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Archive your lonely or unfavourited caches


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7 hours ago, jaysonC said:

I see this thought process a lot on the forums, and I'm genuinely curious - why are these problems? If you're an outdoorsy type, you like a good hike, you're interested in those kinds of caches, then the urban caches aren't exactly in the way. They're not taking up space that could be for caches with long hikes. As for power trails, as much as I am growing to like longer hikes and more outdoorsy cache adventures, a power trail would certainly make the exercise of a walk more engaging or exciting with several caches along the way. What's wrong with people wanting to cache differently from the way you do?

 

By power trail I mean driveable PTs. There are high numbers biking or walking trails, but PTs are usually on roadsides. 

 

Urban caches and rural caches aren't competing for space, they're competing for time.

 

Fewer people hiking means fewer hiking hides and less incentive by COs to maintain their hiking hides. Nobody is or will come to my cache so why bother placing it, even though it's in an area I think is worth going? It becomes a vicious cycle.

 

It's also about the impression the hobby gives to newcomers, affecting whether they stick with geocaching. If my first geocache finds had been in parking lots instead of parks I would not have stuck with this hobby. Fortunately when I started most local hides were in parks, some of which I had been to before. It showed me geocaching could take me places I would want to go.

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4 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

It's also about the impression the hobby gives to newcomers, affecting whether they stick with geocaching. If my first geocache finds had been in parking lots instead of parks I would not have stuck with this hobby. Fortunately when I started most local hides were in parks, some of which I had been to before. It showed me geocaching could take me places I would want to go.

 

This is the other concern that's been nagging me since I first read the blog article. There's a young guy who started caching here a couple of years ago and is about the only other person down this end of the Central Coast who's now hiding any caches. He only does urban caches (the terrain side of his D/T grid ends at 2.5) and all his hides are in suburban parks or reserves, which is great because what I love about this game is its diversity of interests. His hides are all good quality containers and when maintenance issues arise (usually mugglings) he's quick to do the right thing (disable the cache, replace it, re-enable it and log an OM in that order) and is really the sort of CO we should be grateful to have. But his hides don't get many FPs (if any) because around here, with all the coastal and hinterland scenic spots, the bar is set pretty high for those. I can't help wondering how he'd react if he read that blog post and took their suggestion to heart. "Do you own some caches that have never received Favorite points? Maybe it’s time to consider retiring those caches." A bit of a kick in the guts for someone like him, I'd think, and it would be a sad loss to our dwindling community if he took that advice or, even worse, decided that maybe there are better ways to spend his time.

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16 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

It implies there may be a problem.

 

If I said "You might want to consider retirement" you might have good reasons not to retire.

 

If you break down the phrase into the literal words, I'd agree.  but the fact is, it's a common phrase that's used in a common way with a common meaning.  And that meaning is as I stated - it tells the target that there is a problem, and there's an obvious solution and that perhaps the target is a bit stupid not to realise and action without it being pointed out.

 

So to use your example, more accurately: (Perhaps in response to someone complaining about their job) "You might want to consider changing jobs?" - as in, here's an obvious solution to your problem, why haven't you thought of it yet?  The problem might be they are no good at their job, or they just hate it, but the commentor has observed a problem and is commenting on it.

 

1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

Once again, I agree with a prior comment that the wording could be improved. But I see no problem with the literal meaning of that sentence. It doesn't imply there's a problem.

 

They used a phrase that has a clear meaning, as above, totally implying there is a problem.  They are telling the reader that there is a problem and this is the obvious solution, why hasn't the reader thought of it and done it yet...

 

What I do agree with is that there are caches out there that could benefit from acting on this advice.  But certainly not because of the two criteria mentioned - loneliness and FPs.

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9 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Are they really suggesting that a third of all caches should be considered for retirement?

 

I've been looking at Canberra this past week, trying to plan some caches to do whilst there soon - archive a third of those, I doubt anyone would notice! :D
 

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6 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

By power trail I mean driveable PTs. There are high numbers biking or walking trails, but PTs are usually on roadsides. 

 

Urban caches and rural caches aren't competing for space, they're competing for time.

 

Fewer people hiking means fewer hiking hides and less incentive by COs to maintain their hiking hides. Nobody is or will come to my cache so why bother placing it, even though it's in an area I think is worth going? It becomes a vicious cycle.

 

It's also about the impression the hobby gives to newcomers, affecting whether they stick with geocaching. If my first geocache finds had been in parking lots instead of parks I would not have stuck with this hobby. Fortunately when I started most local hides were in parks, some of which I had been to before. It showed me geocaching could take me places I would want to go.

My apologies RE power trails, I don't think any of the trails locally are particularly drivable and there isn't many to begin with, so I can see how it might pose a bigger challenge elsewhere.

But with the urban/rural caches, I still don't think I'm following. The urban caches don't take away audience from the rural caches necessarily - if like you said some cachers don't like a hike then they wouldn't be looking for a rural hide anyway, if those cachers are anything like me they can't drive so they're restricted to caches that are accessible by public transport, ruling out a lot of particularly remote caches. If the audience for urban and rural cachers is that fundamentally different, then I don't see how they could be competing, as the people looking for urban caches wouldn't be interested in rural caching.

