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Tsegi Mike and Desert Viking

Waymarks Not Being Reviewed

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It has finally happened to me. I placed 2 waymarks in one category and they are not being approved or denied. The category owner has been on the site several times since then. I have checked their profile daily to see this. I sent them an email without any response. From what I can see, they havent had a new waymark since end of Sept. Perhaps others are having the same trouble?

 

 

Just to clarify, I am not refering to GPSaxophone, to whom I also recently sent an email with a question on one of my waymarks.

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I just *love* these threads. I look forward to seeing lots more of them. :lol:

 

OK, serious answer... this is one of the reasons why category management *groups* are a good idea. One person is on vacation or too busy at work? No problem; another manager picks up the slack.

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I think "autopublish after 7 days" may be a good option for category managers. This would at least get them out when the user is away.

 

I do agree that there needs to be some checks in place for absent category managers. Requiring a group to manage a category is one in-development project which will help this along.

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Perhaps automatic approval after 7 days with "this waymark should be archived" option for the general public. If the waymark gets one of these, then a general committee that covers many categories could review to see if the waymark fits the prescribed requirements on the category page. Or perhaps a category can be adopted out if it is clear that no one is tending to it.

 

Not sure how you all are going about it, but those are some thoughts I had...while quietly dwelling on my waymarks in limbo.

 

Thanks for responding, and hope things fall into place soon.

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Not groups, I don't think. Less waymark creation red tape.

 

You didn't need "approval" to log a locationless (create a waymark). If it didn't fit the bill, the "waymark category manager" (locationless cache owner) deleted the log and explained it.

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I think "autopublish after 7 days" may be a good option for category managers. This would at least get them out when the user is away.

 

I do agree that there needs to be some checks in place for absent category managers. Requiring a group to manage a category is one in-development project which will help this along.

I just wish there was a way to "un-publish" or archive waymarks that have already been approved. I had one of my categories set to auto-approve, and now there are 4 waymarks in it that do not meet the criteria I listed. Two of them are so far off-base they should be on another planet :cool:

 

When we category managers get the ability to archive previously published submissions? :o

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I discussed unapprove features for autoapproved waymark categories on Friday. We'll have some of these features available soon. I too find it difficult to manage autoapproved categories when I don't have the ability to archive listings (or at least unapprove them).

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When we category managers get the ability to archive previously published submissions? :lol:

I didn't realize this was an unavailable option. Definitely need this, else I can't blame people for requiring approval.

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Just venting a bit here....

 

Now there is a second category in which my waymarks are sitting in limbo. And I found 2 others in that category this weekend I was eager to post. I will have to wait until there are others in charge who seem to care about managing it. (Considering how this person's profile says he has more than one account caching, Im wondering if this is the same person in 2 categories ignoring my waymarks.) If something is denied because I failed to meet certain criteria, I could live with that. My fault after all. But it is a bit frustrating to waste the gas and time hunting something down, then having it just sit there in a queue waiting to have action taken on it. This second category is a fun one to do. A real disappointment.

 

/rant

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I think "autopublish after 7 days" may be a good option for category managers. This would at least get them out when the user is away....

This appears to be a good solution. However, I'd like to see the time limit increased to ten days. This would allow people to go on vacation for a week without losing control.

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I think "autopublish after 7 days" may be a good option for category managers. This would at least get them out when the user is away. ...

I had one more thought about this issue that really should be addressed.

 

As a category owner, I have a picture requirement for waymark submittals. If I review a submittal that doesn't fit the requirement, I do not immediately deny the waymark. I send an email to the submittor requesting that the pic be included.

 

These waymarks that do not have the pic are in limbo until a pic is included. I would hate to see these waymarks autopublished after any waiting period.

 

If the autopublish solution is enacted, I would like there to be an option for category owners to choose that shows that the owner has not ignored the submittal, but needs more information.

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These waymarks that do not have the pic are in limbo until a pic is included. I would hate to see these waymarks autopublished after any waiting period.

 

If the autopublish solution is enacted, I would like there to be an option for category owners to choose that shows that the owner has not ignored the submittal, but needs more information.

Why is a photo needed? <_<

 

For example, let us pretend there is an "Armadillo Statue" category, and you have a photo requirement for that category prior to a waymark being approved. Why is the photo required? Proof that the armadillo statue exists? I would posit that the first couple of finders would verify whether or not the statue exists! (uh, I went to this spot, and it was a dog statue).

 

Certainly, I can appreciate a category manager being concerned about the validity of the category. What if I am travelling, and happen to come across the most awesome gold-plated lugnut armadillo statue ever created, and I want to share this with armadillo enthusiasts, yet since I do not routinely carry a camera (I personally deplore photographic equipment, but that is another story) and do not have time to return to the site?

