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Kayaker29

Keep logs brief

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I don't understand why so many logs  are so long and full of unrelated personal information. Does anyone really care about how many bug bites you got that day, how many squirrels your dogs chased or any other mindless junk? Keep your comments short and related to the cache. It makes in a lot more interesting and pertinent to the hobby.

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In all honesty, taking the time to write out a long and meaningful log isn't as easy if the cache location isn't interesting. If the Geocaching adventure is a good one, then a long and meaningful log is of course to be expected. I don't put a simple "Long hike, good hiding spot. TFTC" on a cache with a significant D/T rating, because to me, it is an insult to the CO's efforts in setting up an amazing cache.

Again, the geocaching process is also related to the cache, so I understand when people do put the time and effort to transcribe their words and experiences into the log for the CO.

Each to their own liking, but I was always taught by my community that a good Found It log is essential to keeping some CO's motivated, as it signifies people actually enjoy their caches enough to put it into words.

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22 minutes ago, Kayaker29 said:

I don't understand why so many logs  are so long and full of unrelated personal information. Does anyone really care about how many bug bites you got that day, how many squirrels your dogs chased or any other mindless junk? Keep your comments short and related to the cache. It makes in a lot more interesting and pertinent to the hobby.

It depends on the situation. I would post something interesting, like how the cops stopped us or I am visiting from a foreign country.  but I wouldn't post something like: I went on a hike, we bushwhacked for 10 minutes and 20 seconds, I had my sun hat on. We were with my cousin's friend's neighbor and his pet chinchilla, so we had to take some extra precautions. I slipped on the mud twice, and my left knee was coated with it... Blah Blah Blah.

I guess it's just personal preference though. Some just type: TFTC, but others may add another 20 lines of text.

  

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People write about their experience.   Sometimes that involves bugs and squirrels and other mundane things.

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9 minutes ago, on4bam said:

What happened to "describe your experience? I know, these days it's about "getting" as many as possible with as little effort as possible so logs with TFTC or even just "." or an emoticon is considered enough effort to "describe the experience".

When CO's put a lot of work into nice caches I feel it's disrespectful to just write "TFTC". The better the cache the longer the log is still true in most if not all cases.

 

I agree! But it IS somewhat annoying when a cacher adds a bunch of personal stuff from 10 years ago they want to mention, only to find out that they copy and pasted that log on every cache they found that day.

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I moved this topic from the Geocaching Website bug reporting and feature suggestion forum.

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47 minutes ago, on4bam said:

What happened to "describe your experience? I know, these days it's about "getting" as many as possible with as little effort as possible so logs with TFTC or even just "." or an emoticon is considered enough effort to "describe the experience".

When CO's put a lot of work into nice caches I feel it's disrespectful to just write "TFTC". The better the cache the longer the log is still true in most if not all cases.

 

As I see it, there are two schools of thought regarding the online log.  Some consider online logs to be for the benefit of the cache owner, potential seekers of the cache, and maybe just those that enjoy 'reading about the experience' of others.  Those from that camp tend to write longer logs, with complete sentences and even paragraphs.  Others consider the online log to be primarily for the benefit of the finder of the cache, perhaps a record of their day and a place to upload selfies with the cache, and in many cases is just an obligatory step they must take in order to get credit for the find.  Those logs tend to be shorter,  of include the find number, and generally have information that only the finder would be interested in.

Considering "describe your experience" has been a tenet of how the game of geocaching is played pretty much since it's inception I would tend to thing that the intended purpose was for the CO and other geocachers rather than the finder.

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I don't mind (actually I prefer) long logs...but only when it relates to that particular cache, or is, at the very least, unique to that cache page.  It's when someone copy/pastes the same long log to every cache they visit that I have an issue.  Those often involve lots of smilies and are often completely uninteresting anyway.

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1 hour ago, Kayaker29 said:

I don't understand why so many logs  are so long and full of unrelated personal information. Does anyone really care about how many bug bites you got that day, how many squirrels your dogs chased or any other mindless junk? Keep your comments short and related to the cache. It makes in a lot more interesting and pertinent to the hobby.

