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Doc_musketeers

How to deal with negligent CO

406 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, arisoft said:

What do you mean? Disabled cache is disabled and you shoud not worry about disabled caches at all.

Perhaps if it's a stand alone cache a new player wouldn't even know it was there. But We ran into disabled caches frequently when we started. Cache descriptions or logs would refer to another cache that got us excited but then we'd search and find it perpetually disabled. Or, as is the case of a local mystery series, we found the first cache, copied down the clues, clicked on the links for the other caches in the series and found a few of them languishing.

Temporary Disabling is meant to be just that: temporary. With rare exceptions, if a CO can't repair/replace a cache within a month or two, its apparent they can't fulfill their responsibility as the owner.

also it's one thing to have an owner take awhile to actually make a repair, but when it takes months just to acknowledge an NM logged or even a Reviewer Disable it becomes apparent they aren't able to responsibly maintain the cache.

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14 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

No, a WN is an informative note. An OM does other things as well - it clears the Needs Maintenance attribute yet the cache stlll needs maintenance and presumably it resets the cache health score. To me, logging an OM before the maintenance has actually been done seems like gaming the system.

Most geocachers does not even know what is CHS and would not care about this kind of "achievement". There is only one failure in the dashboard. It does not show disabled caches. For example, I have many disabled caches but the dashboard shows that there is no need for maintenance. Nevertheless I am sure that the CO did not post OM because the dashboard gave warning. CO made this to inform about future plans and didn't know that someone could take this as a hostile meassure.

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9 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

Temporary Disabling is meant to be just that: temporary. With rare exceptions, if a CO can't repair/replace a cache within a month or two, its apparent they can't fulfill their responsibility as the owner.

Where do you have such a hurry? This is a lifelong hobby and if the cache is not available this year, but you will be able to find it next year, you have lost nothing unless you are going to retire of your hobby within a year.

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9 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Most geocachers does not even know what is CHS and would not care about this kind of "achievement". There is only one failure in the dashboard. It does not show disabled caches. For example, I have many disabled caches but the dashboard shows that there is no need for maintenance. Nevertheless I am sure that the CO did not post OM because the dashboard gave warning. CO made this to inform about future plans and didn't know that someone could take this as a hostile meassure.

It has nothing to do with the dashboard. An OM means "I have visited the cache and performed required maintenance". Logging an OM when you haven't actually done those things is lying, especially when it appears to be done to pull the wool over the reviewer's eyes.

If you want to outline your future plans, use a WN, not an OM.

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12 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Most geocachers does not even know what is CHS and would not care about this kind of "achievement". There is only one failure in the dashboard. It does not show disabled caches. For example, I have many disabled caches but the dashboard shows that there is no need for maintenance. Nevertheless I am sure that the CO did not post OM because the dashboard gave warning. CO made this to inform about future plans and didn't know that someone could take this as a hostile meassure.

I've just recently learned about the CHS. I didn't think it was meant as an "achievement" but rather an attempt to alert CO's and even Reviewers to exactly the sort of caches that started this thread. Caches that begin having chronic issues that are either ignored by the owner or slip past their notice

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15 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Where do you have such a hurry? This is a lifelong hobby and if the cache is not available this year, but you will be able to find it next year, you have lost nothing unless you are going to retire of your hobby within a year.

This is what our reviewers post on caches that have been disabled for too long:

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I noticed that this cache has been temporarily disabled for a period of time well in excess of the period of "a few weeks" as contemplated by the cache guidelines published on Geocaching.com. While I feel that Geocaching.com should hold the location for you and block other caches from entering the area around this cache for a reasonable amount of time, we can't do so forever. Please either repair/replace this cache, or archive it (using the archive listing link in the upper right) so that someone else can place a cache in the area, and geocachers can once again enjoy visiting this location.

TDs are meant for a few weeks, not years. If you can't fix your broken caches within that time, archive them and let someone else use the locations.

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9 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

If you want to outline your future plans, use a WN, not an OM.

