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jshults (Rally Dude)

INTRO APP users are killing the hobby

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Man. You folks sure know how to talk a subject into the ground (which is technically considered 'illegal' according to Groundspeak's Geocaching guidelines).

Seems (to me) there are some good on-topic points still being made.

- Please explain how forum posts are covered under Groundspeak's geocaching guidelines and which guideline is "technically illegal" here.

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Man. You folks sure know how to talk a subject into the ground (which is technically considered 'illegal' according to Groundspeak's Geocaching guidelines).

 

 

I've reread the forum guidelines and have failed to locate the reference to the "illegality" of abuse of deceased equines.

Edited by cheech gang

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How about after they find two or three traditional caches, they get a popup. "Did you know that there are special types of caches called Earthcaches, Earthcaches are..., Learn more at Geocaching.com". The link brings them to a page that that has more info and a link, "See local Earthcaches". At some point in the process, force them to log on and validate their account, update their profile and set home coordinates.

 

Keep it light and interesting, make them curious so they continue through the process.

Orrrrr....

How about the Free App only allows finding 5-10 designated beginner caches (smalls and regulars, lower D/T), then goes "pop". It then prompts people by saying something like:

"You've discovered the game! Would you like to learn more? Visit geocaching.com and sign up for an account"

Then, once they sign up, they can access a 99c App for beginners, which requires email validation. That 99c App would be able to access 100 beginner caches. Then it goes "pop". It then prompts people by saying:

"You're enjoying the game! Please consider becoming a premium member at geocaching.com. To continue, use the website and a GPS unit, or you may purchase the Official Geocaching.com app for $10. For the best geocaching experience, please join us on facebook, our discussion forums, and learn more from our Knowledge Books."

 

Either that, or mandate that each beginner cache is a "Wherigo"-style cache that walks the user through each cache type and related guidelines. If Groundspeak partners with cartridge writers and finds a way to make the app they are selling use that process, newbies would have an on-board mentor via the Wherigo format for the beginner caches of focus in each area.

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Eliminate micros and the mundania will be much less. A small sampling of regular and small on easy terrain is all they should have access to. The bar has been lowered so much that it probably violates the buried guidelines.

Nonsense. It was a pre-existing hole. I will explain why.

 

From the very early days there were caches that you would have likely viewed as mundane. This is because there were always people hiding caches in the simplest way in the easiest to get to place. As people saw examples of smaller and smaller containers and found there were some common places where the cache could be hidden easily and avoid discovery by most muggles, these became the popular styles to hide. Of course as these styles became more popular they became more mundane for experienced cachers.

 

My guess is that an awful lot of noobs get hooked on caching because they see a cache is hidden down the street in the supermarket parking lot. When they go and look for it they are at first stumped. Either they lift the lamppost skirt by chance or someone tells them to look under the lamppost skirt. It doesn't matter, when they see that you can hide something that only geocachers would know about, they feel they are part of a special group. They are hooked and some become avid geocachers. They may, after a few weeks, be just as bored as you are finding cheap containers in lampposts. They may move on to taking hikes and looking for caches that are big enough to hold travel bugs. But is was the mundania that brought them to geocaching in first place.

 

The origins of the game started with people finding containers with swag in them. A slip of paper with unrecognizable usernames is not much of an experience for new cachers. Although there are plenty of clever micros, most are not suitable or findable for beginners. Since the majority of micros are mundane, they may not be the best thing to educate a new person with. Their impression will be tempered to believe that this is what geocaching is, and they may go out and add more spam. Since the micro spam will exist anyhow, perhaps the noobs could be steered around it as they will find it eventually on their own.

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How about after they find two or three traditional caches, they get a popup. "Did you know that there are special types of caches called Earthcaches, Earthcaches are..., Learn more at Geocaching.com". The link brings them to a page that that has more info and a link, "See local Earthcaches". At some point in the process, force them to log on and validate their account, update their profile and set home coordinates.

 

Keep it light and interesting, make them curious so they continue through the process.

Orrrrr....

How about the Free App only allows finding 5-10 designated beginner caches (smalls and regulars, lower D/T), then goes "pop". It then prompts people by saying something like:

"You've discovered the game! Would you like to learn more? Visit geocaching.com and sign up for an account"

Then, once they sign up, they can access a 99c App for beginners, which requires email validation. That 99c App would be able to access 100 beginner caches. Then it goes "pop". It then prompts people by saying:

"You're enjoying the game! Please consider becoming a premium member at geocaching.com. To continue, use the website and a GPS unit, or you may purchase the Official Geocaching.com app for $10. For the best geocaching experience, please join us on facebook, our discussion forums, and learn more from our Knowledge Books."

 

Either that, or mandate that each beginner cache is a "Wherigo"-style cache that walks the user through each cache type and related guidelines. If Groundspeak partners with cartridge writers and finds a way to make the app they are selling use that process, newbies would have an on-board mentor via the Wherigo format for the beginner caches of focus in each area.

 

That's the best idea mentioned so far.

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- snip -

... or mandate that each beginner cache is a "Wherigo"-style cache that walks the user through each cache type and related guidelines. If Groundspeak partners with cartridge writers and finds a way to make the app they are selling use that process, newbies would have an on-board mentor via the Wherigo format for the beginner caches of focus in each area.

That's what my other 2/3rds and I came up with yesterday at lunch.

They already have the perfect teaching tool in place, just need someone to build a "Welcome to Geocaching - The Intro" cartridge to fit.

- CJ's done a couple (I haven't) and she says it really is like someone's leading you.

May be easier said than done (last updated 2008), but I think it could work.

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The origins of the game started with people finding containers with swag in them.

Yes, the swag interests some beginners and most kids.

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With all due respect, and speaking only for myself, in my opinion having a Reviewer choose which caches would be "worthy" of Intro cache status isn't something they should be a part of. Reviewers should never be arbitrators of worthiness, awesomeness, or... lameness. That's best left up to the caching community to decide. :D

 

What mechanism would you suggest be used by the community to identify intro caches?

 

I think it is equally important to allow a CO to opt out of having their cache included in the list of intro caches. Like I said before the CO of an intro cache will be an ambassador for geocaching and we need willing ambassadors. Forcing someone who doesn't want to be an ambassador to be an ambassador will be a great disservice to the CO and to those new to geocaching.

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... or mandate that each beginner cache is a "Wherigo"-style cache that walks the user through each cache type and related guidelines. If Groundspeak partners with cartridge writers and finds a way to make the app they are selling use that process, newbies would have an on-board mentor via the Wherigo format for the beginner caches of focus in each area.

That's what my other 2/3rds and I came up with yesterday at lunch.

