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New app - Driving away new cachers

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Wow, my brother tried the new App and I am shocked.

They are blocking all access to any cache above 1.5/1.5 I am shocked that Ground Speak is working so hard to drive away new cachers.

Blocking Premium Caches sure but excluding non-paying customers from playing probably 50% of caches is not going to enhance the game just prevent people from getting started. I am shocked.

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Nothing new, the Intro app had that limitation since its inception.

- Doesn't seem like folks are going away... :)

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Other than pmo hides, there are no limitations for basic members if using a GPSr on the site.

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There are other (free) apps besides the official Geocaching one. Most of 'em are great!

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The Geocaching-R app blocks Basic Members from searching for many non-PMO caches via the app, but those members can still access all non-PMO caches via the website. As TriciaG noted, there are other apps out there that Basic Members can try.

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Wow, my brother tried the new App and I am shocked.

They are blocking all access to any cache above 1.5/1.5 I am shocked that Ground Speak is working so hard to drive away new cachers.

Blocking Premium Caches sure but excluding non-paying customers from playing probably 50% of caches is not going to enhance the game just prevent people from getting started. I am shocked.

 

It was the Trail app, to give people a taster of caching.

The idea was to show the 'easier' caches to encourage people to take up caching.

Why send them looking for a higher rated cache, that has a string of Did Not Finds listed, that probably isn't there? That would only discourage 'new cachers'.

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In my opinion, even when accounting for my experience, people these days seem to be rating their caches higher than what they are. This does not include people intentionally misrating their caches.

 

Personally, I'd be okay with raising the bar to show all 2/2 caches to non-paying users. Just make sure there's a message somewhere that lets those same people know there are a lot more caches--including different types--that can be found if they were to fork over some money. Compared to the gasoline, vehicle wear and tear, supplies, hotel stays, and airfare, it's the cheapest expense they'll have. Perhaps they should stop geocaching before they discover it's a resource drain. (This last part was in jest, though the part about the expenses is true.)

 

I also agree caches with possible maintenance issues are another issue for new cachers. It's good to let them get some repeated success early on, yet hint there are more challenging things out there. (I would have quit a long time ago if everything was easy.) I'd either hide the listings or show a warning blurb (e.g. "Due to several previous 'did not find' logs, this cache might have a maintenance issue. It might still be present, so you can make your own attempt to find the cache. Remember: do not log a find just because you found the spot.").

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The idea was to show the 'easier' caches to encourage people to take up caching.

Most demo Apps (the "Free" version in App stores), are designed so that you can ensure that it works with your phone, without having to buy the App. So if people are getting shocked, the App should have more info about what you receive with purchase. More advanced caches, for one thing.

 

Anyone who is shocked by how a "Free" App works, doesn't know the App Store vewwwy well. Plenty of Apps are "free", and the amount you could pay into them is unlimited, unlike this App which is ten bucks. GS should sell "Gold Coins in packs" like we expect "free" Apps to have. :anibad:

 

But the first impressions of Geocaching may have changed over the years. When Geocaching began, people were planning a hike to the mountains, to get the nearest cache, a hundred miles from home, a cache not shown in the Free App. Today, the first cache you find is an altoids tin behind the gas station. :yikes:

Edited by kunarion

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I see why Geocaching.com wants to limit the amount of caches non-paying users can see, but limiting it to 1.5/1.5 is a little too restrictive in my opinion. Maybe raise that up to 3/3, to give beginning cachers a better taste of what Geocaching is all about.

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I wonder how many cachers, that start geocaching through the app, know that there is a full-fledged website they can visit? Do Basic Members even know that they can see the other caches if they go to the website?

 

Perhaps the messaging in the app should push 'Premium Membership or Visit Geocaching.com' - although the latter doesn't necessarily mean immediate revenue the was the former does. However, it might be better to have new cachers go to the website and become more invested in the hobby, rather than burn out on 1.5/1.5 Trads and leave entirely.

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I see why Geocaching.com wants to limit the amount of caches non-paying users can see, but limiting it to 1.5/1.5 is a little too restrictive in my opinion. Maybe raise that up to 3/3, to give beginning cachers a better taste of what Geocaching is all about.

