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Is Waymarking Culturally Biased Towards The Usa?


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Take the "People - Memorials" sub-category

 

:lol: American Revolutionary War Veteran Graves (AMERICAN)

 

:D Medal Of Honor Resting Places (AMERICAN)

 

:lol: Vietnam POW/MIA Monuments (AMERICAN)

 

;) Pony Express Monuments (AMERICAN)

 

Four out of seven sub categories are only available in America.

 

What about the two "People - Scouting" sub-categories?

 

:D Eagle Scout Project Sites (AMERICAN)

 

:P Boy Scout Camps (only Boy Scouts of AMERICA) are permitted

 

Both sub-cateories only available in America.

 

What about the "Places - historic places)

 

:D Civil Rights Memorials (AMERICAN)

 

:D Irish-American Historic Places (AMERICAN)

 

Camping Hiking

 

:D Appalachian Trail (AMERICAN)

 

:D Ice Age Trail (AMERICAN)

 

I think the point may have been made . . . . .

 

Of ocurse there are other categories that non-Americans can do. But the question remains - does the Waymarking site have an American bias? And should it? And why? And for how long?

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Of course many of them are!!

 

That is natural seeing that Geocaching.com was created and is controlled by North Americans, and there is a great preponderance of U.S. members. And, we do have quite a provincial outlook!

 

Members from Europe and other world areas are quite capable of suggesting categories appropriate to their areas. Think about the existing "Castles" category. That is predominantly a European category.

 

I've tried to take this into account in many of my category proposals. For instance, I suggested Bed & Breakfast places for North America and the counterpart of Youth Hostels which are worldwide. My Rivers of the World category suggestion is international as are several of the amateur radio categories.

 

Then there are some that may be more international than they seem at first. How about the McDonalds category! If I had known about Waymarking and had my GPS in November, I would have logged the McDonalds in Quito Ecuador. Other existing broad categories, such as Fire Stations, Libraries, etc. can certainly be considered international.

 

While I think it is in ideal to try for categories that are truly international and try to avoid ones that are narrowly ethnocentric, there is no inherent reason totally to avoid categories that may apply only to the U.S. or only to some other country or part of the world. As long as the owners of Geocaching.com are inclusive in what they approve and in the way categories are organized, then it is up to all of us as members to creative inclusive categories and a diversity of categories that reflect our areas of interest.

 

Other comments?

 

~~ silverquill

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Ya know, it has kind of crossed my mind as well in the past that Geocaching & Waymarking are a very American orientated pursuit - but whether you like it or not , it is only thanks to the Yanks that we have Geocaching.com & Waymarking.com. To take it a step further - its thanks to Billy Clinton ( you know, - the ex president who found a new use for cigars and political interns), that we actually have GPS capability at all. So until the Chinese (or anybody else for that matter) start launching a few more Satellites and develop their own Geocaching network and start mass manufacturing GPSr units and become the worlds next Super-power, then we will have to be content & grateful for things American. In all honesty - I don't think the chinese are that far off becoming the new King-pin on the block anyhow. In saying all this therefore - as much as on an international level people tend towards loving to hate America - we do have to look past things like Iraq, Nicaragua, Mujahadeen, Panama, Germaine Geer, Farm subsidies, trade levies, & Micheal Jackson and separate people from politics and give thanks. On a personal note - there are quite a few Americans I really like and get along well with. My wife being the first in that list!!!! :lol:

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Argh people shouldn't use the McDonald's category for an example of anything good!

 

On a more serious note, I'll take a different tact in saying that you could take it a step further... Coming from Wisconsin myself I think the Waymarking category is far more biased to Pennsylvania than it is to Wisconsin because they have at least 1 category and we don't even have any! AAAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHH!!! Ok that was a little sarcastic=P

 

Really I don't know the cultural difference between why Waymarking and geocaching are more popular in North America than it is over in Europe. I'd say Europeans would have an easier time deducing that than me, after all there are more of us in the forums than there are of Europeans. But as to why there are more American categories than there are European... well that is because there are more of us... Waymarking is a user controlled site therefore if there are more users from one culture than another, then it is more likely that the first culture would have more categories. My first thing I'd tell you is to recruit more friends into doing this with you. After all... geocaching mostly grew out of word of mouth, I wouldn't be surprised if Waymarking grows the same way (heck there are many geocachers who don't really know what it is yet).

 

A few of your categories I think could add or change wording in their descriptions to allow more internationallity to their category. Like your mentioned Boy Scouts, or I'm sure they could say equivalent of a medal of honor (better yet make your own?) since I'm sure every military has an equivalent.... And did no other country other than the US go through a Civil Rights movement in some form? Really? You know those problems with civil rights weren't a U.S. only issue, in fact many countries still are facing these issues... I think personally U.S. was rather late in our movement globally, and ours likely was more bloody than it should have been, but that doesn't mean we were the only ones with a movement to grant civil rights to minorities... was it? (again maybe this is a wording issue in that categories description?)

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For me the answer is yes and will remain so as long as this is beta and the make a mechanism that is fair to all nationalities to create categories. The categories being implemented do not really allow anyone other than Americans to really fully test the site. Not being an American, this has led to the site and concept to be just frustrating. When its this frustrating you don't develop much interest. This is the first time I've looked at these boards and the site in weeks and I still see no reason to be a part of something that doesn't let me be equally involved.

