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BraillerCD

Does the Mystery at the Museum "Penalize" Geocachers?

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On 7/18/2019 at 10:38 PM, BraillerCD said:

This may be sour grapes, but because I’ve cached for 9 years I have few caches I haven’t found near me. So I have to travel a far greater distance just to grab these caches. Geocaching has created a  souvenir series that  penalizes those of us who have caches a while. 

I'm not sure I would call it a penalty, but it is set up so that avid cachers are at a disadvantage because many who have found most of the caches near their home location do have to go a long way to get the clues/jewels.   In my opinion, they should assign clues/jewels to new caches, so those who are in this situation have a shot at getting different clues close to home.  Assigning all the new caches as detectives (which are no longer useful after you find one of them) makes it much more difficult.

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1 hour ago, tomturtle said:

I'm not sure I would call it a penalty, but it is set up so that avid cachers are at a disadvantage because many who have found most of the caches near their home location do have to go a long way to get the clues/jewels. 

In my opinion, they should assign clues/jewels to new caches, so those who are in this situation have a shot at getting different clues close to home.  Assigning all the new caches as detectives (which are no longer useful after you find one of them) makes it much more difficult.

 

You have one heck-of-a-lotta cache finds.     Don't you already have to travel further ?   

Curious, when you've covered an entire area, what makes a promotion any different than any other caching day ?   Thanks.

IIRC, some promotions may seem a bit of a hassle, but most we know with a lot of numbers breeze-by challenge caches.

 - Doesn't that sort of balance it all out ?    :)

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2 hours ago, tomturtle said:

In my opinion, they should assign clues/jewels to new caches, so those who are in this situation have a shot at getting different clues close to home.

 

Now that would be an interesting twist. How to make a promo even for everyone (generally speaking) -- only NEW caches qualify for the promo.  The only disadvantaged would be people living in an area with no one who likes to place caches, and wouldn't be compelled to place new caches jsut for a promo.

But then, they'd be encouraging people to place caches just for the promo, which is just asking for quality problems.

Ya never mind :laughing:

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If only GS could personally examine each individual cacher and set different requirements for everyone. That way nobody could worry over the loss of a small virtual square on their online page. Of course, then those who were expected to find more caches would be the "penalized" ones. If only GS would stop doing fun promotions to avoid hurting the feelings of those who can't complete 100% of every given challenge. 

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Is anyone else seeing the contradiction here? On the one hand, people are saying don't cache out your local area, leave some in reserve for promotions, yet all of the recent promotions have required finding lots of caches, certainly in my case a lot more than I would have otherwise found in that time. In six and a bit years of caching I've found just over 1000 caches, giving me a monthly average of about 13 finds, so all these numbers-chase promotions are urging me to clear the board much faster than I would have otherwise done.

 

When I first started caching, there were a similar number of new caches in my region to the ones I was finding, so there seemed a good chance that this would be a good long-term passtime to fill my retirement years, but now the new caches have all but dried up (just 10 this year not counting my own) so I have to do more trips away, planning some nice day trips where there are some caches of interest. My increasing hide count (now 37 active caches) also means I'm spending a greater proportion of my caching time doing routine visits to those hides, so that also helps balance out the decline in available finds. That's fine, I'm happy with that, except none of the recent promotions fit at all well with that model. I scraped through Planetary Pursuit thanks largely to a nearby mega, got enough of the lacklustre high-FP count caches around Sydney harbour topped up with some good hiking caches further afield that had enough FPs to boost my score enough for Cache Carnival, but bombed out badly in Hidden Creatures (just 11 finds) and now in this one. So yeah, I guess my style of caching and the region where I find myself are just a very poor match for HQ's vision of what caching should be about these days.

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2 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

You have one heck-of-a-lotta cache finds.     Don't you already have to travel further ?   

Curious, when you've covered an entire area, what makes a promotion any different than any other caching day ?   Thanks.

 

I haven't found as many as quite a few others, but I guess what seems like alot will vary from person to person.  As long as new caches come out, I don't have to travel so far.  Putting only detectives (that don't help with the promotion after you have already found one) on new caches is the disadvantage.  I am curious as to why the powers that be decided to set it up that way.  Quite honestly, I am more interested in challenge caches than these promotions, but since some challenge caches require a certain number of souvenirs, I try to do them when they are available.  

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I love that all new caches only got the Detective. My friends won't be disappointed that I didn't place a cache just to help them get the souvenir.

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This comment pops up every once in awhile (it did the previous "promotion"). There's a great way to avoid the frustration, just ignore the promotions and go after caches you want to do no matter if anything is "won" or "gained". We don't filter for or go after whatever is needed for a promotion but always have a selection of caches we want to in our GSAK database. As I don't get GC mails or read the blog I didn't know about the promotion (I saw treads on the forum but didn't read them as I had no idea what the museum hype was about) and yet, after finding out there was a promotion it seemed we had found all types already, no effort needed.

