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Everything posted by Don_J

  1. For people using a typical e-mail reader, which can display HTML, the new format provides a consistent and clear presentation. While being distinctive and well branded have obvious marketing advantages that you may find offensive, those same features also allow the recipient to immediately recognize the e-mail as a geocaching.com notification. The social media links are "the wave of the future", so while you and I might not find them useful, it's easy to see why GS wanted to include them. While the objections being raised here are important and worthy of consideration, my guess is that about 95% of the people seeing these e-mails thought they were a big improvement. The other 5% were doing one thing or another that the new format trips over, and about 1% of them are complaining here. And although the complaints may be valid, I think they're getting drowned out in all the "Groundspeak never listens to us" whining. Wow! Love the statistics. Don't quit you day job.
  2. I indeed referred to those who read and post here, understanding that it is a self-selecting population. That said, the complaints on this feature change have come more quickly and in greater volume than is often the case, which also indicates that this one 'stung' more than usual. The specifics of the complaints, most particularly with regard to cell phone use, will certainly impact a wider audience than we have here. I do not receive my gc.com email over my cell phone, but fully appreciate the brain damage this is likely causing those that do, hence my comments. When Groundspeak decided to get rid of the Google Earth geocache link because only about 200 people were using it and tha it was putting undue load on Grounspeak servers, this forum filled with complaints and thy brought back th link. I really think they were taken by surprise by the response to the email changes. I suspsect they had a number of meetings discussing ways to improve the emails and incorporate many of the changes people have been aksing for for a long time. THey might have even have had some focus groups of geocachers review the proposals. I don't think the expected so many people who were relying on the messages being formated in some specific way or having the email subject line containing specific fields. I suspect the more typical case would be someone like me. I too had the emails from Geocaching.com go to a separate email folder. In this respect I was completely uneffected, the emails all continued to sort to the same folder as before. What I normally did was read the emails and then click throug to the cache page for caches I might be interested in. With the exception of the low contrast color scheme, the formatted emails are in fact easier for me to read. The font size was perfect (I may have set the default font for HTML email to a larger sixe, and it seems the emails abide by that selection). The additional information that is provide means that I can make a better decision as to which cache I click through to bring up the page. It takes me less time to get through the geocaching emails now. Beside the color, the only other issue that has been brough up that I have seen are the notifications for other than publish that dont have the log type. I don't use the notifications to run out for FTF like some people. My understand is that the published notifications to still have a text option that can easily be forwarded as an SMS message to a mobile device. This text contains more information about the cache than the previous message. Smartphones have email clients that can display HTML emails and the format seems to be one considers how it will fit on a small screen. I understand that some people prefer forwading the emails as text SMS messages to avoid data charges. This can be done with the published logs which are the emails where timely delivery is critical. For most people, the new emails may need some minor tweaking but it seems to be a better solution. People who rolled their own solution to automate how they deal with emails should not be surprised to see that break when changes are made. Personally, I had [LOG] and [GEO] going to one one folder. I also had Owner going to another folder, and Published going to a third. If they could add a [NEW] tag to the newly published caches, I could sort them and I guess I could learn to live with the rest of the changes. I do not like the new formats, but have been on the net since 1992 when the WWW basically started. I've learned that companies do not like to roll back changes that they have paid money to create. NASCAR.com is a classic example. For a number of years, they rolled out an entirely new web site on the date of the first race of the season. Fans were so confused that they couldn't figure out how to use the site on the most important date that they needed to do so. Despite the complaints, they continued to do this year after year. Just like with the email updates, nothing new was added, just everything was moved around, or information was deleted. Finally, someone figured out that all they were doing was spending money to to do nothing but piss off their customers.
  3. I indeed referred to those who read and post here, understanding that it is a self-selecting population. That said, the complaints on this feature change have come more quickly and in greater volume than is often the case, which also indicates that this one 'stung' more than usual. The specifics of the complaints, most particularly with regard to cell phone use, will certainly impact a wider audience than we have here. I do not receive my gc.com email over my cell phone, but fully appreciate the brain damage this is likely causing those that do, hence my comments. I personally always try to provide positive feedback to companies that I have a good experience with. This includes supermarkets, fast food, etc. If a customer service rep has gone out of their way to provide me with friendly and professional service, I will let their manager know about it. I think that this attitude comes from the fact that I work for a company that emails a review form to every one of our customers, and if a customer voices a negative experience, our managers do every thing in their power to correct the problem. The last thing that we want is negative reviews on our web site. I can't believe that a company would simply accept so many negative reviews and simply ignore them, with almost no comment. The fact that every single post in the new release thread is negative should be of concern. Instead, they dig into their trenches and wait for us to run out of ammunition.
  4. Wow! So they actually broke three things. I just so happy that they are working on this.
  5. Amen. I'd love to hear a valid business reason for why this can't be the case.Post #125? Post #125, quoted above, theorizes why HTML would be the preferred option for Groundspeak. Since it neither came from a representative of Groundspeak, nor answers why both options could not be provided to the user base at the user's discretion, I'm not satisfied with the answer. I don't disagree with your theory, but it sure would be nice to have someone from Groundspeak actually pipe up out of their anti-feedback bunker to answer a simple question: "Why can't both options be provided to the end user?" I'm really happy that Groundspeak gave us our sorting tags back, but after watching this company for nine years, I think that they are not going to reverse a design change. They will simply ride out the negative feedback. The green tint on white hurts my eyes, so Ill drop all of my notifications, expect for the "Oh Snap's".
