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INTRO APP users are killing the hobby


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The first step is recognizing the issue. The next step is coming up with how to make it better.

 

How do we, as a Geocaching community, get Intro app/app only users to learn more about the game?

 

Great constructive addition to the conversation, NeverSummer. Let's talk about this, guys. As community members, we are all responsible for bringing up the new generation of geocachers. How can we offer our help or a re-direction when we see someone trying to figure out how to play this incredibly nuanced game? Was there someone who helped you figure out the proper caching etiquette when you started?

 

Coming in late to this discussion I know but my thoughts for what they are worth.

 

When I started caching (despite creating my account in 2003 I didn't actually find a cache until 2004) there was nobody to teach me "caching etiquette". A friend had introduced me to the game and mentioned how the stuff is for trading rather than taking, and that was it. It was pretty obvious that when a cache was hidden when I found it, the idea was to hide it in much the same way when I put it back.

 

Of course back then there were far fewer caches out there, most of them were a decent size, it was almost unheard of to find a cache without some form of writing implement, and it was also rare to ever have to log NM because owners kept on top of them. I remember the first time I found a micro - seeing a film pot attached to the bridge with a magnet was fascinating, and inside was a rolled up log sheet and a tiny little pencil so I could sign the sheet.

 

Roll forward a few years and, still living in the same area, most caches contain a log only. So now we've got endless discussions over just what has to be done to claim a Find - some say that unless you signed the log it doesn't count while others (myself included) say that if you did everything that's obviously required to find the cache and retrieve it then you can claim a Find. Then there are arguments ove what should be done if you find a trackable that the previous holder hasn't logged into the cache, arguments over just what conditions should trigger an NM log and how long a cache owner should be given to maintain their cache before logging NA, and a simple concept like "caching etiquette" disappears and becomes a tangled mess of opinions.

 

Fundamentally geocaching isn't an "incredibly nuanced game" - you go and look for a box somewhere, prove you found it using whatever means are necessary (signing the log obviously being the most ideal), and then write something about it. If there's anything in it other than the log (increasingly rare in many areas these days) you can trade.

 

We are asking questions like these at HQ, as well. How can we offer guidance and instruction to the new folks who want to come play? How can we support the current community with helping them educate and spread the word? To start with, we are working on more informative blog/FB posts, updating and reorganizing the Help Center, and thinking of fun new ways to inform newbies of the fine tuned, community created, social etiquette mores. In addition, I will let you know that the default log text in the Intro App was just supposed to be an example log and not something that they could use to post a log to any cache. We will be following up on this to make sure that the text is not introducing new cachers to bland/lazy logging techniques.

 

One of the problems with smartphones generally is the endless push for instant gratification. The increasing trend towards posting everything on social media as it happens doesn't help. I know I'm a fairly vocal critic of the seemingly insatiable desire for people to tell the world via twitface that they just had a cup of coffee or they are on the train beside someone who smells bad, but the eternal push towards "I want it, I want it now, and I don't want to have to make any great effort to get it" is far more of a danger to anything retaining quality than anything else.

 

I remember the days when geocaching was about making some form of effort to get to GZ and when clues were suggestive enough to be helpful but still required some form of hunting to find the cache. Nowadays it seems the majority of caches are film pots behind signs in urban areas and frankly in my book they just aren't a lot of fun. The first few are OK but after that I lose the will to keep sticking my hands into clumps of wet spider webs full of wet leaves.

 

The eternal question in any situation is making sure everybody has some skin in the game. The people who go out and hide caches have skin in the game - they have gone to the time, trouble and expense of sourcing a container, finding a hiding spot, concealing the cache, and writing the cache page. Of course a film pot behind a post under a stone represents almost no skin in the game. Likewise the person who can download a free smartphone app, create an account Right Now, and be finding their first cache within moments, has no skin in the game at all. However many "Read Me First" screens you throw at them, the more responsible cacher will read them and the less responsible cacher will skip them - it's more important to find the cache than to read all the blurb about what is expected of them.

 

Many of you are already AMAZINGLY helpful to the new cachers who ask questions in the forums. As a fellow community member - I want to say a big THANK YOU for that. Since we are all stewards of the game I ask the same question to the rest of the community: What are some other ways that we can guide and teach the newest players on a local level?

 

It's been said already but I think it's worth repeating. It seems to me that Groundspeak is more interested in revenue streams from users regardless of whether they stay around for any length of time, than in maintaining the quality of the game for long-standing members.

 

From a purely financial perspective it's easy to see that getting seven members to pay $5 for an app and then give up on the game after a dozen finds is more lucrative than keeping one long-standing member who pays $30 every year. The trouble is if the reduction in the quality of the experience reaches terminal velocity the most likely outcome is that the larger caches will slowly disappear and the game will consist of nothing more than film pots behind signs, film pots in ivy-covered trees, film pots under fake rocks in the woods and so on. My view is that it would be much easier to stop the rot now, than to attempt to recover once app sites are covered with reviews that say something like "phone app works well enough but why anyone would want to spend their free time hunting wet film pots behind posts is less clear"

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This whole thread, blaming newbies for issues that you have with the game itself isn't going to solve your dissatisfaction. Probably just time to take a break and find a new hobby.

 

Given the title of this thread that's an interesting suggestion.

Take a break? :blink: Is that suggesting to just walk off and leave more than 100 geocaches for a local reviewer to worry about? I don't think so, and it would take some effort to clean up all the geocaches I have placed. :laughing: And I would not ask some other member to adopt my work that they may not even find of interest other than the location. :anibad:

I see that happen alot but I never understood it. I guess that is why some land managers see geocaches as unattended property/trash. :unsure:

 

I didn't say that it was a *good* suggestion. It was just an observation that in light of the title of the thread, that TheWeatherWarrior was suggesting that if someone doesn't like the way the game is being played (by those using the INTRO app) that they should "kill the hobby" (for themselves).

 

 

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It's been said already but I think it's worth repeating. It seems to me that Groundspeak is more interested in revenue streams from users regardless of whether they stay around for any length of time, than in maintaining the quality of the game for long-standing members.

