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Carbon Hunter

Earthcache owner - answering mails

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As the owner of many earthcaches - I get a fair number of mails every week.

 

My frustration is that a number of them come directly from the "mail to profile" link on my Profile (No problem with that).

 

My problem - many of the finders do not accept return mails- so I can not reply to acknowledge their log (i.e. to say well done log away or similar) - or to answer a question or query they may have.

 

The only way is now to click on their profile and open their profile page and then click to send a mail.

 

Most frustrating and long winded. In most cases I just dont answer them and come across as a rude or uninvolved owner.

 

Anyone else have this comment - or am I just being uptight :P:ph34r::anibad:

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Seems to me that if you can't reply to their email, you can't tell them they can log your caches. Not your fault.

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Anyone else have this comment - or am I just being uptight

 

I have the same issue for my virtual and for questions regarding to some of my challenging caches. I reply to all requests, but it is tiresome in particular because it is not possible to use quotes which are offered in reasonable e-mail programs but not in the Groundspeak system.

When replying to answers to several questions this is annoying.

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Seems even folks here for some time don't know to leave that box checked if they want an answer to a question.

I stop responding after one notice, when I see "noreply@" after (again) going to profile and asking if they want to continue a conversation.

I think for some it's habit.

 

As an Earthcache finder, I don't expect an answer from the CO unless we did something incorrectly.

We've probably received only a handful of responses from the few we've done.

 

Some really popular ones, the CO would have no time for anything else. :)

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Groundspeak provides the choice of keeping one's email address private, and some people are going to use that option. Some prefer to limit the number of people/organizations that have their email addresses (e.g., fear of spam). Others might have had bad email interactions with fellow geocachers. (Groundspeak won't intervene unless the abuse is through their email system.)

 

It might be frustrating having to go through Groundspeak to communicate with these folks, but that's the reality you must deal with. If you require people to get a reply from you before they can log their EC finds (is that still allowed?), then you can reduce the amount of frustration by not requiring a response from you. Most EC owners don't reply to logs that have no issues or questions.

 

If you like to acknowledge people's finds, then you can reduce the frustration by replying to only those that provide return email addresses.

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Groundspeak provides the choice of keeping one's email address private, and some people are going to use that option. Some prefer to limit the number of people/organizations that have their email addresses (e.g., fear of spam). Others might have had bad email interactions with fellow geocachers. (Groundspeak won't intervene unless the abuse is through their email system.)

 

It might be frustrating having to go through Groundspeak to communicate with these folks, but that's the reality you must deal with. If you require people to get a reply from you before they can log their EC finds (is that still allowed?), then you can reduce the amount of frustration by not requiring a response from you. Most EC owners don't reply to logs that have no issues or questions.

 

If you like to acknowledge people's finds, then you can reduce the frustration by replying to only those that provide return email addresses.

 

+1

 

If the sender doesn't click to reveal their email address, the email contains a link to their profile. Two clicks... Too much work?

 

I send without selecting to send my email address, but will include a 'caching' email address in with the required information to log the cache.

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As the owner of many earthcaches - I get a fair number of mails every week.

 

My frustration is that a number of them come directly from the "mail to profile" link on my Profile (No problem with that).

 

My problem - many of the finders do not accept return mails- so I can not reply to acknowledge their log (i.e. to say well done log away or similar) - or to answer a question or query they may have.

 

The only way is now to click on their profile and open their profile page and then click to send a mail.

 

Most frustrating and long winded. In most cases I just dont answer them and come across as a rude or uninvolved owner.

 

Anyone else have this comment - or am I just being uptight :P:ph34r::anibad:

 

You're being uptight. It's not reasonable to expect strangers to be forthcoming with their personal email addresses.

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Groundspeak provides the choice of keeping one's email address private, and some people are going to use that option. Some prefer to limit the number of people/organizations that have their email addresses (e.g., fear of spam). Others might have had bad email interactions with fellow geocachers. (Groundspeak won't intervene unless the abuse is through their email system.)

