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Ignored Needs Maintenance logs

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50 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

 If that cacher had NEVER filed the NM or NA log, that cache wouldn't have come to the reviewer's attention.  Do you believe reviewers had all that free time to go looking for problem caches that had no problems listed?  Apparently so, as below shows.

 

Before the CHS, caches also came to the attention of reviewers by private communications. So yes, that cache could have come to the reviewer's attention without a NM or NA. I hope you truly don't believe that reviewers only ever took action on any geocache listing if there was a NM or NA filed.

 

50 minutes ago, coachstahly said:
2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

No, he can use it to make his job easier.

 

They either can or cannot.  It's obviously not cannot because that means they aren't allowed to use it.  So can means they either will or will not use it to make their job easier.  Are you conjecturing that there are times they won't even look at it when making a decision about a cache that's drawn their attention?

 

Yes.

 

50 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

Do you believe reviewers had all that free time* to go looking for problem caches that had no problems listed?

 

Yes.

* No.

(corrollary: The CHS tool was implemented for reviewers to make their job easier)

 

50 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

How would they know they were problematic without NM or NA logs?

 

(potentially problematic) By general comments, private communications, past logs, and their own reviewer tools and processes, pre-CHS.

 

15 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

What you describe might be how it works in your area, but it's not universal.

 

So it's not systematic. Okay, glad we're on the same page.

 

15 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Those two examples I quoted (GC61K94 with 6 DNFs since the last find in Nov 18, and GC5CXWJ with 6 DNFs since the last find in July 18) were disabled by the reviewer from just a string of DNFs, and those two were just from the batch of twelve TDs the reviewer posted on the 24th of January. So it's not just a possibility, it happened twice in the one batch of TDs. And I suspect it's likely to happen with that new multi that currently has 3 DNFs and no finds.

 

I can't claim to know the reasons the reviewer chose to disable said caches. As posted earlier by L0ne.R, there are aspects to the judgment call we are either not privy to, or may not have considered with a surface glance.  If you think the reviewer made a wrong call, then appeal it.

 

8 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

And after nearly four years of CHS operation, there are still threads about people complaining about bad caches and experiences, and social media posts of photos and videos of bad condition caches. Whether that problem was perceived or real, it hasn't fixed it, or, it seems, even made any significant dent in it.

 

But it has made the reviewers' jobs easier, and since problem caches are reportedly being addressed and cleared up faster (either fixed or archived) then it is doing its job.

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8 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

I can't claim to know the reasons the reviewer chose to disable said caches. As posted earlier by L0ne.R, there are aspects to the judgment call we are either not privy to, or may not have considered with a surface glance.  If you think the reviewer made a wrong call, then appeal it.

 

I was replying to your assertion that it would be extremely rare for the reviewer to disable a cache with a string of DNFs if there wasn't also an NM amongst that string, and I gave you two very recent examples of where that wasn't the case. Nowhere did I say the reviewer made a wrong call on those two caches, though I do think he made a wrong call on the earlier one that had the NM which the owner had responded to with a WN. But it's not my perogative to appeal that as it wasn't my cache.

 

12 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

But it has made the reviewers' jobs easier, and since problem caches are reportedly being addressed and cleared up faster (either fixed or archived) then it is doing its job.

 

It has also changed the meaning of NM and DNF logs. Prior to the CHS, an NM was just a heads-up to the CO and, at least here, the reviewers didn't become involved unless there was a subsequent NA. That's now changed. Likewise with DNFs, they used to be just an informational log that a searcher couldn't find the cache, now they carry all manner of extra weight with CHS emails and reviewers then disabling and threatening to archive caches that get a few of them. The result of all that is that people will become reluctant to log NMs for anything that doesn't warrant archival of the cache (say for broken camo or a cache that might have drifted from its proper hiding place) and become reluctant to log DNFs unless they're really sure beyond reasonable doubt that a cache is missing, and conversely I see more COs getting annoyed with well-intentioned people who log NMs for minor issues and DNFs when the cache clearly isn't missing.

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22 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

In what way are they "deciding that a cache is missing"?  (note: Asking a CO to check on it via some action is not "deciding that a cache is missing")

 

You're splitting hairs here if the two bolded italic words are the reason for this response.  A cache dinged due to DNFs can only mean that the reviewer believes the cache might be missing.  The check is to verify it's in place.  Nothing else can be inferred from that request, based on the information provided.  Why else would the reviewer be asking the CO to check on it?  I got a CHS email on one of my caches with no NM logs at all, just some consecutive DNFs.  What else could the request be but to check to make sure it's not missing?

 

22 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

What I saw were threads about people complaining about bad caches and experiences. I see on social media many posts of photos and videos of bad condition caches. I see Groundspeak thinking "Okay, how can we attempt to improve the overall general geocaching experience? Is it possible to pre-emptively identify possible problems and get them in front of the eyes of reviewers without having to wait for them to become reported problems (if reported at all) because of an already-bad experience?"

 

I'm still seeing the same amount of posts and comments about bad caches and bad experiences, as is Jeff.  While I'm sure it's been a nice additional tool for reviewers, it's not really changed much out in the field.

 

12 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Before the CHS, caches also came to the attention of reviewers by private communications.

 

And I'm certain that was how the majority of the caches were brought to their attention.  Yes, some were, but I would venture to guess that was a minority of reviewer actioned caches.

 

13 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:
1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

They either can or cannot.  It's obviously not cannot because that means they aren't allowed to use it.  So can means they either will or will not use it to make their job easier.  Are you conjecturing that there are times they won't even look at it when making a decision about a cache that's drawn their attention?

 

Yes.

 

 

And what do you think those situations would be that the CHS is irrelevant to helping a reviewer make a decision on whether or not to take action on a cache?

 

17 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

(potentially problematic) By general comments, private communications, past logs, and their own reviewer tools and processes, pre-CHS.

 

You already answered yes/no so I'll assume I'm getting the same response.  Yes to the ability, but no to the actual time required to proactively search for caches that might develop issues in the future.  Reality has a way of curtailing what is possible to do with what is actually done.   I also don't think cachers would email reviewers about caches they thought might develop problems.  Of the few private interactions I've had with reviewers, it was about caches that currently had problems, not issues that might lead to problems.  I'll privately contact new COs about their caches if I notice something that might cause a problem in the future, but never a reviewer.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I was replying to your assertion that it would be extremely rare for the reviewer to disable a cache with a string of DNFs if there wasn't also an NM amongst that string, and I gave you two very recent examples of where that wasn't the case. Nowhere did I say the reviewer made a wrong call on those two caches, though I do think he made a wrong call on the earlier one that had the NM which the owner had responded to with a WN. But it's not my perogative to appeal that as it wasn't my cache.

 

So what are you complaining about? The reviewers made judgment calls in each of those cases. You don't think he made a wrong call in the former, and in the latter we agree he could/should have made a different call, but that situation has been completely resolved.

 

18 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

It has also changed the meaning of NM and DNF logs.

 

No it hasn't.  They still mean exactly the same thing.

 

19 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Prior to the CHS, an NM was just a heads-up to the CO and, at least here, the reviewers didn't become involved unless there was a subsequent NA. That's now changed.

 

Perhaps in your region. Not systematically. Fundamentally, reviewers could always do that. Even if any particular region may not have done so.

 

19 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Likewise with DNFs, they used to be just an informational log that a searcher couldn't find the cache, now they carry all manner of extra weight with CHS emails and reviewers then disabling and threatening to archive caches that get a few of them.

 

Yeeshk. Man.  A DNF means just as it always has. The definition and purpose has not changed. If there is no problem with a cache, nothing bad will happen to it unless a REVIEWER decides that there is sufficient problem to warrant a consequential action, which is most often just a stronger nudge to get the cache back in action. Anything else is inferred.  "Threat" is a loaded word.  There's always a threat to your listing if you neglect it. If you don't neglect it there's never a threat, only the due process that will come into play if you neglect it, which you should know about if you've read the cache placement guidelines for cache owner responsibilities and what reviewers do.

 

24 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The result of all that is that people will become reluctant to log NMs for anything that doesn't warrant archival of the cache (say for broken camo or a cache that might have drifted from its proper hiding place) and become reluctant to log DNFs unless they're really sure beyond reasonable doubt that a cache is missing, and conversely I see more COs getting annoyed with well-intentioned people who log NMs for minor issues and DNFs when the cache clearly isn't missing.

 

The result is that people are inferring the wrong thing from the actions reviewers take. I have not changed any of my habits or caching ethics because of all this. There's nothing that has led me to that conclusion, and no guidelines have changed that I'm ignoring by not doing so. No one has to change the way they do anything. There's this mass inferred crisis going on because people interpret a CHS nudge as a Bad Thing, so proxy resist DNFs to save other people their inferred headaches. I've always said the implementation of this whole system could use some tweaking to assuage a lot of this unnecessary angst.  If you know better, you know that DNFs, NMa, and NAs should still be logged exactly as they always have! And nothing has changed that fact, except the impression some changes have given people, which we both agree has an effect on people's opinions.  A baseless effect though.

 

17 minutes ago, coachstahly said:
1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

In what way are they "deciding that a cache is missing"?  (note: Asking a CO to check on it via some action is not "deciding that a cache is missing")

You're splitting hairs here if the two bolded italic words are the reason for this response.  A cache dinged due to DNFs can only mean that the reviewer believes the cache might be missing.  The check is to verify it's in place.  Nothing else can be inferred from that request, based on the information provided.  Why else would the reviewer be asking the CO to check on it?  I got a CHS email on one of my caches with no NM logs at all, just some consecutive DNFs.  What else could the request be but to check to make sure it's not missing?

 

Exactly.  The reviewer has not decided that the cache is missing. Glad we got that cleared up.

 

19 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

I'm still seeing the same amount of posts and comments about bad caches and bad experiences, as is Jeff.  While I'm sure it's been a nice additional tool for reviewers, it's not really changed much out in the field.

Already addressed this.

 

19 minutes ago, coachstahly said:
54 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:
1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

Are you conjecturing that there are times they won't even look at it when making a decision about a cache that's drawn their attention?

Yes.

And what do you think those situations would be that the CHS is irrelevant to helping a reviewer make a decision on whether or not to take action on a cache?

 

Those they find (potentially problematic) by general comments, private communications, past logs, and their own reviewer tools and processes.

 

21 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

I also don't think cachers would email reviewers about caches they thought might develop problems.

Okay, you're free to think that.

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3 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:
42 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I was replying to your assertion that it would be extremely rare for the reviewer to disable a cache with a string of DNFs if there wasn't also an NM amongst that string, and I gave you two very recent examples of where that wasn't the case. Nowhere did I say the reviewer made a wrong call on those two caches, though I do think he made a wrong call on the earlier one that had the NM which the owner had responded to with a WN. But it's not my perogative to appeal that as it wasn't my cache.

