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Let’s talk some more about geocache quality (survey)

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6 hours ago, Touchstone said:

It's funny how folks have different standards on this issue.  It wouldn't bother me one iota to find a cache in this condition, nor would I be compelled to say much about it, let alone post an NM.   To me, it looks like the container is in reasonably serviceable condition.  The gross moldy thing on top, looks like a signature card of some sort, and there appears to be a cache note underneath that.  The yellow thing at the bottom looks like a rite in rain type of log that is fairly common in my area.  Judging from your photo, a little "light maintenance" might be all that is needed (e.g. remove wet disgusting bits).

 

This here folks, is part of the problem. That cache is in need of attention and it's sad that someone would just go about their business without doing anything to help it get back into shape. 

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19 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

 

This here folks, is part of the problem. That cache is in need of attention and it's sad that someone would just go about their business without doing anything to help it get back into shape. 

I did address that in my last sentence, but I didn’t want to give people the impression that I support such action which would be contrary to the maintenance expectations placed forth in the Guidelines. Bottom line: if you don’t intend on maintaining it, don’t submit it for Publication. 

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7 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Maintaining your own hides regularly is a must, but that debate about regularly will certainly creep in.  I don't hide my caches to have to go out and fix them monthly.  I hide them so that I don't have to go out to fix them unless something goes MIA.  Being thoughtful about your hide would certainly help but at least in my area, saturation is an issue.

 

To me, regularly implies on a fixed schedule, be it monthly, quarterly, annually or whatever, as opposed to ad-hoc or only when needed. Some of my hides I visit regularly, like the ones in more muggle-prone areas that I try to check on after each school holiday. The ones in or close to watercourses get a visit after heavy rain to make sure they haven't washed away or become waterlogged, so how often they get visited depends on the weather. But the more remote ones that might only get a couple of finds a year if that, are rugged containers hidden well out of the weather and well away from muggles, I'll only visit if I happen to be in the area or feel like going for a long hike to that nice spot I found, or if someone reports a problem. I'd hope that in any push to improve cache quality, COs would still have the flexibility to decide what works best for their caches.

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6 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

How do I and others like me find them? Spend hours wading through cache listings in cache dense areas. Spend my limited leisure time to drive miles and spend gas money on a swag size cache with nothing in the logs and  photo gallery that say anything about the condition of the cache, but it has double digit favorite points, and the last log says "Cool".  Only to find this when I complete the multi:

 

2128466129_moldydollarstorecontainer.jpg.efd0d6313a5901ac2f27910c09ec36db.jpg

 

If I go through a multi and get to the end and find a cache with a log in it, I'm happy. I'm more happy if the cache is nice and neat, but that's just one small part of the experience. GS can't do anything that will force people to have nice, neat containers at the end of their multis. What GS can do is make sure this cache doesn't exist at all. Would not being able to search for and find this cache to begin with really have been preferable to you than finding this?

 

Getting rid of bad caches just gets rid of bad caches. Good caches don't automatically pop up in their place. For good caches to happen, you need COs that want to create good caches. Try not to chase away all the COs in your quest for quality.

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22 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Would not being able to search for and find this cache to begin with really have been preferable to you than finding this?

 

I would have preferred not to waste my time. You can have your moldy caches and your +1 find. I would rather spend my time looking for caches that are likely to be in reasonably good shape. Reasonably dry caches where I could trade trinkets, signature items and trackables. Give me the opportunity to enjoy the pastime and find those quality caches by good-steward owners. 

 

That is, cache owners who are conscientious and have a proven track record that includes checking their caches occassionally just to be sure the contents and location are holding up. GCHQ could creat a filter for good Cache Owner Scores. Those COs who are active (logged onto the site in the last 3 months), never had an NA posted in the paste year, never had a reviewer archive their caches in the past year, were attentive to NM and DNF logs, never took more then 4 weeks before posting a note explaining why they couldn't get to the cache to check if there were circumstances that got in the way, posts OMs that indicate they have visited their cache and their cache is in reasonably good condition (bonus points for including a current photo of the log and contents). Have never been reported for harassing people who log NMs/NAs/DNFs.

 

Enjoy the moldy abandoned caches, but GCHQ if you are listening, let me enjoy the caches by cache owners who demonstrate good stewardship.  That especially includes areas I am not familiar with and don't know who the responsible cache owners are. 

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1 hour ago, Touchstone said:

Bottom line: if you don’t intend on maintaining it, don’t submit it for Publication.

 

This. 

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On 12/4/2018 at 4:43 PM, barefootjeff said:

They didn't ask what I think should've been the very first question - do you consider cache quality to be a problem in your area? There's no point going to great lengths with algorithms, incentives and punishments to fix something that ain't broke.

 

If you don't think cache quality is a problem why are you taking a survey to solve that problem?

 

More importantly, it's clear many people do think it's a problem.

 

23 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

Completely agree! Cache quality is not the problem. The heavy promotion of geocaching as a game that can be scored via an app is the reason our hobby is where it is right now

 

Agreed, and how it's promoted should change. 

 

However, it's not possible to truly avoid the scoring aspect. You can downplay it, but the find count is there. Unless you hide all your stats I guess. 

 

The find count is even useful. If I'm not finding 500 caches per year that's a problem. It's not about a leaderboard; 500 isn't an impressive number for many cachers. However, if I'm not finding 500 caches annually I'm not caching enough, which means I'm not spending enough time outdoors. 

 

22 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Oh yes, of course. The single thing that Groundspeak can do is to focus on customer engagement and retention; that is, to grow their business not by trying to attract huge numbers of newcomers, but by changing things to keep cachers active and engaged for a longer time.

 

The vast majority of poor-quality caches in my area were hidden by newbies who abandoned caching after a year or so and left their caches out.  IMO, Groundspeak should focus on retaining and engaging those folks so they don't walk away.

 

I agree, but this can only help so much. For anything, especially a hobby, many people who try it will not like it, or quickly get bored with, or find they don't have time for it, or get distracted by something else.

 

Groundspeak and the community can do more to encourage people to stay and have fun, but to a significant number there will be nothing they can do.

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26 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

If you don't think cache quality is a problem why are you taking a survey to solve that problem?

 

More importantly, it's clear many people do think it's a problem.

 

Because if the only responses they get are from people who think most caches are rubbish, they'll probably do things that harm the game in places where caches are few but of mostly good quality.

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

Try not to chase away all the COs in your quest for quality.

Yeah, this was one of the points I made in my comments when I filled out the survey.

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52 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:
23 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Oh yes, of course. The single thing that Groundspeak can do is to focus on customer engagement and retention; that is, to grow their business not by trying to attract huge numbers of newcomers, but by changing things to keep cachers active and engaged for a longer time.

 

The vast majority of poor-quality caches in my area were hidden by newbies who abandoned caching after a year or so and left their caches out.  IMO, Groundspeak should focus on retaining and engaging those folks so they don't walk away.

