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Groundspeaks lays down some event time rules...


ArtieD
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So I hear on Podcacher there have been some rule changes about events...regular events can be no less than 30 minutes, CITOs an hour and Mega events four hours. The last two I can see being no big deal, but the first, yeah, it could be. Unless you drag it out a bit, flash mobs are essentially toast. Thoughts?

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So I hear on Podcacher there have been some rule changes about events...regular events can be no less than 30 minutes, CITOs an hour and Mega events four hours. The last two I can see being no big deal, but the first, yeah, it could be. Unless you drag it out a bit, flash mobs are essentially toast. Thoughts?

Have the flash mob at a set time. People can hang around for a half hour and mingle - or not.

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So I hear on Podcacher there have been some rule changes about events...regular events can be no less than 30 minutes, CITOs an hour and Mega events four hours. The last two I can see being no big deal, but the first, yeah, it could be. Unless you drag it out a bit, flash mobs are essentially toast. Thoughts?

 

Good!

 

It seems to be popular nowadays to get numbers, icons, D/T combos, and whatnot by doing the bare minimum.

Edited by 4wheelin_fool
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Unless you drag it out a bit, flash mobs are essentially toast. Thoughts?
The true flash mob events that I've been to required more than 15 minutes to prepare for and rehearse the flash mob activity anyway. No big deal.

 

Most of the other "flash mob" events that I've been to lasted longer than half an hour anyway. Sure, all the official business (signing the log, conducting a raffle, maybe even playing a quick game) was conducted during the official 15-minute time frame, but the gathering and mingling and socializing lasted longer than half an hour. No big deal.

 

And any events that don't last at least half an hour are really about the smiley, not about "the social aspect of geocaching". No big deal.

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Unless you drag it out a bit, flash mobs are essentially toast. Thoughts?
The true flash mob events that I've been to required more than 15 minutes to prepare for and rehearse the flash mob activity anyway. No big deal.

 

Most of the other "flash mob" events that I've been to lasted longer than half an hour anyway. Sure, all the official business (signing the log, conducting a raffle, maybe even playing a quick game) was conducted during the official 15-minute time frame, but the gathering and mingling and socializing lasted longer than half an hour. No big deal.

 

And any events that don't last at least half an hour are really about the smiley, not about "the social aspect of geocaching". No big deal.

+1

The few we attended, it took a while for the preparation.

One, we were issued empty water pistols and had to hurriedly fill 'em up for start time. :)

- And with folks hanging around afterwards, "Wanta go with us for a few?" easily took up that 30 minutes.

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I'm curious if there will be changes to what counts as an "attended". If people are still allowed to show up for 30 seconds and then leave, but still count it as "attended" than I really don't see how the rule change will have much of an effect. On the other hand, will event organizers be given leave to delete/police attended logs for folks that don't really stick around for the minimum duration? I don't see that happening either, especially for Mega events (requiring people to be there for 4 hours!). On first examination, the only thing that may have changed is what you are allowed to write on the listing itself. Maybe I'm just not thinking clearly though.

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I'm curious if there will be changes to what counts as an "attended". If people are still allowed to show up for 30 seconds and then leave, but still count it as "attended" than I really don't see how the rule change will have much of an effect. On the other hand, will event organizers be given leave to delete/police attended logs for folks that don't really stick around for the minimum duration? I don't see that happening either, especially for Mega events (requiring people to be there for 4 hours!). On first examination, the only thing that may have changed is what you are allowed to write on the listing itself. Maybe I'm just not thinking clearly though.

 

I guess the idea is to provide a lower bound on the length of the time frame during which attendance is possible. So everyone who shows up within the period of length at least x minutes (depending on the event type) will be able to log an attended log. For mega events this means for example that there cannot be mega events for which the time frame is only 2 hours long and not that everyone needs to be there for 2 hours or even 4.

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So I hear on Podcacher there have been some rule changes about events..

So why do we have to hear about this in a forum post following a podcast? Why don't Groundspeak announce this formally in the newsletter? Or am I missing something?

 

Not the first time they "leaked" something. I can remember the Geocaching Vlogger being the first person to report something. Can't remember what it was though. Sonny and Sandy are indeed the people behind the whole WWFM movement. See the contact page at gcwwfm.com. If you listen to the show, they in no way think this means the end of WWFM. HOWEVER, I personally believe it will be the end of "just for the heck of it" flash mobs. Good Riddance. :P

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So I hear on Podcacher there have been some rule changes about events..