 

From a purely financial perspective it's easy to see that getting seven members to pay $5 for an app and then give up on the game after a dozen finds is more lucrative than keeping one long-standing member who pays $30 every year. The trouble is if the reduction in the quality of the experience reaches terminal velocity the most likely outcome is that the larger caches will slowly disappear and the game will consist of nothing more than film pots behind signs, film pots in ivy-covered trees, film pots under fake rocks in the woods and so on. My view is that it would be much easier to stop the rot now, than to attempt to recover once app sites are covered with reviews that say something like "phone app works well enough but why anyone would want to spend their free time hunting wet film pots behind posts is less clear"

 

Assuming what you theorize here is true. Groundspeak has to ask itself if it is willing to take short term gains for long term losses. If the long-standing members find it no longer enjoyable to place and maintain caches then the number of available caches will shrink as long-standing members move on. Geocaching is what it is today because of the long-standing members. I don't think Groundspeak is at risk of a mass exodus but not have a way to contact intro app users is making the cache maintenance part more difficult. People who are new to the hobby don't always leave the best descriptions or sometime write very cryptic notes. It helps to be able to email the person and have a conversation with them than have to go to make a visit to the cache and try to guess what they were talking about.

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This whole thread, blaming newbies for issues that you have with the game itself isn't going to solve your dissatisfaction. Probably just time to take a break and find a new hobby.

 

Given the title of this thread that's an interesting suggestion.

Take a break? :blink: Is that suggesting to just walk off and leave more than 100 geocaches for a local reviewer to worry about? I don't think so, and it would take some effort to clean up all the geocaches I have placed. :laughing: And I would not ask some other member to adopt my work that they may not even find of interest other than the location. :anibad:

I see that happen alot but I never understood it. I guess that is why some land managers see geocaches as unattended property/trash. :unsure:

 

I didn't say that it was a *good* suggestion. It was just an observation that in light of the title of the thread, that TheWeatherWarrior was suggesting that if someone doesn't like the way the game is being played (by those using the INTRO app) that they should "kill the hobby" (for themselves).

I have archived a few listings here and made my caches PMO, but they are still in play on another site. :) I just killed the hobby for non-paying members here. :laughing: As others have pointed out, the better and larger hides are placed by the more experienced geocachers, quite a few form their own local clubs and keep their hides PMO. We are the ones that have contacts with local land managers and a good working relationship. Most would not be aware of what it takes to get permission, some permits have a fee of $58 per cache per year. My new listing in a Tennessee State Park has taken over four years to just get the permit, and it took my local reviewer a few extra steps to confirm permission before they would publish the listing. It's not as easy as many think to just go out and hide a geocache for others so they can play, and if I don't properly maintain my listings.... well, that would be another subject. I'm just not giving up something that I enjoy when I have other options. :)

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Getting in very late in this thread and have only read a few of the posts. From what i have read, it sounds like the free intro app allows people to try caching without giving any information, signing up, or verifying an email address.

 

I can see the point of GS putting out the free app to lure in more customers. However, i think that we cache owners should have some say on whether or not we want free app users to look for our caches or not. Because we're the ones who put money and time into our hides, i believe we ought to have the option to hide them from view of the free app. I don't wish to make my caches PMO. Not even sure it could be implemented but it would be nice if we could have a check box on the cache submission form that says something like, "hide cache coordinates from view of free app users".

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When a new cache is create one of the choices could be whether you want to make it visible on the intro app, or just the paid one.

As per my 'points' system - only not specific to the intro or paid app. Geocaching has many ways of playing. It would need to be more a 'Beginner-friendly' option than which app to show it in (many would simply disable their entirely on principle, which is ludicrous). The Intro app, along with any other app, can decide to what degree to show 'beginner-friendly' caches, and hide caches that are flagged by the owner as explicitly not beginner-friendly from the start.

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It is in Groundspeak's interest to have more people playing the game.

 

I don't see a direct link between easy entry to play (Intro app) and reduced quality of caches (wet film pots behind signs). I personally think there should be a higher barrier to hide caches (e.g. be a member for a minimum period of time), but that is not what this thread is about.

 

The problem raised in this thread is about new players who jump in quickly, never learn how to "play properly", then drop out. This can cause some issues, e.g trackables being taken because they don't know any better.

 

Some of these new players will stick with the game, and learn and become "proper geocachers" if you will. Increasing the number of active geocachers.

 

I think the problem of quality is different. And whilst I don't want to go off topic on a power trail bashing, I think it is primarily about the numbers. When a cache owner hides a single cache out in the woods, they can (and often will) use a large container. If that same owner is setting a series of 100 or 1000 caches, using larger/better containers becomes expensive.

 

The overall trend - even amongst experienced cachers, is to want greater numbers. Hide a ammo box in the middle of nowhere that is a 4 mile round trip circular walk and it will get few finds. Create a loop of 30 caches on that same 4 mile walk it will get MANY more. I'm not putting any value judgement on that, just stating a fact which can be proven by looking at the find counts of caches like this.

 

Now sticking with this example, putting 30 caches on the trail instead of one does not mean they have to be wet film pots. I've seen many such trails which use a variety of sizes of quality containers. But you are unlikely to find a trail with 30 ammo boxes; the average container will be smaller (and cheaper) on a larger trail.

 

I was talking to a cacher who is the owner of quite a few trails of the 20-30 cache size. Out in the countryside; not cache and dashes. Nice walks. He was talking to me about his first such series, and that when he set it, it was all larger containers. He hid them over several days and used a very large backpack to haul the containers out there.

 

But increasingly many containers have been muggled. Due to cost he is generally replacing them with smaller ones when that happens. (Still quality containers which stay dry, but smaller and cheaper).

 

Anyway - I don't see how anything which is done to the intro app or newbie education will change the fact that in general cachers like numbers, so increasingly there are more trails of caches and less individual ones... and a trend of smaller caches etc.

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I think it's just a wider variety of possible geocaching experiences, and as people experiment, as numbers grow, as environments are 'tested' for 'geocacheability' (ya I know), the styles of hiding will only continue to increase. I don't think there are fewer larger hides, I think there are just more overall but more more smaller :P due to the above factors. (ie there are more micro/smalls in relation to large)

 

In my area there are people who would purposefully go out and hide a certain style if they think it's getting lost; revive a classic in a sense. More and more hides are being published in rural areas, larger caches. There are many many night caches and higher-tech caches - all large. We have power trails from 20-30 and even a few 100-200 in length. Some shorter ones are larger or a variety of sizes or themes. Personally, I think when someone lays a powertrail of micros for example, it effectively could be treated like another cache 'type'. I mean, no one would really go find one from within the trail (like finding a single stage of a multi?). One would generally plan to go for the entire trail, as a single experience, as a single challenge.