 

I agree, but this can only help so much. For anything, especially a hobby, many people who try it will not like it, or quickly get bored with, or find they don't have time for it, or get distracted by something else.

 

Groundspeak and the community can do more to encourage people to stay and have fun, but to a significant number there will be nothing they can do.

 

True. For another of my hobbies, we often say something to the effect of "It's fun for people who think that kind of thing is fun." For people who don't really enjoy that kind of thing, there's nothing you can do to keep them from moving on.

 

But for those who do enjoy that kind of thing, there are things others can do that will make it more enjoyable for them (so they are more likely to continue), and other things that others can do that will make it less enjoyable for them (so they are less likely to continue).

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19 hours ago, wagtag15 said:

I just took the survey, and I am including my comments here. I do not think that the options given in the survey will actually help the game/pastime or whatever you term Geocaching. Likewise, I am certain that I do not need to like EVERY single cache that is released- I get to CHOOSE which caches I will look for. So of course my comments are more about inclusion rather than the exclusion options listed in the survey.

 

Comments:

Personally I believe that limiting the creation of caches will actually HURT Geocaching. The more exclusive it is the less new folks will want to participate, and the less 'ordinary' folks will want to put up with the biased rules.

Depending on the situation even a bison tube or film canister at the base of a sign is a great cache. Trying to limit or remove the 'easy beginner' caches will be detrimental to the game. And many of your proposals will do just THAT! Beginners often place easy caches when they begin and then improve and expand as they gain experience- this is a NECESSARY step in their learning curve. If you remove their ability to do this, you again are killing the game.

Forcing the CO's to have a certain number of finds will eliminate many of the Geotours, Geotrails, and Geoarts. Often a group will create an identity so they can jointly maintain these types of caches. Also towns and park managers will put out caches  to promote their area. None of these CO's would have any finds. 

Unfortunately Geocaching is progressing in the WRONG direction. The App is harder to maneuver around and the cords are now bouncing more than ever. The new map on the desktop has so many issues and much less adaptability than the old list. Let's face it if I wanted to look at a map, I'd click on the VIEW MAP option! 

Now ways you CAN improve the Geocaching game. Love souvenirs- offer them for more dates/events (GIFF, Leap Day, Canada Day), sheer number finds challenges (the mythical beast challenge), Cooperation challenges (with help from the Friend's League- why have it if you are not going to use it!).

A HUGE improvement would be to expand the filter/sort functions rather than removing them. Several folks have challenge caches which require a certain number or type of attribute- Create a function to filter for this and other such items.

Also why not create a NEW type of cache? How about a History cache much like an earthcache? You would need to go to the place of an historical event, answer questions, and generally LEARN to get the smile.

The big take away do NOT do anything to limit the folks in Geocaching. I know several who greatly reduced, or stopped caching, after the virtuals were removed. They felt that you were picking and choosing (and not in a good way) those you wished to remain in the game. You should be EXPANDING the ways folks can play the game not hindering them. 

The more you limit the game the faster folks will get bored or give up and stop playing. You need them to not only play but to bring others in as well!

 

This is good feedback but it doesn't really address the issue of improving cache quality, which was supposedly what this survey was about.  It's not really your fault as many of the questions that were asked weren't even related, IMO, to how to improve the quality of the actual geocaches.  I don't think they wanted to address how to improve geocaching but rather, how to address improving individual cache quality.  That's part of why I felt this survey wasn't generally asking the "right" types of questions.  Some were on point but many weren't.

 

I really like the point about expanded filter options.  You're not the only one to raise this point and you won't be the last.  While it doesn't directly address the issue of individual cache quality improvements, it certainly can provide individual cachers with better tools to enhance their caching experience.

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15 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

It's more like a passive aggression action to "improve the geocaching experience" :P (imo, that's better wording than "improve geocache quality")

 

But as dprovan has mentioned, it appears the survey is addressing both topics, despite the blurb about improving geocache quality.  I think both phrases address issues many cachers would love to have addressed, but I don't think they're truly related, in the sense that one is more of an individual focus (what can be done to improve your caching experience) and the other is focused more on the actual geocache (how can we make each cache better).  They are certainly inter-related  but this survey seems to want to focus on the caches vs. the individual's experience, despite questions that seem to point to the experience rather than the physical geocache.

 

Both points merit discussion as most all of us believe there are things that can be done to improve both facets.

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20 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Only to find this when I complete the multi:

How was your overall experience and feeling about this cache just 2 minutes before discovering the box?

If it was a short unimaginative offset multi I also would be disappointed but actually it would just add a bit to my general disappointment that I did not manage to ignore the cache in the first place.

But in my imagination about this multi you started in the morning at the header coordinates and after passing some interesting stages in a nice landscape you reached the box maybe not before the early afternoon. The state of this very box then would not in the least reduce my enjoyment of this cache.

But I agree that maintenance is (probably long) due and nobody should knowingly or even deliberately let his or her boxes reach this state.

 

But still the quality of the box is only a part of the quality of a "geocache" and sometimes it is a *very* small part even for people who care for the the geocache part of the pastime.

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13 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

I would have preferred not to waste my time. You can have your moldy caches and your +1 find. I would rather spend my time looking for caches that are likely to be in reasonably good shape. Reasonably dry caches where I could trade trinkets, signature items and trackables. Give me the opportunity to enjoy the pastime and find those quality caches by good-steward owners. 

 

That is, cache owners who are conscientious and have a proven track record that includes checking their caches occassionally just to be sure the contents and location are holding up. GCHQ could creat a filter for good Cache Owner Scores. Those COs who are active (logged onto the site in the last 3 months), never had an NA posted in the paste year, never had a reviewer archive their caches in the past year, were attentive to NM and DNF logs, never took more then 4 weeks before posting a note explaining why they couldn't get to the cache to check if there were circumstances that got in the way, posts OMs that indicate they have visited their cache and their cache is in reasonably good condition (bonus points for including a current photo of the log and contents). Have never been reported for harassing people who log NMs/NAs/DNFs.

 

Enjoy the moldy abandoned caches, but GCHQ if you are listening, let me enjoy the caches by cache owners who demonstrate good stewardship.  That especially includes areas I am not familiar with and don't know who the responsible cache owners are. 

 

This is great, but there's still NO guarantee that you'll find what you want, which is a well maintained cache.  I'm the type of CO you describe yet some of my caches still manage to get moisture in them, still manage to have damp logs (occasionally even wet logs), still get damaged, still get muggled, and still, despite my best intentions, aren't always in the best of shape.


You want some sort of assurance that you will find a well maintained cache at the end of your journey.  You didn't say anything about the experience regarding the multi, other than, your words here (paraphrased),  it was a waste of your time because you found a cache that wasn't in great condition.  Apparently it's ALL about the state of the container for you, rather than anything else related to the experience - where it took you, the walk to get to the next stage, the format of the design.  None of that matters to you if you find a container at the end that needs some maintenance.

