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What's Wrong With Waymarking?


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I promised Jeremy I would start a topic here on my thoughts about Waymarking. Now that the geocaching server crisis has passed, and he is (I hope) feeling less embattled, I'll do so.

 

I've been thinking pretty hard about why I have such a negative reaction to Waymarking. I was never a fan of locationless caches, and I am quite happy that they have been removed from the geocaching site, so it has nothing to do with that. I'm not happy that virtual caches have also been sent over here, so it might have something to do with that, but even that doesn't explain my gut-level reaction.

 

And it's not a technical problem; if I cared enough, I am pretty sure I could configure things so that I would only see waymarks that are not lame. If I put enough effort into it, I could probably keep myself amused at some level. But the problem here is that I don't want to put the effort into it; I just can't see any kind of payoff.

 

My problem is also not about numbers; I am probably one of the most anti-numbers geocachers out there. I've made several adjustments to my finds this year that have decreased my geocaching find count.

 

My best guess at this point is that the problem with Waymarking is a branding problem. Like it or not, in my mind the concept of Waymarking is forever linked to McDonald's restaurants. Yes, I know that I could filter them all out, and yes, I understand that the category in question was just an example to get the site started. But it is still there, and people are logging finds on McDonald's restaurants.

 

And that is something I want nothing to do with. It's irrational, but I don't want anything I do to be associated with a site that considers logging McDonald's to be some kind of worthwhile endeavor. Since there is no distinction made here between logging a McDonald's and logging a waypoint on top of Mount Everest, there is a kind of implied equivalence.

 

Like I said, it is irrational. But a lot of human behavior is irrational. If Waymarking had an image of being challenging and classy, I would probably be more intrigued. But since, instead, it has the reputation of being the site where you go to log totally trivial things that involve no challenge at all, I can't seem to get interested. I remain interested in geocaching only because of the challenge that good caches present; for the most part, I don't even consider looking for caches with difficulty or terrain below 3 any more.

 

It's especially ironic to me that virtual caches, which required such a phenomenal wow factor to be approved as geocaches, have now been relegated to a site where no wow at all is required. Find a dead animal on the side of the road, and there is probably a Waymarking category into which it will fit. How sad.

 

The Groundspeak staff has done a good job of dealing with the technical details of Waymarking; now they have to address the marketing and branding issues. If a new site were set up that was only for waymarks that met some kind of rigorous test for being challenging or especially interesting, I would perhaps be interested. But as long as the utterly mundane remains mixed in with the sublime, and I have to do all the work to separate the two, then sorry, but I am not interested.

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My best guess at this point is that the problem with Waymarking is a branding problem. Like it or not, in my mind the concept of Waymarking is forever linked to McDonald's restaurants. Yes, I know that I could filter them all out, and yes, I understand that the category in question was just an example to get the site started. But it is still there, and people are logging finds on McDonald's restaurants.

 

 

Yes it still there but so are more than 200 other categories. If you associate Waymarking solely with the McDonalds category then you are missing out. This association would be the same as associating Geocaching with parking lot lamp pole micros, they are still there and people are still logging them, and there is no distinction between logging that cache or a cache on Mount Everest. Both caches are 1 smiley -_- I drive by several McDonald's a day and have yet to have any desire to create a waymark at one. My recommendation is to pick a category or two that interest you and pursue that interest and go Waymark those locations. In time when there are more than 100,000 Waymarks those few hundred McDonald's Waymarks will not seem so bad.

Edited by BruceS
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fizzymagic -

 

Wow, you're right, that really is irrational !

 

I never go outdoors. The reason is that if I did, I might see a shoe store and I find their mere presence degrading. I know I don't have to actually go into a shoe store, but since they are out there and I might see one, I'll just have to say no thanks to the whole enterprise of going outdoors, and stay in instead. It's all about the image thing with me; if there are shoe stores out there, then the entire outdoor experience is tainted with them and I don't even want to be seen outside amongst them. :P

 

As with life in general, in world of Waymarking, a challenge is to find the parts of it you like. Like life, Waymarking has different levels of challenge available; pick your level of challenge. Geocaching is also not a world of equivalent challenges. Waymarking does have more scope.

 

Here's a challenge - invent a really challenging waymark category, go through the process (another game !) of getting it to become an approved category, and then manage it with people you don't know. -_- While you do this, don't let the presence of the McDonalds category get you down. B)

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Wow, you're right, that really is irrational !

My post is not intended to defend my feelings about Waymarking; it is intended to explain why I don't like it.

 

If you're not able to grasp the difference, it might be best not to respond. Berating a consumer for not liking a brand is generally not a very helpful activity.

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My post is not intended to defend my feelings about Waymarking; it is intended to explain why I don't like it.

 

If you're not able to grasp the difference, it might be best not to respond. Berating a consumer for not liking a brand is generally not a very helpful activity.

 

Fizzy, with Waymarking still in its infancy, you have to opportunity to improve the brand. You can create categories which reflect the branding you like. You can find and post waymarks in those categories which reflect the branding you like. There are categories that will get a nay votes from me when they come up for peer review and if enough people say nay then the category will not be listed.

