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ChapterhouseInc

Abandoned Categories?

232 posts in this topic

I think we should not wonder, why we have less officers who review more than ca.5 categories or stay away from reviewing Waymarks.

For me, one reason is threads like this one, along with the related private emails, calling out people for perceived delays. What's the rush? When there are FTF races for newly-published waymarks, I might be more motivated. When Groundspeak makes pocket queries available for waymarks, or includes them in an overall "find count," I might be more motivated. Instead, we see published waymarks languish for months or years before their first visit, and site development all but abandoned.

 

My solution has been to resign from the officer group once it's called out in the forums, excepting a small number of groups for which I was the original founder or co-founder.

 

Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:33 PM

 

This forum post stated in 2012 and the problem is still unresolved.

 

Now what?

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I'm not sure this is the best place to post this.... but, although the Fish & Chips category probably has not been abandoned.... my submitted Waymark WMR7K3 has been lingering in group vote limbo since May.

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Metro2, sure understand about the vote limbo.

 

When faced with this same dilemma, I contacted each leader/officers of the group with a request to complete the vote on the waymark in question. I do provide a link to the waymark and the date it was posted. (Which most likely was about the time a vote was called)

 

It is usually a reasonable response time for the waymark to be approved or denied. The most common being it is approved.

 

If nothing happens within a week to 10 days, I would start the process again.

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I'm not sure this is the best place to post this.... but, although the Fish & Chips category probably has not been abandoned.... my submitted Waymark WMR7K3 has been lingering in group vote limbo since May.

 

This is the voting bug - ask an officer to visit your waymark's page. This will free it.

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"Outdoor Stations of the Cross" seems to have no active reviewers anymore. All the waymarks of the last few months have been published by Wayfrog and Waywizard. :-( I sent an E-Mail to the leader via their geocaching profile and offered to become a reviewer, but received no answer so far.

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Posted (edited)

44 minutes ago, PISA-caching said:

offered to become a reviewer, but received no answer

We have also sent requests to leaders of what appears to be abandoned categories, with no response either. 

This is a highly debatable topic, with strong opinions about whether to promote new leaders and or officers in dormant categories.

I strongly agree that new leaders/officers need to be promoted. 

Chuck the old excuses: He/She created the category, it was their vision. So what? 

More importantly, where are they now? "They" obviously are not reviewing submissions. Or this topic would not keep resurfacing on the forum.

Barb of BK-Hunters

 

Edited by BK-Hunters
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28 minutes ago, BK-Hunters said:

We have also sent requests to leaders of what appears to be abandoned categories, with no response either. 

This is a highly debatable topic, with strong opinions about whether to promote new leaders and or officers in dormant categories.

I strongly agree that new leaders/officers need to be promoted. 

Chuck the old excuses: He/She created the category, it was their vision. So what? 

More importantly, where are they now? "They" obviously are not reviewing submissions. Or this topic would not keep resurfacing on the forum.

Barb of BK-Hunters

 

 

I firmly believe that our new site admin is doing a great job and that is why they have this new position to make this site flow smoother, so please, let's not get back into this "I want to be a reviewer and the category leader is absent" stuff. Wayfrog has got this, there are not that many dormant categories, one site admin can handle this without appointing new reviewers.

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Posted (edited)

24 minutes ago, Manville Possum said:

 

I firmly believe that our new site admin is doing a great job and that is why they have this new position to make this site flow smoother, so please, let's not get back into this "I want to be a reviewer and the category leader is absent" stuff. Wayfrog has got this, there are not that many dormant categories, one site admin can handle this without appointing new reviewers.

I fully agree. For now.

But abandoned categories hardly ever come back to life by themselves. The aim should be to keep their number as low as possible. Nobody would want that in a couple of years almost all categories are reviewed by the site admin. 

I know that it is always a difficult task to identify a really abandoned category and there are too many potential pitfalls to have a simple procedure. Still, we need to get rid of them sooner or later.

Edited by fi67
Typo.
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1 minute ago, fi67 said:

I fully agree. For now.

But abandoned categories hardly ever come back to life by themselves. The aim should be to keep their number as low as possible. Nobody would want that in a couple of years almost all categories are reviewed by the site admin. 

I know that it is always a difficult task to identify a really abandoned category and there are too many pitfalls to have simple procedure. Still, we need to get rid of them sooner or later.

