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L0ne.R

CHS score. Is it making a difference?

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

NM logs are only useful if people keep posting them. If NA logs have become taboo, so NM logs now have the same effect, so NM logs become taboo, then no one will post NM logs and they won't be useful to anyone.

 

Well in my case, people will still be noting problems in their logs, which I see in my email box. So that's generally enough of an alert for me (and probably any active owner who monitors their email) to go out and check my cache. For others, nothing would have them check their cache anyway. The evolution of NMs being treated as NAs is the fault of cache owners who abandon their responsibilities.  

 

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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

A real life example from my caching today. One of the caches I found was an Eclipse tin exposed to the weather (it's within 100 metres of the ocean so the weather gets pretty salty there too) and, as expected, is starting to rust and, after the rain over the last couple of weeks, the log is pretty soggy although I was still able to make a legible mark on it with my pen. I thought I'd do the right thing and log an NM since none of the previous finders who've mentioned the damp log have done so (maybe it wasn't as wet then). But, the cache is still findable and, after a spell of dry weather, the log will probably dry out enough to be reasonably servicable for a good while yet. This cache doesn't need to be archived even if the CO doesn't respond to my NM.

 

So here's my dilemma. I want to draw the owner's attention to the problem with an NM, yet I don't want the cache archived. That used to be possible when NMs just went to the CO, not the reviewers, but apparently not anymore as it seems they're now just an NA with an extra month's grace for the CO to respond. Somehow I can't help feeling the game has lost something important from this change.

 

I'd rather the cache be archived instead of limping along for years until its a disgusting mess and replaced by throw away drop downs that will continue to be a problem (and then moldly logs because they keep getting wet and drying out in your case, on top of a rusted poor container). The problem is COs who abandon their caches.

 

I still don't understand your dilemma other than you just don't like caches to be archived? If the CO is responsive, it won't matter if you sign a NM and it won't be archived. If you don't want to sign a NM on the off chance the CO won't respond, then start bringing your own replacement containers, log sheets, plastic bags and writing equipment, where you go and taking care of them yourself. We both know the second one isn't a logical step for everyone and per Groundspeak's rules, we shouldn't have to.

 

If you want caches long abandoned to keep going, then that's how you feel. I'd personally rather the space be open for someone else to be given a chance to be a good CO if they would like.

Edited by mimaef
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12 minutes ago, mimaef said:

So here's my dilemma. I want to draw the owner's attention to the problem with an NM, yet I don't want the cache archived. That used to be possible when NMs just went to the CO, not the reviewers, but apparently not anymore as it seems they're now just an NA with an extra month's grace for the CO to respond. Somehow I can't help feeling the game has lost something important from this change.

Cache with active Cache Owner = Geocache

Cache with inactive Cache Owner = Litter

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6 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

Cache with active Cache Owner = Geocache

Cache with inactive Cache Owner = Litter

 

Agreed.

 

Which is why when I see a cache on its last leg and know the CO has abandoned it (we have one in particular in the area, though I'm not sure what happened to them. Either way they've not interacted with the community since 2013) I type out a NA and just take the litter out with me and note that I've done so with a picture of the container remnants and that if they want the log I will keep it for them. I've found ripped open plastic bags with only a quarter of the container left outside that was one of theirs and people still did not leave a NM log for years (Yes, years) but all mentioned the same container problem I saw.

Edited by mimaef
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I'm not sure how we would know if the CHS is working since we don't know which caches were identified and archived or appropriately maintained due to it. All we can go on are the caches we find and from what I can tell, there's no less missing caches, no less throwdowns and no less caches with mushy logs. I attribute that to a lack of DNFs being posted when someone doesn't find a cache because they don't want to cause a CHS email to be triggered which I find utterly bizarre that people think that, assuming they even know the CHS exists. The other is that NA & NM logs are even more hidden from users so they aren't being flagged much. Oh well!

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44 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

The evolution of NMs being treated as NAs is the fault of cache owners who abandon their responsibilities.

 

In part, yes.

 

Another large contributor are the cachers who admonish others for logging anything other than rainbows and unicorns because they are so obsessed with numbers that they'll find ANYTHING for the sake of one more smiley and the vulgar and aggressive brandishment of terms such as cache cop, cach police and, uniquely, caching policing by people in genuine need of an attitude realignment.

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10 minutes ago, Team DEMP said:

I'm not sure how we would know if the CHS is working since we don't know which caches were identified and archived or appropriately maintained due to it. All we can go on are the caches we find and from what I can tell, there's no less missing caches, no less throwdowns and no less caches with mushy logs. I attribute that to a lack of DNFs being posted when someone doesn't find a cache because they don't want to cause a CHS email to be triggered which I find utterly bizarre that people think that, assuming they even know the CHS exists. The other is that NA & NM logs are even more hidden from users so they aren't being flagged much. Oh well!

 

I have noticed the NA & NM logs are super hidden to the point i don't think people notice how to log them. "Report a problem" on the app makes me think more of reporting someone for bad behavior, rather than the cache needs some TLC, and its in a strange position. It still doesn't stop them from putting in a piece of paper and writing their name on it anyway though if they do find the container and it's destroyed. For the smiley.

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

The evolution of NMs being treated as NAs is the fault of cache owners who abandon their responsibilities.  

There will always be owners that don't take care of their caches. That hasn't changed since the beginning of geocaching, so I don't see how you can associate that with the recent trend of NMs being treated like NAs. NMs are now treated as NAs because seekers no longer post NAs -- or at least a perception that they're not posting NAs -- so GS is taking up the hypothetical slack by telling reviewers not to wait for NAs.

 

I've found this discussion interesting because I'm seeing the two camps more clearly than I did before. One camp imagines a bad cache will always get worse and will never go away unless GS does something. The other camp imagines caches getting fixed and assumes that a cache that isn't fixed will be NAed soon enough. Unfortunately, the dominance of the first camp, especially in the eyes of GS, has led to a self-fulfilling prophecy, so it's no longer realistic to expect anyone to post NAs anymore.

