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funkymunkyzone

New earthcache logging rule

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I've just submitted an earthcache for review today, and within just a few hours (yay!) the reviewer has come back to me.  All is good, so it will be published bar one minor change required, due to apparently a new requirement for earthcaches.  No worries, I will make the change and it will be published, but I am very curious as to why this change to the rules for earthcaches and what others think about it.

 

I had the following wording on my earthcache, which has been standard for my earthcaches for a very very long time:

"You can log this earthcache as soon as you have emailed your answers to the above questions. Logs that do not follow such an email will be deleted."

 

Not relevant to this discussion, but I will add that I have almost never actually deleted a log.

 

I have been asked to change that line as per:

"can you amend the listing to indicate that they can log immediately, but must follow up with the answers within a reasonable period, say 7 to 10 days. We no longer say must email answers before logging find."

 

So I'm left wondering why.  I mean, sending the answers is a requirement in order to complete and therefore log an earthcache, just in the same way that signing a log on a traditional cache is a requirement in order to log online - we don't allow the log to come first and maybe sign the log 7 to 10 days later.  Or log online a challenge cache and maybe complete the challenge 7 to 10 days later.  Isn't the sending of the answers the critical part in proving that the earthcache has been completed?  Heck, I'm not even asking for the answers to be 100% correct!

 

I mean, I understand, it's just a game, absolutely, and that's why I'm not wound up over it, but it just seems to me that if someone has enough internet to post a log, then they have enough to actually complete the earthcache in order to be able to log it.  Instead, this new requirement seems to force another layer of admin hassle onto the CO, to have to keep track for a couple of weeks at a time who has or has not sent in answers.  Not to mention, in my experience, the more lenient the requirement is on the finders' side, the mooooooore some want to push the limit....

 

I guess time will tell, but I'd love to hear what the justification for this change is - as in, what was broken before and needed to be fixed?

 

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2 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

Instead, this new requirement seems to force another layer of admin hassle onto the CO, to have to keep track for a couple of weeks at a time who has or has not sent in answers.  Not to mention, in my experience, the more lenient the requirement is on the finders' side, the mooooooore some want to push the limit....

 

I guess time will tell, but I'd love to hear what the justification for this change is - as in, what was broken before and needed to be fixed?

 

I've not seen this myself and I've had a few published in the last couple of weeks.

 

Gotta say though that if it becomes a universal requirement I probably won't be doing any more - it's already becoming increasingly difficult to pass muster to get one published in the first place - I've no intention of maintaining a two-week diary as to who has sent correct answers and who has not and then having to feel guilty about deleting a log.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

 

I've not seen this myself and I've had a few published in the last couple of weeks.

 

Gotta say though that if it becomes a universal requirement I probably won't be doing any more - it's already becoming increasingly difficult to pass muster to get one published in the first place - I've no intention of maintaining a two-week diary as to who has sent correct answers and who has not and then having to feel guilty about deleting a log.

 

 

 

I agree, having to maintain a rolling diary of logs/answers seems like an unnecessary burden on the CO when it seems most logical that the burden be on the finder to prove their visit (by sending in answers) and then logging online.

 

I did ask the reviewer in question and I hope they dont mind me posting their answer, of at least paraphrasing it. Apparently its because finders like to keep their logs in chronological order, and many cache on their phones from which it may be difficult to put together complex earthcache answers on the go.

 

Ok, I get that. But then again *smart* cschers for a long time have posted a note as a placeholder log in chronological order with their other finds, and go back and turn that into a find once their answers have been sent and they have earned their smiley.

 

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Just now, funkymunkyzone said:

I did ask the reviewer in question and I hope they dont mind me posting their answer, of at least paraphrasing it. Apparently its because finders like to keep their logs in chronological order, and many cache on their phones from which it may be difficult to put together complex earthcache answers on the go.

 

Ok, I get that. But then again *smart* cschers for a long time have posted a note as a placeholder log in chronological order with their other finds, and go back and turn that into a find once their answers have been sent and they have earned their smiley.

 

LOL - you beat me to the answer :D

 

I've had someone just this week post a 'placeholder' note on about half a dozen of my EC's to, presumably, keep their logs in order AND remind them which ones they need to send answers for. Works for them, works for me.

 

 

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Sounds like your Additional Logging Requirement was in conflict with the following guidance on the GSA site and your EC Reviewer was correct in asking your to remove the logging restriction:

Quote

People do not need to wait for permission to log your EarthCache. Requiring someone to wait is not supported by the EarthCache guidelines. People should send their logging task answers to you, then log your EarthCache. When you review their logging task answers, if there is a problem, you should contact them to resolve it. If there is no problem, then their log simply stands.

If I remember correctly, this was added to the GSA FAQ many years ago over a particularly annoying incident.  Since then, there have been a handful of similar instances with wording such that you had, where the behavior basically continued, which basically resulted in arguments with HQ over control of the Listing page.   I was contacted by HQ in my area, after a few people complained of one such incident and was asked to have such restrictions removed from the Listing pages going forward.   The above FAQ was thought to encompass the intent of the guidance, so no changes were made at that time.  I was never told of any "7-10 day" window of opportunity, so I've always asked for all such restrictions be removed, and that it was up to the CO to keep track, regardless of how onerous that may seem.