 

So what are you complaining about? The reviewers made judgment calls in each of those cases. You don't think he made a wrong call in the former, and in the latter we agree he could/should have made a different call, but that situation has been completely resolved

 

Sheeze, I wasn't complaining - you made an assertion that a reviewer wouldn't disable a cache that had just a string of DNFs with no NM amongst them, and I gave you a couple of recent counter-examples that showed this very thing happening. How can I make that any clearer?

 

7 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Yeeshk. Man.  A DNF means just as it always has. The definition and purpose has not changed. If there is no problem with a cache, nothing bad will happen to it unless a REVIEWER decides that there is sufficient problem to warrant a consequential action, which is most often just a stronger nudge to get the cache back in action. Anything else is inferred.  "Threat" is a loaded word.  There's always a threat to your listing if you neglect it. If you don't neglect it there's never a threat, only the due process that will come into play if you neglect it, which you should know about if you've read the cache placement guidelines for cache owner responsibilities and what reviewers do.

 

A DNF now means more than just a statement that I couldn't find a cache. I've just shown two examples where half a dozen DNFs have led to caches being disabled by a reviewer, and that TD included the wording "Please respond to this situation in a timely manner (i.e., within 28 days) to prevent the cache from being archived for non-responsiveness." If that isn't a threat to archive the cache if the owner doesn't respond within 28 days, then I don't know what is.

 

This didn't used to happen in these parts. A cache could get as many DNFs as it liked and nothing would happen until someone logged an NM and that was then followed a month or more later with an NA. Sure, it took a little longer to weed out caches that really were missing, but it also allowed for caches that were hard to reach or hard to find, and it allowed for people who logged DNFs because they were defeated by the terrain on the way to GZ or because of muggles interrupting their search or bad weather, failing light, swarms of mosquitoes, etc., and for Blind Freddies like me who couldn't find a cache in a warehouse of caches.

 

Okay, perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps in some places a DNF has always meant this cache needs attention. But I can only go on my own experience of how the system worked here, and that wasn't the case and still isn't in the eyes of many cachers around here. Just two days ago a very experienced cacher logged a DNF saying, "I was very uncomfortable searching in that area, and was not agile enough to search properly. After a good long look in the places I could reach I headed home and left it for others." In no way does that DNF infer anything at all about the health of the cache, nor does my DNF on the same day that said I'd messed up the calculation on one of the waypoints and ended up searching in the wrong place. Trying to infer anything about the health of that cache, or whether or not it's missing, or requiring the CO to do something to make it right and prevent further such DNFs, is wrong and is simply pandering to the belief that every search should end in a smiley and any DNF is a bad outcome that needs to be prevented.

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16 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Sheeze, I wasn't complaining - you made an assertion that a reviewer wouldn't disable a cache that had just a string of DNFs with no NM amongst them, and I gave you a couple of recent counter-examples that showed this very thing happening. How can I make that any clearer?

 

No, once again putting words in my mouth. I said I'd be surprised - that means I know it happens, but it happens so infrequently by my experience that I would be surprised to see it happen. Since it seems to happen pretty often in your experience, I'm not that surprised any more. So?

 

16 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

A DNF now means more than just a statement that I couldn't find a cache. I've just shown two examples where half a dozen DNFs have led to caches being disabled by a reviewer, and that TD included the wording "Please respond to this situation in a timely manner (i.e., within 28 days) to prevent the cache from being archived for non-responsiveness." If that isn't a threat to archive the cache if the owner doesn't respond within 28 days, then I don't know what is.

 

No, it's due process.  Once the TD was set, the owner has to show responsiveness - if the owner doesn't show responsiveness they've shirked their responsibilities, and the reviewer may archive the listing.

The DNFs all meant exactly what they mean. The reviewer has the option to read past logs in order to inform their decision. This reviewer made a decision - we don't know if it was informed by the content of past logs or not. Obviously the reviewer felt that having an active NM flag for 19 days was sufficient in this case for them to disable the cache and encourage the owner the physically visit and verify the cachw as findable.  I didn't see any threat there.  I saw due process, with a judgment that could have been a little more lax.

 

16 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Sure, it took a little longer to weed out caches that really were missing

 

Apparently an aspect to the hobby that Groundspeak would like to see made easier for reviewers.

 

16 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

it also allowed for caches that were hard to reach or hard to find, and it allowed for people who logged DNFs because they were defeated by the terrain on the way to GZ or because of muggles interrupting their search or bad weather, failing light, swarms of mosquitoes, etc., and for Blind Freddies like me who couldn't find a cache in a warehouse of caches.

 

It still does.  You don't want me to lecture you, but I want to assume you already know that you can still log DNFs for those reasons, and in no way is anyone being discouraged from continuing to do so, except for proxy concern for cache owners receiving a dreaded CHS nudge email.

 

16 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Okay, perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps in some places a DNF has always meant this cache needs attention.

 

It has never meant that. Anywhere. But sure, perhaps unfortunately there are some people out there who might think it means that. It doesn't.

 

16 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Trying to infer anything about the health of that cache, or whether or not it's missing, or requiring the CO to do something to make it right and prevent further such DNFs, is wrong and is simply pandering to the belief that every search should end in a smiley and any DNF is a bad outcome that needs to be prevented.

 

...Which is why I'm glad the CHS algorithm is an evolving equation that takes numerous factors into consideration without assuming anything directly about any specific log, let alone a DNF, even though in combination with such factors there is a threshold above which the algorithm can set a flag for a potential problem.

 

It's another reason I turn off any spam filters that don't give me access to all my items based on an algorithm if it can produce false positives.  I like getting all my stuff. I don't mind a flag I can decide what to do with. In the same way, the CHS doesn't do anything about potential problem caches, it merely raises a flag so the owner and possibly a reviewer can be nudged to take a look. That's it. That's all.

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22 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I've just shown two examples where half a dozen DNFs have led to caches being disabled by a reviewer, and that TD included the wording "Please respond to this situation in a timely manner (i.e., within 28 days) to prevent the cache from being archived for non-responsiveness." If that isn't a threat to archive the cache if the owner doesn't respond within 28 days, then I don't know what is.

 

What is preferred, that the missing cache remain active and the listing linger on?

 

It was a magnetic key holder, listed improperly as a small, a D1.5 cache that had finds until November where it had 6 consecutive DNFs (plus 4 NMs earlier for full logs -- if he's going to hide an MKH it's going to need more maintenance not less--no response from the owner). An excellent indication that the cache is gone. And given the CO's track record, an excellent indication that the CO is not going to fix nor archive his own cache and listing. The CO seems to expect that archival is the job of the reviewer. Many COs seem to feel that way. 

 

What is the great value in the GC61K94 cache?  

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43 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

What is the great value in the GC61K94 cache?  

 

In the cache owner's eyes, not very much - considering the history you recited, plus the fact that a cache health score email was sent in late December, more than three weeks prior to the Reviewer's disablement log.  This cache is a poster child for the Cache Health Score tool. 

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4 hours ago, L0ne.R said:
5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I've just shown two examples where half a dozen DNFs have led to caches being disabled by a reviewer, and that TD included the wording "Please respond to this situation in a timely manner (i.e., within 28 days) to prevent the cache from being archived for non-responsiveness." If that isn't a threat to archive the cache if the owner doesn't respond within 28 days, then I don't know what is.

 

What is preferred, that the missing cache remain active and the listing linger on?

 

It was a magnetic key holder, listed improperly as a small, a D1.5 cache that had finds until November where it had 6 consecutive DNFs (plus 4 NMs earlier for full logs -- if he's going to hide an MKH it's going to need more maintenance not less--no response from the owner). An excellent indication that the cache is gone. And given the CO's track record, an excellent indication that the CO is not going to fix nor archive his own cache and listing. The CO seems to expect that archival is the job of the reviewer. Many COs seem to feel that way. 

 

What is the great value in the GC61K94 cache?  

 

Did you actually read the context of those two example caches I quoted? When thebruce0 said that he'd be surprised if a reviewer would ever TD a cache based just on a string of DNFs with no NM amongst them, I gave those two as counter-examples. That's all. Nowhere did I say they were great caches, nor did I say they didn't deserve the TD, I only gave them as examples of caches that the reviewer had disabled that had just a string of DNFs. That's all. I really don't know how I can make this any clearer.

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I don't believe L0ne.R said you said they were great caches or that they didn't deserve disabling.

The point was - the reviewer seemingly did the appropriate thing for those listings - so, what's the problem? What's the value, that the cache should have remained active until a NM or NA was posted? Is it that somehow the turn of events was not agreeable?  Simply the fact the a reviewer disabled without an outstanding NM or NA?  Even though the cache seemed to warrant it?

I don't think we're grasping what you're trying to argue here.  We all (well most of us at least, I think) agree that in the OP the reviewer disabled the cache (due to an outstanding NM for 19 days) earlier than we think he could chosen to have given the content of logs and the owner's posted note; he could have given a bit more of a grace period, but for whatever reason chose not to, but now the cache is back in good standing. So what's the porblem?

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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

I don't believe L0ne.R said you said they were great caches or that they didn't deserve disabling.

The point was - the reviewer seemingly did the appropriate thing for those listings - so, what's the problem? What's the value, that the cache should have remained active until a NM or NA was posted? Is it that somehow the turn of events was not agreeable?  Simply the fact the a reviewer disabled without an outstanding NM or NA?  Even though the cache seemed to warrant it?

I don't think we're grasping what you're trying to argue here.  We all (well most of us at least, I think) agree that in the OP the reviewer disabled the cache (due to an outstanding NM for 19 days) earlier than we think he could chosen to have given the content of logs and the owner's posted note; he could have given a bit more of a grace period, but for whatever reason chose not to, but now the cache is back in good standing. So what's the porblem?

 

I'm not arguing anything other than providing counter-examples to your assertion that a reviewer would be unlikely to disable a cache that just had a string of DNFs and no NMs. That's all. I now wish I never mentioned them at all.

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7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm not arguing anything other than providing counter-examples to your assertion that a reviewer would be unlikely to disable a cache that just had a string of DNFs and no NMs. That's all. I now wish I never mentioned them at all.

 

Okay, glad that's cleared up then.

 

BTW, counter-examples to "unlikely" really aren't counter-examples as their existence is consistent with the word. And for full context I said "I would be surprised" as it's by my experience in my area that it happens, but rarely - I never claimed that it does not happen elsewhere let alone an objective claim that my experience applies worldwide which I couldn't possibly know.  So thanks for enlightening me - I'll be slightly less surprised now if I see a reviewer somewhere in the world disable a cache before any NM or NA is posted.

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16 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Apparently an aspect to the hobby that Groundspeak would like to see made easier for reviewers.

 

I disagree, to an extent, with the assertion that the CHS makes things easier for reviewers.  As stated by others, the "old" process involved more community feedback, which meant that the community was the one primarily responsible for bringing caches to a reviewer's attention.  I''m sure some reviewers did some sweeps, pre-CHS, but it's my guess that most reviewers acted upon caches brought to their attention by the caching community, be it NM logs, NA logs and private communications.