 

Yes, that raises the question of why not make it a really long multi then? I don't think there's any reason not to, I think someone should make one like that :P. It would probably take about the same amount of time to maintain, however. The only real difference between a powertrail of traditionals (we also have a couple of non-traditional powertrails btw :P) and a 100-stage multi, is, really, the number of smilies you get at the end :P (though some could argue the experience would be inherently different, between searching for quick individual caches vs stages of a multi). But then I could also see someone argue that, just as "numbers cachers" care about the +100 to their count, other "numbers cachers" care enough about numbers to rant against that +100 opportunity. *shrug*

 

Point of all this - people have different caching styles. As the game grows in player numbers (including 'noobs'), then long as the styles inherently follow the basic formula of geocaching, it may change the face of the game from region to region, city to city, country to country, but the game will continue to grow and evolve. Our current styles and preferences may get overshadowed by new ones, but I don't think they'll ever go away, as long as we still appreciate them and continue to hide them.

 

Powertrails aren't the downfall of geocaching; they're only the downfall of non-powertrail-geocaching :P (just like wherigos, just like smartphones, just like park & grabs, just like micros, etc).

 

"Education" of new geocachers is important. But not every new geocacher needs the same amount of education. But the door is open for a wide range of 'abilities', you could say. And the ones that come, test, and leave aren't necessarily the ones that cause the problems for others.

 

"TFTC" logs are as problematic as:

* careless cachers who damage nature

* as ignorant cachers who don't care about the state of a cache when they leave

* as bitter cachers who steal or deface cache containers

* as traditional veteran cachers who constantly rant about how the game has been ruined by new styles

* as spoiler cachers who tell the world publicly how to solve a difficult puzzle or pass out final cache coordinates

* as numbers-obsessed cachers who will lie on a cache listing to earn a +1 or post a find from overseas hoping the CO won't care

* as thieves who will knowingly take trackable items and coins or the unknowing who just don't know you're not supposed to keep them

* as... etc etc...

 

This thread? Let's keep it focused on those "who don't know" any better. Maybe that'll at least help assuage one of these problems...

:D

Edited by thebruce0
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I wonder if just having a forced "walkthrough" in the Intro app might be enough. Kind of a 'wizard' that nags the user as they go from pulling up the map, selecting a cache listing, reading the description, using the compass, pop-ups for "I found the cache" telling them to write a unique log outlining the experience without providing hints for other cachers or "didn't find it? log it DNF!", finding and logging trackables, etc. etc. etc.

 

Additionally, the app should NOT fill in a boilerplate log for the user...that's just dumbing the whole thing down and it annoys the COs. It should show a pop-up in the event a cacher already logged the cache, saying "you logged this cache as found on {x date}, do you want to create an additional log?" and NOT allow them to make additional "found it" logs. Seriously...an "Intro" app should be just that, an introduction to the novice cacher. After several finds, they'll either give up like many do or they'll be annoyed enough by the limitations of the Intro app that perhaps they'll spring for the full app.

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I can see the point of GS putting out the free app to lure in more customers. However, i think that we cache owners should have some say on whether or not we want free app users to look for our caches or not. Because we're the ones who put money and time into our hides, i believe we ought to have the option to hide them from view of the free app. I don't wish to make my caches PMO. Not even sure it could be implemented but it would be nice if we could have a check box on the cache submission form that says something like, "hide cache coordinates from view of free app users".

 

+1

Edited by L0ne R
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Hey guys,

 

Just a few quick reassurances:

  1. We are watching this forum thread.
  2. Ideas are being passed on and discussed.
  3. There are a great deal of HQ staff that care deeply about this game and this community. We are cachers first. We hide caches and hold stakes in the longevity of the game and community, far beyond being employed by Geocaching HQ.

Please keep in mind that shared ideas may not be acted upon immediately or as quickly as we would all like them to be. This doesn't mean that the ideas being presented are not valuable, just that it takes a bit to move them through the development process. Thank you, again, for being part of the thoughtful discussion around these issues and for your patience in potential implementation.

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I wish there was more mentoring of people like me who are new. I have a mentor and he has explained a lot and has helped me place and maintain my caches and other important things. Maybe instead of complaining, help them to learn. This may avoid issues regardless of which app or method they use.

Edited by ^up
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I wish there was more mentoring of people like me who are new. I have a mentor and he has explained a lot and has helped me place and maintain my caches and other important things. Maybe instead of complaining, help them to learn. This may avoid issues regardless of which app or method they use.

 

I'm glad you have a mentor and hope you are one to "pay it forward" by helping others. Much of the angst is from the intro app not requiring users to validate their email or other information, leaving cache owners NO WAY to contact them. That's what REQUIRING email validation will allow us to do, contact the new users and give them the guidance you were fortunate enough to have when you started.

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I wish there was more mentoring of people like me who are new. I have a mentor and he has explained a lot and has helped me place and maintain my caches and other important things. Maybe instead of complaining, help them to learn. This may avoid issues regardless of which app or method they use.

I agree, mentoring would help.

- Problem is you can't reach many of these folks without a valid email.

Our local group has new members join, go over to the facebook page and never return to the site again.

Can't help people who don't want anything to do with you...

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I wish there was more mentoring of people like me who are new. I have a mentor and he has explained a lot and has helped me place and maintain my caches and other important things. Maybe instead of complaining, help them to learn. This may avoid issues regardless of which app or method they use.

I agree, mentoring would help.

- Problem is you can't reach many of these folks without a valid email.

Our local group has new members join, go over to the facebook page and never return to the site again.

Can't help people who don't want anything to do with you...

 

You beat me to it :)

 

I can honestly say that attempts I've made in the past to contact newbies and welcome them to the game have been almost without exception a complete waste of time :(

 

Whenever one of our caches is someone's first find I've made a point of sending them a friendly email, thanking them for the find/log and pointing them in the direction of local forums / events.

 

Responses have ranged from them completely ignoring the communication to - in the case of trying to offer guidance to a newbie who had buried their first cache hide - angry emails accusing me of being a stalker!

 

So hopefully you'll forgive my slight reticence at reaching out to new players - other than perhaps when meeting newbies at organised events.

 

I still think though that a validated email address should be an essential prerequisite to anyone gaining access to our cache details.

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You beat me to it :)

 

I can honestly say that attempts I've made in the past to contact newbies and welcome them to the game have been almost without exception a complete waste of time :(

 

Whenever one of our caches is someone's first find I've made a point of sending them a friendly email, thanking them for the find/log and pointing them in the direction of local forums / events.

 

Responses have ranged from them completely ignoring the communication to - in the case of trying to offer guidance to a newbie who had buried their first cache hide - angry emails accusing me of being a stalker!

 

So hopefully you'll forgive my slight reticence at reaching out to new players - other than perhaps when meeting newbies at organised events.

 

I still think though that a validated email address should be an essential prerequisite to anyone gaining access to our cache details.

