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funkymunkyzone

Some basic member restrictions in Geocaching App counter-productive?

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Posted (edited)

Encountered this today when trying to introduce a friend to geocaching.  She has been doing a lot of walks recently, for fitness, summiting various hills and mountains around her region.  So I suggested that she find some geocaches along the way, because she has walked past many already and it might help with the motivation.

 

She downloaded the app, and I sent her the GC code of a (free) cache to look up today, just 100m from the summit where she is walking today.  It told her she needed to be a premium member in order to find this cache.

 

Now I understand that there are some restrictions on D, and apparently T, ratings of caches that basic members can view on the map.  What I did NOT understand is that even given a specific GC code of a free geocache, not premium member only, the basic user cannot actually go find it using the app.

 

This seems counter-productive to enticing actual outdoorsy people to the game.  I can only conclude that Groundspeak thinks that to become a geocacher, one MUST first be interested in finding caches in guard rails, lamp post bases, etc... exactly the type of geocache that would turn my friend entirely off geocaching!

 

I have no problem with the map in the app only showing basic easy caches, but surely if someone gives a basic member a GC code they couldn't have otherwise easily found through the app, then it's likely it's an existing geocacher attracting a new player to the game, so let them find it!  Let them become hooked and you might get a new premium member out of it!  Instead, I think she will probably just give up as it all seems too hard and restrictive (and boring). :(

 

Edit to add:  Note to moderator, this is not an *issue* with the app, so please don't move it to the App forum.  It's about attracting new quality players to the game.

Edited by funkymunkyzone
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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

This seems counter-productive to enticing actual outdoorsy people to the game.  I can only conclude that Groundspeak thinks that to become a geocacher, one MUST first be interested in finding caches in guard rails, lamp post bases, etc... exactly the type of geocache that would turn my friend entirely off geocaching!

 

The App shows caches that are likely to be easily found by someone who just now found out about Geocaching. People who don't necessarily even know you don't take the container home with you. So yeah, basic free App access shows real easy caches that might not even be very exciting.  It may be a better idea if instead Cache Owners work to improve the experience even for guard rails.  Mine are cool. :anicute:

 

The way a basic member uses the web site is similar to the way it has always been:

Use the web site (phones can show web sites). Look up any cache that's not Premium Member Only, read the cache page, copy or make a note of the coordinates. Use those coords as a “Waypoint” in the App (or most any GPS App that doesn't stick to street routing).

 

It's inconvenient to use the web site for more than a cache or two a day, if you're a basic member. If you pay for Premium, it's more convenient. You're paying for ease of use.

 

Other Apps, which tend to require at least a one-time purchase, show caches in a different way (3 daily caches for free? Something like that).  For a waypoint or two, I much prefer Commander Compass for iPhone (Droids have similar GPS Apps), to quickly enter and convert coordinates, for a compass distance and direction.  Commander Compass was free -- look at the Apps Gone Free sites for Apps that are temporarily free. 

 

I was concerned like you that people may be turned off when all they see is guard rail caches. So I added info on some of my “easy beginner” caches on how to open up the world of Geocaching for free – how to view and hunt cooler caches by looking them up on the web site. I even suggested a couple fun caches that aren't automatically shown in the App for free. My unscientific results of this showed me that most people still stick to the free quick guard rails, they don't go to the web site to learn all about Geocaching, and eventually quit caching.

 

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, kunarion said:

The way a basic member uses the web site is similar to the way it has always been:

Use the web site (phones can show web sites). Look up any cache that's not Premium Member Only, read the cache page, copy or make a note of the coordinates. Use those coords as a “Waypoint” in the App (or most any GPS App that doesn't stick to street routing).

 

As someone who works in the digital technology field, with goals of using technology to create seamless journeys/experiences for users/customers, I really think that what you have pointed out - which is entirely true - is an archaic approach to business: deliberately hobbling the technology, and user experience, to force people to pay for a service.  What we're saying is, we've got this app that could provide an experience that would entice a new user in, but we will deliberately make it awful and clunky unless they pay - but of course they won't pay because it's awful and clunky and they don't even know this is how they have to do it, they can't even see this part of the game...

 

Groundspeak should learn from all of the other app developers out there with their angry avians, or their crushing sweet stories... entice the user in with these wonderful experiences and then let them look through a glass window at the wonderful things they could have if they pay.. Instead of slamming a door in their face and simply saying you can't enter if you don't pay - why do I want to pay to enter?  I can't see a reason because they won't show me.

Edited by funkymunkyzone
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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

I really think that what you have pointed out - which is entirely true - is an archaic approach to business.  What we're saying is, we've got this app that could provide an experience that would entice a new user in, but we will deliberately make it awful and clunky unless they pay - but of course they won't pay because it's awful and clunky and they don't even know this is how they have to do it, they can't even see this part of the game...

 

Yes and no.  The Official App has links to "open in web page" all over the place.  Start on the web site, and you see buhzillions of caches for free.  The App is nice for showing people that they can hunt "a" cache, but the next thing to decide is, "Do I borrow my Dad's old handheld GPS for this and load a GPX file or two every day into it for free?  Do I upgrade my GPS device to a new handheld GPS that has the same activity tracking that I already use, but also has Geocaching?"  Either one of those options means... no "phone App" necessary and No App Restrictions.  If you're ready for the next level and The App isn't suitable, you may not be able to shoe-horn The App into your plan.