 

At first, I was enjoying the site very much, due to the comparative lack of logging requirements. It appeared at the start to employ the honor system, and I liked this! I thought this would be a great hassle-free online blog of my travels and experiences, since I was harming no one but myself if I "lied" and logged a waypoint. Then.... along came the "you have to do this and that" and "you have to provide a photo for proof" so that a waypoint or cateogory owner can "verify" I was there. :ph34r:

 

Personally, I believe in the best case, if we do not tread lightly we can add so many requirements the spirit of the service and the site loses the site's potential utility. In the worse case, we generate so many "what-ifs" we drive the web development team bonkers.

 

Again, I appreciate the efforts to manage the categories and waypoints, and attempt to maintain the site's integrity. It is just my opinion we are heading to regulation that takes the fun and ease using the site away...

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These waymarks that do not have the pic are in limbo until a pic is included.  I would hate to see these waymarks autopublished after any waiting period.

 

If the autopublish solution is enacted, I would like there to be an option for category owners to choose that shows that the owner has not ignored the submittal, but needs more information.

Why is a photo needed? <_<

 

For example, let us pretend there is an "Armadillo Statue" category, and you have a photo requirement for that category prior to a waymark being approved. Why is the photo required? Proof that the armadillo statue exists? I would posit that the first couple of finders would verify whether or not the statue exists! (uh, I went to this spot, and it was a dog statue).

 

Certainly, I can appreciate a category manager being concerned about the validity of the category. What if I am travelling, and happen to come across the most awesome gold-plated lugnut armadillo statue ever created, and I want to share this with armadillo enthusiasts, yet since I do not routinely carry a camera (I personally deplore photographic equipment, but that is another story) and do not have time to return to the site?

 

At first, I was enjoying the site very much, due to the comparative lack of logging requirements. It appeared at the start to employ the honor system, and I liked this! I thought this would be a great hassle-free online blog of my travels and experiences, since I was harming no one but myself if I "lied" and logged a waypoint. Then.... along came the "you have to do this and that" and "you have to provide a photo for proof" so that a waypoint or cateogory owner can "verify" I was there. :ph34r:

 

Personally, I believe in the best case, if we do not tread lightly we can add so many requirements the spirit of the service and the site loses the site's potential utility. In the worse case, we generate so many "what-ifs" we drive the web development team bonkers.

 

Again, I appreciate the efforts to manage the categories and waypoints, and attempt to maintain the site's integrity. It is just my opinion we are heading to regulation that takes the fun and ease using the site away...

I think they think they're still caches.

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Speaking only for myself, if I had a category to manage, I would want a photo simply because I want to see the item to begin with for my own interest. I cant travel around the world seeing the cool things my category has, so I want to see it in the waymark itself. As I recall too, the nice part of Waymarking is so that those who want proof can demand it, and those who dont care about proof can opt out of that. It was supposed to make everyone happy.

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Photos have long been the "proof of visit" for virts and locationless. It only makes sense to keep that for Waymarks.

 

Besides, like TM&DV alluded to, category managers can't necessarily travel all over the world taking pictures. They count on other Waymarkers to send pictures in.

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Photos have long been the "proof of visit" for virts and locationless. It only makes sense to keep that for Waymarks.

 

Besides, like TM&DV alluded to, category managers can't necessarily travel all over the world taking pictures. They count on other Waymarkers to send pictures in.

Personally I see photos to be proof of visit for the second, third, fourth visitor etc. Proof of visit for the first person is the fact that the second, third and fourth person had something to log. This is why I have a photo logging requirement on my off-leash dog areas category, but not for setting up the waymark.

 

I happen to know that a number of the waymarks were created using google earth as a source for coordinates, do I care? Nope not in the slightest. I trust these people to be honest enough. If they aren't honest, I imagine that future visitors are going to complain and things are going to sort themselves out.

 

When you think about it, the photo requirement for the visitors to a virtual was only ever really for the second, third, etc visitors anyways. After all, *you* didn't have to take a picture to set up the virtual, did you?

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The topic has shifted from the OP, but the topic is a good one.

 

I like pictures, especially when the category warrants a picture. For example, a mural should have a photo while, say, a dog park doesn't really need one. However I would also accept a thousand words over a picture. In other words, IMO, first and foremost should be an accurate coordinate and an accurate and thorough description. From there you can add pictures and other tidbits.

 

But honestly, a required photo for every waymark and log entry regardless of the category seems unnecessary.

