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Community conversation about geocache quality

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1 hour ago, badlands said:
1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

Another suggestion, maybe COs can decide if their cache should be available on the app. Add a "This cache can appear on the app for basic members" checkbox to all listings. 

 

Another excellent idea.

 

Perhaps, though a CO can do that now simply by making the cache a PMO cache.  Another option would be to add a "Gadget Cache" attribute, and the app would exclude gadget caches from basic members.  As I see it,  Basic Membership implies one is just doing "basic geocaching" and I'd suggest that gadget caches go beyond "basic geocaching".   Adding a gadget cache attribute would also make it easier for premium members to discover gadget cache listings.

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5 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

 

More new players, more problems makes sense. But, the ratio is different between the groups. Lets say we get 100 people that stumble upon the app and 100 stumbling upon an article in a magazine or newspaper. It stands to reason that more app users will make mistakes because they download and immediately try to play. At the same time, the article readers get more information right off the bat and thereby tend to make less mistakes. 

 

Mas38's statement is certainly what's happening in my area.  The vast majority of new app owners only stay with us for a short time. New names pop up once or twice and then they're gone never to be heard from again. We are lucky though that they don't tend to place caches in the short time they're interested. 

 

I agree, the app made it "easier" to get right into it. You can download the app, make an account and be geocaching within 5 minutes. That means you have no insight in the game, and everything is by trial and error. The people that does it, and finds a few caches, then figure out it is not for them, is not the problem though. It's when they hide caches, without having a grasp on the basics first. Many people say they have seen new geocachers hide good caches, but I was thinking, maybe they had someone help them? Maybe their friend told them about geocaching, they decided to read up on it, and got interested. That is someone who is new, but already knows something about the game at the same time.

 

So maybe that is what is needed, to make information easily available to new players, and a wall of text like the current help section is not the right answer.

 

But people are different, and not everyone like to read anything, just to try out something. That is the tricky part, and why I still think having someone reach out is the best route to take.

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8 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

I suspect that for a Mentor program to work there would have to be a fairly well established local community.   A well established community likely has a fair number of events, some of which cater to beginners, so an "official" Mentor program may not be needed.   

 

Most places in the world don't have well established communities and it is those area which could benefit the most from newer, knowledgeable players.   

 

That is correct. Without a proper local community a mentor program might not be viable. But in areas without a local community, new people probably have a lot more leeway as there is no "geocaching culture" to align with?

 

So maybe just make a mentor tool available, but not mandatory, so in areas where a local community would like bring new people into the hobby and make them a great addition to the community, they have the tool to do that?

 

That is good feedback, sometimes it is hard to see flaws in your own ideas, so it's great to have someone point them out in a constructive manner! :)

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17 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

Perhaps, though a CO can do that now simply by making the cache a PMO cache.  Another option would be to add a "Gadget Cache" attribute, and the app would exclude gadget caches from basic members.  As I see it,  Basic Membership implies one is just doing "basic geocaching" and I'd suggest that gadget caches go beyond "basic geocaching".   Adding a gadget cache attribute would also make it easier for premium members to discover gadget cache listings.

Groundspeak's Geocaching app also restricts basic members to traditional caches.

 

If gadget caches were listed as mystery/puzzle caches (even when they are at the posted coordinates), then they wouldn't show up for basic members on Groundspeak's Geocaching app. And IMHO, that is a better type to use for gadget caches anyway, even ignoring newbies using Groundspeak's Geocaching app.

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24 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I suspect that for a Mentor program to work there would have to be a fairly well established local community.   A well established community likely has a fair number of events, some of which cater to beginners, so an "official" Mentor program may not be needed.   

We have a fairly well-established geocaching community here. We don't have a formal mentor program, but we do have people who coordinate with the local parks and open space districts. One county parks department offers intro geocaching classes, which are taught by one of our members, and which send small groups of beginners out with experienced geocachers, as they find 8-10 varied caches within a short hike of the trailhead.

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1 minute ago, niraD said:

Groundspeak's Geocaching app also restricts basic members to traditional caches.

 

If gadget caches were listed as mystery/puzzle caches (even when they are at the posted coordinates), then they wouldn't show up for basic members on Groundspeak's Geocaching app. And IMHO, that is a better type to use for gadget caches anyway, even ignoring newbies using Groundspeak's Geocaching app.

 

I have actually considered making my gadget caches mysteries, as some players tend to expect a park and grab when they see traditional. Maybe a gadget cache icon is a possibility? :)

 

Though that would lead to problems with existing gadget caches would need to have their icon changed, and that would probably mess up a lot of peoples statistics. Maybe a new attribute is a better idea. :)

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3 minutes ago, MAS83 said:

Maybe a new attribute is a better idea.

 

Great idea but it is already done, the field puzzle attribute is for gadget caches.

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Just now, arisoft said:

Great idea but it is already done, the field puzzle attribute is for gadget caches.

And I still think it's better to list gadget caches as mystery/puzzle caches than as traditional caches. The field puzzle attribute can be used in addition to the mystery/puzzle type to indicate that the puzzle isn't just a "solve at home" kind of puzzle.

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4 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

Great idea but it is already done, the field puzzle attribute is for gadget caches.

 

Not exclusively. Sometimes it means you need to do something to get a new coordinate in the field. But on traditional they usually means a gadget cache. The problem is most people probably doesn't look at attributes on traditionals.

 

Maybe the best solution is to make a Gadget Cache Icon, and just grandfather all existing gadget caches as traditionals?

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1 hour ago, MAS83 said:

It is hard for me to evaluate how your situation are from here.

 

We have different styles. Based on a quick look, it doesn't look like you use the filtering options. The numbers-style caches are good for you. You would actually enjoy my location because you could spend many happy years finding lots of caches. There are a lot of PTs around me. You will even find a few power trails of challenge caches. Almost every trail is saturated with the same style cache every 161m hidden by the same owner. Lots to find makes a lot of cachers very happy. 

