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Moun10Bike

Release Notes - July 23, 2014

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Old subject lines had nice tags: [LOG], [GEO]. Made email processing quite nice.

 

Hate the new ones. Hate the html also.

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Put [LOG] back into the header. Bump the font size and change it to black. I know that the frog wants to change every thing to green, but every time you do so, you make it difficult for those us us that entertain disabilities.

 

Yes, please! For those of us with imperfect eyesight, contrast is good. Black text on a white background is best. I'm often frustrated trying to read long cache pages with their grey on white text; I usually end up copying and pasting it into a text editor so I can make it black.

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I actually like the new emails but I have no data limits and the way I have notification as set up has not been affected. Having said that I am concerned about these unannounced and unwanted changed GS keeps making while ignoring the changes that are over and over again being requested.

 

I am really curious about where you are getting your data that these changes you keep making are wanted?

Edited by Roman!

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I am really curious about where you are getting your data that these changes you keep making are wanted?

 

Generally when I see changes like this launched over and over, I figure the advice is coming from someone who really doesn't understand the demographic, system function or feels they're not earning their pay if there isn't a steady stream of change for the sake of it. Where I work we fight it like all heck.

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I am really curious about where you are getting your data that these changes you keep making are wanted?

 

Generally when I see changes like this launched over and over, I figure the advice is coming from someone who really doesn't understand the demographic, system function or feels they're not earning their pay if there isn't a steady stream of change for the sake of it. Where I work we fight it like all heck.

 

I visited a friend at his work one day and they were ripping up the flooring in the office even though it looked good to me, seems they had a yearly budget for renovations and if they didn't spend it they were scared their budget could be reduced so they used it.

 

Although I understood the thinking,it just seemed completely idiotic to me, but then again I don't run a successful company.

Edited by Roman!

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If you could shorten

Watchlist Notification: Fire Me 18 Copalis (GC41P8C) has a new Found it log from chelse...

 

to

 

[LOG] Watchlist: Fire Me 18 Copalis (GC41P8C) Found by chelseywilson

 

There's a lot more room for actual information instead of filler words.

 

Better still, IMO:-

 

[LOG] chelseywilson found Fire Me 18 Copalis (GC41P8C)

 

A rare case where the most naturally worded presentation of the info is also the most concise.

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We can definitely re-assess the subject lines and content format based on feedback (only a fraction of which comes from the forums, by the way). Overall, though, the design team felt that most cachers preferred seeing the cache name called out first and foremost rather than the log owner name.

 

What's more important? What the design team thinks, or what your paying customers think? I'm really surprised that this company is viable. Does the term " Jumped the shark" even mean anything? Somebody at Headquarters needs to take on the nickname "Fonzie".

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thebruce0 makes a lot of good suggestions, so I just wanted to add a couple comments:

 

...and ideally the subject should not be very natural-language

This is one of the larger problems I see here: the idea that automated e-mail should use natural language. It's a common mistake. The fact is that we've all seen many of these messages, so we know how to parse them without the cues provided by sentence structure. In fact, when you say things like "on your bookmark list, To Do, has a new log!" instead of "bookmark list: To Do", you actually make it much harder to parse visually for the important information. Stick to "Bookmark list: To Do, Log: Found it".

 

Thirdly, with regards to images, I don't believe there are any significant images embedded in the emails - the geocaching logo and a few social icons.

While the design of the e-mail is OK, I think any images just waste bandwidth and screen space. I get many of these things every day. I don't need to see the geocaching.com banner every time. I just want the information.

 

A couple other points: "Happy geocaching, Geocaching HQ", in addition to being pointless fluff, is confusing: it makes the log look like it was written by Geocaching HQ instead of by the person filing the log.

 

And finally, "Oh, snap!" was old the first time I saw it, and by the fourth publication e-mails I read, it was moldy and stinking. Don't try to be cute: even if you somehow hit on something that really is genuinely cute, it will get old fast in a notification message that I see several copies of every day.

Edited by dprovan

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Finally, I worthwhile new feature.

 

Oh snap! A new geocache was just published!

 

Here are the details:

Name: Dad's Cache (GC574VY)

Geocache Type: Traditional Cache

Location: California, United States

Distance: 9.4mi W (15.1km W)

Created by: Galileo the cat

Published by: Nomex

 

This is long over due.

 

And that is great. Why couldn't they do that without destroying the rest of the Notification system?