I think it's just right...

New app folks can see that others are around, those elusive "advanced" (or are they calling 'em premium" again?) caches tease them if they're (really) interested at all.

Haven't used this new app yet, but basic members are reminded ad naseum about pm.

 

Many COs place caches with higher D/T to keep from having to make their caches pmo.

It keeps the free app kids at bay, while long-time basic GPSr users/paid app folks can still access.

Raise it to 3/3, and they might have to make those caches pmo, or archive 'em.

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I see why Geocaching.com wants to limit the amount of caches non-paying users can see, but limiting it to 1.5/1.5 is a little too restrictive in my opinion. Maybe raise that up to 3/3, to give beginning cachers a better taste of what Geocaching is all about.

I think it's just right...

New app folks can see that others are around, those elusive "advanced" (or are they calling 'em premium" again?) caches tease them if they're (really) interested at all.

Haven't used this new app yet, but basic members are reminded ad naseum about pm.

 

Many COs place caches with higher D/T to keep from having to make their caches pmo.

It keeps the free app kids at bay, while long-time basic GPSr users/paid app folks can still access.

Raise it to 3/3, and they might have to make those caches pmo, or archive 'em.

 

I don't understand the "need" to restrict access to caches, archive them, or prevent users from accessing them. could you explain what the purpose of this is?

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MY biggest problem is that it is no longer the geocaching intro app. This is the geocaching app. In order to access all the higher difficulty caches you need to pay a higher cost ($10.00/month) or a premium membership to access caches that a GPS user can access for free. The app could have a cost but it should be in the $10.00 total range.

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MY biggest problem is that it is no longer the geocaching intro app. This is the geocaching app. In order to access all the higher difficulty caches you need to pay a higher cost ($10.00/month) or a premium membership to access caches that a GPS user can access for free. The app could have a cost but it should be in the $10.00 total range.

$10/month? Umm, no. The old, pay app is gone. The only possible charge is the premium membership, which is $30/year, not $10/month.

 

And again, you do NOT need to pay extra if you're using a different app. Ditch the "Geocaching" one altogether and go with one of the free, third-party apps.

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MY biggest problem is that it is no longer the geocaching intro app. This is the geocaching app. In order to access all the higher difficulty caches you need to pay a higher cost ($10.00/month) or a premium membership to access caches that a GPS user can access for free. The app could have a cost but it should be in the $10.00 total range.

 

Perhaps you are thinking of the short term premium membership which is $10 for 3 months.

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MY biggest problem is that it is no longer the geocaching intro app. This is the geocaching app. In order to access all the higher difficulty caches you need to pay a higher cost ($10.00/month) or a premium membership to access caches that a GPS user can access for free. The app could have a cost but it should be in the $10.00 total range.

 

Perhaps you are thinking of the short term premium membership which is $10 for 3 months.

 

No when i was looking at his app and clicked on a higher difficulty cache it had a box to click on to access the cache information. I am sure that it said $40/year or I am sure $9.99/month the numbers didn't make sense and really a lot of park and grabs are rated at 2/2.

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Wow, my brother tried the new App and I am shocked.

They are blocking all access to any cache above 1.5/1.5 I am shocked that Ground Speak is working so hard to drive away new cachers.

Blocking Premium Caches sure but excluding non-paying customers from playing probably 50% of caches is not going to enhance the game just prevent people from getting started. I am shocked.

I agree, new members wont be able to try out any different cache types and can't go caching in a forest because that's at least a 2 terrain. I guess that just leaves lamp post skirts and film canisters in parks. (how is that going to hook anyone to pay for premium if that's all you see?) Geocaching is so much more than that!!

 

I also think it's a bit of a slap in the face to cache owners. I place caches to be found and make the decision if I want it to be premium or not (and I have several premium only) but now effectively all my downtown caches made to be tourist friendly and able to be found by everyone can't be found by the new app. (including my multi set up to be a walking tour of the city that I spent a lot of time creating!)

 

Also expect to see a spike in 1.5/1.5 traditionals because that's all that can be found by newbies and people who don't cache enough to make premium worth it.