 

JDandDD

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Is there a bias in Waymarking... no. Even taking the categories listed several can be found outside the United States:

 

American Revolutionary War Veteran Graves - There are several American Revolutionary War Veterans that are buried in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. The UK had a few participants in this this war too if I remember history correctly :anicute:

 

Medal Of Honor Resting Places - 6 in Belgium, 5 in Canada, 5 in United Kingdom, 27 in France, 5 in Italy, 6 in the Netherlands, 33 in the Philippine Islands, 1 in China, 1 in Costa Rica, 1 in Cuba, 1 in Germany, 2 in Luxembourg, 1 in Mexico, 1 in Tunisia, and 1 in Yugoslavia.

 

Eagle Scout Project Sites - There are project sites in several countries including United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy

 

There are several categories that can not be found in the U.S. at all including but not limited to the following: Old World Originals, Greenwich Meridian Markers, Automobile Association signs.

 

The are others that favor places other than the US including: World Heritage Sites - only 20 are located in the US of the hundreds world wide, Blue Plaques - only available in a few places in US predominately in the UK, and Lavoir (wash houses).

 

I could claim a bias against me in my location there are no Pennsylvania Historic Markers, Georgia Historic Markers, Ohio Historic Markers, or Pennsylvania Historic Markers here in Missouri and the closest is over 300 miles away. :cool: The Appalachian Trail is over 500 miles, the Ice Age Trail is over 300 miles and even the Pony Express is 290 miles and I don't even have to leave the state. Is this bias... NO its just the way things are.

Edited by BruceS
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The categories being implemented do not really allow anyone other than Americans to really fully test the site. and I still see no reason to be a part of something that doesn't let me be equally involved.

 

JDandDD

 

I am not American myself, nor do I live in the country - but I find this statement rather erroneous as there are numerous categories that are pertainent or applicable cross culturally or racially or internationally. And again I add that the whole Waymarking thing is American by birth in any case, therefore it would be natural for such a thing to have a bit of a slant towards it's country of origin. But I am quite sure that the team at Groundspeak have a reasonable Global view of the whole thing - they have to have in view of the input and membership they have outside of the U.S. But in all probability the highest amount of membership from anyone country would undoubtedly be the U.S so people might just have to get over it! If it is felt that Waymarking is really that prejudiced then maybe Mahjong would be a better past-time. Each member has as much opportunity to suggest categories - irrespective of country of origin. Maybe what we do need is another thread for discussions on Waymarking etc as Category Proposals is probably not the place for this!

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I understand what people are saying but Waymarking has a sense of being American dominated in a way that geocaching doesn't. A geocache hidden in a woods can be in any woods anywhere in the world. Its 'nationhood' is simply its place. But, an American oriented waymark can only be in America. But then a British waymark can only be British and a Russian only Russuan.

 

Bias may be the wrong word, but the dominance in numbers means that it isn't and may never be as global a concept as geocaching and that is its biggest weakness as a separate game. If going by numbers is a problem in geocaching its a worse problem in Waymarking. But at least in geocaching you can claim a certain feeling of expertise but I don't see the same in Waymarking.

 

That's Ok, cause I just won't do it but I can put my thoughts here.

 

JDandDD

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It's important to keep in mind that the current collection of categories don't represent a clear picture of what Waymarking will look like in a year or two. The process by which categories are suggested and approved hasn't even been put in place yet. In addition, Waymarking is still in beta, and hasn't really been announced in any big way to the world in general.

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What's my other best post?=P

 

I kind of agree with what JD was getting at... it is a perception problem. The fact that most geocaches are in the US is not really noticed by someone who isn't looking at the geocaches in the US... unfortunately this isn't as hidden when you look at Waymarking... it is evident where something belongs in the Waymarking categories...

 

I don't think it is a bias, it is a regional issue... meaning every region has its own stuff. Here in Wisconsin we have no Sonics, we have no White Castles (have eaten both and am quite saddened we don't have either) and most importantly we don't have any freaking Pennsylvania Historical Markers!!!! And we have stuff that I know that another area, say Pennsylvania, does not have (and Penn is really close to us!) Rocky Rococo (I think) and Culver's comes to mind... and to be honest... I'd rather have just one of these places than both Sonic and White Castle (like Sonic and White Castle, but not THAT much). I can't imagine the different stuff that Europe would have, I've never been there, wish I had the cash to be able to go some day and find out but I don't right now.

 

Moreover we have more people thinking up categories and making waymarks. If you ask me, this is actually an advantage to you guys accross the seas... You probably can find more regional categories and waymarks on your own without the competition that we have to deal with.... I mean geez people around here are coming up with McDonald's and Wal-mart for frickin category ideas! That just shows you how desperate people seem to be getting!!! And if you ask me Category and Waymark creation seems to be most of the fun of Waymarking... I don't know how many people are actually going to spend their time going to every McDonald's they see just to add another log entry saying "Boy I just never knew this McDonald's was here before! Who woulda thought? In A FREAKING MALL!!!!! They never put McDonald's in Malls! TFTW!=)"

 

I think I make fun of the McDonald's category in every post now =/

Edited by Razak
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Bear in mind that the overwhelming majority of early waymark categories are either (1) owned by "friends of Groundspeak" or (2) are converted locationless caches. I own two categories that are geographically discriminatory: "Irish American Historic Places" and "Pennsylvania Historic Markers." Other U.S.-based volunteers own "starter" categories that are also geographically discriminatory. I also own two categories that can be logged anywhere in the world.