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5 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

"You can log this earthcache as soon as you have emailed your answers to the above questions. Logs that do not follow such an email will be deleted."

 

4 minutes ago, geoawareUSA1 said:

People do not need to wait for permission to log your EarthCache. Requiring someone to wait is not supported by the EarthCache guidelines. People should send their logging task answers to you, then log your EarthCache.

 

I don't see any conflict here at all - bold in second quote is mine.

Edited by Team Microdot
typo
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16 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I don't see any conflict here at all - bold in second quote is mine.

Unfortunately, Appeals sees it differently  from my experience, and it's usually at this point that I direct people to HQ to discuss the nuances of the language used.   The guidance given to me and other EC Reviewers is to remove such time restriction, as outlined by the OP,  so that is what I follow.  All further discussions end up at Appeals, as I don't have unlimited time to debate the issue.

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2 minutes ago, geoawareUSA1 said:

Unfortunately, Appeals sees it differently  from my experience, and it's usually at this point that I direct people to HQ to discuss the nuances of the language used.   The guidance given to me and other EC Reviewers is to remove such time restriction, as outlined by the OP,  so that is what I follow.  All further discussions end up at Appeals, as I don't have unlimited time to debate the issue.

 

Colour me bewildered :blink:

 

The expectations as expressed by GSA are very clear - send your answers then log the EC - but the fact someone's expressed exactly that on their EC page is somehow wrong?

 

I must be missing something here.

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19 minutes ago, geoawareUSA1 said:

Unfortunately, Appeals sees it differently  from my experience

Then please ask Appeals to change the language of the guidelines to match what they're going to enforce. Because the guideline you quoted says "People should send their logging task answers to you, then log your EarthCache."

 

That is perfectly in line with funkymunkyzone's original language, "You can log this earthcache as soon as you have emailed your answers to the above questions. Logs that do not follow such an email will be deleted."

 

Furthermore, there is no reason to require owners to wait "7 to 10 days". As funkymunkyzone wrote, "if someone has enough internet to post a log, then they have enough to actually complete the earthcache in order to be able to log it."

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25 minutes ago, niraD said:

Then please ask Appeals to change the language of the guidelines to match what they're going to enforce.

The Earthcache Reviewer for the Southeastern U.S. already beat me to the punch, so done!   The original thread is about a 1 1/2 years old now, but the original question regarding the time restrictions was answered by one of the Lackey's that oversees the worldwide geoware's, that the intent is to be "reasonable" with the Logging Requirements.  As far as the assertion that it's easy to send in answers from the field if you can post a Find, I would dispute that assertion based on some of the EC's I've done, that require long responses, and trying to type all that out on a phone is very painful to say the least.

 

It's a bit surprising that a couple of old timers on the Forum don't seem to recall the incident that provoked this guidance, nor the 100+ EC's that were Archived as a result. 

 

So I think it has been pretty well established that the wording in the FAQ is not perfect, and besides, this sort of guidance belongs in the Help Center IMO.  What exactly would everyone suggest in terms of bringing the wording of the guidance more in line with what is practiced?

Edited by geoawareUSA1

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5 minutes ago, geoawareUSA1 said:

What exactly would everyone suggest in terms of bringing the wording of the guidance more in line with what is practiced?

 

Practiced by whom?

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Just now, geoawareUSA1 said:
4 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Practiced by whom?

So I'm guessing from that response that you have nothing further to add to the discussion.

 

I might do - if you provided the clarification I'm politely asking for.

 

Allow me to elucidate:

 

Practiced by Earthcache owners?

Practiced by Earthcache seekers / finders?

Practiced by Groundspeak?

Practiced by GSA?

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17 minutes ago, geoawareUSA1 said:

As far as the assertion that it's easy to send in answers from the field if you can post a Find, I would dispute that assertion based on some of the EC's I've done, that require long responses, and trying to type all that out on a phone is very painful to say the least.

Then they can use field notes drafts, and both send the email and post the log from home, with a full-sized keyboard.

 

Or they can both send the email in the field and post a live log in the field. I still think that if they can do one, then they can do the other.

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Current Help Center article on this subject

3.6. Log an EarthCache or a Virtual Cache

 

Read the cache page to learn the logging requirements for any EarthCache or Virtual Cache. In most cases you must answer questions to claim the find. Send your answers by email or Message Center directly to the cache owner. (Note: cache owners cannot require information to be sent through one particular tool.) Once you send your answers, you may log your find online before hearing back from the cache owner.

 

bold mine....

If this Help Center article is wrong on this topic, then it needs to be edited. It matches the info on the GSA site, in the FAQs, ".... People should send their logging task answers to you, then log your EarthCache. "

 

 

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6 hours ago, geoawareUSA1 said:

Sounds like your Additional Logging Requirement was in conflict with the following guidance on the GSA site and your EC Reviewer was correct in asking your to remove the logging restriction:

 

Um, please read it again. I have NEVER asked finders to wait for permission to log. On the contrary, I was asking finders to log immediately following sending of the answers (effectively interpreted quite happily by most finders as "at the same time"). Which, unless my understanding of the English language is way off, is basically another way of saying...

