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brendan714

Number of new caches decreasing?

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4 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

My major point is that there is a dramatic drop after the first year, compared to 10 years ago.

I must have missed your evidence that this didn't happen exactly the same way 10 years ago. When I started 7 years ago, it was quite common for me to be the first person to find a cache in months because all the established cachers found it when it first came out. About the only difference I can detect today is that there are more newbies, hence it would be evidence that the hobby is growing, not declining, regardless of the cache production rates.

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7 hours ago, arisoft said:

I think that the favorite system was meant to increase number of quality caches.

I think that the Favorite system was meant to make it easier to identify existing quality caches.

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Perhaps the mods could get this back onto the topic of new cache placements rather than allowing it to devolve into one user's detailed lamentation about wet logbooks, yet again.

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On 11/18/2017 at 4:46 PM, L0ne.R said:

There are so many caches out there. But fewer people finding them. It's not so rewarding as a hider anymore. I know the few visits provide little incentive and today I got yet another log: 'Spent the day trying to find a bunch of multi/puzzles and yours was one of them, TFTC'. It just doesn't inspire or motivate me like it use to back in 2005.

Yeah, and they used to be placed with the expectation of much fewer finds than generally there are today. They weren't placed to be found 100 times a year. Lucky if they were found 4 or 5 times. Alas, today we also have anti-CO sentiment on harder/lesser-found caches "you should place them so people will find them!"  Well, yeah, of course.  But ya know...

 

20 hours ago, RuideAlmeida said:

Every time the heated debate of quality vs quantity arise, I remember that our beloved pastime started with a can of beans in a middle of a common field. Today we have caches in most of the world ex-libris, which for me is a huge upgrade. :D

Totally. AND plenty of smartphone cachers who DO enjoy those sorts of non-mundane experiences.  There's no single "reason". The primary effect is change of mindset in the culture, and the need for successful business to adapt to their market.  Thankfully none of the past experiences (save what's been grandfathered) are no longer available to enjoyed, and can actually still be created (and they are).  They're just surrounded by a whole lot more different stuff.  Signal to noise, all that jazz. And one person's signal is another's noise.

 

18 hours ago, RuideAlmeida said:

We can look at it by to sides.

1. You think that the Favorite system was set to promote new good caches. In your opinion it failed.

2. I think that the Favorite system was set to promote good caches... old and new. In my opinion that goal was achieved.

Also, "good" entirely depends on whom you ask. So on a very general level, favourites have a better chance of identifying what most may consider 'quality'. But there's never a guarantee. Even with high fav counts.

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

For example a 1 litre Lock&Lock(TM) in a stump in a quiet forest by a babbling brook, rarely gets a favorite point. But a centrifuge tube in a golf ball placed by a golf course entrance, will get a LOT of favorites.

Another reason I'd really love if with the favourite point we had the ability to add a comment about why it was awarded.

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I did a search similar to the original post for new caches placed in the mountains near my home city:

2008 - 136
2009 - 95
2010 - 173
2011 - 212
2012 - 331
2013 - 295
2014 - 241
2015 - 258
2016 - 202
2017 - 149 (up to Nov. 20, 2017)

Again, there is certainly a decline, but perhaps not as bad as with the urban caches near me.

It seems to me like the number of unique geocachers placing hides in the mountains has dropped significantly.  I just found a Project GC tool that can help determine that so I'll post those results shortly.

EDIT: See new post regarding hiders.

Edited by brendan714

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On 11/10/2017 at 3:44 PM, niraD said:

Another possible reason is that cache owners are tiring of numbers-oriented hides, and are slowing down and putting more thought into a smaller number of hides.

I have some actual numbers that might partially back up this comment.  I took the number of caches in a particular area (numbers on the original post here) and divided by the number of hiders in that same area (numbers on the original post here).  This gives the average number of caches hidden per cache hider in a particular year.  For my area, see below:

2008 - 3.70
2009 - 3.09
2010 - 2.73
2011 - 2.58
2012 - 3.01
2013 - 2.74
2014 - 3.04
2015 - 3.90
2016 - 3.38
2017 - 1.98

This year gives the lowest average in the past 10 years.  Whether or not "more thought is being put into a smaller number of hides" can't be told, but there are certainly fewer hiders placing fewer geocaches near me lately.

