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FiveEyes

Geocaching admin temporarily disabling caches

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I've noticed that geocaching admin are doing more "temporary disabling" of geocaches they see as needing maintenance.  Unfortunately, this is happening not only with caches reported as "needing maintenance" but also with geocaches that have had one or two DNF logs.  I like to keep my geocaches maintained, because I do understand the frustration of seeking geocaches which are missing, but I find that the new approach seems overly aggressive and does not give enough time for maintenance. For instance,  I've had 7 geocaches "temporarily disabled" in the last  month, and have been given 30 days to fix these.  Four of these had 2 DNFs. .  This was during winter and holiday season, when I was out of town for two weeks of that 30 days. In addition, most of my geocache plants are on hiking trails, some of which are more difficult to access during rainy season in winter when the trails are muddy.  Each time I'm required to check on a geocache, this takes about 2 to 4 hrs, given the distance I need to hike. If I have 2 days off a week (weekends), and am out of town for 2 weeks during the holidays,  to be required to check on 7 geocaches within the month essentially means that I'm going to spend almost every free day that I have checking on and maintaining geocaches.  I think 30 days is not enough time.  In the past, I noticed that some geocachers have been given 30 days to check on a cache but several months later the cache still hasn't been checked.  I just had a cache archived by geocaching admin almost exactly 30 days after it was disabled, so it seems 30 days is all that is being given now.  

There's another problem: for one geocache that had 2 DNFs, being concerned that it would end up temporarily disabled,  after verifying it was still there I ended up posting spoiler photos showing the cache container and the exact hiding spot, just in order not to get more DNFs on this cache which would necessitate another 4 hrs spent walking there and back to check on it.  This in my mind is not a desirable outcome: that geocaching challenges have to be reduced because we're afraid that a couple DNFs will result in us being forced to spend hours checking on the cache as the admin has disabled it.  Some geocachers make a point of planting difficult finds: perhaps they might get a string of 6 or 7 DNFS before someone finds it, yet now I'm now having geocaches disabled after 2 DNFs.  

I'm wondering if others have noticed more temporary disabling of their geocache plants by geocaching admin, and what your view or response or  strategies on that have been.  

I have to say that this is making me less interested in planting geocaches.  

 

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It seems you've fallen victim to the CHS - Cache Health Score - and automatic checking of possible problems using an algorithm.

I guessing you received automatic emails advising possible problems and, if these are not acted on, within the advised time frame, then a reviewer may step in and disable .

It is best not to ignore the emails. This does not mean you have to rush out and physically check the "pinged" caches but at least log a WN saying that you will address any perceived problem and in what time frame, usually best done within 30 days. Easy difficulty/terrain caches with a couple of DNFs can trigger an email. Harder caches would require more.

There has been much discussion of the CHS in this forum over the last couple of years.. On the TD'd caches you should definitely not ignore.

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Thanks for the advice.  I wasn't sure if I wrote a note, whether the geocaching admin would read that note.  
One concern that I have, is that few geocachers who I know have interest in planting geocaches.  Most of them do finds only, and very few plants.  My hide rate is 4% of my find rate.  One of my best geocaching friends has a hide rate that is 0.2% of his find rate.  So, I plant 20 times as many geocaches as he does.  It does take a lot of work to plant and maintain geocaches, particularly those which require a hike to get to them, and we who do that are supporting the game much more than are those who don't plant geocaches.  So I don't think it's good policy to discourage people from hiding geocaches.  

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Ignoring the CHS email may or may not lead to an annoying Disable Note from a Reviewer. Ignoring a Disable Note from a Reviewer will almost 100% of the time lead to an Archived Listing. 
 

Your options are to either Enable the Listing with a quick explanation that the maintenance needs might be a bit overstated, or leave the Listing Disabled and post a Note giving a time frame of when maintenance will get done. 
 

As much as I can sympathize with the burden of maintenance requirements for a CO, it’s also not a lot of fun for a potential Finder to spend time and energy for a DNF. 

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1 hour ago, FiveEyes said:

Thanks for the advice.  I wasn't sure if I wrote a note, whether the geocaching admin would read that note.  

 

It also depends on the reviewer. If you're uncertain you could contact the publishing reviewer, send them a message and let them know the state of the listing. Some reviewers might by extremely strict, others may be fairly understanding and lax. But it is important to know that the email doesn't do anything, if a cache is disabled it's because a reviewer has decided it's time to disable. So if they can be convinced it's not in a condition for disabling, or that you have a maintenance plan in place to check on it, they may withhold that trigger finger.

