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INTRO APP users are killing the hobby


jshults (Rally Dude)
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I was thinking the other day, what keeps a geocacher from getting angry, going rogue and stealing caches? Nothing. There's not much you can do about it. People don't need the app (whether free or not) to do as the OP described here. They can log on to the website and get the info and do it. Has nothing to do with an app.

 

This isn't a good comparison because of the frequency of occurrence and intent. I don't have statistics but it's clear that there are far more clueless intro app user than there are "rogue" geocachers. Also what a "rogue" knows full well what he is doing is wrong. A clueless intro app user doesn't know that what they are doing is against geocaching societal norms or that their actions are having a negative impact on someone else's enjoyment of the game. Contacting a "rogue" geocacher will yield nothing all of the time. Contacting a clueless intro app user (which is often not possible due to Groundspeak requiring verifiable contact information for everyone EXCEPT intro app users) will, in most cases, yield positive results.

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I was thinking the other day, what keeps a geocacher from getting angry, going rogue and stealing caches? Nothing. There's not much you can do about it. People don't need the app (whether free or not) to do as the OP described here. They can log on to the website and get the info and do it. Has nothing to do with an app.

 

This isn't a good comparison because of the frequency of occurrence and intent. I don't have statistics but it's clear that there are far more clueless intro app user than there are "rogue" geocachers. Also what a "rogue" knows full well what he is doing is wrong. A clueless intro app user doesn't know that what they are doing is against geocaching societal norms or that their actions are having a negative impact on someone else's enjoyment of the game. Contacting a "rogue" geocacher will yield nothing all of the time. Contacting a clueless intro app user (which is often not possible due to Groundspeak requiring verifiable contact information for everyone EXCEPT intro app users) will, in most cases, yield positive results.

 

You wouldn't be able to contact a Rogue cacher..because you won't know who it is...Unless they are an idiot and announce it. I could be one....you could be one....

 

As far as intro app users...how are you going to know they are intro app users? Search everyone's profile that searches for your cache? And as I mentioned, it doesn't matter if they are using a free app or the website. I have the paid for app on my phone. My wife has the intro app on her phone. She caches with me and every once in a while she and my daughter will do it without me while I sleep during the day (work at night). Is she killing the hobby because she uses the intro app?

 

There are going to be clueless people none the less. The only way to keep this "more" on the up and up is to make it a paid membership thing solely. I think y'all are thinking too much about it. In my opinion, the sport seems to be going pretty well. 11 years ago, there was less than half the amount of caches out there. Far less micros for sure. People who had hides, had a handful of them. Now I come back and there are over 2 million caches. Great! I think there needs to be more worry about people with hundreds of hides. To me, that is more of hobby killer than anything else. Not a problem, if they were all great hides. But when they turn out to be used pill bottles, with an oversized generic Ziploc type of bag that doesn't seal, attached to a guardrail or under a light post skirt, to me that is more killing the hobby. I still go and find them. Hey I wanna get my numbers up too. It's not always about quantity....most of the time, it's about quality.

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I was thinking the other day, what keeps a geocacher from getting angry, going rogue and stealing caches? Nothing. There's not much you can do about it. People don't need the app (whether free or not) to do as the OP described here. They can log on to the website and get the info and do it. Has nothing to do with an app.

 

This isn't a good comparison because of the frequency of occurrence and intent. I don't have statistics but it's clear that there are far more clueless intro app user than there are "rogue" geocachers. Also what a "rogue" knows full well what he is doing is wrong. A clueless intro app user doesn't know that what they are doing is against geocaching societal norms or that their actions are having a negative impact on someone else's enjoyment of the game. Contacting a "rogue" geocacher will yield nothing all of the time. Contacting a clueless intro app user (which is often not possible due to Groundspeak requiring verifiable contact information for everyone EXCEPT intro app users) will, in most cases, yield positive results.

 

You wouldn't be able to contact a Rogue cacher..because you won't know who it is...Unless they are an idiot and announce it. I could be one....you could be one....

 

As far as intro app users...how are you going to know they are intro app users? Search everyone's profile that searches for your cache? And as I mentioned, it doesn't matter if they are using a free app or the website. I have the paid for app on my phone. My wife has the intro app on her phone. She caches with me and every once in a while she and my daughter will do it without me while I sleep during the day (work at night). Is she killing the hobby because she uses the intro app?

No, she isn't. Because she knows what she is doing. Most of the issues with new users is that they have no context of the game, and no idea how to play. Your wife has likely been around you and your geocaching since...2003? Big difference between her and a person who happens on the Intro App and decides to download.

 

There are going to be clueless people none the less. The only way to keep this "more" on the up and up is to make it a paid membership thing solely. I think y'all are thinking too much about it. In my opinion, the sport seems to be going pretty well. 11 years ago, there was less than half the amount of caches out there. Far less micros for sure. People who had hides, had a handful of them. Now I come back and there are over 2 million caches. Great! I think there needs to be more worry about people with hundreds of hides. To me, that is more of hobby killer than anything else. Not a problem, if they were all great hides. But when they turn out to be used pill bottles, with an oversized generic Ziploc type of bag that doesn't seal, attached to a guardrail or under a light post skirt, to me that is more killing the hobby. I still go and find them. Hey I wanna get my numbers up too. It's not always about quantity....most of the time, it's about quality.

