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L0ne.R

CHS score. Is it making a difference?

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I don't believe there is anything in the guidelines. It's normal to see DNFs come in on challenging caches. However, the vast majority of caches placed are of the lower difficulty variety. DNFs on these are usually a decent indication that there could be a problem with the cache. Thing is, it doesn't really matter because the cache will not be archived without some pre communication. A reviewer gives an owner some time, 30 days around these parts, to do what he or she needs to do to keep the cache going. There's plenty of warning so i have no sympathy for a CO that doesn't take some kind of action.

I can understand a CO not wanting to go through the trouble of checking on his cache when he feels certain there is not a problem. But at the same time, cache maintenance was something he sign up for when he place his cache.

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13 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

If a Reviewer archives a cache because they were alerted the cache was piling up DNF/NM with no owner action then that seems pretty reasonable. Usually the cache only gets Disabled, unless the owner's profile indicates they've not bee active for years.

Besides, caches can be unarchived.

So I'm still not seeing a real problem other than whiny COs.

It was my understanding that a cache will not be unarchieved if it was archieved by a reviewer because of no owner reaction.

Around here, the CHS doesn't seem to make any difference at all. Reviewers react on NA logs, and owners usually react on NM's or multiple DNFs. If they don't, somebody logs NA and the circle is closed. Of course this is just my impression and might not be universally true even in my area..

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14 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

If a Reviewer archives a cache because they were alerted the cache was piling up DNF/NM with no owner action then that seems pretty reasonable. Usually the cache only gets Disabled, unless the owner's profile indicates they've not bee active for years.

Besides, caches can be unarchived.

So I'm still not seeing a real problem other than whiny COs.

1 hour ago, Rebore said:

It was my understanding that a cache will not be unarchieved  if it was archieved by a reviewer because of no owner reaction.

 I thought an archived cache might be reinstated if a CO was unable to respond at the time (intensive care maybe?) , where there's no time or thought to create a new maintenance plan.  I'd guess that could be taken into consideration (probably with a look at their history of maintenance as well).   But for folks who just don't wanna fix it, I believe you're correct.   :) 

 

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15 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

So I'm still not seeing a real problem other than whiny COs.

I think this sums up my problem. COs are what makes the game happen. As much as we owe the reviewers that have to put up with COs, we owe the COs more. So if they whine, we should listen. But you talk as if you're thinking, "How dare they whine. They should be grateful we're finding their miserably little caches." The longer this goes on, the more I think that this big push for "quality caches" is a big reason why there are fewer quality caches. The better a CO is, the more likely being called "whiny" will make them lose interest.

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17 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I still can't find anything in the guidelines requiring the CO take action in response to DNFs. Not all caches are instant smilies, some are actually difficult to find and DNFs are part of the normal experience. I've yet to be convinced a DNF should be treated the same as an NM, and that a few DNFs without the CO doing something requires reviewer intervention.

CO must "keep the geocache in proper working order" and if they have good reason to doubt the container is still there then they are not doing so.

I'm not arguing 1 DNF equates to NM (although sometimes it does, like "GZ bulldozed"), but multiple DNFs on a typical cache usually does. Especially by experienced cachers. Evil hides do warrant more leeway on DNFs.

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3 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

CO must "keep the geocache in proper working order" and if they have good reason to doubt the container is still there then they are not doing so.

I'm not arguing 1 DNF equates to NM (although sometimes it does, like "GZ bulldozed"), but multiple DNFs on a typical cache usually does. Especially by experienced cachers. Evil hides do warrant more leeway on DNFs.

I think there may be considerable regional differences in what's considered a "typical" cache. Our lamp-posts don't have covers on their bases so there are no LPCs here and the nearest power trail would be at least a couple of hours drive away, so cunning hides, often in bushland, are more the norm here and it's not unusual for them to get multiple DNFs simply because they're not obvious, like the one I mentioned previously that had ten straight DNFs prior to my find a couple of months back.

And yes, it finally happened, on the 53rd DNF I've had across all my hides, I finally got one where the cache was actually missing. From the wording of the DNF and what I knew of the hiding place, I suspected that might have been the case and sure enough it'd been muggled. As for the others, though, the DNFs just meant the searcher didn't find it. The CHS algorithm knows nothing about GZ, nor does it read the content of the DNF logs, it just counts them and seems especially trigger-happy on higher D/T caches with few finds where just one, two or three DNFs can set it off, even if, as in one example posted on the forums few a months back, the most recent log was a find! Yet on another cache that had an outstanding NM going back six months and a smattering of DNFs prior to that, we were told that it hadn't had enough negative logs to lower its CHS sufficiently. This inconsistency is baffling!

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But the CS isn't auto-archiving anything. I'm sure it could stand to be improved. The purpose is to alert and nudge COs.

