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niraD

Stop automatically disabling DNFed caches

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On the one hand, Groundspeak encourages us to log DNFs:

http://blog.geocaching.com/2014/03/dnf-for-the-good-of-all-humanity/

 

I think this is a good thing.

 

On the other hand, at least some volunteer reviewers appear to be automatically disabling caches after a certain number of DNFs:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=322584&st=0&p=5387050entry5387050

 

I think this is a bad thing. More specifically, as the forum post above demonstrates, this automatic disabling of DNFed caches discourages experienced geocachers from posting DNF logs unless they are certain that the cache is missing. As such, it subverts Groundspeak's stated desire to encourage the use of DNF logs as a communication tool.

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In order to "stop automatically disabling DNFed caches", there would need to be "automatic disabling of DNFed caches taking place. Somewhere. Really.

 

My expectation is that no such auto disabling exists, in spite of a single statement by someone in these forums - who may have seen a reviewer disable a cache, but unlikely saw it correctly, as some sort of automated action based on X number of DNFs, without regard to cache history, or difficulty.

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I've had caches either disabled or with a reviewer just posting a note after a lot of DNF's. But on the other hand I've seen caches where there's been a ton of DNF's and nothing. I understand on the low difficulty caches, but the high ones- it's hard to find so of course there's going to be more DNF's. But at least they could be consistent.

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Many reviewers are dogs. Expectations for consistency should be adjusted accordingly.

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Many reviewers are dogs. Expectations for consistency should be adjusted accordingly.

 

:laughing:

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I've had caches either disabled or with a reviewer just posting a note after a lot of DNF's. But on the other hand I've seen caches where there's been a ton of DNF's and nothing. I understand on the low difficulty caches, but the high ones- it's hard to find so of course there's going to be more DNF's. But at least they could be consistent.

 

If there's a specific problem it may be that someone has contacted the reviewer privately to let them know about it, rather than post an NA log that might draw the wrath of the self-appointed cache police.

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I've had caches either disabled or with a reviewer just posting a note after a lot of DNF's. But on the other hand I've seen caches where there's been a ton of DNF's and nothing. I understand on the low difficulty caches, but the high ones- it's hard to find so of course there's going to be more DNF's. But at least they could be consistent.

 

If there's a specific problem it may be that someone has contacted the reviewer privately to let them know about it, rather than post an NA log that might draw the wrath of the self-appointed cache police.

Reviewers are NOT Self-appointed. They are Recommended by the community to uphold the Standards set forth By the community.

 

If a cache recieves more than 2 DNFs in a row, then the 3rd Should be a Mx Request. If the Same cache recieves 2 more, then the cache Shold be Disabled... If it is Disabled with NO intervention/ note by the CO, then a Archive request should be sent... Another Month goes by and the Reviewer Archives the cache to prevent the cache from being attempted. In other words: DNF, DNF, MX, DNF, DNF, DISABLED, ARCHIVED. Do realize that a FIND, or Owner Mx would Reset the cycle.

 

The ONLY Exception is IF the CO is no longer Active, AND the cache is Older than 6 years. IF that is the case, then the reviewer should try to contact a cacher that is Local to there that HAS found the cache, and ask IF they would like to Adopt this Older cache, and post a note on the page to see IF someone wants to adopt...

Edited by eagsc7

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I've had caches either disabled or with a reviewer just posting a note after a lot of DNF's. But on the other hand I've seen caches where there's been a ton of DNF's and nothing. I understand on the low difficulty caches, but the high ones- it's hard to find so of course there's going to be more DNF's. But at least they could be consistent.

 

If there's a specific problem it may be that someone has contacted the reviewer privately to let them know about it, rather than post an NA log that might draw the wrath of the self-appointed cache police.

Reviewers are NOT Self-appointed. They are Recommended by the community to uphold the Standards set forth By the community.

 

If a cache recieves more than 2 DNFs in a row, then the 3rd Should be a Mx Request. If the Same cache recieves 2 more, then the cache Shold be Disabled... If it is Disabled with NO intervention/ note by the CO, then a Archive request should be sent... Another Month goes by and the Reviewer Archives the cache to prevent the cache from being attempted. In other words: DNF, DNF, MX, DNF, DNF, DISABLED, ARCHIVED. Do realize that a FIND, or Owner Mx would Reset the cycle.

 

The ONLY Exception is IF the CO is no longer Active, AND the cache is Older than 6 years. IF that is the case, then the reviewer should try to contact a cacher that is Local to there that HAS found the cache, and ask IF they would like to Adopt this Older cache, and post a note on the page to see IF someone wants to adopt...

