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Can't log a legitimate find


tozainamboku
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Recently and old virtual cache in Hollywood that has been on my "I'll get around to doing it one day" list was archived because of armchair logs. Seeing that I decided that today I would visit and see if I could get the answer. Well, when I try to log I find Groundspeak has locked the page.

 

Well I had a good time finding this virtual finally. And if Groundspeak wants to prevent me from logging it just because of someone else's questionable logging practices that is their prerogative. I think it is a stupid approach to take. If they want to get rid of the remaining virtuals, they should simple announce that as of some date all the virtuals will be archived and locked. From this day forward my GSAK count will not be the same as my Groundspeak count.

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If you will drop me a note with the GC Code (GC?????) of the cache I'll take a look at the situation for you.

 

In general, virtual cache pages are only archived and locked in cases where the cache owner has not been maintaining the cache page by removing bogus logs. Again, this is a general statement and I will look at your specific case if you would like.

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Toz, I dare you to start a thread in a certain foreign forum section entitled "Greetings From California." Let them know of the direct impact which google-raping virtuals can have on legitimate finders.

 

I understand the application of the "Cache Maintenance" guideline as was done here, but I do wish to make two observations:

 

1. At some point, shouldn't it be the armchair loggers being punished, rather than their "victims?" Like, suspend their accounts until the armchair finds are deleted -- since fair warning was given months ago.

 

2. Consider eliminating the "Cache Maintenance" guideline as it applies to virtual caches. That would bring it in line with the recent decision to keep publishing earthcaches without applying the same Cache Maintenance guidelines that are applied to geocaches, especially virtual geocaches.

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Well, the locking of the pages needs to happen, because it's been shown that the archival of the cache has zero effect on the European armchair logs. I could take some time and find some links if anyone challenges me on this. :D Sounds like you're going to be good though Toz, talk about customer service.

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It would seem that the "free for all" attitude that you so often advocate in the playing of this little pastime does not apply to the good folks running the website and their decision making. The way others play has finally had a direct effect on you and you are not happy.

 

And still they have made the extraordinary kind step of offering to make it right.

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Cache Owners have a responsibility to do proper maintenance and some virtual owners don't appear to care so the frog is forced to lock them.

 

There are guidelines about virutals and if the CO doesn't want to comply then the locking is appropriate.

 

Don't know what you are talking about for Earthcaches. They do have guidlines and most of the ones I have done have requirements that can't be done from the armchair. The National Geographic Society has some pretty tough standards before they approve them.

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1. At some point, shouldn't it be the armchair loggers being punished, rather than their "victims?" Like, suspend their accounts until the armchair finds are deleted -- since fair warning was given months ago.

Yes!!!!! Punishing the innocent is counter-productive.

 

2. Consider eliminating the "Cache Maintenance" guideline as it applies to virtual caches. That would bring it in line with the recent decision to keep publishing earthcaches without applying the same Cache Maintenance guidelines that are applied to geocaches, especially virtual geocaches.

I've been arguing for this point of view for years. "Maintenance" is never required for virts; if the thing they are pointing to goes away, the virt should just get archived.

 

If Toz starts that thread, I'll go contribute!

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"Maintenance" is never required for virts; if the thing they are pointing to goes away, the virt should just get archived.

I'm no virt expert, (only found 5), but maybe the maintenance Groundspeak mentions would be the archival?

If the object goes away, the owner should be the one doing the archival.

If the owner no longer plays, they might not know, or care, that the object is no longer there.

Then it falls on the community to fix the problem, instead of the owner.

 

(just typing out loud...)

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1. At some point, shouldn't it be the armchair loggers being punished, rather than their "victims?" Like, suspend their accounts until the armchair finds are deleted -- since fair warning was given months ago.

 

2. Consider eliminating the "Cache Maintenance" guideline as it applies to virtual caches. That would bring it in line with the recent decision to keep publishing earthcaches without applying the same Cache Maintenance guidelines that are applied to geocaches, especially virtual geocaches.