They already have the perfect teaching tool in place, just need someone to build a "Welcome to Geocaching - The Intro" cartridge to fit.

- CJ's done a couple (I haven't) and she says it really is like someone's leading you.

May be easier said than done (last updated 2008), but I think it could work.

 

I like this, even though I have not done a Wherigo or know how they work. How could GS localize this to fit the area of a new cacher?

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I find it somewhat absurd to think that some predefine selection of "intro caches" is going to work for everybody, much less have any effect on the issues raised by the OP.

 

Certainly when someone downloads a free app to "try" geocaching, there is the risk that some of them are delinquents set on causing trouble by stealing or destroying caches. Add to them some people who have trouble following instruction who will move caches or mishandle travel bugs simply because they do not know any better.

 

For this reason, some people may simply want their caches not included in the Intro app. The simple solution here would be to make these caches premium members only. Of course this requires a premium membership and also hides these caches from anyone with a basic membership, so perhaps another class is needed.

 

My guess is that it is in Groundspeak's interest to have as many caches available on the intro app, even if is also in their interest to limit the number of cache hunts that can be done with this app.

 

While many people may simply look at the closest caches, others might be more attracted seeing a variety of caches and cache types. In either case people seeing a lot of caches in their area are more likely to find the cost of the full app worthwhile. Seeing only a small selection of caches on the intro app may give the false impression that there are not as many caches to find.

 

The definition of beginner's cache that is already used is meant to select caches that are somewhat more likely to be found by a beginner. It considers size and difficulty as well as when the cache was last found and whether there is a needs maintenance. The idea isn't that beginner is given a Lake Wobegon list where all the caches are above average, but rather a list of caches that are a bit easier and less likely to frustrate.

 

It seems clear that someone caching with small children may want to start with a few beginners caches. But other people may chose a more difficult cache because they like challenges. They might look for caches with higher terrain if they like hiking or one that appears to incorporate special challenges like scuba or rock climbing. I know when I started I looked at terrain 3+ caches because I was interested in finding places to hike and seeing if I could find the caches along these trails.

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Orrrrr....

How about the Free App only allows finding 5-10 designated beginner caches (smalls and regulars, lower D/T), then goes "pop". It then prompts people by saying something like:

"You've discovered the game! Would you like to learn more? Visit geocaching.com and sign up for an account"

Then, once they sign up, they can access a 99c App for beginners, which requires email validation. That 99c App would be able to access 100 beginner caches. Then it goes "pop". It then prompts people by saying:

"You're enjoying the game! Please consider becoming a premium member at geocaching.com. To continue, use the website and a GPS unit, or you may purchase the Official Geocaching.com app for $10. For the best geocaching experience, please join us on facebook, our discussion forums, and learn more from our Knowledge Books."

 

 

+15,324,713

 

DING DING DING!

 

Hello, Groundspeak? We have an excellent Lackey candidate here!

 

(very serious, no sarcasm intended)

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Either that, or mandate that each beginner cache is a "Wherigo"-style cache that walks the user through each cache type and related guidelines. If Groundspeak partners with cartridge writers and finds a way to make the app they are selling use that process, newbies would have an on-board mentor via the Wherigo format for the beginner caches of focus in each area.

Writing a location less, or play anywhere Wherigo cartridge is pretty easy. Once the text is decided on, it would take all of 30 minutes to create, beta test and upload. The downside is twofold. Noobs would need to either own a GPS unit capable of playing Wherigo cartridges, or they'd need to own a smart phone capable of playing them. Not all smart phone platforms can. Assuming that hardware issues are already covered, after downloading the free geocaching app, Groundspeak would need to convince users to download one of the Wherigo apps, then instruct them on how to upload the noob cartridge to their phone. As an owner of numerous Wherigo caches, I find myself regularly having to teach folks how to do this.

 

Once we cross that hurdle, we'd need to give them a tutorial on how to play a Wherigo cartridge. This is a minor issue, but one that needs be addressed. Judging from how often I have to explain it to active, long term geocachers, the process is not nearly as intuitive as it could be.

 

Also, since Groundspeak had their little spat with Garmin, there has not been any updates to the Wherigo builder. The ever devolving functionality of the Groundspeak builder has led to most Wherigo creators I know switching to other, off site Wherigo building software platforms.

 

Don't get me wrong. I am a huge fan of the Wherigo cache type. But as an experienced Wherigo creator, I can't endorse using that platform for educating someone who is brand new to the concept of geocaching. There are simply too many hardware and software issues to contend with.

 

I do believe, however, that all is not lost. I think Groundspeak could accomplish something very similar using simple pop ups, generated within the free app.

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Man. You folks sure know how to talk a subject into the ground (which is technically considered 'illegal' according to Groundspeak's Geocaching guidelines).

 

dead-horse.gif

 

That made me LOL :D

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Man. You folks sure know how to talk a subject into the ground (which is technically considered 'illegal' according to Groundspeak's Geocaching guidelines).

 

dead-horse.gif

 

That made me LOL :D

Looking at that animated GIF made me wonder. If you beat the dead horse long enough, would the directed energy force it downward, past the ground level? If parts, or even all of the deceased equine, does go below ground level, would it meet the elements of 'buried', as defined by the guidelines? Would the horse corpse be the dreaded 'pointy object'? How about the cane? It looks kinda pointy. Inquiring minds want to know... :ph34r:

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Man. You folks sure know how to talk a subject into the ground (which is technically considered 'illegal' according to Groundspeak's Geocaching guidelines).

 

dead-horse.gif

 

That made me LOL :D

Looking at that animated GIF made me wonder. If you beat the dead horse long enough, would the directed energy force it downward, past the ground level? If parts, or even all of the deceased equine, does go below ground level, would it meet the elements of 'buried', as defined by the guidelines? Would the horse corpse be the dreaded 'pointy object'? How about the cane? It looks kinda pointy. Inquiring minds want to know... :ph34r:

Only if you stuck a logbook in its mouth and called it a geocache. :lol:

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Man. You folks sure know how to talk a subject into the ground (which is technically considered 'illegal' according to Groundspeak's Geocaching guidelines).

 

dead-horse.gif

 

That made me LOL :D

Looking at that animated GIF made me wonder. If you beat the dead horse long enough, would the directed energy force it downward, past the ground level? If parts, or even all of the deceased equine, does go below ground level, would it meet the elements of 'buried', as defined by the guidelines? Would the horse corpse be the dreaded 'pointy object'? How about the cane? It looks kinda pointy. Inquiring minds want to know... :ph34r:

 

The gentleman in the image is clearly a member of the aristocracy - and thus not governed by the same rules as we mere mortals :lol:

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Man. You folks sure know how to talk a subject into the ground (which is technically considered 'illegal' according to Groundspeak's Geocaching guidelines).