 

I can agree that the first impression matters, and there certainly are caches that are less impactful or impressive, and there are of course caches that aren't being well cared for. However, at the end of the day not all geocachers like all caches. We can't control for that. I'm probably not going to get the local cache that requires sea kayaking next to dangerous cliffs, because it's not my type of activity, but the people who have found that cache love it. I think the best thing we can do as cachers in shaping the game is just providing positive feedback to the caches we really like, skipping out on the ones we don't, and putting out the kinds of caches we'd enjoy finding. 

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15 hours ago, fbingha said:

 

Best guess is that they didn't want the Power Trail traffic. PTs often bring cookie cutter logs that give no feeling of thanks back to hiders who get mixed up in that.

 

Yep.   Happened to me.  There's a 10 mile long trail on which I had placed a couple of caches.  One is an ammo can (and a simple puzzle cache) and the other a large lock-n-lock.  There may have been one or two others from a different CO.  Then that trail had an "official opening" as a new rail trail, which included building a bridge over a small gorge near the lnl cache.  Now that trail has a PT from one end of the other.  When I started getting frequent logs thanking the owner of the PT (which exclusively uses pill bottles for her caches), I archived mine.  

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36 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:
16 hours ago, fbingha said:

 

Best guess is that they didn't want the Power Trail traffic. PTs often bring cookie cutter logs that give no feeling of thanks back to hiders who get mixed up in that.

 

Yep.   Happened to me.  There's a 10 mile long trail on which I had placed a couple of caches.  One is an ammo can (and a simple puzzle cache) and the other a large lock-n-lock.  There may have been one or two others from a different CO.  Then that trail had an "official opening" as a new rail trail, which included building a bridge over a small gorge near the lnl cache.  Now that trail has a PT from one end of the other.  When I started getting frequent logs thanking the owner of the PT (which exclusively uses pill bottles for her caches), I archived mine.  

 

I'll add my story about how excited I was to find a new trail. I brought my handbuilt birdhouse with a sandwich size Lock & Lock inside. Found a nice spot, tied the house to a tree, took coordinates, made notes for the write-up. Then walked down the trail some more for the exercise and perhaps find another nice spot of a possible second hide. Along the way I see a bench and behind it a stump. I look in the stump and there's a camo-taped pill bottle with a GC log 'Cotton Trail #20-something', :(. Someone has already been here and saturated the trail with pill bottles (not published yet--published about 2 weeks later). I walked back to my cache, untied it and took it home.  It's possible if I submitted my cache that day,  I might have gotten my cache published before the PT cache. But there's no way I wanted all the copy & paste logs thanking the pill-bottle PT owner for my Lock & Lock in a birdhouse hide. 

 

I had a cache 1 kilometre from a PT trail and kept getting cut n paste logs thanking the PT owner for my cemetery cache. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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On 12/3/2020 at 3:39 PM, barefootjeff said:
On 12/3/2020 at 12:43 PM, hzoi said:

Jeff, for a guy who consistently bemoans new souvenir promotions because you don't have enough new local caches to find, it strikes me as more than a little ironic that you object to a blog post suggesting that cachers consider archiving hides that aren't getting found and plant new ones to refresh the board.

 

I'm just questioning why the old ones have to be removed when there's already plenty of room for new caches if anyone wants to place them. Caches are already being archived through natural attrition faster than new ones are appearing. Archiving a bunch of old caches won't generate new ones in most places outside the cache-dense cities, it'll just create more empty space on the map and result in fewer caches for newcomers and visitors to find.

 

They don't. It's a suggestion for people to consider. If that sounds like a good idea, you're free to follow it. If it doesn't, you're free to ignore it. The blog, after all, does not start out with, "Dear Jeff, here are some things that Groundspeak specifically wants you to do, right now, or the puppy gets it," or words to that effect.

 

Natlamp73.jpg

 

Archiving old caches will generate new ones, if you hide new ones in the general area where the old ones were. Which is one of the things the blog implies by "making room for a new cache." You are correct that it doesn't come out and say, "Now you can hide new caches in the area where your old caches used to be!" - that's left to the reader to conclude.

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2 hours ago, hzoi said:

Archiving old caches will generate new ones, if you hide new ones in the general area where the old ones were. Which is one of the things the blog implies by "making room for a new cache." You are correct that it doesn't come out and say, "Now you can hide new caches in the area where your old caches used to be!" - that's left to the reader to conclude.

 

So it's all about churning caches to fuel the numbers chasers. Fine.

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I looked at the blog article again and it seems to be a fairly thoughtful article in which the point of the blog is to encourage maintenance and better cache experiences. 

 

Quote

The community cited regular cache maintenance as one of the most important factors to a high-quality geocache in our cache quality survey. The cache owner dashboard makes the maintenance process more efficient and, dare we say it, fun!

 

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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51 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

I looked at the blog article again and it seems to be a fairly thoughtful article that is trying to encourage maintenance. 

 

What does caches not being found very often or not getting FPs have to do with maintenance? Or are you saying such caches must need maintenance and if they were somehow fixed up they'd suddenly start getting lots of finds and FPs? On some of my lonely caches the only recent logs are my OMs.

 

If I recall correctly, someone once said "When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot." How does archiving an existing cache and creating a new one in the same location make it a "better spot"?

Edited by barefootjeff
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2 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

What does caches not being found very often or not getting FPs have to do with maintenance? Or are you saying such caches must need maintenance and if they were somehow fixed up they'd suddenly start getting lots of finds and FPs.