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I agree with many of geocaching buddies... this change was a huge step back and it is not an improvement, but a complete opposite...

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I can't think of a time when I actually disliked a site update enough to comment on this forum, but I feel compelled to say that I loathe this update. Part of me worries that it comes down to statements like these:

 

Overall, though, the design team felt that most cachers preferred seeing the cache name called out first and foremost rather than the log owner name.

 

The team felt that the benefits of releasing without that change outweighed the negatives of waiting another week, A-Team.

 

My concern is that the design team may be out of touch with what the actual audience wants to see. Was there some sort of test audience on these changes, or did some folks with fancy drawing skills ("The Design Team") decide amongst themselves that this is what they'd like to see? At what point is it determined that emails now must be formatted in HTML without option to the end user? What actual benefit does the background color scheme add to the notifications anyway compared to the old way?

 

I respect that I have the option to turn them off if I don't like the new format (which is garish, in my opinion) or filter them before they get to my phone, but I rather enjoyed all the notifications that were sent to my email in text format previous to today's update. I was able to go through rather easily and see what was going on with the caches I had on my various notification lists without the extra unnecessary color scheme added to the message. I knew it was from Groundspeak, and didn't need some color scheme to emphasize that knowledge.

 

Oh snap! A new geocache was just published!

 

After I opened a New Publication email I received, the above quote is the first thing I see and it makes me curious as to what the average age of a cacher is nowadays. Perhaps it's getting younger and I'm just some out of date old coot, but my belief is that the average user is old enough to remember when "Oh snap!" was common lingo, and it seems to me that 2014 is about 30 years after that phrase's peak. I imagine that someone on The Design Team thinks that this is a fun and cute and cuddly phrase that can be turned into a swag button or trackable to sell in the store, but to me it just seems unprofessional. Is the new target demographic 12 year olds? Who on earth says "Oh snap!" anymore? It was annoying back then and hasn't gotten any less annoying now.

 

Apologies for the rant, but I just felt that I couldn't stay silent on this update: It is awful.

 

I had planned on reading through all the posts before replying (and will still do so), but this one says it all. +1000; I cannot agree more. Nor can I really add anything more that hasn't already been said. The prepend tags, the straight-to-the-point format, etc., etc... I didn't have any filters or parsing routines in place as none were needed. Nothing was broken! Good Lord.... why did you need to 'fix' it??

Edited by Zero Montana

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It totally scks on mobile devices (iPhone). I have to zoom everytime I want to read one of these emails.

Why don't you offer HTML _and_ plaintext emails and let the user choose? The new system is a nice try, but

it's not needed and it destroys more than it should.

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Our Geocaching account is a joint account between me and my wife.

If it was just mine, I would just mark all these emails as spam and be done with it. :mad:

 

This really is the most frustrating change that Groundspeak have ever made!

At least the pointless website changes over the years have been fixable with GreaseMonkey and Adblock :mad: :mad: :mad:

 

M

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There are so many bad things about this change, but I won't list them as others have already done so above, so just add me to the list of unhappy customers.

 

 

... based on feedback (only a fraction of which comes from the forums, by the way).

So where does most of the feedback come from? And how can we participate? All the feedback I saw on the recent introduction of HTML into the communications Emails were calling for plain text to be brought back, and yet here we are a couple of weeks later seeing more HTML being forced upon us.

 

 

The team felt that the benefits of releasing without that change outweighed the negatives of waiting another week, A-Team.

What benefit was there in rushing in an incomplete change a week early to something which has been working for years? If this was a site down situation where it was necessary to push in an incomplete change to get the site back up this would be an acceptable stance, but not for this release.

 

Maybe it's time to take down that sign in the Lillypad saying “Let's make better mistakes tomorrow.” as it seems some people are taking it too literally.

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One thing that amazes me is how, for years, Groundspeak have refused to implement 'nano' cache size using the excuse that it might break 3rd party apps. How many 3rd party apps are there exactly? And how many of those are Groundspeak approved anyway?

 

Yet changes like this are rolled out on a whim without caring how many THOUSANDS of users it inconveniences. :huh:

 

 

M

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2. The notifications for published logs and all other types are differently and inconsistently formatted.

 

This is by design. Publish notifications are used differently from other notification types and so they have been spun off as their own class of mail and are formatted in a way that more directly pertains to going out an finding a new cache.