 

Groundspeak at least could offer a reasonable system allowing quotes for replying.

The clicks for selecting the cacher are the more harmless part. Having to remove the annoying html before being able to copy and paste into the mail window and then having no way to structure the reply, is the really annoying part. I do not care at all about seeing an e-mail address. The system could handle this much more elegantly.

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In most cases I just dont answer them and come across as a rude or uninvolved owner.

Add text on your Earthcache pages that say "If you would like an acknowledgement from me, do not hide your email address."

 

Majority of Earthcache / virtual owners do not bother responding. I always appreciate those that do. Some of those choose to contact me through my profile page, because they don't want to share their email with me (even though my email is included, replying would mean I get to see their email address).

 

I don't recall exactly, but isn't replying to such an email just clicking on a link in the email, which brings you to the "contact user" form on geocaching.com? It's different from hitting "reply" but not significantly more work (I agree with cezzane's point above - if you want to quote from his email, it's a few extra clicks). But if you don't want to, maybe try what I said above.

Edited by Chrysalides

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Majority of Earthcache / virtual owners do not bother responding.

 

Unfortunately in many areas this is really true. I think that this is one of the major issues of Earthcaches and it makes me wonder which other EC world Gary Lewis is experiencing how writes about discussions, learning etc

 

For some EC I visited, I really had wished a reply with respect to my attempt to answer the questions - it's not about being allowed to log a find, that's the unimportant part. The important part would have been to learn something new.

 

I reply to every single mail with respect to my virtual carefully and in detail when appropriate. It's a complex virtual which could be viewed as a kind of history cache coupled with a cache with a physical container for which it is the bonus cache. I would expect the same from EC owners. Many of them would not even react if one deliberately sends in some wrong answers.

 

Cezanne

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It's absolutely their right to keep their emails private. Just email them from the profile page--that's the way they have to email you the first time. It's an extra step, but that's the responsibility that comes with being an EC owner.

 

I respond to everyone who emails me, and I correct them if I need to. I always start with "you've earned your smiley," then I give them the correct info if they've made a mistake. I want folks to learn something--I find the geology fascinating, and I hope they do, too.

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It's absolutely their right to keep their emails private. Just email them from the profile page--that's the way they have to email you the first time. It's an extra step, but that's the responsibility that comes with being an EC owner.

 

I respond to everyone who emails me, and I correct them if I need to. I always start with "you've earned your smiley," then I give them the correct info if they've made a mistake. I want folks to learn something--I find the geology fascinating, and I hope they do, too.

 

Same here. A couple of clicks through the site doesn't deter me from letting people know that I received their responses.

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It's absolutely their right to keep their emails private. Just email them from the profile page--that's the way they have to email you the first time. It's an extra step, but that's the responsibility that comes with being an EC owner.

 

If Groundspeak provided a reasonably good system, they could keep their e-mail address private and the cache owner still could reply in an efficient way and make use of quoting etc.

For the first mail no quoting is needed, for follow-ups it is helpful and that's why all reasonable e-mail systems, forums etc offer this option.

The Groundspeak mail system is way behind what technology can offer in this context.

 

I respond to everyone who emails me, and I correct them if I need to. I always start with "you've earned your smiley," then I give them the correct info if they've made a mistake. I want folks to learn something--I find the geology fascinating, and I hope they do, too.

 

I'm pleased to hear that you reply to all EC mails. As an EC finder I get less a reply in less than 50% of the cases. In my home region I'd say in about 25%.

 

I wonder however how you deal with commenting and perhaps correcting if there are several questions with longer answers. Then I prefer to reply to each answer separately and quoting is very helpful for doing so. How you handle this?

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Groundspeak provides the choice of keeping one's email address private, and some people are going to use that option. Some prefer to limit the number of people/organizations that have their email addresses (e.g., fear of spam). Others might have had bad email interactions with fellow geocachers. (Groundspeak won't intervene unless the abuse is through their email system.)

Groundspeak at least could offer a reasonable system allowing quotes for replying.

