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Working with Groundspeak and Reviewers for "active" events


NeverSummer
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Other topics have exhausted quality discourse on the subject, and someone recommended that we discuss how to continue the types of Event Caches some worry will disappear.

 

It has been clear that a few people on the forums view the 30-minute window as a detriment to the enjoyment of their favorite styles of events. Whereas one Reviewer may have previously published "moving" or "active" events that included a hike, bike ride, paddle, raft down a river, or whatever, some fear that these events will now disappear from Geocaching.com.

 

I beg to differ, as has been made abundantly clear within the discussion on 2 or 3 threads, and feedback (albeit limited) from Reviewers and Mods. So, I would like this thread to discuss alternative approaches to the new, clarified guideline for what Groundspeak states constitutes an "official" Groundspeak Geocaching.com Event Cache listing. It would appear that Groundspeak has chosen to reign in some of the inconsistency found across communities, and we're now looking at having to list the location (coordinates) for the event, list a starting and ending time, and be sure that there is a period at the coordinates of a minimum 30-minutes for geocachers to socialize at the Event Cache.

 

If this discussion turns into an argument rooted simply in the "I don't like it" or "this saddens me" realm, I'll have a Mod close it down. Let's be productive, positive, and cooperative in this discussion. See if you can be creative, and come up with an idea which still works clearly within the new guidelines as they read today.

 

I'll start:

_____________________

 

-I would like to agree with those who have liked and mentioned the "trial" version of Event Caches where an organized cache hunt was used as the event type. I think that this is a good way to add an event type which fosters socialization, as well as helps new cachers feel more welcome. Not only that, but new cachers would also have an opportunity to be "mentored" by others in the group who can help them understand the nuance of our hides, and understand more about the maintenance, placement guidelines, and hide styles they might encounter.

 

-I would also suggest that Groundspeak simply add language to the guidelines which help people understand that "moving" or "active" Event Caches can still happen. There are simple ways to have your cake and eat it too--publish a cache with overall timing (start and end) for the day's hike, but include a 30-minute window at the listed coordinates where people can count on finding the group they seek to socialize with.

 

-I would encourage the consideration of a "Active Event Cache" type. That would allow for events to be listed as "active", but be clear that there is an outdoorsy, adventure element. This would still need to adhere to the location, start-end time, non-commercial, and non-explicit/overt cache hunting guidelines. It would, however, make it clear that this event is about getting out, staying out,and doing something more than someone's dreaded "sitting around", eating pizza, or sipping coffee.

 

So, other than the clear "workarounds" (You can still work with a Reviewer and Groundspeak to get your ideal cache published, if they see that it meets the guidelines--put your actions where your sadness and words are, people!) that exist to have the same active "moving" events people like and fear they'll somehow lose, how would you suggest Groundspeak move forward with this new clarified guideline?

Edited by NeverSummer
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Hopefully this thread won't get into the type of shouting and not listening the other threads have fallen into. (Full disclosure, I've been warned by a moderator).

 

So I'll agree that people would like to hold have a somewhat different kind of event than one that has to conform to guidelines requring a minimum time spent in a fixed place. Clearly, there have traditionally been events like a hike or a train ride that can no longer be published without a qualifying "activity" - i.e. "we will be at the posted coords from time X till time Y".

 

Activities like hiking or a train ride clearly promote socialization and many cachers find these activities more conducive to making connections with other geocachers that sitting in a dark, noisy restaurant. Getting together to hunt geocaches probably works even better than hikes or train rides. Yet TPTB have always felt that the GC event listing should not be used for organizing cache hunts. People have always worked around these rules by creating mini events before or aftet the cache hunt. Traditionally these were either meeting for coffee in the morning or for drinks and perhaps a meal later in the day. It is true that with the advent of flash mob events these workaround became even easier.

 

I think many people are quite willing to have these sorts of events not count in the find count. The main interest is to use GC.com to let people know about the hike, train trip, or organized cache hunt. Of course, there may be some people who attend events to earn a smiley. I would hope that people don't use the smiley as the only excuse to cache or attend events. I'd prefer that Groundspeak doesn't start making distinctions now because that sends a message that the smiley is more important than it really is.

 

My personal preference would be to simply role back some of the guidelines to either allow events to start in one place and move, or to allow very short events to be used for the purpose of logging attended, and allow other activities to be shared in this way. I can understand that if people wanted (and could plan far enough in advance) they might schedule an event any time they are going geocaching - simply to find others to go with them. I think this possibility is part of the reason there has always been a guideline that events should not be used to organize geocache hunts. I'm not certain just how often events are used in this way. Perhaps someone can think of a way that reviewers could tell easily if this is what is planned or if this is really organizing geocachers to go on a hike (that just happens to have caches along the way).

Edited by tozainamboku
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See if you can be creative, and come up with an idea which still works clearly within the new guidelines as they read today.
So is this thread limited to the guidelines "as they read today"? In which case, an event cache needs a half-hour period at the posted coordinates, in addition to any activity that might be the raison d'être for the event cache. End of story. We may as well continue the existing thread about working within these guidelines.

 

Or can we discuss the guidelines as they once were, or the guidelines as they could be? In which case, we can discuss ways the guidelines could allow "moving" or "active" event caches without the workaround of a half-hour period at the posted coordinates, and without opening the door to organized cache hunts, or stacked flashmob events, or whatever else it is that Groundspeak is concerned about.

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-I would also suggest that Groundspeak simply add language to the guidelines which help people understand that "moving" or "active" Event Caches can still happen. There are simple ways to have your cake and eat it too--publish a cache with overall timing (start and end) for the day's hike, but include a 30-minute window at the listed coordinates where people can count on finding the group they seek to socialize with.

I'm not seeing anything in the guidelines about "windows", so I don't really understand why you say that an event could be posted as a 4 hour long hike as long as it started with a 30-minute window. Are you suggesting this window concept be added?

