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1 DNF + 1 unresponsive owner = archival


4wheelin_fool
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Let's be honest here. This is a game that is run by a company.

I disagree. I think the game is run by the community, and GS tries to help it run as smoothly as possible. Reviewers volunteer to help the community, not to help GS.

 

I like to give the volunteer Reviewers the benefit of the doubt, and believe that they are acting in the best interest of the game, and under directives from the company they volunteer for.

Actually, I'm more concerned that reviewers are being pressured (or, at least, encouraged) into doing more work than they should need to. I have no doubts that whatever they're doing, they're trying to act in the best interests of the community.

 

If people are really that miffed about this, then they can contact Groundspeak directly and voice their concern about a specific cache, Reviewer, or guideline.

If people have a problem with what's happening, I see no reason not to discuss it publicly in the forums. Without the open discussion in this thread, it wouldn't have come out that this is a trend, not the actions of one errant reviewer.

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Can NeverSummer at least agree that the underwater cache should have never been disabled? Yes, communication on the CO's part will rectify all these situations. We get that. The problem I have (and others as well) is that the CO is being REQUIRED to reply based on the disabling of a cache that probably should have never been disabled in the first place. Why this one when there are so many others in the area that need attention? There are 68 caches with NM logs within 10 miles of this cache. However, THIS one, without a NM log, gets disabled. Only a few of the 68 are disabled.

I'm guessing this is the one you're referencing?

 

My best guess as an outsider is this:

  1. This cache appears to be owned by a Girl Scout/Boy Scout troop
  2. This cache should have been rated a 5* for terrainhttp://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=327903
  3. The cache owner has not responded to the notes that began right after the cache was published mentioning the edit to the T rating
  4. The Reviewer may have not read this listing completely and published it solely on the idea that the cache did not break any guidelines
  5. Cache owner's only other hide was found to be on private property. They did not respond to that NM log, or to the Reviewer when it was Archived. This makes a case to me that their other, newer hide will possibly see the same level of understanding and appreciation for the guidelines and required involvement of a cache owner

 

But this is just me, and a good reason you can claim for why you personally wouldn't want me as your Reviewer. :anibad::laughing:

 

First of all, thanks for the report, Cascade reviewer. Don't want to quote all that text. :)

 

Second of all, Cerberus1 (whom I know to be somewhat local to that cache) mentioned most of those things as well. That does sound like a crappy cache on a small lake with no public access. Perhaps the reviewer did take some of that stuff into account. I still don't like the road that's being traveled here though with the involuntarily disabling of some of the examples in this thread.

 

The threshold for disabling appears to be slightly different in other areas. If you take a look at the oldest unfound caches for Ohio, for example, there are several that are currently disabled due to 2 DNFs. Although this is much better than 1 DNF, likely a few are still being unnecessarily archived. In this area, 3 DNFs at any time, could trigger an automated disablement, even if there was a find a few weeks ago. Since most of these are being turned into litter, I really wish they would have just a little more restraint.

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Let's be honest here. This is a game that is run by a company.

I disagree. I think the game is run by the community, and GS tries to help it run as smoothly as possible. Reviewers volunteer to help the community, not to help GS.

Well, we're splitting hairs now, but yeah. You're right. We are what "runs" the game (no users, no game), but it is Groundspeak that makes it possible for us. Because we choose to play on their site, we abide by their rules--not our own willy-nilly whim and desire. (Which is fortunate in some cases, and unfortunate in others.)

 

I like to give the volunteer Reviewers the benefit of the doubt, and believe that they are acting in the best interest of the game, and under directives from the company they volunteer for.

Actually, I'm more concerned that reviewers are being pressured (or, at least, encouraged) into doing more work than they should need to. I have no doubts that whatever they're doing, they're trying to act in the best interests of the community.

Um, well history and many, many posts by Reviewers on the forums have spoken to this. They are encouraged to take on the extra task of checking on caches, but not required to do so. In a case where you, dprovan, were made a Reviewer, I'd bet you'd fall into the role where you wouldn't take on that extra work. I'd agree wholeheartedly that Reviewers are trying to act in the best interest of the game, and are working in line with 15 years of best practices and adaptations to how the listings are Reviewed and maintained on the behalf of Groundspeak.

 

If people are really that miffed about this, then they can contact Groundspeak directly and voice their concern about a specific cache, Reviewer, or guideline.

If people have a problem with what's happening, I see no reason not to discuss it publicly in the forums. Without the open discussion in this thread, it wouldn't have come out that this is a trend, not the actions of one errant reviewer.

I never said it wasn't welcome to talk about on the forums. I'm not dismissing the concerns of others. But what I am saying is that the part where accusations of overstepping or acting untoward falling on the heads of a couple of Reviewers is improper. If there is a concern about specific caches and specific actions of Reviewers, the best course of action is to contact Groundspeak. However, I think that hashing out the OP observation for each cache we can come across is not productive when weighed against the guidelines and common practices of the volunteer Reviewers; the actions taken are really not that questionable other than in opinions of some herein.

 

I'd put myself in the same seat if I would see a case where the "1 DNF+1 unresponsive owner=archival" math didn't add up. But in the cases provided, I'm seeing the math adding up; it really isn't that out of line based on the circumstances that I can observe on the outside, and my understanding of the guidelines and common practice of volunteer Reviewers on behalf of Groundspeak. We could argue "slippery slope", but I don't see how a Reviewer would be able to have their actions stand up against an appeal if the specific cases were brought directly to Groundspeak. So, again, if one questions the motive or reasoning for each cache listed on this thread, then they should write to Groundspeak appeals or support.

