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coachstahly

New Groundspeak policy?

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This is making the rounds on a couple of the FB geocaching pages and I expect it will be spreading sooner rather than later.  There's no knowledge if this is a new Groundspeak policy or an individual reviewer taking matters into their own hands.  Thoughts?

 

"I see that your cache has not been found in over a year.  I'm going to disable it to remove it from the list of active caches.  Please stop by and check on your geocache and see if it still there.  If it is, the please leave a note for geocachers and re-enable it.  This will let people know they can look for it again.

 

If you can't verify your cache is still in place, or replace and repair it in a timely manner then it might be time to archive it.

 

Please either verify/fix and enable your geocache or remove the cache and archive it from the geocaching site within the next 30 days so that it can move out of this state of limbo.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns."

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I heard from a friend in my reviewer's area who has talked with our reviewer and he said that this was the first our reviewer has heard of it so it appears to be, possibly, a reviewer stepping out on their own.

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Is this happening solely due to the time since the last find, or are there one or more DNFs in between? If there are DNFs, then it could be a standard reviewer disable. However, if the reviewer is disabling the cache solely because it hasn't been found in a year, then that's a reviewer overstepping their authority. Nowhere in any of the guidelines does it say that caches must be found periodically, nor is this something that a CO can do anything about.

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17 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

Nowhere in any of the guidelines does it say that caches must be found periodically, nor is this something that a CO can do anything about.

 

That would be the biggest take-away for me. A CO can place great caches, but if no one goes to look for them...then they're great caches that no one is finding.

 

Far and away, traditional caches are the preferred cache type. There is nothing wrong with that, since that is the heart of geocaching. But, activity levels on any type of cache that isn't a traditional has nosedived for years. Putting out a multicache now is almost like condemning your cache to Siberia. A policy that a cache has to be found on a yearly basis would cut another strand on cache types that are already hanging by threads.

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What I take away from this is don't believe everything you read on social media.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, The A-Team said:

Nowhere in any of the guidelines does it say that caches must be found periodically, nor is this something that a CO can do anything about.

 

However, in the Help Centre page describing the CHS, it says:

 

Quote

This algorithm is based on a combination of logs and circumstances, including

  • Did Not Find (DNF)
  • Needs Maintenance (NM)
  • Needs Archived (NA)
  • Caches that have not been found in a long time
  • Difficulty and terrain rating

 

I haven't heard of any instances of a cache being pinged solely because it hasn't been found in a long time, and it looks like in this case there were DNFs in there, but I guess it remains a possibilty.

 

5 hours ago, Crow-T-Robot said:

Far and away, traditional caches are the preferred cache type. There is nothing wrong with that, since that is the heart of geocaching. But, activity levels on any type of cache that isn't a traditional has nosedived for years. Putting out a multicache now is almost like condemning your cache to Siberia. A policy that a cache has to be found on a yearly basis would cut another strand on cache types that are already hanging by threads.

 

Curiously, these are the find counts on the caches I placed last year:

  • GC831AR, a 2/3 traditional published in February - 8 finds
  • GC879J3, a 2/2 multi published in May - 13 finds
  • GC88KH3, a 2/2.5 multi published in June - 11 finds
  • GC8BXVN, a 2/4 multi published in August - 4 finds
  • GC8DQXK, a 3/4 challenge published in October - 2 finds

It seems my multis are my most popular hides of late.

 

Edit to add: Three of my caches had no finds last year, with the loniest having been last found in August 2018. No notes from the Grim Reaper yet...

Edited by barefootjeff
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Posted (edited)

A few points to add as the story was more fully fleshed out since my post.  @Touchstone, none of the caches I was referring to meet the things that you are referring to so it appears we're talking about different caches, which must mean that this is happening in other areas.  Of the 3 caches this log appeared on that were cited, none of them were archived and/or unarchived. One of the caches only had 2 DNFs, one had 4, and the other one had 6, all after the last find. 

 

1 of them hadn't been found in a year and only one DNF seeker of the 6 had more than 100 finds.  The last DNF triggered the reviewer action two days later.  There were no outstanding NM logs on this one.  However, the CO responded and noted that it was replaced and then enabled it.   That's a win for the reviewer.  The other one hadn't been found since 2015 and had only 2 DNFs.  There were no outstanding NM logs on this one either.  There had been only two DNFs since 2015, one in 2018 and the other the one that triggered the reviewer action 4 days later.  Again, though, the CO replaced it and enabled it, another win for the reviewer.  The last one has had multiple finds interspersed with multiple consecutive DNFs and multiple consecutive finds throughout it's life and hadn't been found since 2015 either. It's an 11 year old cache with an average of less than 3 finds a year.  The last four logs were DNFs before it was disabled and the most recent DNF was 5 months before the reviewer took action on this one.  This one was right where the CO left it.  They replied as well, stating that they probably underrated it a bit, updated the container and ratings and then enabled it.  The reviewer was wrong on this one.

 

As to the reviewer logs that were quoted, there was no mention about the DNFs being a possible reason for the cache being disabled, anywhere.  If that had even been mentioned as a possibility for why action was taken, it would certainly have been less of an issue.  It was apparently not part of a CHS email notification and the CO's inaction to the automated email or it would have been the template we all typically see.  What was quoted was the only thing that was posted by the reviewer.  The implication is that these caches were disabled because they hadn't been found in over a year or longer, not that they hadn't been found in over a year AND they had DNFs prior to the reviewer's action.  That seems to me more about a poorly written template rather than a notion that the reviewer has used a combination of factors to disable a cache.  It seems that, at least in these instances, the reviewer was using the last find date as the starting point for possible action and then decided, based on DNFs, that action was required.  It couldn't have been the CHS as it's my understanding that the CHS template is what reviewers are to use in those situations.  The scores for those caches were, therefore, apparently above the threshold.  I can certainly see in the very first example with 6 DNFs that the cache would have been awfully close to the CHS threshold.  The other two, not quite so much.  

 

As Bruce so often states, reviewers don't need to wait to act upon caches they believe to have possible issues that need addressing.  I fully understand that point and don't mind, for the most part, when they do.  However, if year long or longer lonely caches are the starting point for such an action moving forward regardless of their status, I believe this to be something that will discourage cachers from placing more remote hides (which get found infrequently), more difficult hides (which get found infrequently), and more non-traditional hides (which get found more infrequently that traditional hides).  All of these types of hides are much more apt to end up lonely than simpler/easier traditional caches in high population areas.  I went on a hike in a national forest just before the new year and on the second cache in (less than a 1/2 mile from the parking spot), I was the last finder of a relatively simple traditional cache that I had done previously.  That was the last find, 3 years prior to this hiking group visiting the area.

 

I have 17 active caches of mine that haven't been found in over a year.  Many get DNFs and all but three are non-traditional, the majority being multis.  I wouldn't consider any of them to be remote caches.  Some are higher difficulty caches.  None of them are what I'd consider P&Gs, although the couple puzzles in there are, but they're not easy to solve.  I'm not going to archive them if a reviewer steps in and disables them with the same template I quoted above  and I'll be certain to reply/respond to the reviewer action.  You can be certain, though, that I'll think harder about placing more caches that are more likely to require me to check on them because they are apt to get lonely and accrue DNFs which could lead to reviewer action.  I place my caches so I have to do as little maintenance as possible - good containers hidden in a manner that's unlikely to attract muggle attention with logs that don't need frequent replacement.

Edited by coachstahly
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9 hours ago, barefootjeff said:
15 hours ago, The A-Team said:

Nowhere in any of the guidelines does it say that caches must be found periodically, nor is this something that a CO can do anything about.

