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The Mainstream Event Horizon....When, if ever.....


Snoogans
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Gosh, I hope people heard that movie trailer announcer's voice in their head when they read the topic description line under the title of this topic. B)

 

I mentioned something on the Today's Cacher thread that threatened to hijack it, so I decided to start a NEW one.

 

This quote has been edited to fit the new topic:

 

A whirlwind of changes for our sport are on the horizon once geocaching crosses the event horizon toward becoming mainstream.

 

We must all face the fact that GC.com, in its present form, may not last forever.

 

If at some point geocaching were to become a mainstream activity, meaning millions of geocachers worldwide geocaching on a daily basis, someone would NEED to step in with loads of money and resources that the current powers that be don't possess. We're talkin' sell out, or die, and possibly BOTH, plus a much deserved payday for the folks that have brought us thus far. Can the Groundspeak shareholders/partners give a hearty CHA-CHING!!!?

 

Anyone up for Google cachin'? Microsoft Cachin'? Disney Cachin'? No, I'm not privy to inside information, but remember where you heard it. B) It would take a branch of the resources of an entity such as those to handle geocaching as a mainstream activity and all the possibilities/problems that entails.

 

In response CR wrote:

 

I doubt geocaching could survive going mainstream.

 

I certainly would get tired of replacing caches because a band of folks thought it would be cool to make a competition of how many caches they could raid. The more eyes you get the hobby in front of the more likely it would happen. In the end, the hardcore cachers would go underground and limit access to lists. Many smaller sites would spring up reducing the viability of a single huge project.

 

Geocaching, along with related hobbies, is unique in that the game pieces are at the complete mercy of the public. There is no security except obscurity.

 

Given the rise in visitors who have absolutely no concept of what the hobby is about, I'd immediately remove all of our caches if this site was picked up by Google or some other giant. I suspect that many would abandon the site was caches start disappearing at a much higher rate for reasons that they disappear now.

 

Come to think about it, how many of these mega-sites have core elements that live in the real world?

 

and

 

At this point, further discussion along these lines begs its own thread. Don't ya think?

 

It certainly is a discussion with merit and I really should have clarified "going mainstream" as similar to going "big box." It certainly could get bigger and in front of more people--go mainstream--without going big box and being a real danger to the hobby.

 

(snip)

 

My good buddy T.A.R. wrote this:

 

Geocaching will never become 'mainstream'.

 

How many of your peers give you a blank look when you explain the game?

 

How many people have you personally introduced to the game who still cache? Very few, I suspect.

 

If GPS were free and freely available not a whole lot more folks would join our game.

 

Ed

 

They are all valid viewpoints. They are all speculative in nature.

 

I will hafta go on record as saying "Never say never," because hide and seek is MORE than human nature. It IS nature.

 

What do you think will happen when/if geocaching becomes mainstream?

 

This discussion is far reaching when you think about? Anyone else wanna take the ball and run with it?

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Cut to scene of family eating TV dinners, huddled around the 60" plasma screen TV...

 

- open to familiar shot of older male newscaster reading the latest news from behind desk -

 

GOBBLE insiders hinted that long-time holdout caching website 'Cache Free or Die' was acquired today for an undisclosed sum. Industry observers speculated the buyout was similar in size to last month's deal for Friz-B-Caching, which is still in litigation with the accounting firm over definition of real-world assets. Independent player sources believe this newest deal was accelerated by the threat to deny bandwidth, and have gone overseas in their search for a new non-regulated website sponsor. An unnamed Venezualan government official said 'Reports of a deal with Venezuala to provide a caching website are too hasty for us to comment about, but we stand ready to assist oppressed people everywhere in their struggles to be free of the tyranny of the capitalist marketplace'.

 

In other Sports news, enforcement agents with the Federal Cache Commission announced success in a sting operation targeting players holding geocoins past the mandatory two-week deadline for returning the coins to a cache. FCC agents reputedly have 'chipped' select game pieces to track the culprits to their lairs using the very GPS technology necessary for game play. One hapless Criminal swept up in the first round of arrests claimed the coins were his own, and said this bold move by the Feds meant he was leaving the game for good.

 

Today's Healthy Living report is next, featuring the benefits of subcutaneous GPS transceiver implants for children...

 

- cut to scene of parents slowly turning to look at each other over dinner, with knowing grins growing on their faces as they barely nod assent above the heads of their unsuspecting children -

 

But seriously now - how more mainstream can it be than:

  • Corporate sponsorship of (now) over 15,000 'game pieces'
  • Prizes up to and including new motor vehicles
  • Hardware industries rewiring technology and software to support play
  • Cities (such as Anchorage) targeting geocacher tourism through convention and visitor bureau support (modest, but building...)

There's a point where every 'game' goes beyond what a player wants to invest. I agree with CoyoteRed; when the critical mass is reached where there's too many 'unethical' players, the folks who crave the obscurity are going to go somewhere else (where, I don't know), and I'll be going there with them.

