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Weekly Cache Notification Overhaul


Jeremy
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I sure wish you could put the wheels back on the old Bot. Caches arrived sorted closest to furthest, which, with the way gas has been the last year, meant a lot to me. The first cache in today's list is just short of 200 miles away :tired:

 

Never mind. I figured out that events came first, then the caches listed nearest first.

 

Sam aka csmkersh

Edited by csmkersh
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I sure wish you could put the wheels back on the old Bot. Caches arrived sorted closest to furthest, which, with the way gas has been the last year, meant a lot to me. The first cache in today's list is just short of 200 miles away :tired:

 

Sam aka csmkersh

Mine are in order by distance. :blink:

 

However, EVENTS are now listed separately, and ordered by DATE instead of distance. Is that perhaps what you're seeing?

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Enjoyed reading this thread after getting the new weekly mail.

 

I like all the data, the links, the GC #'s, etc. What would be sweet would be to click a link to get a PQ of the "mega events in this email", "events in this email", "caches in this email" that would be system generated PQs and only available for a week at which time the system would replace what would be returned with the NEW weekly announced data.

 

:tired: Like LoBot.

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I use linefeeds for the email which we used in the old version. You didn't have the same problem with the old emailer?

 

I hae the same formatting problem - the old notifications were correctly formatted but the one I received today is decidedly short on LF ...

 

What I got looks like this:

In this email (from 10/26/2006 to 11/2/2006) ----------------------------- 1. Email Bot Maintenance 2. Instanotify Service Out of Beta! 3. Upcoming Events (21 total) 4. Recently Published Geocaches (34 total) Email Bot Maintenance ----------------------------- The gears on our old email bot finally seized up last week so we had to scramble to develop a new bot to keep you updated about new caches and events in your area. LoBot - short for Location Bot, is our new mail robot. He's still a little oily behind the ears but we'll be updating him over the next few weeks. If you have any comments or ideas feel free to post it in the forums. http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=147765 Instanotify Service Out of Beta! ----------------------------- A Premium Member feature, the Instanotify service (almost) immediately sends an email when a cache has been logged. For each notification you choose a cache type, log type and radius to monitor. One popular log type is "published" which will notify you when new caches have been published near you. This can give you a (un)fair advantage over other "first to find" hounds.

 

This week we decided it has been working well for long enough to remove the "beta" tag. Additionally we raised the limit on the number of notifications from 20 to 40, and added the log types "found" and "not found." Depending on the popularity of geocaching in your area we would recommend keeping your number of notifications low. http://www.geocaching.com/notify Upcoming Events (21 total) ----------------------------- 1. (GCYXTK) Geocky Adopt a Highway Trash Pickup 2006 #2 (Cache In Trash Out Event) Location: Kentucky, United States Date: 11/5/2006 Posted by: GEOCKY http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...ed-221eac4b615f 91.9mi SW (148km SW) 2. (GCYNGW) November 7th, "Maumee Style - NWOGEO <snip>

 

Hope you can fix this as I am unlikely to struggle through this very often

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I have mine set by postal zip code, which is set correctly. I also correctly got notified of caches in Illinois before.

 

The zip code changed here awhile back, would that mess things up with the changes on your end for some reason? I know that many online places don't seem to recognize my new zip code (including my own area voting guide!). I could try changing it back to the old zip code, which is for the town next to me.

Edited by carleenp
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Also, just a minor hijaack of the OP... are you guys scanning the e-mail for viruses before sending them with Symantec? I've got a flame ready to go to my ISP for blocking the message because it couldn't be scanned and want to be sure I slap the right nose... I mean inform the right department. :tired:

 

It's just a text message. I can't see how a virus could be included in the emailer.

I know. I'm just getting my ducks in order.

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I use linefeeds for the email which we used in the old version. You didn't have the same problem with the old emailer?

 

it's different - my normal email program - Eudora - just runs it all together.

I opened the file with my hex editor and looked at the hex...

 

yup - just the "0A" - which is a unix type line delimter,

but the PC/DOS world really likes to see the CR/LF combo - "0D/0A"

---

--------

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How about a link to a Monthly survey/results? It would be interesting to see what the geocaching community thinks about a variety of issues. It would also provide some useful voice of the customer feedback back to Groundspeak.
We are indeed a crowd that tends to like to answer such things as online surveys.