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I see why Geocaching.com wants to limit the amount of caches non-paying users can see, but limiting it to 1.5/1.5 is a little too restrictive in my opinion. Maybe raise that up to 3/3, to give beginning cachers a better taste of what Geocaching is all about.

I think it's just right...

New app folks can see that others are around, those elusive "advanced" (or are they calling 'em premium" again?) caches tease them if they're (really) interested at all.

Haven't used this new app yet, but basic members are reminded ad naseum about pm.

 

Many COs place caches with higher D/T to keep from having to make their caches pmo.

It keeps the free app kids at bay, while long-time basic GPSr users/paid app folks can still access.

Raise it to 3/3, and they might have to make those caches pmo, or archive 'em.

 

I don't understand the "need" to restrict access to caches, archive them, or prevent users from accessing them. could you explain what the purpose of this is?

 

Archiving is doe when a cache owner or reviewer no longer support the cache. I would be missing, not supported...

 

Restricting access in 1 form or another can be by using the wrong software (Geocachings app) or by the Cache owner deciding to make the cache premium only, which could be done for a variety of reasons. The owner may have put a lot of work into creating the hide and could be worried about damage to the hide or surroundings.

 

I am unsure why other than $$$$ Groundspeak is limiting regular cache access to any users of the app.

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Other than pmo hides, there are no limitations for basic members if using a GPSr on the site.

I totally understand your point, unfortunately with the prevalence of Cellular Devices and the fact that they can do GPS functionality at little to no additional expense to the user the beginner Geocacher will likely download the app. They do not know there are better apps available. They do not know that a GPS is still a better tool. They do know that they are shown a lot of caches but are limited an the type of ordinary caches they can access. My brother tried it out in an area that the hides were on knowles along a roadway and the caches were reasonably hidden. Mostly 2/2 caches, and could not go to them due to the restrictions that Groundspeak put into the app. I have been telling him about Geocaching for 3 years and he finally tried it and all the local caches were not accessible. Frustrated by this he will likely not try geocaching again regardless of how I go on.

 

I do not think Groundspeak needs to be defended, they just need to be aware that the app is loosing them potential customers.

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I do not think Groundspeak needs to be defended, they just need to be aware that the app is loosing them potential customers.

Curious, at any time did your brother have the "paid" app?

- Those people I kinda feel bad for. They sorta had things "taken away".

 

If not, and as a basic member, he would have had the Intro app...

 

Started in '13 (I believe), the Intro app had the exact same restrictions as this "new" app (with 1.5/1.5 traditiionals only).

All other caches would be classified as "advanced", and not accessible without the "paid" app, or a premium membership.

 

Since apps (and that free Intro app in particular), membership has risen over the last few years.

 

I understand your Brother isn't happy, and I understand his (and your) frustration, but (realistically) he's only one of many.

I can see where a basic member, heading out with a pm would realize they're limited, and maybe feel a bit put out.

- But just in todays Getting Started there's a few saying they loaded the app (as basic members) and they're enjoying the experience.

You see, for now, they really don't have anything else to compare with. :)

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Also expect to see a spike in 1.5/1.5 traditionals because that's all that can be found by newbies and people who don't cache enough to make premium worth it.

 

And that would be my biggest issue with the app being so limited. Cachers tend to hide the kind of caches they find most often and someone new to the game, being only able to find 1.5/1.5 style caches are more than likely going to hide those same kinds of caches in the same hiding style. This might be a good way to get new blood in the game but I'm not sold that it's good for the game in the long run.

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...I agree, new members wont be able to try out any different cache types and can't go caching in a forest because that's at least a 2 terrain. I guess that just leaves lamp post skirts and film canisters in parks. (how is that going to hook anyone to pay for premium if that's all you see?) Geocaching is so much more than that!!

 

...snip...

 

Also expect to see a spike in 1.5/1.5 traditionals because that's all that can be found by newbies and people who don't cache enough to make premium worth it.

That's odd, most of the parks here, with packed trails, are in forests - and 1.5 in terrain.

Funny how some folks assume that cachers will just naturally regress to lpcs and film cans because of an app. :)

 

Spike?

We've seen the majority of caches in two States at 1.5/1.5 since '11 or so.

Power trails and geoart from long-time pms did a lotta that, not an app...