Curious what the age of the inactive owner's hide has to do with it.

I like the current policy, that the CO must start the adoption process.

If the spot was that great, after the NA and archive, there should be a few who'd like to place there.

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If a cache recieves more than 2 DNFs in a row, then the 3rd Should be a Mx Request. If the Same cache recieves 2 more, then the cache Shold be Disabled... If it is Disabled with NO intervention/ note by the CO, then a Archive request should be sent... Another Month goes by and the Reviewer Archives the cache to prevent the cache from being attempted. In other words: DNF, DNF, MX, DNF, DNF, DISABLED, ARCHIVED. Do realize that a FIND, or Owner Mx would Reset the cycle.

And if the cache is truly a 5 star difficulty, and the hunters are newbies or those who simply don't take the time to hunt properly?

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Then the Owner would be able to reset the count by Posting a Owner Mx. Something as simple as "It is still there", AND the Reviewer in his Archival Review would be able to see that it is a 5star cache and that the cachers are newbs as well.

 

With Munzees, 2 Did not find, or Mx logs Automatically Disables the cache.

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If a cache recieves more than 2 DNFs in a row, then the 3rd Should be a Mx Request. If the Same cache recieves 2 more, then the cache Shold be Disabled... If it is Disabled with NO intervention/ note by the CO, then a Archive request should be sent... Another Month goes by and the Reviewer Archives the cache to prevent the cache from being attempted. In other words: DNF, DNF, MX, DNF, DNF, DISABLED, ARCHIVED. Do realize that a FIND, or Owner Mx would Reset the cycle.

While generally a fine way to look at things, each case is different and may require different ordering and numbers.

 

But the important thing to me is the expectation that these steps be driven by other cachers, not by reviewers. I'm not sure whether that's what eagsc7 is thinking, but since the thread is about reviewers taking unilateral action, I want to be clear about who should be counting the DNFs and filing the needs maintenance and asking for archival when the time's right. It's not a crime for a reviewer to take action without being asked, but it's the community's job to police problems, not the reviewer's.

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I've had caches either disabled or with a reviewer just posting a note after a lot of DNF's. But on the other hand I've seen caches where there's been a ton of DNF's and nothing. I understand on the low difficulty caches, but the high ones- it's hard to find so of course there's going to be more DNF's. But at least they could be consistent.

 

If there's a specific problem it may be that someone has contacted the reviewer privately to let them know about it, rather than post an NA log that might draw the wrath of the self-appointed cache police.

Reviewers are NOT Self-appointed. They are Recommended by the community to uphold the Standards set forth By the community.

 

If a cache recieves more than 2 DNFs in a row, then the 3rd Should be a Mx Request. If the Same cache recieves 2 more, then the cache Shold be Disabled... If it is Disabled with NO intervention/ note by the CO, then a Archive request should be sent... Another Month goes by and the Reviewer Archives the cache to prevent the cache from being attempted. In other words: DNF, DNF, MX, DNF, DNF, DISABLED, ARCHIVED. Do realize that a FIND, or Owner Mx would Reset the cycle.

 

The ONLY Exception is IF the CO is no longer Active, AND the cache is Older than 6 years. IF that is the case, then the reviewer should try to contact a cacher that is Local to there that HAS found the cache, and ask IF they would like to Adopt this Older cache, and post a note on the page to see IF someone wants to adopt...

 

Team Tisri did not say reviewers were self-appointed. TT was referring to cachers that appoint themselves as cache police (not the same thing).

 

You say you don't want automatic actions by a reviewer, but then you go on to say what should and should not happen based solely on DNF counts and that GS should get involved under conditions you state. What gives you the insight to determine this that a reviewer does not have?

 

Of course, this is all based on your original, I believe faulty, premise that this disablements are somehow automatic. While reviewers have various tools at their disposal, they do not, as far as I know, have any automated process for dealing with cache issues. They are handled on a case-by-case basis as they are informed of issues by emails, NA logs, or when they do their own maintenance check sweeps. Perhaps a reviewer could correct or verify this for us.

 

It is a now long-standing policy, and rightly so, that Groundspeak does not initiate adoptions nor do they forcibly adopt caches to others. What may be an inactive and, seemingly, defunct cache on GC.com may be a modified cache listing on another site. This leaves, ultimately, archival as the only option for a dead GC.com listing by an inactive CO. This, in turn, opens the area for a GC.com-active cacher to hide a new cache there if they wish. The key here is that GC.com maintains the listing, NOT the cache.