 

IMHO the only way to keep the game the way we like it today is to vigorously educate new players (with longsuffering) in the underlying ethics we perceive necessary for 'good game play'. Don't need new rules - just good mentors not afraid to gently correct boorish or ignorant behavior by new cachers. That's why I volunteer to teach geocaching when the local Parks folks want a 'workshop' - so I can push the Geocaching Creed and the CITO aspect - Trade Up or Trade Even - never 'dumbing down' the game to 'just' finding 'treasure'. Sheesh how I hate that line when reporters start to describe geocaching! End of rant...

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Mainstream status would be horrible for all but a few categories of caches: difficult puzzles, remote backcountry treks, and 'stunt' caches like the psycho series. But it would be a self-limiting problem. Caching would become such a mess that it would drive out current cachers and cause new recruits to lose interest quickly.

 

Worst-case scenario: Caching becomes a fad and is briefly the mess that we all fear it could become. Then the fad ends, and caching returns (mostly) to normalcy. The only permanent damage would be the result of any action we take to try to 'save' our activity from the new arrivals (new 'guidelines,' governing bodies, mandatory training programs, etc.).

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This months edition of my little hometown ISP's e-Newsletter contained a link to Geocaching.com. How they found it and why they decided to display it is unknown to me. But it just shows the word is spreading. I would like the idea of having a few more cachers in my area, but I don't like the idea of this game growing much more than it already is.

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This months edition of my little hometown ISP's e-Newsletter contained a link to Geocaching.com. How they found it and why they decided to display it is unknown to me. But it just shows the word is spreading. I would like the idea of having a few more cachers in my area, but I don't like the idea of this game growing much more than it already is.

 

From my observations:

 

The average new geocacher leaves the game before about 25 finds. I don't think we'll go mainstream in the next couple of years.

 

The average cache lasts much longer than the lifespan of a new cacher.

 

At some point, even if word of mouth stays relatively low, the database of caches will be so huge that the activity will begin popping up regularly on all sorts of radar; Curious muggles asking questions and telling others, Curious muggles calling the cops, Curious muggles finding a cache and calling the bomb squad which gets the media involved, Curious muggle turns into a geocacher, etc. Sure, it's happening now, but with a million, or more, caches in the collective geocaching databases, the frequency of these occurance will rise.

 

We can check the growth, but it won't stop.

 

More folks will sign on and tell more folks and hide more caches and get noticed more often and so on...... At some point, a majority will have at least some knowledge of geocaching.

 

When I discovered geocaching quite by accident, there was a fundamental appeal for me. I was hunting my first cache less than 12 hours later. After attending 69 geocaching events, I can say with authority that's a common thread of conversation. A mutual fundamental appeal for a new and interesting game of hide & seek. Hide & Seek is the very nature of nature if you give it some thought.

 

When a majority of the first world population has at least some knowledge of geocaching, this sport will go mainstream in the blink of an eye and everything that goes with it.....IMO

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I don't see geocaching going any more 'mainstream' than any other outdoor hobby, like hiking, biking, kayaking or mountain climbing. I know very few people that do those things, and yet they're considered to be mainstream. So I don't see any effect. It'll still be a small niche market.

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A few ramblings...

 

I think a good analogy for what may happen is, surprisingly, the frisbee! Flying discs were around for quite a while (just like geocaching has been- but even longer). It then became wildly popular (as geocaching may yet become). Now it is played by many people but maybe not at the levels it was at the height of it being a 'fad' (which may be geocachings fate also).

 

However, the cost of geocaching (and it is substantially more than it first appears) may make it peak before it ever hits the 'mainstream event horizon'. The cost is more than just a GPS and even a membership. There is a substantial time element that needs to be paid too. To say nothing of gas etc.

 

If cache lifespans are outlasting the active lifespan of the cachers who place them, then that is a sign, IMO, that we may well be in the fad stage now. That is afterall what a fad is- people do it because everyone else is, but then many don't stick with it and abandon it after their curiosity is spent.

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Ok, so does 'going mainstream' mean that everyone will geocache? or just that geocaching will be "ordinary or usual; something that is familiar to the masses; available to the general public?"

I really doubt it would ever happen that everyone will geocache, there are few things that everyone does. But being a commonly known thing, I could see that happening. Any hobby/sport that is around long enough gets spread by word of mouth, gets in newspapers and magazines, gets books and websites about it, etc. All things that spread that hobby around.

 

My other question is, when we talk about what will happen to geocaching, is it about geocaching.com (the website) or geocaching (the RASH)? Who controls soccer, or stamp collecting, or horseback riding? Yes maybe there are big leagues/orgs in those things, but anyone that wants to can read a book and buy a soccer ball and play.

As geocaching (the RASH) grows, the participants personal views diverge more and more. This can lead to disputes and eventally break ups. Geocaching (the site) can not be everything to everyone, they have rules/guidelines about many things relating to caches, and does . People that want something not on geocaching.com (either not allowed, or just not done), they can and will continue to geocache (the RASH), but without geocaching (the site). Not every issue will spark splinter sites, but if you have a million cachers, even 1% is a huge group of people. Even if some huge company paid for their own site that could handle a million visitors a day, they'd still have the issues of what to allow, how to allow it, how to run the site, etc (though I think that unlikely since it would probably be a money pit, since it will be hard to charge much for something people could likely get cheaper or free elsewhere). If geocaching (the RASH) reaches a million cachers a day, I think it will be as group split over several sites/groups not one place.