 

I think TPTB stuck amazingly well to their first idea:  The App is kind of an ad to greatly encourage people to pay for Premium Membership.  If you want An App at all, YOU pay the low fee, even for just a month to see what it's really all about. Apps are expensive to maintain.  You DO NOT make the rest of us who don't even use "Apps" pay for your "free" App.  That business model is super fair to the Geocachers who pay for Premium Membership.

 

I'm glad there was no App when I started, but that's mainly because The iPhone App points way off, 300-400 feet off.  And 90 to 180 degrees off.;  And then it wanders.  If I started with that today, and never really looked at the web site, it wouldn't be the guard rails that were the issue.  I'd probably have quit pretty quick, just because "I guess phones aren't all that good for precise location".  And that would be the end of that.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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27 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 ... This seems counter-productive to enticing actual outdoorsy people to the game.  I can only conclude that Groundspeak thinks that to become a geocacher, one MUST first be interested in finding caches in guard rails, lamp post bases, etc... exactly the type of geocache that would turn my friend entirely off geocaching!

 

I have no problem with the map in the app only showing basic easy caches, but surely if someone gives a basic member a GC code they couldn't have otherwise easily found through the app, then it's likely it's an existing geocacher attracting a new player to the game, so let them find it!  Let them become hooked and you might get a new premium member out of it!  Instead, I think she will probably just give up as it all seems too hard and restrictive (and boring). :(

 

Even a basic member can load a single cache into the app using "add a waypoint".   :)

It's the app.     Using a GPSr, they could find any cache other than pmo.   A free app should have  limitations...

 

The few people we take under wing with us to learn this odd hobby already are outdoor types.     :)

 - But the norm we see of weekend n done kids aren't, and I feel your example is rare today.

 

This isn't the only hobby that has basic/premium membership, with more "pluses" once paid, and just because we refuse to make our caches "pmo"  doesn't mean we want to attract someone not really invested in this hobby.

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3 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

Yes and no.  The Official App has links to "open in web page" all over the place.  Start on the web site, and you see buhzillions of caches for free.  The App is nice for showing people that they can hunt "a" cache, but the next thing to decide is, "Do I borrow my Dad's old handheld GPS for this and load a GPX file or two every day into it for free?  Do I upgrade my GPS device to a new handheld GPS that has the same activity tracking that I already use, but also has Geocaching?"  Either one of those options means... no "phone App" necessary.  If you're ready for the next level and The App isn't suitable, you may not be able to shoe-horn The App into your plan.

 

That's the archaic "pre-app world" business model I am talking about.  People are used to downloading apps to their phones now and they do not expect to have to go to a website, write down coordinates, get another device entirely, etc etc.  That's old tech and not a nice user experience.

 

4 minutes ago, kunarion said:

I think TPTB stuck amazingly well to their first idea:  The App is kind of an ad to greatly encourage people to pay for Premium Membership.

Except it isn't a good ad for encouraging people to pay for Premium membership - at least not a lasting membership that adds long-term to Groundspeak's revenue.  My friend for example, and your experience:

24 minutes ago, kunarion said:

they don't go to the web site to learn all about Geocaching, and eventually quit caching.

 

6 minutes ago, kunarion said:

If you want An App at all, YOU pay the low fee, even for just a month to see what it's really all about. Apps are expensive to maintain.  You DO NOT make the rest of us who don't even use "Apps" pay for your "free" App.  That business model is super fair to the Geocachers who pay for Premium Membership.

We are living in an age now where people try for free then buy, when it comes to activities like this.  yes apps are expensive to maintain, but let's be clear, an app was written and then extra effort went in to actually hobble the app for those basic users.  That's extra $ spent on building and maintaining the app.  And of course the point of it is that the new player gets enticed into paying for premium membership, meaning the whole site benefits from the extra revenue.  So I strongly disagree that the model is super fair - it's super counter-productive is what it is.

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1 minute ago, cerberus1 said:

This isn't the only hobby that has basic/premium membership, with more "pluses" once paid

 

Plenty of "free game Apps" use "coins".  Buy a pack of coins and "gems" for temporary goodies, run out of coins and buy more with no upper limit to how much it could cost. That's the App model today, for the nicest "Apps", limited only by how many ads you click and how active you are at "grinding" the game.

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1 minute ago, cerberus1 said:

Even a basic member can load a single cache into the app using "add a waypoint".   :)

Archaic - deliberately hobbled technology

 

2 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

A free app should have  limitations...

Totally agree.  Missing the point of my opening post.

 

2 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 I feel your example is rare today.

Might be true, but it's still lost revenue for the game, and a very good friend of mine who will not join the game so if I want to spend more time with them, I will get dragged away from the game too.  She also has lots of friends and family she goes on these walks with... could have been another dozen players for all I know.

 

4 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

This isn't the only hobby that has basic/premium membership, with more "pluses" once paid

Agreed.  but I think for the most part you'll find that other activities (games etc) that are wildly successful use an approach that better entices players in.