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I thought I grasped the difference between defending and explaining but perhaps not. I do agree that the present categories don't offer much in the way of challenge, and hope that someone does figure out ways to make such categories without the effort being blocked by the presence of the McD category.

 

Lots of people complain about Waymarking and how it's different from locationless caching, but I'm straining to determine what the root problem with Waymarking is, if there is one. Your post brings up what sounds like an issue with the challenge scope of Waymarking which is indeed wider, in various ways, than geocaching. But is that the real problem? Perhaps its difference from geocaching is that it seems more like bookkeeping and less like a game, to many people. To other people, perhaps the bookkeeping aspect IS the game, and therefore there are 2 different sets of people; a diversification for Groundspeak, not necessarily a bad thing.

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While I agree that the OPs dislike of Waymarking based upon the 'lame' categories, I do understand where he is coming from. Check around and you'll see that it is a feeling felt by alot of cachers. I would guess that if they had never put in such categories as examples Waymarking wouldn't have such a negative taste to many.

 

I also think that the site layout has alot to do with the negative reactions. I know that TPTB want there to be more entries before they started the same search, logging, "numbers" features as we have for geocaching, but that is one of the major roadblocks for many as well.

 

I'm really interested in the 'off-leash dog areas' category, but there isn't an easy way to search for them. Yes, I know there aren't that many, and I do plan to add our local ones soon.

 

Is there going to be a loc/gpx file download feature? a pocket query feature? etc? We travel alot and it would be nice if we could load up waymarks just like we do caches.

 

Those are just some of the factors that I think attribute to the negativity of Waymarking currently.

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I get what you're saying, fizzy. I realize that what you're talking about is a feeling and oftentimes feelings can't be adequately explained in words. Your feeling comes from an overall impression based on the current state of Waymarking affairs.

 

What we're trying to do is give all locations a voice. Whether that voice is a silky smooth and inviting voice, or a flegmy gutteral smoker's voice, they all start on equal footing and have a right to exist on Waymarking.com because someone found value in it. We're not interested in being a niche website - there are plenty of websites that specialize in wifi locations or covered bridges.

 

By using the popularity filter you have the ability to create what is basically a new website, free of the McDonalds-y categories. For you it will basically cease to exist. In the future we plan to have other ways for you to personalize and filter search results as well. It may be that you're unable to forget these type of categories exist even if they're invisible, but it may help to improve your impression.

 

I get it. You don't want to belong to any club that would have McDonald's as a member. Over time the website will evolve naturally and if you wait a while I'm sure your feelings will change. For better or worse remains to be seen, I'm sure, but I sincerely hope you stick around long enough to find out.

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I would like to thank Fizzymagic for expressing his opinion in a respectful, articulate manner. He is not alone. I read similar comments and jokes all over in local forums, e-mails, etc. That is the perception. And it is not always stated as clearly as the OP in this thread.

 

I happen to disagree with that perception, and all I ask is that those who have that perception kindly allow me to hold my contrary opinion and to have my fun. Along the way, I may just help improve the place by making a suggestion or two, or adding good content. Part of "improving the place" is to overcome the negative reaction/perception, be it through site useability, quality of content or otherwise. I am happy to help with that.

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I think fizzzymagic has grasped exactly why so many people have this negative gut reaction to Waymarking. People like virtual caches because they are often very interesting or unusual places and if done right finding a virtual cache entails actually finding something in order to answer the verification question. Waymarks do not require either of these attributes. Many categories are immensly interesting to some small group of people - whether it be their state's historic markers, benchmarks, or even visiting as many McDonald's restaurants as they can. Virtuals tried to "wow" a bigger group of people. Someone who would never think of visiting a lime kiln or a shot tower might have done a virtual of one of these and thought "how cool that this little piece of history is here". Its very hard to put a finger on what made something interesting or unusual enough to make a good virtual. I have started the Wow Waymarkers group to discuss what it is that makes virtuals different from waymarks and explored the possibility of creating a category within the Waymarking framework for listing these locations. You are all welcome to join the group if you think you can contribute something to the discussion.

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I'll repost my quoted message from the other thread that prompted this one:

 

I'm sorry, but if you are going to continue to post "helpful" links to Waymarking as if it adequately replaces virtual caches or Earthcaches, you will have to expect responses that point how how awful a site it is.

What's a better way to separate the wheat from the chaff?

I would be delighted to talk about my views of Waymarking, but I feel uncomfortable doing it in this topic. Would this be better done in the Waymarking forums?

 

You bet. Feel free to do so there (if you haven't already. I'll check).

 

I had assumed based on my question about your thoughts on separating the wheat from the chaff that you were going to offer up some feedback on that subject. Although I appreciate your thoughts on Waymarking your response wasn't exactly what I was expecting. All I can say is that you should come back later when the site is more mature.

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I had assumed based on my question about your thoughts on separating the wheat from the chaff that you were going to offer up some feedback on that subject. Although I appreciate your thoughts on Waymarking your response wasn't exactly what I was expecting. All I can say is that you should come back later when the site is more mature.

