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Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hide

Is Geocaching Dead?

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10 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

C is the tricky one.  Most can look at the cache history and come to a reasonable conclusion that a cache isn't going to be maintained.    Problem is you're now crossing over into reviewer territory.

I weep. Historically -- i.e., 2 years ago -- this was not "reviewer territory". Seekers looked at all available information, which might involve visiting GZ or might not, and posted appropriate NMs and NAs as necessary. As you say, most people can look at the history and come to a reasonable conclusion. COs could then react, and reviewers were called in with NAs when the CO didn't react. It's only recently we've changed over to this brave new world where reviewers spend all their time looking for caches with problems and the rest of us are discouraged from being involved in the process by, for example, being accused of "crossing over into reviewer territory" if we dare post an NM or NA stating our reasonable conclusion.

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10 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head - apart from Unless maybe it was on Bob's caches, and someone says "well, Bob's never going to maintain them so just as well to get rid of them.

In my experience there are some who will STILL protest violently - knowing fully that Bob is never going to maintain them and this is where the melodrama mentioned earlier kicks in in earnest.

I will protest violently if you use the "fact" that Bob is never going to maintain his caches as justification for posting a bunch of NAs on them. But if your NAs are each clearly explained and well justified, I'll applaud you.

 

From what I've seen, the main source of melodrama is someone, either the NM/NA poster or Bob, losing sight of the fact that NMs and NAs are about caches, not about people.

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5 hours ago, dprovan said:

What scale? I've read the logs, there's plenty of reason to post an NM and zero reason to go to GZ because the cache is clearly missing. The fact that the CO fixed the obvious problem but didn't post an OM is itself a reason the cache needs maintenance: it needs an OM posted so everyone knows the state of the cache as reflected in the log is obsolete.

 

I think not posting an NM because you can imagine some remote possibility in which it might be wrong just encourages the idea that NMs are bad. The more clearly wrong an NM is, the easier it is to post the OM that explains why.

 

I did say this is what I would do, not that if you do it differently then you're wrong.  I would post a NM or NA if I judge that the chance of me being wrong is minimal. And I gave examples of where my line would be. I personally believe that a NM is a very first-hand log, and so no, I wouldn't feel comfortable remotely logging NM, because I know that there are times when a CO has visited and fixed a cache and not (yet?) posted an OM. So, I generally won't post a NM unless I have visited and verified that to my satisfaction, the cache does need maintenance. That's my ethic.  I'm more likely to post a NA remotely than a NM, because a NA to me means that there is an outstanding, very significant issue or problem with the cache that is not or can't be dealt with. And the examples I gave above illustrate where the line is that I personally use in deciding whether I'll a NA.

 

 

5 hours ago, dprovan said:

Seekers looked at all available information, which might involve visiting GZ or might not, and posted appropriate NMs and NAs as necessary

 

Which is true, I've no problem with people doing that in principle - ultimately the CO has to be aware of an outstanding NM, whether it's valid or not, and deal with it. If it's mistaken, the CO can easily and quickly clear it up (and even remove the log as if it never happened). If it's necessary, they can maintain. So yep, I also wouldn't say that posting a NM, even remotely, is "reviewer territory".  I'd say that posting a NM is certainly a first-hand option, and subjectively a remote option, which in and of itself is not a bad thing, unless obviously the motivation for posting it is more antagonistic. I don't think anyone would disagree about that :P

 

 

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42 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

I personally believe that a NM is a very first-hand log, and so no, I wouldn't feel comfortable remotely logging NM, because I know that there are times when a CO has visited and fixed a cache and not (yet?) posted an OM.

This is a perfect example of the problem I'm trying to point out. In this hypothetical, you could file a perfectly valid NM. The NM is completely ignorable by the CO because he's already planning to file an OM. There's simply no downside, yet it makes you uncomfortable.

48 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

So, I generally won't post a NM unless I have visited and verified that to my satisfaction, the cache does need maintenance.

But visiting GZ doesn't really change anything. You could go to GZ, get whatever satisfaction you need to make yourself feel comfortable, go home and the CO could still go to the cache and fix the problem between the time you visited the cache and the time he saw your NM log.

50 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

I'm more likely to post a NA remotely than a NM, because a NA to me means that there is an outstanding, very significant issue or problem with the cache that is not or can't be dealt with. And the examples I gave above illustrate where the line is that I personally use in deciding whether I'll a NA.

Glad to hear it. I find there's almost never any logical reason to visit GZ before posting an NA since the NA is often just pointing out that an NM hasn't be dealt with which is not an observation one makes at GZ. But my point is that there are some cases where posting the NM remotely is just as logical for very similar reasons. A visit to GZ is more often important to know that an NM is appropriate NMs, but it isn't always required. Sometimes visiting GZ would provide no additional information needed to post the NM.

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5 minutes ago, dprovan said:
1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

I personally believe that a NM is a very first-hand log, and so no, I wouldn't feel comfortable remotely logging NM, because I know that there are times when a CO has visited and fixed a cache and not (yet?) posted an OM.

This is a perfect example of the problem I'm trying to point out. In this hypothetical, you could file a perfectly valid NM. The NM is completely ignorable by the CO because he's already planning to file an OM. There's simply no downside, yet it makes you uncomfortable.

 

And this is a problem for you because.....?

 

6 minutes ago, dprovan said:
1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

So, I generally won't post a NM unless I have visited and verified that to my satisfaction, the cache does need maintenance.

But visiting GZ doesn't really change anything. You could go to GZ, get whatever satisfaction you need to make yourself feel comfortable, go home and the CO could still go to the cache and fix the problem between the time you visited the cache and the time he saw your NM log.

 

It's turtles all the way down. Why post any NM/NA at all unless you do it from GZ? Maybe the CO pulls up right behind you as you leave. That's a non-argument. I make the judgement on a case by case basis.  Everyone assumes a reasonable amount of time. I personally feel that it's not my place to post the NM on  acache I haven't visited, if I don't feel I can reasonably be certain that the cache actually needs maintenance as of when I post the log. Other people do. That's just fine and dandy.

