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Challenges: Now that they are released


NYPaddleCacher
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After watching a LOT of posting about Challenges pro and con I come down on the side of liking them.

 

I've created a couple, one that was probably premature since I can't edit it once it was accepted, one that I like, and completed a couple others.

 

Despite their problematic introduction I think they have a place as replacements for virtuals. They're new and obviously evolving, but they work just as they are. Given time Groundspeak will tweak these to please the maximum possible number of cachers.

 

To me geocaching has always been about the location and the adventure of getting there. About discovering new places and learning things. About sharing these places with others who may also enjoy them. Hunting the hidden cache has always been secondary to me. Challenges provide these parts of geocaching that I like the best.

 

As we've seen since their introduction lame silly Challenges won't last long with the community policing paradigm, and good ones will.

 

Survival of the fittest. I like it! :D

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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After watching a LOT of posting about Challenges pro and con I come down on the side of liking them.

 

...

As we've seen since their introduction lame silly Challenges won't last long with the community policing paradigm, and good ones will.

 

Survival of the fittest. I like it! :D

 

As I see it, I don't have to find every cache and I don't have to accept every challenge. Like traditional geocaching this aspect will only be as good as what geocachers put into it.

 

I don't plan on doing any lame silly challenges, but I might do a creative, but silly challenge. Nothing wrong with having a little silly fun everyone once in awhile.

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Once the dust has settled, I think the only ones who will be really unhappy are the ones who wanted virts in their original form. But this whole exercise should have exposed to them why that was unworkable. What you saw is what reviewers would have to deal with constantly. And that was with restrictions!

Well, it's sad that this whole thing happened. It didn't have to. Instead of banning virts they should have just dropped the WOW or any other quality requirement and listed virts just like they list micros in parking lots or film cans on mountaintops. They don't evaluate quality of regular caches, they didn't need to do it with virtuals. This whole multi-year debacle over virts was a self-inflicted wound.

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Once the dust has settled, I think the only ones who will be really unhappy are the ones who wanted virts in their original form. But this whole exercise should have exposed to them why that was unworkable. What you saw is what reviewers would have to deal with constantly. And that was with restrictions!

Well, it's sad that this whole thing happened. It didn't have to. Instead of banning virts they should have just dropped the WOW or any other quality requirement and listed virts just like they list micros in parking lots or film cans on mountaintops. They don't evaluate quality of regular caches, they didn't need to do it with virtuals. This whole multi-year debacle over virts was a self-inflicted wound.

But how is that different from what we just saw? What would reviewers look for if there was no sort of standard?

 

Challenges are virtuals without a WOW factor. They're just broken off from other finds, and thank goodness they are because the havok wrecked would have been even worse otherwise.

Edited by Dinoprophet
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What I hate, because of the confusion with Challenge Caches, is the choice of challenges as the name for this new activity. My first thought when I logged a cache Thursday night and saw the redesigned cache page was "why does it say I have zero challenges completed? I've logged a bunch of them." Then I discovered that it did not refer to Challenge Caches.

 

I love challenge caches. I have a number of them in progress. They are very popular with the cachers in my area and they are a major stimulus to keep people interested in caching.

 

I'm sure it's too late to hope for a name change. They should have called them neovirtuals or something.

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What I hate, because of the confusion with Challenge Caches, is the choice of challenges as the name for this new activity. My first thought when I logged a cache Thursday night and saw the redesigned cache page was "why does it say I have zero challenges completed? I've logged a bunch of them." Then I discovered that it did not refer to Challenge Caches.

 

I love challenge caches. I have a number of them in progress. They are very popular with the cachers in my area and they are a major stimulus to keep people interested in caching.

 

I'm sure it's too late to hope for a name change. They should have called them neovirtuals or something.

A pig is still a pig no matter how you dress it up.

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Challenges need some guidelines to ensure they are "outdoor" and require the use of "location-based technology" (coordinates to a specific location which is a component of everything that is geocaching.
Why are you keying on 'outdoor'? There has never been a rule that geocaches had to be outdoors. I've found several that were indoors.

 

 

Direct quote from GS: "The mission of Groundspeak is to inspire outdoor play using location-based technology. "

 

More????