Edited by NeverSummer
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The threshold for disabling appears to be slightly different in other areas. If you take a look at the oldest unfound caches for Ohio, for example, there are several that are currently disabled due to 2 DNFs. Although this is much better than 1 DNF, likely a few are still being unnecessarily archived. In this area, 3 DNFs at any time, could trigger an automated disablement, even if there was a find a few weeks ago. Since most of these are being turned into litter, I really wish they would have just a little more restraint.

And that speaks to the diversity and regionality of this game which we see play out in many other threads on the forums (and in the real world of geocaching).

 

A Reviewer, it appears, is able to act on the information at their disposal and act on a geocache issue as it arises. Some of this may mean 3 years unfound and 1 DNF+unresponsive owner=archival. For others it might mean 3 DNFs+NM+unresponsive owner=archival. Still others might be 3 DNFs+1 TD+60 days disabled+unresponsive owner=archival.

 

But that commonality for all listings is still...unresponsive owner.

 

It might ruffle feathers most when an owner is still active, yet unresponsive. And when you factor in sentimentality of "old" or "historic" caches...well, there's kickers twisted for many more people. Depending on your views and opinions, the fact that all caches are really treated as equally as possible in the end, the sentimentality doesn't matter and responsiveness does. If you think a Reviewer is overstepping their role, then an email to Groundspeak will clear that situation right up.

 

Without knowing that there might be an issue worth intervening on, we really won't be able to do anything but sit here and argue over subjective matters. The objective truth is that an owner needs to be responsive, and these cases each show where an owner was not responsive. Again, if one thinks a Reviewer is acting untoward, they should bring that concern to Groundspeak so that they can handle the Reviewer and clarify guidelines and directives with the Reviewer staff.

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I don't think anyone is overly concerned with the Unresponsive owner -> Archival step, it's the Lonely Cache -> 1 DNF -> Disablement-with-threat-of-archival part that at least I find disturbing, as it gives DNF the same meaning as NA and may well discourage people from ever posting a DNF regardless of the reason for not finding it (I could see it up the tree but couldn't climb that high).

 

I recently visited an isolated cache (GC47VOH), in an area with poor GPS reception, that hadn't been found for a year but had two more recent DNFs on it. Fortunately it hadn't yet been disabled, although the CO is still very active so it probably would have survived (unless he'd been on holiday at the time). Anyway, the cache was there and in perfect condition, so no need for disablement or archival in this instance. It may well have been on the slippery slope, though, with those two DNFs hanging over its head, and if it goes for another year or two without being found and someone else logs a DNF...

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I don't think anyone is overly concerned with the Unresponsive owner -> Archival step, it's the Lonely Cache -> 1 DNF -> Disablement-with-threat-of-archival part that at least I find disturbing, as it gives DNF the same meaning as NA and may well discourage people from ever posting a DNF regardless of the reason for not finding it (I could see it up the tree but couldn't climb that high).

DNF...

But this is just the point. An active owner, can post a response explaining why they believe the cache is there, or why they can't go do maintenance on it right away. If the reviewer pulls the trigger too quickly on such a cache it might not be archived. A cache where the owner is no longer in the game or unable to check their email as often, will be quickly archived despite many believing the the cache is still there and the finder simply missed it.

 

I think the issue is that the mix of reviewers tends to lag the mix of geocachers in general - but still follows it. Long time cachers who may also enjoy looking for seldom found caches have a pretty good idea that a single DNF is not really indicative of those caches being missing. In addition they may be more willing to search for a cache even though it has one or more DNFs. Newer cachers tend to look for caches that are easier to get to and may avoid caches with even just one DNF as a way to avoid what they perceive as a waste of time searching for a cache that might not be there.

 

I think more reviewers are viewing geocaching as about the find and the WIGAS points. They see it as the "right thing" to get caches than might be missing off the listings as these "waste people's time". The expectation now is for every hunt to end in a successful WIGAS point and not to have an adventure going to a remote place that is seldom visited with a chance that you might not find the cache.

 

In the "old vs. new" thread, I've tended to take the position that despite the majority of cachers being motivated by generic WIGAS points of caches in strip mall parking lots and other easy to get to places, there are still plenty of old caches to find in remote places and certainly a reasonable number of new cachers who enjoy the adventure of searching for a well hidden cache in a remote place and will continue to hide these. But realizing that the generic view of the WIGAS being the whole point of geocaching is now the official Groundspeak view that is shared by a growing number of reviewers, is disappointing.

 

I have from time to time, kept some archived caches around in my GSAK dats base when I think there is a good chance the cache is still there or I think the cache location would be worth visiting anyhow. I may have to do this more often.

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But realizing that the generic view of the WIGAS being the whole point of geocaching is now the official Groundspeak view that is shared by a growing number of reviewers, is disappointing.

Where did Groundspeak announce this as the official view? I may have missed that memo.

 

What reviewers are among the growing number that you cite?

 

I don't view my role as being the guarantor of a smiley. DNF's are part of the game, especially for caches with higher difficulty ratings. I do consider myself a volunteer guardian of the expectation that the cache one is seeking will be a properly maintained cache, regardless of whether the seeker succeeds in finding it.

 

Any "Smiley Guarantor" reviewers following this thread are welcome to take issue with my characterization of the role.

