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Pay to Play? I'd like to hear from Jeremy

Guest LindaLu

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so what you are saying is you don't really care about the future of geocaching, you don't really care about how anyone else veiws us, you don't care about any of these things. All you care about is trying to prove me wrong. I don't care. It is up to you what you think. If you are trying to imply that I am a teen, or that I am not mature, maybe you should take a long look in the mirror. I will acknowledge your point, but you really are an inconsiderate jerkoff, who needs to realize that there are other points of veiw besides yours. This forum is not for arguing. What we should be doing is discussing how to try and make everyone feel justified. Please, Please, Please help me with this. Is this such a bad idea. In all the posts to me, you haven't answered any questions I have asked, how am I supposed to feel?? All I have recieved is negativity. All I want is to geocache, is this a hrad problem to work through. Mister cachecows, I implore you. You try to portray yourself as a smart individual, please answer my questions with seriousness, not persocution. Thankyou - The Real Desertrat

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Originally posted by TheRealDesertRat:

As to the ,"hello Cow," if you have ever been in any other chat anywhere(i.e. MIRC) when you don't feel like typing out a person's full nickname, generally it has been accepted to type part of it.


That would seem like a reasonable argument if just "Cow" was used. But, interestingly, "Mister Cow" takes more typing than Cachecow. icon_rolleyes.gif

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Originally posted by E=Mc2:

I the thread I started, which I would like to add has been now LOCKED...which really makes me wonder if things are on the Up and Up.



Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

You're absolutely right. It's a conspiracy. Soon the black helicopters will be deleting your post too. Make sure you're wearing an aluminum foil helmet to keep the aliens from reading your mind.


LMAO! I love your sense of humor, Jeremy! icon_biggrin.gif

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I'll apply the name shorting here but can't bring myself to call you Rat. Your prior posts stated you were evaluating whether this site was still worthwhile. Your most recent tells me you determined that it was.


I just wanted to let you know that I am glad you did. This is a pretty diverse group of people and we can run the full range of opinions on just about any subject. Some (as you well know) can get pretty heated. But even that adds to the integrity of these boards.


Pay/don't Pay and MOC's aside, I am glad you are sticking around and I am glad you spoke your mind. If any one of us can't feel free to say what we think, this board becomes less real and therefore less appealing. Whether I agree with your position or not, I respect you for making it honestly known.


Happy Caching (Everyone)



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Originally posted by TheRealDesertRat:

I support what you have done. But the more I am reading form other cachers,it seems that it is truning into a huge overgrowth of negativity. The NPS has already issued complaints about us, and with all of us feuding like this the site may not be around much longer anyway. We need to relax, and learn to discuss things. Why is it obsurd to ask why you have arrived at $30. If you are questioning it, where are your motives. Please don't get me wrong, I am not trying to insult you. I just want to figure out how you arrived at the amount you did. It is only $25 to join REI for a lifetime. Would that be a possibilty, there are enough new members all the time to support that. I can't imagine that it would cost that much to support the site.?? At that point, you could probably have everyone that wants to seek caches join, you wouldn't have to limit it to the few people taht want to hunt MOC's. I think that would be a better idea, what does everyone else think???

- The Real DesertRat


I can't understand what the problem is. Who cares what anyone else thinks it cost to run this site. Jeremy has fixed the price and it's a fair price. My GOD anyone who cannot afford 30 bucks a year surly can't afford an Internet connection. This is a fair price. I love supporting something that I enjoy and that gives me a fair return. Who can deny that this site is not worth 30 bucks a year? If someone is that strapped for money, they can give up one drink per month at a bar or one pack of cigarettes a month or bring a sandwich to lunch one day instead of eating out or put a timer on your hot water heater this alone will triple your money back. Sorry for going on but it is beyond me why anyone would have a problem with paying for these extra services. One other thing, this is not pay to play as I have heard. This is pay to support this wonderful site and all the extra benefits involved. If you don't want to pay, don't. You still have the same options available to you as you did before and at no cost.

