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do the rules of geocaching change daily?


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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

 

How would you, acting as volunteers in what free time you have, in a sport that you love, propose trying to assess hundreds of cache approvals a week and at the same time try to ensure a high level of quality? I'm all ears.

 

Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

 

I am asking for a "reasoned" solution because your assertion that you know the _real_ problem, and that it is a paucity of admins, is anything but. Please indicate how you reason that additional admins would have prevented the issue that launched this thread.


 

I reposted your comment that I responded to and with which you apparently take issue. It does not appear to be a reasoned request for reasoned solutions. It appears to be nothing more than a complaint about the amount of time and effort spent dealing with the approval process. A second admin. then voiced something similar.

 

Very clearly, if such are the feelings and attitudes of the admins., the workload must be too high for them.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

What we are trying to prevent is a trend toward caches like, for example, the one in which the hider throws a cut tennis ball into the woods and requires finders to tell him what random piece of garbage he jammed into it. This was an actual cache submission that was rejected.


 

And based on the information presented by admins. in this thread, if that tennis ball had included some type of logbook, it would have been approved ... but it would not have been approved if the cache owner wanted to know the name of the manufacturer stamped on that ball. That's what I continue to find ridiculous ... the suggestion that a logbook is a "standard" by which to judge a quality of a cache.

 

I stated in a previous post what I considered to be a reasoned solution; more regional cache approvers who cache in the area they are responsible for, who establish relationships with the local cachers and are able to offer them direct feedback.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

The logbook has been the defining element of a cache since the inception of the game, and the logbook also carries with it an implied intent to maintain the cache.


 

It doesn't represent that now, and I don't think it ever did. The logbook is simply a carry-over from the early days of geocaching. It was originally included because the earliest caches pre-date this website, and online logs didn't exist ... as I recall, in the early days of this site it was also necessary for a finder to e-mail the cache owner, because "automatic notification" didn't exist. Yet the "rule" to "e-mail the cache owner about your find" remained in the guidelines until when, last spring?

 

quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

You have suggested that you know of better ways to handle the process, and I am eager to hear your ideas.


 

No, I didn't. And I did offer my suggestion, which apparently you didn't notice.

 

Let's see ... you read things I didn't write, and fail to read things I did in fact write. I think I see the problem and how it relates to the cache approval process.

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

A pen is not required


 

This is where it becomes murky. The logbook is required. When asked about it, someone else offered the rules and showed how it has been required from the beginning of the game. The current rules indicate that a pen (amended to writing instrument for cold weather caches) is also needed.

 

Now you state it is not required.

 

I am not trying to be argumentative, but this is confusing. It has been suggested that guidelines be clear. Someone posted those guidelines. But then we hear the guidelines are not rigid.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

My question for you is the same as that which I asked of BassoonPilot: How do you propose to objectively, succinctly, and positively define the difference between a cache and trash?


 

The best I have to offer presently is that a requirement of a logbook (and writing instrument) does nothing to guarantee a quality cache. Because of that, neither should be required to post a cache.

 

My opinion is that no one can guarantee a quality cache other than the hider. Common sense will have to play into the approval process to keep the sneaker cache and tennis ball from hitting the air. But what is the worst thing that happens if they were approved? A few folks find them and report about the lack of quality. It is reviewed and discussed and the community decides to archive it or not.

 

There is no rule or set of rules that will guarantee quality. Other than safety measures (no hiding on railroad tracks, military bases, etc.) or environmental concerns (no food that would attract animals, etc.) or lawful issues, there should be no rules.

 

If there is a lame cache or an inappropriate one, the local cachers will make it known.

 

Fro.

 

________________________________________

Geocaching . . . hiking with a purpose

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Now, we're arguing about a pen in the cache? Give me a break! A logbook is what holds the history of the cache, what people have written about the cache, and who has been there. A pen is only the instrument with which you do this. You can carry a pen or pencil with you. You can't carry the cache's logbook with you.

 

In fact, every cacher should be carrying their own pen or pencil anyway. I learned real quick that the pens in caches didn't always work. Fortunately, I always had my own pen so I could write in our own logbook.

