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barefootjeff

Archive your lonely or unfavourited caches

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Just did a quick search and 58% of caches in my province have 0 FP (was expecting more around 75%).

 

Groundspeak are you seriously suggesting to archive 58% of geocache in my province? 32% Worldwide 1M geocaches????

 

Also if people are archiving lonely cache like you are suggesting it's highly unlikely that someone would be a new one there.

Edited by Lynx Humble
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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

From today's blog article that was linked from the newsletter:

 

 

So caching is now a popularity competition with no room in the game for losers. I'm curious, though, if all the unfavourited caches should be archived, how are you supposed to find those other 9 caches in order to give the 10th one an FP? Don't there have to be unfavourited caches for the favourite point system to work?

 

Thoughts anyone?

 

The problem isn't the cache owners who are looking at the cache owner dashboard.

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2 hours ago, Lynx Humble said:

Just did a quick search and 58% of caches in my province have 0 FP (was expecting more around 75%).

 

Groundspeak are you seriously suggesting to archive 58% of geocache in my province? 32% Worldwide 1M geocaches????

 

Also if people are archiving lonely cache like you are suggesting it's highly unlikely that someone would be a new one there.

 

It looks like FPs are a bit more spread around in my region, with only about 12% of caches not getting any. Amongst those is one of mine, GC8RTKC published in May this year. It's had 10 finds, the most recent nearly two months ago, but so far it's been no-one's favourite. The cache is a short bushwalk of a few hundred metres from the road to a hill-top vantage point looking across the valley to Mount Wondabyne in the south-west around to the sea in the south-east.

 

8082cb29-193d-4d76-84aa-6494dd643b29_l.j

 

The container is a 380ml Sistema tucked under a rock ledge.

 

CacheAndLogbook.jpg.a507369a191988c21aa80d09e67a9faf.jpg

 

Sure, this is a fairly mundane cache for this region, but is it really so terrible that it needs to be archived? And what would go in its place that would be any better?

 

Likewise for the T4.5 cache I visited for my 1000th find in May 2019. Prior to that trip, it's most recent find had been in 2017 and no-one has gone there since my visit, so yes, it's a pretty lonely cache. But how would its archival benefit the community? No-one else is going to put a more popular cache there because the reason for its loneliness is the full-day rugged hike to get to its location and back.

 

2cb947cb-a55c-437a-a39c-b745420f408a_l.j

 

It's not somewhere you can put a P&G or an LPC (HQ's preferred cache types it seems) and I don't understand why caches like these need to be removed from the gameboard.

 

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When those lonely caches are archived, there will be litter left behind, with little chance it will be removed, as now no-one knows of its existence. At least if it still existed it might eventually get visitors who could remove the cache if it broke down. Such as a cache I visited recently. (Although in this case -GC351R8 , it wasn't lonely, as people had been visiting and finding nothing more than plastic shards, but still logging it. In fact someone logged it after I removed the plastic shards and their wasn't even that to find.) Archiving caches leaves litter in place. That's bad.

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2 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

When those lonely caches are archived, there will be litter left behind, with little chance it will be removed, as now no-one knows of its existence. At least if it still existed it might eventually get visitors who could remove the cache if it broke down. Such as a cache I visited recently. (Although in this case -GC351R8 , it wasn't lonely, as people had been visiting and finding nothing more than plastic shards, but still logging it. In fact someone logged it after I removed the plastic shards and their wasn't even that to find.) Archiving caches leaves litter in place. That's bad.

 

Just because a cache is lonely doesn't mean it has an inactive CO or one who won't do the right thing if they decide to archive it. Six of my caches haven't been found for over a year (that will increase to 7 in about four weeks) but if I decided to archive any of them I'd go out and retrieve them (if there's anything to retrieve as most archivals happen because a cache has gone missing), just as I've done for my other caches I've archived. The only exception is if the cache is in a spot that's no longer accessible and there are still a lot of those in the aftermath of last summer's fires.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Just because a cache is lonely doesn't mean it has an inactive CO or one who won't do the right thing if they decide to archive it. Six of my caches haven't been found for over a year (that will increase to 7 in about four weeks) but if I decided to archive any of them I'd go out and retrieve them (if there's anything to retrieve as most archivals happen because a cache has gone missing), just as I've done for my other caches I've archived. The only exception is if the cache is in a spot that's no longer accessible and there are still a lot of those in the aftermath of last summer's fires.