 

I fully support suggestion #1. That would pretty much stop the armchairing.

 

Number 2 I'm not so sure about. Virtual caches fall under The Grandfather Limited Protection Act. If the cache owner has left the game or is otherwise not maintaining the logs then the I have no problem if the virtual gets archived if that particular cache is being abused.

 

I don't think there is a need for a sweeping search and destroy program but if some abuse complaints come in about substantial bogus logging or if the object of interest has been removed then the cache most likely should be sent to the virtual boneyard.

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At least now when someone says "and that hurts you how?" in an armchair logger thread, you can point them to this thread.

The fact that armchair loggers have been logging this cache for years did not, in fact, hurt me. All the time people were posting "Greetings from Germany" the cache was still there waiting for the day I finally decided to stop and find it. And it was there for all the tourist (including many from Germany) who visited over the years and found this cache. What hurt was Groundspeak archiving the the cache just because they feel the need to stop couch potato logs.

 

I still am of the opinion that while couch potato caching is not geocaching it is an alternative game that can be played on the website without interfering with anyone doing real geocaching. It was generally pretty clear which logs were couch potato logs. And given the nature of this virtual, the cache wasn't going to disappear or the verification answer change. The fact that the owner wasn't active to do maintenance didn't really effect the cache much. In fact the owner had set this up with a Certificate of Achievement that you download an open with a password that is the answer to the verification question. The use of the certificate is likely what cause the cache to be added to lists of armchair virtuals. I actually agree that a Certificate of Achivement should not be the condition for logging a virtual. (This was part of the guidelines for virtual caches at the time they were grandfathered though probably not at the time this cache was published).

 

As it turns out, I believe that Groundspeak was right in archiving this cache - not because it was being armchair logged - but because the cache owner had not logged in over a year and because they used the Certificate of Achievement as a substitute for answering verification emails. However Sandy's log doesn't say this. Instead she archived the cache because it "allows for cachers to find the correct answer without actually going to the cache location." Unfortunately this is true for most virtuals that use a question instead of photo verification.

 

I was aware of this virtual since I started geocaching. It predates my join date. And recently because of some caches that were placed for an event, I found a bunch of caches in the area. There was a small group of cache left in the area that I had planned to find some weekend before the end of the year and then this virtual which has been on a "I'll eventually get around to doing this" gets archived. I not really so angry at not being able to log it (and I've gotten emails from several reviewers offering to unlock the cache so I can post my find) as much as it being archived due to this Groundspeak policy. There have been plenty of caches (even puzzles that I has solved but not yet found) that have been archived by their owner when they went missing or destroyed. Even one where a cache owner decided that since nobody was finding the puzzle he would archive it and change it to a traditional. In these cases, I felt that I snoozed and didn't find the cache when I had a chance so I might be disappointed but no big deal.

 

So what's going on here. I don't really care that this cache was archived per se. When I saw it was archived, I knew I could still go find it. So I began to plan how I was going to post my "real" find and complain about Grounspeak's policy doesn't punish couch potato loggers as much as real geocachers who would still like to find the few remaining virtual caches. But Groundspeak had locked the page. So I couldn't make my log and instead came here. But I should know already that the forum regulars would support Groundspeak's archiving of this cache and even repeat how this is the only way to stop couch potato log. If it were only a 5 star difficulty caches that had 26 DNFs and got archived before I FTF it. Then I would get some support. :D

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Toz, I dare you to start a thread in a certain foreign forum section entitled "Greetings From California." Let them know of the direct impact which google-raping virtuals can have on legitimate finders.

 

I understand the application of the "Cache Maintenance" guideline as was done here, but I do wish to make two observations:

 

1. At some point, shouldn't it be the armchair loggers being punished, rather than their "victims?" Like, suspend their accounts until the armchair finds are deleted -- since fair warning was given months ago.