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21 minutes ago, dprovan said:

There will always be owners that don't take care of their caches. That hasn't changed since the beginning of geocaching, so I don't see how you can associate that with the recent trend of NMs being treated like NAs. NMs are now treated as NAs because seekers no longer post NAs -- or at least a perception that they're not posting NAs -- so GS is taking up the hypothetical slack by telling reviewers not to wait for NAs.

 

I've found this discussion interesting because I'm seeing the two camps more clearly than I did before. One camp imagines a bad cache will always get worse and will never go away unless GS does something. The other camp imagines caches getting fixed and assumes that a cache that isn't fixed will be NAed soon enough. Unfortunately, the dominance of the first camp, especially in the eyes of GS, has led to a self-fulfilling prophecy, so it's no longer realistic to expect anyone to post NAs anymore.

 

NM aren't being treated the same way, though. They're only taking a proactive move on unresponsive COs, which as you said as been an issue since the beginning. The NM won't change anything for owners if they're active and I am happy to leave a NM on caches in hopes they will be fixed and do if the situation calls for it. I am curious of your thoughts about why that isn't the case? In your area do people properly post NAs where this isn't an issue? Here there are quite a few caches I've found that have NMs on them from years back that have been hobbling along getting worse with no one posting further NMs or a NA.

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39 minutes ago, dprovan said:

There will always be owners that don't take care of their caches. That hasn't changed since the beginning of geocaching, so I don't see how you can associate that with the recent trend of NMs being treated like NAs. NMs are now treated as NAs because seekers no longer post NAs -- or at least a perception that they're not posting NAs -- so GS is taking up the hypothetical slack by telling reviewers not to wait for NAs.

 

I've found this discussion interesting because I'm seeing the two camps more clearly than I did before. One camp imagines a bad cache will always get worse and will never go away unless GS does something. The other camp imagines caches getting fixed and assumes that a cache that isn't fixed will be NAed soon enough. Unfortunately, the dominance of the first camp, especially in the eyes of GS, has led to a self-fulfilling prophecy, so it's no longer realistic to expect anyone to post NAs anymore.

 

I'm just not seeing this at all. NMs and NAs aren't being treated the same. A NM that comes through won't be automatically archived. Owners that receive NMs on their cache are given plenty of opportunity to take care of a problem. It's only when they refuse to do even the most basic things, such as logging that they are aware and will check on the cache when they can, that a reviewer might get more aggressive. The cache owner is the one that brings this about,,, not finders posting NMs, not the CHS, not the reviewer, and not Groundspeak.  

 

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2 hours ago, Touchstone said:

Cache with active Cache Owner = Geocache

Cache with inactive Cache Owner = Litter

 

Exactly. 

 

Which is why I'm astonished and saddened that anyone is not shamed that any of us would litter by abandoning our cache hides. And that many litter when they throwdown containers (to "help" and support cache owners who abandon their caches). For what? An electronic a smiley?  

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1 hour ago, Mudfrog said:

 

I'm just not seeing this at all. NMs and NAs aren't being treated the same. A NM that comes through won't be automatically archived. Owners that receive NMs on their cache are given plenty of opportunity to take care of a problem. It's only when they refuse to do even the most basic things, such as logging that they are aware and will check on the cache when they can, that a reviewer might get more aggressive. The cache owner is the one that brings this about,,, not finders posting NMs, not the CHS, not the reviewer, and not Groundspeak.  

 

 

One could just as easily say "Owners that receive NAs on their cache are given plenty of opportunity to take care of a problem. It's only when they refuse to do even the most basic things, such as logging that they are aware and will check on the cache when they can, that a reviewer might get more aggressive." An NA doesn't mean automatic archival, the reviewer will give the CO at least a month to respond before the axe falls. This is what the reviewers here post in response to an NA:

 

"The cache appears to be in need of owner intervention. I am temporarily disabling it, to give the owner an opportunity to check on the cache, and take whatever action is necessary. Please respond to this situation in a timely manner (i.e., within 28 days) to prevent the cache from being archived for non-responsiveness. If you require more time please be sure to post a note (not an email) explaining the situation and how much more time you require. For ongoing issues please ensure you visit the listing and post a new note every 28 days to keep everyone up to date or the cache will be treated as an abandoned cache and archived without further notice."

 

So yes, if reviewers are now stepping in, disabling and ultimately archiving caches with outstanding NMs, that sounds to me like they're now effectively the same as NAs.

Edited by barefootjeff

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5 hours ago, Touchstone said:
6 hours ago, mimaef said:

So here's my dilemma. I want to draw the owner's attention to the problem with an NM, yet I don't want the cache archived. That used to be possible when NMs just went to the CO, not the reviewers, but apparently not anymore as it seems they're now just an NA with an extra month's grace for the CO to respond. Somehow I can't help feeling the game has lost something important from this change.

Cache with active Cache Owner = Geocache

Cache with inactive Cache Owner = Litter

 

We don't have a lot of caches around here, and new caches are becoming increasingly rare. Even if the CO of the one I logged the NM on doesn't respond, the cache probably still has a couple of years of useful life left in it before it becomes unservicable, and at that point someone will likely log an NA on it. That old way of doing things (logging NAs when caches reach their end of life) still works here. Throwdowns are rare and generally frowned upon by the community, and abandoned unservicable or missing caches are generally cleaned out with NAs in a reasonable timeframe.

 

There are perfectly fine caches around whose owners are no longer active - a decent container in a dry hiding place can last decades without owner intervention. I've found plenty dating from the early 2000s with their original logbooks (yes, proper books) that are bone dry and pretty much in mint condition. If we were to get rid of all the caches that didn't have active owners there wouldn't be much left for anyone to find. Log NAs on the ones that eventually become problematic and let the remainder continue to give enjoyment to seekers.