 

If I recall correctly, someone once said "When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot." How does archiving an existing cache and creating a new one in the same location make it a "better spot"?

"When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache to be harder than a 1.5/1.5 Park and Grab that take more than 15 seconds to find, then find a easier +1 spot." - Groundspeak 2020

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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.

 

My most unsuccessful cache, the Cache Owner Dashboard tells me, is my Nemophilist Challenge (GC8DQXK), with two finds in its first week and nothing since. When I last did a routine visit back in May, this is the decrepit container I found:

 

20200511_105834.jpg.f253c0cfc0ce6cdd4e733f35550c3d8c.jpg

 

and this is the overflowing, wet, mouldy logbook inside it:

 

20200511_105924.jpg.9215f28c350f73c828c7a99b3e65ca77.jpg

 

Maybe I should replace it with a mint tin as they're a popular container and one of those would likely survive quite well for a couple of years protected from the weather in that cave, or just make it a traditional instead of a challenge. But it'd still be a long arduous T4 hike from the nearest road to GZ which would put most cachers off doing it, particularly on a hot summer's day like today, so I guess it's just a really bad cache in every respect.

 

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17 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

A quick statistic: currently there are 3197677 active caches in the world (excluding events), of which 1029057 have no FPs. Are they really suggesting that a third of all caches should be considered for retirement?

 

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if 1/3 of all caches in the world are low quality hides that we would be better off without. 

 

13 hours ago, jaysonC said:

But with the urban/rural caches, I still don't think I'm following. The urban caches don't take away audience from the rural caches necessarily - if like you said some cachers don't like a hike then they wouldn't be looking for a rural hide anyway, if those cachers are anything like me they can't drive so they're restricted to caches that are accessible by public transport, ruling out a lot of particularly remote caches. If the audience for urban and rural cachers is that fundamentally different, then I don't see how they could be competing, as the people looking for urban caches wouldn't be interested in rural caching.

 

I'm in the US and, outside a few places like New York City, everyone has a car. Especially people who geocache. 

 

I think the big difference between you and I on this issue:

 

You want geocaching to enable as many cachers as possible to cache however and wherever they want to.

 

I want geocaching to steer cachers in certain directions: to be more outdoorsy, to value quality over quantity. I would rather geocaching be a smaller and more focused hobby.

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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.

 

1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

Maybe I should replace it with a mint tin as they're a popular container

 

Is this one hidden on a part of the 'gameboard' that needs room for new caches?  If not, I'd say the time is not right to archive it.

 

And if you were to archive it...  Is a mint tin what cachers like about your 'most favorited caches'?  If not, I don't see why you'd incorporate it into a replacement.

 

Honestly, I don't think this is aimed at somebody who places well-constructed, well-maintained caches particularly in cache-sparse locations - even if they're not found very often.

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3 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

Is this one hidden on a part of the 'gameboard' that needs room for new caches?  If not, I'd say the time is not right to archive it.

 

And if you were to archive it...  Is a mint tin what cachers like about your 'most favorited caches'?  If not, I don't see why you'd incorporate it into a replacement.

 

Honestly, I don't think this is aimed at somebody who places well-constructed, well-maintained caches particularly in cache-sparse locations - even if they're not found very often.

 

Actually one of the caches I found last week, an AL bonus, is a mint tin and it has 23 FPs from 38 finds in the seven months since it was published. It's doing far better than any of mine.

 

My post about the Nemophilist cache was meant to be facetious, but it was also meant to highlight why the criterion suggested in the blog article for weeding caches out of the gameboard is targeting the wrong caches. There are plenty of excellent caches that don't get many finders or FPs and I'm sure there are better ways to deal with those that really are problematic.

 

28 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if 1/3 of all caches in the world are low quality hides that we would be better off without. 

 

By all means but I suspect, though, that that third would be a different third from the caches that simply don't have any FPs.

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On 12/2/2020 at 7:51 PM, JL_HSTRE said:

 

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.

Why revisit an area that you don't get any points for it? That's silly!!  Yes, I live right next door to a pokemon shop and its annoying. Same people for the last 4 years.  Talking about 2 to 3 dozens of them.  GS needs new blood instead of those old keyboard warriors that spend 30 bucks a year putting down GS for every little change. Talking about people that take everything personal. Sigh... 

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8 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

So it's all about churning caches to fuel the numbers chasers. Fine.

 

Yes, when you selectively quote what I write, it's all about what ever you want it to be.

 

Here, I'll do you.

 

23 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 I love

a kick in the guts 

 

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This gets old every time. This game is not played like XYZ want it to be.

 

I get tired of people complaining about hides when they don’t bother to hide or stopped hiding along time ago.

 

 Get off your high horse and go hide the caches that you want to find. That’s all we can do. It takes a couple dedicated hiders in an area to change what is expected in an area.

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On 12/4/2020 at 10:38 PM, JL_HSTRE said:

It's also about the impression the hobby gives to newcomers, affecting whether they stick with geocaching. If my first geocache finds had been in parking lots instead of parks I would not have stuck with this hobby. Fortunately when I started most local hides were in parks, some of which I had been to before. It showed me geocaching could take me places I would want to go.

 

I think about this every time I even think of introducing someone to it.

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19 minutes ago, hzoi said:
8 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

So it's all about churning caches to fuel the numbers chasers. Fine.

