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The Blorenges

SUBMITTED (21313) - [FEATURE] System to remove "ghost" trackables from cache inventories.

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One year to get to the 'brainstorming phase'.

 

Once implemented, will this be compatible with Windows 12?

 

<_<

Or Firefox 149?

 

There has been no commitment to put it on the schedule to develop, so there's no real status update to offer you.

 

Awesome response to an idea in the "Feature Discussions and Suggestions" forum that so many are supporting.

 

If nothing else it would be good to see more useful official feedback than "dunno mate", especially for ideas over a year old. Saying you're not going to implement it is more useful than a vague "no commitment" remark.

 

Comments like this make me wonder whether there's any point at all giving feedback as to what we (you know, your paying customers) think about what you provide.

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We got different icons which didn't want or need but we didn't get this idea that has been asked for over and over again and is a very old idea. This idea is extremely useful and could be put to very good use.

 

 

--Patiently Waiting

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We got different icons which didn't want or need but we didn't get this idea that has been asked for over and over again and is a very old idea. This idea is extremely useful and could be put to very good use.

 

 

--Patiently Waiting

 

Yeah...

this is VERY discouraging.

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Love the idea, there are SO many missing trackables in caches everywhere.

 

Usually, if it has been more than 3 weeks and the cache has had more end 2 or 3 visits since dropof the TB is usually gone. In my area, I guess that somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of the TB inventories are inaccurate and it does not help to log notes suggesting that the owner marks the TB's missing.

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MrsB has really scored a bullseye with the suggested method to address long/er term missing trackables in her OP.

 

There is one issue that clearly seems to imply that Groundspeak has a responsibility to address this issue. GS is the ONLY source for approved tracking codes associated with GS trackable activities. By mandating this condition, GS must also accept the responsibility to maintain their own systems for placement, tracking and accountability.

 

The suggestion seems to be extremely simplistic and without the requirement of extensive programming changes. As each year goes by, the incorrect trackables inventories will continue to grow exponentially. A fix now will save a lot of work and stress in the future. It may also improve the attitude about buying trackables for release into the wild.

 

As to reasons for missing trackables, there are several that haven't been mentioned. These are even better cause for a system to be implemented to deal with missing trackables.

 

Some cache owners (CO) have abandoned the sport/hobby of geocaching. Some trackable owners (TO) have done likewise or lost interest in trackables after losing several/many to the current defective system... a system that has not kept pace with the growth of geocaching interests. There are also cache owners who do not believe that trackable inventories are their responsibility. They agreed to maintain caches and containers, not trackables. Understanding trackable handling procedures is NOT a requirement for membership at GS, standard or premium membership. Sticky fingered cachers and muggles also have a hand in the situation.

 

These issues MUST be addressed if trackables are to survive under the supervision of an administration that profits from it's existance.

 

GS definitely makes a profit from trackables. Not only do they offer trackables in their store, they have financial affiliations with caching sources throughout the world. They also profit from sale of their entire never ending inventory of trackable numbers. Those trackable numbers won't be of much use if the public and membership who buys them loses interest and stops donating to the GS coffers.

 

GS take note: .... as they say at the NFL analysis tables .... C'mon Man !!!

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MrsB has really scored a bullseye with the suggested method to address long/er term missing trackables in her OP.

 

There is one issue that clearly seems to imply that Groundspeak has a responsibility to address this issue. GS is the ONLY source for approved tracking codes associated with GS trackable activities. By mandating this condition, GS must also accept the responsibility to maintain their own systems for placement, tracking and accountability.

 

The suggestion seems to be extremely simplistic and without the requirement of extensive programming changes. As each year goes by, the incorrect trackables inventories will continue to grow exponentially. A fix now will save a lot of work and stress in the future. It may also improve the attitude about buying trackables for release into the wild.

 

As to reasons for missing trackables, there are several that haven't been mentioned. These are even better cause for a system to be implemented to deal with missing trackables.

 

Some cache owners (CO) have abandoned the sport/hobby of geocaching. Some trackable owners (TO) have done likewise or lost interest in trackables after losing several/many to the current defective system... a system that has not kept pace with the growth of geocaching interests. There are also cache owners who do not believe that trackable inventories are their responsibility. They agreed to maintain caches and containers, not trackables. Understanding trackable handling procedures is NOT a requirement for membership at GS, standard or premium membership. Sticky fingered cachers and muggles also have a hand in the situation.