 

Your point about a COS would eliminate me from consideration most likely because I got dinged twice by the CHS.  Two of my caches weren't deemed acceptable by the standards GS has in place so they wouldn't be acceptable to you.  Therefore, all my caches would be removed from your potential list of caches you'd like to visit.

 

Even though this survey is probably meant to address the issue you care about most (maintenance), there's still no way to enforce the standard you appear to want.  There's also no way to guarantee the standard you want, despite a CO's best efforts, unless you require them to check the cache on a daily basis and post pictures (really?) with their OM logs.  If that's what you want, you're going to drive away the very COs you hope to find, regardless of whatever may arise from this survey.

 

 

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17 hours ago, barefootjeff said:
17 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

if the majority opinion of a 'good' cache is the style that's most filtered for finding, then the sub-par ones won't be found as much, won't be as 'popular', and over  alonger period of time the quality landscape will shift.

 

I would hope that number of finds or "popularity" doesn't become a measure of cache quality. The ones that get the most finds are the urban P&G micros in tourist hotspots, whereas the ones that get the fewest finds tend to be the more challenging and, for me at least, rewarding ones.

 

Sure, that's what we'd hope, but that wouldn't be the reality of the situation. Popularity can only mean quantity of activity -- given the measures we have, how else can it be determined? Favourite points are just as subjective, find count is only a measure of activity, there's no universal quality rating system. "Popular" right now means that the caches found the most tend to be the ones that most people enjoy (not that I agree with that in the slightest).  'Awesome' caches (which is also subjective) that get few visits will be drowned out by the quantity of caches that people BOTH place and find.

 

What we should hope is that HQ realizes that quantity cannot be considered the sole indicator of popularity.  The only other way really is by listening to buzz. What do people talk about the most? Or wish they could do the most? There's no metric for that. But that aspect tends to put everything on an even playing field.

 

LPCs may be super populous, but how much buzz is there about LPCs? Consider that general sentiment with all the talk about bucket list caches, which by comparison are found only a fraction of the time and you can count on your fingers relatively speaking.  I'd argue there's a whole lot more buzz and excitement about such caches despite being far fewer and rarely found by comparison. But again, there's no metric for that.

 

So, the only measure of popularity is by what people place the most and find the most. Activity will determine what the landscape of geocaches will look like in the short and long term, varied somewhat by region and local community makeup.  It's the promotional strategies of geocaching that can only help to retain that feel of what "quality geocaching" looks like (not just 'geocache quality'), by catering to the social buzz, the word on the street -- not merely statistical data.

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15 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

I would have preferred not to waste my time. You can have your moldy caches and your +1 find. I would rather spend my time looking for caches that are likely to be in reasonably good shape. Reasonably dry caches where I could trade trinkets, signature items and trackables. Give me the opportunity to enjoy the pastime and find those quality caches by good-steward owners. 

 

Whereas some of us enjoy the act of geocaching -- not merely smiley at the, or merely the container at the end -- so if the experience was wonderful, but the container itself wasn't 'nice', that won't ruin the experience. Of course a pristine cache would be more preferable. But is that the be-all and end-all of cache quality?  (Another reason I wish they'd adjust the terminology away from implying it's only about the container 'geocache quality').

 

14 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

If you don't think cache quality is a problem why are you taking a survey to solve that problem?

 

More importantly, it's clear many people do think it's a problem.

 

Yep, people need to remember the answers provided are the results of public feedback. Questions were composed by GS, but the content of the answers was by community.

 

14 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Because if the only responses they get are from people who think most caches are rubbish, they'll probably do things that harm the game in places where caches are few but of mostly good quality.

 

Another reason I'd love to see something like heat map plots of various answers to see how regions small or large across the world vary.  Hopefully this is something HQ considers and doesn't assume a single popular answer applies worldwide universally.

 

2 hours ago, coachstahly said:

I don't think they wanted to address how to improve geocaching but rather, how to address improving individual cache quality.

 

This may be the crux of the matter. Some questions seemed to be about the "quality geocaching experience" where some seemed to be (ymmv) about improving "geocache quality".

 

1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

Even though this survey is probably meant to address the issue you care about most (maintenance), there's still no way to enforce the standard you appear to want.  There's also no way to guarantee the standard you want, despite a CO's best efforts

 

Yep. I think GS knows that there's no way to guarantee individual cache quality. Many of the questions I read I interpreted more towards features and aspects of geocaching that can help to improve the experience - whether that means bubbling up the higher quality geocaches (containers) or giving people a way to avoid the lesser quality, or just giving people a more pleasing general experience - not of those fundamentally "improve geocache quality", but they can (no guarantee) encourage an environment (highly dependent on community and region) that generates a more positive/popular experience (with much less imposition of universal guidelines/expectations that could be ruinous in some communities/regions).

 

I mean if you think about it, the basic expectation for geocaching is extremely loose and flexible. And we know that one person's great experience is another person's boredom/disgust/frustration, so setting rules that enhance one person's experience too specifically can ruin another person's - even though they're both within the bounds of "geocaching".  So I think GS is exploring options that appeal to the majority of the global community to determine where that line could be set.  And yeah, that may mean that if a rule isn't set about some aspect X then some community will be upset; but that would be more of a regional thing, which perhaps the local reviewers could agree upon - but it could't be applied more universally than that.

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4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Whereas some of us enjoy the act of geocaching -- not merely smiley at the, or merely the container at the end -- so if the experience was wonderful, but the container itself wasn't 'nice', that won't ruin the experience. Of course a pristine cache would be more preferable. But is that the be-all and end-all of cache quality?  (Another reason I wish they'd adjust the terminology away from implying it's only about the container 'geocache quality').

 

I agree.

 

For me it's the whole package, not just the container although that weighs in the heaviest for me. Usually if thought was put into the container, including keeping it in good shape, the whole experience tends to be a good one too. 

 

A moldy cache at the end is like a birthday party with a moldy cake at the end and presents that were ruined because they sat in stagnant water for a few months before being given to the recipient. Dissapointing, and it will taint the experience of the party instead of enhancing the memory; but there may be some good memories mixed in, like the ride to the house because my favorite song was on the radio and the sunset looked particularly good that day.

 

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16 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

If you don't think cache quality is a problem why are you taking a survey to solve that problem?

I took the survey because I dreamed there might be questions about whether I think there's a problem and what it is, and I hoped there was a way to answer at least some of the questions in a way that didn't support the notion that there was a problem. Unfortunately, what I found was the worst of both: questions that couldn't be answered without assuming "cache quality" was a problem despite nothing at all trying to work out what problem was being solved.

 

16 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

More importantly, it's clear many people do think it's a problem.

Many people are convinced that "cache quality" is a problem, but when they talk about how to fix it, it's obvious that everone's talking about different problems, and none of them strike me as problems. What's worse, all of the solutions seem intent on depersonalizing geocaching and minimizing the importance of cache owners.

 

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

and minimizing the importance of cache owners.