 

I can see that, but there are core elements that are common to all events and it would be much easier to read and parse the emails if they were formatted consistently.

 

Here's the significant text of a published notification:

 

Oh snap! A new geocache was just published!

 

Here are the details:

Name: P&i loop #4 (GC59ETE)

Geocache Type: Traditional Cache

Location: South East England, United Kingdom

Distance: 13.1mi S (21.1km S)

Created by: camperman!

Published by: Long Man

 

Edit the settings for your Kent Traditional instant notification.

 

And here's the equivalent for any other type of instant notification:

 

#08 - My Heart Is Broken (GC54N2N) from your instant notification, Kent Traditional, has a new log!

 

Logged by: ScarlettDK

Date: 7/23/2014

Location: South East England, United Kingdom

Type: Traditional Cache

 

Log:

Out today with Chris-King doing maintenance on my series, cache found safely and all present and correct.

 

The preamble is different. I have no idea what "Oh snap!" means but it sounds rather childish and unprofessional. In any case, it adds no value, nor does "Here are the details:". The published version has the cache name in structured text but the other has it in free text. The published version has the notification name at the bottom of the email but the other has it at the top in free text.

 

The structured items in each email are different and in a different order. The published version has the cache name in structured text whereas the other has it free text. One labels the cache type as "Geocache Type" and the other the ambiguous "Type".

 

The published version doesn't include the log date but the other does; the log type is missing; the date isn't formatted according to the user's preference (I accept that the previous version of notifications had that problem but in redesigning the system I would have taken the opportunity to fix it).

 

One contains a link to the profile of the person making the log; the other contains no links to either cacher.

 

What does "Created by" mean? Is it the value chosen by the user when creatng the cache page (what used to be called "Hidden by" or "Placed by") or is it the cache owner?

 

I'd like to see a standard template, with links where appropriate, for all notification emails along the lines of:

 

Cache Code: GC59ETE

Cache Name: P&i loop #4

Geocache Type: Traditional Cache

Location: South East England, United Kingdom

Distance: 13.1mi S (21.1km S) [published log only]

Cache Owner: camperman! [published log only]

Published by: Long Man [published log only]

Log Date: 23 Jul 2014 [formatted to user preference]

Log type: Owner maintenance

Logged by: ScarlettDK

Log text:

Out today with Chris-King doing maintenance on my series, cache found safely and all present and correct.

 

Edit the settings for your Kent Traditional instant notification.

 

This makes all notifications consistent so easier to read and parse and contains all the information. The email subject should be similarly standardised and shortened.

 

I'll reply to the other points in a separate post as the forum software doesn't seem to like lots of quotes.

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There are so many bad things about this change, but I won't list them as others have already done so above, so just add me to the list of unhappy customers.

Perfect fit of wording for me.

 

Moun10Bike, seriously: could Groundspeak revert these changes?

 

New format of e-mails is so terrible, that I could assume, that I will not to be able to monitor traffic on my caches and maintenance them responsibly, so I will have to archive them.

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We can definitely re-assess the subject lines and content format based on feedback (only a fraction of which comes from the forums, by the way). Overall, though, the design team felt that most cachers preferred seeing the cache name called out first and foremost rather than the log owner name.

 

I cannot really believe that the majority of the feedback you receive is in favour of using html. Almost all comments I saw about the new format were negative and even among those are indifferent or who like the new format there will be noone who objects againts an option to choose whether someone wants to receive html or text messages.

 

 

Cezanne

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3. Published ones don't contain the log date.

 

Can you explain why this is necessary? A publish notification is always triggered at the moment of publication, so the email date will automatically be the log date.

 

Triggered, maybe, but the time it's triggered isn't the same as the time it's emailed. For many reasons there may be a delay in the email being sent. And the time the email is received and processed will be different. Yes, I could parse the header and convert the datestamp but it's work that was unnecessary in the previous notification system and could be solved so easily in the new system by simply adding the log (i.e. published) date. This would also make the published notifications consistent with the others.

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A lot of good feedback here already.

 

I just want to express my support for a option to choose between text and HTML.

And please bring back the old, simpler and more useful, subject line! :)

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6. They're in HTML, meaning that they take up four times the bandwidth and storage while adding no useful value.

 

As you have seen with the publish notifications, we are experimenting with multi-part emails. We will see how the first set of tests go and then investigate to doing the same with other messages.

