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Community conversation about geocache quality

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7 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

True but at least I have a quick way to see what I may be up against.  Besides I think most cache owners would take pride in having a favorable owner score. 

 

My concern would be for COs who get a low owner score through no fault of their own. No algorithm's going to be perfect, so there'll always be cases where it gets it wrong. For example, one of the documented factors that can give a cache a low CHS is "caches that have not been found in a long time" but what's the CO in an area with few cachers and few outside visitors supposed to do to fix that?

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1 hour ago, schmittfamily said:

 

We have a trip coming up this weekend so I manually tried your filters against the list we came up with for the weekend.

 

One of the caches on our list is a webcam cache with 180+ favorite points.   

It would have been filtered out by this list because the owner appears to be a reviewer and has disabled/archived a few of their caches with their reviewer account.

 

Another two are a pair of traditional caches at the same exit along the highway with 110+ and 260+ favorite points.

They would have been filtered because the owner hasn't been on since March.   In that time they have one cache with a NM due to the trackable inventory being wrong and another NM from a cacher with 1 find saying a cache was too hard. 

 

We have a few clumps of challenge caches on this list.

They also would be filtered because of a couple NM logs on unrelated caches from 2015 after a flood hit the area.

 

A couple unknowns would have been filtered because the cache owner has a habit of letting their event caches get archived by Groundspeak HQ.

 

 

That's the problem with filtering, sometimes you filter out something you didn't intend to, and it's why I dont do it. But it is still the best idea in this thread so far. But maybe there could be a dual filter system, where you can filter out certain caches (<5 FP, Traditionals, <3 D/T, Park'n'Grab Attribute) and another filter to filter out owners (>2 caches archived by HQ, >2 NM logs for over 1 week, >1 month since last login) then first show the caches that fulfill both filters, then show caches that only fulfill one, and caches that fulfill neither are not shown.

 

But in general if you start filtering caches, you have to expect to lose some gems in the progress. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

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31 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

RIR strip

 

 

I have no idea what that is, and google didn't help me either! :D

It is not part of the local geocaching vocabulary here. :D

 

31 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

I don't and wouldn't head to caches just to fix someone else's hide, contributing to the issues that created this, and the Insights thread.  ;)

 

But someone might want to do that, so why not give them that option. I'd rather have someone else fix a cache, than the CO not doing anything until it gets so many NM/NA due to the increasingly disgusting cache, and then it gets archived and the cache is still out there.

 

Besides someone might use it and see a friend of theirs have a NM on their cache, and they know he is really busy at work these days, so as a surprise go fix it for him.

 

Also I doubt that people fixing other peoples caches was the reason for these 2 threads. :)

Edited by MAS83
Rephrased the last sentence to clarify.

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12 minutes ago, MAS83 said:
39 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

RIR strip

 

I have no idea what that is, and google didn't help me either! :D

It is not part of the local geocaching vocabulary here. :D

 

"Rite in the Rain".

 

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37 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

"Rite in the Rain".

 

 

Ahh we have that here, and my pen HATES that paper. :D

 

Thanks for clarifying! :)

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4 hours ago, schmittfamily said:

 

We have a trip coming up this weekend so I manually tried your filters against the list we came up with for the weekend.

 

One of the caches on our list is a webcam cache with 180+ favorite points.   

It would have been filtered out by this list because the owner appears to be a reviewer and has disabled/archived a few of their caches with their reviewer account.

 

Another two are a pair of traditional caches at the same exit along the highway with 110+ and 260+ favorite points.

They would have been filtered because the owner hasn't been on since March.   In that time they have one cache with a NM due to the trackable inventory being wrong and another NM from a cacher with 1 find saying a cache was too hard. 

 

We have a few clumps of challenge caches on this list.

They also would be filtered because of a couple NM logs on unrelated caches from 2015 after a flood hit the area.

 

A couple unknowns would have been filtered because the cache owner has a habit of letting their event caches get archived by Groundspeak HQ.

 

1

 

Yes, I'll miss some possibly interesting caches (none of the above interest me given the information provided).

With cache owner filters  I may get a better ratio of maintained to unmaintained caches. I may find more caches where the owner monitors, maintains and looks forward to hearing about whether he accomplished what he set out to do--delight visitors with the quality container he's placed in a nice location. That is important to me, I want to participate in a pastime with responsible cache owner stewardship. So let me filter out the set-em-and-forget-em types. Everyone who prefers playing for numbers, or cache types, or grid filling, or couldn't care less about containers,  can still do so with no change to their caching style.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by L0ne.R
typo
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31 minutes ago, MAS83 said:

 

Ahh we have that here, and my pen HATES that paper. :D

 

Mine too. I wonder if you have to write in the rain for it to work!?!

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5 hours ago, MAS83 said:

 - But someone might want to do that, so why not give them that option. I'd rather have someone else fix a cache, than the CO not doing anything until it gets so many NM/NA due to the increasingly disgusting cache, and then it gets archived and the cache is still out there.