 

I felt more important as a cache owner before the numbers-culture set in (pre-2010).  Most of the logs we got felt like people actually visited our caches and enjoyed the experience. It felt like there was more of a connection with finders and cache owners via both the physical logs and the online logs. 

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25 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

I felt more important as a cache owner before the numbers culture set in (pre-2010) and most of the logs we got felt like people actually visited our caches and enjoyed the experience. It felt like there was more of a connection with finders and cache owners via both the physical logs and the online logs. 

Do the changes being suggested here make you as a CO feel more important again?

 

Many of the changes being discussion reflect an attitude that COs won't maintain their caches unless they're forced to. Even the suggestions about more Favorite Points just make some loggers think that if they just click the FP check box, they don't need to write anything in the log about it. And the change to making reviewers responsible for identifying bad caches eliminates the cooperation between COs and seekers. Like reviewers, COs now work for GS.

 

I'll argue somewhere else about what's changed since 2010 and why, but my point here is that if you're already feeling marginalized as a CO, I'd think you'd be even more concerned than I am about the industrialization of "cache quality".

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:
19 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

More importantly, it's clear many people do think it's a problem.

Many people are convinced that "cache quality" is a problem, but when they talk about how to fix it, it's obvious that everone's talking about different problems, and none of them strike me as problems.

 

 

Just my opinion,  but the problem with "cache quality" isn't about the container, or how often it's maintained.  It's a growing mentality that quality is not as important as quantity.  When quantity is the primary consideration, cache owners aren't going to invest in a good container, and there is a problem with it, or it goes missing, just archive it and put out more quantity.  Poor cache containers, unmaintained caches, and even choosing a location for the hide are all just symptoms of the "quality is not as important as quantity" mentality. 

 

Sorry, but don't know how to change that mentality (perhaps souvenirs are the answer :ph34r: ).

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1 minute ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Just my opinion,  but the problem with "cache quality" isn't about the container, or how often it's maintained.  It's a growing mentality that quality is not as important as quantity.  When quantity is the primary consideration, cache owners aren't going to invest in a good container, and there is a problem with it, or it goes missing, just archive it and put out more quantity.  Poor cache containers, unmaintained caches, and even choosing a location for the hide are all just symptoms of the "quality is not as important as quantity" mentality. 

 

Thank you NYP. This is summarizes the issue nicely. 

 

 

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The problem I have with this survey and any implementations that may come as a result of it, is that 'quality' is subjective. I enjoy longer walks and not C&Ds or power trails, but that doesn't mean others can't enjoy power trails. I may not like them, but I don't HAVE to do them and so I wouldn't like to see anything changed to stop people going out and finding or hiding large numbers of caches if that's what they want to do, and can maintain them.

I don't think an outright limit on caches placed is helpful at all - some cachers can keep track of 1000 properly, some can't keep track of one properly. Also, if I do by any chance continue caching until I'm in my old age, that's another 60/70 years or so, goodness knows how many I could theoretically have placed by then.

 

I feel it is important not to only focus it on making it simpler or more defined for newbies as to what they should and shouldn't be doing when hiding caches, but to listen to what more experienced cachers like and value about Geocaching too. I noticed that when it asks how many caches you have found, the top bracket is 500+. 

 

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29 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Just my opinion,  but the problem with "cache quality" isn't about the container, or how often it's maintained.  It's a growing mentality that quality is not as important as quantity.  When quantity is the primary consideration, cache owners aren't going to invest in a good container, and there is a problem with it, or it goes missing, just archive it and put out more quantity.  Poor cache containers, unmaintained caches, and even choosing a location for the hide are all just symptoms of the "quality is not as important as quantity" mentality.  

 

I'm not sure if the numbers really support that it's all about the numbers, at least not in my part of the world. In New South Wales (Australia) there are 17281 caches, but only 15% of those are owned by COs with more than 100 hides. So even if all those caches were rubbish, that still leaves the other 85% that weren't hidden by "numbers" hiders. And even if you set the threshold for a "numbers" hider at 50 hides, they would still only account for 37% of the total caches. The median point, if that's the correct statistical term, is 31 hides (i.e. half the caches in the state have COs with 31 or more hides, and the other half have COs with less than that number). Is 31 an excessive number of hides for a CO? Does it make them a "numbers" hider? I have 34 and I don't think I'm a "numbers" hider, so I'd have to say no.

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I've done the survey, and I appreciate the opportunity. One needs to agree on what quality means first, before trying to determine the means of increase it. The survey, as I see it, was trying to do both at the same time, but not doing either justice . I've seen a few posts argue similarly (more eloquently than I) , and others pushing their favourite indicator.

I'd like to see 'quality' broken down into separate factors, such as maintenance, ingenuity, location, challenge, experience, etc.  'Maintenance' indicates if the cache is well maintained - has a dry log, a log not full, a writing implement (if appropriate), etc. 'Inginuity' indicating how well the cache container, hiding methods, camouflage, etc, makes you go "wow". 'Location' indicating that there is a great view, an interesting story, took you where you'd never have gone otherwise, etc. 'Challenge' - how hard you worked to get to GZ (or to work out where GZ actually is). 'Experience' will be most subjective, but when one found the cache, despite it being mouldy, in a boring location, and being a drive-by to boot, was this an experience that I'd rather not have missed out on (I give favourite points to experiences, which are subject to the conditions at the time - meaningful to me, but perhaps not so helpful to others). Ideally the factors would be orthogonal, but challenge and experience crossover a bit and perhaps others could come up with better indicators.

It is apparent that different geocachers will have different weightings placed on the indicators, but having a single indicator of the concept of quality is not solving the problem (consider CHS and Favorites), otherwise we'd not be having surveys and such discussions.

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7 hours ago, dprovan said:

What's worse, all of the solutions seem intent on depersonalizing geocaching and minimizing the importance of cache owners.

 

Why do you think so?

I'd call myself experienced cache owner and I feel the opposite. 

 

Year by year, game & players are more and more driven by quantity. 10-12 years ago I could read pages of stories in my physical logbooks & online. 

Now - kudos to exceptions - I'm happy if I find at least a nickname in the logbook and high % of online logs are just copy-paste summaries of cacher's day, hardly relevant to my cache.

I'm not complaining, I'm not hiding for logs and it does not say much about quality.

Just pointing out - this trend means depersonalized geocaching to me & deteriorating importance of CO.

 

I welcome this broad discussion & survey about quality. Finally!

Finally here's serious talk about caching for adventures, instead of caching for numbers.

 

No, these proposals are not depersonalizing geocaching.

We are talking here mostly about maintenance, because many COs of hundreds of caches are worried that maintenance & ownership expectations are still important for players and HQ. They are feared of restrictive changes, personally I hope changes will be more about new, healthy motivation factors, lesser so about new restrictions.

 

Presented ideas are much broader, targeted to praise responsible owners.