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It means "Woohoo, I Got A Smiley." It's Toz's special way of saying that only the smiley counts for anything. I don't much like it being applied to how reviewers think, or how we perform our volunteer duties.

 

I'd prefer it if we could use commonly accepted geocaching terms. It would make it easier for interested participants like OReviewer to follow the discussion, and it would be more respectful.

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The moderators are welcome to close this thread if they can agree that disabling lonely caches after only a single DNF is jumping the gun. Personally, I'd like to see the threshold at 3 DNFs, but can live with 2. Even with 3 DNFs there are some caches unnecessarily being archived. Remote hides are simply not being looked for anymore, not that people are silently looking for them.

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I am happy to leave the thread open for constructive discussion (which it mainly has been). Reviewers can learn from community feedback and perceptions, and can explain methodology.

 

For example there is no "litmus test" that will work at any numerical value of DNF's. Here are two real life examples from caches I looked at this week.

 

Example 1: There is one DNF but it is from an experienced user, the CO is known to be inactive/inattentive to maintenance needs, and prior "found it" logs mentioned that the log was full and soggy. I disabled the listing after one DNF.

 

Example 2: A cache hidden by an active CO with a good maintenance record has four consecutive DNF logs in the past two months. Upon analysis, two of the DNF's are from separate "newbies" who probably haven't seen the hiding style before, and the other two DNF's are from a team that searched together on the same day, noting that the snow on the ground impeded their search. I did not take any action on this listing.

 

I think it's better to apply judgment than to have a minimum threshold of disabling only after X number of DNF logs. As OReviewer has noted, some of the considerations factoring into the judgment are not readily obvious from reading the cache listing. In my Example 1, I have pre-authorization from Groundspeak to take quick action on that CO's caches at the first valid sign of trouble, because he has never, ever responded to a maintenance request. The public does not know this, and it is a very rare "edge case."

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That about right?

Yes, sometimes that is why you see the reviewer action, because of something going on in the background via email with the CO, another geocacher, and/or Groundspeak.

 

Other times it's from reading the cache page. There might be one (or more) DNF logs that got me to look at the listing, but which don't necessarily mean that the cache is missing and needs to be disabled. But, once I go back further in time and read the most recent successful finds that reported a cracked container and a soggy, full log, my mind is made up to disable the cache. It's either missing or in bad shape - I don't much care which.

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The public does not know this...

Keystone, thanks for the explanation.

It seems from your example and the one from OReviewer above, that much of this isn't about "1 DNF and done" at all, but other issues that we simply aren't privy to.

That about right?

 

Yep, but somehow I feel there are certain parties here that will never be convinced.

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The reviewers' comments have been welcome and lead the members to appreciate their efforts. The concern of members has been that the post-publication review process is very mechanical and hasty. The examples cited by reviewers show good consideration of the underlying circumstances. We all hope that is the norm. The competing interests require a balancing act. On the one hand, broken/missing caches need to be fixed, replaced or archived. On the other hand, a couple of DNFs by beginners don't signify trouble with the cache - it's usually a false alarm.

Edited by wmpastor
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certain parties here that will never be convinced.

 

Don't know what that refers to.

 

Despite my previous post which seems to have touch a nerve with Keystone, I'm actually quite convinced that the policy Bryan stated when the change to no longer support non-consensual adoptions was made is still the official policy. Reviewers do not archive caches simply because an owner is non-repsonsive. Instead they are given descretion that allows them to remove needs archive attributes and make other minor changes, while still deciding that there are cases when a cache needs to be archived because the owner is not maintaining it.

 

The issue is not whether reviewers are doing their job. It is in discussing how and when that discretion is applied. On one side are those who believe that reviewers are too lenient. They feel than an absent owner is in itself reason to archive a cache, or that a least that when a minor maintenance issue is not responded to do by the absent owner it should trigger the archival. On the other end are those who would like the reviewers to err on the side of not archiving caches on the chance there is something to find or that a good samaritan will perform the maintenance.

 

My previous post was meant to indicate that certain attitudes have changed as Geocahing has matured. In the past helping out with caches that may have been abandoned was often seen as good thing. Nowadays we get our knickers twisted because someone leaves a throwdown when they think a cache is missing. And even trying to repair a leaky container or replacing a wet log is seen as supporting the lazy cache owner who can't be bothered with the maintenance guidelines. Even though I dislike throwdowns, I generally prefer the idea that cachers help out with minor maintenance and that we don't have unrealistic expectations on cache owners for whom geocaching is not their highest priority. But my attitudes may reflect any earlier more carefree attitude toward geocaching.

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I fear struldbrug caches, so I basically support reviewer action. I do think reviewers should take equally strong action to keep caches going when viable. I do not think lack of CO response should be sufficient to archive a cache if it's otherwise viable. In particular, when other caches visit the cache and proclaim it in good shape (whether by examination only, or by maintenance), that should be accepted. That has not been an issue in the caches cited in this thread, but I have see it in other cases, which I cannot cite at the moment. My point is that based on current guidelines, CO should only be absolutely required when the cache needs the response.

 

And I'll add that I've seen reviewers go out of their way to help. I'm watching a cache now that needs to be replaced. The CO is still around though not caching. He should have replaced the cache months ago. The reviewer is letting it string along because the cache is an Old One and the CO has generally been a good participant.

 

One of my caches had to be disabled because of construction in the park. The reviewer allowed me to string it along for two and a half years, posting monthly reports on the progress. Eventually he asked me to archive it. And as it turned out, the renovated park is so neatly groomed and popular that I decided I could not place a Traditional, and recently published instead a multi with no physical presence in the park.