I never said they all don't have an active CO, and I don't want lonely caches to be archived. They're the best caches, and give the most joy, to find. The example I gave does not appear to have an active CO, or at least one who is willing to maintain a cache once placed. Many though don't have an active CO, or one willing to go pick up the remains of their active caches. Some COs are very actively placing caches, but once a cache is archived, they won't go and pick up the remains. Instead they publish another cache. The only hope for some caches left in disrepair is that another cacher will come along and do the right thing and remove the shards. If the cache is archived, that won't happen and the rubbish will be left there to rot and the plastic to break down into microplastic. Not good for the environment, and not good for geocaching's reputation.

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Popularity? I'm just part of the Basic member proleteriat, not the Premium bourgeoisie, so I cannot favourite anything yet, and haven't placed any caches myself, but... 

 

Is there some automatic timetable of maintenance /checking in that must be done (like once a year minimum) by an owner? Or is it only based on receiving a "needs maintenance" or other notice which red-flags it? 

 

In terms of "cache health" & potential archiving, I hope that the bosses are taking into account that the wilderness caches might not be visited for a long time, even by their owners.

 

I imagine they understand this, but yeah I have often wondered what happens to as cache with very sparse activity and whose owner has not been active for several years. (I also expect that part of Archiving etiquette would be to physically remove your cache, assuming it isn't already missing.) The local urban cache space is pretty much saturated, so I guess something needs to create a bit of turnover, so new members can have some placement fun too, but in the wilderness is another matter.

 

Like I said, I have not placed any caches yet, but I am hoping to one day. And part of my plan is to not place it somewhere I would have trouble going back to if I needed to freshen it up.

 

 

 

Edited by mysterion604
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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Don't there have to be unfavourited caches for the favourite point system to work?

No - but there does need to be plenty with less than 10% FPs.... :)

 

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1 hour ago, mysterion604 said:

 The local urban cache space is pretty much saturated, so I guess something needs to create a bit of turnover, so new members can have some placement fun too, but in the wilderness is another matter.

^  Encouraging some turnover in the crowded urban areas is probably good for the game.

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5 minutes ago, lee737 said:

^  Encouraging some turnover in the crowded urban areas is probably good for the game.

 

There was an old cache at a fairly remote waterfall that was archived by its owner a few weeks back. Normally around here that would be that, as it's rare for a new cache to spring up anywhere near an old archived one, but in this instance it was a spot I thought I should add to my Chasing Waterfalls series so I created a new one to go there. It was published a couple of weeks ago and so far the only finders have been a group of three Sydney cachers who were doing other caches in the region and grabbed a joint FTF on it. It's still very early days, but I doubt if many of those who found the original cache would really want to drive all the way out there again just to pick up another smiley. They've already seen the waterfall once and probably have photos of it, and it's not going to look much different the second time around.

 

696dd142-cda2-4f02-9e11-7269fd228d55.jpg

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7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

From today's blog article that was linked from the newsletter:

So caching is now a popularity competition with no room in the game for losers. I'm curious, though, if all the unfavourited caches should be archived, how are you supposed to find those other 9 caches in order to give the 10th one an FP? Don't there have to be unfavourited caches for the favourite point system to work?

Thoughts anyone?

 

The "maybes" in that blog shows it might be a "helpful suggestion", but does come off as kinda haughty.    :)

Couldn't this end some "pioneer" or "legacy" hides ?

Maybe wiping out every low D/T piece of carp in my area, and replace them with new wouldn't be bad for numbers folks,  but there's one heck-of-a-lot of distant, "lonely" hides that have few or no FPs.

We have two caches that are rarely visited.  We get numerous emails from folks saying they're on their list.

There's a lot in other countries that I'd like to visit too.  Distance hides that, because they're distant... get few FPs as well as visits.

 - Guess I don't understand why a "lonely" hide that folks are willing to spend their vacation on is somehow now dull...

 

Edited by cerberus1
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10 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Thoughts anyone?