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Photos have long been the "proof of visit" for virts and locationless. It only makes sense to keep that for Waymarks.

 

Besides, like TM&DV alluded to, category managers can't necessarily travel all over the world taking pictures. They count on other Waymarkers to send pictures in.

Personally I see photos to be proof of visit for the second, third, fourth visitor etc. Proof of visit for the first person is the fact that the second, third and fourth person had something to log. This is why I have a photo logging requirement on my off-leash dog areas category, but not for setting up the waymark.

 

When you think about it, the photo requirement for the visitors to a virtual was only ever really for the second, third, etc visitors anyways. After all, *you* didn't have to take a picture to set up the virtual, did you?

And if a waymark is never visited again? Then I, as a category owner, would never see the cool item of interest at that location unless the waymark owner posted a photo as per my requirements. Since my interest in the category may just be that I want to see as many of the cool things as possible, well that would just be my tough luck not to be able to see the item in a photo. You can do things as you wish to, but personally, I would prefer to see photos in the category I managed.

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But honestly, a required photo for every waymark and log entry regardless of the category seems unnecessary.

That should be clear enough, so I will attempt to stymie my verbosity, submit one more beating of the deceased equine, and then discontinue to add my opinion on the topic within this thread.

 

TM&DV et al, I have, in fact, submitted a waymark that requires a photo, and provided the photo (gasp!). I just happened to have a digital photo of a pedestrian bridge (from a year ago!) that I uploaded for the submission requirement. Yet, if I had stumbled across this particular bridge (that requires a bit of a hike to get there) in my normal trekking gear that does not include a camera, I would not return to the same bridge to snag a photo to satiate your vicaroius life through experiencing those bridges through photos in order to submit the waypoint.

 

As I have said in onother topic, the waypoint exists whether or not you choose to acknowledge it. Yet, as a category owner, I would hope your priority would be to document as many waypoints for others to use on the website as opposed to building a personal photo gallery. I am not into lugging photographic equipment around, since I would rather rely on my memory of the experience. However, there are those that DO enjoy lugging photograhic equipment with them and enjoy snapping photos of everything (I am not judging them, them's just the facts, and more power to these folks!) and I bet one of these folks will eventually submit a photo. Caches with no photo requirement still get photos, and so too will waypoints.

 

Right. A waypoint may never get visited, and a category owner may never get a photo if the waypoint owner does not upload one, so your logic takes you down the path of requiring a photo based upon this possibility. This argument is illogical. Is it not better to allow the waypoint regardless of photo, (and probablility that sooner or later a photo will be submitted), than to virtually promise to never get a photo or "hope" a waypoint user with a camera discovers (again) the waypoint by not allowing the waypoint to begin with?!?!?

 

I apologize to all for pulling this thread away from the OP's original intent. Yet these are conceptual arguments that set the foundation on how the site will be managed, and are probably very important.

 

edit: added link to a similar diatribe I posted on another thread. :rolleyes:

Edited by Jeep_Dog

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Photos have long been the "proof of visit" for virts and locationless. It only makes sense to keep that for Waymarks.

 

Besides, like TM&DV alluded to, category managers can't necessarily travel all over the world taking pictures. They count on other Waymarkers to send pictures in.

Uh oh... I can't find "locationless caches" or "virtual caches" on my search through the waymark categories. Therefore, it doesn't make sense for requirements of something that will no longer exist to be carried over to something new.

 

People, these are not caches. These do not have to be solely replacements for them.

 

Think out of the box.

 

I do not post my waymarks within the categories for the benefit of the category owner who will never visit the waymark. I will post my waymarks for the benefit of people that want to go and visit it.

 

There are two completely different aims of "play" here. Personally, I don't think Waymarking will survive as a "game" ala geocaching. Waymarking will survive if it becomes a massive database of user submitted places, people and things that folks can use their GPSr to go find in their area of interest.

 

You can "play" the game and require a photo to create the waymark ENTRY (i stress the word entry, because a waymark does not a photo make - it exists whether you post a photo or not).

 

Or, you can create a waymark category, let people CREATE entries for all of the ones they know of to fill the database (especially right now while the database is pretty empty). While I don't favor photo's being a requirement for logging the thing in any way (GPSrs are expensive enough, let alone digital cameras), I can see requiring a photo for logging a "VISIT." I created a couple waymarks that I didn't visit that day. I had the GPSr waypoints in the ExpertGPS gpx's and knew where they were. Some I created the day I visited them but haven't logged visits because I just don't feel the need to get stats on Waymarking. I am falling in love with Waymarking because I don't feel the pressure of the numbers that tends to come with the game of geocaching.