 

However, in the Help Centre page describing the CHS, it says:

 

Quote
  • Caches that have not been found in a long time

 

 

Note that this isn't about the CHS ping. This is about a reviewer disable. The CHS may provide a lower score for a great-cache-not-found-in-a-long-time (though that point alone doesn't launch a ping), but the appropriate question would be can or will a reviewer disable a(n otherwise) great-cache-that-etc.  And I think the implied context is, a great cache that does not have any DNFs, but hasn't been found in a year.

 

I'm not sure that's exactly the case in every instance this 'new policy' has been employed, but I think that's the implied policy people are desperate to find out about :P

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23 minutes ago, BethDaddyKaty said:

Shame CHS isnt shared withn COs.

 

It's kinda shared if you ever get a message in mail.  :)

I'd guess they won't share what it entails exactly, so folks aren't simply doing things to keep it "in the good".

 - Like the CO who never checks, but whenever there's a NM, they hit that OM button...

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5 hours ago, coachstahly said:

However, if year long or longer lonely caches are the starting point for such an action moving forward regardless of their status, I believe this to be something that will discourage cachers from placing more remote hides (which get found infrequently), more difficult hides (which get found infrequently), and more non-traditional hides (which get found more infrequently that traditional hides).  All of these types of hides are much more apt to end up lonely than simpler/easier traditional caches in high population areas.  I went on a hike in a national forest just before the new year and on the second cache in (less than a 1/2 mile from the parking spot), I was the last finder of a relatively simple traditional cache that I had done previously.  That was the last find, 3 years prior to this hiking group visiting the area.

 

A lot of the more remote hides around here can go for several years between finds, like the one I did my 1000th find on last May that was previously found in 2017.

 

I'm also concerned by the wording of the reviewer note that says:

 

Quote

If you can't verify your cache is still in place, or replace and repair it in a timely manner then it might be time to archive it.

 

Please either verify/fix and enable your geocache or remove the cache and archive it from the geocaching site within the next 30 days so that it can move out of this state of limbo.

 

Some very remote caches can take a full day's hiking (or more) to reach and may need to be planned well in advance or are only safe to do under favourable weather conditions. For a CO in full-time work, 30 days is only four weekends and if they all turn out to be wet or if the CO has other commitments, that deadline might not be achievable even if the CO wanted to.

 

The boilerplate reviewer notes I see here just require a response within 28 days and a note every 28 days if more time is needed, which seems more reasonable for situations like this:

 

Quote

Please respond to this situation in a timely manner (i.e., within 28 days) to prevent the cache from being archived for non-responsiveness.

If you require more time please be sure to post a note (not an email) explaining the situation and how much more time you require. For ongoing issues please ensure you visit the listing and post a new note every 28 days to keep everyone up to date, if you do not then you cache may be archived without further note from a reviewer. Caches archived due to lack of maintenance are no longer unarchived and you will need to submit a replacement as a new cache.

 

 

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If this reviewer action is going to be a regular occurrence then I have to wonder if the CHS is relevant since, at least in these three I know of, the reviewer disabled them before the CHS was triggered.  Again, I realize reviewers have the leeway to do as they decide but if we're going to have a CHS, then why wouldn't they wait to use that as the foundation for disabling a cache rather than a template that implies that the sole reason the cache was disabled was the fact that it hadn't been found in over a year.  The CHS takes into account the two things that appear to be the primary reasons these caches were acted on while the template I quoted only notes that inactivity, as it applies to a frequency of finds, is the reason given.  As Hannibal, Face, BA, and Murdock has stated, how often our caches are found (or even attempted) are things that are completely out of the hands of the COs.  It's not my "fault" that 17 of mine are year long (or more) lonely caches.

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20 hours ago, Crow-T-Robot said:

 

That would be the biggest take-away for me. A CO can place great caches, but if no one goes to look for them...then they're great caches that no one is finding.

 

Far and away, traditional caches are the preferred cache type. There is nothing wrong with that, since that is the heart of geocaching. But, activity levels on any type of cache that isn't a traditional has nosedived for years. Putting out a multicache now is almost like condemning your cache to Siberia. A policy that a cache has to be found on a yearly basis would cut another strand on cache types that are already hanging by threads.

 

We don't all have the luxury of living in a place with an active geocache community out finding geocaches.  Should  people that live in geocaching sparse areas just stop placing caches because they won't get found very often?

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39 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

If this reviewer action is going to be a regular occurrence then I have to wonder if the CHS is relevant since, at least in these three I know of, the reviewer disabled them before the CHS was triggered.

 

The CHS is just a piece of data. Nothing more.

 

What we're seeing happen is that people or systems are utilizing this piece of data. What you're referring to in the quote above is actually an automated system looking at the CHS for each cache and sending the "your cache might need attention" email. That happens then the CHS is beyond some limit that has been chosen by HQ.

 

Additionally, reviewers can see the CHS for each cache. Some perform periodic sweeps of the region they cover to identify possibly-problematic caches, and the CHS is one piece of data (among many) that they can use to identify these possibilities. Once they have a possibly-problematic cache, it's up to their human (or canine) judgement to determine whether any action is required. Even if the CHS hasn't reached the limit for the automated notification, it could still be high enough (or low enough, not sure which way it works) for it to appear possibly-problematic and bring it to the reviewer's attention.

 

In the cases that triggered this discussion, we've now learned that they have DNF logs in addition to a long period since the last find. Now that we know this, I don't see any issue here. The long period without a find is not what caused the caches to be disabled. They were disabled because a reviewer looked at all of the available evidence - including the long period, the DNF logs, and any other factors - and determined that there's a high likelihood that the caches need to be fixed. No policy change. No nefarious plots. No overstepping reviewer. It's the same process that's been happening for a while now.

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Ignoring remote locations for a while, is there any merit to this type of targeting of unpopular caches in otherwise busy caching areas?

  • If the cache that has multiple physical waypoints and thus blocks a large area?
  • If the cache blocks a large area together with other unpopular caches? That is, any single cache in the group would be fine but their combined effect blocks a large area from a large number of cachers.
  • Is in a particularly scenic spot and is unobtainable to most cachers for a reason that isn't related to the location (e.g. a run-of-the-mill T5 tree climb near a waterfall)

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21 hours ago, BethDaddyKaty said:

Shame CHS isnt shared withn COs.

 

Like @cerberus1 wrote, it is, if it's low enough.

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51 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

Ignoring remote locations for a while, is there any merit to this type of targeting of unpopular caches in otherwise busy caching areas?

 

So what you're basically getting into here is the notion that some types of caches are more "desirable" because they tend to get visited more often.  Those caches that many cachers choose not to visit are, in essence, preventing other cachers from placing caches that will get visited more often.  What I hear when reading this is that multis and puzzles aren't being found regularly and are taking up space that a more popular type of cache (i.e. traditional) could take over and get more visitors to an area that appears to be "underserved".

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

If the cache that has multiple physical waypoints and thus blocks a large area?

 

A multi, typically.  So you're OK with targeting an otherwise fine cache based on the notion that it doesn't get visited often enough that it shouldn't be allowed to stay in play?  If there's an issue with it (especially with non-maintenance), then file the appropriate logs.  Otherwise, you're basically saying that this maintained multi is taking up "valuable" space where so many other caches could go that would get visited much more.

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

If the cache blocks a large area together with other unpopular caches? That is, any single cache in the group would be fine but their combined effect blocks a large area from a large number of cachers.

 

How are you going to define popularity?  Number of FPs?  Number of visits?  If it's a lot of puzzles that don't get visited very often but are maintained, yet they saturate the area, preventing other cachers from placing caches, then you want them "targeted" because they're lonely.  This area would be better served with "easier" caches that will open it up to a larger number of cachers to visit.

