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INTRO APP users are killing the hobby


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Sounds like we have a bug to consider. So, if they don't find it, they should be provided with a link to the cache owner's account and reminded that they can reach out to the owner to ask for help.

 

5 caches to find, 5 "found its", and expires in 30 days?

 

You tell us: how would we make it work, or what is an alternative idea?

 

Where would we provide the link? How to get it to them? Like in a tab on the bottom?

 

(Ok, I just looked, no tabs in the intro app...)

 

I like the staged app idea. Free app..5 caches.

Next app...$0.99. 3 caches a day

 

This all boils down to....how do we reach newbies? The PM in app notification idea sound the most reasonable so far...

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I must say, I'm not a beginner PC/app user, but it took me a while of browsing the forums before I came across the geocaching PDF which explains it pretty well in a nutshell. I was suprised that I didn't see it on the main Geocahing site (perhaps I missed it, but then if I missed it, most likely the general n00bs will miss it too).

The main page has an enormous screen image, taking most of the page.

Underlined in the middle is, "Learn more about geocaching and how you can join the adventure".

 

I don't understand how that could be missed.

 

Is there a link to the homepage from the introapp at all? In the normal app I can visit cache pages from the app, but that seems to be all. It's quite possible a beginner will never visit the homepage with that huge big link.

 

Mrs. Terratin

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Events are PMO friends meetings. Same people, same place. <_<

 

Yes! Exactly.

Ok, so how do we change that perception/reality?

 

One thing that just crossed my mind is that the Intro App is the "dumb-bomb" of outreach. It is sent out to the masses as a way to get into the game. It isn't targeted, and isn't accurate.

 

The best way, in my opinion, to reach out and get more people into the game is to have events that are "Intro to Geocaching" or "Geocaching 101" for the masses. Have it be a geocaching.com event, sure, but also flyer the town. Partner with Scout troops, Boys and Girls Clubs, Libraries, Park and Rec departments, Schools, state parks, local chamber of commerce, local/state/federal agencies or businesses that have a mission to get people outdoors, etc. Use Groundspeak's "Intro" powerpoint, or design your own. Use the Education tab to find printouts and resources to get the word out.

 

Get those people into the game, and let them know their options to get started: Website for an account. Use the Intro App, Full App, GPS. Here's my contact info, or the contact info for the local geocaching association. Get in touch if you want to learn more...

 

The events don't have to just be on geocaching.com. I've helped to have public events, and they have been fun and effective. It takes planning, time and other investments, but it sure feels nice to get the word out in a positive way to the masses. A "smart-bomb" of outreach.

 

Don't let the Intro App be the only way a new cacher might come to the game. Help them learn and get into the game through you or your local org.

 

And then we should see some improvements and changes to the Intro App to help make it more of a "smart-bomb" of outreach instead of the "dumb-bomb" that it is.

Edited by NeverSummer
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Is there a link to the homepage from the introapp at all? In the normal app I can visit cache pages from the app, but that seems to be all. It's quite possible a beginner will never visit the homepage with that huge big link.

 

Mrs. Terratin

 

2 videos (which are quite good) both push going to GC.com at the end

 

Otherwise, that's it. A link to GC.com would be nice...

 

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Events are PMO friends meetings. Same people, same place. dry.gif

Yes! Exactly.

No. They're not. Fundamentally, they are not.

But if that's how they seem in your area, that's definitely quite unfortunate...

So, change that!

 

The best way, in my opinion, to reach out and get more people into the game is to have events that are "Intro to Geocaching" or "Geocaching 101" for the masses. Have it be a geocaching.com event, sure, but also flyer the town. Partner with Scout troops, Boys and Girls Clubs, Libraries, Park and Rec departments, Schools, state parks, local chamber of commerce, local/state/federal agencies or businesses that have a mission to get people outdoors, etc. Use Groundspeak's "Intro" powerpoint, or design your own. Use the Education tab to find printouts and resources to get the word out.

Precisely. We often have events like that (usually two or three times a year in the greater region) to help introduce people to the game, to its variety, to the community, and generally spread the excitement.

 

Yes, we also have pub nights and gatherings with limited attendance, and yes they're set up in a way that favours (but not on principle) premium members, because Notifications! -- one way to help against that whenever a new event gets published, I tend to share the link to the event with friends in case someone didn't get a notification (and BTW, not every PM gets notifications either, let alone for events - it's use of a paid feature by choice alone, it's not a default).

 

Once again, it's not elitism - it's paying for a feature that makes certain aspects of the website use more efficient and beneficial. It's not us-and-them. And people who attend events that make it like that, purposefully leaving out newcomers and beginners - knock some sense into them, for crying out loud! (& that is not an advocation of violence =P)

 

Events fundamentally are -- SHOULD be -- welcoming for anyone (depending on the intent of the event of course). Local community plays a HUGE role in that, and if the local community are jerks, and also happen to be premium members, well... that just sucks :(. But it most certainly does not brand all events, let alone people who attend events, as beginner unfriendly and whatnot.

 

You have the power to change your local community.

Create beginner-friendly events. Encourage friendliness and helpfulness in the community. Promote family-friendly environments. Isn't this what geocaching, in general, is all about? One of the best things people continuously describe about why they love geocaching.

 

And then let's also see events promoted more often towards new geocachers. That would help much more, imo, than ranting about them in the forum, and I think would be much easier to implement than a whole new touchy, complicated mentorship program via Groundspeak. How do we reach geocachers who don't have a validated email address (in the situation that requirement hasn't yet been implemented), or just don't quite grasp general caching etiquette, and help educate them better?

Quickest and easiest way are local events, and somehow promoting them to that target crowd specifically - the intro app(s) being a prime candidate.

Edited by thebruce0
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The best way, in my opinion, to reach out and get more people into the game is to have events that are "Intro to Geocaching" or "Geocaching 101" for the masses. Have it be a geocaching.com event, sure, but also flyer the town. Partner with Scout troops, Boys and Girls Clubs, Libraries, Park and Rec departments, Schools, state parks, local chamber of commerce, local/state/federal agencies or businesses that have a mission to get people outdoors, etc.

 

What you propose above might make sense in an area with a small number of cachers. In my area and many others I'm familiar with it is not a wise decision to actively try to involve even more people into geocaching. Dealing with the newcomers that are already there is another issue, but the times where active promotion might have made sense are long gone where I live.

 

Cezanne

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Ok well, that was my based on being a newbie twice. In the beginning in S Az, and then once I moved here.

 

Just sayin. It's hard to be a newbie. And if there were expectations for me to attend more events ...I think I'd die.

 

In what sense did you still feel like a newbie after having found quite a substantial number of caches?

 

But, like mentioned above, events are very hard to find! I think there's a link or something, or somewhere, but if I still can't figure it out (other than looking around on the map) imagine how hard it is for new cachers?

 

Actually I have never been a PM and I never found it hard to find an event (I'm not subscribed to the newsletter).

It took me over a year to accumulate 100 finds, but I did not felt like a newbie much earlier.

 

 

Cezanne

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The best way, in my opinion, to reach out and get more people into the game is to have events that are "Intro to Geocaching" or "Geocaching 101" for the masses. Have it be a geocaching.com event, sure, but also flyer the town. Partner with Scout troops, Boys and Girls Clubs, Libraries, Park and Rec departments, Schools, state parks, local chamber of commerce, local/state/federal agencies or businesses that have a mission to get people outdoors, etc.

 

What you propose above might make sense in an area with a small number of cachers. In my area and many others I'm familiar with it is not a wise decision to actively try to involve even more people into geocaching. Dealing with the newcomers that are already there is another issue, but the times where active promotion might have made sense are long gone where I live.

 

Cezanne

I'm very interested to hear why you think this.

 

I think you're ignoring an important part of this whole thread. Groundspeak is already trying to get more cachers involved with a non-targeted outreach move like the Intro App. We as established cachers have the opportunity to help bring people into this game with the best information, and some community resources to help them learn more and follow the guidelines and established norms of this game.