  Quote

People should send their logging task answers to you, then log your EarthCache. When you review their logging task answers, if there is a problem, you should contact them to resolve it. If there is no problem, then their log simply stands.

??????

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1 minute ago, Team Microdot said:

I can't help but think @geoawareUSA1 has completely misread the OP.

 

I'm kind of wondering that too.

 

To sum up so far:

 

Quite a positive OP considering it's coming from me. I was stoked that the reviewer came back so quickly and despite me not understanding why the change was required, I happily made the change and the EC in question was published a couple of hours later.

 

The reviewer also spotted a fat fingers typo for me, which was awesome. Basically a positive experience.

 

I came here to ask about it, considering all the guidelines are exactly in line with what I already had on the EC page.

 

And that's when we get told, in a rather combative way, that actually we are all bad people for following exactly what the guidelines state, in multiple places...

 

Colour me stunned.

 

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6 hours ago, geoawareUSA1 said:

Sorry if I misunderstood and for any offense I may have made. 

 

Glad to to hear that the OP's Listing was Published. 

 

I don't think anyone is offended.

 

I think we are all confused though, certainly I am, as to why a fellow Earthcache owner and advocate was required to change wording on his page that was fully guideline compliant to wording which is not.

 

Any chance of some clarification please?

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1 minute ago, Team Microdot said:

 

I don't think anyone is offended.

 

I think we are all confused though, certainly I am, as to why a fellow Earthcache owner and advocate was required to change wording on his page that was fully guideline compliant to wording which is not.

 

Any chance of some clarification please?

My apologies for the confusion, but apparently my meager understanding of the original issue was not sufficient to clarify things to anyone's satisfaction.  At the risk of further confusion and alienation of everyone involved, the issue, as my scant intellect will permit, can be boiled down to two points that have been communicated to me via the Staff and HQ:

 

1. You are not allowed to dictate the order in which the Logging a Find, and the emailing/MC the answers to the CO takes place.

2. You are not allowed to dictate a time frame in which the answers to the Logging Requirements must be sent (although I'll concede the EC Reviewer in this case may have been given the 7-10 day window timeframe, but I was not).

 

Both of these conditions appear to be in conflict of the originally worded instructions to the Logging Requirements:

21 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

"You can log this earthcache as soon as you have emailed your answers to the above questions. Logs that do not follow such an email will be deleted."

As stated, it sounds like I MUST send the email BEFORE I can log my Find, which is in violation of the first point.   The second sentence does not appear to allow for any time to pass, in which I can send the email at some later time, which sounds as if it's in conflict with the second point.

 

I should add, that a third point was communicated to me from HQ at the same time, which I similarly enforce:

 

3. the CO is not allowed to require separate emails from  individuals of a group caching together, if they prefer sending their answers to the CO under one User Account for the entire group.  The CO is allowed to ask for the email to include the Usernames of everyone in the group, in order to cross reference them to the online Log Entries.

 

My apologies in advance if this hopelessly muddles things for you even further.

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14 minutes ago, geoawareUSA1 said:

My apologies in advance if this hopelessly muddles things for you even further.

 

Not at all - thanks for the explanation :)

 

What it does do is make it very clear that those poor unfortunates among us who don't have a direct line to the Lillypad are labouring under a complete misaprehension, based on the only information we can actually see.

 

I'm saddened by how little value seems to be placed on hard working and creative Earthcache owners. It almost seems as if TPTB want fewer Earthcaches rather than more of them.

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22 minutes ago, geoawareUSA1 said:

1. You are not allowed to dictate the order in which the Logging a Find, and the emailing/MC the answers to the CO takes place.

2. You are not allowed to dictate a time frame in which the answers to the Logging Requirements must be sent (although I'll concede the EC Reviewer in this case may have been given the 7-10 day window timeframe, but I was not).

 

If I'm reading this correctly, a finder can log the EC without sending any answers and, since the CO can't dictate a timeframe for those answers, the finder need never submit any answers.

 

I'm curious as I had this situation arise on my EC a couple of years back, where someone logged a find on it without sending any answers. I sent a reminder email a week later, got no response, then sent another reminder saying that I'd have to delete the log if they couldn't provide any answers at all. A few days after that I got a terse reply saying to delete their log, which I did, but was I wrong to do that?

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4 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

If I'm reading this correctly, a finder can log the EC without sending any answers and, since the CO can't dictate a timeframe for those answers, the finder need never submit any answers

 

Good catch.

 

I missed that.

 

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1 minute ago, barefootjeff said:

 

If I'm reading this correctly, a finder can log the EC without sending any answers and, since the CO can't dictate a timeframe for those answers, the finder need never submit any answers.

 

I'm curious as I had this situation arise on my EC a couple of years back, where someone logged a find on it without sending any answers. I sent a reminder email a week later, got no response, then sent another reminder saying that I'd have to delete the log if they couldn't provide any answers at all. A few days after that I got a terse reply saying to delete their log, which I did, but was I wrong to do that?

