come driving up the street. The group will wait a few minutes while the late comer parks their car and joins the group. At 7:09 they start the hike. Now let's say the organizer would like to post this as an event on Geocaching.com and invite the geocaching community to go on the hike. Way back in the day they would post this as an event. Overtime TPTB have decided to narrow the defintion of what an event could be. At firs they said, "If the primary purpose of the hike is to go find caches, this is better done using social media than as an event listed on GC.com" Of course, if the event was a picnic, you could have activities where people find temporary caches at the picnic or go out and look for permanent caches which the reviewers would publish on the day of the event. But the primary purpose of the event was the picnic. A hike seems suspicious. Is the hike the primary purpose or finding caches? No problem, just have a "event" prior or following the hike. Back in the day, we'd meet for breakfast at McDonald's and call that the event. When the idea of a flash mob event came along, it became even simpler. Set five minutes right before leaving on the hike as the "event" and it could be list on GC.com, With the new rule you have to put aside half-an-hour befor the hike. Most hikers are not going to show up half-an-hour early. They'll show up for the hike and if they are not too late, they will log their attended log. My guess it that some people would like to go back to the workaround of meeting at McDonald's instead of the trailhead. I find it all artificial. People are forced to create meaningless "events" just to list their hike on GC.com. Making this artiface 1/2 hour instead of 5 minutes base ond some personal belief that you need 1/2 to make meanigful connections is, IMO, not a very good reason to make a change.
  2. *Dadgum. They've added WOOHOO I GOT A SMILEY to the forbidden words list.
  3. Obviously you have never had to cuddle with your wife. Let's not make this personal, eh Roman? That kind of humor is, with me, off limits. You need to point Roman! to the link I posted in Off-Topic
  4. Wow, in Canada they have '50 Shades of Gray' events. That's creepy.
  5. I find Cirque du Soleil much creepier than clowns. Those contortionist look like they don't have any bones. Also they're Canadian.
  6. Yes that's possible. The question I have is, why don't they log there daily interaction with the webcam as a Note? Does it has to be a "found"? Best greetings MB Because a note doesn't increase your find count Because the log is 'Webcam Phote Taken' and they took a webcam photo? It's only a problem if you view the find count as a score. If it is just a count you are free to decide to only count distinct caches one time. Someone else may decide to count differently. Perhaps what we need is an option to display unique counts. Then if you can't bear that others don't share your view of the find count, you could ask to see only the unique counts. Beware that this may result in lab caches not being counted (see below). The issue came about because of lab caches. These counted in the total count but not the unique count. So even people who never posted a duplicate log were seeing a mismatch. I don't know why they just didn't fix the unique count to include lab caches. Instead they removed the unique count and said that people found it confusing.
  7. I don't believe that would happen. Most premium member and most "for the numbers" cachers (which you seem to imply premium members are) don't inflate their numbers with duplicate find or even with logging their own caches. Sure there are some people who log multiple times or log their own caches today because they can do so. If they were unable to do so and knew that everyone else was unable to do so they would likely accept this as a "rule". Cachers in areas where they practice multi-logging events to get "credit" for finding temporary caches will find some other way to "credit" the temporary finds. The objection I have to making this a rule (and I hope the reason that Groundspeak isn't interested in changing the website/API to enforce this) is that it encourages the WIGAS (Woohoo! I get another smiley) culture. Many geocachers rarely look at the find count and when they do they accept that it as simply a count of the number of Found It, Attended, and Picture Taken logs. While some people may post these logs to get a bigger number, most people are simply reporting that they found the cache, attended an event, or took a webcam photo. For various reasons they may want to use these logs multiple times on the same cache. Maybe they pass the webcam everyday and take another picture of themselves. Sure that might annoy someone who sees the find count as score, but to someone who doesn't, it might seem like fun to share their daily interaction with the webcam. I suppose there will always be geocachers who view the find count as some kind of score and they will either "cheat" by claiming duplicate finds or be the first to label someone else as a "cheater" for doing so. In my view both are equally silly.