Meh. They're just suggesting one metric by which you might determine that one of your caches is a failure. No big deal: you see no favorites, so you consider whether that's because it's really as good as you thought. If you decide that, no, it is good, but there's some other reason it has no favorites, then you keep it. If you reject favorite points outright, then this measure might make no sense. But GS implemented and encourages the use of favorites, so it makes sense for them to point out it is, in their opinion, a valid metric of how much people like you cache which may or may not make you think of reevaluating it.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

Meh. They're just suggesting one metric by which you might determine that one of your caches is a failure. No big deal: you see no favorites, so you consider whether that's because it's really as good as you thought. If you decide that, no, it is good, but there's some other reason it has no favorites, then you keep it. If you reject favorite points outright, then this measure might make no sense. But GS implemented and encourages the use of favorites, so it makes sense for them to point out it is, in their opinion, a valid metric of how much people like you cache which may or may not make you think of reevaluating it.

 

So how does archiving a cache which is still perfectly servicable but just hasn't got any FPs benefit the community? The result is there's just one less cache to find which in turn makes it harder for people to get their 9 non-FP caches in order to give an FP to the tenth one.

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7 hours ago, lee737 said:

^  Encouraging some turnover in the crowded urban areas is probably good for the game.

 

My brother-in-law dared me to put out a GeoArt series.  And I took the dare!  Twenty-four caches along the Hudson River Walkway in Hudson and Bergen Counties, NJ.  Great views across the Hudson River to NYC.  They all had favorite points.  Geocachers loved the series!  Unfortunately, I had to archive the series five years ago.  Since then, one new cache was placed along the Walkway.  (And that did not last very long.)  

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15 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The cache owner dashboard may also help you decide if it’s time to make room for a new cache on the geocaching gameboard. 

  • Sort by “Last found” date to see which caches haven’t been found in awhile. If the cache isn’t found as much as it used to be, maybe it’s time to consider archival so something new can be placed.
  • Sort by “Favorites” to learn which of your hides are most popular. Is there something about your most Favorited cache(s) that could be incorporated into a new cache? Do you own some caches that have never received Favorite points? Maybe it’s time to consider retiring those caches.

 

They're just suggesting cache owners take a look at their caches and think about why they haven't been found in a while or why they haven't gotten favorite points.  They're not telling anyone to do anything.  I have been doing just what the blog post says, I take a look at my caches occasionally and consider whether or not to keep them going. 

 

1 hour ago, Harry Dolphin said:

My brother-in-law dared me to put out a GeoArt series.  And I took the dare!

 

Dolphin in the river!  Great series!

 

d9a5127d-1c7b-4aee-8a5e-d3013ffd229e.jpg

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16 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

So caching is now a popularity competition with no room in the game for losers.

 

At least a popularity contest involves a focus on quality rather than quantity.

 

The Venn Diagram of good caches and popular caches is not a circle, but there is a lot of overlap.

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10 hours ago, dprovan said:

Meh. They're just suggesting one metric by which you might determine that one of your caches is a failure. 

 

This seems backwards to me.  

I view a hide as successful if the person that hid it gets enjoyment out of it.

We have a hide with 0 favorite points after 73 finds, but it was the puzzle and hide my daughter did when she was 13.   

That's her cache, she has an attachment to it, she gets enjoyment when people find it, and it's her favorite hide.

Is it worthy of favorite points?   Probably not but that's not really the point of the hide.

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Caches I like generally don't get favourite points. I like good quality, swag-size containers, hidden in pleasant locations (like forests), that are in relatively good shape. 

 

2IMG_3573.png.ecdbf7ae1e4d12df8109291bce5efa0b.png.f372e04bf9ab81c1f76d625b80278cc9.png

 

In my experience the caches that tend to get the most favourite points  are guideline breakers (example: hole drilled into a tree or pole, something attached by nails/screws):

 

Nice box on a tree. But a geocaching guideline breaker ... 

 

17 Best images about Geocaching Guideline Violations on ...

 

And dollar store toys with a bison/pill bottle attached to it (often listed as small, not micro). 

 

 

Flying Bat Geocaching Container includes log in waterproof

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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Oh well, I guess it's time to archive my cache from 2011 on a nice footpath between an old church and a nice country estate. Found nearly 500 times, not a micro in a corner, something to see. Just an old-school cache of the type that I'd be happy to find. It just doesn't have fps because it doesn't have a pound shop toy attached to it, or a hole drilled into a tree, or some electronic toys.

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Why all this ruckus? For Groundspeak, the need for profit is paramount to maintain the operation. They need more users to purchase premium membership which they feel is increased by new hides and caches that attract favorites. 


It's entirely possible that Groundspeak continues to move in this direction by encouraging cache turnover in a more proactive manner. I'm certain they have lot of discussion about how encourage new hides that result in more premium membership sales. It's not the lonely cache hikers, of which I participate in as well, that make Groundspeak their money.