Seems (to me) there are some good on-topic points still being made.

- Please explain how forum posts are covered under Groundspeak's geocaching guidelines and which guideline is "technically illegal" here.

 

wow. if you need the joke explained to you, it ceases to be funny.

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With all due respect, and speaking only for myself, in my opinion having a Reviewer choose which caches would be "worthy" of Intro cache status isn't something they should be a part of. Reviewers should never be arbitrators of worthiness, awesomeness, or... lameness. That's best left up to the caching community to decide. :D

 

What mechanism would you suggest be used by the community to identify intro caches?

 

I think it is equally important to allow a CO to opt out of having their cache included in the list of intro caches. Like I said before the CO of an intro cache will be an ambassador for geocaching and we need willing ambassadors. Forcing someone who doesn't want to be an ambassador to be an ambassador will be a great disservice to the CO and to those new to geocaching.

My answer to was simply to say that reviewers shouldn't be the ones to decide if any particular cache should be on the list of "Intro caches", as Clan Riffster had proposed. That would be like going back to the days when reviewers had to decide if a Virtual was worthy enough to be published. No thank you, not interested. I wouldn't wish that on any reviewer. If some mechanism were to be invented and agreed upon, it should be the local caching community that decides how and what caches should be included on that list. :)

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My answer to was simply to say that reviewers shouldn't be the ones to decide if any particular cache should be on the list of "Intro caches", as Clan Riffster had proposed. That would be like going back to the days when reviewers had to decide if a Virtual was worthy enough to be published. No thank you, not interested. I wouldn't wish that on any reviewer. If some mechanism were to be invented and agreed upon, it should be the local caching community that decides how and what caches should be included on that list. :)

 

Without any suggestion to for an alternate mechanism then the discussion is stalled. For this discussion to have value there needs to be some brainstorming of mechanism. For example, I've been following, with interest, the discussion about using favorite points as a mechanism to select intro caches. I'd be interested, and I', sure the other followers of this topic would be too, to hear anyone's ideas on mechanisms for selecting intro caches. The idea might will get criticized but health criticism only makes the idea better or leads us to better ideas. My original idea has been critically reviewed since I posted it and I'm grateful for that and I've matured my opinion and think that we are going to end up with an idea that Groundspeak can use. Then it will just be a matter if they choose to listen to us or not.

 

I also wouldn't wish a intro cache on a cache owner who isn't prepared or simply doesn't want the extra duties that owning one would bring. Any mechanism can not be fully automatic and will need to at the very least have a human sanity check it. That is why I suggest reviewers. They already know the geocachers in their review area and I think can make the decision if they want to invite a geocacher to change his cache to an intro cache. Reviewer being humans can also make a better decision if a cache would lend itself to being an intro cache. Also reviewer are already looking at the caches with a critical eye when they are reviewing them to be published. It would be no different than when a reviewer suggests that a mutilcache he is reviewing be listed as a mystery or vice versa before it is published.

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Just throwing this idea out here. What about taking the officer idea from Waymarking and applying it here. Have a group of Geocaching Ambassadors that review geocaches submitted to them for conversion to intro cache.

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I just re-read the original post:

 

They are stealing caches, hiding caches without ever FINDING one.

They show up for a few days and reek havoc and they are GONE....

 

There have been other threads about hiding, and if there should be a greater barrier (mandatory training, mandatory waiting period, etc). Though I don't think a cacher can hide a cache without an account at least.

 

There are lots of good ideas in this thread about training and support for newbies. But I don't think that will help much with "stealing caches".

 

Back in the pre-app days.. people tended to find out about caching through word of mouth or maybe finding a cache by accident. Those who were interested looked more into it, some tried it.. some of them liked it. Sure, some found out about it and thought it would be fun to disrupt it, but that was rare.

 

If the Intro app is being promoted and more people are finding it, you will get more people who have no real interest in it, but might think it is something they could disrupt.

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I find it somewhat absurd to think that some predefine selection of "intro caches" is going to work for everybody, much less have any effect on the issues raised by the OP.

 

Certainly when someone downloads a free app to "try" geocaching, there is the risk that some of them are delinquents set on causing trouble by stealing or destroying caches. Add to them some people who have trouble following instruction who will move caches or mishandle travel bugs simply because they do not know any better.

This is way I am saying that owners of intro caches need to be willing to accept some extra duties. As you describe intro cache will require extra attention.

 

Also, don't forget the issue to Travel Bugs that was brought up. I don't suggesting turning off the option of logging TBs into intro caches because it would cause any TBs placed in an intro to be simple not be logged and that wouldn't be good. However, I'm sure over time intro caches will become known as someplace that you don't want to place TBs. Experienced geocachers will keep TBs out of intro caches and out of the hands of people that may only geocache once or twice and then disappear with the TB. Those who wish to continue geocaching will upgrade from the intro app and find that geocaching offers even more fun things to do.

 

For this reason, some people may simply want their caches not included in the Intro app. The simple solution here would be to make these caches premium members only. Of course this requires a premium membership and also hides these caches from anyone with a basic membership, so perhaps another class is needed.

As it stand right now every non-PMO cache is included in the intro app. This is the concern that the OP brought up.

 

 

The definition of beginner's cache that is already used is meant to select caches that are somewhat more likely to be found by a beginner. It considers size and difficulty as well as when the cache was last found and whether there is a needs maintenance. The idea isn't that beginner is given a Lake Wobegon list where all the caches are above average, but rather a list of caches that are a bit easier and less likely to frustrate.

 

Its a good starting point but without allowing the CO to opt out it could force a CO in to a situation like the OP describes.

 

 

It seems clear that someone caching with small children may want to start with a few beginners caches. But other people may chose a more difficult cache because they like challenges. They might look for caches with higher terrain if they like hiking or one that appears to incorporate special challenges like scuba or rock climbing. I know when I started I looked at terrain 3+ caches because I was interested in finding places to hike and seeing if I could find the caches along these trails.

 

I'm not saying to limit intro caches to anything specific. In fact having some kind of human review process whether it be cache reviewers or a team of geocaching ambassadors, I feel, is very important the process. This will allow all for all kinds of intro caches to be listed. If there is one thing I've learned though geocaching it is that we live on a very diverse planet and what works in one location may not work in another location.

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In BC, new drivers place an "N" decal on their car. Maybe if a cache owner wants their cache to be recognized as "Newbie-Friendly", they could put an N in front of the cache name and an image on the cache page.

 

GC1234 N - Cachemungous Incredibalis

new_driver_decal.jpg

This cache is Newbie-Friendly! Welcome to the game!

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Man. You folks sure know how to talk a subject into the ground (which is technically considered 'illegal' according to Groundspeak's Geocaching guidelines).