  6. I don't see where your ranting, insulting reply had anything to do with my post. I posted merely to provide real-time examples of the latest fixes to the notification emails, reflecting some of the feedback received. I did so in an effort to be helpful. I am a community volunteer; I do not work for Groundspeak. Posts like yours make volunteers like me want to stay out of the forums. And I would hope that that never happens, as you have been our most helpful forum moderator. I thank you for your service!
  7. You thought this was a private message board? The fact that so many are commenting tells us just bad this change was.
  8. I fully agree. First I was upset because of the hidden and minimized logbook on the site, so that I have to use about 30 clicks until I find a specific log, tha I'm searching for, instead of just scrolling down. Now there's this orrible new HTML notification, using endless space on the hard disc and traffic on the mobile. And it looks abolutely poor, bacause I don't download inline pics for saving traffic and space. There definitly has to be an option for turning back to plain Logs, again. A translation to the mothertongue of the user would (not have been necessary but at least) have been much more usefull than this awful design update. Your English is better than that of people who have been speaking it for 20 years. But I don't think it takes up space on a hard disk unless you choose to save it on your computer- which is useless to do for every email since they are saved on the servers of the email provider (gmail, yahoo, whatever) Well, while Gmail saves a copy of everything, I prefer to download all of my mail to a local email client. Fortunately, I have a modern desktop with a fairly big hard disk. Groundspeak mail is not going to overwhelm it. I'm just really happy that the emails are landing in the proper folders. Not happy with the small green text
  9. Thank you! Like the grey icons, why is the site sending me stuff that I can't see.
  10. Thank you for this! Still, I don't care about how the content is formatted, it's really hard on my eyes to read a tiny green font on a white background.
  11. I would also like to continue seeing the name of the cacher who wrote the log, as in the old format. it did not seem to be broken to me, so please do not "fix" what we are used to seeing. Couldn't agree more. The new style puzzled me because I didn't realise a "fix" was happening. I have received several e-mails (Watchlist/published/found it) in the new format and I really had to look twice to see what was being said - not a problem in the previous format. The colour and layout below the title, e.g.: Logged by: geoladie74 Log Type: Found it Date: 7/19/2014 Location: Alaska, United States Type: Traditional Cache Is fine, but the rest is convoluted and looks rather pretentious to me (especially the "snap"). Keep it simple please! The color is not fine. It's a further insult to those of us that suffer from red/green color blindness or other vision problems. Like the grey icons, I don't expect it to change, but since I'm reading my mail in the Microsoft Live Mail client, there will be no Greasemonky script to fix it. I'm pretty much stuck with holding a magnifying glass up to my monitor in order to read my notifications. Tiny green on white just does not work for a lot of us.
  12. After I opened a New Publication email I received, the above quote is the first thing I see and it makes me curious as to what the average age of a cacher is nowadays. Perhaps it's getting younger and I'm just some out of date old coot, but my belief is that the average user is old enough to remember when "Oh snap!" was common lingo, and it seems to me that 2014 is about 30 years after that phrase's peak. I imagine that someone on The Design Team thinks that this is a fun and cute and cuddly phrase that can be turned into a swag button or trackable to sell in the store, but to me it just seems unprofessional. Is the new target demographic 12 year olds? Who on earth says "Oh snap!" anymore? It was annoying back then and hasn't gotten any less annoying now. WHAAAAAZUP!? A new geocache was just published! Like ohmygod! Fershure! Gnarly! A new geocache was just published! 23 Skiddoo! A new geocache was just published! I thought Oh Snap was so 90s... Seriously though, for us old coots: Howdy Pard! Thar's a new saddlebag o' nostrums, 'Way Out Yonder', 3 hoots and a hollar west of the ol' gallows Ugh! You get notification rock! It say Og publish new cache 'Sabretooth Travel Bone Hotel', long way to morning bright thing. or, the ever popular Message for you, Sir I don't think I have ever logged in LOL this forum, but here I go.
  13. Couln't you have just asked us before making the changes? It seems worth the effort compared to the risk of negative feedback (such as what you have been receiving). Is this based on any data that they collected at all? Again, did "the team" have any reason to feel this way, or was it a complete guess? I'm reminded of two things when I read about how the User Community is only a small fraction of input and how a committee feels certain things deserve added weight by their own perception of merits. In college I was introduced to "the precious concept". No, not the ring. The Precious was a passage in writing or a feature of product, which someone really, really loved and despite it distracting the reader or being a poor fit (or even buggy) in an end product, it is carried forward because someone refuses to yield, by having it eliminated or reworked. This evaluation of the merits of this change smacks of "the precious". The other thing is Monopoly Breeds Failure. Since Groundspeak really has no other competition they are doing as they see fit with little apparent impact on the bottom line - the product is not better for some changes. I often look at eBay as the benchmark of this approach to Change - they were once a very easy service to use and they prospered wildly on the system they originally had in place. Now it's a vexing mess, whenever I try to find or sell something. Big bloated forms, features buried under cruft, complexity to the point of breaking software. What for? The world is still going to eBay because the world is already there. (Tho Alibaba may change that.) This is so true. If, I, as a ten year member archive 130 caches over this, but the next day some guy puts 500 caches on a highway in Nebraska, and buys a membership. Gorundspeak's ahead in the game.
