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L0ne.R

CHS score. Is it making a difference?

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    A couple of months ago,  I looked at the more than 500 "open red wrenches" in my area and did a little further research on them.  The great majority of them were clearly no longer current having been ignored by the CO and fixed, either by the CO (who didn't log an OM to clear the wrench) or by somebody else.  It was pretty easy to tell which ones likely still needed maintenance by looking at "the last find" and the string of dnfs.  A fraction of the caches still appeared to Need Maintenance (based on the logs, additional dnfs and no finds in 6 months or more).  So beginning two months ago in mid May, I went ahead and logged 48 NAs and this is what happened:  Within a couple of days, 46 of the caches were "temporarily disabled by The Reviewer (none by the CO) and the other two were deemed, "to need maintenance but not archival".   So I switched the NAs to  NMs ( to date no response from either CO and no finds for either cache).  Of the 46 that were disabled, two have been repaired by the CO, 4 were archived by the CO, and one CO promised to "check on it" (two months later, cache is still disabled).  So the response rate by the COs for this set of caches was 15% AFTER an NM log, and NA log and being disabled and the repair rate was 4% .  One CO complained about me logging an NA on their cache and archived it (cache had 5 consecutive dnfs and no finds in a year) and another thanked me for reminding them their cache needed work and fixed it.  Of the remaining 39 caches, 12 have since been archived by The Reviewer and the rest are still disabled, most for seven weeks and counting.  It seems unlikely that any of the remaining 27 caches will be repaired:   one hasn't been found in four years and the average time since the last find is well over a year.  Most of the COs are no longer active.

     If I can do a review of the local caches using only GSAK to identify and sort damaged caches based on NM logs, dnfs and last finds, I have to assume the CHS can do at least that well.  100% of these caches appear to have needed repair.  So far only two have been repaired and only 15% of the COs have responded.  I got a thoughtful note from The Reviewer indicating that some cachers found my action in posting an NA log was annoying and asking me to consider the effect of this on the game, as it might lead some folks to stop placing caches...After thinking it over, I decided this was true:  if cachers actually had to maintain their caches, they probably would place fewer of them. 

      Instead, it looks like folks who don't wish to maintain their caches, don't.  This is part of the problem that CHS may or may not address, as it is clear that "enforcement" of the "fix it if it's broken" rule, does result in there being fewer caches listed (though in reality, the same number are available in good repair to find).   I think this highlights the quality vs quantity differences pretty well....Actually requiring maintenance will result in fewer caches being listed as the damaged and missing caches will be dropped from the listing service.  On the other hand, the quality of the listings would improve....

edexter  

     

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12 minutes ago, edexter said:

I got a thoughtful note from The Reviewer indicating that some cachers found my action in posting an NA log was annoying and asking me to consider the effect of this on the game, as it might lead some folks to stop placing caches...

 

This one fact blows me away!

 

I wonder if this was just the opinion / attitude of a single volunteer reviewer or a more far-reaching attitude?

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1 hour ago, Team Microdot said:

 

This one fact blows me away!

 

I wonder if this was just the opinion / attitude of a single volunteer reviewer or a more far-reaching attitude?

 

Agreed!

 

Ask GS what they think.  Seems like better and consistent messages need to be published.  I'd also share your data with GS maybe the CHS is flagging these maybe not and they can improve things a bit.

 

I too filed a handful of NM/NA recently. Two COs responded immediately, the others all were temporarily disabled and eventually archived. It is very obvious who is active and of those who is maintaining things and those who are no longer participating. A string of DNF on a D1 cache is a NM in my book. If an open NM by a recent cacher, others are doing this too, I file a NA if it's over a month with no response.

 

 

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Just thinking about a couple of things that have been said recently...

 

On 13/07/2018 at 7:04 AM, Keystone said:

Reviewers become aware of Cache Health Score issues once the score drops below a defined threshold and a notice is sent to the CO.  In the example posted by Team Microdot, the problem is that the "found it" logs affect the score positively, while the "needs maintenance" logs affect the score negatively.  On balance, that cache is just a hair above the threshold that would trigger the email notice.  

 

and...

 

4 hours ago, edexter said:

I got a thoughtful note from The Reviewer indicating that some cachers found my action in posting an NA log was annoying and asking me to consider the effect of this on the game, as it might lead some folks to stop placing caches...After thinking it over, I decided this was true:  if cachers actually had to maintain their caches, they probably would place fewer of them. 