 

I am selective. I hope you don't think that's a bad thing. Give me a dry swag size cache in a nice location, owned by active owners who monitor, maintain those caches (no throwdowns). Don't show me the others. I'd find that more satisfying, less frustrating, more in sync with my GC philosophy. I'd like GCHQ to make it easier for cachers to be more selective and enjoy their type of geocaching. 

 

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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3 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

We have different styles. Based on a quick look, it doesn't look like you use the filtering options. The numbers-style caches are good for you. You would actually enjoy my location because you could spend many happy years finding lots of caches. There are a lot of PTs around me. You will even find a few power trails of challenge caches. Almost every trail is saturated with the same style cache every 161m hidden by the same owner. Lots to find makes a lot of cachers very happy. 

 

I am selective. I hope you don't think that's a bad thing. Give me a dry swag size cache in a nice location, owned by active owners who monitors, maintains those caches (no throwdowns). Don't show me the others. I'd find that more satisfying, less frustrating, more in sync with my GC philosophy. I'd like GCHQ to make it easier for cachers to be more selective and enjoy their type of geocaching.

 

Power trails are nice for when you are trying to push to a milestone, or just feel like getting a lot of caches, but in general not among my favorite caches. But for me satisfaction comes from seeing a sea of smilies on my map, so I want to find them all! :)

 

It actually makes me sad that if you zoom out too much on the map, the smilies just turn back into the cache icons. :)

 

But I appreciate someone like you that want a specific geocaching experience, people like you are helping making geocaching diverse, it would be boring if all caches were power trails and urban magnetic micros.

 

And I would like for you to have the option to filter out caches you are not interested in, so that you don't get frustrated looking through loads of caches to find the gems. That makes the game better for everyone. In a perfect world you could filter out caches on parameters you don't like, and then have the option to hide them on the map as well, with an toggle option in case you need to know where those caches are placed.

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10 minutes ago, MAS83 said:

And I would like for you to have the option to filter out caches you are not interested in, so that you don't get frustrated looking through loads of caches to find the gems. That makes the game better for everyone. In a perfect world you could filter out caches on parameters you don't like, and then have the option to hide them on the map as well, with an toggle option in case you need to know where those caches are placed.

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4 hours ago, MAS83 said:

I think you are right that it was the amount of new people instead of the app it self that caused that. And we have had a few new hiders in my area doing the the whole geocaching thing for a week, and then never to be seen again. And that is in an area with ~20 or so active geocachers, and another 10-20 irregular geocachers. An example is this one gyu, who found 2 caches, then a few days later he published 3 caches. One got muggled after 3 logs, and archived. He never found his third cache, and hasn't logged in since last august or something like that.

I would think in an area with so few caches, you're welcome the attempts to plant new ones even when they go awry. I have to admit, the dynamics are different in my area: there are plenty of caches, so there's no pressure for someone just starting out to jump in and plant new ones, so it doesn't happen that often. My feeling is that those numbers are low enough to be comparable to the other kinds of mistakes that seasoned COs make, not some huge problem that must be prevented at all costs.

 

4 hours ago, MAS83 said:

In regard to being discouraged by negative feedback is actually one of the reasons I think new hiders should wait/get help with hiding their first caches. You can't stop negative feedback on subpar caches, there are too many negative people out there, so reducing the chance of negative (and I don't mean constructive feedback, just regular none helping negative feedback) for their first hides, are a way to making them a regular in the geocaching scene.

I'm sorry, but you didn't understand my point. I don't want to discourage negative feedback. Negative feedback is how a CO learns. My point was that the flash-in-the-pan COs quickly get the feedback about their cache quality, and it often makes them realize planting caches is harder than it looks, so they stop and the "problem" solves itself. Or they listen to the feedback, and plant better caches.

 

I don't have much experience with feedback that isn't constructive and I don't really understand what it has with the quality question, so I'm going to ignore that aspect of your comment.

 

4 hours ago, MAS83 said:

In a perfect world, a new geocacher could place an awful container, in a bad spot, 50 meters off, and only receive helpful and friendly feedback, to help them get it right next time, but we don't live in a perfect world. :)

Maybe you don't. In my area, a new CO that screws up can expect helpful and friendly feedback, so I guess my world's perfect. While it's not unheard of for someone to be short, even rude, to a new CO that screws up, in my area even that kind of response will still be helpful.

 

Anyway, I hope you'll agree that the possibility of someone being rude is not a good justification for preventing COs from planting imperfect caches. I don't think there's a relation between quality and rudeness.

4 hours ago, MAS83 said:

It's a about finding the right balance between scaring people off with strict rules, and keeping them from making mistakes that can cause negative feedback that also scares them off. It's a tricky one.

I have to admit, I don't consider it that tricky. More rules scare people. More rules make experienced seekers feel more self righteous and less tolerant. So I'm already leaning against more rules before I consider that the rules are trying to solve all the problems of human nature, which is a ridiculous goal. Yes, sometimes people are rude. We shouldn't pretend that there's a magic set of rules that will keep that from happening. In fact, I claim the reverse: the more rules, the easier it is to lose sight of the importance cooperation.

 

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4 hours ago, MAS83 said:

A lot of people doesn't use facebook, I rarely do.

I never use facebook. That doesn't prevent me from seeing that most people do, and almost no one uses bulletin boards. My point is that if your plan were implemented today, GS would point people in my area to a bboard system that no one uses anymore. If it had been implemented 3 years ago, it would point to a bboard system that doesn't exist anymore. If, instead, it pointed to a facebook group, it would work for a year or so before the situation changed again.

 

There's no magic bullet. GS can do things until it's blue in the face, and there will still be only one way to get people into their local community: by the local community inviting them in.

 

4 hours ago, MAS83 said:

On the part about actively seeking out new players when they log your caches. That would mean that every time someone you don't recognize logs one of your caches, you would have to look them up to see their find count. And that only tells you they are new, not that they are local, you have no way to tell if someone is local, unless they put that information in their profile, which very few do. We found out first 5 caches at an family get together 2-300 kms from home, so you can't just assume that because someone is new, they are local when they log your caches.