  8. Look, I respect the devil out of you, and I really don't have any desire to get in a fight with you, both because I would not enjoy it and because I'd lose. But, with all due respect, I've pointed out something that isn't clear in the new guidelines, and quite politely, I think, asked for clarification: what defines the event time? When the host writes a description that says an event lasts from 2 to 2:30, what, if anything, does he promise will happen from 2 to 2:30? I don't mind if you don't answer, but it's a little annoying for you to throw up your hands and stomp off in a huff as if I'm being irrational for asking. To clarify, my comment was directed solely at Tozainamboku, after he basically called Rock Chalk and myself liars. Posts like that one are why so few Community Volunteers and Lackeys continue to be active in the forums. If that bothers the rest of the community, please help to encourage a more open dialogue by what I call "community moderation." Unfortunately, this thread has reached toxic level and I doubt highly whether participants will receive further clarification. They won't from me. And Toz won't obtain clarification from me about anything, ever. I did not call you or Rock Chalk liars. I said I didn't buy the official reason. I believe that you are presenting what you have been told or understand to be the official rationale for this change. I even thanked Rock Chalk earlier in the thread for providing this rationale. That doesn't mean that the rationale will satisfy everybody. I understand that the WIGAS references get old and in truth they are meant to get under the skin a bit. Way back when ALRs were forbidden, I posted that I thought Groundspeak had made a mistake because they would now have to deal with restoring logs that were improperly deleted. I understand, and have first hand knowledge, that Groundspeak had to deal with logging disputes long before that change. It appears to me that many guidelines have since been made to make it easier to deal with online logging disputes. Although my first approach would be to wonder why the online logs cause so much twisting of knickers, I understand that neither I, nor Groundspeak, nor the volunteer reviewers, can control other peoples knickers. I'm not sure there is much that can be done than have simplistic logging rules that are easy to enforce. I would find this rationale easier to accept than the official one.
  9. I would continue to argue that meaningful connections don't happen just because you sit in one place for some arbitrary length of time. LPC quality events ? Just as Groundspeak shouldn't be banning caches just because they don't come up to Knowschad's standard of quality, I don't think they should be making judgement on what is a quality event. That said, if they were to give that as the rationale I'd find more understandable than saying you can't make meaningful connections in less than half an hour. Groundspeak has made many guidelines I don't agree with. I reserve the right to not agree. However when a lackey has posted that they realize that good caches/events may have to change to be published but that there were abuses that could not be handled some other way, I'm more likely to accept the change. I'm quite surprised that there have been no examples so far of abuse. I honestly expected to be told about real problems caused by flash mob events - not just that people are getting their knickers twisted. There have been a few folks mention iffy permission. A reviewer might not question a five minute event in a parking lot, but a half hour one may get questioned as to whether the mall is OK with this. I'm not aware of any problems in my area, but perhaps Groundspeak has real examples of this. Sharing some knowledge of how flash mob events caused some real issues and I might be more willing to accept some limitations.
  10. Sure the five minute flash mob workaround has just changed to the 30 minute flash mob work around. So you can still turn a hike or a river paddle into an event. But if the reason for the change was to encourage more socializing at events, I don't think it will have that effect. Your reply tends to lead credence to my WIGAS point. If thirty minutes is meant to end the flood of flash mob events in some areas because there are cachers getting their knickers twisted because its too easy to get a WIGAS for an event or to qualify for some challenge by attending a certain number of events, it might have some effect. I think 30 minutes is long enough that some hikes or river paddles will say "The heck with it" and just not list their event on GC.com. And of course if you're in an area where people are putting on five minute flash mobs just because they can, you might have only a few of these changed to 30 minutes and the rest will go away (and make it once again safe to have a challenge to attend x events). Hey. I would buy an official explanation that says the 30 minute limit is to untwist the knickers of those who think 25 minutes is too short for an event.
  11. The hike can be an activity that is planned for the event. It might even be the only activity (other that the 30 minutes standing around [airquotes]socializing[/airquotes]). Given then need for a start time and a stop time and the rules for logging the event by people who aren't taking part in the hike activity, it isn't even clear if the hike activity is part of the event or an activity some cachers are doing after the event. I suppose one is free to interpret start and end time as refering to the section of the event when you have to show up to say you've attended. It's kinda of equivalent to having signed the physical log. I don't think anyone in misunderstanding the guidelines and claiming you can't have a hike as an activity. And I believe, that even if we don't agree with the reasons for them, we understand the rules for logging "attended". This last change is controversial because the "5 minute" event provided an easy workaround to comply with the logging rules. Making the period for logging arbitrarily longer, only makes the workaround less desirable. I also contended that it has not been shown that making the period that is set aside to define who attended 30 minutes, will change in any meaningful way the ability to make "meaningful connections". Sorry Keystone and Rock Chalk, I don't buy the "official" reason for this change. Sadly geocaching has become controlled by the WIGAS. No longer does anyone care if caches or events are fun, interesting, unique, etc. Instead they must comply with rules for logging a find/attended.