I am sure that CO didn't know what guidelines say about the type of log. I usually post OM when I have made modifications to the description without visiting the cache so I am very bad, am I?

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9 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Where do you have such a hurry? This is a lifelong hobby and if the cache is not available this year, but you will be able to find it next year, you have lost nothing unless you are going to retire of your hobby within a year.

I have yet to see a cache that's gone through such an experience. Looking at logs for caches that languish as we've been describing, they usually ended up archived. Also, why would we want to excuse this behavior? When you submit a request for a cache you are agreeing to the responsibility to maintain it in a timely manner. Years? Really?

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7 minutes ago, arisoft said:

I am sure that CO didn't know what guidelines say about the type of log. I usually post OM when I have made modifications to the description without visiting the cache so I am very bad, am I?

Don't COs tick a box that says they've read and understood the guidelines?

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8 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

This is what our reviewers post on caches that have been disabled for too long:

I am very sorry for you :( That time limit would be too short for me but luckily we have here so much free space for caches that our reviewers are not so pushy. When I started this hobby, it was written in guidelines that caches are supposed to be permanent. Now it is desirable that they are available just a few weeks.

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22 minutes ago, arisoft said:

I am sure that CO didn't know what guidelines say about the type of log. I usually post OM when I have made modifications to the description without visiting the cache so I am very bad, am I?

Lol. Like barefootjeff mentioned all the terms are explained. But its not about perfect logs, it's about owner maintenance. I wouldn't quibble if a CO posted a OM note saying "ordered new container, will replace next week" and then DID IT and posted a WN accordingly. A NM alerts the CO to take action. Posting a OM saying "maybe eventually" is like hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock over and over again in the morning.

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7 minutes ago, arisoft said:

I am very sorry for you :( That time limit would be too short for me but luckily we have here so much free space for caches that our reviewers are not so pushy. When I started this hobby, it was written in guidelines that caches are supposed to be permanent. Now it is desirable that they are available just a few weeks.

Caches are meant to be permanent but they're also meant to be findable. A cache that's long-term disabled is no good to anyone. If you can't fix it, archive it and if, in a few years, you feel like resuscitating it, create a new listing.

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13 minutes ago, arisoft said:

I am very sorry for you :( That time limit would be too short for me but luckily we have here so much free space for caches that our reviewers are not so pushy. When I started this hobby, it was written in guidelines that caches are supposed to be permanent. Now it is desirable that they are available just a few weeks.

I think we all know there are exceptions. If a cache is seasonally inaccessible no one is going to complain if the a CO waits til it is reachable. And The real cocern is where the CO takes months to even respond with a post let alone takes action. Inhaven't seen a cache archived where the CO communicated well with the community and/or the Reviewer. 

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19 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

I have yet to see a cache that's gone through such an experience. Looking at logs for caches that languish as we've been describing, they usually ended up archived. Also, why would we want to excuse this behavior? When you submit a request for a cache you are agreeing to the responsibility to maintain it in a timely manner. Years? Really?

I have seen many such events. This can shock you, so be warned!  I have seen cache owned by an active reviewer. This cache needed maintenance and got disabled and later it was archived by another reviewer due to lack of maintenance. This is the process for everyone, even reviewers do this. My advice is that when cache is disabled do not worry about it. It's someone else's job.

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10 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

A cache that's long-term disabled is no good to anyone

It is also not bad for anyone. It is just in limbo state.

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7 minutes ago, arisoft said:
13 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

A cache that's long-term disabled is no good to anyone

It is also not bad for anyone. It is just in limbo state.

It's bad for the person who wants to hide a new cache in the vicinity. I mean, something about that location made you think it was special enough to bring people there, right? Maybe someone else will feel the same way.

It's also bad for the newcomer who sees lots of caches in his or her neighbourhood, only to then discover that most of them are long-term disabled. That's not a good look for the game and I'm glad the reviewers here police that guideline.

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9 minutes ago, arisoft said:

I have seen many such events. This can shock you, so be warned!  I have seen cache owned by an active reviewer. This cache needed maintenance and got disabled and later it was archived by another reviewer due to lack of maintenance. This is the process for everyone, even reviewers do this. My advice is that when cache is disabled do not worry about it. It's someone else's job.