I can't help but read this as, "OMG, what are you suggesting? That people in the community get to know other people in the community? That's ridiculous!"

 

What makes a community useful is precisely that people take interest when seeing a new name, looking at where they are and where they cache, and, heaven forbid, contacting them to find out more. When you explain the reasons why you think GS needs to be involved in creating a community, all I can see are reasons why that community will never be useful no matter how hard GS works to direct people to it.

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12 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I would think in an area with so few caches, you're welcome the attempts to plant new ones even when they go awry. I have to admit, the dynamics are different in my area: there are plenty of caches, so there's no pressure for someone just starting out to jump in and plant new ones, so it doesn't happen that often. My feeling is that those numbers are low enough to be comparable to the other kinds of mistakes that seasoned COs make, not some huge problem that must be prevented at all costs.

 

I'm sorry, but you didn't understand my point. I don't want to discourage negative feedback. Negative feedback is how a CO learns. My point was that the flash-in-the-pan COs quickly get the feedback about their cache quality, and it often makes them realize planting caches is harder than it looks, so they stop and the "problem" solves itself. Or they listen to the feedback, and plant better caches.

 

I don't have much experience with feedback that isn't constructive and I don't really understand what it has with the quality question, so I'm going to ignore that aspect of your comment.

 

Maybe you don't. In my area, a new CO that screws up can expect helpful and friendly feedback, so I guess my world's perfect. While it's not unheard of for someone to be short, even rude, to a new CO that screws up, in my area even that kind of response will still be helpful.

 

Anyway, I hope you'll agree that the possibility of someone being rude is not a good justification for preventing COs from planting imperfect caches. I don't think there's a relation between quality and rudeness.

I have to admit, I don't consider it that tricky. More rules scare people. More rules make experienced seekers feel more self righteous and less tolerant. So I'm already leaning against more rules before I consider that the rules are trying to solve all the problems of human nature, which is a ridiculous goal. Yes, sometimes people are rude. We shouldn't pretend that there's a magic set of rules that will keep that from happening. In fact, I claim the reverse: the more rules, the easier it is to lose sight of the importance cooperation.

 

 The bolded part, what you quoted (sorry can't seem to figure out to make nested quotes on this page) was my reply to the following:

 

5 hours ago, dprovan said:

And, man, talk about being discouraged: the newbies that get into it and drop a couple sub-par caches get bored really fast when people complain about bad placement and poor containers, so they rarely plant more than a couple such caches before giving up.

 

I have re-read that a few times now, I can't get any other meaning out of it, than you wanting to spare new hiders from negative feedback. Could you elaborate what you meant, if not that?

 

The rest of your post:

 

I agree that areas with few hides, mistakes by newcomers are not that big deal. A new cache is better than none. In my area, we get new hiders once or twice a year, so they are not a big issue here either.

 

In regard to constructive feedback. I have seen some logs that was borderline angry/rude due to errors by new hiders. It's not that the people are angry/rude, but I think it is just a combination of FTF adrenaline rush, wasting a long time on a cache not even there and lastly forgetting how it was to be new in this game. I don't think they intend it to be harshly worded, but it can come off as such to new people. Living in a place with a high cache quality, some people gets used to that, and expects it every time. So when someone new makes a little mistake, and get a bit of telling off, that might sour their experience, instead of making them wanting to be better, it might make them quit altogether. That was the point I was trying to make.

 

It is not something I have seen often, maybe 2-3 times in my 5 years of geocaching, but that might have cause those 2-3 people to stop geocaching.

 

On the remark that being rude to a new hider can be helpful, I disagree. Constructive criticism is good, negative criticism is bad. That is my opinion, and that will never change. :)

 

And on trying to avoid rudeness by preventing imperfect caches. If you read it as me wanting to forbid new players from hiding caches to prevent rudeness, that was not what I meant. It was merely my point that if we can reduce the mistakes of new hiders, we might make their first hide a more positive experience for everyone, increasing the likelihood of them sticking around and becoming regulars in the community.

 

And finally on the last paragraph: I agree that as few rules as possible is the best. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said in that last paragraph, and apologies if I made you think otherwise.

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29 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I never use facebook. That doesn't prevent me from seeing that most people do, and almost no one uses bulletin boards. My point is that if your plan were implemented today, GS would point people in my area to a bboard system that no one uses anymore. If it had been implemented 3 years ago, it would point to a bboard system that doesn't exist anymore. If, instead, it pointed to a facebook group, it would work for a year or so before the situation changed again.

 

There's no magic bullet. GS can do things until it's blue in the face, and there will still be only one way to get people into their local community: by the local community inviting them in.

 

I can't help but read this as, "OMG, what are you suggesting? That people in the community get to know other people in the community? That's ridiculous!"

 

What makes a community useful is precisely that people take interest when seeing a new name, looking at where they are and where they cache, and, heaven forbid, contacting them to find out more. When you explain the reasons why you think GS needs to be involved in creating a community, all I can see are reasons why that community will never be useful no matter how hard GS works to direct people to it.

 

My point was that pointing to an external source (facebook, bulletin boards, webpage) requires that everyone uses that external source. What I suggested was for HQ to set up the possibilty for local communities to setup a subforum here, and chose what region/country/county that subforum covers. Then when people sign up and put in their home coordinates, the page checks what subforum covers that area (if any) and promotes it to the user. That way the newcomer doesn't need to make a profile on an external page, and is immediately in with the local community, without the need for the experienced cachers to stalk their area looking for new people and "harassing" them. Imagine being new and within hours of making a profile and finding a few caches getting spammed by X number of people telling you the same thing over and over. And for that to continue every time you find a cache by a new CO. It's frankly a waste of time for everyone involved.

 

And I agree, that GS can't force anything upon newcomers, but providing the tools to make that initial contact with the local community? I fail to see how that is a bad thing?

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39 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I can't help but read this as, "OMG, what are you suggesting? That people in the community get to know other people in the community? That's ridiculous!"