 

It doesn't have to read like recruitment, but public events can help educate and inform. Just think if you get some of the people who have already downloaded the App, but haven't had/taken a chance to learn more have the opportunity to do just that.

 

If you are in this game and hoping that new people aren't going to want to join, you're in for a big surprise.

 

I've been caching since 2001, and have lived in Portland, Oregon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota, and now Homer, Alaska. All other places I have lived until 2 years ago have had much larger caching communities. In none of those places would a "Geocaching 101/Intro to Geocaching" public event be a bad idea.

Edited by NeverSummer
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I'm very interested to hear why you think this.

 

I think you're ignoring an important part of this whole thread. Groundspeak is already trying to get more cachers involved with a non-targeted outreach move like the Intro App. We as established cachers have the opportunity to help bring people into this game with the best information, and some community resources to help them learn more and follow the guidelines and established norms of this game.

 

What I wrote did not refer to the part of your post where you wrote about events, but where you wrote about flyers and contacting all different sorts of groups far beyond the audience of people who have already discovered geocaching (via the app or other means).

 

It doesn't have to read like recruitment, but public events can help educate and inform. Just think if you get some of the people who have already downloaded the App, but haven't had/taken a chance to learn more have the opportunity to do just that.

 

If they only have downloaded the app and never actually went for a cache, then I do not care about them.

Education as you put it starts to make sense to me if people already tried to find some caches.

 

If you are in this game and hoping that new people aren't going to want to join, you're in for a big surprise.

 

The issue is just that not every area can support too many cachers and exponential growth rates. Lots of troubles arise

and also lots of the oldtimers are driven out of geocaching due to the development.

 

When I started with geocaching my idea was not that every third or second cache hunt if the caches are not selected with special attention will turn into

a meeting with other geocachers. If I'm into the mood for socializing I can attend an event. If I go for a walk on the weekend, I rather prefer to be on my own and not meet 5 or more people who have the same destination than myself and want to search for the very same things. My idea of an event back then was also not that 100+ people will show up as a normal number of attendance for a local event with no special focus.

 

Cezanne

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I'm very interested to hear why you think this.

 

I think you're ignoring an important part of this whole thread. Groundspeak is already trying to get more cachers involved with a non-targeted outreach move like the Intro App. We as established cachers have the opportunity to help bring people into this game with the best information, and some community resources to help them learn more and follow the guidelines and established norms of this game.

 

What I wrote did not refer to the part of your post where you wrote about events, but where you wrote about flyers and contacting all different sorts of groups far beyond the audience of people who have already discovered geocaching (via the app or other means).

That's not the only part of what you quoted. If one can't contact new users through their profile, but you know there are out there, how do you propose reaching out to them, and possibly getting some new folks interested in the game?

 

Think of the possibilities! You get to have the event, and teach people about the game, and how to play the "right" way!

 

It doesn't have to read like recruitment, but public events can help educate and inform. Just think if you get some of the people who have already downloaded the App, but haven't had/taken a chance to learn more have the opportunity to do just that.

 

If they only have downloaded the app and never actually went for a cache, then I do not care about them.

Education as you put it starts to make sense to me if people already tried to find some caches.

Really? Wait, I mean, really? :blink:

 

If you are in this game and hoping that new people aren't going to want to join, you're in for a big surprise.

 

The issue is just that not every area can support too many cachers and exponential growth rates. Lots of troubles arise

and also lots of the oldtimers are driven out of geocaching due to the development.

 

When I started with geocaching my idea was not that every third or second cache hunt if the caches are not selected with special attention will turn into a meeting with other geocachers. If I'm into the mood for socializing I can attend an event. If I go for a walk on the weekend, I rather prefer to be on my own and not meet 5 or more people who have the same destination than myself and want to search for the very same things. My idea of an event back then was also not that 100+ people will show up as a normal number of attendance for a local event with no special focus.

 

Cezanne

Sounds like sour grapes. <_<

 

New people are going to play this game. That's what Groundspeak and Geocaching.com are set out to do...as a business model. The issue is that they are unable to introduce, educate, foster "proper behavior", or the like on the scale of growth or in terms of "feet on the ground" local experienced cacher abilities. We are the people who make this game possible, and we are the people who keep the game running, and we are the people that have the ability to get involved and help do something about what so many complain about in the forums: The game is "getting worse because of X."

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No. They're not. Fundamentally, they are not.

But if that's how they seem in your area, that's definitely quite unfortunate...

So, change that!

 

Once again, it's not elitism - it's paying for a feature that makes certain aspects of the website use more efficient and beneficial. It's not us-and-them. And people who attend events that make it like that, purposefully leaving out newcomers and beginners - knock some sense into them, for crying out loud! (& that is not an advocation of violence =P)

....

 

Events fundamentally are -- SHOULD be -- welcoming for anyone (depending on the intent of the event of course). Local community plays a HUGE role in that, and if the local community are jerks, and also happen to be premium members, well... that just sucks :(. But it most certainly does not brand all events, let alone people who attend events, as beginner unfriendly and whatnot.

 

Geoff, you're missing my point.

 

You live in a great area! I bet all the people in my old geocaching 'hood probably felt the exact same way as you! They probably felt open, accepting, and just like events were the greatest.thing.ever! Woot for them! Whoofreakinhoo

 

I'm actually not saying it's an elitism thing...it's a common 'usual suspects' kind of thing. Perhaps it's that the same people who like events go to events, and the people who loathe events don't go. Maybe. I just know I wouldn't like to intrude on an event, and that's now they ALL feel so far.

 

I went to my first event at 44 hides. I felt like a pretty good cacher by that point. I was already a PM

 

If I went to that thing as a newbie with 3, 10, 15 hides....Bleh. I'd bail. Well. Maybe not. I'd just avoid events (like I already do). Dang. My caching upbringing was unbelievable awful. Mean people they were...

 

People fail to think about how the newbie feels. People fail to look at things from the outside sometimes...

 

 

In what sense did you still feel like a newbie after having found quite a substantial number of caches?

 

 

Cezanne

 

I dont find my finds to be that substantial. I'm a caching area where the people cached with Jeremy and Brian and Jon and probably put out some of the first geocaches. They are a very close group, and have cached together for years. They have an S-ton of finds. But also...I am new to the community, and this whole PNW milleu, which is *quite* different to what I'm used to. I'm new all around

 

The geo communtiy here isn't nearly as exclusionary. Not in a mean way anyway.

 

On another note:

I find this area fascinating, amazing, and gorgeous. But some of the people here (general pop, not cachers specifically) haven't had to experience a new thought/feeling/experience in DECADES. It's.....bizarre.

 

My deep connection with newness, or being a newbie is extending from many aspects of my life.

 

What I'm saying is...I can connect with the feeling of being new far more than most people. Most people I've met anyways...and, it ain't easy...

 

 

But to get back on track.

If we can set up events, where the specific purpose was to welcome the newbie to the geocommunity, that could work. Perhaps a yearly event.

Changing a long standing milleu is hard work though

 

The final issue will always remain. How do we find these guys! How do we communicate with them?

I had an idea for a cache arise from this, with the GC code of the next newbie event inside the swag. With a link to all events on the cache page....hints, etc

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Events for newcomers are great for extroverts. I think most introverts (like me) don't like them and, for the most part, don't go. If people had e-mailed me invitations to events right off the bat when I first started caching, I'd have raised my eyebrows and wondered just what the heck kind of a group of people geocachers were (you know...kind of like when you tour a house that you're thinking of renting and the next door neighbor runs out to greet you and won't shut up...and you say to yourself, "No way will I rent this place with a *that* living next door" *shudders with horror*) :D I was quite pleased to discover a new hobby that I could do by myself with the only point of contact being online.

 

An e-mail to a newcomer that could in any way be interpreted as critical is problematic. No matter how you say it, if it's in any way critical, it not apt to be well received. Contact with newcomers should be careful and nice. Wait on the criticism until you know them better. Unless, of course, your point is to make them stop geocaching right now because you think their caches/logs/whatever suck.