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I could see a couple of things happening as a result of geocaching going "mainstream":

 

(1) When people ask you what you do for fun and you say "Geocaching", they will no longer look at you quizzically and say "Geo-what?" Instead they'll roll their eyes as if to say "You still do that? That's so 2006!" (Kind of like the reaction you might have if you found out that someone you just met is, say, an avid Dungeons and Dragons player :) )

 

(2) In public places, in addition to the "No dogs/No skateboards/No loitering/No littering/No motorized vehicles/No this/No that" it will become common for those in charge of making the signs to include "No Geocaching". Not necessarily for any well-thought-out reasons; just because they've heard of it and don't want to deal with it. Or maybe they heard about a bomb scare in Idaho or something. "Better ban it just to be safe. Don't want to be getting sued."

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I agree with all those that say that "mainstream" geocaching will be just a fad.

 

It takes real dedication to go out, spend significant time, money, and sanity hunting random items in random places. Some stick it out for the long haul, but most will get bored and move on. (That said, I'm definitely in it for the long haul.) :)

 

Will there be negative side-effects to mainstreaming? Possibly, but I'd guess not. Those that are naturally destructive won't waste their time and money buying a GPSr and researching where all the caches are just so they can go and muggle them. Why do that when they can steal, paint graffiti, lie, cheat, or (insert bad thing here B) ) much more easily?

 

It's not like we're putting anything into caches worth finding, and even if we do from time to time, how in God's name would a trouble-cacher know which caches to look in? (I hope the term "trouble-cacher" catches on...I think it's the coolest new term I've ever come up with.)

 

So, I say we just stick it out. Give it enough time, and geocaching will become a relatively common term. But it won't be like football, basketball, fishing, or any other popular sport/hobby/game. And even if it did, how often do we catch crooks destroying basketball hoops? :)

 

Mike (Mike & Kate)

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I think Mainstream Geocaching will be a bit like D&D or the old BBS fad or even the internet itself. If the level of activity picks up enough, the greedy Corporate Types will try to co-opt it conpletely, whilch will fail.. then there will be the media association with "Covert" and "Unsavory" through the mainstream media. Then the paranoid Macarthyites will try to outlaw it, then try to regulate it and control it. Then the media will get bored with it, and will focus on something else like a sudden fad of "Flash Mobbing" and geocaching will drop off the radar.

 

Way back in the 70's this thing happened with CB radio. CB had been around from the 50's. In the 70's, after 2 or three hit songs about about trucking and CB ( "Convoy", the parody "Yovnoc" , and some others, Hollywood started glamourizing long haul trucking with movies like "Smokey and the Bandit", "Convoy"(based on the song), and TV shows like BJ and the Bear, and to some extent "Dukes of Hazzard".

 

By 1976, there were an estimated 6 million CB radios in use, many using illegal modifications, and almost all of them on eith channel 19 or 11. The interference and noise resulting from having 6 million people talking on the same 2 channels mad the CB radios practially useless. Interest faded, and now CB is mainly used by truckers again.

 

I doubt that geocaching will ever reach the extreme fad level that the CB craze did. Public interest will likely peak breifly and fad away as a lot of people try it and simply don't "Get It"

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This is all based on a pretty big "If...".

 

Go to the business center of any town, and ask 20 people "What is geocaching?". You will get back 18 or 19 blank stares.

 

I don't see it going "mainstream" anytime soon.

 

Hmmm..I wouldn't be too sure about that. Everything it seems eventually becomes controlled by the government and or corporate conglomerates. The official *control* will start out small I'm sure. We'll have "moms against crappy caches" parading on Washington to ensure that their children are not subjected to objectionable material in tupperware containers...and then we'll eventually have a few boneheads getting hurt hunting a cache that is beyond their capability and some "concerned citizens" will lobby to require folks to have valid permits to cache...(a fee of $30 valid for 6 months which doesn't include the fee for the certification course). Then there will be a 400 page manual on the times and dates in which caching will be allowed, which age is acceptable to become a cacher, who may be certified as a cacher (felons and marijuana users will be excluded of course).....shall I go on? :)

 

Just got off of work again...my imagination is running without any supervision. :)

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This is all based on a pretty big "If...".

 

Go to the business center of any town, and ask 20 people "What is geocaching?". You will get back 18 or 19 blank stares.

 

I don't see it going "mainstream" anytime soon.

 

Hmmm..I wouldn't be too sure about that. Everything it seems eventually becomes controlled by the government and or corporate conglomerates. The official *control* will start out small I'm sure. We'll have "moms against crappy caches" parading on Washington to ensure that their children are not subjected to objectionable material in tupperware containers...and then we'll eventually have a few boneheads getting hurt hunting a cache that is beyond their capability and some "concerned citizens" will lobby to require folks to have valid permits to cache...(a fee of $30 valid for 6 months which doesn't include the fee for the certification course). Then there will be a 400 page manual on the times and dates in which caching will be allowed, which age is acceptable to become a cacher, who may be certified as a cacher (felons and marijuana users will be excluded of course).....shall I go on? :)

 

Just got off of work again...my imagination is running without any supervision. :)

 

Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I just don't see too much threat of regulation imposed from outside. If we end up with onerous regulation, it will be be self-imposed by the control freaks in our midst. They'll claim to be saving the sport from "inevitable" and harsher external regulation, but you can just sense that they're salivating at the prospect of gaining control over their fellow cachers.