 

These issues MUST be addressed if trackables are to survive under the supervision of an administration that profits from it's existance.

 

GS definitely makes a profit from trackables. Not only do they offer trackables in their store, they have financial affiliations with caching sources throughout the world. They also profit from sale of their entire never ending inventory of trackable numbers. Those trackable numbers won't be of much use if the public and membership who buys them loses interest and stops donating to the GS coffers.

 

GS take note: .... as they say at the NFL analysis tables .... C'mon Man !!!

 

BRAVO !!!!

 

WELL SAID !!!

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That is an excellent idea!

We hate going to caches to find no tbs there.

We are in Melbourne at the moment, and I'd say that around 70% of caches that say they have tbs do not.

We have been trying to check when each tb was placed there but we shouldn't have to. If people can't log tbs properly we should be able to log them like this to let other serious users know it isn't there.

Thanks and happy new year

 

Condorito

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That is an excellent idea!

We hate going to caches to find no tbs there.

We are in Melbourne at the moment, and I'd say that around 70% of caches that say they have tbs do not.

We have been trying to check when each tb was placed there but we shouldn't have to. If people can't log tbs properly we should be able to log them like this to let other serious users know it isn't there.

Thanks and happy new year

 

Condorito

 

Maybe we ALL need to pass the word to our caching friends.

If a thousand people all posted here maybe they will finally do something.

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Maybe we ALL need to pass the word to our caching friends.

If a thousand people all posted here maybe they will finally do something.

For the love of god, don't do this! Some Czech cachers decided to do this in the "Returning of webcam caches", and all it did was stifle the actual discussion some of us were attempting to have. Having everyone pile on won't get Groundspeak to implement an idea.

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Maybe we ALL need to pass the word to our caching friends.

If a thousand people all posted here maybe they will finally do something.

For the love of god, don't do this! Some Czech cachers decided to do this in the "Returning of webcam caches", and all it did was stifle the actual discussion some of us were attempting to have. Having everyone pile on won't get Groundspeak to implement an idea.

 

Indeed, the opposite approach seems to be the way to get things done.

 

By NOT suggesting we have a most-recently-viewed list or asking for an update to the icons these features were implemented.

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Maybe we ALL need to pass the word to our caching friends.

If a thousand people all posted here maybe they will finally do something.

For the love of god, don't do this! Some Czech cachers decided to do this in the "Returning of webcam caches", and all it did was stifle the actual discussion some of us were attempting to have. Having everyone pile on won't get Groundspeak to implement an idea.

 

This makes no sense at all !

How can anyone know what you like or don't like, unless you tell them?

If Dr Martin Luther King, and all of his friends, had not let TPTB know that things needed to change....NOTHING would have changed.

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Maybe we ALL need to pass the word to our caching friends.

If a thousand people all posted here maybe they will finally do something.

For the love of god, don't do this! Some Czech cachers decided to do this in the "Returning of webcam caches", and all it did was stifle the actual discussion some of us were attempting to have. Having everyone pile on won't get Groundspeak to implement an idea.

 

Indeed, the opposite approach seems to be the way to get things done.

 

By NOT suggesting we have a most-recently-viewed list or asking for an update to the icons these features were implemented.

 

EXACTLY !

 

their excuse is that they 'don't have the resources' or that they're 'concentrating on higher priority issues'.

 

It's obvious that without our input, they'll continue to give us more of the same.

the more voices they hear, the more likely they are to make POSITIVE change.

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Well reasoned discussion is the key - not "+1".

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Well reasoned discussion is the key - not "+1".

 

 

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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Well reasoned discussion is the key - not "+1".

 

 

 

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

 

It's been 'discussed' ad nauseum.

 

It's time for action.

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Well reasoned discussion is the key - not "+1".

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

It's been 'discussed' ad nauseum.

It's time for action.

 

If the kids in the back seat keep asking 'Are we there yet?', does it make the car go any faster? Or does it make Dad slow down or, worse, turn around? If TPTB say it's being discussed, don't annoy them with a ton of "I agree" posts.

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Well reasoned discussion is the key - not "+1".

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

It's been 'discussed' ad nauseum.

It's time for action.

 

If the kids in the back seat keep asking 'Are we there yet?', does it make the car go any faster? Or does it make Dad slow down or, worse, turn around? If TPTB say it's being discussed, don't annoy them with a ton of "I agree" posts.

 

If you guys will ADMIT that...

- this is a ridiculous situation that needs to be dealt with ASAP.