The clicks for selecting the cacher are the more harmless part. Having to remove the annoying html before being able to copy and paste into the mail window and then having no way to structure the reply, is the really annoying part. I do not care at all about seeing an e-mail address. The system could handle this much more elegantly.

You made this point in Post #3 (and in Post #13), and I'm not sure why you're making it yet again in response to my comment. I don't dispute that Groundspeak's email system could be improved.

Edited by CanadianRockies

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I wonder however how you deal with commenting and perhaps correcting if there are several questions with longer answers. Then I prefer to reply to each answer separately and quoting is very helpful for doing so. How you handle this?

 

My EarthCaches are not really all that complicated. A good and interesting lesson doesn't need to be very complicated, so responding doesn't usually require tons of quoting. I think 80% of the emails require no more than a "thanks for visiting my EC, great answers!" One thing I often do is open their email with the answers in one tab and my email back in a second tab--then I just go back and forth. It doesn't seem like that big a deal to me. I have 11 published EarthCaches, I can go a week without a log easily, especially in the winter. Maintaining my ECs doesn't really take up that much of my time--if it ever got to be too much work, I'd just archive some of them.

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My EarthCaches are not really all that complicated. A good and interesting lesson doesn't need to be very complicated, so responding doesn't usually require tons of quoting.

 

Of course they do not need to be complex, but some are and my virtual is complex, too.

And also most of my mystery caches are complex - so is cachers send me mails with questions and variables I should comment on, I miss quoting extremely much.

 

I think 80% of the emails require no more than a "thanks for visiting my EC, great answers!"

 

Ok, then I'm not surprised that you do not miss quoting. However ECs like this are typically the ones where I do not learn something new when everything is so easy to answer fully correctly and without need to provide further explanations or details.

 

One thing I often do is open their email with the answers in one tab and my email back in a second tab--then I just go back and forth. It doesn't seem like that big a deal to me. I have 11 published EarthCaches, I can go a week without a log easily, especially in the winter. Maintaining my ECs doesn't really take up that much of my time--if it ever got to be too much work, I'd just archive some of them.

 

The point is rather that with a better system it could be much less work.

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The point is rather that with a better system it could be much less work.

 

The "work" we are talking about here is the work of:

 

1. Clicking through someone's profile to send a message.

2. Copy and pasting text from their original message into that message.

 

That's very little work to begin with.

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2. Copy and pasting text from their original message into that message.

 

That's very little work to begin with.

 

No that does not suffice. I need to insert manually some sign (e.g. >) at the beginnings of the lines I leave in the message

before I can comment on every such part. If I hit the reply button already in the mail program (after having switched away the annoying html)

and then copy over the result with all quotes, the formatting gets ruined within the Groundspeak mailing system. So I need to take care of it manually.

Edited by cezanne

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Ok, then I'm not surprised that you do not miss quoting. However ECs like this are typically the ones where I do not learn something new when everything is so easy to answer fully correctly and without need to provide further explanations or details.

 

 

Ah--but my EarthCaches aren't typical! I teach for a living, and I know how to design lesson plans. I've completed 324 ECs and learned from every one of them because I usually research the topics after simply because they interest me, and I like to learn. You get out what you put in.

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If someone sends me their email address, I reply to them regardless of whether they got everything right or had errors. Many times it's just to confirm that their answers were good and to thank them for logging our earthcache.

 

If someone does not send their email address, I assume for the sake of argument that they don't want an email from me, and I only send them a message through their profile if they were off on their answers.

 

We are getting further from the rule change that eliminated the requirement for permission to log. So I find that fewer and fewer cachers are waiting for permission. Most cachers who log our ECs send emails right around the same time that they log their finds.

 

I should probably specify not to wait for a response to log their finds -- especially before I have to go to the field for weeks at a time without email access. I already have that on our profile, but no telling who actually reads that. While I'm at it, I may add language that if they want a response they should include their email.

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Ah--but my EarthCaches aren't typical! I teach for a living, and I know how to design lesson plans. I've completed 324 ECs and learned from every one of them because I usually research the topics after simply because they interest me, and I like to learn. You get out what you put in.