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See if you can be creative, and come up with an idea which still works clearly within the new guidelines as they read today.
So is this thread limited to the guidelines "as they read today"? In which case, an event cache needs a half-hour period at the posted coordinates, in addition to any activity that might be the raison d'être for the event cache. End of story. We may as well continue the existing thread about working within these guidelines.

 

Or can we discuss the guidelines as they once were, or the guidelines as they could be? In which case, we can discuss ways the guidelines could allow "moving" or "active" event caches without the workaround of a half-hour period at the posted coordinates, and without opening the door to organized cache hunts, or stacked flashmob events, or whatever else it is that Groundspeak is concerned about.

If your idea is not a new concept, apart from the overall, current blanked for Event Cache guidelines, then yes...limited to how the cache could be listed today, within the guidelines.

 

Any other creative ideas for new cache types?

 

Experiences working with Reviewers or TPTB to get a "moving" or "active" event published since the new clarification?

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-I would also suggest that Groundspeak simply add language to the guidelines which help people understand that "moving" or "active" Event Caches can still happen. There are simple ways to have your cake and eat it too--publish a cache with overall timing (start and end) for the day's hike, but include a 30-minute window at the listed coordinates where people can count on finding the group they seek to socialize with.

I'm not seeing anything in the guidelines about "windows", so I don't really understand why you say that an event could be posted as a 4 hour long hike as long as it started with a 30-minute window. Are you suggesting this window concept be added?

Me neither...at least not written as "window". But the 30-minute minimum is a window of event time where it has to be at the coordinates. Beyond that, it can be a longer "window" at the coordinates. It seems that the "window" can also simply be a portion of the overall event, as discussed in the Hiking and "new guidelines" threads.

 

So...what ideas do you have, dprovan?

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Hopefully this thread won't get into the type of shouting and not listening the other threads have fallen into. (Full disclosure, I've been warned by a moderator).

 

So I'll agree that people would like to hold have a somewhat different kind of event than one that has to conform to guidelines requring a minimum time spent in a fixed place. Clearly, there have traditionally been events like a hike or a train ride that can no longer be published without a qualifying "activity" - i.e. "we will be at the posted coords from time X till time Y".

 

Activities like hiking or a train ride clearly promote socialization and many cachers find these activities more conducive to making connections with other geocachers that sitting in a dark, noisy restaurant. Getting together to hunt geocaches probably works even better than hikes or train rides. Yet TPTB have always felt that the GC event listing should not be used for organizing cache hunts. People have always worked around these rules by creating mini events before or aftet the cache hunt. Traditionally these were either meeting for coffee in the morning or for drinks and perhaps a meal later in the day. It is true that with the advent of flash mob events these workaround became even easier.

 

I think many people are quite willing to have these sorts of events not count in the find count. The main interest is to use GC.com to let people know about the hike, train trip, or organized cache hunt. Of course, there may be some people who attend events to earn a smiley. I would hope that people don't use the smiley as the only excuse to cache or attend events. I'd prefer that Groundspeak doesn't start making distinctions now because that sends a message that the smiley is more important than it really is.

 

My personal preference would be to simply role back some of the guidelines to either allow events to start in one place and move, or to allow very short events to be used for the purpose of logging attended, and allow other activities to be shared in this way. I can understand that if people wanted (and could plan far enough in advance) they might schedule an event any time they are going geocaching - simply to find others to go with them. I think this possibility is part of the reason there has always been a guideline that events should not be used to organize geocache hunts. I'm not certain just how often events are used in this way. Perhaps someone can think of a way that reviewers could tell easily if this is what is planned or if this is really organizing geocachers to go on a hike (that just happens to have caches along the way).

I also, quite honestly (and not to poke a hornets' nest) wonder if taking away the smiley for your "Attended" log would squash much of the rationale behind additional guidelines?

 

The start-end would stand. The coordinates would stay. The non-commercial would remain. But, if you took away any bickering over what constitutes enough time to get to an event, or to say you've "attended" so you can log an "Attended"... Wouldn't one be able to post nearly any kind of event--moving or not?

 

This assumes that the rationale behind the decision has anything to do with the ability of one to log "Attended" and increase their smiley count.

 

I think that, through the system of working with a Reviewer, and processing appeals as needed, the way this new guideline will work is going to wash out. I don't see how we can't simply work with the Reviewers to find a way to have "active" or "moving" Events, so long as they meet the guidelines (and yes, even the guidelines today, with that "30-minute minimum at the coordinates" part).

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Me neither...at least not written as "window". But the 30-minute minimum is a window of event time where it has to be at the coordinates. Beyond that, it can be a longer "window" at the coordinates. It seems that the "window" can also simply be a portion of the overall event, as discussed in the Hiking and "new guidelines" threads.

Are we reading the same thing? The new change says the event itself must be 30 minutes minimum. It doesn't say anything about that 30 minutes being the minimum amount of stationary activities at the start of what could be a much longer event that isn't at the posted coordinates.

 

So...what ideas do you have, dprovan?

As I've said over and over, I don't understand the problem being solved, so I can't suggest a better way to solve it. So my idea so far is to make clear guidelines with justifications for any restrictions, but I would have thought that was obvious without me suggesting it.

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...(and yes, even the guidelines today, with that "30-minute minimum at the coordinates" part).

Again, where are you seeing this? You've even quoted it this time, so does that mean you can point me to that exact phrase in the guidelines? I'm not finding that page, so perhaps that's my main problem.

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...(and yes, even the guidelines today, with that "30-minute minimum at the coordinates" part).

Again, where are you seeing this? You've even quoted it this time, so does that mean you can point me to that exact phrase in the guidelines? I'm not finding that page, so perhaps that's my main problem.