 

While it may seem a good idea, especially from a marketing angle, I personally shudder at the labor hours involved in gathering, organizing, and analyzing that sort of constantly-flowing data.

 

Instead, Jeremy as the benevolent dictator works well enough for me.

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Also, just a minor hijaack of the OP... are you guys scanning the e-mail for viruses before sending them with Symantec? I've got a flame ready to go to my ISP for blocking the message because it couldn't be scanned and want to be sure I slap the right nose... I mean inform the right department. :tired:

It's just a text message. I can't see how a virus could be included in the emailer.

Mine arrived with the following text at the very top:

This message has been processed by Symantec's AntiVirus Technology.

 

Unknown00000000.data was not scanned for viruses because too many nested levels of files were found.

 

For more information on antivirus tips and technology, visit

http://ses.symantec.com/

From: "Groundspeak LoBot Mailer" <noreply@geocaching.com>

Date: November 2, 2006 12:19:51 PM PST

To: BLAHBLAHBLAH@comcast dot net

Subject: [GSP] Groundspeak Weekly Notification

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Mine arrived with the following text at the very top:

This message has been processed by Symantec's AntiVirus Technology.

 

Unknown00000000.data was not scanned for viruses because too many nested levels of files were found.

 

For more information on antivirus tips and technology, visit

http://ses.symantec.com/

From: "Groundspeak LoBot Mailer" <noreply@geocaching.com>

Date: November 2, 2006 12:19:51 PM PST

To: BLAHBLAHBLAH@comcast dot net

Subject: [GSP] Groundspeak Weekly Notification

 

I go t the same thing but that is all I got, nothing else.

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Also, just a minor hijaack of the OP... are you guys scanning the e-mail for viruses before sending them with Symantec? I've got a flame ready to go to my ISP for blocking the message because it couldn't be scanned and want to be sure I slap the right nose... I mean inform the right department. :tired:

It's just a text message. I can't see how a virus could be included in the emailer.

Mine arrived with the following text at the very top:

This message has been processed by Symantec's AntiVirus Technology.

 

Unknown00000000.data was not scanned for viruses because too many nested levels of files were found.

 

For more information on antivirus tips and technology, visit

http://ses.symantec.com/

From: "Groundspeak LoBot Mailer" <noreply@geocaching.com>

Date: November 2, 2006 12:19:51 PM PST

To: BLAHBLAHBLAH@comcast dot net

Subject: [GSP] Groundspeak Weekly Notification

That's exactly what I got. I fired off a message to Comcast (my ISP) and they use McAfee with no affiliation to Symantec. I use AVG and they don't use a Symantec engine. This started when the new server was started. The trail leads back to here.

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I sure wish you could put the wheels back on the old Bot. Caches arrived sorted closest to furthest, which, with the way gas has been the last year, meant a lot to me. The first cache in today's list is just short of 200 miles away :tired:

 

Never mind. I figured out that events came first, then the caches listed nearest first.

 

Sam aka csmkersh

 

That thumping sound is my head banging against my desk. :blink:

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How about a link to a Monthly survey/results? It would be interesting to see what the geocaching community thinks about a variety of issues. It would also provide some useful voice of the customer feedback back to Groundspeak.
We are indeed a crowd that tends to like to answer such things as online surveys. While it may seem a good idea, especially from a marketing angle, I personally shudder at the labor hours involved in gathering, organizing, and analyzing that sort of constantly-flowing data.

 

Actually, it's a snap to anybody that is web savvy! :tired:

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I don't think the 100 mile radius for events cuts it anymore. People regularly travel far longer than that to attend events. Only one of the last four events I've attended was within 100 miles of my home coordinates!

 

I would say to list all the events in a state, but that doesn't work well, either. From my home in Pittsburgh, I could attend events in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland, all within 150 miles, but a Philadelphia area event would be outside my normal event range.

 

Maybe a 200 mile radius for regular events? That would likely work around here. In Texas they'd call 200 miles "local." :laughing:

And I'm just the opposite. There's a rather large body of water to my east, and half my event notifications are from Michigan, which, while are within a 200 mile radius, are probably about a 400 mile drive away. I'd love a way to tailor the notices a bit, such as selecting a radius and a state (or states).

