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Stagnate Categories: An ongoing problem


T0SHEA
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Currently there are threads going about waymarks that are not reviewed in two weeks or longer of submission. Abandoned Categories and Dormant Categories.

 

After some research this issue of waymarks not being reviewed within a reasonable time is an only going problem that goes back 5 years or longer.

 

There are 100s of adjectives to describe this ongoing unresolved problem. It does not matter what the name of the thread is in this forum the dilemma still remains the same: Waymarkers are not being reviewed in a timely manner.

 

“Inactive Leaders / Abandoned Categories What can we do?” was started on April 18, 2014.

 

“Absent Leaders and Unresponsive Officers When the Group Management process is no longer working” a tutorial offered by Checkmark.

 

“What if nothing happens after a week or two? At that point it is best to contact me directly to move things along.”

“So I've become the Leader, now what?”

 

In some cases, writing the group leader and other officers about your pending waymark/s is not effective and you are ignored.

 

Your offer to be an officer: this is also ignored.

 

Then what, you start a new thread or post on one of the afore mentioned threads. These requests are redundant; inactive groups, unresponsive leaders/officers, offers to be an officer, waymarks are not reviewed within a reasonable time. It does not matter what you name it the results are the same. Your waymark/s is still pending…and there is nothing you can do to fix the problem.

 

There needs to be a procedure in place that is workable.

 

Frankly I am tired of: always waiting, posting links to waymarks that still need to be reviewed, (and in some cases being ignored) resubmitting waymarks hoping someone will notice, emailing leaders/officers, posting on threads and other numerous methods to get some attention that you have a waymark pending that is not being reviewed.

 

BK-Hunters: Posted 16 September 2016 - 07:22 AM

 

Here we are again...

 

How about these two categories:

(still pending) Themed Homemade Mailboxes: http://www.Waymarkin...p_Arlee_Montana

(still pending) Themed Homemade Mailboxes: http://www.Waymarkin...odge_Montana_US

 

I have resubmitted numerous times and have sent emails to officers of both groups.

 

We are recent members of both groups, and willing to be an officer.

 

(our offer to be an officers was ignored in both categories)

 

(Outdoor Warning Sirens: were approved)

 

While I am at it these are pending two weeks:

Vintage Gasoline Pumps: http://www.Waymarking.com/waymarks/WMT207_Art_Deco_Gas_Pump_Old_Montana_Prison_Deer_Lodge_MT

Vintage Gasoline Pumps : http://www.Waymarking.com/waymarks/WMT202_Tokheim_Gas_Pump_Old_Montana_Prison_Deer_Lodge_MT

 

I ask myself, “Why do I have to keep doing all of this again and again with little or no results?”

 

How do we fix this ongoing problem?

Edited by BK-Hunters
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We could start by removing inactive officers. How long should can someone go with out logging into Waymarking before they are considered "inactive"? Three months? Six months? A Year?

 

Personally, I have never experienced a really long wait. Most of my waymarks are cleared within a few days.

 

On the flip side, I will not let YOUR waymark sit in my que for more than a few hours.

 

I have several right now going on three days, and I see that at least one officer in each group has logged in in the past twenty four hours.

 

I realize that we all have real lives and other priorities, but the way I see it you made a commitment to this game. If you can't or won't honor it then maybe it's time to let someone else take the lead.

 

Just my two cents.

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I hear you. There is supposed to be a procedure in place for taking over dormant categories. I tried it a long time ago when my name wasn't as well known in Waymarking -- I was probably an officer in one category (two at the most) at the time. I haven't tried it since because I was discouraged that even the final solution wasn't working. I got no response back from Groundspeak.

 

Perhaps it would work the next time I try, if I ever do, but the big question is "Who do you contact from Groundspeak?" The answer seems to keep changing. I wish there were some automated solutions (to some extent) like John mentions: automatically cleaning out groups of officers who have not logged in for X months or a year or something.

 

But that's half of a solution: how does the back-fill process start? According to the How To page, one contacts someone (who?) in Groundspeak to offer to be the leader. Some folks (probably those who've been around for a long time and that Groundspeak "knows") get this to work. How do I know? I saw the group that I mentioned before that I asked GS to be take over the lead (with no response) eventually taken over by one of the Power Hitters. I'm glad they got it, because now the category is no longer dormant. Great.

