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Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hide

Is Geocaching Dead?

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I noticed the original poster and L0ne.R haven't placed a cache based on their profiles. There's nothing wrong with not placing caches, but maybe you should consider placing a few quality hides in your areas. Monkey see - monkey do. Maybe if folks see some quality hides, they will place some of their own. Just an idea.

 

My wife is the one who logs the caches we find. We own a few in our area and check on them as often as possible.

 

I can hardly find the enthousiasm to log my own finds, but my wife has logged 439 finds and 6 hides, most of which I participated in.

 

We do try to clean up and restore caches if necessary. Saw some while camping last Summer and one in particular was placed by a Forces member who'd been moved away, but nobody wanted to adopt it. We changed the container and log book, and added some decent swag.

 

The number of times I've reported caches in need of maintenance and never heard back is also annoying.

 

But it gets tedious to always find the caches in similar condition.

 

If you find a cache, and are sure the Co moved away hence no longer able to take care of their cache, why aren't you posting a NA log?

 

Wayne - I agree. But in a few of these threads (they're all running together for me now) posting that would get you flamed for "blasphemy."

 

Something should be done to clean up abandoned caches...

 

People shouldn't get mad at anyone for suggesting their cache needs to be archived after months and months of inactivity. Especially if they've moved away. If a cache has been disabled for several months without any Co updates, a note asking for an update followed by a NM log shouldn't be frowned upon.

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Interesting that you mention serendipitously stumbling onto the GC website! Back in 2002 I was planning a trip to Nicaragua, backpacking, hitch hiking busses etc for 21 days. Fearing getting lost, I bought a GpS and feverishly googled "things to do with a GPS" or some such.. I stumbled upon GC site and tested it out on a trip to Mexico. At the time I lived in cache "rich" Northern Virginia but my first cache was in cache "poor" Mexico. Go figure...

Your post reminded me of something - I was just recently looking for an email and searched on "Geocaching" within my mail, then sorted with oldest on top (since the email I was looking for was from a while back).

 

The email at the top of the list was from June 2006! My friend and I were thinking of attending an event sponsored by a local outdoor group. In my email, I described it as "It's kinda like a scavenger hunt/hiking thing in XXXXXXXX, with a GPS unit that they lend out." We didn't end up participating because our schedules couldn't accommodate the event, and it wasn't until years later that I came back to the hobby.

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

 

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Thanks for posting this. I must admit the numbers surprised me. I wonder why this is? Any thoughts?

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

[images snipped]

Did you happen to find anything on PGC that says how they define "Active"? I was looking for a definition back when I posted some other PGC numbers back on page 5 - but I wasn't able to find an "active" definition.

As project GC have everyones find statistics I'd hazard a guess that active cachers = ones who made a find in that period.

 

However, assuming that PGC have not changed their way of deriving their statistics in the last year, it makes little difference how they do it, and the trend is clear.

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

[images snipped]

Thanks for posting this. I must admit the numbers surprised me. I wonder why this is? Any thoughts?

Quite a few thoughts were posited in previous pages of this thread after similar PGC stats (for the US only) were posted back in (post #17) and post #224. IIRC, most of the comments revolved around finding it difficult to theorize about the numbers without knowing how they were derived (eg, how does PGC define 'active').

 

Did you happen to find anything on PGC that says how they define "Active"? I was looking for a definition back when I posted some other PGC numbers back on page 5 - but I wasn't able to find an "active" definition.

As project GC have everyones find statistics I'd hazard a guess that active cachers = ones who made a find in that period.

 

However, assuming that PGC have not changed their way of deriving their statistics in the last year, it makes little difference how they do it, and the trend is clear.

It was mentioned earlier in this thread that some issue might be related to data delays and logs not yet entered. I can't find the specific posts from within the past 7 pages, but IIRC it was like: looking at the "whole year" numbers: There are certainly a non-insignificant number of pending logs that haven't been submitted yet, but there are likely very few pending logs for 2016. Same thing for "last week" and "last month" and "1st January until today". I'm not saying that there are enough pending logs to make 2017 numbers higher than 2016 numbers, but probably enough to make the differences less drastic.

 

What I'd like to see are the same numbers with an additional column for 2015. Then we could see 2016 vs 2015, where data delays and pending logs have a negligible influence.

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Thanks for posting this. I must admit the numbers surprised me. I wonder why this is? Any thoughts?

 

It surprised me a little too, not so much North America but the European countries that were known for a lot of geocaching activity (Germany, Czech Republic), are also in decline.

At this time of the year (warmer weather) one expects a jump in active cachers. It will be interesting to see what the stats are like during the summer months in 2017.

Maybe cache quality is having a negative effect.

Maybe app users are less inclined to commit to the pastime. Pre-app days, GPS owners made more of an investment in the game.

A survey of people who have declined their geocaching activity and why they decreased participation, would be interesting.

I've been decreasing my activity in the past 3 years by 100 less each year. 2 finds so far this year. I've got a laundry list of reasons, but most people here are quite aware of my gripes.

Edited by L0ne.R

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Thanks for posting this. I must admit the numbers surprised me. I wonder why this is? Any thoughts?

 

It surprised me a little too, not so much North America but the European countries that were known for a lot of geocaching activity (Germany, Czech Republic), are also in decline.

At this time of the year (warmer weather) one expects a jump in active cachers. It will be interesting to see what the stats are like during the summer months in 2017.

Maybe cache quality is having a negative effect.

Maybe app users are less inclined to commit to the pastime. Pre-app days, GPS owners made more of an investment in the game.

A survey of people who have declined their geocaching activity and why they decreased participation, would be interesting.

I've been decreasing my activity in the past 3 years by 100 less each year. 2 finds so far this year. I've got a laundry list of reasons, but most people here are quite aware of my gripes.

I believe we have similar reasons for slowing down. For me, the two things you mentioned (quality and the app) have definitely had an impact on the slow down. Groundspeak itself hurt the hobby when they did the power trail flip flop a few years ago. Then afterwards, pushed the app out as just another game for people to play. I have no doubt that most people coming into the hobby via the app never really look into or see what geocaching can be.

 

As far as the Project-GC stats are concerned, because of what i see around our area, the numbers don't surprise me.

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Thanks for posting this. I must admit the numbers surprised me. I wonder why this is? Any thoughts?

 

It surprised me a little too, not so much North America but the European countries that were known for a lot of geocaching activity (Germany, Czech Republic), are also in decline.

At this time of the year (warmer weather) one expects a jump in active cachers. It will be interesting to see what the stats are like during the summer months in 2017.

Maybe cache quality is having a negative effect.

Maybe app users are less inclined to commit to the pastime. Pre-app days, GPS owners made more of an investment in the game.

A survey of people who have declined their geocaching activity and why they decreased participation, would be interesting.

I've been decreasing my activity in the past 3 years by 100 less each year. 2 finds so far this year. I've got a laundry list of reasons, but most people here are quite aware of my gripes.

I believe we have similar reasons for slowing down. For me, the two things you mentioned (quality and the app) have definitely had an impact on the slow down. Groundspeak itself hurt the hobby when they did the power trail flip flop a few years ago. Then afterwards, pushed the app out as just another game for people to play. I have no doubt that most people coming into the hobby via the app never really look into or see what geocaching can be.

 

As far as the Project-GC stats are concerned, because of what i see around our area, the numbers don't surprise me.

 

What can it be?