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2 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

Plenty of "free game Apps" use "coins".  Buy a pack of coins and "gems" for temporary goodies, run out of coins and buy more with no upper limit to how much it could cost. That's the App model today, for the nicest "Apps", limited only by how many ads you click and how active you are at "grinding" the game.

 

Yep, and why are they successful?  Because they entice the players in, and dont make them go off to websites and write stuff down... that's a chore and not fun.

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5 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

yes apps are expensive to maintain, but let's be clear, an app was written and then extra effort went in to actually hobble the app for those basic users.  That's extra $ spent on building and maintaining the app.  And of course the point of it is that the new player gets enticed into paying for premium membership, meaning the whole site benefits from the extra revenue.  So I strongly disagree that the model is super fair - it's super counter-productive is what it is.

 

I was just saying that I appreciate that Geocaching.com doesn't make me pay for everything that everyone wants for free, that the idea is people pay the small fee if they want all the goodies.  I like that plan, a lot. :P

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Just now, kunarion said:

 

I was just saying that I appreciate that Geocaching.com doesn't make me pay for everything that everyone wants for free, that the idea is people pay the small fee if they want all the goodies.  I like that plan, a lot. :P

 

I agree with you.  And if that's what the topic was about then that would be awesome.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 

Yep, and why are they successful?  Because they entice the players in, and dont make them go off to websites and write stuff down... that's a chore and not fun.

 

If you want to go there, yes.  The whole game is supported by the App alone, and the whole business goes into making the App.  Buy a pack of "coins" and a chest of "gems" to use in the App, run out and you buy more and more with no limit to how much you spend.  Not transparent spending, either.  The parents get a Visa bill for $2500 next month.

 

Edited by kunarion
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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 

I agree with you.  And if that's what the topic was about then that would be awesome.

 

Yeah, the topic is more that you didn't properly explain Geocaching to your friend.  So it's The App's fault. :anicute:

 

Edited by kunarion
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1 minute ago, kunarion said:

 

Yeah, the topic is more that you didn't Geocaching properly explain to your friend.  So it's The App's fault. :anicute:

 

 

That's just being ridiculous, but thanks anyway.

 

Or maybe you're right.  Geocaching is not at all a sport where you go out and find geocaches, it's a sport of looking at websites and writing stuff down...

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 

That's just being ridiculous, but thanks anyway.

 

Or maybe you're right.  Geocaching is not at all a sport where you go out and find geocaches, it's a sport of looking at websites and writing stuff down...

 

You're welcome!

 

I've wished that "The App" could be only a business card with a compass.  An ad for Geocaching, not a complete tool for Geocaching.  You'd instead go to the clunky website for free to get everything, load a cache and go, as everyone has since it began.  It has slowly developed into a useful App for all, and that's cool.  But I thought it would be better to leave "App Making" to App developers... license the database to other companies who make Apps exactly the way people want.  Unfortunately, there's no money in it.  3rd-party Apps come and go, because it cannot be free.  It can't even be $5 for the App.  If you make an App, there must be revenue to keep pouring into it, and Geocaching Apps have been one-time-pay, which in no way covers the cost, never mind making a profit.  And the separate ongoing membership fee is on top of that anyway.

 

Edited by kunarion

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, kunarion said:

clunky website

It isn't at all "clunky", or wasn't before it was fiddled with. Even as a beginner, I was able to use it easily. I find the app is a lot harder to learn than the website was, to find all the same features, which I suspect aren't even on the app. At present I will still preference the website, and even if I used the app, I would still go to the computer to write decent logs, as it's a lot faster to type with multi fingers, then one finger on the app.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

It isn't at all "clunky", or wasn't before it was fiddled with. Even as a beginner, I was able to use it easily. I find the app is a lot harder to learn than the website was, to find all the same features, which I suspect aren't even on the app. At present I will still preference the website, and even if I used the app, I would still go to the computer to write decent logs, as it's a lot faster to type with multi fingers, then one finder on the app.

 

I think it's better to refer people to the web site, familiarize them with how to use it.  They may have access to a handheld GPS, and if so, they're ready to load it and go, for free.  Inconveniently free, but not as limited as The App is.  The App was designed to show an absolute newby that their phone not only can point to a cache (or if it can, to test it out), they get the instant gratification of a guaranteed find, and next get seriously encouraged to go PM.  If all caches are shown to them in The App, now they have to learn Geocaching first, because most caches require that learning curve or they won't find the caches.

 

It's been suggested that After X Caches or X amount of time or something, the restriction of showing only the easiest caches should be lifted.  But that's where the cost of maintaining The App comes into play, vs. using the web site for free and maybe a borrowed handheld GPS for free (phones are in no way one-time-pay, if you use one, you ain't exactly broke, or if you are, reconsider your budget).  If you'd like to use an App beyond its trial limits, you pay for it.  That is, you pay continually.  That's how Apps work, they have a revenue stream.  That's why I think it's fair to do it this way... because Apps work this way.

 

Edited by kunarion
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8 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

I think it's better to refer people to the web site, familiarize them with how to use it.  They may have access to a handheld GPS, and if so, they're ready to load it and go, for free.  Inconveniently free, but not as limited as The App is.  The App was designed to show an absolute newby that their phone not only can point to a cache (or if it can, to test it out), they get the instant gratification of a guaranteed find, and next get seriously encouraged to go PM.  If all caches are shown to them in The App, now they have to learn Geocaching first, because most caches require that learning curve or they won't find the caches.

