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Everything posted by adjensen

  1. Of course they aren't going to publicly lament any such thing. Whether it's the truth or not, it's counter productive to say that an active project isn't working. However, by any measure that I'm able to ascertain (traffic to the site, growth, the number of people who actually visit the countless created waymarks,) it doesn't seem that way to me. If it's "meeting expectations" in these ways, those expectations must have been mighty low to start with. The GSA didn't ask to have Earthcaches put back on gc.com because they were working out so well on Waymarking, they did it because traffic to their placements dropped like a rock (pun intended.) That, in itself, says a lot. Of course you don't, because you use them. The vast majority do not use them, but willingly underwrite them in order to have the gc.com site, and I count myself among them. As for resource and code sharing, gc.com's issues (according to posts in the forums) are largely based on scalability and stability, solutions to which are coming from an outside consultant, not from the single guy working on Waymarking. It's funny how even thoughtful threads on this subject eventually work their way down to posters being told "you're stupid", "you're selfish" or "you're a child (or dancing mouse.)" Never in this discussion did I say that Waymarking should be shut down. Never did I say that it doesn't work because I don't like it. Never did I say that virtuals should be brought back. Never did I say that I want funding changed. Maybe Fizzymagic's "ironic" post is closer to the truth than I'd thought. I won't bother you with any further observations on the subject.
  2. You guys enjoy what you're doing. You don't hear me complaining about that. If you want to keep Waymarking telephone boxes, cotton fields and Smokey the Bear signs, knock yourself out. It seems that most of the "complaining" is cachers complaining about the death of virtuals, and waymarkers complaining that cachers just don't get how boss Waymarking is. I was merely pointing out what I find deficient in Waymarking, on the off chance that anyone is interested in why it's not working. Generally, when a product doesn't catch on like hopes or projections say it should, the powers that be are interested in why, in order to address those complaints and make it successful. Ultimately, if Waymarking never becomes more than a place where people catalogue the Earth to no end, any resources put towards that, whether on your part or Groundspeak's, are futile. Until the day that Groundspeak starts charging a separate fee for Waymarking, I think that those of us who fund those resources, even in the $3/month sort of way, have a duty/right to comment on the issue.
  3. Not to be critical, but to be accurate, in that category (which is a pretty cool category, far better than water towers and McDonalds drive thrus,) there is one visit by another waymarker on his/her own, one additional visit by someone taken there by the waymark placer, and the rest of the visits are either not detailed (may be a bug -- the list of waymarks shows it being found, the page itself says "no logs") or visited by the person who made the mark. Here in Grand Forks, there is one, count it, one waymark. Population of 50,000 or so, 25 or so caches in the city area, and there is one waymark. Of? A water tower, which you can see from pretty much anywhere in town. To get "credit" for the "find", you are to post a photograph of it. I don't need a GPSr to find it, I don't need the coordinates, I hardly even need directions. Within an hour's drive (roughly 60 miles) there are three additional waymarks, two historical markers that have no relevance to me, and the Karlstad Post Office, which is... a post office. Nothing special, just a post office. Oh, there's something in the Long Description: "Around the corner on CR 14 is a fine Swedish theme mural." That's actually the whole of the description, so it sounds like the interesting thing at this location isn't actually the post office, but the mural. When virtuals existed, I guess that he might have made the mural a virt, now it's a side note on a boring waymark. Now, of these four waymarks, the oldest of which was placed about 1 1/2 years ago, none have ever been visited. Well, I'm sure that plenty of people go to the post office, and I see the water tower pretty much every day, but no one has logged any of these visits. Where's the "Wow factor" in any of this? In your "New World Evidence" category, I can see a bit of it, there is none in any of these four. Zero. Waymarking has taken away the problem of "too many crappy virtuals being submitted" and replaced it with "an entire site filled with crappy virtuals" that requires you to wade through the junk to find the gem. Instead of Joe Reviewer being my filter to eliminate stuff unworthy of my time, I now have to do it myself. Put it another way. Let's say that there's an absolutely cool McDonalds someplace. Three stories tall, free cheeseburgers, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, whatever. Under gc.com, it would have gone in as a virtual, and would have popped up on a PQ if I was visiting. Under wm.com, it's going in as a McDonalds, and, because 99.9% of McDonalds are crap and I'm not interested in seeking them, I ignore the whole category and I'm going to miss it. That extends through any category that I don't have some sort of OCD connection to, because I don't want to fill up my PQ, GPSr and schedule finding historical markers that are of questionable importance or value. Along with the confusing interface and lack of connection to gc.com, that's, I think, the reason that Waymarking doesn't get the visitors, support and enthusiasm that virtuals did. And why there is a "bring back virtuals" thread here, pretty much all of the time. The decision not to do so is a business one, but, short of bannination for anyone talking about it, the discussion and dissent is never going away, because while it might make perfect sense to Groundspeak and the reviewers that had to deal with crappy virtuals, it doesn't make perfect sense to seekers. BTW, google maps appear on all of those waymark pages, even though I'd turned them off on the category listing, and there is no way to turn them off on that page. Just an FYI, since the comment was made yesterday that they could be turned off if they slowed things down too much. My point exactly.
