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-CJ-

"You cache needs maintenance"

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I've got a message from no-reply Groundspeak account. It started like this:

 

"Your geocache, Two Horseshoes (GC4FAX6), looks like it might need some attention. The recent logs may contain more details about what sort of maintenance needs to be performed. This could be anything from a new logbook to replacing a missing container..."

 

They suggested me either to go and maintain the cache or disable/archive it.

 

The cache has never been visited since it was published on the site. So, there are no logs at all. I've got no messages from anyone complaining about the cache.

 

My questions are:

 

- Is this any sort of a message sent automatically to caches which haven't been visited for a long period of time?

- Is this message purposed to remind the owner about his (possibly missing) cache only? Will there be any consequences like "you haven't archived your cache in 1 month so we will do this for you"?

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1. Notice all the conditional words like "might" and "may." The new emails are intended to alert cache owners of possible problems.

2. At the end of the email (you quoted the very beginning), there is a link to a new Help Center article that explains more details: "The emails may result from any combination of logs, including Did Not Find (DNF's), Needs Maintenance (NM), Needs Archived (NA) or caches that have not been found in a long time."

3. See this active thread in the Geocaching Topics forum, where I've posted additional information.

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1. Notice all the conditional words like "might" and "may." The new emails are intended to alert cache owners of possible problems.

Consider the fact that the automated process is so often wrong that the messages were carefully constructed to be mealy mouthed. That should alert us to a problem even before someone starts using the mealy mouthed nature of the message to discount someone's legitimate confusion and concern about getting one.

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I have no evidence that the automated process is wrong "often." Do you? It just started yesterday, and a lot of thought was put into how it was built.

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I have no evidence that the automated process is wrong "often." Do you? It just started yesterday, and a lot of thought was put into how it was built.

 

You have obviously not been on the internet very long. Many internet facts are based on one incident out of one occurrence.

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1. Notice all the conditional words like "might" and "may." The new emails are intended to alert cache owners of possible problems.

Consider the fact that the automated process is so often wrong that the messages were carefully constructed to be mealy mouthed. That should alert us to a problem even before someone starts using the mealy mouthed nature of the message to discount someone's legitimate confusion and concern about getting one.

"Mealy mouthed"? "Often"?

 

One of my lonely caches was flagged and the email advised me to check the recent logs, which I did. Like CJ, I didn't see anything particularly alarming in the single log entry (a DNF) other than I felt kind of bad for all the effort the User put into hiking out and making an abbreviated search, hampered by inclement weather and approaching sunset.

 

I'm not sure how you define often, but the three examples cited, seems like a pretty small sample size. Of course, it's likely the only people concerned by this email and provoked to bring it to the Forums, are the CO's that take some pride in their placements and look after them with some diligence. The small population of CO's the email was meant to target have likely abandoned their caches and moved on to some other interest. It will be better for the game if these sorts of Listings are Archived IMO.

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Since this thread continues, I think I can explain why this message confused me and I had questions. "Caches that have not been found in a long time" were not mentioned in the email message. Vice versa, it was advised to go and see the last logs. The text should be changed so to include this category. If not, COs will still be confused why Geocaching HQ advises on examining logs that don't exist.

 

> Notice all the conditional words like "might" and "may." The new emails are intended to alert cache owners of possible problems

 

If so, you should probably change "These are your options if you receive one of these emails:" to something like "Consider these options if you receive one of these emails:"

Edited by -CJ-

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I have no evidence that the automated process is wrong "often." Do you? It just started yesterday, and a lot of thought was put into how it was built.

Well, I'm not the one that set up this process, so I'm not sure how it's my job to prove whether or not it will be effective. And unlike the person that implemented it, I have no idea what the algorithm is, so I couldn't possibly make a concrete estimate of how often it will fail.

 

But I do have 2 pieces of empirical evidence so far. First, whoever did set up the process was expecting it to be wrong frequently enough that the message couldn't say that there is something wrong, but only that there might be something wrong. Second, we now have 3 COs that have reported here that they've gotten these messages for a total of 5 caches, and every single one of the messages -- 100% -- was wrong.

 

And logically, that's exactly what I'd expect. Abandoned caches are typically from abandoned accounts, so I doubt more than a small fraction of the intended audience will see one of these mails. The COs most likely to read them are precisely the conscientious COs that don't need them, even if they do happen to point out an actual problem.

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...

And logically, that's exactly what I'd expect. Abandoned caches are typically from abandoned accounts, so I doubt more than a small fraction of the intended audience will see one of these mails. The COs most likely to read them are precisely the conscientious COs that don't need them, even if they do happen to point out an actual problem.

I think it would be a great idea if they would add a check of last login or activity of the CO to the algorithm used to generate the emails. That would be a pretty good clue; an inactive CO and a string of DNF or other logs indicating a lack of maintenance.

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1441452243[/url]' post='5535276']
1441437459[/url]' post='5535260']

...

And logically, that's exactly what I'd expect. Abandoned caches are typically from abandoned accounts, so I doubt more than a small fraction of the intended audience will see one of these mails. The COs most likely to read them are precisely the conscientious COs that don't need them, even if they do happen to point out an actual problem.

I think it would be a great idea if they would add a check of last login or activity of the CO to the algorithm used to generate the emails. That would be a pretty good clue; an inactive CO and a string of DNF or other logs indicating a lack of maintenance.

 

There are a few CO's in my area that log finds every week yet don't maintain their caches. It will be a good reminder to them that maintenance is important and that Groundspeak does care. It looks like GS is beginning to get concerned about a database full of junk and missing caches. For that reason I'm glad for this feature. It sends a strong message.

Perhaps Groundspeak can add some detail at the beginning of the automated form to explain that this is a new automated feature, and that COs are expected to respond with a note log explaining why the cache doesn't need to be checked or an OM after checking and fixing their cache. Most people don't visit the forums or get the newsletter or read the blog so the best way to get to them is via email.

However I agree that a message in the forums, newsletter, blog would have curtailed some confusion and angst. Maybe they figured 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' so they went with don't and let us duke it out in the forums.

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I think it would be a great idea if they would add a check of last login or activity of the CO to the algorithm used to generate the emails. That would be a pretty good clue; an inactive CO and a string of DNF or other logs indicating a lack of maintenance.

An indication of CO inactivity might be a clue to a human, although I'd only see it as an explanation for a conclusion reached from other information. But it doesn't make much sense as input to an automated process.

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