 

One of the UK volunteers owns "Castles." There are not a lot of castles here in Pennsylvania. There is a converted locationless for Luftwaffe Radar Site Ruins. There are not a lot of those in Pennsylvania.

 

I think once the ability to create new categories opens up, then Waymarking will reflect the interest level of those who wish to set up and maintain categories. In particular, I am looking forward to coordinating with people who want to set up historic marker subcategories worldwide. It makes sense to keep each "series" of markers in a separate subcategory, but to group them all together under one category. We can have our own forum, contests, and so forth.

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What's my other best post?=P

 

I kind of agree with what JD was getting at... it is a perception problem. The fact that most geocaches are in the US is not really noticed by someone who isn't looking at the geocaches in the US... unfortunately this isn't as hidden when you look at Waymarking... it is evident where something belongs in the Waymarking categories...

 

Well put Razak. The thing with Waymarking is that the categories can be very specific in location. That was one of the problems with locationless as well. If its castles in Britain then you have to be in Britain to do it. If it Civil War memorials, well anywhere but the eastern US and forget about.

 

With geocaches, it doesn't matter where you live, you can have multis, traditionals, puzzles, events, Citos, the whole nine yards and feel that you are an a equal part of the game. Geocaching makes you feel like you are a part of the same community of users.

 

With Waymarking it feels like there are dozens of communities each with their own things they look for. There doesn't appeare to be a cohesive binding idea in it. The cohesive binding idea of finding a cache from its coordinates with a GPS is what made geocaching a community of like minded people. I have tried but yet to see that same underlying binding agent in Waymarking.

 

That said, if people enjoy it then more power to them but I can't find the motivation for it the way I can for geocaching. Maybe Leprechauns are right it might improve but it has yet to show that.

 

JDandDD

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What's my other best post?=P

 

II mean geez people around here are coming up with McDonald's and Wal-mart for frickin category ideas! That just shows you how desperate people seem to be getting!!! =/

 

Yeah isn't that a fact.

 

JD Good clarification matey - I kinda see where your coming at with this whole point and in that I would tend to agree!

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Some categories shouldn't be regional at all! I mean come on, there are historical markers everywhere! Why do you have to define something to a particular place! I can understand "Castles" and "Civil War Graves" but I don't understand turning some like radar ruins into something local! If you want to find a waymark in a particular place, use your freaking filter for goodness sakes! ;)

 

*climbs down from soap box*

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Is this a Waymarking Category Proposal? Or just a suggestion for less cultural bias in categories? Perhaps an admin could move this one to Europe?

 

I see the Pennsylvania Historic Markers category and think why make a category that I can only participate in if I live in or near to Pennsylvania? (And then offer a geocoin for creating new waypoints in the category -thanks a lot, Lep). A generic Historic Markers category could be used anywhere in the world (or at least where the authorities allow someone to put up historic markers). But on further thought, I see that some categories will be region specific. In some cases, you could change the category a little to expand the region to world wide. But it may make a more interesting category if it stays regional. By limiting his historic markers category to Pennsylvania, Lep is able to request some specific information be collected in category variables. If I visit Pennsylvania, I can find these markers easier than having to search through a generic category. And, it would be really cool to find that American Revolutionary War Veteran's grave in Canada or France.

Edited by tozainamboku
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I see the Pennsylvania Historic Markers category and think why make a category that I can only participate in if I live in or near to Pennsylvania? (And then offer a geocoin for creating new waypoints in the category -thanks a lot, Lep). A generic Historic Markers category could be used anywhere in the world (or at least where the authorities allow someone to put up historic markers). But on further thought, I see that some categories will be region specific. In some cases, you could change the category a little to expand the region to world wide. But it may make a more interesting category if it stays regional. By limiting his historic markers category to Pennsylvania, Lep is able to request some specific information be collected in category variables. If I visit Pennsylvania, I can find these markers easier than having to search through a generic category. And, it would be really cool to find that American Revolutionary War Veteran's grave in Canada or France.

I think you hit the nail on the head. When I originally asked to manage a "pilot" category for Pennsylvania Historic Markers, Groundspeak instead put me in charge of the category worldwide. I objected, and the category was changed back to Pennsylvania only. A worldwide category would have been too much work for one manager or group, I know very little about other marker programs, and we'd lose the benefit of customizing the categories for each series of historic markers. In some states or countries, the markers have official numbers that can be recorded; mine don't. In Pennsylvania the markers are classified according to subject matter, and other marker programs don't do this. It is better to have lots of subcategories for a popular Waymarking target like this. Each can then be customized to fit the needs of that particular country, province or state.

 

Right now in the "beta" period, there are subcategories for Pennsylvania, Ohio, California and Georgia. I look forward to the day when new categories can be added, and we see historic marker categories for every U.S. state and dozens of countries around the globe. It will be fun to compare notes and to make friends with people worldwide who share my interest in history.