 

10 minutes ago, dprovan said:

But my point is that there are some cases where posting the NM remotely is just as logical for very similar reasons. A visit to GZ is more often important to know that an NM is appropriate NMs, but it isn't always required. Sometimes visiting GZ would provide no additional information needed to post the NM.

 

Sure. Of course. So go ahead. You have my blessing. I'm more restrained with my assumptions about cache condition without first-hand observation. That's me. I see no reasons for you to rail me over the coals (or others who think like me). Otherwise, you're assuming that it IS every cacher's responsibility to be proactive in logging NM without 1st hand knowledge. Let it be a personal judgement call in this situation. If you do, great. If you don't great. Let it be.

 

 

Here's the basic gist:

People who haven't visited a cache have absolutely zero obligation to post any log on a listing whatsoever (except maybe a will attend =P).  So if I choose not to post a NM on a cache because I haven't visited it, even if it seems like it'll be 100% called for - that's not my responsibility.  So please stop insinuating that I (or others like me) are doing something wrong by not posting a NM log from my couch, just as I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong by doing so if you feel absolutely confident that it's warranted.

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7 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

It's turtles all the way down. Why post any NM/NA at all unless you do it from GZ?

 

Where circumstances make it reasonable and appropriate, for example, where the CO is known to have left the game months or even years earlier and a body of evidence which clearly  and unequivocally demonstrates that the CO has consistently failed to maintain other of their caches which have fallen in to disrepair.

 

If the CO has also previously failed to respond to reviewer calls for maintenance that adds further weight to the argument for posting NM/NA on caches which warrant it without needing to go all the way out to GZ.

 

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11 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

And this is a problem for you because.....?

It's a problem for me because you don't file the NM when it's needed because you've managed to talk yourself into an unlikely scenario where it won't be needed. You not posting the NM isn't a problem in itself. That's certainly up to you. But you coming here to the forums and making it sound like not posting the NM is the most reasonable choice is what concerns me.

11 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

It's turtles all the way down. Why post any NM/NA at all unless you do it from GZ? Maybe the CO pulls up right behind you as you leave. That's a non-argument.

You understand exactly! So stop telling people to worry about it. There are a zillion possible reasons an NM or NA might be wrong. If you start worrying about those possibilities, you'll never post any NMs. (Well, I suppose my tense is wrong: everyone's already given up posting NMs and NAs, so the reviewers have taken over that job.)

11 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

People who haven't visited a cache have absolutely zero obligation to post any log on a listing whatsoever

Well, of course. People who have visited GZ have absolutely zero obligation to post any log on a listing whatsoever. When you come here to the forums and explain why you didn't post an NM for no reason other than you haven't been to GZ, I take it as trying to talk people into following your example, so I argue against your publicly presented opinion. It doesn't matter to me what you actually do or why you do it.

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3 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Where circumstances make it reasonable and appropriate, for example, where the CO is known to have left the game months or even years earlier and a body of evidence which clearly  and unequivocally demonstrates that the CO has consistently failed to maintain other of their caches which have fallen in to disrepair.

 

If the CO has also previously failed to respond to reviewer calls for maintenance that adds further weight to the argument for posting NM/NA on caches which warrant it without needing to go all the way out to GZ.

 

What a wonderful example. I agree entirely that visiting GZ is not a requirement, yet I reject categorically your example where that makes it OK to post NMs and NAs based on something other than evidence about the specific cache. I don't know if you meant it this way, but you've managed to express this example as a case where you'd file an NM or NA based on nothing but evidence of the CO's past behavior. Personally, I'd avoid even alluding to such evidence, but I can understand someone mentioning it. But I'd never support an NM or NA that didn't also have a clear explanation of why this cache needs maintenance or need to be archived.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

What a wonderful example. I agree entirely that visiting GZ is not a requirement, yet I reject categorically your example where that makes it OK to post NMs and NAs based on something other than evidence about the specific cache. I don't know if you meant it this way, but you've managed to express this example as a case where you'd file an NM or NA based on nothing but evidence of the CO's past behavior. Personally, I'd avoid even alluding to such evidence, but I can understand someone mentioning it. But I'd never support an NM or NA that didn't also have a clear explanation of why this cache needs maintenance or need to be archived.

 

Quite.

 

In addition to the points I raised in my previous post there would have to be sufficient indication that the specific cache in question was in need of attention.

 

Hopefully that clarifies matters.

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Okay.  Went looking for a cache today.  Working on clearing DNFs, though I did not DNF this one.  I was not about to try climbing that fallen tree!  58 finds since 2007.  The CO last signed in four years ago.  The hiding spot seems to have deteriorated.  Six cachers found it on the ground since 2015.  Including two who replaced it in the hiding spot.  Last three cachers reported the log as soaked.  One from last year put an NM on it, though that disappeared last week.  (Still in my Gupster, not on the cache page.)  I had considered putting NM on it from home.  And I would have been justified.  But, since I was in the area,I went for it.  Found it on the ground, with a soaked log.  Added a slip of paper with my name.  Logged the find.  And logged NM.  I doubt the cache will be repaired.  Cannot hide a new one in a state WMA.  Only one of the CO's caches not archived by the reviewer.  But, I did go for it.

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An example where I neither searched for nor visited GZ and logged NM & NA which I felt justified in doing.

 

 

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How did this thread about trends in the numbers of geocachers devolve into yet another in the endless succession of hobby-horse threads dominated by people whining about cache quality?  Don't we have enough threads about that already?

 

I am more interested in the data than in interminable fights about NA and NM logs, which are (at best) peripherally relevant.

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Because it could be considered there may be a link between the downward trend and cache quality? That's hardly peripheral. If new cachers, and old, are finding rubbish then that may be enough for them to consider other pursuits. If we all do our bit to keep our house (the game) in order then perhaps the decline may be arrested and reversed.

Edited by colleda
typo
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1 hour ago, colleda said:

Because it could be considered there may be a link between the downward trend and cache quality? That's hardly peripheral.

 

It would certainly be appropriate to present evidence to support such a link in this thread.

 

But that is not what has happened.

 

Instead, a group of people have hijacked the thread by assuming that the trend is about cache quality and then got into an argument over the details of how (in their minds) to improve it.