So why do we have to hear about this in a forum post following a podcast? Why don't Groundspeak announce this formally in the newsletter? Or am I missing something?

This OP provides cutting edge info for all of us avant garde forum types. The masses will be told on a "need to know" basis. :ph34r: Seriously, I predict the other notices will follow shortly.

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So I hear on Podcacher there have been some rule changes about events...regular events can be no less than 30 minutes, CITOs an hour and Mega events four hours. The last two I can see being no big deal, but the first, yeah, it could be. Unless you drag it out a bit, flash mobs are essentially toast. Thoughts?

:ph34r:

 

Is it to control event padding around geowoodstock?

 

<_<

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I'm curious if there will be changes to what counts as an "attended". If people are still allowed to show up for 30 seconds and then leave, but still count it as "attended" than I really don't see how the rule change will have much of an effect. On the other hand, will event organizers be given leave to delete/police attended logs for folks that don't really stick around for the minimum duration? I don't see that happening either, especially for Mega events (requiring people to be there for 4 hours!). On first examination, the only thing that may have changed is what you are allowed to write on the listing itself. Maybe I'm just not thinking clearly though.

Let not forget this famous quote:

 

Bickering over the rules of a cache "find" was never the intent of Geocaching.com. There's no prize, no leaderboard, and no trophy, so there's no reason to get your knickers in a twist about anyone else's definition of a find.
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Let not forget this famous quote:

 

Bickering over the rules of a cache "find" was never the intent of Geocaching.com. There's no prize, no leaderboard, and no trophy, so there's no reason to get your knickers in a twist about anyone else's definition of a find.

 

Unfortunately not true anymore. The "find" is a prize, a trophy, a score.

 

A large amount of event finds are a requirement for some challenge caches.

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So I hear on Podcacher there have been some rule changes about events..

So why do we have to hear about this in a forum post following a podcast? Why don't Groundspeak announce this formally in the newsletter? Or am I missing something?

Maybe Podcaster read about it in a forum post, like this one : http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=329137

That just implies that at least one reviewer was requiring a minimum length. I think what we're looking for is an official announcement or modification of the guidelines. I'll have to listen to the podcast tonight to hear exactly what they say about the matter.

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I don't understand the need for additional guidelines.. If Groundspeak wants to stop event stacking, simply one type of event within a 20 mile range per day. Stops the event stacking right in it's tracks.

 

But, without the stacking, how can we get two or three smilies for meeting to pick up trash and have lunch?:ph34r:

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Maybe I'm late to the party on this, but what, exactly, is the problem that this guideline change is attempting to solve?

 

I'd say it's the creep towards increasingly ridiculously short events... first there were the 15 minutes flash mob, than 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 1 second... I don't know what is the shortest one that got published, but, yes, listings for events lasting one second have been submitted. <_<

 

An event is suppose to be an occasion for geocachers to socialize together. Not much socialization happens in a group in one second. A line was needed somewhere. Discussion led to 30 minutes being considered reasonable.

 

Note that people can still stay at the event for a much shorter time. But the event has to last at least 30 minutes. So you should not miss the entire event because it took you a few extra minutes to find parking...

 

As for the one hour minimum for CITO, I guess it was considered that you need a bit more time to socialize and pick a reasonable amount of trash.

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Maybe I'm late to the party on this, but what, exactly, is the problem that this guideline change is attempting to solve?

 

I'd say it's the creep towards increasingly ridiculously short events... first there were the 15 minutes flash mob, than 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 1 second... I don't know what is the shortest one that got published, but, yes, listings for events lasting one second have been submitted. <_<

 

An event is suppose to be an occasion for geocachers to socialize together. Not much socialization happens in a group in one second. A line was needed somewhere. Discussion led to 30 minutes being considered reasonable.

 

Note that people can still stay at the event for a much shorter time. But the event has to last at least 30 minutes. So you should not miss the entire event because it took you a few extra minutes to find parking...

 

As for the one hour minimum for CITO, I guess it was considered that you need a bit more time to socialize and pick a reasonable amount of trash.

 

I guess I have been fortunate in not seeing this firsthand.

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Maybe I'm late to the party on this, but what, exactly, is the problem that this guideline change is attempting to solve?