 

It struck me that perhaps the CHS isn't about cache quality or cache health at all, rather it's about trying to ensure that every search ends in a smiley face on the map and a +1 to the find count. That would explain why subsequent finds depreciate an outstanding NM in the eye of the CHS, since the cache is still generating those all-important smileys, and why it seems to come down heavily on caches that get few finds and an occasional DNF, since a DNF for any reason is a potential smiley foregone. It would also explain why "not been found in a long time" is treated negatively by the CHS, since such caches aren't pulling their weight in generating smileys. I wonder if the global find count has become a KPI somewhere; maybe that's why the recent souvenir promotions have all been about finding as many caches as you can.

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16 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

This unwillingness to take responsibility for a cache which either needs fixing or removing from the game is one of the things that sees them stagger along as junk for months on end.

Are you accusing me of not taking responsibility? I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to do. The system is designed to encourage two points of view before archival is called for.

 

16 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

That was then and this is now - where that seemingly perfect ecosystem has seemingly completely broken down.

My ecosystem's just fine. The reviewer is doing more work, and people are feeling less like they're operating in a community, but the cache quality hasn't diminished any.

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11 hours ago, MNTA said:
18 hours ago, dprovan said:

II've said it before and I'll say it again: I love it when people use caches in my area as an example of how CHS is improving things since there's never been a quality problem in my area, so things are no better with the reviewers in charge because there wasn't really room for improvement to begin with.

 

Consider yourself lucky then

I do consider myself lucky, but to be honest, I don't actually think my area is better than others. I've come to believe that people just have an unreasonable expectation of never encountering a cache with problems. I don't mention the fact that people keep pointing out my area because they're wrong about my area. I mention them pointing out my area because when they complain about my area, it makes me think that they'd complain about any area no matter how few problems it has.

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11 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

I quit logging NA's after logging one under the set of circumstances you describe - clear the cache was in a state and well known - by caching community and volunteer reviewer alike - that the CO had long since quit the game and a number of their other caches had already been archived over a period of time for the same reasons.

I'm sorry, but obviously I misunderstood you when I thought you were lecturing me about responsibility.

 

11 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

My NA was rejected on the basis I hadn't recently been to GZ.

 

Another cacher who had the login credentials of the retired cacher logged in as them and had a bit of a rant about it.

It's too bad the cache didn't get removed from the books, but since you recognize someone was being unreasonable, I'm not sure why this examples stopped you from logging NAs. Did you feel personally threatened? Did GS threaten to ban you? If a cache needs an NA, I see no reason not to post an NA regardless of what happened in any one case.

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5 hours ago, edexter said:

I got a thoughtful note from The Reviewer indicating that some cachers found my action in posting an NA log was annoying and asking me to consider the effect of this on the game, as it might lead some folks to stop placing caches...After thinking it over, I decided this was true:  if cachers actually had to maintain their caches, they probably would place fewer of them.

That's a very strange reaction from the reviewer. It only makes sense if he didn't consider your NAs justified.

 

I agree with you: if I post a legitimate NA and it makes the CO think about quitting, I wouldn't be worried because the CO probably shouldn't be planting caches.

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7 hours ago, dprovan said:
18 hours ago, MNTA said:
On 7/12/2018 at 11:27 PM, dprovan said:

II've said it before and I'll say it again: I love it when people use caches in my area as an example of how CHS is improving things since there's never been a quality problem in my area, so things are no better with the reviewers in charge because there wasn't really room for improvement to begin with.

 

Consider yourself lucky then

I do consider myself lucky, but to be honest, I don't actually think my area is better than others. I've come to believe that people just have an unreasonable expectation of never encountering a cache with problems.

 

I live in the same area as dprovan.  Like him, I consider myself lucky.  But I would bet that if I focused mainly the caches needing maintenance I could work myself up into a lather over irresponsible owners.

 

Gratitude (remembering that cache placements are a gift) versus entitlement (belief that what's important is others meeting your standards). can make a huge difference.  I try (albeit imperfectly) to practice being grateful for what I am given, and I am still enjoying geocaching after 16+ years.

 

My opinion is that if you are unable to let go of an obsessive need to root out "bad caches" and you cannot or will not stop moralizing about cache maintenance, then this sport/activity/whatever is not good for you, and you would maybe be happier doing something else.

 

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10 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Just thinking about a couple of things that have been said recently...

 

 

and...