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18 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

CO must "keep the geocache in proper working order" and if they have good reason to doubt the container is still there then they are not doing so.

I thought it must be clear to everyone by now that the debate is what this statement in the guidelines actually requires. I've found caches out in the field in proper working order 10 years after they were placed with no owner visits since, so it's hard for me to read into the guidelines any requirement for regular visits or running out after a couple DNFs.

18 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I'm not arguing 1 DNF equates to NM (although sometimes it does, like "GZ bulldozed"), but multiple DNFs on a typical cache usually does. Especially by experienced cachers. Evil hides do warrant more leeway on DNFs.

A DNF that says "GZ bulldozed" does not equate to an NM. It only tells us that the person posting the DNF should have posted an NM. I'm sure you don't see the difference, but I consider it significant.

6 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

But the CS isn't auto-archiving anything. I'm sure it could stand to be improved. The purpose is to alert and nudge COs.

In fact, what I'm seeing in my local area is a reviewer using to CHS to tell him when to automatically take action against caches. Yeah, OK, I haven't seen anything that seems just plain wrong, so I'm sure he's giving everything due consideration even though he's just a volunteer with better things to do, but sometimes it seems as if he's starting to get a 3-DNFs-and-you're-out mentality about it.

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It's hard to get an accurate picture of the overall effectiveness (statistically significant) of CHS based on the number of red wrenches alone.  A better measure would be the number compared to the total number of caches in the area.  A lower percentage of red wrenches who show improvement. In general, I have noticed there are fewer "open" NMs in the past months and fewer open (available) caches as well.  I haven't noticed any increase in cache repair rates, as three quarters of caches that progress from NM to NA are archived, almost all by the reviewer after the CO fails to respond to the original NM.  This is understandable because an improvement by the reviewer in clearing out the unmaintained deadwood (caches that the CO has made no effort to maintain) speeds up the process initially, but once it becomes standard practice, a new more or less "steady state" results with fewer caches.  This is to the good however, as it reduces the number of "dead and dying caches" overall and may over time increase the percentage of "healthy" caches out there.  In the absence of a "quality rating" system, getting rid of abandoned caches may be the best we can expect for "quality control".  I searched for a "quality formula" for years to prescreen for the "good stuff" but to date have found the best system is to just look for people.   Of the subset of cachers who place the types of caches you want to hunt, the folks who maintain their caches on a regular basis demonstrate quality: folks who disparage others for posting dnf, NM and NA logs and do not record cache maintenance visits (while saying they checked "just last week, it's there") do not.  

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On 3/4/2018 at 0:55 AM, Mudfrog said:

I can understand a CO not wanting to go through the trouble of checking on his cache when he feels certain there is not a problem. But at the same time, cache maintenance was something he sign up for when he place his cache.

Going to the trouble of checking on a cache mightn't be much for a roadside P&G, but it can be a very different story for T4+ caches. Some may be especially difficult or hazardous to visit under unfavourable weather conditions or at certain times of the year, and it'd be especially annoying if those difficult or hazardous conditions were the reason why the DNFers failed to find it in the first place. Even amongst my own hides I have one that's only accessible at low tide with calm seas, a water-based T5 involving a 3km kayak paddle that I'd prefer to visit at times with light winds, favourable tides and away from the holiday times when the normally quiet waterway becomes a Mecca for jet-skiers and water-skiers (and of course that was the very time it got pinged by the CHS because of a single DNF from someone put off by those very same water-muggles), and several requiring an extended hike (10km+ return) up and down steep hills that I'd prefer to leave until winter for my routine checks. There are other caches I've done (and many I'm not fit enough to attempt) that would be a lot tougher for the CO to go and check on at the whim of an algorithm assigning meaning to DNFs that was never intended by the loggers. Yet, from the false positives reported in the forums, it seems to be these high D/T caches getting few finds that end up being collateral damage in the CHS algorithm because of its over-reliance on small numbers of DNFs.

Sure, one would hope that under circumstances like these, a reviewer looking at the pinged cache would give the CO some leeway, but the CHS has already been used in other ways (the virtual rewards selection process) and in all likelihood will find more uses in sorting COs into the good and the bad, with hiders of difficult-to-find/difficult-to-reach caches ending up in the latter category through no fault of their own.

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18 hours ago, dprovan said:

I thought it must be clear to everyone by now that the debate is what this statement in the guidelines actually requires. I've found caches out in the field in proper working order 10 years after they were placed with no owner visits since, so it's hard for me to read into the guidelines any requirement for regular visits or running out after a couple DNFs.

A DNF that says "GZ bulldozed" does not equate to an NM. It only tells us that the person posting the DNF should have posted an NM. I'm sure you don't see the difference, but I consider it significant.

