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Geocaching is Dead


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2 hours ago, Keystone said:

Usually, threads like this are prompted by some action which the poster views negatively, so I checked the OP's history with "The management."

 

We could have a thread discussing whether it's "family friendly" to have cache pages with violent images on them.

 

We could have a thread discussing whether hiding caches on mailboxes in violation of US law are good for the long term health of the hobby.

 

We could have a thread discussing whether  the Community Volunteer Reviewer who raises issues like the above is engaging in heavy handed tactics that are detrimental to the game.

 

But instead, we have a thread to discuss whether geocaching is dead.  To that, my answer is: geocaching is doing just fine, but the OP's cache is dead.  The fact that the cache is dead contributes to the assertion that geocaching is doing just fine.

OR, we can have a rational discussion regarding the obviously indiscriminate decisions that are made, seemingly for no other reason than to exert "authority" where it improperly belongs.  The "Big fish in a small pond" syndrome, that is killing the game. 

And don't tell me it's not having an effect, I've been geocaching for more than 20 years and of the 30 or so friends I have turned-on to the game, NONE of them participate anymore because of it.

To cast a cover of LIFE magazine in 1967 as somehow not "family friendly" is beyond the realm of ridiculous and such a finding is clearly riddled with ulterior motives. 

LIFE magazine was a common fixture in nearly every home in America, in professional office waiting rooms, and was also received regularly in public libraries and nearly every school in the US, where it's arrival was anticipated with fervor by students - all without censor.   The image on the cover in question won the photographer that captured it, a coveted "News Photographer of the Year Award" in 1968. 

Only at geocaching.com is award winning, American journalism, not "family friendly?"

Further, the "
mailboxes" in question are not mailboxes at all.  I did my due-diligence and checked out all possible conflicts here, spending a LOT of my personal time, crossing T's and dotting I's to make this (what would have been) an interesting cache with a valuable history lesson.  These abandoned metal structures sit on the public easement and are NOT are not the property of, nor are they under the domain or control of the US Postal Service.  They are NOT used for mail services and never have been.  And that is straight from the mouth of the local Postmaster AND the Special Agent In Charge of the local branch of the US Postal Inspection Service.

So, not having all the FACTS, you can illogically criticize, boot-lick your messiah's and make lame excuses all you want.  This happens far TOO often and is INDEED, causing the death of the game.  And this is not the first time stupid decisions by TPTB at gc have impacted my personal enjoyment of the game.

:mad:

 

Edited by Bluehook
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2 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Geocaching is not a media outlet.  Photos appropriate to a magazine, website or news network covering current events may be appropriate, but the same logic doesn't apply to a recreational website.  Cache pages should tell the reader what they will experience at the geocache location, and a child ought to be able to read the cache page while Mom navigates.  The goal is to avoid questions like "Mommy, why is that little boy lying on the ground in a pool of blood?"

 

When a cache description text says "The cache is a hide-a-key container that is stuck under the lower-left side of the metal mailboxes," I think it reasonable for a Reviewer to ask questions, because caches are not allowed to be placed on mailboxes.  You said it was a mailbox and now you're saying that it never was.  Had you conducted your gaslighting campaign privately with your Reviewer, and in a respectful manner, perhaps you could have achieved a different outcome.  But instead, here we are.

 

The Geocache Hiding Guidelines require that all cache placements must comply with all applicable laws.  Given the US Postal Service's rule that "no part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle," caches cannot be placed on or in a mailbox and still be compliant with this rule.  The ownership of the receptacle is irrelevant.


Nice deflection but the issue isn't about whether gc.com is a media out or not - it's about the standard (or lack thereof) employed in determining the definition of the ambiguous term "family friendly."

Clearly, with all the rationale I can muster, and with the examples I have cited above, categorizing the now iconic and award winning photograph depicting American history on the cover of LIFE magazine, as not, is just plain wrong. 

<_<

 

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1 hour ago, Bluehook said:

To cast a cover of LIFE magazine in 1967 as somehow not "family friendly" is beyond the realm of ridiculous

I'm not sure which cover of LIFE magazine you're referring to, but I have seen magazine displays in supermarket aisles, where the magazine covers is deliberately covered with an opaque panel that has just the magazine name. And no, this wasn't limited to "men's magazines" or the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated.