 

Again, it doesn't really matter to me if the category owner likes the waymarks I create in their category based on the waymark itself. I am creating the waymarks for the next person to VISIT if they have an interest in that category and actually go to visit it. Some of mine may not be visited for years to come.

 

Anyway, all this to say: waymarks are not locationless caches or virtual caches. They are people, places, or things categorized in a directory. If they were ONLY a replacement for locationless or virtual caches, we'd be stuck with the archaic "WOW" factor category requirement. Because we're not, let's change our thinking and fill the database.

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hrmm... Jeep_dog posted while I was typing. But I leave my post as a concurrence with what he said too.

 

VW

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Think out of the box.

They are.

 

Outside of your box.

 

Isn't it great that that both boxes fit in Jeremy's?

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For a long time we were told that the new solution to locationless was coming. Then we were told that the solution would also solve the problems of virtual caches. When Waymarking was revealed as a solution, it made a lot of sense to me. It seemed that it would support locationless, in that category managers could specify requirements for waymark creation similar to the requirements that locationless had. It also seem that some categories would be natural for virtual caches. No longer would "Wowness" be a factor but if I had a location that fit in one of those categories, I could ask for verification of a visit just like a virtual cache. But it was also clear that Waymarking could be more than a substitute for locationless and virtual caches. Many categories would be lists of points of interest where the category manager would want to have as many waymarks as possible listed. The category manager would want to allow a person to create multiple waymarks in the category, and not require a picture or confirmation that the waymark creator ever visited the waymark so long as the coordinates and description were accurate. People could use Waymarking to find interesting places to visit. There was no real good reason to require visitors to have to verify they visited. In fact, some argue, that such requirements would put off potential visitors who didn't come from the geocaching mindset. If a visitor was so inclined, they could write about their visit in the log and perhaps rank the waymark.

 

It seems there are two camps. The virtual/locationless cachers who see Waymarking as the substitute for locationless and vitual caches, and the waymarkers who say logging requirements and game play are inconsistent with a database of interesting locations that exists for the purpose of finding categorized locations. However, I'm of the opinion that in Waymarking you can have both. Some categories should allow waymarks to be created without a visit. Category managers can automatically accept waymarks or decide to review the description before approving the waymark. For other categories it may be appropriate to require the use of a GPSr or require photos to create waymarks. It would be ideal if there were someway to determine which categories have special requirements. In a similar way, some waymarks may require verification to log a visit. A visitor that doesn't want to search for the answer to a verification question could still log a note (hopefully without spoilers for those that want to play the game). Other waymarks may be simply log a visit if you want. It may be appropriate in a few cases for category managers to require waymark visits be verified.

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And if a waymark is never visited again? Then I, as a category owner, would never see the cool item of interest at that location unless the waymark owner posted a photo as per my requirements. Since my interest in the category may just be that I want to see as many of the cool things as possible, well that would just be my tough luck not to be able to see the item in a photo. You can do things as you wish to, but personally, I would prefer to see photos in the category I managed.

Your argument doesn't follow. Think about it for a minute. Why wouldn't someone post a picture? Probably because they didn't have a camera with them when they visited the area. Personally I don't carry my camera with me everywhere I go. My cellphone doesn't have a built in camera either, so if I happen to come across an interesting place that I'd like to document, if a photo were generally required, I would be out of luck.

It wouldn't even get as far as the accept/deny waymark phase. You as a category owner would never even know the object existed.

 

You might argue that in a case like this, I might be avid enough to go back, take the picture and try again. Well maybe, but in what situation am I most likely to have this happen? when the waymark is close to me/my urban center, in which case, it is likely that the waymark would be visited again anyway, making the photo requirement illogical.

 

I have to admit though, I can sort of understand the requirement of a photo in some cases, where its more of a scavenger hunt kind of waymark, that really isn't generally likely to be of any interest to anyone again anyways (I mean once you've documented that a teepee exists in one location, is there any reason for someone to go back to it again, ever? Not really)

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When I create a Waymark I take a fairly good picture, I post good coordinates and try to describe a little about the Waymark. I have a few pretty good Waymarks still in my camera and GPS because I will not take a stupid picture of my hand holding my GPS in front of my picture. Now I start noticing that there's a lot of categories that require a picture that Waymarks get published without the standard GPS photo. What's up with this? Maybe after all the old locationless people get their caches moved to Waymarking it will be different. I hate to see a nice Waymark cluttered up with a bunch of pictures of a hand holding a GPS. Anyway, I don't plan to play half a game. I guess the way I feel about the whole thing is Whatever. I was pretty excited about Waymarking in the beginning but I can take it or leave it.