 

What, do we have to have a lawyer draw up the rules so people don't nick-pick them?

 

How about using some common sense?

 

CR

 

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i wish you people would make up your darn minds. i am getting so tired of the B$ over what a virt can and cant be and what a physical cache can and cant be. 2 yrs ago, this wasnt even a problem. What has happened all of a sudden that these restrictions are important. if its a matter of trying to keep the workload down for approvers (who are doing a wonderful job and are nice people all in all), then something needs to be done to spread the work out. IF THIS IS NOT THE PROBLEM, THEN WHAT IS?

 

when it comes down to it, i am just gonna start placing caches and advertising them on my own web page and by dropping cards with coords and hints on them in other nearby caches and bypass this whole mess completely. i do not want to do that. i do not want to be on the outside of this community. you are all good people and i like you all. i am also greatfull to the originators of this game for bringing it to my family, but these crazy rules and arbitrary implementation of them and the wishy washy ness and the crap about lame virts and stuff is becomeing a drag. two years ago the game was easy and fun. now its starting to s*&k. WTF is going on?

 

SR and dboggny.

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

 

...and all of those off-set caches, and any other cache type that is not at the actuall listed coordinates, need to be listed as something other than a traditional, as well.

 

The rules are there. Follow them.

 

CR

 

http://img.Groundspeak.com/user/72057_2000.gif


 

So if I understand correctly, if I send a cacher to location to find a clue and from that clue find another clue or the cache, what kind of cache would that be? I mean of course the final reward is a cache with log book / camera / trinkets etc.

 

Vini Vidi Velcro I came I saw I stuck around. Capn Skully

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quote:
Originally posted by BassoonPilot:

 

It appears to be nothing more than a complaint about the amount of time and effort spent dealing with the approval process. A second admin. then voiced something similar.


 

No, it was an expression of my frustration at spending hours a day trying to help this sport only to be raked over the coals by those who prefer to complain rather than contribute.

 

And you'll have to forgive Mr. Snazz for his unique sense of humor; he is not an admin.

 

quote:
That's what I continue to find ridiculous ... the suggestion that a logbook is a "standard" by which to judge a quality of a cache.

 

I'm still waiting to hear your ideas of what is.

 

quote:
I stated in a previous post what I considered to be a reasoned solution; more regional cache approvers who cache in the area they are responsible for, who establish relationships with the local cachers and are able to offer them direct feedback.

 

I'm also still waiting to hear how this would have helped the situation that led to this thread. Furthermore, I am waiting to hear how this solution will suddenly make it clear how we should clearly and objectively delineate good caches from garbage caches.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

You have suggested that you know of better ways to handle the process, and I am eager to hear your ideas.

 

quote:
Originally posted by BassoonPilot:

No, I didn't. And I did offer my suggestion, which apparently you didn't notice.



 

Yes I did, and I pressed you to explain how it would have helped the situation at the top of this thread, and how it would help mold the guidelines into something that gives an objective measure of what is an acceptable cache and what is not. No reponse to that has yet been forthcoming.

 

Again, I'd love to see your ideas when you feel ready to finally contribute.

 

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quote:
Originally posted by Frolickin:

 

There is no rule or set of rules that will guarantee quality. Other than safety measures (no hiding on railroad tracks, military bases, etc.) or environmental concerns (no food that would attract animals, etc.) or lawful issues, there should be no rules.

 

If there is a lame cache or an inappropriate one, the local cachers will make it known.


 

That's what I was afraid this would boil down to: two camps, one embracing rules for quality, and the other proposing to avoid them.

 

I'm afraid that discussions of this nature are like arguments over religion and politics. Neither side will ever sway the other, and in the end all you have is hurt feelings on either side.

 

I can respect your position, but as volunteers for Groundspeak, the admins are tasked with keeping cache quality high. In order to do that fairly and uniformly, we need rules in place to help guide us in our actions. I gladly take any suggestions on how best to compose and enforce those rules.