 

 

It struck me that perhaps the CHS isn't about cache quality or cache health at all, rather it's about trying to ensure that every search ends in a smiley face on the map and a +1 to the find count. That would explain why subsequent finds depreciate an outstanding NM in the eye of the CHS, since the cache is still generating those all-important smileys, and why it seems to come down heavily on caches that get few finds and an occasional DNF, since a DNF for any reason is a potential smiley foregone. It would also explain why "not been found in a long time" is treated negatively by the CHS, since such caches aren't pulling their weight in generating smileys. I wonder if the global find count has become a KPI somewhere; maybe that's why the recent souvenir promotions have all been about finding as many caches as you can.

 

I think you might be into something here.

 

Certainly makes logical and commercial sense.

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3 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

My opinion is that if you are unable to let go of an obsessive need to root out "bad caches" and you cannot or will not stop moralizing about cache maintenance, then this sport/activity/whatever is not good for you, and you would maybe be happier doing something else.

 

 

Or, in other words, anyone who actively campaigns for even basic standards of quality is worthy of scorn and not welcome.

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2 hours ago, Team Microdot said:
6 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

My opinion is that if you are unable to let go of an obsessive need to root out "bad caches" and you cannot or will not stop moralizing about cache maintenance, then this sport/activity/whatever is not good for you, and you would maybe be happier doing something else.

Or, in other words, anyone who actively campaigns for even basic standards of quality is worthy of scorn and not welcome.

Huh... I didn't read fizzy's comments that way at all.

 

Nope. It still doesn't read that way to me.

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4 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

 

I live in the same area as dprovan.  Like him, I consider myself lucky.  But I would bet that if I focused mainly the caches needing maintenance I could work myself up into a lather over irresponsible owners.

 

Gratitude (remembering that cache placements are a gift) versus entitlement (belief that what's important is others meeting your standards). can make a huge difference.  I try (albeit imperfectly) to practice being grateful for what I am given, and I am still enjoying geocaching after 16+ years.

 

My opinion is that if you are unable to let go of an obsessive need to root out "bad caches" and you cannot or will not stop moralizing about cache maintenance, then this sport/activity/whatever is not good for you, and you would maybe be happier doing something else.

 

 

1 hour ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Or, in other words, anyone who actively campaigns for even basic standards of quality is worthy of scorn and not welcome.

 

Unfortunately, this is the attitude coming about in the world. It's gotten to the point where some think it's wrong to expect quality and/or good workmanship in products and services. With geocaching, inferior containers and lack of maintenance of those containers has become the more normal expectation. I'm guessing this is because the smiley is the important thing and as long as it's obtainable, the condition of the cache is unimportant.  

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7 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

 

I live in the same area as dprovan.  Like him, I consider myself lucky.  But I would bet that if I focused mainly the caches needing maintenance I could work myself up into a lather over irresponsible owners.

 

Gratitude (remembering that cache placements are a gift) versus entitlement (belief that what's important is others meeting your standards). can make a huge difference.  I try (albeit imperfectly) to practice being grateful for what I am given, and I am still enjoying geocaching after 16+ years.

 

My opinion is that if you are unable to let go of an obsessive need to root out "bad caches" and you cannot or will not stop moralizing about cache maintenance, then this sport/activity/whatever is not good for you, and you would maybe be happier doing something else.

 

I completely agree with this - thanks for posting it.

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

Huh... I didn't read fizzy's comments that way at all.

 

Nope. It still doesn't read that way to me.

How do you interpret it?

 

It sounds to me like ‘If you want to enjoy a responsible pastime where both owners and hiders take pride in the quality of the game, then geocaching is not for you.’

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1 hour ago, Mudfrog said:

 

 

Unfortunately, this is the attitude coming about in the world. It's gotten to the point where some think it's wrong to expect quality and/or good workmanship in products and services. With geocaching, inferior containers and lack of maintenance of those containers has become the more normal expectation. I'm guessing this is because the smiley is the important thing and as long as it's obtainable, the condition of the cache is unimportant.  

 

I ask myself if this was my first cache specially with a say 4 year kid that is totally excited about finding his first cache, would they want to do another? If they don't want to let them out of the car because of trash or worse, how is that good? So the next person can get a smiley face on a website? It's not worth it. Some places and cache containers degrade with time. Specially in the northwest here with water other areas have their challenge. I'm not saying things must be pristine, but lets choose not disgusting. As for location 5 years ago might have been great but now the great spot is across the street or down the trail so move it don't leave it in a homeless camp or poison oak grove.