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I must say, I'm not a beginner PC/app user, but it took me a while of browsing the forums before I came across the geocaching PDF which explains it pretty well in a nutshell. I was suprised that I didn't see it on the main Geocahing site (perhaps I missed it, but then if I missed it, most likely the general n00bs will miss it too).

The main page has an enormous screen image, taking most of the page.

Underlined in the middle is, "Learn more about geocaching and how you can join the adventure".

 

I don't understand how that could be missed.

 

Sorry, I should explain I did find that, and I read through it, but I meant the quick-to-read PDF document, because the point I read being brought up was that new people to the game weren't reading all the rules etc and how to play. They were just downloading the app and going from there. That link on Geocaching 101 picture on the main page is also in the menu under 'Learn' which is where I found it, but to some, taking so much time to read everything there is too much. This is where the PDF would come in handy.

 

Perhaps on the app, after one installs it and they open for the first time, there are a few screens that explain the basics of using the app and playing the game that they have to click Next after reading to move through (or make it a timed screen before the next button pops up, forcing them to hang on the page and read at least something for 5 seconds before being able to click Next).

 

Lots of apps do that, and if you want to use the app, then you have to go through the 'tutorial'. And make the tutorial accessable after the first use, so if someone just next-next-next's through the tut then they can go back again for a refresher.

 

That way, you target the people who just install the app and go from there, and there's not too much to read for those people who are too busy/lazy to read the 101 on the site :)

 

However, the point on the app is moot for Android peeps, cos I started on C:GEO which Geocaching.com wouldn't have any control over (re adding the tutorial part). But for the free app from GC, it should be a start :)

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I dont find my finds to be that substantial. I'm a caching area where the people cached with Jeremy and Brian and Jon and probably put out some of the first geocaches. They are a very close group, and have cached together for years. They have an S-ton of finds. But also...I am new to the community, and this whole PNW milleu, which is *quite* different to what I'm used to. I'm new all around

 

The geo communtiy here isn't nearly as exclusionary. Not in a mean way anyway.

 

On another note:

I find this area fascinating, amazing, and gorgeous. But some of the people here (general pop, not cachers specifically) haven't had to experience a new thought/feeling/experience in DECADES. It's.....bizarre.

 

My deep connection with newness, or being a newbie is extending from many aspects of my life.

 

What I'm saying is...I can connect with the feeling of being new far more than most people. Most people I've met anyways...and, it ain't easy...

 

Well, I think I originally misunderstood completely what you meant with newbie. Feeling new in a certain group or just not belonging to that group/community is not what I had in mind when I read newbie with respect to geocaching. In view of the development that has taken place over the last few years, I do not feel part of the local community any longer (that was different ten years ago). I see myself more as someone who likes to hike and be in the nature and uses geocaching as a means to select targets and to battle my weak inner self.

I have never been interested into the search for containers, clever camouflage, special equipment and all these sorts of things.

 

I regard geocaching as an activity that one can engage in entirely without any personal contacts. I referred to your number of finds because what I had in mind were beginners who do not know the principles of geocaching (for whatever reasons) and not people who are new to the (local) community and might wish to establish personal contacts or even wish to be integrated into the community.

 

I'm not new in my area, but like you I do not like to attend events that much and if I happen to attend an event I typically just talk to those I have known before and to whom I like talking which of course implies that I will hardly ever talk to cachers whom I do not know, regardless of whether they are new or very experienced, but just from somewhere else.

 

I noticed that over the years the focus of topics discussed has become much more concentrated on geocaching while in earlier years geocachers met, but at least 50% of the time one spoke about non geocaching topics (hiking, traveling etc as opposed to what is the best UV torch, which night cache is the coolest, how to solve Puzzle cache X) something I appreciated very much. Today the average geocacher in my area has not much in common with me. It is much more likely to find equal minded persons outside of geocaching (or among former geocachers back from the old times).

 

I agree with you that many events are not well suited to establish new contacts, but if a newcomer comes with a particular question, I'm sure that he/she will get an answer.

 

Cezanne

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Events for newcomers are great for extroverts. I think most introverts (like me) don't like them and, for the most part, don't go. If people had e-mailed me invitations to events right off the bat when I first started caching, I'd have raised my eyebrows and wondered just what the heck kind of a group of people geocachers were (you know...kind of like when you tour a house that you're thinking of renting and the next door neighbor runs out to greet you and won't shut up...and you say to yourself, "No way will I rent this place with a *that* living next door" *shudders with horror*) :D I was quite pleased to discover a new hobby that I could do by myself with the only point of contact being online.

 

An e-mail to a newcomer that could in any way be interpreted as critical is problematic. No matter how you say it, if it's in any way critical, it not apt to be well received. Contact with newcomers should be careful and nice. Wait on the criticism until you know them better. Unless, of course, your point is to make them stop geocaching right now because you think their caches/logs/whatever suck.

 

Take the test.

 

Clearly, I'm an introvert. Because of that, I had spent a lot of time on the website, researched many local caches and read the logs on those caches before I found my first cache. I sensed that there was a close knit community of people that had a more outgoing personality than mine. When I saw a breakfast event planned that talked about hiking a very difficult trail afterwards, (barely a trail), that I had just done, I saw a perfect opportunity to interject myself into this group. I overcame my fear and attended the event, and I stuck my hand out to the people that I had only known by reading their logs. I was instantly welcomed. The fact that it had rained that morning and I could make it clear that hiking that trail would be probably be a suicide mission, I was able to suggest an alternate hike. When I later slipped in the mud and found myself sitting on my butt in the mud and the group laughed, I realized that I didn't have to take life so seriously. I laughed too and accepted the hand that was extended to pull me back up to my feet.

 

After that, I became part of an email group and because I had hiked certain trails, I became an organizer/adviser, sometimes hike leader. When an event was posted, if I could make it, I would, even if it was in an outlying area and I was not likely to know the members of local group. I would stick out my hand and say "Hi", and I can honestly say that only one person has dismissed me outright. That was a particularly unpleasant person that used to create a lot of controversy on this forum.

 

Geocaching, Geocaching Events, and group hikes have helped me break out of my introvert tendencies.

 

I will admit that while at our monthly events, I am a bit shy about approaching those that I don't recognize. Luckily, there are many much more outgoing people there that will, and then when the door is open, I'll jump in.

 

As far as on the trail, I am very helpful. I say "Hi" to everyone that passes, have shared my water and even turned people around that thought they were heading back to their car.

 

If I run into a new geocacher, or even an established cacher, I'm like a puppy dog wagging my tail.

 

As far as new cachers finding and placing caches, I have reached out to several through the email link on their profiles. One of which has learned how important it was to re-hide the cache after finding it, (several went missing after his find, so much so that it was an obvious pattern), and he has become a valued member of our community and even became a volunteer to our local conservancy agency and has been building an attitude with the rangers that we geocachers are not as bad as they thought we were. Another was hiding caches in bad places, (homeowners association landscaping, etc), and he is now a prolific hider that is building favorite points faster than any other local hider. This is why I think a validated email is so important.

 

I am really sorry that some of you have had bad experiences at events. Maybe simply extending your hand for a shake would have changed that, but i realize that this can be a large step for some of us. It's too bad that no one at that group extended their hand to you instead.

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I must say, I'm not a beginner PC/app user, but it took me a while of browsing the forums before I came across the geocaching PDF which explains it pretty well in a nutshell. I was suprised that I didn't see it on the main Geocahing site (perhaps I missed it, but then if I missed it, most likely the general n00bs will miss it too).

The main page has an enormous screen image, taking most of the page.

Underlined in the middle is, "Learn more about geocaching and how you can join the adventure".

 

I don't understand how that could be missed.

 

Sorry, I should explain I did find that, and I read through it, but I meant the quick-to-read PDF document, because the point I read being brought up was that new people to the game weren't reading all the rules etc and how to play. They were just downloading the app and going from there. That link on Geocaching 101 picture on the main page is also in the menu under 'Learn' which is where I found it, but to some, taking so much time to read everything there is too much. This is where the PDF would come in handy.