Edited by barefootjeff
Grammar
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I agree, the actions taken and the end result are sometimes similar for both log types. For the most part though, the NA garners more attention and quicker action. I doubt there are very many times that a single NM by itself causes much trouble. There will usually always be other issues, some DNFs for example, that cause the reviewer to get more involved. 

 

Myself, I don't see the problem. Isn't it better to take out run down caches who's owners are awol than leave them limping along as trash? I guess my other question is, why are so many emotionally attached to these caches? If the owner doesn't care enough to maintain his cache, then why do we care if it gets archived?

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10 hours ago, mimaef said:

 

NM aren't being treated the same way, though. They're only taking a proactive move on unresponsive COs, which as you said as been an issue since the beginning. The NM won't change anything for owners if they're active and I am happy to leave a NM on caches in hopes they will be fixed and do if the situation calls for it. I am curious of your thoughts about why that isn't the case? In your area do people properly post NAs where this isn't an issue? Here there are quite a few caches I've found that have NMs on them from years back that have been hobbling along getting worse with no one posting further NMs or a NA.

 

Yes, before all this changed a year or two ago, people in my area posted NAs when a problem cache wasn't fixed. That rarely happens anymore because the reviewers are now considered responsible for making that decision. Even NMs on missing caches aren't as common as before: people are starting to just wait for enough DNFs to pile up for the reviewer to notice.

 

Now let me ask you a question: If you knew about problem caches with NMs from years back, why didn't you post NAs?

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16 hours ago, Touchstone said:

Cache with active Cache Owner = Geocache

Cache with inactive Cache Owner = Litter

 

Okay, some local statistics. Looking at the 69 COs of the 222 available caches hidden prior to 2014 in my region, only 13 of those COs are still locally involved in the game with another 12 still active but moved away. Yet most of those older caches by the inactive/departed COs are still in good condition and are being reglarly found and logged. So which is better for the game: having good quality caches that have stood the test of time still out there to be found, or removing all that "litter"?

 

Sure, if an inactive/departed CO's caches become unservicable or go missing, they should be archived, but until then where's the problem?

 

As I said, we don't have a huge number of caches around here (I doubt anyone's going to make much impact on the Hidden Creatures souvenirs just from caching in this region) and there are few people hiding new ones, so getting rid of perfectly good caches just because their owners are absent seems a bit counter-productive.

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15 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

As I said, we don't have a huge number of caches around here (I doubt anyone's going to make much impact on the Hidden Creatures souvenirs just from caching in this region) and there are few people hiding new ones, so getting rid of perfectly good caches just because their owners are absent seems a bit counter-productive.

 

But,,, we're not talking about perfectly good caches, are we? A cache that needs maintenance is not perfect and needs to be dealt with. Except for Touchstone, i don't think anyone is really saying that a cache should automatically be archived just because its owner is awol. We're talking about caches that aren't being taken care of. An ownerless traditional cache that is in good shape isn't going to be messed with.

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2 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

But,,, we're not talking about perfectly good caches, are we? A cache that needs maintenance is not perfect and needs to be dealt with. Except for Touchstone, i don't think anyone is really saying that a cache should automatically be archived just because its owner is awol. We're talking about caches that aren't being taken care of. An ownerless traditional cache that is in good shape isn't going to be messed with.

 

What I'm talking about is caches that need minor maintenance, something I'd like to draw to the owner's attention with an NM but not bad enough to warrant archival. Something like a missing pencil or a container that's just starting to show signs of wear and tear. Another example would be where the camo has fallen off and needs reglueing or replacing - ideally it should be fixed but its not the end of the world (or the end of the cache) if it isn't. Except now it seems in the new scheme of things that simply not responding to an NM, any NM, is an archivable offence.

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9 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

What I'm talking about is caches that need minor maintenance, something I'd like to draw to the owner's attention with an NM but not bad enough to warrant archival. Something like a missing pencil or a container that's just starting to show signs of wear and tear. Another example would be where the camo has fallen off and needs reglueing or replacing - ideally it should be fixed but its not the end of the world (or the end of the cache) if it isn't. Except now it seems in the new scheme of things that simply not responding to an NM, any NM, is an archivable offence.

I'm not seeing this in practise. You can log a WN or mention it in a Found It but nothing will happen if the CO is AWOL. If the CO is attentive he will act.

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21 minutes ago, colleda said:

I'm not seeing this in practise. You can log a WN or mention it in a Found It but nothing will happen if the CO is AWOL. If the CO is attentive he will act.

 

I haven't seen it happening here (yet?) but I gather from comments earlier in this thread that reviewers in some parts are actively searching for outstanding NMs, disabling them and archiving them if the CO doesn't respond - in effect treating NMs as NAs. As for just writing a note or mentioning something in a log, I had an incident with one of my multis about 18 months ago where it had wandered from its hiding place and was sitting pretty much out in the open. The finder at the time wrote quite a lengthy log about his experiences at the waypoints and near the end mentioned something about covering the container as best he could. I didn't tweak that there was a problem until someone else mentioned it to me several months later, and of course I then dashed up the hill and rehid it under the rock ledge where it was meant to be. Had the original finder flagged an NM, I would've attended to it straight away, but with a slightly vague comment buried deep in his log I missed it.

Edited by barefootjeff

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5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

haven't seen it happening here (yet?) but I gather from comments earlier in this thread that reviewers in some parts are actively searching for outstanding NMs, disabling them and archiving them if the CO doesn't respond - in effect treating NMs as NAs

 

Only when the outstanding NM was posted for a good reason, like a missing cache with cachers logging finds on a zip tie for a year after the the NM was posted. 