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29 minutes ago, MNTA said:

lets choose not disgusting. As for location 5 years ago might have been great but now the great spot is across the street or down the trail so move it don't leave it in a homeless camp or poison oak grove.

 

On others' caches, I attempt in advance to avoid the nastiest ones, using many techniques.  When I find one that's just plain … ugh..., I describe the condition in what I hope reads like constructive criticism, and I try not to complain if it's pretty much like all the other ones in the area.  I may even skip the rest on that trail.  That's what cachers there enjoy, I guess, we don't gripe about their messy jars of gunk.  Yuck.

 

However, if it's my own cache, I am very obsessive about it.  There is absolutely no way it's a horrible moldy mess for Cachers to find (nor a bug colony, nor a Muggle Toybox, nor any such thing).  Nope, not gonna do it.  If on the outside chance it's found like that, I immediately fix it, or change the hide, or archive it.  I won't make others do that, but I sure will keep my caches decent.  Or I get rid of them.  That may partly explain why I've never been CHS'ed.

 

Edited by kunarion
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1 hour ago, mertat said:
8 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

My opinion is that if you are unable to let go of an obsessive need to root out "bad caches" and you cannot or will not stop moralizing about cache maintenance, then this sport/activity/whatever is not good for you, and you would maybe be happier doing something else.

 

I completely agree with this - thanks for posting it.

 

What a shame that you have such a low opinion of your fellow cachers.

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5 hours ago, Mudfrog said:
8 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Or, in other words, anyone who actively campaigns for even basic standards of quality is worthy of scorn and not welcome.

 

Unfortunately, this is the attitude coming about in the world. It's gotten to the point where some think it's wrong to expect quality and/or good workmanship in products and services.

 

So you consider a cache a "product" or a "service?"

 

The cache that was hidden at exactly zero cost to you?  Yet you feel you can demand that it meet your standards?

 

To me, that sounds like the very definition of "entitlement."

 

Remember, the discussion here is not about what Groundspeak does (for which you pay) but what cache owners do (for which you do NOT pay).

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4 hours ago, kunarion said:

However, if it's my own cache, I am very obsessive about it.  There is absolutely no way it's a horrible moldy mess for Cachers to find (nor a bug colony, nor a Muggle Toybox, nor any such thing).  Nope, not gonna do it.  If on the outside chance it's found like that, I immediately fix it, or change the hide, or archive it.  I won't make others do that, but I sure will keep my caches decent.  Or I get rid of them.  That may partly explain why I've never been CHS'ed.

 

I'm much the same, particularly now that I'm retired. On my hides closer to home I'll go check on them after each find to make sure they're put back just the way I like them, and generally do a round of visits after each school holidays. The ones near watercourses get checked after heavy rain, the rest are hidden in dry rock cavities that'll never get wet even in floods of biblical proportions. I've never had an NM, NA or reviewer note and my overall FP rate is 28.4%. I still got CHS'ed though.

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15 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I'm much the same, particularly now that I'm retired. On my hides closer to home I'll go check on them after each find to make sure they're put back just the way I like them, and generally do a round of visits after each school holidays. The ones near watercourses get checked after heavy rain, the rest are hidden in dry rock cavities that'll never get wet even in floods of biblical proportions. I've never had an NM, NA or reviewer note and my overall FP rate is 28.4%. I still got CHS'ed though.

 

No idea what my CHS is.  I have interacted with reviewers concerning caches in parks under reconstruction.  I'm sure I've had NMs, but don't remember.  Did have an NA from a first time cacher because the cache was an MKH.  I have one cache not found in two years, but I was in the area last year and checked on it.  I have eight not found this year.  One of my projects, now that I'm retired will be to check on my caches.  But many are hiking caches, and will probably take a large part of a day to check on.  An hour drive, a mile or two hike in, 300-400' of climb.  Yeah.  That would be most of a day.  But I will start working on them soon.

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3 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

 

So you consider a cache a "product" or a "service?"

 

The cache that was hidden at exactly zero cost to you?  Yet you feel you can demand that it meet your standards?

 

To me, that sounds like the very definition of "entitlement."

 

Remember, the discussion here is not about what Groundspeak does (for which you pay) but what cache owners do (for which you do NOT pay).

 

A geocache provides a recreational entertainment service. The geocaching site provides a service. I, as a cache owner, provide a voluntary service and agree to provide a proper container and practice good stewardship as outlined in the guidelines. 