 

Still, do I detect a hint of Make Fun of the Handicapped Week? Do we discriminate against those who dislike reading and writing, perhaps because they don't do those things well? By definition, those posting here enjoy reading and writing. Should we so discriminate, since owning a cache does require communication skills? That's a difficult one. But if we are going to require COs to communicate well, perhaps the publication process needs to be adjusted so that the CO has to show more communication capability prior to publication.

 

More subtly, many people just don't like talking back. A reviewer's note can be totally conciliatory, can explain all the ways the CO can handle the situation, and some people will just react (at a gut level, not intellectually) that it's a power situation and will just back away. I don't know if anything can be done about that without excluding many people from the hiding side of the game.

 

Edward

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But if we are going to require COs to communicate well, perhaps the publication process needs to be adjusted so that the CO has to show more communication capability prior to publication.

Hopefully you're not picking up a bad vibe from the reviewers who have posted here. I am totally cool with owner notes like "hunting season will go an extra month" or "will check once park reopens in spring." I don't need a paragraph with a storyline.

 

More subtly, many people just don't like talking back. A reviewer's note can be totally conciliatory, can explain all the ways the CO can handle the situation, and some people will just react (at a gut level, not intellectually) that it's a power situation and will just back away. I don't know if anything can be done about that without excluding many people from the hiding side of the game.

This is very insightful. Thank you for posting the observation. As a geocacher, I don't like archiving caches -- especially good ones and especially good ones that I've found and have special memories about my adventure. So, I spend a lot of time wondering why more active geocachers don't respond at all to my notes. My best explanation -- before reading yours -- was that many cache owners are content to "commit suicide by reviewer" -- ignore the problem with the cache, knowing that the reviewer will archive it for lack of response without the owner having to do anything.

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The public does not know this...

<snip>...other issues that we simply aren't privy to.

 

Perhaps it could be a good idea to make public some of what the caching public are currently not privy too.

 

You know, give us, the great unwashed, a little bit of benefit of the doubt that we "can handle the truth". *

 

Seems keeping half (or more) of the story hidden away is not working and is causing consternation.

 

 

* Yep, I see Jack Nicholson playing Keystone in the movie adaptation of this topic.

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The public does not know this...

<snip>...other issues that we simply aren't privy to.

 

Perhaps it could be a good idea to make public some of what the caching public are currently not privy too.

 

You know, give us, the great unwashed, a little bit of benefit of the doubt that we "can handle the truth". *

 

Seems keeping half (or more) of the story hidden away is not working and is causing consternation.

 

 

* Yep, I see Jack Nicholson playing Keystone in the movie adaptation of this topic.

 

Ha! That gave me a funny mental picture. Jack Nicholson playing Keystone. :laughing: Personally, I picture someone like a happy Kevin Spacey.

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The reviewers' comments have been welcome and lead the members to appreciate their efforts. The concern of members has been that the post-publication review process is very mechanical and hasty. The examples cited by reviewers show good consideration of the underlying circumstances. We all hope that is the norm. The competing interests require a balancing act. On the one hand, broken/missing caches need to be fixed, replaced or archived. On the other hand, a couple of DNFs by beginners don't signify trouble with the cache - it's usually a false alarm.

 

I think this summarizes it well.

 

What have I learned here?

 

1. There is no policy for reviewers to pro-actively disable caches based on DNFs

 

2. Many reviewers do run tools/scripts to identify possible issues. We don't know the exact details of their criteria, but 1 or more DNFs combined with not being found for a long time seems to be part of it at least for some reviewers.

 

3. Reviewers will generally look at other circumstances, the contents of the logs, etc before disabling. I.e. it won't be completely automatic based on (2) above.

 

4. Some examples have been posted where there was a single DNF, and reading the DNF it is clear that the person logging the DNF didn't actually look for it (never reached GZ, didn't have the equipment, etc). That gives the appearance that point (3) was skipped. But we will never know what the reviewer took into account - unless the reviewer for a specific case tells us.

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The public does not know this...

<snip>...other issues that we simply aren't privy to.

 

Perhaps it could be a good idea to make public some of what the caching public are currently not privy too.

 

You know, give us, the great unwashed, a little bit of benefit of the doubt that we "can handle the truth". *

 

Seems keeping half (or more) of the story hidden away is not working and is causing consternation.

 

 

* Yep, I see Jack Nicholson playing Keystone in the movie adaptation of this topic.

 

Although Jack Nicholson was the antagonist in "A few good men" I think I'd rather see Keystone in that role than in the role of Jack Nicholson from "The Shining" or Jack Nicholson as the joker from Batman.

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The public does not know this...

Keystone, thanks for the explanation.

It seems from your example and the one from OReviewer above, that much of this isn't about "1 DNF and done" at all, but other issues that we simply aren't privy to.

That about right?

 

Yep, but somehow I feel there are certain parties here that will never be convinced.

 

I'll tell you what. If the cache in Oregon, first referenced on page 3, that was disabled by after one DNF, which if you read it (and the reviewer obviously didn't) gets unarchived, then I'll be convinced. :P

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I'll tell you what. If the cache in Oregon, first referenced on page 3, that was disabled by after one DNF, which if you read it (and the reviewer obviously didn't) gets unarchived, then I'll be convinced

 

"(and the reviewer obviously didn't)" -- mmm, you know this how?