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42 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:
6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

haven't seen it happening here (yet?) but I gather from comments earlier in this thread that reviewers in some parts are actively searching for outstanding NMs, disabling them and archiving them if the CO doesn't respond - in effect treating NMs as NAs

 

Only when the outstanding NM was posted for a good reason, like a missing cache with cachers logging finds on a zip tie for a year after the the NM was posted. 

 

Just trying to get my head around this. Does this mean it's now considered bad form to log NMs for minor things that wouldn't warrant archival if the CO doesn't respond, like for example the camo coming unstuck from the container?

 

I'm starting to think we need a definite guide of when and when not to use DNF and NM logs in a CHS-driven world.

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15 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm starting to think we need a definite guide of when and when not to use DNF and NM logs in a CHS-driven world.

 

If we need a guide, the approach failed. It should be intuitive and obvious without following the forums or passing a test.

 

DNFs still exist, though I know so many that just don't post one for whatever reason. 

 

NMs and NAs continue to become less available without knowing where to go. They are becoming extinct.

 

Soon we will only need a Found log type  that contains nothing of interest or everything associated with the state of the cache.

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34 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:
1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:
6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

haven't seen it happening here (yet?) but I gather from comments earlier in this thread that reviewers in some parts are actively searching for outstanding NMs, disabling them and archiving them if the CO doesn't respond - in effect treating NMs as NAs

 

Only when the outstanding NM was posted for a good reason, like a missing cache with cachers logging finds on a zip tie for a year after the the NM was posted. 

 

Just trying to get my head around this. Does this mean it's now considered bad form to log NMs for minor things that wouldn't warrant archival if the CO doesn't respond, like for example the camo coming unstuck from the container?

 

I'm starting to think we need a definite guide of when and when not to use DNF and NM logs in a CHS-driven world.

 

The answer to your question is no.

 

Nor, if your bolding is anything to go by, do I think you understood L0ne.R's comment in the way it was meant.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Just trying to get my head around this. Does this mean it's now considered bad form to log NMs for minor things that wouldn't warrant archival if the CO doesn't respond, like for example the camo coming unstuck from the container?

 

 

 

 

Show me an example of a cache that was archived after an NM, for a minor reason like camo coming unstuck. 

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What I've observed in my area over the past year or so is caches with issues (NMs not addressed and/or strings of DNF logs) are getting actioned by reviewers more than in the past.    I see lots more caches being disabled by a reviewer because of cache issues, and more quickly than before.    And also more caches being archived by a reviewer because of lack of action after being disabled.

 

I've not looked at any statistics.  

 

I believe CHS is used by the reviewers and helps them.

 

I don't know if the increase in reviewer interventions is because of the tool, or something else (e.g. the country reviewers deciding as a group to step up their monitoring, or requests from Groundspeak for them to do so).

 

 

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8 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I gather from comments earlier in this thread that reviewers in some parts are actively searching for outstanding NMs, disabling them and archiving them if the CO doesn't respond - in effect treating NMs as NAs.

 

You conflated a bunch of steps there.

NM is not "disabling them and archiving them if the CO doesn't respond", and neither, really is NA.

 

1. An outstanding NM - which has not been addressed (already showing an inattentive CO) merely prompts the reviewer to judge and decide if the cache should be disabled. That's the end, that's it.

 

2. An outstanding disabled cache with an unattended NM log reinforces the existence of an inattentive CO, and being disabled (for whatever reason) implies that the cache "is not available to be found", and if the CO is the one that needs to verify and re-enable it, but they are AWOL, then it's effectively litter. So after a reasonable amount of time the reviewer is properly within rights to decide to archive the listing (which of course could be unarchived if the CO returns and fixes the cache; provided someone else hasn't taken the spot since)

 

3. A NA can be posted at any time by any cacher, and with sufficient explanation can warrant an immediate action by a reviewer for disabling and/or archiving.

 

In no way has NM and NA somehow become even similar.

 

Now of course people could infer a similar process between whether they post a NM or a NA on a cache listing based on the ultimate outcome of a sequence of events. But that's inferred, and it's only one of many many possible series of events that can happen with the log types. Does that mean somehow they effectively do and mean the same thing now? Definitely not.  If people use them properly (to their best understanding) and don't fear using them the way they are intended to be used, then this sort of confusion wouldn't happen (as much?).
Now whether that educating is on us within the community or on Groundspeak via their various channels, dunno, that's not the point I'm addressing (but GS can certainly improve on that though, imo!)

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

In no way has NM and NA somehow become even similar.

I'm not sure how you can say that. Even in your description of the two, the difference seems minor, the difference between "merely prompting" and "can warrant", basically, with only an indirect mention that NAs may lead more quickly to archival.

 

But more to the point, NMs used to have nothing to do with reviewers, they were merely communication from the seeker to the owner. The very fact that, as you yourself explain, NMs prompt the reviewer to look at the cache and make a judgment means NMs are much closer to NAs than they were in past. Prompting the reviewer to look at a cache and make a judgement was the entire point of NAs a couple years ago. And that's precisely what disturbs me: in the witch hunt for "bad caches", GS has eliminated the phase where seekers and COs work together without any official getting involved. The inescapable inference is that COs cannot be expected to cooperate voluntarily, so break out the whip as soon as a problem's been observed.

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31 minutes ago, dprovan said:

NMs prompt the reviewer to look at the cache

 

No, that's not the intent of the NM. The NM is to prompt the owner to look at the cache.

 

The reviewer might decide to step in given other mitigating circumstances, and take action.

 

If you want to prompt the reviewer to step in and take action based on the posting of a log, that is where you post a NA.

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8 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

No, that's not the intent of the NM. The NM is to prompt the owner to look at the cache.

You're arguing with yourself:

10 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

1. An outstanding NM - which has not been addressed (already showing an inattentive CO) merely prompts the reviewer to judge and decide if the cache should be disabled. That's the end, that's it.

