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LooneyTunes

Totally bummed with GC.com

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I have been geocaching for years, am a paying member, tell EVERYBODY I can about the site, and have introduced lots of new players to the sport. I was even in an article in our local paper about it (well, ok, so have most of the rest of you :-)

 

Last week I tried to post a new virtual and had an admin, hemlock, suggest I make it a micro instead. Because I had had a few recent bad experiences with cache approval, and because I am a bit of a fool, I sent him back a sarcastic response, suggesting he go a head and post the cache and let me decide for myself whether the cache is a good one. I wasn't exactly rude, but I was pretty snotty. The message is included below, for anyone interested.

 

Then I compounded the situation by venting on this board, as well.

 

That was, apparently, a mistake. I meant the things I said, but they could just have well gone unsaid.

 

Anyway, I have since had no luck whatsoever getting any response to a handful of messages, either to that admin or to contact@geocaching.com. I feel like this is probably because I am now considered a Bad Geocacher :-|

 

I am really bummed that geocaching.com *might be* a place where you can get black listed if you speak out in the wrong way.

 

If anyone here wants to offer an explanation to the contrary, I sure am open to hearing it. I hope to be able to continue using the site and hiding caches for you Bay Area cache hunters. But I don't know... I'm beginning to wonder if I have gotten myself kicked out of here...

 

Geocaching.com... I'm sorry! Please let me play!

 

With utmost sincerity,

Rick

aka LooneyTunes

 

My complete correspondences with gc.com are below.

 

 

########################################

 

Sent Friday, 9/5, to Hemlock

 

Hi,

 

I've hidden 20 or 30 caches and do indeed know how to hide them. I have hidden micro caches with custom made containers, multipart caches that require local trivia and crossword puzzle skills, series of themed caches (virtual and traditional), etc. I think I am qualified to decide where to hide a cache :-)

 

At this cache site, in a relatively unexplored industrial area in which some people might not feel comfortable searching for a physical cache, we discovered a giant, 50-foot tall statue of a lion. It's is huge, unmissable, and has no apparent reason for being there (maybe a business that left the area???). It's the kind of virtual cache experience that people enjoy. I've found a few hundred myself and know that!

 

To be frank, I think you guys take your "approval" rights a bit too far sometimes. Think about it like this... I really don't like microcaches. I found my first cache in February of 2001 (prior to creating my current account) and at that time geocaching was a completely different experience. It was about getting out and taking a walk, long or short, but out there. The rare microcache was a different kind of treat. Now people seem to think every newspaper bin or dumpster needs a film canister stuck on the bottom. So, because I (and lots of other people) feel that way, would you want me challenging people, making them justify it every time they wanted to hide one? That would be none of my business. Right?

 

That's how I feel about you and my virtual cache :-)

 

Please go ahead and approve it. I have another unusual virtual in the area (as well as a traditional!) and like to make it worth people's while to visit this interesting area.

 

Thanks!

Rick

 

########################################

 

Sent Friday, 9/5, to Hemlock

 

"1. A virtual cache must be of a physical object that can be referenced through latitude and longitude coordinates."

 

Not to spoil the cache, but it is a giant, 50-foot statue of an animal. There is no apparent reason why it is here and it is very sureal.

 

"2. A virtual cache must be novel, of interest to other players, and have a special historic, community or geocaching quality that sets it apart from everyday subjects."

 

See above. The cache is very interesting and unique.

 

"3. Virtual caches are not commercial"

 

Nothing remotely commercial about this cache.

 

"4. Virtual caches should be geographically dispersed."

 

No other caches within .10 miles

 

"5. There should be one or more questions about an item at a location, something seen at that location, etc., that only the visitor to that physical location will be able to answer."

 

Cache seekers are required to email us the identity of the object before they log their find.

 

"6. An original photo can be an acceptable way to verify a find, or an email to the owner with valid answers for the question or questions."

 

See above...

 

"7. Understand that although the virtual cache is not something you physically maintain, you must maintain your virtual cache's web page and respond to inquiries."

 

We have many virutal caches and "maintian" them with much diligence!

 

 

########################################

 

Sent Monday, 9/8, to Hemlock

 

Hey, I just wanted to check on this one more time. Don't know if you received my previous email or not. Do you know if this cache is going to be approvable or not? I read back through the latest virtual guidelines and feel that is meets them all, including WOW Factor. (If you didn't see my earlier email, it is a huge, 50-foot statue of a lion -- don't know why it's there and it's kinda wierd and surreal. Definately a WOW.)

 

Anyway, can you let me know what the final disposition of this cache will be? I'd like closure if nothing else :-)

 

Basically, I am pretty careful about the caches I create, to make them good and enjoyable, anyway. We have another virutal in the vicinity and it has been very well received by locals. Check the logs on that one (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=41870). We have gotten numerous comments about people's childhoods there, anecdotes, etc. One of the most recent cachers, Wandering Ron said "This area could probably use a few more caches. It is worth the drive, thanks." So, we knew about this strange, giant lion and made it a virt. We also have a traditional in the area (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=41866) and like the combination of caches -- kind of an introduction to the area.

 

Anyway, my only point is that I thought this out quite a bit and feel it lives up to a pretty high standard. Plus, I feel like it meets all of the guidelines. All together, our three caches in the area (Point Richmond, CA), make it a great destination for geocachers.