 

That's something of a political answer <_<. My point - or at least this point - wasn't about some being multipart and some not but rather that all notification emails are now in HTML. HTML emails - even a single HTML part - are already more bloated than a plain text email carrying the same information. I can't speak for all those other customers who are requesting plain text back but I for one do not want multipart with a plain text component since that will further increase the bandwidth and storage requirements as well as the processing time and complexity.

 

When I first signed up there was an option on the profile to receive mails from Groundspeak as plain text or HTML. Somewhere over the years that's been quietly removed. Why not just bring it back and respect it?

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It is again one of the innovations that shall be issued for improvements but in fact only provide users with problems and worsening service.

Emails should be simple, clear and understandable. And in this case also easily automatically processable.

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When I first signed up there was an option on the profile to receive mails from Groundspeak as plain text or HTML. Somewhere over the years that's been quietly removed. Why not just bring it back and respect it?

 

Because plain text emails are the nightmare of Design Teams everywhere. They can't impose their precious corporate branding on plain text.

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I am really curious about where you are getting your data that these changes you keep making are wanted?

This format on us Groundspek long tested within Wymarking. But there we took it as a harmless folklore and so it did not matter.

Edited by Arne1

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+1 to plain text email option.

I also use a plain text email client, it's therefore more difficult for me to read html emails.

All my publish & archive emails are munged by scripts which are now broken. They will have to be re-written, this will take longer for html emails.

 

Every time you experiment with a new email layout I will have to rewrite my scripts, so please settle on a format that you will stick to for a while.

Edited by RetallickRamblers

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Add me to the list of those who want "Plain text / NO HTML" in emails.

+1

 

HTML in emails is completely unnecessary and unwanted. Please provide a profile setting that lets me receive old-style plain text mails instead of these "fancy" HTML ones.

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I am really curious about where you are getting your data that these changes you keep making are wanted?

This format on us Groundspek long tested within Wymarking. But there we took it as a harmless folklore and so it did not matter.

 

I almost forgot that it happened :D but it's true - with Waymarking I'm still not done with getting over all the bugs and surprises, which are provided by that "full and more than enough replacement of virtual and webcam caches".

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Take +1 from me to revert the Mail Headlines to the old style.

Before, you can quickly overview the list and see what log type was logged.

But the log type is nowhere mentioned in the mails Body, so you have to go to the Cache page to see whats happened.

 

The new html-Format Looks good, a Little stylish, but theres more than style: quick notification and Information.

 

I, too, have not only publish logs on notifications but also enable/disable/NM/NA to get an overview whats on around me.

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Can`t contribute anything new, as all of my thoughts have been written here already by other users, but as you don`t seem to mind to annoy me, paying customer, with unexpected and uncommunicated changes I feel that I have to state them here again, also on my behalf:

 

Add me to the list of those who want "Plain text / NO HTML" in emails.

 

Well thank you Groundspeak to completly destroy my email system... I had filters for various email types, scripts that extract relevant information from the email... and all is lost and I must write all of this again...

Could you, please, next time release announcement BEFORE you release the update, to give people time to prepare for the change, when you must constantly change things (to the worse, by my opinion)? These sort of unannounced changes drives people crazy...

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

* the prepended tag was VERY useful ([GEO], [LOG], etc)

* the most important pieces of information should come first, and ideally the subject should not be very natural-language

* the subject line can quickly get far too long; as with others, my email program cuts off the subject line (or there's limited realestate to display it) so key bits of information are not visible

 

Old: [LOG] Owner: username found cachename (cachetype)

New: Owner Notification: cachename (gccode)

New is both less informational and less ordered. Including the GC code is good though. Big step down.

Suggestion: [LOG] Owner: username found cachename (gccode)

 

Old: [GEO] Notify: reviewername published cachename

New: New cachetype: cachename (gccode), distance/bearing

Not as bad. Less wordy, more information. No tag though and (as above) doesn't standard out as much.

(minor) Suggestion: [GEO] New cachetype: cachename (gccode) distance/bearing

 

Old: [LOG] Watchlist: username logtype phrase cachename (eg: Username couldn't find cachename)

New: Watchlist Notification: cachename (gccode) has a new logtype log from username

Old way was much more terse and readable. "Notification" again is extraneous and wordy.

Suggestion: [LOG] Watchlist: logtype posted to cachename (gccode) by username

 

Not sure if the contact email subject has changed, since I've received a couple with HTML formatting, but still with the old subject line...