Enjoy the Outdooors.



[This message was edited by BrownMule on March 08, 2002 at 11:20 AM.]

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Originally posted by seneca:

Jeremy, you may not have been intentionally fooling anyone here --- but certainly some people have been confused about your motives and some will be surprised to see your acknowledgment that this is a for profit business. This is in part by the way you have presented your motives: (snip)


Grounded, Inc. is a for-profit corporation. This is a fact. It certainly doesn't go into our actual motivation for Groundspeak.


Our motivation? To make this game thrive, as well as continue to allow us to manage the site. To create new tools and games in the realm of Geolocational gaming.


Becoming a non-profit is a huge undertaking, and I personally didn't feel that it really offered much of a benefit. With that said, I do not delude myself in believing that Geocaching will ever make a profit. I'll be happy enough if I can at least pad my current part-time salary as a consultant so I can keep the bills paid.


Groundspeak is where I want to take this thing "to the next level." We have many ideas for other games. By helping with the Charter Membership you have an opportunity to contribute to not only the continuing support of Geocaching, but of new features for Groundspeak.


I honestly wish I could allow folks to become shareholders in this venture. But I don't foresee going public anytime soon.



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I want to thank you sir. This is what I have been trying to say the last 5 posts or so. To the person that noticed teh apparency of mister cow being longer than cache cow, kudos, although, mister cachecow would be twice as long, and I am trying to be cordial. Now if we could all jsut get along, what a world of difference it would make. To Ranz-- Thankyou again. I have decided that it is worthwhile. Although I don't agree with the MOC's I will still join. The only time I was really ever considering not joining was when I was being condescended upon. I want all of us to be friends, I don't want all of us to be seperated into groups where one thinks that they are better than teh other. Thankyou for everything. - The Real DesertRat

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Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

Subscription Caches



In some regions there are geocachers that have been targeted by folks who abuse the free service and deface their caches. Subscription caches is an extra layer of protection for those who want it.



That you have the right to see caches that people want only folks who take that extra step and pay $3 to see their cache, just to ensure they can keep folks from defecating into their caches? If you have some kind of alternative, let me know. I'm listening.





Thanks Jeremy,


I realize that there is a need for an "extra layer" of protection. However, I'm not convinced that the fee will provide that. As someone else correctly pointed out if a person is willing to go hike to find a cache they'd probably be willing to pay $3 for a list of better caches, heck they may do it just to show they can.

That being said just because someone views a cache you can't assume that they took it. If the cache disappears and they don't log on to brag about it, then you have no clue wether it was taken by them or a none cacher. In reality I'm not sure it really does that much.


As far as a suggestion for a different approach I do have one. I'm not saying it's a perfect suggestion or even a good suggestion by any means. But here it is:

Only the charter members get a security option with this to (which to me is not against the principles I mentioned but more on those later).

Basically what it does is allows a charter member to only allow cachers with a certain number of finds or hides to view the coordinates.

Before everyone goes nutty please just hear me out.

You had mentioned somewhere that (I beleive it was you or someone else and I am paraphrasing) 'people wanted the ability to make caches for the more dedicated goecacher'. Who is a cacher that is more dedicated to the sport. Someone who has found a good number of caches or someone who has paid $3. Also I think that this is a better deterrent for theft then the money system.

Granted someone could falsely log other finds. However, I'm sure people would started noticing that the person logged on the site wasn't in the log book. Also you "could" track them down just the same as with the pay cache option (members still get a list of who views thier cache in this plan). (If I wanted to I could visit the suppossed logs of anyone I suspected and see if they actually signed the pen and paper log).


What I feel is good about this system, is it doesn't restrict information based on money (yes I guess some would call it elitist but they said the same thing about the pay option). Also the debate about finding 1.1 vs 4.4 is somewhat mute because as the cache placer I determine the number found (or placed) and I take that into consideration (It would be great to incorporate something based on difficulty and # of finds but that may be to difficult to implement, whereas I believe the number found or hidden option is pretty easy to implement, I don't have the skills my self but several of my fiends do who I'm getting into caching and I'm sure they'd be willing to help by writing the program or whatever.)