 

If someone would like to present actual evidence that the decline in geocaching activity is a result of poorly-maintained caches, then by all means do so.  I haven't seen anything beyond a couple of individual anecdotes in this thread to support that position.

 

Indeed, I do not believe that the cache quality issues are the primary cause of the decline. The same quality issues have been present since the early days of caching.

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1 hour ago, colleda said:

Because it could be considered there may be a link between the downward trend and cache quality? That's hardly peripheral. If new cachers, and old, are finding rubbish then that may be enough for them to consider other pursuits. If we all do our bit to keep our house (the game) in order then perhaps the decline may be arrested and reversed.

 

Agreed. 

When I used to go to "nearest" on my profile dashboard, I was around page 12 or so for caches I'd do.  Roadsides, parking lots, private property, and most without permission kinda ruined it for me.  Maybe pill bottles are an improvement to film cans...

Now, doing search by terrain  (weeding out most of the carp) gives a starting point, but by logs still weed out many of those as wellFolks logging hides not there ... or parts ... that haven't been maintained, and no one leaving NMs - "saw where gz used to be. thanks for placing and maintaining this cache."  or  "found top, tftc".  Sheesh... 

 - Sometimes mixing with other outdoor hobbies has helped for me.  The other 2/3rds finally lost interest, a FTF monster tired of beta testing. Final was when she found a cache 400+' off by yet another newb with no finds.

I like to walk, caching or not.  A cache near a trout stream's nice.  When we wanted to learn more of the earliest cacher couple in our area (cool caches), they were squirrel & grouse hunting while caching, same as us.  We finally met mtn biking.   :)

 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

 

It would certainly be appropriate to present evidence to support such a link in this thread.

 

But that is not what has happened.

 

Instead, a group of people have hijacked the thread by assuming that the trend is about cache quality and then got into an argument over the details of how (in their minds) to improve it.

 

If someone would like to present actual evidence that the decline in geocaching activity is a result of poorly-maintained caches, then by all means do so.  I haven't seen anything beyond a couple of individual anecdotes in this thread to support that position.

 

Indeed, I do not believe that the cache quality issues are the primary cause of the decline. The same quality issues have been present since the early days of caching.

Perhaps you should go back and re-read the initial post. Here's part of it.

"I've been caching for a number of years, and remember the heady days where that's all I wanted to do in my spare time, but the last few years, finding caches has generally been a disappointment. Most of the time the caches are mouldy, smelly boxes of tat, the kind of stuff you'd normally throw away. And good luck finding a pencil, or a sharpener to fix that broken one you do find."

Is this anecdotal?

Cache quality may not be the only cause for decline but it can certainly be contributory. My personal feeling is that the interest in the game took off with the proliferation of smart phones and then the "novelty" subsequently wore off and things are settling back down.

 

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1 hour ago, colleda said:

Perhaps you should go back and re-read the initial post. Here's part of it.

"I've been caching for a number of years, and remember the heady days where that's all I wanted to do in my spare time, but the last few years, finding caches has generally been a disappointment. Most of the time the caches are mouldy, smelly boxes of tat, the kind of stuff you'd normally throw away. And good luck finding a pencil, or a sharpener to fix that broken one you do find."

Is this anecdotal?

 

Well, yes, technically.  But mostly, it's irrelevant.

 

The OP was a long-time cacher.  If caching is dying, it's not (primarily) because long-time cachers are leaving.  I've been caching since 2002 and I have seen a pattern repeat over and over: people come in, get very excited and hard-core, and then burn out and leave.  It's been going on since the beginning and it's a natural part of human nature.  Novelty wears off.  Finding those first few caches in spots where you never suspected something might be hidden is initially exciting and new.  Pretty soon you start to realize that the spots are (mostly) all the same, the containers are (mostly) all the same, and the contents are (mostly) worthless.  Then the inevitable let-down happens. It's natural.  It happens to everyone. And nearly everyone always remembers the good old days as having been better than the present.

 

At that point, people have a choice:  they can quit and do something else, they can re-adjust and find something new to enjoy within the activity, or they can hang around constantly moaning about how good things were in the mythical "old days."

 

For many, the re-adjustment takes the form of becoming obsessed with numbers and stats.  For me, it was a re-focus on doing only those caches I really wanted to do. Early on, caches were rare enough that I wanted to get every single new one that appeared. But it began to get boring and I grew dissatisfied with the quality of the caches I was finding. A friend told me to think of caches as a river; instead of needing to do them all, I could choose to only do the ones I would enjoy, and there would always be new ones flowing downstream. I had the exact same feelings as the OP, and I had to change my approach to caching to keep it interesting to me.  BTW, this happened in 2008.  10 years ago, while caching was still growing like mad.

 

Since then, I have readjusted my attitude several times to keep caching fun for me.  If it ever gets to the point of being no fun, then I will stop.

 

My point?  It is human nature to point at things with which we have become dissatisfied and imagine that there was an earlier time when they were better.  But it is almost never true, and there is not some global reduction in cache quality that is causing  a reduction in the number of cachers.  Would archiving "bad" caches retain more cachers?  Probably, but as a result of human nature it is  not a terribly productive means of changing the situation.

 

Don't confuse natural patterns of human nature with objective truth.

 

I do have my own opinions about the decline in the number of cachers, but this post is too long. If the thread ever gets back on track maybe I'll post about them.

Edited by fizzymagic
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8 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

... I have readjusted my attitude several times to keep caching fun for me.  If it ever gets to the point of being no fun, then I will stop....

 

As you said, human nature at work.  Career, work, hobbies, friendships - all can become a "rut", no challenge, no fun.  Attitude and searching for a new way to approach thing, and learning new things keeps it fresh, and fun.  In your work/career, do you take classes or training to advance and "move up the ladder"?  Do you have 10 years of experience on the job, or one year of experience 10 times over?

 

Traditionals do tend to get old - mix it up with some puzzles, challenges, higher D/T - it's still all pretty new to me but I am enjoying much of what we do.  It helps that our local community is active and supportive, and placing new caches regularly!