 

Mike

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Fortunately we can both play the way we wish to.

Actually, by requiring a picture - you as a category manager require me to play the game your way.

 

By not requiring a picture, those who want to visit and not take a picture, and those who do, can both play their own way. Neither of their visits are any less valid.

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But as category manager, would I have more or less fun without a picture requirement. Sure the sites are still there, but my enjoyment is diminished as category manager. You can opt to bypass my stricter requirement or just post a note on existing waymarks that have requirements you would prefer not to meet.

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But as category manager, would I have more or less fun without a picture requirement.

Aha! And here is the point at which we diverge.

 

The photo requirement isn't what makes your idea of Waymarking or my idea of Waymarking different. The difference is the purpose of the waymark category.

 

My thoughts are that the waymark categories are there to serve the purposes of the follow-on visitors, not the category manager. Chances are really good that I'll never visit more than a couple of the waymarks created in categories I've proposed (and hopefully some day will get - though I'll try to hit all the onsens I can get to).

 

I see Waymarking being successful as a user-submitted "yellow pages" of sorts that isn't restricted to "yellow pages criteria." I mean, you won't find "land-locked lighthouses" in too many other databases. But like yellow pages, I don't think we should just allow listings that give us something in return. A waymark NOT listed in your categories doesn't only affect you and the guy that wants to post it will likely forget about it a few days later. But the next guy that wants to visit a waymark of that category in that area won't know one exists because it wasn't listed. The less requirements we have, the more chance for the most enjoyment of the greatest audience (even those that don't own or carry digital cameras).

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When this was opened up to us, each category manager set their own standards for what they wanted the category to have for requirements. Each one differed. I would choose to have requirements. You clearly would choose not to. So far that fits within the initial guidelines as set up by tptb, that we both have the freedom to set it up as we choose. I want to be able to have people also enjoy them while surfing, with photos and all. I come from a professional background of full documentation of things. That is also how I will be approaching this I suppose, with an eye to having photo documentation of the waymarks when they are set up. My vision and desire for any categories I would manage....assuming Im even allowed to manage any. You have a different vision for how you want it. There is room for both to exist. Neither list would ever be fully complete anyway.

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Sssslllllllooooowwwwww that’s how I describe the current situation with some of waymarks that I have placed. It’s been well over 72 hrs and not even a reply from the category manager. On the other hand my only published way point a Canadian benchmark was published in under 6hrs. Guess ill just keep waiting, group management sounds like a good idea.

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Approving new waymarks can be a big big job. Approvers at geocaching.com would usually take a few days to approve a new geocache. Here at Waymarking the category managers have a similar job to them. I don't know what kind of time frame is expected or acceptable for category managers to approve (or decline) new waymarks. We all have regular jobs and family for most of us as well. I expect to review each new submission with 24 hours on weekdays and 48 hours on weekends. Of course, unexpected events can always take us away from our task for a short time and cause some delays. Hopefully, this will satisfy most people in my category.

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Not everyone gets online every day. There is an active geocacher I know that only gets online about once a week. Other people have jobs where they travel for 1 or 2 weeks every couple of months and not always to an area that has internet access. Then there is the military who can "disappear" for six to nine to twelve and even eighteen months at a time. When they do get access to a computer with internet access the first thing they do is email family and friends. I suspect maintaining Waymarking catagories would be very low on the to do list. I have three catagory ideas that I've love to propose but, because of my job, there is no way that I could maintain even one of them myself. Maymarks are a lot easier to maintain. When you return from you trip you just scrub the logs.

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Approving new waymarks can be a big big job. Approvers at geocaching.com would usually take a few days to approve a new geocache. Here at Waymarking the category managers have a similar job to them. I don't know what kind of time frame is expected or acceptable for category managers to approve (or decline) new waymarks. We all have regular jobs and family for most of us as well. I expect to review each new submission with 24 hours on weekdays and 48 hours on weekends. Of course, unexpected events can always take us away from our task for a short time and cause some delays. Hopefully, this will satisfy most people in my category.

I think your doing a good SSS you reveiwed my waymarkers quickly even if it was just feedback on how to get it apporved.

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Those waymarks still havent had any action taken on them, and the waymark category owner goes to the site almost daily. My complaint wasnt made haphazardly. I know people have real lives and cant always take care of a game. The first thing I did was check whether or not the owner went to the site and if any others were getting approved. The last approval was well over a month ago.

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Subject 1:.... I can only commiserate with some of the complaints about the time it takes for an approval.

I had one submitted for over 2 weeks and just let it ride to see how long it would actually take, even though the category owner signed in every day and entered posts during the same time. ;)

Subject 2:....