- Doubtful it could get much worse. :laughing:

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They are blocking all access to any cache above 1.5/1.5 I am shocked that Ground Speak is working so hard to drive away new cachers.

I know what you mean, although I don't find it shocking. I don't think they're exactly trying to drive folks away (although, I admit, it surely must have that effect for some!) as much as trying a different tack towards monetizing the geocaching experience. (I'm glad I have an earlier .apk [v3.1, I think...?] saved so that I can just ignore and uninstall the newest version.) I know nothing of Groundspeak's financials, but I suspect that they are finding themselves in a bit of a tight spot, insofar as they rely on user-generated content for a part of their revenue. Compounding this is the "Tragedy of the Commons" (depletion or degradation of a shared resource) aspect to whatever proportion of Groundspeak's revenue comes from PMO stuff... and it begins to make sense that they'd almost *have* to make such a ham-handed grab at folks' wallets. (Oh, and add to all of this the popularity of "Ingress", which is, in the opinion of some, a better version of what geocaching has lately become) I think this greasy, newer app will cause some backlash, and the unfortunate thing for Groundspeak is that folks DON'T NEED their app when there are others out there like c:geo.

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I see why Geocaching.com wants to limit the amount of caches non-paying users can see, but limiting it to 1.5/1.5 is a little too restrictive in my opinion. Maybe raise that up to 3/3, to give beginning cachers a better taste of what Geocaching is all about.

I think it's just right...

...

 

Many COs place caches with higher D/T to keep from having to make their caches pmo.

It keeps the free app kids at bay, while long-time basic GPSr users/paid app folks can still access.

Raise it to 3/3, and they might have to make those caches pmo, or archive 'em.

 

Or falsely up their D/T ratings to 3.5/3.5

 

At least now if people up their D/T from 1.5/1.5 to 2/2, to get it off the free app, there's not much of a difference. But upping a 1.5/1.5 to 2/2 cache then to 3.5/3.5, to get it off the free app, is a significant difference and problematic.

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excluding non-paying customers [will] just prevent people from getting started.

...And, I would like to add that while this is true to an extent, one mustn't discount as a factor preventing people from getting started the overwhelming predominance of micros out there.

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If it wasn't for the other options (GPSr, other caching apps) the new app would be driving away experienced, paying, members. It's a dog.

 

:mad:

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Personally I think its sad that the something that is meant to be fun, and get people out and about is being monetized at all. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think CO's setup their caches to make money off of them, and if they did, how dare you. This is a game, a very fun game. Don't ruin it by wanting money for it. Basic 1.5/1.5's are fun sure, but there are far better ones that are more entertaining (my cousin found a memorial on the top of his mountain on his 50 acre property that took him an hour to get to) that you have to pay for to mark. I dunno, that doesn't sound all that coherent, but its end of day at work for me. :P

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Personally I think its sad that the something that is meant to be fun, and get people out and about is being monetized at all. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think CO's setup their caches to make money off of them, and if they did, how dare you. This is a game, a very fun game. Don't ruin it by wanting money for it. Basic 1.5/1.5's are fun sure, but there are far better ones that are more entertaining (my cousin found a memorial on the top of his mountain on his 50 acre property that took him an hour to get to) that you have to pay for to mark. I dunno, that doesn't sound all that coherent, but its end of day at work for me. :P

 

If I recall correctly, it was cache owners that didn't want their caches on the free app. We were fine with the easy basic caches being on the free app, which meant new players trying out the game could get a feel for it. If the app included 2/2 caches I think a lot of people would be adjusting their cache(s) D/T rating to get the more experienced cachers who are invested in the game enough to pay $2.50 per month. I spent $80 in gas to go geocaching last Saturday and Sunday. It's a relatively cheap hobby, except for the gas consumption.

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Basic 1.5/1.5's are fun sure, but there are far better ones that are more entertaining (my cousin found a memorial on the top of his mountain on his 50 acre property that took him an hour to get to) that you have to pay for to mark.

 

If I recall correctly, it was cache owners that didn't want their caches on the free app. We were fine with the easy basic caches being on the free app, which meant new players trying out the game could get a feel for it. If the app included 2/2 caches I think a lot of people would be adjusting their cache(s) D/T rating...