 

Is Waymarking really in that bad of shape? So IF we put in new leadership, it's going to be the same few people, and what we end up with is just that one group that controls all of Waymarking. I don't see that being much fun, but that may be what the site is dwendling down to.

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I agree Wayfrog is doing a great job and seems to be keeping up with reviewing old submissions.

However in view of Wayfrog's other responsibilities, why is it Wayfrog's sole responsibility to manage all the existing dormant categories?

fi67 makes a valid point, "abandoned categories hardly ever come back to life by themselves." and generally when a category becomes viable again it is because a new leader was promoted and some housecleaning of inactive officers was done. 

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7 minutes ago, BK-Hunters said:

 

However in view of Wayfrog's other responsibilities, why is it Wayfrog's sole responsibility to manage all the existing dormant categories?

 

 

Because he volunteered and was persistent for several years. I believe this was part of the agreement to help keep the site going, not a promotion to better hijack the site. 

No secrets here, there are not enough of us to bicker behind each other.

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Has anybody ever seen a category that came back to live on its own? I guess that's almost as rare as a total eclipse. ;-)

In my humble opinion, it doesn't matter whether there is one or onehundred abandoned categories. Site admins have their duties and we should post, review and visit waymarks. There's a system of leaders and reviewers that worked very good for a long time. And it would continue to work properly, if officers/leaders wouldn't leave without taking a few easy steps to make sure that the category can live on. We don't have to remove leaders, we just need the opportunity to add an active reviewer, if a group has completely run out of active reviewers/leaders. That's all.

And I don't get the point of Manville Possum. You don't want categories to be taken over from active members, because "what we end up with is just that one group that controls all of Waymarking" and instead we let one site admin do all the work? I'm just officer in 2 categories and I offered to do a third category. I don't want to be the leader, although I think I would be a better leader than someone who obviously has no interest in the hobby anymore. And, I definitely don't belong to "one group that controls all of Waymarking", if at all that group exists. From my point of view, there are members that are very active and I'm more than grateful for their tremendous efforts.

I agree that the site admins help to keep the site going, if they review waymarks, but if we manage to run the categories without their help, it would help to not loose further members and maybe find a few new ones.

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4 hours ago, BK-Hunters said:

I strongly agree that new leaders/officers need to be promoted. 

Chuck the old excuses: He/She created the category, it was their vision. So what? 

More importantly, where are they now? "They" obviously are not reviewing submissions. Or this topic would not keep resurfacing on the forum.

Barb of BK-Hunters

 

100% agreed. I have seen very good geocaches, that lost their owners. One day the logbook was full or the box lost or stolen and nobody in the geocaching community would say "Let's keep this dead geocache, because the owner had this great vision of a wonderful geocache." If they are gone, they are gone. Either they took steps to pass the geocache to a new owner or it is archived to make room for a new one. And, I don't even want to ruin their vision. I don't want to change the characteristics of the category. I just want to have someone who is able and willing to review future waymarks. All I would do is to keep the thing going, maybe update broken links in the description and IF the Waymarking community has a valid reason to change the description of the category, I would try to find more officers and discuss and vote the changes like every leader would do it.

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1 hour ago, PISA-caching said:

 

And I don't get the point of Manville Possum. You don't want categories to be taken over from active members, because "what we end up with is just that one group that controls all of Waymarking" and instead we let one site admin do all the work? I'm just officer in 2 categories and I offered to do a third category. I don't want to be the leader, although I think I would be a better leader than someone who obviously has no interest in the hobby anymore. And, I definitely don't belong to "one group that controls all of Waymarking", if at all that group exists. From my point of view, there are members that are very active and I'm more than grateful for their tremendous efforts.

 

 

What I am attempting to convey is that most of us don't want to be category reviewers, and the few that do will soon be the only ones reviewing any WM's. The one group I am referring to is those last Waymarkers standing if you will, those that remain. Waymarking has been fun, but start putting new leadership in and bypassing rank and order then this is not Waymarking anymore. It's just one little group that wants to make up their own rules. Waymarking has rank and order to prevent that.

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Ok, got it, but what is the alternative? Shut down the Waymarking servers? If a waymarker leaves the site without thinking of the future, he/she should loose his/her rank and make room for others who are willing to invest their time. And, like I said my first intention is not to throw out users who are inactive for a specific time, but to make it possible for at least one new reviewer to join the group without depending on the cooperation of inactive users.