 

But who do you have to be to get this to work? It doesn't seem consistent to me. Am I "there" yet? If not, when will I be? (That is, my requests will count.) When am I a Power Hitter? By number of Waymarks posted? By number of groups that I'm an officer?

 

Oh well, that's just a discussion of the existing process that has some issues. 'Twould be great to have a bit more automated solution to this issue, so that we don't need to "bother" Groundspeak. ;)

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I agree that the process for dealing with stagnant categories needs to change. It is difficult to reach out to COs and be ignored, then bug GS staffers.

 

I'm not sure about auto-approval, though, because I think that will result in WMs being approved that would not pass scrutiny of a proper review. I think this could result in auto-approved waymarkers being declined later after a human review. That is also pretty frustrating (Artesian wells).

 

The promotion process for new blood in categories also takes too long and is too easily manipulated. I am aware of a category where the leader was not on for YEARS (even letting his Groundspeak membership lapse). GS appointed a new active and motivated officer, who recruited others to manage the dormant category. Then they all had to wait 3 days for a vote to be promoted. Next, when the new blood arrived and tried to clean house of years-long inactive officers, the absent leader reappeared and thwarted the process by voting no to dismiss the inactives. DEMOTIVATING.

 

I like the idea of scrubbing folks from the officer list who do not long onto the site for, say, 6 months -- EXCEPT, what happens when all the officers go dormant? Is the first member who logs on automatically promoted? I can see this: Hi :) Welcome back! You are now an officer and have 68 waymarks in your review queue. EEEK! LOL

 

But in all seriousness, auti-promote may not be so bad. Presumably folks agreed to be officers because they were interested in the category. :) If they don't want to review, then they can decline the promotion or resign, and the next guy that checks in gets the role thrust upon his/her head.

 

I will think about this some more. I have a WM waiting in an inactive category where all officers have not been on in 1+ To 3+ years. And an approval would be an icon for me. And the category description needs some SERIOUS updating and broadening. (Sigh). Maybe I should ask GS for an appointment. I don't know :(

 

These are the conundrums inherent is making this a community-based hobby. Instituting a volunteer reviewer process like GS has for geocaches may be a solution. That is essentially what we have now, only with a difficult bureaucracy to navigate first.

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As you can see I am on a mission.

 

I will continue to post on threads that are about waymarks not being reviewed in a reasonable time.

 

This will bring all the threads to the top and maybe this will be more effective and bring focus on the issue at hand.

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I guess the way to "fix" an issue is to kill the messenger who keeps calling it out. Issue fixed. Everyone has to wait more months for approvals. Right? Makes sense to me.

 

Not.

 

It is acceptable/encouraged to list categories/waymarks which need attention in the threads that are setup for that purpose.

Edited by BruceS
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There is a category that I'd like to become an officer in and have waited on a submission for approval for three weeks now.

 

Covered Wagons

 

Unfortunately, the membership is closed. In addition the leader hasn't been active in almost TWO YEARS, another officer hasn't been active in ALMOST FOUR YEARS. I'm just waiting on frivlas, the third officer, to approve, he hasn't been active in three weeks.

 

I have had luck in the past by messaging either Waywizard or CheckMark directly regarding inactive categories. About half the time, they make me leader or an officer and I'm able to remove inactive officers and appoint new ones.

 

I'm going to reach out to Waywizard and see what he can do with the Covered Wagons category.

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There is a category that I'd like to become an officer in and have waited on a submission for approval for three weeks now.

 

Covered Wagons

 

 

I have approved this one as it was long but it was just one day over 2 weeks, 9/17 was submission date.

 

Waywizard, I appreciate you approving my submissions but there still exists the problem of the Covered Wagons category being stagnant. I proposed becoming an officer with category-editing capabilities so I can make the membership open and promote officers.

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Waywizard, I appreciate you approving my submissions but there still exists the problem of the Covered Wagons category being stagnant. I proposed becoming an officer with category-editing capabilities so I can make the membership open and promote officers.