I thought I was going to offer thoughts about wheat/chaff separation as well. But when I took a long, hard look inside myself, I discovered that my reaction was more emotional than it was technical. Which was kind of a suprise. But I wanted to be completely honest about what was keeping me from using the site.

 

I do think there are some things that could be done to address my issues and make the site better. I've expressed before that some kind of moderation system (a la Slashdot) might be helpful. I have refined that opinion somewhat.

 

First, I don't think the current "popularity" measure will work to separate the wheat from the chaff in the long run. We all know how well unadorned popularity works in other areas (take, for example, American Idol :ph34r: ). Slashdot's method, where you can earn karma and use that for moderation, seems to work better. And moderation of categories is a start, but without moderation of individual waymarks, the system will not really work.

 

I now believe that moderation needs to work in conjunction with some kind of "hall of fame" area that only the best waymarks can achieve. That may mean rating waymarks on more than one set of criteria; you could have challenging waymarks, cool waymarks, easy waymarks, etc. and have those be moderation options.

 

This idea has the potential of restoring the challenge to both the creation of waymarks and the logging of them. There's clearly a challenge in creating a waymark that will be moderated up enough to achieve elite status, and there is also the challenge of only going after waymarks that have been moderated as being especially difficult. A system like that has the potential to get my interest.

 

As for Waymarking still being in its infancy: it might be judged by Groundspeak as a still-nascent site, but I can assure you that the perception by geocachers is quite different. After all, locationless, webcam, new virtuals, and earthcaches have already been moved to it; that certainly gives the impression that somebody considers the site mature enough to replace geocaching.com for those!

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Those are some good recommendations. Our bounty concept is something I know that Sean has been chomping at the bit to conceptualize and implement. However the Group management is something that was far more important and, IMO, will drastically change how waymark categories will be looked at in the future. If you get some champions behind an idea you'll see some interesting things happen.

 

The Slashdot idea of karma is interesting and I've done a bit of moderating on their site to see how it works. Also the idea of "if you like x you will probably like y" is another feature we plan to implement. We're definitely focused on making sure that we're not just putting McDonalds on the site (though I wouldn't mind knowing where the closest Krispy Kreme is located).

 

As to locationless or virtual caches being "mature," I have to disagree with that one. Perhaps on the outside looking in it looked pretty good but the issues surrounding both types were legion. Maybe Mr T's new Wow Category will get people excited about the old virtuals again. Unfortunately his group isn't growing too fast.

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I happen to disagree with that perception, and all I ask is that those who have that perception kindly allow me to hold my contrary opinion and to have my fun.

I don't think anybody is preventing you from having fun using Waymarking; my objection has been to semi-official posts in the geocaching.com section of the forums that extol Waymarking as a superior replacement for virtuals, etc. To be specific, it's the "get over it and go Waymarking" attitude that I find most irritating. Because, at least at this point, I don't find Waymarking a suitable replacement for virtuals, webcams, or Earthcaches.

 

But in no way do I mean to imply that I don't think other people should be free to enjoy Waymarking! If it floats your boat, than that's great. I don't have the same reaction to people who do Waymarking that I do to the site itself; I would be glad to be associated with you. :ph34r:

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There is a complaint I have with Waymarking, and it is enough to turn me off of it for good unless things improve. I am being very patient about it, recognizing how this is all early stages for it still. I am willing to give the site time to improve.

 

Many of the categories dont have any application in my state of Arizona. For instance, berry picking and mushroom patch locations do not apply to my state, nor does lighthouses or civil war memorials. All of those are good categories. Payphones, walmarts, mcdonalds, categories I want nothing to do with, do seem to apply. Im having trouble finding categories Im interested in lately that apply to my state. And since Im not part of any cliques, I cant help but wonder how much that will affect my ability to get a category accepted that I can participate in.

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I happen to disagree with that perception, and all I ask is that those who have that perception kindly allow me to hold my contrary opinion and to have my fun.

I don't think anybody is preventing you from having fun using Waymarking; my objection has been to semi-official posts in the geocaching.com section of the forums that extol Waymarking as a superior replacement for virtuals, etc. To be specific, it's the "get over it and go Waymarking" attitude that I find most irritating. Because, at least at this point, I don't find Waymarking a suitable replacement for virtuals, webcams, or Earthcaches.

 

But in no way do I mean to imply that I don't think other people should be free to enjoy Waymarking! If it floats your boat, than that's great. I don't have the same reaction to people who do Waymarking that I do to the site itself; I would be glad to be associated with you. :ph34r:

Hm. I'm just curious why you think that Waymarking is not a suitable replacement for webcams and earthcaches? I understand why people (and myself too) think that it is not a replacement for virtuals, but to me webcams and earthcaches look exactly the same on Waymarking as they did on gc.com. :(

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To be specific, it's the "get over it and go Waymarking" attitude that I find most irritating.

 

It used to be "get over it and go to waypoint.org" which was even more irritating, IMO.