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I contacted geocaching about a 1.5 terrain rated multi-cache that I was injured while DNFing it - crawling under low bridges with sharp rocks and sticks. I thought it needed to be increased to 3.5 or higher. So since the CO wouldn't change the rating and/or put some info you needed protective gear in the description - I complained to geocaching. The reviewer told me the terrain was set by the CO and they had nothing to do with it. And the reviewer saw the nasty notes they deleted from the cache page and I must have a grudge against the CO. Nice. This is geocaching customer service. So I just cancelled my premium membership and archived 75% of my caches today. Expect to archive the rest once a few friends find them. Geocaching needs new management or I'll be looking for a new hobby soon & good riddance!! They waste time blowing out their app but dont make any improvements to the game including some minimal crowd sourcing for the lamest most hated caches.

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Anecdotally, I've noticed quite a lot of space has opened up around where I live and there are fewer hiders. We've had some come in, I expect with the recent college classes, but most of the caches I've hidden in the past year are hit initially with some frequency and drop right off after that.

 

My two caches, plus one adoption in very heavy tourism area are not being hit very much either. At first I attributed it to the weather, now I'm thinking there is something else to it. Perhaps that Pokemon game is snagging more of the young crowd - I'm sure once they start implementing interface changes which are unpopular and taking things from the game, leaving rules in their place even that will start shedding players.

 

Other than pocket queries, what has been added to the experience in the past ten years? I see so much being taken away and the way the pages are changed to "prettify" them for no apparent reason, I feel less compulsion to get out and find caches these days. I don't see growing the game from a pool of youth anyway, the people I find attracted are more my age and older.

 

But then I've got a new Ham Radio rig and picked up a nice new zoom telefoto for my camera, I've got many other things to do.

 

I was a very keen follower of a couple moving caches, now those have been taken away (oh, sure, there's a reason or two, there's always a reason for taking something fun out of the game.) No more locationless caches, no new virtuals, dulling of challenges, no traveling caches - it's like the Fun is being regulated out of the game with nothing coming in to replace it.

 

I'm sure I won't give a care for the trackables replacing the few surviving moving caches. The trackables I'm still trying to move along aren't fitting in the pill bottles which consist most of the new hides these days.

 

If you want to grow the game you have to find what people like and expand upon it, after all, the only real innovation in the game comes from the players.

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I agree with several of the posts that imply the quality of caches placed over the last couple of years has degraded - Not necessarily in the cache itself but in its complete lack of "sense of placement!" When I open to Geocaching Map I am impressed to see the vase number of placements (Green dots all over) but if you look closely, a vast majority are along roads - P&Gs.

 

I was reading your post and was agreeing up until the 'lack of placement'. My reason for slowing down is because of a different 'lack of placement' reason.

 

Saturday I went to a local event to find caches and had a good time.

Today I went to grab a series of caches down a road and had a miserable time doing them.

Saturday it was enjoyable because the caching took place in a park and there were trails with different types of terrain to get to the cache location and once there the cache was easy to get to.

Today the caches were alongside the road but to get to them I had to deal with ditches full of water, bushwhacking bushes, brushes, trees, bogs, etc, and the caches were mostly hanging on trees with all sort of branches ready to stab you or in the middle of young

everygreens seeping sap all over the place.

 

I actually turned around on one because I was so fed up with dealing with the difficulty to get to it because of the ground full of water and the bushwhacking. The cache was about 40 meters away from the road and I got to about 20meters when I decided to turn around.

 

With the push for numbers cachers pay no particular attention to where they place their hides.

To get to them its a miserable effort that I am sure will turn any newbie off after attempting to cache for a few.

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I agree with several of the posts that imply the quality of caches placed over the last couple of years has degraded - Not necessarily in the cache itself but in its complete lack of "sense of placement!" When I open to Geocaching Map I am impressed to see the vase number of placements (Green dots all over) but if you look closely, a vast majority are along roads - P&Gs.

 

I was reading your post and was agreeing up until the 'lack of placement'. My reason for slowing down is because of a different 'lack of placement' reason.

 

Saturday I went to a local event to find caches and had a good time.

Today I went to grab a series of caches down a road and had a miserable time doing them.

Saturday it was enjoyable because the caching took place in a park and there were trails with different types of terrain to get to the cache location and once there the cache was easy to get to.

Today the caches were alongside the road but to get to them I had to deal with ditches full of water, bushwhacking bushes, brushes, trees, bogs, etc, and the caches were mostly hanging on trees with all sort of branches ready to stab you or in the middle of young

everygreens seeping sap all over the place.

 

I actually turned around on one because I was so fed up with dealing with the difficulty to get to it because of the ground full of water and the bushwhacking. The cache was about 40 meters away from the road and I got to about 20meters when I decided to turn around.

 

With the push for numbers cachers pay no particular attention to where they place their hides.

To get to them its a miserable effort that I am sure will turn any newbie off after attempting to cache for a few.

 

Sorry, but after viewing your copy/paste 1 - whatever listings that basically are just coordinates and a picture,... well I don't get your point. Unless it's to much trouble to get out of your vehicle and look for the geocaches, if that is your point.

 

If geocaching is dying, it's the uninteresting roadside caches just for the numbers that is killing it. Sorry, but I would pass on your 226 traditional caches because I don't find them of any interest for my geocaching adventures. :(

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Sorry, but after viewing your copy/paste 1 - whatever listings that basically are just coordinates and a picture,... well I don't get your point. Unless it's to much trouble to get out of your vehicle and look for the geocaches, if that is your point.

 

If geocaching is dying, it's the uninteresting roadside caches just for the numbers that is killing it. Sorry, but I would pass on your 226 traditional caches because I don't find them of any interest for my geocaching adventures. :(

You are missing the point.

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Sorry, but after viewing your copy/paste 1 - whatever listings that basically are just coordinates and a picture,... well I don't get your point. Unless it's to much trouble to get out of your vehicle and look for the geocaches, if that is your point.

 

If geocaching is dying, it's the uninteresting roadside caches just for the numbers that is killing it. Sorry, but I would pass on your 226 traditional caches because I don't find them of any interest for my geocaching adventures. :(

You are missing the point.

 

That you don't want to get your feet wet or bushwack? :anicute: That I understood. :laughing:

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With the push for numbers cachers pay no particular attention to where they place their hides.

To get to them its a miserable effort that I am sure will turn any newbie off after attempting to cache for a few.

 

Okay, maybe now I get your point. I'm guessing that is why the official app limits basic members to caches rated 1.5 D/T or less. :unsure:

 

As for the easy to find roadside caches, they are of no interest to me. I like an adventure where I have to park my ride and get my boots and hiking stick out. :D

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Dying, and management killed it.

 

There are a lot of annoyed customers in Alberta and UK today.

They haven't quite killed it yet, but they are doing their best by beating it with a stick until it does die.

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Months and months of inactivity no way archive. Not all caches are meant to be lamp post hides in s drive up parking lot. But as a responsible cacher log it as a DNF. Not knowing the quality of your ability to search should not be marked for needs maintenance unless there is a string of DNF's with like comments. I have seen too many inept lazy cachets that if they can't find a 4 difficulty in 5 min log a needs main or archive. I have been to some great locations where I did a very through search snd with 3 or 4 previous dnf's messaged the owner. Is that too much work for some

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Anecdotally, I've noticed quite a lot of space has opened up around where I live and there are fewer hiders. We've had some come in, I expect with the recent college classes, but most of the caches I've hidden in the past year are hit initially with some frequency and drop right off after that.

 

My two caches, plus one adoption in very heavy tourism area are not being hit very much either. At first I attributed it to the weather, now I'm thinking there is something else to it. Perhaps that Pokemon game is snagging more of the young crowd - I'm sure once they start implementing interface changes which are unpopular and taking things from the game, leaving rules in their place even that will start shedding players.

