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ArtieD

Feature Request: Make a verified email address be required to log EarthCaches

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Hello, all...I just want to share a bit of frustration. I got a log a few days ago on one of my EarthCaches by a user with very few finds. Per my usual method, after a few days of no communication, I went to send them an email, reminding them they had questions to answer. I go to their profile page and find this:

 

The "send message" feature is disabled because this email address has not been validated by the user.

 

Well this makes it interesting. I cannot, in any way, shape or form, contact this user at all, so what am I left to do? Not much, really...give it another day or two, and if there aren't answers sent, delete the log without saying a word, which is not my style at all.

 

This really needs to be fixed. Given the nature of EarthCaches, communication between cachers is vital. How can we do that if they don't have a valid way to be contacted? This needs to be made a requirement. Channeling my inner Soup Nazi for a moment, but I think valid email or no EarthCaches for you!

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Well, I think you could contact them via the message center. Question is whether they see it or not as they don't get a message email :surprise:

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This needs to be made a requirement. Channeling my inner Soup Nazi for a moment, but I think valid email or no EarthCaches for you!

I write to "Validated" cachers and often get no reply. What is your technique to force "validated cachers" to read and respond to email? Without that part of the plan, the idea won't work.

 

"Email Validation" is like a Captcha code. It helps web sites thwart some automatic logins (spammers). I've signed up on tons of web sites with a throw-away email address specifically to not receive emails. I have "Validate Email" on them all. Validation is not a communication plan.

 

But new "Message Center" is well-suited to Earthcache ALRs, as mentioned.

Edited by kunarion

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Well, I think you could contact them via the message center. Question is whether they see it or not as they don't get a message email :surprise:

When viewing the web site, there's a tiny number icon on the little "Message" icon in the upper right corner of the page, no "email" needed. An awaiting message is a little more obvious in the Intro App.

Edited by kunarion

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Feature Request: Make a verified email address be required to log EarthCaches geocaches of any kind.

 

<_<

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I'm going with the Message Center as the fix for this issue. "Validated Email" is so last year. It's not like folks use throw away email accounts anyway...oh wait, someone already mentioned that.

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I'm going with the Message Center as the fix for this issue. "Validated Email" is so last year. It's not like folks use throw away email accounts anyway...oh wait, someone already mentioned that.

 

Apparently no one reads complete posts anymore or any posts in a thread anymore before commenting. I said that I attempted to use the message system and it did not work.

 

:rolleyes:

 

I used multiple browsers and it's the same result...I am unable to click the link to message that person. It works for other users I know, but not this one.

Edited by Arthur & Trillian

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The message function likely doesn't work because it's probably tied to the email. I get an email when someone messages me, so it may be needed.

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If there's no way to contact them and failing them answering, i'd suggest deleting the log. That might grab their attention.

 

Cheers,

 

Mr. Terratin

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The message function likely doesn't work because it's probably tied to the email. I get an email when someone messages me, so it may be needed.

 

That's the only way I would know that I have a message. I don't go to the geocaching website every day - when I do, it's to run a PQ or to look at caches. It's not Facebook and I'm not there to socialize.

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The message function likely doesn't work because it's probably tied to the email. I get an email when someone messages me, so it may be needed.

There's something wrong with that for sure. A web link should be clickable. Needs to be fixed.

 

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I've tested access by a "New Unvalidated Member", and some curious things are happening:

 

1: The New Unvalidated Member can't login to the web site until verifying the email. He can, however, use the Geocaching App just fine, find caches, etc. Perhaps previous "Unvalidated Members" were grandfathered to allow access (I can't tell). The Intro App keeps popping up an "Upgrade To Premium" ad, which I didn't check out (is that ad for the App or for Premium Membership? I hope it's NOT the App, which is called The Paid App, not to be confused with Premium Membership).

 

2: A Validated Geocacher can contact him through the Intro App. But in my test the message didn't appear until he tried to type a message to the Validated Geocacher. This may have simply been a delay. I hope so.