 

I believe that both scuba and skydiving went this route. (I learned scuba when it was still written S.C.U.B.A. and there was no certification requirement.)

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This is all based on a pretty big "If...".

 

Go to the business center of any town, and ask 20 people "What is geocaching?". You will get back 18 or 19 blank stares.

 

I don't see it going "mainstream" anytime soon.

 

Hmmm..I wouldn't be too sure about that. Everything it seems eventually becomes controlled by the government and or corporate conglomerates. The official *control* will start out small I'm sure. We'll have "moms against crappy caches" parading on Washington to ensure that their children are not subjected to objectionable material in tupperware containers...and then we'll eventually have a few boneheads getting hurt hunting a cache that is beyond their capability and some "concerned citizens" will lobby to require folks to have valid permits to cache...(a fee of $30 valid for 6 months which doesn't include the fee for the certification course). Then there will be a 400 page manual on the times and dates in which caching will be allowed, which age is acceptable to become a cacher, who may be certified as a cacher (felons and marijuana users will be excluded of course).....shall I go on? :)

 

Just got off of work again...my imagination is running without any supervision. :)

 

Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I just don't see too much threat of regulation imposed from outside. If we end up with onerous regulation, it will be be self-imposed by the control freaks in our midst. They'll claim to be saving the sport from "inevitable" and harsher external regulation, but you can just sense that they're salivating at the prospect of gaining control over their fellow cachers.

 

I believe that both scuba and skydiving went this route. (I learned scuba when it was still written S.C.U.B.A. and there was no certification requirement.)

 

Mayhaps you're right...mayhaps we're both wrong. All I know is that there are a lot of things that we *used* to do without regulation by any government or agency that we can't do now. Diving is one. Baseball, bowling, football, soccer, the olympics, weightlifting, boxing. Heck..just driving your car is a prime example. (You MUST wear a seatbelt or get a $100 fine)

 

Pick ANY sport or any activity that *may* cause a person harm..directly or indirectly...and you'll find a regulating agency or big brother. Nothing is "use at your own risk". Nothing is "proceed carefully because we're not responsible for your idiot behavior". The goverment says: WE MUST BE SAFE! The heck with personal responsibility.

 

Oh gosh..here I go again...politics and spaghetti do not mix. Must eat.

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I know, I know. But try to maintain some perspective and some optimism. Don't always assume that the worst that can happen is also the most likely to happen. Despite seeing other activities go this route, I'm still optimistic that Geocaching may escape the fate of over-regulation. For one thing, it lacks the pinch point that has allowed the nannies to choke the fun out of other activities. With Scuba, it was air--you couldn't get tanks filled without a cert. With skydiving, it was a ride--pilots couldn't allow their passengers to leave mid-flight without a cert. But Geocaching is sufficiently diffuse as to not present a regulatory pinch point that the enemies of fun can exploit. And it's not sufficiently dangerous to appeal to the usual hand-wringers. I'm optimistic that (other than the Enemies Within) we can fly under regulatory radar.

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I know, I know. But try to maintain some perspective and some optimism. Don't always assume that the worst that can happen is also the most likely to happen. Despite seeing other activities go this route (snipity-snip)

 

Agreed! My posts thus far have been of the fence sitting variety. I don't care for negative forgone conclusions. I love to rub them in folks faces when the gloom and doom fails to materialize as it so often doesn't where geocaching is concerned.

 

Let's do some math shall we? The collective databases of cache listings is ever GROWING. The list of GPS related recreational activities is ever growing. The grass roots feel to geocaching is disappearing. It is spreading and evolving ever faster. At SOME point there WILL be millions of active caches and active cachers. Somewhere in that territory lies the mainstream event horizon.

 

I believe it will happen, but it would take the collective database owners own daily usage data to make an accurate prediction as to when that will be. I'm pretty sure it won't be any time soon, but the moment that point is on the horizon smart money sells out for top dollar (if they can get it) and laughs all the way to the bank. That's what I would do.

 

What lies beyond that is anyone's guess and the purpose of this thread. :)

 

I'm starting to edge toward the camp of the passing faddites given the truth of my previous statement that most new cachers quit before their 25th find. Except for one thing..... (continued in my next post)

Edited by Snoogans
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I know, I know. But try to maintain some perspective and some optimism. Don't always assume that the worst that can happen is also the most likely to happen. Despite seeing other activities go this route, I'm still optimistic that Geocaching may escape the fate of over-regulation. For one thing, it lacks the pinch point that has allowed the nannies to choke the fun out of other activities. With Scuba, it was air--you couldn't get tanks filled without a cert. With skydiving, it was a ride--pilots couldn't allow their passengers to leave mid-flight without a cert. But Geocaching is sufficiently diffuse as to not present a regulatory pinch point that the enemies of fun can exploit. And it's not sufficiently dangerous to appeal to the usual hand-wringers. I'm optimistic that (other than the Enemies Within) we can fly under regulatory radar.

I hope so.