You don't have any caches out, so I'm a little (but just a little...) curious ... what's it to you?  

We write logs for the CO, and if there's something that others might find interesting or should be aware of,  we include it.

We're sorta wordy on logs and have had COs email us for the interesting content, since the most they seem to see these days is "TFTC".    :)

 

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Asking  a couple folks who cut/paste lengthy ramble at an event once, and most said it's for stats (log length)  on a third-party site.

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1 hour ago, Kayaker29 said:

I don't understand why so many logs  are so long and full of unrelated personal information. Does anyone really care about how many bug bites you got that day, how many squirrels your dogs chased or any other mindless junk? Keep your comments short and related to the cache. It makes in a lot more interesting and pertinent to the hobby.

 

I disagree. Interesting logs keeps me interested in geocaching as I enjoy reading the past logs on a listing.

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8 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

We're sorta wordy on logs and have had COs email us for the interesting content, since the most they seem to see these days is "TFTC".    :)

Or short cut-n-paste logs :ph34r:

When I'm writing logs at the end of a day of geocaching I pay attention to the owner of the caches I've found and will trying to include something different for each cache I've found with the same owner.   If I find 5 caches by he same CO I suspect that seeing the same 5 words in every log would get old.  

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2 hours ago, Kayaker29 said:

Keep your comments short

No, thanks.

2 hours ago, Kayaker29 said:

Keep your comments ... related to the cache.

That I can do.

49 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

I don't mind (actually I prefer) long logs...but only when it relates to that particular cache, or is, at the very least, unique to that cache page.  It's when someone copy/pastes the same long log to every cache they visit that I have an issue.  Those often involve lots of smilies and are often completely uninteresting anyway.

+1.  If it was only worth you typing it once, why do you think it was worth me reading it multiple times?

Often I'll see some that have a sentence on that particular day and then (maybe) a few words about that particular cache, thrown in with the boilerplate.  That to me is almost worse, because they know the rest of the log is pretty much worthless, and yet, there it is.

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2 hours ago, Kayaker29 said:

I don't understand why so many logs  are so long and full of unrelated personal information. Does anyone really care about how many bug bites you got that day, how many squirrels your dogs chased or any other mindless junk? Keep your comments short and related to the cache. It makes in a lot more interesting and pertinent to the hobby.

I'm just chatting to be friendly. If you're so focused that you have no time for friends, can't you just skip reading my log?

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3 hours ago, Kayaker29 said:

I don't understand why so many logs  are so long and full of unrelated personal information. Does anyone really care about how many bug bites you got that day, how many squirrels your dogs chased or any other mindless junk? Keep your comments short and related to the cache. It makes in a lot more interesting and pertinent to the hobby.

Yes, the author of the log cares, apparently. I don't know what you mean by "related to the cache", as for them, it surely is.

TFTT. (Thanks for the topic, sorry if that was too wordy)

Edited by Rebore
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14 minutes ago, Rebore said:

I don't know what you mean by "related to the cache", as for them, it surely is.

Yeah, "related to the cache" can mean many things, depending on the cache, and depending on the people seeking the cache.

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Agreed. I usually copy and paste a log and then write another long paragraph about the specific cache.

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1 hour ago, J Grouchy said:

I don't mind (actually I prefer) long logs...but only when it relates to that particular cache, or is, at the very least, unique to that cache page.  It's when someone copy/pastes the same long log to every cache they visit that I have an issue.  Those often involve lots of smilies and are often completely uninteresting anyway.

Agreed. I usually copy and paste my log and then add a paragraph of two about the specific cache.

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17 minutes ago, TwistedCube said:

Agreed. I usually copy and paste my log and then add a paragraph of two about the specific cache.

Don't copy/paste your log.  Just do that last part and you're good.

Edited by J Grouchy
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14 minutes ago, TwistedCube said:

Agreed. I usually copy and paste my log and then add a paragraph of two about the specific cache.

Looks you do it here too ;)

I always have a general text about the day (early start, weather, bike or hike) and then another part for each cache. For multi's I often add some comment (no spoilers!) about each WP or at least the most memorable WPs and the cache. I also add info on TBs retrieved/dropped/discovered and any encounters, if any, along the way.

