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old not used usernames


maatjes
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I wanted to change my username but somebody else already is using it. But when I look at the profile I see it isn't been used in 14 years...!!!
So now I would like to know the lifetime of an unused account so I maybe can switch to that username.

 

thanks in advance

Maatje

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Does the other account have any activity (cache hides, cache finds, trackables, etc.)?  If so, then the answer will likely be "no."  If the account has never had activity, then you might be able to claim the username.  You would need to write to Geocaching HQ  community support via the Help Center.

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1 hour ago, Keystone said:

Does the other account have any activity (cache hides, cache finds, trackables, etc.)?  If so, then the answer will likely be "no."  If the account has never had activity, then you might be able to claim the username.  You would need to write to Geocaching HQ  community support via the Help Center.

 

thanks for your quick answer. I have sent an e-mail, so now lets wait...

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If the account has a non-zero number of Logs (caches or trackables or Waymarks) or owned any caches (even archived) or Message Center messages or forum posts then the account is never going to be freed up. It would screw up the system, even if in a minor way.

 

It would need to be an account registered but never used.

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8 hours ago, maatje said:

I wanted to change my username but somebody else already is using it. But when I look at the profile I see it isn't been used in 14 years...!!!

 

When I first started geocaching in 2017, I chose a username - it was already taken.  When I looked up that user, I saw a sign up date, and 12 finds over a month in 2010, and nothing since  - but I still couldn't use that same name.  I came up with an alternate that works just as well - and here I am!  And that username that I originally came up with...still has no activity, going on 12 years now.  Ah well, 

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10 hours ago, maatje said:

I wanted to change my username but somebody else already is using it. But when I look at the profile I see it isn't been used in 14 years...!!!
So now I would like to know the lifetime of an unused account so I maybe can switch to that username.

 

See you sent an email already.  That should work, if there's no finds, trackables owned, or any other sign they may come back.  :)

Similar to CAVinoGal, the name we really wanted wasn't available and we found it had no finds, no trackables... nada since they had it.

It was years old when we joined and I emailed.  Got the "sorry, but..." message and just forgot about it.

Years later and nothing changed, did the same and got the same message...  

 - A couple years later we saw someone that just joined somehow managed to get that name.  Bet you can guess how happy we were...

So, if they've no action in the hobby, try every once in a while.  You never know when "someone else" will fix it for you.

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4 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

If the account has a non-zero number of Logs (caches or trackables or Waymarks) or owned any caches (even archived) or Message Center messages or forum posts then the account is never going to be freed up. It would screw up the system, even if in a minor way.

 

It would need to be an account registered but never used.

 

You can change your username without problems from your profile settings. Finds and caches etc. are not registered to the user name but the numerical user id. It would not screw up the system if the name changes.

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Good that it worked out in this case.

 

But it is a bit unnecessary that IDs that are abandoned for many years are reserved, even ones with little activity. Wouldn't it make sense to "archive" a user after, say, 10 years of total inactivity (maybe including after the last hide is archived)?

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On 3/28/2022 at 3:43 PM, Ragnemalm said:

But it is a bit unnecessary that IDs that are abandoned for many years are reserved, even ones with little activity. Wouldn't it make sense to "archive" a user after, say, 10 years of total inactivity (maybe including after the last hide is archived)?

 

No, because it would screw up every cache and trackable they ever logged online.

 

Also, there are people who stop geocaching for years but later come back to the hobby. If I was one of them I would be really unhappy if my old account had been deleted for inactivity.

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On 3/28/2022 at 3:43 PM, Ragnemalm said:

Good that it worked out in this case.

But it is a bit unnecessary that IDs that are abandoned for many years are reserved, even ones with little activity. Wouldn't it make sense to "archive" a user after, say, 10 years of total inactivity (maybe including after the last hide is archived)?

 

We know dozens of people that got hurt (I'm one...), experienced a death in the family, or just started a new family, that haven't been "active", but have full intention of playing again when it's possible.   :)

There are members here since the hobby began that have never placed a cache, and have less than a couple hundred finds. 

 - You want to penalize someone for archiving theirs?

Every cache and trackable is part of this hobby's history

Many of my favorite hides (w/FPs) are caches that have been long-archived, most with now-"inactive" COs. 

Archiving those names means my favorite hides they owned, and trackables I've moved or discovered go bye-bye too.

 

Quite a few years ago, one could ask a Reviewer to "take over" an "inactive" COs caches.

A reviewer stopped in the forums once to say a member came back many years later and asked what the heck happened to his property.

They don't do that anymore, and I'd bet that's why permission by the owner is a requirement for adoption.

