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A Mod's Take on the Geocaching Forums


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Keystone, We certainly appreciate the help you give, the time and work you put in, and above all, your patience!

 

Great post,,,  however, I'm not sure about this one sentence.

 

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Newcomers often find the forums first, and they tend to receive more complete, accurate answers than in other channels

 

You probably have more insight on this so I may be wrong. My thinking is, because phones and apps are the mainstay these days, many, if not most, newcomers never even discover the forums. I think this is a shame because like you said, the forum is a great place to converse, ask questions, and get good complete answers. :cool:

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On 12/5/2019 at 4:21 AM, Keystone said:

Today, we can go for hours with few or no forum posts, and flame wars are pretty rare.  One reason for the drop in traffic is the popularity of social media.  Geocachers love to talk about geocaching, and now there are many ways to do that which didn't exist in 2003:  Facebook, twitter, blogs, vlogs, etc.  This is a good thing.

 

Is it really? On Facebook, and most likely Twitter and similar, you are thoroughly analyzed and your behavior is up for sale for directed advertizing. And the are ads everywhere, even scams masquerading as "news", everywhere in the flow, not to mention cherry-picked "news" posted as political propaganda. I can't see this as a "good thing".

 

Maybe the limited traffic here is why the tone seems much nicer than in Facebook, but I don't really think so. I have been forced to go "lurker" in major Facebook geocaching forums because people seem to take offense to anything but "look at the Petling I found on Gran Canaria". As soon as you want to discuss anything, people get offended. That happened in the good old forums as well but why does that seem worse at Facebook?

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3 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

That happened in the good old forums as well but why does that seem worse at Facebook?

Yeah, FB is a horrible platform for substantial conversations. The local geocaching organization's forums have pretty much died as everyone moved to FB. The quick "Here's where I went" posts or the quick "Anyone want to go here this weekend?" posts work just fine there. But the more substantial conversations just don't happen any more.

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4 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

Maybe the limited traffic here is why the tone seems much nicer than in Facebook, but I don't really think so. I have been forced to go "lurker" in major Facebook geocaching forums because people seem to take offense to anything but "look at the Petling I found on Gran Canaria". As soon as you want to discuss anything, people get offended. That happened in the good old forums as well but why does that seem worse at Facebook?

Sorta agree.

I don't know if it's "nicer",  but (within reason)  you can actually give your opinion here.    :)

 

There's some really sensitive people over there at fb, yet go on the twit dark side and folks are angry about everything.    :D

We used to have a local website , and one person in particular would comment that there "wasn't such a 'hostile' environment on faceboook."

Some simply disagreed with them.... 

It seems if your wittle feelings get hurt on fb,  you can weep a little, and it's magically fixed for you, with that big meanie going bye-bye.

 - Of course there's no actual conversations though.  Most are "me too !" posts, when someone "popular" says they're going somewhere...

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Wow, 20,000 Forum posts! That is amazing!  Congratulations and thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to support the game and global geocaching community! On a personal level, it's been absolutely wonderful getting to know you and spend time with you over the years and I (and Hydee) hope to see you again soon!  

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Thank you, Keystone, for volunteering your time for 16 years. It's so fun to hear that you've reached 20,000 posts!

I saved an image for all to see. :antenna:

 

It has been amazing to support you in this role. You help us ALL to understand more about the game, and to keep conversations civil and on topic. We appreciate you very much. Thanks for creating this post, and taking us all down memory lane. With the 20th anniversary of geocaching around the corner, it is so appropriate to reflect on how things have changed. 

 

Cheers,

Cindy / Frau Potter

 

keystone.PNG

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On 12/4/2019 at 10:21 PM, Keystone said:

Today, we can go for hours with few or no forum posts, and flame wars are pretty rare.  One reason for the drop in traffic is the popularity of social media.  Geocachers love to talk about geocaching, and now there are many ways to do that which didn't exist in 2003:  Facebook, twitter, blogs, vlogs, etc.  This is a good thing.

 

Just thought I'd point out that this game didn't exist until someone posted on Usenet.  As a frequent participant on Usenet during the era that Dave Ulmer made his post, while we didn't as many social media platforms as we do today, Usenet been around for more than a decade when the game started.  I was a Usenet server administrator in 1986, and the flame wars on Usenet were legendary.  

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4 hours ago, niraD said:

Yeah, FB is a horrible platform for substantial conversations. The local geocaching organization's forums have pretty much died as everyone moved to FB. The quick "Here's where I went" posts or the quick "Anyone want to go here this weekend?" posts work just fine there. But the more substantial conversations just don't happen any more.

 

That or it blows up so huge with debate and arguing that someone inevitably gets kicked or banned. The nature of FB discussion is different than a linear forum thread, and being so group-think oriented the mob mentality is unavoidable if there's any tension in a discussion. You know what they say when someone's wrong on the internet...