 

So, can you let me know which way it will go? Are you going to approve it or deny it?

 

Thanks,

Rick

 

 

########################################

 

Sent Monday, 9/8, to Hemlock

 

Hey, just wanted to share the latest log (came in a few hours ago) on our nearby virt; this is how people have enjoyed these types of caches in this location, and is why we want to hide the one we have awaiting approval.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=41870

This is such a wonderful old place. There was an award winning documentary produced about it locally within the last couple of years (and aired on KQED not long ago) that really helped bring to life this place's dynamic history and what a vibrant and essential part of the community it was (and hopefully will be again some day...).

 

 

########################################

 

Sent Wednesday, 9/10, to Hemlock and contact@geocaching.com

 

Hello,

 

I am trying to find out the status of this cache, currently pending approval or disapproval:

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=90773

 

I have sent multiple messages to the admin who originally contacted me, hemlock, for more information (see below), but have heard nothing back. This is probably due to the fact that I was pretty blunt in my first response concerning my feelings about the cache approval process. While my feelings haven't changed, I now wish I hadn't expressed them to hemlock -- he is, of course, just trying to do a good job of approving caches.

 

I have also since taken the time to find out what the rules really are about virtual cahces, which I didn't do before responding. They have changed quite a bit since I last looked. I still think that my cache fits within these rules (again, see my past email messages below).

 

I am unhappy not to be able to get a response one way or another on this. I expect it is due to hard feelings which I caused, or perhaps the admin is just busy, but I don't think I should have to wait this long either way.

 

I have been using geocaching.com since February 2001, became a paying member probably the first day it was an option, and am still a paying member, having renewed once. I have hidden many caches, and found hundreds. I have introduced literally dozens of people to the site. I feel that I at least deserve the courtesy of a response on this. I am sorry if I offended hemlock, that was not my intent. I don't think it is inappropriate for me to express my thought on this, but I could have done so in a better way. Rest assured, I will be more careful in the future.

 

Please take a look at my cache and let me know if it will be approved, and when. And if not, I would like to know which of the virt rules it breaks.

 

Thanks

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Totally bummed with GC.com , I am Totally Bummed out by posters starting new threads about the same thing , if don’t you hear what you want to you just start a new one in hopes that it will make a difference.

 

This is the third one, its time to move on…………………..JOE

 

If you are going to quit then quit

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Joe, you must be reading someone else's posts. I have never said anything about quiting. I asked for assistance.

 

Sorry if I am not using the boards like you want me to -- different boards work differently and I don't follow these actively.

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Hi LooneyTunes,

 

I have not made my way to your email that was sent yesterday. Hemlock did call it to my attention last night and I will look at it today.

 

You have not been placed on a blacklist or any other list. Thanks for you patience with my reply.

 

Hemlock has discussed this geocache with me and many of the admins on different occasions. His decision was based on those discussions as well as the replies from you, the cache hider.

 

I will look for you email, you may expect a reply soon. Thanks for your patience.

 

frog.gif hydee frog.gif

I work for the frog

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Thank you sooo much, hydee. I really appreciate the response. I know my initial reply to hemlock was off base and I've been concerned. I really do appreciate your work making the site run.

 

Rick

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Personally, I think you virtual cache idea sounds pretty boring. Everywhere you look there are giant statues of lions, gigantic inflated king kongs, giant T-rex's, etc. What does spotting a giant lion from a half a mile away have to do with geocaching? Give me a break. Sorry, I do not feel sorry for you. Great job cache approvers for sticking to your guns.

 

-Wily Javelina

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quote:
Originally posted by Wily Javelina:

Personally, I think you virtual cache idea sounds pretty boring.


Besides, you can't stick a travelbug into a virt. Which detracts from value of Groundspeak's most important commercial product.

 

Just venting. Oops, who just said something about blacklisting here? Not that care much about virtuals, but these travel bugs accumulating in droves at the top of MY CACHE PAGE do irritate me a lot. And so does the attitude of some shameless gc.addicts. Come on, Looney, you may be addicted, you may cherish geocaching above all else, but still, why kowtow like this in a public forum? Can't we all just try to play like a community of like-minded equals?

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Any who's been around this website knows that they have cracked down on virtuals. Jeremy has even said that it's more likely than not that virtual submissions will be rejected. They are trying to get back to the basic concept of listing caches. The new standard for virtuals is a good one. For one to be approved it has to be of significant intererst AND there must be no way to incorporate a real cache.

 

Since everyone knows this, why do they continue to try to list virtuals, then b*tch when they aren't approved?

 

"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on his hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" - Max Beerbohm

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

Any who's been around this website knows that they have cracked down on virtuals.


Correction: anyone's who's been around the forums knows that. LooneyTunes only has 17 posts, and except for two posts from yesterday in the "Northern CA Handicapped access" thread, they're all in threads related to the non-approval of a cache. Unless you can point to the place on the front page where it says virts are now strongly discouraged, I'm gonna have to say that LooneyTunes didn't have any way of knowing that. Yes, the cache hiding guidelines do mention that you should think about placing a micro or otherwise making it a traditional cache, but if you've been around since July of 2001, as LooneyTunes has, there's a good chance you haven't read them lately.