 

Perhaps on the app, after one installs it and they open for the first time, there are a few screens that explain the basics of using the app and playing the game that they have to click Next after reading to move through (or make it a timed screen before the next button pops up, forcing them to hang on the page and read at least something for 5 seconds before being able to click Next).

 

Lots of apps do that, and if you want to use the app, then you have to go through the 'tutorial'. And make the tutorial accessable after the first use, so if someone just next-next-next's through the tut then they can go back again for a refresher.

 

That way, you target the people who just install the app and go from there, and there's not too much to read for those people who are too busy/lazy to read the 101 on the site :)

 

However, the point on the app is moot for Android peeps, cos I started on C:GEO which Geocaching.com wouldn't have any control over (re adding the tutorial part). But for the free app from GC, it should be a start :)

 

Your post epitomizes the problem. The INTRO app allows people with short attention spans to jump into the game one day and jump out the next. The havoc that they can cause in that day, might take cache owners weeks to repair, IF THEY CHOOSE TO!

 

There has been talk about Groundspeak's business model. Who knows what it is, (I have a feeling that they don't even know), but if it's power trails and one day INTRO app users, then I guess it's the same model as the American tobacco companies. Who cares who dies out, as long as new customers are buying in.

 

,

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Events for newcomers are great for extroverts. I think most introverts (like me) don't like them and, for the most part, don't go. If people had e-mailed me invitations to events right off the bat when I first started caching, I'd have raised my eyebrows and wondered just what the heck kind of a group of people geocachers were (you know...kind of like when you tour a house that you're thinking of renting and the next door neighbor runs out to greet you and won't shut up...and you say to yourself, "No way will I rent this place with a *that* living next door" *shudders with horror*) :D I was quite pleased to discover a new hobby that I could do by myself with the only point of contact being online.

 

An e-mail to a newcomer that could in any way be interpreted as critical is problematic. No matter how you say it, if it's in any way critical, it not apt to be well received. Contact with newcomers should be careful and nice. Wait on the criticism until you know them better. Unless, of course, your point is to make them stop geocaching right now because you think their caches/logs/whatever suck.

 

Not everyone is going to respond the same way you do. Whether you realize it or not your argument is; because I'm not an extrovert I think no one should be getting emails inviting them events. Emails can easily be ignored by those who choose to do so.

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I must say, I'm not a beginner PC/app user, but it took me a while of browsing the forums before I came across the geocaching PDF which explains it pretty well in a nutshell. I was suprised that I didn't see it on the main Geocahing site (perhaps I missed it, but then if I missed it, most likely the general n00bs will miss it too).

The main page has an enormous screen image, taking most of the page.

Underlined in the middle is, "Learn more about geocaching and how you can join the adventure".

 

I don't understand how that could be missed.

 

Sorry, I should explain I did find that, and I read through it, but I meant the quick-to-read PDF document, because the point I read being brought up was that new people to the game weren't reading all the rules etc and how to play. They were just downloading the app and going from there. That link on Geocaching 101 picture on the main page is also in the menu under 'Learn' which is where I found it, but to some, taking so much time to read everything there is too much. This is where the PDF would come in handy.

 

Perhaps on the app, after one installs it and they open for the first time, there are a few screens that explain the basics of using the app and playing the game that they have to click Next after reading to move through (or make it a timed screen before the next button pops up, forcing them to hang on the page and read at least something for 5 seconds before being able to click Next).

 

Lots of apps do that, and if you want to use the app, then you have to go through the 'tutorial'. And make the tutorial accessable after the first use, so if someone just next-next-next's through the tut then they can go back again for a refresher.

 

That way, you target the people who just install the app and go from there, and there's not too much to read for those people who are too busy/lazy to read the 101 on the site :)

 

However, the point on the app is moot for Android peeps, cos I started on C:GEO which Geocaching.com wouldn't have any control over (re adding the tutorial part). But for the free app from GC, it should be a start :)

 

Your post epitomizes the problem. The INTRO app allows people with short attention spans to jump into the game one day and jump out the next. The havoc that they can cause in that day, might take cache owners weeks to repair, IF THEY CHOOSE TO!

 

There has been talk about Groundspeak's business model. Who knows what it is, (I have a feeling that they don't even know), but if it's power trails and one day INTRO app users, then I guess it's the same model as the American tobacco companies. Who cares who dies out, as long as new customers are buying in.

 

,

 

I know I used an analogy of a soccer game already but it also reminds me of a tool sharing cooperative. If people make their tools available so other cooperative members can borrow the tools it works, as long as everybody does their bit. So you can borrow my torque wrench and I borrow your snowblower. Making too much available too quickly seems like letting people join the cooperative while bringing nothing to the table, so they can borrow a torque wrench, return it late and dirty and then go on to borrow a snowblower and return it broken, then borrow a pressure washer and not return it at all, and then decide not to take part any more.

 

It could be argued that letting people have a basic account at no cost is just as bad but at least the basic account has to register and validate an email address. The validation process could (it's been so long I forget whether it actually does) present a "geocaching etiquette" guide that has to be read because the link to activate is in there somewhere.

 

Sooner or later the members of the tool sharing cooperative will stop lending anything to new members. In the same way it's easy to see cache owners getting sick of people not showing any level of care to their caches and making them all premium member only. Of course that means premium membership offers more benefits, so it works for Groundspeak as well.

 

Of course Groundspeak can continue to honour their promise that it will never be necessary to pay to geocache. It's not Groundspeak's fault if 99% of caches are premium member only caches, right? That's the decision of the owner, and Groundspeak doesn't have any part in that decision.

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Not everyone is going to respond the same way you do. Whether you realize it or not your argument is; because I'm not an extrovert I think no one should be getting emails inviting them events. Emails can easily be ignored by those who choose to do so.

 

I'm not terrkan75, but I cannot find in the cited text that no mails should be sent. Mails can be sent and can be ignored, but of course the contents of sent mails might influence what people think about one another and which impression they get about an activity. One cannot switch off the kind of thoughts terrkan mentioned. To stay with the neighbour example: The same type of behaviour will be appreciated by one group and be not welcomed at all by other people. This cannot be avoided.

 

It makes a big difference for a certain group of people if they experience that geocaching is something which can be done on an anonymous level or whether the social component is inevitable.

 

Cezanne

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You live in a great area! I bet all the people in my old geocaching 'hood probably felt the exact same way as you! They probably felt open, accepting, and just like events were the greatest.thing.ever! Woot for them! Whoofreakinhoo

 

I'm actually not saying it's an elitism thing...it's a common 'usual suspects' kind of thing. Perhaps it's that the same people who like events go to events, and the people who loathe events don't go. Maybe. I just know I wouldn't like to intrude on an event, and that's now they ALL feel so far.

 

I went to my first event at 44 hides. I felt like a pretty good cacher by that point. I was already a PM

 

If I went to that thing as a newbie with 3, 10, 15 hides....Bleh. I'd bail. Well. Maybe not. I'd just avoid events (like I already do). Dang. My caching upbringing was unbelievable awful. Mean people they were...

 

People fail to think about how the newbie feels. People fail to look at things from the outside sometimes...

You're doing just what you're saying not to do. You're painting all 'newbies' (I avoid that term as many find it derogatory) in the same light - by your own experience. Again, if you feel like you're "intruding" on an event - if that's THEM, then THEY are jerks; but if that's you, then that's just you - why exclude newcomers who won't or don't feel that way?

 

We're discussing a generalized way to get new players and beginners involved so they can be educated more. To presume that 1) every event is exclusionary or 2) every "newbie" will feel like they don't belong (reglardless of the event's intention) and 3) every community worldwide has the same event 'feel', is highly flawed and biased, imo.

 

There's no reason not to make events that ARE friendly. That ARE educational. That ARE welcoming. I really am sorry your local community isn't as open as other areas.. I really wish it was. Caching around here is amazing, and the community (well, 98% of them) are awesome, awesome people. I cringe at some of the woes cachers in other areas of the world are reporting in... it's unbelievable sometimes. But again, only you can be the change :P it has to start somewhere.