Thanks for asking barefootjeff, and quite frankly I can sympathize with the predicament you've outlined.   When I raised this concern with HQ, they said it was up to the CO to keep track of this type of thing, and I admit, it's not easy.  I must admit, you are being exceptionally patient and kind in emailing the reminder.  My tendency is to delete the log entry, and to email the User to let them know that I have not received the answers to the Logging Requirements.  The terse replies don't bother me so much, but occasionally I'll get the shocked reply from a User that was traveling, and was waiting for an internet connection before replying.  I feel bad that I might have thrown a wet towel on what was otherwise a great vacation :(

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Stil scratching my head. It seems we now have a situation that a CO can't delete a log if no answers are provided, because they have to wait an indefinite time for the provider to send those answers, if ever, yet there's a requirement on COs in the Help Centre to delete logs that "fail to meet the logging guidelines for their cache type".  That "cache type" link ultimately takes you to this:

 

Quote

The cache page must include logging tasks that help teach the same lesson. Remember that the EarthCache is based on the world around us, not on an informational sign at the EarthCache site. Geocachers must complete the tasks before they log the EarthCache as found.

 

Seems like a classical Catch 22 to me.

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1) just wait for a week (or so)

2) then remind the cacher via PN or message center that he has to provide the answers; say that it is okay if they'll need time but then they can write one sentence to you about it ("I am on vacation, will do this in three weeks.") so you know what is up; add and excuse in advance that you have to delete the log if you here nothing for the next three days

3) if nothing comes: delete the log

 

I don't think anyone can blame you for doing so and as you already have excused you don't have to take any further action. Sounds laborious but you just use the same E-Mail anytime.

 

If nothing happens after 3) it is okay (for you!)

If the cachers answer your message afterwards it is okay - you can talk to each other.

If they simply repeat the cache log without telling you anything restart with point 2) once (perhaps using slightly different mail) and if necessary delete it again.

 

Contact Groundspeak if they don't stop found logging without sending any answers. You have sent them three or more messages (perhaps you can use different systems) so I think you are on the right side and no one can blame you haven't tried anything to make the log a regular one. After all what happened the guidelines force you to log the find.

 

I don't think somethink like that will happen very often!? Then it should be no problem. :-)

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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:
2 hours ago, geoawareUSA1 said:

1. You are not allowed to dictate the order in which the Logging a Find, and the emailing/MC the answers to the CO takes place.

2. You are not allowed to dictate a time frame in which the answers to the Logging Requirements must be sent (although I'll concede the EC Reviewer in this case may have been given the 7-10 day window timeframe, but I was not).

 

If I'm reading this correctly, a finder can log the EC without sending any answers and, since the CO can't dictate a timeframe for those answers, the finder need never submit any answers.

 

I don't think you're reading this correctly.

 

An earthcache CO can't set a rigid timeline.  "Send me answers within 52 seconds of logging your find, or I will delete your log."

 

An earthcache CO can set a reasonable time frame for cachers who haven't sent in answers yet.  What's reasonable?  It's going to depend on the scenario.  7-10 days may be reasonable in most circumstances.  But if you give someone that suspense date, and they ask for more time because their mom just died, it would be reasonable to give them more time.

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14 minutes ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

I don't think you're reading this correctly.

 

An earthcache CO can't set a rigid timeline.  "Send me answers within 52 seconds of logging your find, or I will delete your log."

 

I'd put money on most people having read and continuing to read what is written rather than what is not written.

 

It is reasonable for cachers to follow the written guidelines, clearly and simply written and consistent across the board, and for other cachers to expect that's what will happen.

 

It's reasonable for Earthcache owners not to have to act as PA's for the people logging their caches.

 

 

Edited by Team Microdot
typo
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16 minutes ago, frostengel said:

1) just wait for a week (or so)

2) then remind the cacher via PN or message center that he has to provide the answers; say that it is okay if they'll need time but then they can write one sentence to you about it ("I am on vacation, will do this in three weeks.") so you know what is up; add and excuse in advance that you have to delete the log if you here nothing for the next three days

3) if nothing comes: delete the log

 

I don't think anyone can blame you for doing so and as you already have excused you don't have to take any further action. Sounds laborious but you just use the same E-Mail anytime.

 

If nothing happens after 3) it is okay (for you!)

If the cachers answer your message afterwards it is okay - you can talk to each other.

If they simply repeat the cache log without telling you anything restart with point 2) once (perhaps using slightly different mail) and if necessary delete it again.

 

Contact Groundspeak if they don't stop found logging without sending any answers. You have sent them three or more messages (perhaps you can use different systems) so I think you are on the right side and no one can blame you haven't tried anything to make the log a regular one. After all what happened the guidelines force you to log the find.

 

I don't think somethink like that will happen very often!? Then it should be no problem. :-)

 

Why make things so hideously complicated?

 

Why not just stick to the nice, clear, simple, efficient and effective guidelines as written?

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2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Why make things so hideously complicated?

 

Why not just stick to the nice, clear, simple, efficient and effective guidelines as written?

 

Friendlyness? Sometimes a cacher simply forgets to sent the answers. Or we had the situation that one of the team (let's say me) said he sent the answers and forget to do so and others logged reffering to the answers sent in by frostengel - oups!