 

3: A Validated Geocacher can't look up the not-logged-in Unvalidated Member using "Find A Player" on the site, but can in the Intro App Message Center.

 

4: If the New Member logs a cache, the Validated Geocacher can go to that Unvalidated Member's Profile (may be the only way to "find" that player). On there is a web link "Message Center: Send a Message", but it is not clickable. It looks like a link, but it's not. If there is to be no "Message Center" access from the site (and exactly why not?), remove the link as happened with the "Email" link below it. A fake web link is a very bad web design practice.

 

Just from some quick tests this morning, I see there are lots and lots of bugs that need work! The only bug that should remain is the one that blocks people from using the site until they've Validated their email address. That stops some automatic "Spambot" logins. Note that "Verifying email" is in no way a communication plan, since anyone can log in completely and simply ignore email. It just keeps some site harvesters off the site.

Edited by kunarion

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The message function likely doesn't work because it's probably tied to the email. I get an email when someone messages me, so it may be needed.

 

That's the only way I would know that I have a message. I don't go to the geocaching website every day - when I do, it's to run a PQ or to look at caches. It's not Facebook and I'm not there to socialize.

So you are getting emails about Forum posts? I don't, I just check this Forum and a couple of other things, no email (and no Facebook-like socializing) needed. If I go to the site and there's a nice big "Message Waiting" notice (um, much bigger than it is currently), I'd likely read the message, email or not. Plus it should be added to any GS correspondence; "Your Pocket Query is online, and you have unread messages".

 

When sending a message from the Message Center, there's both an email notification and the message placed the site. This is for a particular purpose, and should stay that way:

 

1: The message appears on the web site and in the App(s), with notification icons. This is the only way a new cacher may see messages from other cachers (cache owners asking about a log, for example). Since it doesn't rely on “email” at all, the user doesn't have to check email to use the Message Center. It fills a major communication gap (or eventually will, once it gets fixed).

 

2: The email alerts you about the message as a convenience. This is for people like you and me who might not be checking the web site frequently. But even if email is not functioning, the Messages work. This is completely different and could be a whole lot better than the PM system which requires the site running, as well as email both directions.

 

3: It could be designed to escalate. Urgent unanswered Message Center messages could be a reason to block the account, or limit access, and certainly give reason to delete an Earthcache “find” (with a handy built-in paper trail in case of disputes). The message is on record, and is (in theory) obvious and available to be read, yet ignored. The same record that shows a member visited the web site, makes it clear that he is deliberately ignoring the messages.

 

Most of this is not in place currently. The Message Center is not set up very well, and if I were to guess, I'd say it's not a real thing, it's like “Challenges”, and therefore, a few months from now it will go away with a note from GS about “well, we tried”.

 

But I'm not gonna guess.

Edited by kunarion

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So you are getting emails about Forum posts? I don't, I just check this Forum and a couple of other things, no email (and no Facebook-like socializing) needed. If I go to the site and there's a nice big "Message Waiting" notice (um, much bigger than it is currently), I'd likely read the message, email or not. Plus it should be added to any GS correspondence; "Your Pocket Query is online, and you have unread messages".

 

No, the forum is a separate site. I don't need to visit geocaching.com to see the forum. I don't get email notifications for forum posts. If someone I haven't blocked sends me a private message I get those by email, but that's rare.

 

I would never check any sort of message thing if it wasn't by email. I use several sites that tell me I have notifications and I would go crazy if I checked them. Anything important comes through email. If it doesn't come through email, it isn't important.

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When sending a message from the Message Center, there's both an email notification and the message placed the site. This is for a particular purpose, and should stay that way:

 

I do not agree. They should remove the new message cache owner links from the cache pages as soon as possible.

 

It's a huge affront to force cache owners to log into the gc.com site which is often extremely slow to reply and then find a way to send the messages one received to one's own e-mail account for storage purposes.