 

The cost to the average finder can range, anywhere from free to a lot of money. On average I (use to) spend $50 in gas on a day of geocaching, finding usually 5-15 caches in a trip. That doesn't count the cost of coffee breaks and lunch ($10-15). Then there were the occasional extra expenses like parking fees, and admission to a conservation area.  For me, each find on a geocaching trip cost about $4. We are all paying to play.

 

In the pre-smartphone days I spent on average $1000 a year on the pastime (garmin gps units, garmin maps, pocket computer for PQs, premium membership for PQs and filtering options, gas, related expenses), now it's cheaper but not free. I sometimes spend more money finding someone's cache (or DNFing their cache) then they did on their aspirin bottle hide (which they haven't returned to since leaving it 2 years ago, even though it has 1 NM log and multiple find logs about the wet moldy log). 

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13 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Or, in other words, anyone who actively campaigns for even basic standards of quality is worthy of scorn and not welcome.

 

That's how you read his reply?  Sorry, but where does he scorn those who feel like you do and/or make you feel unwelcome?

 

I read this as a suggestion that someone who continually complains about something and is focusing on the negative might actually benefit from doing something else, thereby relieving themselves of the negativity and effectively making themselves happier.

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

 

A geocache provides a recreational entertainment service. The geocaching site provides a service. I, as a cache owner, provide a voluntary service and agree to provide a proper container and practice good stewardship as outlined in the guidelines. 

 

The cost to the average finder can range, anywhere from free to a lot of money. On average I (use to) spend $50 in gas on a day of geocaching, finding usually 5-15 caches in a trip. That doesn't count the cost of coffee breaks and lunch ($10-15). Then there were the occasional extra expenses like parking fees, and admission to a conservation area.  For me, each find on a geocaching trip cost about $4. We are all paying to play.

 

In the pre-smartphone days I spent on average $1000 a year on the pastime (garmin gps units, garmin maps, pocket computer for PQs, premium membership for PQs and filtering options, gas, related expenses), now it's cheaper but not free. I sometimes spend more money finding someone's cache (or DNFing their cache) then they did on their aspirin bottle hide (which they haven't returned to since leaving it 2 years ago, even though it has 1 NM log and multiple find logs about the wet moldy log). 

 

Then don't do it.  I'm not saying it to be mean.  If the money or your time isn't worth the reward, then spare yourself the negativity and do something else that will make you happy rather than unhappy.  No one is forcing you to make this choice to spend your money on something that has no absolute guarantee that you'll find a well maintained cache.  Even the best maintained caches can go bad due to a variety of circumstances and you might be the one to find it immediately after just such a situation.  Whose fault is that?

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19 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

 

Then don't do it.  I'm not saying it to be mean.  If the money or your time isn't worth the reward, then spare yourself the negativity and do something else that will make you happy rather than unhappy.  No one is forcing you to make this choice to spend your money on something that has no absolute guarantee that you'll find a well maintained cache.  Even the best maintained caches can go bad due to a variety of circumstances and you might be the one to find it immediately after just such a situation.  Whose fault is that?

 

Then don't complain when those of us who choose to do it and also choose to follow the published rules and guidelines. Yes things happen, if that should happen then caches follow the natural process and get archived. Should the CO return to action and the spot is still open they can unarchive or place a new cache there. If it is occupied they have the option of asking nicely for the spot back if they are so inclined. 

 

Sorry that some folks want to try and take a little initiative by giving back to the activity we like and enjoy by trying to make it better. So I'll ask this question, other than criticizing the folks here that are trying to do something, is there any constructive ideas on what can be done to improve this issue?

 

I for one agree with following the guidelines as currently published. I also hope they continue to evolve and improve. I have my eye on a spot that another cacher filed an NA on and is now temporarily disabled. I have a brand new (repurposed) ammo can ready for the spot. That's how I wish to give back.

 

Edited by MNTA
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34 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

 

Then don't do it.  I'm not saying it to be mean.  If the money or your time isn't worth the reward, then spare yourself the negativity and do something else that will make you happy rather than unhappy.  No one is forcing you to make this choice to spend your money on something that has no absolute guarantee that you'll find a well maintained cache.  Even the best maintained caches can go bad due to a variety of circumstances and you might be the one to find it immediately after just such a situation.  Whose fault is that?