Yep. :)

 

Keep in mind also, Mezrein, that there are other free caching apps out there which do not have the same display restrictions as the official one. If I had encountered those cachers, I might have pointed them to one of the other apps. Granted, they may not as "download and go" easy to run, but they're intuitive enough even for beginners, IMHO.

 

[EDIT: "those cachers" were apparently mentioned in a different thread. If I had encountered beginner cachers that had issues with the 1.5/1.5 restriction...]

Edited by TriciaG

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Personally I think its sad that the something that is meant to be fun, and get people out and about is being monetized at all. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think CO's setup their caches to make money off of them, and if they did, how dare you. This is a game, a very fun game. Don't ruin it by wanting money for it.

Just to address the monetization issue. Providing a website to host all of the data and track everyone's logs required for this "very fun game" is not free and I'm pretty sure the website does not generate enough traffic for ads to cover the cost. Website and mobile app developers do not work for free, especially considering the types of salaries they are paid. I don't see any problem with Groundspeak requiring a small payment in order to have full access to the features they provide.

 

Regarding cache owners, they do not get any money from the caches they place. It actually costs them money to place caches - containers, logbooks, swag items, etc.

 

There are plenty of cachers that play this game for free. The site they are using and the caches they are finding are a cost to others. Something to think about.

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I also think it's a bit of a slap in the face to cache owners. I place caches to be found and make the decision if I want it to be premium or not

 

^^ This. If I wanted to restrict access to my caches, I'd make them PMO, but I WANT(ed) new cachers to join the hobby. I (used to) tell people what a great hobby geocaching was, and how they could do it for free, but if they got really hooked they could get a premium membership which would open up new caches to them. Now, I don't have the heart to introduce anyone new to the hobby, and I've barely cached at all since Groundspeak crippled the app's map utility with that dadgum "clusters" "improvement". I AM still a premium member, but I'm not sure it's worth even staying in the hobby now :'(

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Personally I think its sad that the something that is meant to be fun, and get people out and about is being monetized at all. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think CO's setup their caches to make money off of them, and if they did, how dare you. This is a game, a very fun game. Don't ruin it by wanting money for it.

Just to address the monetization issue. Providing a website to host all of the data and track everyone's logs required for this "very fun game" is not free and I'm pretty sure the website does not generate enough traffic for ads to cover the cost. Website and mobile app developers do not work for free, especially considering the types of salaries they are paid. I don't see any problem with Groundspeak requiring a small payment in order to have full access to the features they provide.

 

Regarding cache owners, they do not get any money from the caches they place. It actually costs them money to place caches - containers, logbooks, swag items, etc.

 

There are plenty of cachers that play this game for free. The site they are using and the caches they are finding are a cost to others. Something to think about.

 

While I have no objection to the site and developers making some money, as a cache owner I have never once worried that some other cacher might be "freeloading" by finding my caches without paying for a Premium membership. If I had worried about that, I would have made my caches PMO. The objection I have about the new app's gatekeeping approach is that it takes away that choice about whether their caches can be searched for by Basic or Premium members from the very people they are depending on to invest their time and resources to place caches in the first place. I am INCENSED that the 5 caches that I purposely made open to all cachers and not just PMO's are now hidden from the very people I meant them for because I rated them at a 2 difficulty.

Edited by JungleFritz
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I (used to) tell people what a great hobby geocaching was, and how they could do it for free, but if they got really hooked they could get a premium membership which would open up new caches to them. Now, I don't have the heart to introduce anyone new to the hobby, and I've barely cached at all since Groundspeak crippled the app's map utility with that dadgum "clusters" "improvement". I AM still a premium member, but I'm not sure it's worth even staying in the hobby now :'(

Another option is to tell people about other apps, not the Groundspeak app, which will still allow Basic Members to see all the non-PMO caches. Or they can see them on the website, which may work fine if they want to cache using GPSr's anyway.