So why always state the guidelines and make anything a threat? "I will delete your log..." Try to be kind a find a good formulation - than you are on the safe side and others will be happy, too.

 

I have an unknown cache where regularly cachers log though they only have found the empty nano cache which is a red herring at stage one. The puzzle comes afterwards and in the end a tree awaits. So they find a kind of 1.5/1.5 traditional which should be 4.5/4.5 unknown cache - and the rating is correct.

I have never deleted the log at once, I always send a message and give them some time to respond. And if nothing happens I still can delete the log - up to now I never had to quote any rules of the guidelines. Some of the cachers respond and apologize (and are interested in the cache and we have a nice talk), others don't react, not before and not after the deletion.

Too complicated? Not for me, it does not take soooo much time....

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3 minutes ago, frostengel said:

 

Friendlyness? Sometimes a cacher simply forgets to sent the answers. Or we had the situation that one of the team (let's say me) said he sent the answers and forget to do so and others logged reffering to the answers sent in by frostengel - oups!

So why always state the guidelines and make anything a threat? "I will delete your log..." Try to be kind a find a good formulation - than you are on the safe side and others will be happy, too.

 

I have an unknown cache where regularly cachers log though they only have found the empty nano cache which is a red herring at stage one. The puzzle comes afterwards and in the end a tree awaits. So they find a kind of 1.5/1.5 traditional which should be 4.5/4.5 unknown cache - and the rating is correct.

I have never deleted the log at once, I always send a message and give them some time to respond. And if nothing happens I still can delete the log - up to now I never had to quote any rules of the guidelines. Some of the cachers respond and apologize (and are interested in the cache and we have a nice talk), others don't react, not before and not after the deletion.

Too complicated? Not for me, it does not take soooo much time....

 

But they never seem to forget to log the cache...

 

If we all just stuck to the very simple guidelines as written I'd put money on problems arising less frequently.

 

There's nothing at all unfriendly about clear, honest communication up-front about the expected sequence of events which support a valid Found log. In fact I'd say it's much more responsible and pro-active and much less likely to avoid later upset when those expectations are known from the outset.

 

And friendlyness cuts both ways - which is why I always send my answers for Earthcaches before I log them. I owe the CO that much - they've gone to the time, trouble and expense to put together a rewarding experience for my enjoyment. I wouldn't want them to think I value that so little that I would keep them waiting for the answers I should have already sent until I can be bothered to send them - if I happen to remember that is.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I always send my answers for Earthcaches before I log them.

 

Me, too (*). And usually I await (for some time) an answer "that's okay" even if that is not necessary by any rules. If they answer and are 1) happy about my answers and 2) clarify the difficulties I have had answering the harder questions then it is perfect.

 

I do not see any reason to change my habits but at the same time I do not await anybody else to think like me.

 

(*) If no one forgets - by the way I forgot to log caches, too, so that can also happen... am I growing old!?

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48 minutes ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

 

I don't think you're reading this correctly.

 

An earthcache CO can't set a rigid timeline.  "Send me answers within 52 seconds of logging your find, or I will delete your log."

 

An earthcache CO can set a reasonable time frame for cachers who haven't sent in answers yet.  What's reasonable?  It's going to depend on the scenario.  7-10 days may be reasonable in most circumstances.  But if you give someone that suspense date, and they ask for more time because their mom just died, it would be reasonable to give them more time.

 

Okay, thanks. I guess I'll just stick to my first reminder after a week, another reminder a week later and if still no response after the third week, hit delete and let appeals take it from there.

 

56 minutes ago, frostengel said:

I don't think somethink like that will happen very often!? Then it should be no problem. :-)

 

I don't know if it's all that uncommon. As well as the instance I mentioned on my EC, I had a similar situation where someone logged a find on my challenge cache without fulfilling the challenge and then ignored my two attempts at contacting them. Neither cache has had a huge amount of visits (40 finds in 4 years on the EC and 11 finds in one year on the challenge) so I expect this sort of thing happens a lot on busier caches.

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45 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:
52 minutes ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

I don't think you're reading this correctly.

 

An earthcache CO can't set a rigid timeline.  "Send me answers within 52 seconds of logging your find, or I will delete your log."

 

I'd put money on most people having read and continuing to read what is written rather than what is not written.

 

It is reasonable for cachers to follow the written guidelines, clearly and simply written and consistent across the board, and for other cachers to expect that's what will happen.

 

It's reasonable for Earthcache owners not to have to act as PA's for the people logging their caches.

 

I agree.  But it is also reasonable for earthcache owners to give earthcache seekers some latitude when appropriate.

 

This situation normally crops up with geocachers who are new, or at least new to earthcaches.  So the safe money may actually be on them not "having read . . . what is written," at least in the guidelines.  To counter this, many earthcache owners put the explanation of what earthcaches are and how they work in each description, and that's fine.  What we as reviewers are asking for is to not front-load that explanation with deletion threats and deadlines.

 

11 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Okay, thanks. I guess I'll just stick to my first reminder after a week, another reminder a week later and if still no response after the third week, hit delete and let appeals take it from there.

 

I think that's more than reasonable.  My approach on my player account is between yours and @frostengel - I send a message after a few days and give a week to respond.