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I don't think the 100 mile radius for events cuts it anymore. People regularly travel far longer than that to attend events. Only one of the last four events I've attended was within 100 miles of my home coordinates!

 

I would say to list all the events in a state, but that doesn't work well, either. From my home in Pittsburgh, I could attend events in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland, all within 150 miles, but a Philadelphia area event would be outside my normal event range.

 

Maybe a 200 mile radius for regular events? That would likely work around here. In Texas they'd call 200 miles "local." :laughing:

And I'm just the opposite. There's a rather large body of water to my east, and half my event notifications are from Michigan, which, while are within a 200 mile radius, are probably about a 400 mile drive away. I'd love a way to tailor the notices a bit, such as selecting a radius and a state (or states).

 

I agree. It is easy to run a PQ to find out all the events within 200 miles of you. I would think that the point of the weekly notice would be to remind people about "local" events. 200 miles is not local. It would be interesting to see a survey that shows what percentage of cachers "typically" travel 200 miles to attend an event. :unsure:

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I just got my message - it's almost impossible to read as there are very few new lines in the entire document for some reason.

 

I'm using Eudora 7 to (attempt to) read the email.

 

Same here, except Eudora 6.1

 

Also, the header reads "[WARNING - VIRUS SCANNED] [GSP] Groundspeak Weekly Notification"

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Well, for what it's worth, mine came through just fine. The only virus message I got was the little note AVG adds, way at the bottom. I think it looks exactly as intended and is perfectly readable.

I'm a little embarassed to say because I know it's not cool but I'm using Outlook Express. :laughing:

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We got today's weekly notification OK, although the formatting in the Eudora mail client is kinda weird. Lots of square boxes etc. It's readable, just not very pretty.

 

Although Eudora's HTML renderer is, shall we say, sort of "imperfect", I guess I'd like to see a user option for HTML-formattted email with the expectation that it would be a minimalist kind of html, not so much fancy formatting as to confuse Eudora, just enough to make it readable.

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Am I the only one that doesn't really see a difference? I think it looks pretty much the same as it was. Not that this is a bad thing as I had no complaints about how it looked before. However, if it runs faster then that's all the improvement you need to make it time well spent. The only real difference I see is that I have to scroll past more stuff to get to the actual cache listings. If the email starts shifting the focus from "new caches" to "any new stuff that somebody might be interested in" then maybe it should just be called the Weekly Newsletter instead of the Weekly Cache Notification. I would just hate to see the original intent of the email get pushed further and further down the list. I would rather get two emails... one with just new caches and then one as just the other stuff. Then I can read the newsletter when I get around to it as that info might not get "outdated" as quickly as the new cache list. But that is just me. I'll put my helmet back on and wipe the drool from my chin.

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good morning,

 

i don't know if any of these apply, but here goes.

 

i would like to be able to segregate not only by miles, but also by state. if you live on the border of two states it becomes some what of a hassle to go by miles only..

 

this probably doesn't apply, but i have to try. can someone please change the rating system from 5 stars to a 1 to 100 scale. it would be so much more accurate and easy to caculate. add points for each item and come with a rating of 66 vs 2.5 stars. thanks kiddylan

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Until you can customize you mailing, I'd like to see regular caches come before events. I have to believe regular caches are the higher priority for most cachers.

 

If you do implement customization, can order of subjects be part of that as well?

 

A clearer separation between sections would also be nice (I'm not sure what it should look like exactly).

 

Thanks!

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Keeping Geocaching and Waymarking separate is a good idea to me. I love both of the activities, but I would rather see a Geocaching Weekly Email and a Waymarking Weekly Email. Treat each site as separate sections that fall under the Groundspeak flagship.

 

Adding the options of what to include and what to leave out would be nice too.

 

:laughing: The Blue Quasar

 

p.s. CarleenP... welcome to Ontario, my standing offer of buying a beer applies to you as well! :unsure:

 

Okay... off to buy some Poutine as Stunod made me hungry!

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Well, after 4+ years running we decided to turn off the old code we were using for the Weekly Cache Notification emailer. It was unfortunately so old that the code behind it was bogging down the database and ultimately causing site brownouts. So, I'm back to square one.