 

Patience. Sometimes it takes a while for wizard magic to take place. In other words it in the works.

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Waywizard, I appreciate you approving my submissions but there still exists the problem of the Covered Wagons category being stagnant. I proposed becoming an officer with category-editing capabilities so I can make the membership open and promote officers.

 

Patience. Sometimes it takes a while for wizard magic to take place. In other words it in the works.

 

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! :laughing:

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Waywizard is a pretty good wizard. It's done.

 

We're getting there but we're NOT done yet. Thanks, Waywizard, for appointing me as an officer. There are THREE issues left to resolve with the Covered Wagons category:

 

1) Open membership for others to join and become officers.

 

2) Demote the leader and one other officer who haven't been active in Waymarking for YEARS.

 

3) Appoint a NEW leader for the category to actively manage submissions.

 

When these three steps are accomplished, I'll be a happy geocacher/waymarker!

 

B)

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Waywizard is a pretty good wizard. It's done.

 

We're getting there but we're NOT done yet. Thanks, Waywizard, for appointing me as an officer. There are THREE issues left to resolve with the Covered Wagons category:

 

1) Open membership for others to join and become officers.

 

2) Demote the leader and one other officer who haven't been active in Waymarking for YEARS.

 

3) Appoint a NEW leader for the category to actively manage submissions.

 

When these three steps are accomplished, I'll be a happy geocacher/waymarker!

 

B)

Not every case needs the full program. Less Waymarks are submitted to this category, you could help to approve them faster. It would have been easy for Groundspeak to make you the new leader, but in this case it was decided that an additional officer would be the best.

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Waywizard is a pretty good wizard. It's done.

 

We're getting there but we're NOT done yet. Thanks, Waywizard, for appointing me as an officer. There are THREE issues left to resolve with the Covered Wagons category:

 

1) Open membership for others to join and become officers.

 

2) Demote the leader and one other officer who haven't been active in Waymarking for YEARS.

 

3) Appoint a NEW leader for the category to actively manage submissions.

 

When these three steps are accomplished, I'll be a happy geocacher/waymarker!

 

B)

Not every case needs the full program. Less Waymarks are submitted to this category, you could help to approve them faster. It would have been easy for Groundspeak to make you the new leader, but in this case it was decided that an additional officer would be the best.

 

That's an interesting reply - when, in GS's judgement, is the "full program" necessary, and when is it NOT? I'm sure others have many more category management stories, since I am just starting as an officer in 1 category. What are the indicators driving the decision to intervene at differing levels?

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That's an interesting reply - when, in GS's judgement, is the "full program" necessary, and when is it NOT? I'm sure others have many more category management stories, since I am just starting as an officer in 1 category. What are the indicators driving the decision to intervene at differing levels?

 

In general it depends on the activity level of the group and the category.

 

Have members of the group been reviewing waymarks but not as frequently as desired then usually the addition of an officer or two will often remedy the problem.

 

Has the category totally been abandoned? Then replacement of leader would be needed.

 

Other times that GS has intervened has been at the death of leader thus not requiring the group to demote individual by vote. Also have intervened when death of the leader when other members of group were inactive family or socks accounts of the deceased leader.

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Waywizard, I would like to know if a leader or officer that is NOT a Premium Member continue to be a leader or officer?

 

The guideline: Category Creation and Group Management

 

As a Premium Member you have the ability to create and lead an unlimited number of Groups, each managing a Waymarking category in the directory. Have a great idea for a category? Upgrade today and make it happen!

 

It does not address: What happens when a leader/officer premium membership lapses. <_<

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Waywizard, I would like to know if a leader or officer that is NOT a Premium Member continue to be a leader or officer?

 

The guideline: Category Creation and Group Management

 

As a Premium Member you have the ability to create and lead an unlimited number of Groups, each managing a Waymarking category in the directory. Have a great idea for a category? Upgrade today and make it happen!

 

It does not address: What happens when a leader/officer premium membership lapses. <_<

 

I don't think this situation was thought of when the site was designed and developed. I need to ask for guidance on this from higher ups at the lily pad.

