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JL_HSTRE

Prevelance Of Newbies (A Survey Observation)

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On the current survey about Wonders of the World (and on several past surveys about similiar souvenir events where I think the options where the same) I noticed the question about one's current find count is surprising.  The options are:
1-10
11-20
21-50
51-100
101+

 

Do a substantial number of people answering these surveys have less than 100 Finds?

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Funny - I *just* screenshotted those radio buttons and was about to post something similar..... I'd love to know how many <10 find newcomers even get these emails, let alone respond to them.

And why can't souvenirs be also aimed to give people with >1000, >5000 finds etc something to chew on?? Clearly we aren't the group they are targeting.....

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Also I wonder how many people will say their highest souvenir is the 2nd one.

 

PS : it's impossible to get the 2nd without the 3rd souvenir.

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30 minutes ago, lee737 said:

Clearly we aren't the group they are targeting

 

Quite possibly, but there may be reasons for that.  Speculative possibilities:

 

1. The vast majority of geocachers are very casual cachers. They're not newbies because they've been caching for years, but anyone who reaches hundreds or thousands of lifetime finds is in a small minority of total cachers. (There's an old internet philosophy that anyone who cares about a game or hobby enough to post about in an internet forum dedicated to that game/hobby is an outlier.)

 

2. Newbies respond to these surveys, and in particular respond positively to the souvenir challenge promotions, much more than veteran cachers.

 

3. Souvenir challenge promotions are intended by Groundspeak primarily to hook newbie cachers into sticking around and/or motivate casual cachers to cache more.

 

4. The limited time promotion souvenirs are seen by Groundspeak as more attractive to newbie/casual cachers, while event-specific souvenirs and lifetime achievement souvenirs (ex: states/countries) are more appealing to cachers with higher numbers of finds.

 

2 minutes ago, Lynx Humble said:

Also I wonder how many people will say their highest souvenir is the 2nd one.

 

PS : it's impossible to get the 2nd without the 3rd souvenir.

 

One of my suggestions when filling out the survey is for that not to be the case in similiar future promotions.

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I've noticed that too. They do it all the time on their surveys. I would think the categories should be:

<100

100-500

501-1000

1001-10000

10001+

Or something like that.

But I doubt they'll ever do that.

Edited by TmdAndGG
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3 hours ago, Lynx Humble said:

Also I wonder how many people will say their highest souvenir is the 2nd one.

 

PS : it's impossible to get the 2nd without the 3rd souvenir.

I never got the third souvenir. Not being interested in them, I only checked that for the survey.

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6 minutes ago, fbingha said:

Where is this survey?

It was sent in an email by HQ. Did you not get it?

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"Prevalence of newbies"  ?  We know members from well-before we started that still "show" less than 100 smileys.    

Most of their finds aren't counted on the site, but we noticed they all sign cache logs (something we're not seeing by a few members...).

One still-active member from 2000 we know well has less than 400.  Guess I don't understand why low "numbers" means you gotta be a newbie...

 

I remember Moun10bike chimed in once about an "average" find count that seemed low to some, but can't find the thread now.   :)

 

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5 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

3. Souvenir challenge promotions are intended by Groundspeak primarily to hook newbie cachers into sticking around and/or motivate casual cachers to cache more.

 

This would be my bet.  :)

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9 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

3. Souvenir challenge promotions are intended by Groundspeak primarily to hook newbie cachers into sticking around and/or motivate casual cachers to cache more.

That was my conclusion as well, but... if you start to ”cache more” this kind of promotion only lasts for a few days, and then it’s sitting there useless for months on every cache page and search filter in the app.

 

On the other hand, there’s the Memory lane promotion, which is apparently also still active, and still doing something (even if it’s just incrementing points). But I had completely forgotten about it as I normally have no reason to look at the in-app profile page.

 

If there are going to be more wonders in 2021 (as the promotion proclaims), with no large changes to tye basic idea, it would be nice if it could (optionally) be hidden from the cache/filter pages once complete, or alternatively make it count laps of collecting every wonder even if there’s no reward for doing so. Or keep and show stats for people who want to get the wonders on multiple cache types separately. Filling stat grids is its own reward in geocaching :)

Edited by mustakorppi

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2 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

alternatively make it count laps of collecting every wonder even if there’s no reward for doing so

I've often thought the souvenirs could be awarded in levels, e.g bronze/silver/gold.... might be a solution to keep more happy....