There may be stuff going on behind the scenes, beyond the one DNF logged in 2009---> cache wasn't disabled until 5 years later.

 

Reviewer cannot unarchive a cache that doesn't meet the current guidelines. The cache owner hasn't logged on since 2006, has no valid email address. So there is no owner, and no unarchive option.

 

(the profile language,"The "send message" feature is disabled because this email address has not been validated by the user" seems to have happened when Geocaching.com did a clean up of the email list. Sent emails, and when they bounced posted this to profiles. Presumably, the account was validated. Cacher had one find, one forum post and three hides)

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I'll tell you what. If the cache in Oregon, first referenced on page 3, that was disabled by after one DNF, which if you read it (and the reviewer obviously didn't) gets unarchived, then I'll be convinced

 

"(and the reviewer obviously didn't)" -- mmm, you know this how?

There may be stuff going on behind the scenes, beyond the one DNF logged in 2009---> cache wasn't disabled until 5 years later.

 

Reviewer cannot unarchive a cache that doesn't meet the current guidelines. The cache owner hasn't logged on since 2006, has no valid email address. So there is no owner, and no unarchive option.

 

(the profile language,"The "send message" feature is disabled because this email address has not been validated by the user" seems to have happened when Geocaching.com did a clean up of the email list. Sent emails, and when they bounced posted this to profiles. Presumably, the account was validated. Cacher had one find, one forum post and three hides)

 

Well, I was kidding, you know. :) And I absolutely looked at the owners profile before posting that, and saw that they had one find, and an unvalidated account. What I don't like is the copy and paste reviewer note that starts out "Based on the information on the cache page and logs, I suspect this cache may be missing." Hogwash, I say.

 

I'm also surprised there wasn't more of an uproar in the logs about an August 2002 Jasmer candidate going buh-bye. Not that *I* care about that, but there's a lot of people out there that do. :o

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Based on the information on the cache page and logs, I suspect this cache may be missing

 

Okay, valid point.

 

Looks like a boilerplate disable note: copy, paste, submit. Reviewer probably used it without thinking to customize to the situation - given that the cache owner was never gonna read it anyway, seems like an okay time saver from where i sit. Reviewer could have modified it some, just omitting the opening phrase would work.

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Despite my previous post which seems to have touch a nerve with Keystone, I'm actually quite convinced that the policy Bryan stated when the change to no longer support non-consensual adoptions was made is still the official policy.

Caches that met earlier guidelines were grandfathered in when those guidelines were changed. I know it probably won't happen, but has Groundspeak considered the option of allowing a one time non-consensual adoption of all old caches (with inactive COs) published BEFORE the consensual policy went into effect? Any cache NOT adopted out would get archived at some point in time, based on the current practices OR based on the idea that if it's not adopted, it would be archived. It would be a lot of work on GS' part to identify all those caches with inactive COs, which is a MAJOR drawback to this option, but I believe it would be beneficial for all parties involved. It's made simpler by the fact that you're not looking at ALL the caches in they system, just ones still around from when the policy was in effect. GS gets to clear up some abandoned caches from their database and open up some spots to newer cachers to place new hides, cachers get to keep some older caches active, and that old cache gets a new CO who can maintain it properly, both out in the field and online. As to the remnants left behind, I know in our state, we had a "clean up" crew when a situation arose that created a bunch of archived caches that became geo-litter. Some caches were picked up while others were reincarnated as new caches.

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I'm also surprised there wasn't more of an uproar in the logs about an August 2002 Jasmer candidate going buh-bye. Not that *I* care about that, but there's a lot of people out there that do. :o

 

Off topic so sorry about that, but here it is.

 

For me, the old caches have a slightly different meaning than just filling in a hole in your grid. I like doing that, don't get me wrong, but I don't find that to be the motivating factor in finding the older caches. I enjoy finding the older caches because I'm able to get a similar experience to what someone else did 10-14 years ago when these caches were first published. I get to see some names I've only heard about through stories of cachers who have been in this game longer than I have. Every once in a while, I come across an original log and I can easily spend 15-30 minutes there reading through old entries and the "old" way that people signed the log that included some notes about their experiences to get to the cache. Many times, those older caches are placed in more remote areas so you get to enjoy the experience of hiking out to GZ, which in some cases, hasn't changed much from when it was first placed. If not in remote areas, they're sometimes in areas worthy of a visit, which you might not know about if it weren't for the cache placed there.

 

That does NOT mean that newer caches can't have that same effect. However, they won't have the same sense of nostalgia attached because they won't have been there long enough to provide a sense of history. When they get archived because the CO isn't active, it's sad to see it go, but I don't get mad about it. It's a part of the game (and life). Things change and sometimes there's nothing that you can do about it. Getting mad just adds another level of stress and angst that I don't need or want.

Edited by coachstahly
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I know it probably won't happen, but has Groundspeak considered the option of allowing a one time non-consensual adoption of all old caches (with inactive COs) published BEFORE the consensual policy went into effect? Any cache NOT adopted out would get archived at some point in time, based on the current practices OR based on the idea that if it's not adopted, it would be archived. It would be a lot of work on GS' part to identify all those caches with inactive COs, which is a MAJOR drawback to this option, but I believe it would be beneficial for all parties involved. It's made simpler by the fact that you're not looking at ALL the caches in they system, just ones still around from when the policy was in effect. GS gets to clear up some abandoned caches from their database and open up some spots to newer cachers to place new hides, cachers get to keep some older caches active, and that old cache gets a new CO who can maintain it properly, both out in the field and online.