Like I said if I think caches placed is a better option I can limit it to cachers who have placed "3" or "10" caches or whatever. Now before anyone complains that people will start making shoe caches or that there will be to many caches there are some safegaurds to that. For example if there are tons of caches already in my area I'm obvioulsy not going to require that a person has a certain number of hides, instead I would go with found. Likewise if there are only a few caches in the area I could go with "hides" that way more caches could be put out.


Like I said I feel that this plan does several things:

1)It does provide a security option that is only for those charter members (which I have no problem with).

2)It somewhat eliminates the problems of caching becoming a business and the pay to play caches. Everyone can see the info as long as they have enough hides or finds (I wouldn't list the requirement by the way unless the cache placer wanted them listed). All the info is there yes those more "dedicated" to the sport will have access to it, but access is not based on a business or subscriber model. Also if the mocaches will not reduce the number of caches in the field as most seem to think then it should be easy enough for a newbie to get enough caches to do one of these protected caches.

3) I'm semi repeating myself but it does a better job of "rewarding" dedicated cachers if you will and a better job of allowing access to dedicated cachers.

4) It gives a much greater degree of control to the cache placer then the mocaches system does.

5) It can be used as an incentive to place or find more caches, thus bringing more people into the sport.


I'm sure I have more to say on this idea but I'll just post it for now and see what people have to say.



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Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

I hear you when you say it is the principle of the thing. What is the principle?




The principle I referred to is that geocaching is a grass routes Sport/Hobby whatever you want to call it. It has achieved the success it has not only to your site and others but also and I feel somewhat more importantly (no offense) to the geocachers and the caching community. To have money invovled in anyway with the finding or placing if a cache I feel detracts from the grass routes feel of it. Yes I realize I pay for an ammo box, for gas, batteries, all that but it is different then having an organization recieve money for it. I realize this is an individual's choice but like I said it is against the principles of geocaching being free and against what I feel (although i'm a newbie compared to several of you guys on the west coast) is the heart of the sport.

I'm not sure if I'm doing a good job of explaining the principle thing or not, maybe MCB or someone else who feels the same could chime in and help me out. As I saw posted elsewhere it's like turning a pickup game of baseball into the little leage world series. It's like the commercialization of the x-games. It's like the commercialization of many of the great castles in Europe (granted the fee isn't expensive to get in but still, nope haven't been there yet). It's like cookies without sprinkles (anyone else ever read that kids book, just seemed to fit in my ramble).

That's what the principle is it's taking a grassroutes, community sport and making it somewhat business oriented or somewhat commercialized, somewhat money making, whatever you want to call it (once again not sure I'm expressing this as well as I could).

Once again no problem with members getting site enhancements (including security ones) since this is your (Jeremy's) site and you've worked hard on it. The problem is the restiriction of info and caches (the core of the sport) based on a monetary system (I know there already exclusions a cacher may not be able to afford a car to drive to a cache or whatever) where a fee must be payed to an individual or organization for the right to find that cache. Yes as a charter member I could email someone and let them know, but how many of you know everyone that hits your cache? Ok I'm getting off focus.


Did that clear up the principle thing, anyone else willing to chime in and explain it better. Some may say that this isn't life and death so principles don't matter ( I do agree that it is somewhat acinine that a sport involving hunting tupperware is causing some of the fights and rudeness that I have recently scene, and there truly are much more important things that geocaching.....maybe icon_biggrin.gif ) but I for one think principles belong in every day life, not just life and death situations. Ok so I am rambling now.


Since were talking principles and whatnot I'll end with:


Peace, happiness, and goodness (or something similiar) (that heartfelt thread said it well)


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Originally posted by TheRealDesertRat:

There is a large group of geocachers in my community. If one of us was to join, then we would all have access to the MOC's correct.? -The Real DesertRat


Jeremy doesn't need to answer this, the answer is obvious. Of course you can.