 

pirate.cgi.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by MOCKBA:

Besides, you can't stick a travelbug into a virt.


Sure you can. You just can't leave it there. icon_wink.gif I know it's not your point - but I've used virtual caches for handoffs between cachers all the time.

 

Markwell

Chicago Geocaching

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quote:
Originally posted by Markwell:

quote:
Originally posted by MOCKBA:

Besides, you can't stick a travelbug into a virt.


Sure you can. You just can't leave it there. icon_wink.gif I know it's not your point - but I've used virtual caches for handoffs between cachers all the time.

Actually the virtuals I look for are all in the wilderness (another pet peeve), and leaving weather-proof travellers there should be OK.

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

Any who's been around this website knows that they have cracked down on virtuals.


Correction: anyone's who's been around the _forums_ knows that. LooneyTunes only has 17 posts, and except for two posts from yesterday in the "Northern CA Handicapped access" thread, they're all in threads related to the non-approval of a cache. Unless you can point to the place on the front page where it says virts are now strongly discouraged, I'm gonna have to say that LooneyTunes didn't have any way of knowing that. Yes, the cache hiding guidelines do mention that you should think about placing a micro or otherwise making it a traditional cache, but if you've been around since July of 2001, as LooneyTunes has, there's a good chance you haven't read them lately.

 


 

Correction: Anyone who's been around.....

 

migo_sig_logo.jpg

__________________________

Caching without a clue....

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Greetings!

 

Holy Cow!! I have found a kindred spirit after reading LooneyTunes post about what I call THE WAR ON VIRTUAL CACHES.

 

I am the proud owner of several historical virtue caches. I put 100s of hours of research into these and they all include a bunch of background. When you visit my historical or military caches you are certain to learn something. I get LOADS of comments thanking me for having a cache that causes people to stop "and smell the roses" - many from people who drive by these sights year after year and wouldnt have stopped and learned if it werent for the cache.

 

I too have had numerous run-ins with approval nazis. It seems that volunteering to be an approver is a task that is undertaken only by those on a power trip.

 

I also consider myself to be on King Jeremy's black list.

 

For many months I have wondered why GC.com has such a strange hatred of virtuals and yet approves almost ANY traditional cache - no matter how silly or junky it is.

 

Earlier this week I found two new trads in Reading PA - they were posted in floodplains using a semi-disposable Hefty plastic container. They contained almost no trade items. The hider was a brand new cacher who had SIX (6) finds. A complete waste of my time other than to add 2 finds to my total. Little thought was put into their creation and they were boring and served no purpose whatsoever.

 

Later that day my new cache fails to get approval ( Tennessee Geocacher ) because its a virtual. First he requests the coordinates of the five statues even after I explain that they are close enough together to have the coordinates be statistically the same. Then he sends a LONG list of demands and again suggests I include a micro cache. He says that if my "only purpose" for this cache is to bring people to the statues I should consider posting to www.waypoint.org Yes, my purpose is to bring people to the statues and learn some fascinating history.

 

So, I now need to add a micro or have this cache die the slow painful death that it is headed for.

 

Why I ask, why, does Jeremy HATE virtuals and guide his legions of subservient approvers to deny almost all?

 

The saddest thing of all is that MANY virtuals are handicapped accessible and MANY trads are not. If I was in a wheelchair I would be pissed that so many virtuals are denied.

 

Some love virts, some hate them but there are many great locations where putting a box of junk in the bushes would only be a distraction. Learning something IS the goal not exchanging worthless trinkets. For some reason this is a hard concept for gc.com to understand.

 

Adding more black to my name on Jeremy's blacklist.

 

Sincerely,

PULASKI

 

The latest denied cache:

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=91922

More info to be added as the cache is developed

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

Any who's been around this website knows that they have cracked down on virtuals.

 

[sNIP][/sNIP]

 

Since everyone knows this, why do they continue to try to list virtuals, then b*tch when they aren't approved?

 


 

I have to disagree. Unless you've been around the forums or have attempted to list a virtual - you may not know about this. I think a disclaimer in BOLD on the listing page would help (and an inclusion in the weekly emails listing new caches within an area). There are quite a few people who don't read the forums and may not be aware of this new (it's not that new, but still relatively new) rule.

 

I'll agree that the guidelines concerning virtuals is clear - but not everybody reads the rules every time they list a new cache. A page for new or changed rules would be useful - and I think having it on the page AFTER you select VIRTUAL as a type would be a good place for this particular bit of information.

 

southdeltan

 

"Man can counterfeit everything except silence". - William Faulkner

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quote:
Originally posted by PULASKI:

I too have had numerous run-ins with approval nazis. It seems that volunteering to be an approver is a task that is undertaken only by those on a power trip.


For the record, most of the current cache approvers did not ask for the job, they were chosen by the other approvers and TPTB. We accept the offer as a way to give back something extra to the community. If you take this job for a power trip, you are in for a rude awakening. It's far from it. We often spend hours a day reviewing caches and answering questions from other cachers. Hours we used to spend geocaching so you and others have new caches to find. We know every move we make gets reported back to the forums, and we know Jeremy will remove an admin that does appear to be on any sort of power trip. We get cursed at, insulted, and called nazis on a daily basis, yet still we try to be helpful and adhere to the guidelines. We have to approve the boxes of junk under a bush if they meet the guidelines, just like we approve virtuals that meet the guidelines. All that time and BS, and we do it for free. Yup, some power trip this is.