 

Always a better idea to respond to the email than ignore it, but judge each situation on its own merit as to whether you need to make a visit or defend why it's not necessary. (Just don't try to 'cheat the system'! :))

 

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Yes, I agree that it's not fun to spend a lot of time looking for a geocache that is missing.  However, I've found that many cache owners are quite open to having their missing cache replaced by another geocacher, and in fact are very happy for someone to do so, because it saves them quite a bit of work.  I include myself in that group.  If more geocachers would consider the option of contacting the CO and trying to replace the missing cache, things could go much more smoothly overall, in my opinion, and with less work involved.  

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Still a risk, and that's not a condoned practice. The CO is the only person who can truly verify that a cache is in its intended findable condition. Even if I give someone permission to replace it, 1) It's still on me and my word to say "This cache is in good condition!" and my agreement is to visit the cache to verify, 2) I don't know for absolute certain that the cache has been replaced as I intended (sure I can trust my friend to do it, and he may well might).  The point is - as the owner, it's your responsibility and your sole responsibility to verify the state of your geocache. Insomuch as you give your stamp of approval by posting an OM and enabling.  If you don't visit it yourself, you're risking your word being inaccurate, and implying an inaccurate log history. There's no "Proxy Maintenance" log, only "Owner Maintenance"  ;)

Ultimately, it's up to whether the reviewers believe you're intentionally shirking responsibility by regularly getting others to maintain for you, or lying about the condition of the cache, or if you are still being responsible and providing good condition geocaches and maintaining them to a sufficient extent.

 

But the guidelines are clear: If your cache needs maintenance (ie, is flagged as needing it, whether it actually needs it or not), you (the owner) need to be the one to verify that your cache is in reasonable findable condition and your listing implies as much. Any other maintenance strategy invites risk and potential consequence.

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1 hour ago, FiveEyes said:

Yes, I agree that it's not fun to spend a lot of time looking for a geocache that is missing.  However, I've found that many cache owners are quite open to having their missing cache replaced by another geocacher, and in fact are very happy for someone to do so, because it saves them quite a bit of work.  I include myself in that group.  If more geocachers would consider the option of contacting the CO and trying to replace the missing cache, things could go much more smoothly overall, in my opinion, and with less work involved.  

 

While that sounds great, it flies in the face of the guidelines Groundspeak has in place.  Most of my caches are placed close enough to where I can get to them soon enough to take care of any major issues like a possibly missing container.  I have very little problem with anyone replacing a log that might be full or wet (although I'm turning toward vinyl logs now, more often than not, in locations where moisture is most likely going to be an issue) or a light cleaning of the container that had a bit of water in it due to being closed improperly. I do have a problem with someone else replacing one of my caches.  

 

When a CO places a cache, they agree to be the one responsible for maintenance of the cache.  In situations where minor issues can be rectified by a fellow geocacher (full log, wet log), some COs are more than happy to accept that type of help.  Some COs, however, are not.  In situations where major issues arise (container failure, missing), the CO should be the one to address it, not some other fellow geocacher.  I have the type of container I want for my caches chosen specifically to match or blend in with the area so that it lasts as long as possible without needing my attention and without being muggled.  I attempt to hide my caches so I DON'T have to perform maintenance, just a regular spot check occasionally.

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And as a CO, for the most part I'm personally fine with the level of proxy maintenance if when I hear there's a soggy log and another cacher replaces the log for me - if I have my listing imply the cache is in good finding condition, I feel my word that it is so after hearing of the proxy maintenance is sufficient. So I'd be fine with that. But I also know that if there is a bigger problem, and I missed it because I didn't actually verify this dry log, then it is indeed on me for not doing a full maintenance checkup.

 

It's a matter of how confident you are that your word on the listing "All is well" is accurate. And most COs seem to be fine with minor proxy maintenance issues like full or wet log replacement ("most" - many are not and want to do it themselves), and appreciate that level of relatively simple community help.

 

But, if you as the CO don't do the personal checkup, it's always a risk; even if only because the agreed responsibility is to do the first-hand checkup, and if you don't then it could be seen as shirking.