 

Other than pocket queries, what has been added to the experience in the past ten years? I see so much being taken away and the way the pages are changed to "prettify" them for no apparent reason, I feel less compulsion to get out and find caches these days. I don't see growing the game from a pool of youth anyway, the people I find attracted are more my age and older.

 

But then I've got a new Ham Radio rig and picked up a nice new zoom telefoto for my camera, I've got many other things to do.

 

I was a very keen follower of a couple moving caches, now those have been taken away (oh, sure, there's a reason or two, there's always a reason for taking something fun out of the game.) No more locationless caches, no new virtuals, dulling of challenges, no traveling caches - it's like the Fun is being regulated out of the game with nothing coming in to replace it.

 

I'm sure I won't give a care for the trackables replacing the few surviving moving caches. The trackables I'm still trying to move along aren't fitting in the pill bottles which consist most of the new hides these days.

 

If you want to grow the game you have to find what people like and expand upon it, after all, the only real innovation in the game comes from the players.

 

These words could be mine! ++++++++

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I feel very much like Geocaching.com has forgotten they are supporting a game. Instead they seem to think they are running a multinational business.

 

The vast amounts of "rules" to stop each and every oddity, novelty or eccentricity dead in their tracks is causing the game to lose colour and flavour in my opinion. Just to name a few from my experience:

- Killing webcam caches and move them to Waymarking, which is neither the same kind of game nor is being played by the numbers that play geocache. I'd love to see them return to geocaching.

- Killing virtual caches that allow to put caches in places where a physical cache can't be put. Personally I really love to hunt them down, as the ones that still exist are usually in very interesting spots. Please bring them back.

- Only allowing for earth caches that are totally and only about geology. Before the 2011/2012 stricter rules for earth caches, this cache type was also used to get cachers to interesting places in nature and to show them about other stuff in nature and nature sciences than just geology. Most of the new earth caches are extremely dull, totally geology-centric with no leeway for anything else that is making the spot interesting. And they are an enormous pain to get published anyway, with reviewers being so over-over strict on their take on the rules that getting them published without a couple of appeals to GCHQ is by now almost impossible. While the old ones just remain interesting and fun to do.

- Killing hitchhikers and (if you're lucky) make them into trackables. First caches are really not the same as trackables and they don't bring the same game value to me. Second, I really like oddities. By killing the few hitchhikers that were still alive, I feel that geocaching.com is killing a very interesting part of their own history. There is a reason why so many people thought that hunting hitchhikers was fun - it's their eccentric character. And that is what was making them popular. People will moan only about popular stuff or stuff that is interesting to them or that they care about, not about the dull uninteresting stuff.

- Producing a new app that doesn't do what most cachers want, and in the mean time (or actually a bit earlier) killing an existing app that is working great and answers most of the wishes of cachers.

- Limiting new cachers exploring the game to max D/T=1.5/1.5 caches. How can you explore what more is there to enjoy if it's being held back from you?

- In many appeal cases blindly following the reviewer and their decision, without actually reviewing the appeal and asking for explanations and point of view from both sides to begin with.

- Coming up with stuff like mentioned above and just push it on the players without asking for an opinion about it upfront. No discussions, but instead a "we know what's good for you" stance. This arrogance is not helping in any way. The one exception here being the recent discussion about the possible return of the APE cache near Seattle - I'd like to see all kinds of decisions that actually hits us players, being discussed upfront and decided about in a bit more democratic way.

- Challenges that now have to be checked against checkers to see if players comply.

- Proximity rules for event caches that are enforced in ways the proximity rules were never meant to be used for to begin with. AFAIK these rules were meant to prevent endless satellite events popping up around megas and gigas. Now they are used to prevent too many events to be organised for the GCHQ-sponsored "Where in the world is Signal" events. Plus, they are enforced by the reviewers, but there is no way for players to find out about what these rules actually and exactly are, because they are not published so can't be looked up anywhere on the net. So as organisers we're always caught after sending the event caches in for review on "rules" we can't and don't know ... Please kill these stupid rules, or otherwise publish them in full detail.

- Killing any event that happens to be in a cafe, bar, pub or restaurant in their tracks because they are supposed to be "commercial". I won't start another rant here on how not commercial these events are, but please allow this kind of events and instruct your reviewers about them, or make it extremely clear in your rules what you consider commercial and what not. I'm so fed up with the constant discussion about this with the reviewers.

- No new cache types at all during the last 10 years. Just more rules, rules and even more stupid rules.

 

I can go on with this for a while, but I think it's clear where I'm coming from. Where is the fun in all this? I really feel that GCHQ is forgetting that they are really supporting a game that is supposed to be fun for their players. But instead we're seeing more and more politicised rules being pushed on us. I'm a firm believer that we need less rules instead of more. But it looks like GCHQ too has fallen in the fear-fed trap of making more rules to allow no interesting or fun diversions from what they consider to be good for us, and pushing that on us without discussion or even warning upfront. And all this in a "we're a business" style of way, while you are really not or are not supposed to be a business. If you call this a business, it's one with really bad management, forgetting all about your clients and their wishes ..

Edited by NLBokkie

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I feel very much like Geocaching.com has forgotten they are supporting a game. Instead they seem to think they are running a multinational business.

 

The vast amounts of "rules" to stop each and every oddity, novelty or eccentricity dead in their tracks is causing the game to lose colour and flavour in my opinion. Just to name a few from my experience:....

 

I think the amount of rules is also a result of the amount of "geocachers" that couldn't handle the few rules that were first in place. Take for example how people fail to comply with a simple rule to post a webcam photo but feel they are in their right to post a regular photo when the webcam is temporarily not working. It is "no fun" if their visit to the location isn't "rewarded" with a find. Some CO delete the log, which is also "no fun", others complain it is "no fun" when people claim the find without the webcam photo etc. etc. Same with earthcaches and virtual. More and more cachers don't care about the (original) intend of a cache, they only care about their rights to log.

 

"It's my right to log this as a find because my name is in the logbook", no matter what the CO's intention was with this cache. I don't have to solve a puzzle, there are databases with the answers. I don't have to walk a multi, there a databases with the end coordinates, I don't have to climb/dive for cache, my friend has done that and now the whole group can log this cache. I don't have to post a photo with my log for a virtual or earthcache, this is not allowed to be mandatory etc. All based on the rule "name in logbook so valid log". That is a convenient "rule" isn't it? But for who?

 

Is it still just a game when people talk about rights and "claim" finds?

 

The game has changed with the amount of people that play it, because different players get different kicks out of the game. What is fun for one player is no fun to another. Can a game be fun to all players when players have very different motives on why and how to play the game?

More differences in opinion mean more discussions, means less fun, means more effort to solve these issues, resulting in more rules. You can't expect a game to stay the same if it evolves from a game played by a hundred people, to a thousand, to several thousand, to a million to many millions. And then I'm not even taking into account all the differences with respect to countries: culture (language in logs, the way other players are "helped" etc.), rules by government or other organisations, economic differences resulting in different expectations in what should be free and what not etc. etc.

 

And geocaching.com doesn't seem to think they are running a multinational business, they actually are. The business is based on a game, but still it is just a company with employees who have to earn money. Its success depends on the amount of people that play (and pay for) the game and the amount of people that volunteer to help by either reviewing or placing caches on their website. For the business side of geocaching really only one thing matters: are there enough (new) players who pay for the game. As soon as this amount isn't enough, things have to change to make sure the growth continues.

When there are issues within the game people complain this isn't good business wise. Because people who complain don't promote the game to new players. Next to this they take up time from the people who work at the company who should be focused on work resulting in more money. And they take up time from volunteers who don't like to handle complaints either, they also like the fun aspect of the game. How else to solve this issue if you don't add rules?

