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Everything posted by AudioJunkie

  1. Groundspeak doesn't make or sell anything like pathtags, and there's no comparable product in the store (and no, geocoins don't count). If they were truly competitors, this would not be the case there would be pathtag-like items in the store. If you want to see what a competitor to geocaching.com really looks like, take a look at Opencaching.com and see what's there. Even that site isn't an absolute competitor since their primary business is selling GPS devices under the brand name "Garmin". Groundspeak doesn't make or sell their own brand of GPS devices. Furthermore, I've met quite a few geocachers who have designed and purchased personalized tags and used them as trade items at geocaching events, or placed them in cache containers as trade items. It's an opportunity for a partnership that would provide a win/win situation for both companies. Next question: Is there a way to convince the website admin to restore the functionality that was removed in the last update? A brief look through the threads created in the last week should be sufficient to point out that more than a handful of participants in the community are upset about the loss of functionality. It's not a "learning curve" type of situation. We're told to do a Google search to find what we're looking for, or to use bookmark lists that may not even exist for any given series. If the answer to "How do I find this?" is "try Google," something needs to be fixed with the search engine.
  2. Yes they are, because they're an audience for the advertising, if all the non premium members left the revenue from advertising would plummet. Sme of them also buy GS products, TBs, hats, etc. - And place caches that the site needs to continue/grow. We also help you to know that your caches are still in play, and whether they need maintenance.
  3. You make some strong points here. I've introduced several people to the game in Texas, California, and Arizona, and I doubt I would have done that if I weren't able to find as wide of a variety of caches as I used to be able to find...used to, but not anymore. I have encountered people who aren't maintaining their caches, but refuse to let them go because they think that if you're not a premium member, you shouldn't be able to hide a cache in a beautiful location. They aren't even using Geocaching.com anymore, in favor of Garmin's Opencaching.com website (which I've started looking into this morning). These Elitists are using this website only to prevent people from hiding new caches. As you stated above, if people aren't able to hide (or find) new and more interesting caches, the game will eventually go away. I like the Geocoin/pathtag idea for new or renewing Premium members. There could even be different ones for each time someone renews their paid membership. Discounts in the store would probably encourage more people to sign up for a paid membership as well. Some websites offer similar products at a lower price than the geocaching.com store, and if people look for a better deal, it's not hard to find one. Offering a discount for paid members might prevent us from looking elsewhere. As you said, taking functionality away from the players that aren't in an economic position to pay to play this game is bad for business.
  4. What about if members wanted to create a series called "Cache Across The World"? As with the "Cache Across America..." series, searching by "Cache Across" would provide a list of all caches in the series. There are any number of possible series names that could begin with the same two words. Since this is a "Global" game, the political boundaries that divide the globe do not restrict collaboration with citizens of other countries to create a global series that the current search engine (which I no longer have access to, by the way) does not support. Doing a global search for all caches in the world should be an option. Restricting search criteria limits the ability of the players to enjoy the game.
  5. The main search box is for entering your location information (that's why it shows City, State, GC code...). If you type Mingo into the the search form it's going to resolve Mingo as a location, not as the name of a cache. As it turns out, there is a town called Mingo in West Virginia so I see caches there instead of the Mingo near Mingo, Kansas. In order to search for a cache by name you need to use the "Geocache name contains.." filter *and* either a location specified in the form or select a location from the "Search only in" filter. The major flaw I see with this release is that they've changed how searching works without explaining how the search is supposed to work. A lot of the complaints about things not working, do, in fact work. Once you understand how it's supposed to work it makes more sense but they didn't provide any support to help users understand how it's supposed to work. What about those of us who aren't premium members? We can't simply use the "Geocache name contains..." filter anymore, which is very useful for finding a series of caches such as "Cache Across America...", or local series posted and maintained by more than one individual who we may, or may not know. If we don't know the GC code for every cache in the series, finding all of them on the website adds another challenge that may discourage, or prevent us from completing a series. A great deal of the functionality of the website just went from "available for everyone" to "available, but only if you give us money." Instead of forcing members of the community to pay for functionality in order to play the game that we all enjoy so Groundspeak can increase revenue, they could sell advertisements, or add more benefits for premium memberships. Hell, if they really wanted to up the ante, why not create another tier of membership (Elite, platinum, or whatever), the same way the airlines do with their frequent flier programs. Selling advertisements or adding additional benefits for paid members would encourage more people to upgrade without risking the loss of members and hurting their business in the process. Removing functionality that people have come to know, enjoy, and that the game depends on to work, is the fastest way to alienate the community. Anytime a business does this, regardless of the industry, it damages their reputation and in many cases, the business ends up turning off the lights, and shutting their doors forever.
  6. I'd had a similar thought, but instead of it being the log, I was going to send it out as a travelbug. I know It'd probably disappear somewhere out there, but it'd be neat if it went around & came back with stories or a greeting from everyone that helped it along.
  7. Good question...I think my dream cache would be a long (several days hike) traditional-multi, probably starting with a micro at a parking area with coordinates and a hint for the next stage some 5 miles or so down the trail. Each stage would be in a larger container than the last, with better and better swag throughout. The views would also improve along each stage. After leaving the first stage (parking lot) there are no more sounds of the city, highways, or other street traffic. There would be a few mountain streams along the way, and maybe even a waterfall or two. A few places to do a bit of rock climbing & rappelling, and the weather would be cool, but not cold. There wouldn't be a ban on campfires so a few of my closest friends and I could catch up on where we've been since we last had the chance to hang out. The last stage would lead to a breathtaking view atop a mountain cliff overlooking a coastal plain, and the ocean in the distance. The last container would be filled with stories from everyone that had made it all the way through the multi, about their challenges along the trail, and how they would recommend this cache to all of their friends, 'cachers and muggles alike. Now I just gotta find it....
  8. As a newbie, I wouldn't be opposed to taking some sort of quiz regarding the placement guidelines, or a waiting period combined with a quiz and a bit of an experience requirement (dependant on area cache density).
  9. Ok, I understand the general loathing of micros...but they don't really bug me too much...like someone else already said, "Placement is key." Now....NANO caches....forget it. I don't even see the point in hiding something the size of a new pencil eraser. Anything that can be lost for good ON a bed of pea gravel isn't worth the search. Anyhoo, just my 2 cents.
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