  12. It's been a while since Groundspeak has been saying that while you can have all sorts of activities at an event, the guidelines for "Attending" an event were to show up at the posted coordinates some time between the start time and end time. You couldn't require anyone to participate in any activity you had planned (just as you couldn't force them to socialize ). So you can have a hike as an activity for the event but the requirements for attending meant that there was a posted coordinates (perhaps the trail) and stated start time an end to show up at the post coordinates. I'm too lazy to try an find what discussion was at the time. I suspect we all accepted the change because there were workarounds. These workarounds might even have been suggested be a reviewer or lackey trying to explain those changes. One workaround was to have a five minute event a the start of the hike, then anyone who wanted go on the hike would leave to go on the hike. For people who wanted to make the event involve the hike itself, you could have a fixed coordinate on the hike where you stopped for a few minutes. Anyone who showed up at that location in the stated time window, could log that they attended the event. (The local Sierra Club does something like this every year for John Muir's birthday. They have a designated time for meeting on the summit of Muir Peak. They have organized hikes by several routes, but you are also free to do the hike on your own. Just be on the summit at the designated time to sing "Happy Birthday".) The new time limit still allows the workarounds, but half an hour is now long enough to be an annoyance.
  13. So five minute flash mobs are banned. Rock Chalk and Keystone have provided the "official" rationale for the change. I cannot complain that Grounspeak isn't sharing the rationale. The issues are: 1. the "official" rationale doesn't make complete sense. Why can't meaningful connections be made in fifteen minutes or five minutes? Explain the success of speed dating. And 30 minutes (or any other time) doesn't necessarily mean that meaninful connections are any easier to make. Several people have indicated that events that consist of sitting in a restaurant or pub drinking beer don't really encourage any interaction with people you are just meeting for the first time. 2. The shorter time limit provided a workaround for people who wanted to have an event that started at the posted coordinates but then moved. Just have a five minute event at the start or end of the real event. To get this listed now you have to sit in one place for half an hour. My guess is a half hour sit and greet before some acrivity will have most people showing up for the last five minutes, or if held at the end will have people leaving after the first five minutes. So while having events at fixed location isn't new, a fairly reasonable workaround has been turned into a workaround that is just annoying enough that this might stop its use. However, there still seems to be a desire from people to have events that don't stay in one location and which may or may not involve finding physical caches. It would be nice for Groundspeak to explore guidelines that allow these options (particularly if they make the workarounds intolerable).
  14. After some more thought, I'm going to take back this comment. Instead I think the points matter a lot to Groundspeak. Find counts, souvenirs, and features like statistics provide "game mechanics" that for many geocachers enhance the experience of geocaching. Groundspeak is well aware of this and uses it to promote the game and to attract new geocachera as well as retain those aready playing. But they also know that if the points or souvenirs appear too easy to get then they have less impact and may even alienate some geocachers. Even when Groundspeak has full control, as in when they award souvenirs, there have been misteps - as in 31 souvenirs for August in 2013. That arracted many people who attempted to find a cache every day that month. But it alienated others who saw people hide caches for the sole purpose of making this easier than it would have been for people trying a streak in a month without the souvenirs; or who weren't going for a streak and found it annoying to get a souvenir for finding caches on the days they were going to cache anyhow. Events may be seen a bonus for Groundspeak marketers. When cachers socialize and discuss caches or trade travel bugs, that increases interest. But getting points for events that consist of nothing other than a group of cachers getting together for a few seconds or for doing things they would be doing anyway, may alienate some from attending events at all, and may reduce the ability of a WIGAS point (or a souvenir) for attending an event to attract more "business'. In most cases it would be in Groundspeak's interest to have more caches and more events (and more opportunity to score a WIGAS). But markerting decisions have to be made to ensure that the value of these mechanisms to Groundspeak is not diluted.