 

quote:
Originally posted by PULASKI:

Why I ask, why, does Jeremy HATE virtuals and guide his legions of subservient approvers to deny almost all?

 

The saddest thing of all is that MANY virtuals are handicapped accessible and MANY trads are not. If I was in a wheelchair I would be pissed that so many virtuals are denied.

 

Some love virts, some hate them but there are many great locations where putting a box of junk in the bushes would only be a distraction. Learning something IS the goal not exchanging worthless trinkets. For some reason this is a hard concept for gc.com to understand.

 


Geocaching started with a box full of trinkets in the bushes, not the with the coords to a statue. The word cache means a container, not a historic marker. When virtual caches were created, they were intended to be used only in places it was impossible or illegal to place a traditional stype cache. They were not intended as an alternative to a physical cache. For some reason this is a hard concept for some people to understand. This website lists waypoints for geocaches, not waypoints for tourist attractions, historic plaques, markers, scenic overlooks, old houses, big trees, blue fire hydrants or old sneakers.

 

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

bad_boy_a.gif Personal slave of The Frog. bad_boy_a.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by PULASKI:

The saddest thing of all is that MANY virtuals are handicapped accessible and MANY trads are not. If I was in a wheelchair I would be pissed that so many virtuals are denied.


One last thing. You might be surprised to know some of the approvers 'nazis' have family members in wheelchairs or other handicaps. The excuse that you need virtuals for handicapped people is just that, an excuse. If you really want to do something for cachers in wheelchairs, go hide a cache they can do, something more challenging then driving past a stature. Trust me, the cachers I know in wheelchairs are pretty dadgum tired of roadside plaques.

 

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

bad_boy_a.gif Personal slave of The Frog. bad_boy_a.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by NJ Admin:

[Geocaching started with a box full of trinkets in the bushes, not the with the coords to a statue. The word cache means a container, not a historic marker. When virtual caches were created, they were intended to be used only in places it was impossible or illegal to place a traditional stype cache. They were not intended as an alternative to a physical cache.


Not everything which was intended before continues to be the best choice *now*. If the cache thought stayed put, there wouldn't be mystery caches, virtual caches, benchmarking, you name it. It is too late to enforce the puritanism of yesteryears, but not too late to tap the creativity of the community, for it is the single most important resource we have.

Yes we know that the rule of approvers is, "if it can be made a physical, let it be a physical". But IMVHO the opposite applies. "If it can be a virtual, let it be a virtual". Caches with the emphasis on content or container (theme caches, info-providing parts of multis, cleverly concealed containers) quite obviously *must* be physical. Quite a few of the others will be just fine as virtuals ( less reasons for the critics to invoke the geo-trash mantra!). Some of the others will make just as lame virts as they are in their physical incarnation. These just shall not exist.

To make my point more forcefully, I logged my first textbook-case historical virtual today. I would ordinarily consider it a 'lame virt' and ignore it. But I feel that there is a conflict, and that TPTB have gone too far, and a good defense of the good virts is long overdue.

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Tired of virtual caches? How so? I don't hunt benchmarks and I'm not tired of them at all. It's actually quite a simple philosopy to implement and I think it would work just as well for virtual caches. People tired of them could get a refreshing break by implementing this policy.

 

In my opinion Benchmarking has all the worst qualities of Virtual Caches and none of the redeeming features. Even so people enjoy finding them. Enjoying the hunt seems to be the point. If it wasn't then why did they bother to list benchmarks here anyway? Come to think of it, whey did they come up with virtual caches? Must of seemed like a good idea at the time.

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For those of you who LOVE virtuals, there is a website for you. It's called www.waypoint.org.

In case you didn't notice, this site is called www.geoCACHING.com and it's point is to list CACHES.

 

"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on his hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" - Max Beerbohm

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

In case you didn't notice, this site is called http://www.geoCACHING.com and it's point is to list CACHES.


"In case you didn't notice, this land is called GERMANY and it's point is to multiply GERMANS." - Hitler

I don't see your point, BrianSnat. Nobody around here is making a concerted effort to ban or severely restrict traditional caches. It is a group of trad-cachers who are out to suffocate virtual-hunting and benchmarking. These activities were created and nourished within the framework of gc.com, but you want them dead or crippled now. Or banished to the infertile, barren reservation at waypoints.com. But remember what the Fox said in Saint-Exupery's Little Prince? "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."

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Hear Hear!!

 

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

Free your mind and the rest will follow action-smiley-076.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

For those of you who LOVE virtuals, there is a website for you. It's called http://www.waypoint.org.

In case you didn't notice, this site is called http://www.geoCACHING.com and it's point is to list CACHES.


 

Waypoint.org is a site where you can visit different locations be it historical or not. If you are truely into virtual caches to learn something then that would be a great site for you.

 

I think the point Brian is making is that since there is a site like waypoint.org why is it necessary to clutter up this site with the same info. Info that can be found by searching the web. I am interested in finding new places to but don't need virtual caches to do this. A simple drive in the vehicle can do the same.

 

I couldn't care less about virtual caches and I hunt them and have placed two. As far as the two I've placed I'm currently working on plans to have physical caches in the area. At this point they are active but place holders until I work out all of the details and find the time to place the caches.