Edited by The Leprechauns
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But the question remains - does the Waymarking site have an American bias?

 

No. Most requests for categories come from Americans which doesn't indicate bias. It indicates interest.

 

And should it?

 

You asked this question assuming the answer is yes. But no. it shouldn't be biased towards any specific nation.

 

And why?

 

I'm just guessing, but it probably has to do with the interest in Waymarking being largely American. It's probably also due to the site being in English and the geocaching community being around 90% American.

 

Multicaches are much more active in Europe, for example. It doesn't mean the site is biased towards multicaches being mostly European. It just happens that way.

 

And for how long?

 

As long as Amercians have more interest in Waymarking than non-Americans it will remain very Amerocentric. The sampling is artificial anyway since we haven't opened up group management yet. Once that is done the "market" will decide whether categories are American or not.

 

Groundspeak doesn't have any particular bias over any one country. We think it is cool when we see a castle, maze, fountain, etc. listed in another country. The pictures are especially interesting. It would be fantastic to see more worldwide interest in Waymarking.

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Sorry Jeremy.. I usually support you on what you say

 

But this time I have to reply "BAH!!

 

A great majority of the Catagories have been shown heavily America-centric... and even if someone beyond the borders of the good ol' USA was able to suggest a topic with a broad enough scope to be of interest on an International level.... they sit and sit.....

 

Even Lep's list is actually offensive to those outside the USA ( don't get me wrong, I like Lep a lot, it could have been anyone that made that list... I would have reacted the same way)

Canadian Benchmarks

UK Trigpoints

Spanish Survey Marks

Portugal Geodetic Points

Greenwich Meridian Markers

 

So, basically metal stamps are okay... but War Memorials of those countries aren't?

We have Eagle Scouts! So do dozens of countries! In fact Robert Baden Powell was from the UK, and yet... I could give lots more examples of things those outside the USA have that are just as important to us as all of those USA only Catagories.... should I bother? Based on the past.... nahhhh!

 

Catagories should be either non-country specific, or made such that every country or state/province/territory can have representation. Once you open a Catagory to an area of Florida US, then the same right should apply to Xiang China.

 

Maybe this will lessen once Groundspeak opens the Catagory Management to people, beyond the occational "yes that suggestion was stellar"... that bypassed the whole review by the community that was originally planned (Remember the FIVE VOTES thing???)

 

You've been BETA TESTING.... for what seems like FOREVER... did Geocaching take this long?

 

Seriously.. what have you learned so far? Any problems? What is your time line?

 

I think between the serious drop off in forum posts, and the fact that more and more people are pointing out what they are finding annoying....

 

And then when people try to discuss adding features, and moving things along, they get shot down (How many threads to do we have where people want Waymarking in their profiles?)

 

And yes... you can attribute this partially to the heavy USA favourtism (yes with a U... Queen's own English... yes I'm getting frustrated with Waymarking) and the lack of a time line and constant wondering if this is ever going to get going...

 

From inception I have been supportive.... but you guys at Groundspeak aren't giving me anything to hang on for.

 

:) The Blue Quasar

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[snip] and even if someone beyond the borders of the good ol' USA was able to suggest a topic with a broad enough scope to be of interest on an International level.... they sit and sit..... [snip]

In my experience that isnt true. I am British, and suggested the waterfalls category (none country specific). It wasnt sat on, it was given to me.

Maybe it is just that not many suggestions are coming from other countries.

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I do tend to agree with Quaser regarding the statement about things moving real slowly with Waymarking lately. It almost seems pointless sometimes putting in a category proposal as they are not getting accepted for listing for the most part. This is a bit of a 2 sided problem mind you as people are viewing them but saying nothing which is no fault of Groundspeak. Alternatively - maybe if some reasonable categories were being listed then intrest may get sparked in it regardless. eg I listed 2 categories of landmarksof famous explorers and also Graves of famous Explorers. These 2 proposals I thought would be quite conducive to Waymarking as a whole (more so than a McDonalds category) but they have obviously been shelved on a backburner. There have been others as well that would be appropriate but people are looking but not encouraging/discouraging as much as they used to - it would seem. Good category proposals are just sitting.

 

[and yes the word 'good' is subjective, and what may seem good for one is rubbish to another - but that will always be the case.]

I to wish that things would move along a bit here.

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A great majority of the Catagories have been shown heavily America-centric... and even if someone beyond the borders of the good ol' USA was able to suggest a topic with a broad enough scope to be of interest on an International level.... they sit and sit.....

 

 

All categories have been sitting for a while. There's been no bias over one or another. Opinionate has been out of the office for over a month and he was the one managing new category additions.

 

Even Lep's list is actually offensive to those outside the USA ( don't get me wrong, I like Lep a lot, it could have been anyone that made that list... I would have reacted the same way)

 

So, basically metal stamps are okay... but War Memorials of those countries aren't?

 

That's a horrible conclusion you came to that I find offensive. He in no way made that point.

 

We have Eagle Scouts! So do dozens of countries! In fact Robert Baden Powell was from the UK, and yet... I could give lots more examples of things those outside the USA have that are just as important to us as all of those USA only Catagories.... should I bother? Based on the past.... nahhhh!