 

Just because it's on a magazine cover (even a magazine cover from 1967) doesn't mean it's appropriate for a "family friendly" place (like a supermarket aisle, or a geocache description).

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38 minutes ago, Keystone said:

I go geocaching to get away from all the terrible things I see in the news media.  It helps me forget about things like the violence in Israel and Gaza.  I wouldn't want to see pictures of that violence on a cache page when geocaching with young people.  I can watch the news or a YouTube video to learn what's happening, and a lot of the gory imagery is blurred out.  It's 2024, not 1967.

 

Determining the boundaries of what is or is not "family friendly" has an element of subjectivity.  For your Reviewer, the image was on the wrong side of that boundary.  That's why your Reviewer referred the question to Geocaching HQ, who is the ultimate decision-maker for the content they want to have on their website.  Geocaching HQ took one look at your cache page and what you wrote to your Reviewer, and summarily archived and locked the page.  That doesn't happen very often.

 

The goal of Geocaching.com is to publish caches that comply with the Guidelines.  Reviewers share that goal - as we are also geocachers and want to have new caches to find.  That's why Reviewers work with cache owners every day to get their caches compliant so people can enjoy finding them.  Whether it's "remove this sentence" or "move your cache 50 feet away so it's far enough from its neighbor," I volunteer my time to help people by guiding them to a positive result.

 

I've published more than 300 caches in the past four weeks, but yours wouldn't have been one of them.  Look in the mirror and ask yourself "why are all those other cache owners getting their caches published, and mine isn't?"

Thanks for your opinion but in the end, it's just that - and it doesn't have any real bearing on the issue at hand and why "Geocaching Is Dead"--  because it is for WAY too many ex-players.

:(

 

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A few friends in this hobby are dead, my first GPSr is finally dead, but this hobby continues with or without me. or anyone else.

Sort of a "Put your finger in a glass of water, then watch for the hole you leave pulling it out..." kinda thing.   :laughing:

If Notifications are an indicator, types or D/T level of geocaches changes sometimes, but there's a lot of new caches.

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Ok, let me ask you a question: Why does a magazine cover depicting a shot black kid (I suppose this is the cover in question) need to be on a geocache page? What does it add to the cache and the caching experience of the family trying to find it? Also, you talk about deflecting, but you don't say what the communication with the reviewer about placing a cache on a postal structure looked like.

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54 minutes ago, terratin said:

Ok, let me ask you a question: Why does a magazine cover depicting a shot black kid (I suppose this is the cover in question) need to be on a geocache page?

If that's the cover, then the cache description could also run up against the "no agendas" guideline.

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6 hours ago, Bluehook said:

And that is straight from the mouth of the local Postmaster AND the Special Agent In Charge of the local branch of the US Postal Inspection Service.

 

Inquiring minds want to know; did you share this detail with your reviewer on the original submission? Since you have been part of this community for over 20 years you probably know that USPS property is off-limits.

 

As far as this game being 'dead', it appears to be alive and well here in NC.  Many of my hides are found by newer players just as often as by experienced ones. I also cache in NJ regularly, as it is where I grew up and I return to visit family monthly. The State of the Game seems just fine there as well.

 

It sounds like you have a beef with your reviewer over this one hide, and perhaps you have some history with them as well? If your communications with them are in a similar tone to your forum posts it is no wonder that you are experiencing some issues during the reviews of your caches.

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4 hours ago, niraD said:

If that's the cover, then the cache description could also run up against the "no agendas" guideline.

Also I'm sure someone owns the image copyright. Just googled that is 70 years. Sorry to be a stickler for the rules but that is the environment we are in now, play by them or move on.

 

Had one cache placement rejected as it was under a highway overpass. Sure I was annoyed to not get my chosen spot but then I thought about it and found somewhere else to hide my cache. 