 

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quote:
Originally posted by BassoonPilot:

I respect and appreciate the hard work and efforts by the admins, but that is one of the loopiest things I've read ... a log book is going to guarantee the quality of a cache? Hardly. It's the uninteresting location and lack of a challenge in locating the cache that makes a cache lame.

 

Gee, I guess it won't be too long before new "traditional" cache placements will be restricted to preassembled caches purchased from Groundspeak.com. ($10 for micro, $25 for regular, $50 for large. Free geocaching T-shirt if your purchase totals $200. We'll probably also finally see the official designation of a "mini" cache ... $17.50. And in the "Mother of All Ironies," a logbook and pencil won't be included in the preassembled caches.)


 

Waterproof Paper Logbook and Pencil are extra.

 

Of course they will all be MOCs to boot!

 

Vini Vidi Velcro I came I saw I stuck around. Capn Skully

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

Now, we're arguing about a pen in the cache? Give me a break! . . . How about using some common sense?


 

The discussion is not about pens. The discussion is about what rules are being used to approve caches.

 

When a logbook was required, someone pointed to the rules for which a logbook was stated. In those rules it also stated a writing instrument was needed. I asked for clarification.

 

My conclusion is that neither should be required. I agree, common sense should prevail. It is common sense that a logbook does not guarantee a quality cache.

 

So, this is not

quote:
arguing about a pen in the cache
.

 

Fro.

 

________________________________________

Geocaching . . . hiking with a purpose

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

the admins are tasked with keeping cache quality high.


 

That is a task, which as far as I can tell, is impossible to do. The hider is the only one who can ensure cache quality.

 

Do I understand that no traditional cache will be approved unless a logbook is present?

 

Fro.

 

________________________________________

Geocaching . . . hiking with a purpose

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quote:
Originally posted by Frolickin:

 

Do I understand that no traditional cache will be approved unless a logbook is present?


 

That's what we've been enforcing, but we're not mindless automatons. If the community as a whole is against that measure, we'll certainly remove it.

 

We do want to keep quality high, though, so any suggestions you have for helping to insure that are welcome.

 

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IMHO, no matter what "rules" or "guidelines" are established, there will be good and bad caches. Since the admins approve caches based on typed descriptions rather than personal or visual inspection, it is inevitable that some funky caches will be placed.

I think a "minimum" set of standards should apply, but they don't need to be terribly strict.

 

As Frolickin implied in an earlier post, cache placers should listen to the feedback they receive from finders. If a particular cache continues to be a problem, let the local finders escalate their concerns to admin. Maybe less time spent agonizing over an initial review and more time spent reviewing specific troublesome caches would be time better spent. icon_smile.gif

 

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza. - Dave Barry

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

That's what we've been enforcing


 

Despite opening myself up to attacks of nit-picking, I think what would be helpful is to have a set list (someone earlier posited a checklist) of what has to be included and what absolutely cannot be included in a cache.

 

As new items/issues present themselves, they should be hashed out here and some determination made. Then it needs to be added to the checklist.

 

My fear, however, is that checklist will grow. It will also become a debate over semantics (that already occurs regarding locationless caches).

 

Underlying Concern

I realize that I look to gc.com (and other sites) as a location of coordinates, not the rule makers, enforcers, integrity checkers of the game. If gc.com is taking on the task of the quality of the game, then structure, policy, and administration are absolutely needed. But, merely being the ones who registered a URL does not give legitimacy to the administration. There is no one authorizing the cause.

 

As I think this through, I am more convinced that the admins' task is not achievable. I am not even certain it is desireable.

 

Fro.

 

________________________________________

Geocaching . . . hiking with a purpose

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quote:
Originally posted by SR & dboggny:

i wish you people would make up your darn minds. i am getting so tired of the B$ over what a virt can and cant be and what a physical cache can and cant be. 2 yrs ago, this wasnt even a problem. What has happened all of a sudden that these restrictions are important. if its a matter of trying to keep the workload down for approvers (who are doing a wonderful job and are nice people all in all), then something needs to be done to spread the work out. IF THIS IS NOT THE PROBLEM, THEN WHAT IS?


 

Well, besides the workload issue, there is that issue of cache saturation I've seen mentioned.