In fact, what I'm seeing in my local area is a reviewer using to CHS to tell him when to automatically take action against caches. Yeah, OK, I haven't seen anything that seems just plain wrong, so I'm sure he's giving everything due consideration even though he's just a volunteer with better things to do, but sometimes it seems as if he's starting to get a 3-DNFs-and-you're-out mentality about it.

"Visit the geocache regularly" is explicitly stated in the Guidelines for CO.

In the 'bulldozed' example above, a NM would be required, but it would be in addition to DNF, especially because the new logging page requires a Find, DNF, or Note to produce a NM or NA. CO should at least glance at logs on their caches anyway, even non-NM/NA logs.

Your problem with the CHS seems to not be with CHS itself, but how your local Reviewer is using it.

Edited by JL_HSTRE
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5 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

In the 'bulldozed' example above, a NM would be required, but it would be in addition to DNF, especially because the new logging page requires a Find, DNF, or Note to produce a NM or NA.

There have been a couple times when I logged only a NM because GZ was firmly located within a construction zone. The sites had been bulldozed, and then some. A DNF did not seem appropriate, because I couldn't reach GZ to start my search. If at some point I am unable to log a NM without logging some other type of log, then those situations would get a Note.

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29 minutes ago, niraD said:

There have been a couple times when I logged only a NM because GZ was firmly located within a construction zone. The sites had been bulldozed, and then some. A DNF did not seem appropriate, because I couldn't reach GZ to start my search. If at some point I am unable to log a NM without logging some other type of log, then those situations would get a Note.

I sorta agree.   The few times we were unable to get to GZ because of construction, we simply wrote a Note.  Construction on trails/parks can happen with little or no notice, and in-between others finds.  Most we've seen were temporary, and a few times when it appeared that "GZ" was an issue, the permitted cache was carted off or even held by the work crew until they were done.  Another one of those "why permission is important" things...

DNF would mean that we'd have had to look to be sure, and couldn't get there to do so.   We assume that a responsible CO is reading logs as well, and would do whatever's appropriate based on ours.   Most we've experienced TD them until they can get a look themselves, talked with whoever's planned it, and announced a future plan with that hide on the cache page.    :)

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6 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

"Visit the geocache regularly" is explicitly stated in the Guidelines for CO.

I'm OK with a CO visiting his geocache regularly, every 20 years, on the dot. Anyway, the real point is that that "visit regularly" addition to the guidelines is a symptom of the problem. In my experience, a CO visiting his cache regularly would have zero affect on the cache's health, so the main impact of requiring regular visits is to stop COs from planting caches that are hard to visit regularly.

6 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

In the 'bulldozed' example above, a NM would be required, but it would be in addition to DNF, especially because the new logging page requires a Find, DNF, or Note to produce a NM or NA. CO should at least glance at logs on their caches anyway, even non-NM/NA logs.

I don't know what you mean by "required". The case presented was a DNF that said "bulldozed", so there was no NM and it makes no difference at all whether you think it was somehow required. And certainly I'd expect and even assume a CO checked after seeing a bulldozed DNF if it was news to him. But if no NM is posted, I think it should be perfectly reasonable for me and anyone else to assume there was a reason it wasn't posted, like the person posting the DNF was, for some reason, unsure about whether the bulldozing actually impacted the hide.

6 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Your problem with the CHS seems to not be with CHS itself, but how your local Reviewer is using it.

My problem is that GS requiring reviewers to use CHS has caused my reviewer to use it in a way that subverts the existing healthy problem reporting in my area. If my reviewer feels the need to use it this way where we have no problems with cache quality, I assume what I'm seeing it is fairly typical of how most reviewers are reacting to the new normal.

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On 3/2/2018 at 9:52 AM, Manville Possum said:

Has logging accordingly ever caused you animosity from other members?

I provoked this passive aggressive log from a CO a couple years ago.

First, I had run across two of their caches that were logged as temporarily disabled, even though they had been removed.  I posted NA logs to the effect that it looked like they meant to archive the cache, not just disable it.  The local reviewer then archived both, apparently per the CO's request.

Two months go by, and I am on that side of town again and tried hunting a third hide of theirs.  I hadn't read their owner maintenance log and had spent a while looking for it before I realized it was not just missing, but had been removed by the CO three months earlier.  So I posted a DNF asking why it hadn't been disabled for the past three months, which provoked the response linked above.

At the time, I just rolled my eyes and put their two remaining caches on my ignore list, but it did get me thinking.  Since then I have tried to soften my approach somewhat, though sometimes I still get exasperated. 

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I decided to replicate L0nerR's "red wrench" survey by doing a similar 35 mile radius around my winter location in Cocoa Beach, FL and came up with 190 caches (out of an unknown number of caches in the area).  The smaller number is due to the geography here:  half the area is water.   I then "looked at" the first 11 caches in the list and this is what I found:  1, None of the COs had responded to the NM  2, None of the NM logs were more recent than 7 weeks  3, Most of the NM were from years past, 4, Two of the caches currently have issues (damaged container and wet logs)  5, All of the caches are currently "available"  6, Any repairs were done by fellow cachers, not the CO  7, Only 6 of the COs appear to be active based on "last visit".