 - Besides someone might use it and see a friend of theirs have a NM on their cache, and they know he is really busy at work these days, so as a surprise go fix it for him.

 - Also I doubt that people fixing other peoples caches was the reason for these 2 threads. :)

 

I'm simply responding to your post (to me).  I could give two figs what someone else wants to spend their time on.  :)

 

We have a couple people who's caches we're maintaining.  Medical issues mostly. 

 - Not the same as fixing caches that should go bye-bye, due to a lackadaisical owner.  

"Helpful" and "giving back to the community" just code for cos looking to have maintenance done for them.

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18 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

True. 

And unfortunately if it's visible then someone will want to make it a competition and many will game the system to up that score.

I'd like it have owner filtering options. Perhaps:

  • Filter for owners who never got an NAs. (or no more than 1 NA) 
  • Filter for owners with less than 2 NMs
  • Filter for owners who have logged in in the last year
  • Filter out owners who have had caches archived by a reviewer
  • Filter out owners who have not responded to reviewer disables

 

 

What I don't get is why we automatically jump to gaming the system?

 

For those that would,  let them.   The more bogus logs they post the greater the chance they'll be exposed. 

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6 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

"Helpful" and "giving back to the community" just code for cos looking to have maintenance done for them.

 

But COs that solely rely on others to fix their caches will probably not get help for very long. We have some COs in my area that stopped being active a long time ago, I wouldn't personally do anything to their caches, but some of the active ones, that do maintain their caches, sure I'll help, it makes the game better for everyone.

 

My point is just that the more filters we have, the more people can tailor their geocaching experience to their desires, and I think that is a good thing, as it doesn't change the game for others.

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6 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

What I don't get is why we automatically jump to gaming the system?

 

For those that would,  let them.   The more bogus logs they post the greater the chance they'll be exposed. 

 

But they already get exposed by having NM caches not maintained. It is really easy to tell who is a good CO and who is Bad CO right now. I don't see any upside to a cache score/owner score system, only downsides.

 

A such score system will be done by an algorithm, and see how much negativity they got from the Virtual Reward. So many people who the algorithm scored too low to get a VR, got really upset and thought they deserved it more than someone who got one. Algorithms that sort people into "good" and "bad" will ALWAYS create negativity. Don't get me wrong, I think the VR was a very good idea, and I hope they do it again. But hopefully next time it will be like this new Augmented Reality experiment where you can suggest a Virtual and then it needs to be accepted by HQ (or better the reviewers or the local community) then the X best Virtuals in each country gets made. Of course some people that get declined will still get mad, but at least it was a better process and it will be their idea for a Virtual that gets declined and not them as a person, and I think A LOT more people will accept that.

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12 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

My concern would be for COs who get a low owner score through no fault of their own. No algorithm's going to be perfect, so there'll always be cases where it gets it wrong. For example, one of the documented factors that can give a cache a low CHS is "caches that have not been found in a long time" but what's the CO in an area with few cachers and few outside visitors supposed to do to fix that?

That would be a concern of mine as well.   

 

If the only log on a cache for the whole year was an owners maintenance log,  I think GS would be just fine with that.

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Here's another idea: change the cache submission form so that instead of selecting a size the CO selects a container from a list (with photo for each option?), with "none of the above" being an option (the only way to get size Other). Each container type has a size associated with it which the CO cannot change.

 

This solves several problems:

1. COs ignorant about proper size.

2. COs wanting to game the situation have to lie about container

3. Helps finders find what they like and avoid what they don't like.

 

There's also the possiblity of PQ for specific container types, but I'm not sure about the cost vs benefit. I would love to PQ for ammo cans, but so would a cache thief.

Edited by JL_HSTRE
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1 hour ago, justintim1999 said:

That would be a concern of mine as well.   

 

If the only log on a cache for the whole year was an owners maintenance log,  I think GS would be just fine with that.

 

So we're back to the annual visit and OM log again, I see. Consider GC5KEY1, a challenge cache hidden in 2015 that's had a total of six finds, but most of those were in groups so it's only had people visiting it on three different dates. Read the description of where it is, look at it on the satellite images and study the photos on the cache page of the terrain along the way there. Is it reasonable to expect its CO to visit it annually and log an OM, along with all his other caches in similar mountainous terrain?

 

An annual visit probably isn't anywhere near often enough for a magnetic nano under a piece of street furniture in the middle of a busy city that gets dozens of finds a week, but is total overkill for caches like this one and the one dating back to 2002 that I posted about a couple of days back.

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1 minute ago, barefootjeff said:

 

So we're back to the annual visit and OM log again, I see. Consider GC5KEY1, a challenge cache hidden in 2015 that's had a total of six finds, but most of those were in groups so it's only had people visiting it on three different dates. Read the description of where it is, look at it on the satellite images and study the photos on the cache page of the terrain along the way there. Is it reasonable to expect its CO to visit it annually and log an OM, along with all his other caches in similar mountainous terrain?