 

I'd say it's the creep towards increasingly ridiculously short events... first there were the 15 minutes flash mob, than 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 1 second... I don't know what is the shortest one that got published, but, yes, listings for events lasting one second have been submitted. <_<

 

An event is suppose to be an occasion for geocachers to socialize together. Not much socialization happens in a group in one second. A line was needed somewhere. Discussion led to 30 minutes being considered reasonable.

 

Note that people can still stay at the event for a much shorter time. But the event has to last at least 30 minutes. So you should not miss the entire event because it took you a few extra minutes to find parking...

 

As for the one hour minimum for CITO, I guess it was considered that you need a bit more time to socialize and pick a reasonable amount of trash.

 

I guess I have been fortunate in not seeing this firsthand.

Many/most of us have not experienced "event abuse for the smilie and/or the icon" in its many forms firsthand. Unfortunately, just like so many other things in life, the actions of a few cachers or communities in certain regions changed things for everyone. On the other hand, I have never been to an event where cachers have gathered for less than thirty minutes, even when the event was posted as a flash mob (cachers are generally lousy flash mobbers), so locally for me, the Guideline change won't alter the behavior of event hosts or attendees.

 

The guideline change has nothing to do with Event Stacking.

Edited by Ladybug Kids
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Many of us have not experienced "event abuse for the smilie and/or the icon" in its many forms firsthand. Unfortunately, just like so many other things in life, the actions of a few cachers or communities in certain regions changed things for everyone. On the other hand, I have never been to an event where cachers have gathered for less than thirty minutes, even when the event was posted as a flash mob (cachers are generally lousy flash mobbers), so locally for me, the Guideline change won't alter the behavior of event hosts or attendees.

 

By the sounds of it, it's probably for the best that they address it now. Planning for a flash mob + 15 minutes of hanging out after isn't so bad, really.

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Sounds like someone's knickers got in a twist over the increase in the number of flash mob style events. Not sure if people were upset because people could log multiple flash mob events on the same day, or if reviewers felt they were being swamped by the shear number of events. Another possibilty may be that someone who shows up 5 minutes late to a flashmob couldn't log. Once again TPTB create a new guideline and we get to speculate on what problem they are trying to solve.

 

Guidelines have become arbitrary and capricious. A Groundspeak representative providing some background on the need for a guidelines change would help.

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The Listing Guidelines were updated today, consistent with the summary in the Help Center that I linked to previously.

I must be missing something. I can't find any time minimums for events discussed on that page. Isn't that what I'm looking for?

I'm sure I looked at that when Keystone posted it and there was reference to a 30 minute minimum and don't see it now. I wonder if the website change which the listing change was part of has been rolled back?

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As the guidelines mention, "Event Caches facilitate the social aspect of geocaching." When an event is only 5 minutes long (or less!), it's unlikely much socializing can take place.

 

The 30-minute minimum timeframe aims to ensure that a minimum amount of time is allowed to form meaningful connections.

Thanks for the reply.

 

I was going to predict something like this.

 

The guidelines have always been that events are to facilitate the social aspect of caching and a 5 minute flash mob doesn't seem to provide enough time to socialize.

 

To counter this I will point out that at many events the "wall flower" sits by himself off to one side for an hour or more and doesn't socialize. On the other hand, some of the flash mobs I've been to have been quite successful encouraging cachers to socialize. Think of it like speed dating.

 

While it may not be the case for all flash mobs, the ones I've been to, often have cachers getting together to spend the rest of the day caching. Newbies will pair up with experienced cachers. People who have never cached with someone else spend the day making new friends. While the guidelines say events should not be set up for the purpose of gathering geocachers for a geocache search, the flash mobs I've been too are often use to get around a guideline that makes little sense to the "social" geocacher. Is the social aspect of geocaching drinking a beer, or is it going out and finding caches? I think I now know what Groundspeak thinks it is.

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As the guidelines mention, "Event Caches facilitate the social aspect of geocaching." When an event is only 5 minutes long (or less!), it's unlikely much socializing can take place.

 

The 30-minute minimum timeframe aims to ensure that a minimum amount of time is allowed to form meaningful connections.

 

Well, but when the main goal of events is to facilitate the social aspect of geocaching, why does Groundspeak insist on events on a fixed location and does not allow the event to be e.g. a walk from A to B.

The new rule forces that the event organizers have to sit or stand around for the required time at the given coordinates which I see as cutting down on the flexibility of what events can be.