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I think a good analogy for what may happen is, surprisingly, the frisbee! Flying discs were around for quite a while (just like geocaching has been- but even longer). It then became wildly popular (as geocaching may yet become). Now it is played by many people but maybe not at the levels it was at the height of it being a 'fad' (which may be geocachings fate also).

I think Mainstream Geocaching will be a bit like D&D

 

I played D&D & Frisbee as a kid. I did it for the reason that most kids do anything that doesn't particularly interest them or occupy their mind. Peer pressure.

 

Heck, all the other kids were doin' it. :)

 

Actually, D&D did come to occupy my mind for a brief period until I discovered girls. (I like girls alot.) Moreover, girls discovered me.

 

I still like girls. There is a fundamental appeal that females have for me. :) I seriously doubt a day will come when that will pass and I'll move on. :)

 

Sporting clays holds a fundamental appeal for me too. It and Poker are the only real hobbies I had before I discovered geocaching that geocaching DIDN'T replace. If I had the money to spare, I would shoot a round at every opportunity. Poker I can take or leave, but will never quit.

 

Like ME, there is a subset of humanity that finds/WILL FIND a fundamental appeal to the sport of geocaching. Chances are, if you have stuck around here for a couple years, or you are a regular geocaching event hound, you understand my meaning about that appeal.

 

I can take or leave the actual hunting of caches, but I m ALWAYS lookin' for the next great hide. Get it? Hiding is in my nature. I will never quit. I was hiding caches in the Sierras and in the woods near my house as a kid years before geocaching even existed. Hunting is in other people's nature actually more so than hiding. I think.

 

Obviously, there are people who found a fundamental appeal to the previous mainstream fads mentioned, or they wouldn't still be around.

 

Going mainstream will NOT kill geocaching, but it WILL change it.

 

I doubt that geocaching will ever reach the extreme fad level that the CB craze did.

 

I disagree. I think it will be bigger. MUCH BIGGER.

 

Remember, when you think about it, hide & seek is the very nature of nature. It's so basic to human nature that I don't think anyone can fathom how big it could become. (Even if the period is brief.)

 

Public interest will likely peak breifly and fad away as a lot of people try it and simply don't "Get It"

 

I agree, but by then geocaching will be even greater in the sum of its parts. Whom ever takes the database baton over the mainstream event horizon will make tons upon tons of money.

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People still use CB's. Pet Rocks were a true fad.

 

Is scrapbooking mainstream? Is bling bling mainstream? We know what they are but only a few do it. Geocaching at best or at worst will reach that level where people know what it is.

 

At best mainsteam means parks plan for it. At worst mainstream means that Geocaching is added to the long list of "no's" on certain signs on certain parks. "No Loitering, No skateboarding, No Geocaching"

 

Terracachers.org (not Terracaching.com) resembles Mule Ears comments. Guilty as charged. The sky hasn't fallen in, but a big chunk of it hit in Idaho on the Rainbow Bridge. Idaho is one of least regulated and most friendly geocaching states that I know of. They succeded in fining the cacher for a trumped up charge. This is two years after I offered to show the local sherrifs office what it's all about and was given a funny look. Today you can bet they know what geocaching is.

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Sleep in peace tonight, Virginia. Not only IS there a Santa Claus, but geocaching as we know it will NOT explode as did the likes of CB radio or Frisbees. The basis for my perception is this: In the 18 months we have been 'caching, we have taken over a dozen individuals by the hand along on a hunt with us, and told dozens more about our pursuit. Of those numbers, 3, of one household, took up the gauntlet, er, lifestyle. Hardly a mob breaking down the door. The rest greeted us with a condecending smile which said "That sounds nice; what's on TV?" I firmly believe that the reason for this lack of response is the same reason that we, as a nation, are growing ever-more obese, why candidates for public office and informed voters are becoming harder to find, and why home-cooking is disappearing frome the scene: "IT'S TOO MUCH BOTHER". As a preious comment on this thread said, we put a LOT of time in this hobby, and most folks just ain't interested in getting up off of their ....... couch, to go out and DO SOMETHING. Okay, I've had my say, thank you; now it's back to work. ;)

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{snip} As a preious comment on this thread said, we put a LOT of time in this hobby, and most folks just ain't interested in getting up off of their ....... couch, to go out and DO SOMETHING.

 

I agree. Somehow I doubt a geocaching-based Xbox game would be a big seller... ;)

 

Ironically enough, I think I might enjoy a geocaching-based video game. Granted, I'd probably only play in the winter when there's two feet of snow on the ground, but it would fit in well with my golf video games I only play in the winter because I can't golf then either. :laughing:

 

Mike (Mike & Kate)

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{snip} As a preious comment on this thread said, we put a LOT of time in this hobby, and most folks just ain't interested in getting up off of their ....... couch, to go out and DO SOMETHING.

 

I agree. Somehow I doubt a geocaching-based Xbox game would be a big seller... B)

 

Ironically enough, I think I might enjoy a geocaching-based video game. Granted, I'd probably only play in the winter when there's two feet of snow on the ground, but it would fit in well with my golf video games I only play in the winter because I can't golf then either. :(

 

Mike (Mike & Kate)

 

The skinny from Podcacher was that the Geocaching Board Game was pretty fun, so why not? If we go mainstream you can bet dollars to donuts that there will most likely be one.