Guidelines: II.-2.-6. Event Caches (bolding mine)

An event is a gathering of geocachers, facilitating the social aspect of geocaching. It is organized by geocachers and is open to other geocachers and those interested in learning about the game. It takes place at the posted coordinates, includes start and end times, and lasts at least 30 minutes. Events with several elements, a sequence of events, or events that are near the same time or location and intended for the same audience should be submitted as a single event. Additional waypoints may be added to the event listing for the locations of event activities.
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I also, quite honestly (and not to poke a hornets' nest) wonder if taking away the smiley for your "Attended" log would squash much of the rationale behind additional guidelines?

 

The start-end would stand. The coordinates would stay. The non-commercial would remain. But, if you took away any bickering over what constitutes enough time to get to an event, or to say you've "attended" so you can log an "Attended"... Wouldn't one be able to post nearly any kind of event--moving or not?

 

This assumes that the rationale behind the decision has anything to do with the ability of one to log "Attended" and increase their smiley count.

You would still only be able to list events Grounspeaks wants to reccognize in the guidelines. If they truly beleive you can't socicalize without staying in one place for 30 minutes, then events that don't include this activity would not be listed.

 

I don't believe Groundspeak should be deciding what is worthy of being listed based on what some vocal minority thinks is worthy of a smiley. I hope it had nothing to do with the decision to make this guideline change.

 

I believe that it is reasonable to define events as activities organized by geocachers for other geocachers (of course family, friends, and even muggles who are interesting in meeting geocachers are welcome). I believe it is reasonble to declare that purposed is to facilitate socialization among geocachers. While I would not be as strict if I formulated the guidelines, I understand, for the reasons I stated above, why TPTB don't want events to be used to organize geocaching hunts.

 

The reasons for requiring the event to take place at the posted coordinates and have a stated start time and end time appear to have more to do with defining what 'attended' means for the purpose of logging online and less to do with socializing with other geocachers. This is reason for discussing the find count. If there were no count would cache owners be so quick to delete a log because someone showed up late, or showed up for the start of the hike but didn't go on it?

 

I think that, through the system of working with a Reviewer, and processing appeals as needed, the way this new guideline will work is going to wash out. I don't see how we can't simply work with the Reviewers to find a way to have "active" or "moving" Events, so long as they meet the guidelines (and yes, even the guidelines today, with that "30-minute minimum at the coordinates" part).

I haven't seen anyone getting events published that are primarily a hike (or some other moving activity) So far was are only speculating on what reviewers might allow. There could very well be ways that people put on a hiking event, or some other event, by adding an activity that takes place at the posted coordinate for 30 minutes that does and overshadow the hike or become the "event" in place of the hike. It would be interesting for people to report their experiences here.

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I haven't seen anyone getting events published that are primarily a hike (or some other moving activity) So far was are only speculating on what reviewers might allow. There could very well be ways that people put on a hiking event, or some other event, by adding an activity that takes place at the posted coordinate for 30 minutes that does and overshadow the hike or become the "event" in place of the hike. It would be interesting for people to report their experiences here.

And I think, to that end, the "Hiking" thread will have its answer when I hear back from Appeals.

 

For now, let's keep looking into how we can work with Reviewers, Groundspeak, and possibly come up with workable possibilities or ideas of how to appease those who want to have "active" events.

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Splitting hairs time...

 

What Groundspeak wrote:

It takes place at the posted coordinates, includes start and end times, and lasts at least 30 minutes.

 

What we're afraid the reviewers will see:

It takes place at the posted coordinates, includes start and end times, and lasts at least 30 minutes [at the posted coordinates].

 

What I'm hoping the reviewers will see:

It takes place at the posted coordinates [among others], includes start and end times, and lasts at least 30 minutes.

 

Groundspeak's true intentions:

(Who on earth knows?!?!?)

 

Hey Groundspeak, we're dying for a clarification! Hello?

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The reasons for requiring the event to take place at the posted coordinates and have a stated start time and end time appear to have more to do with defining what 'attended' means for the purpose of logging online and less to do with socializing with other geocachers. This is reason for discussing the find count. If there were no count would cache owners be so quick to delete a log because someone showed up late, or showed up for the start of the hike but didn't go on it?

 

And this makes me think back to my first experiences with events: They all had logbooks.

 

As others have mentioned, it's almost a possible interpretation that an event would need to have someone at the coordinates for the specified time span (start to end). While not overtly stated, some have read it that way. This makes for more of a "conference registration" feel, but also makes it abundantly clear for Event Cache owners who was actually at the event.

 

Some may choose to use that logbook to delete erroneous logs (well within the guidelines for cache owner maintenance of container and listing), others simply to have a "register" (ala summit register) of those where were at their event.

 

So, what about reintroducing the logbook to events?

 

I know that's annoying if used to keep people in one spot, but a hike Event host could carry it along, and pass it around on the trail.

 

...Then it leaves the onus up the the Event Cache owner to audit and maintain their listing and the logs posted to their page.

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Splitting hairs time...

 

What Groundspeak wrote:

It takes place at the posted coordinates, includes start and end times, and lasts at least 30 minutes.

 

What we're afraid the reviewers will see:

It takes place at the posted coordinates, includes start and end times, and lasts at least 30 minutes [at the posted coordinates].

 

What I'm hoping the reviewers will see:

It takes place at the posted coordinates [among others], includes start and end times, and lasts at least 30 minutes.

 

Groundspeak's true intentions:

(Who on earth knows?!?!?)

 

Hey Groundspeak, we're dying for a clarification! Hello?

This raises an interesting point.

 

I read them to be the "afraid" option. That's only because I don't know how else they can ask/require the event at the listed coordinates, and ask that it have a duration minimum.