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Some caches are extremely rewarding, yet by their nature, don't have favorite points as bait.  And also by their nature, are destined to remain lonely even after that first visit and well-earned fave point.  This one: 2 finds in 13 years.

 

836c9a11-54b8-4106-bef1-49c5838382e2_l.j

 

Surprisingly also, I've found mountaintop caches to be in excellent shape, on average.  Snow doesn't seep in like rain does, they're rarely opened so wear-and-tear is minimal, and I've yet to see one blasted apart by lightning.  (Yet occasionally a reviewer sends a CO up a mountain after one DNF, which gets me steamed...)

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17 minutes ago, fbingha said:

encouraging cache turnover

 

Actually, I do think this is a good idea. But I worry that they've come at it from the wrong direction. We'll get more caches with little thought or care -- attach a bison to a dollar store toy, toss it roadside and forget about it - get lots of FPs. 

 

Personally, I think they could encourage cache turnover by writing a blog about how voluntary turnover helps the game stay interesting. In addition, they should strongly encourage retrieval of caches that are voluntarily archived (ask COs to post a note before archival that they've retrieved the cache container). They could also encourage reviewers to do more sweeps and remove the abandoned cache listings that fill the database. 

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21 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Actually, I do think this is a good idea. But I worry that they've come at it from the wrong direction. We'll get more caches with little thought or care -- attach a bison to a dollar store toy, toss it roadside and forget about it - get lots of FPs. 

 

Personally, I think they could encourage cache turnover by writing a blog about how voluntary turnover helps the game stay interesting. In addition, they should strongly encourage retrieval of caches that are voluntarily archived (ask COs to post a note before archival that they've retrieved the cache container). They could also encourage reviewers to do more sweeps and remove the abandoned cache listings that fill the database. 

 

If the CO who placed the T4.5 cache I did for my 1000th find archived it and created a new one at or near the same location, I'd pass on it. Likewise the T4.5 down the south coast I did a few weeks ago. For me, most of the enjoyment I get from these sorts of caches is from the journey, going somewhere new and experiencing unexpected things. Putting a different box at GZ and writing up a new cache page doesn't make it a new experience. Yet it's caches like these that make up the bulk of the lonely caches, around here at least, the ones that take a lot of time and effort to get to. Those cachers who just want a quick smiley won't be any more likely to attempt the new cache as they were the old one.

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Just now, GeoElmo6000 said:

I don't understand why everyone is acting so offended by Groundspeak; the blog said that "maybe it’s time to consider" archiving the caches.

 

So you consider each cache.  Hey, this one has no favorites, but I really love it because it takes people to this wonderful destination.  So don't archive it!  Easy peasy.

 

When I look at each cache of mine I consider whether it, in the translated words of Marie Kando, "sparks joy".  If it doesn't, I consider archiving it.  If it does, I don't consider archiving it.

 

I'm not concerned about my own caches, it's others in the community who might take the blog to heart and start reducing the already small cache pool here that I see as bad for the game. Maybe mass archivals are a good thing in places with caches packed as tightly as the saturation rule allows, but there are a lot of places in the world where that's not the case and every archival is a loss to the community. Even worse is the criterion they're suggesting for archivals - insufficient FPs or insufficient finds - because I don't think either of these is a sign of a poor cache. The caches that really are in need of archiving, those with cracked containers, mouldy logs and ignored NMs, in general won't be owned by COs who read the blog or take suggestions like these to heart.

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

And dollar store toys with a bison/pill bottle attached to it (often listed as small, not micro).

I know - I don't get the fascination with FP's on those! We have one ourself even - a rubber snake with a bison - it got a lot more than others of ours that I think are much better.... 

 

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2 minutes ago, lee737 said:

I know - I don't get the fascination with FP's on those! We have one ourself even - a rubber snake with a bison - it got a lot more than others of ours that I think are much better.... 

 

 

Ha ha, I probably would have given that one an FP too if I'd had one to spare at the time. More for the way it was set up than the thing itself, as it was a nice surprise that made me chuckle when I saw it.

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10 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

So how does archiving a cache which is still perfectly servicable but just hasn't got any FPs benefit the community? The result is there's just one less cache to find which in turn makes it harder for people to get their 9 non-FP caches in order to give an FP to the tenth one.