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12 hours ago, FiveEyes said:

I've noticed that geocaching admin are doing more "temporary disabling" of geocaches they see as needing maintenance.  Unfortunately, this is happening not only with caches reported as "needing maintenance" but also with geocaches that have had one or two DNF logs. 

I noticed this too but to temporary disable a cache  because of a couple of DNF's is unfair. Many caches are difficult to find but are still in it's original spot. In cases like this the CO should check out the cache and then write a note that the cache is still there and that it's a challenging cache find. I saw one of these and the reviewer didn't disable it.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:

I noticed this too but to temporary disable a cache  because of a couple of DNF's is unfair. 

 

Depends on the reason for the DNFs and if there's been any indication that the owner is still actively monitoring the listing. 

Sometimes that owner has a record of placing caches then never going back and not responding to issues, including reviewer notes and disables. Some reviewers will act quicker if the CO has a typical modus operandi. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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4 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:

I noticed this too but to temporary disable a cache  because of a couple of DNF's is unfair. Many caches are difficult to find but are still in it's original spot. In cases like this the CO should check out the cache and then write a note that the cache is still there and that it's a challenging cache find. I saw one of these and the reviewer didn't disable it.

 

This is basically how the community is being guided. Remember that the cache was disabled by a human reviewer because they looked at the listing and determined that what it's implying about its status is sufficient to nudge the CO to do a checkup.  If there's nothing wrong, at least CO updates to the listing will clarify that.  If the CO feels the concern is unwarranted, the reviewer could be convinced to overlook it.  Just work with the reviewer, reasonably and respectably. And they're human (some are dogs) and can also make mistakes, it happens.

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Posted (edited)

Are these caches being disabled after a CHS hit or is it something in addition to CHS? Either way my thoughts are it's about time, there are lot of trash caches being propped up by throwdowns and "volunteer maintenance" that need to go away.

Edited by 31BMSG
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6 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Just work with the reviewer, reasonably and respectably.

I agree. They are volunteers and doing what they love...helping fellow geocachers.  They were once a geocacher too. lol

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12 hours ago, FiveEyes said:

when I was out of town for two weeks of that 30 days

 

You don't have to do much. Just respond by leaving a note on your listing. A reviewer almost always gives you another month. And if you have a legitimate reason for not going during that month another note gets you another 4 weeks. And that's on the low end of the scale. I've seen reviewers give far more generous time periods between notes. 

 

But if you are the type of owner that strings along a reviewer, or promises to get to previous cache issues and never do and the reviewer eventually archived those caches,  I doubt the reviewer will be particularly lenient. 

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18 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Depends on the reason for the DNFs and if there's been any indication that the owner is still actively monitoring the listing. 

Sometimes that owner has a record of placing caches then never going back and not responding to issues, including reviewer notes and disables. Some reviewers will act quicker if the CO has a typical modus operandi. 

 

True and reasonable. If I get a DNF, hardly happens, I go into defensive mode. lol Will check out the cache immediately for fear that it has been muggled.

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

Remember that the cache was disabled by a human reviewer because they looked at the listing and determined that what it's implying about its status is sufficient to nudge the CO to do a checkup.

I'm not seeing this. I've seen several listings disabled by the human reviewer when two seconds of looking at the logs showed that there was nothing wrong with the cache. As much as I'd like to think better of what's going on, the disables in my area look automatic even though we've been told repeatedly that they aren't.

 

And, second, this doesn't just "nudge the CO". That's a minor side effect. It immediately takes the cache out of the game -- although people can ignore the disable if they want -- and it threatens to delete the cache entirely. I understand that you're fine with the reviewer being that severe, but just don't forget that it is severe, not a trivial "nudge".

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1 minute ago, dprovan said:
2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Remember that the cache was disabled by a human reviewer because they looked at the listing and determined that what it's implying about its status is sufficient to nudge the CO to do a checkup.

I'm not seeing this. I've seen several listings disabled by the human reviewer when two seconds of looking at the logs showed that there was nothing wrong with the cache. As much as I'd like to think better of what's going on, the disables in my area look automatic even though we've been told repeatedly that they aren't.

Well they aren't automatic. It was a human reviewer (as you should be able to tell by the log poster) who looked at the listing and determined that what it's implying about its status is sufficient to nudge the CO to do a checkup.(Even if their opinion seems clearly overly strict :P)

Still in those cases, best to work with the reviewer. Who knows, maybe they had a trigger finger. Maybe they missed something important.  Nonetheless, it was a human (or dog). And generally humans (or dogs) are reasonable to work with when working with reasonable people.