From this I draw some preliminary conclusions:  1, A large percentage of the open "red wrenches" DO NOT indicate a current issue with the cache.   2, Abandoned caches persist because fellow cachers repair and replace them (but they can not clear the NM log)  3,  If a NM log has been up for more than a couple of months the CO isn't going to do anything about it.  

I can't draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of CHS based on the number of currently open NM logs at this point.  None of the 11 caches appear to have ever drawn the attention of a Reviewer despite an open NM with no response.  The main observable result of an NM log was that one of the next few loggers would replace the log or the cache or both.  In my experience, with NM logs I have personally placed, only one in four is ever responded to.  The COs who do respond either fix the cache and log an OM or archive it: both actions remove the NM attribute, so it seems logical that the great majority of NM logs that remain open have been ignored by the CO and been repaired or replaced by fellow cachers.  Over time the number of abandoned caches will continue to grow and since any maintenance performed is by chance, their quality will decline.  

 

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1 hour ago, edexter said:

I decided to replicate L0nerR's "red wrench" survey by doing a similar 35 mile radius around my winter location in Cocoa Beach, FL and came up with 190 caches (out of an unknown number of caches in the area).  The smaller number is due to the geography here:  half the area is water.   I then "looked at" the first 11 caches in the list and this is what I found:  1, None of the COs had responded to the NM  2, None of the NM logs were more recent than 7 weeks  3, Most of the NM were from years past, 4, Two of the caches currently have issues (damaged container and wet logs)  5, All of the caches are currently "available"  6, Any repairs were done by fellow cachers, not the CO  7, Only 6 of the COs appear to be active based on "last visit".

From this I draw some preliminary conclusions:  1, A large percentage of the open "red wrenches" DO NOT indicate a current issue with the cache.   2, Abandoned caches persist because fellow cachers repair and replace them (but they can not clear the NM log)  3,  If a NM log has been up for more than a couple of months the CO isn't going to do anything about it.  

I can't draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of CHS based on the number of currently open NM logs at this point.  None of the 11 caches appear to have ever drawn the attention of a Reviewer despite an open NM with no response.  The main observable result of an NM log was that one of the next few loggers would replace the log or the cache or both.  In my experience, with NM logs I have personally placed, only one in four is ever responded to.  The COs who do respond either fix the cache and log an OM or archive it: both actions remove the NM attribute, so it seems logical that the great majority of NM logs that remain open have been ignored by the CO and been repaired or replaced by fellow cachers.  Over time the number of abandoned caches will continue to grow and since any maintenance performed is by chance, their quality will decline.  

 

That paints a much clearer picture. Thank you for running a PQ and taking a closer look. 

 

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1 hour ago, edexter said:

1, A large percentage of the open "red wrenches" DO NOT indicate a current issue with the cache.

 

49 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

None of the 11 caches appear to have ever drawn the attention of a Reviewer despite an open NM with no response.

That's how it should be, right? Or is there some reason you want the reviewer to pay attention to caches for which there's no current issue?

I think a lot of people will read your useful analysis and conclude that the sky's falling even though your first point, that the wrenches don't really indicate a problem, strikes me as the main takeaway. I'm a little surprised that the local geocachers have such a high tolerance for marginal caches, but it's OK with me if they want to be that way.

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I just tried to run a PQ for an area to see how many caches have the red cross. I don't see the red cross attribute. I assume the blank space was where the red cross use to be. Does anyone else see the same thing?

 

 

2018-03-07 15_46_56-Geocaching _ Your Pocket Queries _ Create_Edit Geocache Pocket Query.png

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16 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

I just tried to run a PQ for an area to see how many caches have the red cross. I don't see the red cross attribute. I assume the blank space was where the red cross use to be. Does anyone else see the same thing?

The red cross was replaced by the wrench, right? (Next line, one column to the right of your hole.) Where you have a hole, I have an attribute called "quads".

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11 minutes ago, dprovan said:

The red cross was replaced by the wrench, right? (Next line, one column to the right of your hole.) Where you have a hole, I have an attribute called "quads".

Ah, now I see it... yes a red wrench. Thanks dprovan.

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I recall a few years ago that one of my listings was temp disabled by the local reviewer because it had no finds in two years after a DNF was logged. Today I was looking at some listings in the area that have no finds in three years and several DNF's logged on them. So now I'm confused, or wonder if the CHS is even used anymore to clean up abandoned and neglected listings.