 

Personally I would like to see Virts go the way of benchmarks and have their own category as not to clutter up the space of traditional caches. If that were possible then maybe things wouldn't need to be so tight when it comes to approving a virt.

 

migo_sig_logo.jpg

__________________________

Caching without a clue....

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quote:
Originally posted by NJ Admin:
Originally posted by PULASKI:

The saddest thing of all is that MANY virtuals are handicapped accessible and MANY trads are not. If I was in a wheelchair I would be pissed that so many virtuals are denied.


One last thing. You might be surprised to know some of the approvers 'nazis' have family members in wheelchairs or other handicaps. The excuse that you need virtuals for handicapped people is just that, an excuse. If you really want to do something for cachers in wheelchairs, go hide a cache they can do, something more challenging then driving past a stature. Trust me, the cachers I know in wheelchairs are pretty dadgum tired of roadside plaques.

javascript:void(0)

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

S.S. - I agree with you about these points. You hit it right on the head. I am starting to see the error of my ways after reading thru these forums. A great deal can be learned from these disussions and i will attempt to keep them in mind when I place future caches. Thanks for the hours you put in...

 

chick-a-flair-nairnt

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I still want to know What does spotting a giant lion from a half a mile away have to do with geocaching?

 

I am not against virtuals, infact I am all for them. I am against BAD virtuals.

See GCB8B2 as a prime example of a bad virtual.

 

-Wily Javelina

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quote:
I still want to know What does spotting a giant lion from a half a mile away have to do with geocaching?

 

I am not against virtuals, infact I am all for them. I am against BAD virtuals.

See GCB8B2 as a prime example of a bad virtual.

 

-Wily Javelina


 

I Don't know I thought that GCB8B2 was actually a nice show of Tuscon Architecture. Some people might like lions, some people might like architecture. What drives me crazy are micros stuck in drain pipes under concrete bridges like GCB3A6 (Sorry Willy, I just had to icon_wink.gif. I even have some PITA micros that when the log fills up I recover and put them to bed.

 

There are many thousands of cachers and you will get many thousands of different answers on this question. Why not let the seeker seek if they want or not. Simple. Leave it open to every one else. Me? 50 foot lions? I don't know, maybe once but that enough for me.

 

/cw

 

aka : Chris Williams

 

Caching in the North Bay and beyond...

sonomarin.net

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quote:
"In case you didn't notice, this land is called GERMANY and it's point is to multiply GERMANS." - Hitler

I don't see your point, BrianSnat.


 

Wow, I'm being equated with Hitler icon_rolleyes.gif . My point is that the raison d'être of this website is to list caches for people to find and not statues, flagpoles and every roadside marker in existence. It's not supposed to be another waypoint.org.

 

GC.COM will list virtuals as long as they fit within the guidelines. You all know what the guidelines are now. If you don't like them, there are other websites you can visit to list your fence post.

 

quote:
If you are so anti-virtual cache, then why don't you archive your virtual caches?

 

I'm not anti virtual, but I am in favor of the tightning of the rules. My latest cache placement I probably would have made a virtual 6 months ago and being that it is on National Park Service land, I could have easily gotten away with making it a virtual under the current guidelines. Instead, I figured out a way to incorporate a real cache. I accomplished my goal of bringing people to an interesting, historic site and they also have a cache to find once they get there.

 

"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on his hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" - Max Beerbohm

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quote:
Originally posted by Quetzalteco:

 

I Don't know I thought that GCB8B2 was actually a nice show of Tuscon Architecture. Some people might like lions, some people might like architecture. What drives me crazy are micros stuck in drain pipes under concrete bridges like GCB3A6 (Sorry Willy, I just had to icon_wink.gif. I even have some PITA micros that when the log fills up I recover and put them to bed.

 


 

You've got me, I have nothing to say in my defense icon_biggrin.gif.

 

-Wily Javelina

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quote:

Since everyone knows this, why do they continue to try to list virtuals, then b*tch when they aren't approved?

 


 

WOW...I am "fairly" new to this sport and a new premium member to this site (yeah I paid the $30). It seems to be the creators of this site are tech geeks not very good businessmen/women. As I have been scanning the forums I see a lot of people requesting (actually complaining) certain services be added to the site or change this or that about the site. From a customer service stand point I would listen to what is being is said and then try to "put it motion". (and I am not seeing too much of that which concerns me as a customer) Maybe business will pickup!

 

[This message was edited by Houston Muggles on September 17, 2003 at 06:23 PM.]

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quote:
WOW...I am "fairly" new to this sport and a new premium member to this site (yeah I paid the $30). It seems to be the creators of this site are tech geeks not very good businessmen/women. As I have been scanning the forums I see a lot of people requesting (actually complaining) certain services be added to the site or change this or that about the site. From a customer service stand point I would listen to what is being is said and then try to "put it motion". (and I am not seeing too much of that which concerns me as a customer) Maybe business will pickup!


 

The only feature/service that I've seen a major clamor for is a comprensive stats page. TBTB have been firm in their stance that that this is not a competetive sport and as such they will not host a states page. I don't think that this stance makes them bad businessmen.

 

"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on his hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" - Max Beerbohm

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One point. There are many people that aren't trying to get rid of virts, but trying to keep spaces that *could* have a regular cache free for that use since that's what is site was founded on.