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15 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

On the current survey about Wonders of the World (and on several past surveys about similiar souvenir events where I think the options where the same) I noticed the question about one's current find count is surprising.  The options are:
1-10
11-20
21-50
51-100
101+

 

Do a substantial number of people answering these surveys have less than 100 Finds?

 

I haven't got the email now to check, but I thought that was how many souvenirs found, not cache finds.

 

11 hours ago, TmdAndGG said:

I've noticed that too. They do it all the time on their surveys. I would think the categories should be:

<100

100-500

501-1000

1001-10000

10001+

Or something like that.

This is more sensible for cache finds, and I think it would be more likely to encourage people to cache more, with the "Wow, some people have found that many. I should go find some more" thought. The other listing with 101+ (for caches) seems wimpy.

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5 hours ago, lee737 said:

I've often thought the souvenirs could be awarded in levels, e.g bronze/silver/gold.... might be a solution to keep more happy....

That's not a bad idea!

 

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13 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

"Prevalence of newbies"  ?  We know members from well-before we started that still "show" less than 100 smileys.    

Most of their finds aren't counted on the site, but we noticed they all sign cache logs (something we're not seeing by a few members...).

One still-active member from 2000 we know well has less than 400.  Guess I don't understand why low "numbers" means you gotta be a newbie...

 

Yes, newbies or very casual cachers would be more apt.

 

Someone who started in 2000 and is still active, but only has 400 Finds? Unless they took a long break before picking up caching again that's incredibly casual caching. To the point I'm kind of perplexed why they cache at all. Unless they like a very specific subset of caches?

 

If someone isn't logging their Finds on the site do they answer the survey with their profile find count or their actual find count? In any case, that behavior has I think been discussed at length elsewhere on these forums.

 

9 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

That was my conclusion as well, but... if you start to ”cache more” this kind of promotion only lasts for a few days, and then it’s sitting there useless for months on every cache page and search filter in the app.

 

Memory Lane and Wonders of the World are an unusual case because they were intended to only last a short time, but the pandemic got them extended through the end of the year.

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13 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

alternatively make it count laps of collecting every wonder even if there’s no reward for doing so. Or keep and show stats for people who want to get the wonders on multiple cache types separately. Filling stat grids is its own reward in geocaching :)

I just checked Memory lane and I already looped it 35 times.... 

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19 hours ago, TmdAndGG said:

It was sent in an email by HQ. Did you not get it?

 

I don't recall seeing it or deleting it.

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17 hours ago, fbingha said:

 

I don't recall seeing it or deleting it.

Sometimes they don't send it out to everyone.:)

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On 12/17/2020 at 10:47 AM, JL_HSTRE said:

Someone who started in 2000 and is still active, but only has 400 Finds? Unless they took a long break before picking up caching again that's incredibly casual caching. To the point I'm kind of perplexed why they cache at all. Unless they like a very specific subset of caches?

 

I've been caching about a year less then you have and have about 1/10 the finds as you. Its an activity that I get much enjoyment from. So I hope I can help clear up your perplexation.  

 

I like to cache but I also like to do other things. Sometimes I incorporate caching into other things I do. Sometimes I chose not to.

I work full time. I like to fish, I like camping, I like hiking, I like genealogy, I like to read, I like to cook, I like to sleep late on Sunday, I like astronomy, I like visiting all kinds of museums, I like woodworking, I like watching movies. I have a house, yard and 3 vehicles to maintain, The last year or so, I've hardly cached at all because I have a new granddaughter. She was born last year and I LOVE spending time with her. As she grows I will take her caching with me. I have many things I like to do and many things that I HAVE to do. What I am doing with any free time depends on my mood and what Mrs. Roc wants to do. 

 

 

 

Edited by RocTheCacheBox
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On 12/17/2020 at 10:47 AM, JL_HSTRE said:

Someone who started in 2000 and is still active, but only has 400 Finds? Unless they took a long break before picking up caching again that's incredibly casual caching. To the point I'm kind of perplexed why they cache at all. Unless they like a very specific subset of caches?

 

Like us, they have other hobbies that gets them outside.  We see them hunting sometimes when we're out, others have seen us doing the same.