Seems (to me) there are some good on-topic points still being made.

- Please explain how forum posts are covered under Groundspeak's geocaching guidelines and which guideline is "technically illegal" here.

 

wow. if you need the joke explained to you, it ceases to be funny.

Oh I'm sorry, didn't realize that was humor...

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One other thought: We are discussing the Official Geocaching Intro App. What about all the other geocaching app demos out there? Does Groundspeak have the ability to control what level of gameplay they provide?

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Writing a location less, or play anywhere Wherigo cartridge is pretty easy. Once the text is decided on, it would take all of 30 minutes to create, beta test and upload. ...

Of course nothing is saying the free app couldn't be a Wherigo player - or even on that only plays the intro cartridge. The app could even have some extension that locates some real caches in the area and guides you in hunting for them.

 

The problem then is the free app is more of a geocaching lesson than a real experience. For beginners part of the fun is discovery. While some instruction is good (becasue people tend to not want to read instructions), there are some things that are better left to be discovered. Real geocaching is a series of choice made at each step with no body telling you what to do. Which caches do you want to look for? How do you get to ground zero? What methods do you use in searching the are? What do you trade? Do you take the travel bug? Do log a find or a DNF?

 

The gentleman in the image is clearly a member of the aristocracy - and thus not governed by the same rules as we mere mortals :lol:

Nobody complains when Richard Garriott (AKA LordBritish) digs up his property to create an elaborate cache.

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These hundreds and thousands of INTRO user are killing the hobby....

 

They are stealing caches, hiding caches without ever FINDING one.

They show up for a few days and reek havoc and they are GONE....

 

I'm tempter to go make all 900 of my hides into PREMIUM to keep INTRO people from finding the...

 

All of my new hides are PMO but only because I really like the audit log for a PMO.

 

Your angst has been previously identified. Maybe this will help you cope.

 

See:

The theory that with the ease of attaining apps for smartphone and Iphones, and a geocaching.com account "Low quality cachers" are infecting this game.

 

And in context:

Hey gang,

 

Just getting around to a long awaited edit to identify another branch on the "Geocaching Tree of Angst!" It's bolded down at the bottom. :D

 

To summarize our "Geocaching Tree of Angst" so far:

 

We have an atmosphere rich with CO2 that is represented by one atom of "Entitlement" ( C ) and two atoms of "Expectation." (O2) :laughing:

 

We have a rich medium for the growth of angst in our soil, which is represented by a common/general, "unawareness that this hobby is intrinsically linked to other people." :laughing:

 

The water (H2O) that nourishes the tree is either actual or perceived (H2) negative interaction (O) between geocachers. :D

 

Our tree is furtilized by misconception, misinterpretation, and misunderstanding (MMM) whether actual or deliberate. ;)

 

The roots of our tree are based in actual participation and experience in geocaching as an activity.... Hiding, finding, & moving trackables. :laughing:

 

The trunk of our tree emerges over time. It is actually just individual experience that expresses itself in this way, "I know better than YOU what geocaching is supposed/intended to be all about." :D

 

From there our "Tree of Angst" branches out in many directions. Some branches sprout from the trunk and some branches think they are attacking the trunk from the other side, but are seemingly unaware that they are part of the same tree. :laughing:

 

The named branches of our tree so far:

 

The Theory of Geocaching Evolution

 

Geocaching would be more fun for me, IF :laughing::huh:

 

Perceived Staunch Defenders of Everything Perceived Lame (P.S.D.E.P.L.)

 

Geocaching was so much better way back when

 

The Theory That It's the "OTHER GUY" Who Is Just Sucking the Fun Out of Geocaching

 

The Theory of Keeping with The Highly Subjective "Spirit of Geocaching"

 

The theory that with the ease of attaining apps for smartphone and Iphones, and a geocaching.com account "Low quality cachers" are infecting this game.

 

The theory that if Groundspeak cared more, then the subjective personal caching aesthtics would rise to meet the occasion.

 

The dreaded Forum Posting Kobayashi Maru

 

The Theory of the Lake Woebegone Geocaching Effect

 

The Theory that Geocaching History Effects the Price of Tea in China

Edited by Snoogans

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.

 

Generally, it is a revenue-generating strategy of information technology to allocate resources this way.

 

My first experience with this was when I worked as a network 'droid for a "content delivery" service. I was surprised to see that the servers with the free preview sites were all connected to a redundant fibre optic 155mbps OC-3 connection. Conversely, the already-have-your-credit-card content servers were all relegated to the singly-connected coax 45mbps DS3 service.

 

Yep - I'd have put money on it being exactly as you describe - promise Utopia to get them on board, deliver it for a short while and then, once the cash-flow is established and they are settled, deliver them lesser services and ignore any attempts at constructive dialogue for service improvements :ph34r:

 

This reality about Groundspeak has been evident for some time. They have very little, if any, regard for the quality of the game and the people who make their business possible.

 

Think about it, people pay them money, then pay more money to buy and stock geocaches, then invest time in the placement and maintenance of those caches, and these cache owners, without whom Groundspeak has no business, have zero say in the process and have been mistreated many times.

 

In my area, among those known to be quality cache owners five years ago, say the top dozen or so, not one is still actively placing caches and most have archived most or all of the caches they had placed.

 

Not only that, Groundspeak has an additional layer of workers (reviewers) who also do not get paid for their services rendered. What a deal!

 

Eventually, someone will come on the scene to do it better and on that day, Groundspeak will suddenly grow ears to listen. But those who care about quality will be gone for good, as many are already gone.

 

.

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So I say yes, as community we do have a responsibility to help new players and hobbyists learn the methods and etiquette and rules especially. We can either blacklist people who don't know any better, ignore people we don't like and just move along, or you know, be nice and friendly and helpful and encourage people to become more welcome members of the community.

 

 

Totally agree

 

 

Nonsense. It was a pre-existing hole. I will explain why.

 

From the very early days there were caches that you would have likely viewed as mundane. This is because there were always people hiding caches in the simplest way in the easiest to get to place. As people saw examples of smaller and smaller containers and found there were some common places where the cache could be hidden easily and avoid discovery by most muggles, these became the popular styles to hide. Of course as these styles became more popular they became more mundane for experienced cachers.

 

My guess is that an awful lot of noobs get hooked on caching because they see a cache is hidden down the street in the supermarket parking lot. When they go and look for it they are at first stumped. Either they lift the lamppost skirt by chance or someone tells them to look under the lamppost skirt. It doesn't matter, when they see that you can hide something that only geocachers would know about, they feel they are part of a special group. They are hooked and some become avid geocachers. They may, after a few weeks, be just as bored as you are finding cheap containers in lampposts. They may move on to taking hikes and looking for caches that are big enough to hold travel bugs. But is was the mundania that brought them to geocaching in first place.