Let me remind us with some of them:

 

Quote

 

  • Provide mentoring to new cache hiders 
  • Host workshops to teach about hiding and finding geocaches 
  • Allow Basic members to give Favorite points 
  • Create a place for cachers to say why they favorited or rated a cache 
  • Add function to search by Favorite point percentage 
  • Give option to hide a unique cache type (like Virtual Rewards) 
  • etc

 

 

For me as a cache owner, these proposals sound rewarding and highlighting my importance.

If implemented properly, they can motivate owners to create maybe lower amount, but better caches, for all of us.

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5 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Just my opinion,  but the problem with "cache quality" isn't about the container, or how often it's maintained. It's a growing mentality that quality is not as important as quantity.

Do any of the survey questions address this quantity-over-quality issue? Of all the things "cache quality" might mean, I think this is the one GS is least likely to consider a problem or try to "solve".

 

I also haven't see this, by the way. Outside power trails, which are intended to favor quantity, I haven't notice any growing mentality that quality isn't important.

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On 12/6/2018 at 5:10 PM, Rikitan said:
On 12/6/2018 at 9:36 AM, dprovan said:

What's worse, all of the solutions seem intent on depersonalizing geocaching and minimizing the importance of cache owners.

Why do you think so?

I'd call myself experienced cache owner and I feel the opposite. 

I'm thinking of the reviewers taking over cache monitoring -- CHS vs. the old NM/NA approach, for example -- which changes geocaching from cooperation among friends -- COs and seekers -- to policing by an impersonal central authority. I'm thinking of NMs and NAs being reduced to check boxes, not logs filed with intent and explanation. I see the general attitude being that "bad caches" are a symptom of irresponsible COs, and the solutions proposed are requiring COs to visit their caches according to some schedule and various prohibitions against hiding caches based on lack of experience or outstanding problems. Stuff like that.

 

On 12/6/2018 at 5:10 PM, Rikitan said:

Year by year, game & players are more and more driven by quantity. 10-12 years ago I could read pages of stories in my physical logbooks & online. 

Now - kudos to exceptions - I'm happy if I find at least a nickname in the logbook and high % of online logs are just copy-paste summaries of cacher's day, hardly relevant to my cache.

I can't say for sure, but from what I've see in my area, those changes were NOT caused by some kind of quanity-over-quality change. Geocaching started as an add on to hiking. In the context of hiking, it made sense to stop and rest while writing in a log, and you could expect the CO to hike into his one cache occasionally to read the logs. But after a while, geocaching became its own sport. That led to many, many more caches, but not because quantity was important, but only because people wanted to do lots more geocaching. Instead of a hike you were going to take for other reasons being enhanced by one geocache, people wanted to go out and find geocaches. Yes, they find lots more caches, but that's because they like to find caches, it's not because they are obsessed with counting their found caches.

 

Many people didn't like that change, but that's just their preference. Some people don't like micros, but that doesn't make micros "low quality".

 

It is true that there's much less interest in logging, and that's unfortunate, but I'm not sure how "improving cache quality", whatever that means, has any bearing on that trend.

Edited by dprovan
change polarity: I meant to say "changes were NOT caused"
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6 hours ago, dprovan said:

Do any of the survey questions address this quantity-over-quality issue?

One of the questions asked whether there should be a limit on how many caches an individual could own.

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I was very interested in the suggestion to

1. PM unlimited favourite points

And

2. Basic members can use favourite points. 

 

I think that allowing Premium Members to have unlimited favourite points kind of removes the whole point of favourite points, as they are meant to be somewhat rare and to be awarded to exceptional caches. Allowing unlimited just throws the whole point out the window as Premium Members would be allowed to give a favourite point to any cache.

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4 hours ago, dprovan said:

I see the general attitude being that "bad caches" are a symptom of irresponsible COs

 

The majority of bad caches are because of the CO because they did one or more of the following:

 

1. Used a poor container. 

 

2. Don't pay attention to the logs thus don't respond to NM, when DNFs start piling up, or problems with the coords.

 

3. Placed the cache for quantity not quality.

 

4. Put little effort in the cache page - description not informative, no Attributes, sloppy coords, inaccurate D/T, doesn't say what the container is on a low difficulty.

 

This is not to say all problems with geocaching are related to COs. Some finders are careless with caches especially about closing them properly, don't put effort into writing logs, and leave throwdown replacements.

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On 12/5/2018 at 4:01 PM, LFC4eva said:

those deemed to be *quality* hiders? 

 

On 12/5/2018 at 4:01 PM, LFC4eva said:

Who is going to judge which hiders deserve recognition?

 

Not "quality" hider... responsible hider, hider that demonstrates good stewardship. Good stewardship is easier to measure and

filter for:

 

Within the last year:

  • logged onto the site within the last 3 months
  • uses OMs appropriately
  • no NAs
  • no Reviewer archives
  • responds to NMs within 4 weeks
Edited by L0ne.R
grammar
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17 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

I felt more important as a cache owner before the numbers-culture set in (pre-2010).  Most of the logs we got felt like people actually visited our caches and enjoyed the experience. It felt like there was more of a connection with finders and cache owners via both the physical logs and the online logs. 

 

Having started in 2010, I have no idea what is was like as a CO but I really don't believe it has anything to do with the connection between the CO and the finder.  I believe it all centers around the type of log that is posted.  Numbers cachers (those more interested in the +1) still enjoy the experience of finding a cache (else why are they finding still) but their logs reflect that the smiley is more relevant to their enjoyment (that's not always true by the way).   I'm fine with that.  Their enjoyment of caching is related to their finds.  However, for those looking for a different type of experience, COs are more likely to get a log more likely to elicit the feelings you describe above.  I honestly don't care what type of log I get but I certainly do appreciate the loggers who take the time to write a nice log.  I don't get disappointed when I get the TFTC, on a numbers run type of log.  That's how they choose to play so who am I to feel that I've been slighted because that's what was in their log.

 

17 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

It's a growing mentality that quality is not as important as quantity.

 

Like others, I tend to disagree with this sentiment based on what I'm seeing published in my area.  There have always been lots of 1.5/1.5 caches in my area, but those haven't been hidden to increase the number of caches or number of finds.  They've been hidden because that's what many cachers tend to go after.  "Free" time is limited in many cases and if all a cacher has time for is a quick P&G, then that's what they'll find.  They won't go out to the local city park, take a hike/walk and find a 2/2 because they don't have the time available.  If it were truly about the numbers, you'd have a higher turnover rate on caches as COs would archive them as soon as a problem develops and then publish a new one in the same spot or moved a few feet.  Saturation is certainly an issue as well and it limits the options for COs to place caches in locations of a more "traditional" type (park, green space) so all that's left are the P&G locations that tend to be associated with a numbers style of hide.  They do it because that's the only place left to hide one.

 

12 hours ago, Rikitan said:

Year by year, game & players are more and more driven by quantity.