 

I agree that many areas are at/nearing the saturation point, but it seems to me the oversaturation is the result of a very small number of cachers placing an inordinately high number of caches; not, as suggested by an admin., by a large number of people randomly dumping "junk caches."

 

From threads like this one, it is clear that many people think having found or placed a certain number of caches is a guarantee of quality. It is no such thing, and I would go so far as to say that in most cases, as an individual's number of cache placements increases there is a related drop in quality. Most of the "logbook in a sandwich box" caches I've encountered were placed by seasoned veterans.

 

I think my suggestion of approvals by "regional managers" who are out in-the-field caching in their area of responsibility would certainly help address such issues; probably in a more positive manner. And perhaps it's time that some of the other "constructive suggestions" I've made in other threads in the past should be given serious consideration ... including time limits (with right of renewal) on caches and total number of active caches an individual is permitted to have.

 

quote:
Originally posted by SR & dboggny:

when it comes down to it, i am just gonna start placing caches and advertising them on my own web page and by dropping cards with coords and hints on them in other nearby caches and bypass this whole mess completely. i do not want to do that.


 

You won't have to, Danny, since there is apparently no structure or procedure in place that would prohibit you from submitting a "vanilla" cache for approval and once it had been approved editing it to reflect the cache you wanted to place.

 

My take is that the administrators don't want to see their numbers increase because of their "proprietary interest" in the game ... I really can't see any other reason.

 

quote:
Originally posted by SR & dboggny:

i am also greatfull to the originators of this game for bringing it to my family, but these crazy rules and arbitrary implementation of them and the wishy washy ness and the crap about lame virts and stuff is becomeing a drag. two years ago the game was easy and fun. now its starting to s*&k. WTF is going on?


 

Yes, I feel much the same way, but I regret using the word "arbitrary" in one of my early posts to this thread; that word is too strong.

 

In a response to Sissy-n-CR, I stated "You apparently think arbitrary rules applied unevenly guarantees good caches." I should have written "You apparently think nebulous rules applied subjectively guarantees good caches."

 

I wouldn't presume to speak for Sissy-n-CR, but my position is all it does is anger the person who feels his cache was unfairly not approved and leaves everyone else scratching their heads, thinking "since when was that a rule?"

 

If, as a couple of admins. have suggested, the problem lies with the guidelines, then the first step would be to make the precise set of guidelines the admins. refer to during the approval process public knowledge. It's silly to admonish people for not presenting "creative solutions" to a problem when "the problem" is an (apparently) closely guarded proprietary secret.

 

The second step would be for all of the admins. to apply those guidelines, flawed as they may be, in as objective a manner as possible. Clearly, that has not been the case; some admins. are known to be more (or less) inclined to approve (or disapprove) certain types of caches than other admins. As stated above, that causes a great deal of confusion and unrest.

 

Last in an endless stream of edits: Let me conclude by restating that I appreciate the efforts and hard work of the admins. and am not suggesting they do anything less than a superb job. I fully realize and appreciate the difficulties they face. I've never had a problem with an admin.; all 17 of my caches were sufficiently vanilla to win approval without discussion. I also want to point out that I do, in fact, practice what I preach, because I routinely archive my caches when I feel they have had an adverse impact on an area ... or have simply outlived their welcome.

 

[This message was edited by BassoonPilot on February 27, 2003 at 07:21 AM.]

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First Moun10Bike told Billybob he needed to add the logbook to get the cache approved. Billybob is like me and doesnt understand why, but he complies to make everyone happy. It should have been approved at this point, but then the 2nd question comes up about the email verification. This is the part i dont understand icon_confused.gif. Moun10Bike didnt like the email verification part for the cache but it didnt break any rules, so there shouldnt have even been a problem here.

 

If it was a friendly gesture just to give some helpful advice then there was nothing wrong with Moun10Bikes 2nd email. But it kinda sounds like it may have had an implication that Billybob's cache wasnt gonna be approved, once again, if he didnt take out the email verification requirement. Could also be that Billybob read it the wrong way too... But what it really comes down to is that this 2nd email probably shouldnt have ever been sent in the first place!