These will almost always be outdoor adventures. We started with one that was not necessarily an outdoors Challenge (Kiss a Frog) because we thought it would be fun. But, we realize that such a Challenge is not in keeping with our mission of getting you outside. So, we have archived the Challenge effective today. We will soon be adding functionality to allow you to remove ‘Acceptance’ and ‘Completion’ logs you’ve entered, if you choose to do so.

http://blog.geocaching.com/2011/08/geocaching-challenges-thanks-for-the-feedback/

My guess is that Bryan will end up clarifying again. I think the point was that geocaching is about getting out and going place (preferably using a GPS to do so). Challenges can certainly include ones that you do indoors. The idea is that it should be ones you do sitting at home in front of the computer. Kissing a frog was a ill conceived worldwide challenge. The worldwide challenges should involve going out and finding a location that meets the chaallenge requirement. Like the old locationless, they should require you to post the GPS coordinates where you met the challenge (unlike locationless however, other people could meet the challenge using the same coordinates).

 

Challenges are virtuals without a WOW factor. They're just broken off from other finds, and thank goodness they are because the havok wrecked would have been even worse otherwise.

 

I'm not sure that challenges will have no wow factor. The up/down voting should cause the cream to rise and perhaps those with a big enough negative vote will get hidden. (Best Kept Secrets waymarks have always asked that premium members rate the waymarks and we would have liked it if Groundspeak would allow basic members to be able to rate the waymark as well).

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Challenges are virtuals without a WOW factor. They're just broken off from other finds, and thank goodness they are because the havok wrecked would have been even worse otherwise.

 

I'm not sure that challenges will have no wow factor. The up/down voting should cause the cream to rise and perhaps those with a big enough negative vote will get hidden. (Best Kept Secrets waymarks have always asked that premium members rate the waymarks and we would have liked it if Groundspeak would allow basic members to be able to rate the waymark as well).

You are correct. I meant to say without a wow requirement.

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How are challenges remotely connected to geocaching?

Discounting the whole worldwide challenge thing, as they more closely resemble locationless;

 

Virtual: Go to a place. (used to log a picture) Log your experience.

Challenges: Go to a place. Take a picture. Log your experience.

 

It's not a geocache.

Actually, they are.

For the purpose of this website, Jeremy gets to decide what is, and what is not, a geocache.

You don't get to decide that. Neither do I.

 

In my mind, when I envision a geocache, I see a hidden container at a set of coordinates.

That's my own, highly biased definition.

If we apply your, "It's not a geocache" logic across the board, we should point out that, according to my bias;

 

Neither is a sinkhole. (Earthcache)

Neither is a bunch of geeks picking up litter. (CITO)

Neither is a web streaming camera. (Webcam cache)

Neither is a bunch of nerds eating hotwings. (Event cache)

Neither is a street sign bearing your last name. (Locationless Cache)

Neither is a plaque along a highway. (Virtual Cache)

 

Yet, most players are OK with the fact that Jeremy chooses to call them geocaches, including them in your total caches found tally. If these folks are able to make the logic leap required to call those things geocaches, it should be easy for them to call challenges geocaches.

 

As we've seen since their introduction lame silly Challenges won't last long with the community policing paradigm, and good ones will.

The blue highlighted part is my current concern.

We've already seen examples of a few petulant folks nuking any and all challenges.

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From the Geocaching front page: Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.

 

 

How do you use a GPS to kiss a frog? I'm confused (not an unusual condition).

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We've already seen examples of a few petulant folks nuking any and all challenges.

Yes, but they may be in for a rude awakening.

 

I don't remember where I saw it yesterday but Jeremy said something to the effect that the system was monitoring accounts with high voting rates.

 

Big Brother IS watching!

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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We've already seen examples of a few petulant folks nuking any and all challenges.

Yes, but they may be in for a rude awakening.

 

I don't remember where I saw it yesterday but Jeremy said something to the effect that the system was monitoring accounts with high voting rates.

 

Big Brother IS watching!

 

I don't know if those determined to be abusing the system will even know when Big Brother drops the hammer. I can see their flags being weighted at or near zero. They'd no longer have an effect on the outcomes and would never know it. :anibad:

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How do you use a GPS to kiss a frog?

The same way you use a GPSr to post a picture of a street sign which bears your last name.

The frog kissing thing was what Groundspeak calls a worldwide challenge, meaning you know, going in, that it is not location specific. Groundspeak stated in its guidelines that, for now, they are the only ones who can issue challenges which are not location specific. These are kind of analogous to the old locationless cache, in which a player would publish some sort of ... er... uh... challenge, on a cache page, such as "Locate a street sign that bears your last name". When the seeker found one of those, they would post a picture of themselves meeting the challenge. This counted as a "find".

 

The one thing missing is, with locationless caches, (as I understand the concept), each person posting would include the coordinates of the item they found, and no one else could use that particular item for that particular locationless. (I think?)