- you're delaying it by working on, well lets just say 'silly' things that aren't necessary and that that many people don't like.

- you need to give us much more information about the progress of the 'discussions' and an expected launch date.

Then i agree that you don't deserve to be annoyed.

 

IF not....

then annoyance is exactly what you need.

 

It's the way things GET DONE.

- the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

- you have the right to vote,, so use it

- if you're not happy with the status quo... take action to make a change.

 

I think that if you know that 10,00 people want it DONE,

rather than the 50 ? that have spoken up, you'll be much more likely to take us seriously.

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What "you guys" are you talking to. I'm not a Groundspeak employee.

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What "you guys" are you talking to. I'm not a Groundspeak employee.

 

i assumed that if someone was just a moderator, they wouldn't have an issue with a '+1'.

i thought it was commonly used and not against the rules.

 

i considered what i was saying was something that people would/should want to hear,

and that the only people that would have issue with it would be Groundspeak employees.

 

regardless.... i hope my message gets to Groundspeak.

that's who it was directed to.

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It's the way things GET DONE.

- the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

- you have the right to vote,, so use it

- if you're not happy with the status quo... take action to make a change.

Except when:

- the annoying person gets the killfile.

- private companies don't give non-owners the right to vote.

- there is no action non-employees can take to change the status quo.

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It's the way things GET DONE.

- the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

- you have the right to vote,, so use it

- if you're not happy with the status quo... take action to make a change.

Except when:

- the annoying person gets the killfile.

- private companies don't give non-owners the right to vote.

- there is no action non-employees can take to change the status quo.

 

Except when:

- the annoying person gets the killfile.

.........Sorry, but i don't know what this is

 

- private companies don't give non-owners the right to vote.

..........We vote withour dollars by not renewing our membership.

 

- there is no action non-employees can take to change the status quo.

...........See above.

 

Why am i getting all of this negative feedback from you people?

It's obvious that Groundspeak is handling it all wrong.

 

Even if they don't care whether their members want this implemented or not,

they should be doing it because it's, financially, in their best interest.

 

People are so fed up with this trackables issue that many don't even bother with them anymore.

and if they're not bothering with trackables in caches, they're sure not going to bother to buy any new ones.

 

So Groundspeak needs to make $$$$$$$$ themselves $$$$$$$$ and their members happy, by dealing with this issue

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Except when:

- the annoying person gets the killfile.

.........Sorry, but i don't know what this is

If only there were a way for you to learn what a killfile is...

 

It's obvious that Groundspeak is handling it all wrong.
Is it? If the trackable owner doesn't care enough to mark the trackable missing, and if the cache owner doesn't care enough to mark the trackable missing, then it doesn't seem like that big a deal to me. It certainly wouldn't be worth giving up my premium membership for. And it's far less important than a lot of the other features that have been suggested in this forum.

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It's obvious that Groundspeak is handling it all wrong.

 

Is it? If the trackable owner doesn't care enough to mark the trackable missing, and if the cache owner doesn't care enough to mark the trackable missing, then it doesn't seem like that big a deal to me. It certainly wouldn't be worth giving up my premium membership for. And it's far less important than a lot of the other features that have been suggested in this forum.

 

It IS a big deal to those of us who enjoy dealing a lot in trackables. I place/hide caches, many of which are designed to be trackable capable. My partner/SO is the trackable / geocoin fanatic.

 

There are a lot of trackables 'stuck' in caches where no action is possible under current GS procedures. A change as suggested in the opening post (OP) would be self-cleansing many caches of lost or forgotten trackables. Trackable owners often abandon the geo-sport and are not around to mark a trackable missing, yet it stays 'active' in a cache. Then the cache owner may also have abandoned the geo-sport or is one of the CO's who don't believe they have any responsibility for trackables maintenance. Meanwhile, those of us who ARE trackable oriented have NOWHERE to go to resolve the problem.

 

Example with a compounded problem: We have a local airport vicinity TB hotel. It shows 12 trackables in inventory. All but 2 (as of today) are ghosts. The trackables have not been there for some time and have been reported to the TO's. Most of those folks are no longer active cachers, so their travellers will never leave the cache via TO 'missing' logs. The cache owners have been MIA for about a year, so they have left the geo-scene, but their cache and the trackables remain. I sent an adoption request e-mail to them and never received a reply. I don't even know if their e-mail is receiving GS messages. Obviously, the cache trackables inventory is WAY off and CANNOT be corrected by anyone left who cares. This is not an isolated case ... it is a serious problem with no solution available.

