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When dropping a new cache... "Premium Members Only" one "Everyone"?


GeoDEEC
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When it comes time to select if your new cache is going to be viewable to only premium members or to everyone, what are the contributing factors that influence your decision?

 

For example, some factors i could think of might be Level of difficulty, quality of container, value of content, a locations's muggle-ness potential, etc.

 

Also related, do you try and think about any formal or informal ratio of caches for one audience or the other? Example: 2 premium member caches for every 1 public cache to support both audiences?

 

Finally does anybody only submit caches for one audience exclusively? And why?

Edited by GeoDEEC
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I've recently switched all my caches to premium-member-only. The exception is a few caches in my hometown. Not too many caches so few people there are premium-members.

 

Reason being too many of my caches have been found uncovered recently. Also some that have gone missing. I hate to say it but more than often the last person to find was member with a low find count. And the person to report it being uncovered more often than not was a premium-member. I don't like to discriminate, but I also don't have enough time for cache maintenance as it is.

 

One of my caches that went missing I put alot of work into. It was big container with a nice camo job and interior decorations also. I emailed the last person who found it (a member with low find count) to ask whether the cache was covered when she found it (I had originally hid it with an armload of large pieces of bark). I just didn't get the impression she had re-covered it properly or was fully aware of the reasons for properly rehiding a cache. I believe if the last person to find had been a long-established member of the community (99% of these are premium members), they would have told me in their log if there wasn't enough material to hide it properly.

 

This is just one example.

 

I hate to discriminate, but I simply don't have unlimited time and money to replace missing caches. Hence all my caches will be PMO only now (except for those few I mentioned). I think anybody who wants a premium-membership can afford it. It is only $30/year and certainly less than gas (most people drive to caches).

Edited by The_Incredibles_
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I don't hide many plain old urban micros. Most of the few urban caches that I have hid are custom, hard to replace containers and I have made them PMO for the simple fact that I don't want someone discovering them 5 minutes after they downloaded the app to their phone. I would prefer established cachers find these caches. If you are brand new and found the cache with an established cacher, I encourage you to log it.

 

All of my other caches are up mountain trails and are open to all.

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All of my current hides (55 (34 are not published yet)) are public.

I used to have 1 PMO cache. It was hidden at the base of a tree, with a normal bird house attached to the tree (at about 2m height - already present when I placed the cache). I posted on the cache listing in big red not to tamper with the bird house, since that was not the cache.

 

well, I found the birdhouse damaged for multiple times, it even got stolen once.

 

so in my experience, having a PMO cache does not guarantee undamaged or uncovered caches, atleast not in my neighbourhood.

I have replaced containers multiple times, and will have to in the future, but that comes with being a CO.

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There's a list of reasons for PMO caches here:

http://www.cacheoped..._for_PMO_Caches

 

From the cacheopedia list, these are the reasons that several of our caches are PMO:

  • Keeping the cache listing out of products that include preloaded cache data (that don't require a geocaching.com account).
  • Preventing search engines and unregistered visitors from accessing logs and photos posted to the cache.

From the list, these are not why we have PMO caches:

  • Encouraging others to buy premium memberships, or rewarding them for doing so.
  • Using the audit log feature of PMO caches.

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Only reason I do...to use the audit to see who has viewed it. This is useful to me on my puzzle caches since it gives me an idea of who is interested in solving it (generally those who come back to the page multiple times). I also have one traditional as PMO since it is in an area I don't really want to see visited by everyone and their brother.

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I've recently switched all my caches to premium-member-only. The exception is a few caches in my hometown. Not too many caches so few people there are premium-members.

 

Reason being too many of my caches have been found uncovered recently. Also some that have gone missing. I hate to say it but more than often the last person to find was member with a low find count. And the person to report it being uncovered more often than not was a premium-member. I don't like to discriminate, but I also don't have enough time for cache maintenance as it is.

 

One of my caches that went missing I put alot of work into. It was big container with a nice camo job and interior decorations also. I emailed the last person who found it (a member with low find count) to ask whether the cache was covered when she found it (I had originally hid it with an armload of large pieces of bark). I just didn't get the impression she had re-covered it properly or was fully aware of the reasons for properly rehiding a cache. I believe if the last person to find had been a long-established member of the community (99% of these are premium members), they would have told me in their log if there wasn't enough material to hide it properly.

 

This is just one example.

 

I hate to discriminate, but I simply don't have unlimited time and money to replace missing caches. Hence all my caches will be PMO only now (except for those few I mentioned). I think anybody who wants a premium-membership can afford it. It is only $30/year and certainly less than gas (most people drive to caches).

 

This pretty much says it.

All my caches are now PM....as a hider there are just less issues and you get fewer NA and NM posts that are logged by newbie cachers instead of a DNF.

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I have only made caches premium members to in theory drive down the traffic and I did this on one cache. I also did this on a challenge cache where it was easier to ask for bookmark lists as a viable option.

 

I almost never use it because

1) I do not think PMO status protects a cache more than the rest.

2) I do not care for the audit trail, it will tell me very little if cache is stolen and will deter folks from viewing the cache page. I find it mildly annoying when folks email me because I viewed their cache page. Yes, has happened.

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I have to disagree with what some people were leading to. If you make all of the boring lamp post micros for everyone, and save to coolest/best caches for PMO's, then new cachers may not like the game because they think it's so boring and repetitive.