 

An annual visit probably isn't anywhere near often enough for a magnetic nano under a piece of street furniture in the middle of a busy city that gets dozens of finds a week, but is total overkill for caches like this one and the one dating back to 2002 that I posted about a couple of days back.

Since I agree with the policy I obviously incorporate it into other threads like this one.  I think condition of a cache is a big part of cache quality so it stands to reason I encourage owner visits.

 

So your all for some sort of required cache owner visits,   just not for you.

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12 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

Since I agree with the policy I obviously incorporate it into other threads like this one.  I think condition of a cache is a big part of cache quality so it stands to reason I encourage owner visits.

 

So your all for some sort of required cache owner visits,   just not for you.

 

Conditions of a cache is very much tied to cache quality for me as well, but to force the CO visit a perfectly fine cache just to make some arbitrary score higher doesn't do anything. Forcing that will make people just log the OM without visiting the cache, and what has been accomplished then? Besides making a spontaneous OM visit look dodgy, discouraging proper COs to do a casual drive-by cache checkup on a cache they are passing, as it might look like a fake OM to bump up his score.

 

I have yet to see some of you in favor of a scoring system to point out a positive that a scoring system, and only a scoring system, can bring to the game.

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14 hours ago, Team Canary said:
14 hours ago, MAS83 said:

Ahh we have that here, and my pen HATES that paper. :D

 

Mine too. I wonder if you have to write in the rain for it to work!?!

 

You have to Rite in the rain... :ph34r:

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35 minutes ago, MAS83 said:

 

Conditions of a cache is very much tied to cache quality for me as well, but to force the CO visit a perfectly fine cache just to make some arbitrary score higher doesn't do anything. Forcing that will make people just log the OM without visiting the cache, and what has been accomplished then? Besides making a spontaneous OM visit look dodgy, discouraging proper COs to do a casual drive-by cache checkup on a cache they are passing, as it might look like a fake OM to bump up his score.

 

I have yet to see some of you in favor of a scoring system to point out a positive that a scoring system, and only a scoring system, can bring to the game.

An owners score has nothing to do with a CO visiting their cache on occasion.   That's something that should be done regardless.  

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1 minute ago, justintim1999 said:

An owners score has nothing to do with a CO visiting their cache on occasion.   That's something that should be done regardless.  

 

Then what do you expect the score system to accomplish?

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4 minutes ago, MAS83 said:

 

Then what do you expect the score system to accomplish?

A way to Recognize good cache ownership.    

 

It's time to stop focusing on how many and start focusing on how well.

          

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2 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

A way to Recognize good cache ownership.    

 

It's time to stop focusing on how many and start focusing on how well.

          

 

But those tools are already there? I agree they could and should be improved, but introducing a score system that is more likely prone to produce false positives is not the right way.

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31 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

A way to Recognize good cache ownership.    

 

It's time to stop focusing on how many and start focusing on how well.

          

 

I figures I would try a different approach to prove my point.

 

The following is in no way meant to be a personal attack, I just merely used your profile as an example because you are already familiar with your own caches and their quality.

 

But let's say they implement a scoring system for COs.

 

That means HQ has to lay down some rules for the algorithm to use to calculate your score.

 

If you read through both of these threads you can see a WIDE variety of conflicting rules proposed by different people.

 

Some wants an archived cache to be a negative mark, regardless of who did it (owner or reviewer).

-You have 5 archived listings, 2 events and 3 caches. Is that fair you get negative marks for that? Some people seems to think so.

 

Some people wants powertrails to be a bad thing, either not allow them or discourage them (which means negative marks in a score system)

-You have a "Marker X" series of 6 caches, they acts as WP for a mystery, but an algorithm can't see that, it just sees 6 caches in a series, that's another 6 marks on your account.

 

Some people wants a good description and wants short "non-descriptions" not allowed.

-Your "Marker X" caches all have the description of "Start Here [Link to the mystery]". That would be another 6 marks on your account.

 

Some people want bad marks on cachers with caches with a low FP ratio.

-A quick glance found a few caches with <10% FP, lowest I found was 3%. That's another handful of marks on your account.

 

(The new example):Some people wants to punish COs that take a long time to fix their caches. Some say a few days is the limit, others 1-2 weeks.

-You have a mystery that was disabled from 21 Aug - 23 September. I haven't seen anyone being okay with caches being disabled over a month. That would probably big a very big mark on your score.

 

Looking over your caches I PERSONALLY believe you to be a good CO, but an algorithm might not pick up on that, as it has to calculate your score from a rule set you have no influence over. Who gets to decide those rules? No set of rules will ever align to what even a majority of players want, and why should someone like you get a bad score, just because the rules didn't take into account what makes you a great CO? With such a score system you might be sorted out due to this by a lot of geocachers, reducing incoming logs on your caches to a minimum. Is that fair? If people stop logging your caches, you will probably stop hiding them, and then the community lost a great CO, how is that a benefit to anyone?