Are you talking about use of the Apps being limited to Premium Members?

 

The game is, overall, going just fine. What does happen is that a free App and little-to-no background for those new users can create a problem. As the membership rolls increase exponentially year to year (see fizzy's membership graphs), it is hard to capture how they are learning about the game.

 

The ideal situation is word of mouth, and that it would also include some mentorship or other learning opportunities. However, this just isn't the case for many reasons. The whole thread (have you read it? It sounds like you haven't seen the change in the thread if you are still saying things like, "Is she killing the hobby because she uses the intro app?")

 

Intro users are not killing the game. They are increasing its size. And, with an iPhone Free Intro App use, that increase is a missed opportunity to bring new users into the fold knowing more about where the game came from, how it is played, and that they are reachable via a validated email address.

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As far as intro app users...how are you going to know they are intro app users? Search everyone's profile that searches for your cache? And as I mentioned, it doesn't matter if they are using a free app or the website. I have the paid for app on my phone. My wife has the intro app on her phone. She caches with me and every once in a while she and my daughter will do it without me while I sleep during the day (work at night). Is she killing the hobby because she uses the intro app?

 

Hello, welcome to the conversation. I'd like to refer you back to page 1 of this thread where we discussed exact issue then quickly moved on more constructive conversation. The OP made a very accusatory post about all intro app users in his opinion ruining the hobby. When you read the first page you will see that the only person with that opinion was the OP. After his initial post the OP has not commented in this thread. Please don't judge a book by it's cover or this thread by it's title.

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No, she isn't. Because she knows what she is doing. Most of the issues with new users is that they have no context of the game, and no idea how to play. Your wife has likely been around you and your geocaching since...2003? Big difference between her and a person who happens on the Intro App and decides to download.

 

But people have to start somewhere. Whether it's an app or the website. What difference does it make if they come across the free app? They could come across the paid one and purchase it and still not know what they are doing.

 

Are you talking about use of the Apps being limited to Premium Members?

 

The game is, overall, going just fine. What does happen is that a free App and little-to-no background for those new users can create a problem. As the membership rolls increase exponentially year to year (see fizzy's membership graphs), it is hard to capture how they are learning about the game.

 

The ideal situation is word of mouth, and that it would also include some mentorship or other learning opportunities. However, this just isn't the case for many reasons. The whole thread (have you read it? It sounds like you haven't seen the change in the thread if you are still saying things like, "Is she killing the hobby because she uses the intro app?")

 

Intro users are not killing the game. They are increasing its size. And, with an iPhone Free Intro App use, that increase is a missed opportunity to bring new users into the fold knowing more about where the game came from, how it is played, and that they are reachable via a validated email address.

 

I was being facicious (sp?). I was talking about having the entire thing as a paid thing. That would be the only way to keep it straight...or at least more straight... and I as I mentioned, I said to leave it all alone and that's working out. If someone does have statisitics and proof that free app users are causing harm, then I would love for them to post it.

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As far as intro app users...how are you going to know they are intro app users? Search everyone's profile that searches for your cache? And as I mentioned, it doesn't matter if they are using a free app or the website. I have the paid for app on my phone. My wife has the intro app on her phone. She caches with me and every once in a while she and my daughter will do it without me while I sleep during the day (work at night). Is she killing the hobby because she uses the intro app?

 

Hello, welcome to the conversation. I'd like to refer you back to page 1 of this thread where we discussed exact issue then quickly moved on more constructive conversation. The OP made a very accusatory post about all intro app users in his opinion ruining the hobby. When you read the first page you will see that the only person with that opinion was the OP. After his initial post the OP has not commented in this thread. Please don't judge a book by it's cover or this thread by it's title.

 

Apparently there are some that still feel that inro app users are a problem by the post after mine on this page up above. Yes I posted after reading the initial posters response, which I assume the majority of those on the 16 pages (750+ postings) thus far must have done as well?

Edited by woodsters
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Apparently there are some that still feel that inro app users are a problem by the post after mine on this page up above. Yes I posted after reading the initial posters response, which I assume the majority of those on the 16 pages (750+ postings) thus far must have done as well?

 

No. The majority of us have read allllll of these pages and responses before posting

 

If you did, you'd see your responses make no sense (respectfully speaking). Because we covered and resolved all that, and because we've all been striving as a group to find realistic ways to improve the app, and help newbies assimilate into our geocommunity.

 

We're on your side here...

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]

 

Apparently there are some that still feel that inro app users are a problem by the post after mine on this page up above. Yes I posted after reading the initial posters response, which I assume the majority of those on the 16 pages (750+ postings) thus far must have done as well?