Now it seems we need 35 finds for a vault which again is nothing special, we could have gotten that and more yesterday but preferred to drive almost 1.5 hours for a 50km bike ride multi with a few extra's along the way (we DNF'd it) .

With 100's of caches nearby (within 10Km from home)any promotion would be easy but we will never change our caching habits to "win" some image on our statistics page. You don't have to "get 'm all".

 

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16 hours ago, HHL said:

So did I. Additionally I marked the caches that hold Gems with an attribute poi for an easy identification on the Garmin's map.

I printed out the cache list and colour coded.

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On 7/19/2019 at 4:38 AM, BraillerCD said:

This may be sour grapes, but because I’ve cached for 9 years I have few caches I haven’t found near me. So I have to travel a far greater distance just to grab these caches. Geocaching has created a  souvenir series that  penalizes those of us who have caches a while. 

 

This tends to come up whenever there is a new souvenir promotion.

 

Groundspeak has no control over how many unfound caches may be near a given geocacher.  Groundspeak has souvenir promotions from time to time to get people finding caches.  That's it.  

 

If you find that your fellow geocachers aren't hiding enough geocaches around your area, that's a local issue that demands a local solution.  Consider posting to your local facebook group or holding an event and bringing it up.  Some folks may be putting off hiding caches and could use the encouragement.  Cachers who haven't hidden any caches may not realize that they're not really giving back to the local community if all they're doing is finding caches and not hiding any of their own. 

 

Often finds on local caches may slow down significantly after a year or two once the local regulars have found them all.  Folks who own caches like this may consider archiving it and coming up with something new, or just archiving it and freeing up the space in case someone else has a fresh idea.  Another potential topic of discussion for the facebook group or event.

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27 minutes ago, hzoi said:

If you find that your fellow geocachers aren't hiding enough geocaches around your area, that's a local issue that demands a local solution.  Consider posting to your local facebook group or holding an event and bringing it up.  Some folks may be putting off hiding caches and could use the encouragement.  Cachers who haven't hidden any caches may not realize that they're not really giving back to the local community if all they're doing is finding caches and not hiding any of their own.

 

Coercing the local community to hide a few more caches isn't going to make much of a dent when we now have quarterly promotions that are essentially numbers chases each requiring 30, 50, 100 or more finds. About the only way this solution would work in the smaller caching communities would be to get the local cachers to start creating long power trails, maybe by doing a bulk order of film canisters, preforms and mint tins. Is that really the direction we want caching to be going in?

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3 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 Is that really the direction we want caching to be going in?

 

Looks like GS wants this. Remember when GS didn't want challenge caches to "change the way people cache"? Just about all that happens now is numbers, numbers, numbers....

 

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31 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Looks like GS wants this. Remember when GS didn't want challenge caches to "change the way people cache"?

Yep.

This is my biggest issue with promotions.  I cache the way I do to relax.  

I have enough going on that the rare time I'm free to play, I'd like to be left alone, thanks. :)

Fortunately,  so far this time I'm not reminded with too many notices and souvenirs.  

Still waiting for that opt-out button in account settings though...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:
1 hour ago, hzoi said:

If you find that your fellow geocachers aren't hiding enough geocaches around your area, that's a local issue that demands a local solution.  Consider posting to your local facebook group or holding an event and bringing it up.  Some folks may be putting off hiding caches and could use the encouragement.  Cachers who haven't hidden any caches may not realize that they're not really giving back to the local community if all they're doing is finding caches and not hiding any of their own.

 

Coercing the local community to hide a few more caches isn't going to make much of a dent when we now have quarterly promotions that are essentially numbers chases each requiring 30, 50, 100 or more finds. About the only way this solution would work in the smaller caching communities would be to get the local cachers to start creating long power trails, maybe by doing a bulk order of film canisters, preforms and mint tins. Is that really the direction we want caching to be going in?

 

I would disagree that the only way my suggestion would work would be to create power trails of micro caches.  Multiple cachers hiding a few caches can add up.

 

But OK, let's assume you're right.  So what would your solution be?

Edited by hzoi
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Groundspeak frequently runs souvenir promotions during the summer, usually July and/or August. If you live in Europe or most of the US (well, maybe not during the heatwave this weekend) that's great.

 

For people like me who live in Florida? No thanks. I avoid the outdoors during the summer here, where the question is usually whether the humidity will smother me before the heat melts me - assuming the mosquitoes don't drain my blood first.

 

Of course, a January souvenir challenge would be tough for those in snowy latitudes.

 

You can't please all the people all the time. Certainly not in a global game.

 

As for the OP's specific issues: a weekend trip could surely take you somewhere a few hours away where you could easily pick up the 25(?) caches needed.

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2 hours ago, hzoi said:

But OK, let's assume you're right.  So what would your solution be?

A while back, there was a promotion where each Souvenir required finding only a single cache: a multi-cache for this one, a mystery/puzzle cache for that one, a D5 or T5 cache for this one, and so on.

