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L0ne.R

CHS score. Is it making a difference?

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22 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

As per usual,  bad behavior is being defended. It doesn't matter the age of the cache owner, he should be responsible for the cache he placed. Sure, there is the slight chance the CO is incapacitated in some way but it's more likely he or she has simply chosen to ignore the problem.

 

No, no, no, no, no.  No one is defending the lack of maintenance on the part of the CO or the local maintainer.  They're calling out someone who assumed the CO was lying because they don't believe a local maintainer was actually in place.  That's the behavior that's "bad".  I would make an assumption that everyone who has replied recently is in complete agreement with everything you say past the bolded part above, as well as what LOne.R has stated regarding the lack of maintenance on the part of the CO or local maintainer.  I know I do.  The lack of action on the CO's part goes directly against the expectations outlined in the guidelines.  They should NOT be given a free pass and I don't see anyone actually supporting their lack of maintenance. 

8 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

Bad person, no! A person that probably doesn't want to take care of his geocaching business, yes! 

 

So a person who, for whatever reason, chooses not to maintain their caches is a bad person?  So my good friend, who is a police officer, has withdrawn from regular interaction with the game.  He archived some of his caches that were most likely in trouble when he stopped playing regularly and adopted out many others but he left many out that didn't have issues at the time.  Two years later, many are in disrepair and he's letting the reviewer determine the fate.  According to you, that makes him a bad person.  

 

He's one of the nicest guys I know, he's got a family he adores, a job that requires him to put his life on the line in service to the community, political views opposite of mine, and I value him as a good person and a good friend.  NONE of these things excuse his inaction regarding maintenance of his caches but I will never call him a bad person because he has chosen to disregard the guidelines that state what is expected of him as a CO.  I've raised the point with him but it's all for naught.  I absolutely wish and think he should do something about it but I don't think any less of him because of it.  I certainly view him as an example of a CO that other COs shouldn't emulate but to make the claim he's a bad person because he doesn't do what is expected of him goes too far, IMO.

 

8 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

You're right, if the cache is in trouble, it's in trouble,,, and this is where the owner of said cache needs to step up. Unfortunately, there are too many COs that just don't care. NMs, and even NAs, can stare them in the face with no action taken.  The CHS does sometimes help when this occurs. 

 

I'm in complete agreement with the sentiment you express here.  Please don't get me wrong.  I just don't believe that someone who doesn't do what is expected (not required, expected) is therefore assumed to be a bad person.  Action should be taken to address caches with NM/NA logs.  In the case of inaction, the CHS can help, but so can other COs who post NM logs on those caches, followed up by the subsequent NA logs.

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

Bad person, no! A person that probably doesn't want to take care of his geocaching business, yes! 

 

So a person who, for whatever reason, chooses not to maintain their caches is a bad person?  So my good friend, who is a police officer, has withdrawn from regular interaction with the game.  He archived some of his caches that were most likely in trouble when he stopped playing regularly and adopted out many others but he left many out that didn't have issues at the time.  Two years later, many are in disrepair and he's letting the reviewer determine the fate.  According to you, that makes him a bad person.  

 

Looking back at this it appears I didn't quite understand it correctly.  You're not saying they're a bad person but rather a person who doesn't want to take care of their geocaches.  Do I have that right?

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38 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

 

No, no, no, no, no.  No one is defending the lack of maintenance on the part of the CO or the local maintainer.  They're calling out someone who assumed the CO was lying because they don't believe a local maintainer was actually in place.  That's the behavior that's "bad".  I would make an assumption that everyone who has replied recently is in complete agreement with everything you say past the bolded part above, as well as what LOne.R has stated regarding the lack of maintenance on the part of the CO or local maintainer.  I know I do.  The lack of action on the CO's part goes directly against the expectations outlined in the guidelines.  They should NOT be given a free pass and I don't see anyone actually supporting their lack of maintenance. 