 

No. The majority of us have read allllll of these pages and responses before posting

 

If you did, you'd see your responses make no sense (respectfully speaking). Because we covered and resolved all that, and because we've all been striving as a group to find realistic ways to improve the app, and help newbies assimilate into our geocommunity.

 

We're on your side here...

On this page there are 4 of us talking to you, woodsters, about what you said in your posts. Again, if you read through the entire thread (which some of us have been participating in since the first page or so), you'd see what we're talking about.

 

If we could change the title of the thread we'd likely see far less confusion. We're still seeing people come by after reading the title and chiming in with "Intro App users aren't a problem. Sheesh, what's your problem?"-types of reactions. That's just not the case.

 

Between the participants in this thread and input from some Lackeys, you'll see that we're doing our best to discuss the background, the context, and come up with creative and realistic solutions to the root issue: This game is growing quickly, and Groundspeak has an opportunity to use simple outreach tools to make entry into this game simple, informative, and clear. So far the Intro App and other official Apps have demonstrated a missed opportunity to get folks funnelled into the game in ways that are helpful to the overall community.

 

-No verified emails=No way to communitcate/instruct/introduce/criticize constructively

-Apps are not equal to GPS when it comes to how people learn to play the game. Generally, people who have used a GPS and come to the game have some idea about coordinates, EPE, waypointing, etc. Most novice game players do not have the same expereinces and background to know the fundamentals of the game.

-If anyone comes to the game via the app and without review of the guidelines, they won't know how to play, or simple things like the fact that this game is created by users placing caches and Groundspeak publishing them online. This game isn't "run" by Groundspeak; they are a listing service.

-Etc. Etc. Etc.

 

Please take the time to look over the other pages and glean from it the constructive ideas we're trying to come up with. You're focusing on the wrong things here, woodsters.

Edited by NeverSummer
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Apparently there are some that still feel that inro app users are a problem by the post after mine on this page up above. Yes I posted after reading the initial posters response, which I assume the majority of those on the 16 pages (750+ postings) thus far must have done as well?

 

No. The majority of us have read allllll of these pages and responses before posting

 

If you did, you'd see your responses make no sense (respectfully speaking). Because we covered and resolved all that, and because we've all been striving as a group to find realistic ways to improve the app, and help newbies assimilate into our geocommunity.

 

We're on your side here...

On this page there are 4 of us talking to you, woodsters, about what you said in your posts. Again, if you read through the entire thread (which some of us have been participating in since the first page or so), you'd see what we're talking about.

 

If we could change the title of the thread we'd likely see far less confusion. We're still seeing people come by after reading the title and chiming in with "Intro App users aren't a problem. Sheesh, what's your problem?"-types of reactions. That's just not the case.

 

Between the participants in this thread and input from some Lackeys, you'll see that we're doing our best to discuss the background, the context, and come up with creative and realistic solutions to the root issue: This game is growing quickly, and Groundspeak has an opportunity to use simple outreach tools to make entry into this game simple, informative, and clear. So far the Intro App and other official Apps have demonstrated a missed opportunity to get folks funnelled into the game in ways that are helpful to the overall community.

 

-No verified emails=No way to communitcate/instruct/introduce/criticize constructively

-Apps are not equal to GPS when it comes to how people learn to play the game. Generally, people who have used a GPS and come to the game have some idea about coordinates, EPE, waypointing, etc. Most novice game players do not have the same expereinces and background to know the fundamentals of the game.

-If anyone comes to the game via the app and without review of the guidelines, they won't know how to play, or simple things like the fact that this game is created by users placing caches and Groundspeak publishing them online. This game isn't "run" by Groundspeak; they are a listing service.

-Etc. Etc. Etc.

 

Please take the time to look over the other pages and glean from it the constructive ideas we're trying to come up with. You're focusing on the wrong things here, woodsters.

That doesn't change the fact there has been no evidence that Intro App users are a problem other than some anecdotal remarks by the OP and others. If fact, statistics provide by a lackey early on indicated that a very small number of Intro App users seem to have or cause problems. There has been no evidence that Intro App users have/cause problems at a higher rate than other new users who were introduced to the activity other ways.

 

There is simply an assertion that the Intro App is lacking in guideance that other users get either from the website or from interacting with experienced geocachers and if that was addressed there would be fewer problems.

 

I think there is some agreement that Intro App can be improved. There are opportunities to offer more guideance within the Intro App itself and to provide ways for experienced cachers to reach out to users of the Intro App and offer help if they appear to be having problems. What the impact of such changes would be is still debatable.

 

I agree that a thread titled "How can the Intro App be improved" might result is fewer people wanting to argue about the OP's comments. However I suspect that you would still get people who wonder if there is a need for improvement in the first place.

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That doesn't change the fact there has been no evidence that Intro App users are a problem other than some anecdotal remarks by the OP and others. If fact, statistics provide by a lackey early on indicated that a very small number of Intro App users seem to have or cause problems. There has been no evidence that Intro App users have/cause problems at a higher rate than other new users who were introduced to the activity other ways.