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I've had caches either disabled or with a reviewer just posting a note after a lot of DNF's. But on the other hand I've seen caches where there's been a ton of DNF's and nothing. I understand on the low difficulty caches, but the high ones- it's hard to find so of course there's going to be more DNF's. But at least they could be consistent.

 

If there's a specific problem it may be that someone has contacted the reviewer privately to let them know about it, rather than post an NA log that might draw the wrath of the self-appointed cache police.

Reviewers are NOT Self-appointed. They are Recommended by the community to uphold the Standards set forth By the community.

 

Read it again. I never said the reviewers are self-appointed, I said some people don't post NA logs that might draw the wrath of the self-appointed cache police. Note that - the self-appointed ones - the ones who take it upon themselves to gripe at anyone for daring to suggest that a cache is less than perfect. Hence they contact the reviewer privately.

 

If a cache recieves more than 2 DNFs in a row, then the 3rd Should be a Mx Request. If the Same cache recieves 2 more, then the cache Shold be Disabled... If it is Disabled with NO intervention/ note by the CO, then a Archive request should be sent... Another Month goes by and the Reviewer Archives the cache to prevent the cache from being attempted. In other words: DNF, DNF, MX, DNF, DNF, DISABLED, ARCHIVED. Do realize that a FIND, or Owner Mx would Reset the cycle.

 

And this simply isn't useful as a universal rule. If a cache is rated 1/1 and endless people can't find it, perhaps there's a problem. If a group of three people start to look but are distracted by muggles and they all log DNF, maybe there's nothing wrong with the cache but they went at a bad time. Should that cache be disabled automatically just because a few people decided not to look? What about a cache that's rated 5/5 if people starting writing DNF logs saying they could clearly see it 100 feet up the tree but decided not to attempt the climb - should that be disabled?

 

There's also the issue that if a cache has a few DNFs on it, it's more likely that people will only undertake a cursory search because they figure it may not be there so won't spend time hunting in detail. Throw in the way some people log DNF even if they barely attempted to find it and the whole idea of a one-size-fits-all approach of logging NM after a prescribed number of DNF logs looks increasingly silly.

 

The ONLY Exception is IF the CO is no longer Active, AND the cache is Older than 6 years. IF that is the case, then the reviewer should try to contact a cacher that is Local to there that HAS found the cache, and ask IF they would like to Adopt this Older cache, and post a note on the page to see IF someone wants to adopt...

 

... which will never happen because the cache remains the property of the inactive owner and it's not for the reviewer to decide that someone else can adopt it.

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But the important thing to me is the expectation that these steps be driven by other cachers, not by reviewers.
Exactly.

 

For some caches, 3 DNFs in a row are a clear sign that the cache is missing. For others, dozens of DNFs in a row are business as usual. Even on the same cache, not all DNFs are equal.

 

A mindless zero-tolerance policy for automatically disabling caches after a given number of DNFs is wrong. Frankly, it doesn't matter what the given number is, because any number you choose will be inappropriate for some caches.

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One problem is that all DNFs are not equal.

 

Some folk will post a DNF any time they cannot find a cache, regardless of the reason. If I get to GZ and find a group of muggles sitting on GZ so I can't search, I'll post a note, not a DNF. If I can't climb the tree/cliff to make a proper search, I'll post a note.

 

To me, a DNF should mean "I searched but could not find it" not "I was unable to search properly".

 

If all DNFs meant "failure to find" it would be a truer history of the cache and people would have a more accurate expectation of the state of the cache.

 

Even worse than TFTC found logs are terse DNF logs which don't give any idea of why it wasn't found.

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One problem is that all DNFs are not equal.

Correct. You have to read a DNF to know what it's telling you about the state of the cache.

 

Even worse than TFTC found logs are terse DNF logs which don't give any idea of why it wasn't found.

I actually don't see DNF logs that aren't reasonably clear. My experience suggests that anyone too lazy to explain why they DNF'd is going to be too lazy to post a DNF to begin with.

 

The worst for me are the "Found It" logs with text "Did not find". I always seem to run into those after I've walked out of my way because I "knew" the cache was good based on the fact that the last log was a find. Then when I get to GZ, I actually read the last log and discover my mistake.

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If a cache recieves more than 2 DNFs in a row, then the 3rd Should be a Mx Request. If the Same cache recieves 2 more, then the cache Shold be Disabled... If it is Disabled with NO intervention/ note by the CO, then a Archive request should be sent... Another Month goes by and the Reviewer Archives the cache to prevent the cache from being attempted. In other words: DNF, DNF, MX, DNF, DNF, DISABLED, ARCHIVED. Do realize that a FIND, or Owner Mx would Reset the cycle.