I remember at least one Reviewer said that he kinda got caught in a bind for doing that (when guidelines allowed to, "pass 'em on to others" at the Reviewer's discretion).

CO came back (it happens...) and wondered what the heck happened to his hides.

Just this week a person asked in the forums what'd happen if he deactivated his account and came back to play again at a later date.

The caches don't belong to Groundspeak.

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I know it probably won't happen, but has Groundspeak considered the option of allowing a one time non-consensual adoption of all old caches (with inactive COs) published BEFORE the consensual policy went into effect?

  1. Groundspeak is a geocache listing service. They don't own the caches; the hiders own them. If the hiders become inactive, they still own their hidden caches. Since Groundspeak doesn't own the caches, they don't have the authority to give them to other geocachers.
     
  2. Groundspeak is not the only geocache listing service. A cache owner who becomes inactive on Groundspeak might be active on another geocaching website. And they might have listed their "abandoned" caches there.

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For me, the old caches have a slightly different meaning than just filling in a hole in your grid. I like doing that, don't get me wrong, but I don't find that to be the motivating factor in finding the older caches. I enjoy finding the older caches because I'm able to get a similar experience to what someone else did 10-14 years ago when these caches were first published. I get to see some names I've only heard about through stories of cachers who have been in this game longer than I have. Every once in a while, I come across an original log and I can easily spend 15-30 minutes there reading through old entries and the "old" way that people signed the log that included some notes about their experiences to get to the cache. Many times, those older caches are placed in more remote areas so you get to enjoy the experience of hiking out to GZ, which in some cases, hasn't changed much from when it was first placed. If not in remote areas, they're sometimes in areas worthy of a visit, which you might not know about if it weren't for the cache placed there.

+1

No interest in completing any challenge, I too enjoy the older, often lonely hides.

Unfortunately, the majority I've done so far had maintenance issues (with inactive COs).

Some could be and were corrected on site.

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Based on the information on the cache page and logs, I suspect this cache may be missing

 

Okay, valid point.

 

Looks like a boilerplate disable note: copy, paste, submit. Reviewer probably used it without thinking to customize to the situation - given that the cache owner was never gonna read it anyway, seems like an okay time saver from where i sit. Reviewer could have modified it some, just omitting the opening phrase would work.

What is sounds like is the problem is cut-and-paste language for the Reviewers which might not be that accurate for all cases. Knee-jerk, "gut" reactions are seemingly going to be leaning to the negative interpretation and responses to those "inaccurate" logs from the Reviewer.

 

In the case of that pg 3 Oregon cache, the owner is inactive, and the cache had maintenance issues listed in the "Found it" logs instead on NM logs. Now, it isn't the business of the Reviewer to make clearly subjective calls for archiving or disabling caches. My best guess is that this cache was a blip on the cache-checking template results and a closer inspection made for background. To me the objective situation is that the cache has an inactive owner, the cache has not been maintained, and even the recent finders had not taken the time to "help it out".

 

Perhaps, rather than asking the Reviewers to make public any and all background relevant to archival just to appease the few among us that get our knickers twisted, the Reviewer could take the time to review the caches again once they've posted their notes and adjust language accordingly.

 

I'm a fan of what I've seen in AK and OR:

"Hello, it appears your cache is under the weather..." and then cite the applicable guidelines they need to be in compliance with. Takes more time, but at least it gets rid of the "I suspect this cache is missing..." language which can be inaccurate--specifically in the case of the cache on pg 3 in OR that we're discussing.

Edited by NeverSummer
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For me, the old caches have a slightly different meaning than just filling in a hole in your grid. I like doing that, don't get me wrong, but I don't find that to be the motivating factor in finding the older caches. I enjoy finding the older caches because I'm able to get a similar experience to what someone else did 10-14 years ago when these caches were first published. I get to see some names I've only heard about through stories of cachers who have been in this game longer than I have. Every once in a while, I come across an original log and I can easily spend 15-30 minutes there reading through old entries and the "old" way that people signed the log that included some notes about their experiences to get to the cache. Many times, those older caches are placed in more remote areas so you get to enjoy the experience of hiking out to GZ, which in some cases, hasn't changed much from when it was first placed. If not in remote areas, they're sometimes in areas worthy of a visit, which you might not know about if it weren't for the cache placed there.

+1

No interest in completing any challenge, I too enjoy the older, often lonely hides.

Unfortunately, the majority I've done so far had maintenance issues (with inactive COs).

Some could be and were corrected on site.

 

The old caches are great, if they are the actual old caches. The same original ammo can (not much else survives 10+ years), with the original logbook, hidden the same way it was hidden 10 years ago. That's cool. You can sit and read the old logs and really see a piece of geocaching history. Unfortunately most old caches aren't the same anymore....like the Grandfather's axe paradox.....the blade has been replaced twice, the binding replaced 3 times, the handle replaced once. After some time everything has been replaced and repaired. Is it still the same axe? It's rare when a cache over 10 years old is still the same - logbook changed several times (now it's a logsheet with only trailnames), container busted up 5 years ago and since has had several throwdowns (once an ammo can, now a recycled spice container), used to be in a hollow stump about 5 feet from the trail but that stump deteriorated to dust about 3 years ago, now it's 20 feet over in the hollow base of a tree.