Just yesterday, walking a series (trads, letterbox, multis, mystery) a couple of hunters saw our GPS and told us that we didn't have to look for "that box in the woods" because they took it... of course I mentioned that in my log and send more info in a mail to the CO. That's what logs are for, right?

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Kayaker29 said:

I don't understand why so many logs  are so long and full of unrelated personal information. Does anyone really care about how many bug bites you got that day, how many squirrels your dogs chased or any other mindless junk? Keep your comments short and related to the cache. It makes in a lot more interesting and pertinent to the hobby.

No thanks.

I'd much rather read a long, unique log on one of my caches. I'll go so far as to e-mail finders to thank them for them - just as I've been e-mailed to thank me for my logs. Usually people say that it's nice not to read a short, boring log for a change.

 

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1 hour ago, TwistedCube said:

Agreed. I usually copy and paste a log and then write another long paragraph about the specific cache.

Copy&paste is different. The OP would have a valid gripe if it were about that. If you can't be bothered to type it in each time, why do you force me to read it over and over?

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TFTP (Thanks for the post.  I'd write more but that might appear "mindless")

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53 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Looks you do it here too ;)

I always have a general text about the day (early start, weather, bike or hike) and then another part for each cache. For multi's I often add some comment (no spoilers!) about each WP or at least the most memorable WPs and the cache. I also add info on TBs retrieved/dropped/discovered and any encounters, if any, along the way.

Just yesterday, walking a series (trads, letterbox, multis, mystery) a couple of hunters saw our GPS and told us that we didn't have to look for "that box in the woods" because they took it... of course I mentioned that in my log and send more info in a mail to the CO. That's what logs are for, right?

 

 

 

Whoops... I actually typed one of them, and I think I clicked submit twice or something. LOL

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1 hour ago, J Grouchy said:
1 hour ago, TwistedCube said:

Agreed. I usually copy and paste my log and then add a paragraph of two about the specific cache.

Don't copy/paste your log.  Just do that last part and you're good.

Another variation I've used is to include a longer description of the group, trip, etc., in the first log of the day, and to include a terse reference with a link to that first log at the beginning of all the other logs. That way, the other logs are mostly about that specific cache, but the information about the trip as a whole is available if anyone wants it. And those who receive multiple logs from that day don't get spammed with the longer description over and over.

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Copy paste itself I don't find annoying. But as with others, long copy paste especially loads of content unrelated to the specific cache, is annoying.

In essence, I prefer (as a CO and a finder) to be able to pick out relevant information about the cache I'm viewing, relatively easily. I also do enjoy occasionally finding out about someone's experience, to a degree, if they choose to summarize. Summarize.  5 paragraphs about the day and 1 sentence about the cache, on all 20 caches they log is still annoying, and likely I'd skip checking the log for relevant info anyway. Just like a single splat paragraph with a sentence or two blended in that's actually relevant - it just disappears in the word salad.

If I can choose to skim a log (or read it all) and easily locate cache-specific content (if there is any), then I don't mind how long the log is.  They are for the CO, finders, and myself, so it can be a hard balance to strike.

If necessary, I'll post a single longer log somewhere, and link to it in other logs for that day. That's very rare, but I've done it, and mainly for large quantities of caches by the same owner.

Edited by thebruce0
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Even when I did a 45 cache Geo-Art back in June, I wrote a unique log for each.  Some were just a single sentence, but my disdain for cut/paste logs is such that I couldn't even bring myself to do it after the 20th LPC.  Instead, I decided to just do a 'running narrative' as I went along. Maybe each log taken by itself didn't make much sense, but once you read them in order it sort of shows my mental state over the course of almost seven hours.