 

Think about this for those that know what I'm talking about......

 

What added to the replayability of games like Doom & The Mario Brothers games??? B)

 

DING, DING, DING!!!!

 

The added fun was going back through to find all of the hidden stuff! Heck, Doom even taunted you at the end of the level by giving you the percentage of the secret areas you had uncovered during play.

 

I played and played until I got 100% on EVERY level. I never once consulted a cheat book or website.

 

That's the basic premis of geocaching....... Hide & Seek. B)

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Think about this for those that know what I'm talking about......

 

What added to the replayability of games like Doom & The Mario Brothers games??? :)

 

DING, DING, DING!!!!

 

The added fun was going back through to find all of the hidden stuff! Heck, Doom even taunted you at the end of the level by giving you the percentage of the secret areas you had uncovered during play.

 

I played and played until I got 100% on EVERY level. I never once consulted a cheat book or website.

 

I'm playing through Call to Duty: World at War again because on the last level my first time through; I stumbled across a Death Card.... 1 of 13! DOH! Those suckers ain't easy to find. I think I have 6 now. It's basically video geocaching.

Edited by Snoogans
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What if the Obama Girls said they loved to go geocaching?

I'm betting Selective Availability would be safe for a while. :)

Why? I'm betting the secret service is already using military grade GPSr.

Agent 1 carries the Trimble. Agent 2 carries the laptop. Agent 3 does any necessary shrub scouring. Agent 4 opens the caches.

Obama Kids trade swag and hit "Next". :P:D:):)

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This is all based on a pretty big "If...".

 

Go to the business center of any town, and ask 20 people "What is geocaching?". You will get back 18 or 19 blank stares.

 

I don't see it going "mainstream" anytime soon.

 

Hmmm..I wouldn't be too sure about that. Everything it seems eventually becomes controlled by the government and or corporate conglomerates. The official *control* will start out small I'm sure. We'll have "moms against crappy caches" parading on Washington to ensure that their children are not subjected to objectionable material in tupperware containers...and then we'll eventually have a few boneheads getting hurt hunting a cache that is beyond their capability and some "concerned citizens" will lobby to require folks to have valid permits to cache...(a fee of $30 valid for 6 months which doesn't include the fee for the certification course). Then there will be a 400 page manual on the times and dates in which caching will be allowed, which age is acceptable to become a cacher, who may be certified as a cacher (felons and marijuana users will be excluded of course).....shall I go on? ;)

 

Just got off of work again...my imagination is running without any supervision. :laughing:

 

Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I just don't see too much threat of regulation imposed from outside. If we end up with onerous regulation, it will be be self-imposed by the control freaks in our midst. They'll claim to be saving the sport from "inevitable" and harsher external regulation, but you can just sense that they're salivating at the prospect of gaining control over their fellow cachers.

 

I believe that both scuba and skydiving went this route. (I learned scuba when it was still written S.C.U.B.A. and there was no certification requirement.)

 

Don't kid yourself.... scuba diving is no short term fad. I used to work with classes (divemaster certified), and my wife was an instructor. We met through working classes at a local dive shop, one that's nationally recognized even though it's in landlocked Colorado (celebrating their 50th anniversary this year). We still have close ties to the shop owners and their business just keeps growing. They have classes scheduled almost every day of the week.

 

I'm not sure that geocaching will ever reach quite the same level, because it's such a different sort of appeal. But scuba is far from being a fad, and with the right (or wrong, depending on your point of view) marketing I could see geocaching become just as commercialized. People love to play with toys, and a GPS is just another toy. With geocaching, you get to play with your toy without really having to go out of your way if you don't want to.... that would certainly have some appeal if presented in the right way.

Edited by rapriebe
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When a majority of the first world population has at least some knowledge of geocaching, this sport will go mainstream in the blink of an eye and everything that goes with it.....IMO

 

Is Geomate.jr geocaching's hula hoop to the mainstream? :(:DB)

 

I had to go out and get one to find out for myself for the trip to GeoWoodstock VII. :huh:

 

Right now my spider sense isn't tingling.....

 

I'll report more on it after GW7....

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I'm interested in hearing how it really works "out there" - I think my 6 year old may enjoy it (depending)......

 

On first impressions I'd hafta say your 6YO would need to very bright. B)

 

I'm 42 and I can't make head nor tail of it yet, but I've only had it less than an hour. :(

 

I'm headed out to do cache maintenance in the morning... I'll get a feel for it then.

 

The good thing is that we got it at REI and they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. That sucker is going right back for a full refund if I don't have a use for it in the 10 days I'll be using it until I get back from GW7.... :D

Edited by Snoogans
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their are good points to it going "mainstream" or becoming a fad if allot of people are doing this the more time and money corporations will be spent on new tech and ideas creating more options for people lowering prices of current tech and providing better services and in time things will settle but not till after we start seeing benifites

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Take a look at the first few posts in this now 4 year old discussion......

 

Then take a look at what Jeremy posted on Facebook:

Jeremy Irish Last Sunday = busiest day for geocaching EVER. We're staffing all weekend to monitor new performance improvements

 

And it wasn't even a holiday weekend... Just the start of spring.....