Ironically, at the beginning of this thread I was even told that I was personally responsible for not dealing with some of these caches. I don't totally accept "blame" for others' neglected responsibilities, but we are a community. If caches are left to rot or end up scattered across the forest we ALL suffer and may even lose access to public lands.

Most disabled caches aren't in a state of suspended animation. They are in need of attention. Even if reported "missing" there is a good chance that bits and pieces of the cache have been discarded by muggles somewhere near GZ. I personally feel responsible that my hides don't become litter and expect the rest of the community to feel likewise.

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9 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

It's bad for the person who wants to hide a new cache in the vicinity.

Years ago, there was a disabled cache near my home. I waited 6 monts and then published a new cache nearby at the same day when the disabled cache was archived by a reviewer.

I did not feel any bad when I was waiting. Should I have?

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35 minutes ago, arisoft said:

I have seen many such events. This can shock you, so be warned!  I have seen cache owned by an active reviewer. This cache needed maintenance and got disabled and later it was archived by another reviewer due to lack of maintenance. This is the process for everyone, even reviewers do this. My advice is that when cache is disabled do not worry about it. It's someone else's job.

 

32 minutes ago, arisoft said:

It is also not bad for anyone. It is just in limbo state.

Again, we aren't talking about Disabling a cache to allow time for repair. That's an action that a responsible CO would take themselves. But Allowing your cache to pile up suspicious DNFs and NMs with little or no response to the point a Reviewer steps in is NOT the "process for everyone!" The guidelines are very clear about this.

Whose "job" is it? That's not what the Reviewer volunteered to do. If you can't maintain your cache it's YOUR job to archive it. You should be responsible enough to make that call. This whole thread was about what we, the members of the geocaching community, should do when that doesn't appear to be happening. Sometimes in ways that wouldn't be noticed by a scanning Reviewer. I don't know now many problems solved by ignoring them.

Edited by Doc_musketeers
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10 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Years ago, there was a disabled cache near my home. I waited 6 monts and then published a new cache nearby at the same day when the disabled cache was archived by a reviewer.

I did not feel any bad when I was waiting. Should I have?

Your patience is commendable. You should not have felt bad. The irresponsible CO that didn't make the easy choice of "Fix Or Archive" is the one that should feel bad. You should not have needed to wait that long. The fact you know how long you waited and were so prepared to place your own cache shows that you weren't "ignoring" the disabled cache!

this is a human designed game. I have to accept my male pattern baldness and that it might rain next week. I don't have to shrug and say "whatya gonna do 'bout it?" About something we can change by education, community peer pressure and perhaps even changes to gaming policy (apparently that's exactly what the CHS was intended to be).

 

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8 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

Again, we aren't talking about Disabling a cache to allow time for repair.

Sure, because disabling a cache is not related to maintenance. Sometimes cache is disabled because there is nesting birds nearby. Before the cache is disabled, the community is welcome to post finds and report problems but after it is disabled it is not so welcome to try to find it or report it missing etc even cache cops will do this anyway.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm not talking about the disable and enable logs, I'm referring to this OM log:

In my book, posting an OM saying maintenance might be performed sometime in the future isn't acceptable.

Yes,  a promissory OM is certainly a mistake, and we should all explain to any CO who posts one why it isn't a good idea, but I don't think it rises to the level of an unacceptable mistake. In fact, I always find it kinda cute when a naive CO posts an OM promising immediate action without realizing he probably won't get to it anywhere near as soon as he thinks he will.

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7 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Sure, because disabling a cache is not related to maintenance. Sometimes cache is disabled because there is nesting birds nearby. Before the cache is disabled, the community is welcome to post finds and report problems but after it is disabled it is not so welcome to try to find it or report it missing etc even cache cops will do this anyway.