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That's great you have that much patience... I couldn't type up 100% unique and original logs for every single cache on a high count day (though I always manually compose my logs, save for a couple of exceptions since 2009). For days like a power trail of 50+, I do also prefer to add something unique as much as I can (tho much harder when they're all the same mundane hide), but I have no qualms about adding the same intro sentence, mainly because even if I were to type something for each manually I'd still end up writing variations of the same general thing anyway :P  It's easier to copy/paste something like "Headed out to visit this trail XYZ with cacherbuds A, B, and C. Found all but 4, and it was a great day!"  And then add another block with something specific about that cache. IMO, it's helpful for the CO (especially if there's a problem), and as a finder it's easy to see the pattern and know that a 2nd paragraph will have something unique about the cache.  I don't really see the point in being against copy/paste in principle, as it's more how you use it than that you use it :).  But I can understand in the context of a powertrail how that first paragraph would be skipped by most people anyway, so why copy it? *shrug* Guess that's a preference thing. The negative impact either way really is negligible, imo.

Edited by thebruce0

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4 hours ago, TwistedCube said:

It depends on the situation. I would post something interesting, like how the cops stopped us or I am visiting from a foreign country.  but I wouldn't post something like: I went on a hike, we bushwhacked for 10 minutes and 20 seconds, I had my sun hat on. We were with my cousin's friend's neighbor and his pet chinchilla, so we had to take some extra precautions. I slipped on the mud twice, and my left knee was coated with it... Blah Blah Blah.

I guess it's just personal preference though. Some just type: TFTC, but others may add another 20 lines of text.

  

I greatly prefer to hear about your bushwacking, sun hat, and mud slipping. That tells me about your experience in regards to the cache.

I don't care to see 5 lines devoted to your grand vacation, where you went, where you are going, who is with you. This tells me nothing about the cache and it gets worse when those same 5 lines are pasted to every cache.

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25 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

Even when I did a 45 cache Geo-Art back in June, I wrote a unique log for each.  Some were just a single sentence, but my disdain for cut/paste logs is such that I couldn't even bring myself to do it after the 20th LPC.  Instead, I decided to just do a 'running narrative' as I went along. Maybe each log taken by itself didn't make much sense, but once you read them in order it sort of shows my mental state over the course of almost seven hours.

I'd kinda like to see what you posted in the log for the last cache of the day.  :)

There was a somewhat regular poster here that use to link the logs posted on caches found during the day.  She posted finds on a few of my caches and it was interesting to read where she came from an where she went after finding my cache.  I just had a recent log on one of my caches that was pretty nice and included a favorite point.  The finder gave a favorite point, partially because other than most of the other caches they had found that day it wasn't a micro (it's an ammo can on a trail that's recently been saturated with identically hidden micros).  

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3 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

Asking  a couple folks who cut/paste lengthy ramble at an event once, and most said it's for stats (log length)  on a third-party site.

Sigh. It's all about the stats.

Once they added that Stats tab, it went downhill.

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41 minutes ago, fbingha said:

I greatly prefer to hear about your bushwacking, sun hat, and mud slipping. That tells me about your experience in regards to the cache.

I don't care to see 5 lines devoted to your grand vacation, where you went, where you are going, who is with you. This tells me nothing about the cache and it gets worse when those same 5 lines are pasted to every cache.

I guess you have a point there. 

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

That's great you have that much patience... I couldn't type up 100% unique and original logs for every single cache on a high count day

Couldn't or wouldn't?

We all have our own way.  It's rare for me to get more than a handful in a day, so perhaps it's easier for me to make it fun to post unique logs.  I think if I planned to do a power trail and get 50 or 100, I'd plan to take that lengthy post that many just cut and paste into each cache page and break it up into pieces, one "piece" being a log on each cache page.  You can turn an 'endless grind' into something kind of entertaining if you want.  I guess many folks just don't WANT to...

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5 hours ago, Kayaker29 said:

I don't understand why so many logs  are so long and full of unrelated personal information. Does anyone really care about how many bug bites you got that day, how many squirrels your dogs chased or any other mindless junk? Keep your comments short and related to the cache. It makes in a lot more interesting and pertinent to the hobby.

Sorry, no. I describe my experience while finding the cache (which may or may not include what happened on the way to and from the cache), as well as pass along any information I feel would be useful to the CO or future finders. I write my logs to communicate both to the CO/other finders as well as acting as a record for myself. If all of this means a long log containing info you may not find relevant, then that's the way it will be.