 

Since this thread was posted we now have over 1 MILLION active caches on this listing site.

 

From my observations:

 

At some point, even if word of mouth stays relatively low, the database of caches will be so huge that the activity will begin popping up regularly on all sorts of radar; Curious muggles asking questions and telling others, Curious muggles calling the cops, Curious muggles finding a cache and calling the bomb squad which gets the media involved, Curious muggle turns into a geocacher, etc. Sure, it's happening now, but with a million, or more, caches in the collective geocaching databases, the frequency of these occurance will rise.

 

We can check the growth, but it won't stop.

 

When a majority of the first world population has at least some knowledge of geocaching, this sport will go mainstream in the blink of an eye and everything that goes with it.....IMO

 

That was 2006 folks!

 

I am the first official Prophet of Geocaching! Thou shalt have no other Prophets before ME! ;):):D:huh:<_<

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Take a look at the first few posts in this now 4 year old discussion......

 

Then take a look at what Jeremy posted on Facebook:

Jeremy Irish Last Sunday = busiest day for geocaching EVER. We're staffing all weekend to monitor new performance improvements

 

And it wasn't even a holiday weekend... Just the start of spring.....

 

 

Two words. Power trails. Seriously. How long have they been "allowed"? less than a year?

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I have believed since I began playing in 2003 that this game would get big enough to attract Google's attention, at which time they would try to take away Groundspeak's football, either by listing caches as a competing service or by buying Groundspeak.

 

I still think that may happen... and that it will have terrible results.

 

Groundspeak has one huge business asset that has literally built its business for them, keeps the game running, allows it to be free and which serves many other invaluable roles... its body of 100+ Volunteer Reviewers.

 

Their value cannot be overstated.

 

If and when Google or anyone else tries to list caches without those free Reviewers, or with a paid staff of Reviewers, or with Reviewers who do not hold themselves and each other to the highest standards, or far worse without review at all, they will find their Waterloo, no matter how good their computer system may be.

 

Inventing something is hard, duplicating it is easy. I figure Google has such resources (people, money and systems) that they could build a competing, probably even better, certainly better known, cache listing system in just a few months. But that's just the mechanics.

 

I cannot imagine what it would cost to staff a body of Reviewers equal to those Groundspeak benefits from, but I expect the cost would make this a pretty expensive game to play.

 

Sometimes things just come together... serendipity or fate or whatever... and the right people are in the right place at the right time. I believe that magic happened to launch Groundspeak. Replicating that experience would be nigh on to impossible.

 

Thus, along with the original reasons that I mentioned in the earlier post, I stand by my 2006 prediction... geocaching will never go mainstream!

 

EDIT TO ADD:

According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the World Population clock says:

 

U.S. 308,944,707

World 6,810,961,420

23:26 UTC (EST+5) Mar 26, 2010

 

There are ~1 million caches.

 

There are, by Groundspeak's estimate on the home page, 3-4 million geocachers world-wide. (If an 'estimate' can be off by 1 million, doesn't that make it a SWAG?)

 

But say that there are 4 million cachers worldwide... and 6,810,961,420 people. I'm sure that you can see that we're nowhere near mainstream percentages!

 

In fact if all 1 million caches and all 4 million cachers were in the US we STILL wouldn't be 'mainstream' among our 309 million residents!

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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Maybe it's my n00b eyes, but I see plenty of evidence that Geocaching is already well underway to becoming 'mainstream'. It's like Dungeons and Dragons - only a few will ever play it, but almost everybody will eventually know about it.

 

There are references to GPS acronyms in popular media ads, GPSr usage is popping up in television and movies, and just this afternoon I saw a work van with a logo that had the same 4 squares and color scheme as the Geocaching logo. They were an environmental air flow / heating company. Of course the 4 squares had different treatments and slogans etc, but the colors were the same. That tells me that Geocaching and environmental responsibility may already be starting to become associated.

 

For me, when and if the game ever becomes "too mainstream" where it becomes a pain in the rump to play and maintain, I can see hardcore players simply going underground and starting their own sub-groups who hide and seek in smaller, more clique based groups.

 

Just my .02

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If and when Google or anyone else tries to list caches without those free Reviewers, or with a paid staff of Reviewers, or with Reviewers who do not hold themselves and each other to the highest standards, or far worse without review at all, they will find their Waterloo, no matter how good their computer system may be.

Really? Why?

 

I mean because the geocaching database is really a pretty simple database. Google would have the resources to trounce Groundspeak. Also, how many forums moderate posts before the post is displayed? Whatever big box that creates a geocaching database environment could go the route of allowing seekers report caches. I'd say 99% of all sites that allow user generated content do exactly that.

 

Just think, massive server banks with experience in load balancing, a new business model, self publishing in an instant, easy access to data, and it's all free? All of the well-known web sites have many times the numbers of daily visitors than Groundspeak and do a much better job at keeping the data freely flowing. If a big box targeted Groundspeak, Jeremy et al would not stand a chance.

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...There are references to GPS acronyms in popular media ads, GPSr usage is popping up in television and movies, and just this afternoon I saw a work van with a logo that had the same 4 squares and color scheme as the Geocaching logo. They were an environmental air flow / heating company. Of course the 4 squares had different treatments and slogans etc, but the colors were the same. That tells me that Geocaching and environmental responsibility may already be starting to become associated...