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Waywizard, I would like to know if a leader or officer that is NOT a Premium Member continue to be a leader or officer?

 

The guideline: Category Creation and Group Management

 

As a Premium Member you have the ability to create and lead an unlimited number of Groups, each managing a Waymarking category in the directory. Have a great idea for a category? Upgrade today and make it happen!

 

It does not address: What happens when a leader/officer premium membership lapses. <_<

 

I've been in this situation and in both Waymarking and in geocaching sites the things that were created as a premium member continue when we cease to be Premium.

 

Examples:

Waymarking: Continue to be the leader of a Category or officer.

Geocaching: Continue to be owner of a Premium Member only cache or continue to have the favorites given to visited caches.

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IMHO, when a leader of a category hasn't logged onto the site in YEARS, I consider it abandoned. And add one or two inactive officers to the mix and you have a legitimate problem. When changes/edits to the category need to be made, it's usually the leader and only the leader who can make them (as in the Covered Wagons category). It doesn't make sense to keep an inactive waymarker in a leadership role when there are plenty of other active folks willing to take over leadership duties. Why put a Band-Aid on the problem when it only will continue to fester indefinitely?

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IMHO, when a leader of a category hasn't logged onto the site in YEARS, I consider it abandoned. And add one or two inactive officers to the mix and you have a legitimate problem. When changes/edits to the category need to be made, it's usually the leader and only the leader who can make them (as in the Covered Wagons category). It doesn't make sense to keep an inactive waymarker in a leadership role when there are plenty of other active folks willing to take over leadership duties. Why put a Band-Aid on the problem when it only will continue to fester indefinitely?

 

There many categories run by groups where the leader has been inactive for years that are far from abandoned and though this may not be the ideal the group experiences no issues running the category this way.

 

Groundspeak put procedures designed into the site for the removal of officers and leaders in a group. Yes, they are difficult to achieve by design but have been used many times to remove inactive officers and leaders. Thus it would not be proper to step in and bypass these procedures except in the most exceptional of cases. Many times by promoting a new officer these procedures have been used to remove inactive officers or the new officer works with the existing officers to get things fixed either by making changes needed or relinquishing leadership to the newly promoted officer. These changes have been made behind the scenes without fanfare or announcing in the forums their intent to overthrow the inactive leadership.

 

If you look at the ten most active categories you will find that very few are still led by the original leader of the group and I believe only one of these was the original leader replaced by using exceptional procedures. That one was due to the death of the leader and all other officers were sock puppet accounts owned by the original leader. All other leadership changes were done following normal established procedures.

Edited by Waywizard
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Waywizard, I would like to know if a leader or officer that is NOT a Premium Member continue to be a leader or officer?

 

The guideline: Category Creation and Group Management

 

As a Premium Member you have the ability to create and lead an unlimited number of Groups, each managing a Waymarking category in the directory. Have a great idea for a category? Upgrade today and make it happen!

 

It does not address: What happens when a leader/officer premium membership lapses. <_<

 

I don't think this situation was thought of when the site was designed and developed. I need to ask for guidance on this from higher ups at the lily pad.

Earlier this year I made a survey of categories. I found 356 waymarkers lead all categories.

 

Of those leaders, 129 were not premium members!

 

The exact number may be slightly different now, but I believe the rough order of magnitude is probably still the same.

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Thanks to BK-Hunters to putting me onto this 'Thread'. 'DownUnder' we have currently an issue with the Australian Trig Points category. I know that one of the Officers is theoretically a Team, but the main driving force of the Spindoctors, Darren Osborne of quite some notoriety in Australia, died about 2 years ago, and the Waymarking side hasn't been accessed since. Understandably.

However, Gunn Parker (the Group Leader, not the one that started it mind you) has been inactive since 2010.

I am happy to nominate a few active Waymarkers and trig hunters to be placed in the Reviewing roles.