 

Of course, that puts those who are surrounded by 1/1 film canisters at a disadvantage.

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3 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Groundspeak frequently runs souvenir promotions during the summer, usually July and/or August. If you live in Europe or most of the US (well, maybe not during the heatwave this weekend) that's great.

 

For people like me who live in Florida? No thanks. I avoid the outdoors during the summer here, where the question is usually whether the humidity will smother me before the heat melts me - assuming the mosquitoes don't drain my blood first.

 

Of course, a January souvenir challenge would be tough for those in snowy latitudes.

 

You can't please all the people all the time. Certainly not in a global game.

 

As for the OP's specific issues: a weekend trip could surely take you somewhere a few hours away where you could easily pick up the 25(?) caches needed.

Don't forget those that live in the southern hemisphere - those 'summer' promotions are winter for them, and the January wouldn't be tough (unless there's a heat wave).

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As we repeatedly say, no souvenir promotion is going to be perfect or appeal to everyone or be accessible to everyone. Perhaps the best/only solution is just to wait until there's one that 'meant' for you.

 

Some people may see these promotions purely as encouraging numbers. Well you know, that's only true for those who care about numbers. I have seen PLENTY of people enjoy the promotions and have fun with them regardless of whether they can earn each and every souvenir.

 

Perhaps, just maybe, the point is to give some extra flavour and fun for people who enjoy geocaching for more than just finding caches.

 

If a souvenir requires finding a whole bunch of caches, and that's just one tier, then maybe you'll just earn the one souvenir that period -- so have fun doing it! Why complain?  No that's not saying don't complain, that's an encouragement to maybe shift where you get your joy from so that you can get just a bit of extra joy out of the hobby when there's a chance to. Or, just ignore it and continue geocaching your own style. We don't need to earn every souvenir, yeah?

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On 7/18/2019 at 9:38 PM, BraillerCD said:

This may be sour grapes, but because I’ve cached for 9 years I have few caches I haven’t found near me. So I have to travel a far greater distance just to grab these caches. Geocaching has created a  souvenir series that  penalizes those of us who have caches a while. 

So do what we did. Road Trip! 

This issue applies to all active cachers. Eventually, you find yourself going farther and farther from home to pursue the hobby. Calling it a penalty is not realistic. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, hzoi said:

 

I would disagree that the only way my suggestion would work would be to create power trails of micro caches.  Multiple cachers hiding a few caches can add up.

 

But OK, let's assume you're right.  So what would your solution be?

 

My region has about a dozen active cachers at most, so even if they all hid, say, 10 new caches, that's still just barely enough for one of these promotions. Do they all have to go and hide another 10 caches in three months' time for the next one? I like to put some thought and planning into my hides, which are usually woven around a theme, and average maybe four or five new ones a year. Forty a year's not going to happen. Aren't there other threads complaining about prolific hiders throwing down large numbers of rubbish caches?

 

My solution? I can't help but look back a few years to the sort of promotions they were running then. They weren't about finding large numbers of caches, instead they had a different themed task each week which might be to find a cache with a high D/T rating (yes, that's right, just one cache) or a particular type (mystery, multi, etc.) or maybe a particular attribute. Sometimes there were puzzles to solve as well as finding caches, like Mission GC in 2016. Maybe reintroduce an occasional promotion like those ones so that those in low density parts of the world can take part. With the promotions now quarterly, there's a lot more room for variety; they don't all have to be one type or the other, they don't all have to be numbers-chases.

Edited by barefootjeff
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3 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

My region has about a dozen active cachers at most, so even if they all hid, say, 10 new caches, that's still just barely enough for one of these promotions. Do they all have to go and hide another 10 caches in three months' time for the next one? I like to put some thought and planning into my hides, which are usually woven around a theme, and average maybe four or five new ones a year. Forty a year's not going to happen. Aren't there other threads complaining about prolific hiders throwing down large numbers of rubbish caches?

 

My solution? I can't help but look back a few years to the sort of promotions they were running then. They weren't about finding large numbers of caches, instead they had a different themed task each week which might be to find a cache with a high D/T rating (yes, that's right, just one cache) or a particular type (mystery, multi, etc.) or maybe a particular attribute. Sometimes there were puzzles to solve as well as finding caches, like Mission GC in 2016. Maybe reintroduce an occasional promotion like those ones so that those in low density parts of the world can take part. With the promotions now quarterly, there's a lot more room for variety; they don't all have to be one type or the other, they don't all have to be numbers-chases.

Its a pity that the Dogs Head series, or PT if you will, north of here is a bit far for some but I'll be off in a few minutes to go there and get my final 34 I need to finish off. Unlike other PTs this one is not a pill bottle of film pot every 161m. A variety of sizes and hides. Various containers including some nicely made 3D printed items and cache descriptions teaching me about various dog breeds, over 200 of them. The CO has put a massive amount of work  into this series and I really appreciate what he's done.