 

I hope you can see the problems with a scoring system now.

Edited by MAS83
Added another example

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48 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

An owners score has nothing to do with a CO visiting their cache on occasion.   That's something that should be done regardless.  

 

The current CHS DOES have something to do a CO's score, albeit on an individual cache basis, else why would an OM log "reset" the score to a "healthy" cache.  If it's tied into individual caches owned by the CO, the suggested owner's score would absolutely have something to do with a CO visiting not just one of their caches, but all of their caches, as they own all of them.

 

One of the possible collateral effects of a low CO score could be that COs will place less new caches and/or archive ones they're not willing to do regular maintenance on.  While that would most likely benefit the overall quality of the caches (less to maintain so more likely to maintain them, in a perfect world), it would also result in less caches for cachers to find and less new caches published.  It would also discourage cachers from placing more remote caches, as the requirement to visit their cache could  affect their CO score.  Seeing as how COs are the lifeblood of caching, I don't see GS fostering a concept that could limit the very thing they use as the foundation for their business model.

 

I got the canned CHS letter on a multi I own, that's in a suburb of a larger city, with a large population of its own.  It hadn't been found in less than a year and had three consecutive DNFs (2 by cachers with less than 100 finds between the two of them) , a find, and three more DNFs, then 9 consecutive finds dating back to its publication.  As expected, it was just fine, although a tad bit harder due to nature covering it up a bit.  There was absolutely nothing wrong, but 3 DNFs and a 10 month time frame since its last find date, and it pinged the CHS.

 

If my CHS score were tied into my owner score, as I expect it would be, my owner score would suffer due to this cache being pinged, even though there was nothing wrong with it.  Requiring an annual visit as part of the owner score would almost certainly cause COs to rethink their possible placement of new caches, as well as the continued efforts needed to maintain what they currently have placed, especially if the owner score could possibly limit placement of new caches by a CO, as some have suggested elsewhere in other threads.

 

I'm not advocating that COs should never visit their caches, but I don't think required annual visits are the answer either.  I use the input from my logs to determine if a cache needs to be visited to see if everything is OK.  My cache above was perfectly fine and had I not received the email from GS, I would have most likely not visited it until I had a few more DNFs, however long that amount of time might have been.  The second stage is the hardest stage and the logs show that's where everyone has stalled out.  Had any of the logs mentioned a DNF at the final stage or problems with the first stage (since the sculpture is gone), I'd have been over there in an instant because those two stages are relatively simple.

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2 hours ago, justintim1999 said:
2 hours ago, MAS83 said:

Then what do you expect the score system to accomplish?

A way to Recognize good cache ownership.

Are we still talking about a "rate the cache from 1-5 stars" system? Because I don't think such a system will recognize good cache ownership at all. I think it will recognize caches of the types that people like (and conversely, caches of the types people don't like).

 

YouTube used to have a 1-5 stars system. They switched to a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down system. For the purpose of correlating peoples' preferences, so the system can recommend things that a user might like based on those with similar preferences, that's all that's needed. And frankly, the current Favorites system is sufficient. The piece that is missing is the piece where the system correlates my Favorites with those of others, and recommends caches that were enjoyed by people with similar preferences.

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9 minutes ago, niraD said:

The piece that is missing is the piece where the system correlates my Favorites with those of others, and recommends caches that were enjoyed by people with similar preferences.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

This right here.

 

While it really doesn't address "quality" for all caches, it allows for others to find similar caches to the ones that they prefer, based on recommendations of other cachers who prefer the same type of caches.  It would also allow for lots of different types of "quality" - tricky hide, gadget cache, unique location, etc... - to be accounted for, rather than a narrowly defined concept of what a quality cache encompasses.

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1 minute ago, coachstahly said:

While it really doesn't address "quality" for all caches, it allows for others to find similar caches to the ones that they prefer

And let's face it, a lot of the posts to the various "quality" threads aren't talking about quality at all. They're talking about the types of caches that they prefer. So providing tools that make it easier for people to identify the types of caches that they prefer will increase the perceived quality, even if it doesn't actually do anything to improve actual quality.

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22 minutes ago, niraD said:

Are we still talking about a "rate the cache from 1-5 stars" system? Because I don't think such a system will recognize good cache ownership at all. I think it will recognize caches of the types that people like (and conversely, caches of the types people don't like).

 

YouTube used to have a 1-5 stars system. They switched to a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down system. For the purpose of correlating peoples' preferences, so the system can recommend things that a user might like based on those with similar preferences, that's all that's needed. And frankly, the current Favorites system is sufficient. The piece that is missing is the piece where the system correlates my Favorites with those of others, and recommends caches that were enjoyed by people with similar preferences.