 

FYI...if people would like to read the old online logs of old archived caches, there's Project GC's handy list of archived caches in your area (under Tools > Map Compare): Project-GC Q&A Archived caches

Edited by L0ne.R
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Because there are so many caches with maintenance issues, Reviewers use copy 'n paste form templates when disabling caches or posting reviewer notes. Just yesterday I disabled 48 caches. Back in 2004 I could take the time to customize each of a handful of logs to summarize what the problem was with each cache. But now I just use a generic note that hopefully works in all situations, as I don't have the time to write 48 versions of the same log -- especially given the fact that most owners don't respond and inactive owners likely don't even read the note.

 

I also remember getting snarky notes from cache owners that I was making "value judgments" when trying to summarize what the issue was with their cache. So now I always just say this:

 

This geocache came to my attention as being in need of an owner maintenance visit. The cache owner needs to check on this cache and either fix the problem or archive the listing, after picking up any geo-litter. See the maintenance section of the Geocache Listing Guidelines: http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx?expand=1#cachemaintenance

 

I've added this cache to a bookmark list, and I will check back in four weeks or so to be sure that the maintenance has been done, or that an explanation has been provided. In the meantime, I have temporarily disabled this listing. When the maintenance is completed, the owner can re-enable the listing by entering an "enable listing" log. If the problem persists, I will need to archive this listing for lack of maintenance.

 

Thank you,

Keystone

Geocaching.com Volunteer Cache Reviewer

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Because there are so many caches with maintenance issues, Reviewers use copy 'n paste form templates when disabling caches or posting reviewer notes. Just yesterday I disabled 48 caches. Back in 2004 I could take the time to customize each of a handful of logs to summarize what the problem was with each cache. But now I just use a generic note that hopefully works in all situations, as I don't have the time to write 48 versions of the same log -- especially given the fact that most owners don't respond and inactive owners likely don't even read the note.

Reviewer templates are definitely a good thing. (I sometimes think they should be standardized so I can recognize the template response when I'm visiting another area as easily as I recognize the local ones.)

 

But we're discussing a special case where the reviewer is applying some secret consideration. Those are the cases where people would like to see something more that just a boilerplate, but, naturally, those are also the cases where reviewers will tend to be reluctant to explain the true justification.

 

In cases where the facts are evident in the log, I'm not worried about a canned response. It's not the reviewer's fault that no one filed an NA laying out the case.

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Hopefully you're not picking up a bad vibe from the reviewers who have posted here.

No, not in any way.

 

I am totally cool with owner notes like "hunting season will go an extra month" or "will check once park reopens in spring." I don't need a paragraph with a storyline.

And I have not gotten the impression that any reviewer requires more. I wrote more in the case I cited, but then I almost always write more than most. (I have dropped to #39 in Found It log length, but that's because there are more cachers writing long logs -- despite the complaints seen here about one-word logs, the ranks of those writing long logs remains robust.)

 

My best explanation -- before reading yours -- was that many cache owners are content to "commit suicide by reviewer" -- ignore the problem with the cache, knowing that the reviewer will archive it for lack of response without the owner having to do anything.

Yes, I think you're right about that too. Archiving one's own cache is not a happy thing. Asking for someone else's to be archived isn't happy either. I've done both, and didn't like it. I don't imagine that any reviewer likes doing it either.

 

Edward

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I wrote more in the case I cited, but then I almost always write more than most. (I have dropped to #39 in Found It log length, but that's because there are more cachers writing long logs -- despite the complaints seen here about one-word logs, the ranks of those writing long logs remains robust.)

Aside, sadly, I think it is more that people are writing one long log for their day and using automated methods to post them on all the caches of the day. It is no longer as useful a stat as it once was.

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I wrote more in the case I cited, but then I almost always write more than most. (I have dropped to #39 in Found It log length, but that's because there are more cachers writing long logs -- despite the complaints seen here about one-word logs, the ranks of those writing long logs remains robust.)

Aside, sadly, I think it is more that people are writing one long log for their day and using automated methods to post them on all the caches of the day. It is no longer as useful a stat as it once was.

+1

For years. :)

Funny I recognized an acquaintance right away (in the link), known for lengthy cut-n-paste logs for his cache day, with maybe a brief note underneath for an individual hide.

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[*]Groundspeak is not the only geocache listing service. A cache owner who becomes inactive on Groundspeak might be active on another geocaching website. And they might have listed their "abandoned" caches there.

 

Was that true in 2003 or earlier, since those are the caches we're mostly talking about?

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Groundspeak is not the only geocache listing service. A cache owner who becomes inactive on Groundspeak might be active on another geocaching website. And they might have listed their "abandoned" caches there.

Was that true in 2003 or earlier, since those are the caches we're mostly talking about?

The OP refers to a cache that was hidden in 2008 and archived last month. Same with the second cache the OP refers to. Most of the caches referred to in this thread were hidden post-2003.

 

Even pre-2003, it was certainly possible that caches "abandoned" on geocaching.com were still available to be found through local networking even if alternative international geocaching websites weren't available back then. The point is that just because a person becomes inactive on Groundspeak, their property doesn't transfer to Groundspeak.

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[*]Groundspeak is not the only geocache listing service. A cache owner who becomes inactive on Groundspeak might be active on another geocaching website. And they might have listed their "abandoned" caches there.

 

Was that true in 2003 or earlier, since those are the caches we're mostly talking about?

Nothing is stopping someone from place a cache and listing it here in 2003, then in 2009 cross listing it on a different site, and finally simply stop responding to emails from this site.