 

Yes, when you selectively quote what I write, it's all about what ever you want it to be.

 

Here, I'll do you.

 

23 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 I love

a kick in the guts 

 

 

Yes I get that it's just a suggestion and that no-one is threatening to kill my pets if I don't follow it. What I don't get is why it's being suggested at all. Why do HQ think it's a good idea for any owners to archive older caches that are still in good condition and hide new ones in their place? If it's not to allow long-term players to revisit previous locations and get extra smileys for them, what is it then? No matter how good the caches are, there will always be some that don't get as many visits as others and there will always be some that don't get FPs. What problem are they trying to fix with their suggestion?

 

The caches that get the most finds and the most FPs in New South Wales are magnetic key holders at tourist hotspots. Is that the sort of cache we should all be aspiring to? Why discourage at all those who want to go less mainstream with their hides, even if that means few finders and few or no FPs?

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I don’t read the blog so this is unrelated, but I recently archived my first hide which had no finds since the FTF. I want people to see the (easily accessible) location and the cache I had placed wasn’t doing a good job accomplishing that goal. Seems like archival is the obvious thing to consider in this situation, and that’s purely based on what I, not the HQ, want for my caches.

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10 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

I don’t read the blog so this is unrelated, but I recently archived my first hide which had no finds since the FTF. I want people to see the (easily accessible) location and the cache I had placed wasn’t doing a good job accomplishing that goal. Seems like archival is the obvious thing to consider in this situation, and that’s purely based on what I, not the HQ, want for my caches.

I had to use google translate to try and read this cache, so don't really understand it - but it seems like it was a really complex and involved puzzle, with 19 waypoints? If I published that here, I'd be surprised to get a find after FTF too!

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8 minutes ago, lee737 said:

I had to use google translate to try and read this cache, so don't really understand it - but it seems like it was a really complex and involved puzzle, with 19 waypoints? If I published that here, I'd be surprised to get a find after FTF too!

If it were published here it would be on my todo list B)

 

 

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4 hours ago, lee737 said:

I had to use google translate to try and read this cache, so don't really understand it - but it seems like it was a really complex and involved puzzle, with 19 waypoints? If I published that here, I'd be surprised to get a find after FTF too!

Yep. I'd take one look and go find something else. Sorry.

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6 hours ago, lee737 said:

I had to use google translate to try and read this cache, so don't really understand it - but it seems like it was a really complex and involved puzzle, with 19 waypoints? If I published that here, I'd be surprised to get a find after FTF too!

The puzzle was obviously complex to begin with but the geochecker has hints to guide people away from wrong paths, and I don’t think the basic idea was too bad either until I had to add an extra layer of obfuscation to get around the ”no commercial content” guideline. The entire thing revolved around a vintage tv ad...

 

I’ve continued with the idea of using ”waypoints” in a puzzle; they are, at least locally, an underutilized part of the cache page.

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17 hours ago, fbingha said:

This gets old every time. This game is not played like XYZ want it to be.

 

I get tired of people complaining about hides when they don’t bother to hide or stopped hiding along time ago.

 

 Get off your high horse and go hide the caches that you want to find. That’s all we can do. It takes a couple dedicated hiders in an area to change what is expected in an area.

 

I can't actually tell whether you are for or against Groundspeak suggesting CO's should archive certain caches (as per OP), or whether you're not even responding to the topic at hand at all!

Edited by funkymunkyzone
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17 hours ago, fbingha said:

This gets old every time. This game is not played like XYZ want it to be.

 

I get tired of people complaining about hides when they don’t bother to hide or stopped hiding along time ago.

 

 Get off your high horse and go hide the caches that you want to find. That’s all we can do. It takes a couple dedicated hiders in an area to change what is expected in an area.

 

There are only two dedicated hiders in this area now: me (7 new caches this year) whose bushland caches get few finds and the young guy I mentioned earlier (4 new caches this year) whose urban caches get few FPs. So I'm not really sure what either of us can do to improve the situation, other than perhaps swapping places.

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On 12/5/2020 at 12:34 AM, colleda said:

When I placed my Fernleigh Track series of 21 caches over seven years ago I allowed approximately 400 metres or so between caches, including two or three placed by another cacher. After mine were published the other CO promptly archived theirs - I'm not sure why. At the time I thought that leaving plenty of room between mine would allow anyone else to place some if they wished. To date no one has so I am now thinking of placing a few more as an alternative trail.

Plenty of room? If just one cache is placed between yours the maximum density according to the rules on this site is reached.

I can't look at your listings (I'm currently no PM) but I doubt you were able to highlight 21 interesting locations along this trail so for my liking it is most probably a number trail and if I had hidden a traditional cache at a remarkable spot along this trail chances are high (at least in my area) that the upcoming logs would demonstrate that many don't care about the location I was about to highlight.

 

And on topic: I like to think that this and basically all blog posts are directed to the "masses" and there I like to think that it might improve the overall experience when they are encouraged to archive their most mundane caches. I hope no considerate cache owner feels forced to archive any of their caches just because of few visits and favorite points. At least I'm not.

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On 12/4/2020 at 10:32 PM, barefootjeff said:

But they are suggesting people consider archiving those caches that aren't getting regular finds or FPs and I don't think that's a good direction to be going.