 

Totally agree.

I've sent some really cool emails...and I don't even know if they've been received :unsure:

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I wish there was more mentoring of people like me who are new. I have a mentor and he has explained a lot and has helped me place and maintain my caches and other important things. Maybe instead of complaining, help them to learn. This may avoid issues regardless of which app or method they use.

 

I'm glad you have a mentor and hope you are one to "pay it forward" by helping others. Much of the angst is from the intro app not requiring users to validate their email or other information, leaving cache owners NO WAY to contact them. That's what REQUIRING email validation will allow us to do, contact the new users and give them the guidance you were fortunate enough to have when you started.

 

Yep. You can't help who you can't reach.

 

Folks in my area, myself included, very often will go way out of our way to help the n00bs...IF we contact them.

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You beat me to it :)

 

I can honestly say that attempts I've made in the past to contact newbies and welcome them to the game have been almost without exception a complete waste of time :(

 

Whenever one of our caches is someone's first find I've made a point of sending them a friendly email, thanking them for the find/log and pointing them in the direction of local forums / events.

 

Responses have ranged from them completely ignoring the communication to - in the case of trying to offer guidance to a newbie who had buried their first cache hide - angry emails accusing me of being a stalker!

 

So hopefully you'll forgive my slight reticence at reaching out to new players - other than perhaps when meeting newbies at organised events.

 

I still think though that a validated email address should be an essential prerequisite to anyone gaining access to our cache details.

 

Totally agree.

I've sent some really cool emails...and I don't even know if they've been received :unsure:

 

In the case of the buried cache hide I spent 40 minutes trying to carefully word an email so that it was friendly and informative and tried my best to avoid coming across as a wise-guy (I've seen quite a few well meaning, experienced cachers on here being branded holier than thou for simply trying to offer genuine support and guidance) or intimidating in any way. I even included hyperlinks to the relevant KB articles so they could see for themselves that I was only pointing them toward officially agreed and accepted practice, suggested alternative ways to hide the container - everything.

 

For my efforts I got nothing but abuse from the outset. I was completely stunned :o If it happened again I would simply post a NM log followed by a NA if it didn't get sorted.

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Hmm.... I think this forum has been used up. Its probably time to archive this one.

 

Well yes - your carefully considered and cleverly constructed addition to the thread has rounded it off beautifully - thank heavens you came along when you did! :huh:

 

(Probably makes you a candidate for platinum membership B) )

 

+1 :lol::laughing:

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No, I DO NOT use the Intro app. I use a GPS and computer. I just thought that with over 400 replies this thread is getting a bit messy.

Well, there is nothing wrong if you do. We gave it a try and it is good for a beginner that wants to try out geocaching before investing in a GPS unit.:)

It may look messy here to you, but things are fine here. That is why we have the off-topic and Platinum members only forums, sorry I intruded. :( Carry on. B)

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No, I DO NOT use the Intro app. I use a GPS and computer. I just thought that with over 400 replies this thread is getting a bit messy.

Well, there is nothing wrong if you do. We gave it a try and it is good for a beginner that wants to try out geocaching before investing in a GPS unit.:)

It may look messy here to you, but things are fine here. That is why we have the off-topic and Platinum members only forums, sorry I intruded. :( Carry on. B)

 

You just HAD to mention the Platinum forums, didn't you!? :mad:B)

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No, I DO NOT use the Intro app. I use a GPS and computer. I just thought that with over 400 replies this thread is getting a bit messy.

 

I find it far from messy.

 

You could always choose to:

 

A) not respond to it any longer,

or

B) not read it any longer

 

This is a discussion forum. We discuss. The length of the thread doesn't matter.

 

 

 

Eta: linked reply

Edited by JesandTodd
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I can honestly say that attempts I've made in the past to contact newbies and welcome them to the game have been almost without exception a complete waste of time :(

 

Whenever one of our caches is someone's first find I've made a point of sending them a friendly email, thanking them for the find/log and pointing them in the direction of local forums / events.

 

Responses have ranged from them completely ignoring the communication to - in the case of trying to offer guidance to a newbie who had buried their first cache hide - angry emails accusing me of being a stalker!

The worst trait in any sport or hobby is not being a n00b or unknowledgeable - we all were when we started - it's being uncoachable. You can find uncoachable people in any activity and at any skill level - & an uncoachable person never reaches their potential. :(

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No, I DO NOT use the Intro app. I use a GPS and computer. I just thought that with over 400 replies this thread is getting a bit messy.

Well, there is nothing wrong if you do. We gave it a try and it is good for a beginner that wants to try out geocaching before investing in a GPS unit.:)

It may look messy here to you, but things are fine here. That is why we have the off-topic and Platinum members only forums, sorry I intruded. :( Carry on. B)

 

You just HAD to mention the Platinum forums, didn't you!? :mad:B)

Really. What's next, our secret handshake?

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No, I DO NOT use the Intro app. I use a GPS and computer. I just thought that with over 400 replies this thread is getting a bit messy.

 

I find it far from messy.

 

You could always choose to:

 

A) not respond to it any longer,

or

B) not read it any longer

 

This is a discussion forum. We discuss. The length of the thread doesn't matter.

 

 

 

Eta: linked reply

 

Only 9 pages - no problem!

 

The title & content could be interpreted - incorrectly, but could - be interpreted as "roast the n00bs," not "roast the app."

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May I suggest, on the create-a-cache page:

 

Make cache available to:

[ ] Premium/Charter Members only

[ ] All geocaching.com Members

[ ] Everyone - includes pre-loaded GPS units, phone apps, etc.

 

That middle option has been needed, IMHO, ever since the GeoMate Jr came out. It's about time, no?

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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I can honestly say that attempts I've made in the past to contact newbies and welcome them to the game have been almost without exception a complete waste of time :(

 

Whenever one of our caches is someone's first find I've made a point of sending them a friendly email, thanking them for the find/log and pointing them in the direction of local forums / events.

 

Responses have ranged from them completely ignoring the communication to - in the case of trying to offer guidance to a newbie who had buried their first cache hide - angry emails accusing me of being a stalker!

The worst trait in any sport or hobby is not being a n00b or unknowledgeable - we all were when we started - it's being uncoachable. You can find uncoachable people in any activity and at any skill level - & an uncoachable person never reaches their potential. :(

 

This sums up SO much of what's been going on in my non-Geocaching life of late....

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The first step is recognizing the issue. The next step is coming up with how to make it better.

 

How do we, as a Geocaching community, get Intro app/app only users to learn more about the game?