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9 minutes ago, PISA-caching said:

Ok, got it, but what is the alternative? Shut down the Waymarking servers? If a waymarker leaves the site without thinking of the future, he/she should loose his/her rank and make room for others who are willing to invest their time. And, like I said my first intention is not to throw out users who are inactive for a specific time, but to make it possible for at least one new reviewer to join the group without depending on the cooperation of inactive users.

 

No, simply appoint a site admin to publish WM's in a timely manner, which is what we have now and it is working. No one wants to put a number on these abandoned categories, and I don't think that is the real issue. WM's are being published in a very timely manner, so that is not an excuse.

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Posted (edited)

So, instead of depending on a small group of users, you prefer to depend on one site admin?

If we continue to do it that way, this is the future I predict: More and more categories will be managed by one site admin. He will have to become familiar with subjects that he is not interested in and review waymarks according to the category descriptions, that he didn't write and shouldn't change. Sooner or later, he and/or Groundspeak will not be happy with the situation and probably take steps that we don't like.

Every system that depends on one person will fail sooner or later. Don't get me wrong, I appriciate the site admins work a lot and I also appriciate that they volunteer to review waymarks, but I would be happier, if the system would work as it should. If I tell others about Waymarking and have to tell them that some categories are reviewed by site admins, because the category is in the hands of users, who haven't logged in for years, they will probably not be too enthusiastic about joining this community.

PS: Too bad that I'm not a site admin at Groundspeak. If I was, you wouldn't be so afraid of me. :-)

Edited by PISA-caching
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Posted (edited)

"Group management of categories is an important aspect of Waymarking.com. It guards against situations where a popular category might suddenly lose its manager, whether through lack of interest or various other reasons, and provides a sense of security to those who take the time to contribute to the category. The time and effort someone put into creating a waymark would be wasted if a category were abandoned and everyone would miss out on a great location.

Aside from the obvious logistical benefits, Group management also offers several social perks as well. It allows like-minded individuals to rally around a shared interest, and collectively experience the fun and sense of accomplishment that guiding a category to greatness can bring. Group management encourages collaboration on tough decisions, provides accountability, and creates a sense of togetherness that benefits the community as a whole." Group Management FAQs

 

"Group management has been added to Waymarking, to provide timely responses to new submissions. With several people taking care of matters there should be no time when submissions sit unaddressed for extended periods.

The most important part of the process is that submissions are reviewed and listed promptly.  Leaders and officers should log in frequently and check for any listings awaiting review. This is done on this site which displays the full list for all of the categories of which they are an officer.

Ultimately the success of any category falls upon the leader. The leader of a category group promotes enough people to handle the demands for the group. This is based on activity levels of the officers and the rate at which listings are submitted.

When promoting people it is important to explore their interest level in the category. If it becomes apparent that the leader is not ensuring a timely review process, then Groundspeak may decide that the leader should be replaced.

The current leader is given regular member status. A new leader is assigned from the remaining pool of officers and advised of their new position. The new leader immediately actions necessary changes to improve the response time for listing reviews.  When a listing is escalated in the review process, it is often an indication that the leadership of the group needs to be addressed." 1.3. Responsibilities of Group Leaders and Officers

 

"1.2. Submit a new Waymark

Each Waymark submission is reviewed within 72 hours by officers that manage its category.

A review can take up to two weeks if

Your listing has entered the voting process, or

There are larger than expected volumes of new listings.

Tip: Find the status of your listing in red near the top of the listing page.

Escalate the review process

If the listing has received no action or remains in vote for a longer than seven days you can contact Wayfrog to escalate the review process. Include the unique WM CODE found near the top of your Waymark listing page in your message.

Wayfrog will review your listing as appropriate to the specific category guidelines." 1.2. Submit a new Waymark

 

I will monitor categories which take longer than 7-10 days for some weeks/months. In this time I will publish all waymarks waiting longer than 7-10 days. If the problem still remains after this periode I will contact the leader with the please to promote another active officer. If the leader won't take action I'll take action together with Groundspeak. We will decide ad hoc if we replace the leader or if we just add another active officer.

 

Edited by wayfrog
typo
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34 minutes ago, wayfrog said:

[...]

I will monitor categories which take longer than 7-10 days for some weeks/months. In this time I will publish all waymarks waiting longer than 7-10 days. If the problem still remains after this periode I will contact the leader with the please to promote another active officer. If the leader won't take action I'll take action together with Groundsepak. We will decide ad hoc if we replace the leader or if we just add another active officer.