 

See above.  I don't totally discount the concept but if that were truly the case, there would be so many more COs with so many more hides to feed that mentality. I think it's important to note a subtle difference when discussing quantity over quality - finders vs. hiders.  With the exception of power trails and geo-art, most hiders don't truly hide for quantity.  If they did, EVERY corner and every LPC .10 miles apart would have a cache.  Some finders most certainly have a quantity over quality mentality, but that's what they enjoy about caching.  Why should those of us who don't cache for our enjoyment in that manner look at their style of caching and assume it's problematic?  Do they look at us and say that the way we cache is a problem?  I also note that there are inherent problems in a numbers oriented method of hiding and finding, mostly centered around maintenance.  That does not mean that all hiders and finders that play in this manner are guilty of non-maintenance of the caches.  It just means that maintenance in these types of hides tends to be infrequent or reliant upon the finders to provide it.

 

12 hours ago, Rikitan said:

Just pointing out - this trend means depersonalized geocaching to me & deteriorating importance of CO.

 

I don't think it's depersonalized but it's more about the motivation about the reason for finding a cache.  Any way you look at it, those that cache for numbers absolutely NEED COs so I fail to see how it reduces the importance of the COs.  Due to the numbers logs, it certainly feels like they don't have any gratitude toward the COs of the caches they do find but I bet if you asked them personally, face to face, they'd tell you they appreciate COs for placing caches for them to find.  They just don't do a good job expressing that in their logs.

 

12 hours ago, Rikitan said:

Presented ideas are much broader, targeted to praise responsible owners.

Let me remind us with some of them:

 

Quote

 

  • Provide mentoring to new cache hiders 
  • Host workshops to teach about hiding and finding geocaches 
  • Allow Basic members to give Favorite points 
  • Create a place for cachers to say why they favorited or rated a cache 
  • Add function to search by Favorite point percentage 
  • Give option to hide a unique cache type (like Virtual Rewards) 
  • etc

 

I really don't see how any of these things actually praise responsible owners.  Mentoring is a job, not a method of praise.  Hosting workshops is a job, not praise.  Awarding the option to provide FPs to basic members isn't praising COs.  It's giving basic members the chance to award FPs to caches they enjoy, indirectly letting THEM be the ones to praise the CO for their cache.  Offering a place for cachers to offer feedback on caches?  We already have that.  It's called a "Found it" log.  Searching by FP % isn't praising COs.  It''s a tool for individual cachers to use (and one that I would love to see implemented).  Did you see the mess that virtual rewards created amongst the community?  There was as much vitriol as there was applause for what they did.  However, on your list it truly is the only thing that rewarded what GS believed to be responsible COs.

 

5 hours ago, MartyBartfast said:

One of the questions asked whether there should be a limit on how many caches an individual could own.

 

While it certainly addresses quantity, how does this address quality? The implication is that someone with so many hides can't possibly maintain their hides well enough to provide a quality experience for every one of their caches. I would say that would depend on the CO.  Does that mean those with over 100 caches can't place and maintain quality caches?  200? 500?  What's the limit?  

 

1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

3. Placed the cache for quantity not quality.

 

Your first two points are certainly ones I agree with but I completely disagree with this point.  You're saying, in essence, that a cache placed for quantity (power trail/geoart) is automatically a bad cache.  I've done a few geoarts and there were some that could have used some TLC, there were even a few in each of the arts that could have used a new container, but by and large, they were mostly caches in good shape.  I most likely wouldn't have done them individually on their own merit, but there was nothing inherently bad about them.

 

1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

4. Put little effort in the cache page - description not informative, no Attributes, sloppy coords, inaccurate D/T, doesn't say what the container is on a low difficulty.

 

While it certainly doesn't help things, this also doesn't' mean it is automatically a bad cache.  There's a puzzle that not many people have solved that has a high FP%.  It's a blank screen where the description should be.  There are very few attributes selected and no clue.  Is that a bad cache?  Perhaps the CO is being vague on purpose when they provide their description.  Does that automatically mean it's a bad cache?

 

So much of this post revolves around the subjectivity of what quality is when it comes to geocaching.  Even this survey seems to jump around as it pertains to improving the physical geocache or improving the experience of the individual geocacher.  I don't think that's a bad thing but it certainly will give them a huge range of answers rather than a specific set of target answers to a more focused main point.

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:
  • logged onto the site within the last 3 months
  • uses OMs appropriately
  • no NAs
  • no Reviewer archives
  • responds to NMs within 4 weeks

 

And if they only use the app, which as I understand, doesn't register the visit, but they do all the other things on your list?  Does that disqualify them from being good stewards?

 

Who determines the appropriateness of an OM?  If you want GS to do that, they won't be able to determine appropriateness, only that an OM was logged.

 

And what about those inadvertent or incorrect NA logs from new cachers?  Keystone has even said on another thread that there are NA and NM logs that frequently come through that should be DNFs. I know exactly what he's talking about as well, having seen some myself.  Again, GS won't be able to tell that it's an accidental or incorrect use of the log; only that it was filed.

 

Why 4 weeks?  Why not 2 weeks?  Why not 6 weeks?  What about those OM logs that are posted to clear the NM log, even though nothing was done?  Is a note enough to satisfy that requirement?  In many cases for the reviewer, it's enough to prevent a disabling of the cache because the CO has responded with a note stating something that lets the reviewer know they've noticed the NM log and have a plan. 

 

I understand what you're trying to do but there are just so many things that won't work the way you desire if you want GS to "automate" good stewardship and post it somewhere where other cachers can see it.  That being said, I'm pretty sure it's not something GS is looking to implement as it wasn't in the survey as an option to answer.

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5 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

Who determines the appropriateness of an OM?

 

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=38&pgid=57

7.4. Maintenance expectations

To make sure your geocache is in good health, monitor the logs and visit the cache site periodically. Unmaintained caches may be archived.

Here is a list of your responsibilities as a cache owner:

  • Choose an appropriate container that is watertight.
  • Replace broken or missing containers.
  • Clean out your cache if contents become wet.
  • Replace full or wet logbooks.
  • Temporarily disable your cache if it’s not accessible due to weather or seasonal changes.
  • Mark trackables as missing if they are listed in the inventory but no longer are in the cache.
  • Delete inappropriate logs.
  • Update coordinates if cache location has changed.

After you maintain your cache, make sure to remove the "Needs Maintenance" icon.

If you no longer want to maintain your cache, retrieve the container and archive your cache page.

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12 hours ago, Flynn230103 said:

I was very interested in the suggestion to

1. PM unlimited favourite points

And

2. Basic members can use favourite points. 

 

I think that allowing Premium Members to have unlimited favourite points kind of removes the whole point of favourite points, as they are meant to be somewhat rare and to be awarded to exceptional caches. Allowing unlimited just throws the whole point out the window as Premium Members would be allowed to give a favourite point to any cache.

 

I agree. With an unlimited supply, there would be favorite points posted to a lot more caches that were just ok. As it is now, earning a fav point for every 10 caches found is a bit much. There are exceptions of course but really, coming across a single FP worthy cache out of ten is a rare occurrence these days.