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1 hour ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

 

I agree.  But it is also reasonable for earthcache owners to give earthcache seekers some latitude when appropriate.

I get the impression that you think that just because I stated *exactly what is in the earthcache logging requirements* from the help centre on my cache page that I would not be reasonable and give latitude where necessary.

 

On the contrary, I am about the most lenient EC owner out there. The point is that the statement on the cache page that outlines the expectation is just that, the expectation of how the game should be played, according to Groundspeak.

 

Anyway, if this is how it is to be, although I'm still somewhat amazed that following the guidelines on both the GSA website and Grounddpeaks help centre is somehow wrong and unreasonable, I think I just wont bother policing logs at all. It's too much work.

 

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2 hours ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

 

I don't think you're reading this correctly.

 

An earthcache CO can't set a rigid timeline.  "Send me answers within 52 seconds of logging your find, or I will delete your log."

 

An earthcache CO can set a reasonable time frame for cachers who haven't sent in answers yet.  What's reasonable?  It's going to depend on the scenario.  7-10 days may be reasonable in most circumstances.  But if you give someone that suspense date, and they ask for more time because their mom just died, it would be reasonable to give them more time.

 

So if I'm understanding this correctly, in contrast to the very clear guidelines on the gsa website and the help centre, an EC owner can now only suggest a time frame, like 7 to 10 days, but we are not allowed to enforce that and if a finder requests more time we simply have to allow it, because "reasonable" can mean anything to anyone, and the CO cant dictate what it means...

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1 minute ago, funkymunkyzone said:

Anyway, if this is how it is to be, although I'm still somewhat amazed that following the guidelines on both the GSA website and Grounddpeaks help centre is somehow wrong and unreasonable, I think I just wont bother policing logs at all. It's too much work.

 

That would be sad. And frustrating.

 

It takes a lot of effort to put together a decent, informative, technically correct Earth Science Lesson to hopefully teach someone something really interesting and I personally can't see any point investing all that effort to then throw it all away by leaving it for anybody to log regardless of whether they learned the ESL or not.

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5 hours ago, geoawareUSA1 said:

My apologies for the confusion, but apparently my meager understanding of the original issue was not sufficient to clarify things to anyone's satisfaction.  At the risk of further confusion and alienation of everyone involved, the issue, as my scant intellect will permit,

:blink: um... ok

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2 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

That would be sad. And frustrating.

 

It takes a lot of effort to put together a decent, informative, technically correct Earth Science Lesson to hopefully teach someone something really interesting and I personally can't see any point investing all that effort to then throw it all away by leaving it for anybody to log regardless of whether they learned the ESL or not.

Well yes and no. To be fair I dont think there are that many fake loggers, but more importantly I think tptb/reviewers need to be reminded that "it's just a game" cuts both ways - it's a game for the COs too. I already have a day job and I've no intention of turning my hobby, providing geo-entertainment for others, into an office admin job.

 

Edited by funkymunkyzone

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1 hour ago, funkymunkyzone said:

I get the impression that you think that just because I stated *exactly what is in the earthcache logging requirements* from the help centre on my cache page that I would not be reasonable and give latitude where necessary.

 

On the contrary, I am about the most lenient EC owner out there. The point is that the statement on the cache page that outlines the expectation is just that, the expectation of how the game should be played, according to Groundspeak.

 

No, I don't have the impression that you're being unreasonable.  However, I think that your quote could give that impression to a geocacher:

 

Quote

"You can log this earthcache as soon as you have emailed your answers to the above questions. Logs that do not follow such an email will be deleted."

 

First, it does not appear that latitude will be given - send answers at once, or your log will be deleted.

 

Second, I disagree that the above quote states "exactly what is in the earthcache logging requirements."

 

3.6. Log an EarthCache or a Virtual Cache

Quote

Read the cache page to learn the logging requirements for any EarthCache or Virtual Cache. In most cases you must answer questions to claim the find. Send your answers by email or Message Center directly to the cache owner. (Note: cache owners cannot require information to be sent through one particular tool.) Once you send your answers, you may log your find online before hearing back from the cache owner.

 

"Once" does not mean the same thing as "at once" or "as soon as."


7.13. Delete logs

Quote

Cache owners may delete geocache logs if they conflict with our Terms of Use Agreement or fail to meet the logging guidelines for their cache type.

 

Your quote doesn't say that you may, it says that you will.  That's not the same thing, either.

 

1 hour ago, funkymunkyzone said:
4 hours ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

I don't think you're reading this correctly.

 

An earthcache CO can't set a rigid timeline.  "Send me answers within 52 seconds of logging your find, or I will delete your log."

 

An earthcache CO can set a reasonable time frame for cachers who haven't sent in answers yet.  What's reasonable?  It's going to depend on the scenario.  7-10 days may be reasonable in most circumstances.  But if you give someone that suspense date, and they ask for more time because their mom just died, it would be reasonable to give them more time.

 

So if I'm understanding this correctly, in contrast to the very clear guidelines on the gsa website and the help centre, an EC owner can now only suggest a time frame, like 7 to 10 days, but we are not allowed to enforce that and if a finder requests more time we simply have to allow it, because "reasonable" can mean anything to anyone, and the CO cant dictate what it means...