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I think fizzzymagic has grasped exactly why so many people have this negative gut reaction to Waymarking. People like virtual caches because they are often very interesting or unusual places and if done right finding a virtual cache entails actually finding something in order to answer the verification question.

The vast majority of the 119 virtuals I've logged have failed that test miserably. I just checked, and around 20 of them were "wow"... an unexpected surprise, something totally unique, something interesting that I'd never see if my GPS hadn't brought me there. The rest were a mix of historic markers, statues, fountains and other such things that are now Waymarking categories. As for the verification question, in only a handful of cases did this require any significant work. It's usually a word on the sign, something you'll presumably be reading anyways, or counting something, which isn't a Sherlock Holmes sort of task. To the contrary, the answers to many older virtuals could be cracked through good Google skills. I know, because part of my job was to crack them during the review process.

 

Waymarks do not require either of these attributes. Many categories are immensly interesting to some small group of people - whether it be their state's historic markers, benchmarks, or even visiting as many McDonald's restaurants as they can. Virtuals tried to "wow" a bigger group of people. Someone who would never think of visiting a lime kiln or a shot tower might have done a virtual of one of these and thought "how cool that this little piece of history is here".

I would rather make a conscious decision to go out and visit 25 historic markers because I'm interested in historic markers, than to visit 25 virtual caches that purport to "surprise" the visitor, and then disappoint me if I'm not "wow'd" by outdoor art or something else less appealing to me. I have zero interest in benchmarks and I wasn't "wow'd" by the virtual benchmark cache I did, nor by the benchmarking category at Waymarking. Yet I am happy as can be that others are having fun with that category.

 

Once I've arrived at a Waymarking target, I'm discovering that I can concentrate just on the inherent value of the object I find at those coordinates. The act of finding a film canister with a damp scrap of paper in the bushes behind the cool fountain, or of writing down the second date in the third line of the historic marker, doesn't really add much to the experience.

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And since Im not part of any cliques, I cant help but wonder how much that will affect my ability to get a category accepted that I can participate in.

 

There's only one way to find out...

 

I did a couple of days ago, and so far, no one has even responded to my post on a new category. Im hoping the lack of response is only because this is so new and the group thing is a bit confusing at first and not because of cliquishness. (I also hope it isnt because the category stinks either lol.)

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Im having trouble finding categories Im interested in lately that apply to my state. And since Im not part of any cliques, I cant help but wonder how much that will affect my ability to get a category accepted that I can participate in.

 

I am far from being part of any cliques and I posted two groups for different categories and within hours I had several volunteer group members. Even if the category is one that I won't be able to find any in my area doesn't mean I would not be interested in it being a category. My advise is "Post it, they will come"

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I did a couple of days ago, and so far, no one has even responded to my post on a new category. Im hoping the lack of response is only because this is so new and the group thing is a bit confusing at first and not because of cliquishness. (I also hope it isnt because the category stinks either lol.)

 

If you mean your Animal Memorials proposal, it's helpful to turn on open enrollment and include a link to the group page. That way people can join at their leisure.

 

(Edit: grammar)

Edited by OpinioNate
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Here's another think to thing about. So far I'm a leader in 3 categories, an officer in two, and a member of one. Even though there are lots of categories that I love, I don't want to spread myself too thin. I assume there are others that feel that way too.

Edited by Ambrosia
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I don't like the way it is set up. Why have categories? Just leave them as locationless, virtual, earth etc. and you pick out the ones you want to hunt like we did when they were under geocaching.com.

Caches aren't grouped by categories like under brush or behind rocks. Waymarks don't need to be either.

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I don't like the way it is set up. Why have categories? Just leave them as locationless, virtual, earth etc. and you pick out the ones you want to hunt like we did when they were under geocaching.com.

Caches aren't grouped by categories like under brush or behind rocks. Waymarks don't need to be either.

 

Categories are useful for the folks who don't like "fast" food. :ph34r:

 

Locationless caches already had categories -- that was inherent in their name. You could only log that category once, though, so folks who wanted to hunt down more than one "find" in that "category" were out of luck.

 

When the .loc / .gpx feature is added, I'm presuming that a category filter will be added, as well, so you can go find things that you find interesting, without having to filter out all the other stuff....

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(hi fizzy)

 

I think that concentrating on categories overlooks what is missing from Waymarking.

 

What's missing from waymark locations is a shared sense of what to do at a location.

 

With geocaches you find and sign the log. with virtuals you email *something* back to the owner. With webcams you upload your picture. With earthcaches... see virtuals. With locationless you took a picture. In each case there is a clear simple understanding A that you would go there, and B how to demonstrate that you had been there.

 

"I was there" is fundamental to GeoCaching, and it is totally missing from Waymarking. It is what ties the community together. Without it, Waymarking is hollow.

 

I've submitted three waymark locations and logged two. Logging requirements, such as they are, are hidden under a "more details" link that has to be explicitly visited for a category. They can be whatever people want them to be. In one case (star wars) the requirement was stated as "Please verify that the item/location is still there and valid." In the other (BBQ joints) there was NO logging requirement at all.