 

On another cache the reviewer had me remove a comment about going to get ice cream nearby afterwards as that was what I did on the hot summer day. Did it affect my pride? No. Did it affect the cachers experiences with finding my cache? Nope. 

 

As far as the USPS. As a small kid eightish got in huge trouble putting a smoke bomb in a mailbox right before delivery. Don't mess with those guys. Now I can smile about that experience but let's just say it was a horrible experience and then my dad came home..... 

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11 hours ago, Keystone said:

Usually, threads like this are prompted by some action which the poster views negatively, so I checked the OP's history with "The management."

 

We could have a thread discussing whether it's "family friendly" to have cache pages with violent images on them.

 

We could have a thread discussing whether hiding caches on mailboxes in violation of US law are good for the long term health of the hobby.

 

We could have a thread discussing whether  the Community Volunteer Reviewer who raises issues like the above is engaging in heavy handed tactics that are detrimental to the game.

 

But instead, we have a thread to discuss whether geocaching is dead.  To that, my answer is: geocaching is doing just fine, but the OP's cache is dead.  The fact that the cache is dead contributes to the assertion that geocaching is doing just fine.

 

Lots of people get mad and take their toys home at some point in their geocaching journey.  Most all of them come back eventually.  I've done it.  Somebody accused me of something that made me mad and I archived a bunch of caches in anger.  I got over it.

 

So I don't take rants all that seriously.

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Geocaching isn't anywhere near dead, but it is unwell. However, the cause of the sickness is little to do with Groundspeak restrictions; it's entitled geocachers, like the OP, determined to push the boundaries for the sake of numbers and/or "creative hides" then getting pissy when someone tells them no.

 

Hiders are too often concerned with if they could rather than if they should. They refuse to accept "no" for an answer. Finders don't want to be the "bad guy" by calling out inappropriate hides because we live in a society where "mind your own business" has trumped "see something, say something."

 

OP is little different from the people ruining Adventure Labs. Their resentment is towards anyone who tries to stop their abuse of the AL system for numbers. OP is resentful of people trying to deny him his creative vision. At least geocaches have Reviewers in any attempt to enforce rules on geocaches; Adventure Labs continue to be a festering disgrace on Groundspeak's face because they refuse to quash the abuse.

 

Just because you hide a lot of caches and find a lot of caches doesn't make you a positive part of the geo-community.

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Why are there SO many disgruntled geocachers?   Why have SO many quit playing?

Ask yourself this, won't you?  And be honest.  It doesn't have to be this way -- and more importantly, it SHOULDN"T be this way.

:huh:

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10 minutes ago, Bluehook said:

Why are there SO many disgruntled geocachers?   Why have SO many quit playing?

Ask yourself this, won't you?  And be honest.  It doesn't have to be this way -- and more importantly, it SHOULDN"T be this way.

:huh:

 Maybe you should overthink your attitude and that of your acquaintances. At least I know no disgruntled geocachers.

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We see the most that "quit playing" now are young folks that found the app, thought they'd try it out, and it wasn't for them.

Life gets in the way for some, and they give up the hobby due to age, until they have more time, or in better health.

I'm sorta there... Just got my first negative test in over a year last Friday.  Walkin' steady soon, I think.    :)

I was a "disgruntled" cacher for some time.  "Newest in" removed from my profile was the first, Intro App and caches missing another.

You know, I got over it, and now when I see "lab caches" or promotions requiring more than I want to do, I simply skip 'em.  ;)

I skip by hundreds of caches I'll never do every time out.  Don't mean anything by it, and not trying to tell you something...

... But I'll play this hobby the way I want to.  I had to make adjustments with other hobbies over the years as well...

 

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18 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

I skip by hundreds of caches I'll never do every time out.

One of the things I learned from maintaining a one-year streak was how to find a single cache and leave the rest (in the park, along the trail, whatever) for another day. This isn't Pokémon. You don't "Gotta Catch 'Em All".

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9 hours ago, Bluehook said:

Why are there SO many disgruntled geocachers?

 

Give me numbers, how many? Basically, I know more players who quit than are disgruntled. Player may quit without being disgruntled, for example, they have found more important things to do.