 

So a person who, for whatever reason, chooses not to maintain their caches is a bad person?  So my good friend, who is a police officer, has withdrawn from regular interaction with the game.  He archived some of his caches that were most likely in trouble when he stopped playing regularly and adopted out many others but he left many out that didn't have issues at the time.  Two years later, many are in disrepair and he's letting the reviewer determine the fate.  According to you, that makes him a bad person.  

 

He's one of the nicest guys I know, he's got a family he adores, a job that requires him to put his life on the line in service to the community, political views opposite of mine, and I value him as a good person and a good friend.  NONE of these things excuse his inaction regarding maintenance of his caches but I will never call him a bad person because he has chosen to disregard the guidelines that state what is expected of him as a CO.  I've raised the point with him but it's all for naught.  I absolutely wish and think he should do something about it but I don't think any less of him because of it.  I certainly view him as an example of a CO that other COs shouldn't emulate but to make the claim he's a bad person because he doesn't do what is expected of him goes too far, IMO.

 

 

I'm in complete agreement with the sentiment you express here.  Please don't get me wrong.  I just don't believe that someone who doesn't do what is expected (not required, expected) is therefore assumed to be a bad person.  Action should be taken to address caches with NM/NA logs.  In the case of inaction, the CHS can help, but so can other COs who post NM logs on those caches, followed up by the subsequent NA logs.

 

Quote from the post I made above,

 

"Bad person, no! A person that probably doesn't want to take care of his geocaching business, yes!"

 

No where in my post did I call a CO is a bad person for not taking care of their cache. Irresponsible maybe, but not bad. I suppose I could have worded my second sentence a bit different. Maybe something like,,, A person that is probably capable of, but has decided to stop being responsible for a cache that he placed and agreed to maintain, yes!

 

Seems there are excuses made all the time for why people choose not to take care of business. There are some legitimate reasons why it occurs but we all know that most caches left behind and ignored, belong to owners that have moved on and/or simply don't want to be bothered with a little thing like maintenance. 

 

Some on here seem to be just fine with how things are going and see little or no problems. I have to ask then, why was the CHS initiated? 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

No where in my post did I call a CO is a bad person for not taking care of their cache. Irresponsible maybe, but not bad. I suppose I could have worded my second sentence a bit different. Maybe something like,,, A person that is probably capable of, but has decided to stop being responsible for a cache that he placed and agreed to maintain, yes!

 

"Irresponsible" is a derogatory term.  You have chosen to use this and other derogatory words refer to people who do not care for their caches to your specifications. I suppose there is some technical excuse you can make up about why that is different from calling them "bad," but it is a distinction without a difference.

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3 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

Some on here seem to be just fine with how things are going and see little or no problems. I have to ask then, why was the CHS initiated? 

 

In the caching I do, I don't encounter many decrepit or missing caches, and those that are get generally taken care of in the traditional way through NM and NA logs. I've been getting notifications of TD logs in my area for the last year or so and, with one exception, all the reviewer TDs I've seen have been in response to an NA. That one exception was a cache that had 17 outstanding NMs due to a missing lid on the container (a magnetic mint tin attached to a guard rail) allowing the log to get wet in rainy weather, but it seemed to dry out again at other times as I'd found it just a couple of weeks before the TD and the log was tattered but dry. That was all back in August and there's been no response from the CO, yet the reviewer still hasn't completed the process by archiving the cache. As far as I can tell, in this area the CHS has not resulted in the archival of any decrepit or missing caches. The only effect it seems to be having around here is pinging caches that aren't decrepit or missing.

 

As to why it was initiated, I can only guess. At the time (mid 2015), you couldn't log NMs or NAs on the app so perhaps it was seen as a workaround for that. A couple of years later, when they brought out the new logging page on the website, there was mention in one of HQ's podcasts that their user survey revealed people either didn't understand NM/NA logs or were afraid to use them, which led to the canned logs on that page, so perhaps there's been a feeling around HQ for a while that people were afraid or confused by the NM/NA process and the CHS was meant to overcome that. Or perhaps it was a case of empty vessels making the most noise and it was meant to address complaints about large numbers of missing or derelict caches in some places.