  4. If you have a slow connection you can uncheck "show map" to remove the google map. I don't have a slow connection at work (where I posted that) -- it's a T1, and I did find the check box to turn them off. However, it's not generally a good idea to have something that is quite often slow and relies on external resources turned on by default. New users may well think that it's your site that's bogged down, and not return. Google maps are notoriously slow to load at times, so the default setting might be something to consider having "off".
  5. Likely idiotic to be arguing/questioning you, as it's your business and you want, more than anyone else, what's best for it, but as a "nay sayer," I clearly don't understand what you mean by "accelerated over the past year far faster than geocaching." If you mean by number of POIs, I suppose so, though, as I pointed out above, as your target audience, I find the signal to noise ratio of wm.com to be a detriment, not a benefit. The Alexus traffic report from the past five years doesn't bear out any other argument that I can see. Seasonal fluctuations aside, gc.com has experienced fairly constant growth, with an amazing growth in 2006, but wm.com has stayed fairly level over the 1 1/2 years it's been around. Being more visible will certainly add more growth, but doesn't everyone already see the "Nearby waypoints" link on the cache pages? Beyond email marketing, I'm not sure than anything other than true integration (where waymarks count as gc.com statistics) is going to drive huge numbers to Waymarking. Again, my lack of experience probably limits my view and level of understanding, but, in the instance of the Country Churches I cited above, most of the churches were approved by the person who "founded" them, who also was the only person to "visit" them. They may be super-awesome churches, and maybe things are different where there are more waymarkers, but I question the validity of any approval system where I can approve my own submissions. Jeremy, I'm not a jerk (well, don't ask my wife about that ) I'm a "nay sayer" not because I enjoy arguing, I'm a nay sayer because I don't understand your game. Or maybe I do understand it, and I just don't like it. But either way, if I'm your target audience, what I have to say should have some relevance. Ditto for everyone else that is having a hard time with Waymarking. One thing that I've learned as a small business owner is that statistics and projections, whether I agree with them or not, tend to bear themselves out. If you're happy with the current rate of adoption and the results that you're seeing on Waymarking, then you don't really need to worry about what those of us who don't get it are saying.
  6. In addition, you should only look at the virtuals that were created in the first year of geocaching.com since Waymarking is barely a year old. If you are going to ask for a comparison, make sure it is an accurate one. That's not entirely valid, as the number of people that knew about geocaching.com in the first year was probably pretty small. Every premium member, I assume, got the email announcing Waymarking.com and inviting them to check it out. Everyone who reads the forums, I assume, has seen multiple "Bring back virtuals" threads, which direct them to check out Waymarking. The number of people aware of Waymarking.com is significantly higher than gc.com in the first year, the fact that few of them use it and no one of apparent consequence says "maybe this wasn't a good idea" seems odd. Sort of like saying "it didn't work before, it doesn't seem to be working now, but at least we're not doing it the old way." I looked at Waymarking again this morning in reference to this thread. A category that I wandered into was "Country Churches". There are probably a hundred actual churches within 200 miles of me here, but there are eight listed, all by the same person, all unvisited, except by the person who created them (which strikes me a bit of getting a "find" on your own cache, but I digress.) Even if Waymarking was insanely popular, I doubt that those eight churches would get visits by anyone, because, if you're into country churches for some reason, there are 92 others within the same distance, and there's no compelling reason to limit yourself to these eight. A virtual, at least, required someone saying "okay, you want to put a virtual in at that country church. Why?" In the classic "vote with your feet" sense, it doesn't bear out that Waymarking is a suitable replacement for virtuals, at least for the vast majority of geocachers. I'm not going to suggest that I know how to fix it (though removing the google map from every page would greatly speed up page loads!) or what a better replacement might be, but it just doesn't seem like this is it.