 

Now, GS appears to be putting more on the plates of the reviewers, with an apparent renewed interest in getting ignored NM logs attended to in a more timely manner (no problem with this) as well as the implementation of the CHS, which brings even more caches to the attention of reviewers.  While it's now certainly easier for reviewers to see which caches might need reviewer attention, it's not actually made their job easier, assuming they're still being asked to publish caches, deal with caches with known outstanding maintenance issues, and now also deal with caches with potential issues that haven't become problems yet.  The increase in the number of caches that require their attention, even if the determination is that they don't have to do anything, has gone up.  More caches are put in front of them than there used to be and many of those are caches that might not actually have problems that need to be addressed.

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18 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

I disagree, to an extent, with the assertion that the CHS makes things easier for reviewers. 

 

This, despite the fact that reviewers themselves repeatedly tell us they appreciate the CHS tool and that it makes their job easier.

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17 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

 

I disagree, to an extent, with the assertion that the CHS makes things easier for reviewers. 

Have you discussed this with reviewers in your region?  I'm on the record as saying that the CHS makes my job easier (given that enforcing the "cache maintenance" guideline has always been one of our responsibilities).  I'm not aware of colleagues who say they wish it wasn't there, but it's certainly possible.

 

I've also noted that the algorithm isn't perfect; likewise, GSAK's "cache cop" macro isn't perfect (depending on how the user configures the options).  To the extent that CHS brings caches to my attention that require action, but weren't caught by the techniques I used prior to CHS, that means I'm doing a better job.  Moreover, reviewer tools make it easier for us to action these caches.  (I cannot share the details of how those tools operate, but it goes way beyond "here is a cache with a low cache health score.")

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33 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

 

I disagree, to an extent, with the assertion that the CHS makes things easier for reviewers.

I'm with Keystone on this one.  I can say categorically that the CHS has made a significant improvement on my workflow.  I understand that YMMV, depending on the way certain Reviewers organize their work.

 

As an example, as I stated earlier, I had a small number of Users in my area that would essentially do the work of the CHS (probably running GSAK/Cache Cop).  They tended to post their NA's based on their searches once every month or two.  This created quite a backlog of NA's to work through.  Then at the end of 30 days, I would do the process again (sometimes over 100 Listings in a single day) to evaluate if the CO has apparently abandoned the Listing (e.g. non responsiveness), or has posted a plan to take care of the issue or provided some explanation.

 

With the CHS, this work comes in 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.  Instead of looking at 100's of Listings in a single sitting, I get maybe 6 to 12 in a day.  Likewise the follow up is at a much more relaxed pace compared to before.  Once a month, I can browse through the Listings where it seemed the CHS was a tad too aggressive in my opinion, where I decided not to take action, to see if there have been any changes or updates in the interim.

 

Similarly, although I'm not sure why this is, the number of long Disabled Listings has decreased as well.  This is a task I take on every other month or so.  Previously, I had to run about 4 PQ's to cover my Reviewing territory.   Nowadays, I can knock it out with 1 or 2 PQ's.  I don't know if the CHS is to account for this change, but it's a very welcome side effect if so.

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2 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

This, despite the fact that reviewers themselves repeatedly tell us they appreciate the CHS tool and that it makes their job easier.

 

Did you even read the full post?  I agreed that it makes it easier to identify caches that might need some reviewer attention as it pertains to maintenance. As a tool, I'm sure it's very helpful and makes things easier to deal with since they don't have to really delve too deep into all the caches like they used to.  No hunches here as caches are singled out based on mostly reliable statistics.  That was NEVER my argument.  I'm saying that it increases their workload, to some extent, since they now not only have to publish caches and deal with known maintenance issues, but they're also being asked to deal with caches that have potential issues that weren't previously placed in front of them.  More caches means more sifting, not less, and I don't know anyone who says that more work means a job is easier to do.

 

It appears that I have less of a point, per Nomex's reply that came in before I posted, but it's interesting to note that it appears there's a noted shift from a community based effort to a reviewer based effort as it pertains to maintenance, at least in the area Nomex is responsible for.  

 

My reviewer has enough on his plate without discussing the benefits of the CHS and whether or not it provides him more work or less work.  He works full time, has little ones at home, monitors the FB pages for questions addressed to him, and does a great job.  I don't want to get into a discussion about whether or not the CHS increases his workload because I believe it brings more caches to his attention than he would have previously seen.  He volunteers his time and unless I have a cache I'd like to get published (or deal with any possible issues that arise), I'd like to limit my interactions so he can spend more of his free time with his family.

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22 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

I'm just assuming enough people had - or perceived - problems for Groundspeak to spend their time and money developing the CHS.

You mean loud enough people thought there was a problem. I don't know what was involved in GS's thinking because, to this day, no one's presented a case demonstrating that there's a problem. It just somehow became an unquestionable tenet.

 

22 hours ago, coachstahly said:

That doesn't mean the CHS is a bad idea; it's just not been effective (based on the caches I've found) at doing what it was created to address.

Being ineffective doesn't mean it's a bad idea. It's the side effects that make it a bad idea. We used to be a community of people enjoying a game and working together to maintain cache quality. Now we're consumers finding caches, and GS is responsible for the quality of our experience.

 

One thing that puzzles me is why the reviewers are still volunteering. Before, I understood why a player would be willing taking on a role someone within the community needed to fill, really just one person anointed to make special decisions when the normal mechanisms didn't lead to members of the community sorting out the problem among themselves. The better the community, the less the reviewer had to do. Now they're basically changing sides, going from just enjoying caches as a consumer to having to spend a lot of time policing caches, basically tech support. That's sounds a lot more like a job to me, yet they still do it without getting paid.

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47 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

Did you even read the full post?  I agreed that it makes it easier to identify caches that might need some reviewer attention as it pertains to maintenance. As a tool, I'm sure it's very helpful and makes things easier to deal with since they don't have to really delve too deep into all the caches like they used to.  No hunches here as caches are singled out based on mostly reliable statistics.  That was NEVER my argument.  I'm saying that it increases their workload, to some extent, since they now not only have to publish caches and deal with known maintenance issues, but they're also being asked to deal with caches that have potential issues that weren't previously placed in front of them.  More caches means more sifting, not less, and I don't know anyone who says that more work means a job is easier to do.

 

Ultimately it's irrelevant. You said "the assertion that the CHS makes things easier for reviewers."  They say it makes things easier for them. Therefore, we know first hand that it makes things easier for them. Even if there's "more" stuff to do, the net result is easier.

 

49 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

 I don't want to get into a discussion about whether or not the CHS increases his workload because I believe it brings more caches to his attention than he would have previously seen. 

 

"Increasing the workload" is a different issue than "makes things easier".  A workload can increase and still be easier. I was countering your first sentence and premise for the comment - your (partial) disagreement that the tool "makes things easier for reviewers". It does, according to them.

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9 minutes ago, dprovan said:
23 hours ago, coachstahly said:

That doesn't mean the CHS is a bad idea; it's just not been effective (based on the caches I've found) at doing what it was created to address.

Being ineffective doesn't mean it's a bad idea. It's the side effects that make it a bad idea. We used to be a community of people enjoying a game and working together to maintain cache quality. Now we're consumers finding caches, and GS is responsible for the quality of our experience.

 

I would chalk that up to the evolution of the community, and the game, and the parent company. People have always pushed the game's limits.  GS has decided where it wants to let the game go per the influence of geocaching.com, and they've also tried new ideas to attempt to keep the game fresh for newcomers.  The side effects we don't like can be blamed on everyone, not just the community and certainly not just Groundspeak. We can agree that side effects of the now-active CHS nudge email function mean some people are logging differently. But they don't have to. And the presentation of this function can also be adjusted to attempt to reduce that side effect.

 

See, we can still be "a community of people enjoying a game and working together to maintain cache quality." Unfortunately, there are people who do play like consumers finding caches, causing GS to implement steps that give the impression that they're somehow more responsible for the quality of our experience. But they're not. We still are.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:
23 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

I'm just assuming enough people had - or perceived - problems for Groundspeak to spend their time and money developing the CHS.

You mean loud enough people thought there was a problem. I don't know what was involved in GS's thinking because, to this day, no one's presented a case demonstrating that there's a problem. It just somehow became an unquestionable tenet.

 

A couple of reviewers have explained how the CHS tools help them.  Maybe they were the ‘loud enough people’ that had the ear of HQ?

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22 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

In what way are they "deciding that a cache is missing"?

I grow weary of your hair splitting. They decided that they think the cache is missing. OK? The point is that they take action as if the cache is missing.

 

22 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

When you ask for a second opinion in medicine, it's because you have to make a decision and you're not convinced by what one doctor has told you.

Reviewers aren't doctors. Reviewer are dogs. Or something like that.

We get second opinions because no one person (or dog) is infallible. In addition, when the process starts with someone without authority, there's less concern that the reviewer might be following his own agenda. Reviewers never have their own ax to grind, of course, but when reviewers are the only ones deciding which caches have problems, it's easier for someone to imagine an abuse of power.

 

This is especially true because reviewers don't have to make a case: "The cache appears to be in need of owner intervention" is the entire explanation giving in disable logs posted by the reviewer in my area. A third party posting an NA has to give some justification to explain why he's filing an NA, even if it's just to point at all the DNFs that have been posted.

 

Don't get me wrong: there are very good reasons reviewers don't explain themselves. I'm not complaining about the disable message. (And I'm not saying that just because my reviewer's Nomex. 🙂) Canned messages are obviously easier, but they're also typically the best approach for other reasons. When a case has been presented, and the reviewer is simply ruling for or against,  an extended discussion would just blur the decision. But when there is no case on the table, a canned log leaves the reader to conjecture why the reviewer took that action, a conjecture that can easily include "The reviewer is out to get me" even though you and I know that could never happen. I'm not saying the reviewers are wrong for using canned messages here: I'm saying the fact that reviewers should use canned messages points out why reviewers shouldn't be doing this job.

 

23 hours ago, thebruce0 said:
23 hours ago, dprovan said:
On 1/31/2019 at 10:59 AM, thebruce0 said:

Well I know for fact my reviewers never sat around waiting for NAs.

Must be another local difference, then. In my area, it used to be unusual and quite remarkable when an reviewer disabled a cache before an NA was posted. You're saying that in your area, they jumped in all the time without anyone flagging a problem for their attention?

  I said no such thing.

I don't understand. How would you know your reviewers didn't sit around waiting for NAs (or private messages, of course) unless they disabled caches without waiting for an NA? Now that I think of it, if that's not what you meant, what did you mean by saying your reviewers never sat around waiting for NAs. I thought that was your point.

 

23 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Then don't patronize me or put words in my mouth.

I'm sorry you thought I was talking about you. I was thinking about many of the arguments I've heard from people complaining about cache quality that led to GS changing the approach.

