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The principles behind 'canned' reviewer notes


cx1
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From recent topics it seems a big point of concern arises from the use of pre-written or 'canned' reviewer notes. I honestly don't see why these are commonly used because they seem to lead to a good bit of misunderstanding.

Take the most recent thread as an example. A new cacher believes they have complied with what the reviewer wanted when their recent cache was disabled so the cacher re-enabled it. The reviewer then re-disables the cache with a 'canned' note about cache proximity guidelines and states a re-submission will result in archival. This confuses and upsets the new cacher.

But honestly from looking at the log exchange it is obvious that the reviewer knew the proximity issue was with the cacher's other cache. The reviewer also knew the cacher had disabled the 1st cache after the 2nd reviewer note. So really how hard would have it been for the reviewer to simply write a new unique note specific to the issue that was at hand. Something along the lines of...

 

Greetings cacher,

Your new cache is still in violation of the proximity guidelines. Simply disabling your other cache does not fix the problem. You would need to either archive the 1st cache or move this cache further away.

Thank you

Reviewer

 

That would have taken all of maybe 30 extra seconds to send opposed to the time it took for the 'canned' response and would have made a world of difference.

 

So are reviewers encouraged to use 'canned' responses?

Are the 'canned' responses due to an over-whelming work load on the Reviewers?

Could it be argued that a more cache specific response from a Reviewer might lead to fewer problems down the road?

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It was brought to light in said recent thread that there are no GS canned notes. Each reviewer may use their own, but no form letters from GS.

 

I see no problem with this. The resposibility falls on the cacher/hider to know the guidelines. Read first, hide later. I did. No reason why others can't as well.

 

I've found the "canned" responses I've gotten from my local reviewers very helpful and easy to understand. They're straightforward. If I have specific questions or issues, I've gotten very personal emails back that were also very helpful and amiable.

 

Again, read the guidelines, follow them, and there should be minimal if any issues.

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Double-edged sword there, ya know.

 

Should potential cache owners actually read and understand the guidelines?

 

I know, it sounds a little snarky -- but that IS the other side of the blade, isn't it?

 

I read the tread that initiated this one. I could not find that the Original Poster ever asked the reviewer anything. Just took the note the way he/read it, and ran. Dialog helps -- both ways.

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The log you rewrote wasn't a canned note. We don't get people re-enabling caches without fixing the underlying problem all that often, so a typical reviewer wouldn't have a form letter for that situation.

 

The fact that it was a customized note rather proves the value of canned notes, don't you think?

 

Some of the benefits of form letters include:

 

1. Efficiency. Saying the same thing over and over again goes faster when you don't have to type it.

2. Consistency. Saying the same thing over and over again should always be said the same way to every cache hider.

3. Helpfulness. The typical form letter will include a hyperlink to the applicable listing guideline, and perhaps links to other resources like the Groundspeak Knowledge Book page that discusses the issue. Mine all end with a detailed paragraph of instructions on how to respond to the reviewer comments.

4. Courtesy. When a reviewer is annoyed at a hider's fifth straight guideline violation in one day, using a form letter keeps any negative emotions from showing up in the response.

Edited by Keystone
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The log you rewrote wasn't a canned note. We don't get people re-enabling caches without fixing the underlying problem all that often, so a typical reviewer wouldn't have a form letter for that situation.

 

The fact that it was a customized note rather proves the value of canned notes, don't you think?

 

Some of the benefits of form letters include:

 

1. Efficiency. Saying the same thing over and over again goes faster when you don't have to type it.

2. Consistency. Saying the same thing over and over again should always be said the same way to every cache hider.

3. Helpfulness. The typical form letter will include a hyperlink to the applicable listing guideline, and perhaps links to other resources like the Groundspeak Knowledge Book page that discusses the issue. Mine all end with a detailed paragraph of instructions on how to respond to the reviewer comments.

4. Courtesy. When a reviewer is annoyed at a hider's fifth straight guideline violation in one day, using a form letter keeps any negative emotions from showing up in the response.

 

I hadn't thought about #4. I like it, makes total sense.

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I hadn't thought about #4. I like it, makes total sense.

Well, reviewers are only human, you know.

 

Except for the ones who are dogs. Many reviewers are dogs. Which would be a reason #5 for using form letters, I suppose.

Edited by Keystone
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Just to be clear, this is not about the example I gave specifically but rather the use of 'canned' Reviewer notes in general. I could have just of easily used the recent blow-up over the cache in Illinois for my example or some other caches where misunderstanding of the 'canned' note caused problems.