 

It's been suggested that After X Caches or X amount of time or something, the restriction of showing only the easiest caches should be lifted.  But that's where the cost of maintaining The App comes into play, vs. using the web site for free and maybe a borrowed handheld GPS for free (phones are in no way one-time-pay, if you use one, you ain't exactly broke, or if you are, reconsider your budget).  If you'd like to use an App beyond its trial limits, you pay for it.  That is, you pay continually.  That's how Apps work, they have a revenue stream.  That's why I think it's fair to do it this way... because Apps work this way.

 

That's fair enough, but some people talk as though it's the only way, and the website is redundant. Personally when I started geocaching, I found my first 180 caches without a GPS or a phone, and I could only see some caches, and had no idea other caches even existed. I LOVED that, as when I finally became a member all these other caches appeared near where I lived. Rather than get upset I couldn't see them, I was thrilled I hadn't been able to see them, as now I had a whole lot more local caches to find. It was like a birthday present for me. Also, not having a GPS or phone for my first 180 caches, taught me to look for other clues when searching, such as moved pebbles, broken twigs and bent grass.

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19 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

That's fair enough, but some people talk as though it's the only way, and the website is redundant. Personally when I started geocaching, I found my first 180 caches without a GPS or a phone, and I could only see some caches, and had no idea other caches even existed. I LOVED that, as when I finally became a member all these other caches appeared near where I lived. Rather than get upset I couldn't see them, I was thrilled I hadn't been able to see them, as now I had a whole lot more local caches to find. It was like a birthday present for me. Also, not having a GPS or phone for my first 180 caches, taught me to look for other clues when searching, such as moved pebbles, broken twigs and bent grass.

 

I can't stand the flakiness of "Geocaching Apps" in general, with the additional annoyance of a phone interface.  AND the occasional (going on for about a year now?) iPhone pointing 400 feet away behind me bug.  PLUS losing the signal while clicking the same buttons I always do (I NEVER remember to stop pressing certain buttons once I realize that I'm offline), and although I loaded everything I possibly could, it still is not showing everything while offline now.  I know, everyone else loves all that.  Heard it.  Cool.

 

So I wondered what would happen if I as an "App Game Player", I had started Geocaching using The App.  All things considered, I'd probably have quit after a couple of cache attempts and deleted The App.  Not because I can't get all the caches, but merely Because It's A Phone App and generally annoying.

 

The way I started was, I read about caching using the web site, bought a brand new Garmin 450, loaded some cache GPX files ("Basic Member" files that had limited info) in it, and went caching.  If I hated caching, I'd still use the GPS for exploring outdoors as I do now anyway.  But no special phone data $ubscription, no fiddly Apps that change and disappear, and all caches, with the exception of PMO of course, are free.  There was research at home before a cache trip, but I plan where I'm going anyway.

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3 hours ago, kunarion said:

 

I can't stand the flakiness of "Geocaching Apps" in general, with the additional annoyance of a phone interface.  AND the occasional (going on for about a year now?) iPhone pointing 400 feet away behind me bug.  PLUS losing the signal while clicking the same buttons I always do (I NEVER remember to stop pressing certain buttons once I realize that I'm offline), and although I loaded everything I possibly could, it still is not showing everything while offline now.  I know, everyone else loves all that.  Heard it.  Cool.

 

So I wondered what would happen if I as an "App Game Player", I had started Geocaching using The App.  All things considered, I'd probably have quit after a couple of cache attempts and deleted The App.  Not because I can't get all the caches, but merely Because It's A Phone App and generally annoying.

 

The way I started was, I read about caching using the web site, bought a brand new Garmin 450, loaded some cache GPX files ("Basic Member" files that had limited info) in it, and went caching.  If I hated caching, I'd still use the GPS for exploring outdoors as I do now anyway.  But no special phone data $ubscription, no fiddly Apps that change and disappear, and all caches, with the exception of PMO of course, are free.  There was research at home before a cache trip, but I plan where I'm going anyway.

I didn't buy my first GPS until I decided I liked the game, and then I went and finally bought one, after the 180 finds. I paid my first membership then too. I didn't have data on my phone then, and it was only about 3 years ago I could justify the cost of data, when the price came down. (Not saying I couldn't afford it, but I set priorities.) The GPS was a big upfront expense, but it paid itself back, because I didn't need to have data on my phone.

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I've always thought, that if you're goal is to entice people to play (and pay), they need to have a taste of the good stuff. Give them full access, maybe not to PMO caches (as we often make caches PMO to protect from cache-vandals) for a month, then pull it away..... 

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10 minutes ago, lee737 said:

I've always thought, that if you're goal is to entice people to play (and pay), they need to have a taste of the good stuff. Give them full access, maybe not to PMO caches (as we often make caches PMO to protect from cache-vandals) for a month, then pull it away..... 

 

I'm in two minds about this. On the one hand, I'm appreciative of the D/T and cache type restrictions on the basic level app protecting most of my caches from muggles-with-apps, although last year's lockdown-bred PM muggles-with-apps created enough mayhem, with one of them using my cache as a urinal. But on the other hand, a new basic member won't have much available in my area, just 9 caches to pick from and an event at the end of January to attend if they haven't lost interest by then.