Umm, exactly. There are legitimate uses for Disabling a cache. Not all of them are based on maintenance ... but all of them are based on the idea that conditions are temporary and the cache will be available again. The bird nesting season will end or the river will be crossible again or - perhaps - the CO will fix the cache.

But, if instead of birds nesting nearby, a fence with a No Trespassing sign is built in front of your cache or multiple players post DNFs or NMs about problems and you can't / don't want to address the issue, then ARCHIVE it.

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6 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Yes,  a promissory OM is certainly a mistake, and we should all explain to any CO who posts one why it isn't a good idea, but I don't think it rises to the level of an unacceptable mistake. In fact, I always find it kinda cute when a naive CO posts an OM promising immediate action without realizing he probably won't get to it anywhere near as soon as he thinks he will.

I have made this mistake because the system offers OM automatically instead of WN. In old good times, I had to choose the type of log before I got it posted. Now the system "knows" it better than me what I am going to do.

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15 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Yes,  a promissory OM is certainly a mistake, and we should all explain to any CO who posts one why it isn't a good idea, but I don't think it rises to the level of an unacceptable mistake. In fact, I always find it kinda cute when a naive CO posts an OM promising immediate action without realizing he probably won't get to it anywhere near as soon as he thinks he will.

Exactly! The Wrench is Red for a reason: it gets attention.

I often don't fully open text messages on my phone until I'm able to fully respond because I know once The notification disappears I'm likely to forget about it! I'm sure it's the same with a lot of COs with many hides. My goal is to respond quickly with a WN acknowledging the NM, addressing the problem as needed and indicating how soon I expect to be able to  check the cache or fix the problem. Then, when I've seen the Cache in good shape with my own eyes or made the repair, I post OM.

Edited by Doc_musketeers
Attempt more clear to make my words
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10 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

But, if instead of birds nesting nearby, a fence with a No Trespassing sign is built in front of your cache or multiple players post DNFs or NMs about problems and you can't / don't want to address the issue, then ARCHIVE it.

Before you archive the cache you should visit the place and collect the remains off. When you only disable the cache then the reviewer will do this for you when archiving the cache, right? ;)

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7 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Before you archive the cache you should visit the place and collect the remains off. When you only disable the cache then the reviewer will do this for you when archiving the cache, right? ;)

Lol, yeah! Exactly the problem. And maybe this is why some Reviewers wait longer to Archive a troubled cache. They are holding onto the last hope that the CO will step up and at least clean up their mess. Once it's archived, this sort of owner is even more unlikely to do anything about it.

 

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30 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Yes,  a promissory OM is certainly a mistake, and we should all explain to any CO who posts one why it isn't a good idea, but I don't think it rises to the level of an unacceptable mistake. In fact, I always find it kinda cute when a naive CO posts an OM promising immediate action without realizing he probably won't get to it anywhere near as soon as he thinks he will.

In the situation described:

Quote

It was more then one year of neglect. 2 NMs from Aug 2016 to Aug 2017. No response from the CO. Then an NA and the CO responded the next day with a disable log.  2 more months of inaction.  Then a reviewer note was posted. Followed by an OM a month later stating they are going to replace the missing cache. 

it sounds more like a calculated attempt to divert the reviewer's attention than an honest mistake. That's what I find unacceptable.

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Arisoft brought up a new question for me. Is there any form of organized effort like CITO to search for and clean up any abandoned caches? Obviously most Reviewer-Archived caches disappeared but what about ones Archived for guideline violations, landowner change or severe damage, etc?

if a cacher locates such a cache by accident or by finding the archived log, what's the policy/community concensus? Is it trash in the woods that we should dispose of or does it continue to be the CO's personal property?

I can also see the can of worms that could open, including the threat of a "helpful" cacher removing the wrong caches.

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9 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

Arisoft brought up a new question for me. Is there any form of organized effort like CITO to search for and clean up any abandoned caches? Obviously most Reviewer-Archived caches disappeared but what about ones Archived for guideline violations, landowner change or severe damage, etc?

if a cacher locates such a cache by accident or by finding the archived log, what's the policy/community concensus? Is it trash in the woods that we should dispose of or does it continue to be the CO's personal property?