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

Is in a particularly scenic spot and is unobtainable to most cachers for a reason that isn't related to the location (e.g. a run-of-the-mill T5 tree climb near a waterfall)

 

Why must the owner of the 5T cache have their cache "targeted" and possibly removed so a 1.5/1.5 (or some other easier and more accessible cache) can take its place?  You are, in essence, placing an inherently higher value on an easier type of cache while devaluing that harder cache.  The scenic spot is still there to enjoy - there just won't be a smiley for those that opt not to climb the tree.  Why must we diminish one cacher's cache in favor of something that's simpler and easier for a larger slice of the geocaching population?

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First, I’m asking for a discussion. This is a topic I’ve considered, but I haven’t really been able to decide one way or the other so I tried to write without positing an opinion. If having a discussion requires someone to play the devil’s advocate then fine.

 

1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

So what you're basically getting into here is the notion that some types of caches are more "desirable" because they tend to get visited more often.

The angle I was trying for is that cachers want to find caches, they want to find them in that general area (as evidenced by surrounding caches), but they can’t do it in the place the unvisited cache is (or else it wouldn't be unvisited). If it’s a single point cache here and there, that’s part of the game. If an entire town is literally grid of physical waypoints of caches that most cachers can’t or won’t find for whatever reason, surely that is a problem for the hobby no matter how well maintained the waypoints might be. That extreme example would require deliberate maliciousness, which can be addressed as a separate matter, but is there a point between that and the odd T5/D5 that could need looking into?

 

1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

How are you going to define popularity?  

By asking this in this thread I assumed it to be evident, but to be clear I’m strictly talking about number of logs (finds or at least notes/DNFs from people working on the cache).

 

1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

Why must the owner of the 5T cache have their cache "targeted" and possibly removed so a 1.5/1.5 (or some other easier and more accessible cache) can take its place?

I’m coming at this from the idea that you should place a cache in a location that’s worth visiting, to tell people it’s there, give them an excuse to come. Really the idea is to visit the location; the cache is just a bonus. But when a cache doesn’t get logs, it’s not really doing that. Would it really be that bad if a reviewer asked the CO to consider the issue?
 

I’m not talking about forced archiving. Maybe the nature is frail and can’t handle the crowds a 1.5/1.5 would bring and the CO recognized that. But maybe they simply miscalculated the interest their cache would have.

 

And to be clear, I wasn’t saying every cache in a nice spot needs to be accessible/popular. A bridge might offer a nice view, but it’s also the only place to hide a bridge climbing cache.

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The makeup of a local region's cache landscape really is dependent on the local community. I get the concern - it would be annoying if say a whole neighbourhood was taken up with LPCs. Or tree climbs. Or challenge caches. Or ... whatever. OTOH if the community likes it, they really do sort of dictate the 'feel' of their own community. I think the way to change that would be to change people's thoughts about what geocaching is, or can be, in their local community.

 

Groundspeak won't implement a worldwide style-guide for the variety of cache experiences within some arbitrary regional scope.  The closest they've got to that is the proximity rule. That's about as universal as it can get it.

 

The other age-old recommendation is - hide what you like to find.

Put a watch on a caches close to where you'd rather see a different style of hide. If/when that gets archived, snap up the location as fast as you can. Or talk to that cache CO and see if they'd be willing to give up the spot for a hide of another style.

 

Again I get it - in my area we have some regions that are blanketed with the same styles of hides.  But those regions become known for that style of hide.  If anyone wants to change that, there are ways to go about it. But HQ won't tell people "Nah you can't put a T5 there because there's a bunch of other T5's in the forest 10km away for people to find", or "...there's a beautiful waterfall right there, try to make it a T2 so more people can enjoy it", or something like that.

 

The game is filled with variety, but ultimately the community shapes the face of their local geocaching hobby.

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16 hours ago, The A-Team said:

The CHS is just a piece of data. Nothing more.

 

What we're seeing happen is that people or systems are utilizing this piece of data. What you're referring to in the quote above is actually an automated system looking at the CHS for each cache and sending the "your cache might need attention" email. That happens then the CHS is beyond some limit that has been chosen by HQ.

 

Additionally, reviewers can see the CHS for each cache. Some perform periodic sweeps of the region they cover to identify possibly-problematic caches, and the CHS is one piece of data (among many) that they can use to identify these possibilities. Once they have a possibly-problematic cache, it's up to their human (or canine) judgement to determine whether any action is required. Even if the CHS hasn't reached the limit for the automated notification, it could still be high enough (or low enough, not sure which way it works) for it to appear possibly-problematic and bring it to the reviewer's attention.

 

That's great but why not allow the CHS to get to the threshold before taking action on caches that are lonely.  The problem I have with this is that I am seeing so many caches that would appear in the free app to newer cachers that are obviously in need of maintenance or missing with the same number of DNFs that aren't being tended to by the reviewers because they were found just a couple of months ago but are now MIA or in bad shape.  Instead, we get lonely caches that get dinged before the CHS gets low enough to initiate possible CO action, whose inaction could lead to reviewer action.  The lonely caches may or may not have an issue that needs to be addressed but those aren't the caches that are getting visited frequently by cachers to begin with.  It's the high volume, easier caches that so many people seem to have issues with that are the ones that seem to be needing maintenance and affect so many more cachers that aren't getting maintained.  

 

That's why this particular reviewer action is a bit dissappointing to me.  It's addressing something that affects fewer cachers, not more cachers. It does very little to address the quality aspect that could conceivably lead to more new cachers staying engaged rather than finding a few easier caches in bad shape that lead to their disappointment and departure. We need only to look in the forums to see so many people complaining about PT caches and the lack of maintenance on them, yet we don't see any action on them by reviewers.  Those are high volume caches that many on here note as "set 'em and leave 'em" caches.  The same goes for those new cachers who quickly get infatuated, place a couple caches and then just as quickly, lose interest and never perform maintenance.  Yet these caches aren't seeing the same level of scrutiny that these lonely caches are getting, and those are the ones that are getting found most often in bad shape.  

 

Of the first 20 caches with red wrenches close to my home, 15 of them would appear on the free app and the other 5 would not due to D/T restrictions.  As an aside, I had to go 8 pages in (160 caches) before getting to 20, which means just over 10% (12.5% to be exact) are in need of maintenance in my area.  

 

17 hours ago, The A-Team said:

In the cases that triggered this discussion, we've now learned that they have DNF logs in addition to a long period since the last find. Now that we know this, I don't see any issue here. The long period without a find is not what caused the caches to be disabled. They were disabled because a reviewer looked at all of the available evidence - including the long period, the DNF logs, and any other factors - and determined that there's a high likelihood that the caches need to be fixed. No policy change. No nefarious plots. No overstepping reviewer. 

 

By this logic, caches with multiple DNFs should all be singled out for reviewer attention but you're saying that only caches that haven't been found a year or longer (that's the wording of the reviewer note) meet the requirement for reviewer attention before they meet the CHS threshold.  Other caches that were found 9, 6, or 3 months ago that now have 6 consecutive DNFs that haven't triggered the CHS don't meet the requirement for reviewer initiated action.

 

Per the bolded part, a big part of the problem I have is that the note stipulated that it was the year long (or more) gap between finds that triggered their action, not the confluence of events related to the CHS or the DNFs.  Believe me, if they had instead said that it was a combination of things that led to their action, I'd not have posted at all because that makes perfect sense to me.  However, they didn't.  It implies that the starting point for reviewer action, in these cases, is the length of time between finds (one year or more), and that consecutive DNFs on them will trigger a reviewer disable, despite the fact that the CHS score, which also tracks those things, wasn't low enough to send out the automated email to the CO, which could have led to reviewer action shortly thereafter.

 

17 hours ago, The A-Team said:

It's the same process that's been happening for a while now.