"Lugging camera equipment around"
They are so small now, you can keep them in your shirt pocket and snap a photo whenever you need one.

..When you go geo-caching don't you take... YOUR GPS----and/or pen/paper/ziplog-bag/trading item along???

...A picture entree would show your not just sitting at home without going out to actually find some of them. So why even bother :o

Subject 3:.....There are some categories that appear wide open as they are only submitted with co-ordinates no picture or link or any way to identify the submission. So how would you even know if you might be interested in visiting this area? :P

(it appears some that are requesting a photo at the location with or without gps are publishing them even without them) :P

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I've now been waiting for *one month* to have one of my waymarks reviewed and listed. :)

 

I wish the geocache reviewers could get away with turnaround like that. :o

 

I *love* this thread!!!! :)

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I've now been waiting for *one month* to have one of my waymarks reviewed and listed. ohmy.gif

 

I wish the geocache reviewers could get away with turnaround like that. laugh.gif

 

I *love* this thread!!!! tongue.gif

 

I do hope you have caught on at this point to the difference between a company representative and a fellow hobbyist.

 

You wear both hats, but they are at different times. There's no way around that.

 

I wouldn't tolerate UPS to hold my package a month. If my friend said he could drive it to me sometime in the next few weeks, I wouldn't get mad at him as I would UPS. Therefore, your comment is somewhat irrelevant to the discussion.

 

Your choices are to suck it up, restrict and better define your time spent as a company man (maybe even requiring GS to add more volunteer reviewers to handle capacity), or don't choose to be a part of the company.

 

I know most of what you posted wasn't being crabby or anything, it was very light-hearted, but it's also old...and so reading it each time 'review times' are being discussed gets a bit grating.

 

Of course, I have most of the same choices (suck it up, restrict my forum reading, or don't read the forum), but I thought I'd at least make you aware of the fact that it's well known that you're put out by people demanding your time when you're wearing your company hat (and this time you've even chosen to blur the line by complaining about what happens as a company man...but in your hobbyist hat).

 

PS - I tried to send this by PM, but you've chosen not to receive them.

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I think the analogies are very much on point, unless and until cache reviewers are paid, so that is why I posted.

 

A geocache reviewer is a geocaching hobbyist who goes above and beyond the level of hobby participation (hiding and finding caches) by volunteering to review caches submitted by other hobbyists, to determine if they meet the listing criteria.

 

A Waymarking category manager is a Waymarking hobbyist who goes above and beyond the level of hobby participation (placing and visiting waymarks) by volunteering to review waymarks submitted by other hobbyists, to determine if they meet the listing criteria.

 

A cache reviewer is subject to flaming if a geocache isn't listed within 72 hours. Never mind that last evening, the site had downtime and I was dealing with helping a friend whose puppies had ingested rat poison. There's no excuse for poor service, and sure enough, I had an e-mail from someone complaining about a service request they submitted to me on Thursday evening.

 

Yet I'm not flaming the category owner for my unpublished waymark, nor will I even name the category. It's a converted locationless cache. The waymark's publication is not *that* important to me, just as a geocache listing ought not define one's happiness.

 

Cache reviewers and the Waymarking development team hoped that a decentralized review process, with responsibility placed in the hands of people who by definition had a personal interest in the subject matter they're reviewing, would make for smoother sailing. Human nature being what it is, it now appears that group management is probably the way to go.

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I think the analogies are very much on point, unless and until cache reviewers are paid, so that is why I posted.

 

A geocache reviewer is a geocaching hobbyist who goes above and beyond the level of hobby participation (hiding and finding caches) by volunteering to review caches submitted by other hobbyists, to determine if they meet the listing criteria.

Being a volunteer (aka not getting paid) has *nothing* to do with the fact that your service is for the company and your status as a company man.

 

I volunteered at a hospital for years. That whole time I carried a hospital ID and was a representative of the hospital when it came to interacting with the public during my work hours. The fact that I didn't get paid while I was there did nothing to affect that. It also didn't affect my motivation for volunteering (I like to help people and knew that my actions would improve the care patients were receiving)...but those motivations have no applicability to the expectations of my performance as a hospital worker.

 

You perform your actions *for* Groundspeak. You have access to internal sections of their company in order to perform your tasks for them and they have chosen a very select few to perform these roles. The fact that *anyone* can not simply fit your definition of a "geocache reviewer" demonstrates that you are a part of the company. In other words, even if I wanted to "go above and beyond the level of hobby participation and volunteer to review caches submitted by other hobbyists", I can not at GC.com. That makes you a company man whether you like to try and skirt the issue (dropping the "admin" semantics, making posts like this, etc) or not.