 

The challges that you & I create must be location specific.

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Neither is a sinkhole. (Earthcache)

Neither is a bunch of geeks picking up litter. (CITO)

Neither is a web streaming camera. (Webcam cache)

Neither is a bunch of nerds eating hotwings. (Event cache)

Neither is a street sign bearing your last name. (Locationless Cache)

Neither is a plaque along a highway. (Virtual Cache)

 

Yet, most players are OK with the fact that Jeremy chooses to call them geocaches, including them in your total caches found tally.

 

I suppose most are. And I don't see much point in advocating otherwise, at this point. But if any of the above had been introduced this week, I'd be among those voting up feedbacks to exclude them from the cache finds total.

 

Aside from one virtual, which I'm considering un-logging, I have not logged any of the above and probably won't. Not that I object to any of the above, or would refuse to seek/participate in them, just that they aren't what I regard as a geocache and I'd rather not have them in my find count.

 

Likewise, if I ever encounter a challenge that looks like something I'd like to do, I might do it — but wouldn't log it. Not as long as it affects my find count.

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Neither is a sinkhole. (Earthcache)

Neither is a bunch of geeks picking up litter. (CITO)

Neither is a web streaming camera. (Webcam cache)

Neither is a bunch of nerds eating hotwings. (Event cache)

Neither is a street sign bearing your last name. (Locationless Cache)

Neither is a plaque along a highway. (Virtual Cache)

 

Yet, most players are OK with the fact that Jeremy chooses to call them geocaches, including them in your total caches found tally.

 

I suppose most are. And I don't see much point in advocating otherwise, at this point. But if any of the above had been introduced this week, I'd be among those voting up feedbacks to exclude them from the cache finds total.

 

Aside from one virtual, which I'm considering un-logging, I have not logged any of the above and probably won't. Not that I object to any of the above, or would refuse to seek/participate in them, just that they aren't what I regard as a geocache and I'd rather not have them in my find count.

 

Likewise, if I ever encounter a challenge that looks like something I'd like to do, I might do it — but wouldn't log it. Not as long as it affects my find count.

That's kewl. You are using your personal bias to influence your find count. I do as well. But the issue I was arguing was the notion that challenges are not geocaches. Not whether someone who doesn't hold that belief should log them. Jeremy can define pretty much anything he wants as a geocache, as the term relates to this website.

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I suppose most are. And I don't see much point in advocating otherwise, at this point.

 

But I do that all the time, and people hate me for that. :lol:

Seriously though, it's just funny how people's minds work. Imagine what would happen if Groundspeak was to follow through. They'd take challenges off the find count. Everybody would be happy. Except those who wanted virtuals back, because without that smiley, they'd hardly be a replacement for virtuals, now would they? And then: "Starting January 1st, 2012, all newly published event will not be counted towards cacher's find count any more." Can you imagine the uproar that would cause? All those cachers who are working on a streak for example, suddenly attending an event won't be enough to keep that going any more. They'd actually have to find a cache on that day then! OMG!

Edited by dfx
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With all the hullabaloo about challenges--did anybody else notice that the official gc.com phone app for challenges is free? I assumed that the challenges would be integrated into the existing app, but I was browsing geocaching apps on my phone and voila! There's a free app for doing challenges!

 

edit: getting the tenses to agree!

Edited by BuckeyeClan
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There's a free app for doing challenges!

 

Whoa! Why wasn't this shouted from the rooftops!? :shocked:

 

After a little poking around, it seems to work FAR better than the web page. It's well thought-out and seems to be well-executed. I'm still annoyed Groundspeak worked on this instead of fixing the problems with the existing mobile apps, but they did a good job.

 

Hey, why not do something similar for Waymarking (after getting the maps out of beta and giving us back the functions we lost with the old maps)? Or Benchmarks?

Edited by JJnTJ
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..."Starting January 1st, 2012, all newly published event will not be counted towards cacher's find count any more."

Heck, let's up the angstometer. What if they announced:

"As of January 2012, all virtuals, webcams, locationless, events, CITOs, earthcaches and challenges will be removed from your find count, as some players are really getting their kilts in a wad over the fact that non-physical caches increase your find count. We will continue to track how many of each you do, but like Benchmarks, those won't count toward your total caches found."

:lol::blink::P

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We've already seen examples of a few petulant folks nuking any and all challenges.

Yes, but they may be in for a rude awakening.

 

I don't remember where I saw it yesterday but Jeremy said something to the effect that the system was monitoring accounts with high voting rates.

 

Big Brother IS watching!