I can also see the can of worms that could open, including the threat of a "helpful" cacher removing the wrong caches.

I've had two experiences of that...

The first was finding an archived cache by accident when I was sussing out an area for a new cache of my own (just as well it was archived and not just long-term disabled otherwise it would have blocked my cache). I took it home and notified the CO, who came and collected it from me.

The other was a flood-damaged cache that I'd logged an NA on. The CO hadn't been active for several years and didn't respond, so after the reviewer archived it, I removed the remains and posted a note letting the CO know I'd done so.

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22 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

In the situation described:

it sounds more like a calculated attempt to divert the reviewer's attention than an honest mistake. That's what I find unacceptable.

Yep. Regardless of intent, it's not just a mis-characterized log entry. It's the inaction and/or procrastinating claims that come before and after.

Also when you think a CO has moved, stopped playing, or died and then you find them logging or leaving notes on other caches, it raises an eyebrow. If you have time to comment on someone else's cache, I can't understand why you can't respond to DNF and NM logs as well as WNs with wording like "can the CO PLEASE check on this cache?" that are on your own caches. It's like leaving your own children crying at home to go tell the new teacher at the preschool how to do her job.

Edited by Doc_musketeers
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11 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

if a cacher locates such a cache by accident or by finding the archived log, what's the policy/community concensus? Is it trash in the woods that we should dispose of or does it continue to be the CO's personal property?

I have seen a reviewer asking me to clean up remains of an old archived cache when I am placing a new cache nearby. This way the community can participate to the cache maintenance.

The cache itself is always property of the CO, but despite of disabling or even archiving the cache, it is juridically a lost property and shoud be handled according to local legislation. Here it means that the finder can keep it.

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50 minutes ago, arisoft said:

I have made this mistake because the system offers OM automatically instead of WN. In old good times, I had to choose the type of log before I got it posted. Now the system "knows" it better than me what I am going to do.

I agree entirely. The "default log type" is a bad idea and leads to lots of mistakes. I don't know what was wrong with the old method where you had to chose the log type.

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22 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

If you have time to comment on someone else's cache, I can't understand why you can't respond to DNF and NM logs as well as WNs with wording like "can the CO PLEASE check on this cache?" that are on your own caches.

The most obvious reason here is also the most propable. Many or most (maybe) COs just do not read their e-mail because too many TFTC etc. New dashboard is trying to address this problem.

Edited by arisoft
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16 minutes ago, arisoft said:

The most obvious reason here is also the most probable. Many or most (maybe) COs just do not read their e-mail because too many TFTC etc. New dashboard is trying to address this problem.

Yeah, we are new so even a "TFTC" on one of our hides is exciting but especially if you own a lot of caches I can see things  being missed. And if a cacher is going through a period where they aren't focusing on the game that makes sense. But if you are catching New Cache notifications then how are you missing your NMs? And how can you go 6 months or longer and not at least check through the logs of your caches? Someone on this thread mentioned an old guideline about physically visiting your cache once a month! That's a bit extreme but if you have so many caches or are so busy that an issue on some of your caches goes unaddressed for 6 months or longer, maybe it's time to thin the herd.

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15 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

Someone on this thread mentioned an old guideline about physically visiting your cache once a month!

Gosh, I have about 30 active hides, many of which take at least half a day to visit, so visiting them all monthly would be a full-time job! The longer hikes I'd prefer to visit during winter when I'm less likely to die from heat exhaustion or snake bite, and the kayaking ones, for me anyway, require light winds and favourable tides which may be a rare combination in our windier months.

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11 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Gosh, I have about 30 active hides, many of which take at least half a day to visit, so visiting them all monthly would be a full-time job! The longer hikes I'd prefer to visit during winter when I'm less likely to die from heat exhaustion or snake bite, and the kayaking ones, for me anyway, require light winds and favourable tides which may be a rare combination in our windier months.

