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L0ne.R

An old academic GC article that amused me

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O'Hara, K. (2008, April). Understanding geocaching practices and motivations. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 1177-1186). ACM.

 

In the above article, I read this bit concerning cache placement and found it amusing. I don't think that it applies in 2019. I wonder how it would be written today...

 

This social context within which these caches were put also
led to another important consideration for cache creators,
namely that of reputation. Several participants spoke of the
importance of reputation and how you get known for the
style and quality of the caches you create. Participation
through the creation of caches, (as in consuming the treasure
hunts themselves), is an ongoing thing. The rewards and
motivations are shaped through this social participation over
time and is a concern that influenced the efforts people
continued to put into creation (and ongoing maintenance) of
their caches. There was always social accountability
associated with creating and publishing these things.
As well as the motivators which drive creation behaviour
there were also factors (over and above the creation effort)
that limited it such that the number of caches created was
typically orders of magnitude less than the number caches
consumed by an individual. One such factor was the concern
for ongoing maintenance of the cache. The practicalities of
maintenance of different caches effectively created an upper
limit on how many caches a person is prepared to create.
But it also impacted on the positions where people put them.
There was a need for relative convenience to ensure ongoing
maintenance was practical. People tended to publish caches
in places local to them for this reason or at least in places
where they visited on a frequent and regular basis. As cache
owners they do not want to be responsible for other’s
frustrations of travelling to a location only to find the cache
no longer exists or some elements not working effectively.

 

 

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I love history. How much of those sentiments are still in the forefront today?

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I think this is a pretty good description of a certain type of old school cacher concerned with both the quality and maintenance of their caches and still applicable today, though "do the opposite" is fairly common today.  There are many cachers in my local area that I "know by reputation" for the quality, quantity and maintenance charteristics of their caches.  It's one of the "screens" I use:  When a new cache is published some go on my "To Do" list automatically and others I just skip over based solely on who placed it.  The cacher with over 600 placements who does no maintenance for instance.  More recently, the folks who once placed and maintained their caches who have left the game siliently and who either ignore or get upset at NM logs rather than archive or adopt out their placements.  The guard rail and LPC enthusiast.  

ACM continues to study geocaching but the more recent articles are, as they say, "behind a pay wall"...

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40 minutes ago, edexter said:

 

ACM continues to study geocaching but the more recent articles are, as they say, "behind a pay wall"...

 

In which conferences?   I'm an academic, so I have access behind a number of those pay walls ...

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7 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

As well as the motivators which drive creation behaviour
there were also factors (over and above the creation effort)
that limited it such that the number of caches created was
typically orders of magnitude less than the number caches
consumed by an individual. One such factor was the concern
for ongoing maintenance of the cache.

 

In the pre-powertrail world when this paper was written, this was probably correct and applied to most cachers. However, once it was determined that powertrails could be a thing, the above kind of went out the window for some people, and 'quantity over maintainability' became a thing.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, edexter said:

type of old school cacher concerned with both the quality and maintenance of their caches

 

I would like some way to search for those cache hiders. Maybe a checkbox on the profile that would then be a searchable feature.

 

bb.png.1e87283198571ebb1e68cc1fc4214b71.png

(please excuse the quick and faulty photoshop attempt)

 

But I wonder if this tool will also end up abused and not useful. Although, I can't see most owners who hide for numbers and don't maintain, choosing to overtly deceive people. I would think they'd get some angry feedback. 

Edited by L0ne.R
redundant word

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Posted (edited)

Those sentiments pretty much resonate with me, except perhaps for the bit that says, "There was a need for relative convenience to ensure ongoing maintenance was practical. People tended to publish caches in places local to them for this reason or at least in places where they visited on a frequent and regular basis." For the most part, and particularly for those caches that aren't in places I frequently visit, I use a rugged container, thick logbook and a hiding place protected from the weather and the likelihood of muggling so they don't require frequent and regular maintenance. For the most part that's worked: my oldest active hide (GC4X42A) is still the original container (a 380ml Sistema) with it's original logbook (a bit over half full after 5 years), even its original pencil and the only maintenance it's had was to move it back into position a couple of times when it had drifted slightly. That was something I guess I learnt early in my career as an engineer - if it can't break, it won't need fixing.

 

Another adage that springs to mind here is that, by your hides shall ye be judged. That's pretty much true - when I run through the names of the higher profile cachers past and present in my area, it's mostly their hides I recall, and they're generally pleasant memories. So I offer this thought...

 

image.png.4df4b265d3db9d9d076f9dfd0ac57e98.png 

Edited by barefootjeff
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Those sentiments pretty much resonate with me, except perhaps for the bit that says, "There was a need for relative convenience to ensure ongoing maintenance was practical. People tended to publish caches in places local to them for this reason or at least in places where they visited on a frequent and regular basis."

 

Well, the date it was written was '08,  and I feel that might be a bit generous then too.   :)

 - No comment on the start of "yet-another" cache maintenance (or lack of)  thread, but something we noticed...

 

When we started, there were so few caches and cachers  that people tended to place caches local to them just because there weren't any.  

We were going to another state to find caches when the other 2/3rds found all here locally (a big difference than today).  

This is when many small local parks became saturated with hides.  What some complain of ("there's no roooomm around here...") today.

It had little to do with "maintenance",  maybe years later, but possibly the author thought it sounded good at the time ...

 

 

Edited by cerberus1
wordswitch

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I think it still applies.    I see most cache owners wanting to have a good reputation, and that in part drives them to set quality caches.    I also see most of them limiting the number of caches they set to what they can maintain.

 

Of course; some drop out of the game; or things happen where they give it less focus over time.     Some jump in and hide many before they understand the maintenance which will be involved.

 

But I think the general statements there ring true for most cache owners today.   At least near me.  

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L0ne. R wrote:  "I would like some way to search for those cache hiders"

 

I agree that would be most helpful.  It's like searching for a new author to read.  So many books, so little time.  I think it would be helpful if one could get access to other cachers' favorites lists on the assumption that if you found a CO who puts out the kind of caches you like to hunt for, they may have similar tastes.  

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, edexter said:

I think it would be helpful if one could get access to other cachers' favorites lists on the assumption that if you found a CO who puts out the kind of caches you like to hunt for, they may have similar tastes.  

 

Thank goodness that functionality has been in place for years.  Go to that CO's profile and click on the "Lists" tab to see all the caches they've given favorite points to, followed by a list of their public bookmark lists.  (I wish the bookmark lists appeared first, to reduce scrolling.)  Look for a public bookmark list with a name like "My All-Time Top Cache Finds."

Edited by Keystone
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Thanks Keystone, I will check it out.

edexter

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