 

I think he was just pointing out categories that were exclusive to other countries. I assume he just thought it was obvious that he doesn't have to point out categories that could be marked worldwide. I certainly thought it was obvious.

 

Catagories should be either non-country specific, or made such that every country or state/province/territory can have representation. Once you open a Catagory to an area of Florida US, then the same right should apply to Xiang China.

 

The Eagle Scout projects category is available worldwide, so either I don't understand your point or you are jumping to the wrong conclusions. There are McDonalds restauraunts marked outside the US as well as fountains. Having to point out that fact to you seemed unnecessary.

 

Maybe this will lessen once Groundspeak opens the Catagory Management to people, beyond the occational "yes that suggestion was stellar"... that bypassed the whole review by the community that was originally planned (Remember the FIVE VOTES thing???)

 

You've been BETA TESTING.... for what seems like FOREVER... did Geocaching take this long?

 

Rome wasn't built in a day. Patience, man. We're on the same schedule we pointed out in a previous thread. We were looking for a March release of group functionality and we're actually ahead of schedule.

 

Seriously.. what have you learned so far? Any problems? What is your time line?

 

I answered your other thread.

 

I think between the serious drop off in forum posts, and the fact that more and more people are pointing out what they are finding annoying....

 

That's good feedback. I don't mind the drop off of forum posts. We haven't even officially announced Waymarking to the broader geocaching community.

 

And then when people try to discuss adding features, and moving things along, they get shot down (How many threads to do we have where people want Waymarking in their profiles?)

 

We're not going to promote a site that isn't ready yet.

 

And yes... you can attribute this partially to the heavy USA favourtism (yes with a U... Queen's own English... yes I'm getting frustrated with Waymarking) and the lack of a time line and constant wondering if this is ever going to get going...

 

If this were the case then we would be seeing momentum in the activity. Like I indicated earlier the geocaching.com web site is 90% US players/caches/etc.

 

From inception I have been supportive.... but you guys at Groundspeak aren't giving me anything to hang on for.

 

Sorry I guess. I suppose being on target with changes to the site isn't enough for you.

Edited by Jeremy
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...I think the point may have been made . . . . .

 

Of ocurse there are other categories that non-Americans can do. But the question remains - does the Waymarking site have an American bias? And should it? And why? And for how long?

 

What it comes down to is that the people who participate are biased towards things they know and that's based on where they live and their own culture.

 

Europeans have one heck of a lot of catagories that they can propose. Didn't the romans use milemarkers? That's a non US catagory. The Celts left standing stones... The list goes on for every area on this planet.

 

All you are seeing is a higher level of participation by Americans than Europeans and others. That's not a bias with Waymarking though it's possible that Waymarking doesn't appeal as much to non Americans, or it's possible that the momentum hasn't built up yet.

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Europeans have one heck of a lot of catagories that they can propose. Didn't the romans use milemarkers? That's a non US catagory. The Celts left standing stones... The list goes on for every area on this planet.

 

Which brings up the point that there seems to still be enough proposals being made and yet there appears to be very little to no movement in respect of these categories being accepted and established. What does it take to get a proposal going here? Some feedback from Groundspeak on recommendations would be good - as why they are or are not being considered! or are proposals just shelved because nobody comments on them in the forums. :laughing:

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Wheres the popcorn? Popcorn I want popcorn!

StagsRoar

did you not read that opinionate has been out of the office for a time? And yes you should remember that TPTB said three months that does put it till March. JEEZ!!!

 

I have created a waymark for a Fountain in Mexico that I visited, A waterfall in Costa Rica and a Fountain in Mexico and a Boy Scouts of America Camp Site in the UK where Balden Powell was from, Biased I do not think so. As soon as I find one I willcreate one for that Shop 24 Category Those are all mostly in Europe. Get Real.

Edited by chstress53
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Which brings up the point that there seems to still be enough proposals being made and yet there appears to be very little to no movement in respect of these categories being accepted and established.

 

chstress53 already pointed out what I already mentioned above. No new categories have been listed in over a month. So the point regarding bias towards any nation, nationality, religion or soda is moot in anyone's supposition that inactivity means intent.

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I want to apologize to Jeremy for my recent rant. After going through a few other threads on the Canada Forum and what that has involved lately, I was already in a 'not-so-good' place mentally.

 

So I lashed out.

 

I still think it unfair that some topics are restricted by geography, whether that be USA or otherwise. I know it can't be helped in some cases, but there should be a reason for the restriction. For me, it's tough to generate interest locally for Waymarking... and when there is a catagory I would like to participate in but cannot because of an arbitrary decision... I know... write the CM.

 

Maybe I'm tired of people pointing out why they don't like Waymarking, but not trying to illustrate how to improve it (I mean people talking to me, not posting online).

 

:laughing: The Blue Quasar

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Jeremy Posted Feb 17 2006, 02:01 PM
(clipped) Like I indicated earlier the geocaching.com web site is 90% US players/caches/etc.

 

This is turning into a pretzel discussion-who is doing what to whom-

90% American? - 10% other?----- Canada must have at least 10% of them-so where does that leave Great Britain -Germany- Netherland- the other 'English' speaking countries?