 

This is exactly the way I like. Thanks for the confirmation!

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59 minutes ago, wayfrog said:

I will monitor categories which take longer than 7-10 days for some weeks/months. In this time I will publish all waymarks waiting longer than 7-10 days. If the problem still remains after this periode I will contact the leader with the please to promote another active officer. If the leader won't take action I'll take action together with Groundspeak. We will decide ad hoc if we replace the leader or if we just add another active officer.

 

Sounds like a perfect plan. Thanks a lot.

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5 hours ago, wayfrog said:

 

I will monitor categories which take longer than 7-10 days for some weeks/months. In this time I will publish all waymarks waiting longer than 7-10 days. If the problem still remains after this periode I will contact the leader with the please to promote another active officer. If the leader won't take action I'll take action together with Groundspeak. We will decide ad hoc if we replace the leader or if we just add another active officer.

 

 

I have asked several times about how many totally inactive and abandoned categories there currently are, would you please share that number with me?

Do you think those members just gave up Waymarking and are still active paying members of Groundspeak? I believe all efforts should be made to give them a nudge, kinda like posting a NA on a geocache. Sometimes that is what it takes to get a cache owner to take action. I believe if I were faced with a coop of my category I would at least respond.

I was once part of a coop that where inserted leadership promoted me and we kicked out all the original members and took control of the Virginia Historical Markers category just for the fun of it. We even kicked out one guy that is quite the expert on VHM's, just because. Yes, we went rouge. Just a word of caution, be careful of who you insert into inactive categories. I have been against this idea because I took part in something that was wrong, and I see how easily it works. I'm not popular with most of you here, I'm not crazy into Waymarking, and have already found a few categories that I will avoid because I feel the members banded together and delayed publishing my WM. 

 

 

I see Waymarking becoming an even smaller group now than before, and if there is that many inactive categories that require hijacking, then that tells me the ship is sinking faster.

 

 

Good luck to you in Waymarking.

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2 hours ago, Manville Possum said:

I have asked several times about how many totally inactive and abandoned categories there currently are, would you please share that number with me?...

I don't have an exact number. All I can say is, that the number of 'totally inactive and abandoned categories' is pretty low (<5). In about 30 categories the leader/officers need(s) longer (about one month) to review the waiting ones. So compared to our total count of 1,105 categories the system is running fine. For sure it's just a snapshot and this could change fast (e.g. if a very active officer stops Waymarking).

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7 minutes ago, wayfrog said:

I don't have an exact number. All I can say is, that the number of 'totally inactive and abandoned categories' is pretty low (<5). In about 30 categories the leader/officers need(s) longer (about one month) to review the waiting ones. So compared to our total count of 1,105 categories the system is running fine. For sure it's just a snapshot and this could change fast (e.g. if a very active officer stops Waymarking).

 

Waymarking is in much better shape than some of these people that just want to bypass leadership make it out to be.

The business person in me, if I were site admin, would be to contact these inactive leaders and ask if there is a problem and if there is anything that I could do to help. 

I understand that if a very active officer stops Waymarking it could be drastic, and we all know that there are several active Waymarkers that are the only ones in categories that are keeping them from stagnating. Sometimes life gets in the way of our hobbies and interests, so when some of these veteran Waymarkers have to step aside for whatever reason they leave a vacancy that is going to be tough to fill. 

The reviewer pool keeps getting smaller, and I have seen what planted leadership can do. I don't think this site will get a make over, and I don't feel that planting leadership is the answer either. My best answer is that Waymarking was a last ditch effort to get angry customers attention away from grandfathered cache types and once that ship sailed it's on it's own. 

 

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Posted (edited)

19 hours ago, Manville Possum said:

I have asked several times about how many totally inactive and abandoned categories there currently are, would you please share that number with me?