 

I have never been a fan of flash mob events, however I also have always been a fan of outdoor events that do not take place at a fixed location. The combination of a fixed location with the minimum time limit does not go well together in my opinion.

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As the guidelines mention, "Event Caches facilitate the social aspect of geocaching." When an event is only 5 minutes long (or less!), it's unlikely much socializing can take place.

 

The 30-minute minimum timeframe aims to ensure that a minimum amount of time is allowed to form meaningful connections.

 

Well, but when the main goal of events is to facilitate the social aspect of geocaching, why does Groundspeak insist on events on a fixed location and does not allow the event to be e.g. a walk from A to B.

The new rule forces that the event organizers have to sit or stand around for the required time at the given coordinates which I see as cutting down on the flexibility of what events can be.

 

I have never been a fan of flash mob events, however I also have always been a fan of outdoor events that do not take place at a fixed location. The combination of a fixed location with the minimum time limit does not go well together in my opinion.

Oh. THIS again. <_<

 

:drama:

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Is the social aspect of geocaching drinking a beer, or is it going out and finding caches? I think I now know what Groundspeak thinks it is.

 

It's definitely sitting or standing around and eat and drink. One cannot even go out and walk around (with no cache searching at all) for what an event means to Groundspeak.

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Is the social aspect of geocaching drinking a beer, or is it going out and finding caches? I think I now know what Groundspeak thinks it is.

 

It's definitely sitting or standing around and eat and drink. One cannot even go out and walk around (with no cache searching at all) for what an event means to Groundspeak.

No. You CAN go walk around. You can still hike, bike, run, raft, ride a train, or play leapfrog. Nothing is stopping you.

 

Those activities can take place during an event duration, but they are not the "requirement" for the socialization of events. You can have an event at a trailhead for 30 minutes (or more!) before or after your hike. You can even allow people to come at "A" time, others leave to go do something else if they like (hike, walk, raft, whatever), and people can still come and socialize without a requirement that they do anything other than socialize in some way until "Z" time.

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Is the social aspect of geocaching drinking a beer, or is it going out and finding caches? I think I now know what Groundspeak thinks it is.

 

It's definitely sitting or standing around and eat and drink. One cannot even go out and walk around (with no cache searching at all) for what an event means to Groundspeak.

 

From the guidelines: ...Additional waypoints may be added to the event listing for the locations of event activities...

 

Sounds to me that there can be several other adjacent locations for other activities (other than standing right at the published coordinates). I think they want someone at the published location to welcome arrivals (and maybe oversee a logbook?). I don't see anything in the guidelines that absolutely requires everyone to stay at the published coordinates only and "eat and drink" only there. I just attended the Yuma event, and there most certainly was a lot of milling around all over the park and surrounding area during the entire event. However, there were people "overseeing" the registration table at all times.

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From the guidelines: ...Additional waypoints may be added to the event listing for the locations of event activities...

 

Sounds to me that there can be several other adjacent locations for other activities (other than standing right at the published coordinates). I think they want someone at the published location to welcome arrivals (and maybe oversee a logbook?). I don't see anything in the guidelines that absolutely requires everyone to stay at the published coordinates only and "eat and drink" only there. I just attended the Yuma event, and there most certainly was a lot of milling around all over the park and surrounding area during the entire event. However, there were people "overseeing" the registration table at all times.

 

Exactly (logbook is optional, of course).

 

You can have the event at the trailhead, and people can go hiking before/during/after the event.

 

You can't have the event being : "wherever the event organizer happens to be along the trail at this precise moment". And you can't have an event being : "to log this as attended, you need to hike 10 km with the group".

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No. You CAN go walk around. You can still hike, bike, run, raft, ride a train, or play leapfrog. Nothing is stopping you.

 

Those activities can take place during an event duration, but they are not the "requirement" for the socialization of events.

So why aren't hiking, biking, running, rafting, riding a train, or playing leapfrog socializing? What exactly makes something "socializing" and other things, stuff you can do at your event but they don't meet the "requirement" for socialization? Do you have to play party games? Do you have to serve alcohol? Inquiring minds want to know.

 

It seems the definition of socializing is to show up at a fixed location between a fixed start time and fixed end time that is at least 30 minutes later. :ph34r:

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No. You CAN go walk around. You can still hike, bike, run, raft, ride a train, or play leapfrog. Nothing is stopping you.