 

I also have an interest into the topic, but often I then have questions and if they are in connection to the raised question of an EC (which asks for more than something which has an obviously unique answer that one cannot get wrong when investing work) I welcome a reply from the EC owner whom I expect to know more about the background or to be able to point me at least to some literature.

 

I have not looked at your EC - I just thought that if 80% of the time you just can reply "YOu earned your smilie" the questions must be quite easy so that as a visitor one hardly can have doubts to have got everything correct.

 

If the EC owner just has googled a bit about the topic and copied and pasted some text they do not understand themselves, of course they cannot answer and do not have an interest to answer.

 

I have done ECs where the majority of visitors even learn wrong things. For example, there is an EC in my area where the owner sents the cachers to a location near a talc mine where pieces of leucophyllite lie around while the cache owner instructs the cachers that what they find there is talk and ask questions about talc. Almost all visitors of the cache thank the cache owner for what they have learnt about talc by looking at something which is not even talc. In my log and the log of two other cachers (I immediately realized that it was not talc, but I was not aware of what it was) the issue is mentioned and I also wrote to the cache owner. he is not willing to change the cache which is about talc and argues that the talc is not openly available anyway and that he was not aware that what is deposited is not talc. I just wonder how can the cache about talc be instructive when it has been set up by someone who did not understand his own questions? It's evident that hardness of leucophylitte on the Mohs scale is not 1 and the question for the Mohs hardness of the inspected mineral is one of the questions.

 

Somehow the phrase "Thank you for having me learnt something" is a standard phrase in EC while I often feel that nothing has been learnt (properly understood) or wrong things.

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If the EC owner just has googled a bit about the topic and copied and pasted some text they do not understand themselves, of course they cannot answer and do not have an interest to answer.

 

 

I generally put 6-8 hours of research into my ECs. I put everything in my own words--nothing is by cut and paste. But, again--I'm a teacher. "Easy" doesn't mean they didn't learn something. People who do the ECs aren't geologists . Sometimes a short, simple lesson is more memorable than a long, involved one they might not understand. Of the over 300 ECs I've completed, about 10% of them were so complex that I really couldn't understand them at all, and I have a good grounding in geology after taking 2 years of courses in college. I try to make mine short and interesting, they can all be completed by simple observation and reading my cache pages (though a couple ask for elevation readings, too). If some folks find ways to cheat and find the answers online, I don't worry about it. I wrote the ECs for the people who enjoy them--that's reward enough for me. I feel like I'm giving back to the game and being a good citizen of the geocaching community.

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I generally put 6-8 hours of research into my ECs. I put everything in my own words--nothing is by cut and paste. But, again--I'm a teacher. "Easy" doesn't mean they didn't learn something. People who do the ECs aren't geologists .

 

I'm not a geologist either and I did not attend any courses on geology.

 

Sometimes a short, simple lesson is more memorable than a long, involved one they might not understand.

 

True, but that of course depends on the person. A lesson that tells me nothing new is boring for me while it can be just perfectly suitable for someone else.

 

Of the over 300 ECs I've completed, about 10% of them were so complex that I really couldn't understand them at all, and I have a good grounding in geology after taking 2 years of courses in college.

 

I also encountered ECs which I could not understand and typically the creators of those ECs have not understood the material themselves. Another reason why they probably choose not to reply at all and be content if people just send something (and sometimes not even that).

 

I always send my e-mail adress along and nevertheless I get a reply in less than 50% of the ECs I'm doing. It's not about getting log permission for me - I'm interested into feedback about my answers and comments.

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The point is rather that with a better system it could be much less work.

 

The "work" we are talking about here is the work of:

 

1. Clicking through someone's profile to send a message.

2. Copy and pasting text from their original message into that message.

 

That's very little work to begin with.

 

It is very little work if you only have a few ECs - but I own over 50 (and growing) - and this "little" work can become a LOT of work as the volumes increase. In the earlier days I was not too worried - but as the volumes increase - so does the frustration!