44 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

Sigh. It's all about the stats.

Once they added that Stats tab, it went downhill.

To be fair, log length has never been on the geocaching.com stats page. It's third-party stat sites/software that keep track of that "stat".

 

I think it's worth noting that the OP has only been caching for 3 years, which is well inside the window where app usage was high and average log length started to shrink. They may think that short logs have always been standard and desirable, not realizing how things were done farther back in geocaching's history.

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4 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

You don't have any caches out, so I'm a little (but just a little...) curious ... what's it to you?

If they ever hide a cache, I bet they'd start regretting this discussion when they get log after log containing just "TFTC" or ":)" on the cache they spent lots of work setting up.

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Many of the caches I enjoy (and hence hide) are an adventure, with signing the log just the icing on the cake. The golden rule of creative writing is to show, not tell, so I'd much rather see and write logs that talk of glimpses of wildlife, rock-hopping over the stream and falling in the mud than just "it was a fun day, TFTC".

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Sorry, short logs aren't going to happen with me.  Unless you did something to REALLY annoy me.

I try to say as much as possible with the fewest possible words (helping the TLDR crowd), yet leaving something to the imagination.  Hopefully get a grin, maybe a laugh.  Brevity is a virtue, and creative writing, to me, a challenge even more enjoyable than the hunt.  I can hope people would recognize my name, and take the time to read my tales.

And I won't do more caches in a day than I feel like writing stories for.

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7 hours ago, Kayaker29 said:

I don't understand why so many logs  are so long and full of unrelated personal information. Does anyone really care about how many bug bites you got that day, how many squirrels your dogs chased or any other mindless junk? Keep your comments short and related to the cache. It makes in a lot more interesting and pertinent to the hobby.

I will continue to write the logs I want to write.  Nobody is forcing you to read them.  As for logs on my hides, I love to read anything that is related to the caching experience.

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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Copy paste itself I don't find annoying. But as with others, long copy paste especially loads of content unrelated to the specific cache, is annoying.

I agree with the essence of your point, but the way I'd put it is that if the duplicate text is long enough that you aren't willing to type it out for each log, then it's not worth including. In other words, I'll stick with the simple position that cut&paste is inherently annoying rather than open the can of worms about there being some size that's short enough to cut&paste.

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56 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Many of the caches I enjoy (and hence hide) are an adventure, with signing the log just the icing on the cake. The golden rule of creative writing is to show, not tell, so I'd much rather see and write logs that talk of glimpses of wildlife, rock-hopping over the stream and falling in the mud than just "it was a fun day, TFTC".

+1  Yep.

A mention that I slid across the well-built cable bridge over a creek (after numerous before me crossed shoeless in 38 degrees) had a couple of those earlier red-faced, and logs proved helpful in the future for others.   :D

We know for fact that the mentions of more-than-curious coyotes,  or (the most horrible thing I've ever seen) mangy, no-hair bears are appreciated by the CO and  those attempting after me.   :)

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Sigh.

There are exactly three rules to geocaching (and even these rules have exceptions):

  1. Sign the log.
  2. Trade even or better.
  3. Log your find online.

There are no official rules about what "log your find online" means.   Which is good, because I'm sick of the list of unwritten "rules" I've been given over the years.

  • Don't make your logs too long, because nobody wants to read them.   Be kind to people in the field reading through your logs trying to find spoilers.
  • Don't make your logs too short, because a short log is insulting to the CO.   If that means you're standing out in the rain trying to type on your cellphone, tough.
  • Make all of your logs unique and interesting.   If the cache is Yet Another Skirt Lifter, too bad; get those creative writing juices going.   If your walk in the woods took you to a dozen caches that day, then you'd better be taking detailed notes of each find.   The CO deserves better.
  • Oh, but don't be too creative in your logs, because nobody wants to read "mindless junk".   

And that's not even getting into the "rules" about logging FTFs.   

There was a time around these forums where there was exactly one unwritten rule that was prominently promoted:

  • Play the game the way you want.