 

I dont find my finds to be that substantial. I'm a caching area where the people cached with Jeremy and Brian and Jon and probably put out some of the first geocaches. They are a very close group, and have cached together for years. They have an S-ton of finds. But also...I am new to the community, and this whole PNW milleu, which is *quite* different to what I'm used to. I'm new all around

Caching groups will inevitably form; that's just friends making friends. We always need to realize that those will exist, and instead of labeling them as exclusionary, try to find friends you connect with and cache with them often too. If there are events when everyone still comes together, then this is the best type of community. No guilt trips for leaving people out, because in the end no one is left out - while still providing for people to spend time with the people they most enjoy spending time with.

For example, there's a "BFL" group that goes night caching every Friday night. Same group of people every time. They're not exclusive though. Anyone's welcome. But if a beginner hears about it, of course they'll initial feel they don't belong - they're new people, they're not friends (yet). But there's a difference between that, and the group being forcefully exclusive.

 

And I'm about as introverted as you get (which is not the same as shy). I hate huge groups, I don't enjoy (the act of) meeting new people; I'm awkward. But I realized long ago that resigning to that and staying back is no way to live life. So while I'm no "social butterfly", I make every attempt as best I can to get out there, and from first hand experience, try to help others not have that same level of awkward reclusion from the community. It's not worth it, and it doesn't help anyone.

 

I find this area fascinating, amazing, and gorgeous. But some of the people here (general pop, not cachers specifically) haven't had to experience a new thought/feeling/experience in DECADES. It's.....bizarre.

Indeed :) And another reason why I think the geocaching community (in general) is amazing :) Such a wide range of people in many ways, all connecting over one common enjoyable hobby. Why should anyone be excluded? Except the people who themselves exclude of course :P

 

What I'm saying is...I can connect with the feeling of being new far more than most people. Most people I've met anyways...and, it ain't easy...

Ditto! So let's change that for them. ;)

 

But to get back on track.

If we can set up events, where the specific purpose was to welcome the newbie to the geocommunity, that could work. Perhaps a yearly event.

Changing a long standing milleu is hard work though

It certainly does work! And yep, it takes time, effort, and teamwork, but it does work. But that's how things get better.

 

 

I had an idea for a cache arise from this, with the GC code of the next newbie event inside the swag. With a link to all events on the cache page....hints, etc

I had a thought of something like that too - if an event or few are coming up, drop a couple of 'announcement' notes in beginner-ish caches as you find them in the area. Laminate'em even, include a link to any central page like a website or FB page, along with upcoming dates (so the card itself doesn't go entirely out of date if the dates pass). Drop those in some caches and maybe the curious 'unconnected' (not even necessarily new cachers) will find a way to join the community :)

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Sooner or later the members of the tool sharing cooperative will stop lending anything to new members. In the same way it's easy to see cache owners getting sick of people not showing any level of care to their caches and making them all premium member only.

 

I do not like your example. The equivalent of the tools are the hidden geocaches. There are many basic member who have hidden quite a number of well received, involved caches and maintained them over many years. These people are typically very careful also about the caches of other people as they know how it feels if something gets damaged.

I know quite a number of very inexperienced PMs or PMs who have not hidden a single cache and also are not helping others with maintaining there caches.

They pay money to Groundspeak, but they do not contribute to the basic component of geocaching. I do not want to argue that everyone should hide caches (there are too many lame caches nobody takes care of after they have been hidden). I just do not like your tool example and the assumption that PMs take better care about caches. This is more a question of experience and the character of the cachers involved.

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Don_J, everything you said, ditto :)

Geocaching, Geocaching Events, and group hikes have helped me break out of my introvert tendencies.

 

I will admit that while at our monthly events, I am a bit shy about approaching those that I don't recognize. Luckily, there are many much more outgoing people there that will, and then when the door is open, I'll jump in.

 

As far as on the trail, I am very helpful. I say "Hi" to everyone that passes, have shared my water and even turned people around that thought they were heading back to their car.

 

If I run into a new geocacher, or even an established cacher, I'm like a puppy dog wagging my tail.

So very this!

I'm not outgoing; far from it. At restaurant events, I will typically find my friends and sit with them. I'm not being exclusive, I'm just reverting to social 'comfort'. Once the door is open though, I'm as friendly as I can make myself be, especially with new people.

I've met cachers on the trails, and it's awesome, much like seeing someone you've known for a very long time - simply because of the shared activity.

 

Whether on the trail, in a restaurant, or at a beginner-focused event, no one deserves a cold shoulder; even people who offer a cold shoulder - they only exclude themselves.

 

Newcomers (whether to the community or to geocaching as a hobby) should never feel excluded or that they're intruding, at least on the part of the other people. And when that connection is made, they stand a much better chance of learning the etiquette of their local caching community, and of caching in general.

 

New to the area? Chances are they already know of events.

New to the hobby? The INTRO app is a prime resource to tap for encouraging new people to attend events and even instill a desire to learn 'how' to geocache 'properly'.

 

I can completely understand a beginner not wanting to read pages of instructions and guidelines - it's like being given a Terms Of Use doc to agree to. Should we read? Yeah. Do we read? hah! Unlikely. If the general concept of the hobby is easy to grasp, they'll just run with that, not getting the nuances and community etiquette. People, events, personal contact do a greater job about that -- even if ultimately the person isn't social or avoid events just because they're not interested. At least they've been given the opportunity to understand there is a community out there, and how they cache individually does affect the experience of others.

 

If new cachers can be encouraged in some way and provided information about how they can learn and have more fun with the hobby, why not tell them? How they respond is their choice. But at least they have that choice.

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If new cachers can be encouraged in some way and provided information about how they can learn and have more fun with the hobby, why not tell them? How they respond is their choice. But at least they have that choice.

 

I think the key issue is just whether or not one assumes that everyone has the same needs and preferences.

 

Offering welcoming events for newcomers is a good idea, but not everything should rely on that idea. There are people who prefer other less personal channels for informing themselves and it is not true that everyone prefers personal contact to reading through written stuff however lengthy it might be.

 

So written material and the location where it is places so that it is easily found and is written in a way that it does not mix basic and complex stuff is still something that seems important to me.

 

It depends a lot on why people go geocaching or go for a hike. If I'm in the right mood I do not have an issue with talking with someone else, but often when I go for a cache/hike I really need a timeout. In such a phase I'm not eager to talk to whomever, also not to close friends but those understand the situation more easily. What I learnt is that years ago when I started to geocache, noone expected everyone to be constantly in the mood for smalltalk or for talking about geocaching. That has changed over time. Nowadays there are quite a number of cachers who expect a warm welcome and a chat whenever one meets them somewhere on the trail or at an urban cache. There are days where I do not even care at all whom I met (in cases where I meet a geocacher I have not met before). When I'm not in the mood for social contacts, I'm certainly exclusive, but not with respect to the degree of experience of the involved cachers.

WHen attending an event, one is prepared for social exposure. When I go for a cache in the woods, I'm not necessarily prepared to having to meet social expectations of others.

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Events for newcomers are great for extroverts. I think most introverts (like me) don't like them and, for the most part, don't go. If people had e-mailed me invitations to events right off the bat when I first started caching, I'd have raised my eyebrows and wondered just what the heck kind of a group of people geocachers were (you know...kind of like when you tour a house that you're thinking of renting and the next door neighbor runs out to greet you and won't shut up...and you say to yourself, "No way will I rent this place with a *that* living next door" *shudders with horror*) :D I was quite pleased to discover a new hobby that I could do by myself with the only point of contact being online.

 

An e-mail to a newcomer that could in any way be interpreted as critical is problematic. No matter how you say it, if it's in any way critical, it not apt to be well received. Contact with newcomers should be careful and nice. Wait on the criticism until you know them better. Unless, of course, your point is to make them stop geocaching right now because you think their caches/logs/whatever suck.