  15. If you're arguing that an event has to be stationary and have a particular set time so that people can use a GPS to "find" it, that a bit of a stretch. In the early days of goecaching people want to have a way for geocachers to get together and meet one another. It was sugested that teh cache listings wouuld be a good way to do this. Event were forced into a format that allowed them to be listed as geoecaches. The coordinates allows people to see what events were nearby. The use of the Date Placed field for the day of the event let you see quickly what day the event was on. But you still always had to look the the list to see the time, what activities were planned, whether there was a fee, would there be food, etc. Almost always there was an address as the intent was never to "find" the event using a GPS. In the early days the forccing of eventt in the database has other unintended consequences. There was a Found Log and DNF log. If you attended the event you logged "found it" and this of course resulted in your find count being incremented for events. Many people object. Events were not caches and should count. You shouldn't have Found It and DNF logs but Attended logs, and a Will Attend log to RSVP so the event owner could plan for a certain number of people. Eventually, the website changed so that events took these new logs and the Found Log was no longer available. But TPTB decided to count Attended logs in the find count because by then people were expecting this and some event owners argued that the WIGAS was an incentive for peple to attend events. Event stacking rules are a bit different from the time limit. I suppose it's less likely for someone to have a "flash mob" event in the middle of the potluck event, but the idea was for events to stand on their own. Groundspeak has indicated that they are not interested in stopping the practice in some regions of allowing multiple Attened logs. So while you can't list 5 events when you really have one, nothing prevents an event owner from allowing someone from logging 5 Attended logs for participating in different parts of one event. It appears to me that as far a Groundspeak is concerned, the points don't matter. The policy is more likely trying limit the work load for reviewers in having to review and possilbly publish extraneous events. I suspect that it was so easy to put on a flash mob enent that in some areas it was abused. I'd like to argue that in moderation, flash mob events do facilitate socilizing. But perhaps when the same individuals are holding a flash mob every weekend there was a reason to limit this or at least to ask that some of the time people would plan a longer more traditional events. I can remember when there was not an event every weekend, and when a few times a year there were certain regional events that involved more planning, attracted more people, and involved a range of activities to choose from. These still occur but they now have compete with more pop-up type events.
  16. Not true. One also needs to add "end of event: 2:00" and it's this combination which I find painful as it demonstrates clearly what an event means to Groundspeak. I had my reasons why I stressed it is the unfortunate combination of a number of changes (at the given coordinates, minimum required time, start and end time needed). By my reading there are the following options I. Move thes start time back to 1:20 so you have 1/2 an hour before you have to be at the boat ramp at 1:50. II. Start at 1:40 but indicate that those not going on the float can show up at anytime prior to 2:10. People going on the float attended for 10 minutes. The rest can attend for 1/2 hour and get the required amount of socializing. III. Forget the flash mob and find a place to have pizza an beer after the non-event float. Hold a 30 minute or longer event for pizza and beer, from 5:00 to 5:45 or whatever. Those who went on the float but can't stick around for the event don't need a smiley, because the river float was more fun anyhow. But they are welcome to log a 'Note' any post their pictures from earlier in the day. Conclusion: Geocaching events are for pizza and beer. You can do anything else you like before, after, or even during the event; just make sure that someone is sitting at the restaurant the required time.
  17. And with 1 pi, you merely need the Diameter. 2 pi is a round number.
  18. It seems the issue it not the time limit but the guideline saying an event "takes place at the posted coordinates". I'm not sure when this particular phrase got added, or what discussion there may have been at the time. The way events are entered in the Geocaching.com database there has to be an associated set of coordinates. This is a good thing as geocachers can search for events nearby (either where they are or where they plan to be). However it isn't clear why an entire event must take place at a fixed location. What would be wrong with having an event that says "Meet at 9 AM at N34 18.000 W118 09.000. At promptly 9:05 AM we will leave for a hike of the area. Show up a few minutes early and socialize so you won't be late. The hike will take approximately one hour." In the past this was a legitimate event listing. People knew where to go and when to be there and they participated in whatever activity was planned. I suspect that Groundspeak got complaints from people who were unable to participate in the activity that they were be being excluded (I'm entitled to the smiley for just showing up at start). Perhaps there were instances where the ability to have this kind of activity was abused; a hidden agenda to turn the hike into a cache hunt (but the primary reason given for the event is to go hiking) or a perception of a commercial aspect because of a fee to participate. I'd personally like to see the ability to hold events that are centered on an activity other than sitting in a room reading name tags. Limiting events to a fixed location for at least half an hour seems an undue burden on those who want to have a more active event.
  19. If this thread is still about Events and CITOs, I don’t see that anything has been banned. Flash mob events as we knew them have been banned. Sure, we can follow your suggestion and drink beer for half an hour at some fixed location then go to the mall for a "flash mob". But I contend this is substantially different what we currently see as a geocaching flash mob. Cachers are out and about - either geocaching or doing other things - then all show up at a designated location at a particular time. They socialize for five minutes, then go back to whatever they were doing. Before the guideline change you could have a five minute event. Now five minute events are banned.