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45 minutes ago, CAVinoGal said:

 

As you said, human nature at work.  Career, work, hobbies, friendships - all can become a "rut", no challenge, no fun.  Attitude and searching for a new way to approach thing, and learning new things keeps it fresh, and fun.  In your work/career, do you take classes or training to advance and "move up the ladder"?  Do you have 10 years of experience on the job, or one year of experience 10 times over?

 

Traditionals do tend to get old - mix it up with some puzzles, challenges, higher D/T - it's still all pretty new to me but I am enjoying much of what we do.  It helps that our local community is active and supportive, and placing new caches regularly!

 

You are correct, the geocaching cycle is like many other things in life.

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12 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

I do have my own opinions about the decline in the number of cachers, but this post is too long. If the thread ever gets back on track maybe I'll post about them.

 

I wonder if it's partly because of “The App”. I once installed “pokey-man”, and never once went to look at the pokey.com web site for more Pokeys. I assume there isn't a “web site” for that, or whatever the current popular App game is. Or more to the point, I assume that the entire Pokey Game is the App.  So, I'm thinking the OP may be right.

 

Imagine someone who doesn't use “web sites”, loading The Official Geocaching App. One thing they'll notice is that Geocaching is not in fact as advertised, free. There are grayed-out caches on the map. People then can go to the web site, and then go to the Forums to learn how to find those gray caches “for free”. But, unless you pay up-front, that requires using something other than The App, in order to find them. Joining a web site is alien to the App-centric games. Imagine the impression it leaves. Never mind that it pre-supposes that any given phone works great as a cache-finding tool. My phone is about 100 feet off. So are phones for thousands of others who you may expect then got frustrated and deleted the App. I would have.

 

Phone precision is just an example. The App itself is minimalist, as noted, and (also as I described above) only for finding the easiest caches. See these Forums for posts from people who never look at “the web site”. Their experience is The App. The one App.

 

When I started Geocaching, I could find and hide caches using available tools “for free”. I could type and then edit a log. I had a menu of functions all in view and available on the web site. The free basic function of App is as a demo, and designed for finding only. If I had been playing the pokey-man App and got bored with all the things I can do with it, then tried The Geocaching App, it would feel like a down-grade.

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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32 minutes ago, kunarion said:

...Imagine someone who doesn't use “web sites”, loading The Official Geocaching App. One thing they'll notice is that Geocaching is not in fact as advertised, free. There are grayed-out caches on the map. People then can go to the web site, and then go to the Forums to learn how to find those gray caches “for free”. But, unless you pay up-front, that requires using something other than The App, in order to find them. Joining a web site is alien to the App-centric games. Imagine the impression it leaves. Never mind that it pre-supposes that any given phone works great as a cache-finding tool. My phone is about 100 feet off. So are phones for thousands of others who you may expect then got frustrated and deleted the App. I would have.

 - snip

When I started Geocaching, I could find and hide caches using available tools “for free”. I could type and then edit a log. I had a menu of functions all in view and available on the web site. The free basic function of App is as a demo, and designed for finding only. If I had been playing the pokey-man App and got bored with all the things I can do with it, then tried The Geocaching App, it would feel like a down-grade.

 

The other 2/3rds has many app games with folks who used to be on her phone-a-friend list.  No games she's played to date have been entirely free.

Sure, she can do whatever basic functions without cost, but anything extra costs.   Improved weaponry, newer tanks, extra chances  ...  all with an additional fee.   Sorta like being able to see "advanced" caches, isn't it?

I thought a person only using a phone, knowing how other games are played, would understand that.   :) 

IIRC, there are "short term" memberships for them as well.  One month free PMs are candy in another thread too.  

 

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6 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

The other 2/3rds has many app games with folks who used to be on her phone-a-friend list.  No games she's played to date have been entirely free.

Sure, she can do whatever basic functions without cost, but anything extra costs.   Improved weaponry, newer tanks, extra chances  ...  all with an additional fee.   Sorta like being able to see "advanced" caches, isn't it?

I thought a person only using a phone, knowing how other games are played, would understand that.   :) 

 

The bad reviews for such "free" Apps are all about how not free those Apps are.  Therefore, some don't quite get it (or else they enjoy pointing out the scam).  This includes the free Official Geocaching App.  If an App isn't advertised as "free", it's gone from the store.  I could count the number of games with an up-front payment, on my fingers and toes.  But yeah, the word "free" has absolutely no meaning anymore, as Apps go.

 

Oh yeah.  If you ever see the phrase "Free, with ads", run away.  As fast as you can. B)

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On 5/5/2018 at 1:29 PM, dprovan said:

When you come here to the forums and explain why you didn't post an NM for no reason other than you haven't been to GZ, I take it as trying to talk people into following your example, so I argue against your publicly presented opinion. It doesn't matter to me what you actually do or why you do it.

 

Man... tell people "this is how you should do it" = baaaad.  Tell people "this is how I do it, other people do it differently, do it how it works for you" also = baaaad... There's just no win. Why discuss anything I guess then? As soon as you explain your experience and personal choice you're just "trying to talk people into following your example" and that's just baaaaaaad.


No, sir.

If I explain how "I" do something, it's not to tell people how "they" should do it. It's to provide an example of an option that from one person's perspective works, especially if it's not attached with "this is the best way" or "do it this way".  So yeah I'll continue explaining how I do things if I think it's a solution to a present problem or concern. Likewise, I'll change how I do things if I think someone else's experience or recommendation is worthwhile to adopt, which incidentally is exactly the purpose of explaining how I do things.

We learn from each other. I'm not shutting anyone down, as I explicitly stated above. "Sure. Of course. So go ahead. You have my blessing." Which was not sarcasm.

 

Secondly, I wasn't arguing against your opinion, or your choice, but you are explicitly doing so against mine. You are telling me that I'm doing a bad thing for choosing not posting a NM from the couch without having visited a cache location (that is "arguing against my presented opinion") - when what I actually said was that no one who has not visited a cache location any any obligation to post any log remotely.