And if there's a problem with the reviewer, I'm sure HQ would love to hear legitimate complaints. ;)

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5 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I understand that you're fine with the reviewer being that severe, but just don't forget that it is severe, not a trivial "nudge".

 

Not all reviewers are the same (and many are dogs). I'm fortunate I think that my reviewers are fairly lenient and communicative, even if they do make the occasional mistake. Not everyone in my region thinks the same. Not every region has the same reviewers. But the baseline is the same. Humans (or dogs) review and choose to disable.

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14 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I'm not seeing this. I've seen several listings disabled by the human reviewer when two seconds of looking at the logs showed that there was nothing wrong with the cache. As much as I'd like to think better of what's going on, the disables in my area look automatic even though we've been told repeatedly that they aren't.

 

And, second, this doesn't just "nudge the CO". That's a minor side effect. It immediately takes the cache out of the game -- although people can ignore the disable if they want -- and it threatens to delete the cache entirely. I understand that you're fine with the reviewer being that severe, but just don't forget that it is severe, not a trivial "nudge".

The "nudge" is the auto email the CO received and did not act on some time before the disabling.

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4 minutes ago, colleda said:

The "nudge" is the auto email the CO received and did not act on some time before the disabling.

Technically, a reviewer isn't obligated to wait for a CO to receive a CHS email before taking an action they choose to take on reviewing the listing. So if a reviewer disabled a listing after 2 DNFs, there may or may not have been a CHS "nudge" email...

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I only looked at one of the disabled caches in question, but it pretty clearly needs a check and the disable seems appropriate. In that case, it's rated 1.5/1.5 and has a very detailed hint. The first DNF in August said that they followed the hint and couldn't find it, which is a pretty good indication that something is wrong. The second DNF (logged 3 weeks before the disabling) simply confirms this. This appears to be a roadside hide that (theoretically) should be quick to check. The reviewer disabling it seems entirely appropriate and overdue.

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3 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Technically, a reviewer isn't obligated to wait for a CO to receive a CHS email before taking an action they choose to take on reviewing the listing. So if a reviewer disabled a listing after 2 DNFs, there may or may not have been a CHS "nudge" email...

True. But, the OP's case this appears to be what has happened.

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14 hours ago, FiveEyes said:

For instance,  I've had 7 geocaches "temporarily disabled" in the last  month, and have been given 30 days to fix these.

 

You might want to read those logs again. They actually say (bolding mine):

Quote

...

Please respond to this situation in a timely manner (i.e., within 30 days) to prevent the cache from being archived for non-responsiveness.

 

You have 30 days to respond, not fix. If a cache requires a hike that isn't feasible at this time of year, just post a note saying that. Then you aren't non-responsive.

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

Not all reviewers are the same (and many are dogs).

You said this on another thread. Many geocaching.com reviewers are dogs?? I disagree. Horrible thing to say. 

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When I see a cache with a low health score, I flip a coin.  

 

Heads, I disable the page.

 

Tails, I chase.

 

Woof.

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7 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

I noticed this too but to temporary disable a cache  because of a couple of DNF's is unfair. Many caches are difficult to find but are still in it's original spot. In cases like this the CO should check out the cache and then write a note that the cache is still there and that it's a challenging cache find. I saw one of these and the reviewer didn't disable it.

 

A 5* difficulty (D5) cache is *supposed* to be very hard to find.  In fact,  the help center suggests that a 5* cache may require multiple visits.  If geocachers are logging correctly, at least 50% of a D5 cache should be DNFs.   How frequently should a CO check on a cache is intentionally very difficult to find.

 

That's my biggest beef about the CHS.   If DNF logs are causing a CO to make unecessary maintenance it encourages COs to create geocaches that don't result in DNF logs, dumbing down the game to the point that those that like a challenge will have fewer caches to find.

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11 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

A 5* difficulty (D5) cache is *supposed* to be very hard to find.  In fact,  the help center suggests that a 5* cache may require multiple visits.  If geocachers are logging correctly, at least 50% of a D5 cache should be DNFs.   How frequently should a CO check on a cache is intentionally very difficult to find.