 

This sport has added alot of enjoyment to our life and I for one do appreciate the fact that we have people that care enough to volunteer their time and effort to make it better for the rest of us. Im with BassoonPilot on this, more help is needed. Being flexible with the guidelines is great and it insures that we will have some creative and good quality caches out there, but we also need some basic rigid rules "posted on the site" to make things go smoother for everyone. For example, if the rule is that physical caches have to have a logbook then make it stick. In the past some approvers allowed caches without the logbook but then there were those that didnt. Made it confusing for everyone. Approvers should all be on the same plane here!!!

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quote:
Originally posted by Frolickin:

 

I realize that I look to gc.com (and other sites) as a location of coordinates, not the rule makers, enforcers, integrity checkers of the game.


 

Understood, and I think that it is from this that a lot of the underlying differences between the "opposing sides" of this discussion stem. Some would prefer that gc.com was merely a simple storehouse of waypoints. However, since Groundspeak has a vested interest in the quality level on the site, they set up guidelines and rules for those caches that get posted here. The admins give our input into those guidelines as well based on our experiences with the community and with the caches that come through. The admins are also charged with enforcing those rules, and thus playing the role of whipping boys when people don't like them icon_smile.gif.

 

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

Understood, and I think that it is from this that a lot of the underlying differences between the "opposing sides" of this discussion stem.


Well, those in charge are always whipping boys for the opposing side (particularly when they are self-appointed). icon_smile.gif Just ask the local BOE.

 

My suggestion (and I hear it from others too) is to have a clear set of rules. Stick to the rules. Problems will be discussed and the rules modified, players made aware of changes, and the posted rules updated.

 

That gets you fair and uniformly-enforced rules. For you it may satisfy the quality of the cache (We'll disagree as to the outcome, but it'll provide you with at least something to begin with).

 

So, how will these rules be determined?

Where will they be posted?

 

Fro.

 

________________________________________

Geocaching . . . hiking with a purpose

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There is no way an Admin, sitting at his PC 2,000 miles away, can determine whether a cache deserves to be posted. They choose to use the presence of a logbook in the cache as the minimal requirement. This is admittedly flawed, because we've all found dozens (and some of you hundreds) of pretty lame caches that contained log books (heck I've placed a few myself). But if a logbook is the criterion they choose to use, then what's the big deal? Live with it. You can fit a logbook in pretty much anything if you try hard enough.

 

I also like the idea of having regional or local approvers, but that's a whole 'nother thread.

 

A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away. -Barry Goldwater

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quote:
Originally posted by Frolickin:

The discussion is not about pens. The discussion is about what _rules_ are being used to approve caches.


 

Oh, okay.

 

Well, I guess some of the guidelines in one place is different than in another. As was pointed out in the FAQ, the most basic form of a cache is a logbook. It doesn't say anything about a pen. To quote, "In its simplest form a cache can be just a logbook and nothing else."

 

Maybe, if there was one place that was the definitive description of what is required, and liberally linked, then a lot of these problems would go away.

 

CR

 

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quote:
Originally posted by Frolickin:

 

My suggestion (and I hear it from others too) is to have a clear set of rules. Stick to the rules. Problems will be discussed and the rules modified, players made aware of changes, and the posted rules updated.


 

quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

 

Maybe, if there was one place that was the definitive description of what is required, and liberally linked, then a lot of these problems would go away.


 

You are right. The source of the problem is that this new game that is constantly evolving, and the posted guidelines are always lagging in their effort to keep up. It's a trade-off; Jeremy and the rest of the folks at Groundspeak have their hands full with running the backbone of the web site, and updating the guidelines (which only they can do) is a significant effort. Meanwhile, the admins must respond quickly to changes in the game, and act accordingly if we see something new and think that it is problematic for the game. One of our jobs is to make judgment calls, and then listen if the community tells us that we made the wrong one.

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Frolickin:

My suggestion (and I hear it from others too) is to have a clear set of rules. Stick to the rules. Problems will be discussed and the rules modified, players made aware of changes, and the posted rules updated.


 

I'll second that.