Probably most Categories are international (except U.S. specific ones.--like all the different State markers etc.)

 

One I proposed is this one, changed from 'American Monarchs' to Monarchs of the World

 

Or: Changing the 'Historic 'American Forts' to ( just) Historic Forts

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Sorry Jeremy.. I usually support you on what you say

 

But this time I have to reply "BAH!!

 

So, basically metal stamps are okay... but War Memorials of those countries aren't?

We have Eagle Scouts! So do dozens of countries! In fact Robert Baden Powell was from the UK, and yet... I could give lots more examples of things those outside the USA have that are just as important to us as all of those USA only Catagories.... should I bother? Based on the past.... nahhhh!

 

;) The Blue Quasar

 

Sorry boys but Take a look at the Eagle Scout waymark. Since Day ONE it has said:

 

Eagle Scout Project Sites

 

Managed by CO Admin

 

Showcasing the Community service projects of Eagle Scout Candidates around the world

I set this up as a world waymark. It only has American projects because only Americans have offered then so far. Send me one out of America and I will love to list it. I've been to Brown Sea Island I know Scouting has international roots. Please don't clump me in to a list of American only concepts. Thats just wrong!!!!

Edited by CO Admin
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I still think it unfair that some topics are restricted by geography, whether that be USA or otherwise. I know it can't be helped in some cases, but there should be a reason for the restriction. For me, it's tough to generate interest locally for Waymarking... and when there is a catagory I would like to participate in but cannot because of an arbitrary decision... I know... write the CM.

:) The Blue Quasar

 

BQ, I understand what you are saying. Yes, there are some categories that are worldwide but they are by far the exception. Bias may be the wrong word, but Waymarking is so American dominated that its frustrating for non-Americans. However, Americans and the American owners of the website wouldn't recognize that or feel it because they aren't affected in the same way. And frankly having Leps point out a small handfull of categories as though it makes a point of Waymarking being equally available is insulting. <_<

 

I also have to say that Jeremy isn't attending to what's going on when he says maybe its because American's are more interested in Waymarking. Two things wrong with that statement. First, the number of posts in this forum from non-Americans asking for more international content is proof that people want to be involved but they don't feel that they can be. Second, since the large bulk of first categories is American of course Americans are going to appear to be more interested than those who can't be involved to the same extent. :P

 

I also agree with BQ about being able to generate interest. Since there is no reliable way to get categories approved and it still says "we aren't accepting" them there is no interest being generated and we may even be reaching the point that it will be beyond hope outside the USA. I've been trying to get myself interested since it first went out to Premium members and months later I've basically given up only looking every couple of weeks to find nothings substantively changed. <_<

 

Ok, you are also right BQ about wanting positive developments. Here's min. Start a process for creating waymarks more like geocaching. Get local reviewers or whatever who can create categories in some place other than the USA.

 

JDandDD

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Further I apologize to CO Admin since I knee-jerk reacted to the Eagle Scouts catagory without checking first. I read the OP and well... you know the rest.

 

I guess the problem really isn't with Jeremy, or Waymarking necessarily, but with the Catagory Managers that create Catagores that "could" be international, but make them American only. I can understand the attraction to this mentality.

 

The comment that 90% of the users of Groundspeak services are American is not a very valid way to approach the issue. That is almost like saying the other 10% don't count. Try applying that logic to Veterans, tell them that they don't count.

 

Every company should be focused on 100% of its clients.

 

I know that the three Catagories that I've proposed all all Canadian based... I like history.

 

So, I will propose a Catagory that I am truely interested on an international level... tell me what you think.

 

<_< The Blue Quasar

 

edit: link to my Catagory Proposal

International Fortune 500 - Head Offices

Edited by The Blue Quasar
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I also have to say that Jeremy isn't attending to what's going on when he says maybe its because American's are more interested in Waymarking.

 

I don't understand what you mean by "attending."

 

Two things wrong with that statement. First, the number of posts in this forum from non-Americans asking for more international content is proof that people want to be involved but they don't feel that they can be.

 

It was a question about bias. You're absolutely right that there is international interest. My observation is that the interest percentage-wise is less. Also that there are plenty of non region-specific categories that have lots of waymarks outside of the US.

 

Second, since the large bulk of first categories is American of course Americans are going to appear to be more interested than those who can't be involved to the same extent. :(

 

You bring up "can't be involved." I don't see it. I just see a lack of region-specific requests outside of the US. I'm not going to force those categories down people's throats if there is no interest in them.

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I guess the problem really isn't with Jeremy, or Waymarking necessarily, but with the Catagory Managers that create Catagores that "could" be international, but make them American only. I can understand the attraction to this mentality.

 

I'm just not seeing this.

 

We made a decision regarding the Historical Markers category because each state manages their historical markers differently. It isn't a regional issue in the mind of the category - it is the unique variables attributed to the category and the manufacturer (in this case, the state) of the object in question. If California split into two the California Historical Markers category (that may exist in the future) would still exist for both states since the variables would continue to be similar.

 

Other categories that are more generic, like fountains, wifi locations, bloggers, wikipedia entries, bookcrossing locations, shelters, etc. are international. There are plenty of non us-centric categories available.