 

So from a business perspective I totally understand the decisions, for some issues it's hard to see any other solution. With respect to communication and implementation, it could have been done in a better way, but pleasing everyone will be impossible anyway.

 

From a player's perspective all the changes (not just the rules NLBokkie sums up) don't make the game more fun or more attractive to me. But what I enjoy in the game, is not what the majority of today enjoys in the game. So I have to deal with the changes although they are "no fun" to me. Things I like to have implemented aren't done because time and energy has to be spend on app development to accommodate new players etc. Do I like all the changes? No, definitely not. Do I think all changes benefit the game I play? No, I'm sure they are not. But that's just my perspective, I don't run the business I just play the game and in a very old fashioned way. And with every change it's just a matter of decision making if I still like the game, if I can play it in a way I can still enjoy it. If not I will have to change hobbies and say "goodbye it has been fun but now it's time to move on", like with every hobby.

 

Running a business based on a game with players is different than running a business with clients. Players and clients aren't the same even if they are the same person. Compare this game with a soccer club. A local soccer club needs volunteers to keep the club going, to have enough funds, to get things done. People put their hearts and souls in it to make sure others (or themselves) can play the game and everyone is having fund! It is a major part of their lives until something happens, an issue within the club, parents that don't want to volunteer, a referee that gets kicked etc. At the same time there is the soccer game that people watch on television. The amount of money that goes around there can't be compared to that local soccer club, but millions seem to have fun (I'm not a soccer fan ;)). In the stadiums people have fun, but the stadiums have changed over the years. Bigger, more people, more security, more rules, less fun in lots of cases with people who wanted to take their kids to the game like they did when their dad took them many years ago. Technology is necessary to determine if a referee is right etc. etc.

 

Games just change when more people are interested in taking part in a game, one way or another.

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I was a very keen follower of a couple moving caches, now those have been taken away (oh, sure, there's a reason or two, there's always a reason for taking something fun out of the game.) No more locationless caches, no new virtuals, dulling of challenges, no traveling caches - it's like the Fun is being regulated out of the game with nothing coming in to replace it.

 

If you want to grow the game you have to find what people like and expand upon it, after all, the only real innovation in the game comes from the players.

 

(Bolding is mine).

 

It's not dead, but I accept the data (also confirmed by observation) that growth has generally stopped. The UK data also shows hiding of new caches is down. Number of finds is basically flat.

 

I agree with the above. No one change which GS has made (e.g. this recent removal of a class of grandfathered caches) is killing the game. But I do see more restrictions and little encouraging new innovation.

 

I continue to find and hide caches as I still enjoy it. But I do have concerns about the direction Groundspeak is taking.

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snip -

Where is the fun in all this?

-snip

Thanks for saving me a whole load of typing, NLBokkie, +1 from me .

 

The fragment I've quoted is as good a precis as any of my thoughts.

I said in abother thread where a new cacher asked how long you hunt before you post a DNF, I look until it stops being fun.

 

Groundspeak is stopping being fun. However, Groundspeak is not a synonym for geocaching. There are alternatives.

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I continue to find and hide caches as I still enjoy it. But I do have concerns about the direction Groundspeak is taking.

 

What if we only have ourselves to blame? :unsure:

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I continue to find and hide caches as I still enjoy it. But I do have concerns about the direction Groundspeak is taking.

 

What if we only have ourselves to blame? :unsure:

 

Interesting question.. it depends on your views, and I think is different for different examples. I'll look at 2 of them.

 

1. Challenge Caches: Here, GS took some action because of what they saw as issues. There was also a survey. End result is where we are now, with them back in restricted form. In this example, many cachers are happy, as they either don't like challenge caches, or think they are got out of control. So while I like challenge caches and wish they were less restrictive, there was consultation and GS seemed to try and do what is best for all.

 

2. "Travelling caches". The new logging rules impacted 2 specific, well loved caches (Brass Cap and YOSM). It is natural that many geocachers "complained", asking if there could be exceptions for these. I don't blame anyone for this, and I think it is sad if it was "complaints" about the logging change and these caches which was the final straw for these (and around 100 other) caches.

 

If Groundspeak sees any customer feedback "please keep X" as a complaint, so they get rid of X so people can't complain, I don't think that is a good way to run a business.

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If Groundspeak sees any customer feedback "please keep X" as a complaint, so they get rid of X so people can't complain, I don't think that is a good way to run a business.

 

Not what I meant.

 

Take webcam caches as an example - I think someone hinted they too might be for the chop but when I think of webcam caches nowadays the first thing that comes to mind is fake logging of dead webcam caches and the background angst that goes with it.

 

That isn't what geocaching is about, regardless of Groundspeak's involvement - so what's the point of perpetuating them?

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If Groundspeak sees any customer feedback "please keep X" as a complaint, so they get rid of X so people can't complain, I don't think that is a good way to run a business.

 

Not what I meant.

 

Take webcam caches as an example - I think someone hinted they too might be for the chop but when I think of webcam caches nowadays the first thing that comes to mind is fake logging of dead webcam caches and the background angst that goes with it.

 

That isn't what geocaching is about, regardless of Groundspeak's involvement - so what's the point of perpetuating them?

 

I speculated about Webcams. Only as I can see the same arguments being used there. By 2017, 300 Webcam caches remained active. Because the number of complaints and disagreements over these few caches were disproportionate to their number........

 

I can see the logic in getting rid of all grandfathered caches. Either a cache type is a good idea (and "what geocaching is about"), so keep it and allow new ones, or get rid of it. But I don't think it is the right thing to do.

 

And yes, to some extent, "complaints and disagreements" can be "our own" fault. E.g. someone trying to fake find a WebCam.

 

But I don't blame the cachers who complained about the impact of the logging rules on YOSM and Brass Caps. Though it seems likely that helped kill them.

Edited by redsox_mark

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snip

The game has changed with the amount of people that play it, because different players get different kicks out of the game. What is fun for one player is no fun to another. Can a game be fun to all players when players have very different motives on why and how to play the game?

snip snip

And geocaching.com doesn't seem to think they are running a multinational business, they actually are. The business is based on a game, but still it is just a company with employees who have to earn money. Its success depends on the amount of people that play (and pay for) the game and the amount of people that volunteer to help by either reviewing or placing caches on their website. For the business side of geocaching really only one thing matters: are there enough (new) players who pay for the game. As soon as this amount isn't enough, things have to change to make sure the growth continues.

snip

 

I believe that the profit driven stampede to mass participation, app friendly, guaranteed finds for the entitled, numbers obsessed, lowest common denominator caches is totally at odds with the actual hobby .

 

I'll emphasise the fact that this hobby is based entirely on containers owned by, placed by, maintained by us hobbyists at no cost to the business.

Web content is provided by us hobbyists at no cost to the business.

The database's accuracy and the buisness' placement rules are applied by other hobbyists ... at no cost to the business.

 

I've said it before, there is an uncomfortable rift opening between the free content provider cache setters and the profit driven business. Failing to understand that is what will kill Groundspeak (not geocaching, just Groundspeak. Hobbyists will adopt alternatives.)

 

Without even pausing for a moments thought I could name two well respected English cache setters who have in the last year archived most of the caches they owned (interestingly they both kept their earthcaches). One had tens of puzzles and challenging hides, another had over 100 clever trad. caches and some high terrain hides which gathered favourite points like a hoover. They both cited 'tftc' type logs and maintenance issues from carefully constructed caches being treated badly as reasons for their archiving. Another cache setter, local to me and with plans to add to his several existing interesting walking routes this summer recently told me he has completely lost interest in cache setting and will probably archive his existing routes too. And I have 20+ clip boxes, each individually camo painted, a dozen bison tubes (ditto) and maybe 10 novel containers, all intended to be deployed for a planned caching walk . They are sitting in a big cardboard box in my spare bedroom, and with the current dreadful attitude shown by them I have zero inclination to place them to be listed on Groundspeak.