 

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:
10 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

No, that's not the intent of the NM. The NM is to prompt the owner to look at the cache.

You're arguing with yourself:

12 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

1. An outstanding NM - which has not been addressed (already showing an inattentive CO) merely prompts the reviewer to judge and decide if the cache should be disabled. That's the end, that's it.

 

You're missing the two stages here.

The intent of the NM is to prompt the owner to look at the cache.

If there is no action by the owner, a reviewer might decide to look at it and take action. The NM was not to prompt the reviewer. The NM was to prompt the owner. Many circumstances can raise the attention of a reviewer who might choose to take action on a cache. So how am I arguing with myself when I'm trying to show how a NM and NA do not have the same intended goal?

Edited by thebruce0

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On 6/18/2018 at 7:18 PM, Mudfrog said:

But,,, we're not talking about perfectly good caches, are we? A cache that needs maintenance is not perfect and needs to be dealt with. Except for Touchstone, i don't think anyone is really saying that a cache should automatically be archived just because its owner is awol. We're talking about caches that aren't being taken care of. An ownerless traditional cache that is in good shape isn't going to be messed with.

It would take a bit of searching for me to find relevant posts, but there have been comments by cachers in these forums (in different threads) that a cache without an active owner should be removed from the 'map', even if the cache is in fine shape, because that cache might develop problems later and the problems won't be addressed without an active owner.

 

 

On 6/18/2018 at 4:09 AM, barefootjeff said:

As I said, we don't have a huge number of caches around here (I doubt anyone's going to make much impact on the Hidden Creatures souvenirs just from caching in this region) and there are few people hiding new ones, so getting rid of perfectly good caches just because their owners are absent seems a bit counter-productive.

^Agreed!

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11 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

So how am I arguing with myself when I'm trying to show how a NM and NA do not have the same intended goal?

You literally said that NMs prompt the reviewer. I guess that was a typo.

 

But you've explained your true position, so let's forget what I thought you said. You are describing how NMs and NAs were originally treated and the way I wish they were still used. The war on bad caches has changed that. In my area nowadays, the reviewer no longer waits for NAs, so NAs aren't posted very often anymore. I don't like that, and it sounds like you wouldn't, either.

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57 minutes ago, dprovan said:

In my area nowadays, the reviewer no longer waits for NAs, so NAs aren't posted very often anymore. I don't like that, and it sounds like you wouldn't, either.

 

Doesn't change the purpose of the NA though. A reviewer isn't required to wait for a NA to do something about an issue they feel needs attention; and afaik that has never changed. So the NM and NA purposes haven't changed - what has changed is the proactiveness of reviewers in various areas in addressing what could be outstanding issues that community are either ignoring or taking their sweet time reporting. NM and NA should still be used as they ever were.

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On ‎6‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 12:05 AM, barefootjeff said:

 

What I'm talking about is caches that need minor maintenance, something I'd like to draw to the owner's attention with an NM but not bad enough to warrant archival. Something like a missing pencil or a container that's just starting to show signs of wear and tear. Another example would be where the camo has fallen off and needs reglueing or replacing - ideally it should be fixed but its not the end of the world (or the end of the cache) if it isn't. Except now it seems in the new scheme of things that simply not responding to an NM, any NM, is an archivable offence.

 

I may be wrong but I thought the point of the CHS was to help us end up with better conditioned and potentially better quality caches. A cache that needs even minor help, but never gets it, is not really a quality cache. It may be good for numbers cachers who only care about the smiley but it isn't something many of us want to routinely encounter. If a cache owner refuses to respond to a needs maintenance log, then archiving to clear the mess out and maybe make room for a better maintained  cache sounds like a good deal.

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3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Doesn't change the purpose of the NA though.

 

Seems like a fine line to draw. They've eliminated NA as a useful tool, but, no, I can't deny that they haven't changed the purpose of this now unused tool.

 

3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

So the NM and NA purposes haven't changed - what has changed is the proactiveness of reviewers in various areas in addressing what could be outstanding issues that community are either ignoring or taking their sweet time reporting. NM and NA should still be used as they ever were.

 

The way I would describe it is that they've accelerated the speed of reaction under pressure from an irrational demand for cache perfection, overriding the standards set by the local community. Yes, NMs and NAs could be used as they ever were, but if the reviewer reacts too quickly and with less justification, no one ever has a chance to file an NM or NA.

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4 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

A cache that needs even minor help, but never gets it, is not really a quality cache.

Well, we're back to using the unhelpful term "quality" again, but I've enjoyed finding lots of caches that need minor help, so I think they have "quality".

 

6 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

It may be good for numbers cachers who only care about the smiley but it isn't something many of us want to routinely encounter.

I couldn't disagree with you more. I do not mind at all routinely encountering caches that need minor help. I'd much rather encounter a cache that needs minor help than not have a cache at all. Are you going to prevent me from having my fun just because of you're so sensitive you can't deal with a full log or some imperfect camo?

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3 hours ago, Mudfrog said:
On 19/06/2018 at 3:05 PM, barefootjeff said:

What I'm talking about is caches that need minor maintenance, something I'd like to draw to the owner's attention with an NM but not bad enough to warrant archival. Something like a missing pencil or a container that's just starting to show signs of wear and tear. Another example would be where the camo has fallen off and needs reglueing or replacing - ideally it should be fixed but its not the end of the world (or the end of the cache) if it isn't. Except now it seems in the new scheme of things that simply not responding to an NM, any NM, is an archivable offence.

 

I may be wrong but I thought the point of the CHS was to help us end up with better conditioned and potentially better quality caches. A cache that needs even minor help, but never gets it, is not really a quality cache. It may be good for numbers cachers who only care about the smiley but it isn't something many of us want to routinely encounter. If a cache owner refuses to respond to a needs maintenance log, then archiving to clear the mess out and maybe make room for a better maintained  cache sounds like a good deal.