 

That's my biggest beef about the CHS.   If DNF logs are causing a CO to make unecessary maintenance it encourages COs to create geocaches that don't result in DNF logs, dumbing down the game to the point that those that like a challenge will have fewer caches to find.

Didn't TPTB adjust the algorithm some time ago. There doesn't seem to be any problem lately with high Ds getting pinged.

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16 minutes ago, colleda said:

Didn't TPTB adjust the algorithm some time ago. There doesn't seem to be any problem lately with high Ds getting pinged.

 

From what I've seen it still seems to be happening a bit, especially with newer caches that just happen to get a run of DNFs amongst their early logs.

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

A 5* difficulty (D5) cache is *supposed* to be very hard to find.  In fact,  the help center suggests that a 5* cache may require multiple visits.  If geocachers are logging correctly, at least 50% of a D5 cache should be DNFs.   How frequently should a CO check on a cache is intentionally very difficult to find.

 

That's my biggest beef about the CHS.   If DNF logs are causing a CO to make unecessary maintenance it encourages COs to create geocaches that don't result in DNF logs, dumbing down the game to the point that those that like a challenge will have fewer caches to find.

 

Allied with that is my biggest beef about when it happens on a high terrain-rated cache that's not at all trivial for the CO to go and check on. With the fire situation here at present, it'd be risky for the CO of any remote hide to go out and check on it and that's likely to remain the case for the remainder of the summer unless we suddenly get a monsoon.

 

A side effect of this might well be to discourage remote caches in favour of P&G urban ones.

Edited by barefootjeff
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Cache difficulty and terrain are taken into account when the cache health score algorithm is calculated.  Observations from looking at thousands of caches since the algorithm rolled out:

  1. There will always be some false positives - if I see inexperienced geocachers logging DNF's on caches that experienced cachers are finding, I take no action.
  2. There will always be some false negatives - a 3/3 cache whose health score degrades too slowly, when I know deep down that the three experienced finders are right.
  3. It makes sense, therefore, to have a human (or dog) look at the cache before formal action is taken.
  4. The judgment of any human (or dog) will always have an element of subjectivity.  No system is perfect.
  5. The cache health score algorithm is a preferable replacement for community inaction on caches in need of maintenance.
  6. Woof.
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14 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

A side effect of this might well be to discourage remote caches in favour of P&G urban ones.

 

I don't know whether there's any causality happening here, but I had cause to lament the lack of any terrain 3 or higher caches amongst last year's new ones in my region, a region that once prided itself on its higher T caches. I tried to make amends by hiding a T3 and a couple of T4s of my own but that's a bit of a hollow victory.

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48 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

From what I've seen it still seems to be happening a bit, especially with newer caches that just happen to get a run of DNFs amongst their early logs.

 

Examples?

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16 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Examples?

 

This thread from last February is what immediately springs to mind, plus I've seen some reviewer disable logs posted over the past year wihin my notification range where just a small number of DNFs has triggered a CHS warning. There's also this much more recent thread where the CHS was triggered after 3 DNFs but in that case there really was a problem with the cache.

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I don't recall seeing a reported instance of a false positive leading to a disable that was not either a) a mistake, b) not rectified, c) actually problematic (despite some opinions to the contrary). There's a whole lot of outrage over very little meat that isn't really meat anyway... or some other kind of mixed metaphor...

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13 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

They were once a geocacher too. lol


Past tense is so wrong...

 

Beeing a community volunteer means beeing part of the community, so beeing a reviewer means we need to go caching to know what's happening out there (and because we love the game) (and because some of us are dogs, we have to other things outdoor)

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9 hours ago, Keystone said:

When I see a cache with a low health score, I flip a coin.  

 

Heads, I disable the page.

 

Tails, I chase.

 

Woof.

 

Half of my caching team used to call geocaching "bark and park". I barked, he parked, we found the cache and then enjoyed the view / geological feature or whatever special thing inspired me to go there. 

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11 hours ago, Keystone said:

Cache difficulty and terrain are taken into account when the cache health score algorithm is calculated.  Observations from looking at thousands of caches since the algorithm rolled out:

  1. There will always be some false positives - if I see inexperienced geocachers logging DNF's on caches that experienced cachers are finding, I take no action.
  2. There will always be some false negatives - a 3/3 cache whose health score degrades too slowly, when I know deep down that the three experienced finders are right.
  3. It makes sense, therefore, to have a human (or dog) look at the cache before formal action is taken.
  4. The judgment of any human (or dog) will always have an element of subjectivity.  No system is perfect.
  5. The cache health score algorithm is a preferable replacement for community inaction on caches in need of maintenance.
  6. Woof.