 

23 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

I don't feel discouraged from posting NMs. I might feel like I don't need to post one if it's obvious there a problem and I think the CHS will catch it. But that's a choice I make for myself.

You are discouraged from posting NMs because you don't feel like you need to.

 

I wouldn't mind that you split so many hairs if it served some purpose, but you just do it to argue. The point is that because things have changed, the people that used to post NAs aren't now. It makes no difference to our discussion whether them not feeling like they need to amounts to being discouraged.

 

23 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

What I saw were threads about people complaining about bad caches and experiences. I see on social media many posts of photos and videos of bad condition caches.

That's what I saw, too. Complaints about specific experiences. At no time did anyone try to turn this anecdotal evidence into an argument. Most of the complaints seemed like a simple cache failure: the cache failed, no one in the world could have known that or done anything about it until the complainer got there. Nothing GS or the reviewers or CHS is doing now will prevent that from happening, yet those were the most common arguments for GS "doing something".

 

More important, I think, was that beyond not really proving there was a problem to begin with, the hypothetical problem wasn't evaluated to see what caused it and what might fix it.

 

And now the "solution" is being defended to the death even though it didn't fix the problem.

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15 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:
1 hour ago, dprovan said:
On 1/31/2019 at 12:43 PM, IceColdUK said:

I'm just assuming enough people had - or perceived - problems for Groundspeak to spend their time and money developing the CHS.

You mean loud enough people thought there was a problem. I don't know what was involved in GS's thinking because, to this day, no one's presented a case demonstrating that there's a problem. It just somehow became an unquestionable tenet.

A couple of reviewers have explained how the CHS tools help them.  Maybe they were the ‘loud enough people’ that had the ear of HQ? 

I was talking about the problem of bad caches, not some problem with reviewer work flow that none of us would have any clue about. If the CHS was developed to fix a problem in reviewer work flow, I don't know why we'd ever have heard about it. From what I can see, reviewers only need CHS because the "bad cache" complaint made them responsible for identifying bad caches when, before, they depended on seekers posting NAs.

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10 minutes ago, dprovan said:

And now the "solution" is being defended to the death even though it didn't fix the problem.

 

Defence wouldn’t be necessary without such a sustained attack. 😉

 

Alas, it’s impossible to say whether the overall effect on cache quality has been positive or negative.  We do know it makes the reviewers job easier.  Admittedly, with a sample size of two, that isn’t exactly conclusive, but it’s good enough for me.

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2 hours ago, Nomex said:

As an example, as I stated earlier, I had a small number of Users in my area that would essentially do the work of the CHS (probably running GSAK/Cache Cop).  They tended to post their NA's based on their searches once every month or two.  This created quite a backlog of NA's to work through.  Then at the end of 30 days, I would do the process again (sometimes over 100 Listings in a single day) to evaluate if the CO has apparently abandoned the Listing (e.g. non responsiveness), or has posted a plan to take care of the issue or provided some explanation.

 

Are you saying that something exactly like CHS sweeps have been going on all the time, but before CHS they were done by vigilantes instead of reviewers?

 

That makes this an entirely different conversation. Why isn't it brought up more often? I've never heard about it before.

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4 minutes ago, dprovan said:

 

Are you saying that something exactly like CHS sweeps have been going on all the time, but before CHS they were done by vigilantes instead of reviewers?

 

That makes this an entirely different conversation. Why isn't it brought up more often? I've never heard about it before.

How so?  A few posts back you were saying how it was up to the Community to report these issues, and that’s exactly how I characterized it. I don’t use GSAK, so I’m not familiar with the development time line of the macro I mentioned. 

 

A “vigilante” is someone I would say has a bit more staying power to stay at the task for a sustained period of time. The small number of people that took it upon themselves to take on this task I wouldn’t characterize as being sufficiently dedicated to be labeled a vigilante, hence the need for a more automated method like the CHS. 

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1 minute ago, IceColdUK said:

Defence wouldn’t be necessary without such a sustained attack. 😉

I'll take that as a compliment for me supporting continuous reassessment of policy for effectiveness and unexpected consequences. Although I'm not sure why you put a smiley on it.

 

3 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

Alas, it’s impossible to say whether the overall effect on cache quality has been positive or negative.

If you don't have a way to show that you have a problem to begin with, you can't very well show whether you have or haven't fixed it when you're done. But, still, I haven't heard anyway say, "Yes, I'm finding fewer bad caches, so I no longer have anything to complain about!" That makes me conditionally conclude it didn't help. Someone casually mentioned that complaints remain constant. Does anyone feel like there are fewer complaints about bad caches?

 

13 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

We do know it makes the reviewers job easier.

Again, I'm not talking about the CHS, I'm talking about what makes reviewers need CHS.

 

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37 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Are you saying that something exactly like CHS sweeps have been going on all the time, but before CHS they were done by vigilantes instead of reviewers?

 

Gosh, if Cache Maintenance Enforcement is being run by the Mob, the Triads or Outlawed Motorcycle Gangs (Inc.), I'd better be careful what I say or I might wake up one morning with a frog's head on my pillow.

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2 minutes ago, Nomex said:

How so?  A few posts back you were saying how it was up to the Community to report these issues, and that’s exactly how I characterized it. I don’t use GSAK, so I’m not familiar with the development time line of the macro I mentioned.

In my experience, seekers look at caches in the course of geocaching, and eventually one seeker finds something wrong and reports it. That should work, and I thought it did work. You are saying, no, it didn't work, and it was much more common for problems to be reported in a log without any NA ever filed until someone explicitly scanned for them for reasons having nothing to do with seeking a cache.

 

I think that brings up a lot of questions that we haven't been asking. I would have guessed you'd much rather have someone else do the scans for you. Did you work with these people so they'd spread the load out for you? If they were automated scans, why did you feel like you couldn't process them over time yourself? If they haven't been reported by someone that was actually seeking them, what's the rush? Were the GSAK scans more or less reliable than CHS scans?

 

The basic argument for reviewer sweeps was that bad caches weren't being reported. I always considered the real problem with that being that bad caches weren't being reported, not that there were too many bad caches, but now you're telling be that there already was a solution to bad caches not being reported. I never heard anyone mention that before. Now that you have, I wonder why we didn't improve that solution instead of completely overhauling the entire approach to cache quality monitoring.

 

23 minutes ago, Nomex said:

A “vigilante” is someone I would say has a bit more staying power to stay at the task for a sustained period of time. The small number of people that took it upon themselves to take on this task I wouldn’t characterize as being sufficiently dedicated to be labeled a vigilante, hence the need for a more automated method like the CHS. 

Part of the reason that seemed like the right word was because I did, in fact, get the impression these were specific people that did it regularly. I'm not sure whether it makes any difference that they were fly-by-night sweepers, but thanks for setting me straight.

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49 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Although I'm not sure why you put a smiley on it.

 

I was still smiling from the ‘defence to the death’ comment. 😉  Oops, done it again!

 

Edited by IceColdUK

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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

I would chalk that up to the evolution of the community, and the game, and the parent company. People have always pushed the game's limits.  GS has decided where it wants to let the game go per the influence of geocaching.com, and they've also tried new ideas to attempt to keep the game fresh for newcomers.  The side effects we don't like can be blamed on everyone, not just the community and certainly not just Groundspeak. We can agree that side effects of the now-active CHS nudge email function mean some people are logging differently. But they don't have to. And the presentation of this function can also be adjusted to attempt to reduce that side effect.

 

See, we can still be "a community of people enjoying a game and working together to maintain cache quality." Unfortunately, there are people who do play like consumers finding caches, causing GS to implement steps that give the impression that they're somehow more responsible for the quality of our experience. But they're not. We still are.

That's why I'm speaking up.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

Gosh, if Cache Maintenance Enforcement is being run by the Mob, the Triads or Outlawed Motorcycle Gangs (Inc.), I'd better be careful what I say or I might wake up one morning with a frog's head on my pillow.

And if the frog's head doesn't get the message across to you, then you'll end up at the bottom of the river with cement-filled ammo cans tied around your feet.  :ninja:

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

I think that brings up a lot of questions that we haven't been asking. I would have guessed you'd much rather have someone else do the scans for you. Did you work with these people so they'd spread the load out for you? If they were automated scans, why did you feel like you couldn't process them over time yourself? If they haven't been reported by someone that was actually seeking them, what's the rush? Were the GSAK scans more or less reliable than CHS scans?

 

Just so there's no misunderstanding...

 

No, I did not "work with these people', as you put it.  These were just civic minded Community members that identified a problem and wanted it fixed.  I guess you could construe some sort of coordination, in so much, as they would post an NA, and I would feel obliged (one might even say Required as part of my Volunteer duties) to respond.

 

I'm not all that familiar with GSAK, but calling it "automated" might be a bit of a stretch.  The filters and macro's are useful, but there sounds like some set up is required.  To be honest, I'd rather use the website resources.  I have no idea how GSAK compares to the CHS, other than what Keystone has offered in a prior post.

 

Per my usual custom, I went through the last months of unresolved CHS flags that I passed over on my first look, as I thought the CHS was a bit too aggressive in some instances.   I ended up Disabling a handful more, but generally, I've found the CHS to be useful, but that's not to say it's perfect.  It still misses some things entirely.  People who continue to post Finds after the cache is unusable or gone, throwdowns that last maybe a month, and then it reverts back to a string of DNF's.  I'm not sure the CHS is going to catch all these sorts of issues, but it does a pretty decent job of catching the low hanging fruit, so to speak.

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21 hours ago, Nomex said:

No, I did not "work with these people', as you put it.  These were just civic minded Community members that identified a problem and wanted it fixed.

Just so there's no misunderstanding in the other direction...

 

The story I'm hearing is that you perceived there was a problem with bad caches, and these civic minded geocachers were solving it for you by finding the dad caches and alerting you about them. That caused you a different problem because they were batched up in large numbers, but it seems like a way to cut down on the bad caches. Aren't I following you this far?

 

To me, putting myself in your position, I'd be thinking, "Well, problem solved! Now how can I get these notifications so they aren't all batched at once." Admittedly, I'm filling in lots of blanks, but my interpretation of the situation is that, instead, you saw this solution as making the problem worse, and now you're explaining how much better the CHS is specifically because it means you don't have to deal with these seeker generated clumps of notifications. Which part of this story am I misunderstanding?

 

21 hours ago, Nomex said:

I'm not all that familiar with GSAK, but calling it "automated" might be a bit of a stretch.  The filters and macro's are useful, but there sounds like some set up is required.  To be honest, I'd rather use the website resources.  I have no idea how GSAK compares to the CHS, other than what Keystone has offered in a prior post.