In the same spirit you can copy great software that someone has taken a long time to write. You can post it on a web site.

But guess what? The person or company that wrote the software goes out of business.

The great software is no more.


In the case of the MOC's would it be called cheating or stealing? Or just not agreeing with the whole MOC thing so why not hand them out.

Your call on that one.



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Originally posted by Paul Morrison WaylandersMA:

Of course you can.


In the case of the MOC's would it be called cheating or stealing?



I don't know if the audit features Jeremy mentioned are in place yet, but their purpose is to allow a mocache owner to know who and when their cache page was looked at. This will allow some level of accountability if a cache is damaged/plundered/stolen.


So, if someone wants to subscribe as a member, then give out their username and password to their community, they better reconginze that its their identity that is being logged and tracked and held accountable.


I know I'd not give out my username and password.




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Originally posted by seneca:

Don't you agree that by reading information like this it is understandable that people may have gotten the impression that this is a "non-profit" endeavor of yours?


There's nothing in what you quoted that would make people think it's non-profit. Everytime any Internet venture charges a fee or raises its prices they blow the whisle of Great New Features. This is normal. Personally, as a new person to this whole thing, I had to read quite a while in the forums before I realized that this was not currently a commercial venture. Though I did wonder what the business model was, I had no idea that it was pure volunteerism.


I'm glad that it is, and I'm going to spend my $30 next pay day.


Anyone know when the "Charter Member" period will end?

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This will be my final post/reply about this...


The truth finally came out....this "membership" is not about keeping the site running...but about money and making money. Jeremy himself said that this is NOT a non-profit site.......that is the very first time I have seen or heard that from him.....up unyil that point I have always thought this was a free site/service funded by the little things like the sale of Travel Bugs, T-shirts, and hats. It is very clear now that those must have not made enough PROFIT.


I guess it is sort of like this for me......If an employee stays after his scheduled time is up..hey that is good...of course they will get paid for that extra time, possibly even overtime. Now if an employee stays later but punches out....that is a whole different story.


Again The TRUTH has finally come out.

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After reading a chunk of this topic, I felt compelled to add my two cents.


Jeremy, I want to say that truly appreciate everything you have done to further this activity. I truly enjoy geocaching and I want to continue to participate. I will likely pay my pittance to become a charter member.


That being said, I am unlikely to make the caches that I hide 'member only'. I believe that the best way to make a cache vandalism-proof is to make it challenging to find. Those among us that would desire to vandalize a cache are much more likely to go after the ones that are easy to find. I also prefer to hunt challenging caches, so my approach is win-win.


Jeremy, I hope that you get rich beyond your wildest dreams. You deserve it for everything you have done related to this activity.


My concern is that if I am going to pay for something, I need to be sure that appropraite controls are in place. In my area, I have heard stories of caches being disallowed for no good stated reason. These were supposedly standard caches hidden in appropraite locations. As I understand it, the denials were a result of personal friction between the hider of the caches and the person who approves the caches in our area.


Don't get me wrong, this did not happen to me personally. I'm sure that there is two sides to the story and the truth is found in the middle.


This has been a free site. As such, I have been completely at ease living in the reality that decisions can be made arbitrarily by a few individuals. As it has been said in previous forums, it is your site. What I am saying is if I'm going to pay for the priviledge, I hope that decisions in the future will not be made arbitrarily.


I hope that this has not seemed like an attack. I truly admire what you have done for this activity.