 

Great constructive addition to the conversation, NeverSummer. Let's talk about this, guys. As community members, we are all responsible for bringing up the new generation of geocachers. How can we offer our help or a re-direction when we see someone trying to figure out how to play this incredibly nuanced game? Was there someone who helped you figure out the proper caching etiquette when you started?

 

Coming in late to this discussion I know but my thoughts for what they are worth.

 

When I started caching (despite creating my account in 2003 I didn't actually find a cache until 2004) there was nobody to teach me "caching etiquette". A friend had introduced me to the game and mentioned how the stuff is for trading rather than taking, and that was it. It was pretty obvious that when a cache was hidden when I found it, the idea was to hide it in much the same way when I put it back.

 

Of course back then there were far fewer caches out there, most of them were a decent size, it was almost unheard of to find a cache without some form of writing implement, and it was also rare to ever have to log NM because owners kept on top of them. I remember the first time I found a micro - seeing a film pot attached to the bridge with a magnet was fascinating, and inside was a rolled up log sheet and a tiny little pencil so I could sign the sheet.

 

Roll forward a few years and, still living in the same area, most caches contain a log only. So now we've got endless discussions over just what has to be done to claim a Find - some say that unless you signed the log it doesn't count while others (myself included) say that if you did everything that's obviously required to find the cache and retrieve it then you can claim a Find. Then there are arguments ove what should be done if you find a trackable that the previous holder hasn't logged into the cache, arguments over just what conditions should trigger an NM log and how long a cache owner should be given to maintain their cache before logging NA, and a simple concept like "caching etiquette" disappears and becomes a tangled mess of opinions.

 

Fundamentally geocaching isn't an "incredibly nuanced game" - you go and look for a box somewhere, prove you found it using whatever means are necessary (signing the log obviously being the most ideal), and then write something about it. If there's anything in it other than the log (increasingly rare in many areas these days) you can trade.

 

We are asking questions like these at HQ, as well. How can we offer guidance and instruction to the new folks who want to come play? How can we support the current community with helping them educate and spread the word? To start with, we are working on more informative blog/FB posts, updating and reorganizing the Help Center, and thinking of fun new ways to inform newbies of the fine tuned, community created, social etiquette mores. In addition, I will let you know that the default log text in the Intro App was just supposed to be an example log and not something that they could use to post a log to any cache. We will be following up on this to make sure that the text is not introducing new cachers to bland/lazy logging techniques.

 

One of the problems with smartphones generally is the endless push for instant gratification. The increasing trend towards posting everything on social media as it happens doesn't help. I know I'm a fairly vocal critic of the seemingly insatiable desire for people to tell the world via twitface that they just had a cup of coffee or they are on the train beside someone who smells bad, but the eternal push towards "I want it, I want it now, and I don't want to have to make any great effort to get it" is far more of a danger to anything retaining quality than anything else.

 

I remember the days when geocaching was about making some form of effort to get to GZ and when clues were suggestive enough to be helpful but still required some form of hunting to find the cache. Nowadays it seems the majority of caches are film pots behind signs in urban areas and frankly in my book they just aren't a lot of fun. The first few are OK but after that I lose the will to keep sticking my hands into clumps of wet spider webs full of wet leaves.

 

The eternal question in any situation is making sure everybody has some skin in the game. The people who go out and hide caches have skin in the game - they have gone to the time, trouble and expense of sourcing a container, finding a hiding spot, concealing the cache, and writing the cache page. Of course a film pot behind a post under a stone represents almost no skin in the game. Likewise the person who can download a free smartphone app, create an account Right Now, and be finding their first cache within moments, has no skin in the game at all. However many "Read Me First" screens you throw at them, the more responsible cacher will read them and the less responsible cacher will skip them - it's more important to find the cache than to read all the blurb about what is expected of them.

 

Many of you are already AMAZINGLY helpful to the new cachers who ask questions in the forums. As a fellow community member - I want to say a big THANK YOU for that. Since we are all stewards of the game I ask the same question to the rest of the community: What are some other ways that we can guide and teach the newest players on a local level?

 

It's been said already but I think it's worth repeating. It seems to me that Groundspeak is more interested in revenue streams from users regardless of whether they stay around for any length of time, than in maintaining the quality of the game for long-standing members.

 

From a purely financial perspective it's easy to see that getting seven members to pay $5 for an app and then give up on the game after a dozen finds is more lucrative than keeping one long-standing member who pays $30 every year. The trouble is if the reduction in the quality of the experience reaches terminal velocity the most likely outcome is that the larger caches will slowly disappear and the game will consist of nothing more than film pots behind signs, film pots in ivy-covered trees, film pots under fake rocks in the woods and so on. My view is that it would be much easier to stop the rot now, than to attempt to recover once app sites are covered with reviews that say something like "phone app works well enough but why anyone would want to spend their free time hunting wet film pots behind posts is less clear"

 

I've been away from the forums for five days, so I was surpised to see over 100 new replies in this topic.

 

Second, Team tisri, it's taken a long time to get there, but you have finally posted something where I agree on on every SINGLE point that you made, especially the part about the instant gratification that people expect from their Smartphones, and the fact that they are willing to publicize every bit of there privacy. This is demonstrated by the fact that some are disappointed that the the INTRO app hasn't been totally redeveloped one month after we started complaining about it.

 

Your experience of the evolution of geocaching matches mine perfectly. I'm lucky in the fact that I am surrounded by five mountain ranges and there are plenty of cachers willing to hike the hundreds of miles of trails and hide cache for me to go find. Of course, the size of these mountain trail hides is dropping and the hide style seems to be a bit less creative, but the trip to get there is still worth the effort. The only urban micros that I look for now are those that just happen to be in the lamp post that I parked in front of when doing other business, or those that are getting good comments from experienced cachers.

 

I can't see to find it now, but I did read a what I considered to be a good post about the "cache note". It's hard to get one into the typical film can, Altoids tin or bison tube, and if one is in an urban area, this is the cache that the brand new, been a member for five minutes, INTRO app user is being directed to. I wonder how many of these people that I am accusing of being part of the "Instant Gratification" society would actually read the note if it was present and get an "Uh Huh" moment?

 

As far as the Lackeys are concerned. Moun10bike has been here from the beginning. His record stands on it's own.

 

Los Angeles is a unique area where 2/5ths of the population is separated by the other 3/5ths by a mountain range. Jayme H used to live on the other side of the mountains from me, but we ran into each other, along with her eventual husband many times at events. We hiked in a group together along 8 miles of that mountain range and we attended a private non-official event for geocachers at another friend's home. I can say without any doubt that she is a Geocacher, first and foremost, not just someone that answered a want ad for employment at Groundspeak, and I really think that she has our best interest in mind. I think that her willingness to participate in the forums has had a very positive effect.