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21 minutes ago, Manville Possum said:

I recall a few years ago that one of my listings was temp disabled by the local reviewer because it had no finds in two years after a DNF was logged. Today I was looking at some listings in the area that have no finds in three years and several DNF's logged on them. So now I'm confused, or wonder if the CHS is even used anymore to clean up abandoned and neglected listings.

In my area I think they don't actively use the CHS during the winter months. My guess is we'll see more reviewer notes/disables/archive activity in April.

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1 hour ago, Manville Possum said:

... some listings in the area that have no finds in three years and several DNF's logged on them. So now I'm confused, or wonder if the CHS is even used anymore to clean up abandoned and neglected listings.

We recently (yesterday) logged a DNF on a cache that had not been found since June 2016, with several DNF's logged from Jan 2017 to now.  No reviewer intervention, till I also logged NM.  Today that cache is Temporarily Disabled by a reviewer, assuming in response to my NM log.  We'll see what happens.

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52 minutes ago, CAVinoGal said:

We recently (yesterday) logged a DNF on a cache that had not been found since June 2016, with several DNF's logged from Jan 2017 to now.  No reviewer intervention, till I also logged NM.  Today that cache is Temporarily Disabled by a reviewer, assuming in response to my NM log.  We'll see what happens.

 

I normally get no response without logging a NA, but logging NM does not alert a reviewer that I am aware of.  We just don't have many players locally and the game has stalled out.

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1 hour ago, CAVinoGal said:

We'll see what happens.

I'm not sure what to make of that ;)

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32 minutes ago, Nomex said:
1 hour ago, CAVinoGal said:

We'll see what happens.

I'm not sure what to make of that ;)

Just wondering if the CO will respond, or not, and if this one will eventually be no more ... nothing more than that!  :)

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1 hour ago, CAVinoGal said:

We recently (yesterday) logged a DNF on a cache that had not been found since June 2016, with several DNF's logged from Jan 2017 to now.  No reviewer intervention, till I also logged NM.  Today that cache is Temporarily Disabled by a reviewer, assuming in response to my NM log.  We'll see what happens.

A few weeks back I logged a DNF on a local cache that hadn't been found since January 2016 with 8 DNFs since then. I'm glad it hadn't been TD'd by a reviewer because, armed with a hint from a previous finder, I went back the next day and found it. Nothing wrong with it, it's just a tough hide.

Two of my hides have already passed a year since the last find, with a third likely to join their ranks next month. Nothing wrong with them either, other than those who were interested having already found them and the newcomers/visitors not finding them appealing (too much of a hike for just one smiley, I suppose).

For now, the reviewers here don't seem to be taking action until someone logs an NA, and they'll only entertain an NA if there's already been an NM outstanding for at least a month with no CO response. That system seems to work pretty well around here and I hope it stays that way.

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27 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

For now, the reviewers here don't seem to be taking action until someone logs an NA, and they'll only entertain an NA if there's already been an NM outstanding for at least a month with no CO response. That system seems to work pretty well around here and I hope it stays that way.

 

I believe that to be normal protocol for my area as well. I've just got tired of seeing the stacks of DNF's and red wrenches that tell the quality of the local geocaches. :(

I wish cache owners would be more responsible, it keeps the game enjoyable. :)

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dprovan wrote:  "That's how it should be, right? Or is there some reason you want the reviewer to pay attention to caches for which there's no current issue?"

Yes, no current issues for 9 of 11.  Two need repairs.    Long term issue is the number of caches with no CO .

Turns out there were 2304 caches in the 35 mile radius, so a little over 8% with an open NM log.  My experience is that roughly 90% of caches are in reasonable shape, most of the ones that aren't have a wet log and/or are no longer watertight.  Something like 3 to 5% of caches are missing or badly damaged and end up being archived without being found again.  

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Recent evidence suggests to me that so long as the cache has a signable log within the general state of the cache matters not and that 'armchair' NM's and NA's are disallowed.

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I decided to do a "red wrench" search for my home area around Plymouth MA.  This showed 399 NM logs out of 3257 or over 12%.  This time I sorted alphabetically by CO's name and could see the evidence that many COs use the "set it and forget it" approach to cache maintenance.  Here's an example of what happens when a CO doesn't do maintenance but the community "steps up" (CO appears to have dropped out of the game in mid 2017. Cache needs a new container and has for years...)