 

---Real men cache in shorts.

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I've just spent the last 10 minutes reading this thread with interest. I'm living in Paris for the year and plan on significantly increasing the cache population here. But this city has a very poor history of maintaining physical caches--they tend to disappear. For this reason I feel as if virtuals and multi-virtuals would be the best way to go, yet I know that the powers-that-be would rather I slap down a film case somewhere with a couple paper scraps in it. I'll keep looking for good spots, but it's hard to justify placing a physical cache when you know it could disappear in the blink of an eye. Plus, if you're like me, you find it much easier to cache in an urban setting if finding the thing you're looking for doesn't mean you have to scrounge around in the bushes, looking to all the world like a homeless person. Just my $.02!

 

--IntotheWoods cute.gif

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The soporific traditional vs. virtual discussion overlooks some of the strong points of this sport: interesting ways to use the GPS, good places to visit, and quality hides that challenge, educate, delight and amuse. The approval system ignores and even discourages these attributes. Great database functionality, filled with junk. I'd like to see more attention given to creativity and quality caches of all types. I, too, am growing weary of so-called "caches" that are nothing more than a scrap of wet paper in a leaky capsule stuck in someplace I'd rather not reach. Give me a quality virtual or a benchmark anytime.

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quote:
interesting ways to use the GPS, good places to visit, and quality hides that challenge, educate, delight and amuse

 

But there is already a website for that. www.waypoint.org

 

quote:
Give me a quality virtual or a benchmark anytime.

 

That's exactly what they are trying to do. Make sure virtuals are quality. Personally, I was sick of being brought to a spot only to find a plaque saying something like "this tree was planted in memory of Kenneth Johnston". Outside Ken Johnston's family, who really gives a rats patootie?

 

"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on his hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" - Max Beerbohm

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

I was sick of being brought to a spot only to find a plaque saying something like "this tree was planted in memory of Kenneth Johnston". Outside Ken Johnston's family, who really gives a rats patootie?


 

Yeah, or houses that claimed "George Washington (may have) slept here" or plaques dedicated to so-and-so at some obscure birdwatch kiosk. Or physical caches placed in memory of someone-or-other. Who needs 'em? "Who gives a rats patootie?"

 

I assume the person who placed the cache did ... and maybe so will those who visit it.

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

But there is already a website for that. [url=http://www.waypoint.org


BS, not even close.

quote:
That's exactly what they are trying to do. Make sure virtuals are quality.
By having radically different standards, they are killing off virtual caches and lowering the quality of traditional caches.

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

quote:
interesting ways to use the GPS, good places to visit, and quality hides that challenge, educate, delight and amuse

 

But there is already a website for that. http://www.waypoint.org


 

I do not agree at all. Apart from the fact that in many countries there exist hardly any waypoints of interest on that site (keep in mind geocaching is a world-wide activity), most of

the listed waypoints are just objects that could be also found in guide books or are rather well known. A virtual cache that includes puzzles and tasks to be solved and that guides the cachers to places that are not that well-known, goes far beyond a listing of waypoints.

 

quote:

quote:
Give me a quality virtual or a benchmark anytime.

 

That's exactly what they are trying to do. Make sure virtuals are quality. Personally, I was sick of being brought to a spot only to find a plaque saying something like "this tree was planted in memory of Kenneth Johnston".


 

I would have become sick of such caches either

(they do not exist in my area, however), but it seems to me that this is more a question of quality and not of the fact whether a cache is virtual or not. I have seen at least as many bad physical caches as bad virtual caches.

 

I prefer a *well-done* virtual cache by far to a film canister dropped off at 2 meters distance from a big street or to a film canister hidden under a stone in a park behind such bushes which are abused by people as public toilette area.

There are many wonderful parks in urban areas with very nice spots to be visited, but with no *nice* places for putting a cache which are not too crowded. (The cache situation in Paris mentioned some postings above is a good example.)

 

Personally, I do believe that it is not even possible that the approval process takes care

of the quality of the caches (regardless of their type). It is up to the cachers themselves to put a higher value on quality.

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quote:
Personally, I do believe that it is not even possible that the approval process takes care

of the quality of the caches (regardless of their type). It is up to the cachers themselves to put a higher value on quality.


 

A good point. I've found excellent and I've found poor representatives of virtual and of physical caches. As a cache approver, though, it's much easier to recognize the hallmarks of a lame virt when reviewing a submitted cache than recognize a lame physical cache. It's been a long time since someone submitted a physical that they admitted was only a baggy tossed into the ditch. We obviously don't post those, but some physical caches I've found aren't much better, dispite the text on the cache page.

 

If you'll look at some of the virts that were posted a year or two ago before the guidelines were tightened up I think you'll also be able to spot the lame ones without leaving the comfort of your home.

 

I think the more experienced and mature geocachers do an excellent job of ensuring that the caches they place are of excellent quality. There are a few who still value quantity over quality, but the approvers try to council with those on a case by case basis. When a newbie submits a cache we do have to give them the benefit of the doubt though, so some lackluster caches are posted. Perhaps one day we'll have a ratings system on cache logs to provide some positive feedback on quality. icon_wink.gif

 

erik - geocaching.com admin lackey

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quote:
Originally posted by ~erik~:

As a cache approver, though, it's much easier to recognize the hallmarks of a lame virt when reviewing a submitted cache than recognize a lame physical cache.