  7. Okay, call me an ignoramous, but can you tell me: 1) The number of visits to those 339 waymarks and 2) The number of logs on those 18 virtuals Allowing you to create a plethora of waymarks (virtual spew, I guess,) that no one ever visits seems to be some sort of ego boost to the creator, without being actually useful to anyone else. Since they first sent me the link to the Waymarking Beta site way back when, I've looked in off and on, and have never found it to be interesting enough to merit much attention. To me, anyway. If I need to know where the nearest McDonalds is, I'll look it up on my Garmin, and I don't really care where there is a local water tower, pet cemetary or movie theatre. Virtuals were (and are, for those that are still here,) an interesting component of caching precisely because there are so few of them. I appreciate the fact that they were a headache for reviewers and that most of the good virts were probably created by 2004. I'm not necessarily in favour of them returning as an active cache type. But, after two or three years of "beta" status and a few revisions, for me at least, Waymarking is a poorly conceived replacement. Almost every discussion that I've seen here has had numerous people that I respect, such as yourself, posting something along the lines of "try Waymarking, give it a chance, and you'll like it," but, given that thousands of cachers have had access to it (maybe everyone, have they opened it up to non-premium members,) and you have to really hunt to find any waymark that has any visits, that tells me that whatever it is, it isn't working. It seems to be an excellent replacement for those who want to create a virtual, and an incredibly poor replacement for those who wish to find them.
  8. Looks cool, but there doesn't seem to be a Mac version. Get Boot Camp, then you can use it. Works for me, anyway. I post DNFs most of the time, generally I won't if I run out of time and plan on going back in short order. Particularly for micros that aren't all that difficult. I don't want the owner running off to see if it's still there, just because of my ineptitude. As previously mentioned, relying on data that is optionally provided may result in invalid assumptions. Beyond that, the F/NF count isn't particularly worthwhile unless you have additional information, as noted above. Because of that, you'll need to read the cache page anyway to see what the deal is, so the extra data, and the effort needed to collate it, isn't helpful.
  9. There are two separate thoughts there -- the quality of the cache, and the quality of the stuff in the cache. Most people (myself included) grow out of an interest in the stuff in the cache pretty quickly, both because it's mostly junk (which is in inevitable, and not the fault of either the cache, or the owner, both of which are penalized by a bad "rating" for contents) and because the hunt is the joy, not the knick-a-brick you find in the box. I expect to find garbage in a cache with more than 20 visits, and I'm rarely disappointed, but I also rarely take anything. And, as for the quality of the cache location, this is almost entirely in the view of the hunter. If I'm a numbers person (which I'm clearly not ) a park and grab micro under a lampskirt at Walmart is a five star cache, as I was able to get a find without much effort, and I'm that much closer to the top. If I'm a climber, a rock ledge cache is tip-top. Historian? How about a virtual at Bull Run? I've been caching for about five years, and I've found 99 caches. Of those, there were only a few that I wasn't all that keen on in the first place, based on the description, and of the ones that I was, only a few have made it onto my favourite list. If you like a cache that's on my faves list, you may like the others, but you may not. It's all subjective. I applaud your passion, and your belief that in a week of caching you've solved a "problem" we've had since the beginning, but if you can't sort out what made that one cache good and the others bad, and make future hunts predicated on that, or if finding a cache filled with junk really spoils your day that much, then you may indeed want to find something else to do. I don't know what that would be though... disappointment is pretty widespread.
  10. Okay: Location -- you can figure this out by yourself. Just look at the maps and/or satellite photos. Read the description. Check the terrain ratings. If it's a flippin lampskirt hide and you don't like them, skip it. Cache Contents -- rating is completely irrelevant, as the contents will change over time, pretty much always to the worse. Natural entropy will result in every cache containing mostly broken McToys and expired coupons, given enough time. I might give a cache filled with iPods a five star "Contents" rating, which is pointless to everyone after me, as I've removed the iPods and replaced them with pencils and business card "sig items." Overall -- my wife likes urban micro caches I can never find, I like climbing snake infested cliffs to find caches while she does Sudokus in the car. We both have the same vote, but we'll rarely agree. Ditto for the rest of the caching community. I don't expect every cache to lead me to a waterfall never before witnessed by man, nor a massive crate filled with valuable booty. The sooner one realizes this, accepts hides for what they are, and uses the existing tools to plan their hunt, the sooner one will be happy with caching.
  11. Caching won't make you look any less goofy in a playground than just hanging out. If anything caching would draw more attention to yourself which is counter productve in a sick sort of way. Well, logic didn't seem to be their strong suit. If memory serves, they believed that Travel Bugs were some sort of lure and/or transmission device, that pedophiles would create caches out in the woods and then attack children that came to find them (very patient pedophiles, I guess,) and that they would put dirty pictures in caches and then publish the cache on gc.com in order to pass them out to other pervs. And that made perfect sense. Someone or another tried straightening them out, but whether any of it actually sunk in, that I don't remember.