 

Good. I am not a fan of the anarchists ruining the fun for those of us that are trying out the new game. About time there was some glimmer of hope that their actions may be reflected back at them.

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There's a free app for doing challenges!

 

Whoa! Why wasn't this shouted from the rooftops!? :shocked:

 

After a little poking around, it seems to work FAR better than the web page. It's well thought-out and seems to be well-executed. I'm still annoyed Groundspeak worked on this instead of fixing the problems with the existing mobile apps, but they did a good job.

 

Hey, why not do something similar for Waymarking (after getting the maps out of beta and giving us back the functions we lost with the old maps)? Or Benchmarks?

 

I've been screaming for a Waymarking app for years. I met some of the devs at an event cache and they agreed. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come as the app has the ability to look up a challenge, log it and submit a photo .... which is exactly what is needed for a Waymarking app. Same app, different database.

 

Here's a handy dandy link to the iPhone/iPad Challenges app. I never found one for Android or Windows Phone. My only complaint about the Challenges app is I can only search nearby.... I can't find a way to search another area or lookup a challenge by the Challenge ID. That may be deliberate though to ensure you aren't trying to log it from your couch.

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Well, I wanted to take people on a walking tour of a certain neighborhood. To do that I'd need to direct them to start at certain coordinates or at a certain street corner. Doesn't seem like you can do that. You can put in coordinates but you have to choose one of the nearby locations that are already in their database. Those locations seem mostly to be businesses. Seems goofy to tell someone they should start at XYZ Hair Salon when you really want them to start at a sculpture on the nearby street corner.

 

I guess this would be okay if you want someone to go to Java Joe's Coffee Shop and drink a latte, but I don't see the point of making that a challenge.

"Agree", but thats not something wrong with challenges itself. :unsure::unsure::unsure:

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Well, I wanted to take people on a walking tour of a certain neighborhood. To do that I'd need to direct them to start at certain coordinates or at a certain street corner. Doesn't seem like you can do that. You can put in coordinates but you have to choose one of the nearby locations that are already in their database. Those locations seem mostly to be businesses. Seems goofy to tell someone they should start at XYZ Hair Salon when you really want them to start at a sculpture on the nearby street corner.

 

I guess this would be okay if you want someone to go to Java Joe's Coffee Shop and drink a latte, but I don't see the point of making that a challenge.

"Agree", but thats not something wrong with challenges itself. :unsure::unsure::unsure:

 

I had no problems posting my challenge to be based at a set of coordinates. They /offered/ a nearby location but I was able to just keep the coords and go with that

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Here's a handy dandy link to the iPhone/iPad Challenges app. I never found one for Android or Windows Phone. My only complaint about the Challenges app is I can only search nearby.... I can't find a way to search another area or lookup a challenge by the Challenge ID. That may be deliberate though to ensure you aren't trying to log it from your couch.

 

I found it in the Android marketplace as "Challenges for Android". It uses the little superman figure as the icon. You're right, I don't see a way to search in another area.

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' timestamp='1313692353' post='4813266']

I refuse to do them so long as they count towards you finds, kissing a frog? Taking a picture with your dog? Pretty soon it'll be easy to boost your count by multiple thousands just sitting at home and taking pictures.

So would logging an archived cache a thousand times. cheaters will cheat whenever they can.

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How are challenges remotely connected to geocaching?

Discounting the whole worldwide challenge thing, as they more closely resemble locationless;

 

Virtual: Go to a place. (used to log a picture) Log your experience.

Challenges: Go to a place. Take a picture. Log your experience.

 

It's not a geocache.

Actually, they are.

For the purpose of this website, Jeremy gets to decide what is, and what is not, a geocache.

You don't get to decide that. Neither do I.

 

In my mind, when I envision a geocache, I see a hidden container at a set of coordinates.

That's my own, highly biased definition.

If we apply your, "It's not a geocache" logic across the board, we should point out that, according to my bias;

 

Neither is a sinkhole. (Earthcache)

Neither is a bunch of geeks picking up litter. (CITO)

Neither is a web streaming camera. (Webcam cache)

Neither is a bunch of nerds eating hotwings. (Event cache)

Neither is a street sign bearing your last name. (Locationless Cache)

Neither is a plaque along a highway. (Virtual Cache)

 

Yet, most players are OK with the fact that Jeremy chooses to call them geocaches, including them in your total caches found tally. If these folks are able to make the logic leap required to call those things geocaches, it should be easy for them to call challenges geocaches.

 

 

None of those activities are caches because they aren't physical. But that's all semantics based on the definition of a cache. But in the end none of those are geocaches.