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4 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

Some on here seem to be just fine with how things are going and see little or no problems. I have to ask then, why was the CHS initiated? 

 

 I look for caches individually (by terrain mostly) and if I see something of an issue I'd skip by that one.

 - So most caches I go to have little or no problems. 

The urban, roadside and similar here doesn't seem so lucky (why I don't do them), with some COs inactive when the Summer's over, or moved on to something else. 

My guess is if the CHS was created there is a lotta issues somewhere,  just not what I'm going after/seeing.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

I have to ask then, why was the CHS initiated? 

 

As stated in the related Help Center article...

 

Quote

Our goal is to improve the overall geocaching experience ...

 

Interesting to Note, that the timeline of the *notorious* emails and the following Guideline update coincide pretty closely:

 

Quote

Cache owners who do not maintain their existing caches in a timely manner may temporarily or permanently lose the right to list new caches on Geocaching.com.

 

I haven't seen this sort of thing transpire in my area, but I suppose it's good to have it in writing somewhere just in case.

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10 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

 

"Irresponsible" is a derogatory term.  You have chosen to use this and other derogatory words refer to people who do not care for their caches to your specifications. I suppose there is some technical excuse you can make up about why that is different from calling them "bad," but it is a distinction without a difference.

 

I realize it's derogatory but it's an adjective that fits here. What other word would you use to describe a person that, at time of submission, checks a box agreeing to maintain his cache but  then ignores it later when it's in need of maintenance? I just don't understand why some want to sugarcoat this. 

 

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5 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

 

I realize it's derogatory but it's an adjective that fits here. What other word would you use to describe a person that, at time of submission, checks a box agreeing to maintain his cache but  then ignores it later when it's in need of maintenance? I just don't understand why some want to sugarcoat this. 

 

 

Yet you insist on claiming that you don't think cache owners who do not meet your standards are "bad people."  Seems to me that is in fact exactly what you mean.

 

Please at least be honest about your position, odious though it is.

Edited by fizzymagic
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8 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

 

Yet you insist on claiming that you don't think cache owners who do not meet your standards are "bad people."  Seems to me that is in fact exactly what you mean.

 

Please at least be honest about your position, odious though it is.

 

This shouldn't be that hard to understand. :rolleyes:

 

I only insist that it is irresponsible for people to agree up front (clicking the box during cache submission) that they will maintain their cache, but then not perform that maintenance when it's needed. Not talking about those situations where it is beyond a CO's control. This is directed at COs that simply ignore or walk away from their duties because they don't feel like doing them, expect someone else to take care of them, or that could care less about their cache. This by itself does not make anyone a bad person. But at the same time, a person doing this isn't being a responsible cache owner. ;)

 

You keep using the term "my standards". I figure that my expectations for caches go along with a good majority here. For instance, expecting wet or full logs to be replaced, cache containers to be repaired, and containers to be replaced when they go missing by their owners. If an owner wants to archive his cache for some reason, then, that's fine too. Letting others know via an owner's log is an easy action an owner can take as well. COs that refuse to take any kind of action cause a lot of these issues and I'm fairly certain this is one of the reasons the CHS was established.

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35 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

I only insist that it is irresponsible for people to agree up front (clicking the box during cache submission) that they will maintain their cache, but then not perform that maintenance when it's needed.

 

It is as irresponsible as returning the cache to different place or different way and closing the lid inproperly etc. it all happens. Some player break caches and other players do not fix them.

 

The question is why there is this demand for maintaining the cache? Do you know the answer for this?

Edited by arisoft

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On 12/15/2018 at 7:47 AM, Mudfrog said:

Irresponsible maybe, but not bad.

A distinction without a difference. Either way, the implication is that he's unworthy of being a CO. That puts you in a mindset of trying to prevent him from putting out more caches when you should be more interested helping him do a better job. In other words, the difference between thinking of other geocachers as adversaries instead friends.