 

[Edited - As soon as I hit reply, that grey cat you see in my avatar, jumped on my desk and submitted my post with his tail, before I could actually write it]

Edited by Don_J
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It's been said already but I think it's worth repeating. It seems to me that Groundspeak is more interested in revenue streams from users regardless of whether they stay around for any length of time, than in maintaining the quality of the game for long-standing members.

 

From a purely financial perspective it's easy to see that getting seven members to pay $5 for an app and then give up on the game after a dozen finds is more lucrative than keeping one long-standing member who pays $30 every year. The trouble is if the reduction in the quality of the experience reaches terminal velocity the most likely outcome is that the larger caches will slowly disappear and the game will consist of nothing more than film pots behind signs, film pots in ivy-covered trees, film pots under fake rocks in the woods and so on. My view is that it would be much easier to stop the rot now, than to attempt to recover once app sites are covered with reviews that say something like "phone app works well enough but why anyone would want to spend their free time hunting wet film pots behind posts is less clear"

 

Assuming what you theorize here is true. Groundspeak has to ask itself if it is willing to take short term gains for long term losses. If the long-standing members find it no longer enjoyable to place and maintain caches then the number of available caches will shrink as long-standing members move on. Geocaching is what it is today because of the long-standing members. I don't think Groundspeak is at risk of a mass exodus but not have a way to contact intro app users is making the cache maintenance part more difficult. People who are new to the hobby don't always leave the best descriptions or sometime write very cryptic notes. It helps to be able to email the person and have a conversation with them than have to go to make a visit to the cache and try to guess what they were talking about.

 

And, when it all implodes like a Dark Star, I Hope us trail hide D2.5, T3 cachers escape with a Large.

Edited by Don_J
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...especially the part about the instant gratification that people expect from their Smartphones, and the fact that they are willing to publicize every bit of there privacy. This is demonstrated by the fact that some are disappointed that the the INTRO app hasn't been totally redeveloped one month after we started complaining about it.

 

Is this aimed at me? :huh:

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No, I DO NOT use the Intro app. I use a GPS and computer. I just thought that with over 400 replies this thread is getting a bit messy.

Well, there is nothing wrong if you do. We gave it a try and it is good for a beginner that wants to try out geocaching before investing in a GPS unit.:)

It may look messy here to you, but things are fine here. That is why we have the off-topic and Platinum members only forums, sorry I intruded. :( Carry on. B)

 

You just HAD to mention the Platinum forums, didn't you!? :mad:B)

Really. What's next, our secret handshake?

 

You, too!? We are all gonna get downgraded to Aluminum if this keeps up! :laughing:

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...especially the part about the instant gratification that people expect from their Smartphones, and the fact that they are willing to publicize every bit of there privacy. This is demonstrated by the fact that some are disappointed that the the INTRO app hasn't been totally redeveloped one month after we started complaining about it.

Is this aimed at me? :huh:

I'm thinking every single smartphone user. Which is why I pretty much didn't give the comment any objective value. =P

Edited by thebruce0
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No, I DO NOT use the Intro app. I use a GPS and computer. I just thought that with over 400 replies this thread is getting a bit messy.

Well, there is nothing wrong if you do. We gave it a try and it is good for a beginner that wants to try out geocaching before investing in a GPS unit.:)

It may look messy here to you, but things are fine here. That is why we have the off-topic and Platinum members only forums, sorry I intruded. :( Carry on. B)

 

You just HAD to mention the Platinum forums, didn't you!? :mad:B)

Really. What's next, our secret handshake?

 

You, too!? We are all gonna get downgraded to Aluminum if this keeps up! :laughing:

I'll have to bring this up in our secret meeting of Masonic Geocachers in our FB group. :ph34r:

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May I suggest, on the create-a-cache page:

 

Make cache available to:

[ ] Premium/Charter Members only

[ ] All geocaching.com Members

[ ] Everyone - includes pre-loaded GPS units, phone apps, etc.

 

That middle option has been needed, IMHO, ever since the GeoMate Jr came out. It's about time, no?

 

I love this check-box idea. Cache Owners are given more control over who sees and has access to their property.

 

Can non-members see coordinates on the website? Why then should Intro App users be given that ability?

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<snip>

Jayme H used to live on the other side of the mountains from me, but we ran into each other, along with her eventual husband many times at events. We hiked in a group together along 8 miles of that mountain range and we attended a private non-official event for geocachers at another friend's home. I can say without any doubt that she is a Geocacher, first and foremost, not just someone that answered a want ad for employment at Groundspeak, and I really think that she has our best interest in mind. I think that her willingness to participate in the forums has had a very positive effect.

 

 

 

I've met Jayme, and I also agree that she's been the best addition from GS, especially to the forums. If I had to guess, I'd say she's the type that was recruited to GS.

 

 

...especially the part about the instant gratification that people expect from their Smartphones, and the fact that they are willing to publicize every bit of there privacy. This is demonstrated by the fact that some are disappointed that the the INTRO app hasn't been totally redeveloped one month after we started complaining about it.

Is this aimed at me? :huh:

I'm thinking every single smartphone user. Which is why I pretty much didn't give the comment any objective value. =P

 

Me either...

 

(Hey, we agree again!)

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How about a "test" for newbies (and others) that helps make sure they know and understand the rules. After 30 days or 90, whatever, to continue using the Intro app, they have to answer 5 questions that geocaching sets. This avoids the "we just want your money" intro/free app stigma and helps to keep rules and regulations fresh in peoples minds.

Edited by ^up
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The first step is recognizing the issue. The next step is coming up with how to make it better.

 

How do we, as a Geocaching community, get Intro app/app only users to learn more about the game?

 

Great constructive addition to the conversation, NeverSummer. Let's talk about this, guys. As community members, we are all responsible for bringing up the new generation of geocachers. How can we offer our help or a re-direction when we see someone trying to figure out how to play this incredibly nuanced game? Was there someone who helped you figure out the proper caching etiquette when you started?

 

Coming in late to this discussion I know but my thoughts for what they are worth.

 

When I started caching (despite creating my account in 2003 I didn't actually find a cache until 2004) there was nobody to teach me "caching etiquette". A friend had introduced me to the game and mentioned how the stuff is for trading rather than taking, and that was it. It was pretty obvious that when a cache was hidden when I found it, the idea was to hide it in much the same way when I put it back.