I know from watching you as the reviewer for my area that you're a very reasonable person, so I'm a little frustrated that you seem to take this as an argument instead of a simple discussion between friends. You got the GSAK notifications before. Now you get the CHS notifications. I don't understand why you need to know the first thing about GSAK or how these people processed the GSAK results to answer the question about whether the notifications you got from these civic minded geocachers were more or less useful than the notifications you get directly from CHS. Maybe "useful" it too vague. Where they more or less accurate in identifying caches you should take action against? Your specific complaint was that the GSAK results came in a batch, but my reaction was that, even so, that batch must have been much easier to handle because it had already had the first line analysis by these civic minded geocachers. Don't you have a sense for whether it was or wasn't? I don't have the first clue about how the GSAK macro or the CHS work, so my question certainly isn't about anything that assumes you do. I'm only interested in the results.

 

21 hours ago, Nomex said:

Per my usual custom, I went through the last months of unresolved CHS flags that I passed over on my first look, as I thought the CHS was a bit too aggressive in some instances.   I ended up Disabling a handful more, but generally, I've found the CHS to be useful, but that's not to say it's perfect.  It still misses some things entirely.  People who continue to post Finds after the cache is unusable or gone, throwdowns that last maybe a month, and then it reverts back to a string of DNF's.  I'm not sure the CHS is going to catch all these sorts of issues, but it does a pretty decent job of catching the low hanging fruit, so to speak.

I understand all that. In fact, it's why I think it's folly to think any automated system would be superior to the original approach of humans looking at cache because they want to or are seeking them, and posting an NM or NA because they see problems and report them. When no one reports a problem, it's either because no one cares about the cache -- and if no one cares about the cache, no one cares how long it takes to get archived -- or the local community doesn't report problems, in which case the members of the community are the ones that suffer the most from their tradition of not reporting them.

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Ach.  My sister got a CHS notification on a cache we hid last year.  Three finds.  Two DNFs.  One of which  was:  "No luck today. Maybe this spring after the snow melts."  She checked it out.  The parking is buried under the snow.  She added "Not snow friendly", and noted that she will check on it in the spring, when the snow melts.  It's the start of a hiking trail, so it doesn't get all that many seekers.  I'm glad I haven't gotten any CHS notifications.  

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On 2/1/2019 at 2:29 PM, thebruce0 said:

"Increasing the workload" is a different issue than "makes things easier".  A workload can increase and still be easier. I was countering your first sentence and premise for the comment - your (partial) disagreement that the tool "makes things easier for reviewers". It does, according to them.

 

As dprovan has said, you continue to split hairs.  THE CHS MAKES IT EASIER FOR REVIEWERS TO IDENTIFY POTENTIALLY PROBLEMATIC CACHES. I never disagreed with that point but you  continue to latch onto one thing and then ignore the quantifying remarks that followed that show what I meant by that.  I admit it wasn't the best way to phrase that point but I fully understood your point because the CHS certainly makes things easier but it also increases their workload.

 

Are you saying an increased workload can't affect the ease of a job on the basis that it's a different issue?  I believe they're related.  Doing more work than you did before isn't necessarily easier and even though tools can assist with the increased workload, it's still more work than you had previously.

 

Nomex says it comes in more manageable bites, but if you really examine the numbers, you'll see some interesting numbers.  Again, it's not an accurate representation, but the statement was that Nomex got roughly 100 caches over a 30 day period, all in a bunch, that swamped them and provided more of a backlog in order to catch up.  Now Nomex gets anywhere from 6-12 a day.  Easy, right?  6 a day over 30 days is 180.  That's an increase of 80% in the number of caches they now have to deal with, on top of their other main responsibilities, which is to publish new caches and to look for caches with known maintenance issues (some of which would most likely fall within those 6 a day).  

 

While the hassle of looking at 100 caches in a short duration of time is certainly a headache to consider, many of these caches submitted had known, verified issues.  I have NO idea how long each cache takes to "examine" but I'm going to assume it's 3 minutes per cache for numbers' sake. They spend 1 hour over 5 days (20 a day) to resolve that backlog.  That's 5 hours of maintenance issues to resolve in one month.  Now they get 6 a day, spending 18 minutes each day resolving these caches.  Easy, right?  18 minutes a day over 30 days is 9 hours over the course of a month.  That's another 80% increase in the time doing their job, added to publishing caches as well as dealing with known maintenance issues (NM/NA logs, some of which are certainly included in the CHS sweep) plus any other responsibilities that come their way, like coordinate checks, questions about what cache type this cache should be, etc.....

 

An increase in workload as well as an increase in the time needed to do their job doesn't appear to be making things easier on our volunteer reviewers.

 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

An increase in workload as well as an increase in the time needed to do their job doesn't appear to be making things easier on our volunteer reviewers.

 

Yet, they seem to prefer it?

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On 2/1/2019 at 3:58 PM, dprovan said:
On 1/31/2019 at 3:58 PM, thebruce0 said:

In what way are they "deciding that a cache is missing"?

I grow weary of your hair splitting. They decided that they think the cache is missing. OK? The point is that they take action as if the cache is missing.

They take action intended to ensure that a cache isn't missing. They know full fell that sometimes they take that action while believing that a cache is not missing - because it's not merely about what they believe, it's also about how the cache appears to community -- It may be clear from logs that a cache has absolutely no problems; and yet there's still an outstanding NM flag. What'll happen? They may still take the standard steps to ensure the CO deals with it - even if it means disabling the cache. Yes, I have seen that.  Hair splitting? Yeah maybe. But I too grow weary of your continued attempts to find or identify a problem in the system where there isn't one, or blow individual incidents way out of proportion because of the action an individual who performed it of their own accord.

 

On 2/1/2019 at 3:58 PM, dprovan said:

We get second opinions because no one person (or dog) is infallible. In addition, when the process starts with someone without authority, there's less concern that the reviewer might be following his own agenda. Reviewers never have their own ax to grind, of course, but when reviewers are the only ones deciding which caches have problems, it's easier for someone to imagine an abuse of power.

Sure. But appeals isn't a second opinion. An appeal to HQ is taking a decision to a higher authority to check the lower authority. A decision has already been made. What you could say is a second opinion is, say, asking a reviewer how they might decide a certain situation before it happens (we see this often on cache placement questions), then asking another reviewer their opinion, or perhaps even contacting HQ to find out what they might say, before a decision is ever made. There is no second opinion to a reviewer decision. Only appeals. If a reviewer disables a cache and you don't like it, you don't get a second opinion. You take it to appeals.

 

On 2/1/2019 at 3:58 PM, dprovan said:
On 1/31/2019 at 3:58 PM, thebruce0 said:
On 1/31/2019 at 3:12 PM, dprovan said:
On 1/31/2019 at 1:59 PM, thebruce0 said:

Well I know for fact my reviewers never sat around waiting for NAs.

Must be another local difference, then. In my area, it used to be unusual and quite remarkable when an reviewer disabled a cache before an NA was posted. You're saying that in your area, they jumped in all the time without anyone flagging a problem for their attention?

  I said no such thing.

I don't understand. How would you know your reviewers didn't sit around waiting for NAs (or private messages, of course) unless they disabled caches without waiting for an NA? Now that I think of it, if that's not what you meant, what did you mean by saying your reviewers never sat around waiting for NAs. I thought that was your point.

Yes, because they took actions without waiting for a NA. They also still addressed problems after a NA was posted. You somehow jumped to "all the time" with the implication of eagerness and high amounts of incidents. I only said they don't sit around waiting which implies doing-nothing-until. If that's not what you meant, then you shouldn't have said "jumped in all the time".  They've always done what they felt was necessary, when they felt it was necessary, when they became aware of the issue. With or without the tool. With or without the logs.  With or without private communications. Some reviewers moreso than others, some less.  That's the flexibility they had.  They still have that flexibility. But the tool makes it easier for them to decide.

 

On 2/1/2019 at 3:58 PM, dprovan said:
On 1/31/2019 at 3:58 PM, thebruce0 said:

I don't feel discouraged from posting NMs. I might feel like I don't need to post one if it's obvious there a problem and I think the CHS will catch it. But that's a choice I make for myself.

You are discouraged from posting NMs because you don't feel like you need to.

I wouldn't mind that you split so many hairs if it served some purpose, but you just do it to argue.

Because you keep insist I'm splitting hairs (ie needlessly seeking out argumentation) here's my big explanation. Words matter. I don't feel discouraged, which implies an action specifically intended to reduce my desire to do something. Reviewers being able to take action before I post a NM doesn't discourage me from doing so. And yes in this case the words paints a picture of the opinion of the arguer. Groundspeak has never discouraged people from continuing to post NM logs (even though I kind of despise their new logging UI and occasionally some seemingly counter-intuitive design decisions).

A side effect of a positive change to the ability of reviewers to do their job means that some people feel like an action is no longer necessary. That's not the same being discouraged from doing so.

It might seem like I'm splitting hairs, because I'm trying to deconstruct the arguments which are flavoured by personal distaste and opinion rather than looking at things objectively.  The point we can agree on is that Groundspeak should be able to see that people are no longer posting NM (and for that matter DNFs) as much due to the more proactive approach of reviewers, and if we think that's a net negative on the community, then we can encourage them (strongly?) to look into ways to countering that net effect so that people will continue to post NMs & DNFs despite reviewers' more proactive approach. Saying people are being discouraged from doing something implies it's an intended result. It's not.  (Unless of course there's some secretive goal by GS to get people worldwide to post NM less often and they're cheering in the back of their office for a successful result)

 

On 2/1/2019 at 3:58 PM, dprovan said:

The point is that because things have changed, the people that used to post NAs aren't now. It makes no difference to our discussion whether them not feeling like they need to amounts to being discouraged.

I can agree with that. I don't agree that people are being discouraged from posting NMs, NAs, or DNFs.

 

On 2/1/2019 at 3:58 PM, dprovan said:

More important, I think, was that beyond not really proving there was a problem to begin with, the hypothetical problem wasn't evaluated to see what caused it and what might fix it.  And now the "solution" is being defended to the death even though it didn't fix the problem.

I'm not one to claim that the CHS is the "solution" (I never have), or that reviewers being able to, and seemingly being encouraged to, be more proactive in their cache sweeps is the "solution" (I never have). I've never claimed that there is some tangible "solvable" problem chalked up to bad cache quality (only that there is an observable impression in the public space that it exists). I'm only looking at the CHS, its purpose, its implementation, and the net results. I have no benchmark for "success", only reports from the reviewers for whom the CHS system as a whole makes their job easier, and how their actions are affecting the game.

 

On 2/1/2019 at 5:13 PM, dprovan said:

I wonder why we didn't improve that solution instead of completely overhauling the entire approach to cache quality monitoring.

Where's the overhaul?
I see a new 'scoring' feature and a tool that helps make reviewers' jobs easier, without changing or reducing the way the system worked prior to its implementation.

 

55 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

THE CHS MAKES IT EASIER FOR REVIEWERS TO IDENTIFY POTENTIALLY PROBLEMATIC CACHES.