 

I ended up deciding for myself what I was going to do at each waymark I logged. I've been treating them like photo-virtuals, taking a picture or two and logging them along with my 'log'.

 

Although I can 'make' that work for myself, that really isn't an adequate foundation to build a shared community on. The poorly voiced critique of Waymarking I hear from my Geo-compatriats is that in Waymarking you don't "do" anything, and I believe that this is what they mean.

 

The BBQ place I logged? As far as I can tell the waymark owner has never actually been inside the restaurant. Neither has one of the loggers. If that's ok then why am I even bothering? I don't want to just play "my game" - I want to play a game with other people, coordinated through this website. To do so there needs to be some small set of shared rules. Those are missing, and I would push to restore them while you still can.

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...

Many of the categories dont have any application in my state of Arizona. For instance, berry picking and mushroom patch locations do not apply to my state, nor does lighthouses or civil war memorials. All of those are good categories. Payphones, walmarts, mcdonalds, categories I want nothing to do with, do seem to apply. Im having trouble finding categories Im interested in lately that apply to my state. And since Im not part of any cliques, I cant help but wonder how much that will affect my ability to get a category accepted that I can participate in.

I think you mean that you haven't noticed any categories that you are interested in. You can solve that by creating categories that are interesting, to you.

 

As an aside, a quick google search found that Arizona has an interesting Civil War history . I bet there are some memorials about. I also came up with some places in Arizona to go berry picking, clubs dedicated to mushroom hunting in Arizona, and eight Arizona lighthouses. Just like LCs, it is about finding categories that interest you and then hunting down examples.

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...What's missing from waymark locations is a shared sense of what to do at a location.

 

... In each case there is a clear simple understanding A that you would go there, and B how to demonstrate that you had been there.

 

"I was there" is fundamental to GeoCaching, and it is totally missing from Waymarking. It is what ties the community together. Without it, Waymarking is hollow.

 

... I don't want to just play "my game" - I want to play a game with other people, coordinated through this website. To do so there needs to be some small set of shared rules. Those are missing, and I would push to restore them while you still can.

I could not agree more.

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So what would be a good set of rules then? The rules you outlined above (for caching, webcamming, earthcaching etc.) arose spontaneously from the participants as the games evolved. Can we assume the "rules" for Waymarking will similarly arise?

 

These rules have been adhered to, I believe, because no one shoved them down your throat saying "This is how it's done." They naturally evolved over time because they made sense. And were fun.

 

As you all are the core of Waymarking, you have the advantage of guiding the activity on its logical (and fun) path.

 

-Nate

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Seems that the majority of Categories have the same basic requirement...

 

Take a picture of yourself at the Waymark

 

Often this is augmented with while holding your GPS or another item but not always.

 

The 'Uploaded Image' in Waymarking is the equivalent of 'Sign the Logbook' in Geocaching.

 

:blink: The Blue Quasar

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Speaking of the branding and the initial McDonalds category... it would seem that the more people "pointed out" (aka complained... as I did) that some of the categories were a bit lame and uninteresting, the more people took it as a challange to see who could suggest the lamest category and get a vote... just because of the percieved "anything goes" attitude.

 

I think I share Fizzy's thoughts (feelings?) on the subject.

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I believe the root issue is: whether or not Waymarking is or should be competitive.

 

In a competitive arena, particular performance criteria must be met and proof is required that they were met.

 

More to the point, to some people, the mere existence of 'easy' categories, that are not designed with competition in mind, effectively 'ruins' all of Waymarking because the people who waymark (and log) in the easy categories will get easy stats. So some stats will be 3,000 foot elevation hikes while others will be merely fast-food stops. This is way more extreme than an apples-and-oranges scenario! It is a valid point, even though I'm not 'on its side'.

 

Waymarking just isn't a competitive hide-and-seek game. Instead it's more of a non-competitive finding, visiting, photography, and documentation game. The things to find have not been hidden. It's a different kind of fun.

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Another thought I had about singling out the "best" waymarks would be to do a Featured Waymark of the {Period of Time}, a la Wikipedia. Just a thought.

 

One of the things that concerns me about Waymarking is the initial availability of waymarks. This is probably best illustrated with an example.

 

I'm in Boston. Currently, within 10 miles of 02201 (downtown Boston zip code), there are 189 waymarks. 148 of them are mine. (It's not that I'm the only waymarker around here - far from it - but I happen to have copious amounts of spare time.) The concern I have is that if a casual visitor, cacher or not, looks up Boston waymarks, they'll see a slew of waymarks that reflect my interests, predominantly. I try to be well-rounded in my Waymarking, logging them for categories I have only minor interest in, so as to make the distribution better (and, frankly, because I'm a little obsessive :lol: ).

 

Do others see this as a problem? If you looked at Boston and saw a slew of benchmarks and Massachusetts Historical Markers, would you be turned off if those didn't interest you?

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Waymarking is all about the picture and information sharing.....

what does it look like? what does it say? what do the logs say? what will it be like when i visit?