7/19/15 NM log posted: "Cache was soaked inside. Could use a new logbook and a zip lock baggie."
10/10/15 "Log is wet"
5/23/16: "TFTC. Unfortunately vandalized. :-( Reassembly required. Not sure where it was nut we replaced it into the base of a tree."
9/13/16: "We did the ... Series of six caches in a little over an hour this morning. All the caches were found and the logs signed. The trails were enjoyable on a perfect hiking day. Thanks for setting up this series! This cache had no container, just a baggy, and the log was very damp. This one needs a maintenance run."
3/20/17: "We ...were looking for some WF caches and this fit the bill. There was only a ziploc with the wet and moldy logbook, so I left a small cc with new log and new ziplock at GZ and left the old logbook and ziplock under cc (as it wouldn't fit) for the CO to retrieve. All dry and set to go. tftc
11/8/17: "Found. Cache bottle is inside of a ziplock bag n contents, including old log is all moldy. The inside of the actual CC is dry n clean tho, along with the new log placed by previous finder. I placed everything inside a new ziplock"

I wonder how the ziplock weathered the Nor'easters this winter....

Anyway, I think this should allay fears that the CHS is going to result in a massive intervention by Reviewers and that the average CO will be deluged with unnecessary calls to run out and do maintenance when everything is fine.  In order for the system to work (that is for caches to be placed and maintained in waterproof containers) , folks who find a damaged cache have to log an NM (not a note or find with details of what's wrong) and then someone needs to log an NA when the CO does not respond.  One could argue the community has taken up the slack but a baggie is not a reasonable cache container.  Without a posted NA log, this cache will limp along as long as folks can find it.  A long string of dnfs might get a reviewers notice, but another cache in this series had 183 consecutive finds followed by 6 consecutive dnfs and no finds in almost a year with no Reviewer intervention...

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19 minutes ago, edexter said:

Anyway, I think this should allay fears that the CHS is going to result in a massive intervention by Reviewers and that the average CO will be deluged with unnecessary calls to run out and do maintenance when everything is fine.  In order for the system to work (that is for caches to be placed and maintained in waterproof containers) , folks who find a damaged cache have to log an NM (not a note or find with details of what's wrong) and then someone needs to log an NA when the CO does not respond.  One could argue the community has taken up the slack but a baggie is not a reasonable cache container.  Without a posted NA log, this cache will limp along as long as folks can find it.  A long string of dnfs might get a reviewers notice, but another cache in this series had 183 consecutive finds followed by 6 consecutive dnfs and no finds in almost a year with no Reviewer intervention...

My experience today tells me this is all fine.

Most people don't bother with NM's and NA's or even mention the state of the cache in their logs and anyone who cares enough to post NM or NA has to trail out to the cache first to see what state it's in no matter how much evidence there is to support that it's a piece of unmaintained junk.

Ergo all this talk of the CHS and all the effort of integrating it into the system seems, to me at least, to have been a complete waste of everyon'e time as the net result will ultimately be that nothing will improve whatsoever.

If this is the party line I'm going to surrender to the party line and just log my find and move on, regardless of what's at GZ.

The race to the bottom is complete.

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1 hour ago, edexter said:

One could argue the community has taken up the slack but a baggie is not a reasonable cache container.

That's been my observation over the years....the community takes up the slack by not cleaning up the mess, wrapping the mess in baggies, and/or leaving sub-standard containers. Which makes for a fun find for future finders. Sigh. 

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The reviewers would argue the CHS helps them (they have stated as much), even if it's ultimately irrelevant to our experience, at least as finders. And if the reviewers' lives can be made easier not the detriment of our experience, especially with the regular increasing of the hobby, then I'm for it.

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17 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

That's been my observation over the years....the community takes up the slack by not cleaning up the mess, wrapping the mess in baggies, and/or leaving sub-standard containers. Which makes for a fun find for future finders. Sigh. 

But again, it's been demonstrated today by our local volunteer reviewer that this is fine. So long as a finder can sign a log - even if they had to bring it themselves, the state of the container and ownership status of the cache are irrelevant.

The CHS is a complete waste of everyone's time.

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I'm pretty sure Team Microdot is correct in stating that "the state of the container and ownership status of the cache are irrelevant"  in terms of any Reviewer action.     In reviewing the red wrench caches in my area it's kind of evident which caches were neglected and no longer had an active cache owner.  Unless a NA log had been posted, no reviewer took any action that I could tell.  Given that there were many more "found it" logs describing non watertight containers than NM logs and that an NM log is pretty much a requirement for an NA log, it remains to be seen what effect the CHS will have.  Many caches outlive their CO's interest in the game and will deteriorate overtime unless someone else maintains them.  It's not that hard to determine which caches have inactive COs.  I would say that abandoned caches are a large percentage of those in disrepair.

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53 minutes ago, edexter said:

Many caches outlive their CO's interest in the game and will deteriorate overtime unless someone else maintains them.  It's not that hard to determine which caches have inactive COs.  I would say that abandoned caches are a large percentage of those in disrepair.

 

I'm seeing too many neglected caches where the owner is still active finding caches, but not placing new ones. I'm speaking about cachers that own 300-500 and more listings.

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1 hour ago, edexter said:

I'm pretty sure Team Microdot is correct in stating that "the state of the container and ownership status of the cache are irrelevant"  in terms of any Reviewer action.