No, it doesn't change that. But, by process of constructive discourse, those involved in the discussion over these 15+ pages have been able to drill down to find the root of what we're trying to talk about. You touch on that here:

There is simply an assertion that the Intro App is lacking in guideance that other users get either from the website or from interacting with experienced geocachers and if that was addressed there would be fewer problems.

 

I think there is some agreement that Intro App can be improved. There are opportunities to offer more guideance within the Intro App itself and to provide ways for experienced cachers to reach out to users of the Intro App and offer help if they appear to be having problems. What the impact of such changes would be is still debatable.

Debateable, sure. But the fact remains that increased efforts to inform and redirect new users would create positive impacts. It's just how education works.

 

I agree that a thread titled "How can the Intro App be improved" might result is fewer people wanting to argue about the OP's comments. However I suspect that you would still get people who wonder if there is a need for improvement in the first place.

That may be true, but the discussion certainly seems to be leaning toward the need for improvement existing. Generally speaking, I'd venture a guess that those who "wonder if there is a need for improvement in the first place" aren't familiar enough with how communication plays a significant role in this game, and/or are people who don't see that they could offer help to new cachers. Some are self-proclaimed "loners" who prefer to leave situations like this alone. Therein is a key difference between the reasons for their "wonder".

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I do agree about the unverified email thing. I had a cacher post a DNF on my cahce the other day. Seriously, its a really simple 1/1 park and grab. But in light of what I had read here, I thought I would see about contacting her and offer some guidance in her new found hobby (no finds according to her profile). But of course, there is no way to contact her. All is listed is the unverified comment. So, I figured I might be able to make a difference to the next one that comes along. What I did is I went back and edited the description of my cache. I changed the "short description" to say...

 

"If you are new to Geocaching, then please go to www.geocaching.com and read up on this great activity before setting out to seek your first cache. You will learn more of what it's all about, how to seek a cache, proper caching etiquette and more. You may also contact me through my profile and feel free to ask any questions you may have!"

 

Could be worded better, but felt that maybe if one of them actually stops and reads it, that it may make a difference. If not, nothings changed.

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...I had a cacher post a DNF on my cahce the other day. Seriously, its a really simple 1/1 park and grab. But in light of what I had read here, I thought I would see about contacting her and offer some guidance in her new found hobby (no finds according to her profile). But of course, there is no way to contact her...

 

Yet another story of someone who couldn't contact an intro app user to give them encouragement and advice. These stories are becoming far too common!

 

...I figured I might be able to make a difference to the next one that comes along. What I did is I went back and edited the description of my cache. I changed the "short description" to say...

 

"If you are new to Geocaching, then please go to www.geocaching.com and read up on this great activity before setting out to seek your first cache. You will learn more of what it's all about, how to seek a cache, proper caching etiquette and more. You may also contact me through my profile and feel free to ask any questions you may have!"

 

I see you went back are read some of the later posts. I'm glad you did! I think is an excellent idea. I'd even go as far as to encourage Groundspeak to add this as a standard note (like the one that reminds people of the terms and conditions) to every cache page until they provide a way for cache owners to be able to send messages to intro app users.

Edited by Glenn
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I do agree about the unverified email thing. I had a cacher post a DNF on my cahce the other day. Seriously, its a really simple 1/1 park and grab. But in light of what I had read here, I thought I would see about contacting her and offer some guidance in her new found hobby (no finds according to her profile). But of course, there is no way to contact her. All is listed is the unverified comment. So, I figured I might be able to make a difference to the next one that comes along. What I did is I went back and edited the description of my cache. I changed the "short description" to say...

 

"If you are new to Geocaching, then please go to www.geocaching.com and read up on this great activity before setting out to seek your first cache. You will learn more of what it's all about, how to seek a cache, proper caching etiquette and more. You may also contact me through my profile and feel free to ask any questions you may have!"

 

Could be worded better, but felt that maybe if one of them actually stops and reads it, that it may make a difference. If not, nothings changed.

That's a good idea.

 

The only problem is that one is not required to read the short or long description of a cache to hunt, find, and log it on the Apps. All you have to do is select a cache and hit "Navigate".

 

Unlike the olden days, there is no guarantee that users read even part of the descriptions for caches. (Yes, yes, I know that not everyone read them then or reads them now anyway...) Even the goal of pocket PC or PalmPilot paperless caching in the early days was to have the whole description for the cache at your fingertips. Unfortunately the new apps are not designed to display the desctiptions for a cache like the gpx files are designed to display. So, not every new cacher will know that a description will house much information relevant to their hide. If one comes to the game via the app, one is less likely to understand how the game is organized, how it is played, what tools exist to make the game work, and what is around to make it more clear to them.

 

This is where we might see some frustration--the rage monster at GZ--and caches not replaced as found, contents taken and not traded, missing trackables, damage to the hide or surrounding area, etc. All of the things many of us take for granted are not as intuitive for new users. This is compounded when one comes to the game, finds the app, clicks "Navigate" without learning more about the game and even reading a description or hint, and heads off to find "treasure".