While generally a fine way to look at things, each case is different and may require different ordering and numbers.

 

But the important thing to me is the expectation that these steps be driven by other cachers, not by reviewers. I'm not sure whether that's what eagsc7 is thinking, but since the thread is about reviewers taking unilateral action, I want to be clear about who should be counting the DNFs and filing the needs maintenance and asking for archival when the time's right. It's not a crime for a reviewer to take action without being asked, but it's the community's job to police problems, not the reviewer's.

 

Very good point. I have a number of difficult caches. Although I keep an eye on the logs and reply as necessary, I also don't have a lot of geocaches. Some cachers have a large number of difficult caches. The reviewers should not be autodisabling based on a rigid system as outlined by eagsc7 for difficult caches. That sounds like trouble. Why should a maintenance log be entered just because of 2 previous dnfs, and disabled after 5. What if those two dnfs are from inexperienced cachers or the geocache was hard to find. Maybe a group goes by looking and can't be bothered spending much time on the cache because they are on a numbers run. You could get a whole chunk of dnfs all at once. Every case is different. Reviewers shouldn't be disabling caches after 5 dnfs as a blanket rule. That should largely be up to the cache owner to decide.

Edited by M. Hawkins

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Reviewers shouldn't be disabling caches after 5 dnfs as a blanket rule. That should largely be up to the cache owner to decide.

Not 5, not 6, not any number. The threshold will differ from cache to cache.

 

Around here, reviewers don't go looking for DNFed caches. They are there to review caches, not to go policing them post-release unless asked.

 

If a cache has enough DNFs and a player feels that action is required, a Needs Maintenance is likely appropriate. The CO can then disable it or perform maintenance. If s/he does neither, then a Needs Archived is the next appropriate action, at which point the reviewer is called in to assist.

 

None of this is the responsibility of the reviewer to initiate.

Edited by EngPhil

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Even worse than TFTC found logs are terse DNF logs which don't give any idea of why it wasn't found.

I actually don't see DNF logs that aren't reasonably clear. My experience suggests that anyone too lazy to explain why they DNF'd is going to be too lazy to post a DNF to begin with.

 

There are many reasons other than laziness for not explaining why the cache was a DNF. I am not "too lazy to post a DNF to begin with," but my logs usually don't say more than "Didn't find this one," frequently because I have no idea why I couldn't find it. If I knew why I didn't find it--because I didn't look in the right place--maybe I would have found it. At least I post DNFs and not Found Its that say "I couldn't find this one, so it was obviously missing and I left a replacement."

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To all:

 

Please DO record your DNFs. It doesn't matter that most of the time, it's probably just you having a bad caching karma day. When, for example, your misadventure is because of an inability to access the site (construction, new fences, etc.) it's important that the owner and future finders know that the problem exists. A string of DNFs on an otherwise 'easy' cache is a flag for the owner that something may be amiss.

 

To NanCycle:

 

When possible, for the reasons above and more, please DO record a reason for your DNFs if there's one that's worth noting. I get down your way periodically, and will be grateful for them!

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To all:

 

Please DO record your DNFs. It doesn't matter that most of the time, it's probably just you having a bad caching karma day. When, for example, your misadventure is because of an inability to access the site (construction, new fences, etc.) it's important that the owner and future finders know that the problem exists. A string of DNFs on an otherwise 'easy' cache is a flag for the owner that something may be amiss.

 

To NanCycle:

 

When possible, for the reasons above and more, please DO record a reason for your DNFs if there's one that's worth noting. I get down your way periodically, and will be grateful for them!

 

When it is one like this, I'll say so:

 

Really, did not search, because access to the area is blocked due to construction.

 

The CO of that cache is not disabling it because they "Don't want to deal with the reviewer wanting to archive a perfectly good cache."

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That's bogus. The reviewer who handles Colorado isn't all that impatient, or when he is, he's good at accepting explanations. Good grief -- look at the disaster we had a year ago last September. He jumped on a few of them too early, but took the explanation of the COs without issue.

 

Anyway, thanks for the DNFs. I know most COs pay attention to them -- I know I certainly pay attention to them before going out on a hunt!

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That's bogus. The reviewer who handles Colorado isn't all that impatient, or when he is, he's good at accepting explanations. Good grief -- look at the disaster we had a year ago last September. He jumped on a few of them too early, but took the explanation of the COs without issue.

 

Anyway, thanks for the DNFs. I know most COs pay attention to them -- I know I certainly pay attention to them before going out on a hunt!

 

I have a cache that's in the same area as that one, also inaccessible due to the construction; mine is disabled. I have no qualms about the reviewer wanting to archive it.