 

Of course back then there were far fewer caches out there, most of them were a decent size, it was almost unheard of to find a cache without some form of writing implement, and it was also rare to ever have to log NM because owners kept on top of them. I remember the first time I found a micro - seeing a film pot attached to the bridge with a magnet was fascinating, and inside was a rolled up log sheet and a tiny little pencil so I could sign the sheet.

 

Roll forward a few years and, still living in the same area, most caches contain a log only. So now we've got endless discussions over just what has to be done to claim a Find - some say that unless you signed the log it doesn't count while others (myself included) say that if you did everything that's obviously required to find the cache and retrieve it then you can claim a Find. Then there are arguments ove what should be done if you find a trackable that the previous holder hasn't logged into the cache, arguments over just what conditions should trigger an NM log and how long a cache owner should be given to maintain their cache before logging NA, and a simple concept like "caching etiquette" disappears and becomes a tangled mess of opinions.

 

Fundamentally geocaching isn't an "incredibly nuanced game" - you go and look for a box somewhere, prove you found it using whatever means are necessary (signing the log obviously being the most ideal), and then write something about it. If there's anything in it other than the log (increasingly rare in many areas these days) you can trade.

 

We are asking questions like these at HQ, as well. How can we offer guidance and instruction to the new folks who want to come play? How can we support the current community with helping them educate and spread the word? To start with, we are working on more informative blog/FB posts, updating and reorganizing the Help Center, and thinking of fun new ways to inform newbies of the fine tuned, community created, social etiquette mores. In addition, I will let you know that the default log text in the Intro App was just supposed to be an example log and not something that they could use to post a log to any cache. We will be following up on this to make sure that the text is not introducing new cachers to bland/lazy logging techniques.

 

One of the problems with smartphones generally is the endless push for instant gratification. The increasing trend towards posting everything on social media as it happens doesn't help. I know I'm a fairly vocal critic of the seemingly insatiable desire for people to tell the world via twitface that they just had a cup of coffee or they are on the train beside someone who smells bad, but the eternal push towards "I want it, I want it now, and I don't want to have to make any great effort to get it" is far more of a danger to anything retaining quality than anything else.

 

I remember the days when geocaching was about making some form of effort to get to GZ and when clues were suggestive enough to be helpful but still required some form of hunting to find the cache. Nowadays it seems the majority of caches are film pots behind signs in urban areas and frankly in my book they just aren't a lot of fun. The first few are OK but after that I lose the will to keep sticking my hands into clumps of wet spider webs full of wet leaves.

 

The eternal question in any situation is making sure everybody has some skin in the game. The people who go out and hide caches have skin in the game - they have gone to the time, trouble and expense of sourcing a container, finding a hiding spot, concealing the cache, and writing the cache page. Of course a film pot behind a post under a stone represents almost no skin in the game. Likewise the person who can download a free smartphone app, create an account Right Now, and be finding their first cache within moments, has no skin in the game at all. However many "Read Me First" screens you throw at them, the more responsible cacher will read them and the less responsible cacher will skip them - it's more important to find the cache than to read all the blurb about what is expected of them.

 

Many of you are already AMAZINGLY helpful to the new cachers who ask questions in the forums. As a fellow community member - I want to say a big THANK YOU for that. Since we are all stewards of the game I ask the same question to the rest of the community: What are some other ways that we can guide and teach the newest players on a local level?

 

It's been said already but I think it's worth repeating. It seems to me that Groundspeak is more interested in revenue streams from users regardless of whether they stay around for any length of time, than in maintaining the quality of the game for long-standing members.

 

From a purely financial perspective it's easy to see that getting seven members to pay $5 for an app and then give up on the game after a dozen finds is more lucrative than keeping one long-standing member who pays $30 every year. The trouble is if the reduction in the quality of the experience reaches terminal velocity the most likely outcome is that the larger caches will slowly disappear and the game will consist of nothing more than film pots behind signs, film pots in ivy-covered trees, film pots under fake rocks in the woods and so on. My view is that it would be much easier to stop the rot now, than to attempt to recover once app sites are covered with reviews that say something like "phone app works well enough but why anyone would want to spend their free time hunting wet film pots behind posts is less clear"

 

I've been away from the forums for five days, so I was surpised to see over 100 new replies in this topic.

 

Second, Team tisri, it's taken a long time to get there, but you have finally posted something where I agree on on every SINGLE point that you made, especially the part about the instant gratification that people expect from their Smartphones, and the fact that they are willing to publicize every bit of there privacy. This is demonstrated by the fact that some are disappointed that the the INTRO app hasn't been totally redeveloped one month after we started complaining about it.

 

Your experience of the evolution of geocaching matches mine perfectly. I'm lucky in the fact that I am surrounded by five mountain ranges and there are plenty of cachers willing to hike the hundreds of miles of trails and hide cache for me to go find. Of course, the size of these mountain trail hides is dropping and the hide style seems to be a bit less creative, but the trip to get there is still worth the effort. The only urban micros that I look for now are those that just happen to be in the lamp post that I parked in front of when doing other business, or those that are getting good comments from experienced cachers.

 

I can't see to find it now, but I did read a what I considered to be a good post about the "cache note". It's hard to get one into the typical film can, Altoids tin or bison tube, and if one is in an urban area, this is the cache that the brand new, been a member for five minutes, INTRO app user is being directed to. I wonder how many of these people that I am accusing of being part of the "Instant Gratification" society would actually read the note if it was present and get an "Uh Huh" moment?

 

As far as the Lackeys are concerned. Moun10bike has been here from the beginning. His record stands on it's own.

 

Los Angeles is a unique area where 2/5ths of the population is separated by the other 3/5ths by a mountain range. Jayme H used to live on the other side of the mountains from me, but we ran into each other, along with her eventual husband many times at events. We hiked in a group together along 8 miles of that mountain range and we attended a private non-official event for geocachers at another friend's home. I can say without any doubt that she is a Geocacher, first and foremost, not just someone that answered a want ad for employment at Groundspeak, and I really think that she has our best interest in mind. I think that her willingness to participate in the forums has had a very positive effect.

 

[Edited - As soon as I hit reply, that grey cat you see in my avatar, jumped on my desk and submitted my post with his tail, before I could actually write it]

 

Woah! Steady on there Don, for you and I to agree on everything is pretty earth-shaking, no? :)

 

I'm surrounded by urban landscape in one direction and mostly suburban landscape in all other directions. Here it's hard to find much of anything that isn't a micro, although I was pleasantly surprised by a small and a regular cache yesterday. Nice locations too, just hope they last.