 

Just my $0.02:unsure:

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I have over 600 hides so here is my two cents worth. I do not ever do a PMO cache. I WANT people to find my caches. That's why I hide them. Over the years I have had caches disappear. I suppose some have been deliberately muggled; others I know were "lost" to wildfires, flooding, construction, and clean-up crews along highways. It is to be expected and I have the choice to replace the cache or archive it depending on the situation. There were a few that went missing that I spent time and money on. And that made me momentarily sad; but it hasn't prevented me from hiding new ones that I also have spent time and money on. Knowing that they have provided cachers the opportunity to find and enjoy them before their eventual demise has made hiding caches more fun for me than finding caches. I know that I have taken cachers to places they would never have known of and to places where they will have learned a bit of history brings me satisfaction. And a clever cache that brings them enjoyment/amusement even if only for a short cache life span is worth it to me. So I do not intend to ever make a cache PMO. If a cache disappears, so be it. There are still places to explore to hide new ones and I have faith that the majority of the caches I place will stay put for years to come for cachers old and new to find and, hopefully, to remember with pleasure.

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Well, the majority of the big cachers in my area are premium anyway, and I've recently became premium too, but I would still prefer to keep all my caches open to everyone.

 

The only thing that would make me change my mind would be if I started having issues with muggles, but upto now I've had no trouble.

 

I like them being open to everyone, more finds means more cool signatures to look at, more chance of cool stamps used to sign the logs, and more swag making its way through the caches and increased chance of seeing cool items.

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When it comes time to select if your new cache is going to be viewable to only premium members or to everyone, what are the contributing factors that influence your decision?

I've only had one set of my hides set up as a premium member only cache. As originally envisioned, it was a maintenance nightmare. It was 4 traditionals leading to a puzzle final. At each traditional, you'd find a collection of baggies, each marked with a unique rune, with each baggie containing a handful of hand made jigsaw puzzle pieces. If you visit each traditional, and grab the matching rune baggie, you would build a jigsaw puzzle which had more runes on it. Solve the rune puzzle to get the final. There was a second ammo can at ground zero to put the jigsaw piece baggies in when you were done. Since I only had half a dozen or so complete jigsaw puzzles, I would have to run out to the final every few finds and redistribute the pieces to all 4 traditionals.

 

I made it a PMO to reduce the number of finders, which, in turn, reduced the number of maintenance trips I had to make. After doing this for a while, I wised up and changed the puzzle, eliminating the need for constant maintenance. At that point, I removed the PMO status.

Edited by Clan Riffster
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I'm in the "open-to-everyone" camp.

 

As a new non-premium geocacher, I found a few great caches that evoked a response of "Wow, I can't believe someone went to all this effort just for total strangers to have fun." Those were the caches that hooked me on geocaching, and they set the bar pretty high when I was ready to hide caches of my own - I wanted to emulate my favorite finds (although I haven't always been successful).

 

I keep my hide count low, so maintenance isn't too time consuming. If someone brand new logs a find, I go check it afterwards (usually it's fine). If my caches started disappearing (which I consider to be unlikely, as none are park & grabs), I might rethink the premium thing.

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I'm in the "open-to-everyone" camp.

 

As a new non-premium geocacher, I found a few great caches that evoked a response of "Wow, I can't believe someone went to all this effort just for total strangers to have fun." Those were the caches that hooked me on geocaching, and they set the bar pretty high when I was ready to hide caches of my own - I wanted to emulate my favorite finds (although I haven't always been successful).

 

I keep my hide count low, so maintenance isn't too time consuming. If someone brand new logs a find, I go check it afterwards (usually it's fine). If my caches started disappearing (which I consider to be unlikely, as none are park & grabs), I might rethink the premium thing.

 

When you started caching, they weren't selling devices that had preloaded caches, or allowing people to pull up caches on a smartphone without creating and validating an account. I have no problem with geocachers finding my caches. I do have a problem with what are essentially muggles with a smartphone causing an irreplaceable cache to be lost.

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Originally I thought the 'open to all approach' was best. However, given that most of (virtually all now) my caches are hand built and take time to make and some have gone 'walkabout' all my caches are Premium only. I was pleased to see that Groundspeak have finally closed the loophole that allowed non premiums to see PM caches on the Map: harsh I know bit it does add a bit more security to caches placed. 😒

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I was pleased to see that Groundspeak have finally closed the loophole that allowed non premiums to see PM caches on the Map: harsh I know bit it does add a bit more security to caches placed. 😒

 

I always thought that was a marketing technique rather than a loophole. They used to all be orange which meant you knew where they were, then they became the same green and I used to click on them all the time and get the screen that tells you they're premium, and here are all the benefits of premium and, hey, why don't you join.

 

I'm much happier that I can no longer see them.

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For my 36 hides (so far) I've opted to keep them all open access. When I first started caching and wasn't "Premium" yet, it irked me that there were some caches in areas I was visiting that I wasn't allowed to go after. That ultimately led me to sign-up for Premium, and I haven't regretted it, but I made mental note that when I hid some caches, I wouldn't restrict access to them to "Premium Members". Not that I disagree with many of the points made about the usefulness of PMO caches. I tend to enjoy long hikes/climbs and simply placing a cache requiring such activity will make it feel "Premium Only" since only a certain brand of geocacher likes these. Caches like this get many of the benefits of PMO caches..without any stated exclusivity. In the end, as long as there are fun adventures to be had, it's all good.

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