Yeah, exactly my thoughts. I can't find who mentioned the "every month" idea now and I have never seen such a guideline, but your examples make the point too. We aren't talking about physically trekking to your remote cache just because no one has been in that neck of the woods for six months so "who knows what might have happened?"

But that's different than a CO who can't even be bothered to check their online logs a couple times during the year and maybe write a note if needed.

Im not a fan of pawning off responsibility but I have seen CO's posting responses to NM's explaining it'd be a while before they'd be able to make it to the cache and inviting cachers in the area to replace the log or even the container if they got there first and confirmed the problem. All of that makes sense to me and at least acknowledges that there might be an issue.  And the community can help out too. There are a few caches I pass by everyday and I occasionally check the  online logs for issues. Its great when players revisit a cache and drop a note after a couple of DNFs just to confirm the cache is there and save the CO the trouble. And I've stopped to adjust the placement of one cache IPS along my daily commute.

Really, DNF's and NMs are how the community helps the CO manage their caches. If a CO ignores the logs they are basically rejecting that help.

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8 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

Really, DNF's and NMs are how the community helps the CO manage their caches. If a CO ignores the logs they are basically rejecting that help.

I kind of disagree about the DNFs as, in my experience, most DNFs don't require any action from the CO. I received one a few days ago saying that, with the king tides and recent storms, the ground between the road and GZ was a bit boggy and he didn't want to get his feet wet - that has nothing to do with the cache, which is sitting comfortably well above the high water mark. Across my hides I've had about 40 DNFs logged and none were due to a cache problem. That's why I encourage people to add an NM to their DNF if they actually think there's something the CO should check on, and why I don't like the CHS algorithm which seems to work by just counting DNFs with no consideration of why someone couldn't find the cache.

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26 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

Yeah, exactly my thoughts. I can't find who mentioned the "every month" idea now and I have never seen such a guideline, but your examples make the point too. We aren't talking about physically trekking to your remote cache just because no one has been in that neck of the woods for six months so "who knows what might have happened?"

Good gracious!  My first hide I checked on after nine years.  But that was because I was hiding some new caches in the area.  Fifty-nine finds in thirteen years is not bad for a hiking cache!  I have several that have not been found in two years.  Many of mine take a good hike to get to, or are difficult puzzle caches.  Checking on them frequently would be a full time job!

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16 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 That's why I encourage people to add an NM to their DNF if they actually think there's something the CO should check on, and why I don't like the CHS algorithm which seems to work by just counting DNFs with no consideration of why someone couldn't find the cache.

Totally agree. My point wasn't that every DNF represented a cache in distress, just that when used honestly and correctly it can be a form of communication. There was already a discussion on this thread regarding when cachers felt not finding a cache warranted a NM instead of just a DNF. When a veteran cacher posts a DNF stating they looked high and low for 45 minutes on my D: 1.5, that DOES communicate something, even if they don't want to presume it's missing and post a NM. And like your example about the cacher not wanting to get their feet wet, a good DNF gives the whole community a snapshot of conditions at GZ.

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49 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

. . . why I don't like the CHS algorithm which seems to work by just counting DNFs with no consideration of why someone couldn't find the cache.

Yeah I could see how this could have the opposite effect. Too many false positives and COs will ignore it. And I think the CHS might even pass some of the caches that raised my question to begin with.

its also obvious that you, barefootjeff, read logged comments, so you would likely notice a problem no matter what format was used.  But if the CHS does mark a cache, it's not  like it's automatically archived, right? At worst it calls Reviewer attention to the cache and dialogue with any fair Reviewer should resolve it.

if DNFs on a puzzle cache trigger CHS issues, it makes sense to adjust the difficulty. But I guess I feel differently about remote caches. You can't just keep raising the terrain rating just because few people drive out to a remote PNG! It seems like those are two different factors and if I understand the algorithm correctly the two parameters (mere remoteness and actual difficult terrain) are bunched together?

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22 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:
1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

. . . why I don't like the CHS algorithm which seems to work by just counting DNFs with no consideration of why someone couldn't find the cache.