 

I think the general complaint here is that the PA Historical Markers category is getting a lot of attention and others may be feeling a bit left out. We're getting to group management shortly so just have some patience. Once it is up you can start creating and launching your own categories.

 

The comment that 90% of the users of Groundspeak services are American is not a very valid way to approach the issue. That is almost like saying the other 10% don't count. Try applying that logic to Veterans, tell them that they don't count.

 

I'm not exactly how to approach a statement like this. You are saying because there is a smaller audience outside of the US that Groundspeak think veterans don't count? That's a spectacular example of circular reasoning.

 

I'm just indicating that you could see a bias because Non-US participants are in the minority. This isn't a causal statement - just an observation that if the audience is already largely American you should expect to see a larger percentage of waymarks in the US. I expect the demographics to radically shift and shadow the Geocaching community on Waymarking.com - It will just appeal to a larger audience.

 

As I indicated before I would be extremely excited to see international participation in Waymarking. Once the group functionality is in place we can open it up more so it doesn't seem so slow to grow. Patience!

Edited by Jeremy
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It was a question about bias. You're absolutely right that there is international interest. My observation is that the interest percentage-wise is less. Also that there are plenty of non region-specific categories that have lots of waymarks outside of the US.

I have said elsewhere that I think bias is probably too strong a word. My concerns have been around categories being created that are unnecessarily limited in scope. The biggest problem is the slowness in adding categories. I think much of the lack of interest may come from how Waymarking started and the inability to do waymarks (at the outset) if you were outside of the US. You are right in point out that there a many non region-specific categories now but tht wasn't true at the start and for a significant time afterward. A person's interest has to be captured early or you lose it and I think the slow development to non-specific led to the percentage-wise lesser interest. I felt disenfranchised when it was open just to premium members and it is hard to get over that feeling.

You bring up "can't be involved." I don't see it. I just see a lack of region-specific requests outside of the US. I'm not going to force those categories down people's throats if there is no interest in them.

I think that argument is tautologica. You can't develop interest if you can't be equally involved. That was clearly the case at the beginning and as I infer above I think the slow diversification at the beginning may have lost much of the international audience before it could get started. I keep trying to get interested but the feelings of frustrations from the starting days still lingers.

 

Interest also comes if you feel there is a way to get categories accepted. If there is a consistent mechanism it escapes me at this point. There was for locationless and virtuals but that has yet to appear for Waymarking. Again, I think this leads to the effect of losing the audience before it gets started. Why should anyone show interest in making categories if you can't feel that it has an impact.

 

JDandDD

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:cute: If I had managed "Worldwide Historic Markers" instead of "Pennsylvania Historic Markers", then the forum threads would be complaining about why someone in the U.S. is managing a category covering the unique needs of historic markers in [name your country where it's done differently]. If I had managed "Irish History Around the World" instead of "Irish-American Historic Places" then the forum threads would be complaining about why someone in the U.S. is managing a category that rightly ought to be managed by someone in Ireland.

 

Once one accepts the proposition that there will be criticism no matter what choice is made, one can proceed to doing the best job they can and to have fun with it.

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:cute: If I had managed "Worldwide Historic Markers" instead of "Pennsylvania Historic Markers", then the forum threads would be complaining about why someone in the U.S. is managing a category covering the unique needs of historic markers in [name your country where it's done differently]. If I had managed "Irish History Around the World" instead of "Irish-American Historic Places" then the forum threads would be complaining about why someone in the U.S. is managing a category that rightly ought to be managed by someone in Ireland.

 

Once one accepts the proposition that there will be criticism no matter what choice is made, one can proceed to doing the best job they can and to have fun with it.

Well, I think you may have hit upon one of the practical problems with Waymarking. The process for who manages a category is simply who says it first. To turn things around a bit, there is nothing for me, a Canadian, to suggest and get to manage a category like Toll Booths of Florida except to be the first to suggest the category.

 

Unlike geocaching.com where there are definite rules for staying in your area with the caches you place. Not so in Waymarking, so I would say the complaint wouldn't be about you as an American managing the category as much as it would be really be about the fact that the process for deciding the managers is based on a much too loose criteria of I got there first.

 

There are just too many processes about accepting categories and managers that haven't been properly defined and these have led to the problems we see expressed in these forums. The unfortunate thing is that it is getting in the way of creating interest and a basic principle of marketing is you have to establish your audience's interest fast because if you lose it at the start you won't likely get it back. According to Jeremy's comments about what he sees as interest I think the opportunity to make this a global community and sport like geocaching is slipping away rapidly. That would be a shame.