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2 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

This is directed at COs that simply ignore or walk away from their duties because they don't feel like doing them, expect someone else to take care of them, or that could care less about their cache.

It's directed at any CO you have decided is like that.

 

2 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

Not talking about those situations where it is beyond a CO's control.

"Beyond a CO's control" implies this standard that you want to dictate to the CO, just as fizzymagic mentioned. The CO died? That's OK, then. The CO's too busy? BZZZT! Irresponsible miscreant! COs are just playing a game, too.

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2 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

You keep using the term "my standards". I figure that my expectations for caches go along with a good majority here. For instance, expecting wet or full logs to be replaced, cache containers to be repaired, and containers to be replaced when they go missing by their owners. If an owner wants to archive his cache for some reason, then, that's fine too. Letting others know via an owner's log is an easy action an owner can take as well. COs that refuse to take any kind of action cause a lot of these issues and I'm fairly certain this is one of the reasons the CHS was established.

 

I'm wondering how the CHS is meant to detect caches with wet/full logs or damaged containers, as people don't log DNFs in response to those and it seems even the negative health score impact of an NM will be nullified by the positive scores of subsequent finds.

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18 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I'm wondering how the CHS is meant to detect caches with wet/full logs or damaged containers, as people don't log DNFs in response to those and it seems even the negative health score impact of an NM will be nullified by the positive scores of subsequent finds.

 

Multiple DNFs seem to be a good trigger but I didn't think the wording of them had anything to do with it. An ignored NM, placed because of a wet or full log, is something the CHS would possibly pick up on though. I certainly don't know the process but I have a feeling a prolonged ignored NM could be a trigger all by itself. Again not positive, but the CHS probably isn't triggered by the wording of any log type. That wording is helpful though, after a Reviewer gets involved. 

 

Reading some of the replies here, it's obvious some don't really care that a cache is in bad shape and in need of attention from its owner. This seems to be a new mentality that wasn't here in the past. I know that many people focus on getting a cache logged and that condition of a cache is not that important. I'm now starting to think that the CHS is a cause for this mentality as well.

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1 hour ago, Mudfrog said:

Reading some of the replies here, it's obvious some don't really care that a cache is in bad shape and in need of attention from its owner. This seems to be a new mentality that wasn't here in the past. I know that many people focus on getting a cache logged and that condition of a cache is not that important. I'm now starting to think that the CHS is a cause for this mentality as well.

CO should maintain their caches. I just think they should be free to set their own standards, which may include not being able to attend to the cache before someone posts an NA and the reviewer archives it. Furthermore, while I like pretty caches, my caching experience isn't ruined if something bad has happened to the cache. That's true whether I'm the first to discover the problem or the last and have to post the final NA because the problem hasn't dealt with.

 

I've only been caching for 8 years, but, honestly, I think mine is the time honored mentality. The new mentality that wasn't here in the past is the one that says seekers must never have to see a broken container or look for a missing cache, so COs should be required to run out and fix any problems before anyone else sees them.

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3 hours ago, Mudfrog said:
23 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I'm wondering how the CHS is meant to detect caches with wet/full logs or damaged containers, as people don't log DNFs in response to those and it seems even the negative health score impact of an NM will be nullified by the positive scores of subsequent finds.

 

Multiple DNFs seem to be a good trigger but I didn't think the wording of them had anything to do with it. An ignored NM, placed because of a wet or full log, is something the CHS would possibly pick up on though. I certainly don't know the process but I have a feeling a prolonged ignored NM could be a trigger all by itself. Again not positive, but the CHS probably isn't triggered by the wording of any log type. That wording is helpful though, after a Reviewer gets involved.