 

GS reviewers have the ability to disable (ghost for 30 days) caches that are DNF'ed to death or obviously in disrepair or MIA. They have their hands full doing just these, then they have to manually archive the cache. The OP's idea is self-initiated once a time frame factor is attained after a simple 'report' trigger. The process becomes automatic and could not even be time or resource consuming. The suggested system seems to be fully functional once established without resource interference. Those of us who do trackables could use the 'not there' feature and the rest would become automatic ... ghosting the trackable, then in 90 days going to a 'missing' status. The 'return to active' would need no changes or added programming. Not much different than marking the 'needs maintenance' feature in the cache logging process. Not many use it, but it's there for those who care enough to help keep our own house in order.

 

A majority of cachers never even seem to report problems with a cache ... full logs, damaged, broken, mis-placed, etc. But there are options for those who are willing to take the time to assist in keeping caches active and in good order. The current trackables process does NONE of this.

 

Let's not spend time on how and why it CANNOT be done. If GS spent that time working on a simple solution instead of considering reasons 'why not' ... the problem could already be solved.

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Well reasoned discussion is the key - not "+1".

 

I can see that dozens of people piling on and posting nothing more than "+1" makes the forum tedious to read. That said since TPTB apparently got rid of the feedback site (presumably that they created to let us vote on the things we wanted) there's no other way of expressing an approval of an idea even if you have nothing specific to add to the discussion.

 

For all "+1" doesn't say a whole lot I'd rather read a page of "+1" than a page of long posts that do little more than reword the previous few long posts.

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Well reasoned discussion is the key - not "+1".

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

It's been 'discussed' ad nauseum.

It's time for action.

 

If the kids in the back seat keep asking 'Are we there yet?', does it make the car go any faster? Or does it make Dad slow down or, worse, turn around? If TPTB say it's being discussed, don't annoy them with a ton of "I agree" posts.

 

It would be really nice to see something more than "it's being discussed" from TPTB. If they want feedback from the community then engaging with us would be a good thing to do; if they don't want feedback they might as well shut this entire subforum down.

 

If something is being considered for implementation (and this thread started over a year ago, so it's not as if it's a new thought) then some feedback as to whether or not it's going to be done would be good. Since the thread is a year old I'd have thought TPTB could have decided whether or not to do it by now. That said, since it appears they haven't decided, it doesn't hurt to see that people still want it, the idea hasn't gone away, and people like it. Conversely if they were still considering it and saw a tidal wave of good reasons to not do it, they could speed up their decision to not do it.

 

Either way some sign of a decision either way would be nice. It doesn't seem like so much to ask.

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It's obvious that Groundspeak is handling it all wrong.

 

Is it? If the trackable owner doesn't care enough to mark the trackable missing, and if the cache owner doesn't care enough to mark the trackable missing, then it doesn't seem like that big a deal to me. It certainly wouldn't be worth giving up my premium membership for. And it's far less important than a lot of the other features that have been suggested in this forum.

 

It IS a big deal to those of us who enjoy dealing a lot in trackables. I place/hide caches, many of which are designed to be trackable capable. My partner/SO is the trackable / geocoin fanatic.

 

There are a lot of trackables 'stuck' in caches where no action is possible under current GS procedures. A change as suggested in the opening post (OP) would be self-cleansing many caches of lost or forgotten trackables. Trackable owners often abandon the geo-sport and are not around to mark a trackable missing, yet it stays 'active' in a cache. Then the cache owner may also have abandoned the geo-sport or is one of the CO's who don't believe they have any responsibility for trackables maintenance. Meanwhile, those of us who ARE trackable oriented have NOWHERE to go to resolve the problem.

 

Example with a compounded problem: We have a local airport vicinity TB hotel. It shows 12 trackables in inventory. All but 2 (as of today) are ghosts. The trackables have not been there for some time and have been reported to the TO's. Most of those folks are no longer active cachers, so their travellers will never leave the cache via TO 'missing' logs. The cache owners have been MIA for about a year, so they have left the geo-scene, but their cache and the trackables remain. I sent an adoption request e-mail to them and never received a reply. I don't even know if their e-mail is receiving GS messages. Obviously, the cache trackables inventory is WAY off and CANNOT be corrected by anyone left who cares. This is not an isolated case ... it is a serious problem with no solution available.