 

3: It could be designed to escalate. Urgent unanswered Message Center messages could be a reason to block the account, or limit access, and certainly give reason to delete an Earthcache “find” (with a handy built-in paper trail in case of disputes). The message is on record, and is (in theory) obvious and available to be read, yet ignored. The same record that shows a member visited the web site, makes it clear that he is deliberately ignoring the messages.

 

As soon as this is implemented in such a manner, it is time to archive all my caches. It's not acceptable to have my messages controlled by Groundspeak and being forced to use a system which never will be able to compete with e-mail.

Groundspeak cannot survive without cache owners (be it of physical caches or Earthcaches).

 

 

Each cache owner with an active e-mail address should have a way to opt out the message center system. I would guess that the big makority of cache owners would use that feature and probably more than 90% of EC owners.

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Nice to know I'm in the elite 10%. I've been using MC for one of my EC's and actually prefer it. I was thinking of including the option on all my EC's.

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Nice to know I'm in the elite 10%. I've been using MC for one of my EC's and actually prefer it. I was thinking of including the option on all my EC's.

 

There is no need to include anything. The link to the MC is there anyway.

 

There is no choice however and those who want to be contacted via e-mail have no way to make this happen and avoid the MC.

There are many issues with the MC - the data protection issue will probably be of higher importance to European cachers than cachers in the US,

but there are many aspects that apply to all countries and regions.

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Nice to know I'm in the elite 10%. I've been using MC for one of my EC's and actually prefer it. I was thinking of including the option on all my EC's.

 

There is no need to include anything. The link to the MC is there anyway.

 

There is no choice however and those who want to be contacted via e-mail have no way to make this happen and avoid the MC.

There are many issues with the MC - the data protection issue will probably be of higher importance to European cachers than cachers in the US,

but there are many aspects that apply to all countries and regions.

I'm not sure how it is in your area, but nearly every EC in my area includes instructions on where to send answers to the Logging Requirements. Some even instruct people to include their answers in their Find log, in those situations where the answers may vary.

Edited by Touchstone

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Nice to know I'm in the elite 10%. I've been using MC for one of my EC's and actually prefer it. I was thinking of including the option on all my EC's.

 

There is no need to include anything. The link to the MC is there anyway.

 

There is no choice however and those who want to be contacted via e-mail have no way to make this happen and avoid the MC.

There are many issues with the MC - the data protection issue will probably be of higher importance to European cachers than cachers in the US,

but there are many aspects that apply to all countries and regions.

 

It's lose-lose. For years, people have been complaining about the old email system. I think the message centre appeases them, but it's irritating to those of us who were fine with the old way.

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Nice to know I'm in the elite 10%. I've been using MC for one of my EC's and actually prefer it. I was thinking of including the option on all my EC's.

 

There is no need to include anything. The link to the MC is there anyway.

 

There is no choice however and those who want to be contacted via e-mail have no way to make this happen and avoid the MC.

There are many issues with the MC - the data protection issue will probably be of higher importance to European cachers than cachers in the US,

but there are many aspects that apply to all countries and regions.

 

It's lose-lose. For years, people have been complaining about the old email system. I think the message centre appeases them, but it's irritating to those of us who were fine with the old way.

 

Count me as one who dislikes it. I want an email, not some message I have to be notified about and then have to travel to the web site to read it.

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Some users have some HTML to add DNF counts to their profile.

 

I wonder whether it would be possible to put a plain white image over the "message user" link, so it is effectively hidden from view.

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Some users have some HTML to add DNF counts to their profile.

 

I wonder whether it would be possible to put a plain white image over the "message user" link, so it is effectively hidden from view.

 

I guess you could make the MC link disappear with a Greasmonkeyscript just like these scripts add extra functions to the GC website. Of course, you'll have do deal with the script getting broken when there are updates to the site.

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Count me as one who dislikes it. I want an email, not some message I have to be notified about and then have to travel to the web site to read it.

 

That's my preference as well. I just won't get to those messages very quickly because I'm not at the site every day.