 

Yes, there is a fitful dribble of new caches coming through, but most fall in the category of 'feeble film pot drive by in a layby used as an alfresco toilet and/or rubbish dump' with nothing to reccommend them to anyone except numbers obsessives and the crazed FTF locusts who don't care what they find or where as long as they get a smiley.

If the business encourages the people who like that kind of cache, and values them (because, $) more higly than it values setters of interesting, quirky and individual caches ( like, oh, I dunno, YOSM for example) then frankly it deserves the decline it is indisputably showing in both hides and finds in Europe and the USA.

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But I don't blame the cachers who complained about the impact of the logging rules on YOSM and Brass Caps. Though it seems likely that helped kill them.

 

You surely can't be suggesting this is a backlash from Groundspeak as a response to pleas from YOSM and Brass Cap fans?

 

I must be misunderstanding you there.

 

EDIT: fix typo.

Edited by Team Microdot

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If Groundspeak sees any customer feedback "please keep X" as a complaint, so they get rid of X so people can't complain, I don't think that is a good way to run a business.

 

Not what I meant.

 

Take webcam caches as an example - I think someone hinted they too might be for the chop but when I think of webcam caches nowadays the first thing that comes to mind is fake logging of dead webcam caches and the background angst that goes with it.

 

That isn't what geocaching is about, regardless of Groundspeak's involvement - so what's the point of perpetuating them?

 

Your comment made me laugh. Your sentence construction gives it a meaning I doubt you intended, unless of course you really do think 'what's the point of perpetuating Groundspeak' :laughing:

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If Groundspeak sees any customer feedback "please keep X" as a complaint, so they get rid of X so people can't complain, I don't think that is a good way to run a business.

 

Not what I meant.

 

Take webcam caches as an example - I think someone hinted they too might be for the chop but when I think of webcam caches nowadays the first thing that comes to mind is fake logging of dead webcam caches and the background angst that goes with it.

 

That isn't what geocaching is about, regardless of Groundspeak's involvement - so what's the point of perpetuating them?

 

Well, if new webcam caches were allowed to be placed, no one would bother about trying to log that particular webcam cache that doesn't work anymore. It's their current oddity, which is a direct result of them being grandfathered and dwindling numbers, that makes them attractive to so many cachers. It's hard to find the type of cache, to get it logged. If there were plenty (new ones) around, we probably wouldn't see so many fake logs . . .

 

And the same holds true for virtual caches. For both of these cache types, there's no alternative. So this is what you can expect as a result: many fake logs to at least get a couple of that type down.

 

If GS is going to apply the same kind of logic as they just did to hitchhikers to these kind of caches, these indeed could be next to go. I só hope they will see the light before that happens . . .

Edited by NLBokkie

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I feel very much like Geocaching.com has forgotten they are supporting a game. Instead they seem to think they are running a multinational business.

 

The vast amounts of "rules" to stop each and every oddity, novelty or eccentricity dead in their tracks is causing the game to lose colour and flavour in my opinion. Just to name a few from my experience:....

 

NLBokkie. What an excellent contribution to the discussion.

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If Groundspeak sees any customer feedback "please keep X" as a complaint, so they get rid of X so people can't complain, I don't think that is a good way to run a business.

 

Not what I meant.

 

Take webcam caches as an example - I think someone hinted they too might be for the chop but when I think of webcam caches nowadays the first thing that comes to mind is fake logging of dead webcam caches and the background angst that goes with it.

 

That isn't what geocaching is about, regardless of Groundspeak's involvement - so what's the point of perpetuating them?

 

Your comment made me laugh. Your sentence construction gives it a meaning I doubt you intended, unless of course you really do think 'what's the point of perpetuating Groundspeak' :laughing:

 

Ah - I see what you mean now :anibad:

 

I confess now that what was previously a glowing amber warning light in the context of Groundspeak possibly losing touch with the fundamentals of geocaching is now a blinking amber light, and its frequency is rising, although that's more to do with seemingly senseless changes to websites and apps that nobody seems to want or need followed by a large helping of meh in response to our attempts to engage them in sensible dialogue.

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But I don't blame the cachers who complained about the impact of the logging rules on YOSM and Brass Caps. Though it seems likely that helped kill them.

 

You surely can't be suggesting this is a backlash from Groundspeak as a response to please from YOSM and Brass Cap fans?

 

I must be misunderstanding you there.

 

This is just my speculation, and interpretation of the timing and the Groundspeak statement: "Because the number of complaints and disagreements over these few caches were disproportionate to their number, Geocaching HQ decided to archive them."

 

I don't think this is vindictive, but I think it is possible, maybe even probable, that the protest over the logging change on these caches called them into attention.. and that lead to their demise.

 

Imaginary conversation which I envision:

 

GS Lackey: We are getting a lot of complaints about the logging rules change (stopping multiple finds) because of 2 special caches, one in Canada and one in UK. Can we make an exception for these?

 

GS Manager: What are these caches?

 

GS Lackey: They are a sort of travelling cache.

 

GS Manager: You mean like GCA87C Utah MOVING Cache #1 , for which there was a long forum thread about in 2015 and lots of complaints?

 

GS Lackey: Well, these caches are a bit different.. but sort of.

 

GS Manager: How many caches do we have like this?

 

GS Lackey: Less than 100.

 

GS Manager: Let's get rid of them, they aren't worth the hassle.

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If Groundspeak sees any customer feedback "please keep X" as a complaint, so they get rid of X so people can't complain, I don't think that is a good way to run a business.

 

Not what I meant.

 

Take webcam caches as an example - I think someone hinted they too might be for the chop but when I think of webcam caches nowadays the first thing that comes to mind is fake logging of dead webcam caches and the background angst that goes with it.

 

That isn't what geocaching is about, regardless of Groundspeak's involvement - so what's the point of perpetuating them?

 

Well, if new webcam caches were allowed to be placed, no one would bother about trying to log that particular webcam cache that doesn't work anymore. It's their current oddity, which is a direct result of them being grandfathered and dwindling numbers, that makes them attractive to so many cachers. It's hard to find the type of cache, to get it logged. If there were plenty (new ones) around, we probably wouldn't see so many fake logs . . .

 

And the same holds true for virtual caches. For both of these cache types, there's no alternative. So this is what you can expect as a result: many fake logs to at least get a couple of that type down.

 

If GS is going to apply the same kind of logic as they just did to hitchhikers to these kind of caches, these indeed could be next to go. I só hope they will see the light before that happens . . .

 

People have been fake-logging these things for years and then raising merry hell with any CO who dared delete their fake logs.

 

And then there's the CO's who dragged along the carcasses of their long-dead webcam caches long after it was obvious that there was never again going to be anything there to log but hey - smartphones have cameras so...

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If Groundspeak sees any customer feedback "please keep X" as a complaint, so they get rid of X so people can't complain, I don't think that is a good way to run a business.

 

Not what I meant.

 

Take webcam caches as an example - I think someone hinted they too might be for the chop but when I think of webcam caches nowadays the first thing that comes to mind is fake logging of dead webcam caches and the background angst that goes with it.

 

That isn't what geocaching is about, regardless of Groundspeak's involvement - so what's the point of perpetuating them?