 

LocalBasicAppCaches.jpg.3bae93f2836267f93785bde292ebcc6f.jpg

 

When I got into caching I didn't have a smart phone, so my introduction was through the website and downloading .loc files to my newly-purchased Garmin 62S. I immediately experienced many of the higher terrain caches in the bushland around here and was hooked. Had I been an app-only newbie I doubt whether those handful of roadside hides would have held my interest, although that one with the star on it near Patonga might have :).

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9 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

On the one hand, I'm appreciative of the D/T and cache type restrictions on the basic level app protecting most of my caches from muggles-with-apps, although last year's lockdown-bred PM muggles-with-apps created enough mayhem, with one of them using my cache as a urinal.

 

After doing some of your caches today Jeff, I think the actual terrain is protecting them, regardless of the D/T score or PMO status.... :)

In regards to PMO-muggles-with-apps.... we're pretty much defenceless against them unfortunately.... thankfully they seem in the minority.

 

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4 hours ago, lee737 said:

I've always thought, that if you're goal is to entice people to play (and pay), they need to have a taste of the good stuff. Give them full access, maybe not to PMO caches (as we often make caches PMO to protect from cache-vandals) for a month, then pull it away..... 

 

That’s how caches go away.  Persons learn about a real cool  one that’s simple to access, but not obvious.  That one level of protection— the extra work it takes to find out about that cache— is what kept it alive.  
 

But anyone can, or could get PMO for a month.  HQ offers/offered that after a request.  If that was cancelled, the reason it was cancelled may be illuminating.

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I've encountered the same issue, and have bypassed it by using the website to find the pages for 'premium member only' caches, and putting the coordinates into google maps. The actual premium caches are still blocked on the site.

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Instead of using "the" app (what's in a name?) any other app (partner or not) can be used to import a gpx file.That should get newbies going for a while.

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I'm in two minds about this. On the one hand, I'm appreciative of the D/T and cache type restrictions on the basic level app protecting most of my caches from muggles-with-apps, although last year's lockdown-bred PM muggles-with-apps created enough mayhem, with one of them using my cache as a urinal. But on the other hand, a new basic member won't have much available in my area, just 9 caches to pick from and an event at the end of January to attend if they haven't lost interest by then.

 

LocalBasicAppCaches.jpg.3bae93f2836267f93785bde292ebcc6f.jpg

 

When I got into caching I didn't have a smart phone, so my introduction was through the website and downloading .loc files to my newly-purchased Garmin 62S. I immediately experienced many of the higher terrain caches in the bushland around here and was hooked. Had I been an app-only newbie I doubt whether those handful of roadside hides would have held my interest, although that one with the star on it near Patonga might have :).

 

Basic member caches in your small area should count themselves lucky - in the WHOLE of Kuwait (where Mrs me N u is currently working) there are a grand total of 5 caches available to basic members who are not military personnel.

 

Edit - and only 16 non military available caches in total.

Edited by me N u

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45 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Instead of using "the" app (what's in a name?) any other app (partner or not) can be used to import a gpx file.That should get newbies going for a while.

Which is confirmation that Groundspeak's app is failing to serve the purpose of introducing new people to geocaching. When I take new people geocaching, I take them to interesting caches. That usually means that Groundspeak's app won't display them because their difficulty/terrain rating is greater than 2.

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43 minutes ago, black_cat1 said:

I've encountered the same issue, and have bypassed it by using the website to find the pages for 'premium member only' caches, and putting the coordinates into google maps. The actual premium caches are still blocked on the site.

The PMO Caches are blocked, but all other not PMO caches are not blocked at the webside. But if you use the GS app and you are not a PMO, there are not only the PMO Caches blockt. Even most of the none PMO Caches are blocked, dependet from the higher D/T rating. For that reason, I would't use, or recommend the GS App, if somebody is not a PM.

Greetings Johannis10

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6 minutes ago, Johannis10 said:

The PMO Caches are blocked, but all other not PMO caches are not blocked at the webside. But if you use the GS app and you are not a PMO, there are not only the PMO Caches blockt. Even most of the none PMO Caches are blocked, dependet from the higher D/T rating. For that reason, I would't use, or recommend the GS App, if somebody is not a PM.

Greetings Johannis10

Yep, I know that some are blocked on the app. I meant to give an easy workaround if you want to use a phone, but don't want premium member. I agree, the app isn't very useful if you're not a PM.

 

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For years I had a basic account. I knew the application was limited, and when I first started out, it was a huge turn off. When I got back into geocaching, I used the website and never stopped....it was THE only way I cached for many years until I got premium membership. 

 

Now that I'm premium, I see it's just that much more accessible and friendly to use the application, even though I do prefer the website for some things....the loading issues on the application and the clunkiness of waypoints (Using Android*) do frsutrate me at points. I also use the website at times to see caches which are disabled....I don't really get why the Application only shows fully sctive caches, and that you can't just flick a settign on and off for that, but whatever. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, lee737 said:

I've always thought, that if you're goal is to entice people to play (and pay), they need to have a taste of the good stuff. Give them full access, maybe not to PMO caches (as we often make caches PMO to protect from cache-vandals) for a month, then pull it away..... 