 

I'm to the point where I recognize that the game has changed, and I accept that. Whereas the in the old days there were fewer players and fewer caches, and perhaps more community involvement and enthusiasm to learn more and stretch the guidelines through understanding them, we now have way more players and methods of finding out about the game that weren't imagined when the website and database were designed.

 

So, to that end, we are all recognizing that education and communication are important parts of this game. And, therefore, the ways we reach out to new users can and should involve the tools Groundspeak and other developers have designed. If we can find a way to make sure that users can be contacted by creating a valid account with a valid email, we're one step closer to that goal. If we think of ways to display gameplay information more clearly on the Apps, we're another step closer. If we all start trying to welcome new users and create opportunities for them to learn about the game and meet people who can "mentor" them, we're even closer yet.

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Unfortunately the new apps are not designed to display the desctiptions for a cache like the gpx files are designed to display. So, not every new cacher will know that a description will house much information relevant to their hide. If one comes to the game via the app, one is less likely to understand how the game is organized, how it is played, what tools exist to make the game work, and what is around to make it more clear to them.

Another good argument for including a tutorial element to the beginer's app.

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Unfortunately the new apps are not designed to display the desctiptions for a cache like the gpx files are designed to display. So, not every new cacher will know that a description will house much information relevant to their hide. If one comes to the game via the app, one is less likely to understand how the game is organized, how it is played, what tools exist to make the game work, and what is around to make it more clear to them.

Another good argument for including a tutorial element to the beginer's app.

I'm sure the programming for the app would be cumbersome, but I've seen apps that use "tutorial" elements for the first handful of uses after it is loaded, then they go away. A sort of, "This is how to __" pop-up each time one loads a cache that says where to go to find certain important elements (i.e. Cache Descriptions, Hints, D/T ratings).

 

Then, in addition to this "tutorial" nag pop up, the app should have an obvious link to view the cache in a browser, and a link to geocaching.com's knowledge books/guidelines. Each cache should have a live link to the cache owner's account so that email contact can be obvious and easy when problems/issues arise ("Trouble finding the geocache? Email the owner, and/or come back later..." or something can pop up).

 

Right now you can't view a cache owner's profile, you can't view your own account, and you can't see your own disabled caches. You can't contact a user who isn't verified/validated, and you can't contact them through the app.

 

Folks who say the App shouldn't be "Geocaching.com lite" aren't understanding the difference between a phone as a GPS and a smartphone as a computer in the palm of your hand. The App should be closer to "Geocaching.com lite" and less like a simple paperless GPS unit.

 

Problems arise when the phone is used like a pre-loaded GPSr--just like with the Geomate and other pre-loaded GPSrs: Non-validated users have access to the game, the caches, and not the content and instructions that are so important to keeping this game from heading toward compelte anarchy.

 

If the site is watered down to the learning of how to play being simply, "Select a cache (treasure), hit navigate, log the cache, swap (take) trade items (treasure)," we lose the vital nuance and guidelines of the game. Users need to know what each log type is. They need to know where they can and can't hide caches. They need to know how to use the D/T, Attributes, Description, Hint, and contact of a cache owner to find a cache. They need to learn how to be part of a community, not just download and play. Groundspeak can water it down for promotional purposes and simple descriptions, but there is so much more to the game. The Apps should make that more clear if they can--and they can.

 

Again, I keep coming back to the company pre-loaded GPSr initiative. An "official geocaching.com App" is no different than a pre-loaded GPSr in the hands of a new user/novice user. Without some way to communicate with new users (as a community), and with a pre-loaded App/GPSr, there are going to be missed opportunities to help new users learn how to play the game according to the rules. That means more work for cache owners, Volunteer Reviewers, Appeals staff of Groundspeak, etc. If introduction is the hope, let's try to have processes in place that make introducing new users to our game clearer and better.

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we haven't had any intro peeps in our area laying caches but I'd like there to be a tutorial system in place for different caches that would be fab, i've only found around 60+, cached since 2011 on and off. Recently i laid 2 caches i knew i could maintain daily and asked advice from an experienced cacher (i just emailed them out the blue as they were local to me). To me it's easy to find but intimidating to place a cache incase you've got it wrong so it put me off for ages and i planned my 2 for ages.

I still don't know about tb's so don't touch them and can't work out the whole logging system around them i just feel as i'm a local sporadic cacher i couldn't move a tb far enough to it's goal for what the ones i've seen.

 

I would just like to say huge immense thanks to the experienced cacher that was not against me and helped me immensely.

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That doesn't change the fact there has been no evidence that Intro App users are a problem other than some anecdotal remarks by the OP and others.

 

So empirical experiences aren't evidence?

Where does it say that?

 

The statement acknowledges that there have been a number of anecdotes presented in this thread where a problem could be directly tied to an Intro App user. Though much of the accusations in the thread have been unproven or simply assume that a problem was caused by an Intro App user.