Edited by Mudfrog
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1 minute ago, L0ne.R said:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=38&pgid=57

7.4. Maintenance expectations

To make sure your geocache is in good health, monitor the logs and visit the cache site periodically. Unmaintained caches may be archived.

Here is a list of your responsibilities as a cache owner:

  • Choose an appropriate container that is watertight.
  • Replace broken or missing containers.
  • Clean out your cache if contents become wet.
  • Replace full or wet logbooks.
  • Temporarily disable your cache if it’s not accessible due to weather or seasonal changes.
  • Mark trackables as missing if they are listed in the inventory but no longer are in the cache.
  • Delete inappropriate logs.
  • Update coordinates if cache location has changed.

After you maintain your cache, make sure to remove the "Needs Maintenance" icon.

If you no longer want to maintain your cache, retrieve the container and archive your cache page.

 

This provide absolutely no information on whether or not it's a legitimate OM log or an armchair OM log.  As a matter of fact, the OM log isn't even listed above.  You need to click on the link provided in the sentence in red to see what an OM log will do, much less how to use it.  What about excessive OM logs?  One would assume that you see a bunch of OM logs that the CO is a responsible owner but if they're posting an OM after every log from someone else, does that mean they're truly a good CO?  

 

Case in point.  I filed a NM on a cache.  The CO posted an OM log, stating that they had plans to go out and check on the cache, without actually going out and checking on the cache.  How is that an appropriate use of the OM log?  In an automated program, it counts.  For the rest of us, it's obvious that it was used incorrectly.

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 Agreeing with coachstahly's points  about 

 

  • log on date has little meaning -  a person can monitor their owned caches from the email, and log to them from an app 
  • the only way to know if OM is used appropriately is for a human to read it, and even then, where is that defined?  yes, agree the intention to do maintenance is a Write Note ;-)...
  • no NAs! there have been 2 on caches I own. One was a DNF on D 1.5, and cache was present, the other from someone who  objected to the No Trespassing signs on the private property they tried to use to short cut the hike (cache description,  "hike of about a mile" T rating for hike in).  The "just wrong" NA log rate is higher now than it's ever been (my other account is a reviewer account, I see them all for my state. One right now, a zero finds user thinks a cache they didn't find Needs Archived
  • No reviewer archives - maybe, but even there, my admin account archived a cache group in the Florida Keys, per land manager request after hurricane Irma last year. No owner error there, just doing quickly what the land manager wanted done
  • respond to NMs at some point - some places get covered in snow, some in water, some NMs are silly.  I have NM on a burnt ammo can right now, it's been there since  last summer. I'm not going out in the heat of summer to do something about a burnt ammo can that no one will hunt until it cools down, and that they'll know they found even if they do.  NOW it's near the top of the "to do" list.  Possibly even today, though I have a paddle cache that's probably actually missing, and it takes priority.
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48 minutes ago, coachstahly said:
7 hours ago, MartyBartfast said:

One of the questions asked whether there should be a limit on how many caches an individual could own.

 

While it certainly addresses quantity, how does this address quality?

It doesn't, but many of the other questions were addressing quality.

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18 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm not sure if the numbers really support that it's all about the numbers, at least not in my part of the world.

 

A few years ago there wasn't much of a numbers mentality in my area either.   The focus on quantity over quality certainly varies a lot, depending on what part of the world one lives in.  There are certainly many places in the world where there isn't a numbers mentality (it's kinda hard to develop one  in a very cache sparse area).   However, I wrote that it's a *growing* mentality.  There certainly are areas in parts of the world where "quality" isn't much of an issue, but I would hope that those that have the luxury of living in places like that (e.g. the Amador valley in California) don't adopt a "it's not a problem for me, therefore it's not a problem worth worrying about".  

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2 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

The majority of bad caches are because of the CO because they did one or more of the following:

 

1. Used a poor container. 

 

2. Don't pay attention to the logs thus don't respond to NM, when DNFs start piling up, or problems with the coords.

 

3. Placed the cache for quantity not quality.

 

4. Put little effort in the cache page - description not informative, no Attributes, sloppy coords, inaccurate D/T, doesn't say what the container is on a low difficulty.

 

This is not to say all problems with geocaching are related to COs. Some finders are careless with caches especially about closing them properly, don't put effort into writing logs, and leave throwdown replacements.

 

Seems to me that numbers 1, 2, and 4 are often (but not necessarily) a result of number 3.  

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46 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

This provide absolutely no information on whether or not it's a legitimate OM log

 

Well then, there is absolutely nothing I (or GCHQ) can say that will change your mind with regard to what legitimate owner maintenance is, as spelled out by the geocaching site. 

 

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1 hour ago, Mudfrog said:

 

I agree. With an unlimited supply, there would be favorite points posted to a lot more caches that were just ok. As it is now, earning a fav point for every 10 caches found is a bit much. There are exceptions of course but really, coming across cache a single FP worthy cache out of ten is a rare occurrence these days.

 

If you have difficulty to give FP the quality of cache in your area must be pretty low.

 

Instead of unlimited FP I would increase to 1 for 5 so more good cache would be given FP.

 

For the idea of limiting the number of hide per account that would change nothing because in my area people use puppets account already so they would just have more.

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1 hour ago, Mudfrog said:

With an unlimited supply, there would be favorite points posted to a lot more caches that were just ok. As it is now, earning a fav point for every 10 caches found is a bit much. There are exceptions of course but really, coming across cache a single FP worthy cache out of ten is a rare occurrence these days.

 

Agree.   With so much simple 1.5 stuff saturating an area, which one outta the norm would be picked ?

We're driving further to find caches with a walk in the woods,  and passing all those nondescript hides by, so FPs could now be more like 1 in 200.   :)

 

To be fair, I do understand some like caches placed every 600' just because they can, but I'd think it odd more than one-in-ten could be considered a "favorite"...

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17 minutes ago, Lynx Humble said:

in my area people use puppets account already so they would just have more.

 

I've been noticing that in my area too. 

That's why we need a Cache Owner Score because not matter how many puppet accounts the irresponsible owner creates they will all lack maintenance. Finders can filter them out for low Owner Score - the primary account and their sock puppet accounts.

A problem may occur when the addicted low score owner(s) own almost all the caches in a town or city and no one else can hide on the trails and parks. But when planning a geocaching trip I could skip that town/city and go to one with better cache owners. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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2 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Well then, there is absolutely nothing I (or GCHQ) can say that will change your mind with regard to what legitimate owner maintenance is, as spelled out by the geocaching site. 

 

 

You DO realize that I'm talking about the OM logs that aren't really OM logs, like the one I provided as an example?  No maintenance was done but they cleared the NM log with the OM log, saying they would go check on the cache later.  According to the site, that's a legitimate OM log because it cleared the NM log.  Is that what you're saying?  This is a legitimate use of the OM log?  Just because someone uses the OM log doesn't mean they used it correctly.  I'm sure the large majority of the cachers do so correctly but there are certainly some that don't.