 

Folks who have runs of one-of-a-kind gadget caches would sure love that idea...     :D

 

Anyone can ask HQ for a temporary pm.  IIRC it's no longer a month, but a week. 

 - Know how many coordinates to pmo caches someone can enter (even just on paper...)  in a weeks time ?    ;)

There was at least one promotion that during it, basic members were offered a temp pm too. 

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Solution: stay away from the official app. Encourage them to use the other ones.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, black_cat1 said:

I've encountered the same issue, and have bypassed it by using the website to find the pages for 'premium member only' caches, and putting the coordinates into google maps. The actual premium caches are still blocked on the site.

 

How are you getting the coordinates for the premium member caches since a Basic Member cannot view the cache page.  I think you are confusing PM caches with the app limiting access to higher D/T ratings for Basic Members.

Edited by GeoTrekker26
typo
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12 minutes ago, TriciaG said:

Solution: stay away from the official app. Encourage them to use the other ones.

 

API partner apps are limited to three caches per day for Basic Members.  With some planning, that ought to be enough for a beginning geocacher.  If you want to find the ten Terrain 3 caches along the Riverside Trail on Saturday, download them during the course of the week to be ready for the weekend.

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"The" app could be so much better with a simple slider you can't miss: "Just the easy ones".  If turned off, it'd show all D and T, omitting just the premiums.

 

I'm still in this game 15 years later because I started with difficult ones.  Where's the appeal in  easy?

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4 minutes ago, GeoTrekker26 said:

How are you getting the coordinates for the premium member caches since a Basic Member cannot view the cache page.  I think you are confusing PM caches with the app limiting access to higher D/T ratins for Basic Members.

 

It seems (to me) when asking in another thread that "the app" doesn't actually say it's an "advanced" cache, but states that you "need premium to access" .

   - this  confuses a lot of people (by forum posts).

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46 minutes ago, DreamMachine74 said:

.I don't really get why the Application only shows fully sctive caches, and that you can't just flick a settign on and off for that, but whatever. 

 

IIRC, the site wanted new cachers to only go for caches that are there.  Seems sound to me.     :)

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44 minutes ago, Keystone said:

API partner apps are limited to three caches per day for Basic Members.  With some planning, that ought to be enough for a beginning geocacher.  If you want to find the ten Terrain 3 caches along the Riverside Trail on Saturday, download them during the course of the week to be ready for the weekend.

Which again confirms that Groundspeak's app is failing to serve the purpose of introducing new people to geocaching.

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3 hours ago, cerberus1 said:
12 hours ago, lee737 said:

I've always thought, that if you're goal is to entice people to play (and pay), they need to have a taste of the good stuff. Give them full access, maybe not to PMO caches (as we often make caches PMO to protect from cache-vandals) for a month, then pull it away..... 

 

Folks who have runs of one-of-a-kind gadget caches would sure love that idea... 

 

We have a few 'one-of-a-kind' gadgets.... leave them PMO, make them less accessible, incorporate a puzzle.

Vandals can get PMO access for nothing anyway, then they have the backdoor key to everything that isn't puzzle protected....

 

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3 hours ago, GeoTrekker26 said:

 

How are you getting the coordinates for the premium member caches since a Basic Member cannot view the cache page.  I think you are confusing PM caches with the app limiting access to higher D/T ratings for Basic Members.

I'm not. I put ' 'premium member only' ' in quotes to try to show that I meant the ones that are limited because of higher D/T ratings. Sorry if I wasn't clear!

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2 hours ago, niraD said:

Which again confirms that Groundspeak's app is failing to serve the purpose of introducing new people to geocaching.

 

I don't know...  There are a lot of T2 "in the woods/large park" hides all around me. 

I try to stick with those T2 and above hides myself, and when taking new folks under wing we ask/figure what they can handle in terrain too. 

 - Always in the woods.  I never mention "treasure", but "the language of location".   Anyone else remember that ?  ;)

  The "advanced" caches we're doing with them, that are so appealing to those outdoors folks, used to be just ten buck in "dues" for three months to see if "premium" is a good thing.  Is that not so anymore ?  

 

We've kept most of the new folks who learned the hobby on woods trails, with awesome views and unique locations.

 

Those that the other 2/3rds has used her phone with, in urban/suburban settings, only a handful of them are still in the hobby.

I feel it's not a failure of the site, it's simply if people already enjoy the outdoors they tend to stay.  Gamers move on to something else...

 

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1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

I feel it's not a failure of the site, it's simply if people already enjoy the outdoors they tend to stay.  Gamers move on to something else...

 

Perhaps the failure is that the newbies aren't introduced to the website and only get to see it as an app game. So many of them now, including the PM newbies who all appeared during the COVID lockdown, show the last site visit as "Never".

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9 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

IIRC, the site wanted new cachers to only go for caches that are there.  Seems sound to me.     :)

That's fair. I'll stick to using the website for referencing disabled caches for those moments when I wonder where a cache or two went.

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Here's an unpopular point of view.
 
"One and Done", "Weekend Cachers"; whatever you call them. People who download the app and go out without knowing or caring what they're doing.
 