Thank you. I totally agree. Our first cache find was a lamp post in a parking lot that took 3 visits to figure out that thing lifted up and concealed an orange matchstick holder. A micro. We found it with a car Nuvi, stumbling and wandering around that parking lot like we were drunk. Our second and third finds were micros. We got hooked, splurged, and bought a cheapo yellow etrex. 4 1/2 years later with almost 5700 finds we're still addicted.

 

Micros, even "lame" ones, have an important place in this game. :D

 

Also agree. My first find was a rusted Altoids tin, with rocks glued all over it, placed under a large rock in a field of rocks within feet of a park/playground

 

My second find was a rusted Altoids tin, with rocks glued all over it nestled in a field of rocks about 20 ft from a busy intersection and near a playground

 

My 3rd find was a Altoids tin, in a park, under a bench, near a playground

 

None of these would impress me today-and I'd probably ignore the first two if I came upon them

But in my memories these are exciting and treasured. I can still remember how cool it felt to find them.

 

And they got me into this game

 

With all due respect, and speaking only for myself, in my opinion having a Reviewer choose which caches would be "worthy" of Intro cache status isn't something they should be a part of. Reviewers should never be arbitrators of worthiness, awesomeness, or... lameness. That's best left up to the caching community to decide. :D

 

What mechanism would you suggest be used by the community to identify intro caches?

 

I think it is equally important to allow a CO to opt out of having their cache included in the list of intro caches. Like I said before the CO of an intro cache will be an ambassador for geocaching and we need willing ambassadors. Forcing someone who doesn't want to be an ambassador to be an ambassador will be a great disservice to the CO and to those new to geocaching.

 

How about a checkbox on your cache page?

 

Would you like to list this cache as a intro cache?

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Man. You folks sure know how to talk a subject into the ground (which is technically considered 'illegal' according to Groundspeak's Geocaching guidelines).

Seems (to me) there are some good on-topic points still being made.

- Please explain how forum posts are covered under Groundspeak's geocaching guidelines and which guideline is "technically illegal" here.

 

wow. if you need the joke explained to you, it ceases to be funny.

 

It seems to me that you are being disruptive and successfully derailing one of the few productive threads on this forum. If the topic no longer interests you and you think it has been beat to death, (while new ideas were still being introduced), there are other topics that you can browse, some of which posting your funny gif would be more appropriate.

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My answer to was simply to say that reviewers shouldn't be the ones to decide if any particular cache should be on the list of "Intro caches", as Clan Riffster had proposed. That would be like going back to the days when reviewers had to decide if a Virtual was worthy enough to be published. No thank you, not interested. I wouldn't wish that on any reviewer. If some mechanism were to be invented and agreed upon, it should be the local caching community that decides how and what caches should be included on that list. :)

 

Without any suggestion to for an alternate mechanism then the discussion is stalled. For this discussion to have value there needs to be some brainstorming of mechanism. For example, I've been following, with interest, the discussion about using favorite points as a mechanism to select intro caches. I'd be interested, and I', sure the other followers of this topic would be too, to hear anyone's ideas on mechanisms for selecting intro caches. The idea might will get criticized but health criticism only makes the idea better or leads us to better ideas. My original idea has been critically reviewed since I posted it and I'm grateful for that and I've matured my opinion and think that we are going to end up with an idea that Groundspeak can use. Then it will just be a matter if they choose to listen to us or not.

 

I also wouldn't wish a intro cache on a cache owner who isn't prepared or simply doesn't want the extra duties that owning one would bring. Any mechanism can not be fully automatic and will need to at the very least have a human sanity check it. That is why I suggest reviewers. They already know the geocachers in their review area and I think can make the decision if they want to invite a geocacher to change his cache to an intro cache. Reviewer being humans can also make a better decision if a cache would lend itself to being an intro cache. Also reviewer are already looking at the caches with a critical eye when they are reviewing them to be published. It would be no different than when a reviewer suggests that a mutilcache he is reviewing be listed as a mystery or vice versa before it is published.

 

I think that DadOf6Furrballs is correct. Any mechanism for selecting these caches would have to be as automatic as possible. Putting the reviewers in the position where they have to determine the "Wow Factor" of a cache didn't work in the past and I think today, it would be a bigger disaster on scale with the fact that there a many, many more cachers. They would be faced with a constant high pitched whine, "Why wasn't my cache selected and his was?".

 

I also wonder what the reviewers that are in lurk mode think when we come up with more jobs for them to do. :unsure:

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I just re-read the original post:

 

They are stealing caches, hiding caches without ever FINDING one.

They show up for a few days and reek havoc and they are GONE....

 

There have been other threads about hiding, and if there should be a greater barrier (mandatory training, mandatory waiting period, etc). Though I don't think a cacher can hide a cache without an account at least.

 

There are lots of good ideas in this thread about training and support for newbies. But I don't think that will help much with "stealing caches".

 

Back in the pre-app days.. people tended to find out about caching through word of mouth or maybe finding a cache by accident. Those who were interested looked more into it, some tried it.. some of them liked it. Sure, some found out about it and thought it would be fun to disrupt it, but that was rare.

 

If the Intro app is being promoted and more people are finding it, you will get more people who have no real interest in it, but might think it is something they could disrupt.

 

I'm pretty sure that using the word "stealing" was an emotional response to something that happened here locally. A one-two day only intro cacher removed a grandfathered moving cache that is supposed to go cache to cache, and no one has heard from them since. In this case, they validated an email address, but it's probably a disposable one as they do not respond. I'm sure in their mind, they got a nice piece of SWAG from their brief encounter with the game and didn't steal anything, they traded for it.

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Hey guys-

 

Thanks for all the constructive feedback. This is a great discussion with some thoughtful ideas!

 

Just wanted to give everyone a quick FYI about how the Intro App suggests caches to the newest members of our community.

 

Suggested caches include this filtering:

  • Traditionals only
  • 5 mile radius of user's location
  • No premium member caches (unless the user is premium)
  • Terrain 1-3
  • Difficulty 1-2
  • Small, Regular, Large, and Micro (only D1-1.5)
  • Caches without NM or NA logs
  • Caches found in the last 300 days

Once the caches have been flagged as good for a newbie, they are then sorted by:

  • Last found date
  • Size (large>small>micro)
  • Favorite points (highest to lowest)

We know that we have more work to do. It is our hope that new folks will be able to start with a few of these caches and learn the ropes as they go.

 

Thanks for sharing some memories of a few of the first caches you found, guys. Fun little addition to the conversation and something that we can all relate to.