 

How does it hurt?  If someone decides to archive a cache because of the nudge, it's their own choice.  If they think it's worth keeping, they can absolutely keep it running.  This is a very blatant grey area, and hq is jumping on the side of 'hey let's encourage people to create geocaches with at least a mindset of having people desire to find them' - NOT to the exclusion of caches that are rarely found, just a mindset of creating quality geocaches, for whatever reason people award FPs, and however often or rarely it's found. Because the threshold for 'lonely' is 100% subjective, and hq never drew that line in their encouragement.

 

On 12/4/2020 at 10:32 PM, barefootjeff said:

As long as the cache is in good condition and those that make the effort to find it enjoy the experience, why should it matter how many finders or FPs it gets?

 

It doesn't, if that's what you've decided! And that's the point. But at least you've considered it.  Many geocacher owner probably don't.

 

On 12/4/2020 at 10:32 PM, barefootjeff said:

Cache ownership isn't, or shouldn't be, a competition

 

Where did the encouragement ever imply that it was?

 

On 12/4/2020 at 10:32 PM, barefootjeff said:

or caches churned simply to allow some finders to turn 1 smiley into 2, 3, 4, etc.

 

Probably best not to read into encouragements towards generally better geocaching experiences for a global audience. Never did HQ even imply that by encouraging cache owners to create FP-worthy geocaches that more people would like to find more often (how could that possibly be a bad thing?), without discouraging the alternative.

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On 12/5/2020 at 12:14 AM, funkymunkyzone said:

They used a phrase that has a clear meaning, as above, totally implying there is a problem.  They are telling the reader that there is a problem and this is the obvious solution, why hasn't the reader thought of it and done it yet...

 

This has come up before. Encouraging a positive isn't discouraging everything else. You have to infer that everything else is a negative. They are encouraging people to create quality geocache listings. And there has been plenty of talk about 'mundane', 'run of the mill' geocaches proliferating in various places of the community, so they're not pulling this 'archive' idea out of thin air. I'd wager this advice is based on general community feedback.  They didn't say no one like mundane caches. They simply asked cache owners to consider their geocache hides more carefully and aim towards quality hides. Again, I never said the wording was the best, but I never got from them that people should archive all their caches that don't get FPs or are found rarely.  Seems like the people who are inferring that are more likely the ones who are or have been critical of HQ's leanings for a while - ie, have a bias already.

 

If someone wants to hide geocaches, and they infer that they should archive their FP-less, lonely geocaches regardless of any other factors, most likely they will hide new ones, and having already 'heeded' the advice, they'll probably aim better with that mentality in mind. Or, they may keep those old hides without archiving them and just start placing more towards that mentality. Who knows how people will interpret the advice.

But the fact is, the advice is entirely towards geocaches that are attempts at being more "FP worthy" (generally excellent advice) and more likely to be attractive to more geocachers to find (also generally excellent advice).  And all of those concepts may be regionally interpreted; there are no objective standards or thresholds or universal definitions provided, which means one must interpret it for one's area, and consider providing geocaches that people will enjoy - whatever that may mean.

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On 12/5/2020 at 11:57 PM, barefootjeff said:

What I don't get is why it's being suggested at all. Why do HQ think it's a good idea for any owners to archive older caches that are still in good condition and hide new ones in their place?

 

Please stop reading into their advice. They did not say it's a good idea to archive older caches that are still in good condition. They said consider if a cache should be archived (age isn't a factor) if it's not receiving FPs (perhaps found a lot but not getting FPs may be an indication it could be better - entirely subjective) or is rarely found (also entirely subjective). Nor did they say hide a new one in their place; which of course is an option if said cache owner may want to place a new cache.

 

On 12/5/2020 at 11:57 PM, barefootjeff said:

No matter how good the caches are, there will always be some that don't get as many visits as others and there will always be some that don't get FPs.

 

Who said there wouldn't be?  Again, it's advice to consider creating geocaches that are "FP worthy" (however one would interpret that) and likely to be sought by more people (however one would interpret "more").

Personally I'd love to see more geocachers find more geocaches - in general - as that indicates a healthy, growing hobby.

 

On 12/5/2020 at 11:57 PM, barefootjeff said:

The caches that get the most finds and the most FPs in New South Wales are magnetic key holders at tourist hotspots. Is that the sort of cache we should all be aspiring to?

 

A good point, however why does it bother me if in that location that's what people enjoy finding? They didn't say "we want more mundane key holders at tourist hotspots". But if that community feels that's providing the most favoured experience, and the cache owners place those caches perhaps because it's also the type of caches they like to find, why should I discourage that?  Oh, it's a rabbit trail discussion for sure, because you could of course always argue that the mentality could spread *gasp* and ruin geocaching around the world! Well hey, welcome to the powertrail discussion, the LPC discussion, the whatever-cache-style-you-hate discussion...

HQ specifically did not explain styles of cache hides, but ONLY to encourage "FP worthy" caches, and more that are desirable to be sought by more geocachers.

 

 

Hide what you want to find. Make'em good so more people want to find them. And make'em so that if they can, they're more likely to give you a FP.

 

Edited by thebruce0
grammar, typos
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On 12/6/2020 at 9:40 AM, mustakorppi said:
On 12/6/2020 at 2:55 AM, lee737 said:

I had to use google translate to try and read this cache, so don't really understand it - but it seems like it was a really complex and involved puzzle, with 19 waypoints? If I published that here, I'd be surprised to get a find after FTF too!