Yes, the bolded. Not IDENTIFY MISSING CACHES. There is a difference. The bolded assumes the individual knows (or even believes) there may no problem with the cache. But it needs addressing anyway.

 

57 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

I never disagreed with that point but you  continue to latch onto one thing and then ignore the quantifying remarks that followed that show what I meant by that.  I admit it wasn't the best way to phrase that point but I fully understood your point

Glad we're on the same plane then!

 

58 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

Are you saying an increased workload can't affect the ease of a job on the basis that it's a different issue?  I believe they're related.  Doing more work than you did before isn't necessarily easier and even though tools can assist with the increased workload, it's still more work than you had previously.

Perhaps it's like trying to mark a 5 long-form essay question test compared to a 100 well-organized multiple choice question test.  More questions, easier process, probably even much faster.

 

1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

An increase in workload as well as an increase in the time needed to do their job doesn't appear to be making things easier on our volunteer reviewers.

Just as IceColdUK said - they seem to prefer it. (Although, I don't recall them ever saying there's an increased time requirement to do their job with tool)

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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

They take action intended to ensure that a cache isn't missing. They know full fell that sometimes they take that action while believing that a cache is not missing - because it's not merely about what they believe, it's also about how the cache appears to community -- It may be clear from logs that a cache has absolutely no problems; and yet there's still an outstanding NM flag. What'll happen? They may still take the standard steps to ensure the CO deals with it - even if it means disabling the cache. Yes, I have seen that.

 

The first example I posted, the D3 traditional with a few DNFs and an NM by an inexperienced cacher which the CO responded to yet was still TDd by the reviewer was just such a case (and it turned out the CO was right in his assessment and the cache wasn't missing so the whole thing was a false alarm). But how do you ensure a cache isn't missing? I could go and check on a hide, but a muggle might see me doing it and nab it five minutes later. One of my now-archived caches was fine when I did a routine check on it but a couple of weeks later a part of the roof of the sea cave it was in collapsed and buried it. There's always a chance a cache could be missing even if the CO goes and checks on it every day. It seems to me there's too much emphasis now on preventing any possible cacher disappointment.

 

I'm watching with interest to see what happens to that new D2/T3 multi here that's so far had 3 DNFs and no finds. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the reviewer TD it in the next few weeks, but what's the CO supposed to do to fix it? None of the DNFs imply it's missing - one got the field puzzle wrong and was looking in the wrong place, another wasn't up to the challenge of the terrain at GZ, and the third was bamboozled by the number of potential hiding places that fitted the description and hint and in all likelihood was looking straight at it at some point but didn't see it for what it was. And it's in an area where only a handful of people are ever likely to attempt it. Yet three DNFs and no finds isn't a good look in this day and age.

 

As a CO, I have to make a judgment call whenever anyone logs a DNF (or NM) on my caches:

  • Does the DNF content even suggest the cache might be missing? If it describes a search aborted because of mosquitoes, failing light, an approaching storm or terrain that proved too tough for them, I won't do anything. If it's vague (which most of them are) I might go and do a quick check if it's close to home, or I might wait and see how the next searcher fares, particularly if the DNFer was inexperienced. Often I'll message the searcher just to see if they were looking in the right place and ask if they'd like another hint, but the reviewer or the CHS won't be aware of that - they'll just see an unresponsive CO.
  • If I do decide to pay the cache a visit, how urgent is it? Some of my hides I can check in under an hour, others take the best part of a day and some I can't check unless the weather and/or tides are favourable. In the middle of summer with extreme heat and frequent thunderstorms, it could be many weeks before an opportunity arises. Most COs have full-time jobs and families too, so they'll have limited windows of opportunity to go out and do a check. Urgency also depends on the cache location - an urban one that gets multiple attempts per day is a different kettle of fish to a remote hide that might only get one or two attempts a year.
  • If there's going to be a delay before I can check on it, do I disable it? The CHS clearly wants me too - the options it presents are fix it now and log an OM, disable it until you can, or archive it. But if the DNFs (or NM) aren't compelling enough to convince me the cache can't be found, I'd rather leave it active. Sometimes the DNFers have said they want to go back and have another crack at it, particularly if their first search was cut short or they've been given an extra hint by me or a previous finder, and in that situation disabling it would be counter-productive. And there might be others wanting to have a crack at the tricky hide but would be put off by disablement.
  • If I visit the cache after a DNF and everything's fine, do I need to log an OM? To me, an OM means I've performed maintenance, i.e. fixed something that was broken or not as it should be. The Help Centre only speaks of OMs in the context of clearing NMs and is silent on the question of OMing a DNF. One of my hides I visit after every find, because people rarely put it back the way it's meant to go, but I'm not going to OM those visits. If there were multiple DNFs which someone reading might think implied the cache was likely to be missing, I'd probably log an OM as reassurance, otherwise it's just clutter on the log page and in log-limited PQs.

The reviewer and CHS also have to make judgement calls when they see DNFs or NMs have been logged, but they don't have the depth of knowledge about the cache and its environment that the CO has. A reviewer can read the description and logs, depending on how much time he or she (or Fido) has to decide before moving onto the next problem cache, but the CHS can't even do that; all it can do is count logs, look at the D/T rating and presumably see how it stacks up against what an average cache of that rating ought to get. But averages are pretty meaningless, particularly when you get into the higher D/T ratings where the number of logs is unlikely to be statistically significant. If I toss a coin five times and it comes down heads each time, is it more likely to be a faulty coin or just chance? But even that's not a good analogy, for while all coins are the same, most caches aren't. They'll each have their own distinct hiding place, degree of camouflage, difficulty of access (which will be seeker-dependent), frequency of muggles, experience levels of seekers, etc. Even for a given D/T rating, one size in no way fits all. The CHS might work well on LPCs but is probably less useful with bushland hides where there are so many more variables and ways for seekers to not find the cache.

 

Taking the decision-making away from the CO and putting it in the hands of a reviewer, who's probably being guided at least to some degree by a statistically-based algorithm, must surely result in poorer decisions. Sure, if the CO's long gone and there's compelling evidence the cache is missing or unservicable (evidence at least as compelling as an NA log from someone at GZ would be), go ahead and start the archival process, but at least give the CO a reasonable time to respond first and, when they do, give their response the weight it deserves.

Edited by barefootjeff
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16 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

how do you ensure a cache isn't missing?

 

By nudging the cache owner to verify that it isn't missing.

 

17 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I could go and check on a hide, but a muggle might see me doing it and nab it five minutes later.

 

Well then why bother with maintenance at all?

Obviously what could happen within 5 minutes is entirely irrelevant to ensuring your geocache is findable to the best of your (the cache owner) ability - the best, and only, person who can provide that level of assurance.

 

18 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

It seems to me there's too much emphasis now on preventing any possible cacher disappointment.

 

I don't see too much (which of course is entirely subjective). I see an increased effort to encourage cache owners to do a few things, including a] not shrug off maintenance checkups by relying on proxy maintenance, b] pay closer attention to logs and err on the side of proactivity rather than procrastination, c] attempt to increase cache owner maintenance checkup frequency in an effort to reduce instances of bad experiences before they become bad experiences. I've never seen anyone claim that this system is a "solution" to anything. But it seems to me to be consistent with the effort Groundspeak is putting forth to 'improve cache quality' - which itself is an enormously wide ranging and vague mission.

 

24 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

As a CO, I have to make a judgment call whenever anyone logs a DNF (or NM) on my caches:

 

As a reviewer, they need to make a judgment call whenever deciding to take action on a listing too. Using the same data apart from 1st hand observation.

But what does the reviewer's action have to do with the CHS? We're going all over the place here. What is the issue?  Like really, what is the problem you are asserting exists that needs to be fixed?  If it's some aspect to now standard procedures that you don't like, that's fine... we all have those in various places, and I'd argue we all try to make our case (especially in release notes threads, for eg).  But is your problem with the CHS system which sends out nudge emails?  Its scoring algorithm and weighing parameters?  With the reviewer tool that more quickly brings some listings to reviewers' attention (and that's it)? With reviewers who make individual judgment calls on a cache by cache basis? With Groundspeak's changes in policy that may be affecting reviewer's decisions universally thus trickling down and affecting community etiquette as a side effect?

I'll be the first one to agree that something can be done better, because clearly the community isn't fully satisfied with how things are going. I also realize that in any change or evolution the critics are always the loudest, and that being one of "the little people" there is a whole lot I'm not privy to.

 

31 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The reviewer and CHS also have to make judgement calls when they see DNFs or NMs have been logged, but they don't have the depth of knowledge about the cache and its environment that the CO has.

 

Sure. Which is why they never assume anything about the state of cache. They can't. All they can do is react to the presentation of the cache online, based on weighing a number of factors - especially factors that are not good signs of responsible ownership, such as long-standing NM flags (a listing issue to be cleared up and also a possible indicator of an inactive / maintenance-shirking CO).  I'm not saying that's the exact situation of the OP cache. But I've already said my opinion about that situation, which we generally agree upon.  Again, reviewers make a judgment call. And we know for a fact not everyone agrees with every reviewer decision. But if the problem is with the reviewers' decisions, then that's what appeals is for.

 

35 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The CHS might work well on LPCs but is probably less useful with bushland hides where there are so many more variables and ways for seekers to not find the cache.

 

That's why a reviewer makes the call about action to take on a listing, not the CHS.  And if you think a reviewer makes a bad call, then that's what appeals is for. It has nothing to do with the CHS.

 

36 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Taking the decision-making away from the CO and putting it in the hands of a reviewer, who's probably being guided at least to some degree by a statistically-based algorithm, must surely result in poorer decisions.

 

First, why must it?  The problem you're claiming is with the degree to which reviewers make definitive decisions based on limited knowledge. Why "must" those decisions be poorer because of the existence of an algorithm?  Second, decision-making isn't being taken away. If a CO gets a nudge email, it probably means that by some universal standard (the algorithm, which is an evolving, mutatic metric) there's reason to think recent events may cause some people to think the cache might have a problem. So if I got a nudge email, I would either assure viewers by posting a note or OM about the cache's state or situation, or actually do a maintenance checkup. Then I would expect either of those to be taken into consideration before a reviewer takes any action. That's as far as the CHS goes. After that it's between me and the reviewer.  That's no loss of decision making.  If a reviewer takes a pre-emptive action that I feel is incorrect, guaranteed I'll be contacting them in some manner, respectfully to resolve the situation. If that doesn't work and I'm still not satisfied, then I'll appeal it.

If you mean the fact that reviewers' decisions are more final than a cache owner as a means of "taking away" decision-making, well, then, yes. Because they are a higher authority.