 

Let me tell you why, they are not geocaches, and why I have a problem with them.

 

They provide an "out" for park managers and land managers to remove geocaching (i.e. physical containers). I had a local park superintendent (one that has 60-70 caches scattered among a lot of parks) tell me that if there were virtual geocaches allowed, all physical geocaches would be banned. And his reasoning. "Then I don't have to do anything". With the dozen or so geocaches that we've gotten published in NPS lands locally, there's a possibility of making physical placements accepted as the norm in NPS in our region. With challenges that can all change. How exactly can I convince a land manager that he's missing the boat on geocaching if virtual placements are allowed?

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Actually, they are.

For the purpose of this website, Jeremy gets to decide what is, and what is not, a geocache.

You don't get to decide that. Neither do I.

I tried that, thinking the argument was rock-solid (e.g. ref).

 

Then dfx found a quote -- "Our early attempt was to support virtual caches, which weren’t geocaches at all" -- that shows even Jeremy's not too sure about the definition now!

 

I can only conclude that the argument is a pointless one :rolleyes:

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How are challenges remotely connected to geocaching?

Discounting the whole worldwide challenge thing, as they more closely resemble locationless;

 

Virtual: Go to a place. (used to log a picture) Log your experience.

Challenges: Go to a place. Take a picture. Log your experience.

 

It's not a geocache.

 

Neither are virtuals.

 

Correct, they aren't geocaches either.

 

Interesting how that concept hasn't prevented you from logging finds on 127 virtuals, 51 events, 3 CTIOs, 3 mega events, 2 Lost and Found events, 1 GPS adventure exhibit, 3 webcams and the GS Lost and Found celebration. That makes 188 finds you have on things that are not geocaches, now all of a sudden you're concerned about challenges counting as finds?

 

For the sake of consistency, I would think you would delete all of those non geocache logs.

Edited by briansnat
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How are challenges remotely connected to geocaching?

Discounting the whole worldwide challenge thing, as they more closely resemble locationless;

 

Virtual: Go to a place. (used to log a picture) Log your experience.

Challenges: Go to a place. Take a picture. Log your experience.

 

It's not a geocache.

 

Neither are virtuals.

 

Correct, they aren't geocaches either.

 

Interesting how that concept hasn't prevented you from logging finds on 127 virtuals, 51 events, 3 CTIOs, 3 mega events, 2 Lost and Found events, 1 GPS adventure exhibit, 3 webcams and the GS Lost and Found celebration. That makes 188 finds you have on things that are not geocaches, now all of a sudden you're concerned about challenges counting as finds?

 

For the sake of consistency, I would think you would delete all of those non geocache logs.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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How are challenges remotely connected to geocaching?

Discounting the whole worldwide challenge thing, as they more closely resemble locationless;

 

Virtual: Go to a place. (used to log a picture) Log your experience.

Challenges: Go to a place. Take a picture. Log your experience.

 

It's not a geocache.

 

Neither are virtuals.

 

Correct, they aren't geocaches either.

 

Interesting how that concept hasn't prevented you from logging finds on 127 virtuals, 51 events, 3 CTIOs, 3 mega events, 2 Lost and Found events, 1 GPS adventure exhibit, 3 webcams and the GS Lost and Found celebration. That makes 188 finds you have on things that are not geocaches, now all of a sudden you're concerned about challenges counting as finds?

 

For the sake of consistency, I would think you would delete all of those non geocache logs.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

 

Ah Yes, I have been concerned about keeping challenges out of my total find numbers as I approach a milestone but I've realized that I have 277 things in there that did not involve finding a cache container and I didn't use a GPS to do many of them.

 

So I probably won't create a separate account for doing challenges if I should ever decided to do one just because it's there.

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How are challenges remotely connected to geocaching?

Discounting the whole worldwide challenge thing, as they more closely resemble locationless;

 

Virtual: Go to a place. (used to log a picture) Log your experience.

Challenges: Go to a place. Take a picture. Log your experience.

 

It's not a geocache.

 

Neither are virtuals.

 

Correct, they aren't geocaches either.

 

Interesting how that concept hasn't prevented you from logging finds on 127 virtuals, 51 events, 3 CTIOs, 3 mega events, 2 Lost and Found events, 1 GPS adventure exhibit, 3 webcams and the GS Lost and Found celebration. That makes 188 finds you have on things that are not geocaches, now all of a sudden you're concerned about challenges counting as finds?

 

For the sake of consistency, I would think you would delete all of those non geocache logs.