The puzzle was obviously complex to begin with but the geochecker has hints to guide people away from wrong paths, and I don’t think the basic idea was too bad either until I had to add an extra layer of obfuscation to get around the ”no commercial content” guideline. The entire thing revolved around a vintage tv ad...

 

That's a tough call. Around here, same thing happened with a trend of "special knowledge" puzzle caches. No one wants to do them, except people with that knowledge. And here, that didn't necessarily mean it never got found, only that 1 in 100 finders actually even attempt to solve it, the rest just get the coordinates or go group caching with someone who solved it or already found it. In that case it's not so much about who many people want to find it, but how many people actually get the intended experience - then it's up to the CO to decide whether it's worth it to them to keep the cache active as is. Another way of interpreting the 'advice' from hq.

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11 hours ago, Hynz said:

Plenty of room? If just one cache is placed between yours the maximum density according to the rules on this site is reached.

I can't look at your listings (I'm currently no PM) but I doubt you were able to highlight 21 interesting locations along this trail so for my liking it is most probably a number trail and if I had hidden a traditional cache at a remarkable spot along this trail chances are high (at least in my area) that the upcoming logs would demonstrate that many don't care about the location I was about to highlight.

 

The 21 caches are spread over about the southern 12km of a 15km bike path.

 

FernleighCaches.jpg.0a03891549b8fa36b68f06ed017f171e.jpg

 

That trail has a lot of history, both from the old railway itself and the mining activities in the area that it was used for, so even if not all the caches are at specific points of interest, it's still an interesting and educational trail to do, but it'll take half a day or more to get all 21, even on a bike, so it's not in the league of lots-of-quick-finds I'd normally associate with a power trail.

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48 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 

This has come up before. Encouraging a positive isn't discouraging everything else. You have to infer that everything else is a negative. They are encouraging people to create quality geocache listings.

 

No, I believe I am reading exactly what they wrote in the blog post - you're inferring something more positive from it.  And that's fine...  I don't know if you read right through my post to the bit at the end...?

On 12/5/2020 at 6:14 PM, funkymunkyzone said:

What I do agree with is that there are caches out there that could benefit from acting on this advice.  But certainly not because of the two criteria mentioned - loneliness and FPs.

 

51 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 

Seems like the people who are inferring that are more likely the ones who are or have been critical of HQ's leanings for a while - ie, have a bias already.

 

 

Well, I suppose that's -one- way to simply dismiss the opinions of those people you disagree with... sadly not exactly a new way to do so.

 

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13 hours ago, Hynz said:

I can't look at your listings (I'm currently no PM) but I doubt you were able to highlight 21 interesting locations along this trail so for my liking it is most probably a number trail and if I had hidden a traditional cache at a remarkable spot along this trail chances are high (at least in my area) that the upcoming logs would demonstrate that many don't care about the location I was about to highlight.

 

The track itself is the attraction.

It is a shared cycle and walkway along a historic railway in what was once a coal mining area. There are interesting stops along the way with information signs about history and ecology. Picking up geocaches along the way is a bonus.

https://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/explore/things-to-do/walking-cycling/fernleigh-track

Edited by colleda
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3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

Please stop reading into their advice. They did not say it's a good idea to archive older caches that are still in good condition. They said consider if a cache should be archived (age isn't a factor) if it's not receiving FPs (perhaps found a lot but not getting FPs may be an indication it could be better - entirely subjective) or is rarely found (also entirely subjective). Nor did they say hide a new one in their place; which of course is an option if said cache owner may want to place a new cache.

 

 

I'd be the first to agree that if a cache is missing or dysfunctional it should be repaired or archived, but I still really don't get why they're suggesting that caches not falling into that category should even be considered for archival. Of my 1267 finds, 268 (21%) have received no FPs but they were still enjoyable caches that took me out from in front of the TV to places I wouldn't have otherwise known about, taught me things I wouldn't have otherwise known and/or were fun puzzles to solve. I don't see how my enjoyment would have been enhanced had any of their owners archived them because of their lack of FPs. It would have just meant less finds and, as a result, less FPs I could give to the remaining caches. How is that a good outcome? To me it seems more like a downward spiral towards a caching desert.

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2 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:
3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

This has come up before. Encouraging a positive isn't discouraging everything else. You have to infer that everything else is a negative. They are encouraging people to create quality geocache listings.

 

No, I believe I am reading exactly what they wrote in the blog post - you're inferring something more positive from it.  And that's fine... 

 

Seems you selectively disincluded the following point I made:

And there has been plenty of talk about 'mundane', 'run of the mill' geocaches proliferating in various places of the community, so they're not pulling this 'archive' idea out of thin air. I'd wager this advice is based on general community feedback.

Some people are labeling this advice to consider archival a negative thing.  Clearly that opinion is contested. I'm not inferring something positive, I'm saying there's no need to infer something negative.  It is what it is. And since clearly the rest of the intent is to encourage more positive geocache hides, why would one infer that considering archival of a cache the cache owner feels is worth archiving, a bad thing?  Unless you consider merely asking a cache owner to consider archival for any reason (let along reasons generally to be considered good things) a bad thing?

 

2 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

Well, I suppose that's -one- way to simply dismiss the opinions of those people you disagree with... sadly not exactly a new way to do so.

 

How am I dismissing opinions? You're entitled to them. We all are. But yes, let's start going meta in this disagreement and try to discredit the other person's position by saying they're discrediting yours.