 

This was a Mystery ATM promo that, initially, I wasn't to fussed about. That's now changed once I got my head around how it worked. However I had a more personal motivation to do this. Just over twelve months ago I lost my life partner of 50 years. Her favourite past time was geocaching. Up until she fell ill June last year we were on track to average two finds a day for 2018. t a time she was battling early dementia. Since then I have struggled to find the motivation to keep going and instead just concentrated on maintaining our own caches. I had a motorcycle accident in New Zealand in April which put me off my feet for a while with a left foot broken in four places and an infected haematoma around my left ankle. I am now mobile enough to get in and out of the car (it's a stick shift) and walk 3 or 4 kilometres before the foot starts to protest. This promo has got me up out of the house and moving again instead of moping around and feeling sorry for myself. As I'm caching along she's with me in spirit if not in body. Thank you Groundspeak.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/21/2019 at 2:20 PM, colleda said:

It's only costing me my time and a few dollars worth of fuel and costing way less than a round of golf at any of the local clubs.

 

After finding a detective and a couple of shadows last weekend, which together clocked up 146km, and poring over the map to see if there might be a couple of footprints and fingerprints in close proximity to one other, I spied such a cluster up north around Mannering Park and Gwandalan, with a couple more within 20km of those as backup in case of DNFs. With another 188km on the clock for those four amazing finds (a plastic jar at the base of a tree, a bison tube in a suburban rainwater drain, a soggy micro in a tree next to a swamp and a rusty fake bolt on a sewer vent), I now have the full set of clues so am able to see the disposition of jewel caches. Yes there are more to choose from, but they're still widely scattered here so multiple long trips would be needed if I wanted to get all 15. If that was all that remained in the promotion, with just a puzzle to solve for the final step as I'd originally thought, I might have gone for it but the prospect of then having to find another 35 caches on top of those pretty much blows it out of the water for me.

 

As for the cost, my 334km for those 7 caches so far has cost me about $35 in fuel. Not being a golfer, I have no idea what playing a round costs but, assuming the remaining 50 caches required a similar amount of travelling, even if I could get maybe five or six on each trip, I suspect my total fuel bill would be a lot more, certainly a lot more than just "a few dollars".

Edited by barefootjeff

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On 7/22/2019 at 3:39 PM, on4bam said:

 

Looks like GS wants this. Remember when GS didn't want challenge caches to "change the way people cache"? Just about all that happens now is numbers, numbers, numbers....

 

This is indeed a bit of a contradiction that I have been wondering also. The new challenge cache rules forbid creating caches which demand caching on certain days or with certain pace. These souvenir promotions differ only marginally, putting not exact dates or streaks but still demanding significant number of caches to be found in a limited timeframe. But GS defines the rules, and if they then bend them themselves without literally breaking them, then perhaps anything goes for marketing...

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28 minutes ago, kivilaak said:

But GS defines the rules, and if they then bend them themselves without literally breaking them, then perhaps anything goes for marketing...

That's exactly the problem I'm having with the way GS for years. They make up the rules and break them as they please.

  • You need accurate coordinates (GS puts cache on ISS)
  • No commercial caches (GS runs promotions for "shoes", geotours...)
  • challenges can't require cachers to change the way people cache (GS runs promotions that change people's caching habits)

It's a typical case of do as we say, not as we do.

 

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This promotion doesn't require one to change their caching habits, unless one wants the souvenirs from the promotion. 

You lose nothing if you ignore the promotion amd cache as usual.

As to GS adjusting the guidelines to support their promotions, I think it is great. How much advertising revenue have they gained from them? Enough to keep the cost of Premium Membership unchanged, which is a valuable thing to every player in this hobby.

 

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1 minute ago, K13 said:

This promotion doesn't require one to change their caching habits, unless one wants the souvenirs from the promotion. 

You lose nothing if you ignore the promotion amd cache as usual.

 

 

A challenge cache doesn't require one to change their caching habits, unless one wants to log that cache. 

You lose nothing if you ignore the challenge and cache as usual.

 

You see the difference? Unfortunately GS didn't see it that way :ph34r:

 

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I ignore all challenge caches, and they do not affect my caching.

I see no difference with them and this or any other promotion from GS.

 

Promotions build interest in this hobby. If you don't like them, or the other things GS does, you don't have to play along. Just quit complaining that they do things that you aren't allowed to do.  

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I ignore the "promotions" and yet they "litter" my souvenirs page (until I hide them).

I ignore geotours and ignored the "shoe" caches.

I like geocaching but since GS has a monopoly, I'm stuck here. I don't have to like what GS does to enjoy the work of CO's. I see GS as the platform/database of the stuff I use to go caching. The day there's another platform I can use, I'm out of here, until then, I'll stay.

 

 

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Just now, K13 said:

I ignore all challenge caches, and they do not affect my caching.

I see no difference with them and this or any other promotion from GS.