 

I felt this one needed it's own post to reply to, as I struggle with nested replies, I couldn't find a way to make it clear in my other post, what part of your post I was talking about.

 

But I can't see how you came to that conclusion?

 

What I said was:

Quote

On the part about actively seeking out new players when they log your caches. That would mean that every time someone you don't recognize logs one of your caches, you would have to look them up to see their find count. And that only tells you they are new, not that they are local, you have no way to tell if someone is local, unless they put that information in their profile, which very few do. We found out first 5 caches at an family get together 2-300 kms from home, so you can't just assume that because someone is new, they are local when they log your caches.

 

All I literally said in that post was the amount of Sherlock Holmes detective work, borderline stalking required to locate new players in the area without the proper tool, makes it a tedious task, that have a good chance of pestering a new cacher that is not even local. That's it, that is literally all that I said in what you quoted. You don't get to know people by stalking them online. You get to know them by meeting them at events, out in the wild and by talking to them online. The last part is not something that's available as of now in any meaningful capacity. Of course you could write them a message out of the blue, but I think such unsolicited contact is borderline creepy: "Hey I noticed you are new, want a friend?"

 

But if there were a forum, they could ask questions, there could be stickies about the local cachers in their area. A sticky about the "bucket List" caches in the area. You could put up open invitations to fieldtrips to go out caching together. I have yet to see any reason from you as to why that is bad idea, except you don't like it?

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4 hours ago, MAS83 said:

But if you had a Groundspeak provided community forum, where everyone who has Home Coordinates in your area was a member, you could take the discussion on what to do. If it is only a handful of people doing it, it should be no problem to get support for a local guideline, that states don't perform maintenance for other COs. Especially if the local reviewers are part of said forums, or could be alerted about a topic, then you could make local rules that maybe prevented people from owning a lot of caches and never doing maintenance on them, and the reviewers would stop publishing new caches from them (or something like that)

 

I don't want to reviewers to get more jobs to do, as they are already carrying the game on their shoulders for free, but at least it's a base for more discussion, maybe someone can come with a solution without burdening the reviewers anymore.

 

I appreciate your concern for the workload done for free by Community Volunteers (Reviewers and Forum Moderators).

 

Groundspeak tried a location-based forum software package years ago, where a post could be associated with coordinates. Nobody used it (but that may have been because it was for Waymarking).  Look at the national and regional forum sections here in the Geocaching forums.  They're pretty much dead.  Their death spiral began as Facebook grew in popularity.

 

Reviewers worldwide already have the power, in consultation with HQ, to stop a cache owner from hiding more caches if they aren't maintaining their current caches.  I've used this power a few times.  Often, a suspension of hiding privileges triggers a social media storm saying that HQ and their volunteer minions are the incarnation of evil.

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20 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Groundspeak tried a location-based forum software package years ago, where a post could be associated with coordinates. Nobody used it (but that may have been because it was for Waymarking).  Look at the national and regional forum sections here in the Geocaching forums.  They're pretty much dead.  Their death spiral began as Facebook grew in popularity.

 

I think the main problem is no one knew about those forums. This is the first I am hearing of them at least. :)

 

Actually I haven't used the forums before this, it is almost like it is a secret there even is a forum. :D

 

Presenting the local forums front and center is the best way to make people aware of their existence.

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12 minutes ago, MAS83 said:

Presenting the local forums front and center is the best way to make people aware of their existence.

 

Awareness is one thing. Getting people to use said forums is a very different thing.

 

Even with the amount of scandal surrounding Facebook at the moment it will still be the preferred platform for the majority not only because it is ubiquitous but also because people are able to post freely there without strict moderation.

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1 hour ago, MAS83 said:
6 hours ago, dprovan said:

And, man, talk about being discouraged: the newbies that get into it and drop a couple sub-par caches get bored really fast when people complain about bad placement and poor containers, so they rarely plant more than a couple such caches before giving up.

 

I have re-read that a few times now, I can't get any other meaning out of it, than you wanting to spare new hiders from negative feedback. Could you elaborate what you meant, if not that?

Not sure what to say. Nothing about my quoted passage implies -- or meant to imply -- that the complaints where in any way invalid or rude. I was thinking about legitimate complaints about actual problems with the newbie's cache. My point was that for the flash-in-the-pan newbie, it's only going to take a couple comments before they realize this isn't going to be as easy as they thought it would be, so they'll quit, which solves the newbies planting bad caches problem.

 

1 hour ago, MAS83 said:

On the remark that being rude to a new hider can be helpful, I disagree.

What I was saying is that accurate feedback can still be present even if the presentation is less than friendly. I was thinking of a geocacher or two in my area that can be very short with newbies that goof up even as they accurately report the problem. I tend to notice it because I can't help but realize that those logs could easily be written by any one of several people that complain about newbies here in the forums. I don't consider it desirable, but at the same time, I don't think being gruff automatically makes one unhelpful.

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6 minutes ago, dprovan said:

What I was saying is that accurate feedback can still be present even if the presentation is less than friendly. I was thinking of a geocacher or two in my area that can be very short with newbies that goof up even as they accurately report the problem. I tend to notice it because I can't help but realize that those logs could easily be written by any one of several people that complain about newbies here in the forums. I don't consider it desirable, but at the same time, I don't think being gruff automatically makes one unhelpful.

 

Everyone is different.

 

Some people make constructive feedback.

Some people don't do feedback at all.

Some people are perpetual "pat on the back" types.

Some people make negative feedback.

 

On the receiving end it is similar.

 

Some people react positively to any feedback.

Some people only listens to constructive feedback.

Some people will never take any feedback.

Some people will get defensive about feedback.

Some people will get angry/upset/sad/embarrassed by negative feedback.

 

My point is that not very many combinations of the above examples will lead anywhere good, so reducing the amount of feedback, by helping new hiders, and if feedback is necessary, make it constructive, will increase the possibility that the new hider will stick around.

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14 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Awareness is one thing. Getting people to use said forums is a very different thing.