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If there is a threshold for disabling the cache after X DNF's in my area, it must be very high. This cache has 216 consecutive DNF's over 2 years. FTF is still up for grabs BTW

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4MZ8P_do-you-like-gardening

Why no reviewer intervention? Because there's nothing to suggest the cache is not there (in fact, the CO has checked and confirmed at least once or twice that the cache is in fact still in place, coordinates are good, etc).

There has been a lot of talk about this lately, but personally I don't see the big deal. Even if the cache gets disabled, the CO simply needs to post a note, post an Owner Maintenance log, basically show they are still involved. I've never seen a cache get disabled and then archived for any reason other than CO abandonment (sometimes even with the CO still active in finding and placing caches) - of course not including issues related to placement restrictions etc. Even if the cache does get archived, it can always be unarchived assuming no new cache is published in the area.

Thank-you volunteer reviewers for helping to keep the maps clear of missing and abandoned caches. I know I greatly dislike (most of the time) going somewhere to find a cache only to discover it is missing and abandoned.

Edited by Bon Echo

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If there is a threshold for disabling the cache after X DNF's in my area, it must be very high. This cache has 216 consecutive DNF's over 2 years. FTF is still up for grabs BTW

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4MZ8P_do-you-like-gardening

Why no reviewer intervention? Because there's nothing to suggest the cache is not there (in fact, the CO has checked and confirmed at least once or twice that the cache is in fact still in place, coordinates are good, etc).

'Course the five in difficulty doesn't have anything to do with it... :rolleyes:

 

I do kinda agree with everything else in that post though.

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If there is a threshold for disabling the cache after X DNF's in my area, it must be very high. This cache has 216 consecutive DNF's over 2 years. FTF is still up for grabs BTW http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4MZ8P_do-you-like-gardening

Why no reviewer intervention? Because there's nothing to suggest the cache is not there (in fact, the CO has checked and confirmed at least once or twice that the cache is in fact still in place, coordinates are good, etc).

'Course the five in difficulty doesn't have anything to do with it... :rolleyes:

 

I do kinda agree with everything else in that post though.

 

I wonder if the fact that half of the DNF's are from the same cacher (MN) might also be a factor. That is some definite DNF-Pride.

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Around here, reviewers don't go looking for DNFed caches. They are there to review caches, not to go policing them post-release unless asked.

Apparently, they may soon... after a lengthy discussion with one of our local reviewers, it was relayed to me that this is now encourage from the head honchos. "Groundspeak has given reviewers direction to "reap" caches within our review territories that appear to be in need of maintenance or archival." was the way he worded it.

 

If a cache has enough DNFs and a player feels that action is required, a Needs Maintenance is likely appropriate. The CO can then disable it or perform maintenance. If s/he does neither, then a Needs Archived is the next appropriate action, at which point the reviewer is called in to assist.

 

None of this is the responsibility of the reviewer to initiate.

My thoughts exactly. If an apparently "abandoned" cache is bothering you, then as a geocacher you can log a "Needs Maintenance" or a "Needs Archived" if you feel it's necessary. But it's certainly not within the role of a reviewer to go actively seeking caches to disable.

 

Well... at least it wasn't.

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Around here, reviewers don't go looking for DNFed caches. They are there to review caches, not to go policing them post-release unless asked.

Apparently, they may soon... after a lengthy discussion with one of our local reviewers, it was relayed to me that this is now encourage from the head honchos. "Groundspeak has given reviewers direction to "reap" caches within our review territories that appear to be in need of maintenance or archival." was the way he worded it.

 

If a cache has enough DNFs and a player feels that action is required, a Needs Maintenance is likely appropriate. The CO can then disable it or perform maintenance. If s/he does neither, then a Needs Archived is the next appropriate action, at which point the reviewer is called in to assist.

 

None of this is the responsibility of the reviewer to initiate.

My thoughts exactly. If an apparently "abandoned" cache is bothering you, then as a geocacher you can log a "Needs Maintenance" or a "Needs Archived" if you feel it's necessary. But it's certainly not within the role of a reviewer to go actively seeking caches to disable.

 

Well... at least it wasn't.

 

Well if that be true.. Could it be GS way of clearing the gamefield of caches? If they clear the playing field enough they will artificially create voids that will need to be filled. This will thus, potentiality, force the increase of cache placements since they were in decline in 2014? They are, after all, in the business of making money. If people aren't placing chaches and drawing more business then they could be loosing coin and therefore wanting to figure out what they need to do to keep the cash flow coming in.