We've met them several times mountain biking a favorite gorge area too.

They still have caches out that are maintained.. .  

Near a series of caches is my favorite trout stream, and while fly fishing I've called hints to folks doing the bee dance a few times.

I guess if this is someone's only hobby, I could understand whatever point you're making...    :)

 

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On 12/17/2020 at 10:47 AM, JL_HSTRE said:

Someone who started in 2000 and is still active, but only has 400 Finds? Unless they took a long break before picking up caching again that's incredibly casual caching.

Hmm... In 20 years, they've found about 20 caches per year on average. That could be a trip every other month, finding 3-4 caches per trip. Or it could be 1-2 trips a month, finding a cache each trip.

 

That certainly isn't the Pokemon "Gotta Catch 'Em All" mentality. And it isn't the numbers run mentality. And it isn't the streak or grid-filling mentality. But it sounds like fairly active caching for someone who enjoys doing it that way. I don't find anything "incredible" about it.

Edited by niraD
"Math is hard."
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On 12/18/2020 at 6:36 PM, cerberus1 said:

Like us, they have other hobbies that gets them outside.  We see them hunting sometimes when we're out, others have seen us doing the same.

 

Most of the people I've met who are going to be outdoors just as much whether they are geocachers or not either have no interest in geocaching in the first place or quit after awhile because looking in the bushes or at their GPS could be better spent looking through their binoculars or camera, or on their bike, or casting their fly rod.

 

But clearly YMMV.

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22 hours ago, niraD said:

Hmm... In 20 years, they've found about 40 caches per year on average. That could be a trip a month, finding 3-4 caches per trip. Or it could be 3-4 trips a month, finding a cache each trip.

 

That certainly isn't the Pokemon "Gotta Catch 'Em All" mentality. And it isn't the numbers run mentality. And it isn't the streak or grid-filling mentality. But it sounds like fairly active caching for someone who enjoys doing it that way. I don't find anything "incredible" about it.

 

400 Finds over 20 years would be 20 per year, not 40. Depending where you live that's easy to do in a day, even with zero PnGs.

 

I would like to point out that of my 6000 Finds in 10 years is 1/3 non-Traditionals, involves no park-n-grab power trails (there are a few bike trails with high quantity), and my longest streak was only 4 weeks (at which point I gave up because it wasn't worth the time or effort to keep it going).

 

In any case, I would surprised if a super casual cacher like you describe cares about Souvenirs. 

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1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

400 Finds over 20 years would be 20 per year, not 40.

Touché.

 

1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Depending where you live that's easy to do in a day, even with zero PnGs.

Sure, if you're into doing lots of caches in a day. I've done more than 20 in a day. Honestly, I prefer the times when I spent an entire day seeking a single cache, or maybe a handful of caches.

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On 12/17/2020 at 9:05 AM, MartyBartfast said:
On 12/17/2020 at 3:26 AM, lee737 said:

I've often thought the souvenirs could be awarded in levels, e.g bronze/silver/gold.... might be a solution to keep more happy....

That's not a bad idea!

 

And this is what PGC already does with their badges.

 

 

On 12/17/2020 at 6:03 AM, Goldenwattle said:
On 12/16/2020 at 6:09 PM, TmdAndGG said:

I've noticed that too. They do it all the time on their surveys. I would think the categories should be:

<100

100-500

501-1000

1001-10000

10001+

Or something like that.

This is more sensible for cache finds, and I think it would be more likely to encourage people to cache more, with the "Wow, some people have found that many. I should go find some more" thought. The other listing with 101+ (for caches) seems wimpy.

 

As a compromise, since clearly they want to know those "small" find count survey numbers, is to just add higher categories for information's sake, even if knowing it isn't directly relevant perhaps to the purpose of the survey.

1-10
11-20
21-50
51-100

Over 100

Over 1,000

Over 10,000

 

I mean anyone in those last few will already be answering 101+ currently, so why not allow them to give some semblance of a "101 is totally irrelevant to my caching career" type of value-added answer, and will certainly help HQ to see how many "veterans" and what degree of veterans, are answering the survey (assuming survey anonymity of course, since the data is HQ's and they can easily see how many caches are being found by people given any username)

 

I'm with others, still seems very odd that 101+ always seems to be the highest category of find stats for surveys coming from HQ, for a worldwide hobby = P

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On 12/17/2020 at 6:03 AM, Goldenwattle said:
On 12/16/2020 at 2:54 PM, JL_HSTRE said:

On the current survey about Wonders of the World (and on several past surveys about similiar souvenir events where I think the options where the same) I noticed the question about one's current find count is surprising.  The options are:
1-10
11-20
21-50
51-100
101+

 

Do a substantial number of people answering these surveys have less than 100 Finds?