 

Not what I meant, and not what I said above when I laid out my own approach to this, so I would say no, you are not understanding me correctly.  But I'm straying from my role as a reviewer, so let me stop and qualify my response from this point on.  My (second) job is cache review and publishing, and that includes implementing Groundspeak policy on what goes onto a cache page.  It's not reviewing appeals.  So I'll put out my thoughts as an earthcache owner, who is also a reviewer, and leave it there.

 

If there was a clear timeline or other policy in the guidelines, we as earthcache owners would need to follow it.  In the absence of a clear timeline or other policy in the guidelines, it is up to  earthcache owner to determine what's reasonable when it comes to deleting logs.  "Reasonable" is both a subjective and objective standard - do you perceive it as reasonable, and would the average person perceive it as such.  Initially, it's up to the earthcache owner to determine what's reasonable and to enforce it.  Eventually, if/when a deletion is appealed, it falls to Groundspeak to determine whether they agree with the deletion.

 

I send a reminder a few days after seeing a log with no email or message, and in that reminder, I set out what they need to do and give them a week to respond.  If a week goes by and I have no response (be it the logging answers, or even a quick note that their mom died and they need a month), I delete the log.  I personally think it's reasonable, and based on what others have posted here and in other threads, it seems consistent with what others are doing, so it appears to be objectively reasonable as well.  And if anyone whose log I deleted has appealed it to Groundspeak, I've yet to hear about it.  If I do, then I'll change my approach.

 

2 hours ago, Team Microdot said:
2 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

Anyway, if this is how it is to be, although I'm still somewhat amazed that following the guidelines on both the GSA website and Grounddpeaks help centre is somehow wrong and unreasonable, I think I just wont bother policing logs at all. It's too much work.

 

That would be sad. And frustrating.

 

It takes a lot of effort to put together a decent, informative, technically correct Earth Science Lesson to hopefully teach someone something really interesting and I personally can't see any point investing all that effort to then throw it all away by leaving it for anybody to log regardless of whether they learned the ESL or not.

 

It is not how it is to be, so please keep doing what you're doing.  Just do what your reviewer asked and leave that bit out of the cache description.

 

2 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

To be fair I dont think there are that many fake loggers, but more importantly I think the reviewers need to be reminded that "it's just a game" cuts both ways - it's a game for the COs too. I already have a day job and I've no intention of turning my hobby, providing geo-entertainment for others, into an office admin job.

 

I now have two jobs, the paying one, and reviewing earthcaches for free.  But in my spare time, I also enjoy geocaching as a player, and I don't want it to turn into a third job, either. 

 

I don't see non-compliant logs too often, maybe once or twice a month on average.  The terrain or difficulty level of some of my earthcache hides may be weeding out app-only basic members.  I can certainly imagine that it is more frustrating and problematic for people who get more visits.

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1 hour ago, funkymunkyzone said:

On the contrary, I am about the most lenient EC owner out there.

 

I couldn't agree more, but the vast majority of Finders on your Listings have no idea who you are, or how you manage the Find Logs on your Listing pages.

 

1 hour ago, funkymunkyzone said:

The point is that the statement on the cache page that outlines the expectation is just that, the expectation of how the game should be played, according to Groundspeak.

 

The expectation is clearly spelled out in the Guidelines and in several articles in the Help Center.  Why do you feel the need to put yourself in the middle of such debates?  When I'm faced with someone disputing a Log Deletion (extremely rare), I direct them to the Help Center for clarification.  If that is not successful, I direct them to HQ.  There's no need to state any expectations on the Listing page, other than to say that Finders must send answers to some questions.  No need to set deadlines. No need to threaten them with log deletions.

 

To go back to one of barefootjeff's concerns, which geoawareUSA9 covered pretty well, but I wanted to add one salient point:

 

6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

til scratching my head. It seems we now have a situation that a CO can't delete a log if no answers are provided, because they have to wait an indefinite time for the provider to send those answers, if ever, yet there's a requirement on COs in the Help Centre to delete logs that "fail to meet the logging guidelines for their cache type".  That "cache type" link ultimately takes you to this:

 

When I'm Reviewing, I'm only Reviewing what's in front of me.  How you manage your Listing page is your business, not mine.  If there are Log disputes that can't be resolved between the Finder and the CO, those disputes end up at HQ.  They don't go to me.  My only concern is the wording on the Listing page, and it's the same process for the Logging instructions on the Listing page, Commercial content and Agenda's.  If you set a personal timeline for answers to arrive, that  is totally up to you, you just can't state such restrictions on the cache page.

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

3.6. Log an EarthCache or a Virtual Cache

Quote

Read the cache page to learn the logging requirements for any EarthCache or Virtual Cache. In most cases you must answer questions to claim the find. Send your answers by email or Message Center directly to the cache owner. (Note: cache owners cannot require information to be sent through one particular tool.) Once you send your answers, you may log your find online before hearing back from the cache owner.

 

"Once" does not mean the same thing as "at once" or "as soon as."

 

Absolutely correct.

 

You can log your find any time after sending your answers.