 

It has nothing to do with the wording. The point I was making was that full/wet logs or damaged containers don't result in DNFs, which seems to be the main thing that triggers the CHS. From what we've been told by Keystone, the negative score of a single NM isn't enough to trigger it and it would take repeated NMs, enough to outweigh the positive score of the finds that cache is still getting, for it to get below the threshold.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

CO should maintain their caches. I just think they should be free to set their own standards, which may include not being able to attend to the cache before someone posts an NA and the reviewer archives it. Furthermore, while I like pretty caches, my caching experience isn't ruined if something bad has happened to the cache. That's true whether I'm the first to discover the problem or the last and have to post the final NA because the problem hasn't dealt with.

 

I've only been caching for 8 years, but, honestly, I think mine is the time honored mentality. The new mentality that wasn't here in the past is the one that says seekers must never have to see a broken container or look for a missing cache, so COs should be required to run out and fix any problems before anyone else sees them.

 

I've hidden quite a few caches, many that have developed problems while out in the wild. I have been first to find on brand new caches that had problems. I've come across caches that were wet because a previous finder didn't replace the lid properly or that an animal had chewed into. It's normal to sometimes come across containers in need of some TLC. When I can, try to help by drying out, adding a log, or making repairs. The majority of those repairs are temporary because the container used doesn't work well or the container and/or its contents are too far gone. I'll say what, if anything, I did  in my log to give the owner an idea of what's going on with his cache. If I wasn't able to correct the problem with a cache, then it's up to its owner to take some kind of action.

 

My comments above focus on COs that know their caches have problems but never do anything because they don't feel like it or have more fun things to do. Heck, I'll admit there have been a few times when a NM came in on a cache I owned where I let out a groan. Cache maintenance isn't always fun and I have procrastinated a time or two before physically going out to do it. One thing I do make sure to do is to at least log on the cache page that there could be a problem with my cache. I'll disable if i think it's needed, and when I can,  get out to make the check.

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10 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

It has nothing to do with the wording. The point I was making was that full/wet logs or damaged containers don't result in DNFs, which seems to be the main thing that triggers the CHS. From what we've been told by Keystone, the negative score of a single NM isn't enough to trigger it and it would take repeated NMs, enough to outweigh the positive score of the finds that cache is still getting, for it to get below the threshold.

 

I don't remember reading Keystone's reply about that. Seems bassackwards to me that DNFs would count more than NMs but I guess that's the way it is. I agree, DNFs are a triggering mechanism and from reading previous replies, figured the wording in them doesn't count. The good thing is, the wording does count if a Reviewer gets involved.

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32 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

My comments above focus on COs that know their caches have problems but never do anything because they don't feel like it or have more fun things to do.

I assume you misspoke here, but let me make sure: I took you comment to be focused on people like me that defend COs that didn't fix their caches as soon as you'd like them to, so I was defending my position.

 

36 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

Heck, I'll admit there have been a few times when a NM came in on a cache I owned where I let out a groan. Cache maintenance isn't always fun and I have procrastinated a time or two before physically going out to do it. One thing I do make sure to do is to at least log on the cache page that there could be a problem with my cache. I'll disable if i think it's needed, and when I can,  get out to make the check.

That's great, you're such a stellar CO. But I don't think it's the end of the world for a CO to not notice a problem, either, even as I'll grant they aren't as good a CO as you are. And I don't think their excuse has to be serious. People lose interest in hobbies, and a CO might stop geocaching. That seems perfectly reasonable, even forgetting all about their good caches and leaving them in place until they have problems and have to be archived.

 

For most of my caches, I'll react within a few days of a problem, but I adopted a few that weren't in my immediate area, and then later I stopped having a reason to go there. When those caches started getting DNFs, I was suspicious they might be missing, but I wasn't entirely convinced, so I just let them rot for a few months and left it to seekers to decide when it was time to give up on them. I don't think that makes me irresponsible. I'm not the only person in a position to judge my caches' health, so there's no reason for me to think I'm more qualified to pull the plug. In particular, I have exactly the same DNFs to read as anyone else, so it would be redundant for me to post a log saying there could be a problem.

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30 minutes ago, dprovan said:

it would be redundant for me to post a log saying there could be a problem.