 

GS reviewers have the ability to disable (ghost for 30 days) caches that are DNF'ed to death or obviously in disrepair or MIA. They have their hands full doing just these, then they have to manually archive the cache. The OP's idea is self-initiated once a time frame factor is attained after a simple 'report' trigger. The process becomes automatic and could not even be time or resource consuming. The suggested system seems to be fully functional once established without resource interference. Those of us who do trackables could use the 'not there' feature and the rest would become automatic ... ghosting the trackable, then in 90 days going to a 'missing' status. The 'return to active' would need no changes or added programming. Not much different than marking the 'needs maintenance' feature in the cache logging process. Not many use it, but it's there for those who care enough to help keep our own house in order.

 

A majority of cachers never even seem to report problems with a cache ... full logs, damaged, broken, mis-placed, etc. But there are options for those who are willing to take the time to assist in keeping caches active and in good order. The current trackables process does NONE of this.

 

Let's not spend time on how and why it CANNOT be done. If GS spent that time working on a simple solution instead of considering reasons 'why not' ... the problem could already be solved.

 

Exactly... Thanks for the explanation. We see the exact same thing all the time.

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Well reasoned discussion is the key - not "+1".

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

It's been 'discussed' ad nauseum.

It's time for action.

 

If the kids in the back seat keep asking 'Are we there yet?', does it make the car go any faster? Or does it make Dad slow down or, worse, turn around? If TPTB say it's being discussed, don't annoy them with a ton of "I agree" posts.

 

It would be really nice to see something more than "it's being discussed" from TPTB. If they want feedback from the community then engaging with us would be a good thing to do; if they don't want feedback they might as well shut this entire subforum down.

 

If something is being considered for implementation (and this thread started over a year ago, so it's not as if it's a new thought) then some feedback as to whether or not it's going to be done would be good. Since the thread is a year old I'd have thought TPTB could have decided whether or not to do it by now. That said, since it appears they haven't decided, it doesn't hurt to see that people still want it, the idea hasn't gone away, and people like it. Conversely if they were still considering it and saw a tidal wave of good reasons to not do it, they could speed up their decision to not do it.

 

Either way some sign of a decision either way would be nice. It doesn't seem like so much to ask.

 

+1

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Well reasoned discussion is the key - not "+1".

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

It's been 'discussed' ad nauseum.

It's time for action.

 

If the kids in the back seat keep asking 'Are we there yet?', does it make the car go any faster? Or does it make Dad slow down or, worse, turn around? If TPTB say it's being discussed, don't annoy them with a ton of "I agree" posts.

 

It would be really nice to see something more than "it's being discussed" from TPTB. If they want feedback from the community then engaging with us would be a good thing to do; if they don't want feedback they might as well shut this entire subforum down.

 

If something is being considered for implementation (and this thread started over a year ago, so it's not as if it's a new thought) then some feedback as to whether or not it's going to be done would be good. Since the thread is a year old I'd have thought TPTB could have decided whether or not to do it by now. That said, since it appears they haven't decided, it doesn't hurt to see that people still want it, the idea hasn't gone away, and people like it. Conversely if they were still considering it and saw a tidal wave of good reasons to not do it, they could speed up their decision to not do it.

 

Either way some sign of a decision either way would be nice. It doesn't seem like so much to ask.

 

+1

 

A BIG +1

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on 10/26/12 at 10:43am

I can't give you any specifics or a timeframe, but an overhaul of the trackables system is currently in the brainstorming phase.

 

on 10/26/12 at 5:10pm

I guess my phrasing was a bit underwhelming. However, as a longtime cacher, I can tell you that I am very excited about the changes being discussed.

 

then at 5:32pm (the same day) ....

One year to get to the 'brainstorming phase'.

 

Once implemented, will this be compatible with Windows 12?

 

<_<

Or Firefox 149?

 

There has been no commitment to put it on the schedule to develop, so there's no real status update to offer you.

 

Brainstorming ??

 

Exciting changes being discussed ??

 

Selling tracking numbers worldwide >> profitable

Selling special icons worldwide >> profitable

Selling geocaching trackables worldwide>> profitable

Selling special trackable codes >> profitable

Selling travel bugs worldwide >> profitable

Selling through worldwide affiliates >> profitable

 

Fixing the trackables so they truly ARE >> PRICELESS

 

**********************

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on 10/26/12 at 10:43am

I can't give you any specifics or a timeframe, but an overhaul of the trackables system is currently in the brainstorming phase.