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4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

First, why must it?  The problem you're claiming is with the degree to which reviewers make definitive decisions based on limited knowledge. Why "must" those decisions be poorer because of the existence of an algorithm?  Second, decision-making isn't being taken away. If a CO gets a nudge email, it probably means that by some universal standard (the algorithm, which is an evolving, mutatic metric) there's reason to think recent events may cause some people to think the cache might have a problem. So if I got a nudge email, I would either assure viewers by posting a note or OM about the cache's state or situation, or actually do a maintenance checkup. Then I would expect either of those to be taken into consideration before a reviewer takes any action. That's as far as the CHS goes. After that it's between me and the reviewer.  That's no loss of decision making.  If a reviewer takes a pre-emptive action that I feel is incorrect, guaranteed I'll be contacting them in some manner, respectfully to resolve the situation. If that doesn't work and I'm still not satisfied, then I'll appeal it.

If you mean the fact that reviewers' decisions are more final than a cache owner as a means of "taking away" decision-making, well, then, yes. Because they are a higher authority.

 

What I'm saying is that the CO has far more intimate knowledge of the nature of the cache, its location and the manner of its hiding than the reviewer does, so if the CO says the cache is most likely okay but just tricky to find, and they'll check on it soon to be sure, I find it unsettling that the reviewer would then override that judgement and disable the cache. If I was the owner of that cache, I'd be pretty peeved at the whole process, particularly as it turned out the cache wasn't missing after all, and would probably think twice about hiding any more like it. Since getting my own CHS false positive on a T5 water access cache a couple of years back, I've limited my newer hides to T3.5 or less with no tricky camo and tried to make the description and hint as much of a giveaway as I can. I'm not getting any younger and can't go check on a T4 or T5 at the drop of a hat, especially during summer.

 

Which brings me to my other concern, the haste with which everything is expected to happen now. The CHS will send out its email almost as soon as the DNF that dropped the score below the threshold is logged, and now we're told the reviewer can step in a week after the email is sent if the CO hasn't acted by then. That doesn't give much time for the person who logged the DNF (or anyone else for that matter) to try again and find it, nor does it give the CO much time if they have other commitments and the weekend weather is unfavourable for a cache visit.

 

If HQ wants just mediocre caches that anyone with a phone can go find without putting in any time or effort, this seems a good way to go about getting it.

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10 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

Yet, they seem to prefer it?

11 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Although, I don't recall them ever saying there's an increased time requirement to do their job with tool

 

 

I'm not disputing the fact that it makes one aspect of their job easier.  I"m sure they prefer having the CHS over not having it.  How could there NOT be an additional time requirement when a large majority of these caches weren't brought to their attention previously?  The fact is that the CHS attempts to single out caches that don't have problems yet, meaning that the community hasn't filed any appropriate logs to draw CO or reviewer attention to the potential issue at hand.  While pre-CHS reviewer sweeps may have caught a few of these, I think it's safe to say that the CHS brings so many more caches to the attention of reviewers, all of which require some sort of reviewer attention, even if it's just to glance and determine that it's a faulty score.

 

Do you believe they would prefer having less to do or more to do?  Would you like an 80% increase in your workload (based on Nomex's information)?  The time doesn't even matter if you shrink it down to a minute a cache.  It's still 1 hour and 40 minutes vs. 3 hours.  This extra time is now added to what they were asked to do previously, although I'm sure there is some small overlap between maintenance response to known issues as well as CHS dinged caches drawn to their attention to preemptively catch possible problems.  

 

10 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

They know full fell that sometimes they take that action while believing that a cache is not missing 

 

They know full well that sometimes they take that action while believing that a cache IS missing too.

 

7 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Which is why they never assume anything about the state of cache.  They can't. All they can do is react to the presentation of the cache online, based on weighing a number of factors 

 

This makes no sense.  At the end of the day, reviewing demands a decision based on their assumptions about the cache, per the information presented to them.  "I think there's enough information here to determine that I should take action"  Their conclusion is based on reasoned speculation about the status of the cache in question.  Their very decision is a judgment about the state of a cache.  In their opinion, action is required because they believe the state of the cache to be bad enough that they should take action OR no action is required because they believe the state of the cache is good enough for them to not take action.

 

If you're taking offense at the word assumption, how about speculation, interpretation, opinion, presumption, supposition, or conjecture.   I have NO problem with them being the ones to make that decision.  That's what they're supposed to do.  I have a problem when someone states that a reviewer isn't making a decision about a cache without making a conjecture/supposition/interpretation/assumption about the state of the cache. Their decisions to take action or not all come down to their belief about the state of the cache.  

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7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Which brings me to my other concern, the haste with which everything is expected to happen now. The CHS will send out its email almost as soon as the DNF that dropped the score below the threshold is logged, and now we're told the reviewer can step in a week after the email is sent if the CO hasn't acted by then. That doesn't give much time for the person who logged the DNF (or anyone else for that matter) to try again and find it, nor does it give the CO much time if they have other commitments and the weekend weather is unfavourable for a cache visit.

Yes, this is part of the "quick" I mentioned before. As usual, I look at the higher level meaning, and what's happened is that the timing is now, I claim, based on a sense of how long a potentially bad cache can be tolerated. The timings used to be based on giving the CO enough time to react to the events. It's just one more change away from seeing COs as important participants who might have a life outside geocaching and towards seeing COs as nothing more than minions of the masses.

 

It's not as if there are that many caches are being disabled by reviewers, so I don't claim this one procedure it sending COs running. I'm just suggesting that maybe this isn't really how we want to think of the people that geocaching depends on most.

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10 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

What I'm saying is that the CO has far more intimate knowledge of the nature of the cache, its location and the manner of its hiding than the reviewer does, so if the CO says the cache is most likely okay but just tricky to find, and they'll check on it soon to be sure, I find it unsettling that the reviewer would then override that judgement and disable the cache.

 

10 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Since getting my own CHS false positive on a T5 water access cache a couple of years back, I've limited my newer hides to T3.5 or less with no tricky camo and tried to make the description and hint as much of a giveaway as I can. I'm not getting any younger and can't go check on a T4 or T5 at the drop of a hat, especially during summer.

 

Ok so I sense two things here. First, your issue is with the potential that a reviewer may ignore what you perceive to be an appropriate CO response to a possible issue, which you feel is a non-issue, where a reviewer who you feel has less information and knowledge makes a more uninformed decision; and because they're a higher authority, it's unsettling that their decision which you are certain is misinformed overrides yours. That's understandable, I'd be the same way. But that is 100% between you and the reviewer and the established hierarchy of authority.

 

Second, you're now assuming that since you got a false positive on a T5 that a reviewer will made a bad decision based on the CHS alone, which a huge assumption, and some reviewers might even be insulted by the insinuation that they don't analyze a situation before making what they feel is a reasonable judgment. If your response to the CHS nudge (or lack of it) is perceived as reasonable to the reviewer (let's assume it is reasonable) then a reasonable reviewer will not do anything. OTOH, even if it is reasonable, a reviewer might still feel that - despite believing the cache has no problems - they'd like you to pay a quick visit to check on it, which a reasonable reviewer would work with you to determine a reasonable schedule for an action depending on the cache's nature. That latter one we might have a problem with sometimes. But, that is something that's once again unrelated to the CHS as it's a reviewer decision. They could have done that before they had their tool, and they may or may not do that now with the tool.

 

10 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Which brings me to my other concern, the haste with which everything is expected to happen now. The CHS will send out its email almost as soon as the DNF that dropped the score below the threshold is logged, and now we're told the reviewer can step in a week after the email is sent if the CO hasn't acted by then.

 

They can, if the reviewer feels it's warranted. They always could.

 

10 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

nor does it give the CO much time if they have other commitments and the weekend weather is unfavourable for a cache visit.

 

A reasonable reviewer would understand this. You're leaping to vastly negative conclusions as a unviersal rather than a once-off reviewer choice.

 

7 hours ago, coachstahly said:

How could there NOT be an additional time requirement when a large majority of these caches weren't brought to their attention previously?

 

If they say their job is easier, whether there's a larger time requirement or not (and I don't recall any of them saying there was, in fact I'd think that would have quite the opposite effect) - then from the horse's mouth this statement is irrelevant.

 

7 hours ago, coachstahly said:

The fact is that the CHS attempts to single out caches that don't have problems yet

 

No, caches that might have problems.

You mean don't have reported problems.

Yes, there is a BIG difference.

 

7 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Do you believe they would prefer having less to do or more to do?

 

I would say they prefer their job being easier with the tool. Because... that's what they've said. Therefore, "more" or "less" to view is 100% irrelevant to this point.

 

7 hours ago, coachstahly said:
19 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

They know full fell that sometimes they take that action while believing that a cache is not missing 

 

They know full well that sometimes they take that action while believing that a cache IS missing too.

 

Excellent!

 

7 hours ago, coachstahly said:
15 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Which is why they never assume anything about the state of cache.  They can't. All they can do is react to the presentation of the cache online, based on weighing a number of factors 

 

This makes no sense.  At the end of the day, reviewing demands a decision based on their assumptions about the cache, per the information presented to them.

 

That's exactly what I just said. Okay, clarified: "assume anything about the actual state of the cache".  The action they take is one to assure the positive with a CO checkup, whether the actual state is positive or negative. They don't assume the negative, they don't assume the positive, they can't, because they aren't there to verify the cache is findable or not. They assume the uncertain so the action taken will assure the positive outcome (which is either ultimately an active findable cache or an archived one).

 

7 hours ago, coachstahly said:

In their opinion, action is required because they believe the state of the cache to be bad enough that they should take action OR no action is required because they believe the state of the cache is good enough for them to not take action.

 

Or in other words, the state of the cache is sufficiently unknown (which can lead to a bad experience if it is in fact 'bad') to warrant CO verification. Or not.  Reviewers are well aware that sometimes their actions verify that a cache never had a problem to begin with. They'd be fools not to know that those are some of the situations, they're thrown around in the forum fairly often.

 

7 hours ago, coachstahly said:

If you're taking offense at the word assumption

 

Why would I take offense at the word? I use it.

 

7 hours ago, coachstahly said:

I have a problem when someone states that a reviewer isn't making a decision about a cache without making a conjecture/supposition/interpretation/assumption about the state of the cache. Their decisions to take action or not all come down to their belief about the state of the cache.

 

If they believed the cache was there, and that was the sole basis for their decision, they wouldn't take action. No, they take action because the impression of a listing is that there might be a problem, an impression which they agree with, and so "encourage" the cache owner to verify that the cache is in good shape (whether that means improving it from 'bad shape' or confirming that it's always been in 'good shape')

 

And none of this has anything to do with what the CHS does, because it's all about the decisions the reviewer makes.

 

2 hours ago, dprovan said:

The timings used to be based on giving the CO enough time to react to the events.

 

It still is, can be. The reviewer still decides how long to give.  There's no HQ-concerted effort to shorten every reviewer's allowable windows of maintenance without exception. Raising more potential issues to reviewer attention is not the same as shortening windows for maintenance. Again, if you think a reviewer is being far too short with the requirements they place on COs to check their caches, complain to HQ, and provide evidence (ie convince hq) that the reviewer is being unreasonable in their judgments, if that is, objectively, the argument being made.