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Another argument against the MC is that reading messages there takes a lot more data than plain e-mail. Away from home I pay per MB so email for my mobile data. E-mail is costing me almost nothing as only text is downloaded by my mailsoftware. Going to the website, logging in, going to the MC will cost me extra. On top of that, while not logged in a mail that a message is waiting is only send after 30 minutes instead of instant e-mail. So extra cost, extra effort and thus extra time needed. No thanks.

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The message center took a simple process of verifying logging answers and added a cumbersome layer to it. I posted my problems with this in the website forum devoted to the topic, but wondered if anybody else found it as annoying as I do. This thread was titled differently, but seemed to answer at least some of my questions.

 

It used to be a simple process - I would get an email, review the answers, and respond. There were some people who choose to keep their email address hidden, but I assumed that unless there was a problem with their log, they did not want to be bothered with a confirmation or thanks. It made it easy to check who had responded, particularly when one person was writing for more than one cacher. It made it easy to check whetehr I was using my phone on the morning commute or at home on a computer. I now have a few messages waiting for a response that I would have looked at some days ago.

 

Now I cannot see the replies unless I separately go to the message center. I often do not have any need to log into the Groundspeak site. Apart from earthcaches and a separate request for help with a tech matter, the message center has served no other purpose. My friends have my phone, text, and email. If the purpose of the system is to make communication easier, it has done just the opposite.

 

I suppose it could get annoying enough so that I might be tempted to archive some of the earthcaches, but I don't want to be rash. Still . . . I wish Groundspeak would not take a simple system and make it complicated. And I wish I could opt out until or unless the message center allows me to communicate in the way that I want to communicate.

Edited by geodarts

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Well, I think you could contact them via the message center. Question is whether they see it or not as they don't get a message email :surprise:

 

I prefer the message center but can a earthcache owner really delete your log for sending them your answers that way and not email?

 

Reason I ask is I'm seeing more of this in the logging requirements.

"Do not use the message center for communicating with me. Messages will be ignored and your log may be deleted."

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Well, I think you could contact them via the message center. Question is whether they see it or not as they don't get a message email :surprise:

 

I prefer the message center but can a earthcache owner really delete your log for sending them your answers that way and not email?

 

Reason I ask is I'm seeing more of this in the logging requirements.

"Do not use the message center for communicating with me. Messages will be ignored and your log may be deleted."

No they can't. A moderator, on a separate thread, has stated that both avenues of contact, Email or the MC, MUST be accepted by the CO. My suggestion, if you're willing to deal with some possible backlash, is to contact the EC reviewer (or perhaps a local reviewer would work as well) and copy and paste their cache write up specifying that deletions might occur. That's NOT allowed, per Groundspeak. However, there's a good chance that, if the CO has a preference stated, you might not hear back from them for quite some time.

 

Personally, I send all my EC answers via email, but don't really care how I get answers for my two ECs. I'll reply to both communications.

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Well, I think you could contact them via the message center. Question is whether they see it or not as they don't get a message email :surprise:

 

I prefer the message center but can a earthcache owner really delete your log for sending them your answers that way and not email?

 

Reason I ask is I'm seeing more of this in the logging requirements.

"Do not use the message center for communicating with me. Messages will be ignored and your log may be deleted."

No they can't. A moderator, on a separate thread, has stated that both avenues of contact, Email or the MC, MUST be accepted by the CO. My suggestion, if you're willing to deal with some possible backlash, is to contact the EC reviewer (or perhaps a local reviewer would work as well) and copy and paste their cache write up specifying that deletions might occur. That's NOT allowed, per Groundspeak. However, there's a good chance that, if the CO has a preference stated, you might not hear back from them for quite some time.

 

Personally, I send all my EC answers via email, but don't really care how I get answers for my two ECs. I'll reply to both communications.

Great advice - thanks for your post! I would like to suggest, however, that complaints about earthcaches should be directed only to Earthcache reviewers ("GeoAwares") and not to the regular reviewer for the area. Regular Community Volunteer Reviewers "lack jurisdiction" when it comes to earthcaches.

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That's why I put it in (...). I wasn't sure if they were a valid point of contact or not. Good to know for certain now!

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