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Apparently, they may soon... after a lengthy discussion with one of our local reviewers, it was relayed to me that this is now encourage from the head honchos. "Groundspeak has given reviewers direction to "reap" caches within our review territories that appear to be in need of maintenance or archival." was the way he worded it.

'Appearance' is definitely in the eye of the beholder, and those on site looking for the cache should be doing the 'beholding'. Unless the content (not just the presence) of DNF logs in conjunection with the D/T rating specifically indicate an issue (some cachers suggest problems in their DNF logs instead of adding a NM log), these caches should be left alone.

 

Even if half a dozen finders with 20 finds log DNFs and say a D1.5 is gone, I wouldn't think a sensible reviewer would pay much attention to that. Half a dozen finders with 1000+ caches that can't find a 1.0, that's another story. Still, ONE of them should have considered a NM log.

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That's why caches are looked at individually by reviewers, rather than "automatically disabling DNFed caches" as the topic title suggests.

 

Yes, there are ways to filter the database to identify caches meriting attention. GSAK's "cache cop" macro is a good example.

 

Yes, there is a need in some areas for a reviewer to step in, because nobody is logging "Needs Archived."

 

The goal is to increase the average quality of the cache experience. ("Quality" meaning there's a container and dry log there, not that every cache is an ammo box at the end of a rainbow.)

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Maybe cache placement should be like a lease you renew every year and if you don't renew it the cache gets archived.

Edited by Roman!

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Maybe cache placement should be like a lease you renew every year and if you don't renew it the cache gets archived.

Around here the township parks have adopted a 3 year max on a cache on the township properties then it needs to be archived...

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Apparently, they may soon... after a lengthy discussion with one of our local reviewers, it was relayed to me that this is now encourage from the head honchos. "Groundspeak has given reviewers direction to "reap" caches within our review territories that appear to be in need of maintenance or archival." was the way he worded it.

I'm not sure what wording has been handed down from the Lilypad, but based on what you quote, I would interpret "in need of maintenance or archival" as "has needs maintenance" or "has needs archived", NOT "has a buncha DNFs".

 

I'd certainly support a push for greater scrutiny on caches that have long-term Needs Maintenance attributes, but not for DNFs. Let those on the ground make that call, and log NM/NA as appropriate.

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Apparently, they may soon... after a lengthy discussion with one of our local reviewers, it was relayed to me that this is now encourage from the head honchos. "Groundspeak has given reviewers direction to "reap" caches within our review territories that appear to be in need of maintenance or archival." was the way he worded it.

I'm not sure what wording has been handed down from the Lilypad, but based on what you quote, I would interpret "in need of maintenance or archival" as "has needs maintenance" or "has needs archived", NOT "has a buncha DNFs".

 

I'd certainly support a push for greater scrutiny on caches that have long-term Needs Maintenance attributes, but not for DNFs. Let those on the ground make that call, and log NM/NA as appropriate.

A cache with a long string of DNFs, as long as it isn't a high-difficulty cache and depending on the content of the DNF logs, would most likely be "in need of maintenance or archival". Our local reviewers already stay on top of problem caches, so this new guidance really won't change anything in this region. It will be good to have this applied to other areas that we might travel to, though. I, for one, applaud Groundspeak for issuing this guidance to reviewers.

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A cache with a long string of DNFs, as long as it isn't a high-difficulty cache and depending on the content of the DNF logs, would most likely be "in need of maintenance or archival".

True, but I would hope that if it got to that stage, a NM would be logged to draw the CO's (and ultimately the reviewer's) attention to it.

 

DNFs are a normal state of play. NM and NA are the exceptions that need handling, and it's up to the players at GZ to flag them.

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Maybe cache placement should be like a lease you renew every year and if you don't renew it the cache gets archived.

A terrible idea in general, but the Ohio Historical Society makes you renew the permits they issue for geocaches on their property every year, and insists that they're inspected monthly.

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DNFs are a normal state of play. NM and NA are the exceptions that need handling, and it's up to the players at GZ to flag them.

Absolutely.

 

Yes, there is a need in some areas for a reviewer to step in, because nobody is logging "Needs Archived."

No, there's not. That's not their role. It's not up to a reviewer to decide that a cache needs disabling unless there's been a NM or NA logged. Occasionally, there are extenuating circumstances (placed on private property, mistaken for a bomb and blown up, ect.). But a string of DNFs is *NOT* extenuating circumstances.

 

There's a reason why those processes are in place, and they seem to have worked for the last 13 years or so.

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But those processes are NOT working in many areas, so Geocaching HQ empowered the reviewers to step in and help with abandoned/ unmaintained caches.

