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


ArtieD
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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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You can use the new message center functionality to contact users like this.

 

Or - and this is not meant as snark or sarcasm, but a real request - GS could disable logging past a certain number of finds (say 10 or 25 or some arbitrary number) until they validate their email. This, I believe, is probably in the top five list of things that get discussed in the forums...and it actually seems like it would be one of the easiest for them to implement.

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You can use the new message center functionality to contact users like this.

 

Or - and this is not meant as snark or sarcasm, but a real request - GS could disable logging past a certain number of finds (say 10 or 25 or some arbitrary number) until they validate their email. This, I believe, is probably in the top five list of things that get discussed in the forums...and it actually seems like it would be one of the easiest for them to implement.

You keep forgetting that this is a business. Any such restriction would undoubtedly lead to some not transition to paid memberships. The problem isn't that great. As to the OP. After a reasonable time delete the log. Then it is on the finder to correct the situation.

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You can use the new message center functionality to contact users like this.

The resistance to maintaining a clean mailing list seems fairly high at gc.com, and one wonders whether or not the new internal messaging system was an attempt to avoid dealing with the problem? While it makes communication possible between users, for API users who rarely find need to log in to gc.com in the first place, the notification of a new internal message itself appears to depend upon the receipt of an email. Bit of a Catch 22. Edited by ecanderson
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You can use the new message center functionality to contact users like this.

 

Or - and this is not meant as snark or sarcasm, but a real request - GS could disable logging past a certain number of finds (say 10 or 25 or some arbitrary number) until they validate their email. This, I believe, is probably in the top five list of things that get discussed in the forums...and it actually seems like it would be one of the easiest for them to implement.

You keep forgetting that this is a business. Any such restriction would undoubtedly lead to some not transition to paid memberships. The problem isn't that great. As to the OP. After a reasonable time delete the log. Then it is on the finder to correct the situation.

 

How many people who don't validate their email actually continue playing well into the hundreds of finds? Of those, how many actually DO transition to paying members?

I'm not making assumptions. I would be genuinely interested in those numbers. Just seems to me that anyone who has a genuine interest in continued involvement shouldn't have a problem validating their email account.

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Heck - most sites won't allow one to post a message in a forum like this (!?) without a validated email address, much less a log entry in a database that might actually prove important to the activities of another finder or owner.

Edited by ecanderson
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It could all be so simple, you register with a valid e-mail, get a mail from GS with activation link and after clicking that link you're a member and can use the site. As long as you don't click that link you can do as much as anyone who isn't logged in (no coords...). The same system could be used in the GS apps.

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It could all be so simple, you register with a valid e-mail, get a mail from GS with activation link and after clicking that link you're a member and can use the site. As long as you don't click that link you can do as much as anyone who isn't logged in (no coords...). The same system could be used in the GS apps.
+1

 

Is there a legal reason (perhaps related to the Google Play App Store or the Apple iPhone App Store) why Groundspeak can't require a valid email address?

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It could all be so simple, you register with a valid e-mail, get a mail from GS with activation link and after clicking that link you're a member and can use the site. As long as you don't click that link you can do as much as anyone who isn't logged in (no coords...). The same system could be used in the GS apps.
+1

 

Is there a legal reason (perhaps related to the Google Play App Store or the Apple iPhone App Store) why Groundspeak can't require a valid email address?

 

I wouldn't think so. There are other apps I use that require email verification in order to log in.

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It could all be so simple, you register with a valid e-mail, get a mail from GS with activation link and after clicking that link you're a member and can use the site. As long as you don't click that link you can do as much as anyone who isn't logged in (no coords...). The same system could be used in the GS apps.

 

+1

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You can use the new message center functionality to contact users like this.

 

No, you can't, Keystone. When you click on the message link, it does not work. I tried it on three different browsers and it did not work at all. I posted this topic in the EarthCache forum and another user got the same result...

 

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.

 

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 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. 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.

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Or - and this is not meant as snark or sarcasm, but a real request - GS could disable logging past a certain number of finds (say 10 or 25 or some arbitrary number) until they validate their email. This, I believe, is probably in the top five list of things that get discussed in the forums...and it actually seems like it would be one of the easiest for them to implement.

 

I agree with this totally. It's basically a bunch of crap that people can waltz in, not even register with the site fully, and still cache like crazy. If you want to play, you should have to do the bare minimum at least, and that is provide a way to contact you. It's not that hard. I may be wrong on this, but the ability to play without fully joining just applies to cell phone cachers. Nothing against them, but why should they be allowed to do this when people who want to use a GPSr cannot?

 

You keep forgetting that this is a business. Any such restriction would undoubtedly lead to some not transition to paid memberships. The problem isn't that great. As to the OP. After a reasonable time delete the log. Then it is on the finder to correct the situation.

 

I disagree that the problem isn't that great. I can't speak for everyone, but many people in my neck of the woods (myself included) have had more issues with these non-validated players than any other subset. They've altered hides, moved them and in general have not been as conscientious as the rest of the players out there. I was forced to make my caches all PMO to keep them away. I know, they're new. That said, though, if they are not willing to provide a simple email address, then the likelihood of them continuing caching for long isn't so hot.

 

Heck - most sites won't allow one to post a message in a forum like this (!?) without a validated email address, much less a log entry in a database that might actually prove important to the activities of another finder or owner.

 

Makes no sense, does it?

 

It could all be so simple, you register with a valid e-mail, get a mail from GS with activation link and after clicking that link you're a member and can use the site. As long as you don't click that link you can do as much as anyone who isn't logged in (no coords...). The same system could be used in the GS apps.

 

Agreed.

 

Is there a legal reason (perhaps related to the Google Play App Store or the Apple iPhone App Store) why Groundspeak can't require a valid email address?

 

Doubt it. Most sites out there require validation.

 

All in all, though, this is something that needs to be addressed. If Groundspeak wants to continue to allow cachers too lazy to click on an email validation link, fine, but severely limit what they can do. Don't let them do anything other than traditional caches...certainly not EarthCaches or Virtuals that require communication. If they can't even do that, at least allow the message function to actually work.

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You can use the new message center functionality to contact users like this.

The resistance to maintaining a clean mailing list seems fairly high at gc.com, and one wonders whether or not the new internal messaging system was an attempt to avoid dealing with the problem?

By putting two and two together from the information posted here in the forums, the primary reason for the new Message Center was to deal with the inability to contact unvalidated members. Personally, I don't see how it could make any sense to set up and operate a second, completely different style of communication system rather than make relatively-simple modifications to the existing system. That is, if they simply added the ability to attach an image and auto-link GC codes in the email system, and require email validation before being able to view listings, it would deal with the problems with far fewer headaches.

 

Of course, as was pointed out, this is a business and they probably don't want to risk driving away potential customers. That, combined with the urge to use the latest-and-greatest trendy software probably led to where we are today: with two partially-functional communication systems and problems that haven't been fixed by either. I haven't tried it myself, but if Arthur & Trillian is correct that unvalidated members can't even be contacted through the new Message Center, then we're right where we were before.

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