 

I have. I dabble occasionally but generally have stopped compared to 2 years ago. I still hold out hope. Every once in a while GCHQ sends out a hopeful message, this time it was the "Geocaching Quality" forum post. Other times it was a survey sent to my inbox looking for feedback on how to improve the geocaching experience. Maybe with more and constant feedback there will someday be an opportunity to ignore the junk and find the maintained better quality caches. I hold out hope. 

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1 hour ago, MNTA said:

Sorry that some folks want to try and take a little initiative by giving back to the activity we like and enjoy by trying to make it better. So I'll ask this question, other than criticizing the folks here that are trying to do something, is there any constructive ideas on what can be done to improve this issue?

 

Since this thread is about the CHS, I'll focus on that. I was surprised, perhaps dumbfounded even, to learn that it effectively turns its back on an outstanding NM if the cache continues to have finds logged on it. I'd hazard a guess and say most people would have a legitimate reason for logging an NM and there are plenty of situations where maintenance is needed but it doesn't preclude the cache from being found (or logged as a find by some). As I've said right from its inception 3 years ago, I'd much rather see it use an outstanding NM log as the starting point rather than trying to second-guess what a couple of DNFs might imply or infering that a cache that simply hasn't been found for a long time must be in poor health. The guidelines already require that a CO respond to an NM by fixing the problem (be it with the cache itself or its listing) and log an OM, so maybe that's where the focus should be.

 

Perhaps there should be some consideration of what the purpose of the CHS really is. Is it to give a friendly heads-up to COs who might have overlooked something? Is it meant as a tool for reviewers to weed out abandoned caches? Is it to catch wilful maintenance-shirkers? Is it to rank COs for things like virtual rewards? I don't believe it can successfully do all those things at once. For example, to be most helpful to COs, the score and the way it's calculated should be visible to them so they can take appropriate action to nip problems in the bud, but doing that would make it unsuitable for catching maintenance-shirkers since they'd just game it.

 

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, there needs to be a clear understanding of just what the "issue" is we're trying to fix. If it's a local issue confined to some places or types of place, maybe it's best resolved locally. If it's a particular type of cache that's problematic, perhaps that's where the focus should be. Maybe volunteer community mentors endorsed by HQ but at a tier below reviewer level could be helpful. Sledgehammer solutions that cause harm to or impose onorous requirements on innocent bystanders should be avoided, even if those bystanders are a minority.

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7 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

 

So you consider a cache a "product" or a "service?"

 

The cache that was hidden at exactly zero cost to you?  Yet you feel you can demand that it meet your standards?

 

To me, that sounds like the very definition of "entitlement."

 

Remember, the discussion here is not about what Groundspeak does (for which you pay) but what cache owners do (for which you do NOT pay).

 

Concerning geocaching, I have actually lowered my expectations. Something I've had to do in this day and age, otherwise i'd be completely done with geocaching. Honestly, I don't understand why you and others think it's fine for cache owners to not take care of their caches.   

 

Coming across a cache that needs some tlc from time to time is something to be expected with our hobby. Coming across a lot of caches that need tlc or that are missing because owners could care less about fixing or are depending on someone else to fix,,, is an issue. Not sure why you think i'm playing the entitlement card because I have an expectation that COs maintain their caches. Wasn't this something they signed on to do when they placed the cache?

 

And a follow up question,, You may not see a problem but have you asked yourself why Groundspeak initiated the CHS? How about the reasoning behind Rock Chalk's thread asking for input on geocache quality? I dunno, kinda sounds to me like Groundspeak realizes things aren't up to par! ;)

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12 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Since this thread is about the CHS, I'll focus on that. I was surprised, perhaps dumbfounded even, to learn that it effectively turns its back on an outstanding NM if the cache continues to have finds logged on it. I'd hazard a guess and say most people would have a legitimate reason for logging an NM and there are plenty of situations where maintenance is needed but it doesn't preclude the cache from being found (or logged as a find by some). As I've said right from its inception 3 years ago, I'd much rather see it use an outstanding NM log as the starting point rather than trying to second-guess what a couple of DNFs might imply or infering that a cache that simply hasn't been found for a long time must be in poor health. The guidelines already require that a CO respond to an NM by fixing the problem (be it with the cache itself or its listing) and log an OM, so maybe that's where the focus should be.