 

I have one...    :)

The other 2/3rds likes souvenirs, especially the annual ones and states.

She likes them enough that during one promotion we didn't cache an entire month, which used to be our "most caches" month .

 - You got a souvenir for every day you were caching, whether you were participating in that promotion or not.

We received souvenirs not looking for on a few promotions now.  We now know that HQ will delete them for us.

We tried "hiding", but that only greys it out in your profile.  One said that "hiding" removes it from your public profile, and go there to see them.

I'd hope most realize how silly that is, and not the same...

Still waiting for an opt in/out toggle in the settings.

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4 hours ago, on4bam said:

That's exactly the problem I'm having with the way GS for years. They make up the rules and break them as they please.

  • You need accurate coordinates (GS puts cache on ISS)
  • No commercial caches (GS runs promotions for "shoes", geotours...)
  • challenges can't require cachers to change the way people cache (GS runs promotions that change people's caching habits)

It's a typical case of do as we say, not as we do.

I don't mean to defend GS's restrictions which they then ignore. It's just like states outlawing gambling, then running a lottery to cash in on the monopoly. But there is a logic to it. The idea is that while it's bad to let people in general do X, officials in charge will do a good job of avoiding the problems with doing X, so it's OK for them. People that advocate for gun control even though their country has a military are using the same logic.

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57 minutes ago, dprovan said:

 People that advocate for gun control even though their country has a military are using the same logic.

 

Definitely off-topic here, but what does someone who publicly supports "gun control" have to do with our country's military ?  Thanks.

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3 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

Definitely off-topic here, but what does someone who publicly supports "gun control" have to do with our country's military ?  Thanks.

 

My understanding of the analogy was:

 

1 hour ago, dprovan said:

The idea is that while it's bad to let people in general do X [ordinary people owning and using guns], officials in charge will do a good job of avoiding the problems with doing X [government, including police and military, owning and using guns], so it's OK for them.

 

It seemed pretty straight-forward after the gambling analogy, which follows the same pattern:

 

1 hour ago, dprovan said:

The idea is that while it's bad to let people in general do X [ordinary people running gambling institutions: casinos], officials in charge will do a good job of avoiding the problems with doing X [government running gambling institutions: lotteries], so it's OK for them.

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On ‎7‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 9:39 AM, thebruce0 said:

 

Competition?

No.

Hurry, someone tell alamogul  before he runs out of gas. 

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On 7/26/2019 at 9:34 AM, on4bam said:

I ignore the "promotions" and yet they "litter" my souvenirs page (until I hide them).

I ignore geotours and ignored the "shoe" caches.

I like geocaching but since GS has a monopoly, I'm stuck here. I don't have to like what GS does to enjoy the work of CO's. I see GS as the platform/database of the stuff I use to go caching. The day there's another platform I can use, I'm out of here, until then, I'll stay.

 

 

What are "shoe" caches?

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, mertat said:

What are "shoe" caches?

Try to search for the "TRAIL OF HEROES" caches (archived). They were sponsored by a company and "placed" by an HQ account (2011).

 

On top of that these caches lacked maintenance. 4 of the 6 in Belgium were archived by a reviewer, 4 of 6 had NM logs, 2 had NA logs because there was no reaction to the NM logs.

 

Edited by on4bam
added info about these commercial caches.
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Posted (edited)
On 7/26/2019 at 8:38 AM, on4bam said:

That's exactly the problem I'm having with the way GS for years. They make up the rules and break them as they please.

 

This thread having wandered off topic somewhat, I'll respond to this.  Geocaching.com has guidelines for the free use of their listing service.  There are different requirements for the paid use of their listing service, and the company can apply or modify whatever rules it chooses to any particular listing.   

 

The Timberland promotion, 2011, what you're calling "shoe caches",  was a learning experience for Geocaching.com I don't doubt.  Not the first Geocaching commercial promotion, (that was the A.P.E. caches) but easily the least successful.  I assume lessons learned there were/are applied to its successor, the GeoTours.  

 

 

 

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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Additionally, as I keep repeating, souvenir promotions are nothing like Challenge Caches. The guidelines apply to users of the listing service creating geocache listings for a minimal period of time to an indefinite period of time, not for their own company running promotions that encourage people to utilize their features that run for typically 1 month. Very different context. And even if it were challenge caches that an HQ user were publishing that appeared to break their own "rules", we all know what "exceptions" are and that they are granted over many aspects of geocaching at the behest of TPTB, and HQ is absolutely within their rights to grant exceptions (especially for themselves).

I see no problem here.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/26/2019 at 2:38 PM, on4bam said:

That's exactly the problem I'm having with the way GS for years. They make up the rules and break them as they please.

  • You need accurate coordinates (GS puts cache on ISS)
  • No commercial caches (GS runs promotions for "shoes", geotours...)
  •  challenges can't require cachers to change the way people cache (GS runs promotions that change people's caching habits)

It's a typical case of do as we say, not as we do.