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On 4/2/2022 at 6:38 PM, cerberus1 said:

 

We know dozens of people that got hurt (I'm one...), experienced a death in the family, or just started a new family, that haven't been "active", but have full intention of playing again when it's possible.   :)

There are members here since the hobby began that have never placed a cache, and have less than a couple hundred finds. 

 - You want to penalize someone for archiving theirs?

Every cache and trackable is part of this hobby's history

Many of my favorite hides (w/FPs) are caches that have been long-archived, most with now-"inactive" COs. 

Archiving those names means my favorite hides they owned, and trackables I've moved or discovered go bye-bye too.

 

Quite a few years ago, one could ask a Reviewer to "take over" an "inactive" COs caches.

A reviewer stopped in the forums once to say a member came back many years later and asked what the heck happened to his property.

They don't do that anymore, and I'd bet that's why permission by the owner is a requirement for adoption.

 

I suggested 10 years. In just about any other activity, you can't expect things to remain after 10 years. I had a MineCraft license all the way back to the beta stage. It has expired, totally gone. Many online services expire weeks after you miss a single payment. Even bank accounts expire. Here it is just a matter of changing the name by appending _inactive.

 

The member that came back, isn't that just a matter of returning the remaining adopted caches, if any? After 10 years, the most likely thing that happened with the user's "property" is that it was ruined by sun and rain, was archived and then taken away as trash. In many cases, an adoption would save the cache, not "steal" it.

 

What happened to my property?

(1) It has been taken care of by another user. Do you want it back?

(2) It was forcibly archived five years ago since it had a wet logbook. It is still there but you can not unarchive it.

What sounds nicest to you?

 

Caches are archived within about two months after an NM. So we should be super nice in one way to people being totally inactive for over 10 years, and penalizing heavily in other ways after two months? Does this make sense to you?

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On 4/5/2022 at 4:28 PM, Ragnemalm said:

Caches are archived within about two months after an NM. So we should be super nice in one way to people being totally inactive for over 10 years, and penalizing heavily in other ways after two months? Does this make sense to you?

People are human beings.   Caches are just stuff.  

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24 minutes ago, Babsbaby said:

People are human beings.   Caches are just stuff.  

That's a great oneliner, but I'm not sure how it's relevant. It is not people that are supposed to be archived, it is their accounts. That's also stuff, albeit immaterial.

 

But the question is if there is a way to recycle old user names. Otherwise user names will be more and more unpronouncable and/or long (wasting logstrip!). It would also have the advantage of removing people that have quit geocaching or even died from the statistics. Such as how many geocachers are there in a specific country, things like that.

 

Unfortunately, I don't think there is a way. Obviously one could not remove someones account, one would have to change just the user name (e.g. to something_inactive, as suggested). Even this could not be done without permission from the account holder, and that may be difficult to get. It would also not be very nice to nag people about giving up their user name. So what remains is that someone that decides to stop geocaching forever voluntarily gives up their user name. Although one could see it as a possiblility to add such a mechanism, I don't think that many would use it and they already have the option to just change their user name to something no one will want to call themselves.

 

The question of what to do with caches belonging to inactive cachers does not enter into this. This was about old user names.

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17 hours ago, Babsbaby said:

People are human beings.   Caches are just stuff.  

I don't see your point. Caches are owned by people, and much work may be put into it. Account names are just letters, they are not people. Caches are things made by people. So in order to be nice to people, inactive accounts could get some letters appended to free up the names for active people. Other services would delete the accounts.

 

So we should only care about the digital property but not the physical? Isn't it super nice to see that your best caches are still in place, being maintained, when you come back after 10 years?

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I'm glad my user name didn't disappear!  I didn't geocache for quite a few years, mainly due to life getting in the way.  My husband died, I lost our home to a devastating flood, then was homeless for almost 3 years.  Only recently did I remember that I used to like the hunt......and now I'm back, just hit my 200th a week ago.  :)

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On 4/28/2022 at 5:33 PM, WolfWalker said:

I'm glad my user name didn't disappear!  I didn't geocache for quite a few years, mainly due to life getting in the way.  My husband died, I lost our home to a devastating flood, then was homeless for almost 3 years.  Only recently did I remember that I used to like the hunt......and now I'm back, just hit my 200th a week ago.  :)

But would you have been surprised and upset if the user name had expired after 10 years?

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I just came across a couple of geocache listings where the CO is [DELETED_USER]. I've found two of these caches, so I know it was another CO before. This new account name apparently has a special meaning, because you can not click on it or search for it to view the user profile. The caches are all archived, locked and can not be logged, but the listings can be viewed.

 

So there seems to be a way to quit geocaching completely, having your profile removed and releasing your user name for reuse, even if you own caches. Probably this user had also found a few, but I can not know that for sure. I guess those logs still remain, but belong to [DELETED_USER]. Anyone heard of this?