 

on 10/26/12 at 5:10pm

I guess my phrasing was a bit underwhelming. However, as a longtime cacher, I can tell you that I am very excited about the changes being discussed.

 

then at 5:32pm (the same day) ....

One year to get to the 'brainstorming phase'.

 

Once implemented, will this be compatible with Windows 12?

 

<_<

Or Firefox 149?

 

There has been no commitment to put it on the schedule to develop, so there's no real status update to offer you.

 

Brainstorming ??

 

Exciting changes being discussed ??

 

Selling tracking numbers worldwide >> profitable

Selling special icons worldwide >> profitable

Selling geocaching trackables worldwide>> profitable

Selling special trackable codes >> profitable

Selling travel bugs worldwide >> profitable

Selling through worldwide affiliates >> profitable

 

Fixing the trackables so they truly ARE >> PRICELESS

 

**********************

 

Maybe the storm in this version of "brainstorming" looks more like a spot of gentle drizzle than a storm.

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I love the idea. I would add one additional check to the process.

 

Don't ghost the trackable until perhaps the third ghost log. This would help guard against false positives where someone just overlooked the traveler in the cache.

 

This would be a big step in the right direction.

 

A note for those purusing this discussion : if I'm not mistaken, you'll find the last post which develops the concept with an idea for this feature on page 2. Most of the remaining posts are discussing Groundspeak reactivity to this problem or expressing support for or disagreement with the concept.

 

First, I can heartily support a solution from Groundspeak to the problem of ghost TBs and Geocoins. I am really tired of the disappointment of not finding a trackable were it should be and don't feel I should need to spend the time to research whether trackables are actually in the cache. Mails to COs and TOs more often than not go unanswered. The occurrences of ghost trackables detracts significantly from the caching experience and the current system of leaving clean up to COs and TOs has been demonstrated to be ineffective.

 

Second, I agree that requiring 3 ghost logs is reasonable as a necessary (but not sufficient) condition prior to an automatic attribution to Missing/Unknown location (insures that caches which are infrequently visited don't result in trackables being marked prematurely) and that a signal should be given to the cacher on the cache page that the trackable has been marked missing starting from the first ghost log.

 

Third, I believe another necessary condition is that sufficient time is allowed after the first ghost log before attributing the trackable to Missing/Unknown location which will cover the case where a finder just hasn't got around to logging it before others have visited the cache (maybe they're on vacation and can't get an internet access along the way). Say three weeks should be enough?

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I love the idea. I would add one additional check to the process.

 

Don't ghost the trackable until perhaps the third ghost log. This would help guard against false positives where someone just overlooked the traveler in the cache.

 

This would be a big step in the right direction.

 

A note for those purusing this discussion : if I'm not mistaken, you'll find the last post which develops the concept with an idea for this feature on page 2. Most of the remaining posts are discussing Groundspeak reactivity to this problem or expressing support for or disagreement with the concept.

 

First, I can heartily support a solution from Groundspeak to the problem of ghost TBs and Geocoins. I am really tired of the disappointment of not finding a trackable were it should be and don't feel I should need to spend the time to research whether trackables are actually in the cache. Mails to COs and TOs more often than not go unanswered. The occurrences of ghost trackables detracts significantly from the caching experience and the current system of leaving clean up to COs and TOs has been demonstrated to be ineffective.

 

Second, I agree that requiring 3 ghost logs is reasonable as a necessary (but not sufficient) condition prior to an automatic attribution to Missing/Unknown location (insures that caches which are infrequently visited don't result in trackables being marked prematurely) and that a signal should be given to the cacher on the cache page that the trackable has been marked missing starting from the first ghost log.

 

Third, I believe another necessary condition is that sufficient time is allowed after the first ghost log before attributing the trackable to Missing/Unknown location which will cover the case where a finder just hasn't got around to logging it before others have visited the cache (maybe they're on vacation and can't get an internet access along the way). Say three weeks should be enough?

 

Thanks for your response,

and i encourage you to suggest to your concerned caching friends that they respond too.

 

EXMAN

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Thanks for your suggestion MRS B,

and i'd like to encourage you to suggest to your concerned caching friends that they respond to your post to help stimulate positive discussion.

 

EXMAN

 

I put up this Feature Suggestion about 14 months ago.

 

It seems to have been one of the most popular suggestions - if one can make any judgement from the number of posted replies.

 

I have got nothing more to add to the original idea and I'm not going to go around badgering caching friends to come and add their own tuppence worth to this thread.