 

Not everyone is going to respond the same way you do. Whether you realize it or not your argument is; because I'm not an extrovert I think no one should be getting emails inviting them events. Emails can easily be ignored by those who choose to do so.

What I'm hearing a lot in this forum thread is that it's important to require intro app users to provide their e-mail so that they can be contacted by other geocachers. And the point of this contact? It doesn't seem so much to be, "Hi there! Welcome to geocaching! We have an event next Tuesday that you're more than welcome to attend" (end of e-mail). Instead the point seems to be more along the lines of, "Hey there, you messed up by (insert problem). We have a Newbie event next Tuesday...obviously you need to go cuz you're causing problems." Not in those words...but that's how it's likely to come across by a significant segment of people (a lot of people don't respond well to criticism...beyond introvert/extrovert lines). The former contact is fine. The latter is not. It's very difficult to criticize a newcomer without coming across as a know-it-all jerk.

 

I agree that there are many problems caused by newcomers to geocaching and the mess they leave in their wake. I don't know what the answer is. My own approach is to just fix the messes when I come upon them (if I can). But requiring intro app users to provide verified e-mail addresses is (if people follow through with the kinds of contact described in this thread) going to alienate some people. I'm trying to interject some caution here.

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I've noticed that local/state caching communities who have formed FB groups seem to have some luck pulling in newbies. If your area does not have a FB group already, consider starting one. Somehow, new cachers often seem to stumble on these groups, and often, introverts are more comfortable getting to know other cachers online than in person. When a lot of us in our area list an event on gc.com, we also post a link to that event in our local FB group, so that those who don't get notifications or who have a difficult time navigating to the events section of the web site are made aware of the event.

 

I'm sorry that some cachers have found the local events to be somewhat exclusive and have not felt welcomed into the community. I was very, very fortunate where I live that so many of our local cachers are welcoming to newbies.

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Offering welcoming events for newcomers is a good idea, but not everything should rely on that idea. There are people who prefer other less personal channels for informing themselves and it is not true that everyone prefers personal contact to reading through written stuff however lengthy it might be.

 

So written material and the location where it is places so that it is easily found and is written in a way that it does not mix basic and complex stuff is still something that seems important to me.

Of course. And with the growing discussion of events, I don't think anyone said "instead of" better information ;) It's just another, easily accessible, form of reaching out to those who are new in various ways.

 

But requiring intro app users to provide verified e-mail addresses is (if people follow through with the kinds of contact described in this thread) going to alienate some people.

But you know what? The people who contact such users by email and 'alienate' them by negative content of their communication (implied, not inferred) will have already alienated them just by knowing their username and spreading negative reputation, simply because they can't contact the new user in any way to inform them of the error/issue. Those are the people who rant about newbies ruining the game. (and if negative criticism is inferred by the new user - that's not a problem with existing cachers trying to help, that's a problem with that new user)

So, would it be better for new users to remain entirely anonymous and stand a much greater chance of building a negative reputation because no one can even attempt to communicate and help them (whether positively or negatively), or to at least open the door for positive influence by allowing email contact? (even if their email address itself can remain anonymous, as per the current setup) where the only avoidable negative effect would be from grumps who'd be negative either way?

 

Grumps will be grumps.

Not everyone's a grump, and not every 'newbie' is an introvert.

Edited by thebruce0
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Sooner or later the members of the tool sharing cooperative will stop lending anything to new members. In the same way it's easy to see cache owners getting sick of people not showing any level of care to their caches and making them all premium member only.

 

I do not like your example. The equivalent of the tools are the hidden geocaches. There are many basic member who have hidden quite a number of well received, involved caches and maintained them over many years. These people are typically very careful also about the caches of other people as they know how it feels if something gets damaged.

I know quite a number of very inexperienced PMs or PMs who have not hidden a single cache and also are not helping others with maintaining there caches.

They pay money to Groundspeak, but they do not contribute to the basic component of geocaching. I do not want to argue that everyone should hide caches (there are too many lame caches nobody takes care of after they have been hidden). I just do not like your tool example and the assumption that PMs take better care about caches. This is more a question of experience and the character of the cachers involved.

 

Yes, and the problem is when people turn up with no skin in the game at all, don't play the game the way it's intended, and just leave the established players to sort out their mess.

 

If they are doing it through genuinely not knowing what the game is about then there's a strong case for Groundspeak to modify the app to make it more apparent the way the game is supposed to be played. If they just don't care there's little that can be done because if they didn't download a free app they could still sign up for a free basic caching account. Hopefully signing up for a caching account puts enough obstacles in their way that they will actually read what the game is about.

 

The analogy wasn't so much trying to make out that premium members are better at maintaining caches than basic members, it was to show that if people are contributing in some way (whether through paying or through hiding caches) they will soon get bored of making contributions if the caches are regularly trashed/damaged/missing due to the actions of people who want to take but don't even want to take care of the gamepieces they are using.

 

If you prefer you could think of a tool cooperative where people can either pay to use tools or make their own tools available. People who do neither but who at least look after the tools may still be welcome but if people take the tools to use and then return them broken (or don't return them at all) will soon be removed. Since geocaching has no facility to permanently remove people, it's hardly going to be a surprise if cache owners exclude people their own way and make their hides PMO.

 

There's also no reason why anyone should be helping others maintain their caches. If people want to help an active cacher that's a good thing to do but certainly not obligatory. If a cacher is inactive and their caches have fallen into disrepair nobody is helped by people keeping it artificially alive.

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There's also no reason why anyone should be helping others maintain their caches. If people want to help an active cacher that's a good thing to do but certainly not obligatory. If a cacher is inactive and their caches have fallen into disrepair nobody is helped by people keeping it artificially alive.

 

It gets a bit off-topic here, but let me comment on what I meant. Of course such help is not obligatory and I was not referring to maintaining caches with inactive owners.

 

In my country there exist quite a number of remote mountain caches at beautiful locations which are typically far off from the places where the cachers live. If minor maintenance issues are taken care of by those who happen to visit a cache anyway, this helps a lot and allows such caches to survive in the long run. While there is not obligation to help, I do see such help as a valuable contribution. I just wanted to point out that apart from hiding caches there are also other contributions that fit into your tool example better than paying money to Groundspeak.

 

 

Cezanne

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What I'm hearing a lot in this forum thread is that it's important to require intro app users to provide their e-mail so that they can be contacted by other geocachers. And the point of this contact? It doesn't seem so much to be, "Hi there! Welcome to geocaching! We have an event next Tuesday that you're more than welcome to attend" (end of e-mail). Instead the point seems to be more along the lines of, "Hey there, you messed up by (insert problem). We have a Newbie event next Tuesday...obviously you need to go cuz you're causing problems." Not in those words...but that's how it's likely to come across by a significant segment of people (a lot of people don't respond well to criticism...beyond introvert/extrovert lines). The former contact is fine. The latter is not. It's very difficult to criticize a newcomer without coming across as a know-it-all jerk.

 

I agree that there are many problems caused by newcomers to geocaching and the mess they leave in their wake. I don't know what the answer is. My own approach is to just fix the messes when I come upon them (if I can). But requiring intro app users to provide verified e-mail addresses is (if people follow through with the kinds of contact described in this thread) going to alienate some people. I'm trying to interject some caution here.

 

I think what a lot of people who have the same view as you are forgetting or may not realize in the first place is that the caches listed on Geocaching.com are not owned by Groundspeak. They were not placed by Groundspeak employees. Groundspeak doesn't pay anyone to place caches. The caches are paid for, placed, and maintained by individuals. What is being said is that cache owners, who spend their own time and money to place and maintain these caches, would simply like a way to be able to send a message to people who visit their caches. This is particularly true when the person seems to be having trouble finding the cache.

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There's also no reason why anyone should be helping others maintain their caches. If people want to help an active cacher that's a good thing to do but certainly not obligatory. If a cacher is inactive and their caches have fallen into disrepair nobody is helped by people keeping it artificially alive.

 

It gets a bit off-topic here, but let me comment on what I meant. Of course such help is not obligatory and I was not referring to maintaining caches with inactive owners.