 

Perhaps I have a different perspective on this because I live in an area that doesn't have many caches and new caches have now dried up to just a trickle. I'm talking about NMs on minor issues, not unserviceable caches, and I'd much rather have a cache there to find even if it doesn't have a pencil, or if the camo has fallen off, than have it archived because the owner didn't promptly fix that. This push to find more and more reasons to archive caches than can still be found and logged, even if they're not perfect, just doesn't sit well with me.

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9 hours ago, dprovan said:

I couldn't disagree with you more. I do not mind at all routinely encountering caches that need minor help. I'd much rather encounter a cache that needs minor help than not have a cache at all. Are you going to prevent me from having my fun just because of you're so sensitive you can't deal with a full log or some imperfect camo?

 

Well, I think you may be in the minority if you enjoy finding caches that need maintenance. I do agree that it's better to find a cache that's in need of help instead of coming up empty but i'd still rather find caches in good shape to make the experience better. 

 

I guess i'm just weird in thinking that people who place caches should do their best to take care of their caches. People do leave their caches out when they leave our hobby but in my opinion, it's probably best that they archive those caches and retrieve their containers after doing so. No, t's not the end of the world when someone forgoes picking up their caches when they leave. Some caches go on a long time before needing any help. It's when those caches end up needing maintenance, which many times never occurs, that I feel they need to go.

 

Let me ask this... Do you think having too many caches in poor shape is good for our hobby? Might one of the reasons some people leave geocaching be because they're running into too many caches that aren't up to par?

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36 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

Well, I think you may be in the minority if you enjoy finding caches that need maintenance.

And I think I'm typical. I think most people don't think twice about a cache with minor maintenance issues.

37 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

I do agree that it's better to find a cache that's in need of help instead of coming up empty but i'd still rather find caches in good shape to make the experience better. 

I'm sorry? Which is it? Do you like finding caches even if they have minor maintenance issues or don't you? Well, duh, of course the better shape a cache is in, the better everyone will like it, but we're talking about getting rid of caches that aren't good enough, so it's binary: do you get rid of them or don't you? You like finding them, so logically I'd think you wouldn't want to get rid of them, yet you seem to be arguing the opposite.

39 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

I guess i'm just weird in thinking that people who place caches should do their best to take care of their caches.

I agree that people who place caches should do their best to take care of their caches. I do not think you should get to tell them how good their best has to be.

40 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

Let me ask this... Do you think having too many caches in poor shape is good for our hobby?

I'm not sure what you're asking, since you've introduced a new undefined term -- "poor shape" -- when we were talking about caches needing minor maintenance. But I'll go out on a limb and say, yes, I think caches in less than perfect condition are better for our hobby than no caches at all.

44 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

Might one of the reasons some people leave geocaching be because they're running into too many caches that aren't up to par?

Well, if you put it like that, I suppose it might be a reason, but I doubt it's a statistically significant one. Unless you hire a team of cache checkers that go out and check all caches each and every day, geocachers will, from time to time, run into caches that aren't "up to par". If that causes them to leave the game, then they're going to leave the game, and I'm not worried about them making that decision.

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25 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

Let me ask this... Do you think having too many caches in poor shape is good for our hobby? Might one of the reasons some people leave geocaching be because they're running into too many caches that aren't up to par?

 

"Poor shape" is a very open term that could range anywhere from "unservicable" to "not pristine". I have no objection to unservicable caches being archived if the CO is unresponsive, and have logged NAs on those I've encountered if there's a previous NM gone unanswered.

 

But here we have few really bad caches, maybe because the community knows how to use NM and NA logs, maybe it's because we're a regional town with plenty of open space and bushland so caches tend to be bigger and more robust (only 18% of caches here are micros), maybe the Sistema containers that are most commonly used do a pretty good job of keeping moisture out, maybe our subtropical climate makes life easier for containers, but cache quality really isn't a serious issue here. Cache numbers are, though, particularly new caches which have dropped from around 80 a year a few years back to barely a dozen. I posted earlier in this thread that of the 69 COs who placed caches prior to 2014, only 13 are still active but a lot of those older caches are still in good condition, providing enjoyment for those who find them. Archiving them all just because their owners are no longer active would make a big dent in the already small number of caches available to find here. When I look at the map now there are far fewer caches on it than when I started in 2013.

 

50 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

Might one of the reasons some people leave geocaching be because they're running into too many caches that aren't up to par?

 

More likely that people here aren't sticking with caching because after finding all that's available locally they're put off by the travel needed to go further afield and lose interest.

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12 hours ago, dprovan said:
16 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Doesn't change the purpose of the NA though.

 

Seems like a fine line to draw. They've eliminated NA as a useful tool, but, no, I can't deny that they haven't changed the purpose of this now unused tool.

 

16 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

So the NM and NA purposes haven't changed - what has changed is the proactiveness of reviewers in various areas in addressing what could be outstanding issues that community are either ignoring or taking their sweet time reporting. NM and NA should still be used as they ever were.

 

The way I would describe it is that they've accelerated the speed of reaction under pressure from an irrational demand for cache perfection, overriding the standards set by the local community. Yes, NMs and NAs could be used as they ever were, but if the reviewer reacts too quickly and with less justification, no one ever has a chance to file an NM or NA.

 

What reviewers might do changes nothing about the differing purposes of the NM and NA. If you find a cache that needs reviewer attention now, nothing changes the fact that you are (should be) led to post a NA log. In some cases maybe a reviewer will catch the issue first. But in most cases, and fundamentally, that option is specifically there so that cachers can post them as soon as it's needed, in order to raise it immediately to a reviewer's attention.  The fact that some reviewers might spot issues that some cachers might equivocate with Needing Reviewer Attention, and might address them proactively changes nothing.
NM is intended to alert the cache owner. NA is intended to alert a reviewer.