Edited by arisoft
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Not sure I know of any disgruntled geocachers.  Sure , there are geocachers who do not care for LPC, GR, Al or whatever type of cache they choose. For whatever reason exists an average of 25 caches per year may not give a lot of exposure. But maybe you should rethink priorities and seek enjoyment elsewhere. If you do not like geocaching why stay with it? 

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Caching isn't dead here on the NSW Central Coast (Australia), but it's certainly changed a lot over my eleven years in the game. For the first few years after I started in 2013, there were something like 150 new caches a year in this region and many of those were higher terrain bushland hides. Their legacy still lives on, with only 23% of the region's caches being micros and 45% being terrain 2.5 or higher. Of the caches hidden this year, though, it's quite a different story. There have been 28 new caches published so far this year, which is well up on last year, but 11 of those (39%) are micros and only 4 (14%) are terrain 2.5 or higher, with 3 of those mine.

 

Looking at the find counts on those caches, the 24 terrain 2 or lower caches have received a total of 411 finds, an average of 17 per cache, whereas the 4 that are terrain 2.5 or higher have received 27 finds, an average of 6.75 per cache. Of the latter, almost half have been on just one cache, a terrain 3 of mine alongside a popular walking track.

 

So by and large the interest has shifted from hiking/kayaking caches that take a fair bit of time and effort to complete and where the focus is on the journey and location, to what are mostly P&G urban traditionals that are more about the search and just getting the smiley. That's fine, there are plenty of cachers who enjoy playing the game that way, but I have to wonder wheither those sorts of hides are interesting enough to maintain a longer term interest, long enough for those players to become COs and keep the game alive. Too many of the new players I see these days, particularly the ones that exclusively use the app and have never visited the website, lose interest after just a few months and are never seen again.

 

As to why other once-active players and COs have left the game, from what I've seen it's been mostly from lifestyle changes. Some have simply moved away from the region, some now have work and family commitments that have drawn them away, some got into caching as an activity for their young family but the kids have now grown up and gone their own ways, and some have simply grown too old. There was one cacher, who started shortly after me, who went hell-for-leather to reach 1000 finds before his 30th birthday. He achieved that goal, just, but the effort in doing so burnt out his interest and, with work and relationship changes, he disappeared from the game. I'm not aware of any who left in disgust at the way the game is administered.

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12 hours ago, Bluehook said:

Why are there SO many disgruntled geocachers?   Why have SO many quit playing?

 

Citation needed.

 

Caching since 2010 and the only significant player base change I've noticed is a lot the early cachers got out after power trails and smartphones became a thing. Even that wasn't sudden. Many from the pre-smartphone period have simply died or aged out of the hobby.

 

While it hurt the overall quality of the hobby smartphones have brought in so many new cachers, both short-term and long-term, that it didn't phase Groundspeak. 

 

8 hours ago, niraD said:

One of the things I learned from maintaining a one-year streak was how to find a single cache and leave the rest (in the park, along the trail, whatever) for another day. This isn't Pokémon. You don't "Gotta Catch 'Em All".

 

In my case, it was learning how to find the single cache in the park I really liked and skipping all the ones that were "meh" or frustrating.

 

I just got back from a vacation where most of my 54 Finds were Virtuals.

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There are images that lie near the boundary of family friendly but the image in question is not one of them. You say that Life magazine was found in professional offices. I can tell you, as a professional, that that magazine issue would NOT have been on display in a pediatrician's office. It also would not have been in a middle school or grade school library. It is no more appropriate than the Mai Lai napalm girl photo or the Saigon assassination photo both of which are iconic and prizewinning.

Next time you are wondering if some image is family friendly ask a pediatrician if he/she would put it in their waiting room.

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After 15 years of Geocaching , I can say that the game is still very much a life for me, but not as a CO  (cache owner)

After a terrible time in the old location , I moved to the other side of the Netherland , with the hope that it would be better there.

But now ,  after placing a brandnew trail of traditionals, they are ripped every day.!!!!   So, every day new tubes and logpaper.

I gess these pain in the ars are everywhere !!!   That kills the motivation of continuing.    So bad !!