 

EDIT TO ADD: I think that Groundspeak is more likely to state that all 3 must be present to win. If your event can do all 3, you're good to go. See below--

 

This would make the "workaround" be:

Come to my event at N10 10.101 W111 11.111

Start: 9am

End: 2pm

We'll leave for a hike at 9:30, from the additional coordinates listed below, and should be back by 2pm.

 

I don't know how this causes any real harm to any "moving" or "active" event, other than to leave a window open for people to come when they can to make the "hike" (might be late, might hit traffic, etc...but at least their arrival target to make it with the rest of the hikers is bigger than 30 seconds...), and/or leave the ability for those who want to socialize with others for a time period, and might not want or be able to join in the physical/active/moving activity. (Ignore the additional smiley when passing judgment here, if you can. Think of it from the socialization aspect, and making it possible for a Groundspeak Event Cache to be under an umbrella of "socializing", and not "doing something" or "going somewhere". )

 

Yes, yes, you can socialize on a train or on a hike. But someone might want the opportunity to socialize with others, but might not be able or willing that day to go on a train trip (financial constraints? time?). By leaving this 30-minute minimum at coordinates, you effectively add time for anyone who wants to socialize in any way at all the time to do so, before "the rest of us take off for the day to hike"...

 

So here, the idea would be to work with Reviewers to see that the event can still have the active components, but also meet the guidelines.

Edited by NeverSummer
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I'm still curious why GS felt they needed to make this change in the first place, they are a listing service and the more restrictive they become the less people will use them for listing.

Restrictive? Perhaps, to some.

 

One simply needs to call out that the event meets all 3 parts: Coordinates, Start and end times, and 30 minutes minimum duration. Meet all 3, and you still get your event the way you want--hike, activity, etc. (So long as it isn't commercial, and isn't specifically made for a cache hunt.)

Edited by NeverSummer
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If your idea is not a new concept, apart from the overall, current blanked for Event Cache guidelines, then yes...limited to how the cache could be listed today, within the guidelines.
Then why create this thread? We've already got an existing thread about working within these guidelines.

If you read above, it's to discuss other options which might be more agreeable. We can work within the guidelines, but also discuss how to move forward.

 

This is more than about hiking, and more than just about the announcement. This thread is to discuss new ideas, how we might work with Reviewers or Appeals (and our successes or failures in creating "active" Event Cache listings), etc.

 

Rather than just saying "I liked things in 2005" or "I like how it was done in my area before this clarification happened...", this thread is discussing the reality of our current situation, acknowledging that these guidelines are the ones we'll have to follow, and thinking of other ways to "get what I want" for "moving" or "active" events.

 

Additionally, the other threads are going in circles; I'm hoping we can be more productive and creative than just saying we're sad, upset, or might quit the game. <_<

Edited by NeverSummer
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...(and yes, even the guidelines today, with that "30-minute minimum at the coordinates" part).

Again, where are you seeing this? You've even quoted it this time, so does that mean you can point me to that exact phrase in the guidelines? I'm not finding that page, so perhaps that's my main problem.

Guidelines: II.-2.-6. Event Caches (bolding mine)

An event is a gathering of geocachers, facilitating the social aspect of geocaching. It is organized by geocachers and is open to other geocachers and those interested in learning about the game. It takes place at the posted coordinates, includes start and end times, and lasts at least 30 minutes. Events with several elements, a sequence of events, or events that are near the same time or location and intended for the same audience should be submitted as a single event. Additional waypoints may be added to the event listing for the locations of event activities.

Exactly. That clearly and unequivocally says the event takes place at the posted coordinates. It definitely does not say that only the first 30 minutes of the event have to be at the posted coordinates.

 

It does talk about additional waypoints, which allows for additional activities, but nothing about the possibility of additional activities at other coordinates seems to reduce the requirement for something called "the event" to be going on from a start time to an end time at the posted coordinates.

 

Honestly, I don't think I'm splitting hairs here. That's what it says. If that's not what it means, then perhaps we should be working on the wording. Although personally, I'm becoming more and more convinced that it says exactly what GS wants it to say, and they're just not defending it, so the rest of you are coming up with these weaker interpretations that aren't actually going to apply.

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this thread is discussing the reality of our current situation, acknowledging that these guidelines are the ones we'll have to follow, and

 

The principal problem with this is that apparently different people understand these guidelines differently. You, for example, understand them in a weaker manner than other cachers here (including myself). I'd wish we get a clarification. I hope you will receive a helpful reply to your mail you sent them (your chances are definitely better than mine would have been). As long as we happen to understand the current guidelines differently, circles will hardly be avoidable.

 

Another problem (that has been mentioned before) is that we do not know which sort of issues Groundspeak wants to address specifially with these event guidelines. So it's hard to come up with constructive suggestions what could serve the same purpose while being more positive towards active events as you call them.

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After sleeping on it, I'm not seeing the purpose of yet another thread. There seem to be two distinct views (in truth people fall on a spectrum between these views)

 

Group I: The new guidelines are fundamentally changing the way I can list my hiking or other moving event.

 

Group II: The new guidelines simply give minimum requirements for an event to be listed. Once you meet the minimum requirements, you can still have the event you always had.

 

I personally would be more interested in a third way. How can Groundspeak provide guidelines that accomplish their goals without impacting the way people have been holding events for many years. One part of this is understanding their goals and I've already gotten in trouble for doubting the "official" reason.

 

So now I'm willing to accept the official stand that events are to facilitate the social aspect of caching and Event Caches should not be set up [solely or primarily] for the purpose of gathering geocachers for a geocache search. (OK the brackets indicate that I would like geocache search guideline to less absolute - and more in keeping with today's reality where caches are published to coincide with events and mega events have Lab Caches). I'm willing to accept the need for a guidelines update to achieve these goals. I simply don't think that fixed time at fixed location contributes to achieving them.