 

2. Consider eliminating the "Cache Maintenance" guideline as it applies to virtual caches. That would bring it in line with the recent decision to keep publishing earthcaches without applying the same Cache Maintenance guidelines that are applied to geocaches, especially virtual geocaches.

 

I agree with #1

 

Maybe I'm not understanding what you mean by "Gache Maintenance" guideline, there may be instances where a virutal caches is unavailable due to temporary construction work or some other reason which prevents someone for getting to the posted coordinates in order to satisfy ALR requirements that are still allowed for virtuals. In that case, a virtual cache might be disabled longer than what reviewers generally deem as an acceptable amount of time.

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2. Consider eliminating the "Cache Maintenance" guideline as it applies to virtual caches. That would bring it in line with the recent decision to keep publishing earthcaches without applying the same Cache Maintenance guidelines that are applied to geocaches, especially virtual geocaches.

I've been arguing for this point of view for years. "Maintenance" is never required for virts; if the thing they are pointing to goes away, the virt should just get archived.

 

If Toz starts that thread, I'll go contribute!

I disagree that virts don't require maintenance.

 

As the owner of a virt, I have had to temporarily disable it a few times because the location wasn't accessible. I've physically checked it to make sure that the area was back open and to dispel an internet myth that the object no longer existed. I've deleted several logs that were clearly bogus.

 

While it's true that I've never replaced the container or traded out a full logbook, I have maintained it.

Edited by sbell111
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1. At some point, shouldn't it be the armchair loggers being punished, rather than their "victims?" Like, suspend their accounts until the armchair finds are deleted -- since fair warning was given months ago.

Yes!!!!! Punishing the innocent is counter-productive.

 

2. Consider eliminating the "Cache Maintenance" guideline as it applies to virtual caches. That would bring it in line with the recent decision to keep publishing earthcaches without applying the same Cache Maintenance guidelines that are applied to geocaches, especially virtual geocaches.

I've been arguing for this point of view for years. "Maintenance" is never required for virts; if the thing they are pointing to goes away, the virt should just get archived.

 

If Toz starts that thread, I'll go contribute!

I disagree that virts don't require maintenance.

 

As the owner of a virt, I have had to temporarily disable it a few times because the location wasn't accessible. I've physically checked it to make sure that the area was back open and to dispel an internet myth that the object no longer existed. I've deleted several logs that were clearly bogus.

 

While it's true that I've never replaced the container or traded out a full logbook, I have maintained it.

The maintenance issue on this and other virtuals tends to be different. This cache was archived because it "allows for cachers to find the correct answer without actually going to the cache location." The old requirements for a virtual stated

There should be one or more questions about an item at a location, something seen at that location, etc., that only the visitor to that physical location will be able to answer. The questions should be difficult enough that it cannot be answered through library or web research. The use of a "certificate of achievement" or similar item is not a substitute for the find verification requirement.

Caches that don't comply with this guideline apparently require maintenance in order to be brought into compliance. However, I am puzzled by why Groundspeak treats them differently than other caches that require maintenance.

 

First off, I don't know when this became part of the guidelines for virtuals. Clearly is was added to control the listing of virtuals that could be armchair logged. Were not existing virtuals grandfathered at the time? This seems like adding of a new guideline, grandfathering existing caches, and then later saying that the guideline does apply to existing caches.

 

The primary difference seems to be the immediate archiving coupled with the policy that grandfathered type caches cannot be unarchived. Most of the time a reviewer sees a cache needs maintenance he/she will post a note that the cache is in need of maintenance and the the CO must bring the cache into compliance in a reasonable time or the cache will be archived. The reviewer then give the owner a few weeks to fix the problem and only archives the cache if the cache owner does not do the maintenance. Even if the cache is archived, the reviewers leave notes stating the cache will be unarchived if the CO provides evidence that the cache has been maintained. (I will point out that I just got a notification of a cache that was archived by a reviewer that just says "Archived." This is probably a fallout of the thread from a couple weeks ago where the cache was archived because "there has been no cache to find for months/years".) With virtual caches there is no warning to bring the cache into compliance and no ability to get the cache unarchived. Virtual cache owners are being held to a different standard than physical cache owners for some unknown reason.