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My wife and I started geocaching in 2007 and had a lot of fun. We really enjoyed the trackables, finding and leaving swag. Our enthusiasm faded after less than a year. This was due to the large number of micros placed in our area.

Edited by Srondar & Cryss
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33 minutes ago, Srondar & Cryss said:

I believe that if Geocaching.com wants to promote the hobby and keep it alive, they must limit the number of micros in an area.

There are many places where limiting the number of micros means limiting the number of caches. The reason there are so many micros in urban/suburban areas is that micros are what survive. I've seen the same pattern repeated in a number of nearby parks: various owners hide an assortment of short-lived non-micro caches, until someone hides a micro-cache (or even a puzzle micro-cache), and that's what survives.

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23 minutes ago, niraD said:

There are many places where limiting the number of micros means limiting the number of caches. The reason there are so many micros in urban/suburban areas is that micros are what survive. I've seen the same pattern repeated in a number of nearby parks: various owners hide an assortment of short-lived non-micro caches, until someone hides a micro-cache (or even a puzzle micro-cache), and that's what survives.

Does every spot need a cache? Limiting micros might mean more thoughtful multis that bring a cacher to a nice spot where a small size container couldn't survive, then take them to a spot for the small or larger size final cache. More people can enjoy a fuller experience, which includes more than just a logsheet.

But a micro in a spot where a 100ml+ (palm size) capacity cache won't work is a minor issue. It's all of the micro pill bottles and film canisters and nanos carried in bulk and plunked down where with a tiny bit of effort, a 100ml+ capacity cache could fit. Then again, those who hide the larger containers prefer to pluck something from the trash, then ignore all the 'the log is wet' comments.  The lack of effort made by most COs has damaged the pastime.

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30 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

Limiting micros might mean more thoughtful multis that bring a cacher to a nice spot where a small size container couldn't survive, then take them to a spot for the small or larger size final cache.

Or it might mean more micro-size containers listed as small. When challenged, the CO might say merely that the system wouldn't allow it to be listed as micro.

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2 hours ago, Srondar & Cryss said:

My wife and I started geocaching in 2007 and had a lot of fun. We really enjoyed the trackables, finding and leaving swag. Our enthusiasm faded after less than a year. This was due to the large number of micros placed in our area

I fear that this happens to many. You could avoid finding micros but it is psychologically difficult just to ignore them as people tends to clear their neighbourhood first.

Have you ever tried "slow caching"? Select only one (regular size) cache far from roads and go to find it. It is totally different experience than finding the nearest micro.

Edited by arisoft

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

Or it might mean more micro-size containers listed as small. When challenged, the CO might say merely that the system wouldn't allow it to be listed as micro.

Oh most definitely. The number of micros listed as small will go up. Already, about 50% of smalls are actually micros. 

This behavior (getting around the rules and guidelines; not agreeing with the rules and guidelines; nobody-can-tell-me-what-to-do attitude; every-body-plays-their-own-way attitude) adds to the reasons that geocaching is declining. 

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4 hours ago, Srondar & Cryss said:

EDIT: Let me add that my residence and caching area (within a 75 mile radius) is mostly rural. Much farmland. The area I am referring to is in central and north central Ohio. There are abundant woods, lakes and rural roads to hide caches. Not too far from my home is park with 40 acres of woods with walking paths though it. The park allows geocaches and it has some, all micros. Why walk 400-500 yards through the woods to find a plastic pill bottle in the forks of a tree. Everyone has their own opinion...micros are just not my thing.

Similar to airsoft, only I don't call it "slow caching"...   Most of the "lesser" hides found were by the other 2/3rds who (at the time) was a ftf monster.   

-  But I've entered caches manually to a GPSr since we started, only heading solo to caches I'll do.  It really doesn't take long to find one or two that interests me, just that most times I have to leave my immediate area to do so anymore.  Try it.  :)

Guess I'm one who'd travel (drive and walking...) for a cache with an awesome view or unique spot no matter what the container is.  These days of taking without swapping, to the extent that little-to-nothing's left in our larger caches anymore,  I don't blame COs too much for downsizing their hides. 

I would like to see COs stop fibbing that a pill bottle is a "small" though...

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On 11/19/2017 at 1:46 PM, barefootjeff said:

Oh come on, please! I was 2TF on that cache and the coordinates were spot on. Just because one person had GPS problems isn't a fault of the cache or the CO. Yes, the most recent log indicates a water problem, but that was only a week ago. Does that make it abandoned rubbish?