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wow. if you need the joke explained to you, it ceases to be funny.

If you need the joke explained to you, was it ever funny?

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In BC, new drivers place an "N" decal on their car. Maybe if a cache owner wants their cache to be recognized as "Newbie-Friendly", they could put an N in front of the cache name and an image on the cache page.

 

GC1234 N - Cachemungous Incredibalis

new_driver_decal.jpg

This cache is Newbie-Friendly! Welcome to the game!

If only there were a way to associate an icon of some sort with a geocache, perhaps with some sort of descriptive tooltip to explain it to anyone who doesn't understand its meaning right away.

974009a5-cf88-49e1-85e4-8bd0f945db6d.png

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wow. if you need the joke explained to you, it ceases to be funny.

If you need the joke explained to you, was it ever funny?

 

Let's please stop with this disruptive side discussion. The topic the Geocaching iPhone Intro app and ideas to make it better for new cachers not familiar with the game.

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In BC, new drivers place an "N" decal on their car. Maybe if a cache owner wants their cache to be recognized as "Newbie-Friendly", they could put an N in front of the cache name and an image on the cache page.

 

GC1234 N - Cachemungous Incredibalis

new_driver_decal.jpg

This cache is Newbie-Friendly! Welcome to the game!

If only there were a way to associate an icon of some sort with a geocache, perhaps with some sort of descriptive tooltip to explain it to anyone who doesn't understand its meaning right away.

974009a5-cf88-49e1-85e4-8bd0f945db6d.png

 

Don't they use "L" in Britain/Europe?

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In BC, new drivers place an "N" decal on their car. Maybe if a cache owner wants their cache to be recognized as "Newbie-Friendly", they could put an N in front of the cache name and an image on the cache page.

 

GC1234 N - Cachemungous Incredibalis

new_driver_decal.jpg

This cache is Newbie-Friendly! Welcome to the game!

If only there were a way to associate an icon of some sort with a geocache, perhaps with some sort of descriptive tooltip to explain it to anyone who doesn't understand its meaning right away.

974009a5-cf88-49e1-85e4-8bd0f945db6d.png

 

Don't they use "L" in Britain/Europe?

 

L denotes a Learner driver - on a provisional license until they pass their driving test and obtain a full license.

 

Some people after passing their test switch to P plates - think the P stands for Probationary - just to let people know that they haven't been driving for very long - but this is purely optional and up to the individual.

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Suggested caches include this filtering:

  • Traditionals only
  • 5 mile radius of user's location
  • No premium member caches (unless the user is premium)
  • Terrain 1-3
  • Difficulty 1-2
  • Small, Regular, Large, and Micro (only D1-1.5)
  • Caches without NM or NA logs
  • Caches found in the last 300 days

Even including only D1 and D1.5, I'd hesitate to include micros. A lot of the micros that are rated that low are rated that way because they're in "the usual place", and experienced geocachers know to look there. But to a novice geocacher who doesn't know to check for the LPC or GRC or UPS or FPC or MKH or any other TLA that makes it a QEF for experienced geocachers, micros like that can be anything but an easy beginner cache.

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If only there were a way to associate an icon of some sort with a geocache, perhaps with some sort of descriptive tooltip to explain it to anyone who doesn't understand its meaning right away.

974009a5-cf88-49e1-85e4-8bd0f945db6d.png

Don't they use "L" in Britain/Europe?
I don't know. Do they?

0bb633df-5c92-4000-997f-f5ef1df1a930.png

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How about a checkbox on your cache [creation] page?

 

Would you like to list this cache as a intro cache?\

heh, I was thinking the exact same thing. By checking that, you're saying that you're allowing it be chosen as an intro cache by whoever makes that judgement call (reviewer or otherwise). Doesn't immediately make it one, but shows that you're a) not against it being one and B) you think it's appropriate to be considered as one.

 

Griefers could check that box anyway for really hard ones, but it would still have to get past whoever is tasked with choosing 'beginner' caches.

 

Perhaps, along with the checkbox, provide a text box to allow the CO to describe why they feel it should be considered a beginner-friendly cache. That would filter it down even more.

Now the ease of selection could vary from region to region... southern Ontario has a lot of people who would gladly make some quality beginner caches, and the reviewers are very respectable here. Don't know how this process would work in other areas of the world though.

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So, I think that my idea should get some more review.

Free App: Max 5 beginner cache finds, prompts to sign up at geocaching.com for a full account. Uses a "Wherigo"-style hand holding for how to find a geocache. As Toz said, it shouldn't give it away outright, but should key into important aspects of a find.

 

99 cent App: Max 100 beginner cache finds, prompts to visit geocaching.com to sign up for premium account, or to buy the full app. Directions given to the Forums, Facebook page, and Knowledge Books for more information. Build the App to have 2 options: Find via walkthrough, and find "on your own".

 

$10 Full App: Full access, but requires email authentication and a link to geocaching.com website. Settings can include a toggle between "Find via walkthrough" and standard "Find geocache". Essentially a toggle between "Beginner mode" and "Standard mode". Validation for either paid app is paramount.

 

The walkthrough could be easily designed where you would click on a cache, and the app would give some information about finding geocaches. Then, it takes you to the cache description page. Clicking "Navigate to geocache" brings up another screen explaining tips on how to seek a cache before bringing you to map/compass view including mentioning hints and interpreting D/T, etc. It can be modeled after "Wherigo", but doesn't have to interface with GPS or location-based services.

 

More and more people are going to join the game through their app stores. It's just a matter of fact. Most don't get into the game from their GPS handheld units. I'd be really interested in market analysis for handheld GPS purchase trends. I don't know if purchase trends are steady, on the rise, or on a decline. It seems that, with the advent of Smartyphones with GPS and navigation, cars with built-in navigation, GPS units designed for specific uses like running or biking (which takes away from the old Foretrex models, and even the ol' "strap your eTrex yellow to your handlebars"), there aren't as many people looking at consumer GPS in the same way as in 2000. Now that it is so mainstream to have consumer GPS in our lives, especially in your pocket combined with a product that surfs the web, takes pictures, navigates, makes phone calls, watch movies and play CandyCrush, we need to see this game adapt for the future.

 

Between the change in how we cache with technology, how we cache in a world with so many caches right out of your doorstep (urban areas saturation, power trails, etc), and other factors, we need to find a way to keep the "spirit of geocaching" intact. If it is an involved, informed user base, we need to adapt the available tools to assist in the fostering behaviours in the spirit of geocaching. The Apps must do a better job of functioning as technology consumers need it to. It needs to provide an introduction, and a pathway to resources integral to the game itself.

 

If the App is just tossed out there like CandyCrush to the masses, how are people going to learn anything about the game if their only interaction is through an App?