 

What he wants is for HQ to make an algorithm to label COs as "Bad" or "Good" based on some criteria.

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1 minute ago, niraD said:

And let's face it, a lot of the posts to the various "quality" threads aren't talking about quality at all. They're talking about the types of caches that they prefer. So providing tools that make it easier for people to identify the types of caches that they prefer will increase the perceived quality, even if it doesn't actually do anything to improve actual quality.

 

Exactly, that's the beauty of it. One mans trash is another mans treasure, so removing caches because someone doesn't like them is a bad direction to head.

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3 minutes ago, niraD said:

So providing tools that make it easier for people to identify the types of caches that they prefer will increase the perceived quality, even if it doesn't actually do anything to improve actual quality.

 

That's OK with me. I'd be happy to spend more of my time and money on caches I prefer. Let me find the 20% of caches I prefer and ignore the other 80%.

 

I don't think a listing service full of abandoned caches is good for business. But if GC HQ provides tools so more cachers can find what they like and ignore the rest, it seems like a good way to retain more customers.  

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4 hours ago, niraD said:

And let's face it, a lot of the posts to the various "quality" threads aren't talking about quality at all. They're talking about the types of caches that they prefer.

 

I agree...  and believe HQ should be able to sort those "helpful" messages that are only self-serving.   :)

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8 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

Since I agree with the policy I obviously incorporate it into other threads like this one.  I think condition of a cache is a big part of cache quality so it stands to reason I encourage owner visits.

 

So your all for some sort of required cache owner visits,   just not for you.

 

None of the caches I've used as examples are mine so it's not about me at all. I'm talking about a class of cache, the ones hidden in remote locations that typically use a robust container hidden in a protected spot out of the weather and which get very few visitors. Those caches don't suffer the routine wear-and-tear problems that urban micros do, like full logs or worn-out gaskets, so requiring an annual visit achieves nothing other than making it impossible for a CO to own more than a small number of them because of the physical effort and time needed to make those visits. If a CO owns 20 such caches and each one takes a full day (or even an overnight campout) to visit, that starts to chew up a lot of weekends when they could be out finding caches or spending time with their family. Also remember that a lot of these caches would be dangerous to visit in wet weather or summer heat, so they'd end up spending half the year doing nothing but visiting their caches just to tick a box, because it'd be very unlikely that there'd be any maintenance required when they got there. The end result is that, if mandatory annual visits were brought in and enforced by threat of disablement and archival, many of these type of caches would be archived and no new ones would be hidden. How is that good for the game?

 

Sure, if someone reports a problem with a cache, there's a need for an owner response, and I'm all in favour of something that'll pester COs about uncleared NMs - maybe a regular reminder email and a big red bar at the top of every page on geocaching.com telling them that they need to do whatever's required and log an OM to clear it. But if there's nothing wrong with the cache, what harm is it doing if it doesn't get a CO visit?

Edited by barefootjeff
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18 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

"Helpful" and "giving back to the community" just code for cos looking to have maintenance done for them.

 

I am truly astonished at your ability to read minds and know motives.  Unfortunately, in the case of my advocacy of "helpful," you could not be more incorrect.  Which makes me begin to doubt your actual ability in that regard.

 

For me, I have no desire for others to maintain or replace my caches.  My desire is to participate in a community that discourages attitudes like yours, in which it appears that accusations, blame, and recriminations are more important than the actual quality of the caches.

 

This kind of nonsense is why I now tend to stay out of these threads.

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4 hours ago, niraD said:

And let's face it, a lot of the posts to the various "quality" threads aren't talking about quality at all. They're talking about the types of caches that they prefer. So providing tools that make it easier for people to identify the types of caches that they prefer will increase the perceived quality, even if it doesn't actually do anything to improve actual quality.

Yep, that's been an underlying assumption for several of my posts, I just didn't state it as eloquently.

 

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1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

 

I agree...  and believe HQ should be able to sort those "helpful" messages that are only self-serving.   :)

I must be getting cynical. I don't expect them to be sorted. I expect them to be cherry-picked.

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Being able to choose to find some caches and ignore others is something that you can do now. Being able to filter out caches you can do now; either within the program or by yourself. If you don't like power trails don't do them, if you don't like micros, don't do them, if you don't like serious hikes to get to caches on mountain tops, don't do them. However this being able to filter out caches would be considered a very limiting idea in many places in the world, because not everyone lives in cache crowded USA. Go away from urban areas in many places in the world there are few caches (in fact is some parts of the world there are few urban caches too), so why would people living there want to filter out caches? There are few enough as there are. And over time many of these areas are likely to have less caches, because no geocacher lives there and many of these caches likely were placed before rules about having to live nearby existed. They exist still only because travellers service them. The grey nomads in Australia for instance, passing regularly by in their caravans. But people who are 'spoiled' by the numbers of caches they have are suggesting these caches shouldn't be serviced and these caches should be archived and there should be no caches for people to find in these more remote area, because, gees there are principles are stake here and principles are more important than people's enjoyment. And this doesn't effect them, because there are plenty of caches where they live.