Yep. One of the reasons that our local forums were preferred over Groundspeak's regional forums was that the local geocaching community liked discussing things that Groundspeak would not allow in their forums. Our local forums were local geocaching forums, not local geocaching.com forums.

 

Almost everyone has switched to FB now, so our local forums languish. And the types of discussions that don't really work in FB just no longer happen. But I don't think it's possible to get those people to switch from FB to Groundspeak's regional forums.

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1 hour ago, Keystone said:

Groundspeak tried a location-based forum software package years ago, where a post could be associated with coordinates. Nobody used it (but that may have been because it was for Waymarking).  Look at the national and regional forum sections here in the Geocaching forums.  They're pretty much dead.  Their death spiral began as Facebook grew in popularity.

 

I decided to look up the forum for Denmark to check it out. I actually remember seeing it before, but the forum for Denmark, is the "Scandinavia and Baltic countries" forum, that covers 8 countries, and that is way too wide to be of any use, and I have a feeling that is one of the reasons it isn't used. Even a Denmark only forum would largely be irrelevant. In Denmark we have 5 regions, and again, it would be too much to make region forums.

 

For the forums to be of any use, the local communities should be able to make the boundaries themselves. I must admit I have no idea how to do that properly, maybe by municipals, and then have some municipals be able to join several forums, if the municipal is located between 2 local groups, and the one side is in one group, and the other side is in another.

 

It is a tricky puzzle to piece together, but an interesting concept, if it gains some traction from HQ.

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4 minutes ago, niraD said:

Yep. One of the reasons that our local forums were preferred over Groundspeak's regional forums was that the local geocaching community liked discussing things that Groundspeak would not allow in their forums. Our local forums were local geocaching forums, not local geocaching.com forums.

 

Almost everyone has switched to FB now, so our local forums languish. And the types of discussions that don't really work in FB just no longer happen. But I don't think it's possible to get those people to switch from FB to Groundspeak's regional forums.

 

That is some good input. When a forum is open to wide audience, GS legally has to moderate it according to global rules/standards, but with semi private sections it could maybe be user moderated, and having it's users to press "Okay" that the following forum is not moderated by GS, and the use of the forum is at your own risk. I am in no way able to tell if that is legally sound to do for GS or not, but if they can do that, that would fix that issue.

 

The problem might be with getting groups already using another place to house their community. But maybe adding the option to link an area to an external site is the right solution?

 

So if a new geocacher in area A creates an account, they get presented with the local Area A groups gc.com forum. The new geocacher in Area B gets a link to the FB group for area B instead.

 

Thoughts?

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12 minutes ago, MAS83 said:

When a forum is open to wide audience, GS legally has to moderate it according to global rules/standards, but with semi private sections it could maybe be user moderated, and having it's users to press "Okay" that the following forum is not moderated by GS, and the use of the forum is at your own risk. I am in no way able to tell if that is legally sound to do for GS or not, but if they can do that, that would fix that issue.

It isn't really a "use at your own risk" kind of issue. It's really more of a "don't talk about these things on our foums" issue. For example, someone might want to discuss...

  • the differences between an unauthorized smartphone app and other apps (Groundspeak's app and/or the authorized API partner apps).
  • the latest location-based game that isn't geocaching.
  • a new geocache listing site, and the new features it introduced, or the mistakes its making, or whatever.
  • what geocache listing sites are best for cross-listing a cache (in addition to listing it at geocaching.com).
  • what geocache listing sites are best for listing cache concepts that were not published on geocaching.com.
  • the details of an upcoming geocaching trip that includes someone banned from Groundspeak's forums.

There are any number of conversations that would not be allowed on Groundspeak's forums.

 

Groundspeak is perfectly free to set such rules for their forums. But those rules may discourage local geocaching groups from using their forums.

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30 minutes ago, MAS83 said:

Thoughts?

 

I think that an elaborate discussion forum expansion is a concept that's a bit far afield of the general conversation about geocache quality.  You're welcome to open a separate thread about this idea, however.

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4 minutes ago, niraD said:

It isn't really a "use at your own risk" kind of issue. It's really more of a "don't talk about these things on our foums" issue. For example, someone might want to discuss...

  • the differences between an unauthorized smartphone app and other apps (Groundspeak's app and/or the authorized API partner apps).
  • the latest location-based game that isn't geocaching.
  • a new geocache listing site, and the new features it introduced, or the mistakes its making, or whatever.
  • what geocache listing sites are best for cross-listing a cache (in addition to listing it at geocaching.com).
  • what geocache listing sites are best for listing cache concepts that were not published on geocaching.com.
  • the details of an upcoming geocaching trip that includes someone banned from Groundspeak's forums.

There are any number of conversations that would not be allowed on Groundspeak's forums.

 

Groundspeak is perfectly free to set such rules for their forums. But those rules may discourage local geocaching groups from using their forums.

 

Ahh, yeah didn't think about that.

 

One could ask GS to be entirely hands off in the local groups, but that is probably not going to fly. :)

 

And that is probably the end of that discussion, no local forums on gc.com unless we get to moderate it ourselves. :)

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2 minutes ago, Keystone said:

 

I think that an elaborate discussion forum expansion is a concept that's a bit far afield of the general conversation about geocache quality.  You're welcome to open a separate thread about this idea, however.

 

Don't worry, thanks to niraD I realize it will never happen, so I am closing the book on that idea. :)

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7 hours ago, Keystone said:

Reviewers worldwide already have the power, in consultation with HQ, to stop a cache owner from hiding more caches if they aren't maintaining their current caches.  I've used this power a few times.  Often, a suspension of hiding privileges triggers a social media storm saying that HQ and their volunteer minions are the incarnation of evil.

 

That's a huge problem. If it's not possible to police even that aspect of cache quality without an uproar then there's nothing that can be done about it. Entitlement and cache numbers are clearly more important to far too many people.