Greets Nokki

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2 hours ago, nokki said:

... after placing a brandnew trail of traditionals ...

Placing/owning geocaches is much more fun, if you don't hide trails. Instead, one cache at a time every now and then, at an interesting location, with a special box, or a multicache, or an interesting puzzle, anything "out of the ordinary". You won't get nearly as much visitors as the trail, but this is not at all a bad thing.

 

That said, geocaching is definitely not dead in the area where I live (even though not nearly as lively as, say, 10 years ago).

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I wonder if that graph reflects the fact that so many geocachers use the app, or some other app.  And many never visit the website at all.  When did the apps really take off in usage?

Edited by _dxd_
typo
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55 minutes ago, _dxd_ said:

I wonder if that graph reflects the fact that so many geocachers use the app, or some other app.  And many never visit the website at all.  When did the apps really take off in usage?

I started geocaching in 2013, when I got my first smartphone. I was a little late to the smartphone craze.

 

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1 hour ago, Bluehook said:

Geocaching.com Web Traffic

That doesn't tell you anything about the health of Geocaching. Previously all caching had to be done via the website, nowadays most if it is done via an API app so there will be far less website traffic now than in the pre-app days.

If anything it shows there's been a steady, but small, increase in web traffic since the move to app based hunting.

 

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Anyone can pull out stats to support their position. Is Geocaching dead? No. Has it changed? Yes.

 

For me, the best way to gage how active the Geocaching community is, is to look at how many people earn a particular souvenirs. So, I took a look at the International Geocaching Day souvenir. This is the break down, according to Project-GC:

 

2023 108,930  achievers
2022 107,509  achievers
2021 127,275  achievers
2020 138,500  achievers
2019 86,963  achievers
2018 103,888  achievers
2017 92,269  achievers
2016 120,518  achievers
2015 120,491  achievers
2014 115,241  achievers
2013 122,945  achievers
2012 105,380  achievers
2011 66,106  achievers

 

 

I don't have any information on how long the window was open to get the souvenir, but it appears that there is a steady base of cachers. Whether this is from older cachers being replaced by newer cachers, or just a solid core of dedicated cachers, that is unknown. But over all, the numbers are steady.

 

G

Edited by igator210
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1 hour ago, igator210 said:

Anyone can pull out stats to support their position. Is Geocaching dead? No. Has it changed? Yes.

 

For me, the best way to gage how active the Geocaching community is, is to look at how many people earn a particular souvenirs. So, I took a look at the International Geocaching Day souvenir. This is the break down, according to Project-GC:

 

2023 108,930  achievers
2022 107,509  achievers
2021 127,275  achievers
2020 138,500  achievers
2019 86,963  achievers
2018 103,888  achievers
2017 92,269  achievers
2016 120,518  achievers
2015 120,491  achievers
2014 115,241  achievers
2013 122,945  achievers
2012 105,380  achievers
2011 66,106  achievers

 

 

I don't have any information on how long the window was open to get the souvenir, but it appears that there is a steady base of cachers. Whether this is from older cachers being replaced by newer cachers, or just a solid core of dedicated cachers, that is unknown. But over all, the numbers are steady.

 

G

Source?  Link?  Relevance?  And WTF even is an "achiever" in geocaching? Never heard of it.

Anyone can pull out stats to support their position, INDEED.


image.png.71d4f972921cd469ef447f23c628fcec.png

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33 minutes ago, Bluehook said:

Source?  Link?  Relevance?  And WTF even is an "achiever" in geocaching? Never heard of it.

Now you're just trolling.

 

Those stats look like they come from Project GC, for example:

https://project-gc.com/Tools/SouvenirList#specific-day

 

And in context, an "achiever" is someone who achieves a specific Souvenir, for example, the International Geocaching Day Souvenirs that have been awarded annually for more than a decade.

 

And I thought igator210 was pretty clear about the relevance.

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3 hours ago, Bluehook said:

Heavy-handed tyrants have a long track record of failure.

Geocaching.com Web Traffic
image.png.62d41ca1eda3494bdf9a9d8340c1a92a.png

 

Well, based solely on that geocaching died almost a decade ago and the OP only recently realized it.