 

Hopefully, the new site will have ample links to one FAQ, which of course will include definitions to everything.

 

(Downside to this will the inherent problem of the spontaneous creation "FAQ thumpers.")

 

quote:
Originally posted by Frolickin:

So, how will these rules be determined?

Where will they be posted?


 

I guess somebody could put together a FAQ with all of the guidelines pulled from this site and post it for consideration. Once adopted, then it's the standard.

 

As for where it would be posted, hopefully directly on the GC.com site, but it could also be posted here and continutely "bumped" so people can find, if nothing else.

 

A benefit of this is it could be adopted for GEOCACHING, not just for geocaching.com, but that's a whole different issue. icon_wink.gif

 

CR

 

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

(Downside to this will the inherent problem of the spontaneous creation "FAQ thumpers.")


That will be a downside (the inherent flaw in trying to guarantee quality through rules).

 

If rules are being enforced, then the larger population will point to any straying from those rules. This is what rules beget.

 

[political rant]

If gc.com stuck to hosting coordinates and managing fora and data, then it removes this magnifying lens. Since it, apparently, wants to be the keeper of quality, it will need to undergo examination (this would be a downfall of the suggestion that whatever rules are adopted here being applied to the game outside of gc.com . . . the only reason a logbook is required is because gc.com says so).

 

GC.com is positioning itself to be the governing body of a game. It is doing so without a mandate from the players.

[/off political rant]

 

Fro.

 

________________________________________

Geocaching . . . hiking with a purpose

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quote:
Originally posted by Frolickin:

 

GC.com is positioning itself to be the governing body of a game. It is doing so without a mandate from the players.


 

To clarify, GC.com is positioning itself to be the governing body of the caches posted on its servers. You can place caches that do not follow the guidelines, but we then ask that you do not post them here. Since the driving force behind the guidelines is a desire for quality, we try to keep the guidelines focused on things that will make the game better overall.

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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Frankly, workload is not an issue. I don't know who has said that other than non-admins lately, but it is not an issue. Please get off of that bandwagon.

 

You know what, I took a day off today to go find some caches. Maybe you should all do the same and try to relax a bit. Honestly, I have only skimmed over the last 20 or so replies. I don't think the admins are necessily the nit pickers anymore...

 

icon_eek.gif I will read this all later tonight and sigh. icon_razz.gif I am going out to play right now. icon_biggrin.gificon_cool.gif

 

Happy anniversary to me; today is my second anniversary of Geocaching.

 

"Lighten up Francis."

 

As you continue to argue, just remember that I am out caching today and if you are argueing then you are not caching. I will be enjoying the cool, clean misty air of GA. This will all still be here when I get back.

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

To clarify, GC.com is positioning itself to be the governing body of _the caches posted on its servers_.


Understood.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:we try to keep the guidelines focused on things that will make the game better overall.

That is problematic. GC.com is not the governing body of the game. As such, who is GC.com to determine what makes the game better overall?

 

It may be perceived that the game is better because of it, but obviously, there is another side to that coin. It is fine that GC.com regulates what is posted on its servers. It was suggested by another player that the criteria of what makes a cache could be applied to the game elsewhere. It is to that, I made my point.

 

This all brings to light the problem with annoiting GC.com as geocaching as is constantly stated in the fora. Too much influence on the game is controlled by GC.com.

 

Some time ago it was suggested that an independent body be formed to handle issues with the game. That would leave GC.com/Groundspeak to do what it does best--host a web site.

 

There's an idea that would improve the game, alleviate the frustration felt by some toward the admins, and solve the issue for Groundspeak as to how to ensure quality (defer to the governing body).

 

Any chance Groundspeak would lead the way to that solution?

 

Fro.

 

________________________________________

Geocaching . . . hiking with a purpose

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I have always believed in quality, not quantity. I'm glad geocaching.com supports quality. Obviously, I support limiting the number of caches that get listed.

 

BUT...There needs to be a clear understanding of the rules and a fair application of them.

 

The "hide a cache" guidelines are not worded in such a way as to be seen as set in stone rules. If they are not flexible, then REWORD THEM so there is less confusion.