 

I haven't got the email now to check, but I thought that was how many souvenirs found, not cache finds.

 

On 12/16/2020 at 6:09 PM, TmdAndGG said:

I've noticed that too. They do it all the time on their surveys. I would think the categories should be:

<100

100-500

501-1000

1001-10000

10001+

Or something like that.

This is more sensible for cache finds, and I think it would be more likely to encourage people to cache more, with the "Wow, some people have found that many. I should go find some more" thought. The other listing with 101+ (for caches) seems wimpy.

 

 

If these surveys are indeed targeted at newbies, then it's counterproductive to go with the second list.

As a new player, trying to fit yourself into a NEW hobby with people who have what are (to you)  astronomical find counts is positively demoralizing.

 

"Oh, hell - I'll never be in THEIR class. That's who's playing? Why bother."

 

The surveys are "hobby-info" tool to us, but they're a MARKETING tool to HQ.

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6 hours ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

The surveys are "hobby-info" tool to us, but they're a MARKETING tool to HQ.

 

The traffic on this thread seems to primarily agree that the surveys are a marketing tool to HQ.

 

With that in mind, I'd love to see some efforts to improve the design of their app which is often the only source of information for newbies. I regularly see log entries by newbies on caches that require reading the description to complete the find. Earth caches, virtuals,  or challenges that have additional logging requirements that the newbie is ignorant of because they didn't click through to read the description. Multis that use a virtual first stage, or traditional field puzzles result in logs expressing frustration simply because they didn't read the description. I can try to helpfully educate them, but all too often I don't get any response to my messages to them about the requirements of the specific cache with the end result being their incorrect find is deleted. In my opinion, it's a design fault of the app. Seems like the "less than 100" group, unless they are caching with someone more experienced, aren't even aware that caches have descriptions!

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35 minutes ago, JustFindingOurWay said:

 

The traffic on this thread seems to primarily agree that the surveys are a marketing tool to HQ.

 

With that in mind, I'd love to see some efforts to improve the design of their app which is often the only source of information for newbies. I regularly see log entries by newbies on caches that require reading the description to complete the find. Earth caches, virtuals,  or challenges that have additional logging requirements that the newbie is ignorant of because they didn't click through to read the description. Multis that use a virtual first stage, or traditional field puzzles result in logs expressing frustration simply because they didn't read the description. I can try to helpfully educate them, but all too often I don't get any response to my messages to them about the requirements of the specific cache with the end result being their incorrect find is deleted. In my opinion, it's a design fault of the app. Seems like the "less than 100" group, unless they are caching with someone more experienced, aren't even aware that caches have descriptions!

And that frustration for new cachers could cause them to give up the hobby. Not what HQ wants, so yes, the app needs improvement, to give new cachers more information.

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In my opinion, it's a design fault of the app. Seems like the "less than 100" group, unless they are caching with someone more experienced, aren't even aware that caches have descriptions!

 

We have about 125 hides, so we see logs from newbies all the time.

Most of the newbies never go to GC.com or have read our descriptions ,

seen our hints or even look at the navigate view of a cache. 

Improving the app may help but initial instruction will help more plus more HELP info would help.

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9 hours ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

If these surveys are indeed targeted at newbies, then it's counterproductive to go with the second list.

As a new player, trying to fit yourself into a NEW hobby with people who have what are (to you)  astronomical find counts is positively demoralizing.

 

"Oh, hell - I'll never be in THEIR class. That's who's playing? Why bother."

 

The surveys are "hobby-info" tool to us, but they're a MARKETING tool to HQ.

 

Well you know in a way it kind of goes both ways. Yes, it's marketing to newbies and encouraging more players, but in many cases (most, I'd wager) veterans are already paying customers, and if HQ seems to be catering to newbies over, and over, and over again, if the perception is new players are more important than existing ones, they could lose paying customers... Granted it's kind of a sky-is-falling perspective, but you could also say if they really wanted newbie input, they could filter who they send the surveys to for those under say 1000 finds. ...but then that leaves out the 1000+ geocachers! Well, so do the questions (as they feel).