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Since it seems that we are trying to secure these caches by trying to hide teh information, does it not seem palusible that anyone can join for a month, get the coord's and do whatever tehy feel like to teh cache. It may be adding another level of security, but it isn't a very thick layer, and more people are angry over the MOC's than there have been caches intentionally destroyed. If the security issue is so important why not just create security for all caches. Also, when I look at cacehs, I don't know about anyone else, but I will look at teh cache many, many times before I actually get a day to go after it. At that point, how are we to know which person that took it? Also, all someone woudl have to do is log their cache on the site, then they would not have any idea whether it was the person that last logged the cache, or one of the people that veiwed it ( which would be a lot). Just some questions?? - the Real DesertRat

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E=Mc2, I respect that you have very strong feelings about this, but I truly feel that they are irrational.


Jeremy's only comment regarding payment prior to implementation of subscriptions was that geocaching would never be pay-to-play. And it still isn't! You could never pay a cent to the site and still you would be able to geocache in the way that you know. You simply don't get to partake of the newly added enhancements that subscription permits.


You express anger at your sudden realization that membership is not about keeping the site running, but about making money. Well, how did you expect that the site would keep running? On the well-wishes of users? I don't believe that you are understanding the costs involved in running a site of the scope of Geocaching.com.


This is a capitalist society, where we each decide what interests us and then strive to find a way to profit from doing what we love. I'm not going to fault Jeremy for doing exactly that, especially when those who choose not to pay can still partake.



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Originally asked by Choberiba:

...I count four of them so far. Do they look special to those of you who have signed up already?...

Where did you find them Kablooey? I didn't see a search function with this option.


Sorry, Cho, this is a nonmembers-only feature ;). Lowlife scum nonsupporters like me get a special page for certain caches. Strangely, they seem to come in pairs. The three users of this feature so far have all placed two each.

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Not only pay to play but what a marketing opportunity. The GPS manufacturers would jump at the chance to BUY advertising or provide free GPS units/coupons/shirts for a cache. Additionally, the GPS sellers wanting to place advertisement on the geocaching.com site is huge.


What about Xtreme-caching? Extremely difficult terrain/difficulty with cash caches? I realize this idea sickens the "caching purest" of the sport but if there were events like this the number of paying members goes up improving the site and perks of membership.


I am in sales and this sport and it's potential excite me. We are on the first floor of something huge.


Final thought, if there is a membership fee, members should be able to make game improvement recommendations and the membership can vote to approve the recommendations.

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Determine what the site is worth and charge membership accordingly. If the site fails, then it was not worth the price. If the site succeeds, than it was a great idea.


Cache vadalism will always be a risk, from people, animals or the weather. When this happens note the cache is gone and not look for it anymore...jeez that was easy.


Once again, the marketing opportunities and dollar potential is there.

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Originally posted by E=Mc2:

up until that point I have always thought this was a free site/service funded by the little things like the sale of Travel Bugs, T-shirts, and hats. It is very clear now that those must have not made enough PROFIT.


Here's an accounting lesson. Income minus expenses equals profit.


There has been no profit. I don't pay myself a salary because there isn't any money after paying for maintainence, software and servers. Other than purchasing a laptop so I can code on the road, I personally haven't benefitted in the almost two years working on the site.


Since better than 95% of our days go into maintaining the Geocaching.com site, our development work on Groundspeak is pretty limited. The Charter Memberships were conceived as a way to provide some additional services around what we do have - geocaching - and at the same time, help defray some of the cost to run the site. And we're *very* grateful for the support we've received from the community in response to the memberships.


Monies from Charter Memberships will initially a) pay for bandwidth and ;) purchase and install larger servers for the site. It will also, literally, keep my head above water.


Groundspeak is a for profit business, which will subsidize the Geocaching site, which - Surprise! Doesn't make a profit. And will probably never make a profit (or be self sufficient).


Geocaching.com will always run in the red and we know it and we're cool with it. It is Groundspeak and the as of yet unreleased and undiscussed Groundspeak site and applications which are intended to make us money and subsidise the Geocaching.com site.


Other web sites having growing pains like we are and the community of our size will run into the same issues. Don't kid yourself and think otherwise.


Bottom line: You don't like the subscription? You don't pay. You have the right to complain as much as you want, but do it somewhere else.



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