Presumably the assumption is that a CO has a relatively fixed number of caches, so what GS is thinking is that you'll try harder with another cache. After all, the first point in the paragraph is that you should put out a cache with the characteristics of your caches that had favorite points. I see the second point as a supporting comment, suggesting a way to "make room" in your maintenance schedule for a new cache that's better.

 

13 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm not concerned about my own caches, it's others in the community who might take the blog to heart and start reducing the already small cache pool here that I see as bad for the game.

I don't like the idea that cache quality can be so bad as to make a cache's value negative, but there are so many other factors pushing in that direction, both from GS and from the community at large, that I think this one phrase is a negligible contribution. After all, it's merely suggesting favorite points as a point of reference. It's nothing like CHS and reviewer driven archival, the very foundation of which is that geocachers must be prevented from running into "bad caches". Those things are *actually* reducing the cache pool, not merely suggesting in an offhand way that a CO might do so.

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GS knows this hobby is dying and they want people to archived caches so people can place new ones.  Most new cachers give up once they cleaned out their area.  

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1 hour ago, fbingha said:

Why all this ruckus? For Groundspeak, the need for profit is paramount to maintain the operation. They need more users to purchase premium membership which they feel is increased by new hides and caches that attract favorites. 


It's entirely possible that Groundspeak continues to move in this direction by encouraging cache turnover in a more proactive manner. I'm certain they have lot of discussion about how encourage new hides that result in more premium membership sales. It's not the lonely cache hikers, of which I participate in as well, that make Groundspeak their money.

This!  I have new cachers telling me it isn't worth the cost once you cleaned out an area.  I do see from GS point of view of telling people to archive their caches so it free up the area for new hides.  New hides means more finds for local cachers that don't want to drive out of their way. Old timers were telling me there was dozens of new caches weekly during the heyday of geocaching.  What happens?  Pretty simple,  too many caches that are hogging the location that most local cachers found years ago. Most new caches go missing because they aren't good locations to start with.  I see new cachers placing hide in area where it will disappear within a few months. 

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18 minutes ago, SwineFlew said:

 Old timers were telling me there was dozens of new caches weekly during the heyday of geocaching. 

What happens?  Pretty simple,  too many caches that are hogging the location that most local cachers found years ago.

 

Please...   Of course there were new caches weekly, the hobby was just starting.

The reason why benchmarking was created was because there were so few caches in the beginning.  Sheesh...

The few caches that are still here (from the heyday...) folks travel, even taking vacation to get to them.

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18 minutes ago, SwineFlew said:

GS knows this hobby is dying and they want people to archived caches so people can place new ones.  Most new cachers give up once they cleaned out their area.  

 

That'll only work in places totally saturated with caches where new hides are mostly blocked by existing ones, in which case there should be thousands of caches for newcomers to find before they've cleaned out their area. Anywhere else and existing caches aren't blocking new caches. In my local area there are now far less caches than when I started in 2013. A lot of the urban hides have been archived by natural attrition, usually because the cache got muggled, and that just becomes another empty hole on the map. On the left are all the caches I've found within 5km of home over those nearly eight years and on the right is what's currently there.

 

image.png.a5868fa98eaa2942b22312b2b665056a.png

 

A lot of the bushland ones in the green parts of the map are still there, but they're the ones that get few finds which we're told ought to be archived. Encouraging owners to archive more of their hides will just kill off the game even faster here.

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26 minutes ago, SwineFlew said:

This!  I have new cachers telling me it isn't worth the cost once you cleaned out an area. 

I do see from GS point of view of telling people to archive their caches so it free up the area for new hides. 

New hides means more finds for local cachers that don't want to drive out of their way.

 -snip - 

Most new caches go missing because they aren't good locations to start with.  I see new cachers placing hide in area where it will disappear within a few months. 

 

Okay... so the way to create more finds for locals that won't travel are to re-create the same caches that aren't good locations to start with.    :laughing:

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I see the post as Groundspeak simply looking to cause a bump in new hides, nothing more, nothing less. Whether or not one archives their mountaintop cache, that's not going to have any material effect on their coffers. The urban hides must surely be what drives the majority of new registrations. They know they already have the sort like us, we continue to pay each year, but we've been at this a long time now and our numbers dwindle.

 

It could be said that our numbers dwindle as a direct result of the type of caching that Groundspeak continues to promote. It's a catch-22, keep the hiker happy vs bringing in more and more and more urban families. The people are in the cities, that's where the money is.