References to GPS are a whole 'nother horse than references to geocaching.

 

I don't know any numbers but suspect that GPS units sold for, or even partially used for, geocaching are a very minute percentage of all GPS units sold, and further doubt that the vast majority of GPS users will ever hear of geocaching in a way that gets their attention or involvement.

 

As far as seeing a company with a 4-color logo arranged similarly to Groundspeak's, there is no logical reason to believe that they've ever seen the Groundspeak logo, and even if they had that's such a small sampling as to be irrelevant and not indicative of anything.

 

And, how many people equate the Groundspeak logo to environmental responsibility? My guess would be just that opposite... that muggles see the logo and think "Oh, those are the folks who leave stuff all over the place." <_<

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If and when Google or anyone else tries to list caches without those free Reviewers, or with a paid staff of Reviewers, or with Reviewers who do not hold themselves and each other to the highest standards, or far worse without review at all, they will find their Waterloo, no matter how good their computer system may be.

Really? Why?

 

I mean because the geocaching database is really a pretty simple database. Google would have the resources to trounce Groundspeak. Also, how many forums moderate posts before the post is displayed? Whatever big box that creates a geocaching database environment could go the route of allowing seekers report caches. I'd say 99% of all sites that allow user generated content do exactly that.

 

Just think, massive server banks with experience in load balancing, a new business model, self publishing in an instant, easy access to data, and it's all free? All of the well-known web sites have many times the numbers of daily visitors than Groundspeak and do a much better job at keeping the data freely flowing. If a big box targeted Groundspeak, Jeremy et al would not stand a chance.

Yes, the mechanics of geocaching, as I said, could be replicated, even improved, very quickly by any large development organization. I think Groundspeak is extremely vulnerable now that it has led the way. The business landscape is littered with the bones of visionaries and hard working developers who worked incredibly hard to buil success, then got eaten by a company who could capitalize on their innovation.

 

Without a body of Reviewers such as Groundspeak benefits from, however, I believe that the game would quickly be prohibited by land managers across the board, among other unfortunate results.

 

Look at what is happening with social media... Facebook and Twitter and others, it's like the wild west, a good idea quickly going to dreck. The recent news of flash mobs using Twitter to congregate, riot and disburse should show us the value of Moderators and Reviewers. Unfortunately humans require regulation. <_<

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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...There are references to GPS acronyms in popular media ads, GPSr usage is popping up in television and movies, and just this afternoon I saw a work van with a logo that had the same 4 squares and color scheme as the Geocaching logo. They were an environmental air flow / heating company. Of course the 4 squares had different treatments and slogans etc, but the colors were the same. That tells me that Geocaching and environmental responsibility may already be starting to become associated...

References to GPS are a whole 'nother horse than references to geocaching.

 

The two are more closely associated than you realize. I think it's the breeze before the wind.

 

I don't know any numbers but suspect that GPS units sold for, or even partially used for, geocaching are a very minute percentage of all GPS units sold, and further doubt that the vast majority of GPS users will ever hear of geocaching in a way that gets their attention or involvement.

 

I should have been more specific. I was thinking of hand-helds when I made my post. Car mounted are outside of my personal realm as I don't own one and have no need for one.

 

As far as seeing a company with a 4-color logo arranged similarly to Groundspeak's, there is no logical reason to believe that they've ever seen the Groundspeak logo, and even if they had that's such a small sampling as to be irrelevant and not indicative of anything.

 

You didn't see the logo. Geocaching is very popular around the area I live in.

 

And, how many people equate the Groundspeak logo to environmental responsibility? My guess would be just that opposite... that muggles see the logo and think "Oh, those are the folks who leave stuff all over the place." <_<

 

At least one ... me!

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That was 2006 folks!

 

I am the first official Prophet of Geocaching! Thou shalt have no other Prophets before ME! :):D:huh::anibad:<_<

 

I admit I wasn't around in 2006. I showed up in April 2007, but I was thinking these things within a couple weeks of when I started. It's really not that surprising. Dave Ulmer predicting this in 2000, would be quite visionary. Predicting this in 2006 is hardly that. I should start a thread saying that someday we'll have 5 million caches and then when that day comes I'll bump the thread and call myself a prophet. :(;):anibad::o:anibad:

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Groundspeak has one huge business asset that has literally built its business for them, keeps the game running, allows it to be free and which serves many other invaluable roles... its body of 100+ Volunteer Reviewers.

 

Their value cannot be overstated.

 

If and when Google or anyone else tries to list caches without those free Reviewers, or with a paid staff of Reviewers, or with Reviewers who do not hold themselves and each other to the highest standards, or far worse without review at all, they will find their Waterloo, no matter how good their computer system may be.

When I see all the posts in here from folks wanting to be reviewers, I can't help but think that Google, or some other gazillion dollar Internet industry, already has a ready source for their own free reviewing staff. For many in here, (primarily those who have never been, nor will ever be, reviewers for this site), being a reviewer is a position of prestige. Google could easily use that prestige as an incentive to lure away gobs of folks who felt slighted because Groundspeak didn't pick them.

 

I do agree though, that if that happened, this game would be effectively over.

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