 

Yeah, I logged them, but they're not geocaches. Just because I don't agree that they're geocaches, does that prevent me from logging them? I also logged waymarks as well. Does logging these non-geocaches indicated that I believe that they're geocaches? Most of the virtuals I did with my wife, who doesn't like geocaching, but she likes Waymarking and visiting historical spots.

 

I log them so I can reminiscence where I've been and what I've done. They need to be separated so that one cannot be mistaken for the other in the eyes of park managers. Or would you like to be the one Briansnat, trying to convince the people at the NPS that a Challenge isn't the same as a geocache when you're trying to get one approved? Without challenges I've been able to convince NPS to put many physical geocaches, and without challenges we may eventually get physical geocaches region wide in the middle Atlantic. With challenges this going to prove an impossible task on something that is already an uphill battle, but currently we have traction. Challenges appear to be a catalyst to set back all that success.

Edited by reedkickball
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You can log a note instead of a find on the non geocaches you've found. That way you can still access them and keep the non geocaches out of your find count.

 

How many of the challenge complainers are going to to back and do that so they're consistent?

 

Should I log notes on my waymarks too? Finds allow others to figure if I've visited a spot. I really don't know if I could search for my noted activities, unless it was through GSAK or something. I was disappointed when a local geocacher didn't log a CITO event. I knew he was there, and was unable to show a park ranger a CITO event because of it.

 

I don't understand the logic of your last statement. I find geocaches, I log them. I visit virtuals, I log them. I go to an event, I log them. I do a challenge, I log them. I do a waymark, I log them. I do a benchmark, I log them. Geocaches are very different than challenges, virtuals, and waymarks and should be treated differently. If counts are important, all the virtual non-geocaches(virtual, webcam, earthcaches, challenges, and waymarks) should be grouped together and counted, and all the geocaches should grouped together and counted. Because it's a different activity. I didn't say I hated them, I just want them separate so that when getting geocaches approved with parks, there's no confusion.

 

Funny how everyone is sidestepping the issue of dealing with park managers, and focusing on counts.

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You can log a note instead of a find on the non geocaches you've found. That way you can still access them and keep the non geocaches out of your find count.

 

How many of the challenge complainers are going to to back and do that so they're consistent?

 

Should I log notes on my waymarks too? Finds allow others to figure if I've visited a spot. I really don't know if I could search for my noted activities, unless it was through GSAK or something. I was disappointed when a local geocacher didn't log a CITO event. I knew he was there, and was unable to show a park ranger a CITO event because of it.

 

I don't understand the logic of your last statement. I find geocaches, I log them. I visit virtuals, I log them. I go to an event, I log them. I do a challenge, I log them. I do a waymark, I log them. I do a benchmark, I log them. Geocaches are very different than challenges, virtuals, and waymarks and should be treated differently. If counts are important, all the virtual non-geocaches(virtual, webcam, earthcaches, challenges, and waymarks) should be grouped together and counted, and all the geocaches should grouped together and counted. Because it's a different activity. I didn't say I hated them, I just want them separate so that when getting geocaches approved with parks, there's no confusion.

 

Funny how everyone is sidestepping the issue of dealing with park managers, and focusing on counts.

 

You're preaching the choir with that argument. It's why I was against bringing virtuals back in any format. But now that they're here that's not the quarrel that most people have with them. They overwhelming majority are are complaining that they aren't geocaches and shouldn't be included in the find counts. Yet the very same people have logged dozens and sometimes hundreds of things that are not geocaches. Hypocrisy extraordinaire.

Edited by briansnat
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You're preaching the choir with that argument. It's why I was against bringing virtuals back in any format. But now that they're here that's not the quarrel that most people have with them. They overwhelming majority are are complaining that they aren't geocaches and shouldn't be included in the find counts. Yet the very same people have logged dozens and sometimes hundreds of things that are not geocaches. Hypocrisy extraordinaire.

 

If I could change the direction on virtuals, Waymarking and so on I would. It wouldn't be worth it to try complaining. People are worried about their counts. I wish they'd be separated out. At the moment, I think there's still a way to fix challenges before it gets lumped in with geocaching and muddies the waters further. At the very least they have to be separate tabs if not separate sites. I saw an idea that I thought would be great. Have a tab for geocaches, have a tab for trackables, have a tab for challenges, and have a tab for waymarks(yes, I think they should be one here, just separate), and don't combine the activities in any way so as to limit confusion. Bringing the earthcache concept here was a mistake, as was not removing all the virtual non-geocaches away from geocaches.