 

Then, as a representative of the company, you are tasked to interact with the company's clientele (paying or not). Part of that interaction is to help keep the customer happy. The customers know this and expect that the company will provide them good turn-around on their submissions. For some, they expect too much...and their recourse is to complain. You're working in a customer service position with direct interaction with the customer, it happens. Whether it's reasonable or not isn't the question here...but it *is* to be expected of your position in the company (again, whether they pay you for taking the abuse or not).

 

Waymark category managers just won't receive this same sort of flak. The company has provided the framework only (partial at this point until category-specific forums, etc come on line) and none of the assignment of a role within the company for these managers. Therefore, they're to be seen by the other customers as something more akin to a blogger at blogger.com...nobody's blaiming Google for what a blogger writes or deletes from their blog comments or takes forever to accept from user submissions. Google provides the framework...the bloggers provide the content and if they publish other user comments, the culpability is with a fellow blogger and not with Google.

 

I'm not saying I don't feel you get a raw deal in all of this, but I am saying that you can't draw a direct corollary between how you get treated and how the category managers will get treated (or ask that you should get treated similarly to the category managers) because there is a significant difference in the implementation of the two sites. Particularly what I commented on before when I said that anyone can become a category manager at WM.com....not anyone can become a GC.com cache volunteer guideline reviewer (or whatever semantics you'd like to insert here).

 

One nice thing I could do, as a hospital volunteer, at the end of the day or during a break (except for actually taking my uniform completely off) was to remove my badge and refer any problems to someone actually currently working for the hospital. Maybe GS needs to redirect all e-mail/correspondence directed to your admin accounts to a central Bugzilla-like structure so that someone 'on duty' could answer it or at the minimum ablate any regio-specific problems until you were back 'on duty' (aka "keystone will address your question when he returns or you can contact GS directly at XYZ"). You could also put up a duty roster (I'm not going to e-mail you my diatribe about a 72 hour wait if I know you haven't been on duty for the past 80 hours)...and at the minimum a "Lifeguard on Duty" type 'sign' or "Manager On Duty: Reviewer X" type 'sign'. Of course, if you treat your role as perpetually "on call", you're going to feel like it's 24/7 activity, because it is.

 

But in the end, I will definitely be more likely to give a WM category manager (and/or team) more slack, because the system just isn't setup the same way as GC.com. It means a more lax community atmosphere at WM.com than GC.com which is completely top-down (of which you're unpaid and the lowest part of the "top"...but you're still part of the "top").

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I never thought of candy stripers as company men, and volunteers at the Red Cross look like volunteers to me. This makes volunteers no less appreciated, but volunteers are volunteers.

 

Company man is insulting by many volunteer reviewers, many of whom represent their local communities and organizations, not Groundspeak. Cache owners control their listings but they aren't company men either.

 

What a weird analogy.

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The vast majority of the volunteer cache reviewers seem to be elated that they no longer need to endure the hate mails and forum bashings that accompanied the virtual cache review process. They're happy that the whole issue has been moved over to the new structure of Waymarking, and washed their hands of it.

 

A fairly small subset of reviewers have taken an active interest in helping to ensure Waymarking's success by contributing to this forum. Personally, I would like to bring my experience as a cache reviewer to bear on the challenges faced by the new site. It is one more perspective that may help the Waymarking community and the site developers. I don't think that my opinions ought to be accorded any greater or lower weight than anyone else's.

 

After reading insults like the ones in this thread and others, I have to wonder whether my absent colleagues have the right idea.

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A fairly small subset of reviewers have taken an active interest in helping to ensure Waymarking's success by contributing to this forum. Personally, I would like to bring my experience as a cache reviewer to bear on the challenges faced by the new site. It is one more perspective that may help the Waymarking community and the site developers. I don't think that my opinions ought to be accorded any greater or lower weight than anyone else's.

 

After reading insults like the ones in this thread and others, I have to wonder whether my absent colleagues have the right idea.

 

Someone said they have waited a month to get approval of their waypoint.

 

You said geocachers demand approval within 72 hrs of their geocaches on GC.com.

 

How does that follow? What bearing does that fact have on the WM.com approval process? The two processes are run by different figures within them.

 

Maybe it's been too long since we discussed how locationless caches on the old system worked. That's the direct corollary, not GC.com cache review/reviewers (which is done upon submission to Groundspeak through the Geocaching.com review, approval, and publishing system).

 

Except in the old system, it was a negative action that the cache owner (now category manager) had at their disposal to moderate their locationless cache/category. The user could add a log regardless of the cache owner's disposition to that particular log and the owner had to actively remove it to maintain their cache.