 

Then why not let the CHS take care of it?  It's been around since late 2105.  Before that, however, it was mostly community input that reviewers acted upon.  Cachers were more likely to log NM and NA on caches that deserved them and most COs were fine with that.  It was rarely taken personally (unless worded in a manner that could be taken wrong).  The log was a separate log and you could state the issues easily without having to figure out what to do.  Reviewers tended to rely on the community to help maintain the quality of the caches out there.

 

The advent of the smartphone and the influx of new cachers that the app brought in opened the floodgates but they also decreased the investment of the cacher to stay actively involved.  You could quit any time because you didn't have to purchase a GPS.  You could hide a cache because, well, you could hide a cache.  Power trails became a thing so people began to hide them too.  Most newer cachers didn't understand what maintenance really entailed and then they got a NM log and they took it personally because they didn't realize that it's not about them, it's about their cache.  So they get upset and leave, leaving their cache behind because they haven't invested anything other than some time, a cheap container and the painless downloading of a free app.  More newer cachers get involved and see the indifference and angst involved of those newer cachers when NM/NA logs are filed so they are less likely to file the needed logs until it gets to the point that NM/NA logs are viewed as bad things, not impersonal logs that are simply stating something about the status of the cache when it was found.  It also reinforces the notion that the cache they found (that has the NM log) isn't being maintained so that's the new "normal" for cache ownership- a poorly maintained cache that doesn't get maintenance but is still getting found logs because it's still on the books.  Since they have very little invested, those same newer COs end up finding cheap and easy containers when they go out caching so that's what they assume should be hidden, so pill bottles and other containers that aren't very good containers are being placed.  Since they're finding caches whose COs aren't maintaining their hides, they assume that is how things are done so they don't maintain their caches either.  So Groundspeak decides to invest some time because the quality of caches is deteriorating and comes up with an automated algorithm that tracks the status of a cache, helping foster the idea that cachers don't need to file NM/NA logs because there's a program that automatically does that for each cache and it will take care of that for everyone.  So they become even more "rare" and then even more COs see them as personal attacks instead of logs that are just stating a status that they believe a cache needs some attention.  The NM/NA log is then combined with other logs and is no longer a separate log so that cachers must either edit the NM/NA log (which most newer cachers don't understand how to do) or put the issue in their DNF or found it log.  Seeing as how they're not really invested in this activity, most newer cachers now post short logs with very little information which means that the CO only knows that someone posted a NM log as an attachment to their DNF/found log, perhaps inadvertently, so they ignore it, allowing the cache to deteriorate even more.  The instant gratification tendencies (since we have more instant access to almost everything) of the newer cachers leads to them finding easier caches because there's less time to invest in such a search so harder caches and other types of caches get much less traffic than in the past, leading reviewers to look at lonely caches, see if they have consecutive DNFs, and then disable them instead of looking at easier caches which have more recent finds, which have the same possibility of needing maintenance as the lonely caches do.  Is this the same process that you're talking about?  

 

I realize the above is more about COs and their tendencies rather than reviewer actions, but it seems to me that if they want to attract cachers to the game that will stick around that it's in the best interest of Groundspeak to have the reviewers focus more on the easier caches that show up in the free app that might need maintenance (and which seem to be the most common as well as the most frequently visited caches) rather than on lonely caches that might need maintenance that get found or visited far less frequently.  The better maintained the caches that new cachers find, the better the possibility that they stick around and end up placing well maintained caches themselves.  That means a focus on caches that are visited/found more frequently that are in possible need of maintenance, not ones that are visited/found less frequently and are in possible need of maintenance.  The actions on these three caches (the ones I've talked about) aren't really addressing a large enough audience to begin to make a difference.  The one with 6 DNFs was at least being visited somewhat regularly.  The other two, which hadn't been found since 2015, had 2 and 4 visitors in 4 1/2 - 5 years.  I'd rather see a reviewer focus on a cache that gets a couple visitors a week that has a string of DNFs and might need maintenance instead of focusing on a cache that gets a couple visitors a year that might need maintenance.

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1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

First, I’m asking for a discussion. This is a topic I’ve considered, but I haven’t really been able to decide one way or the other so I tried to write without positing an opinion. If having a discussion requires someone to play the devil’s advocate then fine.

 

I get and understand so I'm not attacking your input, only giving you what I think about the suggestions you posit.

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

The angle I was trying for is that cachers want to find caches, they want to find them in that general area (as evidenced by surrounding caches), but they can’t do it in the place the unvisited cache is (or else it wouldn't be unvisited).

 

So what's the problem with one cache that doesn't get found regularly amidst a bunch of other caches that do?  I don't see a problem here, only the fact that this one cache that doesn't get found regularly is taking up a .10 circle of space.

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

If an entire town is literally grid of physical waypoints of caches that most cachers can’t or won’t find for whatever reason, surely that is a problem for the hobby no matter how well maintained the waypoints might be.

 

I don't know of any place like this so I'm assuming this is a hypothetical situation.  If there were such a place, I'm sure it would be a problem but I've yet to encounter such an area.

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

By asking this in this thread I assumed it to be evident, but to be clear I’m strictly talking about number of logs (finds or at least notes/DNFs from people working on the cache).

 

I say again, so what's the problem with one cache that doesn't get found regularly amidst a bunch of other caches that do?  Just because a cache gets visited a bunch of times doesn't mean it's a good cache or a better cache than the one that isn't being visited regularly.  Perhaps that one that gets found infrequently is actually a high FP percentage cache that most cachers who choose to visit really enjoy and is actually the "best" cache in the area.  Frequency of visits, to me, doesn't really tell me much about the cache other than it gets visited frequently.  Power trail caches get lots of visitors but I have no interest in doing them very often, if at all.

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

I’m coming at this from the idea that you should place a cache in a location that’s worth visiting, to tell people it’s there, give them an excuse to come. Really the idea is to visit the location; the cache is just a bonus. But when a cache doesn’t get logs, it’s not really doing that. Would it really be that bad if a reviewer asked the CO to consider the issue?
 

 

However, your point about number of visitors seems, to some extent, to contradict this idea.  A power trail is rarely hidden in locations worth visiting yet they're popular, by the definition you provided.  Do you really think that most caches are now hidden with the location in mind?  That would be awesome but that's not the case in probably 90% of the caches that are being published.  At a location that's worth a visit, it appears to me the CO that has an infrequently visited cache they thought might be the extra draw to the location was actually going to be visited more frequently.  What about a multi that takes you to a couple local sites that are worth a visit yet doesn't get found regularly?  The CO set it up to draw them to those areas but as we all know, many cachers don't want to go to the extra effort to do a 2-3 stage multi, despite the fact that it might take you to neat locations.  Why must we simplify everything in order to get more cachers to visit a location worth visiting?  It's the loss of the cacher if they choose not to do something that might illuminate some local oddity or feature because a cache is a puzzle or a multi instead of a traditional.

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

But maybe they simply miscalculated the interest their cache would have.


Why must the reviewer get involved?  Why should a reviewer determine, based solely on the frequency of visits, whether or not the cache should remain in play?  It's not their responsibility to encourage or discourage the placements of caches and the locations said caches are to go.  It's their job to verify that the cache meets the current guidelines for publication or remaining on the listing site as an active cache.  That's it.  

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

And to be clear, I wasn’t saying every cache in a nice spot needs to be accessible/popular. A bridge might offer a nice view, but it’s also the only place to hide a bridge climbing cache.

 

I never assumed you did.  I know that wasn't your intent.  I just don't believe that the frequency of visits should be a determining factor for any CO or reviewer to automatically assume it's a problem cache in the sense that it's not doing what it was intended to do.  If a CO wishes to keep an infrequently visited cache maintained and in play, then it's up to them to decide if and when it's run its course.  My diatribe above laments the fact that lonely caches are lonely because many just don't care to try hard enough for something just a little different.  While L0ne.R states that it's all about the numbers (and I disagree with them), it seems that a majority of the cachers have chosen to play that way.  I don't begrudge them that opportunity but it's leading us into more and more easy caches while the harder caches or different types of caches are beginning to suffer a lack of steady visitors.  I will quantify their belief with the following - It's all about the numbers if you choose to make it all about the numbers.  I did when I first started but while there are certain goals and challenges I set out to accomplish, it's far less about the numbers and more about the experience for me.  Yes, I may be finding a particular cache for a specific challenge but I have chosen that cache to accomplish a particular goal, not just because it's a +1.