 

In many cases geocachers may post information privately because they are too shy to post public DNF or NM. In that case it could be important to post at least a note by the CO.

 

Couple of weeks ago I got a message from a geocacher who did not find the cache with a friend who has already found it earlier. Because this geocacher was not willing to post anything to the log, I posted a "canned note" that the cache may be missing. A week later another geocacher found the cache on the ground and returned to the correct level. Maybe my note primed the next visitor to seek the place thoroughly.

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2 hours ago, arisoft said:
3 hours ago, dprovan said:

I have exactly the same DNFs to read as anyone else, so it would be redundant for me to post a log saying there could be a problem.

 In many cases geocachers may post information privately because they are too shy to post public DNF or NM. In that case it could be important to post at least a note by the CO.

Obviously if I have information no one else has, posting it wouldn't be redundant. Although I don't consider it a requirement for a CO to trust and echo information someone wasn't willing to stand behind publicly.

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4 hours ago, dprovan said:

I assume you misspoke here, but let me make sure: I took you comment to be focused on people like me that defend COs that didn't fix their caches as soon as you'd like them to, so I was defending my position.

 

That's great, you're such a stellar CO. But I don't think it's the end of the world for a CO to not notice a problem, either, even as I'll grant they aren't as good a CO as you are. And I don't think their excuse has to be serious. People lose interest in hobbies, and a CO might stop geocaching. That seems perfectly reasonable, even forgetting all about their good caches and leaving them in place until they have problems and have to be archived.

 

For most of my caches, I'll react within a few days of a problem, but I adopted a few that weren't in my immediate area, and then later I stopped having a reason to go there. When those caches started getting DNFs, I was suspicious they might be missing, but I wasn't entirely convinced, so I just let them rot for a few months and left it to seekers to decide when it was time to give up on them. I don't think that makes me irresponsible. I'm not the only person in a position to judge my caches' health, so there's no reason for me to think I'm more qualified to pull the plug. In particular, I have exactly the same DNFs to read as anyone else, so it would be redundant for me to post a log saying there could be a problem.

 

It's obvious you're not reading my posts correctly.

 

Quote

My comments above focus on COs that know their caches have problems but never do anything because they don't feel like it or have more fun things to do.

 

How in the world did you come to the conclusion that I was focused on people like you? I suppose it might apply if you happen to be a CO that refuses to maintain his caches but honestly, I have no idea what your cache maintenance is like.

 

On your bolded,, again, not what I said. A CO not noticing a problem is one thing. My comment specifically states, "focus on COs that know their caches have problems". 

 

And I don't know where you got the idea that I was trying to say my caching abilities were anything special. I in fact stated that my maintenance duties aren't always enjoyable and that I've even procrastinated performing them a time or two. 

 

 

 

I may have asked this before but if I did, I don't remember if any or what answers were given.

Why have there been so many threads started asking about cache quality and lack of cache maintenance?

Why did Groundspeak established the CHS?

Why have we been given questionnaires about cache quality?

 

From over here, it seems Groundspeak is aware that things are amiss and that changes may need to be made. 

 

 

 

Edited by Mudfrog
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7 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

How in the world did you come to the conclusion that I was focused on people like you?

I got it from the post I quoted in which you said:

16 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

Reading some of the replies here, it's obvious some don't really care that a cache is in bad shape and in need of attention from its owner.

I don't see anyone here claiming they didn't fix their caches, so I took this comment to be about people like me defending people that didn't fix their caches.

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7 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

On your bolded,, again, not what I said. A CO not noticing a problem is one thing. My comment specifically states, "focus on COs that know their caches have problems".

Well, yes, that's because we can't tell the difference between a CO that does not notice and a CO that does notice but does nothing, so I assumed we'd be treating the two cases as identical. It's not as if you're complaining only about COs that post notes saying, "Ha, ha, I see my cache is busted and I'm not going to do anything about it." You have no information that contradicts the hypothesis that the CO didn't notice, so if you're not worried about that case, just assume that's always the case and your problem is solved.