 

While I have no objection to the site and developers making some money, as a cache owner I have never once worried that some other cacher might be "freeloading" by finding my caches without paying for a Premium membership. If I had worried about that, I would have made my caches PMO. The objection I have about the new app's gatekeeping approach is that it takes away that choice about whether their caches can be searched for by Basic or Premium members from the very people they are depending on to invest their time and resources to place caches in the first place. I am INCENSED that the 5 caches that I purposely made open to all cachers and not just PMO's are now hidden from the very people I meant them for because I rated them at a 2 difficulty.

Just to clarify, I didn't mean to imply that Basic Members were "freeloading" by finding caches. My comment that you quoted was in reply to Mezrein's comment about "wanting money for it". Obviously, CO's do not get any money for placing caches.

 

And again, your caches are still available to Basic Members that look for caches on the website and/or via non-Groundspeak apps.

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I am INCENSED that the 5 caches that I purposely made open to all cachers and not just PMO's are now hidden from the very people I meant them for because I rated them at a 2 difficulty.

What if there were an "un-PMO" selection, where Premium Members may mark their caches "Intro-Friendly"? I've often wondered about new cachers just starting the App today, and how their option is to find some gross pill bottle among trash. Their first impression of Geocaching is an unmaintained throw-down. My first cache was an ammo box in the woods. That was cool!

 

But if your cache is not deemed suitable for new finders, what went wrong? Is the difficulty too high? Are there too many problems with the hide?

 

It would be tough to make a great variety of Intro Caches designed to be found by App users, but it would be cool to try. The caches would need to be especially well-maintained, so that they don't get removed from the App. Various things cause that.

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I am INCENSED that the 5 caches that I purposely made open to all cachers and not just PMO's are now hidden from the very people I meant them for because I rated them at a 2 difficulty.

What if there were an "un-PMO" selection, where Premium Members may mark their caches "Intro-Friendly"? I've often wondered about new cachers just starting the App today, and how their option is to find some gross pill bottle among trash. Their first impression of Geocaching is an unmaintained throw-down. My first cache was an ammo box in the woods. That was cool!

 

But if your cache is not deemed suitable for new finders, what went wrong? Is the difficulty too high? Are there too many problems with the hide?

 

It would be tough to make a great variety of Intro Caches designed to be found by App users, but it would be cool to try. The caches would need to be especially well-maintained, so that they don't get removed from the App. Various things cause that.

 

I rated the caches as "2" difficulties because they are a little tricky - nanos and micros. But the point is that I wanted to make them findable to all basic (non-paying) cachers, not just the Premium members. Basic membership used to (not sure if it still does) include some more advanced cachers than just newbies.

 

I want Groundspeak to leave it up to the COs whether they want their caches to be visible to basic, non-paying members. Perhaps the default would be "Premium Members Only", and the CO would have to actively select to make their cache - whatever the difficulty - be for non-Premium members. Or they could say that for every x number of PMO caches, you can make one at any level open to non-Premium cachers.

 

This whole episode, from the unwanted (for me, at least) clustering "improvement" to the app, to the way Groundspeak is monetizing the hobby, leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

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I am INCENSED that the 5 caches that I purposely made open to all cachers and not just PMO's are now hidden from the very people I meant them for because I rated them at a 2 difficulty.

What if there were an "un-PMO" selection, where Premium Members may mark their caches "Intro-Friendly"? I've often wondered about new cachers just starting the App today, and how their option is to find some gross pill bottle among trash. Their first impression of Geocaching is an unmaintained throw-down. My first cache was an ammo box in the woods. That was cool!

 

But if your cache is not deemed suitable for new finders, what went wrong? Is the difficulty too high? Are there too many problems with the hide?

 

It would be tough to make a great variety of Intro Caches designed to be found by App users, but it would be cool to try. The caches would need to be especially well-maintained, so that they don't get removed from the App. Various things cause that.

 

I rated the caches as "2" difficulties because they are a little tricky - nanos and micros. But the point is that I wanted to make them findable to all basic (non-paying) cachers, not just the Premium members. Basic membership used to (not sure if it still does) include some more advanced cachers than just newbies.

 

I want Groundspeak to leave it up to the COs whether they want their caches to be visible to basic, non-paying members. Perhaps the default would be "Premium Members Only", and the CO would have to actively select to make their cache - whatever the difficulty - be for non-Premium members. Or they could say that for every x number of PMO caches, you can make one at any level open to non-Premium cachers.