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43 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

I'd rather see a reviewer focus on a cache that gets a couple visitors a week that has a string of DNFs and might need maintenance instead of focusing on a cache that gets a couple visitors a year that might need maintenance.

 

I'd like to add that both types of caches should be attended to but if the focus was to be on one over the other, it should be on the more visited cache. It has the greater potential to positively affect more cachers than one that gets visited less often.

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One other point I'd like to mention regarding the 3 caches I've referenced (which are different than the ones that @Touchstonetalks about in post #5).  I don't think I have ever seen this before but after clicking on each of the 3 caches I then selected all nearby caches.  I went through 5 pages (100 caches) of all nearby caches for each of the caches that had this reviewer note posted and there were ZERO caches among the 300 with NM logs.  That leads me to believe that this particular reviewer is on top of their area and that these 3 caches were the only ones with possible problems.  I still don't like the wording of the note but man, that reviewer has got a clean slate of caches they've been monitoring.  Kudos to them!

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

only giving you what I think about the suggestions you posit.

It really feels like you’re going after strawmen though. I have not suggested anything. I gave three example scenarios and asked if there might grounds for any kind of reviewer action.

 

The first and second were a situation where an inordinate amount of space in a given area is being taken by waypoints of caches not being found. You turned that into a “single cache” taking “.10 circle of space”. Even though I already explicitly acknowledged that’s not an issue.

 

My third example was about an unpopular cache in a scenic location, and you just went off about power trails of all things. Of course people hide caches for different reasons, and the cache itself can now be the attraction. But hiding caches in a scenic location specifically to showcase the location is one of the core ideas of geocaching.

 

1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

 Why should a reviewer determine, based solely on the frequency of visits, whether or not the cache should remain in play?

I literally said two sentences before the one you quoted that they shouldn’t. You have a fairly strict idea of a reviewer’s job, and that’s good if the alternative is power tripping and deleting caches on a whim. But I ultimately don’t feel a reviewer’s job is restricted to specific listed actions. Some individual reviewers may specialize in them sure, but the whole job is simply to keep the game going. But to be clear, in this kind of scenario, I’m thinking more in terms of having a quiet word in a meet rather than going for the reviewer tools.
 

1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

What about a multi that takes you to a couple local sites that are worth a visit yet doesn't get found regularly?  The CO set it up to draw them to those areas but as we all know, many cachers don't want to go to the extra effort to do a 2-3 stage multi, despite the fact that it might take you to neat locations.  Why must we simplify everything in order to get more cachers to visit a location worth visiting?

Well, if the CO really wants people to visit those places and their current cache isn’t doing the job, shouldn’t the CO be thinking about archival anyway? Or changing the multi to use non-physical waypoints. The only situation where this is a problem is if the CO is more attached to their own cache than to the locations.

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50 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

I gave three example scenarios and asked if there might grounds for any kind of reviewer action.

 

And I replied that I don't think any of the three situations warrant any kind of action on their part, unless you believe it's the responsibility of a reviewer to decide whether or not they should ask a CO if they believe their cache is doing what they intended.  That's not their call; it's the CO's call.  If you had a cache that was well maintained and you were proud of but it was rarely visited, then I would have no issue if you opted to archive it because you felt it wasn't being found in a manner that you appreciated.  If you had a cache that was well maintained and you were proud of but it was rarely visited, then a reviewer, on their own with no input from anyone else, contacted you and asked you about possibly archiving it because they felt (not you, them) the location wasn't being used to the best of its ability, how would that make you feel?   At its core, that's telling me, indirectly, that my cache isn't good enough for the location because apparently a reviewer believes the cache at the locations is not being used most effectively.  It's not their place to judge the "effectiveness" or "popularity" or anything else subjective about a cache.  That's a big reason as to why virtuals were shut down - reviewers had to evaluate the "wow" factor and it was both inconsistent as well as way too much to ask of someone volunteering to do a job.  All you need to do is find a bunch of virtuals to see what I mean about reviewer subjectivity.  Some are great and others are the equivalent of a 1.5/1.5 LPC.

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

My third example was about an unpopular cache in a scenic location, and you just went off about power trails of all things. Of course people hide caches for different reasons, and the cache itself can now be the attraction. But hiding caches in a scenic location specifically to showcase the location is one of the core ideas of geocaching.

 

I pointed out that caches aren't generally placed now to showcase the location and I used power trails as examples to show you that caches that tend to get published now rarely showcase the location.  However, they get visited frequently, which seems to be one of the focus points that you're raising.  Instead, it's all about the cache and the +1.  There are certainly some caches that showcase a great location but it's a much smaller portion than it used to be, especially since you consider that you're specifically talking about more populated areas rather than more remote areas.  Saturation and 20 years of caches leaves undiscovered gems a rarity these days.

 

You don't think the CO of that unpopular cache put the cache there to highlight the location?  That they placed it there because it was the only spot they could squeeze one in?  That they didn't give any thought as to what they were doing?

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

I literally said two sentences before the one you quoted that they shouldn’t.

 

You said "I’m not talking about forced archiving."  I wasn't talking about forced archival either.  Them even reaching out to you to means that they think it might be better for you to reconsider the "effectiveness" of the cache and archive it.  No, they're not the ones that would actually archive it but they're suggesting that you consider it.  Since when should a reviewer reach out to someone, unsolicited, and ask a CO if they would consider archiving their cache because they (the reviewer) believe the location could be used for a "better" and more "popular" cache than the one that's already there but not being found frequently? If you think that's OK for a reviewer to do, then I hope you don't review my area because that's stepping over the boundaries a bit, in my opinion.

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

But I ultimately don’t feel a reviewer’s job is restricted to specific listed actions.

 

I don't either but offering up subjective comments about a cache isn't one that should be considered.  The listings that were disabled, per this thread, are definitely something that isn't specifically listed but they had a hunch, based on some objective things that, weighed together, led them to the actions they did. Suggesting to me that my cache that's not being found very often might be better off archived so that I (or someone else) can put out another cache that will get found more often steps over the line, IMO.  If you're going to go that route, then they should be posting reviewer notes on caches that are using pill bottles or other crappy containers but you don't see them doing that.  It's not their job.

 

1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

Well, if the CO really wants people to visit those places and their current cache isn’t doing the job, shouldn’t the CO be thinking about archival anyway? Or changing the multi to use non-physical waypoints. The only situation where this is a problem is if the CO is more attached to their own cache than to the locations.

 

I have no issues with this as it's purely up to the CO.  There is no reviewer reaching out to you to tell you to consider archiving it so a new one that is going to be found more often can take its place.  As to being attached to a creation of your own, how can you not be attached to it in some way?  How is that a problem?

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6 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

I’m coming at this from the idea that you should place a cache in a location that’s worth visiting, to tell people it’s there, give them an excuse to come. Really the idea is to visit the location; the cache is just a bonus. But when a cache doesn’t get logs, it’s not really doing that. Would it really be that bad if a reviewer asked the CO to consider the issue?

 

For me, a really good cache isn't just about bringing people to a pretty location. It has to tell a story, draw you in, take you on an adventure, build the suspense, bring you to that pretty location in a state of mind where you can appreciate it all the more, then round off the performance with a satisfying search for the (preferably themed) container. As an example I'll throw GC58MFA into the ring as that's the one in my favourites list that comes closest to what I'm getting at. But is this a popular cache? In the five and a half years it's been there, it's only had 16 finds, the most recent eight months ago.