 

i found a benchmark (on accident) and when i logged it on GC.com, i looked at all the previous logs [it was 'in the area' of a cache and very obvious]. through the pictures i could see how the lawnmower was slowly tearing it to shreds.

 

 

I'm in Boston. Currently, within 10 miles of 02201 (downtown Boston zip code), there are 189 waymarks. 148 of them are mine. (It's not that I'm the only waymarker around here - far from it - but I happen to have copious amounts of spare time.) The concern I have is that if a casual visitor, cacher or not, looks up Boston waymarks, they'll see a slew of waymarks that reflect my interests, predominantly. I try to be well-rounded in my Waymarking, logging them for categories I have only minor interest in, so as to make the distribution better (and, frankly, because I'm a little obsessive :ph34r: ).

 

Do others see this as a problem? If you looked at Boston and saw a slew of benchmarks and Massachusetts Historical Markers, would you be turned off if those didn't interest you?

 

i too have waymarked the 'crap' out of my home city, and also anywhere i visit (passengers do not care for the frequent jerks of the wheel and braking just for me to take some pictures). currently i am in KY for school. do a search for this area code (42259) and all you see IS benchmarks. yes there is quite a bit of other stuff if you click through many pages.

 

as with the 'my waymarks' page, this searching function needs some work.

you should search the zipcode with a resulting of categories, not a 'list by closest' (when are you ever in the center of the zip code anyway?). then if you were in boston and did not care for benchmarks, you could not look at those results.

 

alternatively, if you REALLY hated benchmarks could there not be a function to 'ignore' a category, with it never showing? similar to the 'caches i found' function. (will there be an option to not display waymarks i have found, or to be able to ignore them?)

 

the more of a PITA it is to use Waymarking, the fewer that will use it....yes, there is a core group that seems to be growing more and more everyday, but for how long will they keep using it?

 

my MAJOR complaint is that it is becoming harder and harder to rember all the things i should be collecting to post, with more popping up every day now....i think i missed a vote or 2. how about some sort of new category for approval notification?

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the more of a PITA it is to use Waymarking, the fewer that will use it....yes, there is a core group that seems to be growing more and more everyday, but for how long will they keep using it?

 

my MAJOR complaint is that it is becoming harder and harder to rember all the things i should be collecting to post, with more popping up every day now....i think i missed a vote or 2. how about some sort of new category for approval notification?

 

I couldnt agree more.

 

I was at an event cache last night. One of the other cacher's commented that she rarely logs her cache finds online, due to the fact that she doesnt have enough time to spend online logging. I thought about if the same idea of a photo requirement was applied to caching, what would happen. Would people decide not to cache? Or would they cache, and just not log online? I"m betting the latter. Same goes for Waymarking, I think. Some may still visit the site looking for interesting locations (mazes, for instance). They may visit the site, but may not bother to log it online.

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Seems that the majority of Categories have the same basic requirement...

 

Take a picture of yourself at the Waymark

 

Often this is augmented with while holding your GPS or another item but not always.

 

The 'Uploaded Image' in Waymarking is the equivalent of 'Sign the Logbook' in Geocaching.

 

I personally try to avoid picture requirements on any category I start for the sole reason that I don't have a digital camera and thusly I can't log or anything these ones which require a picture. (If any of you who require pictures on categories that shouldn't require it, please send me $150 for a digital camera since you seem to have the idea that everyone has the spare cash to spend on these things... I'm a college student, I sometimes would like to have money in order to eat)

 

I have taken it personally that people have put up McDonald's and Wal-Mart in this site and thusly visit the new categories section on almost a daily basis so that I can vote down any chain restaurant, store, etc category. I haven't figured out a reason for why these categories should exist here except maybe someone wants a category but can't think of an idea.

 

I like the ideas to have a feature to automatically email you upon new peer review category. I like the idea of featured waymarks/categories. And I like the idea of totally ignoring certain waymark categories that you have no interest in to clear out the bloat of a search result.

 

I think one of the bigger problems this site may not quite face yet, but will face if people continue adding categories is bloat. This site has the potential to have far too much. Which means a few things... either there needs to be more restrictions to get a category in the site, there needs to be higher standards by the community on what we vote in, and vote everything else nay in peer review (only vote yea on things that YOU find interesting not things you think someone else may find interesting, the problem with how it is currently worded is that there are 6.5 billion people on the planet and someone will likely be interested in ANYTHING, if we vote yea on what we would be interested in and nay on what we wouldn't, or abstain from maybe local historical marks that won't affect us, then we will get more accurate categories of what the community wants), or there needs to be some better filtering logic. The arrow up thing is nice, but what about popularity, or new, or ignore, etc in conjunction with other filters (comboing arrow ups with ignores and new category so that you won't see unpopular when looking for new). One other issue with the arrow system of filteration that I've noticed with myself is that I will only vote on a category I like or really really really despise (such as McDonald's and Wal-Mart). I won't go through every category and vote down on it if I don't like it, or even hate it. I don't have that kind of time (especially since there are multiple pages that I seem to have to mark it on... why not just have it on the initial page like bookmarking a waymark?). Can we have an option to perhaps arrow down everything as a default and then the things that get arrowed up would actually mean those are the liked categories, not just the ones that aren't especially heinous? The way it is now will give no sense of how well liked a category actually is for the most part, just how annoying it is to arrow down everything....