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8 hours ago, Keystone said:

Reviewers worldwide already have the power, in consultation with HQ, to stop a cache owner from hiding more caches if they aren't maintaining their current caches.  I've used this power a few times.  Often, a suspension of hiding privileges triggers a social media storm saying that HQ and their volunteer minions are the incarnation of evil.

 

Could you remind me again about who chooses the reviewers?  I notice you keep using the word "volunteer" as a kind of magic token that immunizes reviewers from any responsibility.

 

I have always admired the volunteer cache reviewers I have interacted with, and have no trouble with any of them.  But I think Groundspeak's policy of choosing them and then calling them "community volunteers" is disingenuous at best.  We need to remember that those "volunteers" are effectively unpaid employees of Groundspeak. They implement Groundspeak's policies, not policies chosen by the community. There is nothing wrong with that, except that Groundspeak intentionally mislabels them in what appears to be an effort to misinform the community.

 

This thread has no resemblance to a community discussion; it is dominated by a few very prolific posters, several of whom have carried on a long campaign in the forums to promote a specific set of solutions for these issues that I find objectionable.  If this goes anything at all like the "community discussion" on challenge caches, I expect that those loud voices will achieve their agenda to the detriment of the rest of us who just want to have fun caching.

 

So I am pretty much resigned to the inevitability of a Cacher Health Score and various other negative consequences for cache owners who do not meet the very strict standards of our resident perfectionists.

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7 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

 

Could you remind me again about who chooses the reviewers?  I notice you keep using the word "volunteer" as a kind of magic token that immunizes reviewers from any responsibility.

 

I have always admired the volunteer cache reviewers I have interacted with, and have no trouble with any of them.  But I think Groundspeak's policy of choosing them and then calling them "community volunteers" is disingenuous at best.  We need to remember that those "volunteers" are effectively unpaid employees of Groundspeak. They implement Groundspeak's policies, not policies chosen by the community. There is nothing wrong with that, except that Groundspeak intentionally mislabels them in what appears to be an effort to misinform the community.

 

This thread has no resemblance to a community discussion; it is dominated by a few very prolific posters, several of whom have carried on a long campaign in the forums to promote a specific set of solutions for these issues that I find objectionable.  If this goes anything at all like the "community discussion" on challenge caches, I expect that those loud voices will achieve their agenda to the detriment of the rest of us who just want to have fun caching.

 

So I am pretty much resigned to the inevitability of a Cacher Health Score and various other negative consequences for cache owners who do not meet the very strict standards of our resident perfectionists.

 

I don't think it is fair to say that GS is trying to misinform the users in regards to the reviewers. It has never (at least in the 5 years I have geocached) been a secret that the reviewers are volunteers chosen by GS to enforce their rules regarding caches. "Community volunteer" does not equal "community selected volunteers", those are two different things, it just means they are volunteers from the community chosen to enforce the rules.

 

I agree that this is not exactly a community discussion either, but it is probably not possible to make such a thing, as the majority of players doesn't feel that strongly one way or the other. Forcing them to participate would not provide usable feedback anyway.

 

I agree on the Challenge caches discussion, I was never a part of that, or even knew it existed. We were still pretty new in the game when that happened, so the first we heard about it was when they shut down for new challenges for a year. I have no idea how that community discussion went, and if anyone made counter arguments at all against what happened to challenge caches. But that was one of the reasons I felt it necessary to join this one, to try and prevent the "Challenge cache mistake" happening again.

 

And I hope your last paragraph never comes true either, it would do far more harm than good.

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8 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

So I am pretty much resigned to the inevitability of a Cacher Health Score and various other negative consequences

 

Personally, I haven't seen anything significant happen with respect to the CHS. Some have suggested that the negative consequence has been a decrease in the NMs posted. I've been keeping an eye on my NM PQ since September 2017. The number of NMs in my area have remained a steady-state over the last 9 months.  I'm not seeing unilateral reviewer archives done without NMs or NAs posted. Reviewer archives still happen as they have always happened, after NMs and NAs, then no response/fix from a cache owner. The only new thing I noticed in the last year is reviewer NMs after a string of DNFs but generally, if no one else follows up the reviewer NM with an NA that cache remains active (I haven't found a reviewer NM followed up with a reviewer archival yet). 

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7 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Personally, I haven't seen anything significant happen with respect to the CHS.

 

That's not what he's talking about.  He's talking about the suggested option to implement a cacher health score, not the currently existing cache health score.

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6 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Personally, I haven't seen anything significant happen with respect to the CHS. Some have suggested that the negative consequence has been a decrease in the NMs posted. I've been keeping an eye on my NM PQ since September 2017. The number of NMs in my area have remained a steady-state over the last 9 months.  I'm not seeing unilateral reviewer archives done without NMs or NAs posted. Reviewer archives still happen as they have always happened, after NMs and NAs, then no response/fix from a cache owner. The only new thing I noticed in the last year is reviewer NMs after a string of DNFs but generally, if no one else follows up the reviewer NM with an NA that cache remains active (I haven't found a reviewer NM followed up with a reviewer archival yet). 

 

I have had zero experience with CHS, didn't even know they had implemented it until reading this thread. So I am guessing that CHS is entirely behind the scenes to help reviewers locate bad caches? If so, I don't care, as long as us common folks can't see a caches CHS, it doesn't matter to me that reviewers have a tool to help locate bad caches, as long as they still check if there is actually any problem, and not just rely on the CHS.

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

 

That's not what he's talking about.  He's talking about the suggested option to implement a cacher health score, not the currently existing cache health score.

 

 

Mea culpa.

Yes, like every tool on this site a Cacher Health Score, when used correctly, can be very useful for selective cachers, but unfortunately will be abused by the unscrupulous. And unfortunately, there are enough unscrupulous types that it could skew results. Exploitative behavior is something GCHQ needs to consider when building new tools and tweaking current tools on the site....how will this tool be abused and how do we nip abuse in the bud? 