 

However to belittle my explanation of why challenges should be removed by saying I log virtuals has nothing to do with my main point that Challenges will give park managers an "out" to ban physical geocaches.

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However to belittle my explanation of why challenges should be removed by saying I log virtuals has nothing to do with my main point that Challenges will give park managers an "out" to ban physical geocaches.

Other than the argument that challenges/virtuals/waymarks give park managers an out whey they want to ban physical caches, you have not made a particularly strong case as to why there shouldn't be challenges on Geocaching.com. The fact that you have logged virtuals and waymarks doesn't help.

 

Regarding the argument that park managers can ban physical caches by allowing challenges is weak. Sure there have been cases when the response to "can I hide a cache in your park" has been "Sure but only virtuals are allowed". From the park managers point of view there is a difference. A container left by a geocacher is a non-natural object in the park. If one of the park's purposes is to preserve nature, then rules limiting what visitor leave in a park is understandable. The difference with challenges, virtual caches, and waymarks is that nothing is left in the park.

 

I remember when the National Parks had a slogan: "Take only pictures, leave only footprints" It seems natural that some parks will make the decision to ban physical caches while allowing GPS related games that don't involve leaving something in the park. If Groundspeak decided to not have any non-physical geolocation game, that would still leave Foursquare and many others. So perhaps it is reasonable to have challenges even if someone believes it makes it harder to get permission for physical caches.

 

Now, that said, there is another thread that expresses a different concern over how land managers might perceive challenges. Since challenges are not reviewed and you don't need permission for a challenge, that thread speculates that some challenges will eventually be placed in areas where land managers don't want people going (or don't want the extra traffic that challenges might bring). The concern here is that they might lump challenges together with geocaches which are reviewed and where adequate permission is required, including meeting any explicit permitting process the land manager has state. So places that now allow geocaches might find land managers banning them if challenges appear in locations where the land manager wants to control visitors.

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How are challenges remotely connected to geocaching?

Discounting the whole worldwide challenge thing, as they more closely resemble locationless;

 

Virtual: Go to a place. (used to log a picture) Log your experience.

Challenges: Go to a place. Take a picture. Log your experience.

 

It's not a geocache.

 

Neither are virtuals.

 

Correct, they aren't geocaches either.

 

Interesting how that concept hasn't prevented you from logging finds on 127 virtuals, 51 events, 3 CTIOs, 3 mega events, 2 Lost and Found events, 1 GPS adventure exhibit, 3 webcams and the GS Lost and Found celebration. That makes 188 finds you have on things that are not geocaches, now all of a sudden you're concerned about challenges counting as finds?

 

For the sake of consistency, I would think you would delete all of those non geocache logs.

 

Yeah, I logged them, but they're not geocaches. Just because I don't agree that they're geocaches, does that prevent me from logging them? I also logged waymarks as well. Does logging these non-geocaches indicated that I believe that they're geocaches? Most of the virtuals I did with my wife, who doesn't like geocaching, but she likes Waymarking and visiting historical spots.

 

I log them so I can reminiscence where I've been and what I've done. They need to be separated so that one cannot be mistaken for the other in the eyes of park managers. Or would you like to be the one Briansnat, trying to convince the people at the NPS that a Challenge isn't the same as a geocache when you're trying to get one approved? Without challenges I've been able to convince NPS to put many physical geocaches, and without challenges we may eventually get physical geocaches region wide in the middle Atlantic. With challenges this going to prove an impossible task on something that is already an uphill battle, but currently we have traction. Challenges appear to be a catalyst to set back all that success.

So you want virtuals and you don't want virtuals (in the form of challenges) to count in yuor finds number? :laughing:

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You're preaching the choir with that argument. It's why I was against bringing virtuals back in any format. But now that they're here that's not the quarrel that most people have with them. They overwhelming majority are are complaining that they aren't geocaches and shouldn't be included in the find counts. Yet the very same people have logged dozens and sometimes hundreds of things that are not geocaches. Hypocrisy extraordinaire.

 

If I could change the direction on virtuals, Waymarking and so on I would. It wouldn't be worth it to try complaining. People are worried about their counts. I wish they'd be separated out. At the moment, I think there's still a way to fix challenges before it gets lumped in with geocaching and muddies the waters further. At the very least they have to be separate tabs if not separate sites. I saw an idea that I thought would be great. Have a tab for geocaches, have a tab for trackables, have a tab for challenges, and have a tab for waymarks(yes, I think they should be one here, just separate), and don't combine the activities in any way so as to limit confusion. Bringing the earthcache concept here was a mistake, as was not removing all the virtual non-geocaches away from geocaches.