 

All of the forum threads complaining that "Geocaching.com doesn't care about quality" are hereby incorporated into this thread by this reference, as if fully set forth herein.

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Yes, there is a need in some areas for a reviewer to step in, because nobody is logging "Needs Archived."

No, there's not. That's not their role. It's not up to a reviewer to decide that a cache needs disabling unless there's been a NM or NA logged. Occasionally, there are extenuating circumstances (placed on private property, mistaken for a bomb and blown up, ect.). But a string of DNFs is *NOT* extenuating circumstances.

 

There's a reason why those processes are in place, and they seem to have worked for the last 13 years or so.

 

Reviewer's role is defined by Geocaching.com. It includes disabling or archiving caches, per reviewer's judgement.

Re "worked for the last 13 years", Keystone has been reviewing for the most of that. I'm sure he can tell when a cache ought to disabled, with or without NM or NA logs.

 

Also, reviewers are players too. This morning, I pulled a PQ of all caches near an event I'm going to attend. Opened it, took a look. Logged out of my player account, and into my reviewer account and disabled 4 of them, low difficulty caches with long strings of DNFs. I nearly jumped straight to archive on a couple by CO's I recognize as rarely doing maintenance.

 

True, but I would hope that if it got to that stage, a NM would be logged to draw the CO's (and ultimately the reviewer's) attention to it.

NM logs are not forwarded to reviewers, just wanted to be sure that's understood. However, it's certainly easier to discover maintenance issues if they're in an NM log, rather than in the text of other logs.

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There's a reason why those processes are in place, and they seem to have worked for the last 13 years or so.

 

Increasingly the process does not work. It seems more and more people are reluctant to post NMs and NAs.

 

As a finder I find it frustrating to take a vacation day, drive an hour or more to visit a new town and spend half my vacation day not finding caches. Seemed to be the caching culture of a city I visited last summer. Active cache owners weren't keen on maintaining their caches. And the rest were fly-by-nighter cache owners. Some highschool kid saturated a good section of the city, stopped caching about a month later, and some of his classmates thought it would be a lark to steal his caches. Most of those caches were active with many DNFs and no response from the CO in over a year. Some of the active owners posted that they'd get around to visiting their cache but never did. One cache owner (teenager) got pissed off with me when I posted an NM, then an NA a month later. But he did go out and replace the missing container a couple of weeks after the NA.

 

There are just not enough people willing to post NMs and NAs.

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Increasingly the process does not work. It seems more and more people are reluctant to post NMs and NAs.

 

As a finder I find it frustrating to take a vacation day, drive an hour or more to visit a new town and spend half my vacation day not finding caches. Seemed to be the caching culture of a city I visited last summer. Active cache owners weren't keen on maintaining their caches. And the rest were fly-by-nighter cache owners. Some highschool kid saturated a good section of the city, stopped caching about a month later, and some of his classmates thought it would be a lark to steal his caches. Most of those caches were active with many DNFs and no response from the CO in over a year. Some of the active owners posted that they'd get around to visiting their cache but never did. One cache owner (teenager) got pissed off with me when I posted an NM, then an NA a month later. But he did go out and replace the missing container a couple of weeks after the NA.

 

There are just not enough people willing to post NMs and NAs.

 

Hmm, wonder if we visited the same city? I spent a couple of weeks working out of town last fall. I brought my bike and was able to get out caching in the evening a few times. This also happened to be the city I grew up in. One evening I went for a nice long ride, only to discover that the majority of caches I went looking for had been missing for months, all with multiple DNFs but only a few with NM logs. These were all easy caches, very few DNF logs and then suddenly nothing but DNFs. Multiple cache owners but it seems that they are all friends. Anyway, there was a serious lack of cache maintenance happening. So I spent the rest of the evening in my hotel room posting NM and NA logs.

 

My NA/NM logs triggered three actions/responses. First was the nasty email from one of the cache owners asking what my problem is with this city and stating that I probably just want the locations for my own cache, and "explaining" that this wasn't even caching season :huh: (did I mention that I used a bike to travel to these caches? Geocaching season?). Then there was the action by a local reviewer to disable all of the caches that I flagged with a NA (some I just used a NM since to me that was more appropriate, and others I just posted a DNF). But most importantly, there was a response by some of the CO's, and at least a few long-neglected caches were repaired and put back into play. That's the goal! But following on what L0ne.R has posted, I was also quite frustrated because I used the hour or two that I had going after a bunch of neglected caches, when I could have used that time heading in a different direction and (hopefully) finding well-maintained caches.

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All of the forum threads complaining that "Geocaching.com doesn't care about quality" are hereby incorporated into this thread by this reference, as if fully set forth herein.