No. 

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On ‎11‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 0:30 AM, narcissa said:

Perhaps the mods could get this back onto the topic of new cache placements rather than allowing it to devolve into one user's detailed lamentation about wet logbooks, yet again.

Declining cache placements is related to the number of people involved in geocaching and the resaons for declining numbers of geocachers is therefore a reason for declining cache placements. I believe we are on topic here..

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On 20/11/2017 at 6:00 AM, dprovan said:

What does this have to do with "for-the-numbers"? You plant new caches, people are going to come find them. It has nothing to do with numbers. All these numbers show me is that there are about 30 or 40 cachers in your area that have found most of the caches -- or, at least, most of the caches as good as yours -- so when new caches are planted, they will soon come find them because they like finding caches, not because they have any interest in numbers. That's true for me and normal in my area, and I assume it's common everywhere.

This appears to be true in my area also and, I would assume, most areas. Caches we own have been found by most (premium) locals. Finds nowadays seem to be from visitors.

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     If I'm going to be honest, In my area Geocaching has some major issues. This is  from my perspective as a CO and a finder. When I go caching I pretty much always do it by bike. This has always prevented me from racking up a massive find count over the last 4 years and I'm totally ok with that. Typically when I go caching I like to just hop on my bike and go target a few caches in the area wether they be micros, or regular size caches. Im just going to highlight what my experience has been and what I think may be driving this. 

     Back when I began in 2014 I was lucky enough to have a pretty good variety in terms of what caches there were to find around my house. A typical day of caching would consist of 2 or 3 regular caches in a nice little wooded area in a local park or open space along with 2 or 3 micros in between the parks. The caching community was fairly active and a good amount of the local cachers were fairly active. Me thinking things were so great totally could have been a result of me being so excited about discovering geocaching, but in all honesty, I feel like the general quality of caches when I started was better than it is now. At the very least most caches, even lamp post micros had a clean log for the most part. Fast forward to present day. 

    At this point a lot of those older caches I used to find have been archived by COs that have lost interest in the game or have just gotten sick of having to maintain their caches after having them either destroyed or slowly degraded by new cachers who just don't get it or simply by old cachers that don't care to help keep their local caches nice. A few of the well placed older caches have survived, but they are a dying breed. Now most of what I find in the areas within 30 minutes of my house are placed by COs that join, find 1 cache, place 30 sub par caches, and disappear shortly after. These caches survive for about 25 finds over the course of 6 months and then turn into empty came duct tape covered prescription pill bottles that bear no resemblance to a geocache that are shortly archived by reviewers. For the last year or two, I can go caching, find 5 or 6 caches in areas that should be able to support half way decent caches (i.e. open space, small forest, quiet park, etc) and not find 1 cache that I would consider more than a 3 out of 10 in overall quality. Every now and then I'll stumble upon a gem (meaning a clean container of any kind with a clean log in a half way decent location. You'd be shocked how rare this is getting), but those are few and far between. 

     If I'm going to be honest with you, I blame a lot of this decline on the more active local cachers that have been at it for a long time. Often times, they set a poor example for new COs. They use a brittle tupperware that they definitely know won't hold water out after 1 good rainstorm and plop in down in a bush in an area where there were much better location opportunities. When new Geocachers see this they get the idea that this is an acceptable normal that they eventually go on to emulate in their own garbage hides. 

Here is a big part of the issue in my opinion: Much of the more experienced crowd sets a very poor example in how to hide caches. For many of the more experienced geocachers in my area (a couple hundred finds or more), their container of choice is an old clorox wipe bottle with a folded up piece of lined paper on the inside thrown in a scrub. In my opinion, this is unacceptable behavior from people who very well know that these containers are neither fun to find, or capable of surviving 1 Colorado winter. 

How I think it can be remedied: I believe that the more experienced crowd of geocachers can help propagate more high quality hides by placing their own high quality hides! Honestly, a newbie finding a maintained ammo can that is properly labeled and stocked rather than the typical crappy, cracked brown water filled tupperware could change the course of their Geocaching careers. I try and practice what I preach. I take pride in my hides and only put out caches that I would want to find myself. Take a look at my hides and some of the logs and you'll notice that people still have great appreciation for a quality cache. Will I get a "TFTC" or "." log every now and then? Oh yeah I do. Does it prevent me from continuing to put out a great cache every now and then? No way. My hope is that if I can create a small movement toward quality in my area, I can help spark a larger change in the way COs place hides in my home radius. I don't believe that deciding to retire from cache owning since quality is on decline is the solution. I believe that the hobby needs experienced geocachers to place good, long-lasting, responsible hides now more than ever. 