 

I'm sure that Groundspeak know how bad the situation is regarding these "ghost trackables". They probably know that it annoys/frustrates/produces migraine headaches/concerns/disappoints* a few cachers who are particularly interested in trackables. I see more and more disenchantment with the whole Trackables' Scene every year - more and more comments like "I won't be bothering to release any more TBs/geocoins" - but I see no evidence that that is of any great concern to Groundspeak. I guess that the disenchantment is not showing up as anything that's causing them financial or commercial concern. No doubt trackables are still selling well enough from their point of view.

 

It may be that the whole "ghost trackables" problem is such a big mess that it'll never be cleaned up / sorted out / improved upon. It will just continue to get worse and worse as year upon year more layers of ghosts stagnate in more and more cache inventories... It's beginning to sound like a Stephen King novel, isn't it?

 

I hope that some sort of ruthless system can be created to sweep all these lingering spectres away, once and for all, but as the months go by I see no sign of any Exorcist approaching over the horizon.

 

MrsB

 

*I identify with the latter two categories.

Edited by The Blorenges

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I love this idea. I typically don't bother checking to see if a cache has any trackables anymore because most of the time they are not there. When I do find a trackable I am usually very excited and try to help as much as I can.

 

The effectiveness of this feature would soley depend on the participation of the cachers and we all know that some people just don't care to do more than just log their find.

 

Another thing that could help with the ghost trackable is the the TO actually monitors their Trackable status and if it has been sitting in a cache forever and everyone is saying that the trackable isn't there then they mark it as missing.

 

Many of the features on the site depend on COs and TOs being responsible for their items and I have noticed as this hobby/game grows more and more individuals are not keeping up with their own items.

Edited by ARONK76

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I love this idea. I typically don't bother checking to see if a cache has any trackables anymore because most of the time they are not there. When I do find a trackable I am usually very excited and try to help as much as I can.

 

The effectiveness of this feature would soley depend on the participation of the cachers and we all know that some people just don't care to do more than just log their find.

 

Another thing that could help with the ghost trackable is the the TO actually monitors their Trackable status and if it has been sitting in a cache forever and everyone is saying that the trackable isn't there then they mark it as missing.

 

Many of the features on the site depend on COs and TOs being responsible for their items and I have noticed as this hobby/game grows more and more individuals are not keeping up with their own items.

 

True, but it's not fair that the TOs and COs that don't care are spoiling the party for the serious cachers. If we at least had functionalities like this, the serious cachers could let each other know. If this was available, I would use it all the time there are lots that don't care, but there also many who do...

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I love this idea. I typically don't bother checking to see if a cache has any trackables anymore because most of the time they are not there. When I do find a trackable I am usually very excited and try to help as much as I can.

 

The effectiveness of this feature would soley depend on the participation of the cachers and we all know that some people just don't care to do more than just log their find.

 

Not much different than the ability of cachers to make entries on "log your visit". There are a number of options always available that FEW cachers utilize. But ... there are at least options for those who choose to help keep the sport housekeeping in order.

 

Another thing that could help with the ghost trackable is the the TO actually monitors their Trackable status and if it has been sitting in a cache forever and everyone is saying that the trackable isn't there then they mark it as missing.

 

Many of the features on the site depend on COs and TOs being responsible for their items and I have noticed as this hobby/game grows more and more individuals are not keeping up with their own items.

 

(also note colored response above ^^^)

 

I agree that it would be a welcome event if more TO's and CO's performed more maintenance. The real truth behind most of this is that the TO's and CO's have DISAPPEARED and are themselves ... M.I.A. They no longer log in and no longer cache or care, so they cannot possibly perform the maintenance required.

 

Fortunately, I am retired and have this as one hobby that I have the time to follow and investigate, more so than many recreational cachers. My partner/wife (also retired) is the real 'trackables' addict and it takes the 2 of us many hours each month just to keep her records and trackables in order. We could spend a whole lot less time if we had a system like the one described instead of having to investigate each trackable individually for the current status of CO's and TO's before writing e-mails to each one, keeping track of the mails, then trying to follow-up ... all of which becomes totally pointless when no one answers and nothing can be done further.

 

Without some intervention and assistance from GS, there WILL come a day when we will no longer beat the dead horse. It will also be the day that we stop putting trackables in circulation and put those meaningless efforts and pointless hours into simply caching for the numbers and enjoying her 'in house' geocoin collection. It will be a sad day indeed ... :(

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Suggestion for stages:

 

A cacher visits a cache where a trackable is listed, but it's not in the cache. They log this on the trackable's page using a new logtype: Not in Cache. This notification goes to the TO and CO.