I'd assume that most reviewers take into consideration caches that are hidden in snowy areas.   Many of my caches could rack up multiple DNF's due to snow cover.  In fact I had one DNF last week where the cacher mentioned snow cover as a possible reason in their log. 

 

Dose the CHS take into consideration caches without the "available in winter" attribute?  

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5 hours ago, GerandKat said:


Past tense is so wrong...

 

Beeing a community volunteer means beeing part of the community, so beeing a reviewer means we need to go caching to know what's happening out there (and because we love the game) (and because some of us are dogs, we have to other things outdoor)

I assumed a reviewer didn't geocache any longer but just realized...some use a different screen name as a reviewer than their geocaching name. One of my past reviewers I noticed this about and thought he probably retired from geocaching and is now a volunteer. 

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The important thing about a Disabled cache is not checking or fixing it within 30 days, but simply responding within that time. Reviewers are usually fine with a cache being disabled for an extended period of time, especially under mitigating circumstances (ex: winter, rainy season, construction), so long as it's clear that the CO isn't ignoring the disabled cache.

 

You will get a followup nudge from a Reviewer every few months until the cache is active again, but again just provide an update on your plans.

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6 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:

I assumed a reviewer didn't geocache any longer but just realized...some use a different screen name as a reviewer than their geocaching name. One of my past reviewers I noticed this about and thought he probably retired from geocaching and is now a volunteer. 

 

Most reviewers use a separate screen name for their Reviewer account, although some occasionally log finds under that account (events especially). But nearly every Reviewer is still an active geocacher, just not usually a prolific one in terms of yearly find count.

 

I would expect there are a few who semi-retire from caching for physical reasons but keep reviewing.

 

But I doubt anyone gets bored with geocaching but still keeps reviewing.

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10 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

Most reviewers use a separate screen name for their Reviewer account, although some occasionally log finds under that account (events especially). But nearly every Reviewer is still an active geocacher, just not usually a prolific one in terms of yearly find count.

 

I would expect there are a few who semi-retire from caching for physical reasons but keep reviewing.

 

But I doubt anyone gets bored with geocaching but still keeps reviewing.

 

 

I just thought of something funny. A reviewer using the same screen name and signing new caches that they published FTF. lol Just a funny image in my mind. One of our reviewers, a great guy, reviews for two different States. This is why sometimes it takes 4-5 days to get a cache published. 

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54 minutes ago, HunterandSamuel said:

 

 

I just thought of something funny. A reviewer using the same screen name and signing new caches that they published FTF. lol Just a funny image in my mind. One of our reviewers, a great guy, reviews for two different States. This is why sometimes it takes 4-5 days to get a cache published. 

 

Where a reviewer lives and how long it takes for a cache to be published are unrelated, though the amount of workload might.  I'm not sure which reviewer(s) is still doing it but for awhile there were two reviewers that were responsible for reviewing cache submissions any place which did not have a dedicated reviewer.  The same reviewer might have reviewed a cache in Zambia one day and Indonesia the next (now Afrika Rocks reviews caches for most of Africa).

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On 1/7/2020 at 5:20 PM, FiveEyes said:

I've found that many cache owners are quite open to having their missing cache replaced by another geocacher, and in fact are very happy for someone to do so, because it saves them quite a bit of work.  I include myself in that group.  If more geocachers would consider the option of contacting the CO and trying to replace the missing cache, things could go much more smoothly overall, in my opinion, and with less work involved.

 

As a cache owner, I do my own maintenance.  I have been grateful in situations where a cacher has actually found a cache and then performed simple maintenance, like a fresh log sheet when the log is full.  And as a finder, I've done the same.

 

When I can't find a cache, I log a Did Not Find, because I did not find it.  I do not log a find on a throw-down cache, because I am not God's gift to geocaching - we have nearly 1100 DNFs and counting - and I can't guarantee I just couldn't find a cache that was, in fact, there.

 

I am not happy for someone else to maintain my caches for me.  I own exactly one geocache that I can't get to within an hour's notice, and I have a specific arrangement with a local cacher if it needs attention.  For all the rest, if they're missing, it's my responsibility to replace them, not someone else's to leave a leaky pill bottle behind in my name.