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I'm thinking that it would make sense to add another class of events. Traditional events would be whatever it is Groundspeak wants that has to function like a party, has to allow anyone regardless of interessts or abilities, and has to have a low rating. (Personally, I think it would make more sense to call this class "Parties" since there's some debate about whether what Groundspeak is driving at could really be called "traditional".) And then add a new class which is more open and flexible, something like the relation between the unknown cache and the traditional cache.

 

Again, since I'm not sure what GS is trying to accomplish, I don't know if having a restricted class that is exactly what they want would be enough, or if they have some reason to specifically make sure the higher demand events cannot happen no matter what they're called.

 

And, just in case I haven't made it clear, frankly I pay almost no attention to events, so personally I could care less. I just find it odd that many very interesting ideas for events that seem quite reasonable -- possibly even a reason for me to have more interest in events -- are being specifically targeted.

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this thread is discussing the reality of our current situation, acknowledging that these guidelines are the ones we'll have to follow, and

 

The principal problem with this is that apparently different people understand these guidelines differently. You, for example, understand them in a weaker manner than other cachers here (including myself). I'd wish we get a clarification. I hope you will receive a helpful reply to your mail you sent them (your chances are definitely better than mine would have been). As long as we happen to understand the current guidelines differently, circles will hardly be avoidable.

 

Another problem (that has been mentioned before) is that we do not know which sort of issues Groundspeak wants to address specifially with these event guidelines. So it's hard to come up with constructive suggestions what could serve the same purpose while being more positive towards active events as you call them.

Let's try to keep it on topic.

 

Interpretations will be cleared up when the other thread gets its update from Groundspeak appeals.

 

So, rather than taking this topic off track, suggest how you might work with Reviewers and Groundspeak to see the events you want to see, while still meeting the guidelines for publication.

 

That, or what ideas do you have that might make the current situation more to your liking?

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After sleeping on it, I'm not seeing the purpose of yet another thread. There seem to be two distinct views (in truth people fall on a spectrum between these views)

 

Group I: The new guidelines are fundamentally changing the way I can list my hiking or other moving event.

 

Group II: The new guidelines simply give minimum requirements for an event to be listed. Once you meet the minimum requirements, you can still have the event you always had.

 

I personally would be more interested in a third way. How can Groundspeak provide guidelines that accomplish their goals without impacting the way people have been holding events for many years. One part of this is understanding their goals and I've already gotten in trouble for doubting the "official" reason.

 

So now I'm willing to accept the official stand that events are to facilitate the social aspect of caching and Event Caches should not be set up [solely or primarily] for the purpose of gathering geocachers for a geocache search. (OK the brackets indicate that I would like geocache search guideline to less absolute - and more in keeping with today's reality where caches are published to coincide with events and mega events have Lab Caches). I'm willing to accept the need for a guidelines update to achieve these goals. I simply don't think that fixed time at fixed location contributes to achieving them.

 

I'm thinking that it would make sense to add another class of events. Traditional events would be whatever it is Groundspeak wants that has to function like a party, has to allow anyone regardless of interessts or abilities, and has to have a low rating. (Personally, I think it would make more sense to call this class "Parties" since there's some debate about whether what Groundspeak is driving at could really be called "traditional".) And then add a new class which is more open and flexible, something like the relation between the unknown cache and the traditional cache.

 

Again, since I'm not sure what GS is trying to accomplish, I don't know if having a restricted class that is exactly what they want would be enough, or if they have some reason to specifically make sure the higher demand events cannot happen no matter what they're called.

 

And, just in case I haven't made it clear, frankly I pay almost no attention to events, so personally I could care less. I just find it odd that many very interesting ideas for events that seem quite reasonable -- possibly even a reason for me to have more interest in events -- are being specifically targeted.

This thread is meant to be a place to discuss how events have been published under the new update that might include "activities".

 

That, and how you might want to see things added or suggested--not unlike what dprovan is saying here, and you, Toz, said above.

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I haven't seen anyone getting events published that are primarily a hike (or some other moving activity) So far was are only speculating on what reviewers might allow. There could very well be ways that people put on a hiking event, or some other event, by adding an activity that takes place at the posted coordinate for 30 minutes that does and overshadow the hike or become the "event" in place of the hike. It would be interesting for people to report their experiences here.

For the past couple years, there's usually a monthly "Flash Mob" event that takes place at the top of different mountains in our area. Since the guideline change, the duration of the event is now 30 minutes instead of 15, but everything else seems to be happening like usual. Here's an example.

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I haven't seen anyone getting events published that are primarily a hike (or some other moving activity) So far was are only speculating on what reviewers might allow. There could very well be ways that people put on a hiking event, or some other event, by adding an activity that takes place at the posted coordinate for 30 minutes that does and overshadow the hike or become the "event" in place of the hike. It would be interesting for people to report their experiences here.

For the past couple years, there's usually a monthly "Flash Mob" event that takes place at the top of different mountains in our area. Since the guideline change, the duration of the event is now 30 minutes instead of 15, but everything else seems to be happening like usual. Here's an example.

Will you look at that. All systems normal. I am positively gobsmacked. Can we close this topic now. It looks like we got the answer we needed.

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For the past couple years, there's usually a monthly "Flash Mob" event that takes place at the top of different mountains in our area. Since the guideline change, the duration of the event is now 30 minutes instead of 15, but everything else seems to be happening like usual. Here's an example.

Thanks for sharing how one group is continuing to list their event under the new guidelines.

 

In this case people were already working around the guidelines by designating a 15 minute period as the "event". In this case all that has changed is that the amount of time spent at the "event" has doubled. I doubt many of the attendees will care much. Perhaps a few won't want to stay the extra time - of course they can still log attended even if they decide to leave early. I guess one could argue that if someone is late the 30 minute window gives them and extra fifteen minutes to log the event (though they still might not get in the photo).

 

The problem with this example is it raises a few question.

1, Why not just have a monthly hike?