It's a predicament. I don't think having an additional class or two for veteran (even that's not the best term; maybe 'enthusiastic') find counts in a survey to all users will "scare off" those with <100 finds. Far from it. But I think it will help to let people with >100 finds feel like they have more of a voice, and help HQ sort responses into those categories as well. And, a +/- 100 find buffer is tiny, in the grand scheme of this hobby...

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5 hours ago, JustFindingOurWay said:

In my opinion, it's a design fault of the app.

Everyone navigating to an earth cache on the official app has at some point acknowledged a window containing a two sentence explanation of what an earth cache is and what logging it typically requires. There's always a way to add more handholding, but it quickly becomes so annoying people ignore it on reflex. A full-on training mode might work, but that's not at all easy to create when you don't control the actual cache description.

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Granted it's kind of a sky-is-falling perspective, but you could also say if they really wanted newbie input, they could filter who they send the surveys to for those under say 1000 finds. ...but then that leaves out the 1000+ geocachers! Well, so do the questions (as they feel).

Maybe they should make 2 surveys, one for people with <100 finds and one for people with >100 finds? Then the questions could match the find count a little better.

I just thought of this right now, and honestly that sounds like the best solution to me.

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23 hours ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

As a new player, trying to fit yourself into a NEW hobby with people who have what are (to you)  astronomical find counts is positively demoralizing.

 

"Oh, hell - I'll never be in THEIR class. That's who's playing? Why bother."

 

That's like getting demoralized about hiking because you'll never thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.

 

New geocachers demoralized that some other cachers have tens of thousands of finds seems like a marketing fail. Geocaching isn't chess or competitive gaming.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

That's like getting demoralized about hiking because you'll never thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.

 

New geocachers demoralized that some other cachers have tens of thousands of finds seems like a marketing fail. Geocaching isn't chess or competitive gaming.

 

 

 

Well that's exactly my point. One of the ways that HQ might be fighting this is by producing these surveys targeted at low-find players to bring them along.
Try to remember what it was like as a new player, not yet 'grabbed' by the hobby. Sure, some people would get enthused by reading about the truly obsessed, but I think many more casual 'tryists' might be turned off if all they saw were people who couldn't possibly have anything else going on in their lives! 

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14 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

Well you know in a way it kind of goes both ways. Yes, it's marketing to newbies and encouraging more players, but in many cases (most, I'd wager) veterans are already paying customers, and if HQ seems to be catering to newbies over, and over, and over again, if the perception is new players are more important than existing ones, they could lose paying customers... Granted it's kind of a sky-is-falling perspective, but you could also say if they really wanted newbie input, they could filter who they send the surveys to for those under say 1000 finds. ...but then that leaves out the 1000+ geocachers! Well, so do the questions (as they feel).

It's a predicament. I don't think having an additional class or two for veteran (even that's not the best term; maybe 'enthusiastic') find counts in a survey to all users will "scare off" those with <100 finds. Far from it. But I think it will help to let people with >100 finds feel like they have more of a voice, and help HQ sort responses into those categories as well. And, a +/- 100 find buffer is tiny, in the grand scheme of this hobby...

 

I don't disagree with this at all.

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14 hours ago, geo K said:

We have about 125 hides, so we see logs from newbies all the time.

Most of the newbies never go to GC.com or have read our descriptions ,

seen our hints or even look at the navigate view of a cache. 

Improving the app may help but initial instruction will help more plus more HELP info would help.

 

Guessing they're on another account.  

Last I looked, the site had more helpful info on it than years earlier.  People reading it has been an issue since there was a app.  :)

To be honest, if there's any traditionals less than 2, we rarely read them too.

We've read enough lengthy blather on cache descriptions, to find none of it had to do with the 1/1.5 roadside find, and that gets old quick.  

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Got to love the influx of new blood.  I just wish they were not sooooooo quick to drop the "Needs Archived Dime",  Their arrival on the scene might be viewed more favorably.

 

As an aside, their toes are sooooooo tasty after being dipped in warm chocolate sauce.  (just kidding)

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