Today's experience proves it - at least in my area.

I logged NA on a cache which I know had been abandoned by the owner because the owner gave up caching in 2012 according to logs from other cachers.

The CO's last genuine logged find was in 2011. They hadn't logged into the site since 2016 - although I'm not sure it was actually the CO who logged in then as I know that another local cacher has their login credentials and has logged in as them recently in order to adopt a cache over to himself and also to post a NA on another local cache.

Several of the original CO's caches have fallen into disrepair over the years and been archived, after zero CO response, by the same reviewer who today has rejected other NA's on the basis that someone has left a dry log in the failed container which means that log will probably be in an equally bad state by the time the next find takes place.

On this basis I can only conclude that junk caches can be propped up indefinitely so long as no recent visitor actually logs NM's / NA's and, as we increasingly see, fewer and fewer will do so as they either don't know they can, don't care or decide against it after suffering abuse at the hands of CO's who think that's appropriate behaviour.

On this basis I conclude that Groundspeak's recent 'cache health' drive and the CHS were and are a complete waste of time and I've decided to stop trying to swim against the ever more violent tide.

I won't be logging any more NM's or NA's effective immediately.

 

Edited by Team Microdot
typo

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45 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Today's experience proves it - at least in my area.

I logged NA on a cache which I know had been abandoned by the owner because the owner gave up caching in 2012 according to logs from other cachers.

The CO's last genuine logged find was in 2011. They hadn't logged into the site since 2016 - although I'm not sure it was actually the CO who logged in then as I know that another local cacher has their login credentials and has logged in as them recently in order to adopt a cache over to himself and also to post a NA on another local cache.

Several of the original CO's caches have fallen into disrepair over the years and been archived, after zero CO response, by the same reviewer who today has rejected other NA's on the basis that someone has left a dry log in the failed container which means that log will probably be in an equally bad state by the time the next find takes place.

On this basis I can only conclude that junk caches can be propped up indefinitely so long as no recent visitor actually logs NM's / NA's and, as we increasingly see, fewer and fewer will do so as they either don't know they can, don't care or decide against it after suffering abuse at the hands of CO's who think that's appropriate behaviour.

On this basis I conclude that Groundspeak's recent 'cache health' drive and the CHS were and are a complete waste of time and I've decided to stop trying to swim against the ever more violent tide.

I won't be logging any more NM's or NA's effective immediately.

 

I think that is the opposite of what we should ALL be doing. Always log the NM or NA. This will put the pressure on the CO to repair or archive the cache, or it will eventually push the Reviewer to take action. That is the way to get the crappy caches removed from the playing field.

If those cache locations aren't filled by other new caches, the hobby is better than with the old crappy cache being there for new players to experience.

 

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14 minutes ago, K13 said:
52 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I won't be logging any more NM's or NA's effective immediately.

 

I think that is the opposite of what we should ALL be doing. Always log the NM or NA. This will put the pressure on the CO to repair or archive the cache, or it will eventually push the Reviewer to take action. That is the way to get the crappy caches removed from the playing field.

If those cache locations aren't filled by other new caches, the hobby is better than with the old crappy cache being there for new players to experience.

When challenged by irate CO's I have posted a note to the cache page to explain why the NA was justified.

Having done that I received an email from Grounspeak explaining that doing so could lead to my suspension.

This underlies my decision to cease any and all attempts at positive stewardship of the game.

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15 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

When challenged by irate CO's I have posted a note to the cache page to explain why the NA was justified.

Having done that I received an email from Grounspeak explaining that doing so could lead to my suspension.

This underlies my decision to cease any and all attempts at positive stewardship of the game.

Why not include the explanation in the NA log?

Perhaps adding a separate explanation in a Note might be considered an aggressive move toward the CO, causing the missive from GS?

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30 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Having done that I received an email from Grounspeak explaining that doing so could lead to my suspension.

This underlies my decision to cease any and all attempts at positive stewardship of the game.

 

I let my PM expire and will not renew it and archived my listings. Now I'm selling off my geocoin collection. :)

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34 minutes ago, K13 said:
38 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

When challenged by irate CO's I have posted a note to the cache page to explain why the NA was justified.

Having done that I received an email from Grounspeak explaining that doing so could lead to my suspension.

This underlies my decision to cease any and all attempts at positive stewardship of the game.

Why not include the explanation in the NA log?

Perhaps adding a separate explanation in a Note might be considered an aggressive move toward the CO, causing the missive from GS?

I pretty much always include in any NA log my reasons for posting it.

This usually includes such information as when the CO last logged in to geocaching.com / when they last posted a find in support of my belief that they are no longer in the game. Usually the cachers are locals anyway which helps towards confidently knowing if they've moved on to other activities. I do my homework. I don't post NM's and NA's lightly - I take it seriously.