     Take my opinion for what it is. An opinion. However, I encourage you to think about what you've tried to do to help the game to regain its form. I encourage everyone to go out and hide a good geocache. In my experience, a good hide goes a long way. 

Edited by BigLinc16

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41 minutes ago, BigLinc16 said:

Every now and then I'll stumble upon a gem (meaning a clean container of any kind with a clean log in a half way decent location. You'd be shocked how rare this is getting), but those are few and far between. 

Yep.

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If I'm going to be honest with you, I blame a lot of this decline on the more active local cachers that have been at it for a long time. Often times, they set a poor example for new COs. They use a brittle tupperware that they definitely know won't hold water out after 1 good rainstorm and plop in down in a bush in an area where there were much better location opportunities. When new Geocachers see this they get the idea that this is an acceptable normal that they eventually go on to emulate in their own garbage hides. 

Here is a big part of the issue in my opinion: Much of the more experienced crowd sets a very poor example in how to hide caches. For many of the more experienced geocachers in my area (a couple hundred finds or more), their container of choice is an old clorox wipe bottle with a folded up piece of lined paper on the inside thrown in a scrub. In my opinion, this is unacceptable behavior from people who very well know that these containers are neither fun to find, or capable of surviving 1 Colorado winter. 

The problems aren't coming from us old timers. The problem is that geocaching has become more of a numbers game, something it wasn't some 15 years ago. Because of this, the caches that do get placed are all pretty much the same,,, easy to find in cheap containers. Quality, creativity, and/or nice locations aren't very important these days..

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15 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

The problems aren't coming from us old timers. The problem is that geocaching has become more of a numbers game, something it wasn't some 15 years ago. Because of this, the caches that do get placed are all pretty much the same,,, easy to find in cheap containers. Quality, creativity, and/or nice locations aren't very important these days..

I agree. The culture has changed.

I think there could be a way to make geocaching fun for people who consider it a recreational pastime vs. people who consider it a game/sport/competition. If nothing changes then the database will be full of junk. Currently, when junk is archived by reviewers it is most likely going to be replaced with more junk (poorly constructed and placed containers with an owner who never intends to check that cache after publication).

Make it easier for people looking for old-fashioned gems..."meaning a clean container with a clean log in a half way decent location". 

Better filtering and more attributes (like a PT attribute) would help. I would like to filter for responsible owners - active, have posted and OM in the past 2 years (might encourage owners to check their caches and listings from time to time to make sure they are clean and functioning), have never had a cache archived by a reviewer, etc.  And filter out cache owners we know we don't want in our search results (allow an unlimited number of COs - Cachly allows blocking only 5 owners, because of limits placed on the API). 

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27 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

...  And filter out cache owners we know we don't want in our search results (allow an unlimited number of COs - Cachly allows blocking only 5 owners, because of limits placed on the API). 

Odd (to me) that a "partner" has the feature of blocking COs, which seems similar to "ignore", yet something asked for here for some time.  :)

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20 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

Odd (to me) that a "partner" has the feature of blocking COs, which seems similar to "ignore", yet something asked for here for some time.  :)

 

I'd be willing to pay for that feature. I don't think Cachly is for Androids yet though.

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2 hours ago, BigLinc16 said:

For many of the more experienced geocachers in my area (a couple hundred finds or more), their container of choice is an old clorox wipe bottle with a folded up piece of lined paper on the inside thrown in a scrub.

That sounds awful. 

Are you near a Defense Logistics Agency hub?  You could try getting a group together to bid on a pallet of ammo cans at a government auction.  They typically go in lots of 60 or 120 or so, which is a lot for one cacher to deal with (as I can personally attest!), but if a bunch of cachers got together, everyone goes home with a few quality containers for not a lot of money.

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13 minutes ago, hzoi said:

That sounds awful. 

Are you near a Defense Logistics Agency hub?  You could try getting a group together to bid on a pallet of ammo cans at a government auction.  They typically go in lots of 60 or 120 or so, which is a lot for one cacher to deal with (as I can personally attest!), but if a bunch of cachers got together, everyone goes home with a few quality containers for not a lot of money.