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...That would bring it in line with the recent decision to keep publishing earthcaches without applying the same Cache Maintenance guidelines that are applied to geocaches, especially virtual geocaches.

 

Can somebody point me to a thread or a link that discusses this recent decision and exactly what it means?

 

I believe it's probably buried in the following thread somewhere:

 

CHANGES TO (Earthcache) SUBMITTAL PROCESS

 

geoaware (the Earthcache Reviewer for the uninitiated), kind of eludes to the issue in this post (but there may be other mentions of it further along):

 

General comments on vacation rule changes.

 

Edit to add: It appears that the Vacation Rule issue has been resolved and is discussed in a separate thread somewhere.

Edited by Touchstone
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The primary difference seems to be the immediate archiving coupled with the policy that grandfathered type caches cannot be unarchived. Most of the time a reviewer sees a cache needs maintenance he/she will post a note that the cache is in need of maintenance and the the CO must bring the cache into compliance in a reasonable time or the cache will be archived. The reviewer then give the owner a few weeks to fix the problem and only archives the cache if the cache owner does not do the maintenance. Even if the cache is archived, the reviewers leave notes stating the cache will be unarchived if the CO provides evidence that the cache has been maintained. (I will point out that I just got a notification of a cache that was archived by a reviewer that just says "Archived." This is probably a fallout of the thread from a couple weeks ago where the cache was archived because "there has been no cache to find for months/years".) With virtual caches there is no warning to bring the cache into compliance and no ability to get the cache unarchived. Virtual cache owners are being held to a different standard than physical cache owners for some unknown reason.

There were two warning notes posted to the cache page, asking the owner to take action. The listing was archived for lack of maintenance because the owner disregarded those warnings and took no action. That is consistent with a physical cache. It's inconsistent, however, with earthcaches - which ought to be a better analogy since they are virtual. I would accept a system where both types of non-container caches were held to the same Cache Maintenance guideline, whatever it might be.

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Recently and old virtual cache in Hollywood that has been on my "I'll get around to doing it one day" list was archived because of armchair logs. Seeing that I decided that today I would visit and see if I could get the answer. Well, when I try to log I find Groundspeak has locked the page....

 

Well now, isn't it up to the owner to decide what logs are bogus? Plus with the new rules allowing all logs that fit the criteria (signed log, answerd question) it would seem that archiving a virtual that can still be found is a tad premature.

 

I know the "answered question" isn't on the anti ALR list, but the spirit is there. Now if Groundspeak truly wanted to act like the cache owner they would delte all the bogus logs that caused the problem they are archiving the cache over. IF they aren't, apparently there isn't quite enough of a known problem to take action, even though they are.

 

There is some inconsistancy here that's punishng the innocent to forever capture the logs of the guilty.

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I just discovered that there was a virtual cache near the Dolphinarium. It had been archived a few years back. I checked to see if it could still be logged. It is locked. I would presume that that is because the CO has been banninated. Since, like most virtuals, there was a question to be answered, and the CO was banninated, he would not be able to receive the e-mail with the answer, not respond to that e-mail.

The question appears to be cache maintenance. That CO was unable to maintain the cache logs properly.

The problem with the cache that the OP mentions also appears to be a lack of maintenence of cache logs. The CO was permitting (or not deleting) bogus cache finds.

I can think of two caches that I have searched for, that were not available for eight or ten months. Yet, the COs permitted people to continue to log them. Even encouraging them to do so. I considered that to be a bad example of cache maintenance.

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It would seem that the "free for all" attitude that you so often advocate in the playing of this little pastime does not apply to the good folks running the website and their decision making. The way others play has finally had a direct effect on you and you are not happy.

 

And still they have made the extraordinary kind step of offering to make it right.

 

Puritan

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