 

My guess however it that it would be extremely rare for someone who has crosslisted a cache to stop responding to Geocaching.com while still actively participating in another site. What happens more likely is that they have a dispute with a reviewer and decide to archive all their caches on GC.com and then list them somewhere else. The argument that an abandoned cache on GC.com may be actively maintained on another site seems specious.

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The argument that an abandoned cache on GC.com may be actively maintained on another site seems specious.

 

Yes and no. In some areas on geocaching.com the expectations on how fast maintenance has to happen are quite high, too high in my personal opinion.

I have no issue to wait a year and more until a nice cache gets finally maintained.

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  1. Groundspeak is a geocache listing service. They don't own the caches; the hiders own them. If the hiders become inactive, they still own their hidden caches. Since Groundspeak doesn't own the caches, they don't have the authority to give them to other geocachers.
     
  2. Groundspeak is not the only geocache listing service. A cache owner who becomes inactive on Groundspeak might be active on another geocaching website. And they might have listed their "abandoned" caches there.

Was that true in 2003 or earlier, since those are the caches we're mostly talking about?

Nothing is stopping someone from place a cache and listing it here in 2003, then in 2009 cross listing it on a different site, and finally simply stop responding to emails from this site.

 

My guess however it that it would be extremely rare for someone who has crosslisted a cache to stop responding to Geocaching.com while still actively participating in another site. What happens more likely is that they have a dispute with a reviewer and decide to archive all their caches on GC.com and then list them somewhere else. The argument that an abandoned cache on GC.com may be actively maintained on another site seems specious.

Even if you completely disregard the possibility of someone staying active on other geocaching websites, the fact remains that their caches still don't belong to Groundspeak. And, since Groundspeak doesn't own the caches, they don't have the authority to give them to other geocachers.

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Yes, most of the caches we're talking about are from after the policy was suspended, but I'm talking about caches that might fall into this situation we're discussing here, and are from a much earlier time period, and to some extent, hypothetical in nature.

 

Groundspeak doesn't have that authority now (giving away other peoples' caches), but they did earlier, as I understand it from posters who were around back then with more knowledge about this particular topic. I'm referring to only those caches placed when the policy was allowed, that are still active, with inactive COs, not any caches that were placed after the process was halted. As to former COs coming back on here and wondering what happened to their caches, I'd be more than happy to return a cache I adopted to the original CO. To the point, I just recently adopted a 2001 cache from another adoptee and was told that the original CO might want it back if they ever returned to the game. I have no problem with honoring that wish.

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Yes, most of the caches we're talking about are from after the policy was suspended, but I'm talking about caches that might fall into this situation we're discussing here, and are from a much earlier time period, and to some extent, hypothetical in nature.

 

Groundspeak doesn't have that authority now (giving away other peoples' caches), but they did earlier, as I understand it from posters who were around back then with more knowledge about this particular topic. I'm referring to only those caches placed when the policy was allowed, that are still active, with inactive COs, not any caches that were placed after the process was halted. As to former COs coming back on here and wondering what happened to their caches, I'd be more than happy to return a cache I adopted to the original CO. To the point, I just recently adopted a 2001 cache from another adoptee and was told that the original CO might want it back if they ever returned to the game. I have no problem with honoring that wish.

While Groundspeak used to adopt out caches with inactive owners, they never owned those caches and thus never had the authority to transfer ownership. Once they realized that, they stopped doing it.

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Yes, most of the caches we're talking about are from after the policy was suspended, but I'm talking about caches that might fall into this situation we're discussing here, and are from a much earlier time period, and to some extent, hypothetical in nature.

 

Groundspeak doesn't have that authority now (giving away other peoples' caches), but they did earlier, as I understand it from posters who were around back then with more knowledge about this particular topic. I'm referring to only those caches placed when the policy was allowed, that are still active, with inactive COs, not any caches that were placed after the process was halted. As to former COs coming back on here and wondering what happened to their caches, I'd be more than happy to return a cache I adopted to the original CO. To the point, I just recently adopted a 2001 cache from another adoptee and was told that the original CO might want it back if they ever returned to the game. I have no problem with honoring that wish.

While Groundspeak used to adopt out caches with inactive owners, they never owned those caches and thus never had the authority to transfer ownership. Once they realized that, they stopped doing it.

 

Just going from memory, I could be off a few years, but I don't think they "realized that" until about 2009! :) The only one in my region I can think of was involuntarily adopted out was way back in November 2003, as I just checked it out. I do remember it was a rather uncommon thing to see.

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The argument that an abandoned cache on GC.com may be actively maintained on another site seems specious.

 

Yes and no. In some areas on geocaching.com the expectations on how fast maintenance has to happen are quite high, too high in my personal opinion.

I have no issue to wait a year and more until a nice cache gets finally maintained.

I personally know reviewers who will allow a year or more for a cache to be maintained if the Cache Owner stays in contact with the Reviewer and the caching community through notes on the cache page. Reviewers generally stay out of making subjective calls regarding whether a cache is "nice" or not since they haven't personally visited most sites and really shouldn't allow personal bias to affect their decisions (though it does happen from time to time).

 

On the other hand, if the Cache Owner is unresponsive and a cache clearly has issues, why not archive it? Many Reviewers have several tens of thousands of caches in their territories. For how long should they be expected to watch how many caches before they finally take action? Archival doesn't have to be permanent...many Archival notes I have seen indicate the archived cache can be unarchived at the Cache Owner's request if the cache meets the current Guidelines.

Edited by Ladybug Kids
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