 

Old: [GEO] username contacting myname from Geocaching.com

Please don't change this! :P

 

That said, forcing email on all users does seem odd. Most websites have the option for text-only and html, not because text-only is "old", but because there are many practical benefits to plaintext messages over markup that requires a formatting process to be intuitively understandable. =/

 

Lastly, with this new feature, a rather small one compared to some others, while it would have been a little bit more work, having HTML emails as an opt-in feature would have been much better, imo. I know the intent is that it would be a universal site update, but having it opt-in means that people who want HTML email can get them, critique it (without utter distaste for the change, as usual :P), and not have active processes break from the unexpected change to expected content... Then once the feature is honed to a satisfactory degree, and everyone is aware or made aware that it will be rolled out for everyone, roll it out for everyone. B)

 

By text message: Click on clunky links no more. All the information you need is just a (super easy) click away.

 

I can't seem to find where you can set up text message notifications. Or is this only available in certain countries (I'm in DE)?

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There are so many bad things about this change, but I won't list them as others have already done so above, so just add me to the list of unhappy customers.

Perfect fit of wording for me.

 

Moun10Bike, seriously: could Groundspeak revert these changes?

 

New format of e-mails is so terrible, that I could assume, that I will not to be able to monitor traffic on my caches and maintenance them responsibly, so I will have to archive them.

 

+1

 

It seems I'll need to find any other, more efficient way how to monitor logs on my geocaches (e.g. GSAK macro).

 

For those of us, who need to be aware of maintenance needed on our caches:

project-gc.com provides us with perfect service: Needs Maintenance?

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The team felt that the benefits of releasing without that change outweighed the negatives of waiting another week, A-Team.

 

What benefits? What horrors we have to wait?

 

We can definitely re-assess the subject lines and content format based on feedback (only a fraction of which comes from the forums, by the way).

 

I am curious where that greater percentage of feedback comes from.

 

I see min. 90% people is dissatisfied with this changes. On our region forum is similar!

Where you have peoples, who are satisfied? Where are your feedback???

Our opinions does not matter to you.

 

Add me to the list of those who want "Plain text / NO HTML" in emails.

 

A few comments...

 

First, I personally don't mind the html email myself, since the content is nicely formatted

 

Second, the subject lines are a step down, to various degrees, that I've seen so far.

* the prepended tag was VERY useful ([GEO], [LOG], etc)

* the most important pieces of information should come first, and ideally the subject should not be very natural-language

* the subject line can quickly get far too long; as with others, my email program cuts off the subject line (or there's limited realestate to display it) so key bits of information are not visible

 

Old: [LOG] Owner: username found cachename (cachetype)

New: Owner Notification: cachename (gccode)

New is both less informational and less ordered. Including the GC code is good though. Big step down.

Suggestion: [LOG] Owner: username found cachename (gccode)

 

Old: [GEO] Notify: reviewername published cachename

New: New cachetype: cachename (gccode), distance/bearing

Not as bad. Less wordy, more information. No tag though and (as above) doesn't standard out as much.

(minor) Suggestion: [GEO] New cachetype: cachename (gccode) distance/bearing

 

Old: [LOG] Watchlist: username logtype phrase cachename (eg: Username couldn't find cachename)

New: Watchlist Notification: cachename (gccode) has a new logtype log from username

Old way was much more terse and readable. "Notification" again is extraneous and wordy.

Suggestion: [LOG] Watchlist: logtype posted to cachename (gccode) by username

 

Not sure if the contact email subject has changed, since I've received a couple with HTML formatting, but still with the old subject line...

 

Old: [GEO] username contacting myname from Geocaching.com

Please don't change this! :P

I haven't received other email types yet since the change.

I also parse the email contact with my own code, but in that case html can actually make things easier, so I don't mind more text, and more predictable structure to email contact templates. Helpful.

 

Thirdly, with regards to images, I don't believe there are any significant images embedded in the emails - the geocaching logo and a few social icons. But I haven't scoured the email source yet. So I don't really have any criticism about the visual design - it's light, simple, organized, flat imagery and solid colours. All good.