 

5 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Just because a cache gets visited a bunch of times doesn't mean it's a good cache or a better cache than the one that isn't being visited regularly.  Perhaps that one that gets found infrequently is actually a high FP percentage cache that most cachers who choose to visit really enjoy and is actually the "best" cache in the area.  Frequency of visits, to me, doesn't really tell me much about the cache other than it gets visited frequently.

 

Often I find there's an inverse relationship between the subjective "goodness" of a cache and the number of visitors it gets. The caches that get the most visits are usually the quick finds in the middle of town where there are lots of passing cachers. In my state (New South Wales, Australia), the top logged cache is GCJFY5, a 2004 virtual at Circular Quay on Sydney Harbour with a staggering 4115 finds. To claim a find, you just pick one of 49 literary plaques on the footpath, name the author and one of their works and take a selfie there. Yes, it's a pretty place but it's a cache you can complete in less than a minute on your way from one tourist attraction to the next. Close behind that is GCKKTY, an MKH in a guard rail overlooking Sydney Harbour with 2286 finds. Which is going to be the more memorable experience, those or the one I mentioned earlier that's had only 16 finds?

 

It's a fact of life that the mundane caches get lots of finds, especially if they're in a tourist hotspot, whereas those grand adventure caches, the ones you'll tell your grandkids about, often struggle to get beyond single digit find counts. HQ might see their find counters ticking over faster, but I think if geocaching just consisted of quick P&Gs it'd be a much poorer game and one that would be unlikely to sustain interest over the years.

 

It's probably no surprise then that my own caches tend to be story-telling adventure ones, like GC664DZ, a multi with a series of physical waypoints that are clues to the lost sheriff in an 1850s colonial Australian setting. Embers of a camp fire, a horseshoe, the gaol-house key and the sheriff's pistol lead searchers up a gully past a series of impressive waterfalls, cascades and rock features to the big reveal in a dramatic location. It's had 17 finds in its four years of existence but only 4 last year and none the year before, so you might say it's well past its prime. It's also been a fairly high maintenance cache for me, so if someone came along and said they wanted to use that gully for a series of bison tubes every 161 metres then yes, I'd probably archive it to clear the way for them. Their trail of bisons would no doubt get many more finds than my multi, but I'd still have to ask which is the better caching experience?

 

If the reviewer contacted me and said that my Peat's Grave traditional with its 293 finds is fine, but all those adventure multis and mysteries with their single digit or low teens find counts just aren't pulling their weight and need to go, I'd feel pretty peeved and would probably start looking for another pastime. But maybe I'm the odd one out as I'm in it for the experiences rather than the numbers.

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2 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

But to be clear, in this kind of scenario, I’m thinking more in terms of having a quiet word in a meet rather than going for the reviewer tools.
 

 

I'm friends (not close but not an acquaintance) with my reviewer as we've hiked together a few times, been at several events together, and have exchanged messages on a couple different platforms.  If he were to ever approach me (either in person or via an email) about me considering the possibility of voluntarily archiving a cache of mine because it's not being found frequently and the location is being wasted, I'd be confused.  He's not found any of my caches so how does he know the location of my cache isn't being utilized in a manner that would attract more visitors.  Even if he had found some of mine, he's thinking that I could do better.  "Hey coach.  I found one of your caches the other day that hadn't been found in awhile.  Have you considered possibly archiving it and placing something a bit less challenging so that more people can visit this location?  It's worth the visit."  I know it's worth the visit; that's why I placed a cache there.  I'm not going to lower my own personal CO standards to place a cache that I wouldn't be happy to call mine just to get more visitors to come to this location.  If I ever get tired of maintaining the cache, I'll archive it myself, which is the way it should be.

 

I was fortunate enough to receive a virtual reward on the first go round.  I placed it in what I think is an awesome location not too far from a nice sized town that has a smaller college campus.  It was found once this year (one family, two accounts so technically twice).  People don't want to do harder caches, even though there's actually nothing to find at this virtual (other than some spray painted/etched names and dates).  At least in the case of this cache, there's nothing I can do to make it easier other than put it down at the bottom of the climb but that eliminates the part of the cache that's worth the salt to do it.  I'm certainly not going to do that and if a reviewer ever mentioned to me in passing that this location is being wasted due to the lack of visitors and I should consider archiving it and placing something else, I'd probably laugh.

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19 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

If the reviewer contacted me and said that my Peat's Grave traditional with its 293 finds is fine, but all those adventure multis and mysteries with their single digit or low teens find counts just aren't pulling their weight and need to go, I'd feel pretty peeved and would probably start looking for another pastime. But maybe I'm the odd one out as I'm in it for the experiences rather than the numbers.

 

I think the point isn't about forced archival, at least for mustakorppi.  I think it's about a reviewer reaching out to you, voluntarily and on their own, regarding those infrequently found caches of yours and asking you if you'd consider archiving them voluntarily in order to place a cache (or let someone else place a cache) that could attract more visitors.  I don't think that type of reviewer interaction is part of what their job should entail.

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

If you had a cache that was well maintained and you were proud of but it was rarely visited, then a reviewer, on their own with no input from anyone else, contacted you and asked you about possibly archiving it because they felt (not you, them) the location wasn't being used to the best of its ability, how would that make you feel?

If my cache is rarely visited by design, I’d probably have thought it out in advance and would be able to justify it. If not, of course I’d be hurt at first. But hopefully I could reflect, check my ego and see that geocaching isn’t an individual sport. More realistically, I probably wouldn’t be proud of the cache (or my choice of placement for it) in the first place.

 

1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

 

I pointed out that caches aren't generally placed now to showcase the location and I used power trails as examples to show you that caches that tend to get published now rarely showcase the location.  However, they get visited frequently, which seems to be one of the focus points that you're raising.

 How do you get that from

6 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

Really the idea is to visit the location; the cache is just a bonus.

I don’t care about cache’s popularity, I care about effectively promoting nice locations with geocaches. The popularity of individual caches that aren’t in a nice location isn’t relevant to this. (Or I guess it is in the way that caches in bad locations make people less inclined to find caches as a means of finding nice locations, but banning power trails, LPCs etc. is another topic.)

 

1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

Since when should a reviewer reach out to someone, unsolicited, and ask a CO if they would consider archiving their cache because they (the reviewer) believe the location could be used for a "better" and more "popular" cache than the one that's already there but not being found frequently?

The angle isn’t that ”location could be used better for a cache” it’s that caching could be better used for the location. The waterfall is more important than the preform. 
 

Also, I have been very deliberate in not making value judgements or saying that one cache is better than another. Visitor count or frequency has very little to do with how good a cache is. Another cache being better for that location is a meaningful distinction to me at least.

 

But I guess this quoted passage is the heart of our disagreement? You want to shield COs from anything that could be constituted as an attack on their creation, and by extension themselves, unless the CO forces the situation by ignoring guidelines and rules. I understand that consideration, and I know of COs that have flat out said they’d quit if they had to receive negative feedback (e.g. review score feature, or just negative logs). I don’t really want to hear anything negative about my own caches either, even the one I know deserves it.


I think that the reason for a reviewer to contact a CO isn’t really because a rule was broken, it’s because their cache is in such a state that the negative effect it has on the caching community overrides whatever enjoyment the CO might get from owning the cache. I’m not sure but I believe the scenarios I described might do that as well. I don’t think they should ever be written down as rules (too fuzzy, too subjective).

 

1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

As to being attached to a creation of your own, how can you not be attached to it in some way?

Of course. But, as you said, the very reason that creation exists was to bring cachers to a specific location and that didn’t work out. If a chef creates a dish that doesn’t bring in customers, they drop it off the menu and create something else. 