 

I also agree with the sense of doing things... one of the reasons I don't like the McDonald's category is that I have no interest in going to every McDonald's I pass on the road. And yes I can ignore them, but to me part of what this should be is a fun game where I want to look at all the cool things that are out there in the world. What is cool about McDonald's... that you can essentially ditch your kid there for an hour? And why does this mean that we should want to visit this place? I personally have a video arcades, moreso because they are dieing than anything else and I would like to know where they are because they are increasingly more difficult to find. This is as corporate as I'll get... my other categories (such as the one I'm currently trying to get through Building Buildings) are more games, something to do, something cool. I don't get that sense on a lot of waymarks... I can't even visit pikachu sightings....he won't be there more than once likely if it really is just a sighting.

 

The rules for geocaching may have come over time, and maybe these are growing pains. But at a certain point it seemed that geocaching.com actually integrated these rules to a certain extent. Why is it that the feeling I get from the Waymarking.com staff is that "we won't establish rules" ever? I understand if we ar ein growing pains, but I don't even get the feeling that if the community decided on rules that Waymarking would back up the community.

 

since this is a somewhat related note... I personally would like to see a way to get rid of horrible categories... perhaps if a category has a certain percentage of down votes for a couple of weeks (say 66-75% down for 2 weeks) the category will go on probation. If after another 2 weeks the category can't change the percentage then it is removed from the site. (the owner could try to muster up the category again after maybe a month downtime and if he can get it past peer review, then it starts over... to do this maybe the owner would still have the category name so no one else could use it, it just wouldn't show on the site, some sort of temporary holding area). This would solve two problems at once. It would help reduce bloat, and it would help get rid of some unwanted categories (this is a bigger problem for categories such as McDonald's which never had to go through the peer review process). Currently there isn't a way to remove a category if the community wants. Maybe there should be... even if a category gets through peer review, the community is dynamic... people in it will change as time goes by... and because of that... ideas of what category is acceptable will change... this site should be able to reflect that.

Edited by Razak
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There are interesting examples of McDonald's restaurants... they are the exception. They are worth Waymarking for their uniqueness alone.

 

I disagee about the idea of archiving Cateogries that have low appeal... the game is too new to be worrying about that. How would you define that? Is the Category showing little growth because finding an example is challenging (like Land Locked Lighthouses), or because very few people are interested in it? How can you tell?

 

Just because everyone has piled on the "McDonald's Category is lame" bandwagon, doesn't mean it is the only one... bet there a few more in the 10% range... but we need to create Categories of interest... then the rest will sort itself out.

 

:ph34r: The Blue Quasar

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There are interesting examples of McDonald's restaurants... they are the exception. They are worth Waymarking for their uniqueness alone.

 

I have said for months that I agree that some McDonald's are worth marking, but no where near all of them are. I am sure someone creative could come up with a category, without McDonald's in the name in which some of the cooler McDonald's could be listed. (I can think of "Fast Food Aquariums" off the top of my head). But i don't like the blanket category, most McDonald's aren't worth visiting for food, let alone for fun.

 

I disagee about the idea of archiving Cateogries that have low appeal... the game is too new to be worrying about that. How would you define that? Is the Category showing little growth because finding an example is challenging (like Land Locked Lighthouses), or because very few people are interested in it? How can you tell?

 

My suggestion explained this. It wouldn't be based on how many people visit it, how many people up it, or even down it, or how many waymarks are in it. It would be based purely on the percentage of ups and downs (you could even give a new category immunity for like 3 months while people visit it, and perhaps even add that a category nees at least 15 or so votes in order to get put on probation). If a category gets put on probation after all this, the owner/officers can then go to the category discussion area and maybe promote their category in hopes of getting people to vote up on them. Perhaps they could have a "Probation" category for people interested in making sure the bad go, and the good stay. (For me I would be more inclined to vote up arrow on a category I had no interest in but thought it was a good idea if I knew it was in trouble.) Is my suggestion perfect? no but the idea of having some way for the community to decide if a category should be removed I think is a valid one.

 

Just because everyone has piled on the "McDonald's Category is lame" bandwagon, doesn't mean it is the only one... bet there a few more in the 10% range... but we need to create Categories of interest... then the rest will sort itself out.

 

I for one jumped on the "bandwagon" the minute I found out someone actually made McDonald's a category. And if you read my post, I pointed out two others that probably should go.. Wal-mart and the Pikachu sightings (though I actually think this is a pretty cool idea, I think it should probably go because it is unloggable, I haven't actually voted up or down on this one only because I am on the fence on whether unloggable waymarks should be around)

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I won't argue that there aren't some lame Categories out there...

 

But they aren't hurting anything either...

 

Instead of removing them, or using the Filter option (which I personally don't like)... maybe there could be (or maybe there already is) an "Ignore this Category" check box.