 

Well, if new webcam caches were allowed to be placed, no one would bother about trying to log that particular webcam cache that doesn't work anymore. It's their current oddity, which is a direct result of them being grandfathered and dwindling numbers, that makes them attractive to so many cachers. It's hard to find the type of cache, to get it logged. If there were plenty (new ones) around, we probably wouldn't see so many fake logs . . .

 

And the same holds true for virtual caches. For both of these cache types, there's no alternative. So this is what you can expect as a result: many fake logs to at least get a couple of that type down.

 

If GS is going to apply the same kind of logic as they just did to hitchhikers to these kind of caches, these indeed could be next to go. I só hope they will see the light before that happens . . .

 

People have been fake-logging these things for years and then raising merry hell with any CO who dared delete their fake logs.

 

And then there's the CO's who dragged along the carcasses of their long-dead webcam caches long after it was obvious that there was never again going to be anything there to log but hey - smartphones have cameras so...

 

I am not suggesting that new webcams should or shouldn't be allowed. But the part that irks the heck out of me is that they're all locked (from a cache owner perspective). From what I've been told, which could be untrue, is that Webcam cache owners are not allowed to make any changes to their cache listing.. which accelerates their demise. I think that any owner of a webcam should be allowed to make changes to keep their webcam cache viable and functional.

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If Groundspeak sees any customer feedback "please keep X" as a complaint, so they get rid of X so people can't complain, I don't think that is a good way to run a business.

 

Not what I meant.

 

Take webcam caches as an example - I think someone hinted they too might be for the chop but when I think of webcam caches nowadays the first thing that comes to mind is fake logging of dead webcam caches and the background angst that goes with it.

 

That isn't what geocaching is about, regardless of Groundspeak's involvement - so what's the point of perpetuating them?

 

Well, if new webcam caches were allowed to be placed, no one would bother about trying to log that particular webcam cache that doesn't work anymore. It's their current oddity, which is a direct result of them being grandfathered and dwindling numbers, that makes them attractive to so many cachers. It's hard to find the type of cache, to get it logged. If there were plenty (new ones) around, we probably wouldn't see so many fake logs . . .

 

And the same holds true for virtual caches. For both of these cache types, there's no alternative. So this is what you can expect as a result: many fake logs to at least get a couple of that type down.

 

If GS is going to apply the same kind of logic as they just did to hitchhikers to these kind of caches, these indeed could be next to go. I só hope they will see the light before that happens . . .

 

People have been fake-logging these things for years and then raising merry hell with any CO who dared delete their fake logs.

 

And then there's the CO's who dragged along the carcasses of their long-dead webcam caches long after it was obvious that there was never again going to be anything there to log but hey - smartphones have cameras so...

 

I am not suggesting that new webcams should or shouldn't be allowed. But the part that irks the heck out of me is that they're all locked (from a cache owner perspective). From what I've been told, which could be untrue, is that Webcam cache owners are not allowed to make any changes to their cache listing.. which accelerates their demise. I think that any owner of a webcam should be allowed to make changes to keep their webcam cache viable and functional.

 

Even if they are moving their webcam cache from a defunct webcam to a webcam miles away from the original location?

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If Groundspeak sees any customer feedback "please keep X" as a complaint, so they get rid of X so people can't complain, I don't think that is a good way to run a business.

 

Not what I meant.

 

Take webcam caches as an example - I think someone hinted they too might be for the chop but when I think of webcam caches nowadays the first thing that comes to mind is fake logging of dead webcam caches and the background angst that goes with it.

 

That isn't what geocaching is about, regardless of Groundspeak's involvement - so what's the point of perpetuating them?

 

Well, if new webcam caches were allowed to be placed, no one would bother about trying to log that particular webcam cache that doesn't work anymore. It's their current oddity, which is a direct result of them being grandfathered and dwindling numbers, that makes them attractive to so many cachers. It's hard to find the type of cache, to get it logged. If there were plenty (new ones) around, we probably wouldn't see so many fake logs . . .

 

And the same holds true for virtual caches. For both of these cache types, there's no alternative. So this is what you can expect as a result: many fake logs to at least get a couple of that type down.

 

If GS is going to apply the same kind of logic as they just did to hitchhikers to these kind of caches, these indeed could be next to go. I só hope they will see the light before that happens . . .

 

People have been fake-logging these things for years and then raising merry hell with any CO who dared delete their fake logs.

 

And then there's the CO's who dragged along the carcasses of their long-dead webcam caches long after it was obvious that there was never again going to be anything there to log but hey - smartphones have cameras so...

 

I am not suggesting that new webcams should or shouldn't be allowed. But the part that irks the heck out of me is that they're all locked (from a cache owner perspective). From what I've been told, which could be untrue, is that Webcam cache owners are not allowed to make any changes to their cache listing.. which accelerates their demise. I think that any owner of a webcam should be allowed to make changes to keep their webcam cache viable and functional.

 

Even if they are moving their webcam cache from a defunct webcam to a webcam miles away from the original location?

 

Yes, that's actually a reason to immediately archive the cache. You may get away with replacing the existing webcam and the software needed to access that when you can update the webcam cache in-place. But a move is an immediate reason to archive AFAIK. Nor can these caches be moved to another owner - trying so will also immediately result in archiving the cache.

Edited by NLBokkie

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If Groundspeak sees any customer feedback "please keep X" as a complaint, so they get rid of X so people can't complain, I don't think that is a good way to run a business.

 

Not what I meant.

 

Take webcam caches as an example - I think someone hinted they too might be for the chop but when I think of webcam caches nowadays the first thing that comes to mind is fake logging of dead webcam caches and the background angst that goes with it.

 

That isn't what geocaching is about, regardless of Groundspeak's involvement - so what's the point of perpetuating them?

 

Well, if new webcam caches were allowed to be placed, no one would bother about trying to log that particular webcam cache that doesn't work anymore. It's their current oddity, which is a direct result of them being grandfathered and dwindling numbers, that makes them attractive to so many cachers. It's hard to find the type of cache, to get it logged. If there were plenty (new ones) around, we probably wouldn't see so many fake logs . . .

 

And the same holds true for virtual caches. For both of these cache types, there's no alternative. So this is what you can expect as a result: many fake logs to at least get a couple of that type down.

 

If GS is going to apply the same kind of logic as they just did to hitchhikers to these kind of caches, these indeed could be next to go. I só hope they will see the light before that happens . . .

 

People have been fake-logging these things for years and then raising merry hell with any CO who dared delete their fake logs.

 

And then there's the CO's who dragged along the carcasses of their long-dead webcam caches long after it was obvious that there was never again going to be anything there to log but hey - smartphones have cameras so...

 

I am not suggesting that new webcams should or shouldn't be allowed. But the part that irks the heck out of me is that they're all locked (from a cache owner perspective). From what I've been told, which could be untrue, is that Webcam cache owners are not allowed to make any changes to their cache listing.. which accelerates their demise. I think that any owner of a webcam should be allowed to make changes to keep their webcam cache viable and functional.

 

Even if they are moving their webcam cache from a defunct webcam to a webcam miles away from the original location?

 

Yes, that's actually a reason to immediately archive the cache. You may get away with replacing the existing webcam and the software needed to access that when you can update the webcam cache in-place. But a move is an immediate reason to archive AFAIK. Nor can these caches be moved to another owner - trying so will also immediately result in archiving the cache.

 

I believe so.

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I think the amount of rules is also a result of the amount of "geocachers" that couldn't handle the few rules that were first in place.

......

Games just change when more people are interested in taking part in a game, one way or another.

 

ALL of this! You've just expressed most all of the thoughts going through my head at times of big change when many of the complaints start rolling. laughing.gif It's a lot to put into words. Well written.