 

I think the use of the term empirical experiences bothers me some, though I'm not quite sure if it should.

 

I tend to think of empirical evidence as the use of personal experiences to prove an hypothesis. And I'm not sure what hypothesis you want your empirical experiences to prove. It is that some Intro App users make newbie mistakes? Or is it that they make mistakes more often than that other newbies?

 

If you read beyond the quoted statement, you would have seen that point I was trying to make was that there hasn't been evidence given that Intro App users cause problems at a greater rate than any other group of newbies.

 

It isn't clear that anyone (other that than the OP) is actually claiming this. Most simply want to point out that the Intro App misses an opportunity to educate newbies an perhaps prevent a few problems. And though I agree that Groundspeak should make changes, I tend to doubt this will make a significant difference.

Edited by tozainamboku
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Don't forget that there are other apps out there than the official Intro app which can introduce people to geocaching. Having the only change be a tutorial element required for the intro app doesn't address the issue of 'beginner users' in general. Only beginners using the intro app.

Again I raise the point about a general cache property that all apps can use - such as the beginner friendly rating similar to favorites (mentioned many pages back). The Intro app can do a tutorial, and any new 3rd party app could do the same; perhaps even start out in 'beginner mode' and make use of this rating for determining which caches to direct the user to, while teaching them about proper etiquette and processes, before allowing them to turn off beginner mode.

Lots of ideas floating around. The question is- how do we educate new users and reduce the possibility of uninformed new cachers? 1) Improve the Intro app, 2) provide a universal method or data for 3rd party apps to decide how to 'teach' their new users, 3) make use of this data on the website as well.

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Don't forget that there are other apps out there than the official Intro app which can introduce people to geocaching. Having the only change be a tutorial element required for the intro app doesn't address the issue of 'beginner users' in general. Only beginners using the intro app.

Again I raise the point about a general cache property that all apps can use - such as the beginner friendly rating similar to favorites (mentioned many pages back). The Intro app can do a tutorial, and any new 3rd party app could do the same; perhaps even start out in 'beginner mode' and make use of this rating for determining which caches to direct the user to, while teaching them about proper etiquette and processes, before allowing them to turn off beginner mode.

Lots of ideas floating around. The question is- how do we educate new users and reduce the possibility of uninformed new cachers? 1) Improve the Intro app, 2) provide a universal method or data for 3rd party apps to decide how to 'teach' their new users, 3) make use of this data on the website as well.

I think we really need to look at how people "shop" for Apps. I read through the (#154th place paid app!) listing on the Apple App Store, and the description was quite long. It mentioned how to start out, recommended some things, and even mentioned the website for more info. But, I only read that because I was trying to have more detail applicable to this thread.

 

When I shop for Apps, I don't look at the description in the App store for directions and details about rules. I look for what the App is, and how it might make my life a little easier, better, or fun. From there I might read the reviews to know if it is a buggy pile of 1s and 0s, or if it is worth my time.

 

Then, once I decide to buy/download, I might look for a ReadMe or Help file to learn more about how to use it once I've downloaded it. And that's only if it might be complicated. Even the new airline App I downloaded last weekend was cumbersome, but I fought my way through it without reading any how tos. The more complicated game Apps or productivity Apps I've downloaded have a tutorial when you first start using it. Some have even continued to remind me every time how to do something until I decide to disable the nag prompts.

 

This is a very important aspect of consumer trend reading with App purchases. Groundspeak needs to recognize how people consume Apps, and how there is a difference between an existing user of the site downloading the/an App to supplement their game/replace a GPSr/provide paperless caching, and someone who finds the #154th ranked paid App interesting and gives it a go without knowing what it is.

 

Now, that's just the paid App, yes. However, the Intro App is the same. And the Apps for Android/Windows phones is no different. If the App doesn't have some intro content, it is assuming the person using it has already become familiar with the game via the website or direct tutoring/word of mouth.

 

Even if people use other Apps, we're talking about Groundspeak's Apps here. And as far as I remember, Apps like c:geo required a valid account to even access cache information. That meant the person had signed up on the site and then learned about how to find an App to suit their GPS needs. We can discuss apples and oranges, but we're really talking about the same fruit stand here. Groundspeak-designed Apps are going to come across as more "Official" to the masses. The "official" app is going to need to do a better job of introducing new users to the game.

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That doesn't change the fact there has been no evidence that Intro App users are a problem other than some anecdotal remarks by the OP and others.

 

So empirical experiences aren't evidence?

There is not enough data or observations here to justify it falling into the realm of empirical evidence (experiences are empirical in itself).

 

I still say there is more talk that issue here. Lackeys have much higher priorities. Perhaps in a year, return and see if there is growth of the issue. If there isn't, wait another year. In the mean time, just try as best we can to improve our caches, and enjoy the game.

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That doesn't change the fact there has been no evidence that Intro App users are a problem other than some anecdotal remarks by the OP and others.

 

So empirical experiences aren't evidence?