Disagreeing is not dismissing.

 

 

23 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I'd be the first to agree that if a cache is missing or dysfunctional it should be repaired or archived, but I still really don't get why they're suggesting that caches not falling into that category should even be considered for archival.

 

Probably because of a lot of community discussion and complaints and feedback about the proliferation of mundane geocaches, powertrails, lack of maintenance, lack of creativity, etc etc...

 

24 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Of my 1267 finds, 268 (21%) have received no FPs but they were still enjoyable caches that took me out from in front of the TV to places I wouldn't have otherwise known about and taught me things I wouldn't have otherwise known.

 

Again, it's nice seeing your stats. But it doesn't apply everywhere. And not everyone likes the same cache styles or hides. So, if I enjoy mundane caches, does that mean they should be protected against archival because they "can" be enjoyed? The intent to encourage cache owners to consider things that indicate a geocache may be more widely providing a positive experience.  If a good cache gets archived because the cache owner decides it's time, sure, if I found it before I might sad because I may know some other people who'd enjoy it like I did. But it's that's CO's choice, their decision. I can only hope that perhaps they're thinking of another good idea for a cache.

 

HQ wants to encourage that. Let them.

They're not telling people to archive caches. They're implying, rightly I would say, that favourite points and regular (which is a relative term) finding of a cache is a good sign it's a positive experience. I would not expect a 3 day wilderness camping excursion cache to expect 15 finds a day to be 'regular'.   Likewise, I wouldn't simply look at FPs to determine quality, but the tone of the logs that are posted. So if I were the cache owner I wouldn't archive that 3 day camping trip cache solely because it's found twice a year and has 2 FPs out of 15 finds, especially if all the logs are praising the experience. There, I've now considered the suggested indicators of a good cache and chosen not to archive. That's all it takes.

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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Again, it's nice seeing your stats. But it doesn't apply everywhere. And not everyone likes the same cache styles or hides. So, if I enjoy mundane caches, does that mean they should be protected against archival because they "can" be enjoyed? The intent to encourage cache owners to consider things that indicate a geocache may be more widely providing a positive experience.  If a good cache gets archived because the cache owner decides it's time, sure, if I found it before I might sad because I may know some other people who'd enjoy it like I did. But it's that's CO's choice, their decision. I can only hope that perhaps they're thinking of another good idea for a cache.

 

HQ wants to encourage that. Let them.

They're not telling people to archive caches. They're implying, rightly I would say, that favourite points and regular (which is a relative term) finding of a cache is a good sign it's a positive experience. I would not expect a 3 day wilderness camping excursion cache to expect 15 finds a day to be 'regular'.   Likewise, I wouldn't simply look at FPs to determine quality, but the tone of the logs that are posted. So if I were the cache owner I wouldn't archive that 3 day camping trip cache solely because it's found twice a year and has 2 FPs out of 15 finds, especially if all the logs are praising the experience. There, I've now considered the suggested indicators of a good cache and chosen not to archive. That's all it takes.

 

Yes, there are no doubt some places with an abundance of mundane caches but there are also cachers who enjoy finding lots of quick and easy mundane caches; one only has to look at the popularity of power trails to see that. The website provides search tools to easily exclude caches with no FPs and can order caches by most recent find date, so why not let the searchers decide what caches they like rather than suggesting the COs make that decision for them?

 

The cache creation page is now suggesting, both in the text and the accompanying video, that prospective COs ought to be striving to make their new cache FP-worthy, whatever that's supposed to mean. The first definition that comes to mind would be to ask myself, if I was searching for this cache I'm about to create, would I give it an FP? For many of my existing hides I'd have to honestly say no, as there are other COs around here, past and present, who have created way better hides in way better places than any of mine, and a lot of mine would struggle to get into my favourites list. One of the local cachers who started a few years before me, and has been something of a mentor, has a "pool room" list on his profile which are those caches he's done that he considers truly awesome. Needless to say, none of mine are on it or would even come close. No, at my age I'm content to just create bushland caches in out-of-the-way places that I think a few like-minded people might enjoy, regardless of whether they're in anyone's top ten percent or whether that few is anything more than two or three. Caching for me has been an escape from competitiveness and one-up-manship so I don't really fit in with this modern paradigm of rating and ranking everything.

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3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

How am I dismissing opinions? You're entitled to them. We all are. But yes, let's start going meta in this disagreement and try to discredit the other person's position by saying they're discrediting yours.

Disagreeing is not dismissing.

 

You effectively said that people who see this as negative are just negative people with a bias against HQ.

 

I reject that entirely.

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4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Probably because of a lot of community discussion and complaints and feedback about the proliferation of mundane geocaches, powertrails, lack of maintenance, lack of creativity, etc etc...

 

As you know, I have posted several times in the past about how the number of community complaints is likely much lower than one might expect based on the content of the forums.  That's because we have a couple forum denizens unusually fixated on complaints about cache quality.

 

Yet at the same time what you say makes sense from the perspective of what I wrote earlier in this thread:  if the primary aim of Groundspeak is to increase user numbers at all costs, then even the slightest possibility of a newbie having a bad experience is to be avoided.  And the way to avoid negative experiences is to make the experience so anodyne that it cannot be interpreted negatively.