Edited by L0ne.R
clarity

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10 hours ago, Blue Square Thing said:
17 hours ago, Keystone said:

Reviewers worldwide already have the power, in consultation with HQ, to stop a cache owner from hiding more caches if they aren't maintaining their current caches.  I've used this power a few times.  Often, a suspension of hiding privileges triggers a social media storm saying that HQ and their volunteer minions are the incarnation of evil.

 

That's a huge problem. If it's not possible to police even that aspect of cache quality without an uproar then there's nothing that can be done about it. Entitlement and cache numbers are clearly more important to far too many people.

 

And this, IMHO, is the single most powerful force operating AGAINST cache quality.

 

For the average person life is just too short to swim upstream against the flood of negativity, typically from established cachers but all too often from relative newcomers to the game keen to be part of the 'in crowd'.

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10 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Could you remind me again about who chooses the reviewers?  I notice you keep using the word "volunteer" as a kind of magic token that immunizes reviewers from any responsibility.

 

I have always admired the volunteer cache reviewers I have interacted with, and have no trouble with any of them.  But I think Groundspeak's policy of choosing them and then calling them "community volunteers" is disingenuous at best.  We need to remember that those "volunteers" are effectively unpaid employees of Groundspeak. They implement Groundspeak's policies, not policies chosen by the community. There is nothing wrong with that, except that Groundspeak intentionally mislabels them in what appears to be an effort to misinform the community.

 

2 hours ago, MAS83 said:

 

I don't think it is fair to say that GS is trying to misinform the users in regards to the reviewers. It has never (at least in the 5 years I have geocached) been a secret that the reviewers are volunteers chosen by GS to enforce their rules regarding caches. "Community volunteer" does not equal "community selected volunteers", those are two different things, it just means they are volunteers from the community chosen to enforce the rules.

 

You're both mistaken about how the process works.  It's understandable that this would color your opinions.

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1 hour ago, Keystone said:

 

 

You're both mistaken about how the process works.  It's understandable that this would color your opinions.

 

I don't really think I have an opinion to be colored to begin with about reviewers, maybe it's just semantics of the wording, I don't know. :)

 

I was merely implying that "community volunteer" doesn't mean that the community decides who gets to be a volunteer. We recently got a new reviewer in Denmark, and to my knowledge there were no poll to let us decide, at least none in my area, maybe they had one in Copenhagen, but I hardly think so, as there was a big thing some time ago that the new reviewers identity would be revealed in a podcast. This was months after they started reviewing (we have anonymous reviewers in Denmark).

 

So you are right I don't know how you chose the reviewers, but I still think what I said was correct?

 

Maybe it is the fact I said GS chooses while it is in fact the reviewers that does it. I just used GS as a general term, because in my mind the reviewers are an extension of GS.

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After I posted that I realized I went off topic again.

 

Maybe it's time for me to back out of this thread, I think we have reached the destination of "all ideas have been discussed" so there are only nitpicking left, unless someone comes in with something new none of us had considered. It is now up to GS to make the right decision. :)

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2 hours ago, Keystone said:

You're both mistaken about how the process works.  It's understandable that this would color your opinions.

 

Are you saying that the reviewers are not chosen by Groundspeak?  Or that they do not implement the guidelines that are set by Groundspeak?  Please illuminate. briefly!

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21 hours ago, MAS83 said:

My point is that not very many combinations of the above examples will lead anywhere good, so reducing the amount of feedback, by helping new hiders, and if feedback is necessary, make it constructive, will increase the possibility that the new hider will stick around.

I agree with what you're saying. I think it's an obvious and important observation everyone should take to heart. It just strikes me as a non sequitur in this context. It doesn't help newbies any to tell me to be nice: I'm always nice, and the people that aren't nice aren't here to hear you and, besides, they're probably sick of being told to be nice, anyway.

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1 hour ago, fizzymagic said:

 

Are you saying that the reviewers are not chosen by Groundspeak? 

Yes, I am saying that.

Quote

Or that they do not implement the guidelines that are set by Groundspeak?  Please illuminate. briefly!

No, I am not saying that.

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14 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

This thread has no resemblance to a community discussion; it is dominated by a few very prolific posters, several of whom have carried on a long campaign in the forums to promote a specific set of solutions for these issues that I find objectionable.

Well, I think it's more accurate to say they promote a specific set of problems that Must Be Solved for which any imaginable solution is objectionable.

 

6 hours ago, MAS83 said:

I agree that this is not exactly a community discussion either, but it is probably not possible to make such a thing, as the majority of players doesn't feel that strongly one way or the other. Forcing them to participate would not provide usable feedback anyway.

A community discussion has to take into account all members of the community, especially the ones that don't think there's a problem. When you say people "don't feel that strongly one way or the other", you make the discussion symmetrical, ready to pick the winner based on who feels more strongly. But it's not: most people are perfectly happy and have no reason to feel strongly about anything. What happens in these discussions is that a problem is identified -- "poor cache quality" -- and then we only listen to people arguing how to solve it. In that situation, it's virtually impossible to successfully argue that cache quality isn't a problem.

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27 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Yes, I am saying that.

 

Then who chooses them?  The existing reviewers?  That kind of amounts to the same thing, though, since Groundspeak chose the first set of reviewers.  And I imagine that Groundspeak retains veto power.  But apparently I really don't know. Which is interesting since I have been caching 16 years and paying attention.  Perhaps I missed it and everyone else knows?  Or perhaps the process is not, erm, *transparent.*

 

What I *do* know is that I have no say in the matter.

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30 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

 

Then who chooses them?  The existing reviewers?  That kind of amounts to the same thing, though, since Groundspeak chose the first set of reviewers.  And I imagine that Groundspeak retains veto power.  But apparently I really don't know. Which is interesting since I have been caching 16 years and paying attention.  Perhaps I missed it and everyone else knows?  Or perhaps the process is not, erm, *transparent.*

 

What I *do* know is that I have no say in the matter.

 

I expect anyone who has had a timeout from these forums won't find themselves at the top of the list.