The army surplus is about 25 minutes from my location and not to mention there are plenty of places to buy ammo cans, pelican cases, or Lock and Locks for around $10-15. If everyone thinks $10 is way too much to put into making a cache, maybe they should bother hiding one in the first place. Regardless, I would still like to see experienced members of the caching community continue putting out great examples of a good hide for new cachers to find. One of my first finds was an ammo can cache in a local open space officially labeled with a big log book, trackables, and cool trading items on the inside. That cache right there was super exciting to find and honestly it inspired me to hide a similarly awesome cache. 

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9 minutes ago, BigLinc16 said:

If everyone thinks $10 is way too much to put into making a cache, maybe they should bother hiding one in the first place.

Concur.

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Well now I have noticed not as many Trads are being published. Puzzle are still the same. Cachers here are enjoying doable puzzles over finding Trads. It's more fun, challenging, some team effort and the caches and COs seem to last longer than those who only start and place a Trads. I hardly do trads that much unless they happened to be easy ones near where I am doing other hobbies. 

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1 hour ago, jellis said:

Well now I have noticed not as many Trads are being published. Puzzle are still the same. Cachers here are enjoying doable puzzles over finding Trads. It's more fun, challenging, some team effort and the caches and COs seem to last longer than those who only start and place a Trads. I hardly do trads that much unless they happened to be easy ones near where I am doing other hobbies. 

Interesting. My own hide stats are 11 traditionals, 14 multis, 6 mysteries and 1 earthcache, though some of the multis were done that way because the main feature I was showcasing was in a place where virtual waypoints are okay but physical placements not. But even my trads are in places of natural or historical interest with at least some degree of terrain challenge to reach. While I don't get that many finds, those who do make the effort seem to enjoy them.

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The number of new caches placed on Cape Cod has been declining for the past few years (less than 20 placed this year and none with a walk of longer than a quarter mile).  The total number of active caches has declined by about 30% in the last four years as "old timers" drop out of the game or move.  The archived to new cache ratio this year was roughly 5:1  Based on what is actually being placed by folks new to the game (90% Park and Grabs, 75% micros) new folks appear to think of caching as a 90 second experience, except for the driving.  The net effect for someone who has been playing the game for a while and has found most of the "old hiking caches" is there are very few new caches of interest.  Indeed, this year I spent far more time maintaining my caches than finding new ones... 

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There are many geocachers who start the hobby, burn brightly in the beginning then burn out completely. They hide caches and once they stop those caches in decay in condition and end up becoming geo trash until someone decides to mark it as "needs archiving"

We had 17 geocaches at one point I felt like that was a lot, over time they were archived. I archived the last three several months back because its more fun to find them than to hide them (or maintain them)

Perhaps all the interesting places in your region are over saturated. Lamp post, park bushes and guard rail caches get tedious after awhile. 

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On 12/15/2017 at 3:53 PM, Mudfrog said:
Quote

If I'm going to be honest with you, I blame a lot of this decline on the more active local cachers that have been at it for a long time. Often times, they set a poor example for new COs. They use a brittle tupperware that they definitely know won't hold water out after 1 good rainstorm and plop in down in a bush in an area where there were much better location opportunities. When new Geocachers see this they get the idea that this is an acceptable normal that they eventually go on to emulate in their own garbage hides. 

Here is a big part of the issue in my opinion: Much of the more experienced crowd sets a very poor example in how to hide caches. For many of the more experienced geocachers in my area (a couple hundred finds or more), their container of choice is an old clorox wipe bottle with a folded up piece of lined paper on the inside thrown in a scrub. In my opinion, this is unacceptable behavior from people who very well know that these containers are neither fun to find, or capable of surviving 1 Colorado winter. 

The problems aren't coming from us old timers. The problem is that geocaching has become more of a numbers game, something it wasn't some 15 years ago. Because of this, the caches that do get placed are all pretty much the same,,, easy to find in cheap containers. Quality, creativity, and/or nice locations aren't very important these days..

The problems are across the board. Some old timers don't set a good example (you may well not be among those), and some people in the newer culture play it for the numbers and don't care as much about the containers or other finders. There is no one aspect of the game at fault. Bugs me when people keep pointing fingers. All we can do is, if we feel like the game is declining in some aspect (which may be different from region to region) - go out and set a GOOD example! Rather than trying to find reasons to complain and classes of people to blame.