 

I don't think HQ cares in the slightest about "mundane" geocaches.  Indeed, I think they (unconsciously) encourage them, and I see this message as contributing to that trend.

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On 12/8/2020 at 1:01 AM, funkymunkyzone said:

You effectively said that people who see this as negative are just negative people with a bias against HQ.

I reject that entirely.

 

I chose my words for that sentence very carefully:

On 12/7/2020 at 5:29 PM, thebruce0 said:

Seems like the people who are inferring that are more likely the ones who are or have been critical of HQ's leanings for a while - ie, have a bias already.

 

I accept your rejection that it applies to you.

 

 

On 12/8/2020 at 2:08 AM, fizzymagic said:

I don't think HQ cares in the slightest about "mundane" geocaches.  Indeed, I think they (unconsciously) encourage them, and I see this message as contributing to that trend.

 

To me that seems backwards. The advice they gave seems to have the intent of reducing "mundane" caches - those that generally don't earn FPs or generate 'buzz' by people aiming to seek them out for their rewarding geocaching experience. 

 

 

On 12/8/2020 at 12:39 AM, barefootjeff said:

Yes, there are no doubt some places with an abundance of mundane caches but there are also cachers who enjoy finding lots of quick and easy mundane caches; one only has to look at the popularity of power trails to see that. The website provides search tools to easily exclude caches with no FPs and can order caches by most recent find date, so why not let the searchers decide what caches they like rather than suggesting the COs make that decision for them?

 

Again, they haven't told cache owners to archive their mundane caches. They have encouraged cache owners to create FP worthy caches and caches that more people will want to find, and consider whether prior ones should be archived, a consideration given the above that will be different from region to region.

 

On 12/8/2020 at 12:39 AM, barefootjeff said:

at my age I'm content to just create bushland caches in out-of-the-way places that I think a few like-minded people might enjoy, regardless of whether they're in anyone's top ten percent or whether that few is anything more than two or three.

 

Excellent! And I'm absolutely confident that HQ would not criticize your geocache ownership mentality, especially if maintain an active cache ownership etiquette, and would encourage you to promote that mentality as long as it's applicable towards excellent geocaching experiences in your area. I didn't infer the opposite of that at all from the advice they gave.

 

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On 12/5/2020 at 11:57 PM, barefootjeff said:

Yes I get that it's just a suggestion and that no-one is threatening to kill my pets if I don't follow it. What I don't get is why it's being suggested at all. Why do HQ think it's a good idea for any owners to archive older caches that are still in good condition and hide new ones in their place? If it's not to allow long-term players to revisit previous locations and get extra smileys for them, what is it then? No matter how good the caches are, there will always be some that don't get as many visits as others and there will always be some that don't get FPs. What problem are they trying to fix with their suggestion?

 

 

Because there are plenty of examples of caches that are just sitting there festering. No one is going to find them. All of the local cachers who wanted to find it, already have. And no one can hide a new cache within 161 meters of it while it's still there. Maybe it's a puzzle that's based on a version of Java or Flash or whatever that you can't even download anymore. Maybe it's just a piece of tupperware at the coordinates. But maybe, just maybe, someone has a really cool idea for a new cache that could be placed in that area that could revitalize the local scene just a little. Perhaps get folks who haven't been caching in a while interested - especially if they've long cached out there area and now don't feel safe leaving the local area due to COVID-19 precautions. Or someone could just put out a normal cache in the general area that gives folks another opportunity to get out and find a geocache.

 

If this or any other blog post doesn't fit your idea of a good time, then you can just ignore it, instead of wailing and gnashing your teeth about how Groundspeak has once again failed to come up with the perfect geocaching solution for poor old Jeff. You're not the Son of Sam, and the geocaching blog is not the demonic dog next door that commands you to do things against your better judgment.

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On 12/6/2020 at 4:57 PM, barefootjeff said:

There are only two dedicated hiders in this area now: me (7 new caches this year) whose bushland caches get few finds and the young guy I mentioned earlier (4 new caches this year) whose urban caches get few FPs. So I'm not really sure what either of us can do to improve the situation, other than perhaps swapping places.

 

Go get new geocachers.

 

Make a friend and introduce them to geocaching. See if the young guy can as well.

 

Put an article in the local paper or recreational newsletter about geocaching, or post to the regional facebook page.

 

Host a (safe) beginner's workshop - even virtually if you have to - geared toward folks who haven't geocached before. Advertise it in that article or facebook post you wrote. Put up fliers at the library.

 

When I first moved away from home to a rural area, I spent the first year there going out with my work buddies and waiting for a girlfriend to drop from the sky. When that didn't work, I changed tactics. At one point I had three first dates in the same week, and within a year, I'd met the woman who was eventually kind enough to marry me.

 

If you wait for new geocachers to just spontaneously generate, you might be waiting a while. But if you take steps to cultivate your own crop, you might get something out of it.

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22 minutes ago, hzoi said:

Put an article in the local paper or recreational newsletter about geocaching, or post to the regional facebook page.

 

Please don't.

 

In the past we had items in TV programs about geocaching and the immediate result was an influx of new cachers. Many had the attentionspan of a goldfish finding some caches and then placing bad containers in bad locations. Very soon many caches had problems (disappeared, wet log) and no maintenance was done as they already left the hobby.

Of course some remain active but each time there was media attention the amount of problematic cachers increased. The good thing is that the media attention soon faded away .

 

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