 

Also, "They've eliminated NA as a useful tool" certainly not!  NA is just as useful as it's ever been. For it to be "eliminated" from being useful, reviewers would have to be actively ignoring NA logs - since they are intended to alert reviewers. if that sole purpose is no longer relevant, then it's no longer a useful tool. But of course NA logs still alert reviewers.  And it doesn't matter if in the rarest of circumstances you come across a cache that a reviewer has dealt proactively with that you'd otherwise actually have posted a NA (and is that not a good thing anyway?). That really doesn't matter - NA is still as useful as it's ever been; its use has not been 'eliminated'.

 

ETA: It's not so much the log types' usefulness has been altered, insomuch as a new factor has entered the maintenance scene: The proactive reviewer. 1] We can still post NM for its intended use. 2] We can still post NA for its intended use. 3] Now we also have reviewers who might take action before any NM or NA log exists on a listing.

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7 hours ago, dprovan said:

And I think I'm typical. I think most people don't think twice about a cache with minor maintenance issues.

 

I'm sorry? Which is it? Do you like finding caches even if they have minor maintenance issues or don't you? Well, duh, of course the better shape a cache is in, the better everyone will like it, but we're talking about getting rid of caches that aren't good enough, so it's binary: do you get rid of them or don't you? You like finding them, so logically I'd think you wouldn't want to get rid of them, yet you seem to be arguing the opposite.

 

I agree that people who place caches should do their best to take care of their caches. I do not think you should get to tell them how good their best has to be.

 

I'm not sure what you're asking, since you've introduced a new undefined term -- "poor shape" -- when we were talking about caches needing minor maintenance. But I'll go out on a limb and say, yes, I think caches in less than perfect condition are better for our hobby than no caches at all.

 

Well, if you put it like that, I suppose it might be a reason, but I doubt it's a statistically significant one. Unless you hire a team of cache checkers that go out and check all caches each and every day, geocachers will, from time to time, run into caches that aren't "up to par". If that causes them to leave the game, then they're going to leave the game, and I'm not worried about them making that decision.

 

My goodness, this is not hard. I'm not sure why the terminology  "poor shape" is so hard to understand. And i'm not sure why you are trying to ask "which is it"? 

 

I would think the vast majority of cachers would rather find caches in the same shape they were in when their owners placed them. But at the same time, if for some reason those caches weren't in their original shape, that most finders would still be happier finding a container than nothing at all.

 

I hope you realize that I don't have an expectation that every cache be in great shape. Even the most diligent owners encounter problems at times so no one should ever have the expectation that every cache they come across be in pristine condition. It's a given that the vast majority of caches will develop a problem and require some maintenance at some point. Most everyone realizes this. The problem is that people, me included, grow tired of finding caches in poor shape because their owners either ignore the problem or have left the hobby. Imo, something needed to be done to lessen this issue and in this case, Groundspeak went with the CHS approach. The CHS, and this thread, would not even exist if cache owners were showing responsibility  by taking care of their caches. 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

More likely that people here aren't sticking with caching because after finding all that's available locally they're put off by the travel needed to go further afield and lose interest.

 

 In my case, driving was never an issue some 10 years ago because I knew there would be interesting caches to find. I've got many 200 plus miles a day trips under my belt. I've slowed down immensely since it has become difficult finding caches that make the drive worth it, to me. No doubt others have curtailed their long distance travels for the same reason.

There are a myriad of reasons why people leave. Imo, one of the bigger reasons is that many just simply grow tired of finding easy micros hidden in non interesting areas. Another, perhaps not as major, is what we're discussing here,, that finders are growing more disappointed finding too many caches that are in need of maintenance. :(

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7 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

ETA: It's not so much the log types' usefulness has been altered, insomuch as a new factor has entered the maintenance scene: The proactive reviewer. 1] We can still post NM for its intended use. 2] We can still post NA for its intended use. 3] Now we also have reviewers who might take action before any NM or NA log exists on a listing.

We could theoretically post NMs and NAs just like we always do, but that doesn't strike me as a very important point when we never get a chance to. The key difference is that reviewers are now considered responsible for cache quality. It's not longer the responsibility of the community.

 

By the way, I'm sticking to talking about this in the terms you've presented, but the fact that there aren't actually such things as NMs and NAs anymore -- they've been replaced by checkboxes -- undermines your position even more.

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20 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

There are a myriad of reasons why people leave. Imo, one of the bigger reasons is that many just simply grow tired of finding easy micros hidden in non interesting areas.

You're entitled to your opinion, but it seems more likely to me that having lots of easy to find caches encourages new cachers. I think that's exactly why there are so many of caches like that.

 

22 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

Another, perhaps not as major, is what we're discussing here,, that finders are growing more disappointed finding too many caches that are in need of maintenance. :(

I know this goes against common wisdom, but I honestly have never seen these scads of caches in needs of maintenance that this claim is based on. No matter where I cache, I only see one in ten or so caches in need of maintenance. In other words, no more than one should expect just based on the fact that stuff happens. If that disappoints someone, they need another hobby, anyway. I assume there must be places with bigger problems that I've never cache in, but it doesn't make sense to extrapolate problems in specific areas into general changes in how problem caches are dealt with. Yet that's exactly what's been done.

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18 minutes ago, dprovan said:

that doesn't strike me as a very important point when we never get a chance to.

:blink: That's an exaggeration if I ever saw one.

You always have a chance to.  What does it matter if you want to post a NM, but it's someone else who posted it first, vs a reviewer taking action first? Who cares if you post it first or it gets dealt with quicker than you post the log? We should lauding the fact that proactive reviewers spotting potential issues and nudging COs to pay more attention. And if their judgments are not accurate, well at least we can take it to appeals, or report the reviewer. Again, none of this changes the intent of NM and NA.

 

22 minutes ago, dprovan said:

The key difference is that reviewers are now considered responsible for cache quality. It's not longer the responsibility of the community.