 

But the rule that what Groundspeak sees as event has to last at least 30 minutes means that one needs to stand and sit around for 30 minutes. Quite a waste of time for an event organizer and for event attendees who prefer other modes for socializing.

 

I still think that the combination of the two rules is unfortunate.

 

If one is forced to have this sedentary part, it could as well be as short as possible.

Edited by cezanne
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Sounds to me that there can be several other adjacent locations for other activities (other than standing right at the published coordinates). I think they want someone at the published location to welcome arrivals (and maybe oversee a logbook?). I don't see anything in the guidelines that absolutely requires everyone to stay at the published coordinates only and "eat and drink" only there. I just attended the Yuma event, and there most certainly was a lot of milling around all over the park and surrounding area during the entire event. However, there were people "overseeing" the registration table at all times.

 

Registration tables, several activities in a park ...... that all sounds like a large event.

 

But even for a small event: It requires the event organizer or someone else to sit/stand around for what for Groundspeak is the event which makes me wonder about their strange idea of an event. Even for an event in a restaurant of course not every participant needs to sit at a table during the whole event and is not allowed to move away. However during the whole event someone must be at the provided coordinates and this has to hold true for the whole period which has to fulfill the new lower bound.

 

I wonder how they feel that it can be done for CITOS which typically always move around - do they really expect someone to sit at a registration table?

Edited by cezanne
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No. You CAN go walk around. You can still hike, bike, run, raft, ride a train, or play leapfrog. Nothing is stopping you.

 

But the rule that what Groundspeak sees as event has to last at least 30 minutes means that one needs to stand and sit around for 30 minutes. Quite a waste of time for an event organizer and for event attendees who prefer other modes for socializing.

 

I still think that the combination of the two rules is unfortunate.

 

If one is forced to have this sedentary part, it could as well be as short as possible.

 

If what you're trying to do is go geocaching with friends, then go geocaching with friends. That is not, and has never been, what an event is.

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Sounds to me that there can be several other adjacent locations for other activities (other than standing right at the published coordinates). I think they want someone at the published location to welcome arrivals (and maybe oversee a logbook?). I don't see anything in the guidelines that absolutely requires everyone to stay at the published coordinates only and "eat and drink" only there. I just attended the Yuma event, and there most certainly was a lot of milling around all over the park and surrounding area during the entire event. However, there were people "overseeing" the registration table at all times.

 

Registration tables, several activities in a park ...... that all sounds like a large event.

 

But even for a small event: It requires the event organizer or someone else to sit/stand around for what for Groundspeak is the event which makes me wonder about their strange idea of an event. Even for an event in a restaurant of course not every participant needs to sit at a table during the whole event and is not allowed to move away. However during the whole event someone must be at the provided coordinates and this has to hold true for the whole period which has to fulfill the new lower bound.

 

I wonder how they feel that it can be done for CITOS which typically always move around - do they really expect someone to sit at a registration table?

 

No...they can jog in place. Do sit-ups, push ups, yoga, pull ups, jumping jacks...no where does it say they must sit in place. I think it might be assumed that the event organizer (and/or any helpers) will (as courtesy?) be available near the posted coordinates to greet people? People can rotate that position of greeter? And between greeting do push ups, leg stretches, beer drinking, kale munching, or whatever they please?

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Sounds to me that there can be several other adjacent locations for other activities (other than standing right at the published coordinates). I think they want someone at the published location to welcome arrivals (and maybe oversee a logbook?). I don't see anything in the guidelines that absolutely requires everyone to stay at the published coordinates only and "eat and drink" only there. I just attended the Yuma event, and there most certainly was a lot of milling around all over the park and surrounding area during the entire event. However, there were people "overseeing" the registration table at all times.

 

Registration tables, several activities in a park ...... that all sounds like a large event.

 

But even for a small event: It requires the event organizer or someone else to sit/stand around for what for Groundspeak is the event which makes me wonder about their strange idea of an event. Even for an event in a restaurant of course not every participant needs to sit at a table during the whole event and is not allowed to move away. However during the whole event someone must be at the provided coordinates and this has to hold true for the whole period which has to fulfill the new lower bound.

 

I wonder how they feel that it can be done for CITOS which typically always move around - do they really expect someone to sit at a registration table?

You DO realize how short 30 minutes is, right? :unsure:

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