 

I fully agree.

 

quote:

If you'll look at some of the virts that were posted a year or two ago before the guidelines were tightened up I think you'll also be able to spot the lame ones without leaving the comfort of your home.


 

That's certainly true for the majority of them.

 

The point I tried to made is, however, that often the cache description of physical caches does not contain sufficient information for judging whether or not a reasonable level of effort has been invested by the hider.

In my opinion the approvers do a very good job.

My comment was not meant to critize their work.

The problem is just that they only have the cache description, and they are not clairvoyant icon_wink.gif.

 

As the newbie caches are regarded, I do not feel that the majority of the bad caches I came across had been hidden by beginners.

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quote:
Originally posted by cezanne:

Personally, I do believe that it is not even possible that the approval process takes care of the quality of the caches (regardless of their type). It is up to the cachers themselves to put a higher value on quality.


The cache owners and finders certainly have the lion's share of responsibility for creating and maintaining quality caches, but there are many ways the quality of traditional caches can be addressed during approval:

 

Coordinates are for the area described.

Area is not restricted.

Rating fits the description and location.

Container is appropriate to the area.

No other caches are within 0.1 mile.

Description makes sense.

Compass bearings are given as either true or magnetic.

Special requirements are clearly noted.

Hint is not frivolous.

Text is intelligible when converted to query format.

Adequate grammar and spelling indicate attention to detail.

HTML code is used properly.

Assurance that cache will be maintained if far from owner.

You can probably think of others.

 

A more complete cache creation form that has fields for some of these factors would help. The approvers are, by and large, doing a good job but the approval system could be easier to use and more consistent.

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quote:
Yeah, or houses that claimed "George Washington (may have) slept here" or plaques dedicated to so-and-so at some obscure birdwatch kiosk.

 

George Washington did sleep there, so it's an interesting historic site to many.

 

Some logs from my Birders cache:

"Again, a perfect example of why we love 'caching... Lived in the area a bunch of years, knew about the Great Swamp, but never got in here till we went looking for the cache...

 

"...I'm not a huge fan of virtuals but this one sounded intriguing, so I checked it out. This is what caching is all about. It was a very secluded place that I would never have seen otherwise and very interesting, as well!"

 

"Leave it to Brian to find another cool out-of-the-way place...."

 

"Thanks for a great cache on a rainy day!"

 

A good virtual will make you say "really cool" when you see it. Not "OK, so what?".

 

quote:
Or physical caches placed in memory of someone-or-other.

 

That cache is one of the better caches in the area (so I've been told). The fact that it was placed in someone's memory is secondary. Anybody who finds it will have an enjoyable hike and a fun hunt, whether or not they give a rats patootie about the victim. That's the point of geocaching, ain't it?

 

quote:
I assume the person who placed the cache did ... and maybe so will those who visit it.

 

You assume too much. Too many geocachers list virtuals just to boost their hide counts.

 

"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on his hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" - Max Beerbohm

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quote:
Originally posted by bigeddy:

but there are many ways the quality of traditional caches can be addressed during approval:

 

Coordinates are for the area described.

Area is not restricted.

Rating fits the description and location.

Container is appropriate to the area.

No other caches are within 0.1 mile.

Description makes sense.

Compass bearings are given as either true or magnetic.

Special requirements are clearly noted.

Hint is not frivolous.

Text is intelligible when converted to query format.

Adequate grammar and spelling indicate attention to detail.

HTML code is used properly.

Assurance that cache will be maintained if far from owner.

You can probably think of others.

 

A more complete cache creation form that has fields for some of these factors would help. The approvers are, by and large, doing a good job but the approval system could be easier to use and more consistent.


These are all things we already check whenever possible, but a few will always get past. Also, it may be hard to tell if a hint is frivolous or not.

"Email me if you get stumped" is frivoulous if the cache is hidden under a rock.

"Email me if you get stumped" is a decent hint if the cache is hidden in a tree stump.

 

Same with the cache description. Some of the more creative caches I've seen have used intentional misspellings or bad grammer in the cache description as hints to the cache.

 

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

bad_boy_a.gif Personal slave of The Frog. bad_boy_a.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by NJ Admin:

These are all things we already check whenever possible, but a few will always get past.


No kidding? For every ten caches I seek, several have two or more quality problems that could have been picked up in the approval process.

 

It just seems wrong to nitpick virtual caches to death when traditional caches appear to get a rubber-stamp in many cases.

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quote:
Originally posted by bigeddy:

..... there are many ways the quality of traditional caches can be addressed during approval:


 

That's only true as far as more or less formal aspects are regarded. Most of the bad caches I came across are not that easily recognizable, in particular not for an approver who very often even comes from a different country.

 

quote:

Area is not restricted.


 

Not so easy to check, but a typical example of an issue which is mainly relevant in countries like the US.

 

quote:

Rating fits the description and location.

Container is appropriate to the area.


 

How will it ever be possible for an approver to decide this? One needs to know an area quite well to be able to do what you are asking for.

 

quote:

Special requirements are clearly noted.


 

How should an approver check this at the time of approval?

 

quote:

Adequate grammar and spelling indicate attention to detail.