 

Pro - The user defaults to having his waymark listed on the site

Con - An absentee category owner means a messy/incorrect set of listings

 

The new system of approval (disregarding auto-approve categories from the discussion) requires a positive action from the owner/manager.

 

Pro - The information will be its most correct (with the exception of incompetent managers...which we can't necessarily control, so they reside outside this particular discussion)

 

Con - The user may have long/limitless wait times for absentee owners

 

I think info correctness is more important than every waymark being listed. It's also easier to fix an absent owner (manager teams, replaced owner after contact attempts via Groundspeak, etc) than it is to fix potentially dozens of errant waypoints...AND the situation of a problematic owner shows up quickly for those actively interested in submitting waymarks to that category, as the other methodmay go months without being noticed at all by anyone except some sort of fact checker/waypoint police that see Dogs listed in a Cats category while browsing or waypoint finder who wonders why he found a Dog when he was in the Cat category. However the old way gets discovered, the problem is knowing the last time the category was checked to figure out how many of the waypoints are incorrect. So, I favor a mandatory approval system (and actually am against *any* auto-approval categories)....regardless of how nice it would be if GC.com had the same submitters' attitudes.

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So, I favor a mandatory approval system (and actually am against *any* auto-approval categories)....regardless of how nice it would be if GC.com had the same submitters' attitudes.

What if it were a bazaar model, like Wikipedia? So those autoapproved categories would mean that the original listing owner would have no more rights to the new entry than someone else making changes to it?

 

We have been considering ways for folks to be able to vouch for waymarks to authenticate their accuracy. There are lots of interesting ways to do this as long as the popularity is high enough. For example, if the popularity of Wikipedia waned - the quality of the materials would be severely diminished. Merely by the momentum of the system is the Wikipedia system successful, though it still has its own issues due to the demographics of the writers.

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Question is, now that one category clearly has a manager who isnt taking any action on waymarks despite the fact that he logs onto the site daily, do we have to wait until January/February before anything gets done? Can tptb initiate anything now to keep that category from stagnating? Change managers or even disable it until the category manager system is revamped? Something like this does take some of the glitter off the new toy.

 

The category in question is Lion Statues. The last approval was Sept 29th.

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Have you contacted the owner? Since there is no policy about stagnant categories I'm open to suggestions.

 

Having a feature to alert that there are waymarks in the queue for x number of days may at least make you aware that the category isn't being attended to.

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I sent an email some weeks ago. No reply.

 

At the very least, it should be offline until the new system is in place with multiple participants on the manager side. That feature you mentioned of how many waymarks in the queue may be deceptive. An unpopular unattended category may have 5 waymarks waiting for approval over a period of weeks. A popular category may have 25 waymarks waiting for approval over a period of 2 days. The numbers wouldnt reflect the management of a category accurately. And the category management still needs to be attended to.

 

Perhaps your feature might also mention the date the oldest waymark has been sitting in the approval queue? That may reflect how well the category is managed. For those waymarks which have been reviewed but cant be approved because of certain photo requirements etc, they can be designated as awaiting further action and not be counted in your feature. (I hope I was somewhat clear on that.)

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Question is, now that one category clearly has a manager who isnt taking any action on waymarks despite the fact that he logs onto the site daily, do we have to wait until January/February before anything gets done? Can tptb initiate anything now to keep that category from stagnating? Change managers or even disable it until the category manager system is revamped? Something like this does take some of the glitter off the new toy.

 

The category in question is Lion Statues. The last approval was Sept 29th.

That's the one I would have whinged about, had I been in the mood. :ph34r:

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I sent an email some weeks ago. No reply.

 

At the very least, it should be offline until the new system is in place with multiple participants on the manager side. That feature you mentioned of how many waymarks in the queue may be deceptive. An unpopular unattended category may have 5 waymarks waiting for approval over a period of weeks. A popular category may have 25 waymarks waiting for approval over a period of 2 days. The numbers wouldnt reflect the management of a category accurately. And the category management still needs to be attended to.

 

Perhaps your feature might also mention the date the oldest waymark has been sitting in the approval queue? That may reflect how well the category is managed. For those waymarks which have been reviewed but cant be approved because of certain photo requirements etc, they can be designated as awaiting further action and not be counted in your feature. (I hope I was somewhat clear on that.)

Gee, sounds vaguely like a geocache review queue and a geocache hold queue, except with the sort being by category rather than country/province/state. I could offer some observations and further suggestions, but I'll keep my mouth shut like a good company man.

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And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were merry, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire...

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