That said, forcing email on all users does seem odd. Most websites have the option for text-only and html, not because text-only is "old", but because there are many practical benefits to plaintext messages over markup that requires a formatting process to be intuitively understandable. =/

 

Lastly, with this new feature, a rather small one compared to some others, while it would have been a little bit more work, having HTML emails as an opt-in feature would have been much better, imo. I know the intent is that it would be a universal site update, but having it opt-in means that people who want HTML email can get them, critique it (without utter distaste for the change, as usual :P), and not have active processes break from the unexpected change to expected content... Then once the feature is honed to a satisfactory degree, and everyone is aware or made aware that it will be rolled out for everyone, roll it out for everyone. B)

 

Very well elaborated.

This change may be good, if this mail was without HTML - only plain text!!!

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Add me to the list of those who want "Plain text / NO HTML" in emails.

And also "Shorter Subject Lines".

 

I really appreciate your efforts, but this change is clearly not working for most of us...

Please turn it back ASAP.

 

TFT'Fix',

Lemonjr

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My strong vote for a) plain text B) a maximum of terse information in the "Subject:" line.

 

I am member of a team providing a "cache maintenance service" for cache owners during an upcoming Giga Event. Along with advice on dealing with large numbers of searchers and finders, we offer to perform maintenance for owners who are unable to maintain themselves during the event. This is so that folks coming to visit will have lots of well-maintained caches to find, instead of a desert of caches set to TDA because of possible cacher overload.

 

This is planned for up to 600 caches with up to 10.000 attendees. Only an unpredictable fraction of attendees will be out finding and immediately logging these caches. But there will be a huge number of emails to automatically sift for "needs maintenance" logs, in something that needs to approximate real time -- we need to know that Cache XY "needs maint" within minutes, not days.

 

This is a task which is manageable with the info needed in the subject line. Parsing the body of a mail is a more difficult and slower task. And it breaks a system which was running and had so far successfully processed about 60.000 logs in a trial run. 60.000 links to instagram, google play -- naah, don't need that. I can't repeat what the IT guy said as the system broke yesterday, because it'd (rightly!) get this post deleted.

 

Please, Groundspeak developers, remember this: It is an outdoor sport. Think of some cacher out in the woods, in mountains, stuck between skyscrapers. They are climbing a tree and holding up their phone on a stick in the hope of getting some sort of data connection. Just hoping for enough bits to dribble through to read some logs for a clue, check for a spoiler picture, to make sure the cache hasn't been archived or disabled... The geocaching notices and links are "preaching to the choir", folks, and those cachers will be happier with less data!

 

And all those cachers holding the phone out of a ravine on a stick are happy that you introduced a "terse text" function for email communication.

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As you have seen with the publish notifications, we are experimenting with multi-part emails. We will see how the first set of tests go and then investigate to doing the same with other messages.

Couln't you have just asked us before making the changes? It seems worth the effort compared to the risk of negative feedback (such as what you have been receiving).

 

We can definitely re-assess the subject lines and content format based on feedback (only a fraction of which comes from the forums, by the way). Overall, though, the design team felt that most cachers preferred seeing the cache name called out first and foremost rather than the log owner name.

Is this based on any data that they collected at all?

 

The team felt that the benefits of releasing without that change outweighed the negatives of waiting another week, A-Team.

Again, did "the team" have any reason to feel this way, or was it a complete guess?

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I'd really like to see a change in the attitude of Groundspeak to the community.

 

We are here. Please ask for our input on planned changes. We're not unreasonable people (well, most of us aren't) We have a great deal at stake in changes, hence we applaud the good, but lament the not so good.

 

It's a far more efficient business process to get feedback on proposed and beta changes, rather than roll something like these notifications out and expect everyone to just gush their undying affection for change.

 

Personally, the old text format was extremely functional, to the point and clear. Who cares about pretty and verbose? I glance through email and delete it. I receive a great many each day and only use it to see if there's any content informing me something requires my attention.

 

Make that +2.

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Wondering where all the hoorays of cachers are, who missed html in notification mails for the last years.

 

Please give us the option to get the raw information in plaintext mails and no 'Groundspeak look and feel’ with some well hidden payload.

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There are so many bad things about this change, but I won't list them as others have already done so above, so just add me to the list of unhappy customers.

 

We must look on the positive side. Now that HTML notifications are 'established', I am looking forward to the day they start containing advertising. That will enhance the user experience, allow non-premium members use, and improve the company's bottom line, all at the same time. BTW, I'd like any ads for 'hair replacement therapy' or 'dating services'. :)

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Please allow me to add to the chorus of displeasure with the new email format.