 

However to belittle my explanation of why challenges should be removed by saying I log virtuals has nothing to do with my main point that Challenges will give park managers an "out" to ban physical geocaches.

 

My original post was not in response to that argument, it was in response to you arguing that they aren't geocaches

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I have to comment on the "Jeremy gets to decide what is and isn't a geocache". Undeniably true - he calls the shots.

 

But why the heck would the Jeremy as the CEO of a company care so little about the customers? Here is what I think is the epitome of not caring about customers:

 

Forum poll to Keep Challenges: 3 votes

http://feedback.geocaching.com/forums/75775-geocaching-com/suggestions/2184225-keep-challenges?ref=title

 

Forum poll to Remove Challenges: 1489 votes before it was closed down

http://feedback.geocaching.com/forums/75775-geocaching-com/suggestions/2170539-remove-challenges-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-geoca

 

Geocaching.com is really just a software company - their product is the concept plus the site to support the concept. We buy that software+concept bundle. Most client facing software companies care enough about their customers that they have a beta test site. The very best type of beta test is open to any customer, but even a 'by invitation' closed beta test is better than rolling out a new concept (after clearly significant development) without customer comment. Beta testing lets you find out the crap (in your design, in your performance, knock on problems, etc.) before you spring it on your purchasing customers. If Groundspeak had opened up a proper beta test for Challenges:

 

1. A Beta Test would have pointed out putting as the 'shining example' of a Challenge is to 'Kiss a Frog' was the most idiotic, unproductive. and development budget wasting thing they could have possibly done. (If that one was Jeremy's idea then hopefully some lacky (or all of them) has had the guts to tell the Emperor he was a fool.)

 

2. Some reasonable ideas on how to improve the roll-out would have come out in beta testing:

a. don't make challenges count in the find count until the concept is working well - easier to retrofit counts up than take the heat while the bugs in the concept are being worked out.

b. Some method of review should take place before publishing challenges (if not forever then in the initial go)

c. Oh - even though Groundspeak knows what a challenge is perhaps we should by gosh have more than a half a paragraph on the web site as to what makes a good challenge

d. The crashing of the base Geocaching.com system (that, er, pays the bills) caused by the introduction of challenges would have hopefully been averted.

e. Groundspeak would have created several extremely good challenges of "standard" type that could be viewed as shining examples (did anyone mention that the global "Kissing a Frog" challenge created by Groundspeak as the 'best practice' challenge was mind numbingly stupid?)

 

We really like virtuals (and while much respect for Clan Rifster, I'm cool with these 'go use your GPS to go somewhere and learn something' caches counting as real caches.) Jeremy says he spent too much of his development budget on Challenges so they are going to stay in the game no matter what the backlash from the paying customers is - so we better like them dammit! But I could not imagine a worse implementation or worse implementation roll-out.

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Found Completed one today because it was close to a puzzle I wanted to find.

 

The new mobile app made it pretty easy to navigate to GZ, take the picture and upload my log in a couple of minutes. I don't think I'd have gone through the hassle otherwise, so my hat's off to Groundspeak for making the process pretty painless.

 

Have I mentioned that I'm still annoyed Challenges were put ahead of bugfixes and fixing basic site functionality yet? :)

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IF they had some sort of approval like Waymarking it could be managed and no extra work for GC.com staffers. (Of course cache reviewers are not normally staffers anyway...)

 

Also the world wide challenge examples that Groundspeak created started a bad trend and turned the notion of good virtuals into locationless.

 

I think the vote count in the feedback tool says it all. And sadly their response says a lot also.

 

2rz80eg.jpg

 

This is my last response on the subject. I hope that between refining the implementation and listening to feedback "challenges" will not hurt the overall experience and joy that GC.com brings to "Geocachers".

Wow! Jeremy's response is so offensive to people who pay to support the site. It's deliberate, stubborn and arrogant.

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IF they had some sort of approval like Waymarking it could be managed and no extra work for GC.com staffers. (Of course cache reviewers are not normally staffers anyway...)

 

Also the world wide challenge examples that Groundspeak created started a bad trend and turned the notion of good virtuals into locationless.

 

I think the vote count in the feedback tool says it all. And sadly their response says a lot also.

 

2rz80eg.jpg

 

This is my last response on the subject. I hope that between refining the implementation and listening to feedback "challenges" will not hurt the overall experience and joy that GC.com brings to "Geocachers".

Wow! Jeremy's response is so offensive to people who pay to support the site. It's deliberate, stubborn and arrogant.

My same reaction.

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