 

I like to see everything, because I hope that even in the lamest of Category, that maybe someone will surprise me with something that makes me say "Wow... gotta check that out!"

 

Everyone has the opportunity to suggest, propose and possible list and own a Category... I don't think it would be fair to have the community judge it and force its removal.

 

That would drive people away that are making an effort to promote Waymarking. If a Category really is lame and useless, it will get ignored and the Owner will address it anyway, or not...

 

Having Categories "de-listed" is a slippery slope... I prefer the freedom we have now

 

;) The Blue Quasar

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That would drive people away that are making an effort to promote Waymarking. If a Category really is lame and useless, it will get ignored and the Owner will address it anyway, or not...

 

I suppose this begs the question... would you rather scare away people who are just coming to Waymarking? Or those wanting to make categories? McDonald's (and what it means for the site) is already driving away people from Waymarking as the original poster already said. I'm not sure if ditching it would really be driving away that many people here.... I don't mind the majority deciding what is good for the site... it isn't a 51% majority... we are talking 2/3 to 3/4 majority which means the category would need to be pretty bad to get that many down votes. (And its not like Groundspeak would just switch ballet votes like they do in Ohio & Florida) And like I said it would have plenty of opportunity for the onwers to not only stop their category from getting taken off, but also resubmitting if they can later drum up support... it's mostly a way to get unwanted categories out of the way... otherwise this site will just continue to add and add and add and add and add and we will be swiming through hundreds of thousands of useless categories (Which btw too many categories will also drive away potential waymarkers, which is something that needs to be avoided, especially if these categories we are driving them away for are categories most people wouldn't touch with a 20 foot pole.)

 

I don't mind the freedom we have, it is still there, in fact I would wager category removal would be few and far between... like I said most people probably don't even bother putting a down arrow on a category unless they really really hate it... so we are really only talking about a few categories that everyone already complains about.

 

And as much as I'd like an ignore feature as well.. that wouldn't even solve the problem of driving away people who don't want this site to be nothing more than a number whore's corporate wet dream.

Edited by Razak
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Some of this topic is a directory issue. Apparently, to several people, seeing categories in the directory that they don't like is a significantly negative aspect of Waymarking.

 

A possibility is to make it so that someone who doesn't like a category doesn't have to see it in the directory ever again.

 

I'm not a fan of the popularity filter either. I think it should be a calculated number based on usage statistics. I guess that's another topic though. ;)

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I suppose this begs the question... would you rather scare away people who are just coming to Waymarking? Or those wanting to make categories? McDonald's (and what it means for the site) is already driving away people from Waymarking as the original poster already said. I'm not sure if ditching it would really be driving away that many people here...

 

I think it's more about people whinging so much about this category gives it more press. If you shut up about McDonalds already it would certainly help and would be diminished compared to the hundreds of other categories that do stand out.

 

If you're going to hate on Waymarking the laziest thing to do is to marginalize the activity because of one category. It's just a lazy argument for a hater.

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I think it's more about people whinging so much about this category gives it more press. If you shut up about McDonalds already it would certainly help and would be diminished compared to the hundreds of other categories that do stand out.

 

If you're going to hate on Waymarking the laziest thing to do is to marginalize the activity because of one category. It's just a lazy argument for a hater.

 

I'll stop hating the McDonald's and Wal-mart categories the minute they are removed... sorry I can't just take it up the arse and conform for ya brother.

Edited by Razak
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... this site will just continue to add and add and add and add and add and we will be swiming through hundreds of thousands of useless categories (Which btw too many categories will also drive away potential waymarkers, which is something that needs to be avoided, especially if these categories we are driving them away for are categories most people wouldn't touch with a 20 foot pole.)

 

The Internet has too many web sites and some of them are for pretty lame topics (www.mcdonalds.com <_< ). Guess I should stop surfing because I can't find what I'm interested in. Perhaps what we need is GoogleMarking. Then we could have all categories and people could find the categories and waymarks that interest them.

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I'll stop hating the McDonald's and Wal-mart categories the minute they are removed... sorry I can't just take it up the arse and conform for ya brother.

 

I can't. Your head is in the way.

 

(you went there)

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What a terrible world it would be if everything went to a vote and if people weren't interested in it then it would be banished away.

 

(Not) Sorry to say, but I am fully capable of deciding for myself what is of interest to me. I certainly don't need the majority to decide for me.

 

When it comes to the amount of diverse Categories we have, it's doubtful that most people are actually interested in a majority of them for themselves. That would mean the person was quite the "renaissance man".

 

I'll wager that most of the people active in Waymarking are interested in about 5-10% of the Categories, then consider 60-70% as interesting to others and can see why, and the rest as lame and useless.

 

Just rough guesses, but that's what makes Waymarking appealing... the universal options to Categorize a variety of topics to meet the needs of a niche Group.

 

:anitongue: The Blue Quasar

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If you're going to hate on Waymarking the laziest thing to do is to marginalize the activity because of one category. It's just a lazy argument for a hater.

Translation: Customer feedback about what they really think is "hate."

 

Good luck with that.

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