  

 

I respectfully disagree with two of your bullets.  I don't have enough information on the third to agree or disagree.

  • ISS: one cache out of over three million.  And Groundspeak did not place it - LordBritish placed it and Groundspeak gave permission for it to be published.  Since the only way for a civilian to get to the cache, the coordinates are at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.  I suppose it should be listed as a mystery type cache, but if you'd like to discuss it one on one, you can contact Jeremy Irish, who published it as a traditional.
  • Groundspeak is a commercial business, one that has intentionally limited one potential stream of income (keeping premium membership at the same price since they started charging) and actually eliminated another (by making the official app free).  One of their other income streams is advertising/marketing, including  through geocache placements like GeoTours, and perhaps unsurprisingly, they don't give that advertising out for free.
  • Not sure to which aspect of the acceptable challenge cache guideline you're referring.  I invite you to peruse the Help Center article and then draw a direct comparison to this particular souvenir promotion.
Edited by hzoi
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3 hours ago, hzoi said:

 

I respectfully disagree with two of your bullets.  I don't have enough information on the third to agree or disagree.

  • ISS: one cache out of over three million.  And Groundspeak did not place it - LordBritish placed it and Groundspeak gave permission for it to be published.  Since the only way for a civilian to get to the cache, the coordinates are at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.  I suppose it should be listed as a mystery type cache, but if you'd like to discuss it one on one, you can contact Jeremy Irish, who published it as a traditional.
  • Groundspeak is a commercial business, one that has intentionally limited one potential stream of income (keeping premium membership at the same price since they started charging) and actually eliminated another (by making the official app free).  One of their other income streams is advertising/marketing, including  through geocache placements like GeoTours, and perhaps unsurprisingly, they don't give that advertising out for free.
  • Not sure to which aspect of the acceptable challenge cache guideline you're referring.  I invite you to peruse the Help Center article and then draw a direct comparison to this particular souvenir promotion.

OK, let me rephrase then.

  • GS allowed a cache without accurate coordinates
  • I understand the "commercial" stuff but you may remember a cache not getting published because the CO mentioned to use the parking at restaurant xx. That's overdoing it.
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3 hours ago, hzoi said:

Not sure to which aspect of the acceptable challenge cache guideline you're referring.  I invite you to peruse the Help Center article and then draw a direct comparison to this particular souvenir promotion.

 

This comparison is quite meaningless because we are comparing apples and oranges. But if this speak only about the spirit of the game I can immediatelly point out some issues.

 

Challenge cache owners must demonstrate that there are plenty of qualifying caches to meet the challenge at the time of publication.

This is a minor issue but some may have difficulties with this when there are plenty of caches available only overseas.

 

Challenge criteria must be positive and require that a geocaching goal be achieved. Criteria may not be for a negative achievement such as DNF logs.

Reviewers wouldn't publish this kind of challenge where finding a cache too early makes it more difficult to achieve the goal. It is not a positive challenge this way.

 

A challenge cache needs to appeal to and be attainable by a reasonable number of cachers. Your reviewer may ask for a list of cachers from your area who qualify.

This is a killer!

 

Challenge cache owners must show that they have met the challenge.

Another killer.

 

Not Acceptable : Time-limited caching: as in some number of finds per day, week, month, or year. Example, Busy Day, 50 finds in a day, 500 finds in a month, etc.

Not Acceptable : Requiring more than one find on any day or calendar date, even if cumulative. Example, find 5 caches for every date of the Finds for Each Day of the Year grid.         

Not Acceptable : A challenge based on elements under the cache owner’s primary control is not acceptable

Not Acceptable : Restrictions on date of finds used for the challenge are not permitted.

No reviewer would accept this kind of challenge due to so many issues.

 

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On 7/26/2019 at 8:38 AM, on4bam said:

That's exactly the problem I'm having with the way GS for years. They make up the rules and break them as they please.

  • You need accurate coordinates (GS puts cache on ISS)
  • No commercial caches (GS runs promotions for "shoes", geotours...)
  • challenges can't require cachers to change the way people cache (GS runs promotions that change people's caching habits)

It's a typical case of do as we say, not as we do.

 

The ISS should be a Mystery cache, but otherwise it's one unique cache published in 2008.

 

Geotours tend to placed by tourism bureaus or similar agencies with the intent of stimulating tourism and visitation, but the caches themselves are nearly always non-commercial and could be published by themselves with little or no alteration. Lots of free, unofficial geotours are published as well. The biggest difference is the advertising that comes with an official geotour, not the caches themselves being allowed to circumvent commercial guidelines.

 

Most commercial promotions are TBs, which are explicitly allowed to be commercial. That is probably an intentional response to the problems with the Timberland series. And what commercial caches preceded the "shoes caches"? The APE series.