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6 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

I’m coming at this from the idea that you should place a cache in a location that’s worth visiting, to tell people it’s there, give them an excuse to come. Really the idea is to visit the location; the cache is just a bonus.

But when a cache doesn’t get logs, it’s not really doing that. Would it really be that bad if a reviewer asked the CO to consider the issue?

 

When we started,  besides "we use Rubbermaid..." on tees, the site used "The language of location" as their slogan.   :)

We consider the container secondary to the location that coordinates bring you to.  You sign the container's log to show you were at that location.

I feel that's changed a lot, but we now simply head to areas that fit.  We're not too mesmerized by yet-another lpc in a parking lot...

 

After the usual folks from the area hit a cache, visits naturally slow.  That's everywhere.  We can't change that.

Later, if it's what folks like, they make plans to stop, some from countries away..  "Old"  caches are like that.

So curious...Isn't this yet-another push just to churn caches for smilies ?  

 - If this is just about points,  than that awesome location becomes secondary to the smiley...

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17 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

If a chef creates a dish that doesn’t bring in customers, they drop it off the menu and create something else. 

 

So it really is all about the numbers. Let me throw another example into the fray, GC62WZJ, another of my story-telling caches woven into a kayak paddle around the waterways, some short scenic hikes along the ridges and through an arboretum, leading finally to a themed container in a small cave overlooking Putty Beach.

 

DSC_0195.jpg.104d0fec6ebeff63ec94a10ecdf656e6.jpg

 

This cache has had 27 finds in a bit over four years but only 3 last year and 3 the year before. It takes about half a day to visit all the waypoints, plus you need a boat for the two water ones, so a simple traditional in that spot would surely have done a lot better, maybe even be up into the hundreds of finds by now. Lots more customers. But which is the better experience? This is what one of the finders had to say:

 

Quote

it may not get found much , but the people who take the time to find it, sure do appreciate all the effort you went to placing it.

 

 

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Sorry, the posts in this discussion have gotten pretty long and I don't have time to read all of them, let alone address the many different points. I'll address these paragraphs, though:

 

6 hours ago, coachstahly said:
On ‎1‎/‎9‎/‎2020 at 1:07 PM, The A-Team said:

In the cases that triggered this discussion, we've now learned that they have DNF logs in addition to a long period since the last find. Now that we know this, I don't see any issue here. The long period without a find is not what caused the caches to be disabled. They were disabled because a reviewer looked at all of the available evidence - including the long period, the DNF logs, and any other factors - and determined that there's a high likelihood that the caches need to be fixed. No policy change. No nefarious plots. No overstepping reviewer. 

 

By this logic, caches with multiple DNFs should all be singled out for reviewer attention but you're saying that only caches that haven't been found a year or longer (that's the wording of the reviewer note) meet the requirement for reviewer attention before they meet the CHS threshold.  Other caches that were found 9, 6, or 3 months ago that now have 6 consecutive DNFs that haven't triggered the CHS don't meet the requirement for reviewer initiated action.

 

Per the bolded part, a big part of the problem I have is that the note stipulated that it was the year long (or more) gap between finds that triggered their action, not the confluence of events related to the CHS or the DNFs.  Believe me, if they had instead said that it was a combination of things that led to their action, I'd not have posted at all because that makes perfect sense to me.  However, they didn't.  It implies that the starting point for reviewer action, in these cases, is the length of time between finds (one year or more), and that consecutive DNFs on them will trigger a reviewer disable, despite the fact that the CHS score, which also tracks those things, wasn't low enough to send out the automated email to the CO, which could have led to reviewer action shortly thereafter.

 

Addressing your first paragraph, I'm not saying anything about what conditions are appropriate for a reviewer to step in. The conditions vary, so it's up to each reviewer's judgement to determine whether action needs to be taken or not.

 

Addressing your second paragraph, I think you're reading too much into the reviewer's log. Most reviewers use boilerplate logs for situations like this. Even though it only mentions the time period, that doesn't mean that this was the only factor that went into their decision to disable the cache. In all likelihood, there were many additional factors in play.

 

Additionally, I don't see any reason why a reviewer shouldn't be able to take appropriate action if the CHS hasn't reached the threshold for the automated notification. If the reviewers were prevented from doing so, we probably wouldn't need the reviewers at all. The reason we have them is to look at all of the available evidence (much of which the CHS can't process, such as the content of DNF logs, external factors like weather, etc.) and use their judgement.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

For me, a really good cache isn't just about bringing people to a pretty location. It has to tell a story, draw you in, take you on an adventure, build the suspense, bring you to that pretty location in a state of mind where you can appreciate it all the more, then round off the performance with a satisfying search for the (preferably themed) container. As an example I'll throw GC58MFA into the ring as that's the one in my favourites list that comes closest to what I'm getting at. But is this a popular cache? In the five and a half years it's been there, it's only had 16 finds, the most recent eight months ago.

 

6 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

So it really is all about the numbers.

You are taking things out of context. My own favorite cache looks eerily similar to yours on the map https://coord.info/GC3CAZZ Also just 16 finds and it’s a year older :)

 

My examples dealt with unvisited caches that block an area (either a large area or a particularly nice area) from cachers in an area that otherwise has a lot of caching going on, and I tried to avoid getting into whether a cache is good or not as that certainly isn’t up to a reviewer to decide. But personally, I completely agree. I don’t have the time and energy to hide caches like that, but I certainly like finding them. 

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2 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

My examples dealt with unvisited caches that block an area (either a large area or a particularly nice area) from cachers in an area that otherwise has a lot of caching going on, and I tried to avoid getting into whether a cache is good or not as that certainly isn’t up to a reviewer to decide. But personally, I completely agree. I don’t have the time and energy to hide caches like that, but I certainly like finding them. 

 

Caches are hidden to provide the finder with an experience. Sometimes, that experience isn't the type that everyone wants to experience, and there's nothing wrong with that. Some like tree climbs, challenge caches, and difficult puzzles. Those people shouldn't be punished for liking those by replacing all of the styles they like with park 'n' grab Traditionals that lots of people will find.

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42 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

My examples dealt with unvisited caches that block an area (either a large area or a particularly nice area) from cachers in an area that otherwise has a lot of caching going on, and I tried to avoid getting into whether a cache is good or not as that certainly isn’t up to a reviewer to decide. But personally, I completely agree. I don’t have the time and energy to hide caches like that, but I certainly like finding them. 

 

Sorry, but now I'm confused as the examples I've given do block nice spots from having easy-and-quick traditionals there. This area probably has more of a shortfall in P&Gs than it does bushland adventure caches. This is all that's available on the peninsula to a basic member using the app:

 

image.png.2ec19264174706a4447104ece5c92b29.png

 

So I don't know, maybe there is a case to be made for just putting easy traditionals in those scenic spots that have terrain 2 or less access from a road. But P&Gs aren't my style as I don't have the enthusiasm to be constantly replacing logs or putting them back when finders leave them sitting out in the open, just to get TFTC after TFTC in the online logs, so someone else in the community (or the reviewer) would have to start the ball rolling.

 

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Don't forget that you can use other methods to take people to beautiful locations that aren't straight-forward low DT Traditional caches.

 

AND, you can even do that if someone else already has the spot taken up with a cache. Just find a way to build an additional waypoint, a puzzle or multi question, or an earthcache

Edited by thebruce0
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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Sorry, but now I'm confused as the examples I've given do block nice spots from having easy-and-quick traditionals there. This area probably has more of a shortfall in P&Gs than it does bushland adventure caches. This is all that's available on the peninsula to a basic member using the app:

I see large areas that don’t have caches. Are those blocked by waypoints to caches no one visits, or is it just that no one has chosen to place a cache there?
 