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The point is rather that with a better system it could be much less work.

 

The "work" we are talking about here is the work of:

 

1. Clicking through someone's profile to send a message.

2. Copy and pasting text from their original message into that message.

 

That's very little work to begin with.

 

It is very little work if you only have a few ECs - but I own over 50 (and growing) - and this "little" work can become a LOT of work as the volumes increase. In the earlier days I was not too worried - but as the volumes increase - so does the frustration!

 

+58 (that's +1 for each of my earthcaches)

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I guess that's one of the reasons why we don't have so many EarthCaches. We got burned when one of ours ended up in the middle of a powertrail (fortunately archived now, the trail, not the EC). We also decided against one in the middle of Paris, though it might have worked out topic-wise. But a new one is in the making right now, again at a location that won't see too many logs.

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The point is rather that with a better system it could be much less work.

 

The "work" we are talking about here is the work of:

 

1. Clicking through someone's profile to send a message.

2. Copy and pasting text from their original message into that message.

 

That's very little work to begin with.

 

It is very little work if you only have a few ECs - but I own over 50 (and growing) - and this "little" work can become a LOT of work as the volumes increase. In the earlier days I was not too worried - but as the volumes increase - so does the frustration!

 

If you can't handle the volume, perhaps you should reconsider how many caches you own. It's not reasonable to expect cachers to compromise their privacy because you have more caches than you can handle. The website lets us keep our emails private for good reason.

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I'm guessing that you could post a "write note" on your Earth Cache page. Something like "Congrats xxx your emailed answers were correct. You may log as found. Sorry I could not respond to your email."

I only have 3 EC's that get logged less than 10 times per year. I have found EC's in more than 10 states so I submitted and got the third approved so that I could become a Platinum Earth Cache Master.

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The point is rather that with a better system it could be much less work.

 

The "work" we are talking about here is the work of:

 

1. Clicking through someone's profile to send a message.

2. Copy and pasting text from their original message into that message.

 

That's very little work to begin with.

 

It is very little work if you only have a few ECs - but I own over 50 (and growing) - and this "little" work can become a LOT of work as the volumes increase. In the earlier days I was not too worried - but as the volumes increase - so does the frustration!

 

If you can't handle the volume, perhaps you should reconsider how many caches you own. It's not reasonable to expect cachers to compromise their privacy because you have more caches than you can handle. The website lets us keep our emails private for good reason.

 

+1

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If you can't handle the volume, perhaps you should reconsider how many caches you own.

 

We humbly apologise for putting all the work in to create lots of geocaches for others to enjoy.

 

I did a quick check of numbers around where I am a little while back and found that less than 1% of the active geocachers placed more than 80% of all the caches. Without that 1%, geocaching would almost cease to exist. It doesn't mean the 1% are demanding trailer loads of gratitude, but a slightly easier and more convenient system wouldn't go amiss.

 

Personally, I'm all good with people keeping their email addresses private although I think it's pretty rude if they do so and ask a question at the same time that they expect an answer for. I think the email system on this website is poor - it sits half way between convenient and privacy protection. If you could actually communicate with one another privately through the website then replies would be a simple affair. As it stands, it's not 2 clicks at all - it's a couple of clicks and logging into the website, unless of course you think that we should all be permanently logged into the website from every device we own.

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Don't be so cranky. If you get loads of emails in a day, just set aside a half-hour of your evening to log into the website at home and answer them all. Or wait until Saturday. Just out of curiosity--how many actually don't use their own emails? I think that 8 or 9 out of 10 allow me to just return the email. It's only 1 or 2 out of 10 that make me log into the website. So what are your stats, those of you with 50 or more?

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If you can't handle the volume, perhaps you should reconsider how many caches you own.

 

We humbly apologise for putting all the work in to create lots of geocaches for others to enjoy.

 

Creating the caches is only half of the equation. Maintaining them is the other half. With Earthcaches, you rarely need to visit the site, there is no container to maintain, and no logbooks to replace. Minding the logs is the maintenance.

Edited by narcissa

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