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44 minutes ago, dprovan said:

A community discussion has to take into account all members of the community, especially the ones that don't think there's a problem. When you say people "don't feel that strongly one way or the other", you make the discussion symmetrical, ready to pick the winner based on who feels more strongly. But it's not: most people are perfectly happy and have no reason to feel strongly about anything. What happens in these discussions is that a problem is identified -- "poor cache quality" -- and then we only listen to people arguing how to solve it. In that situation, it's virtually impossible to successfully argue that cache quality isn't a problem.

 

Not true. Never said anything like that at all. I just said that a majority of people doesn't care either way, and therefor will not join the discussion, and forcing them to participate will achieve nothing. Not once did I say, or imply, those that felt strongest should win. Quite the opposite. Those that felt the strongest in this thread were those that wanted to get rid of 80%+ of all caches, because they strongly feel they are bad caches, and I certainly doesn't want them to win.

 

One could argue I felt strongly about my points, but I don't really have "feeling" in that matter. I just wanted to add some logic to the discussion, and not just rely on what I or anyone else feels is right. The closest we are coming to me feeling strongly about anything in this discussion, is I don't want the game to be ruined. That I feel strongly about, not much else in this thread. I have presented ideas I thought was good, some were dismantled using logic, some were not. I have not once strongly defended something I said, that was challenged by logic. But a few times people have tried "wielding their feelings as weapons" (in lack of a better way to put it) and I have defended against that. But come at me with logic and reasoning, and I will listen.

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1 hour ago, MAS83 said:

Not true. Never said anything like that at all. I just said that a majority of people doesn't care either way, and therefor will not join the discussion, and forcing them to participate will achieve nothing

Which is exactly what I said you said.

 

1 hour ago, MAS83 said:

Not once did I say, or imply, those that felt strongest should win. Quite the opposite. Those that felt the strongest in this thread were those that wanted to get rid of 80%+ of all caches, because they strongly feel they are bad caches, and I certainly doesn't want them to win.

I didn't mean you advocated that the strongest should win, I merely meant that you were tacitly accepting the fundamental assumption that there are two sides here, and once we assume there are two sides, that implies that the side with the best argument should win. But there's aren't two sides: there are people that want change, and there are people that feel no need for change. Only the former even recognizes that they're in a debate.

 

1 hour ago, MAS83 said:

One could argue I felt strongly about my points, but I don't really have "feeling" in that matter. I just wanted to add some logic to the discussion, and not just rely on what I or anyone else feels is right. The closest we are coming to me feeling strongly about anything in this discussion, is I don't want the game to be ruined. That I feel strongly about, not much else in this thread. I have presented ideas I thought was good, some were dismantled using logic, some were not. I have not once strongly defended something I said, that was challenged by logic. But a few times people have tried "wielding their feelings as weapons" (in lack of a better way to put it) and I have defended against that. But come at me with logic and reasoning, and I will listen.

I'm sorry if I made you think this was about you. I was just arguing against a very common thought process that colors much of the discussion in the forums. I suppose I focused on you precisely because you seem quite earnest, so I thought you might be interested in what I think is a common trap people fall into. I get a little tired of my comments to the effect of "is this really a problem?" getting lost in the pages and pages of solutions that won't solve the "problem" but will have negative side effects.

 

If someone like you listens, then they can be talked out of a bad solution, but it's much harder to get someone earnestly seeking solutions to reconsider whether the problem is worth solving. When a solution is shown to have problems, people often have a "well, it's better than nothing" reaction without ever considering whether "nothing" wasn't already pretty good.

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6 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Which is exactly what I said you said.

 

I didn't mean you advocated that the strongest should win, I merely meant that you were tacitly accepting the fundamental assumption that there are two sides here, and once we assume there are two sides, that implies that the side with the best argument should win. But there's aren't two sides: there are people that want change, and there are people that feel no need for change. Only the former even recognizes that they're in a debate.

 

I'm sorry if I made you think this was about you. I was just arguing against a very common thought process that colors much of the discussion in the forums. I suppose I focused on you precisely because you seem quite earnest, so I thought you might be interested in what I think is a common trap people fall into. I get a little tired of my comments to the effect of "is this really a problem?" getting lost in the pages and pages of solutions that won't solve the "problem" but will have negative side effects.

 

If someone like you listens, then they can be talked out of a bad solution, but it's much harder to get someone earnestly seeking solutions to reconsider whether the problem is worth solving. When a solution is shown to have problems, people often have a "well, it's better than nothing" reaction without ever considering whether "nothing" wasn't already pretty good.

 

First off, can you tell me how you multiquote the same post? I can't figure that out at all! :)

 

I don't think you are right when you are saying that because I recognize a majority of people doesn't care one way or the other, that the rest is split into 2 groups. This debate has been many faceted, I don't think it boils down to "those who wants change vs those that don't". I have seen no one in this debate arguing for no change what so ever. Just that if changes are to be made, that they don't impact the game negatively for those that doesn't want them. (i.e removing power trails contra giving the option to filter them out)

 

About the part where you thought I was taking it as a personal attack, I didn't. I have just been on the internet long enough to know that someone will come by and try to "get me" by being "clever" with a snarky remark like: "Oh, like you?". So that part of my response was not meant for you per say, just trying to disarm a possible future non-constructive post. :)

 

I have read the last paragraph a few times, and if I understand it correct, then we agree. For me no change is a good solution, but I understand that is because I have no problems with how things are at the moment, so if it truly bothers that many people that power trails exists, I would rather push toward a good solution, than towards no solution at all. Otherwise you just risk the bad solution being the only option on the table, if they already have decided to change it up.

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55 minutes ago, MAS83 said:

First off, can you tell me how you multiquote the same post? I can't figure that out at all! :)

The way I do it is to select the text I want to quote (e.g., by triple-clicking to select an entire paragraph). Then a black "Quote this" popup appears, and I click the "Quote this" link.

 

On 7/2/2018 at 2:18 PM, MAS83 said:

 The bolded part, what you quoted (sorry can't seem to figure out to make nested quotes on this page) was my reply to the following:

Then I select the next text I want to quote. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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