I did a Google search using: Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wayfrog  

Let me make it clear there are No hidden agendas, no assumptions or conclusions, and no conspiracy : "Just the Facts" 

Wayfrog approved submissions in these categories:

Anamorphous Street Art
Animal Memorials
Ansel Adams Photo Hunt
Art Vehicles
Auto Clubs
Blacksmith Shops
Bridge Date Stones and Plaques
British Columbia Heritage Markers
Candy Stores
Chinese Restaurants
Church of the Nazarene
Coffee Shops - Regional Chains
Dead Vehicles
Death Mask Gravestones
Equestrian Statues
Fiberglass Horses
Fraternity Houses
Hidden Mickeys
Lewis and Clark Trail
Massachusetts Historical Markers
McDonald's Restaurants
Monuments of the Eastern Freedomfights
National Public Lands Passport Locations
National Trust U.K.
National Wild and Scenic Rivers
Non-Coastal Boardwalks
Non-Specific Veteran Memorials
Ontario Provincial Plaques
Orientation Tables (New Leader Promoted - 8/23/17)
Outdoor Stations of the Cross
Philatelic Photographs
Pirates
Political Revolutions
Public Swimming Pools
Railway Roundhouses
Sculpture Gardens
Starbucks Stores (Update: Currently Active - 8/24/17)
Stone Bridges
Takeout / Delivery Menus
Television and Cable Broadcasting Stations
Thrift Stores
Tim Horton's Restaurants
Tourist Stamps Photos
Vermont Historical Markers
Vintage Gasoline Pumps
Wesleyan Churches
Edited by BK-Hunters
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Some of these have been active in recent months, others I have no idea about. That would indicate a recent decline. Has anyone that is interested in category management reached out to these leaders and officers and ask that they can join and help out? I'm assuming that enrollment is off, and in some cases everyone has vacated the category but they are still active paying members of Groundspeak. I feel that being a paying member, Waymarking is still a perk that customer is paying for and should still be treated as such, active or not.

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In some of those categories, regular officers have approved submissions after wayfrog's intervention.  Just having wayfrog's participation may be motivating some officers to return to their reviewing duties.

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I've just been named leader in the "Orientation Tables" category, and I'm available for other categories if you need help.

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12 hours ago, Manville Possum said:

... Has anyone that is interested in category management reached out to these leaders and officers and ask that they can join and help out? I'm assuming that enrollment is off, and in some cases everyone has vacated the category but they are still active paying members of Groundspeak. I feel that being a paying member, Waymarking is still a perk that customer is paying for and should still be treated as such, active or not.

I have (with no success). The category "Outdoor Stations of the Cross" (open enrollment: OFF) has a leader and 2 officers. One of the officers had his last login on 12/12/2012. The other two I have sent an E-Mail via their geocaching account, because that's where they had their last login. In both e-mails I offered to help reviewing and both e-mails remain unanswered. Hopefully, they will pay more attention, if they receive emails from a site admin, but I wouldn't be surprised, if they have a special mail account for geocaching/Waymarking that they never check for new mails.

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Though not necessarily abandoned categories there are a few that are no longer viable.  

Two examples come to mind and there maybe others:

Kissmobile Sightings Last approved waymark was 7/25/2011 The Hershey Kissmobile is on display at the AACA Museum.

Yellow Arrow Lookup From the category: "NOTE: This is a legacy category since it appears that the Yellow Arrow project, which was started in 2004 is now defunct"

Can these categories be achieved? Or can they be expanded to include other possibilities so new submissions can still be added to the category? 

 

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Posted (edited)

Those categories are still viable for visits even if there are no new creations.  Many waymarkers collect only visits.

Edited by elyob
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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, BK-Hunters said:

Though not necessarily abandoned categories there are a few that are no longer viable.  

Two examples come to mind and there maybe others:

Kissmobile Sightings Last approved waymark was 7/25/2011 The Hershey Kissmobile is on display at the AACA Museum.

Yellow Arrow Lookup From the category: "NOTE: This is a legacy category since it appears that the Yellow Arrow project, which was started in 2004 is now defunct"

Can these categories be achieved? Or can they be expanded to include other possibilities so new submissions can still be added to the category? 

Well let see, there are 8 Kissmobile locations worldwide

Yellow Arrow Locations there are 67 worldwide.

If you combine the two it totals just 75 for the entire world.  

3 hours ago, elyob said:

Those categories are still viable for visits even if there are no new creations.  Many waymarkers collect only visits.

"no new creations" This was the point of the original post, not whether they can be visited. Though many waymarkers may collect only visits, there are waymarkers who do not visit waymarks. 

Edited by BK-Hunters
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On 23/08/2017 at 9:42 PM, pmaupin said:

I've just been named leader in the "Orientation Tables" category, and I'm available for other categories if you need help.

I also have time to validate waymarks, if you need help and new people

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