 

Geocaching Groundspeak style is a very odd business model. It relies entirely on volunteers to set the product that it sells the tools to locate and track. Perhaps the continuing decline reaches the point where Groundspeak has to incentivize hiders to place caches. Recognition beyond just favorite points: rewards, special privileges, shiny geocoins, tags, etc. Why should paid Lackeys get all the tags and names on a coin when it is the Reviewers and the Hiders that make the company product? Groundspeak needs to get really creative in ways to encourage hiders to be better and be reliable.

 

I will continue to hide caches in my area because the only way I can foster the game is to hide worthwhile caches. I will not archive any caches because Groundspeak suggests that I do. I make the decision based on muggle history / cost to replace / effort to check up on / balance of having too many active caches.

Edited by fbingha
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57 minutes ago, fbingha said:

I see the post as Groundspeak simply looking to cause a bump in new hides, nothing more, nothing less. Whether or not one archives their mountaintop cache, that's not going to have any material effect on their coffers. The urban hides must surely be what drives the majority of new registrations. They know they already have the sort like us, we continue to pay each year, but we've been at this a long time now and our numbers dwindle.

 

It could be said that our numbers dwindle as a direct result of the type of caching that Groundspeak continues to promote. It's a catch-22, keep the hiker happy vs bringing in more and more and more urban families. The people are in the cities, that's where the money is.

 

Yep, agreed.  This virus probably isn't helping too much either.  :)

The "catch-22" I see is the desire for new caches that urban cachers can head to vs. the areas that would allow it at this time.

Luckily we're still seeing new caches published each week, even with this virus going on, but mostly in large parks and wooded areas.

Our Reviewers have been really good about safety and this virus. Guess one of the few times that safety is a consideration in this hobby.

We usually see an influx of new cachers after Christmas, why we put Hallmark ornaments in reg/large woods hides.

Leaving the house a short time for fresh air is supposed to be a good thing too, so maybe a bunch more will experience a benefit to woods trails.  

 

Edited by cerberus1
Had to get the bird feeders (bears) :D
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4 hours ago, fbingha said:

Groundspeak needs to get really creative in ways to encourage hiders to be better and be reliable.

 

I agree.

 

The database needs a good ratio of new caches. In some areas the cache owner culture is--hide lots and don't worry about maintenance, and community prop-up. After about a year these types of caches are often in rough shape. This may be off-putting to people trying the game. New caches tend to be in good shape (admittedly some are in rough shape from day one).

 

It looks like GCHQ is hoping to increase the number of caches that are more appealing. If current hiders won't maintain their caches, encourage them to archive them for some much needed refreshening turnover.  I'm in favour but not by encouraging FPs.

 

With regards to "Last Found"  caches, I don't think GCHQ is saying archive them. Instead I read it as 'check your lonely caches'. Caches that rarely get found are great, as long as they are there and in reasonably good shape.  Many haven't-been-found-in-a-long-time caches aren't so difficult to get to. They are often not found much because all the locals have found them, and/or they are more than 500m from the road, and/or they have gone missing and no one wants to log a DNF. 

 

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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2 hours ago, SwineFlew said:

Old timers were telling me there was dozens of new caches weekly during the heyday of geocaching.

Not dozens weekly, but here in Canberra there are still lots of new caches being published. I can't keep up with them.

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9 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

With regards to "Last Found"  caches, I don't think GCHQ is saying archive them. Instead I read it as 'check your lonely caches'. Caches that rarely get found are great, as long as they are there and in reasonably good shape.  Many haven't-been-found-in-a-long-time caches aren't so difficult to get to. They are often not found much because all the locals have found them, they are more than 500m from the road, they have gone missing and no one wants to log a DNF.