Yeah I could see how this could have the opposite effect. Too many false positives and COs will ignore it. And I think the CHS might even pass some of the caches that raised my question to begin with.

its also obvious that you, barefootjeff, read logged comments, so you would likely notice a problem no matter what format was used.  But if the CHS does mark a cache, it's not  like it's automatically archived, right? At worst it calls Reviewer attention to the cache and dialogue with any fair Reviewer should resolve it.

if DNFs on a puzzle cache trigger CHS issues, it makes sense to adjust the difficulty. But I guess I feel differently about remote caches. You can't just keep raising the terrain rating just because few people drive out to a remote PNG! It seems like those are two different factors and if I understand the algorithm correctly the two parameters (mere remoteness and actual difficult terrain) are bunched together?

It seems pretty hit-and-miss and particularly struggles with high D/T caches that have insufficient visits for the pattern of found vs DNF logs to have any statistical significance. I suspect if the "wet feet" guy had been out caching with a few of his mates and they'd all logged similar DNFs, it may well have been pinged as in its two years of life it's only had 7 finds and another historical DNF (that one thought he'd have to cross the creek so aborted his search).

The CHS now also initiates the cache maintenance widget on the dashboard and I gather the only way to make that go away is to log an OM. So either you spend your day hiking out to a cache that you know is fine or pretend you have by logging an armchair one.

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57 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

It seems pretty hit-and-miss and particularly struggles with high D/T caches that have insufficient visits for the pattern of found vs DNF logs to have any statistical significance. I suspect if the "wet feet" guy had been out caching with a few of his mates and they'd all logged similar DNFs, it may well have been pinged as in its two years of life it's only had 7 finds and another historical DNF (that one thought he'd have to cross the creek so aborted his search).

The CHS now also initiates the cache maintenance widget on the dashboard and I gather the only way to make that go away is to log an OM. So either you spend your day hiking out to a cache that you know is fine or pretend you have by logging an armchair one.

Personally, in a hypothetical scenario like you present, where DNF's alone triggered the widget, I wouldn't feel it irresponsible on your part to post the OM and explain that the DNFs contained no information that would lead you to believe the cache was missing or damaged. I mean, I could go post DNFs on every cache in Europe because I ain't making it to Europe this evening, that doesn't give workable info to any European CO.

Again, I think it's entirely different when there's a series of DNFs that were clearly at GZ and put in a good search. If the CO thinks difficulty explains the DNFs maybe up the rating. If it shouldn't be that hard to find ... well there could be a problem. I've messaged cachers and asked for details about their experience at our caches before, trying to dial in ratings, and hint; checking how well the coordinates worked, etc. I could see trying to get a better sense if a DNF poster really did look in "the right spot" before you strap on the backpack. 

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15 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

No, a WN is an informative note. An OM does other things as well - it clears the Needs Maintenance attribute yet the cache stlll needs maintenance and presumably it resets the cache health score. To me, logging an OM before the maintenance has actually been done seems like gaming the system.

It could be used to game the system, but it could also mean that a CO got a couple of  DNFs, then when out to GZ and confirmed that either the cache was missing or the cache was intact and ready to be found.  To me, maintenance includes visits to the cache even if nothing is done to repair the cache.  Before GS introduced the red wrench,  owner maintenance was just that:  maintenance performed by the owner, and an OM log was used to indicate that maintenance has been performed.  Now that the OM log is required to clear the red wrench (and raise the CH score), apparently it's taken on new meaning.  

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15 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

and why I don't like the CHS algorithm which seems to work by just counting DNFs with no consideration of why someone couldn't find the cache.

And we know for a fact that DNFs alone don't negatively affect the CHS, though everyone now thinks they do and many cachers have declared they're not posting DNFs any more.  We know that various contexts surrounding the DNFs are what affect the CHS, and we know that Groundspeak has and does tweak the algorithm based on feedback about false positives and whatnot.

 

13 hours ago, Doc_musketeers said:

I think it's entirely different when there's a series of DNFs that were clearly at GZ and put in a good search. If the CO thinks difficulty explains the DNFs maybe up the rating.