Edited by thebruce0
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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

The problems are across the board. Some old timers don't set a good example (you may well not be among those), and some people in the newer culture play it for the numbers and don't care as much about the containers or other finders. There is no one aspect of the game at fault. Bugs me when people keep pointing fingers. All we can do is, if we feel like the game is declining in some aspect (which may be different from region to region) - go out and set a GOOD example! Rather than trying to find reasons to complain and classes of people to blame.

I do agree, problems have been around since the beginning. Also, that there have always been cachers, of all experiences, that haven't set good examples. But i disagree with your thinking that fingers can't be pointed. Imo, there are more specific reasons for the accelerated decline.

Imo opinion, we're in trouble if all we can do is set good examples. Attitudes have changed to where very few people actually care what a geocache is about. Too many people are playing an app and i doubt good examples get noticed very often.

Edited by Mudfrog
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12 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

Attitudes have changed to where very few people actually care what a geocache is about. Too many people are playing an app and i doubt good examples get noticed very often.

IMO, that's defeatist if used as an excuse not to set good examples. If very few people care about what a geocache is about somewhere, then nothing will change unless people set the example. And I'd be very careful if you think Groundspeak should be in the business of being very restrictive about what geocaching is about. That might come back to bite you/us.  We are the community. We set the example. (So do those with whose activities and methods we disagree).  What is popular is popular for a reason. Things change. Groundspeak has a 'minimum common denominator' as it were for how things should be, at least at it pertains to managing gc.com; beyond that, especially for localized regions, it's very very subjective, and we see that all the time in the forums especially when sharing statistics.

16 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

But i disagree with your thinking that fingers can't be pointed. Imo, there are more specific reasons for the accelerated decline.

My implication was pointing fingers to the exclusion of self. Of course fingers can be pointed - I just did by saying the problem is across the board. But to say the problem is "you not me" (implied by the exhange I was referring to: It's the new culture, vs it's the old timers - when both are influences) doesn't help us improve. Let's find where the problems are, and do what we can to improve it, without a bias.

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36 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 then nothing will change unless people set the example.

"Setting a good example" needs to be defined.

I think there are a number of prolific hiders that people feel set great examples. Yet they saturate areas with cheap leaky caches. If the majority feel that the game is about numbers, then those hiders are publicly patted on the back for contributing generously to the game.

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41 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

  We are the community. We set the example.

I wonder if example-setting needs to happen at events, where peer pressure would be most effective.

I haven't been to an event in years, from what I see though most of the attendees prefer geocaching as a social event, in groups, for the numbers. Does anyone at events discourage numbers style play? Do they discourage hiding cheap leaky containers? Do they have a talk with the known maintenance shirkers about maybe not hiding more caches until they do something about their missing or broken caches--besides posting notes and OMs saying they'll get to it, then never do? Do they discourage folks from logging finds on caches they haven't visited? Do they discourage or reprimand cachers who are known for throwing down caches? 

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27 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

"Setting a good example" needs to be defined.

I think there are a number of prolific hiders that people feel set great examples. Yet they saturate areas with cheap leaky caches. If the majority feel that the game is about numbers, then those hiders are publicly patted on the back for contributing generously to the game.

Exactly. For the context of this thread, there are specific examples of "good practice", and complaints that that's changing. So for this locale, set the example. For another locale, "good" may be quite different.

 

18 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:
59 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

  We are the community. We set the example.

I wonder if example-setting needs to happen at events, where peer pressure would be most effective.

That's one excellent opportunity. We have a few prolific cachers who often run 101-type events for newcomers. More of those, emphasizing what tend to be seen as positive and long-term practices are generally a good thing.

 

To contrast, if the people who run and teach "good" geocaching are the ones who encourage what others see as "bad" geocaching, well, that's the face of the community changing. There will either be complaints somewhere on one side of the fence or another. I see that contrast most often between these forums and some Facebook posts.

Edited by thebruce0

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31 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

I wonder if example-setting needs to happen at events, where peer pressure would be most effective.

I haven't been to an event in years, from what I see though most of the attendees prefer geocaching as a social event, in groups, for the numbers. Does anyone at events discourage numbers style play? Do they discourage hiding cheap leaky containers? Do they have a talk with the known maintenance shirkers about maybe not hiding more caches until they do something about their missing or broken caches--besides posting notes and OMs saying they'll get to it, then never do? Do they discourage folks from logging finds on caches they haven't visited? Do they discourage or reprimand cachers who are known for throwing down caches? 