There is not enough data or observations here to justify it falling into the realm of empirical evidence (experiences are empirical in itself).

 

I still say there is more talk that issue here. Lackeys have much higher priorities. Perhaps in a year, return and see if there is growth of the issue. If there isn't, wait another year. In the mean time, just try as best we can to improve our caches, and enjoy the game.

Even the best cache is no match for an uninformed casual new cacher. :ph34r:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:laughing:

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So when does the discussion also start to include the whole issue with new users being incredibly confused by the 4+ different plans/upgrades/membership options being thrown at them?

 

Isn't the fact that many new users who come in via the Intro App are confused by the Premium Membership/Paid App difference quite another example of how the Intro App and new users can be handled more clearly?

 

It doesn't take long to come across many threads of confusion about how the free Intro App is different from a Basic Membership on Geocaching.com is different from a Premium Membership on Geocaching.com is different from going into your App store and buying the full paid App.

 

Therein is another reason the Intro App should get some re-work...and also demonstrates the power of getting to know the game through the website.

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Yeah...

Back in October it was being looked into and I remember seeing at least one post saying wording is corrected.

- But just yesterday another started a thread about how they, "paid for intro premium", still have the intro app and received a 3-month premium membership.

Not from the US, paid a bit more with VAT to boot.

At least some are getting through by entering the forums for help.

The rest must either hit contact us, help center, or just give up.

It'd suck to find out some of the problems CO/TOs are having with this intro app were people feeling ripped off and trying to get back their ten bucks somehow...

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It seams Groundspeak has just launched their new Intro app for Android tonight.

I've already tested it. It still allows unvalidated members to log caches with no way for COs to contact these new, unexperienced, members. There's no tutorial when you first sign in. The first thing it shows you is the map with whatever caches are around your location. There is a Help section that has links to the website that you have to seek out on your own in the pullout menu.

One plus is it doesn't have a default log already filled out.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=321399

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It seams Groundspeak has just launched their new Intro app for Android tonight.

I've already tested it. It still allows unvalidated members to log caches with no way for COs to contact these new, unexperienced, members. There's no tutorial when you first sign in. The first thing it shows you is the map with whatever caches are around your location. There is a Help section that has links to the website that you have to seek out on your own in the pullout menu.

One plus is it doesn't have a default log already filled out.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=321399

I guess I'll be keeping most of my caches as PMO from now on. That, and not placing caches I can't audit against the logbook. And won't place them where I can't make it for regular maintenance visits to make sure it is still hidden where it should be, and that the area isn't getting destroyed...

 

(Not that like this behavior isn't already what's expected of us as cache owners I guess...) :unsure:

 

:tired: sigh...

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I guess I'll be keeping most of my caches as PMO from now on.

 

I'm afraid it's exactly what Groundspeak is up to. They've become a quasi-monopolist in many countries and now they want to make it a pay-only game (while still being apparently free). They're a commercial company, anyway, not controlled by cachers in any way.

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The whole thing is silly. There is no issue other than the rare anecdotal testimony, no real facts that support a major concern. Time to put it to bed and just cache on! I mean I've seen other threads locked for less.

It only sounds anecdotal because of how it is presented here in the forums. Don't think that, because you haven't had any issues of the like, there isn't a problem.

 

Plus, this isn't unlike other issues in the world. If there is a way to make the game better, why wouldn't we see something happen to make it so? I've now had conversations with cachers in 4 states that have noticed the swing in focus, and how the game, guidelines, and common practices are getting watered down faster than most individuals or local/state organizations can react with events or educational programs to help new cachers learn the game.

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I'm afraid it's exactly what Groundspeak is up to. They've become a quasi-monopolist in many countries and now they want to make it a pay-only game (while still being apparently free). They're a commercial company, anyway, not controlled by cachers in any way.

 

Z5MhMQP.jpg

 

No. :ph34r:

Edited by thebruce0
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So when does the discussion also start to include the whole issue with new users being incredibly confused by the 4+ different plans/upgrades/membership options being thrown at them?

 

Isn't the fact that many new users who come in via the Intro App are confused by the Premium Membership/Paid App difference quite another example of how the Intro App and new users can be handled more clearly?

 

It doesn't take long to come across many threads of confusion about how the free Intro App is different from a Basic Membership on Geocaching.com is different from a Premium Membership on Geocaching.com is different from going into your App store and buying the full paid App.

 

Therein is another reason the Intro App should get some re-work...and also demonstrates the power of getting to know the game through the website.

 

This is exactly what we were confused about.

 

I am a youth leader at a church and we take students out on geocaching hunts. We downloaded the free app and purchased a premium membership about a month later because we wanted more access to better caches. I have looked at purchasing the app, but the price and negative reviews have not made it appealing to us.

 

We use the free into app because it works with what we do.

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So when does the discussion also start to include the whole issue with new users being incredibly confused by the 4+ different plans/upgrades/membership options being thrown at them?