 

Additionally, this logging action automatically "greys out" that trackable from that cache inventory. (Not removes it completely, just greys out the text a bit - It could even be referred to as "ghosting the trackable". That would be enough to alert everyone that the trackable is not there.)

 

What next?

 

After a period of 3 months (open to debate!), if that trackable has no further 'movement' log on it (i.e. a 'retrieve' or 'grab') the system automatically marks it 'Missing'. It goes to the limbo state of "Unknown Location" and disappears from the cache inventory.

 

During the 3 month period any any further 'retrieve' or 'grab' log on the trackable would automatically confirm its existence and bring it back to full opaqueness.

 

Note: If any trackable passes into Unknown Location through an error (e.g. it was in the cache but the cacher just didn't see it there) it is very easily brought back into the game by the next person who finds it and notes the tracking number. Marking any trackable as Missing does not mean (and has never meant) that the item can not return to the game.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

No doubt there are various "But what if?" scenarios to be considered and I've no idea how easy/difficult it would be to set this up. But there are far too many trackable ghosts around in caches - I've seen some dating back to 2008. I'd happily bet that those are no longer in those caches. As years go by and more and more trackables enter the field cache inventories become increasingly inaccurate. I feel it's time to address this problem. The current system of trying to get COs or TOs to remove these ghosts is not effective enough.

 

 

MrsB :)

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I think this is a great idea, there are so many times I need to contact CO to try to get them to remove them from cache, most of the time I don't get responses back so this would work better than what is out there right now. Unsure why it hasn't been implemented yet. I know I would use it.

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During the 3 month period any any further 'retrieve' or 'grab' log on the trackable would automatically confirm its existence and bring it back to full opaqueness.

 

Note: If any trackable passes into Unknown Location through an error (e.g. it was in the cache but the cacher just didn't see it there) it is very easily brought back into the game by the next person who finds it and notes the tracking number. Marking any trackable as Missing does not mean (and has never meant) that the item can not return to the game.

 

------------------------------------------------

 

I've had a trackable go missing for more that a year... The person that took it moved and it got mixed into a box that wasn't opened for some time... I can't see any complaints providing that if/when a trackable is found, 3 months, a year, 3 years... whatever... that it can at that time be "brought back to life"

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Generally a good plan. As noted by another writer, older eyes have trouble with the 'greyed' out feature. Yes, you young pups may also someday have old eyes. It's a good idea, but consider parentheses or something else instead. I agree that more icons get more confusing. Keep it simple, please.

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Such a shame that GS was too busy working on creating (then removing) Challenges to add this option. A very minor feature compared to the effort that went into Challenges. And I'm a programmer so I have at least a bit of an idea what would be required.

 

Also such a shame that cachers can't or won't take the extra step to actually log the trackable they took. Why not also add a prompt after the cache is logged, something like "This cache had trackables listed. Did you take a trackable item? Please enter the code now: ________". I think this would help a lot since the user would not have to take the extra step to hunt down the trackable page.

 

This is far past due. And while you are at it, how about automatically disabling the cache when a "Needs Maintenance" or "Needs Archived" log is not responded to in a month or three? Missing trackables are one thing, abandoned missing caches are far worse.

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Yes please, as the OP suggested. This is needed. It's been a year this has been kicked around and not implemented yet?

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Get's my vote - too often we're heading off to find a cache with the added incentive of one or two trackables, only to find nowt in the box and then subsequently to learn the trackables haven't been seen in the box for Months. [:)]

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I totally agree. As owner of a missing TB, one that hasn't been moved in a while, and one recently released I would support ghosting TBs. It would alert me emmediately that it may be missing and could start the process of getting it back into circulation faster.

 

It would also be nice to download more information about TBs in my GPS such as it mission, where they came from. I've inadertenty brought a TB BACK to where it came from once. And one time I made a point to move a bug close to its final destination (mission) by placing it in a TB hotel along the route to that location, but whoever picked it up actually brought it in the wrong direction and back toward me!!!! Ugh.

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Also, there are times when I know I'm going on a trip and will be geocaching so I want to pick up a few TBs only to find none in the caches that promised trackable inventory! Frusterating. Now that challenges are gone maybe Groundspeak can now focus on elevating Trackables.

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