COs having to service caches once a year is bullying, or get some baddy mark against them. (I do service my caches.) Some caches need servicing more than that; some will NEVER need servicing, as has been pointed out by others here. But this being pointed out doesn't seem to be sinking in to some people. If this feature comes in I will just make an owner maintenance log for caches that don't need servicing and not bother to make an unnecessary trip (It will reduce my enjoyment of the game being bullied to do this, but I can guarantee I won't be alone doing this.) This rule will make owner maintenance logs unreliable.

I have also read suggestions for caches to be checked within a few days (or perhaps two weeks) of a needs maintenance logs being made. This would be nice, but is often impracticable. The CO might be on holidays for instance and mightn't be back for a month or longer. (Not all places in the world only have the US two weeks holiday). Let COs enjoy their holiday without being badgered that if they don't fix that cache it will be archived. Besides, not all needs maintenance logs are real. The last one I received wasn't. The geocacher (a beginner) logged a DNF and then a need maintenance log, because 'they' couldn't find it. The cache was still there when I checked. Bad luck you say. But then with the suggestions being made here, this would be a bad mark against me as a CO, because one of my caches got a NM, only because a beginner was unable to find it.

Many of the suggestions here are going to make geocaching less attractive for many people. Perhaps the game would be better with less playing it; more like the old days, but would HQ want that?

Edited by Goldenwattle
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25 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

COs having to service caches once a year is bullying, or get some baddy mark against them. (I do service my caches.) Some caches need servicing more than that; some will NEVER need servicing, as has been pointed out by others here. But this being pointed out doesn't seem to be sinking in to some people. If this feature comes in I will just make an owner maintenance log for caches that don't need servicing and not bother to make an unnecessary trip (It will reduce my enjoyment of the game being bullied to do this, but I can guarantee I won't be alone doing this.) This rule will make owner maintenance logs unreliable.

 

Here's some stats from my local area that might help drive home this point. Within 20km of home, there are 429 caches (excluding events and Earthcaches). 184 of these are T3 or higher, that's 43%, nearly half! By definition, a T3 or higher cache requires a fair bit of physical effort and time to reach. 58 of those caches (14%) are T4 or higher and these require a lot of physical effort and time to reach. Introducing mandated owner visits that would make ownership of more than just one or two such caches impractical would wipe out a lot of excellent caches around here, yet would bring no benefit as these caches mostly use good quality containers in protected hiding places with few visitors and a low likelihood of muggling, and don't need constant owner attention to keep them in good condition.

 

COs by and large aren't stupid; if they're hiding caches in places that take a lot of time and effort to reach, they'll choose containers, log books and hiding places to minimise the need for any future maintenance. Blanket statements like "all caches need regular maintenance" simply aren't true and I've posted plenty of examples supporting this.

 

Instead, encourage the use of NM and NA logs on those caches that do need attention and let the rest that are in good condition continue to provide enjoyment without placing unneccessary burdens on their owners.

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

I must be getting cynical. I don't expect them to be sorted. I expect them to be cherry-picked.

 

I was like that in the beginning, as most people were campaigning for removal of caches they don't like, and adding lots of rules, and score systems and abilities to harass people/caches they don't like. That was the whole reason I joined the discussion, to give a counter view and hopefully stop HQ from making a mistake and ruining the game.

 

Since then all their arguments have been dismantled by logic and reasoning to the point where I feel most have seen the faults of such systems/ideas, as they are no longer advocating for them, if HQ chose to listen to the crowd that couldn't defend their arguments with logic, I would be really surprised (and sad) :)

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56 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Being able to filter out caches you can do now... If you don't like power trails don't do them, 

 

 

You can't filter out power trails. And you can't stop them from flooding your PQ. 

 

Quote

if you don't like micros, don't do them

 

I like small size caches. 100ml palm size Lock n Locks can hold small items like small trackables, geocoins, small signature items. I like leaving signature items and 100ml palm size Lock n Locks make great containers to leave them in. So I filter for small, regular and large. There are very few regular and large. There are many small caches. But in my area I'm guaranteed that at least 50% (more like 70%) of those small caches are actually micros (magnetic key holders, diabetes strip containers, film canisters, a nano tube in a rubber ball). So how do I filter for actual small size caches? 

 

The other problem is that often those regular and large caches are poor quality containers not meant for outdoor use, with an owner that never goes back to check or maintain those hides and won't archive the mess. So how do we find maintained quality caches that are actually swag size? That's why finding cache owners with a responsible track record will increase chances that finding their caches means we will find a good container, in decent condition, a small that is actually a small. And if something goes wrong that that owner will appreciate our NM log, and respond quickly so the next finders have a nice experience. 