 

What they said is "If the cache isn’t found as much as it used to be, maybe it’s time to consider archival so something new can be placed." If that isn't suggesting archival, I don't know what is. These are my six caches that haven't been found in over a year:

  • GC6E1W2 (Chasing Waterfalls 1 - Coorumbine Creek), a 2.5/4 multi last found in May 2019
  • GC6WPQ5 (Chasing Waterfalls 5 - Waterfall Bay), a 2/5 multi last found in May 2019
  • GC8DQXK (The Nemophilist Challenge), a 3/4 challenge cache last found in October 2019
  • GC6FQN8 (Chasing Waterfalls 2 - Fletcher's Glen), a 2/3.5 multi last found in October 2019
  • GC5YP8E (Plodfoot's Revenge), a 3.5/3 mystery last found in October 2019
  • GC62WZJ (Quest for the Middle Sea Diamond), a 3/5 mustery last found in November 2019

This is some of the scenery that awaits the finders of each of those:

 

LonelyCaches.jpg.5cb5ea1440566a9ce76538ad42dc4082.jpg

 

which is pretty typical of the lonely caches in this region. Archiving those and either putting something new there myself or letting someone else do that (which is pretty unlikely) won't make the views or the hikes any better, and if someone who's previously found them just wants another smiley there are much easier ways of getting that. I doubt new caches in those locations would get any more finds than the current ones are getting.

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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

What they said is "If the cache isn’t found as much as it used to be, maybe it’s time to consider archival so something new can be placed." If that isn't suggesting archival, I don't know what is.


Jeff, I think “maybe” and “consider” leave plenty of wiggle room.  No one wants you to archive your caches.

 

That said, it doesn’t seem a terrible idea for a CO to step back once a while and consider how ‘successful’ their cache has been - by whatever measure they choose - and ask themselves whether a new, maybe improved cache would benefit the community.

 

Where I live (SE England), it’s hard to find nice new spots for caches.  I have archived a few, and reused a couple of the locations.  If I want to hide more, within easy reach of home, maybe I’ll consider archiving others.

Edited by IceColdUK
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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

What they said is "If the cache isn’t found as much as it used to be, maybe it’s time to consider archival so something new can be placed." If that isn't suggesting archival, I don't know what is. These are my six caches that haven't been found in over a year

 

Just skimming this thread -- they aren't talking about rarely-found caches. They are talking about the rate of finds ("if it isn't found as much as it used to be" =/= "if it's been a while since it was found"). They are saying if it was found 10x/month consistently and is now found 2x/year, and it's not an amazing cache (with favorite points as a metric for that), maybe it's time to rotate the cache out and see if another player has a better idea. This is not the same as a cache that has been found 1x/year consistently for the past 10 years. 

 

They are targeting stagnant areas -- dense urban and suburban parks where there is no turnover and no places to hide new caches without placing LPCs, and established members (those more likely to be paying premium, going to events, buying trackables and gear) are getting bored because there's nothing new to find within a reasonable distance. This is the picture in a lot of cities and suburbs. There are areas I have cached in that had very active communities, but it didn't take long to "clear the area" -- and then the hobby isn't quite as fun when you're driving an hour and a half to make a find and can only do it once every other week or so, so the community dies down. The rate of finds on caches in those areas goes down as locals have found everything convenient to them (which is the signal they are trying to highlight). In those settings, they might attract new members, but are losing established members who will spend more money. New members don't care if a cache is brand new -- but established members like fresh things to find.  

 

All this aside, though -- as others have said, the language is pretty clearly not targeting lonely caches. 

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55 minutes ago, riverrock19 said:

ust skimming this thread -- they aren't talking about rarely-found caches. They are talking about the rate of finds ("if it isn't found as much as it used to be" =/= "if it's been a while since it was found"). They are saying if it was found 10x/month consistently and is now found 2x/year, and it's not an amazing cache (with favorite points as a metric for that), maybe it's time to rotate the cache out and see if another player has a better idea. This is not the same as a cache that has been found 1x/year consistently for the past 10 years. 

 

All of those caches I listed are getting fewer finds now (i.e. zero) than they used to get. The same is probably true of any cache as there'll be a flurry of finds initially from the FTF hounds and locals, after which it'll just be visitors to the area and newcomers. About the only caches I've seen that get a fairly constant stream of finds are those placed in tourist hotspots where almost all their finders are visitors.

 

If the purpose of a cache is just to give finders a +1 to their statistics, then sure, regularly archive the old and put new ones in their place. But if the purpose is to bring people to new and interesting places they might have otherwise never discovered, archival and replacement in the same place won't achieve that. A place can only be new and undiscovered once. Sorry, but if caching was just about amassing lots of finds with minimal effort I'd have given it up long ago, but it seems I'm very much in the minority here.

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8 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

They could also encourage reviewers to do more sweeps and remove the abandoned cache listings that fill the database.

 

Abandoned cache listings that are still in play in good condition shouldn't be archived. 