 

It's not so much the HTML, although that's annoying in and of itself. The main beef is that the new subject line is so wordy that the information is lost and it's not conducive to management via filters.

 

Please ask your users if they agree with the 'design team' who felt (based on what ?) that users would find this new email format an improvement.

 

Haven't you guys heard "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" ? Well, the email wasn't broken.

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As you have seen with the publish notifications, we are experimenting with multi-part emails. We will see how the first set of tests go and then investigate to doing the same with other messages.

Couln't you have just asked us before making the changes? It seems worth the effort compared to the risk of negative feedback (such as what you have been receiving).

 

We can definitely re-assess the subject lines and content format based on feedback (only a fraction of which comes from the forums, by the way). Overall, though, the design team felt that most cachers preferred seeing the cache name called out first and foremost rather than the log owner name.

Is this based on any data that they collected at all?

 

The team felt that the benefits of releasing without that change outweighed the negatives of waiting another week, A-Team.

Again, did "the team" have any reason to feel this way, or was it a complete guess?

 

I'm reminded of two things when I read about how the User Community is only a small fraction of input and how a committee feels certain things deserve added weight by their own perception of merits.

 

In college I was introduced to "the precious concept". No, not the ring. The Precious was a passage in writing or a feature of product, which someone really, really loved and despite it distracting the reader or being a poor fit (or even buggy) in an end product, it is carried forward because someone refuses to yield, by having it eliminated or reworked. This evaluation of the merits of this change smacks of "the precious".

 

The other thing is Monopoly Breeds Failure. Since Groundspeak really has no other competition they are doing as they see fit with little apparent impact on the bottom line - the product is not better for some changes. I often look at eBay as the benchmark of this approach to Change - they were once a very easy service to use and they prospered wildly on the system they originally had in place. Now it's a vexing mess, whenever I try to find or sell something. Big bloated forms, features buried under cruft, complexity to the point of breaking software. What for? The world is still going to eBay because the world is already there. (Tho Alibaba may change that.)

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Add me to the list of those who want "Plain text / NO HTML" in emails.

And also "Shorter Subject Lines".

+1

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Read the previous release notes

 

Release Notes:

 

Oh, snap! A geocache has just been published. Luckily, it's now easier than ever to receive notifications about new geocache hides.

 

  • By email: HTML has arrived, making the coveted FTF easier than ever.
  • By text message: Click on clunky links no more. All the information you need is just a (super easy) click away.

Other game-triggered emails have received an HTML facelift too:

 

  • Cache/Trackable Owner Notification
  • Watchlist Notification
  • Bookmark Notification
  • Event Attendee Announcements
  • Instant Notifications

Can we get the text message content (stripped of html) sent to our email inbox? That's my preference - light on bandwidth, concise & rich in content. That way, those who want the previous method can get the text message version (I'd queue up for that).

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Can we get the text message content (stripped of html) sent to our email inbox? That's my preference - light on bandwidth, concise & rich in content. That way, those who want the previous method can get the text message version (I'd queue up for that).

 

Text message notification doesn't appear to be an option outside the US. But then GS have never given a rats about their many non-US customers.

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Oh snap! A new geocache was just published!

 

After I opened a New Publication email I received, the above quote is the first thing I see and it makes me curious as to what the average age of a cacher is nowadays. Perhaps it's getting younger and I'm just some out of date old coot, but my belief is that the average user is old enough to remember when "Oh snap!" was common lingo, and it seems to me that 2014 is about 30 years after that phrase's peak. I imagine that someone on The Design Team thinks that this is a fun and cute and cuddly phrase that can be turned into a swag button or trackable to sell in the store, but to me it just seems unprofessional. Is the new target demographic 12 year olds? Who on earth says "Oh snap!" anymore? It was annoying back then and hasn't gotten any less annoying now.

 

Almost exactly what I thought - we must not be the target demographic any more, but you must not be going for our grandkids either as they quit saying, "Oh snap", years ago.

 

That phrase makes the e-mails just look silly. Are you planning on regular updates as lingo changes?

 

Mrs. Car54

Edited by Car54

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I agree with so much of what has already been said - primary concerns for me are:

- concise subject line - my email cuts it off at 60 characters. [GEO] Notify: and [LOG] Watchlist: were so much better than the new longer wording

- most important info first in the subject - who did it, what did they do, what cache does it involve (last because the cache names can be quite long at times). What did they do was so helpful - found, updated, disabled, reported, etc.