2, Do you really need to designate a full half hour for the attendees to make meaningful connections? Especially where many will hike to the event in a group or will spend time before and after the event finding caches in the area.

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Let's try to keep it on topic.

 

In my opinion what I wrote was very much on topic and explained why I cannot come up with constructive ideas before having the input I mentioned. You apparently see it differently and so it does not make sense if I write anything further here.

 

So, rather than taking this topic off track, suggest how you might work with Reviewers and Groundspeak to see the events you want to see, while still meeting the guidelines for publication.

 

Didn't you get that this is not possible when we do not know what the guidelines mean and I have a different interpretation than you?

If mine is correct, I do not see any chance without a change of the guidelines to see events where the event contains the key activity and is not only consisting of a 30 minute artificial period. If yours is correct, the situation would be brighter.

 

An additional type of event certainly would be fine, but I guess it will not come.

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Honestly, I see practically no chance of changing anything once the Groundspeak has decided to make a bit consistency in the guidelines implementation in all countries. They've only given official interpretation what is an event and what is not (for example, flashmob that you can only log if you have blue hair is not more allowed, everyone who come by can log).

 

It makes also perfectly sense, looking on the way the events were used. Namely, for making a calendar or other statistics.

 

Another option would be to allow more creativity for events, but exclude them from statistics, just like lab caches (so no more calendar/county making with events). But then, I doubt they will be as popular as they are now. Most people are there only for points, and they won't do the nice hike if the don't get a smiley.

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For the past couple years, there's usually a monthly "Flash Mob" event that takes place at the top of different mountains in our area. Since the guideline change, the duration of the event is now 30 minutes instead of 15, but everything else seems to be happening like usual. Here's an example.

 

That's a flash mob at a location reachable by a hike, but not a hiking event in my opinion. The chance to socialize which is organized by the event host is offered at the posted coordinates and not on the way to the location or back from it.

 

This event comes closer to my idea of an active event

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC5JXP3_alberta-winter-walk-day-2015

I however wondered how it got published. As you have been there, could you be so kind and let us know whether someone was available at the parking lot during the whole hour? Am I right that the event slot of 1 hour was devoted to the walk?

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For the past couple years, there's usually a monthly "Flash Mob" event that takes place at the top of different mountains in our area. Since the guideline change, the duration of the event is now 30 minutes instead of 15, but everything else seems to be happening like usual. Here's an example.

 

That's a flash mob at a location reachable by a hike, but not a hiking event in my opinion. The chance to socialize which is organized by the event host is offered at the posted coordinates and not on the way to the location or back from it.

 

It seems to me that the chance to socialize to/from the posted coordinates is exactly the same no matter what the guidelines say.

 

 

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Implementation of the new Guidelines concerning Events was 2/18/15 I believe.

 

Published 03/01/2015:

 

http://coord.info/GCZZZW

 

This is the 23rd Bruce Trail hike in this series of BT events.

 

Meet, greet, prepare: 9:45am - 10:15am

Hike: 10:15am - 9pm

 

As per Groundspeak guidelines the actual event takes place from 9:45am-10:15am at the posted coordinates. The hike activity will start at 10:15am for those that are interested.

 

Seems to me that complying with the new guidelines isn't that difficult.

 

 

 

B.

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Implementation of the new Guidelines concerning Events was 2/18/15 I believe.

 

Published 03/01/2015:

 

http://coord.info/GCZZZW

 

This is the 23rd Bruce Trail hike in this series of BT events.

 

Meet, greet, prepare: 9:45am - 10:15am

Hike: 10:15am - 9pm

 

As per Groundspeak guidelines the actual event takes place from 9:45am-10:15am at the posted coordinates. The hike activity will start at 10:15am for those that are interested.

 

Seems to me that complying with the new guidelines isn't that difficult.

 

 

 

B.

 

Not at all.

 

But if the intent of your event is to intentionally exclude people who aren't participating in the hike, the guidelines don't facilitate that. Lame, sedentary shlumps can show up and sign the log book and leave without hiking. Furthermore, the person hosting the event may be required to communicate with another human while standing or sitting, which is somehow okay over the computer, but not outside.

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But if the intent of your event is to intentionally exclude people who aren't participating in the hike, the guidelines don't facilitate that. Lame, sedentary shlumps can show up and sign the log book and leave without hiking. Furthermore, the person hosting the event may be required to communicate with another human while standing or sitting, which is somehow okay over the computer, but not outside.

 

Finally, very well put. May have to put this in my sig line.

Edited by cheech gang
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For the past couple years, there's usually a monthly "Flash Mob" event that takes place at the top of different mountains in our area. Since the guideline change, the duration of the event is now 30 minutes instead of 15, but everything else seems to be happening like usual. Here's an example.

That's a flash mob at a location reachable by a hike, but not a hiking event in my opinion. The chance to socialize which is organized by the event host is offered at the posted coordinates and not on the way to the location or back from it.

Oddly enough, people do socialize on the hike up the mountain, at the "official event" on the mountain, and on the way back down the mountain. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but people here walk and talk at the same time.

 

This event comes closer to my idea of an active event

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC5JXP3_alberta-winter-walk-day-2015

I however wondered how it got published. As you have been there, could you be so kind and let us know whether someone was available at the parking lot during the whole hour? Am I right that the event slot of 1 hour was devoted to the walk?

That one was published before the rule change. But lots of people gathered and socialized at the parking lot before the walk, along the trails during the walk, and near the parking lot after the walk.

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Oddly enough, people do socialize on the hike up the mountain, at the "official event" on the mountain, and on the way back down the mountain. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but people here walk and talk at the same time.

 

Apparently you misunderstood me completely.

 

What I meant was that the event you linked to leaves it to everyone to make his/her own way to the meeting location and back from there. Maybe the insiders meet for a group hike, I don't know, but that's not the replacement for a real event hike which is certainly more inclusive.