 

7 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

I may have asked this before but if I did, I don't remember if any or what answers were given.

Why have there been so many threads started asking about cache quality and lack of cache maintenance?

Why did Groundspeak established the CHS?

Why have we been given questionnaires about cache quality?

I've offered my opinion on these questions many times, but I'll repeat it again: it became a fad to complain about "bad caches", so GS is reacting even though there's no evidence that the number of bad caches is significantly above what can be explained by the normal course of events with reasonably responsible COs doing exactly what they should be doing.

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6 hours ago, dprovan said:

Well, yes, that's because we can't tell the difference between a CO that does not notice and a CO that does notice but does nothing, so I assumed we'd be treating the two cases as identical. It's not as if you're complaining only about COs that post notes saying, "Ha, ha, I see my cache is busted and I'm not going to do anything about it." You have no information that contradicts the hypothesis that the CO didn't notice, so if you're not worried about that case, just assume that's always the case and your problem is solved.

 

I've offered my opinion on these questions many times, but I'll repeat it again: it became a fad to complain about "bad caches", so GS is reacting even though there's no evidence that the number of bad caches is significantly above what can be explained by the normal course of events with reasonably responsible COs doing exactly what they should be doing.

 

You have mentioned a number of times that geocaching is going well in your area, so I figure this may be a reason you think a "fad to complain" has developed. Is it possible that your area is more of an exception than what's happening in most other areas? There have been posts with all kinds of stats and in every one that I've looked at, geocaching activities are declining. One fact for certain is that Geocaching activity in our area has dwindled to almost nothing. I just did a query and see that it's been well over a month since a traditional geocache has been published within 50 miles of my home. In that same time frame, I have received several notices of caches being archived by Reviewers because their owners never responded to the Reviewer's note.

 

I certainly agree with you that those owners aren't bad people. I still maintain though, owners should respond in some way and not leave it up to another geocacher or a Reviewer to take action on a cache they agreed to be responsible for. Sorry, but I don't really buy into it that owners do not notice that something could be going on with their cache. If they get email, then they get find logs, notes, DNFs, and NMs. The least a non caring owner could do, and I'm not condoning this, is to take a minute out of his busy schedule and archive his cache instead of ignoring it and letting it linger on the books.

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3 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

You have mentioned a number of times that geocaching is going well in your area, so I figure this may be a reason you think a "fad to complain" has developed. Is it possible that your area is more of an exception than what's happening in most other areas? There have been posts with all kinds of stats and in every one that I've looked at, geocaching activities are declining. One fact for certain is that Geocaching activity in our area has dwindled to almost nothing. I just did a query and see that it's been well over a month since a traditional geocache has been published within 50 miles of my home. In that same time frame, I have received several notices of caches being archived by Reviewers because their owners never responded to the Reviewer's note.

Well, yes, of course it's possible that things are just better in all the places I've cached (which is more than just my area, by the way). But if that's true, it's an argument against a centralized fix both because a centralized fix will make things worse for people in my area, and because it shows that a local community can produce a good caching environment without centralized control.

 

But in addition, I pay a lot of attention to the complaints, most simply take for granted that there's a bad cache epidemic. No surprise, since once someone gets the idea, they'll often discount all the good caches and take every bad or missing cache as confirmation. In the rare times when people actually try to quantify the problem, I feel like I'm looking at results from my area. In particular, more than once, people have tried to prove to me that geocaching has gone to heck in a hand basket by showing me "the problem" in my area. Reliably, the complaints come in three types. First, of course, there's the required anecdotal posting of a picture of one bad cache with a declaration that this should never happen. Second, people post something showing how many "bad caches" there are in some area, and it always strikes me as low enough that nothing anyone could do is going to reduce it much. Once in a while, people have a bit of a point, but typically there's one or two bad COs dominating the area, and likely wouldn't be straighten out by the CHS.