 

In my country there exist quite a number of remote mountain caches at beautiful locations which are typically far off from the places where the cachers live. If minor maintenance issues are taken care of by those who happen to visit a cache anyway, this helps a lot and allows such caches to survive in the long run. While there is not obligation to help, I do see such help as a valuable contribution. I just wanted to point out that apart from hiding caches there are also other contributions that fit into your tool example better than paying money to Groundspeak.

 

 

Cezanne

 

That makes more sense, thanks for clarifying. I guess in the tool analogy such a person might be the guy who borrows a tool and maybe cleans it up and maintains it for the owner. The kind of guy who borrows the lawn mower, cleans it and sharpens the blade, then returns it in a better condition than he borrowed it.

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There's also no reason why anyone should be helping others maintain their caches. If people want to help an active cacher that's a good thing to do but certainly not obligatory. If a cacher is inactive and their caches have fallen into disrepair nobody is helped by people keeping it artificially alive.

 

It gets a bit off-topic here, but let me comment on what I meant. Of course such help is not obligatory and I was not referring to maintaining caches with inactive owners.

 

In my country there exist quite a number of remote mountain caches at beautiful locations which are typically far off from the places where the cachers live. If minor maintenance issues are taken care of by those who happen to visit a cache anyway, this helps a lot and allows such caches to survive in the long run. While there is not obligation to help, I do see such help as a valuable contribution. I just wanted to point out that apart from hiding caches there are also other contributions that fit into your tool example better than paying money to Groundspeak.

 

 

Cezanne

 

That makes more sense, thanks for clarifying. I guess in the tool analogy such a person might be the guy who borrows a tool and maybe cleans it up and maintains it for the owner. The kind of guy who borrows the lawn mower, cleans it and sharpens the blade, then returns it in a better condition than he borrowed it.

Like it should go! Spoken like a neighbor I'd want! :antenna:

 

And really, that's what the game "used to be". Caches were fewer in number, cachers were fewer in number, and there was a nice community effort to keep things on the level. The whole "trade up, trade even, or don't trade at all", "hide it as you found it" and other mantras for this game are all things that some (I'm using this word very, very deliberately) don't learn early in their careers.

 

When communities were smaller, it was easy to "mentor" cachers directly and indirectly. And, now that the game is growing at a clip, efforts to instill those mantras, the guidelines, and knowledge of the game isn't as easy to do. If someone is introduced to this game via stumbling upon the Geocaching App (let's be honest, they're looking for something of this sort..."stumbling" on this game in an App store isn't easy), they dont' know that this game is more than just staring at their device and finding places around town/on a hike.

 

When people download the App, they're at work or home, and likely not sitting on a beach or along a trail straddling their bicycle. When they look for caches around them, they are shown micros in an urban setting, and that game becomes their reality. Plus, they aren't going to know the scope of the community they just joined, and our mutual desire to have positive community ownership of the game. There's history, and existing tightly-knit community here, and new cachers need to be welcomed better into the game.

 

And this can mean being able to contact them with a verified email, and the rest of us getting motivated to reach out via email or events in our areas.

 

[/soapbox] Sorry about that... :unsure::cute:

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There's also no reason why anyone should be helping others maintain their caches. If people want to help an active cacher that's a good thing to do but certainly not obligatory. If a cacher is inactive and their caches have fallen into disrepair nobody is helped by people keeping it artificially alive.

 

It gets a bit off-topic here, but let me comment on what I meant. Of course such help is not obligatory and I was not referring to maintaining caches with inactive owners.

 

In my country there exist quite a number of remote mountain caches at beautiful locations which are typically far off from the places where the cachers live. If minor maintenance issues are taken care of by those who happen to visit a cache anyway, this helps a lot and allows such caches to survive in the long run. While there is not obligation to help, I do see such help as a valuable contribution. I just wanted to point out that apart from hiding caches there are also other contributions that fit into your tool example better than paying money to Groundspeak.

 

 

Cezanne

 

That makes more sense, thanks for clarifying. I guess in the tool analogy such a person might be the guy who borrows a tool and maybe cleans it up and maintains it for the owner. The kind of guy who borrows the lawn mower, cleans it and sharpens the blade, then returns it in a better condition than he borrowed it.

Like it should go! Spoken like a neighbor I'd want! :antenna:

 

And really, that's what the game "used to be". Caches were fewer in number, cachers were fewer in number, and there was a nice community effort to keep things on the level. The whole "trade up, trade even, or don't trade at all", "hide it as you found it" and other mantras for this game are all things that some (I'm using this word very, very deliberately) don't learn early in their careers.

 

When communities were smaller, it was easy to "mentor" cachers directly and indirectly. And, now that the game is growing at a clip, efforts to instill those mantras, the guidelines, and knowledge of the game isn't as easy to do. If someone is introduced to this game via stumbling upon the Geocaching App (let's be honest, they're looking for something of this sort..."stumbling" on this game in an App store isn't easy), they dont' know that this game is more than just staring at their device and finding places around town/on a hike.

 

When people download the App, they're at work or home, and likely not sitting on a beach or along a trail straddling their bicycle. When they look for caches around them, they are shown micros in an urban setting, and that game becomes their reality. Plus, they aren't going to know the scope of the community they just joined, and our mutual desire to have positive community ownership of the game. There's history, and existing tightly-knit community here, and new cachers need to be welcomed better into the game.

 

And this can mean being able to contact them with a verified email, and the rest of us getting motivated to reach out via email or events in our areas.

 

[/soapbox] Sorry about that... :unsure::cute:

 

WORD!

Both posts are right on.

The sense of community needs to be brought back ASAP.

Leaving n00bs to flounder on their own is not working.

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Like it should go! Spoken like a neighbor I'd want! :antenna:

 

And really, that's what the game "used to be". Caches were fewer in number, cachers were fewer in number, and there was a nice community effort to keep things on the level. The whole "trade up, trade even, or don't trade at all", "hide it as you found it" and other mantras for this game are all things that some (I'm using this word very, very deliberately) don't learn early in their careers.

 

When communities were smaller, it was easy to "mentor" cachers directly and indirectly. And, now that the game is growing at a clip, efforts to instill those mantras, the guidelines, and knowledge of the game isn't as easy to do. If someone is introduced to this game via stumbling upon the Geocaching App (let's be honest, they're looking for something of this sort..."stumbling" on this game in an App store isn't easy), they dont' know that this game is more than just staring at their device and finding places around town/on a hike.

 

When people download the App, they're at work or home, and likely not sitting on a beach or along a trail straddling their bicycle. When they look for caches around them, they are shown micros in an urban setting, and that game becomes their reality. Plus, they aren't going to know the scope of the community they just joined, and our mutual desire to have positive community ownership of the game. There's history, and existing tightly-knit community here, and new cachers need to be welcomed better into the game.

 

And this can mean being able to contact them with a verified email, and the rest of us getting motivated to reach out via email or events in our areas.

 

[/soapbox] Sorry about that... :unsure::cute:

 

I guess however many players there are there will always be the ones that spoil it for everyone else. But the transition from a niche game to areas (especially urban areas) becoming saturated has resulted in a reduction in overall quality, both of containers and maintenance. Yes, there are some new people to the game who put out good caches and look after them. But living in an urban area it seems caches are put out, fall into disrepair and archived by an endless succession of new names. If the new people were getting into the game, playing the game and sticking with it I'd say that was a good thing. But when it seems that, yet again, a cache has fallen into disrepair and it turns out to have been placed by someone who has been a member for 9 months and hasn't done any cache finding or cache maintenance for six of those months, it seems the game is just churning members without much retention, and degrading the game for everyone in the process.

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One of my caches was moved by a cacher with 6 finds who is not a validated member and cannot be contacted. I spent 20 minutes looking with no luck. I archived the cache. Can someone from Groundspeak tell me what I can do to prevent this from happening again? I mean short of making all my caches for premium members only?