 

A hiking event I have in mind is a group hike (where of course socializing is part of the hike, too).

What the even host organized in your example is a meeting at the summit. I would not even know where to start and how long I should expect to need and how difficult the trail is.

In such a situation I either would end up alone or I would have to bring along a friend. If the hike is part of the event, then there is a motivation to stay together in at least some groups and

cachers who normally walk faster wait for slower ones. If the event is just the meeting at the summit, this typically does not happen if the involved people did not plan to go together anyway.

 

That one was published before the rule change. But lots of people gathered and socialized at the parking lot before the walk, along the trails during the walk, and near the parking lot after the walk.

 

No, only before the minimum time interval was required to be 30 minutes, but not before the rule change that the event is what takes place at the posted coordinates.

In my area already in 2014 events got rejected when the official part of the event consisted a moving part.

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Implementation of the new Guidelines concerning Events was 2/18/15 I believe.

 

Published 03/01/2015:

 

http://coord.info/GCZZZW

 

This is the 23rd Bruce Trail hike in this series of BT events.

 

Meet, greet, prepare: 9:45am - 10:15am

Hike: 10:15am - 9pm

 

As per Groundspeak guidelines the actual event takes place from 9:45am-10:15am at the posted coordinates. The hike activity will start at 10:15am for those that are interested.

 

Seems to me that complying with the new guidelines isn't that difficult.

 

In my area the event would not be allowed to have a T=4* rating as the hike is not part of the official event.

I do not have an issue if someone wants to log this event as attended without going for the hike, but I have a big issue with the fact that those who go for the hike end up with a T=1* cache.

 

So it would already help a lot of if it were still allowed to rate events including activities with respect to the activities and not the enforced meet and greet part. (Right now some are more lucky than others of their reviewer is not enforcing the new D/T rating rules for events.)

 

It's a whole lot right now that comes together which discourages active events and so some small changes could aready have a big impact.

Edited by cezanne
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Oddly enough, people do socialize on the hike up the mountain, at the "official event" on the mountain, and on the way back down the mountain. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but people here walk and talk at the same time.

What I meant was that the event you linked to leaves it to everyone to make his/her own way to the meeting location and back from there. Maybe the insiders meet for a group hike, I don't know, but that's not the replacement for a real event hike which is certainly more inclusive.

Typically, multiple groups of people hike up the mountain together. Most of us aren't too cliquish, so if people are looking for companions for the hike, then they might post a note on the event page, the local geocaching Facebook page, and/or the local geocaching Meet-Up page. If they have no luck, then the event organizer might put an announcement on the event page to broadcast the request to all who have indicated they will attend the event. It usually isn't difficult to join up with others, but the primary responsibility generally is put on the individual rather than the organizer. The individual has a better idea of their own hiking abilities, where they live (if they want a ride to the event), etc., so that makes sense to me.

 

Joining up with others is even easier for the hike down. At the top, where everyone has gathered, it's not hard to talk with others and ask if you can walk down the mountain with them. Usually, there are bigger groups of people heading down, because hiking abilities aren't as much of a factor and more people end up descending at about the same pace. Maybe even the whole group hikes down the mountain together.

 

That one was published before the rule change. But lots of people gathered and socialized at the parking lot before the walk, along the trails during the walk, and near the parking lot after the walk.

No, only before the minimum time interval was required to be 30 minutes, but not before the rule change that the event is what takes place at the posted coordinates.

In my area already in 2014 events got rejected when the official part of the event consisted a moving part.

Since I'm not the person who organized that event, I don't know what communication occurred between the organizer and the reviewer. It's possible that the organizer promised the reviewer that she would be at the parking lot from 1:30 to 1:40 and that anyone who showed up between those times could log the event, even if they didn't go on the walk.

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Typically, multiple groups of people hike up the mountain together. Most of us aren't too cliquish, so if people are looking for companions for the hike, then they might post a note on the event page, the local geocaching Facebook page, and/or the local geocaching Meet-Up page.

 

Relying on social media pages and local pages in a sense is cliquish. If a lot of logs are posted on an event or other cache page, some reviewers get angry and delete those (even it's not about discussing anything).

 

It usually isn't difficult to join up with others, but the primary responsibility generally is put on the individual rather than the organizer.

 

Which then is another indication why it is not a hiking event which is hosted by the organizer.

At a hiking event people come because they want to use the hike for socializing and they then come with a different attitude towards adapting their speed than

if the hike is outside of the event.

 

Joining up with others is even easier for the hike down. At the top, where everyone has gathered, it's not hard to talk with others and ask if you can walk down the mountain with them. Usually, there are bigger groups of people heading down, because hiking abilities aren't as much of a factor and more people end up descending at about the same pace. Maybe even the whole group hikes down the mountain together.

 

Well, for me this would not be helpful at all. I can much easier follow a group's pace on the hike up and on the hike down where I'm really incredibly slow.

Having the company for the walk up would be the part I could hope for and for that it's not helpful to meet people up at the summit.

 

Since I'm not the person who organized that event, I don't know what communication occurred between the organizer and the reviewer. It's possible that the organizer promised the reviewer that she would be at the parking lot from 1:30 to 1:40 and that anyone who showed up between those times could log the event, even if they didn't go on the walk.

 

It does not matter if she did. Providing such promises even for 30 minutes is not the real issue I have with the new guidelines. It is the fact that only the static part is referred to as event with all the consequences (in terms of D/T rating, official length of the event, attractivity of the official event etc).

 

I find it totally inacceptable to be forced to rate an event which includes a 30km hike with 1* if it starts at a parking lot.

Edited by cezanne
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For the past couple years, there's usually a monthly "Flash Mob" event that takes place at the top of different mountains in our area. Since the guideline change, the duration of the event is now 30 minutes instead of 15, but everything else seems to be happening like usual. Here's an example.