 

Tell me how that statement is wrong?  If you agree, then I'm not making the wrong choice for deciding not to post a NM from the couch because "I" don't believe I'm confident in posting it accurately.  Maybe I should just tell you when I choose not to post a remote NM, and you can judge the situation yourself. It wouldn't bother me at all if I see a NM the next day; whether or not it's found to be accurate.

 

 

On 5/5/2018 at 10:00 AM, Team Microdot said:
On 5/5/2018 at 2:12 AM, thebruce0 said:

It's turtles all the way down. Why post any NM/NA at all unless you do it from GZ?

 

Where circumstances make it reasonable and appropriate, for example, where the CO is known to have left the game months or even years earlier and a body of evidence which clearly  and unequivocally demonstrates that the CO has consistently failed to maintain other of their caches which have fallen in to disrepair.

 

If the CO has also previously failed to respond to reviewer calls for maintenance that adds further weight to the argument for posting NM/NA on caches which warrant it without needing to go all the way out to GZ.

 

Okay. I don't disagree. Seems you missed the point of my comment to dprovan.

 

I said: "So, I generally won't post a NM unless I have visited and verified that to my satisfaction, the cache does need maintenance."

 

dprovan replied: "But visiting GZ doesn't really change anything. You could go to GZ, get whatever satisfaction you need to make yourself feel comfortable, go home and the CO could still go to the cache and fix the problem between the time you visited the cache and the time he saw your NM log."

 

That's when I said: "Why post any NM/NA at all unless you do it from GZ?"

 

First, I said "generally"... (I rarely deal with absolutes)

Second, I took dprovan's rebut to the extreme for illustration. I was not saying you should never post a NM or NA unless you're at GZ. His response claimed that with any log something could change between the visit and log (true), thus essentially any log could be inaccurate, which means ultimately he's making the argument that posting a NM or NA is meaningless unless done from GZ immediately. Which of course we all agree is ridiculous.  And most definitely not what I said.

And I also made a clear distinction about how differently I treat the posting of NM and NA logs.

 

In the example you cite above, some might choose to remote-log a NM on a cache with a string of DNFs which clearly indicate the cache is in disrepair, and the CO is known to have left the game. Okay... I have no problem with that.

But I'd say there's also a problem with the local community: Why did none of those DNFers post a NM if it's clear from their logs that there's a problem? Rather, I could be led instead to contacting one of them, and in an effort to help improve the community ethic regarding NM logs, recommend that they consider posting a NM log - since that is what it's for. After a time if they don't do it then I might post the NM if I haven't already.

 

Basically, if it's "clear" that a cache needs maintenance, why must I be the one to post a remote NM without verifying that it does? I have chosen to generally not make that assumption. I haven't done that whole contact-a-past-DNFer thing yet, but I think that's a reasonable course of action if the goal is to help improve the state of geocaching against "dying" if this is one of the proposed reasons people think that "geocaching is dead" (ie, sub-par cache quality not being reported).

 

So hey, it's a learning point!  If you search, don't just log a DNF if you visited the site and it's clear the cache needs maintenance, log a NM too! Just like Harry Dolphin explained he did above. Then none of us would even be faced with the decision of whether or not to post a couch-NM, because there'd never be a cache with a string of DNFs "clearly indicating" the cache needs maintenance with being accompanied by a NM log!  Win all around!

 

 

On 5/5/2018 at 1:29 PM, dprovan said:
On 5/5/2018 at 2:12 AM, thebruce0 said:

And this is a problem for you because.....?

It's a problem for me because you don't file the NM when it's needed because you've managed to talk yourself into an unlikely scenario where it won't be needed. You not posting the NM isn't a problem in itself. That's certainly up to you. But you coming here to the forums and making it sound like not posting the NM is the most reasonable choice is what concerns me.

 

Did I say it was the "most reasonable choice"? Certainly not!  Nor did I say or imply it was wrong to ever post a NM without having visited GZ.

I said it's the way I choose to post logs. You do something different, and that's just fine with me. I said that multiple times.

I was countering your claim that it's somehow bad to choose not to post a NM since not having visited GZ. You were arguing against that choice, which is ultimately making the argument that we have an obligation to post a NM if we merely believe (even if found to be correct) there is a problem with a cache even though it hasn't been verified first-hand.

Man, if that were true it would be better for people not to have even looked at a listing that potentially needs maintenance at all!   Ignorance is bliss!  Otherwise the cacher-cops will be out telling people who've simply been exposed to a potential problem but didn't immediately log a NM from their couch that they're doing something baaaad.

 

I'll say it again:

Anyone who has not verified a cache's current state is under no obligation to post a relevant log from their couch.  If they choose to because they feel it's justified, that's fine, it can be dealt with easily and swiftly by the CO, whether it's accurate or not. But they are not doing something bad by not posting it.

 

In no way is that telling you what to do.  It's framework in which both of our choices are valid, reasonable choices.

 

I'm only replying because I feel my comments have been misrepresented. But to bring it back to the topic, if there is a factor towards the "death of geocaching", it may not be just "cache cops", but "cacher cops" as well.

(and no, I don't think geocaching is dead, not in the slightest)

 

 

On 5/5/2018 at 1:36 PM, dprovan said:

But I'd never support an NM or NA that didn't also have a clear explanation of why this cache needs maintenance or need to be archived.

 

I completely agree with this.

Edited by thebruce0
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28 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Okay. I don't disagree. Seems you missed the point of my comment to dprovan.

 

That is entirely possible. There may have been more words than my pea-sized brain could hold in one sitting ;)

 

29 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

I'm only replying because I feel my comments have been misrepresented.

 

Not by me I think. You asked a question, I answered it.

 

31 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Then none of us would even be faced with the decision of whether or not to post a couch-NM, because there'd never be a cache with a string of DNFs "clearly indicating" the cache needs maintenance with being accompanied by a NM log!

 

Without?

 

32 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

But I'd say there's also a problem with the local community: Why did none of those DNFers post a NM if it's clear from their logs that there's a problem? Rather, I could be led instead to contacting one of them, and in an effort to help improve the community ethic regarding NM logs, recommend that they consider posting a NM log - since that is what it's for. After a time if they don't do it then I might post the NM if I haven't already.