  14. Perfect fit of wording for me. Moun10Bike, seriously: could Groundspeak revert these changes? New format of e-mails is so terrible, that I could assume, that I will not to be able to monitor traffic on my caches and maintenance them responsibly, so I will have to archive them. [ECHO]
  15. Generally when I see changes like this launched over and over, I figure the advice is coming from someone who really doesn't understand the demographic, system function or feels they're not earning their pay if there isn't a steady stream of change for the sake of it. Where I work we fight it like all heck. I visited a friend at his work one day and they were ripping up the flooring in the office even though it looked good to me, seems they had a yearly budget for renovations and if they didn't spend it they were scared their budget could be reduced so they used it. Although I understood the thinking,it just seemed completely idiotic to me, but then again I don't run a successful company. LOL, I know it's off topic, (or maybe not), but they just removed 36' of our customer service counter at work and replaced it with 24'. Our three counter stations are now really crowded, and it's really hard to hear my customer, over the one standing in the the next station. It does look a lot prettier, though. At least they didn't paint the thing green.
  16. And that is great. Why couldn't they do that without destroying the rest of the Notification system?
  17. What's more important? What the design team thinks, or what your paying customers think? I'm really surprised that this company is viable. Does the term " Jumped the shark" even mean anything? Somebody at Headquarters needs to take on the nickname "Fonzie".
  18. A +1 from a future NOT paying customer. I have been caching, and a paying customer since 2005 and have been following this forum, especially the web site part of it since 2009. This is the worse, "better" mistake that they have ever made. If I can't get notifications that my email program can sort, and that my eyes can read, (tiny green font), I probably won't renew in three weeks. It may take about 300 miles of hiking and quite some time to go and retrieve my 138 hiking trail caches, but I'll do it. Put [LOG] back into the header. Bump the font size and change it to black. I know that the frog wants to change every thing to green, but every time you do so, you make it difficult for those us us that entertain disabilities. I want to make it clear, when I am not Geocaching, I like to look at the notification emails in my filtered folder and see what other cachers are up too, what caches are being found, and what ones may need some help, or maybe reported. Since the entire notification system is now broken to me, you have removed a major portion of the game to me.
  19. This is unbelievable! Once again, like with the grey icons, Goundspeak totally insults those of us that have that have vision problems or suffer from red/green color blindness. A little tiny green font? REALLY? The fact that I come home and find 100 messages in my Inbox from Groundspeak, and none in my Geocaching folder is the bigger insult. There is a bill in there somewhere that I have to pay. I am constantly amazed that Groundspeak continues to "fix" problems that don't exist while ignoring problems that have existed for years. You have basically turned what were useful notifications into SPAM that I need to cull out of my Inbox. What genius decided that it was a good idea to break all of your users email filters? For the first time since I started in 2005, I am seriously considering not anteing up my $30 next month.
  20. If you are asking about the Greasemonkey script, mine seems to working.
  21. The GSAK GoogleMaps3 macro far surpasses what Groundspeak has to offer. I would think that if you corrected on the website, used the gsak api call to get caches and then the macro that would also work. Although the hitch is always the internet access so I do wonder if in the act of plotting does it get the coords from GC or stick with what is in GSAK. Probably GSAK. I prefer to correct online because if a catastrophic computer failure occurred and I hadn't run a backup in some time the corrected would be lost whereas if corrected online they are never lost. I readily admit the likelihood of a failure of this nature is pretty small. I have no idea what your reply has to do with my comment. I was commenting on the idea that the Groundspeak map was better then the one offered in GSAK. I do agree that the basic GSAK map is limited, but when you run the GoogleMap3 macro, you get a highly configurable, full screen map that has several interactive features to send data back to GSAK. It is by far the most important tool that I use in planning a cache outing.
  22. The GSAK GoogleMaps3 macro far surpasses what Groundspeak has to offer.
  23. So this is impossible for Groundspeak to fix. They could not, for example, utilize a different rendering engine for the stats bars that is more IETF compliant. Or just go back about seven months to the code used then...when it worked! I am beginning to feel the whole lot at HQ just isn't doing it for the members. They don't care, just there for a paycheck. Most aren't even participating members. They definitely weren't when hired. Groundspeak hasn't changed their code. How could they revert?
  24. Wow! I read the description on EVERY cache I seek. The idea that you don't have to is one of the reasons why this game is spiraling down.
  25. Thank you! We have a older local cacher that can spend hours entertaining you with the experiences of his life, but he just can't use a keyboard to do the same. On the other hand, we have young cacher that hid a cache named "back to Skool". I wrote a note. "just in time", which was promptly deleted.
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