 

That's a flash mob at a location reachable by a hike, but not a hiking event in my opinion. The chance to socialize which is organized by the event host is offered at the posted coordinates and not on the way to the location or back from it.

 

It seems to me that the chance to socialize to/from the posted coordinates is exactly the same no matter what the guidelines say.

Exactly, so why have a guideline whose rationale is that it takes 1/2 hour to form meaningful connections and apply it only to the part of the event that takes place at a fixed coordinates.

 

Implementation of the new Guidelines concerning Events was 2/18/15 I believe.

 

Published 03/01/2015:

 

http://coord.info/GCZZZW

 

This is the 23rd Bruce Trail hike in this series of BT events.

 

Meet, greet, prepare: 9:45am - 10:15am

Hike: 10:15am - 9pm

 

As per Groundspeak guidelines the actual event takes place from 9:45am-10:15am at the posted coordinates. The hike activity will start at 10:15am for those that are interested.

 

Seems to me that complying with the new guidelines isn't that difficult.

 

No. But it does say "the actual event takes place from 9:45am-10:15am at the posted coordinates" and that makes it seem the hike is separate from the event.

 

The event organizer wants to have a hiking event but is forced to include 1/2 hour of another activity before the hike that seems to best be described as standing around doing the the socializing you could be doing while hiking.

 

It may be easy to comply with the new guidelins, but it still isn't clear what purpose they serve. The most likely reason I can think of is that you need posted coordinates with start and stop times to allow the guidelines for logging attended to be made simple, and the 1/2 is an arbitrary time to allow people who have trouble being punctual to get a smiley. (Note to mods: it's really hard to find ways to describe rules that are meant to simplify who gets a smiley that don't end up being a little snarky - please forgive me if you don't like me refering to people who arrive 1/2 hour late as having trouble being punctual).

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I find it totally inacceptable to be forced to rate an event which includes a 30km hike with 1* if it starts at a parking lot.

 

Maybe - and I'm just thinking out loud here - a terrain 4, 30km hike just isn't suitable for a geocaching event.

Maybe a a terrain 4, 30km hike, with a difficult puzzle to solve just isn't suitable for a geocache.

 

It's possible that TPTB would like to limit events to those that any cacher can attend. Could you still have a beach party or a picnic in the woods that might not be wheelchair accessible? Probably one can think of other "reasonable" events that not everyone can attended. Where do the guidelines draw the line?

 

Of course we've already seen an example where the 1/2 hour at a fixed location was not a the start of the hike but at some spot on the trail, so you could have a T4 event.

 

The requirement for D1 events is a different story. TPTB apparent don't want events where you have to solve a puzzle to get the coordinates, or once at the coordinates you need to find the secret entrance to the event. Since the purpose of the event is to facilitate socializing, requiring someone who shows up to have to leap through hoops to log attended is deamed unacceptable.

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I find it totally inacceptable to be forced to rate an event which includes a 30km hike with 1* if it starts at a parking lot.

 

Maybe - and I'm just thinking out loud here - a terrain 4, 30km hike just isn't suitable for a geocaching event.

Maybe a a terrain 4, 30km hike, with a difficult puzzle to solve just isn't suitable for a geocache.

 

What makes you say that? Has there been a guideline change to that effect?

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I find it totally inacceptable to be forced to rate an event which includes a 30km hike with 1* if it starts at a parking lot.

 

Maybe - and I'm just thinking out loud here - a terrain 4, 30km hike just isn't suitable for a geocaching event.

 

Why not? Apart from the fact that such events have been published for years and the example mentioned above from March 2015 is such a hike and the rating T=4* was allowed.

 

Why should a 30km hike be less suitable for an event than e.g. sitting 5 hours at McDonalds and being provided with more calories than needed in 2 days?

In neither of the two you need to attend the whole activity to log an attended log. Why should one suggested activity be favoured over the other one.

Can't you believe that some cachers prefer to socialize on a 30km hike than during a campfire event where they spend the same amount of time?

 

Probably next someone will suggest a maximum duration for events.

 

Don't you think that it is somehow strange to allow an event at a summit which is reachable only via climbing, but do not allow an event that invites for a 30km hike? For example, I would be able to participate in the latter (if the trail is not extreme) and would enjoy it while I would not be able to participate at the former.

 

Note that in the case of the 30km hiking event that was allowed to go for T=4* (which would not be possible any longer in my home area) one has a 30min interval at the parking lot which can be used by those who wish to attend and to not want to start into the hike (which can be stopped also before reaching the 30km). I think that offering an option to log/attend for those who want a T=1 access should be sufficient. Punishing all others with a T=1* rating not taking into account their event is not fair. It somehow will make certain people stay away or force them to visit without attended logs as they normally try to avoid T=1* caches. Does not make sense in my opinion.

Edited by cezanne
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Why should a 30km hike be less suitable for an event than e.g. sitting 5 hours at McDonalds and being provided with more calories than needed in 2 days?

 

Because of course, there's no middle ground between a 30km hike or a 5 hour junk food marathon. It's one or the other, and that's it folks!

 

I realize that you, specifically, can only "socialize" while simultaneously hiking long distance. But maybe, just maybe, deliberately excluding people and/or herding them into a singular activity just isn't what Groundspeak envisions for geocaching events.

 

I'm not saying what I think *should* or *shouldn't* count as an event. I don't really care if you want to have a single person trek-across-the-Andes event. I'm looking at the guidelines, and trying to untangle what is happening.

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Why should a 30km hike be less suitable for an event than e.g. sitting 5 hours at McDonalds and being provided with more calories than needed in 2 days?

 

Because of course, there's no middle ground between a 30km hike or a 5 hour junk food marathon. It's one or the other, and that's it folks!

 

Forgive me - I can't see how that answers the question.

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