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I believe that the profit driven stampede to mass participation, app friendly, guaranteed finds for the entitled, numbers obsessed, lowest common denominator caches is totally at odds with the actual hobby .

 

snip

 

I've said it before, there is an uncomfortable rift opening between the free content provider cache setters and the profit driven business. Failing to understand that is what will kill Groundspeak (not geocaching, just Groundspeak. Hobbyists will adopt alternatives.)

 

snip

 

Yes, there is a fitful dribble of new caches coming through, but most fall in the category of 'feeble film pot drive by in a layby used as an alfresco toilet and/or rubbish dump' with nothing to reccommend them to anyone except numbers obsessives and the crazed FTF locusts who don't care what they find or where as long as they get a smiley.

If the business encourages the people who like that kind of cache, and values them (because, $) more higly than it values setters of interesting, quirky and individual caches ( like, oh, I dunno, YOSM for example) then frankly it deserves the decline it is indisputably showing in both hides and finds in Europe and the USA.

 

I agree with you in almost everything in your post, it's my point of view as a geocacher as well. But I worry and wonder if hobbyists will adopt alternatives, the attempts to do so have not been succesful. In general people who like the game the way it was (whatever that means), simply stop and will do something different, or keep on playing it but do their best to ignore the effects of changes they don't like (like me).

 

The decline in hides are logical, the amount of "empty" easy accessible places is running out in a lot of countries/areas. But maybe the increase in other countries where smartphones are just starting to get common and interests in a free hobby will rise, can compensate for that.

But the decline in finds has no meaning to Groundspeak, as long as there is no decline in new memberships.

 

I don't know anything about the statistics on amount of finds, but there are different ways of looking at them. For instance: I see many people play the game just 2/3 years and already have lots more finds than we have after 9 years. To me this seems hard work, since we are very active geocachers. They seem to like the game because you can find many containers. Probably they also like a good geocache in the old fashioned definition of what is a good geocache, but to them it doesn't matter. They haven't experienced the development of the game, didn't have to deal with all the changes. They are just happy with what they discovered as a nice hobby and copy behaviour of the mass (like writing TFTC-logs). Of course in our opinion this hobby could be lots better, but we can not expect people to want something they don't know or haven't experienced. They just want to have fun without discussions and issues. Don't we all?

 

Of course I also see a lot of accounts appear that stop playing the game after less than 10 finds/within a month. In the past there were less of these accounts (I presume, not sure), because the starting barrier was higher. Now you just give it a try with a smartphone, if you like it you continue, if you don't you stop. Also easy accessible to kids, who simply loose interest after a short period, like with all hobbies they enjoy. But when we started we rented a gps to try the game, 4 days after making an account and reading about how everything works. Just to try meant already a bit of investment with respect to both time and money. The game was a bit secretive, felt like something only few people knew about (later you discover having a colleague playing the same game ;)). So happy with just one find in a week, can you imagine this now?! Giving it a try was only done if you were really interested and did research on how it works, getting a gps etc. And of course you wrote a decent log, you just experienced something special!

 

This has all changed, so I think it will never be the same game unless new barriers appear to start playing it. It's hard to say if the changes are good or bad, whether Groundspeak has made the right decisions or not (let alone how they implement them). For some its good, for others it's not. For me the changes meant more work to make sure I still have fun with the game. And there are days/weeks every year where we take a bit of a distance to the game to see what is necessary for us to do or stop doing, to keep it a fun hobby for us.

This forum is a major help in forming an opinion, since we read post of people we disagree with or simply just don't understand since they have a completely different opinion on what the game is/should be. We also read lots of posts of people who we agree with, but they also seem to let the changes influence their mood for a long time in a very negative way. That's when we realise it is good to discuss our concerns here, seek comfort in knowing we're not weird in thinking about the "good old days" (that weren't always as good either). But that it's also good to take a step back every now and then and realise it doesn't/will not determine how we live and what we do, it's just a hobby although for some old and new players it seems a lot more.

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I am not suggesting that new webcams should or shouldn't be allowed. But the part that irks the heck out of me is that they're all locked (from a cache owner perspective). From what I've been told, which could be untrue, is that Webcam cache owners are not allowed to make any changes to their cache listing.. which accelerates their demise. I think that any owner of a webcam should be allowed to make changes to keep their webcam cache viable and functional.

 

Even if they are moving their webcam cache from a defunct webcam to a webcam miles away from the original location?

 

Yes, that's actually a reason to immediately archive the cache. You may get away with replacing the existing webcam and the software needed to access that when you can update the webcam cache in-place. But a move is an immediate reason to archive AFAIK. Nor can these caches be moved to another owner - trying so will also immediately result in archiving the cache.

 

I believe so.

 

I may be wrong, as I don't own a webcam, but isn't it at least an option to contact a reviewer to make a technical change to a listing? Like say a URL is changed but the webcam is still active exactly as intended - if the CO can't adjust the URL, can't a reviewer at least make a judgement call and make that change if it's reasonable?

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I feel very much like Geocaching.com has forgotten they are supporting a game. Instead they seem to think they are running a multinational business.

 

The vast amounts of "rules" to stop each and every oddity, novelty or eccentricity dead in their tracks is causing the game to lose colour and flavour in my opinion. Just to name a few from my experience:

 

Only allowing for earth caches that are totally and only about geology. Before the 2011/2012 stricter rules for earth caches, this cache type was also used to get cachers to interesting places in nature and to show them about other stuff in nature and nature sciences than just geology. Most of the new earth caches are extremely dull, totally geology-centric with no leeway for anything else that is making the spot interesting. And they are an enormous pain to get published anyway, with reviewers being so over-over strict on their take on the rules that getting them published without a couple of appeals to GCHQ is by now almost impossible. While the old ones just remain interesting and fun to do.

 

Might be better to address this question in the earthcache forum, but my experience has been very different from yours.

 

Our first attempt at an earthcache didn't get published because it was based on a glacial lagoon that was only a few miles from Jokulsarlon and wasn't different enough for the reviewer's liking. We appealed that and were denied. But other than that, I've not had to use appeals to get any of our 27 earthcaches published.

 

I think pretty much all of our earthcaches were published after the guidelines got stricter. I'll let you decide whether they're dull. Those who log them seem to enjoy them; all but one have multiple favorite points, and that one's in a pretty remote park in Texas and just may not be getting the love.

 

- Killing any event that happens to be in a cafe, bar, pub or restaurant in their tracks because they are supposed to be "commercial". I won't start another rant here on how not commercial these events are, but please allow this kind of events and instruct your reviewers about them, or make it extremely clear in your rules what you consider commercial and what not. I'm so fed up with the constant discussion about this with the reviewers.

Not sure what the issue here is.

 

The last few regular events we've attended or hosted have been in an Irish pub, a sports bar, a greasy spoon, a brewery, a pizza place, a sushi/hibachi buffet, a bakery, a Chinese buffet, a family restaurant...

 

It's OK to mention the place in the cache description; in fact, it's pretty much recommended. I've heard of reviewers asking event hosts to scale back event descriptions, usually because they were going overboard and it read too much like an ad.

Edited by hzoi

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I feel very much like Geocaching.com has forgotten they are supporting a game. Instead they seem to think they are running a multinational business.

 

The vast amounts of "rules" to stop each and every oddity, novelty or eccentricity dead in their tracks is causing the game to lose colour and flavour in my opinion. Just to name a few from my experience:

 

Only allowing for earth caches that are totally and only about geology. Before the 2011/2012 stricter rules for earth caches, this cache type was also used to get cachers to interesting places in nature and to show them about other stuff in nature and nature sciences than just geology. Most of the new earth caches are extremely dull, totally geology-centric with no leeway for anything else that is making the spot interesting. And they are an enormous pain to get published anyway, with reviewers being so over-over strict on their take on the rules that getting them published without a couple of appeals to GCHQ is by now almost impossible. While the old ones just remain interesting and fun to do.