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7 hours ago, SwineFlew said:

Most new cachers give up once they cleaned out their area.  

 

In most areas, if you're going to be in this hobby for more than a few years then you need to travel, unless you cache very sparsely.

 

If someone wants to keep visiting the same places over and over again there are other GPS games that are predominantly about that. Or just go to those places without getting another plus one. Once geocaching has led you to "discover" an area it's either worth revisiting or it isn't, and some cache churn shouldn't usually change your answer.

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3 hours ago, riverrock19 said:

Just skimming this thread -- they aren't talking about rarely-found caches. They are talking about the rate of finds ("if it isn't found as much as it used to be" =/= "if it's been a while since it was found").

They are saying if it was found 10x/month consistently and is now found 2x/year, and it's not an amazing cache (with favorite points as a metric for that), maybe it's time to rotate the cache out and see if another player has a better idea. This is not the same as a cache that has been found 1x/year consistently for the past 10 years. 

 

Wow.  Wouldn't that be most caches published ?    Once the locals get them, any hide awaits travelers.  :)

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8 hours ago, SwineFlew said:

This!  I have new cachers telling me it isn't worth the cost once you cleaned out an area.  I do see from GS point of view of telling people to archive their caches so it free up the area for new hides.  New hides means more finds for local cachers that don't want to drive out of their way.

 

Interesting.  I doubt anyone who doesn't think geocaching is worth the cost once they have cleaned out their area would think it's worth the cost of hiding a cache for others to enjoy.

 

And looking at it from another point of view, cachers who have cleaned out their area, meaning they had an area of geocaches, and they cleaned it out, I believe would be far more likely to continue despite it costing more to travel a bit further.  The ones that give up, from my observation, only find a few and have many many more available in their area when they give up - saturation and lack of new hides is not the issue for them.

 

I think the example you're giving, if it indeed exists at all, is rare - rare as hen's teeth!

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On 12/2/2020 at 9:39 AM, barefootjeff said:

From today's blog article that was linked from the newsletter:

 

 

So caching is now a popularity competition with no room in the game for losers. I'm curious, though, if all the unfavourited caches should be archived, how are you supposed to find those other 9 caches in order to give the 10th one an FP? Don't there have to be unfavourited caches for the favourite point system to work?

 

Thoughts anyone?

 

I'm with you on this...

 

People can argue the literal meanings of words (out of context) like "maybe" and "consider" but the context of the blog post it is a suggestion that you "should" archive caches.  "Maybe it's time to consider..." is a polite turn of phrase suggesting that something should be done.  When your friend turns up to take you out geocaching and their car is filthy and full of rubbish: "Mate, maybe it's time to consider you clean your car"...

 

Now, ok, there are caches out there that maybe the CO's should consider archiving.  But certainly not based on the useless metric that is the FP popularity contest.

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Like so much other "advice" in the geocaching blog, I am quite content to ignore it.

 

It's a continuation of a long-running pattern, common in the tech industry, that the only thing that matters is growth in customer numbers.  Personally, I think a business model based on building from a committed and loyal customer base would be superior, but what do I know?

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Here's another of my caches, GC831AR, a 2/3 traditional in Brisbane Water National Park that was published in February 2019. The initial permission from the National Parks and Wildlife Service was for two years so it expires in a couple of months and I'm now at the point of having to decide whether to apply for an extension or archive it. In 2019 the cache had eight finds but this year it's only had one (back in July), so it certainly comes under it isn't found as much as it used to be, and from those 9 finds it's only received 2 FPs so it's not scoring very well on that front either. Clearly not a popular cache no matter how you look at it, but it's in a spot I thought was interesting, particularly as there's some unexpected old telecommunications infrastructure out there.

 

The cache is a steel cashbox hidden in a wind-eroded cavity just below the end of a ridge overlooking the tidal Patonga Creek:

 

DSC_0293.jpg.a1cc4291f391f59b812da5cc42e43025.jpg

 

Getting there is a moderately steep 1.5km hike from the road. This is the view down over the creek from above GZ:

 

View.jpg.6f88717e17adf767a4d230cab498d969.jpg

 

But now, in light of the blog's recommendations for caches like this, I'm left wondering whether it's worth bothering the ranger and her boss to get the permission extension or if it's just one to put down to experience and try to come up with something and somewhere better for next time. Maybe a bison tube on one of Lee's rubber snakes at the parking coordinates would better fit today's expections.

 

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