 

As to the rest of your paragraph, I've seen no evidence whatsoever that "bad caches" are causing geocaching to die out. No caches are what causes geocaching to die out in an area. Making reviewers responsible for cache quality and automating monitoring with CHS is going to reduce the number of caches and the number of COs. I'm curious whether the caches you speak of that were archived through the new reviewer based monitoring were viable caches that just weren't pristine, exactly the kind of cache I'd be worried about losing if I were in an area without enough geocaches to get anyone interested in geocaching.

 

4 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

I certainly agree with you that those owners aren't bad people. I still maintain though, owners should respond in some way and not leave it up to another geocacher or a Reviewer to take action on a cache they agreed to be responsible for. Sorry, but I don't really buy into it that owners do not notice that something could be going on with their cache. If they get email, then they get find logs, notes, DNFs, and NMs. The least a non caring owner could do, and I'm not condoning this, is to take a minute out of his busy schedule and archive his cache instead of ignoring it and letting it linger on the books.

What works -- or at least, used to work -- in my area is that, while everyone agreed this was good behavior, no one depended on every CO doing it every time, so the appropriate NMs and NAs were posted whenever the CO didn't do anything. Very rarely did I see anyone conjecture on exactly why it wasn't done because "why" wasn't important. People just reported that it was time to move on to the next step in the process. I suspect this difference between "COs should take care of it" and "COs must take care of it" is the difference between a healthy use of NMs and NAs, and bad and missing caches hanging on forever because no one will post NMs or NAs: in a culture where there's a feeling that when someone posts an NM or NA, it is considered a statement that the CO has failed in his duties, people are going to be reluctant to post NMs and NAs.

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Yes, if someone lives in a region where no one has hidden a new cache within 50 miles for a month, and interest seems to be declining, it's a bad idea to forcibly archive a cache because someone filed an NM over a full log, the owner hasn't responded, and there is plenty of space in the cache for a brand spanking new log.  Interest will go away much faster if there is nothing to find, that's for sure. Sure, ideally the CO should respond.  But if it is otherwise a good hide the game suffers if that cache is removed. Instead cachers can add log sheets where necessary. If the cache has decayed to a piece of broken trash that is a different matter. The question we should ask is, what action would best serve the game? If satisfactory repair by another visitor is trivial, we should let it ride.

 

I have been to India on business five times, and have found at least one cache on each visit (sometimes an earthcache, but also traditionals, a multi and a puzzle). Traditional caches go missing quickly because monkeys swipe them, there are so few caches that there isn't really a game for the locals, and visitors commonly replace them with the blessing of the COs, though the COs maintain them where they can.  There are only about 6 caches in Bangalore, a city the size of New York City. Would it really be better for the game to rigorously enforce a policy that would require archiving all of the non-earthcaches?  We need to apply judgment.

 

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On 1/8/2019 at 1:57 AM, not2b said:

Yes, if someone lives in a region where no one has hidden a new cache within 50 miles for a month, and interest seems to be declining, it's a bad idea to forcibly archive a cache because someone filed an NM over a full log, the owner hasn't responded, and there is plenty of space in the cache for a brand spanking new log.  Interest will go away much faster if there is nothing to find, that's for sure. Sure, ideally the CO should respond.  But if it is otherwise a good hide the game suffers if that cache is removed. Instead cachers can add log sheets where necessary. If the cache has decayed to a piece of broken trash that is a different matter. The question we should ask is, what action would best serve the game? If satisfactory repair by another visitor is trivial, we should let it ride.

 

Here's where reviewer judgement comes into play. Nothing is auto-archived. A reviewer gets to decide if how long the cache 'lives' before it gets archived. To my knowledge there's no rule that says how long it has until it's archived (there might be behidn the scenes with reviewers' regional handbooks or something). So the best course of action would be to contact a local reviewer and have discussion with them about the health of any particular area's geocaching community and how long the reviewer(s) feel caches can survive abandoned before being archived.

 

That's not really an HQ concern.

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