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13 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

I'm guaranteed that at least 50% (more like 70%) of those small caches are actually micros (magnetic key holders, diabetes strip containers, film canisters, a nano tube in a rubber ball). So how do I filter for actual small size caches? 

13 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Yes, that annoys me too, but there is little that can be done about that, unless there is a rating for nano added. I think this is where much of the confusion comes from. If nanos are micro, anything bigger must be a small :rolleyes:. Add a nano size rating and I think a lot of this problem will go away, in time. No need for anything more complicated than that. Then nanos could be filtered out and ignored.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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10 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

That's OK with me. I'd be happy to spend more of my time and money on caches I prefer. Let me find the 20% of caches I prefer and ignore the other 80%.

 

I don't think a listing service full of abandoned caches is good for business. But if GC HQ provides tools so more cachers can find what they like and ignore the rest, it seems like a good way to retain more customers.  

 

Here's a thought. I'm sure there must be some COs in your area whose caches you enjoy, and people tend to hide the sort of caches they like finding, so perhaps if there was some way to filter by a list of COs and the caches they've favourited, that might give you better results than some algorithm-based owner score that can't distinguish between negligent COs and those who log few if any OMs because their caches are well-made and rarely need maintenance.

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58 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Here's a thought. I'm sure there must be some COs in your area whose caches you enjoy, and people tend to hide the sort of caches they like finding, so perhaps if there was some way to filter by a list of COs and the caches they've favourited, that might give you better results than some algorithm-based owner score that can't distinguish between negligent COs and those w, o log few if any OMs because their caches are well-made and rarely need maintenance.

 

I’m not concerned so much about my immediate area. There are a couple of cachers whose geocaching styles I respect and enjoy. I’ve found their cache hides.  

 

I use to like to widen my search area to include new areas in the province to explore. So how do I find those responsible cachers who hide caches that are actually small or larger and maintain them, when I spend my limited time and money travelling to unexplored distant areas? Filtering by cache size and by FPs doesn’t work when I want a swag size, maintained container in a pleasant (doesn’t have to be wow) location.

 

What is the downside for other players if I get to filter for things like NAs and reviewer archives, 

Edited by L0ne.R
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15 hours ago, MAS83 said:

Since then all their arguments have been dismantled by logic and reasoning to the point where I feel most have seen the faults of such systems/ideas, as they are no longer advocating for them, if HQ chose to listen to the crowd that couldn't defend their arguments with logic, I would be really surprised (and sad) :)

I'll try to be optimistic, but that's exactly what I thought when I was optimistic about challenge caches and earlier discussions about centralized quality enforcement. But challenge caches were pretty much killed off, and the discussion now is mainly about extending the existing, entrenched GS driven quality standards. And for every specific proposal I see killed by logic, I see the leftover acceptance that the idea of a rule that accomplishes this goal is a good idea even if there were problems with this one plan.

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2 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I'll try to be optimistic, but that's exactly what I thought when I was optimistic about challenge caches and earlier discussions about centralized quality enforcement. But challenge caches were pretty much killed off, and the discussion now is mainly about extending the existing, entrenched GS driven quality standards. And for every specific proposal I see killed by logic, I see the leftover acceptance that the idea of a rule that accomplishes this goal is a good idea even if there were problems with this one plan.

 

Yeah, they missed the mark by quite a lot on Challenge caches, hopefully they learned from their mistakes on that.

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15 hours ago, MAS83 said:

That was the whole reason I joined the discussion, to give a counter view and hopefully stop HQ from making a mistake and ruining the game.

 

You seem to be assuming that they'll make a mistake and 'ruin' the game. I think their objective is to make improvements and enhance the game.

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15 hours ago, MAS83 said:

Since then all their arguments have been dismantled by logic and reasoning to the point where I feel most have seen the faults of such systems/ideas

 

Oh come on now - raising the odd counter-argument isn't quite the same as dismantling by logic and reasoning, is it? Especially if it's the sort of logic that allows CO's to grant virtual finds on caches that aren't there to be found.

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15 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

I like small size caches. 100ml palm size Lock n Locks can hold small items like small trackables, geocoins, small signature items. I like leaving signature items and 100ml palm size Lock n Locks make great containers to leave them in. So I filter for small, regular and large. There are very few regular and large. There are many small caches. But in my area I'm guaranteed that at least 50% (more like 70%) of those small caches are actually micros (magnetic key holders, diabetes strip containers, film canisters, a nano tube in a rubber ball). So how do I filter for actual small size caches? 

 

The other problem is that often those regular and large caches are poor quality containers not meant for outdoor use, with an owner that never goes back to check or maintain those hides and won't archive the mess. So how do we find maintained quality caches that are actually swag size? That's why finding cache owners with a responsible track record will increase chances that finding their caches means we will find a good container, in decent condition, a small that is actually a small. And if something goes wrong that that owner will appreciate our NM log, and respond quickly so the next finders have a nice experience. 