 

32 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

But to bring it back to the topic, if there is a factor towards the "death of geocaching", it may not be just "cache cops", but "cacher cops" as well.

 

If you're chasing up cachers who you felt should have logged NM but didn't, does that make you one of these cacher cops?

 

I have to admit that I find myself shaking my head at the idea that you probably won't log NM on a cache because you haven't visited GZ - but you'd seriously consider, still having not visited GZ yourself, chasing up someone else to log an NM because you think they should have :blink:

 

I'll admit though that my inability at times to absorb and condense such lengthy replies might have impacted on my ability to distill the meaning therein.

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10 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:
48 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Then none of us would even be faced with the decision of whether or not to post a couch-NM, because there'd never be a cache with a string of DNFs "clearly indicating" the cache needs maintenance with being accompanied by a NM log!

 

Without?

 

Correct. #typo

 

10 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

If you're chasing up cachers who you felt should have logged NM but didn't, does that make you one of these cacher cops?

 

I have to admit that I find myself shaking my head at the idea that you probably won't log NM on a cache because you haven't visited GZ - but you'd seriously consider, still having not visited GZ yourself, chasing up someone else to log an NM because you think they should have :blink:

 

I carefully worded what I said in that alternative action -- I would "recommend" and "if not then" to follow up. As opposed to "this is what you should do when you log a DNF" or implying that they did something wrong by not posting a NM even though some people here read their actually post first-hand logs as a "clear indication" that the cache needs maintenance.

 

You shake your head that I "probably" won't log a NM if I'm not convinced third-hand that it would be accurate? :blink:

 

You shake your head that I'd do what I think is better for the general community by helping someone understand what a NM is for with a friendly recommendation for how it can be used in a case that appears like it would be justified by the first-hand logger's implied cache status? :blink:

 

 

10 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I'll admit though that my inability at times to absorb and condense such lengthy replies might have impacted on my ability to distill the meaning therein.

 

I've said before I hate having to use to many words to address every little itty bit of nuance that often get picked out in an argument just to attempt to make a point.

Edited by thebruce0
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1 minute ago, thebruce0 said:

You shake your head that I "probably" won't log a NM if I'm not convinced third-hand that it would be accurate? :blink:

 

You shake your head that I'd do what I think is better for the general community by helping someone understand what a NM is for with a friendly recommendation for how it can be used in a case that appears like it would be justified by the first-hand logger's implied cache status? :blink:

 

No - I shake my head at the two things taken together in the same context and in the same way I presented them.

 

It comes across as you saying that you won't log NM on a cache with evidence to show that it needs it, but that you'll watch avidly others who also don't log NM on those caches and make unsolicited contact with them to educate them in the errors of their ways which - to me - seems nuts!

 

 

3 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

I've said before I hate having to use to many words to address every little itty bit of nuance that often get picked out in an argument just to attempt to make a point.

 

Then why do it? Speak plainly - say what you think and accept that others may well think differently and express same and allow the discussion to develop organically rather than busting a nut trying to stitch up every possible loophole before anyone else has a chance to speak up.

 

It's OK if some of the people in the room aren't sitting there open mouthed, with vacant expressions, nodding mutely in agreement.

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<edit: you know what, not biting. Whatever. leads to replies like the one below, irrelevant and tagential to the topic, helping no one; cleared>

Edited by thebruce0
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4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

I've said before I hate having to use to many words to address every little itty bit of nuance that often get picked out in an argument just to attempt to make a point.

 

4 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

Then why do it? Speak plainly - say what you think and accept that others may well think differently and express same and allow the discussion to develop organically rather than busting a nut trying to stitch up every possible loophole before anyone else has a chance to speak up.

 

It's OK if some of the people in the room aren't sitting there open mouthed, with vacant expressions, nodding mutely in agreement.

 

It would be great if we could speak plainly and everyone else understand. Unfortunately, it doesn't work this way, especially here in these forums. Like theBruce, i don't like having to be so specific with my wording and i don't like having to add all the extra unneeded details. But i know up front, that if i don't, people will read all kinds of things into it or misunderstand the simplest meaning(s) i'm trying to convey. 

 

Yeah, i know people do get turned off when they encounter caches in bad shape. But, do you really believe this is one of the big contributing factors for why geocaching is in the state it is in today. I don't!

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21 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

Yeah, i know people do get turned off when they encounter caches in bad shape. But, do you really believe this is one of the big contributing factors for why geocaching is in the state it is in today. I don't!

 

How would you describe the state geocaching is in today - and what do would you say are the big contributing factors?

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7 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Man... tell people "this is how you should do it" = baaaad.

I didn't say it was bad. I just disagreed with it.

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1 hour ago, Team Microdot said:

 

How would you describe the state geocaching is in today - and what do would you say are the big contributing factors?

I would describe the state of geocaching today as very healthy. I would say the contributing factors are the fun and the community.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

I would describe the state of geocaching today as very healthy. I would say the contributing factors are the fun and the community.

Hooray!  An on-topic, non-tangential post.  Let's keep it that way, everyone.

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On 5/18/2017 at 0:30 PM, L0ne.R said:

Looking at Project-GC today. Cacher retention seems to be slipping.

 

5b239505-1df7-43ec-9933-befa6c08266b.png584eb2c1-2926-47ae-aaa1-73bb92247ca1.png94e6a4d8-2de1-41e6-941c-3a802e26c15a.png8c0ea619-99b5-4b82-9286-99cf2655f7e6.png21394727-44dd-4302-a188-ea120a9a01a5.png

 

The above was posted May 18 2017. Here's the stats for today May 7 2018:

 

5af1032ed2906_ScreenShot2018-05-07at9_53_27PM.thumb.png.20f3604c024cfe827affe3e884776a71.png

5af10388747da_ScreenShot2018-05-07at9_54_37PM.thumb.png.7c3c50ca65306e87a762be3d7ecc823a.png

 

5af1040b0c3bb_ScreenShot2018-05-07at9_57_10PM.thumb.png.aeb5dd6d4eb048b9577ffbe8c0103c37.png

5af1044187a97_ScreenShot2018-05-07at9_57_59PM.thumb.png.11f5cf45a6a6cf3ea1614b8d340994a5.png

5af104a7c7d04_ScreenShot2018-05-07at9_59_20PM.thumb.png.b9095614979b361bb0e029d485f2a1fa.png

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2 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

How would you describe the state geocaching is in today - and what do would you say are the big contributing factors?