I also have usually gone back through previous logs to see how long an issue has gone unaddressed.

As we all know - it usually takes very little effort to conclude that a CO is out of the game and their caches aren't going to get maintained. It's even easier when the reviewer in question knows this to be true because they've already archived a number of the CO's caches with zero response.

The extra explanation in this instance was made necessary by the CO who used the credentials they had for the abandoned account to login and adopt one of the caches over to himself, aggressively contesting the validity of the NA.

Long story short, I'm under threat of suspension for posting NA on a junk cache which everyone knows is abandoned by the CO - including the reviewer and those other cachers - but so long as someone has left a dry piece of paper in it I should keep my mouth shut.

I'm only giving everyone what they want :)

So - to return to the OP...

Yes - the CHS score is making a difference in my local area. It's leading to aggressive CO's with lots of hides and too many to maintain comfortably posting nasty notes both on their own caches and on caches they don't even own which recieve completely deserved NM and NA logs, other cachers joining the mob for reasons best know to themselves and the net result being that those junk caches continue to be propped up - apparently with Groundspeak's approval.

 

 

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So, rather than stating something like,  "The cache has 6 DNF since the first NM. Looks like it has been abandoned. Needs Review Attention." in your NA log, you do the research to know how long it's been since the CO logged in to the website by computer, and other "homework" about their cache ownership history before posting the NA, listing everything like it's an argument for the Prosecution to justify your position?

Calling out someone in the NA log may be where the angst is starting.

Let the Reviewer do all that research. It's a part of the service they provide.

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15 minutes ago, K13 said:

So, rather than stating something like,  "The cache has 6 DNF since the first NM. Looks like it has been abandoned. Needs Review Attention." in your NA log, you do the research to know how long it's been since the CO logged in to the website by computer, and other "homework" about their cache ownership history before posting the NA, listing everything like it's an argument for the Prosecution to justify your position?

Calling out someone in the NA log may be where the angst is starting.

Let the Reviewer do all that research. It's a part of the service they provide.

Calling out someone?

I'm stating facts!

This is precisely the mentality we're up against here - and why I'm throwing in the towel and leaving the junk to rot on the hillsides - giving people precisely what they crave so strongly.

I never referenced caches that people can't find - I can't judge WHY they can't find it.

Everyone can see though when a cache is abandoned junk and should be gotten rid of.

The fact you've told me I should be supplying more information to support my valid NA log and then criticised the fact I'm doing so in the next breath leaves me almost speechless. Almost.

 

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15 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Calling out someone?

I'm stating facts!

This is precisely the mentality we're up against here - and why I'm throwing in the towel and leaving the junk to rot on the hillsides - giving people precisely what they crave so strongly.

I never referenced caches that people can't find - I can't judge WHY they can't find it.

Everyone can see though when a cache is abandoned junk and should be gotten rid of.

The fact you've told me I should be supplying more information to support my valid NA log and then criticised the fact I'm doing so in the next breath leaves me almost speechless. Almost.

 

It's a vast difference referring to the prior few logs on the cache page versus researching the owner's caching history.

You don't need all the owner's history to post a valid NA log. Sometimes a list of facts about the cacher rather than the one particular cache can be perceived as an attack.

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15 minutes ago, K13 said:

It's a vast difference referring to the prior few logs on the cache page versus researching the owner's caching history.

You don't need all the owner's history to post a valid NA log. Sometimes a list of facts about the cacher rather than the one particular cache can be perceived as an attack.

No.

It isn't.

For example:

Cache has been wet for X months.

CO hasn't logged in since Y and last logged a find on Z date.

I think they might have left the game so maintenance is unlikely.

No drama.

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With the advent of the phone apps, there is no longer a way to know the last time a cacher has logged on the site. Also, some cache owners hide caches using a secondary account. They may not log in with that secondary account, except to place new caches, so it may look like that cacher had left the hobby.

 

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1 hour ago, Team Microdot said:

Long story short, I'm under threat of suspension for posting NA on a junk cache which everyone knows is abandoned by the CO - including the reviewer and those other cachers ...

Good.  I am glad that Groundspeak still is using common sense. I am guessing that your NA included a certain amount of snark.

I was VERY tempted last night to post a snarky log on a multi-cache that was truly terrible.  The description, written in only marginally-parse-able English, had instructions that were wrong on their face.  And yet nobody has told the CO about the problems in the four years it has been active.  Of course, being unable to understand the instructions, and not having enough time to guess about what they meant, I gave it one shot (which didn't work) and then left.

The log might have made me feel better at that moment, but it would probably also have hurt the CO and done no good.  So I kept my keyboard silent.  I'm still learning (witness my diatribe against the Groundspeak development process a couple of days ago) but in general I am learning that it is frequently better to be careful and positive in logs.

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