OK, as long as we're including the posts in those "geocaching.com doesn't care about quality" threads that defend the reviewers and the system in general. And let's also remember all posts pointing out that the standards of the local community are the cause of poor quality, all posts discouraging changes that push the bad guy role onto reviewers, as well as any posts arguing against centralizing authority in geocaching.

 

Also, reviewers are players too. This morning, I pulled a PQ of all caches near an event I'm going to attend. Opened it, took a look. Logged out of my player account, and into my reviewer account and disabled 4 of them, low difficulty caches with long strings of DNFs. I nearly jumped straight to archive on a couple by CO's I recognize as rarely doing maintenance.

I, for one, am definitely not telling reviewers they can't act unilaterally when they encounter problems when they are geocaching. They are, after all, members of the local community. I'm arguing against standards that push the reviewer role towards being a replacement for local involvement in cache maintenance. It's one thing to say that a particular community is failing to post the appropriate NAs, so reviewers must step in as an exceptional case, but it's another thing to make it a policy that reviewers should scan around for DNFs and take action when there's no evidence that the local community is asleep at the switch.

 

I wouldn't be worried at all if the exceptional nature of such action was explicitly mentioned in the reviewers' logs so as to underscore that the reviewer was taking this action only because the local community hasn't been doing their part. But instead, the examples I've looked at are written as if this is business as usual, and that's just going to encourage seekers to think that posting NAs isn't their responsibility and, consequently, encourage COs to see NAs as unwelcome intrusions.

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Of interest... I recently had our local reviewer disable a night cache when I was unable to respond quickly enough to his concerns over too many DNFs. It was 'findable', just a bit more difficult at one stage than it started out. Whatever - a good excuse to dust off a couple of tacks and to have a look at the final. Still, it does make the point that this sort of activity occurs.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3HHPA_sbs-at-night-1?guid=f00ea50b-9468-4973-8c4b-ed1b887c54f3

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Increasingly the process does not work. It seems more and more people are reluctant to post NMs and NAs.

Why is that, I wonder?

 

If the policy becomes "string of DNFs is treated like a NM/NA", do you think that might have the effect of people becoming more reluctant to post DNFs?

 

If so, that's far, far worse.

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What I haven't yet sorted is the timing. The cache mentioned above is a pretty tough 2.0, and yet you see long strings of DNFs on 1.0/1.0 caches in this area, and the caches are not disabled.

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Increasingly the process does not work. It seems more and more people are reluctant to post NMs and NAs.

Why is that, I wonder?

 

If the policy becomes "string of DNFs is treated like a NM/NA", do you think that might have the effect of people becoming more reluctant to post DNFs?

 

If so, that's far, far worse.

 

Then the reviewer's job will get more complicated if more people hesitate to post NM/NAs and DNFs. They'll probably have to run fancier GSAK searches to ferret out the abandoned and missing caches.

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For reference, here's another recent change that may actually discourage geocachers from posting DNF logs. Apparently, Groundspeak is now sending automated "maintenance emails" to cache owners because (among other things) their caches have received DNF logs.

 

Help Center Article:

New Maintenance Emails from Geocaching HQ

 

Forum threads:

Geocache Needs Maintenance

"You cache needs maintenance"

Edited by niraD

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For reference, here's another recent change that may actually discourage geocachers from posting DNF logs. Apparently, Groundspeak is now sending automated "maintenance emails" to cache owners because (among other things) their caches have received DNF logs.

 

Help Center Article:

New Maintenance Emails from Geocaching HQ

 

Forum threads:

Geocache Needs Maintenance

"You cache needs maintenance"

I'm not sure I'm following the logic here. How am I to know who will get a letter or not to know whether I should refrain from posting a DNF? And as a Finder, should I really care?

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I'm not sure I'm following the logic here. How am I to know who will get a letter or not to know whether I should refrain from posting a DNF? And as a Finder, should I really care?
The logic is that my DNF may become more than a simple record that I searched for the cache and did not find it. My DNF may trigger something else. My DNF may cause the cache to be disabled, or may cause an automatic "might need attention" email to be sent (which may lead to further action), or it may cause something else to happen.

 

If my DNF is going to trigger something else, then that will discourage me from logging a DNF if I don't want something else to happen in response to my DNF. If my DNF is going to trigger something else, then I'd better be sure the situation is worth triggering that something else before logging my DNF.

 

Maybe Groundspeak thinks a DNF log means only that you looked for a geocache and you couldn't find it. Maybe Groundspeak thinks a DNF log means something more, and means that something else should happen in response. Right now, I'm seeing conflicting messages.

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