  20. I think this is somewhat like the guideline that you have to demonstrate that GPS usage is an integral and essential element of both hiding and seeking caches. Nobody says that someone who finds the cache using a map and compass instead of GPS can't log it. The 30 minute limit demonstrates that attendees have a opportunity to socialize for the minimum amount of time (according to TPTB) you need for socializing. Nobody can force the wall flower to socialize, and you can't force people to stay for the entire event. Drinking beer and even meeting friends can be done outside the scope of geocaching. I don't like people telling me what activities comprise socializing in a geocaching context. Groundspeak can't enforce that with rules. They can only decide what events they will publish. Then have arbitrarilly decided that an event must be in one place for at least a minimum duration. For many people this seems to be an unnecessarily narrow definition. I think it comes down to Groundspeak being forced to write guidelines to resolve disputes over WIGAS points. People showing up late for the start of a hike or for a flash mob complain. It's easier to say "You get a WIGAS point for showing up at the event location anytime between the start time and the end time"
  21. No matter the rationale, new guidelines always result in banning some sort of cache that is popular - at least for some segment of geocachers. There were not always flash mob events, but I do recall some event that were very short. We met, perhaps we got a coffee, and then we were off for the day's adventure. Sure the events had some attendees who weren't going on the hike. They might hang around longer. Or they might do some urban caching or highway caching in the area. I believe the Podcacher proposed the first flash mobs. They seem to be very popular. I suppose one reason may be that they leave more time to geocache than attending an event for the whole afternoon. You still had a few minutes to socialize (and as I stated above, that often was to find a group to cache with the rest of the day). Some people seem to be upset that those attending a flash mob event get a WIGAS point. I don't understand why they make a deal over this. Maybe they just like getting their knickers in a twist over silly things. For a while it appeared that Groundspeak was all in favor of these short events. I suspect that in moderation there would have been no problem. If most events are the "traditional" type where you sit in one place and have a beer, then TPTB probably wouldn't mind a few flash mobs. It could be that in some areas the standard event has become the flash mob (and perhaps the standard geocache has become a nano). The change in the requirement is removing a popular option, maybe because it became too popular. I'm not sure what problem is solved. What could happen is that there will be a lot of half hour events. Maybe the host will show up at the appointed time to greet anyone who shows up. The people in the know will show up for the last five minutes and have their flash mob. fizzymagic has good reason to worry an activity he likes will be taken away whenever people complain there are too many silly challenges. Some people like flash mobs. They certainly have a social aspect regardless of how you want to define socializing. But perhaps there just got to be too many of them. What will be banned next?
  22. Let's not have a forum then. Groundspeak calls the shots, no further discussion. What is apparent is that somebody at Groundspeak decided that the event has to be half an hour for geocachers to be able to socialize. This is an arbitrary number - like 161 meters. There are those who may feel you can socialize in less time, and certainly that a short flash mob event may facilitate socializing that occurs over a longer period than just the event. cezanne also has the problem that the way the guidelines are written the "event" itself has to be at the posted location for at least the half an hour. That means someone is at the posted location for the entire time at least to let people who show up know they have attended the event. If there are other activities, some people may not be able to participate as someone needs to be at the "event". There may be a reason for this. It's called the WIGAS point. Groundspeak is now creating guidelines for when you can log a WIGAS (and when the cache owner can delete it). Perhaps what they want to say that anybody who shows up at the coordinates between the start time and end time can log "attended". You can't require they sign a log, and you can't require they participate in any activities beyond showing up. Even if they don't drink beer, they can still log "attended".
  23. It's like 90 degrees here. People in the Northeast US and Canada must be cooped up and the forums may be the only place for them to let off some steam.
  24. So why aren't hiking, biking, running, rafting, riding a train, or playing leapfrog socializing? What exactly makes something "socializing" and other things, stuff you can do at your event but they don't meet the "requirement" for socialization? Do you have to play party games? Do you have to serve alcohol? Inquiring minds want to know. It seems the definition of socializing is to show up at a fixed location between a fixed start time and fixed end time that is at least 30 minutes later.
  25. Thanks for the reply. I was going to predict something like this. The guidelines have always been that events are to facilitate the social aspect of caching and a 5 minute flash mob doesn't seem to provide enough time to socialize. To counter this I will point out that at many events the "wall flower" sits by himself off to one side for an hour or more and doesn't socialize. On the other hand, some of the flash mobs I've been to have been quite successful encouraging cachers to socialize. Think of it like speed dating. While it may not be the case for all flash mobs, the ones I've been to, often have cachers getting together to spend the rest of the day caching. Newbies will pair up with experienced cachers. People who have never cached with someone else spend the day making new friends. While the guidelines say events should not be set up for the purpose of gathering geocachers for a geocache search, the flash mobs I've been too are often use to get around a guideline that makes little sense to the "social" geocacher. Is the social aspect of geocaching drinking a beer, or is it going out and finding caches? I think I now know what Groundspeak thinks it is.
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