 

This whole episode, from the unwanted (for me, at least) clustering "improvement" to the app, to the way Groundspeak is monetizing the hobby, leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

 

That would be nice.

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I rated the caches as "2" difficulties because they are a little tricky - nanos and micros. But the point is that I wanted to make them findable to all basic (non-paying) cachers, not just the Premium members. Basic membership used to (not sure if it still does) include some more advanced cachers than just newbies.

 

I want Groundspeak to leave it up to the COs whether they want their caches to be visible to basic, non-paying members. Perhaps the default would be "Premium Members Only", and the CO would have to actively select to make their cache - whatever the difficulty - be for non-Premium members. Or they could say that for every x number of PMO caches, you can make one at any level open to non-Premium cachers.

 

This whole episode, from the unwanted (for me, at least) clustering "improvement" to the app, to the way Groundspeak is monetizing the hobby, leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

Wasn't basic when I used the app, but IIRC, the basic app wasn't much different than this new one (1.5/1.5 trads).

At the time, the basic windows app even limited you to only three caches per day.

It was only the paid app that gave basic members the "advanced" caches.

- So at a "2" rating, your caches wouldn't be accessible to all anyway.

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There are other (free) apps besides the official Geocaching one. Most of 'em are great!

Hi I've been a lurker for a while, and I saw your post which opted me to post a reply.

 

You are right Ma'am there is a better I use C:Geo and its free it also shows the premium caches as long as you got a premium account that is.

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Apparently, I let my premium membership lapse. But that let me test the view of geocaching that is offered to basic members.

 

I went on an overnight hike. Not backpacking, but staying in a comfortable lodge that is "a great way to introduce young people and the uninitiated to our local environment". Naturally, there is a geocache nearby.

 

Unfortunately, this geocache is rated D2/T2.5, so it is visible only to premium members. Otherwise, it would be a nice way to introduce new people to geocaching.

 

The D2/T2.5 rating blocked access via the latest version of Groundspeak's Geocaching app, even when I entered the GC code.

 

And for the record, I tried using my API-based app, and it couldn't access it either, even when I searched via the GC code. But maybe recent API changes have rendered that app stale, since it hasn't been updated recently.

 

And also for the record, I did find the cache. Unfortunately, my field note draft is stored for the previous cache that I found. I'll sort it all out when I finally get around to logging my drafts.

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IDK, if the basic membership is supposed to be an introductory version it makes sense to only show very easy caches. I remember being a newbie and trying to find nanos, I was very difficult with no experience. I have heard of people quitting because they start out looking just for nanos or more difficult hides. Almost seems like newbies are better off steered toward caches no smaller than "small" and low difficulty.

 

Reall, $30 a year for premium isn't expensive. What other hobby can you have that only costs $30 a year?

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IDK, if the basic membership is supposed to be an introductory version it makes sense to only show very easy caches. I remember being a newbie and trying to find nanos, I was very difficult with no experience. I have heard of people quitting because they start out looking just for nanos or more difficult hides. Almost seems like newbies are better off steered toward caches no smaller than "small" and low difficulty.

 

Really, $30 a year for premium isn't expensive. What other hobby can you have that only costs $30 a year?

I sorta agree...

One we know started with difficulty too high for his inexperience (not knowing better I guess) and wanted to quit.

Taught him single-rope tree climbing years before he started caching, and we'd bump into him on rugged trails too.

We introduced him to higher terrain hides instead, and he's still playing today. :)

 

The "limit" for new, basic members is a good start. Aren't 1.5/1.5 caches rated to be "very easy"? ;)

- Though when the other 2/3rds used to hunt low D/T hides, a nano was a rarity.

I believe nanos to be another one of those regional things.

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Reall, $30 a year for premium isn't expensive. What other hobby can you have that only costs $30 a year?
That really isn't the point.

 

Sure, once they decide they like geocaching, $30 a year isn't much for an activity that you're going to participate in regularly. But by definition, newbies aren't there yet. They haven't decided that they like geocaching yet, and they're going to base that decision on what they experience during their introduction.