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17 minutes ago, ChriBli said:

I just came across a couple of geocache listings where the CO is [DELETED_USER]. I've found two of these caches, so I know it was another CO before. This new account name apparently has a special meaning, because you can not click on it or search for it to view the user profile. The caches are all archived, locked and can not be logged, but the listings can be viewed.

 

So there seems to be a way to quit geocaching completely, having your profile removed and releasing your user name for reuse, even if you own caches. Probably this user had also found a few, but I can not know that for sure. I guess those logs still remain, but belong to [DELETED_USER]. Anyone heard of this?

 

See this Help Centre page, right at the bottom it mentions accounts being permanently deleted. I think this was done as part of the "right to be forgotten" requirement in the GDPR and other data privacy laws.

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On 5/6/2022 at 5:57 AM, Ragnemalm said:

But would you have been surprised and upset if the user name had expired after 10 years?

Surprised, not at all.  Upset?  Maybe.........I used this same screen name for many, many years.......so while I probably would have been upset, it would have been more upsetting to have lost all caches I've found over the years.  A lot of them have been archived, so it wouldn't be possible to do a redo.

 

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On 6/9/2022 at 2:19 PM, ras_oscar said:

I had a hiatus of several years, because, ya know, life got in the way. I returned and would have been quite upset if my user name (and the attached finds) had somehow been given to another player.

 

But why? Everything else expire, why not an unused user nick?

 

The attached finds, of course not.

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On 7/5/2022 at 11:11 PM, GeoTrekker26 said:

 

I don't know what you mean by this. The only user created item I know that expires is a Pocket Query link to the results.

 

I mean everything outside geocaching expires. When I left the university, my very personal E-mail address was removed in no time, and when I came back, I had to choose another one. My phone account (including my phone number!) expires if I don't use it for one year. Web domains are promptly deleted and grabbed by someone else if you miss a payment.

 

If other things, much more valuable than a GC nick, expire that quickly, why would an abandoned GC nick last forever?

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On 8/7/2022 at 4:14 AM, Ragnemalm said:

 

I mean everything outside geocaching expires. When I left the university, my very personal E-mail address was removed in no time, and when I came back, I had to choose another one. My phone account (including my phone number!) expires if I don't use it for one year. Web domains are promptly deleted and grabbed by someone else if you miss a payment.

 

If other things, much more valuable than a GC nick, expire that quickly, why would an abandoned GC nick last forever?

 

Because a geocacher's legacy means something in this hobby.

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I can think of a couple of GC usernames of now deceased cachers where others would be upset if they were allowed to be re-used. Even though I never met the gentlemen, I would be upset if JoGPS were re-used, and I bet there are many others that feel the same. His username may be known world-wide as the creator of GeoWoodstock, but I am sure that there are other usernames well known regionally.

 

TeamRabbitRun said it succinctly:

On 8/8/2022 at 8:55 AM, TeamRabbitRun said:

Because a geocacher's legacy means something in this hobby.

 

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22 hours ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

I can think of a couple of GC usernames of now deceased cachers where others would be upset if they were allowed to be re-used. Even though I never met the gentlemen, I would be upset if JoGPS were re-used, and I bet there are many others that feel the same. His username may be known world-wide as the creator of GeoWoodstock, but I am sure that there are other usernames well known regionally.

 

Yep.  A caching family in a state close by had a popular family member die, yet others in the family are still caching.

Many fun events, lotsa caches, and everyone liked the guy.  Just seeing his name finding caches again would probably be difficult for them.

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On 8/7/2022 at 9:14 AM, Ragnemalm said:

When I left the university, my very personal E-mail address was removed in no time, and when I came back, I had to choose another one.

 

 

17 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

 

And an E-mail you have put into research publications does not...

 

Isn't that essentially the same as the current situation here? Once you stopped using the Email address it wasn't available for anyone else to use (even you).

At every company I've worked for the last 30 years or so it's been a policy of not allowing re-use of usernames by different people.

 

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On 3/28/2022 at 5:20 PM, Smitherington said:

 but really, there are countless varieties, tweaks, minor changes, etc.

Call me old fashioned, but I'm not a fan of adding a string of numbers to names. There's just something about easy to remember usernames. That said, I totally agree with Smitherington that there are so so many varieties even without popping some numbers on the end if you pump a dose of creativity into it. I "unmuggled" my nephew and he just couldn't come up with a name that wasn't taken. He was ready for Ben4952, Bennie444, all those things, but we came up with DisLocator. (You locate things in geocaching, and his shoulder dislocates with ease and he leverages that in wrestling big time)

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