 

Forums get less traffic usually because they take more dedicated time to be involved. Lots of reading, lots of typing. It can be more rewarding, but you get from it what you put in. And it's much easier to manage and maintain. knockonwood.

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4 hours ago, niraD said:

Yeah, FB is a horrible platform for substantial conversations. The local geocaching organization's forums have pretty much died as everyone moved to FB. The quick "Here's where I went" posts or the quick "Anyone want to go here this weekend?" posts work just fine there. But the more substantial conversations just don't happen any more.

 

I think one reason is the poor organization. If I am in a group. I get everything in a jumbled flow. If I want to discuss something that is a niche thing in the group, 90% of the members are not in the niche, and some of them take offense because they are not interested in the topic. So I need to make another group for that particular niche! There is almost no structure in that, just "global" or "group".

 

In a forum like this, there is a solid organization on sub-topics, in multiple layers. This is far superior. The sections that don't interest me, I skip. Threads that don't sound interesting, I only see the title from. Nobody needs to get angry because someone makes more than one post (or even thread) about a subject thet feel is relevant.

 

I think that could be a reason why FB works so badly. But why are then everybody there...? Yes I am longing for the old days but it is not just nostalgia.

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Not everyone likes to read and wrong longform. That's primarily why. I know plenty of people who wouldn't touch the forum for this reason (and not only due to excessive drama =P), and even complain if you post anything forum-like in content or style as a post or comment on Facebook. Just no patience, or time, to spend interacting in the relevant manner.

 

Twitter at least restricts to 280 chars (up from the prior 140), but they accommodate long-form by providing a 'thread' function to string multiple posts together. Still, not optimal for discussion.

 

Forums will never go away. But each platform has its strengths and weaknesses.

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53 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

(and not only due to excessive drama =P)

 

We don't have drama here in the forums. We have angst™. :grin:

 

Keystone, seriously, I appreciate your efforts. You always seem to do a good job of balancing your ban-hammer powers with gentle nudging, using each as required, all while providing valuable advice and historical insight (I'm not necessarily saying you're old, but if we're counting in dog years...). It's fair and watchful mods like you that have kept the forums from reverting back to that old wild west situation. It's amazing that you're able to do this task while also acting as a reviewer.

 

Good boy. Who's a good boy? You're a good boy. :laughing:

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I, too, appreciate all Keystone has done in the forums over the years.   I have noticed a lot of changes:

  • There is actually a lot less angst in the forums than there was in the earlier days.  Maximum angst probably occurred around 2010. 
  • What people might call "angst" in the forums today feels a lot more like "whining" to me.  And it is mainly a few long-time diehards who cannot resist injecting their particular hobby-horse complaint into threads only marginally related.  And yes, I am aware that I have been guilty of this very same thing.  Though I try hard to avoid it now.
  • The forums are probably not a major means of communicating with geocachers; most of those in the forums are older people who grew up when forums were more of a thing.
  • The forums are an excellent place to learn about human nature.  I have had many insights both about myself and about people in general from this place!
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On 12/6/2019 at 11:10 AM, thebruce0 said:

Forums get less traffic usually because they take more dedicated time to be involved. Lots of reading, lots of typing. It can be more rewarding, but you get from it what you put in.

 

On 12/6/2019 at 1:17 PM, thebruce0 said:

Forums will never go away. But each platform has its strengths and weaknesses.

 

On 12/6/2019 at 9:39 PM, fizzymagic said:

The forums are probably not a major means of communicating with geocachers; most of those in the forums are older people who grew up when forums were more of a thing.

 

I (somewhat) agree with all of the above.  I prefer the forum type format to Twitter or Facebook - I find it more organized and easier to "get to the point".  I enjoy reading; I prefer reading to videos or tweets...and I don't mind typing/writing.  It helps clarify my OWN thinking!!

 

I've been involved in several forums over the years, moderated a couple, and probably spend more time than I should reading and responding to posts.  However, the interactions with like minded people, and the things I've learned have made the time spent worthwhile, or I wouldn't keep coming back for more!!  A forum is where I am likely to end up when trying to get information about a device or product I have acquired, or a hobby I have become involved in (like geocaching, GPS devices, and phones!)

 

So yeah, I'm old - a generation removed from Instagram and Twitter and bursts of communication - new to geocaching but I prefer this forum (and others related to it) for getting my info.  I am a member of our local Facebook geocaching group, but spend way more time here than there.

 

Thank you, Keystone, for your time and dedication! 

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On 12/7/2019 at 12:39 AM, fizzymagic said:

The forums are an excellent place to learn about human nature.

 

Yep, and also a great opportunity to test out one's ability to understand that most people in real life are not like they come across in text-only communication :)  Over the years (and not just in GC-land) I've had a number of disagreements with people who are friends in meatspace. It happens. And it's good to remember that

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