Maybe we should go back to that simple philosophy.

(dismounting soapbox)

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In the long run, the person most likely to read and re-read my logs is me. My logs are as long or short as I see fit.

Just another example of things nobody can possibly get right. Short logs, long logs, everyone gets flamed by a mean person in the end.

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I'm not against reading a longer log as long as it isn't trying to sell me anything.

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3 hours ago, narcissa said:

In the long run, the person most likely to read and re-read my logs is me. My logs are as long or short as I see fit.

 

That is probably the reason I don't cut and paste.   I do not want to read the same thing multiple times.   I would have bored myself when I used to find a lot on a given day.   

Sometimes my logs will be a stream of consciousness that was evoked by a cache title or something I saw near the location.   Sometimes it will be one line, the first thing that comes to mind.   It may be an excuse to upload a photo.   Every once in a while it might be something that needs to be said about the current condition of the cache or the flat tire I got after convincing my wife we could take some very poor roads a long way from anywhere.  

The only person whose logs I used to go out of my way to read was Oregone - there were many of us who appreciated long logs as an art form.  Maybe when I stop working I can devote the time to write like that on a regular basis. But if you read one of his logs to get help in finding a container, you would have been disappointed.  

 

 

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5 hours ago, dprovan said:

I agree with the essence of your point, but the way I'd put it is that if the duplicate text is long enough that you aren't willing to type it out for each log, then it's not worth including.

To me that sounds more like nope, not going to cut & paste. Even if it's short enough that I could. :P If it's short enough that I'd be willing to type it out each log, I'm still going to cut & paste if it's going to be exactly the same :) So again, I'm not against c&p on principle, only when it becomes "spammy" (which is entirely subjective :P)

 

28 minutes ago, geodarts said:

That is probably the reason I don't cut and paste.   I do not want to read the same thing multiple times.   I would have bored myself when I used to find a lot on a given day.   

Right, and to me the log is something that I may never come back to, so I make it primarily for followup cachers and the CO. I generally keep in mind how often finds in a batch are by the same CO and that affects whatever content I put in. Logs may be read once by one person, they may be read sequentially by the same person, who knows. So it's always striking a balance between being interesting and informative and relevant, and somewhere between once-off/self-contained and multiple logs all as one experience.  There's no one-size fits all, and everyone has different ideas about log content.

As stated, there are no rules. There's only personal style, and ideally, general etiquette. Even then, no one can really tell anyone else how it "should" be written. We can only control how we react to what, and how, others write.

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 Here's a log written by a guy who searched for this one after a friend and I got the coveted FTF. I thought it was hilarious and had a conversation with the cache owner, who's a friend of ours, about it at an event. He just thought the guy was loopy, which made it even funnier to me. I have this on my watchlist.
 
 
03/14/2017

No joy. Pulled up the manhole cover, got my wife to belay the rope while I went down into the underground tunnels. Got lost. Ran across some dude in a clown costume who offered to sell me some watches, but I didn't have any cash. He said he'd show me the way out, but that it would cost me an arm and a leg. Declined his offer. Followed some rats and found this crypt-like area. Thought maybe the cache was inside one of the skulls, but no luck. Floor fell out when I pulled one of them, booby trapped, I guess, and was swept away by the current. Fortunately, it dumped me out by an HEB, so I grabbed some marinated beef while waiting for my wife to pick me up. Don't recommend anybody taking a left after leaving the main shaft of light when you get down to the floor level of the sewer. That clown dude freaked me out.

 

The guy couldn't find the cache but wrote a funny (or scary, ha!) online log. 

Edited by Mama514
Clarifying. I type like I talk.
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I would much rather have a one sentence log about your find on my cache then a 5 paragraph log about your whole trip that was cut and pasted. Sometimes I am skipping threw a bunch of logs on my caches only after a few noticing there is one sentence on the bottom of something  about one of the caches.

  Don't get me wrong I like long logs.  Write it for that cache and it can be a book and I will read it all and enjoy it for sure.  Its only the cut and paste ones that are all the same that gets boring.

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