 

JDandDD

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I'm getting a bit lost with this thread and it seems that the issues and points being brought up are rather limited themselves in scope a little. To me it does not matter who manages a category or what country - be it the US or Botswana. The point is if the category itself has variables or criteria to meet then the category can be as international or localized as anyone wants. Is it biased or inappropriate of me ( a New Zealander living in Saskatchewan - 3000kms from the nearest ocean) to manage the categories of shipwrecks. No! because who cares where the manager comes from - the fact is it is a category open to any shipwrecks. Now if someone wants to have historic landmarks particular to a state or region then so be it. If someone else has a bug up their butt over it then they have every opportunity to propose a category of the same nature without regional variables or criteria. Maybe I am seeing this whole issue from some distorted angle! But the problem lies, I think, in not the regional variable of particular categories but rather in the lack of response and establishment of waymark category proposals being put forward. And as Jeremy from Groundspeak has duly pointed out previously - this lack action and movement is actually intentional therefore I guess we just have to sit on our hands and wait out what Groundspeaks intentions are - which when all is said and done is their perogative - I don't much like it either and find it frustrating - but it is still their perogative and one would hope when the chaff has been threshed in all this that there was reasonable logic in the way that Groundspeak have run the site lately. And in view of the frustrations that are being vented I would hope that Groundspeak aren't shooting themselves in the foot in the way they are fullfilling some of their projects and objectives for Waymarking.com - I guess time will tell.

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I am going to trust Jeremy when he says that things will be different when the Group Function is unlocked and Catagories can be created.

 

The only reason I chose Veterans in my example was that Jeremy can relate to that (he is one). It struck me strangely that the argument of 90% of the people using the site are American was used. It has no bearing in my opinion. I didn't understand why it was even brought up. It made me feel those of us in the 10% don't count as much. It just isn't a justification for why one group gets and another doesn't.

 

Jeremy said: I'm not exactly how to approach a statement like this. You are saying because there is a smaller audience outside of the US that Groundspeak think veterans don't count? That's a spectacular example of circular reasoning.
That's not what what I was saying at all. I'm saying that denying someone the option because they are not in the 90% is like telling a Vet that they can't vote because they are a Vet. As in, you can't do this because you are in the minority. That is how you presented the view.

 

Waymarking and Geocaching are not very related, and I've tried to keep them separate as much as possible. But it's the only way I can think of, so I'll try this a different way.

 

Let's say Groundspeak decided they wanted to add a new type of Geocache... let's call them "PC Caches". And through some magic gizmo the site can tell if you are using a MAC or a PC when you log on. Would it be fair to deny the MAC users from listing one of these new caches? Or logging a find on one? That's how it feels.

 

I totally get the idea about regional related Catagories, and why they are appealing (I mean obviously since I want to own one too)... but so as to not offend anyone that has a Catagory already... let's say there was a Catagory called "Professional Football Stadiums", but you could only list NFL locations... then that means the CFL sites would not be allowed.... and since there is little interest outside the USA, it would never get listed.

 

If a person was going on vacation to Europe and they wanted to know about "Bull Fighting", since I'm guessing that less than 1% of the users of Groundspeak are from Spain or Mexico, how could this Catagory ever get listed? But my question is, if even two people initially want it, what does it hurt to list it? How could you form a Group on this topic? You're not forcing it on anyone, like you indicated, but providing alternatives to those that are not 'mainstream'.

 

That's the circular logic I'm seeing... "there isn't enough interest in regional catagories outside the USA, and we don't see a need to make them available until there is interest". You can't generate interest if you don't provide it. Americans are proud of their history and their heritage (rightly so), and you get to express that in ways that we can't right now.

 

I hope that you are right when the Group function starts up that this will clear up... I just have trouble picturing how you will adjust for the low interest levels from the other 10% when they can't meet some artibrary value to get something locally approved.

 

 

It's just too hard to explain

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The only reason I chose Veterans in my example was that Jeremy can relate to that (he is one). It struck me strangely that the argument of 90% of the people using the site are American was used. It has no bearing in my opinion. I didn't understand why it was even brought up.

 

I thought I clarified as best as I could. If 90% are active participants from a different region you'll probably see more proposals for categories that relate to that region. Ergo, you will see more US centric categories than those that are not.

 

Second point: There are a multitude of categories that aren't region centric at all.

 

That's why your veteran comment doesn't make sense. It isn't anything exclusive here. It's an observation on current participation levels. If more people drink Coke than Sprite you'll see more Coke cans in the trash can. That doesn't mean that the trash can is biased against Sprite. And that is why I pointed out your circular reasoning.

 

If that didn't explain it for you I don't know what will.

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I'm not trying to argue with you Jeremy, I'm just trying to understand.

 

Like you said, it will be cleared up when the Catagory Managment thing is ready.

 

If a perceived problem still exists, it will be brought up again, so we can work thing out together.

 

I admit, like I did before, that I was angry at other things at the time, and have since recanted my rant.

 

:P The Blue Quasar

 

GOOOOOOO Waymarking!

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It's an observation on current participation levels.

 

Actually Jeremy, I too am sensing the circularity in the participation levels comment. As you point out there are far more USA centric entrie because that is where the greatest interest is. But also, in the early days of Waymarking, before it was opened to the public, the vast majority of the inital entries were USA centric and there was and remains no defined way to get categories accepted. So when I, as a non-American went on the site, there were some non-American centric entries sure, but one's that were do-able in my area were very slim. You don't get interest without some way to participate.

 

The site still hasn't made category entry open. So, the pre-dominance is American and therefor lesser outside US interest. So the circularity is, fewer non-USA centric categories, therefore fewer entries, therefor lesser percieved interest, so without the interest we don't create categories. That's a classic tautology.

 

That may improve when category creation is unlocked.

 

JDandDD

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