 

We currently use the mailer for two things:

 

1. Notification of new caches in your area, and

2. Letting you know all sorts of things, from announcements about new features to ads from our sponsors.

 

It's still going to do both of these, but I'm looking for some other ideas.

 

For example, I'm already planning to separate out the events from the cache types since it makes sense to make them separate. Also, events like Mega-Event Caches will be shown if you are within 1,000 miles instead of the usual 100.

 

We're also planning to add a list of the most recent categories added to Waymarking.com - as we move forward with that web site we'll be adding some more features to integrate some of the info from that site with Geocaching.com.

 

And lastly, we'll be working on more announcements to keep you up to date on the new features and changes of the site. So let me know what else you'd like to know! And if you don't bother reading those emails, what would make you want to read them again?

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p.s. CarleenP... welcome to Ontario, my standing offer of buying a beer applies to you as well! :unsure:

 

Okay... off to buy some Poutine as Stunod made me hungry!

 

I'll remember that. Some of those Ontario events looked fun! :laughing:

 

I'm pretty sure my issue is with the zip code change, it isn't in databases yet. Although why it gave the right area before and not now, and why it suddenly decided on Ontario, who knows?

 

I'm going to set it back to the old zip code and see what happens next week. :blink:

 

Regardless, I like the idea of having events separated from the caches.

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I'm pretty sure my issue is with the zip code change, it isn't in databases yet. Although why it gave the right area before and not now, and why it suddenly decided on Ontario, who knows?

 

For some reason, I think Ontario is the default...

 

The PA Reviewers account doesn't have a default set and the weekly notification was from that area of Canada.

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I use linefeeds for the email which we used in the old version. You didn't have the same problem with the old emailer?

 

All I can say is that's what I'm seeing too.

The boxes did not occur with the old email-bot, they do now. The boxes are always associated with new lines in my case, so perhaps there's an extra character involved (lf and cr maybe instead of just a cr)?

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Where do we report problems with the new Groundspeak LoBot Mailer? We just received our first weekly update with the new mailer and see two problems:

  1. It's sending us updates for California even though we live in North Carolina. The old mailer send us updates for North Carolina just fine.
  2. The forum link "http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=147765" included in the mail doesn't work.

Thanks,

tobysowners

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2. The forum link "http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=147765" included in the mail doesn't work.

Since I just copied that link into my address bar and it worked fine, I'm guessing you mean it wasn't a "clickable" link. Since it is a plain text email, making the link clickable is a function of your email client, and not anything that the sender has any control over.

Edited by Lil Devil
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...

It's sending us updates for California even though we live in North Carolina. The old mailer send us updates for North Carolina just fine.

Its important to remember the site is always a work in progress :) .

Having said that, from this thread it seems like a number of people got the 'wrong' location, for example mine was for Oregon... :mad:

I thought maybe it was something I had somehow done to screw it up, but other people seem to have had the same problem so maybe it wasn't me :( .

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A little late to putting in our comments on this, but a couple of thoughts:

 

1) Actually, we would love to see Waymarking somehow get mixed in on the email. We think Waymarking would succeed much better if it had more integration with Geocaching

 

2) All mega-events should be listed. I mean, people on the East Coast do go to Las Vegas for the annual CES, people on the West Coast do go to NYC to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, the Times Square New Year's ball drop, etc. A mega-event is kind of the geo-caching equivalent of these and even if we don't have to time or means to usually go to the faraway ones, it doesn't mean that others don't.

 

3) Finally, is there a way to sort the new cache lists by direction? One quirk in this part of the country is that "as the crow flies" distances have almost no meaning. We have caches that are <10 miles from us in this sense but are really hour-long drives with toll bridges because they are in NJ or Long Island and major water geography makes them not be a quick and simple cache run. Or they are in Manhattan (about 10-20 miles "as the crow flies"), which means either planning for parking or a costly train ride, so not a "cache and dash" either. Yet we have caches that are 25 miles away in this sense in Connecticut and the lowermost regions of Upstate New York that are quite simple drives from here.

 

I imagine you won't do it, as few other areas really have this geographical quirk (the SF Bay Area and Seattle come to mind, maybe parts of the New Orleans area), but was worth mentioning.

Edited by HaLiJuSaPa
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