 

Also, due to this graph starting in 2016 we don't see how quickly traffic reached that level or if it was even peak traffic.

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I'm on board with everything you've said, but this part genuinely befuddled me:

 

On 6/15/2024 at 1:26 PM, Keystone said:

The Geocache Hiding Guidelines require that all cache placements must comply with all applicable laws.  Given the US Postal Service's rule that "no part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle," caches cannot be placed on or in a mailbox and still be compliant with this rule.  The ownership of the receptacle is irrelevant.

 

If a metal receptacle isn't owned by the US Postal Service, then how does their rule about what can be on a 'mail receptacle' apply here? I think ownership is relevant. There are many abandoned and unowned metal receptacles and objects out there with magnetic things attached. Does USPS's rules about use of their mailbox receptacles apply to those?  The last sentence just seemed very out of place when discussing USPS mail boxes...

 

Otherwise I completely agree :) We had similar issues with people putting fake reflector strips on traffic signs and indicators. One time someone even covered an entire stop sign with a fake 'stop sign'. That is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.  Even if the replacement is reflective, it may not be up to the transport authority's safety standards, even it's just a different material they had not approved first-hand. Big no no.

The issue I think is when something is someone's responsibility and that thing affects other innocent people directly - be it mail, or traffic safety, or electrical services, etc - they are off limits without explicit permission, and chances of getting that are slim to none.

 

Anyway, if reportedly and after direct research the 'metal receptacle' (whether or not it used to be a mailbox) is not owned (thus no explicit permission can be attained), not used, does not require trespassing, and is easily in public access, then it's really just something metal with something magnetic attached to it. Especially if it has no possibly confusing logos or graphics on it, I'm not sure why it would be disallowed for that reason.  I mean, there are caches on bus stop frames, hand railings, fences, lamp posts, etc, all over the world. This doesn't seem much different.

(and this is not in any way me defending the OP's cache(s), just picking up on what I thought was an odd point made :mmraspberry:)

 

Edited by thebruce0
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This thread is going no where. Going to put it on my ignore list.

 

The game has moved on since initially started. Show the stats for app usage and I might be persuaded as the game has moved to the app and away from paper print outs which is how I started. The stats I've seen show that finds are definitely up, which is different than web access. Though there are now rules to the game that may not have existed or been enforced years ago. I like most of those changes.

 

I feel sorry that we can not help improve things here  with the OP.  My hope is you find something else to give you joy in life and realizing that is not here. This year I'm not caching as much as I did in the past but just last week I loved it when my daughter asked to spend some time with me caching.

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4 hours ago, _dxd_ said:

I wonder if that graph reflects the fact that so many geocachers use the app, or some other app.  And many never visit the website at all. 

When did the apps really take off in usage?

 

Maybe This Thread is a clue.  After the fiasco many had with a ton of one-weekend-n-done users with the Intro App (2014?), where people didn't bother to read much if any of the guidelines, the Geocaching app was created in 2016.

IIRC, there were geocaching apps as far back as 2008-09, I had WindowsPhone in 2011, but my other 2/3rds used her blackberry and the Trimble app in 2005- 06 ...

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19 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Maybe This Thread is a clue.  After the fiasco many had with a ton of one-weekend-n-done users with the Intro App (2014?), where people didn't bother to read much if any of the guidelines, the Geocaching app was created in 2016.

IIRC, there were geocaching apps as far back as 2008-09, I had WindowsPhone in 2011, but my other 2/3rds used her blackberry and the Trimble app in 2005- 06 ...


The Intro  App was in 2013.

https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2016/03/so-long-intro-meet-the-geocaching-app/

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

If a metal receptacle isn't owned by the US Postal Service, then how does their rule about what can be on a 'mail receptacle' apply here?

If you re-read my post, I said "mail receptacle," not "metal receptacle."  It is a defined term in the USPS rules and includes not only the "blue boxes" where mail can be deposited, but also the individual boxes at one's home or place of business.  It expressly does not include a slot in a door.  

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