 

This "finding cache owners with a responsible track record " thing would be dependent on people using action logs, wouldn't it ?

 - Can't "filter" what isn't there.     :)

The fact that many people aren't entering action logs interferes  with that "looking for the perfect Cache Owner" ... 

I already research caches singly, reading everything I can, and still find issues time-to-time. 

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3 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

You seem to be assuming that they'll make a mistake and 'ruin' the game. I think their objective is to make improvements and enhance the game.

 

The trouble is, new rules and restrictions designed to improve one aspect of the game will likely ruin other aspects. Requiring 100 or even 500 finds before you can hide a cache might well help address some of the "newbie" hide problems but would kill off the game in countries and regions with few caches to find, and likewise requiring quarterly or annual owner visits might reduce the mouldering micro problem but would be unreasonably onorous on owners of multiple high-terrain / remote caches. Even if exemptions are made for certain categories, there'll still be borderline cases that slip through the cracks and end up in a worst of both worlds scenario. The CHS is a good example of where the side effects are often worse than the disease it's trying to cure, particularly in those places that aren't suffering from the disease.

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After all the comments here about lack of maintenance and the like on caches, I would like to share a 'nice' 'response to placing a NM log.

This CO's cache has lots of DNFs, there is no response from the CO for many months. If they were sick or something and couldn't maintain their cache they should have Disabled the cache until they could get to it, but no response. Then finally after 2 NMs and 1NA and 9 months of nothing from the CO they place a CO maintenance log with the not reassuring words of, " I'm pretty sure this is still in place." Just "pretty sure" not sure? Does that sound like they actually checked to you? Look, maybe they had a genuine crisis in their life, but surely they could still have Disabled the cache. As it looked like this had just been done to cancel the NMs and NA logs, but not bother checking, I placed another NM log. Then the reviewer came in and Disabled the cache.

The CO then placed another CO maintenance log, with the charming words, " Golden wattle don't be an arsehole, you think I don't check my caches? So over lazy people looking for this THREE STAR cache as if it was a one star. There was also a good reason for my comment which I told the reviewer. Cache now has a new log. It was exactly where it should be"

I'm not sure I'm the "arsehole" here, but others can decide. Some COs don't like NM logs.

 

PS. I thought it was a crappy place for a cache, but that's a personal comment. Hidden among large, thick grass plants (some time ago, but which probably had sharp leaves which can cut) on a busy path.

Edited by Goldenwattle

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3 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

After all the comments here about lack of maintenance and the like on caches, I would like to share a 'nice' 'response to placing a NM log.

This CO's cache has lots of DNFs, there is no response from the CO for many months. If they were sick or something and couldn't maintain their cache they should have Disabled the cache until they could get to it, but no response. Then finally after 2 NMs and 1NA and 9 months of nothing from the CO they place a CO maintenance log with the not reassuring words of, " I'm pretty sure this is still in place." Just "pretty sure" not sure? Does that sound like they actually checked to you? Look, maybe they had a genuine crisis in their life, but surely they could still have Disabled the cache. As it looked like this had just been done to cancel the NMs and NA logs, but not bother checking, I placed another NM log. Then the reviewer came in and Disabled the cache.

The CO then placed another CO maintenance log, with the charming words, " Golden wattle don't be an arsehole, you think I don't check my caches? So over lazy people looking for this THREE STAR cache as if it was a one star. There was also a good reason for my comment which I told the reviewer. Cache now has a new log. It was exactly where it should be"

I'm not sure I'm the "arsehole" here, but others can decide. Some COs don't like NM logs.

 

PS. I thought it was a crappy place for a cache, but that's a personal comment. Hidden among large, thick grass plants (some time ago, but which probably had sharp leaves which can cut) on a busy path.

 

That's the main reason I never bother. If I don't find a cache I log a DNF, if something is not in order I log a NM. Other than that I don't interact, some people get very defensive, and I don't care about the drama. If I think someone is not honest about something or doing something wrong, I just shrug my shoulders and keep it to myself. Life is a lot easier if you don't seek out negativity. :)

 

In your case I would just put the cache on watchlist and then when 2-3 other people have found it, go out and give it another go. (Or just check back regularly to see if it is being found if watchlists are not your cup of tea)

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7 hours ago, MAS83 said:

 

That's the main reason I never bother. If I don't find a cache I log a DNF, if something is not in order I log a NM. Other than that I don't interact, some people get very defensive, and I don't care about the drama. If I think someone is not honest about something or doing something wrong, I just shrug my shoulders and keep it to myself. Life is a lot easier if you don't seek out negativity. :)

 

In your case I would just put the cache on watchlist and then when 2-3 other people have found it, go out and give it another go. (Or just check back regularly to see if it is being found if watchlists are not your cup of tea)

 

Or report the CO’s comment to GCHQ. If we do nothing then in some areas the COs and players who are left playing are those that think the geocache does not matter, only an active listing counts. 

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