Edited by hzoi
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7 hours ago, hzoi said:

I am not happy for someone else to maintain my caches for me.  I own exactly one geocache that I can't get to within an hour's notice, and I have a specific arrangement with a local cacher if it needs attention.  For all the rest, if they're missing, it's my responsibility to replace them, not someone else's to leave a leaky pill bottle behind in my name.

 

I had a situation just recently that could easily have resulted in two containers in the field. One of my puzzle caches had its waypoint and final in what I thought was a pretty secluded area, until a group of kids (maybe scouts) bulldozed a trail right past the waypoint during last October's school holidays, taking the waypoint object (something in the water secured by fishing line to an overhanging branch) as a souvenir of their hike no doubt. I discovered all that during my post-holidays check and installed a new waypoint in a more secluded spot on the other side of the pond (changing the puzzle slightly to match the new coordinates) and made a mental note to bring my ladder on my next visit as I couldn't reach the branch to remove the remains of the old fishing line.

 

With all the fires and park closures since then, I'd forgotten about it until I got a message from a very experienced cacher saying he'd found the remains of the fishing line and wanted to know if it was okay to log the find even though he didn't have a replacement to leave there and sign at the time. If he'd just dropped his throwdown, I'd have probably been none the wiser.

 

It was eventually all sorted, I went up there the next morning with the ladder and removed the old fishing line while checking on the new waypoint and final, which he later went back and found, but it just goes to show the mess that can result from someone trying to "save the CO a trip" by dropping a throwdown on a cache that isn't missing.

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On 1/8/2020 at 12:32 AM, GerandKat said:

Past tense is so wrong...

 

Beeing a community volunteer means beeing part of the community, so beeing a reviewer means we need to go caching to know what's happening out there (and because we love the game) (and because some of us are dogs, we have to other things outdoor)

The humans and dogs that are reviewers are members of the community, of course, and I agree we should never forget that. But when they take on the role of reviewer, they are above the community. It's also important to remember that. I have no problem with a reviewer using his user account to post NMs and NAs about caches he's looked at, even if he only happened to see the problem while acting as a reviewer. But when us uses his reviewer power to unilaterally disable or archive a cache, no matter how much we approve of what he's doing, he's not acting as a member of the community. He's acting as an external agent exerting control over the community.

 

It's not a problem for reviewers to exert external control. That's exactly why we need reviewers, and, in my opinion, that mechanism has worked out fabulously well. But I think the reason it worked well was because their role used to be impartial judges. Someone finds a problem and makes the case for it requiring reviewer action. The reviewer then makes a decision without any ax to grind. Now, reviewers identify the problem caches based on their criteria and kill the caches off themselves. The people in the area no longer have anything to say about it.

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3 hours ago, dprovan said:

Now, reviewers identify the problem caches based on their criteria and kill the caches off themselves. The people in the area no longer have anything to say about it.

 

The question is whether the reasoning - in each instance - by the reviewer makes sense. I don't recall many reports in these forums of this happening that wasn't actually a reasonable action by the reviewer.  Unless of course you believe on principle that reviewers should never act unless requested to do so by community. I don't agree with that, on principle.

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5 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

The question is whether the reasoning - in each instance - by the reviewer makes sense. I don't recall many reports in these forums of this happening that wasn't actually a reasonable action by the reviewer.  Unless of course you believe on principle that reviewers should never act unless requested to do so by community. I don't agree with that, on principle.


IMO, there is no sense getting all worked up about the CHS system or the new actions that reviewers are allowed to take. Just like there was no need to get worked up when virtuals went away or when challenge caches were neutered.  It's life.  If one is going to continue to participate in the hobby, they have to adapt to reality.  Sure, it's fun to complain.  I enjoy it a bunch, actually.  But in reality we have no other geocaching option so we just accept how it is and move on.

 

I am very lucky to be in an area with excellent reviewers, with whom I have developed a good working relationship over the years.  If I get a CHS form letter, I will take a day or so to consider the options -- either go visit the cache or archive it -- and then take the decided course without feeling personally attacked.  These threads in the forums have been very useful in that they have prepared me for the kind of email I will get should a CHS on one of my caches trigger one.  Had I not known about these from the discussions here, I might react with somewhat less equanimity.

Edited by fizzymagic
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