 

I've almost always introduced newbies to geocaching by taking them on a short hike. But geocaches along hikes quickly reach a T2 rating or higher. And anything but the most trivial hide quickly reaches a D2 rating or higher. (Or perhaps it's hidden in "the usual spot" so it gets a lower difficulty rating, but "the usual spot" does newbies no good.)

 

It just seems to me that a lot of good introductory caches are being excluded from beginners who are using Groundspeak's app or an API-partner app. Even if someone finds one of these caches online, or from an experienced geocacher who is introducing them to the activity, they can't enter the GC code to download the cache data either.

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I was introducing someone tonight to Geocaching. I hadn't played in a while, but I clicked that premium button, as I knew I was about to start again for a while. We started walking to get to caches, and half the time, she was disheartened that the cache was a grey one. Since I wasn't up to date on the particular restrictions, I couldn't quickly explain what was happening.

It made for a really weird experience. She still liked it, but those advanced caches that are blocked are a seriously bad idea.

If it is to protect new players, make it a toggle or something. If it's to make more money..that's not the way to go.

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Could another solution be to make the first caches you find free, for example the first 25, and then require paid membership to keep using the app?

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On 5/26/2017 at 1:49 PM, niraD said:

That really isn't the point.

 

Sure, once they decide they like geocaching, $30 a year isn't much for an activity that you're going to participate in regularly. But by definition, newbies aren't there yet. They haven't decided that they like geocaching yet, and they're going to base that decision on what they experience during their introduction.

 

I've almost always introduced newbies to geocaching by taking them on a short hike. But geocaches along hikes quickly reach a T2 rating or higher. And anything but the most trivial hide quickly reaches a D2 rating or higher. (Or perhaps it's hidden in "the usual spot" so it gets a lower difficulty rating, but "the usual spot" does newbies no good.)

 

It just seems to me that a lot of good introductory caches are being excluded from beginners who are using Groundspeak's app or an API-partner app. Even if someone finds one of these caches online, or from an experienced geocacher who is introducing them to the activity, they can't enter the GC code to download the cache data either.

I was a premium member before with the Old App for a long time.  I loved it.  Then they Shut it down and I could not use it.  New App sucks and I am not paying my premium membership this year.  Also, I HATE RE-OCCURING  CHARGES ON my credit card.  Had to buy a gift membership to myself last year to get around it.  Geocaching has done everything possible to alienate the old premium members.  Also, why would pay for the premium membership and use somebody else's app???  

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3 hours ago, jimchest said:

Also, why would pay for the premium membership and use somebody else's app???  

To get the best.

With each, you're paying for different things.

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5 hours ago, jimchest said:

Also, I HATE RE-OCCURING  CHARGES ON my credit card.  Had to buy a gift membership to myself last year to get around it.

I buy my recurring membership, then go to the Account Settings tab of my Membership page and turn off the recurring charges.

5 hours ago, jimchest said:

Also, why would pay for the premium membership and use somebody else's app???  

Why buy a gasoline from Chevron and then put it in a car you bought from Toyota?

I've used third-party apps since before Groundspeak had an app. I've paid for premium membership since before Groundspeak had an app. I continue to use the app I like best, even though Groundspeak now offers a (less capable) app of their own.

Admittedly, Groundspeak has improved their app significantly recently, but the API-partner app I use is still better.

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6 hours ago, jimchest said:

 Also, why would pay for the premium membership and use somebody else's app???  

Because different people like different things.  If the official app's interface isn't appealing to someone, then there are alternatives that may be more pleasing.

It may come as a surprise, but there are plenty of cachers buying Premium Membership and not using any app at all.  There are benefits to Premium Membership that extend beyond the app, see HERE.

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11 hours ago, noncentric said:

It may come as a surprise, but there are plenty of cachers buying Premium Membership and not using any app at all.  There are benefits to Premium Membership that extend beyond the app, see HERE.

Yep.  Currently the only premium option I use is notifications.

We remain PMs thinking it may help support a basic member still using the site too.   :)

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Coming back to the title of this thread...

I saw on project-gc that the number of active geocachers dropped of about 20-30% on a year base in countries such as Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany.

I don't know if it is an effect of the new mobile app but the trend is there.

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