Or if we concentrate just on scenic spots, well I can’t tell much from just looking at the map of course. But am I correct in assuming there’s plenty of places with an ocean view where a cache could still be placed? Or where a cache that gets visited already is.

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5 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

I see large areas that don’t have caches. Are those blocked by waypoints to caches no one visits, or is it just that no one has chosen to place a cache there?

Depends on the area. Around here, many of the areas I see that don't have many caches are either areas that are harder to access (e.g., multi-hour hikes), or are areas that don't allow caches (e.g., wildlife refuges).

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7 hours ago, The A-Team said:

Caches are hidden to provide the finder with an experience. Sometimes, that experience isn't the type that everyone wants to experience, and there's nothing wrong with that. Some like tree climbs, challenge caches, and difficult puzzles. Those people shouldn't be punished for liking those by replacing all of the styles they like with park 'n' grab Traditionals that lots of people will find.

Any one of those caches is perfectly fine. But if your area has just one waterfall, does your awesome crack enigma while up in a tree puzzle have to be right there?

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18 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

I see large areas that don’t have caches. Are those blocked by waypoints to caches no one visits, or is it just that no one has chosen to place a cache there?
 

Or if we concentrate just on scenic spots, well I can’t tell much from just looking at the map of course. But am I correct in assuming there’s plenty of places with an ocean view where a cache could still be placed? Or where a cache that gets visited already is.

 

It varies. The pale green areas on the map are national parks where there are pretty stringent restrictions on cache placement (I've had two approved and three knocked back so far). Placement along the beachfront is tricky as there's only a bit of grass and low scrub between the sand and the houses. Most caches placed along the waterfront don't last very long before they're muggled or washed away by king tides and storms. Some of the darker green areas are council reserves where cache placement is mostly unrestricted, but many of those, like the headland between Umina Beach and Pearl Beach, are pretty much locked up by existing higher terrain caches. Much the same goes for Blackwall Mountain where the three existing caches (terrain 2.5 or 3) block much of the top.

 

A few years back there were a lot more urban caches around the streets and parks here but they've mostly gone, their owners departed and the caches left behind muggled and archived. There's a relatively new cacher who lives further east along the coast (joined about 18 months ago) who specialises more in urban P&Gs (both his finds and his hides) and perhaps he might start hiding a few in this area.

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35 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

But if your area has just one waterfall, does your awesome crack enigma while up in a tree puzzle have to be right there?

 

See my Chasing Waterfalls series as an example from this area. All the waterfalls are inside national parks so I made them multis with virtual waypoints at each of the falls and the final further along the watercourse after it's emerged from the park (or in two cases before it enters the park).

 

Somersby Falls is our main tourist waterfall but it's also inside a national park. There's a cache there (GC5FXTK), a field-puzzle mystery that showcases not only the tourist falls at the top but the multitude of falls, cascades and pools further down the valley. Again its final is located outside the park.

 

Apart from Somersby, most of the falls here are a fair hike from the nearest car parking so even if National Parks could be persuaded to allow a traditional right at a waterfall, it's unlikely to be a terrain 1 or 1.5.

 

Edited by barefootjeff

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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

There's a relatively new cacher who lives further east along the coast (joined about 18 months ago) who specialises more in urban P&Gs (both his finds and his hides)

Slightly going off a tangent here, but I just had a bit of an epiphany about “park & grabs”. A 1.5/1.5 micro in a park at the edge of a residential area was published in my town yesterday. The CO appears to be fairly young, with one similar hide nearby.  
 

Now a number-chasing cacher certainly could drive by, park and grab those caches, but are the caches themselves park & grab? They’re probably just places a kid that doesn’t have a car can easily get to. The caches themselves certainly don’t force anyone to park and grab them (see the photo in my latest find for evidence). They just are. So from now on, I choose to think of simple trads as Choose Your Own Adventure caches instead.

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4 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

Now a number-chasing cacher certainly could drive by, park and grab those caches, but are the caches themselves park & grab?

Are they next to parking? (Park)

Are they easy to find? (Grab)

Are they next to parking and easy to find? (Park & Grab)

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2 hours ago, niraD said:

Are they next to parking and easy to find? (Park & Grab)

A park & grab cacher might think like that, because that’s what relevant to them. Why should anyone else?
 

The CO here is too young to drive so he likely doesn’t care. I choose to cache by bike so availability of parking or needing to move on my own power are not a concern.The cache doesn’t force me to do anything. I can walk, jog, ride fast on a road bike, take a detour on single track on my gravel bike, just enjoy riding my fixie, drive a car if I’m down with the flu, whatever I want. Choose Your Own Adventure. 

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On ‎1‎/‎9‎/‎2020 at 12:36 AM, barefootjeff said:

I haven't heard of any instances of a cache being pinged solely because it hasn't been found in a long time, and it looks like in this case there were DNFs in there, but I guess it remains a possibilty.

 

That same algorithm is used by cachers hunting my caches... where me checking the cache and logging that everything is in order two weeks prior is considered to be "not found in a long time".  Suspected to be gone.  Whatever you call it, sure, nobody found it recently, but I was physically there and inspected all the stages to be sure they're ready, and made the appropriate log.  If the CHS algorithm is like those Geocachers, that stinks. :mad:

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49 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

That same algorithm is used by cachers hunting my caches... where me checking the cache and logging that everything is in order two weeks prior is considered to be "not found in a long time".  Suspected to be gone.  Whatever you call it, sure, nobody found it recently, but I was physically there and inspected all the stages to be sure they're ready, and made the appropriate log.  If the CHS algorithm is like those Geocachers, that stinks. :mad:

Thank goodness, it isn't.

You correctly used the "Owner Maintenance" log type, to which the algorithm gives great credit.  That cache's health score is now the equivalent of getting an A+ on a test.

Had you used the "Write Note" log type, the algorithm would not recognize that as the basis for improving the health score.

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1 hour ago, mustakorppi said:

A park & grab cacher might think like that, because that’s what relevant to them. Why should anyone else?
 

The CO here is too young to drive so he likely doesn’t care. I choose to cache by bike so availability of parking or needing to move on my own power are not a concern.The cache doesn’t force me to do anything. I can walk, jog, ride fast on a road bike, take a detour on single track on my gravel bike, just enjoy riding my fixie, drive a car if I’m down with the flu, whatever I want. Choose Your Own Adventure. 

Just because a cache is P&G doesn't mean I have to drive to it. I've found P&G trailhead caches without parking at the trailhead.

 

But just because I boat across a lake and walk from there to the trailhead, that doesn't mean the P&G cache at the trailhead is suddenly a T5 boat cache.

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31 minutes ago, niraD said:

Just because a cache is P&G doesn't mean I have to drive to it. I've found P&G trailhead caches without parking at the trailhead.

 

But just because I boat across a lake and walk from there to the trailhead, that doesn't mean the P&G cache at the trailhead is suddenly a T5 boat cache.

Who cares the what the T rating of the plastic box is if you had a good time on your boat? If that plastic box was the excuse you needed to ride your boat that day, isn’t that the relevant aspect of the cache to you? Not what that cache might represent to a number-chaser.

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2 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

A park & grab cacher might think like that, because that’s what relevant to them. Why should anyone else?
 

The CO here is too young to drive so he likely doesn’t care. I choose to cache by bike so availability of parking or needing to move on my own power are not a concern.The cache doesn’t force me to do anything. I can walk, jog, ride fast on a road bike, take a detour on single track on my gravel bike, just enjoy riding my fixie, drive a car if I’m down with the flu, whatever I want. Choose Your Own Adventure. 

 

The Park and Grab attribute:

 

parkngrab-yes.png

 

just means the cache is next to parking and will likely be a quick find. In other words, the exact opposite to any of mine. But you don't have to do it that way, you can still walk there, ride a bike, catch a bus or even drop from the sky on a parachute, well maybe not in an urban area.

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