This really has nothing to do with a particular cacher or Reviewer. It has nothing to do with how well a cacher understands all of the various guidelines. It has everything to do with how the Reviewer responds to issues as they develop.

 

Yes I know GS does not give out a specific list of form responses.

 

But are Reviewers encouraged to make use of copy and paste notes that the Reviewers develop?

 

Would it not be better for a custom response to specific issues from a Reviewer rather then a somewhat confusing form note?

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Double-edged sword there, ya know.

 

Should potential cache owners actually read and understand the guidelines?

 

I know, it sounds a little snarky -- but that IS the other side of the blade, isn't it?

 

I read the tread that initiated this one. I could not find that the Original Poster ever asked the reviewer anything. Just took the note the way he/read it, and ran. Dialog helps -- both ways.

true i am guilty as charged.

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Look at it this way.

 

If a reviewer sends a canned response, he shaves a few seconds off that he can devote to a more pressing problem.

 

If he understands, then the reviewer has time to get other things taken care of.

 

If the hider doesn't understand the request, then he can ask for clarification.

 

Canned responses are great time savers for issues that reviewers see time and time again.

 

The only problem I see with canned responses is when they are used for unusual situations.

 

But the situation that prompted this thread was not really that unusual. I know Keystone said reviewers don't see hiders reactivating caches quite like this. But proximity issues are common. And the reviewer note made it clear that there was a proximity issue.

 

Most people would put the two together and at least figure the issue was with the other cache they owned and had disabled. If you didn't understand exactly why it was an issue, then a quick note asking for clarification would clear it up quickly.

 

I've done some similar volunteer work and I can tell you that canned responses are a huge time saver. I also know that the volunteer staff tend to share those responses and each volunteer will adapt them to their own needs/personality.

 

And, as Keystone stated, they are great for getting the point across when you might be tempted to say something more, ummm, to the point. :rolleyes:

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Just to be clear, this is not about the example I gave specifically but rather the use of 'canned' Reviewer notes in general. I could have just of easily used the recent blow-up over the cache in Illinois for my example or some other caches where misunderstanding of the 'canned' note caused problems.

This really has nothing to do with a particular cacher or Reviewer. It has nothing to do with how well a cacher understands all of the various guidelines. It has everything to do with how the Reviewer responds to issues as they develop.

 

Yes I know GS does not give out a specific list of form responses.

 

But are Reviewers encouraged to make use of copy and paste notes that the Reviewers develop?

 

Would it not be better for a custom response to specific issues from a Reviewer rather then a somewhat confusing form note?

 

But it does. If the same mistake is made over and over by a bunch of people who don't read the guidelines, than that is going to influence the way the reviewers respond. I feel that although the reviewers are not perfect (and none have claimed to be) I would be willing to bet that in most instances, descrepencies and conflict are probably the fault of the cache submitter, and the response by the reviewer plays minimal or no part in it.

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Double-edged sword there, ya know.

 

Should potential cache owners actually read and understand the guidelines?

 

I know, it sounds a little snarky -- but that IS the other side of the blade, isn't it?

 

I read the tread that initiated this one. I could not find that the Original Poster ever asked the reviewer anything. Just took the note the way he/read it, and ran. Dialog helps -- both ways.

true i am guilty as charged.

 

Ticon, you just earned a ton of respect from me!

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I'm pretty firmly in the Canned Form Letter Camp, for many of the reasons that Keystone pointed out.

 

But most of all, it seems apparent that it would speed up the process of getting caches Published if the Reviewers aren't tied down with personalized Notes.

 

Let's face it. I don't think any of us got into this sport in order to have prolonged dialogues with Volunteer Reviewers :rolleyes:

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The log you rewrote wasn't a canned note. We don't get people re-enabling caches without fixing the underlying problem all that often, so a typical reviewer wouldn't have a form letter for that situation.

 

The fact that it was a customized note rather proves the value of canned notes, don't you think?

 

Some of the benefits of form letters include:

 

1. Efficiency. Saying the same thing over and over again goes faster when you don't have to type it.

2. Consistency. Saying the same thing over and over again should always be said the same way to every cache hider.

3. Helpfulness. The typical form letter will include a hyperlink to the applicable listing guideline, and perhaps links to other resources like the Groundspeak Knowledge Book page that discusses the issue. Mine all end with a detailed paragraph of instructions on how to respond to the reviewer comments.