 

Souvenirs aren't Challenges. They have some similarities, but ultimately Souvenirs are completely virtual. If Challenge caches were introduced today for the first time I bet they would be similar to Souvenirs i.e. a virtual badge, not a physical cache (and with different Guidelines as a result).

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5 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Souvenirs aren't Challenges. They have some similarities, but ultimately Souvenirs are completely virtual. If Challenge caches were introduced today for the first time I bet they would be similar to Souvenirs i.e. a virtual badge, not a physical cache (and with different Guidelines as a result).

 

You may be right. Geocaching is missing a feature which is called "achievements" in other gaming platforms. Challenges are sort of "achievements" but not exactly a similar way and not universal. The only formal achievements are milestones.

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Challenge Caches are not Souvenir Promotions.

Challenge Caches are placed by geocaching users, Souvenir promotions are run by the business owner of the website.

Challenge Caches are "permanent", Souvenir promotions are temporary.

Challenge Cache context is within the geocache landscape, Souvenir promotions are an activity on top of the geocaching landscape.

Souvenir Promotions are not geocaches, they do not adhere to the same rules for geocache placement.

Even if you solely draw attention solely to the 'geocaching habit' aspect, it's still a different context in application.

 

And again, if it were geocaches HQ were publishing and 'breaking their own rules', that still wouldn't be sufficient argument since HQ is TPTB and they can make exceptions as they see fit. But they're not geocaches. And given all the above fundamental differences, I don't see an argument for hypocricy in the slightest.

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2 hours ago, arisoft said:

You may be right. Geocaching is missing a feature which is called "achievements" in other gaming platforms. Challenges are sort of "achievements" but not exactly a similar way and not universal. The only formal achievements are milestones.

 

Souvenirs are essentially trying to fill that role. I'm a little surprised the more general challenges (Jasmer, D/T, Calendar) don't have souvenirs yet.

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15 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

Souvenirs are essentially trying to fill that role. I'm a little surprised the more general challenges (Jasmer, D/T, Calendar) don't have souvenirs yet.

I see regional souvenirs for finding a cache in a country, state/province and event based souvenirs more like the traditional definition of a souvenir.  They are, essentially, a token of remembrance for finding a cache in a region or attending an event (sort of like buying a hat or t-shirt while attending a sporting event).   Most of the rest are more like awards or achievement badges for completing a task.  I have suggested a few times that an "Achievements and Badges" tab be created along side the Souvenirs tab, and that it be editable like the main profile Bio page.  Because the Bio tab is the only profile page that is editable, it gets used for achievements, badges,  and a place to display various bits of geocaching related artwork.

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20 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Challenge Caches are not Souvenir Promotions.

Challenge Caches are placed by geocaching users, Souvenir promotions are run by the business owner of the website.

Challenge Caches are "permanent", Souvenir promotions are temporary.

Challenge Cache context is within the geocache landscape, Souvenir promotions are an activity on top of the geocaching landscape.

Souvenir Promotions are not geocaches, they do not adhere to the same rules for geocache placement.

Even if you solely draw attention solely to the 'geocaching habit' aspect, it's still a different context in application.

 

And again, if it were geocaches HQ were publishing and 'breaking their own rules', that still wouldn't be sufficient argument since HQ is TPTB and they can make exceptions as they see fit. But they're not geocaches. And given all the above fundamental differences, I don't see an argument for hypocricy in the slightest.

 

I think I agree with most of this (except for the part that distinguishes challenge caches as being "within" the geocache landscape and souvenir promotions as being "on top of" the geocaching landscape - to me that feels like hair splitting and just completely arbitrary and subjective line-drawing as to what counts as being a core component of the game and what counts as being some sort of extra curricular / tertiary activity, because imo it's all part of the same game and there's infinite variation between which aspects of the game people choose to focus on and which ones they don't, but I digress).

 

That being said, to me the hypocrisy comes in when you consider the REASONING that HQ has used for some of the ways the challenge rules have been set up.  If they had just said something like "These are the rules because that's the way we want them to be" then whatever, it could have ended there.  But, for example, one of the principles behind the challenge rule was that they didn't want to have "time limited" challenges because they felt that having time limited challenges takes away from the game and creates undesirable conditions.  But if that's true, then no amount of "Well they make the rules so they can do what they want" changes the underlying principle behind the rule.  Are they permitted to do it?  Of course.  Do they have reasons for making exceptions to the rule for their own benefit?  Probably, yeah.  But that doesn't change the fact that they've gone out of their way to say that incentivising players to rush to get lots of caches in a short period of time detracts from the game while simultaneously incentivising players to rush to get lots of caches in a short period of time.

 

Now I guess you could go and make the argument that "well in the context of a souvenir promotion this is just a temporary thing", but, at least as I see it, that still doesn't change the underlying concepts here and that feels like a pretty weak argument. 

Edited by ZeppelinDT

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3 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I see regional souvenirs for finding a cache in a country, state/province and event based souvenirs more like the traditional definition of a souvenir.  They are, essentially, a token of remembrance for finding a cache in a region or attending an event (sort of like buying a hat or t-shirt while attending a sporting event).   