Yours sincerely

Grahame Cookie

gwcooke@y7mail.com

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Thanks to BK-Hunters to putting me onto this 'Thread'. 'DownUnder' we have currently an issue with the Australian Trig Points category. I know that one of the Officers is theoretically a Team, but the main driving force of the Spindoctors, Darren Osborne of quite some notoriety in Australia, died about 2 years ago, and the Waymarking side hasn't been accessed since. Understandably.

However, Gunn Parker (the Group Leader, not the one that started it mind you) has been inactive since 2010.

I am happy to nominate a few active Waymarkers and trig hunters to be placed in the Reviewing roles.

Yours sincerely

Grahame Cookie

gwcooke@y7mail.com

 

Please send me some names to me using my Geocaching.com profile (as currently the Waymarking email system is down) and I will see what we can do to resolve this issue.

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Waywizard, I would like to know if a leader or officer that is NOT a Premium Member continue to be a leader or officer?

 

The guideline: Category Creation and Group Management

 

As a Premium Member you have the ability to create and lead an unlimited number of Groups, each managing a Waymarking category in the directory. Have a great idea for a category? Upgrade today and make it happen!

 

It does not address: What happens when a leader/officer premium membership lapses. <_<

 

I don't think this situation was thought of when the site was designed and developed. I need to ask for guidance on this from higher ups at the lily pad.

Earlier this year I made a survey of categories. I found 356 waymarkers lead all categories.

 

Of those leaders, 129 were not premium members!

 

The exact number may be slightly different now, but I believe the rough order of magnitude is probably still the same.

 

I found the time to update this information for all category officers. Here’s some quick summaries.

 

Of the 851 Officers & Leaders of all groups with a category,

• 307 (36%) are not Premium Members

• 322 (38%) have not logged in during 2016

 

Of the 336 Category/Group Leaders,

113 (34%) are not Premium Members

89 (26%) have not logged in during 2016

 

Of the 1095 groups/categories, 951 have had an officer login in the past 3 days.

• 66 categories have not had an officer login in the past 10 days.

• 17 categories have not had an officer login in the past month.

 

Much more detail is available at 2016 Waymarking Group/Category Analysis.

 

This page can also be found link from the Waymarking Stats home page.

 

If you have any questions, please let me know.

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That means, there is a potential problem with only 17 categories, and even if you are not premium member categories seem to be managed seriously.

 

Page details are really interesting, the Waymarking stats link to Google ?

There are more than 17 categories with problems, and not all of those 17 belong to them, but it is a small minority anyway. 10 days is too much for a category with daily submissions, twice a year in enough for a category with two submissions per year.

 

These stats are all we have, but they say not much. An officer who logs in, sometimes does not not review pending waymarks, and an officer of a small category maybe does not log in for months, but is going to react on a submission email within hours. We don't know.

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Well, I am trying to learn the job of reviewing. I put my first vote up. I don't think the waymark follows the rules, but other similar waymarks have been accepted. Do you ever change the rules or disallow previously accepted way marks? Both I think could cause problems. I only put one of the submissions up for review but there are 2 similar, all should be accepted or rejected. Should I put the others up for review too to keep them from being handled differently? How good are people about voting?

If people complain about waits they can always volunteer to review. I saw that some people review their own, but this doesn't seem right since they might have missed something. I know it is hard to keep all the different rules straight, especially the ones that are different. There are only a small number of people active. The reviewing is falling on a few people who keep us going. Seems the whole group has to work at this while they are active. Instead of complaining, volunteer. Maybe someone else will volunteer for the group you want reviewed too.

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If you look at the 224 waymarkers with over 500 waymarks, less than half are active. If 100 people each reviewed 10 categories that would be 1000. If you have 2 or 3 per category that would be 20 or 30 categories per waymarker. If you looked at the categories waymarkers have posted at least 10 waymarks in, you could develop a pool of potential reviewers.

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If you look at the 224 waymarkers with over 500 waymarks, less than half are active.

 

Having 5oo or more waymarks is not a qualification for being an active reviewer. I have less than 200 but review most submissions to the two categories I manage (officer) within a day or two.

 

I also alternate between being a premium and regular member, and I don't understand why that's even part of the discussion since it has no bearing on one's ability to manage existing categories.