 

The cache note is a good point. I don't remember the last time I saw one in this country. I see them all the time in larger caches in rural parts of the US.

 

With regard to the Lackeys, I don't see the issue being one of how the Lackeys regard the game of geocaching as much as how the corporate strategy of Groundspeak is driving the game. It's a perfectly valid business strategy to take short term pain in exchange for long term gain, and in such an approach the primary concern is making sure the short term pain doesn't result in a cashflow crisis before the long term gain appears. The trouble with the current model as I see it is that it's not just a question of finances but also the very game itself. From a financial perspective letting people have a go for free incurs a cost, but from a game viability perspective an influx of people who aren't interested in how the game is supposed to be played and only care about a bit of amusement on a Right Here Right Now basis aren't going to show any interest in spending any time to re-hide the cache, take their time looking to avoid trashing the area, trade fairly, or some combination.

 

Truth be told part of the reason my caching activity slowed so massively was because of a few really good caches I found in Pennsylvania. Two in particular come to mind, where I had to climb a feature known as "The 1000 Steps" (for reasons you can probably imagine), then hike a mile or two along trails (which took in some more steps), then climb a scree slope and hunt the cache. I was the first to find, over 3000 miles from home and a week after it was published. After a find like that I really couldn't be bothered with micros behind billboards and drove literally past half a dozen caches on the way back to where I was staying. Then I came back to England and really had very little interest in endlessly hunting soggy film pots behind posts and keysafes stuck to the back of signs.

 

So the real question isn't so much whether this or that individual is committed to geocaching, and maybe isn't even so much a question of whether users of the intro app are inherently and universally detrimental to the sport. I'd say the biggest question is how to encourage people to spend more time considering their hides, even if that means a big push to discourage people to place hides at all.

 

Personally I reckon a "quality" hide is one where I can walk away from the area without finding the cache but still glad I went. When I hunted Pachydermophobia at the top of the 1000 steps I really thought I was going to have to log a DNF (it was D3/T4.5, so not one that you'd expect to lay hands on right away) and despite the sense of disappointment at not finding the cache (especially since it looked like FTF was still available) I had enjoyed the climb and the hike enough that not finding the cache was a disappointment, rather than rendering the entire outing pointless. When the most enthusiasm I can muster having found a cache is something like "well another one ticked off" or "another smiley" it leaves me wondering why I bother.

 

Truth be told, having started caching some nine years ago it's an activity that I fundamentally enjoy enough to maintain a premium membership, at least for now. Even though I don't cache anywhere near as much as I used to, when I get out of town it's something I enjoy. To be honest, if I was just discovering geocaching for the first time, I don't know that I'd stick with it because finding film pots behind signs really doesn't have much appeal. It's really quite easy to see how people would download a free app, search for nearby geocaches, find a couple of soggy film pots, and delete the app wondering why anyone bothers with this game.

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I'd say the biggest question is how to encourage people to spend more time considering their hides, even if that means a big push to discourage people to place hides at all.

 

This ^^^

 

The ease of smartphone use has increased the number of poor quality hides and, in my experience, a lot more caches that seem to be placed by kids who don't have a good sense of what quality caching is and very little investment in the game.

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I can see the point of GS putting out the free app to lure in more customers. However, i think that we cache owners should have some say on whether or not we want free app users to look for our caches or not. Because we're the ones who put money and time into our hides, i believe we ought to have the option to hide them from view of the free app. I don't wish to make my caches PMO. Not even sure it could be implemented but it would be nice if we could have a check box on the cache submission form that says something like, "hide cache coordinates from view of free app users".

 

+1

 

This. Or limit free apps to "Family Friendly" (green) type caches only. The FF option would at least give other cachers an opportunity to quickly identify a cache where they would NOT want to leave a trackable.

 

I've only been in this game for a few months, but it seems obvious to me that if you leave trackables (especially pretty geocoins) amongst toys, you can pretty much guarantee the trackables will go missing.

 

In my area of NJ there seems to be plenty of these type of caches around, so we wouldn't have to burden COs to change all their caches to PMO or have them update their cache page to indicate whether they should be viewable by free apps or not.

 

Seems like a balanced solution to the issue. And no CO intervention would be necessary.

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Can non-members see coordinates on the website? Why then should Intro App users be given that ability?

 

No they can't. Good point.

This is the first, most foundational issue with the Apps vs. "standard" (or "old school) way of geocaching.

 

I hope that Groundspeak gets this part taken care of first, and then begins to address the other concerns about the Intro and other apps.

 

I realized that the issue here isn't that the Intro App "should" have directions and reference to learn more about the game, but that it can be created so that it does.

 

There is an opportunity to use the apps as both a tool to play the game, and a tool to learn the "right way" to play, and this opportunity is ripe for the picking. If Groundspeak wants to be on the cutting edge of their own game, they'd be considering how the thousands of "hit it and quit it" app users might become better informed on how to play Groundspeak's game if their app just required email confirmation, a verified account with geocaching.com, and some clearer access to helpful hints and guidelines.

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I wish there was more mentoring of people like me who are new. I have a mentor and he has explained a lot and has helped me place and maintain my caches and other important things. Maybe instead of complaining, help them to learn. This may avoid issues regardless of which app or method they use.

 

Which brings us full circle. Without a validated email address, I have no way to reach out to the cacher that posted a DNF/cache is missing log on my friend's cache the other day, which I could see was in place while waiting for the traffic signal to change, the next day.

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I wish there was more mentoring of people like me who are new. I have a mentor and he has explained a lot and has helped me place and maintain my caches and other important things. Maybe instead of complaining, help them to learn. This may avoid issues regardless of which app or method they use.

I agree, mentoring would help.

- Problem is you can't reach many of these folks without a valid email.

Our local group has new members join, go over to the facebook page and never return to the site again.

Can't help people who don't want anything to do with you...

 

You beat me to it :)

 

I can honestly say that attempts I've made in the past to contact newbies and welcome them to the game have been almost without exception a complete waste of time :(

 

Whenever one of our caches is someone's first find I've made a point of sending them a friendly email, thanking them for the find/log and pointing them in the direction of local forums / events.

 

Responses have ranged from them completely ignoring the communication to - in the case of trying to offer guidance to a newbie who had buried their first cache hide - angry emails accusing me of being a stalker!

 

So hopefully you'll forgive my slight reticence at reaching out to new players - other than perhaps when meeting newbies at organised events.

 

I still think though that a validated email address should be an essential prerequisite to anyone gaining access to our cache details.

 

It's sad that you live in a area full of butt-heads. I have never had a bad experience reaching out to a new member, five of which are now valued members of our community.

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