 

Might be better to address this question in the earthcache forum, but my experience has been very different from yours.

 

Our first attempt at an earthcache didn't get published because it was based on a glacial lagoon that was only a few miles from Jokulsarlon and wasn't different enough for the reviewer's liking. We appealed that and were denied. But other than that, I've not had to use appeals to get any of our 27 earthcaches published.

 

I think pretty much all of our earthcaches were published after the guidelines got stricter. I'll let you decide whether they're dull. Those who log them seem to enjoy them; all but one have multiple favorite points, and that one's in a pretty remote park in Texas and just may not be getting the love.

 

- Killing any event that happens to be in a cafe, bar, pub or restaurant in their tracks because they are supposed to be "commercial". I won't start another rant here on how not commercial these events are, but please allow this kind of events and instruct your reviewers about them, or make it extremely clear in your rules what you consider commercial and what not. I'm so fed up with the constant discussion about this with the reviewers.

Not sure what the issue here is.

 

The last few regular events we've attended or hosted have been in an Irish pub, a sports bar, a greasy spoon, a brewery, a pizza place, a sushi/hibachi buffet, a bakery, a Chinese buffet, a family restaurant...

 

It's OK to mention the place in the cache description; in fact, it's pretty much recommended. I've heard of reviewers asking event hosts to scale back event descriptions, usually because they were going overboard and it read too much like an ad.

 

I know. I've read and concluded many times already that the situation is quite different in the US than what we experience here in The Netherlands. But on earth caches, almost nothing gets through. And if you happen to mention the name of the cafe, it's immediately considered "commercial" here. And reason to deny publishing the event. And I'm just not sure why we have these over-strict interpretations on the guidelines here, but I do think that many reviewers here have very different ideas about what constitutes what than they have in the US. Unfortunately. It gets us in a lot of discussions and different guideline interpretations that shouldn't be issues at all. It's frustrating. It's all about rules and more rules, plenty of which are not that clear or can not be found on the Internet.

Edited by NLBokkie

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With the push for numbers cachers pay no particular attention to where they place their hides.

To get to them its a miserable effort that I am sure will turn any newbie off after attempting to cache for a few.

 

Okay, maybe now I get your point. I'm guessing that is why the official app limits basic members to caches rated 1.5 D/T or less. :unsure:

 

As for the easy to find roadside caches, they are of no interest to me. I like an adventure where I have to park my ride and get my boots and hiking stick out. :D

 

The terrain/difficulty setting has no impact.

The series that I did were considered park and grabs on a dirt road with low difficukty/terrain ratings.

But having to deal with ditches, evergreens full of sap, bogs, bushes, stumps, fallen trees, etcs, it became a miserable experience.

 

Sometimes when I looked at the other side of the road saw a more suitable place to hide the cache. No ditches, no water, no bushwhacking, straight openness into the woods.

 

I have no problems with roadside caches or any other kind of caches. I can live with poor containers too. My peeve has become their poor placement.

Edited by ZeMartelo

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I have no problems with roadside caches or any other kind of caches. I can live with poor containers too. My peeve has become their poor placement.

Others have problems with roadside caches and other similar kinds of caches. They can live with poor containers too. Their pet peeve has become their poor placement.

 

Quite a subjective argument. Why is your opinion more valid than people who enjoy placements that you don't? Or don't enjoy placements that you do?

 

There are many styles of cache hides - no one likes them all (ok maybe some do, but they must live very happy lives :) )

Point: Simply not liking a certain type of cache, especially if the structure of the website allows filtering in/out such types, isn't really a good argument for why "geocaching is dead" (though it's a great argument for why one doesn't enjoy it nearly as much as they used to, or may wish to leave, or move on to some other hobby!)

Edited by thebruce0

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I feel very much like Geocaching.com has forgotten they are supporting a game. Instead they seem to think they are running a multinational business.

 

The vast amounts of "rules" to stop each and every oddity, novelty or eccentricity dead in their tracks is causing the game to lose colour and flavour in my opinion. Just to name a few from my experience:

 

Only allowing for earth caches that are totally and only about geology. Before the 2011/2012 stricter rules for earth caches, this cache type was also used to get cachers to interesting places in nature and to show them about other stuff in nature and nature sciences than just geology. Most of the new earth caches are extremely dull, totally geology-centric with no leeway for anything else that is making the spot interesting. And they are an enormous pain to get published anyway, with reviewers being so over-over strict on their take on the rules that getting them published without a couple of appeals to GCHQ is by now almost impossible. While the old ones just remain interesting and fun to do.

 

Might be better to address this question in the earthcache forum, but my experience has been very different from yours.

 

Our first attempt at an earthcache didn't get published because it was based on a glacial lagoon that was only a few miles from Jokulsarlon and wasn't different enough for the reviewer's liking. We appealed that and were denied. But other than that, I've not had to use appeals to get any of our 27 earthcaches published.

 

I think pretty much all of our earthcaches were published after the guidelines got stricter. I'll let you decide whether they're dull. Those who log them seem to enjoy them; all but one have multiple favorite points, and that one's in a pretty remote park in Texas and just may not be getting the love.

 

- Killing any event that happens to be in a cafe, bar, pub or restaurant in their tracks because they are supposed to be "commercial". I won't start another rant here on how not commercial these events are, but please allow this kind of events and instruct your reviewers about them, or make it extremely clear in your rules what you consider commercial and what not. I'm so fed up with the constant discussion about this with the reviewers.

Not sure what the issue here is.

 

The last few regular events we've attended or hosted have been in an Irish pub, a sports bar, a greasy spoon, a brewery, a pizza place, a sushi/hibachi buffet, a bakery, a Chinese buffet, a family restaurant...

 

It's OK to mention the place in the cache description; in fact, it's pretty much recommended. I've heard of reviewers asking event hosts to scale back event descriptions, usually because they were going overboard and it read too much like an ad.

 

I know. I've read and concluded many times already that the situation is quite different in the US than what we experience here in The Netherlands. But on earth caches, almost nothing gets through. And if you happen to mention the name of the cafe, it's immediately considered "commercial" here And reason to deny publishing the event. And I'm just not sure why we have these over-strict interpretations on the guidelines here, but I do think that many reviewers here have very different ideas about what constitutes what than they have in the US. Unfortunately. It gets us in a lot of issues and different guideline interpretations that shouldn't be issues at all. It's frustrating. It's all about rules and more rules, plenty of which are not that clear or can not be found on the Internet.

On earthcaches: yes, getting them published in the Netherlands is going to be difficult because of limited geology along the coastal plains. (The scrutiny might be tighter on the Netherlands, too, because it looks like the reviewer(s) turned a blind eye to the proximity rule in publishing over twenty earthcaches based on ground water meters.) I am in coastal Virginia, and I am in the same boat; however, I did just get three published despite the limited options. One was based on fossil shell deposits, the second on sinkhole ponds that formed when fossil shell deposits dissolved, and the third is on the fall line, the boundary between the Piedmont and the coastal plain.

 

So it's possible to find new lessons to teach without being either too redundant or too technical, it's just more difficult than it used to be because people have already published earthcaches on easy topics.

 

As for events, no offense to your local reviewers, but they may be experiencing what we in the Army call "operator headspace and timing issues." Or as a photographer might say, the camera is fine, the problem is behind the viewfinder. You could handle this via appeals to Groundspeak, but I would recommend a more indirect approach, maybe take your reviewer out for a beer or something.

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