Exactly. Difficulty ratings affect the DNF weight, day spread between DNFs (more relevant than 30 people in one day), etc.

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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

And we know for a fact that DNFs alone don't negatively affect the CHS

Do we know that?

It would be nice if a DNF log was just a DNF log, but there have been accounts (including that of barefootjeff) that contradict that. And while Groundspeak has been tweaking the CHS algorithm, they haven't shared the details of those tweaks.

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I'd say yes, it's safe to say that. In every case, the context of the DNF would determine its weight, otherwise every instance of a DNF alone would affect the score. Okay, we could be picky and say that the existence of a DNF and being part of a sequence of events that would lead to a lower CHS means the DNF does affect the CHS. But again, it's the context of the log that matters, not the mere existence of the log. If a group of DNFs on the same day is weighed less than the same number of DNFs individually over a series of days, then it's certainly not the single DNF alone that's negative, it's the surrounding context.

Sure, we've seen examples being claimed as false positives where it seems a single DNF or two causes the nudge email - but given all the evidence of how the algorithm decides when to flag it, I think one has a bigger hurdle to cross to believe that nothing else at all affected the algorithm, than to believe there's something else (even if errantly) that affected the context in a way the algorithm weighed more heavily against the score.

But I will concede: I don't recall ever reading somewhere from a programmer or GS authority that a single DNF log itself, before considering context, does not affect the score by a measurable factor. However I've not seen any evidence of this being true, only indication that the complex algorithm takes many factors into consideration, all the time, and is not perfect.  But who knows, I could be wrong. We'll only know if TPTB comes in and states "A single DNF log reduces a listing's health score by a measurable amount."  Guaranteed that won't happen :P otherwise therein lies the sticking point that will cause hordes of people to feel  justified in not posting their DNFs, for any reason whatsoever.

Edited by thebruce0
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So I just learned of the existence of the CHS when it first came up on this thread. Is this something that only runs behind the scene and throws out alerts or is it an actual number that a CO can access anytime? If so, how? I can't find it on the dashboard or profile.

NM: "Pretty sure the CHS is missing, GS needs to check or archive"

(couldn't resist)

Edited by Doc_musketeers
Sudden bad sense of humor
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19 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

In the situation described:

Quote

It was more then one year of neglect. 2 NMs from Aug 2016 to Aug 2017. No response from the CO. Then an NA and the CO responded the next day with a disable log.  2 more months of inaction.  Then a reviewer note was posted. Followed by an OM a month later stating they are going to replace the missing cache. 

it sounds more like a calculated attempt to divert the reviewer's attention than an honest mistake. That's what I find unacceptable.

This is a good example. Yes, it could be a calculated attempt to deceive, and I can even understand you believing that. But there's no reason not to take it at face value as a sincere statement by a CO that's finally decided to get serious about doing something about the problem, yet, nevertheless, fails to follow through. You can still approach the cache the same way, since it makes not difference to the fate of the cache whether the CO was sincere or not: the cache hasn't been fixed, so the OM means nothing. The only difference is that you don't waste time or energy condemning the CO by assuming which precise way he failed us.

On the other hand, add to the scenario that he does this all the time even after you complained to him, and I'll accept he's the problem and suggest you talk it over with the reviewer.

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17 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 therein lies the sticking point that will cause hordes of people to feel  justified in not posting their DNFs, for any reason whatsoever.

If cachers are really reasoning this way it really would be important for GS to clarify the effect of DNFs. Otherwise ithe whole CHS system is preventing feedback instead of enabling it. I think DNFs have numerous values beyond possibly indicating a problem. They let the CO know that cachers are at least visiting their hide, and when a CO sets up a challenging cache, its only fair for searchers to log their attempts. Both the inventive (evil) CO and successful cachers  need the feedback to encourage the game to continue or even improve. If I set up a D:4 or 5 and the only cachers that log their visit are the successful ones it prevents me from knowing how many cachers actually visited and were truly challenged. It makes it hard to access the actual difficulty rating I've assigned it too.

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