 

And one more thing. Don't read too much into the last visit date - the last visit date is when the payer logged into Waymarking OR geocaching, and many "former waymarkers" are still active geocachers. So it may appear they are still active, but they total tuned out on Waymarking.

Edited by Bon Echo
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If you look at the 224 waymarkers with over 500 waymarks

 

Make that 225 - I crossed the 500 posts line the other night.

 

Thanks BruceS and QDV for your assistance.

 

Yep, I hijacked this message thread to toot my own horn.

 

We now return to Stagnant Categories.

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If you look at the 224 waymarkers with over 500 waymarks, less than half are active.

 

Having 5oo or more waymarks is not a qualification for being an active reviewer. I have less than 200 but review most submissions to the two categories I manage (officer) within a day or two.

 

I also alternate between being a premium and regular member, and I don't understand why that's even part of the discussion since it has no bearing on one's ability to manage existing categories.

 

And one more thing. Don't read too much into the last visit date - the last visit date is when the payer logged into Waymarking OR geocaching, and many "former waymarkers" are still active geocachers. So it may appear they are still active, but they total tuned out on Waymarking.

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I am trying to develop a methodology for identifying a potential pool of reviewers. While there are reviewers that don't meet all the criteria, the task is to identify potential reviewers. It may be possible to issue an invitation to prime suspects? It could include a list of categories in need of help reviewing. Maybe a description of the job could be included. Maybe there could be a post on the main Waymarking screen with an invite. Are there mentors that might answer questions a new reviewer would have?

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There are more than 17 categories with problems, and not all of those 17 belong to them, but it is a small minority anyway. 10 days is too much for a category with daily submissions, twice a year in enough for a category with two submissions per year.

 

These stats are all we have, but they say not much. An officer who logs in, sometimes does not not review pending waymarks, and an officer of a small category maybe does not log in for months, but is going to react on a submission email within hours. We don't know.

 

It is probably coincidental but a couple weeks ago I had a query run to get a list of all categories that had Waymark waiting over 3 weeks, there were 17 on the list. Most had 1 or 2 waymarks waiting, the high was 21 all submitted by same person who was an officer in the category. I cleared the backlog at that time. Some of these categories were managed by officers who are in general quite active but had stepped away for a while due to vacations or other events in their lives.

 

I definitely agree on your second statement, there are officers who log in and don't review at that time. Remember officers in categories are waymarkers too, thus maybe they are posting visits or submitting waymarks themselves. There are categories which get very few waymarks in a year thus if they monitor their emails they may not have to log into the site.

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I really like the page that shows how many way marks created and visited for those creating over 500. Could you add a total for the number reviewed too, just for the people on the 500 list? It might help get a picture of which waymakers are reviewers too.

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Better yet, add the number reviewed to the profile page and add a row of medals. We are a group of people who respond to stats and medals. This would add a reward and recognition to the reviewers and the process. Also adding incentive to get out there and review.

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If you look at the 224 waymarkers with over 500 waymarks, less than half are active.

Of those, now 225, posters of over 500 waymarks, 130 (58%) have posted a waymark in 2016.

 

113 (50%) have posted a waymark in the second half of this year.

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With all due respect, perhaps DougK would share his detailed statistics in a new thread that focuses on statistics.

 

This would keep this thread about waymarks in review that need attention.

 

We also enjoy learning about statistics and have always appreciated DougK's attention to detail and for providing the Waymarking community with this information online so anyone can access it.

 

The last 15 posts are on this topic. :rolleyes:

Edited by BK-Hunters
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Actually the point is not stats per se, but how to find reviewers to help with the stagnant categories. The point was that rather than focus on the categories, if you look at the reviewers you may find people to add as officers. The place to look is active waymarkers.

Edited by ripraff
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The place to look is active waymarkers.

 

I would consider us active waymarkers, however as far as number of reviews we fall way short of 500.

 

Not sure how these stats relate to getting waymarks reviewed in a timely manner. No actual names are provided (and they should not be), so without doing the grunt work there is not a way to make that correlation as you suggested.

 

It is time to move on either in a new thread or change the subject back to getting pending waymarks reviewed.

Edited by BK-Hunters
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