 

There must be a way to route people through the website for authorization and knowledge building purposes. This game is not very effective without all of the information housed at geocaching.com. And, if we can't count on a physical person being there to help someone learn the game (or if the new user doesn't want someone there to help them learn more about the game), then the App and other available tools used to insert this game into their lives should have some learning and knowledge component to it. If Groundspeak doesn't get on that bus sooner than later, the game will change faster than they or their users can keep up with.

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And, any of the apps could/should direct you straight to the geocaching.com website to create an account. The App should not allow you to create an account for you. When a new user signs up, there should be a well-crafted introduction to the game, including background and general guidelines (please stay away from the over-simplified "Hide it, list it, find it, sign it, log it online" description. Make it meaningful and informative), links to the knowledge books and Guidelines, and a few introductory videos. Then at the end, the user decides if they want to sign up or not.

 

It's not that Groundspeak should scare off prospective users, but they should be clear that geocaching isn't just something fleeting, nor should it be treated as such by the new or prospective users.

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Suggested caches include this filtering:

  • Traditionals only
  • 5 mile radius of user's location
  • No premium member caches (unless the user is premium)
  • Terrain 1-3
  • Difficulty 1-2
  • Small, Regular, Large, and Micro (only D1-1.5)
  • Caches without NM or NA logs
  • Caches found in the last 300 days

Hi Jayme! Thanx for chiming in

 

I see that Groundspeak has a pretty good handle on automating the process already. Personally, I see this app as an opportunity for caches to act as ambassadors to the hobby, and toward that end, I'd suggest a couple tweaks. To put this in perspective, I'd like you to envision two caches that you have found over your caching career.

 

First, picture in your mind the most woefully lame cache you've ever found. For me, it was a soggy log film can stuck on a fence surrounding a dumpster. If memory serves, the D/T was 1.5/1.5. This cache embraced suckage. Totally.

 

Now, picture a cache which, if a friend asked you about the hobby, and asked you to show them how it works, you would bring them to. I've got a few I keep in mind for just such an occasion. These are all great hides, judging from the feedback in the logs. None are particularly challenging, physically, but all take you to a quality container, at an interesting location, with a good write up.

 

When a potential new customer downloads the free app, which cache(s) above would best serve Groundspeak's interests? Do you want your potential customers hooked from the very first find, or do you want them finding something even the most tolerant of us would call disappointing? According to the standards you've listed, all of these would show up if I were to download the free app. Is there a way to avoid having the lowest common denominator in our hobby show up in the free app? Absolutely! The first step would be to remove micros from the free app altogether. I'm not one to say all micros suck. Far from it! But, historically, it seems that those folks who do hide crappy caches lean heavily toward micros, as they are unwilling to invest any $$$ in a cache they don't care about. By eliminating micros, you go a long way toward improving the experience the noob has at ground zero. The next step would be to eliminate D-1s. Maybe up the difficulty ratings available to 1.5 through 2.5? These would still be relatively easy, without being blatantly obvious.

 

With these slight tweaks, the user's experience should be more positive, increasing the odds that they will get hooked on the game, eventually generating income for Groundspeak. But why stop there? With some of the suggestions proposed you could really increase the pleasure factor, however, Groundspeak would need to step away from a completely automated process. Other ideas which have been proposed, such as pop up tutorials throughout the cache hunting process, would also likely generate income for Groundspeak in the long run, and would significantly aid in keeping the caches viable by teaching the finer points of the game, whilst the noobs are playing the game.

 

One area where you could be of great service is in the feedback process. If Groundspeak opts to adopt any of these ideas, we'd love to here about it.

 

Thanx for your time!

 

-Sean

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Hi Jayme! Thanx for chiming in

 

I see that Groundspeak has a pretty good handle on automating the process already. Personally, I see this app as an opportunity for caches to act as ambassadors to the hobby, and toward that end, I'd suggest a couple tweaks. To put this in perspective, I'd like you to envision two caches that you have found over your caching career.

 

First, picture in your mind the most woefully lame cache you've ever found. For me, it was a soggy log film can stuck on a fence surrounding a dumpster. If memory serves, the D/T was 1.5/1.5. This cache embraced suckage. Totally.

 

Now, picture a cache which, if a friend asked you about the hobby, and asked you to show them how it works, you would bring them to. I've got a few I keep in mind for just such an occasion. These are all great hides, judging from the feedback in the logs. None are particularly challenging, physically, but all take you to a quality container, at an interesting location, with a good write up.

 

When a potential new customer downloads the free app, which cache(s) above would best serve Groundspeak's interests? Do you want your potential customers hooked from the very first find, or do you want them finding something even the most tolerant of us would call disappointing? According to the standards you've listed, all of these would show up if I were to download the free app. Is there a way to avoid having the lowest common denominator in our hobby show up in the free app? Absolutely! The first step would be to remove micros from the free app altogether. I'm not one to say all micros suck. Far from it! But, historically, it seems that those folks who do hide crappy caches lean heavily toward micros, as they are unwilling to invest any $$$ in a cache they don't care about. By eliminating micros, you go a long way toward improving the experience the noob has at ground zero. The next step would be to eliminate D-1s. Maybe up the difficulty ratings available to 1.5 through 2.5? These would still be relatively easy, without being blatantly obvious.

 

With these slight tweaks, the user's experience should be more positive, increasing the odds that they will get hooked on the game, eventually generating income for Groundspeak. But why stop there? With some of the suggestions proposed you could really increase the pleasure factor, however, Groundspeak would need to step away from a completely automated process. Other ideas which have been proposed, such as pop up tutorials throughout the cache hunting process, would also likely generate income for Groundspeak in the long run, and would significantly aid in keeping the caches viable by teaching the finer points of the game, whilst the noobs are playing the game.

 

One area where you could be of great service is in the feedback process. If Groundspeak opts to adopt any of these ideas, we'd love to here about it.

 

Thanx for your time!

 

-Sean

Riff, you sure can pour on the charm when the mood hits you! :anibad::laughing:

 

Well put. I think this makes the connection to what we/you have been describing would be a helpful tweak to address much of the bellyaching about cache quality, newbies, app, and the like.

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Good post CR.

 

Gotta admit, out first finds being Tupperware and ammo cans ( "regular" in size) probably kept us here.

- Don't know what we would of thought if any were a 1.5/1.5 dumpster hide (which seems to fall within the filter).

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Not everyone gets hooked for the same reasons. The fact is that there are many cachers nowadays that prefer to find lots of micros in similar hiding styles which are less likely to be missing. While these caches might not make anyone's favorite list, the fact that if you live in a cache dense city there will hundreds of caches to keep you busy for a long time may be the most important thing to get someone interested in geocaching for more than a free trial.