 

2 hours ago, dprovan said:

I'm just suggesting that maybe this isn't really how we want to think of the people that geocaching depends on most.

 

As "minions of the masses"? I don't know why someone would think that anyway.  If they're volunteers, they don't have to do it. They can leave/stop any time. Even if they think they're being perceived by some as "minions of the masses". If they don't think they are, and they enjoy their work by choosing to do it, and their job is being made easier by tools that HQ provides, then what "the masses" think is irrelevant, and I'm glad they continue to volunteer and do their job despite all the criticism they get from people. (which says nothing about whether I think they could get paid in some manner of course)

 

Sorry, read that one wrong. You were referring to COs not reviewers.

When it comes to COs, it's not like reviewers are making every CO running.  I'm sure reviewers don't want to make COs do needless work.  That's why they judge each situation and determine whether it's worth prompting the CO to make a maintenance run. It's not a willy-nilly decision. I don't see this anything like somehow causing people to think of COs as "minions of the masses" just because reviewers seem to now be pre-emptively addressing potential problems.  An attentive CO can do just the same.  If I had a few DNFs on my cache, even if I knew it was okay, the move to encourage me to be more attentive to logs on my cache, and perhaps, of my own volition, post a note or do a maint checkup, to let the public know that despite the DNFs, the cache is still good to go.
If a reviewer disables anyway, that's a different issue - a difference in judgment - which I can deal with one on one, or with appeals.  I wouldn't feel like I'm becoming a 'minion of the masses' because I get nudge emails, or a reviewer steps in to address a possible concern before I do.

Edited by thebruce0
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4 hours ago, dprovan said:

The timings used to be based on giving the CO enough time to react to the events. It's just one more change away from seeing COs as important participants who might have a life outside geocaching and towards seeing COs as nothing more than minions of the masses.

 

As far as I'm aware, the timing has never changed in all the years I've been a CO, since 2002. It's always been weeks (or as often as it takes to ensure the cache and location are in good repair).

 

In 2002, the guidelines were clear but didn't set specific timing.

 

Step 5 - Maintain the cache

Once you place the cache, it is your responsibility to maintain the cache and the area around it. You'll need to return as often as you can to ensure that your cache is not impacting the area, and ensure that the cache is in good repair. Once people have visited the cache, inquire about the cache and their opinion of the location. Does the area look disturbed? Are visitors disrupting the landscape in any way? If you have concerns about the location, feel free to move or remove it from the area.


In 2006:

 

Cache Maintenance

The cache owner will assume all responsibility of their cache listings. 

The responsibility of your listing includes quality control of posts to the cache page. Delete any logs that appear to be bogus, counterfeit, off topic, or not within the stated requirements.

As the cache owner, you are also responsible for physically checking your cache periodically, and especially when someone reports a problem with the cache (missing, damaged, wet, etc.). You may temporarily disable your cache to let others know not to hunt for it until you have a chance to fix the problem. This feature is to allow you a reasonable time – normally a few weeks – in which to arrange a visit to your cache. In the event that a cache is not being properly maintained, or has been temporarily disabled for an extended period of time, we may archive or transfer the listing.


In 2008

Cache Maintenance

The cache owner will assume all responsibility of their cache listings.

The responsibility of your listing includes quality control of posts to the cache page. Delete any logs that appear to be bogus, counterfeit, off topic, or not within the stated requirements.

As the cache owner, you are also responsible for physically checking your cache periodically, and especially when someone reports a problem with the cache (missing, damaged, wet, etc.). You may temporarily disable your cache to let others know not to hunt for it until you have a chance to fix the problem. This feature is to allow you a reasonable time – normally a few weeks – in which to arrange a visit to your cache. In the event that a cache is not being properly maintained, or has been temporarily disabled for an extended period of time, we may archive or transfer the listing.

It may be difficult to fulfill your maintenance obligations if you place a cache while traveling on vacation or otherwise outside of your normal caching area. These caches may not be published unless you are able to demonstrate an acceptable maintenance plan. It is not uncommon for caches to go missing, areas to be cleared, trails to be blocked or closed, objects used for multi-cache or puzzles to be moved or removed, etc. Your maintenance plan must allow for a quick response to reported problems.

The territory in which a geocacher is able to maintain caches responsibly will vary from one person to the next. An active geocacher who regularly visits areas hundreds of miles apart can demonstrate their ability to maintain a cache 100 miles from home. A geocacher whose previous finds and hides are all within 25 miles of their home would likely not see their cache published if placed 250 miles away from their home.

If you have special circumstances, please describe your maintenance plan on your cache page. For example, if you have made arrangements with a local geocacher to watch over your distant cache for you, that geocacher’s name should be mentioned on your cache page.

2015 

 

Geocache Maintenance

  • Owner is responsible for geocache listing maintenance.

    As the owner of your cache listing, your responsibility includes quality control of all posts to the cache listing. Delete any logs that appear to be bogus, counterfeit, off-topic or otherwise inappropriate.

  • Owner is responsible for visits to the physical location.

    You are responsible for occasional visits to your cache to ensure it is in proper working order, especially when someone reports a problem with the cache (missing, damaged, wet, etc.), or posts a Needs Maintenance log. Temporarily disable your cache to let others know not to search for it until you have addressed the problem. You are permitted a reasonable amount of time – generally up to 4 weeks – in which to check on your cache. If a cache is not being maintained, or has been temporarily disabled for an unreasonable length of time, we may archive the listing.

    The region in which a cacher is considered able to maintain caches responsibly will vary from person to person. A cacher who has previously logged caches within a wide range of their home may be considered able to maintain a geocache 200 miles (322 km) away. However, someone whose geocaching activities have primarily been within 25 miles (40 km) of home may not be able to maintain a geocache this far from home. This factor is determined at the discretion of the cache reviewer or Groundspeak.

    Because of the effort required to maintain a geocache, please place physical caches in your usual caching area and not while traveling. Caches placed during travel will likely not be published unless you are able to provide an acceptable maintenance plan. This plan must allow for a quick response to reported problems, and might include the username of a local cacher who will handle maintenance issues in your absence. Alternatively you might train a local person to maintain the cache. Document your maintenance plan in a Note to Reviewer on your cache listing. This should include contact information of the maintainer. The note will auto-delete on publication.

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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3 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:
4 hours ago, dprovan said:

The timings used to be based on giving the CO enough time to react to the events. It's just one more change away from seeing COs as important participants who might have a life outside geocaching and towards seeing COs as nothing more than minions of the masses.

 

The timing has never changed in all the years I've been a CO, since 2002, that I'm aware of. It's always been weeks (or as often as it takes to ensure the cache and location are in good repair).

From a reviewer action perspective, here is my personal timeline:

 

Beginning in 2003 when I became a reviewer, until around 2009, when I disabled a cache (or reminded a CO of a long-disabled cache) I gave the cache owner two weeks to react.

From 2009 until 2017, I gave three weeks instead of two.

Beginning in 2017, I give four weeks before archiving a cache for lack of a response from the CO, extended to six weeks in the heart of the winter months if I am initiating the action.

 

Meanwhile, the percentage of cache owners in my review territory who respond to my notes in any way has declined steadily.  Thus far in 2019 it's at less than 10%.  Increasing the time given to the CO has not led to a proportionate increase in "revived" caches that are maintained.

 

And remember, from my past posts, all it takes is ANY response from the CO in order to buy more time.  "I've been sick," "I've been traveling a lot," "my spouse has been sick," "I will check once the snow melts" -- all of these will spare a cache page from the grim reaper's scythe.

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14 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Meanwhile, the percentage of cache owners in my review territory who respond to my notes in any way has declined steadily.  Thus far in 2019 it's at less than 10%.  Increasing the time given to the CO has not led to a proportionate increase in "revived" caches that are maintained.

I wonder if that's in any way related to the 'account age' of the CO's.  I mean, if there are more CO's that are placing caches without fully understanding the maintenance requirements - the ones that are often termed 'fly by night' or 'weekend warrior' cachers.

 

 

14 minutes ago, Keystone said:

And remember, from my past posts, all it takes is ANY response from the CO in order to buy more time.  "I've been sick," "I've been traveling a lot," "my spouse has been sick," "I will check once the snow melts" -- all of these will spare a cache page from the grim reaper's scythe.

I think this is important.  If a CO states a timeline, then they need to follow it.  I've seen Reviewers archive caches where the CO responds that they are going to fix the cache by a certain date, but then that date passed and the Reviewer posted another note, and the CO gave another date, and then that date passed, etc. At some point, the CO's proclamations that they really are going to fix the cache needs to be a hard deadline, otherwise they are just blocking a location from being used by others.

 

 

17 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

The timing has never changed in all the years I've been a CO, since 2002, that I'm aware of. It's always been weeks (or as often as it takes to ensure the cache and location are in good repair).

This is an interesting historical view.

  • It's interesting that the 2002 guidance said to "inquire about the cache and their opinion of the location".  Were CO's asking finders about their opinion of the location back then?  I'd hope that CO's could get an idea of finders' opinions based on what finders said in online logs, which I'd assume were more verbose than they are nowadays. Less "TFTC" logs back in the early days.
  • Another thing that's interesting is the line saying that CO's should "delete any logs that appear to be bogus, counterfeit, off-topic or otherwise inappropriate."  Seems like that responsibility has been considerably softened in the latest Help Center article.

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29 minutes ago, Keystone said:

And remember, from my past posts, all it takes is ANY response from the CO in order to buy more time.  "I've been sick," "I've been traveling a lot," "my spouse has been sick," "I will check once the snow melts" -- all of these will spare a cache page from the grim reaper's scythe.

I'm glad you work that way, but not all reviewers do so.  I was traveling last year and repeatedly posted I'd take care of the cache when we were back home.  After getting home, collecting supplies needed, I found out the cache had been archived before we arrived home.  It didn't leave a good taste in my mouth...

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23 minutes ago, Keystone said:

 

Meanwhile, the percentage of cache owners in my review territory who respond to my notes in any way has declined steadily.  Thus far in 2019 it's at less than 10%. 

 

 I've been noticing the increase too. A lot of COs seem to feel that archival is the responsibility of the reviewer. Especially if a reviewer disables the cache.  Many of these people, at least in my area, are stewards of the community (host events and group outings, have been caching for decades). I don't understand why they do this. It comes across as antagonistic. 

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17 minutes ago, The Jester said:

I'm glad you work that way, but not all reviewers do so.  I was traveling last year and repeatedly posted I'd take care of the cache when we were back home.  After getting home, collecting supplies needed, I found out the cache had been archived before we arrived home.  It didn't leave a good taste in my mouth...

 

This one? GC31B9

Well, according to logs, your multi had unresponded issues since 2017 - that could take part in reviewer's decision too.

In addition, he has explained to you, that he can't hold so many physical locations for so long. 

Fair enough?

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