 

Isn't the fact that many new users who come in via the Intro App are confused by the Premium Membership/Paid App difference quite another example of how the Intro App and new users can be handled more clearly?

 

It doesn't take long to come across many threads of confusion about how the free Intro App is different from a Basic Membership on Geocaching.com is different from a Premium Membership on Geocaching.com is different from going into your App store and buying the full paid App.

 

Therein is another reason the Intro App should get some re-work...and also demonstrates the power of getting to know the game through the website.

 

This is exactly what we were confused about.

 

I am a youth leader at a church and we take students out on geocaching hunts. We downloaded the free app and purchased a premium membership about a month later because we wanted more access to better caches. I have looked at purchasing the app, but the price and negative reviews have not made it appealing to us.

 

We use the free into app because it works with what we do.

Interesting. We've used the paid app for both iphone and android, and find it to be very useful.

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Perhaps I missed this suggestion, though I did read through the pages prior to making this post. If it's already been covered, then I do apologize for re-hashing.

 

Has it been proposed to Groundspeak to include a required tutorial on the app prior to the user being able to access the features of the app itself? Tutorial could cover the basics of what caching is, the importance of logging finds, how to re-hide caches correctly, swag etiquette and other general rules of caching. This would at least ensure that the true noob has been exposed to some fundamentals before they go off gallivanting around the countryside wreaking havoc.

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Perhaps I missed this suggestion, though I did read through the pages prior to making this post. If it's already been covered, then I do apologize for re-hashing.

 

Has it been proposed to Groundspeak to include a required tutorial on the app prior to the user being able to access the features of the app itself? Tutorial could cover the basics of what caching is, the importance of logging finds, how to re-hide caches correctly, swag etiquette and other general rules of caching. This would at least ensure that the true noob has been exposed to some fundamentals before they go off gallivanting around the countryside wreaking havoc.

It has.

 

And, in theory is a great idea. In process this would be very difficult to get done within the App based on the feedback Groundspeak staff has provided about how they program the apps.

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I've seen a few problems with the intro app users.

If they try to find missing caches, some will log it as a find. It messes up the chance the cache will get maintained or archived because the CO or Reviewer will see the log and think it is still there.

 

I think I mentioned once, I had one cache which was a non PMO. Someone with the intro app logged it as a find and their log said they couldn't find it. I deleted their log and they asked why. I explained you have to find it and sign it before you can log it as a find. He said, the cache was missing. I asked him did he look up? Up where? In the tree. What tree? Then I realized he had searched the posted coords on one of my puzzles. He said he couldn't tell it was a puzzle.

 

Also I don't think they really understand how to play the game. They probably don't read the guidelines or watch the videos. I had one who found one my caches after they went from Free App to a Premium member. In the log they mentioned something that was odd so I contacted them. Sure enough she saw the cache but didn't sign it. I asked here why, she said she didn't know you have to actually sign the log.

Edited by jellis
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I've seen a few problems with the intro app users.

If they try to find missing caches, some will log it as a find. It messes up the chance the cache will get maintained or archived because the CO or Reviewer will see the log and think it is still there.

 

I've much more often seen this sort of behaviour from cachers with more than 1000 finds than from newcomers.

In my area new cachers definitely must get the impression that it is normal to log a missing cache or a cache one cannot reach or cannot log due to muggles as "found it". Photo logs and leaving throwdowns is

omnipresent nowadays and those cache owners who do not offer permission to log a found it in such cases get frowned upon in my area.

 

They probably don't read the guidelines or watch the videos. I had one who found one my caches after they went from Free App to a Premium member. In the log they mentioned something that was odd so I contacted them. Sure enough she saw the cache but didn't sign it. I asked here why, she said she didn't know you have to actually sign the log.

 

That somehow proves that PM-ship does not solve this sort of issue, and there are many other examples along these lines.

 

 

Cezanne

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I asked here why, she said she didn't know you have to actually sign the log.

 

That's nothing. I've met newbies who thought you had to take the box. If anybody wants to call me a PMO snob, that's fine, but I don't have time for stuff like this.

 

I was the victim of a newbie who actually did take the box with them, and hide it 3 miles away as their own cache submission. On top of that, it was a challenge cache they obviously didn't qualify for. In their defense, I'm guessing they were 14 years old, max. :) And don't worry, I wasn't mean. Myself and those in the local community who were following along thought it was cute. :P

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I think she meant Intro App cachers. ;)

 

Then it should be clarified as such, else it perpetuates an inaccurate stereotype against "app cachers" (as quoted), and needlessly increases the divide between "smartphone" users and "handheld gps" users... just sayin';)

Edited by thebruce0
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App cachers are the reason I will only place multis, letterboxes and unknown type caches from now on. Ain't nobody got time for that.

 

I'm an app cacher.

I gots plenty o'time for that.

 

Ain't nobody got time for ridiculous n00bs.

 

The beauty of a multi-cache is that the real dumb-dumbs go to the posted GZ, scratch their head, and then go vandalize someone else's traditional. It just weeds out a good chunk of the silliness.

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