I attend a lot of events (though log very few), and most times I'm the nonconformist.  Pesky to some at times, but I will ask questions, and usually get an answer (besides expletives deleted).  :D  

With most into a different game (it's still a hobby to me) today,  "numbers style play" is the way in most areas we've been.  Some may go on that long hike, but it's pretty-much just to clear that acreage from the map, and usually in a group.  I don't believe that  someone could possibly  think they'd be able to change the majority  (they are the majority...)  now...  :)

 

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Did you get the survey? This is a good indicator that something is afoot. 

One of the questions was: (paraphrased) How likely are you to recommend Geocaching? 

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My implication was pointing fingers to the exclusion of self. Of course fingers can be pointed - I just did by saying the problem is across the board. But to say the problem is "you not me" (implied by the exhange I was referring to: It's the new culture, vs it's the old timers - when both are influences) doesn't help us improve. Let's find where the problems are, and do what we can to improve it, without a bias

You're certainly right that we've all had some say on what geocaching has become. However, i don't believe we members are what have caused most of the issues we are seeing today. In my opinion, the biggest reason geocaching is what it is now is because of decisions that Groundspeak has made.

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Strictly speaking, sure, but ultimately many if not most of those decisions are prompted by the changing culture and demographic. I discussed this elsewhere too. They make decisions, but much of the new stuff that's implemented is because of people pushing the boundaries of creativity and acceptability, and if something catches and becomes popular it often influences what Groundspeak decides to implement and make official. Or not. So I can't support the notion that it's all Groundspeak.  They obviously make the final calls, but those forks in the road come because of us, the general and global geocaching community.  They won't make decisions that would knowingly spark their demise. They want to keep a growing and thriving community, and the only way to do that is to cater to the general community. They have some room for drawing lines and limits, and they often cross those lines with choices that erupt in mass community angst. But for the most part it is indeed, IMO, the community that influences the decisions Groundspeak makes.  And it's the community (old and new, old and young) that influences the shape of the local regions' play styles.

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11 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Strictly speaking, sure, but ultimately many if not most of those decisions are prompted by the changing culture and demographic. I discussed this elsewhere too. They make decisions, but much of the new stuff that's implemented is because of people pushing the boundaries of creativity and acceptability, and if something catches and becomes popular it often influences what Groundspeak decides to implement and make official. Or not. So I can't support the notion that it's all Groundspeak.  They obviously make the final calls, but those forks in the road come because of us, the general and global geocaching community.  They won't make decisions that would knowingly spark their demise. They want to keep a growing and thriving community, and the only way to do that is to cater to the general community. They have some room for drawing lines and limits, and they often cross those lines with choices that erupt in mass community angst. But for the most part it is indeed, IMO, the community that influences the decisions Groundspeak makes.  And it's the community (old and new, old and young) that influences the shape of the local regions' play styles.

Groundspeak made a couple of  decisions to try and bring in more players into geocaching. I believe, what Groundspeak didn't take into account, is that those decisions had a long term negative impact on our hobby. For one, their decision to condone power trails and the such. Unfortunately, these are more like a fad in that they're lots of fun at first but then end up getting boring after a bit. I'm sure many people end up leaving when they began asking themselves, what's the point?

The phone app is another thing that i believe isn't helping geocaching. Don't get me wrong, the app is a good tool that works for a lot of geocachers out there. The problem is that many app users don't look into or learn about the apps they download. Many, including myself, download and try to figure them out on the fly. I rarely look for instructions on how to use an app unless i hit a roadblock that i can't figure out myself. More times than not, i end up getting another app that i think will be simpler to use. I'm very sure that others do this as well. The other thing with apps is that many people using them, only use them for short periods of time. They are thought of as games and because of this, they sometimes get discarded fairly quickly because there is always another game waiting in the wings. This doesn't hurt game apps but this turnover does sometimes negatively affect geocaching.

I'm sure that both of the above brought in more people initially but i don't think either of them helped for the long haul.

Another decision made by Groundspeak that hurt our hobby was their abolishing of certain cache types. Both, virtuals and challenge caches were very popular among geocachers. They had their problems but overall they were a positive for our hobby. I've read many threads, participated in many, and know that those two decisions themselves hurt geocaching as a whole.