4. Courtesy. When a reviewer is annoyed at a hider's fifth straight guideline violation in one day, using a form letter keeps any negative emotions from showing up in the response.

 

Thank you for your list. You posted while I was on my previous reply.

However it is very hard to tell of the Reviewer's custom note in my example was in fact custom (just saying)

 

Often it seems #3 is not followed by all the Reviewers equally. Maybe a specific GS form response might remedy this.

 

As for #4 it would be also possible for the Reviewer to wait 24 hours until their frustration could be held in check.

 

I realize that yes Reviewers are people too (except of course the canine varieties) and as it has been shown here on the forum even some Reviewers are not as well versed in all the minutia of every guideline to the degree that some forum regulars are. So mistakes and misunderstandings are bound to happen.

However, I still wonder if a more personal response opposed to a form response would make dealing with these misunderstandings a little easier on everyone.

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I've received personal responses. I just had to ask for a clarification or produce an explanation first.

 

The only times I have ever had a problem with the review process was when I forgot to leave a review note explaining something unusual about the listing.

 

Being proactive with the communication stream is definitely the best way to go.

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I hadn't thought about #4. I like it, makes total sense.

Well, reviewers are only human, you know.

 

Except for the ones who are dogs. Many reviewers are dogs. Which would be a reason #5 for using form letters, I suppose.

 

Which does bring a question to my mind. Why aren't any of the reviewers cats? Is it because they are to smart to do the job? Or is it that no one offers them tuna fish? Or is it because they would eat the hamsters?

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I hadn't thought about #4. I like it, makes total sense.

Well, reviewers are only human, you know.

 

Except for the ones who are dogs. Many reviewers are dogs. Which would be a reason #5 for using form letters, I suppose.

 

Which does bring a question to my mind. Why aren't any of the reviewers cats? Is it because they are to smart to do the job? Or is it that no one offers them tuna fish? Or is it because they would eat the hamsters?

 

I think it's the litter box smell. Signal is allergic to kitty litter.

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Being proactive with the communication stream is definitely the best way to go.
Wouldn't a specific note be more proactive then a generic one? :rolleyes:

 

I was saying proactive from the hider's side of things.

 

If you've never volunteered for something like this, then you may not be aware of the number of times you see the very same issue.

 

You can either take the time to respond with a personal note to every issue and create a backlog of caches or you can formulate responses to the more common issues and get people's caches approved and people finding caches sooner.

 

Or to look at it another way, who has more time to devote to a particular cache?

 

The reviewer who has limited free time to handle a LOT of caches or a hider who is handling 1 or 2 caches?

 

I submit the hider has more time to allocate to that particular cache. Therefore, it would be in his or her best interest to provide as much information ahead of time. He should also take the time to read AND understand the guidelines.

 

Then, if an issue arises with a reviewer that the hider does not understand, take a few seconds and ask for clarification.

 

Or, come to the forums and ask for clarification if you need a speedier answer.

 

But I really don't see a problem with reviewers trying to streamline the process on their end. There's more work involved than most people realize.

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Which does bring a question to my mind. Why aren't any of the reviewers cats? Is it because they are to smart to do the job? Or is it that no one offers them tuna fish? Or is it because they would eat the hamsters?

We tried using cats for a while. After they ate the mouse and became unable to click the buttons, their productivity went downhill. And the 23 hour naps didn't help much, either.

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I'm going back to the OP here

 

"a big point of concern arises from the use of pre-written or 'canned' reviewer notes"

 

The issue revealed in the recent thread isn't the boilerplate (as Keystone has mentioned, it wasn't a boilerplate note in any case), it's in understanding what the cacher understands or doesn't understand.

 

The recent issue arose around the cacher not understanding that "temporarily disable" isn't equivalent to archive. I've explained this on occasion, only to have the cacher respond, furiously, that I was patronizing them. I generally now assume that the log itself is pretty self explanatory, given that the log type is Temporarily Disable Listing.

 

This does trip up new cache placers rather often. They place caches near or at the locations of disabled caches. These cachers have never used the log and (I'm guessing? ) aren't seeing the listing with its

red : Cache Issues:

 

* This cache is temporarily unavailable. Read the logs below to read the status for this cache.

 

and the "temporarily", as they're looking at active caches only - I guess?

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1,092,192 active caches at the moment, which due to attrition is but a fraction of all caches that have been published.

 

There are, what, something like 100 Volunteer Reviewers?

 

No way can they address every cache listing with a lot of personal attention; they have to use canned messages or they would spend way too much time writing personal messages about the same issues over and over.