 

People who are claiming that had they found a lamppost hide as their first cache they would have quit are likely not remembering all the reason they got hooked in the first place. But in any case, I doubt that they would pick a lammpost as the first cache to find even if they began with a free app.

 

If instead of asking for a free app that only takes cachers to caches you like, imagine the beginner opening the app as seeing hundreds of nearby caches. They can decide if they want to start with the one behind the strip mall or the one in the park. If they live close to some open space, they might even choose to pick the cache that appears to be in the middle of an alligator infested swamp.

 

When I began, I purposely looked for 3+ terrain caches. There were already plenty of urban caches near me - even back then - but I skipped them as there were so many others to find that met my criteria. I believe an app that gives choices will be used by cachers to choose the caches they think they will enjoy more. If they can't figure this out using the intro app, imaging the disappointment of spending $10 to find out all those extra caches they couldn't see on the intro app were either too lame or too difficult.

 

I think you need to trust noobs to understand that not all cache hunts are equal and the sometimes people will hide caches where they might wonder "Why would someone hide a cache where I have to wade nipple deep in an alligator infested swamp?". My guess would be that there are more people who think this, than there are those who wonder why someone would hide a cache by a smelly dumpster. But the point is the same - there will be some caches you don't like and you need to learn to avoid these early on if you are going to keep caching.

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Two cents from a noob...

 

I snagged my first cache with c:geo while visiting my relatives in MN. I needed something to do with the 6 kids that we're bouncing off the walls. I spent about two hours researching on line (mostly looking for free apps and large kid friendly finds), packed the kids in a mini van, stopped at five and dime (remember that phrase?), bought a few dozen $.25 items and off we went to a local park. We even found a TB from Australia on our first day!

 

I'm know we made a ton of mistakes, like placing the pencil in the plastic bag, but the kids had a ton of fun. In retrospect, I think I enjoyed it most.

 

We raced home to research the TB coin as we had no idea what to do with it. It took me about an hour to understand I needed to log the coin, then a second hour to determine how to log it! I dropped it off 2,000 miles away a week later (that seemed like the right thing to do, but I was really still guessing).

 

I struggled to find the smaller hides (I did log my DNFs) and surprise, a local cacher, BraillerCD, offered to give me a tour of some more difficult caches. Wow, how great was that!!!

 

I am clearly addicted now and even convinced another friend to start caching with me during lunch and coffee breaks.

 

As a noob, I really liked a number of the ideas above:

- e-mail registration is a must

- I like the idea of a few more learning videos (the two on the Groundspeak sight seemed to strike a very good balance between too short and too long, so I did listen to both before our first adventure)

- I also like the quiz idea, but it would need to be short

- I also like the concept of, you can only find 10 caches before you must take the quiz, or your free access gets shut off

- I like the idea of offering to help the noobs like me

 

I do like the free apps, I don't really pay for apps in general. But I did sign up for the premium membership!

 

I am trying to decide if it would be more fun and/or more work with a GPS. Of course I want the $600 version

<snip>

 

I don't like to think of myself as a noob, but I started caching only a year and a half ago.

 

My thoughts:

I don't pay for apps either. I started with c:--- (still have it loaded!) but now I use Neon---, which is outstanding.

I didn't become a paid premium member until after a thousand finds.

 

- email verification is a must

- don't do mandatory or forced learning videos or quizzes

- someone suggested a "tip of the day", GREAT idea for teaching

- I don't think new people are messing up geocaching.... anyone can be careless or intentionally destructive

- if you feel you are better than me because you've been here longer, then go get bent

- if you think you know more because you've been here longer, then I'd agree. I learn new stuff all the time. If you have something to share or teach, let's hear it. But don't lift your nose at me and call me noob like it's an insult.

- ummm.... the 550 (or any comparable brand). Smart phones are great but you just can't beat instant accuracy!

- these are my thoughts with regards to the previous poster... +1 chrmdome.... to the OP, I don't think anything is killing the hobby. I see new, excited cachers being introduced all the time. It's not dying, it's growing. Maybe it's the changes that make you feel uncomfortable? I don't know...but I like it, andmillions of my friends like it. If you haven't, go check some of the cool videos!

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Either that, or mandate that each beginner cache is a "Wherigo"-style cache that walks the user through each cache type and related guidelines. If Groundspeak partners with cartridge writers and finds a way to make the app they are selling use that process, newbies would have an on-board mentor via the Wherigo format for the beginner caches of focus in each area.

Writing a location less, or play anywhere Wherigo cartridge is pretty easy. Once the text is decided on, it would take all of 30 minutes to create, beta test and upload. The downside is twofold. Noobs would need to either own a GPS unit capable of playing Wherigo cartridges, or they'd need to own a smart phone capable of playing them. Not all smart phone platforms can. Assuming that hardware issues are already covered, after downloading the free geocaching app, Groundspeak would need to convince users to download one of the Wherigo apps, then instruct them on how to upload the noob cartridge to their phone. As an owner of numerous Wherigo caches, I find myself regularly having to teach folks how to do this.

 

Once we cross that hurdle, we'd need to give them a tutorial on how to play a Wherigo cartridge. This is a minor issue, but one that needs be addressed. Judging from how often I have to explain it to active, long term geocachers, the process is not nearly as intuitive as it could be.

 

Also, since Groundspeak had their little spat with Garmin, there has not been any updates to the Wherigo builder. The ever devolving functionality of the Groundspeak builder has led to most Wherigo creators I know switching to other, off site Wherigo building software platforms.

 

Don't get me wrong. I am a huge fan of the Wherigo cache type. But as an experienced Wherigo creator, I can't endorse using that platform for educating someone who is brand new to the concept of geocaching. There are simply too many hardware and software issues to contend with.

 

I do believe, however, that all is not lost. I think Groundspeak could accomplish something very similar using simple pop ups, generated within the free app.

I like this idea. If it's an Intro why use real caches? Have it be an anywhere Wherigo and virtually find some. Why use real CO's caches in the Intro if the newbies are only trying it out? Or unless some CO's want to volunteer some on their caches for the Intro App.

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I like this idea. If it's an Intro why use real caches? Have it be an anywhere Wherigo and virtually find some. Why use real CO's caches in the Intro if the newbies are only trying it out? Or unless some CO's want to volunteer some on their caches for the Intro App.

 

I don't particularly care for the idea of segregation. I don't mind placing very strict limits on those who don't provide verifiable contact information but not segregation. Geocaching has developed in to a very social hobby. Thanks to Jeremy and the Groundspeak Lackeys. If this wasn't a social hobby we would have been content to continue posting our hides in the Usenet newsgroups.

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