I've also participated in threads suggesting improvements and/or features. I realize that not every suggestion is viable but it would be nice if we could at least get more acknowledgement that we're being heard. They could at least let us know why they think the idea is bad or why it wouldn't work. As it has been for some time, customer service seems to be lacking.

Then we have the other end of the spectrum where we get a so called improvement thrown at us that no one really asked for. These rarely do anything to help geocachers and in fact, usually cause problems. It's certainly aggravating when things get to running smoothly then another change is made that we have to start over with.

No, it's not all on Groundspeak but i believe the biggest reason geocaching is where it's at today is because of the paths they have taken.

 

 

 

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So, we have people who love where it is today, and people who do not. Who is right?

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10 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

So, we have people who love where it is today, and people who do not. Who is right?

Why can't we have a balance? Where people from both ends of the scale can enjoy the game more equally. 

 

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2 hours ago, L0ne.R said:
2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

So, we have people who love where it is today, and people who do not. Who is right?

Why can't we have a balance? Where people from both ends of the scale can enjoy the game more equally. 

Indeed! So let people enjoy what they enjoy within the bounds of the hobby without claiming it's the downfall.  (Yes, you can enjoy the 'numbers game' without negatively affecting others' experience, just as you can be an old timer who only finds increasingly rare 'classic' caches without being cranky to newcomers).

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12 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

So, we have people who love where it is today, and people who do not. Who is right?

Many people do love today's way of play,, at least in the beginning. What i tried to say is that i don't believe it's a long term love. Some do stay with it but from what i have seen, most new players lose interest after a relatively short time. I'm guessing they get bored and then move on to something more exciting. I'm sure this is one of the reasons we've seen such a drop in new caches, find logs, and overall geocaching activity.

I'm sure that geocaching is flourishing in some areas but i wonder how many areas are like mine with just a very few die hards hanging in there? For grins, i checked to see how many caches were published (50 mile radius) since November 1st. There were 3 monthly events (4 or 5 attendees each) but nothing else, not even a park and grab. :o

To answer your question, i don't think today's way of play is going to work out too good if our goal is to keep geocaching alive and well.

 

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On 12/19/2017 at 2:13 PM, thebruce0 said:

Indeed! So let people enjoy what they enjoy within the bounds of the hobby without claiming it's the downfall.  (Yes, you can enjoy the 'numbers game' without negatively affecting others' experience, just as you can be an old timer who only finds increasingly rare 'classic' caches without being cranky to newcomers).

 

Quoting Joshism:

"What's good for numbers-oriented players tends to be bad for geocaching as a whole."

"As a whole" being key. I'm sure there are some numbers oriented folks who play within the boundaries - visit and see each cache they log as a find, do not write cut-n-paste logs, write meaningful logs pertaining to the cache for each cache they find, do not throwdown caches, do not share final coordinates with others, post NMs and NAs where necessary, do not hide caches primarily for the numbers, do not hide more then they themselves can reasonably monitor and maintain--but the vast majority of numbers-oriented player behavior tends to be bad for geocaching as a whole.

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23 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

I'm sure there are some numbers oriented folks who play within the boundaries...but the vast majority of numbers-oriented player behavior tends to be bad for geocaching as a whole.

Care to share the study that supports this assertion?

Not that it matters. My point was that it's not a sweeping statement. The problem isn't "numbers", the problem is people who value numbers over the long-term beneficial behaviour that actually does hurt the pasttime (and not just the amount of play style that is different from what you or I favour).

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Back to numbers. I note that as of this morning, 9 January 2018, the total number of caches in Florida is 42,954. 

The highest total that I'm sure of was 44,345, in 2016.   (I was rooting for 44,444 and it may have happened, but I didn't see it.)

A non-scientific observation is that the number of events is up (souvenir promos) and the number of attendees is down. 

 

 

 

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On ‎12‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 10:16 AM, L0ne.R said:

, do not hide more then they themselves can reasonably monitor and maintain--

I think this is key right here...

It goes hand in hand. CO's who place so many caches that they can't possibly keep up, attracts more and more "just for the numbers" type cachers.

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Just a positive note from the highest south-american country. :)

Arquivadas.jpg.483ef8a796f28559491ee8a19a386eb5.jpg

 

Caches (with Events) published and Archived each year so far.

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