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One of my caches was moved by a cacher with 6 finds who is not a validated member and cannot be contacted. I spent 20 minutes looking with no luck. I archived the cache. Can someone from Groundspeak tell me what I can do to prevent this from happening again? I mean short of making all my caches for premium members only?

 

I wouldn't go as far to say that the last to find it moved it as "In a different spot" is a little vague. It could have been moved before they found it and because of your really good hint they found it in a different spot than they expected. It really doesn't help that the user has no way to be contacted. Maybe you can relist the cache but this time make it a mystery cache with the mystery being the exact hiding place for the cache. When someone with a validated email finds it you can ask them where it is. Then retrieve the cache, put it back in it's proper place, archive the mystery and relist as a traditional. Repeat as necessary.

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I've noticed that local/state caching communities who have formed FB groups seem to have some luck pulling in newbies. If your area does not have a FB group already, consider starting one. Somehow, new cachers often seem to stumble on these groups, and often, introverts are more comfortable getting to know other cachers online than in person. When a lot of us in our area list an event on gc.com, we also post a link to that event in our local FB group, so that those who don't get notifications or who have a difficult time navigating to the events section of the web site are made aware of the event.

 

I'm sorry that some cachers have found the local events to be somewhat exclusive and have not felt welcomed into the community. I was very, very fortunate where I live that so many of our local cachers are welcoming to newbies.

 

I've been reading this thread with interest. I still consider myself a noob even though I've technically been caching for 2yrs now I think. I stumbled on geocaching one day when I was looking for a place to go hiking with my dog. There was an article on geocaching...I went to the website,and realized there were cached all over! I started with easy ones in parks (still my favorites lol). I probably would only have a couple dozen finds if not for the fact that I found a monthly breakfast event on meetup.com. one of the local long time cachers pays out of his own pocket to have the meetup group. As a noob I had no idea what an event was much less how to find them. I started going out with various cachers after the event and they taught me so much! I had no idea what a lamppost cache was...and was so excited to be shown!

 

So maybe one option for introducing noobs is to have Groundspeak help support meetup groups where these types of events are listed. Maybe these sort of intro event caches could also show up on the phone app.

 

Btw...I never used the official app...I downloaded one that cost me a couple of bucks but had rave reviews...and I love it. I now have a gps but prefer my phone. I like to cache spontaneously and you can't do that with the gps :-(.

 

Just my,$0.02

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So maybe one option for introducing noobs is to have Groundspeak help support meetup groups where these types of events are listed. Maybe these sort of intro event caches could also show up on the phone app.

Exactly.

However, I doubt GS would entertain listing non-geocaching events within the app or via the website. They've already set up the method to host such events - Event caches. And so we come back to discussing a way for Groundspeak to promote events for beginners and new players. Perhaps a 'Beginner friendly' attribute for events would help filter out the crazy events, and provide a way for them to be shown more prominently in the app (not just considered a basic geocache in the limited search). Just a thought.

 

There's no real reason for them to promote external events anyway. If someone's creating an 'geocaching 101' type event, they should most definitely be encouraged to create it as a geocaching Event listing! Then the word can be spread and beginners encouraged to come out.

 

Personally, I think more veterans should get on board and host more introductory geocaching events. We already have a couple of somewhat regular 101 type events each year in the southern Ontario region, but it seems like there are other very large regions in the world where this sort of thing doesn't happen. Why not make it happen more? :)

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One of my caches was moved by a cacher with 6 finds who is not a validated member and cannot be contacted. I spent 20 minutes looking with no luck. I archived the cache. Can someone from Groundspeak tell me what I can do to prevent this from happening again? I mean short of making all my caches for premium members only?

 

I do not think that the PM-only status will help you at all in this respect.

 

I've come across the "not validated status" also among PMs and moreover I do not expect cachers like this one

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=571c58c1-a4a3-4eaf-85d7-d814726b5ddd

to reply to e-mails. A number of his logs are quite insulting and it is evident that the intent is to provocate.

 

In my area there are many newcomers that become PMs instantly, but have no idea how to behave properly as geocachers and then you will also come

across BM like myself with many years of experience and a history as a cache owner for more than a decade. To be honest, I also do not think that such people would attend 101

geocaching events.

 

Cezanne

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I've come across the "not validated status" also among PMs and moreover I do not expect cachers like this one

http://www.geocachin...d7-d814726b5ddd

to reply to e-mails. A number of his logs are quite insulting and it is evident that the intent is to provocate.

 

In my area there are many newcomers that become PMs instantly, but have no idea how to behave properly as geocachers and then you will also come

across BM like myself with many years of experience and a history as a cache owner for more than a decade. To be honest, I also do not think that such people would attend 101 geocaching events.

So, are you trying to say... we shouldn't suggest people create more 101-type events? Are you saying... we shouldn't request required email validation?

...simply because some people may not care to attend such events, or some people may intentionally not reply to email?

If not, what are you trying to say with your response then?

 

We know these suggestions aren't guaranteed solutions to the problem(s). But they are certainly top of the list for dealing with a huge portion of the 'problem' crowd.

There will always be people who find a way to make things worse for everyone else. It's inevitable. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do what we can to reduce that happening.

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I've come across the "not validated status" also among PMs and moreover I do not expect cachers like this one

http://www.geocachin...d7-d814726b5ddd

to reply to e-mails. A number of his logs are quite insulting and it is evident that the intent is to provocate.

 

In my area there are many newcomers that become PMs instantly, but have no idea how to behave properly as geocachers and then you will also come

across BM like myself with many years of experience and a history as a cache owner for more than a decade. To be honest, I also do not think that such people would attend 101 geocaching events.

So, are you trying to say... we shouldn't suggest people create more 101-type events? Are you saying... we shouldn't request required email validation?

 

No, I just think that there is no universal remedy and PM-only caches are not effective with respect to providing protection against silly actions. This PM-only argument comes up much too often in situations where it is not valid.

 

As I said before, I would require a mandatory e-mail address validation process, but I'm not owning this site.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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... INTRO user are killing the hobby.....

Since I don't even know what that is I can honestly say they aren't killing my geocaching fun.

If they are killing your fun.

And they aren't killing other peoples fun.

 

The problem isn't them.

 

Reality is this activity is going to change and evolve. I still have the tools to filter out the micro's and nano's I don't like. I still have the ablity to go after the non urban caches. And quite frankly to drop out and do other things for several years.

 

You get out of this what you bring to it.

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Whoever is allowing these welfare cachers in, WAY TO GO GUYS! Another cache gone

If someone says I stole it, that is a different discussion of vandalism & theft, not Intro App users. How do you know they are an intro app user anyway? Could just be a sock-puppet account.

 

Did anyone even check if it was ACTUALLY taken. Maybe just a BS log by someone in this very thread trying to make a point.

Edited by TheWeatherWarrior
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Whoever is allowing these welfare cachers in, WAY TO GO GUYS! Another cache gone

If someone says I stole it, that is a different discussion of vandalism & theft, not Intro App users. How do you know they are an intro app user anyway? Could just be a sock-puppet account.

 

Did anyone even check if it was ACTUALLY taken. Maybe just a BS log by someone in this very thread trying to make a point.

Well whatever it was it worked, I'm on the premium member only side of the fence now.

Edited by macatac1961
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... INTRO user are killing the hobby.....

Since I don't even know what that is I can honestly say they aren't killing my geocaching fun.

If they are killing your fun.

And they aren't killing other peoples fun.

 

The problem isn't them.

 

Reality is this activity is going to change and evolve. I still have the tools to filter out the micro's and nano's I don't like. I still have the ablity to go after the non urban caches. And quite frankly to drop out and do other things for several years.

 

You get out of this what you bring to it.

 

If (and it's not conclusive) intro app users are routinely removing or destroying caches (or causing them to be removed or destroyed by failing to rehide them) then they are spoiling it for more than just themselves. Geocaching does get tiresome when cache after cache after cache turns out to have disappeared.

 

You're quite right that anyone can filter out micros and nanos and any other types of cache they happen to dislike. It's harder to filter out the caches that are listed as present but turn out to be absent.

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