  12. The only person that I've seen the "banned member" tag on was Joseph Duncan, who geocached a few times around here (North Dakota,) but is better known as the guy who killed a family in Idaho in order to kidnap, rape and kill their two preteen children. Some kooks that were self appointed "investigators" latched onto his participation (briefly) in caching and started questioning whether caching could be a pedophile's tool for hanging around playgrounds, schools, and the like. Duncan's account (which had been dormant for quite a while,) was banned right about then. Lets hope that he's the last one with that reason for being banned.
  13. I went caching with my sister and nephew while my (now) wife got ready for our wedding. It was a pretty nice way to while away the wait. We found this cache and pulled out a TB that I took to Mexico on our honeymoon. While on said trip, we left a TB of our own, that has almost made its way back to us.
  14. Several years expired coupons for restaurants nowhere near the cache (as in, the nearest one was about 800 miles away.) But it wasn't my cache, so I left 'em in there and logged online that the owner might want to "take out the trash." Not disgusting, but definitely garbage.
  15. They're still there, decline in attendance or not. We went in August, and it was about as busy as it had been when I was last there, in, oh, about 1978. New attractions like virtual caches not withstanding :-)
  16. From the OP, it doesn't sound like you own this cache -- you just got an email notification? If you don't own it, you can't view it until it's republished. If you do own it, you might have a problem with cookies or your web cache. Log out of the site and log back in to see if that fixes it.
  17. Hopefully you went to Best Buy on Friday or Saturday last. They had SD mem cards at $15 for 1G, $30 for 2. Bought one of each.
  18. Every Green Jeep uses that picture. The bug with that number is "locked" and probably never existed in the first place.
  19. Try telling him that you have permission to put it on the roof Seriously, try another service (like Yahoo or Terraserver) and see where the coordinates put you on their photos. If all three agree, your coordinates may be off. If they don't agree, send a link to the reviewer to the service(s) that show the correct location. And then keep track of people logging your cache -- if some start reporting that the coordinates are off, recheck them.
  20. I thought that those were both pretty funny, and, if they support an agenda at all, it would be for "bad" micros (eg: dumpster hide behind Walmart) for the numbers crowd, not micros in general. Although I have to admit that I don't really "get" micros, though my wife loves finding them. (Less snakes and climbing.) As with all agenda type things, vote with your feet. If you don't like it, don't attend. If someone wants to create a "micros are beautiful event," I'm not gonna complain, I just won't go.
  21. Stubbed Toe (Wyoming, August 2006): "Put Me In Coach" (Minnesota, August 2006): 1st of the 1sts (Minnesota, October 2006): Penturen Church (Minnesota, January 2006):
  22. Hmm that's rare to see a FreeBSD guy speak up. They aren't known to be a boastful bunch. <snip> Unless we are willing to tolerate a prolonged downtime, migrating to another OS might be a monumental task. Count me another BSD guy (OS X, actually) that doesn't have a high opinion of MS, IIS and ASP. There's a reason that MS has had a hard time cracking the 30% market share point for server software (though Netcraft shows them finally at that level of late.) Prolonged downtime? Let's see... 1) Hire some developers for MySQL, Apache and PHP/Lasso/some other mark up language 2) Buy new hardware 3) Have developers redesign, rewrite and reimplement the whole site 4) Test the snot out of it 5) Migrate the database from MSSQL to MySQL. and 6) Flip the switch that directs www.geocaching.com from the current architecture to the new. Downtime? Zero seconds. Well, whatever time it takes to move the data between the two SQL databases. Cost? Well, you got me there Steps 1-4 up there would cost way more money than Groundspeak has to put on something like this. Unless you've a bucket of cash to spend on all of this stuff, it's the sort of thing that cannot be done. Patchwork and adding hardware is about all you can do. In the long run, that will cost you far more money, but because you don't cough it up all at once, it just becomes the cost of doing business.
  23. Well, the web site is down, or I'd have sent an email directly. I'd be happy to do the hide for North Dakota if you haven't gotten a volunteer yet. Just drop me a message when the site comes back
  24. Here you go. You can get there by clicking the "Build Pocket Queries" link in the "Premium Features" section of your account page.
  25. Log it straight away -- simplest reason being that if the cache owner is no longer paying attention to the responses, you might totally forget about it, and not realize that no one ever emailed back.
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