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2 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

 Agreeing with coachstahly's points  about 

  • log on date has little meaning -  a person can monitor their owned caches from the email, and log to them from an app 
  • the only way to know if OM is used appropriately is for a human to read it, and even then, where is that defined?  yes, agree the intention to do maintenance is a Write Note ;-)...
  • no NAs! there have been 2 on caches I own. One was a DNF on D 1.5, and cache was present, the other from someone who  objected to the No Trespassing signs on the private property they tried to use to short cut the hike (cache description,  "hike of about a mile" T rating for hike in).  The "just wrong" NA log rate is higher now than it's ever been (my other account is a reviewer account, I see them all for my state. One right now, a zero finds user thinks a cache they didn't find Needs Archived
  • No reviewer archives - maybe, but even there, my admin account archived a cache group in the Florida Keys, per land manager request after hurricane Irma last year. No owner error there, just doing quickly what the land manager wanted done
  • respond to NMs at some point - some places get covered in snow, some in water, some NMs are silly.  I have NM on a burnt ammo can right now, it's been there since  last
  • summer. I'm not going out in the heat of summer to do something about a burnt ammo can that no one will hunt until it cools down, and that they'll know they found even if they do.  NOW it's near the top of the "to do" list.  Possibly even today, though I have a paddle cache that's probably actually missing, and it takes priority.

 

Isonzo Karst's reply points out a couple of issues with Coachstahly's initial criteria for a 'good' hider. Following up on that, here are some ideas of how those concerns could be addressed:

 

Logon date has little meaning - If this becomes part of the criteria, GS needs to address this. IMO, they should address this regardless of whether they implement some kind of 'good hiders' system. I could see a set of dates (the majority of them would be internal) such as last Find/DNF/Attended date, last hide date, last owner activity (OM, WN, Disabled Cache, Archived Cache), etc. We may want to add verified e-mail address to the criteria for a good hider. They should also allow for some kind of behind the scenes account aggregation, something that would allow GS (but not the general membership) to know about related accounts. Then, a person could have a separate account for their hides, and GS would be able to put together a more complete picture of the cacher.

 

There is no way to know if a OM is valid - I don't have a good suggestion of how to remedy this problem.

 

No NA's - I would suggest a limited number of outstanding NA's. And, some way to cancel the NA. More on this in the next section.

 

No reviewer archives - What if the criteria was changed to no reviewer archive for non-response? This could be implemented by giving a reviewer a number of new archiving log types. Archived because of land manager request. Archived because of non-response, Archived because cache does not meet guidelines, etc. Some of these would count against the hider's score, and some would not. Also, add another log type for NA Is Not Appropriate. This would be the similar to an OM cancelling a NM. As the reviewers are a small, well managed, and motivated group of people (including the dogs :P), I believe that these new log types would be used consistently. 

 

[On a tangent to the above thought, GS may find it useful to be able to look at the number of caches archived in a region because of a land manager request.]

 

Respond to NM's - We need a response, any response, from the CO. An OM, WN or Temp Disabled from the CO would all work. Maybe we could add an Acknowledged log type, although this does not prevent abuse of the OM. (I'm ambivalent about an Acknowledged log, I think it may add to the confusion, and be applied inconsistently, but I throw it out as an example of how we might be able to address this issue.)

 

Just my 2 cents worth, and I probably owe you change back on that.

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1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Agree.   With so much simple 1.5 stuff saturating an area, which one outta the norm would be picked ?

We're driving further to find caches with a walk in the woods,  and passing all those nondescript hides by, so FPs could now be more like 1 in 200.   :)

 

To be fair, I do understand some like caches placed every 600' just because they can, but I'd think it odd more than one-in-ten could be considered a "favorite"...

 

The way I see it,   different geocachers will have different criteria for awarding a FP,   that doesn't really matter (even if PMs were given more FPs to award).  Even if PMs had an unlimited number of FPs to award,   most will still only award a favorite to what they deem to be, well, a favorite find.   

 

The FP system still "works" even though finders may have different criteria for what they deem to be a favorite.  It doesn't really matter what each finder does,  because and FP "score" is an aggregated of what all finders do, and when someone is looking in an area for the more favored caches, the relative FP score on an specific cache can be compared to the average score of other caches in the area.  

 

If GS *does* increase the number of FPs available to award, then the total FP count for a individual cache will become even more useless as some caches in an area would have a number of favorite points based on the existing 1 FP available for every 10 finds, while newer caches will get more FPs (in general) because more FPs are available.  If FP percentage is used then changing the number of FPs a PM available won't really matter.

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3 hours ago, MartyBartfast said:

It doesn't, but many of the other questions were addressing quality.

 

dprovan's point was quantity over quality as a joint issue, not separate issues.  The questions focused on one or the other, separate and apart, while many on here have linked the two together.  Here's an example of what I believe dprovan was attempting to make.

 

"Limiting the number of caches a CO can own would improve the overall quality of geocaches."

 

The implication is that the more caches a CO owns, the lesser the quality of those caches and the less caches a CO owns, the better the quality of those caches.  There's a correlation between how many caches a CO owns and the supposed quality of those caches.

 

I would agree there's a limit of what a CO can actually maintain, but it varies by CO, so establishing a hard count seems to me to be restrictive and no guarantee of improving the quality of individual caches.  I'm not at my limit but I know I'm getting close to what my limit is as it pertains to a timely response to maintenance.

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13 minutes ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

Isonzo Karst's reply points out a couple of issues with Coachstahly's initial criteria for a 'good' hider. Following up on that, here are some ideas of how those concerns could be addressed:

 

It's actually LOne.R's idea, not mine. I'm totally against this because of the issues Isonzo Karst expanded upon as well as mine.  LOne.R is advancing the idea of an automated Cache Owner Score, which was never introduced in this survey, to help filter out quality caches.  They were saying that these things were easy to determine and factor in while the two of us provided examples of why this wasn't particularly feasible.  

 

An automated program can't read intent; it can only determine the rudimentary basics - whether or not a NA log has been filed, whether or not an OM log has been filed, and whether or not a note has been filed in response to the NM log.  The program wouldn't be able to take into account the accidental or new cacher purposeful NA log (instead of a DNF) filed on a cache.  It wouldn't be able to determine if it's an honest OM log filed by a CO who actually went to the cache to fix it or if it's someone who filed it just to clear it (exactly like my example I provided).  It wouldn't be able to determine anything about the WN log, other than a WN log was filed.  

 

While a few of your suggestions might be able to mitigate a few of the issues, it's not going to be able to mitigate all of them, which leaves the idea of a program like this unrealistic. The ONLY way this could work was if there was a human person/group of human people, that could read into intent and determine the validity of the log type.  NO WAY that is going to happen.  Can you imagine the time suck that would be?  Not only would you have to sort through ALL the caches of every owner, you'd also have to update all the caches and their COs based on every log that comes through so that it something comes through, it can be verified that it's legitimate rather than accidental or improper.

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