 

Perhaps there should be some consideration of what the purpose of the CHS really is. Is it to give a friendly heads-up to COs who might have overlooked something? Is it meant as a tool for reviewers to weed out abandoned caches? Is it to catch wilful maintenance-shirkers? Is it to rank COs for things like virtual rewards? I don't believe it can successfully do all those things at once. For example, to be most helpful to COs, the score and the way it's calculated should be visible to them so they can take appropriate action to nip problems in the bud, but doing that would make it unsuitable for catching maintenance-shirkers since they'd just game it.

 

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, there needs to be a clear understanding of just what the "issue" is we're trying to fix. If it's a local issue confined to some places or types of place, maybe it's best resolved locally. If it's a particular type of cache that's problematic, perhaps that's where the focus should be. Maybe volunteer community mentors endorsed by HQ but at a tier below reviewer level could be helpful. Sledgehammer solutions that cause harm to or impose onorous requirements on innocent bystanders should be avoided, even if those bystanders are a minority.

 

Thanks for working the problem! 

 

 

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5 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

The cost to the average finder can range, anywhere from free to a lot of money. On average I (use to) spend $50 in gas on a day of geocaching, finding usually 5-15 caches in a trip. That doesn't count the cost of coffee breaks and lunch ($10-15). Then there were the occasional extra expenses like parking fees, and admission to a conservation area.  For me, each find on a geocaching trip cost about $4. We are all paying to play.

 

In the pre-smartphone days I spent on average $1000 a year on the pastime (garmin gps units, garmin maps, pocket computer for PQs, premium membership for PQs and filtering options, gas, related expenses), now it's cheaper but not free. I sometimes spend more money finding someone's cache (or DNFing their cache) then they did on their aspirin bottle hide (which they haven't returned to since leaving it 2 years ago, even though it has 1 NM log and multiple find logs about the wet moldy log). 

These may all be expenses related to your geocaching activity, but that doesn't change fizzy's point, that the cache "was hidden at exactly zero cost to you" and that "you do NOT pay" for "what the cache owners do".

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1 hour ago, Mudfrog said:
9 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

 

So you consider a cache a "product" or a "service?"

 

The cache that was hidden at exactly zero cost to you?  Yet you feel you can demand that it meet your standards?

 

To me, that sounds like the very definition of "entitlement."

 

Remember, the discussion here is not about what Groundspeak does (for which you pay) but what cache owners do (for which you do NOT pay).

 

Concerning geocaching, I have actually lowered my expectations. Something I've had to do in this day and age, otherwise i'd be completely done with geocaching. Honestly, I don't understand why you and others think it's fine for cache owners to not take care of their caches.   

 

Coming across a cache that needs some tlc from time to time is something to be expected with our hobby. Coming across a lot of caches that need tlc or that are missing because owners could care less about fixing or are depending on someone else to fix,,, is an issue. Not sure why you think i'm playing the entitlement card because I have an expectation that COs maintain their caches. Wasn't this something they signed on to do when they placed the cache?

 

It's clear that there is some basic failure of communication here.  So this will be the end for me.  I believe that maintenance of caches is important and I maintain my caches.  But an expectation that everyone maintains their caches to my specifications is unrealistic.  As a result, I understand that some level of poorly maintained caches is inevitable.  It is a result of human nature, not insufficiently strict and harsh rules. 

 

There is a group in this discussion that believes that the CHS and associated processes are insufficiently punitive.  It is to that group that I addressed my original comments.  Instituting more rules (such as the ever-popular requirement that a cache be visited on some fixed schedule) is not going to have much, if any, impact on the quality of the caches.  But it will make cache ownership unpleasant and burdensome (which, BTW, may actually be the intent). 

 

Instead, along with dprovan, I would ask that cachers who perceive cache quality to be an issue make use of the tools that already exist.  And it would be lovely if they would stop perseverating on the topic.  Alas, that is human nature as well.

 

Edited by fizzymagic
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existing tools like DNF, NM, NA, by the way ... 

 

A cache, disabled by a (now former) reviewer after months of no reaction to DNFs and NM. Months later cachers that use to find #1 to #last of series, also the ones that are not there (commenting: we replaced the ones missing as the owner is no longer active - even for an already archived cache). Then enable by the new reviewer, who disabled other caches of the same no longer active owner the very next day, these caches are now archived, as the owner is no longer active.

 

What to learn from this? It seems not only the numbers crowd can see win-win in "why bother with existing tools like DNF and NM, NA if you can have a find?" If a cache has a number in title it seems OK to place throwdowns if the owner is not active or invites finders to place new containers? These caches are to stay because they can be found and survive also without owner's participation and the annoying DNFs are stopped?