We talk about them here in the fora all the time. This doesn't make them necessarily bad, just uninformed or uncaring. People tend to see what's in front of them as "it". The App can say "Go to the Website" on every screen, but the average person;e tendency is to say "Well, I'm here in the app, playing the game," so they won't.
 
----------
 
If you have to balance the 'business needs' of GS as a money-making entity against our needs of protecting the hobby against people on a joy ride through random things to do, I'll pick protectionism every time.
 
This ISN'T Angry Birds or Candy Crush as someone alluded to above. At it's core this is a manually constructed, human effort hobby that exists in the physical world. It doesn't matter how many people have access to the top level of Angry Birds (if there is such a thing) because NOTHING is at stake except profit from app-sales. In Geocaching, what's at stake is the physical effort, time, expense and materiel that goes into the creation and maintenance of the playing pieces in the REAL WORLD, otherwise known as geocaches.
 
Yes, you can play for free forever. You can even HIDE caches for free! That's a wonderful, respectable operating foundation of the company. But, it's SOOOOOO easy to ruin a geocache, even if you have no malice. Even if you have respect. Take stuff home, leave it exposed, log spoilers, relocate to make it easier, throwdowns....    We get all that from PAYING players who presumably should have a higher chance of knowing better!
 
To allow access to all but the most elementary game pieces for players with NO skin in the game is irresponsible and abusive to cache owners. I WISH there was a way to give cachers more perspective and education. I WISH human nature didn't tend toward ONLY self-fulfillment. I WISH that there was a way to immediately get across the concept that the COMPANY didn't hide this stuff; your fellow PLAYERS did, and maybe people wouldn't treat caches like they do public facilities.
 
So, no, the unlockable features of the app should be a reward for actually joining; investing in the hobby. Basic membering which involves using the website may not be the most efficient way to play, but think of it as a toll road. You can take the smaller roads for free, or you can 'join' and get a smoother, faster ride. With reststops and bathrooms. 
 
But, it's said, how can people really tell if they want to join unless they can play? Well, I think caching is something that will grab you if you're the right type.
 
Want to try 'higher' stuff? Get yourself a one-month inexpensive membership (or whatever it is). Put SOMETHING personal into the game to be granted access to the shared property of cache owners.
 
Otherwise, there are LOTS of "Angry Birds" games to play.
 
The unpopular part of this? I suppose I'm all for a 'smaller', well-played game.
 
"After all, Bill," my Dad would say. "If everybody does it, then EVERYBODY would do it."

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32 minutes ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

Here's an unpopular point of view.
 
"One and Done", "Weekend Cachers"; whatever you call them. People who download the app and go out without knowing or caring what they're doing.
 
We talk about them here in the fora all the time. This doesn't make them necessarily bad, just uninformed or uncaring. People tend to see what's in front of them as "it". The App can say "Go to the Website" on every screen, but the average person;e tendency is to say "Well, I'm here in the app, playing the game," so they won't.
 
----------
 
If you have to balance the 'business needs' of GS as a money-making entity against our needs of protecting the hobby against people on a joy ride through random things to do, I'll pick protectionism every time.
 
This ISN'T Angry Birds or Candy Crush as someone alluded to above. At it's core this is a manually constructed, human effort hobby that exists in the physical world. It doesn't matter how many people have access to the top level of Angry Birds (if there is such a thing) because NOTHING is at stake except profit from app-sales. In Geocaching, what's at stake is the physical effort, time, expense and materiel that goes into the creation and maintenance of the playing pieces in the REAL WORLD, otherwise known as geocaches.
 
Yes, you can play for free forever. You can even HIDE caches for free! That's a wonderful, respectable operating foundation of the company. But, it's SOOOOOO easy to ruin a geocache, even if you have no malice. Even if you have respect. Take stuff home, leave it exposed, log spoilers, relocate to make it easier, throwdowns....    We get all that from PAYING players who presumably should have a higher chance of knowing better!
 
To allow access to all but the most elementary game pieces for players with NO skin in the game is irresponsible and abusive to cache owners. I WISH there was a way to give cachers more perspective and education. I WISH human nature didn't tend toward ONLY self-fulfillment. I WISH that there was a way to immediately get across the concept that the COMPANY didn't hide this stuff; your fellow PLAYERS did, and maybe people wouldn't treat caches like they do public facilities.
 
So, no, the unlockable features of the app should be a reward for actually joining; investing in the hobby. Basic membering which involves using the website may not be the most efficient way to play, but think of it as a toll road. You can take the smaller roads for free, or you can 'join' and get a smoother, faster ride. With reststops and bathrooms. 
 
But, it's said, how can people really tell if they want to join unless they can play? Well, I think caching is something that will grab you if you're the right type.
 
Want to try 'higher' stuff? Get yourself a one-month inexpensive membership (or whatever it is). Put SOMETHING personal into the game to be granted access to the shared property of cache owners.
 
Otherwise, there are LOTS of "Angry Birds" games to play.
 
The unpopular part of this? I suppose I'm all for a 'smaller', well-played game.
 
"After all, Bill," my Dad would say. "If everybody does it, then EVERYBODY would do it."


+1

 

Even as a Basic Member, I found out about very cool caches by reading about them and being told about them.  That’s what piqued my interest, while finding LPCs.