HTML code is used properly.


 

Most cachers I know do not use html code. Many cachers offer their cache descriptions in foreign languages. Most English cache descriptions outside the English speaking countries contain mistakes, however, there is no correlation at all to the quality of the caches. This remains even true if restricted to cache descriptions written in the native language of the cache owner.

 

There is another problem with your suggestion: There are many countries for which there are no approvers who are native speakers of the language of those countries. Often it is not even easy for the approvers to fully understand the descriptions written in foreign languages, but it will certainly be impossible for most of them to spot spelling mistakes or subtle grammar mistakes. (In languages like German and French, for example, it is not uncommon to find spelling or grammar mistakes even in quality newspapers.)

 

quote:

The approvers are, by and large, doing a good job but the approval system could be easier to use and more consistent.


 

I agree that the approval process suffers at the moment from quite a number of inconsistencies.

I do not believe, however, that such a system would be easy to create. Moreover, I feel that the more rules one introduces, the more difficult it will become to take into account the differences between different countries and caching regions. Already now tools like the rating system and some of the rules used in the approval process are trimmed to the situation in Northern America which differs in some aspects quite considerably from Europe, Africa or whatever ....

 

Cezanne.

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quote:
Originally posted by cezanne:

That's only true as far as more or less formal aspects are regarded. Most of the bad caches I came across are not that easily recognizable, in particular not for an approver who very often even comes from a different country....


Your points about non-English speaking countries and regional differences are well taken and worthy of a separate topic. I have not checked the foreign sections of the forum but imagine that the subject has been discussed. The U.S. is so big that regional factors come into play here, too. Certainly, approvers should have experience in their area of the world or be willing to query cache owners (rather than just take an arbitrary position about something they do not understand, or send back boilerplate replies).

 

I agree that some aspects of caches are not easily seen without visiting the cache. And they change over time. But the point is that new caches often contain basic errors, some of them major, that could be picked up during approval (the items I listed which need examples to be clear). To some extent the approver has to be a good copy-checker and editor, skills that take time to learn. The best possible copy to start out with from the cache owner is a good starting point.

 

Some things that would help: a detailed entry form, linked to good and bad examples; readable guidelines that emphasize the key points; better communication between cache owners and approvers.

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I too am totally bummed with the virtual cache situation. My best friend and I put together a virtual cache that fit every critera listed in the letter above, and was not approved. I actually got on to the forum tonight to see what others had to say, because he was told that virtuals were not being accepted any longer at all. Virtuals are soooo cool, because they bring you places you would never know about otherwise, and you can't put a traditional or micro in a lot of these places.

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This is NOT to complain about my new virt being archived, but to encourage the approvers to apply the tightened approval rules consistently. I support the "back to the roots" issue. But if they correctly reject a new cache, the rules should apply to ALL new caches of the same kind. You'll understand that no one will accept archiving of his cache easily if similar caches have been, are, and will be approved. And such things do happen.

 

By the way, who makes the rules? I'm afraid that a quite small group is dominating the community. Can anyone explain how changing the rules is organised at geocaching.com?

 

Thanks - comments appreciated...

 

Fobrokel

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quote:
Originally posted by Fobrokel:

This is NOT to complain about my new virt being archived, but to encourage the approvers to apply the tightened approval rules consistently. I support the "back to the roots" issue. But if they correctly reject a new cache, the rules should apply to ALL new caches of the same kind.

Fobrokel


 

I am not an approver, but as I know the situation in Germany reasonably well, I'd like to ask you a question. I guess that you did offer an English version of your cache description. I noticed that in Germany there are quite a number of caches which are described only in German and which most likely would not have been approved if they had included an English version as well.

 

It seems that I am not the only one who made that observation. I even came across postings in German geocaching forums that encouraged the cachers to offer only German descriptions since this might help in the approval process. To avoid misunderstandings, let me add that I am not at all in favour of making an English version compulsory as there are quite a number of cachers who do not speak English or whose knowledge of English is too poor. The choice of the offered languages should, however, not be influenced by the cache approval process.

 

Part of the reason for the inconsistencies which certainly exist in Germany is the fact that there are no cache approvers who are native speakers of German.

 

Cezanne

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quote:
Originally posted by cezanne:

quote:
Originally posted by Fobrokel:

This is NOT to complain about my new virt being archived, but to encourage the approvers to apply the tightened approval rules consistently. I support the "back to the roots" issue. But if they correctly reject a new cache, the rules should apply to ALL new caches of the same kind.

Fobrokel


 

I am not an approver, but as I know the situation in Germany reasonably well, I'd like to ask you a question. I guess that you did offer an English version of your cache description, didn't you? I noticed that in Germany there are quite a number of caches which are described only in German and which most likely would not have been approved if they had included an English version as well.

 

It seems that I am not the only one who made that observation. I even came across postings in German geocaching forums that encouraged the cachers to offer only German descriptions since this might help in the approval process. To avoid misunderstandings, let me add that I am not at all in favour of making an English version compulsory as there are quite a number of cachers who do not speak English or whose knowledge of English is too poor. The choice of the offered languages should, however, not be influenced by the cache approval process.

 

Part of the reason for the inconsistencies which certainly exist in Germany is the fact that there are no cache approvers who are native speakers of German.

 

Cezanne


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