 

I can tell you however that of the fifty-something cache listings I have had published a few did need a Reviewer's attention, and it was always quickly and specifically offered, sometimes with a canned note but always with the obvious intent of helping me get my listing into conformity with the Guidelines so it could be published.

 

Based on the number of caches published every day and the rarity with which canned notes cause issues I have to believe that using them is a good practice, and that this is not really much of an issue.

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Cache owners - no matter how new to the game they are - need to take some responsibility for learning the ropes. If reviewers assume that cache owners know the basic site functions, I can see how this particular instance may have looked like the cache owner trying to pull a fast one.

 

Do we want reviewers holding hands and treating everyone like children, or do we want them to be efficient and effective? We can't have it both ways.

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Cache owners - no matter how new to the game they are - need to take some responsibility for learning the ropes. If reviewers assume that cache owners know the basic site functions, I can see how this particular instance may have looked like the cache owner trying to pull a fast one.

 

Do we want reviewers holding hands and treating everyone like children, or do we want them to be efficient and effective? We can't have it both ways.

 

Efficient *and* effective? As I see it, the role of reviewers is to assist others in getting caches published (which implies that the cache falls within the guidelines). If an efficient approach, through the use of canned responses, is not effectively assisting those new to the game, then it's not meeting both criteria.

 

IMHO, I wouldn't mind seeing a little more emotion from reviewers. I've never really had any issues with my local reviewer from from some things I've read it sounds like it's like calling customer service and dealing with an automated phone tree.

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Efficient *and* effective? As I see it, the role of reviewers is to assist others in getting caches published (which implies that the cache falls within the guidelines). If an efficient approach, through the use of canned responses, is not effectively assisting those new to the game, then it's not meeting both criteria.

 

IMHO, I wouldn't mind seeing a little more emotion from reviewers. I've never really had any issues with my local reviewer from from some things I've read it sounds like it's like calling customer service and dealing with an automated phone tree.

 

If someone can't be bothered to read the guidelines, hasn't learned the site's most basic functions, and won't ask for help, there's really not much the reviewers can do but stick to their guns. They're not mind readers. Some n00bs are conspicuous, others just come across as rule-breakers.

 

I find that the best way to get personal contact from reviewers is to initiate personal contact with reviewers. If there's anything at all up in the air about a cache I'm placing, or if I have any questions or concerns, I write a lengthy note on the cache page. They always respond when there's something to respond to.

 

A cache with the description "micro" that's violated the proximity guidelines TWICE with no comment from the owner doesn't really leave much room for a personal touch from the reviewer.

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Let's face it. I don't think any of us got into this sport in order to have prolonged dialogues with Volunteer Reviewers :lol:

 

Speak for yourself. We enjoy conversing with our reviewers 'round here. :unsure:

 

Speak for yourself. I enjoy giving mine a hard time. Of course, he returns it in spades! :)

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I hadn't thought about #4. I like it, makes total sense.

Well, reviewers are only human, you know.

 

Except for the ones who are dogs. Many reviewers are dogs. Which would be a reason #5 for using form letters, I suppose.

 

Do some of them wear glasses?

Not on your life!! :unsure:
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Let's face it. I don't think any of us got into this sport in order to have prolonged dialogues with Volunteer Reviewers :lol:

 

Speak for yourself. We enjoy conversing with our reviewers 'round here. :unsure:

 

Speak for yourself. I enjoy giving mine a hard time. Of course, he returns it in spades! :)

My reviewer is actually a doorknob. Edited by knowschad
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Let's face it. I don't think any of us got into this sport in order to have prolonged dialogues with Volunteer Reviewers :lol:

 

Speak for yourself. We enjoy conversing with our reviewers 'round here. :unsure:

 

Speak for yourself. I enjoy giving mine a hard time. Of course, he returns it in spades! :)

My reviewer is actually a doorknob.

 

WHo doesn't care about the chinldren, I know.

 

But does the doorknob wear glasses?

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Let's face it. I don't think any of us got into this sport in order to have prolonged dialogues with Volunteer Reviewers :lol:

 

Speak for yourself. We enjoy conversing with our reviewers 'round here. :unsure:

 

Speak for yourself. I enjoy giving mine a hard time. Of course, he returns it in spades! :)

My reviewer is actually a doorknob.

 

WHo doesn't care about the chinldren, I know.

 

But does the doorknob wear glasses?

I'm serious. He's a doorknob. He even has a picture of himself on his profile page. (here's a little history for you) Edited by knowschad
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