 

One thing the web site has that the App doesn’t have is... people.  I needed lots of Forum help when I started, and if all I saw was The App, I’d be lost.  But that’s probably just me. :anicute:

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54 minutes ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

Here's an unpopular point of view.
 
"One and Done", "Weekend Cachers"; whatever you call them. People who download the app and go out without knowing or caring what they're doing.
 
We talk about them here in the fora all the time. This doesn't make them necessarily bad, just uninformed or uncaring. People tend to see what's in front of them as "it". The App can say "Go to the Website" on every screen, but the average person;e tendency is to say "Well, I'm here in the app, playing the game," so they won't.
 
----------
 
If you have to balance the 'business needs' of GS as a money-making entity against our needs of protecting the hobby against people on a joy ride through random things to do, I'll pick protectionism every time.
 
This ISN'T Angry Birds or Candy Crush as someone alluded to above. At it's core this is a manually constructed, human effort hobby that exists in the physical world. It doesn't matter how many people have access to the top level of Angry Birds (if there is such a thing) because NOTHING is at stake except profit from app-sales. In Geocaching, what's at stake is the physical effort, time, expense and materiel that goes into the creation and maintenance of the playing pieces in the REAL WORLD, otherwise known as geocaches.
 
Yes, you can play for free forever. You can even HIDE caches for free! That's a wonderful, respectable operating foundation of the company. But, it's SOOOOOO easy to ruin a geocache, even if you have no malice. Even if you have respect. Take stuff home, leave it exposed, log spoilers, relocate to make it easier, throwdowns....    We get all that from PAYING players who presumably should have a higher chance of knowing better!
 
To allow access to all but the most elementary game pieces for players with NO skin in the game is irresponsible and abusive to cache owners. I WISH there was a way to give cachers more perspective and education. I WISH human nature didn't tend toward ONLY self-fulfillment. I WISH that there was a way to immediately get across the concept that the COMPANY didn't hide this stuff; your fellow PLAYERS did, and maybe people wouldn't treat caches like they do public facilities.
 
So, no, the unlockable features of the app should be a reward for actually joining; investing in the hobby. Basic membering which involves using the website may not be the most efficient way to play, but think of it as a toll road. You can take the smaller roads for free, or you can 'join' and get a smoother, faster ride. With reststops and bathrooms. 
 
But, it's said, how can people really tell if they want to join unless they can play? Well, I think caching is something that will grab you if you're the right type.
 
Want to try 'higher' stuff? Get yourself a one-month inexpensive membership (or whatever it is). Put SOMETHING personal into the game to be granted access to the shared property of cache owners.
 
Otherwise, there are LOTS of "Angry Birds" games to play.
 
The unpopular part of this? I suppose I'm all for a 'smaller', well-played game.
 
"After all, Bill," my Dad would say. "If everybody does it, then EVERYBODY would do it."

I usually skip over long wordy posts (short attention span) but a sentence or two caught my attention and caused me to read the lot.

+1.

Well said.

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1 hour ago, kunarion said:

One thing the web site has that the App doesn’t have is... people.

 

Yes. The website view of a cache page, especially when viewed on a decent-sized screen, shows at a glance all the effort the CO put into creating the cache, along with all the feedback and photos from those who've taken up the cache's challenge, but the sanitised view in the app shows almost none of that at the top level, just the title, size, D/T rating, and the Press GO and follow the arrow button. All the personalised stuff in the description is hidden away under submenus. The AL app takes that to another level where the owner becomes almost redundant once an adventure goes public and the restricted character count in the optional activity log doesn't let you say much more than another five smileys for me.

 

I'm the archtypical introverted tech nerd who loves hiking in the woods away from the crowds of noisy muggles, so it was that aspect of caching that initially drew me in, but as I got into the game and started to meet fellow cachers, it was the community side of it, the gathering of a diverse range of people all sharing that common interest, that keeps me in it. If it was just a depersonalised app game, I'd have lost interest after a few months and probably taken up something drab like lawn bowls in my retirement.

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On 1/9/2021 at 1:20 PM, Keystone said:

 

API partner apps are limited to three caches per day for Basic Members.  With some planning, that ought to be enough for a beginning geocacher.  If you want to find the ten Terrain 3 caches along the Riverside Trail on Saturday, download them during the course of the week to be ready for the weekend.

 

Yep.  Three caches per day is 1095 caches per year.  IMHO, finding over 1000 caches a year goes beyond basic geocaching and an introduction to the game.   Heck, I've never found more than 500 in a year.  

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On 1/8/2021 at 8:25 PM, funkymunkyzone said:

That's the archaic "pre-app world" business model I am talking about.  People are used to downloading apps to their phones now and they do not expect to have to go to a website, write down coordinates, get another device entirely, etc etc.  That's old tech and not a nice user experience.

 

I think it depends what you're trying to do with the app. Is it to attract as many people as possible to geocaching, full stop?

 

Geocaching has problems stemming from people who never visit the website.

 

Geocaching is inherently "old tech." The second big GPS game downsized from 3D containers to 2D QR codes from day one. Subsequent GPS games have been entirely virtual. Nobody is using their Garmin to catch Pokemon or battle Harry Potter.

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