 

1 hour ago, dprovan said:

I would describe the state of geocaching today as very healthy. I would say the contributing factors are the fun and the community.

 

I sincerely wish i could say the same. It depends on where you live i suppose because our area is very slow these days. I rarely get notices that ours and caches on my watchlist get found. We rarely see new caches placed in the area. Our monthly event still happens but it's gone from an average of probably around 30 to less than 10 attendees per event. I realize i'm not helping the situation since i'm not caching or attending like i used to. I'll just have to use the "it's me, not you" excuse because i know that i'm the one that hasn't changed with the times.

 

Factors? Heck, i figured y'all were tired of hearing these from me. The phone app is one thing that i feel hasn't helped. Yes, it does bring in a lot of people but most of the people it brings in don't end up staying very long. I figure most get bored because the app limits what they can find and they never get a chance to really explore what geocaching can be. The others see the app as just another game that they soon get tired of playing. Another factor,, the condoning of power trails and the non promotion of quality. Quantity is the name of the game so thought and creativeness has pretty much gone by the wayside. I know too many cachers that started caching for smiley count but then got bored and are just about through with geocaching these days.

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3 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

How would you describe the state geocaching is in today - and what do would you say are the big contributing factors?

 

In my own local area, the biggest problem we have is a lack of participants who've moved beyond the muggle-with-app stage. There are lots of great caches out there but most, especially the higher D/T ones and the multis and puzzles, get few finds now and even those are mainly by visitors passing through. We do have a core group who are keen to take on the non-P&G caches and hide some great new ones, but most of them have been caching longer than I have (5 years).

 

As to the cause, I'd have to say it's the focus on the app and the "click start and just follow the arrow" philosophy underlying it. Trying to exclusively use the app, without ever looking at the website, on multis, puzzles, ECs, virtuals and even off-road traditionals is at best cumbersome and always will be as you just can't make enough stuff visible at once on a phone's screen, yet that's where all the marketing push seems to be, selling caching as a treasure-hunting game you play on your phone. People using just the app and only going after those caches that it can reasonably manage soon tire of yet another MKH on a guard-rail or bison tube in a tree. P&Gs serve a purpose, I'm sure, but there's no real meat in them.

 

My introduction to caching was through an article in a bushwalking magazine and, having a background of hiking and some orienteering, with a strong interest in technology, it piqued my interest. Back then my phone was just a phone and I wasn't much aware of apps, so I bought a GPSr from a local electronics retailer and the rest is history. In those five years, caching has got me into kayaking, off-track exploring, puzzle-solving, puzzle-creation, even skinny-dipping, as well as opening up a whole new social circle of friends for me. All that would be a lot harder for an app-only cacher.

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3 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

selling caching as a treasure-hunting game you play on your phone.

 

Yes, that label really bugs me. I avoid 'treasure hunt' like the plague. I prefer scavenger hunt. That's a more common type of game that people understand from, I dunno, kids parties, or puzzley games and whatnot. You get more of an idea of solving tasks, or scouring around to try to find something - which isn't "treasure" necessarily in the sense of finders-keepers.

 

Geocaching is a real world, world-wide outdoor scavenger hunt!  And the fun is more in the finding than in the swag. Everyone I know who's been caching for some time has moved away from hoping for neat swag. It's all about the container, location, puzzle, experience, people...  sell that stuff, not the 'treasure'.

 

3 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

As to the cause, I'd have to say it's the focus on the app and the "click start and just follow the arrow" philosophy underlying it. Trying to exclusively use the app, without ever looking at the website, on multis, puzzles, ECs, virtuals and even off-road traditionals is at best cumbersome and always will be as you just can't make enough stuff visible at once on a phone's screen

 

Yeah. The latest update got a lot of pushback - sure, it's cleaner, but there's barely any relevant info displayed right away, as opposed to prominently getting the user to just 'start' and navigate to gz. Why not do a brief description preview (with that shaded tap-for-more option), show the attribute icons (clickable for tooltips about the meaning), and of course the basic properties of the listing... have the Start button at the end of the page, not the start.

 

Encourage people to look and read and understand that a geocache is more than just a set of gps coordinates.

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4 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

The above was posted May 18 2017. Here's the stats for today May 7 2018:

 

 

Thanks for the data.  It is very helpful.

 

The general trend seems to be that the decline is slowing down, but still happening.

 

Those observations are in line with my theory about the decline; I would expect the numbers to level out at some point.  What that level is will be determined by unknown factors, but I don't think it will disappear.

 

I think that there are a number of steps Groundspeak could take to limit the decline; there has been some positive movement in that direction recently, so I am guardedly optimistic.

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25 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I didn't know that tool existed :mellow:

 

UK's looking to be in decline too:

 

 

ukcachers.PNG

 

One has to look at the data with care though. The numbers for the last week are usually negative, since updating their database has a time lag. Same goes for the last month, but the effect is lower. If you look at the maximum range available ( January 1st until today), the number of active cachers and of found caches are only down by 2% and 4%. So I'd say, yes there's a decline but nothing dramatic.

That the number of hides drop is probably because of saturation, and there's nothing we can do about it except archiving the caches that don't get maintained.

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13 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

As to the cause, I'd have to say it's the focus on the app and the "click start and just follow the arrow" philosophy underlying it.

Do you think an explanation for L0ne.R's data might be that the mindless app crowd is finally leaving to go chase virtual creatures? I can't help but be a little confused when the symptom most often cited to prove that geocaching is dying is reduced numbers of geocachers, yet the explanation for geocaching's decline is so often given as an uncontrolled influx of casual geocachers. I'd expect people that think the app crowd was the problem to celebrate that the numbers of active cachers is finally going down again.

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15 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

I sincerely wish i could say the same. It depends on where you live i suppose because our area is very slow these days. I rarely get notices that ours and caches on my watchlist get found. We rarely see new caches placed in the area. Our monthly event still happens but it's gone from an average of probably around 30 to less than 10 attendees per event.