Nope. You  creating an objective responsibility where none exists. The community may infer that they don't have any responsibility, but that just reinforces the reviewers feeling they have to step in because of lazy people who don't use the features the way they were intended!

 

23 minutes ago, dprovan said:

the fact that there aren't actually such things as NMs and NAs anymore -- they've been replaced by checkboxes -- undermines your position even more.

Oh man, wonderful hyperbole. Obviously you know those logs DO exist.  One method for posting them has been tweaked.  That doesn't change the intent of those logs. And now we have the cache quality survey out there asking how things can be improved. Part of that is the process of posting DNF/NM/NA and the way they're presented and understood. There's a difference between having an effective UI that makes the most of the features it addresses, and fundamentally altering the purpose of those features. HQ has had plenty of feedback that their UI is causing confusion among people who don't understand what's going on "under the hood", and that's causing some clashing between different uses of the same features (like NM and NA, how to post and what they're for). But they still exist and their purpose has not changed. Some of the front end has changed which makes understanding them a little harder for some. That needs to be fixed. Thankfully it looks like they're trying to figure that out.

 

 

24 minutes ago, dprovan said:
52 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

Another, perhaps not as major, is what we're discussing here,, that finders are growing more disappointed finding too many caches that are in need of maintenance. :(

I know this goes against common wisdom, but I honestly have never seen these scads of caches in needs of maintenance that this claim is based on. No matter where I cache, I only see one in ten or so caches in need of maintenance. In other words, no more than one should expect just based on the fact that stuff happens. If that disappoints someone, they need another hobby, anyway.

 

Agreed on this. I don't think there's some kind of epidemic of caches that need maintenance; at least my observation is similar to yours from what I've been finding (though standards can certainly vary between cachers and between communities).

I think the vast majority of cache 'quality' complaints are actually cache styles and personal preferences on certain trends. But the critical will always be louder than the neutral and praise-worthy... the vocal minority. And we see this in the Cache Quality survey where most seem to be sharing about cache experiences they don't like, moreso than lesser maintained quality of physical containers.

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42 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I honestly have never seen these scads of caches in needs of maintenance that this claim is based on. No matter where I cache, I only see one in ten or so caches in need of maintenance.

 

Depends on one's definition of scads. Within 15 miles of this spot near you 37.665967 -121.830067 there are  121 caches with red wrenches. 

It could be that many of those have owners that have never removed NMs, probably because someone threw down a container and the owners are set-em-and-forget-em types that neither maintain their physical cache nor their listing. 

Comments from the first 3 on the list:

 

C Monster

 

Found it Found it
02/04/2018

Could not spot this one, after some searching dropped a replacement under one of the roots of the hollowed out stump, left a bunch of trade items and stamped the log JTM.

 

Needs Maintenance Needs Maintenance
01/01/2018

Amazing spot. Great cache for our family. Pen and log book only. Needs new log book. I put both in a zip lock bag for you.

 

 

CO hasn't logged in in almost a year.  15 hides, 5 with red wrenches.  7 archived. 3 archived by a reviewer. 

 

-------------------------

Ivy Skirting a Tree

 

Found it Found it
05/30/2017

Log was damp. Bag won't close needs to be replaced and new lid with proper gasket to seal out water. Signed and replaced where found. TFTC

 

Found it Found it
02/26/2017

Nice easy find. Thanks for the fun. LOG IS SOPPING WET. Couldn't sign.TFTCSL.

 

Needs Maintenance Needs Maintenance
09/27/2013

Log needs to be replaced.

 

CO hasn't logged in over a year. It's been 5 years since the NM and the owner has never gone back to replace the log. Finders replaced logs. (What's the point of the log if it keeps getting soaked and the hider doesn't care).  They have 15 hides. 9 have red wrenches. 

 

-------------------------------

Not Your Average Lamp Post Cache 3

 

Found it Found it
12/27/2017

Easy peasy. New log roll needed and perhaps a water tight container.

 

Needs Maintenance Needs Maintenance
10/21/2017

New log needed, missing top

 

A tic tac container with a missing top.  The cache owner is active, last login March 2018.  59 hides. 27 red wrenches. 

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It hasn't helped in this case:

 

Needs Archived 06/20/2018

 Write note 06/20/2018

Didn't find it 06/09/2018

Didn't find it 04/18/2018

Didn't find it 04/11/2018

Didn't find it 04/11/2018

Didn't find it 03/30/2018

Didn't find it 11/17/2017

Didn't find it 05/07/2017

Didn't find it 05/06/2017

Didn't find it 05/06/2017

Didn't find it 04/06/2017

Found it 03/22/2017       (Highly suspect)

Didn't find it 10/21/2016

Didn't find it 09/05/2016

Didn't find it 08/13/2016

Didn't find it 08/13/2016

Didn't find it 06/09/2016

Didn't find it 03/12/2016

Didn't find it 02/26/2016

 

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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

You always have a chance to.

I give up. You're missing that I don't get a chance to because the cache has already been archived before I want to.

 

2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Nope. You  creating an objective responsibility where none exists. The community may infer that they don't have any responsibility, but that just reinforces the reviewers feeling they have to step in because of lazy people who don't use the features the way they were intended!

I'm sorry, but I think the cause and effect goes the other way. In my area, the features were used the way they were intended, the cache quality was fine, and everyone was happy. Then there was a year of whining in the forums about "bad caches", the CHS score was invented, reviewers were told to use it to improve "cache quality", and now reviewer acts first. There's no way for me to see that other than GS's attitude as changing the de facto responsibilities. Yes, the community inferred that they don't need to post NMs and NAs anymore, but their inference is correct.

 

Yes, it does create a vicious cycle, so now reviewers are being increasingly forced to act because otherwise caches won't be cleaned up, but no way did that cycle start because people in my area got lazy.

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