Most of the rest are more like awards or achievement badges for completing a task.  I have suggested a few times that an "Achievements and Badges" tab be created along side the Souvenirs tab, and that it be editable like the main profile Bio page.  Because the Bio tab is the only profile page that is editable, it gets used for achievements, badges,  and a place to display various bits of geocaching related artwork.

Agreed.

We see souvenirs the same ... a memento.

We think of these promotion "souvenirs" as awards,  rather than a remembrance of it. 

Many folks seem to have a lot of awards on their profiles from third-party sites

Used to be some of us would time-out by the time all those "badges for achieving... "  and other stat-stuff loaded.   :)

We're surprised that this site doesn't recognize the difference between the two.

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2 hours ago, ZeppelinDT said:

That being said, to me the hypocrisy comes in when you consider the REASONING that HQ has used for some of the ways the challenge rules have been set up.  If they had just said something like "These are the rules because that's the way we want them to be" then whatever, it could have ended there.  But, for example, one of the principles behind the challenge rule was that they didn't want to have "time limited" challenges because they felt that having time limited challenges takes away from the game and creates undesirable conditions.  But if that's true, then no amount of "Well they make the rules so they can do what they want" changes the underlying principle behind the rule.  Are they permitted to do it?  Of course.  Do they have reasons for making exceptions to the rule for their own benefit?  Probably, yeah.  But that doesn't change the fact that they've gone out of their way to say that incentivising players to rush to get lots of caches in a short period of time detracts from the game while simultaneously incentivising players to rush to get lots of caches in a short period of time.

I don't mean to disagree with you, and I do follow your argument and agree to it. And I understand what you're saying about the justification for challenge rules, but, at the same time, when the challenge rules were presented, the justifications seemed pretty weak, really almost rationalizations more than explanations. And then they had rules such as forbidding a challenge based on the name of the cache that weren't justified at all and, in my opinion, revealed that a lot of the rules were because some people just didn't like some things about challenges and wanted to prevent them for personal reasons.

 

In the end, though, I still think the deciding factor is that GS is the authority. I don't mean that in the sense of whatever they say, we have to live with, although that's obvious also true. What I mean is that they have to make rules based on what anyone at all might do, but they themselves aren't just anyone, so they can (theoretically) explicitly avoid the pitfalls that the rules are intended to prevent by not opening the door to the possibility. In that light, the fact that souvenirs work differently than challenge caches makes for a clear distinction even though, as we've been discussing, conceptually they quite similar.

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10 hours ago, ZeppelinDT said:

That being said, to me the hypocrisy comes in when you consider the REASONING that HQ has used for some of the ways the challenge rules have been set up. 

 

See:

On 7/29/2019 at 1:59 PM, thebruce0 said:

Even if you solely draw attention solely to the 'geocaching habit' aspect, it's still a different context in application.

 

You're stripping away everything except the ethic, the reason - but you can't strip away the context. The context is challenge geocaches. Souvenir promotions are not challenge caches. It is a different part of the geocaching website and activity, with different creators and different dynamics. And thus:

 

10 hours ago, ZeppelinDT said:

it's all part of the same game and there's infinite variation between which aspects of the game people choose to focus on and which ones they don't, but I digress

As I've already argued elsewhere, yes, it is one activity among many on geocaching.com. But it is a mechanic layer that's above the standard geocaching activity - finding geocaches. Souvenirs can be earned without trying. Sure, so can challenge caches be qualified without trying. But challenge caches are geocaches that have a geocaching ALR guideline. Souvenirs are a form of 'bonus' statistic you can earn by finding geocaches. They don't fall under the same umbrella or ruleset that geocaches do. So the guidelines that apply to geocaching-finding are not identically applicable to souvenir promos, and that's still ignoring all the other points.  There's no hypocricy here.  The reasons they instituted rules for types of challenge caches apply to what geocaches owners through challenge caches cause people to do, they don't apply to souvenirs that HQ themselves run for very short periods. (and that's not me completely on board with the restrictions on challenge types - I was a big fan of many challenges that are no longer allowed, but that's all beside the point)

Souvenirs aren't challenge caches, and there are no guidelines for souvenirs because geocachers don't create or own them.

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On 7/30/2019 at 5:59 AM, thebruce0 said:

Challenge Caches are placed by geocaching users, Souvenir promotions are run by the business owner of the website.

This is the key point, I think.  IMO there are many parallels between caching to meet challenge requirements and caching to meet souvenir promotion requirements, but the big difference is that the rules in place to govern challenge caches (and like you, I don't agree with them all as some great challenges concepts are now no longer allowed) are in place to put boundaries around the general caching populace who like to push limits with the challenges they create, whereas souvenir promotions are created by Groundspeak, the rule-makers, arguably with due care and consideration for everyone playing the game, and the game itself.

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