 

It must be dependent on where you live - I have my "new cache" publication set for a radius of 25 miles - there have been 11 new caches published since May 1 (one was one I placed) and I get at least one a day, some days more.  Generally by a handful of cachers who like to hide them, but it's still new caches to go out and get.  And there are LOTS of caches I have yet to find.

 

Our local group typically has 20-30 cachers show up.  I dont make all the events but go to the ones I can - I've met and set up "caching dates" with other couples and we are having a great time.  Geocaching in this area is most definitely alive and well.

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8 hours ago, pingurus said:

 

One has to look at the data with care though. The numbers for the last week are usually negative, since updating their database has a time lag. Same goes for the last month, but the effect is lower. If you look at the maximum range available ( January 1st until today), the number of active cachers and of found caches are only down by 2% and 4%. So I'd say, yes there's a decline but nothing dramatic.

That the number of hides drop is probably because of saturation, and there's nothing we can do about it except archiving the caches that don't get maintained.

 

So what do the Whole Year figures actually mean as - at face value - they seem to indicate much larger drops than the January 1st until today figures?

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1 hour ago, CAVinoGal said:

 

It must be dependent on where you live - I have my "new cache" publication set for a radius of 25 miles - there have been 11 new caches published since May 1 (one was one I placed) and I get at least one a day, some days more.  Generally by a handful of cachers who like to hide them, but it's still new caches to go out and get.  And there are LOTS of caches I have yet to find.

 

Our local group typically has 20-30 cachers show up.  I dont make all the events but go to the ones I can - I've met and set up "caching dates" with other couples and we are having a great time.  Geocaching in this area is most definitely alive and well.

 

Ran a query to list all caches published since January 1st. The result was 38 caches but it didn't list 11 already archived events. In total, 49 caches for the year within 50 miles. That's actually better than i thought. :)

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6 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

 

Ran a query to list all caches published since January 1st. The result was 38 caches but it didn't list 11 already archived events. In total, 49 caches for the year within 50 miles. That's actually better than i thought. :)

 

Just out of curiosity, I ran a query, excluding events, within 25 miles of my home coordinates.  It shows 230 new caches since January 1.  I've found several of them, but there's more unfound than found!  I've got some caching to do!

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2 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

So what do the Whole Year figures actually mean as - at face value - they seem to indicate much larger drops than the January 1st until today figures?

 

No.  the Whole Year numbers for the current year are meaningless, since they compare this year's stats against the total from last year.  Ignore them.  Year to date is the relevant statistic.

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6 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

 

No.  the Whole Year numbers for the current year are meaningless, since they compare this year's stats against the total from last year.  Ignore them.  Year to date is the relevant statistic.

 

Agree.. and even year to date has some lag.   I.e. most everyone is caught up with their 2017 logging.   So Jan 1 to date (for any date)  for 2017 is a pretty stable number.    But for 2018, Jan 1 to date will be missing some logs from people who haven't logged them yet.    So a small drop like the -4% for caches found in the UK could be largely from outstanding logs.  

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4 hours ago, dprovan said:

Do you think an explanation for L0ne.R's data might be that the mindless app crowd is finally leaving to go chase virtual creatures? I can't help but be a little confused when the symptom most often cited to prove that geocaching is dying is reduced numbers of geocachers, yet the explanation for geocaching's decline is so often given as an uncontrolled influx of casual geocachers. I'd expect people that think the app crowd was the problem to celebrate that the numbers of active cachers is finally going down again.

 

I don't see a contradiction. There seem to be plenty of new app-cachers, judging by the steady stream of logs I see on the nearby P&Gs on my watchlist, but they're nearly all names that don't hang around. Yes, some are probably visitors to the area, particularly during school holidays, but I suspect most are flash-in-the-pan try-it-and-move-on types, leaving logs of one word or less (just a single emoji seems to be the in thing now).

 

I currently have 30 active caches, all with D or T greater than 1.5 so they don't appear on the app to basic members (none are PMO though). One of these is located close to a rest stop on the motorway so gets frequent finds by people passing through, and so far this year it's had 18. For the rest, though, the highest number of finds this year is 6, the average is 2.17 and eight have had no finds at all. One has had no finds since December 2016. And these numbers were inflated a little by visitors going to the mega held about 50km north of here over Easter.

 

Our local government areas changed a couple of years ago, with the former Gosford City and Wyong Shire now merged to form the Central Coast Council, so I can't continue the statistics I was previously collecting for just Gosford City, but for the Central Coast Council area, comprising a population of some 300,000 in an area of 600 square kilometres, these are the number of new caches published each year since I started in 2013, excluding events and the geoart puzzles hidden for this year's mega:

  • 2013 - 120 (2 mine)
  • 2014 - 153 (5 mine)
  • 2015 - 152 (10 mine)
  • 2016 - 78 (9 mine)
  • 2017 - 61 (6 mine)
  • 2018 - 22 (2 mine)

So no, caching here isn't dead as such, but it's a far cry from the heady days of 2014/2015.

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17 hours ago, dprovan said:

I'd expect people that think the app crowd was the problem to celebrate that the numbers of active cachers is finally going down again.

Probably it's wishful thinking but *I do* appreciate a decline of these numbers in the hope that the majority of the not hidden caches are those of former power trail hiders.

For me the question whether Geocaching is dead or not is only remotely connected to numbers of caches or cachers but I agree when you're living in a sparsely populated cache area that YMMV.

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And, declining numbers are just declining numbers.  If 30% of the pot is 'good' and 70% is 'bad', and the total quantity is only reduced of the 'bad', then yeah the quantity may be less but the ratio of good to bad is higher. So is it better to have less overall, or more 'good' than 'bad'?

If on average everyone is content, then the sad people leave allowing more people to be happier, there are fewer people but the average happiness is higher. So was it better with more people, or fewer but happier people?

 

There are many ways to interpret the numbers. People have different ways to judge what is good or bad or growing or declining.  Numbers are just numbers.  Geocaching is far from dead or dying, but it depends on who you ask.

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