- bandwidth, as I use a very slow dialup service in the summer

 

Now this is just useless - I got a log today with the following, and had to go to the cache page to find out that they had disabled it!

<quote>

Subject: Instant Notification: Olympic Oval (GC4X8E8) has a new log from 2Colonels

 

Olympic Oval (GC4X8E8) from your instant notification, Ray Brook - traditional, has a new log!

 

Logged by: 2Colonels

Date: 7/24/2014

Location: New York, United States

Type: Traditional Cache

 

Log:

I drove past this one this morning. It doesn't look as though it is accessible until after the Ironman Triathlon this weekend.

 

Happy geocaching,

Geocaching HQ

</quote>

 

------------------------------

It seems unnecessary to include the GC code for new listing notifications. Including the distance and bearing could be useful, but only one I have received so far had room for that in the subject line. Example

New Event Cache: Create a shirt (GC59BKB), 33.4mi NE (53.7km NE) was cut off to read

New Event Cache: Create a shirt (GC59BKB), 33.4mi NE

 

Having the name of the reviewer who published new caches was useful to me, as my radius of those logs covers 3 states and only one is within quick range of home. I could easily skip over those from the more distant reviewers when in a hurry.

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A couple other points: "Happy geocaching, Geocaching HQ", in addition to being pointless fluff, is confusing: it makes the log look like it was written by Geocaching HQ instead of by the person filing the log.

 

 

I totally agree.

Who is writing these logs? Definitely NOT HQ...

 

Or maybe this is to say that Geocaching HQ is the one sending you all this HTML stuff??? :lostsignal:

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Hi,

 

Add me to the list of those who want "Plain text / NO HTML" in emails.

And also "Shorter Subject Lines".

 

Agree (+1)

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One thing that amazes me is how, for years, Groundspeak have refused to implement 'nano' cache size using the excuse that it might break 3rd party apps. How many 3rd party apps are there exactly? And how many of those are Groundspeak approved anyway?

 

Yet changes like this are rolled out on a whim without caring how many THOUSANDS of users it inconveniences. :huh:

Ah, that was a nice catch.

Indeed, IF the reason for not implementing some changes is concern for 3rd party apps, then how did an update like this slip through, where - whether registered 3rd party apps or not - it's very clear that MANY more people, scripts, and apps have been unexpectedly affected by the changes?

 

Unlike many, I can't support claims that somehow Groundspeak "doesn't care" about the community or the hobby... but I am starting to believe that there is some level of (this is unfortunately a strong word) incompetence in the development and roll-out process for improvements. It's not optimal. It can't be. If it is, then there's some hidden world that this active community isn't seeing where everything is sun and daisies with every new update rolled out. Of course I don't know what the actual process is except that many significant updates are pushed to production in one go with no easy fallback or public testing, but like others I'm skeptical and curious about this "design team" and where they get their data, if not from the very active forum community.

 

I also realize that many on the "team" avoid the forums because there's always complaints with every update; it's an unavoidable side-effect of 'change'. And also that much of the criticism of any change is personal and emotionally inflamed to the point of insults and can be very discouraging.

 

However, there is guaranteed to be constructive criticism washing around in the pool of gunk in these forums. And I think there would be FAR less gunk if the criticisms were focused towards test rollouts and opt-in feature upgrades (while more development work) than from the public masses world-wide when a new update is either visibly undesired or practically flawed.

 

:ph34r:

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Old: [LOG] Owner: username found cachename (cachetype)

New: Owner Notification: cachename (gccode)

New is both less informational and less ordered. Including the GC code is good though. Big step down.

Suggestion: [LOG] Owner: username found cachename (gccode)

 

Old: [GEO] Notify: reviewername published cachename

New: New cachetype: cachename (gccode), distance/bearing

Not as bad. Less wordy, more information. No tag though and (as above) doesn't standard out as much.

(minor) Suggestion: [GEO] New cachetype: cachename (gccode) distance/bearing

 

Old: [LOG] Watchlist: username logtype phrase cachename (eg: Username couldn't find cachename)

New: Watchlist Notification: cachename (gccode) has a new logtype log from username

Old way was much more terse and readable. "Notification" again is extraneous and wordy.

Suggestion: [LOG] Watchlist: logtype posted to cachename (gccode) by username

 

Very good sugestion. It is important to have some fixed TAG in the Subject line to make email filters work as expected.

 

/HelgeLarsen

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