 

Is that what the CHS is for, focusing on owner maintenance? Then please also don't archive other ones that are not part of a trail and that have been maintained by community for a long time or where the owner doesn't respond to inappropriate NA (maybe already deleted because the logger saw the mistake) and the following reviewer note if the cache itself is in perfect condition etc.

 

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7 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

 

It's clear that there is some basic failure of communication here.  So this will be the end for me.  I believe that maintenance of caches is important and I maintain my caches.  But an expectation that everyone maintains their caches to my specifications is unrealistic.  As a result, I understand that some level of poorly maintained caches is inevitable.  It is a result of human nature, not insufficiently strict and harsh rules. 

 

There is a group in this discussion that believes that the CHS and associated processes are insufficiently punitive.  It is to that group that I addressed my original comments.  Instituting more rules (such as the ever-popular requirement that a cache be visited on some fixed schedule) is not going to have much, if any, impact on the quality of the caches.  But it will make cache ownership unpleasant and burdensome (which, BTW, may actually be the intent). 

 

Instead, along with dprovan, I would ask that cachers who perceive cache quality to be an issue make use of the tools that already exist.  And it would be lovely if they would stop perseverating on the topic.  Alas, that is human nature as well.

 

 

I agree that there should NOT be any kind of fixed maintenance schedule. I myself have difficult caches that haven't been found in years which i'm fairly certain, aren't in need of any maintenance. My comments are directed towards the increasing problem of people placing caches but then not responding to NMs, NAs, or other indications of a problem. Contrary to your statement above, I certainly don't expect people to maintain their caches to my specifications. But, I do expect an owner, who agreed to maintain their cache when they placed it, to actually maintain their cache. I don't expect a cache to just be ignored by its owner for months, or in a lot of cases, indefinitely. This is exactly what i'm seeing in my area. Heck, I just received another archival notification this morning with the same "owner hasn't responded" so "I'm archiving it" content

 

 

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On 2018-07-15 at 1:50 AM, fizzymagic said:

I would ask that cachers who perceive cache quality to be an issue make use of the tools that already exist.

 

Edexter provided an example of what can happen if the tools that already exist bother delinquent (those with long-standing NMs "It was pretty easy to tell which ones likely still needed maintenance") cache owners, who then contact the reviewer (a person of authority who is supposed to uphold the guidelines) who then asks the cacher who used the 'tools that already exist' to please stop using those tools:

 

Quote

I got a thoughtful note from The Reviewer indicating that some cachers found my action in posting an NA log was annoying and asking me to consider the effect of this on the game.

 

 

 

Edited by L0ne.R
clarity

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1 minute ago, Mudfrog said:

But, I do expect an owner, who agreed to maintain their cache when they placed it, to actually maintain their cache.

 

This ^^^

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12 hours ago, coachstahly said:
On 14/07/2018 at 12:22 PM, Team Microdot said:

 

Or, in other words, anyone who actively campaigns for even basic standards of quality is worthy of scorn and not welcome.

 

That's how you read his reply?  Sorry, but where does he scorn those who feel like you do and/or make you feel unwelcome?

 

I read this as a suggestion that someone who continually complains about something and is focusing on the negative might actually benefit from doing something else, thereby relieving themselves of the negativity and effectively making themselves happier.

 

You might even be right - if anyone was actually continually complaining and only focusing on the negative.

 

What you actually have here is people focusing on the topic of a specifc thread - which is precisely what is expected here.

 

When someone tells me to go away and do something else just because I have ideas about how improvements could be made that makes me feel unwelcome. YMMV.

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18 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

The cache that was hidden at exactly zero cost to you?  Yet you feel you can demand that it meet your standards?

 

To me, that sounds like the very definition of "entitlement."

 

Remember, the discussion here is not about what Groundspeak does (for which you pay) but what cache owners do (for which you do NOT pay).

 

Nobody said that the cache should meet their standards.

 

The expectation is that a cache will meet the basic standards of the guidelines.

 

I've conttibruted a fair number of caches at my own expense. Someone making the excuse that they've hidden a cache at no expense to me means that I've no right to expect the cache (most of the time) will meet the minimum standards doesn't wash.

 

The subject of the thread is actually about what Groundpseak does - in the form of the CHS, if we're nit-picking.

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8 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

It's clear that there is some basic failure of communication here.  So this will be the end for me

 

You mean too many people disagree with you?

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