 

Once you've finished your homework, you may go outside and play

 

The average child understands that in the above example going outside to play is conditional on completing their homework.

 

Once you send your answers, you may log your find online - is no different. What it does do though is specify the order of precendence.

 

I'm not sure though why we seem to have ended up arguing semantics over such a simple point.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:
33 minutes ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

3.6. Log an EarthCache or a Virtual Cache

Quote

Read the cache page to learn the logging requirements for any EarthCache or Virtual Cache. In most cases you must answer questions to claim the find. Send your answers by email or Message Center directly to the cache owner. (Note: cache owners cannot require information to be sent through one particular tool.) Once you send your answers, you may log your find online before hearing back from the cache owner.

 

"Once" does not mean the same thing as "at once" or "as soon as."

 

Absolutely correct.

 

You can log your find any time after sending your answers.

 

Once you've finished your homework, you may go outside and play

 

The average child understands that in the above example going outside to play is conditional on completing their homework.

 

Once you send your answers, you may log your find online - is no different. What it does do though is specify the order of precendence.

 

I'm not sure though why we seem to have ended up arguing semantics over such a simple point.

 

OK - thank you for that.  If you read my post again and re-examine the quote at issue, it didn't say you can log a find "once" or "any time after" sending answers, it said "as soon as."

 

On 9/20/2018 at 11:13 AM, funkymunkyzone said:

"You can log this earthcache as soon as you have emailed your answers to the above questions. Logs that do not follow such an email will be deleted."

 

My point in parsing out the language was not to argue semantics about language, but to point out that this statement

3 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 I stated *exactly what is in the earthcache logging requirements* from the help centre on my cache page

was not accurate, in that the quote on the cache page was not in fact exactly what is in the help center.  

 

(It also specifies emailing answers, which I didn't even catch earlier and is also contrary to what is stated in the help center.)

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1 hour ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

 

OK - thank you for that.  If you read my post again and re-examine the quote at issue, it didn't say you can log a find "once" or "any time after" sending answers, it said "as soon as."

 

 

Oh.

 

So you're reading the OP's wording as some sort of insistence that finders log their find as soon as they've submitted their answers?

 

It clearly isn't.

 

Or are you taking issue with the CO's claim that his cache page features the exact same words found in the guidelines? I'd completely agree with you on that one. The CO's words are different. I think any reasonable person though would agree that the meaning of those words is equivalent to those used in the guidelines, so it really makes no odds.

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Too messy to try and quote, so I hope you will get what I am referring to...

 

I stand by my statement that I had "stated *exactly what is in the earthcache logging requirements* from the help centre on my cache page."

 

Arguing semantics of exact words used is simply distracting from the point that the guidelines spell out the order in which things must happen, and my statement on my cache page reinforced the same order in which they should take place.

 

At no point did I say anything needed to happen immediately.  I said you *can* log, not you *must*. 

 

Sure I said *will be deleted* not *may be deleted* but frankly I think people respond better to definites even if those definites dont play out in reality.

 

Stating this on the page, that answers need to be sent to the cache owner and providing the expectation of when that should happen is actually there for the benefit of new earthcache finders who dont go digging through help center articles or guidelines. For practiced earthcache finders it might be a reminder or not necessary at all. But it's there to be helpful.

 

It's kind of like, I dunno, the "you must be over 18", or whatever, sign on the door of a liquor shop - it's not that the owner wants to debate the law with their customers, just a reminder of what the law is, so that, well, they don't get into debates... lol

 

I'll go one step further, beyond saying "as CO this is what I need from you" I was also spelling out to the finder "just go ahead and log, dont wait for me to respond" - that's what as soon as is referring to. Once again, look at the sentence I originally had. All it is saying is that to log this cache, whenever you want and without waiting for me, do these two things in this order: answers first, then whenever later beginning from straight way, and ending with the end the universe, log online :)

 

The point is that the meaning of what I had on the cache page matched the instructions everywhere in the guidelines.

 

What I was asked to change it to matches no guidelines anywhere.

 

Edited by funkymunkyzone

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5 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Once you've finished your homework, you may go outside and play

 

The average child understands that in the above example going outside to play is conditional on completing their homework.

 

 

 

Yep.

 

You can go outside and play as soon as you finish your homework.

 

:)

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1 minute ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 

Yep.

 

You can go outside and play as soon as you finish your homework.

 

:)

 

Indeed.

 

But, back on topic - I'm still wondering why instructions from Groundspeak to volunteer reviewers seem so far removed from the guidelines we, the great unwashed, are labouring under?

 

 

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24 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

I stand by my statement that I had "stated *exactly what is in the earthcache logging requirements* from the help centre on my cache page."

 

For the record, the following is not found anywhere in the Help Center or FAQ:

 

On 9/20/2018 at 2:13 AM, funkymunkyzone said:

Logs that do not follow such an email will be deleted.

 

Per your original statement, this was part of the original instructions.  I'm not saying your a bad person, or that you would even carry through on such a threat, but it's likely this single sentence that got the attention of the EC Reviewer.  Since Logging Requirements are backed up by documentation in the Guidelines and Help Center, such threats of deletion are pointless, and by no means improve the chances of people actually following your instructions.

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