 

The admins should make public their guidelines for approving caches as soon as possible. Are there rules that the admins are enforcing that ARE NOT on the "hide a cache" page?? There is way too much uproar over this.

 

On a side note, I agree with BassoonPilot's suggestion to increase the number of regional approvers. This will add a human element to the otherwise anonymous submission of caches.

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

Again, I'd love to see your ideas when you feel ready to finally contribute.


 

Pardon me, but the more you write the more you expose your attitude problem. I have contributed many valuable, and entirely reasonable, ideas over the course of this and other threads.

 

But that is not the issue: the issue is the cache approval process and "standards."

 

You originally denied the cache; I did not.

 

You apparently informed the cache owner that the inclusion of a logbook would make the cache in question suitable. (And if I have followed the thread correctly, you subsequently approved the cache when the owner agreed to.)

 

That makes the logbook, in this case, the standard by which you determined the suitability of the cache ... not the container nor its trade items, not the location ... not the hider's experience or lack thereof; simply the inclusion of a logbook. "Standards." I think it's the pettiest denial I've ever read about; but it was in character with and not unlike your condescending comment at the top of this post.

 

You also complained about the demands on your time, but interestingly, you have had ample time to prolong this thread.

 

I, and I think most of the others who participated in this thread, just wanted to know what the standards and guidelines used in the approval process are. And perhaps why they appear to be applied so unevenly.

 

[This message was edited by BassoonPilot on February 27, 2003 at 08:44 AM.]

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a possible way around this is to merge a few of the ideas that have been brought up...

 

i think frolikin and others suggested that quality cannot be truly controlled by the cache approver. this statement seems to be true. being human, we want to interject our own ideals into geocaching. one approver thinks virts should be done with. another thinks that locationless stink. yet others feel that a cache MUST contain a log book. What your opinion is doesnt matter for purposes of this discussion. perhaps, the cache approvers should do a quick once over of a cache submission in order to determine that it does not have any obvious violations, the the best of their ability.

 

Then there should be created a second "line" of quality control. lets call them geocaching police. have these folks monitor cache logs for new caches. let them filter feedback that players are giving to individual caches. if logs come up that raise a flag to our geocaching police officer or lets name him/her geocachingreferee, that person is now charged with going out and checking out the cache him or herslef. choose these people from experienced cachers who have seen enough caches to know what is going on. choose these people for their fairness and objectivity. let them be chosen by people from their region who know them best.

 

just one other note in regards to what frolikin has said. yes, some of us will begin to treat gc.com as a repository of data and play the game how we want to. hence my statement about placign caches and not bothering to post them here

 

to bassoon pilot. yeah, i could make a "vanilla" cache and modify it later as you say. but that seems to be more trouble then its worth. the caches i have placed havent gotten a ton of finds. i am willing to bet, however, that a cache i placed and posted the coords to on my web page and by advertising in other caches would probably do just as well as any other cache i have personally placed.

 

SR and dboggny.

9372_2600.jpg

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Don't know about the rest of you, but I was fascinated to read about the disapproved caches, like the tennis ball one. If any admins get some time, please post your top ten worst caches you've been asked to approve.

 

Everybody else, lighten up damnit! icon_rolleyes.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

EDIT: Typo

 

http://fp1.centurytel.net/Criminal_Page/

 

[This message was edited by Criminal on February 27, 2003 at 08:40 AM.]

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I enjoy reading the log books and the comments others have left. If I have to mail in the secret password why even bother to geocache? I may as well just go for a hike in the woods.

 

I like caching because it is an excuse to get outdoors and enjoy myself. I see no point in making the find more important than the search.

 

========================================

Friends don't let Friends geocache drunk.

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quote:
Originally posted by BassoonPilot:

 

Pardon me, but the more you write the more you expose your attitude problem.


 

Why must you continually want to take this to a personal, and contentious, level? I'll leave to readers of this thread to determine for themselves who has an "attitude problem".

 

quote:
I have contributed many valuable, and entirely reasonable, ideas over the course of this and other threads.

 

But unfortunately, none that address the issue we are discussing (and, unfortunately, ones always proposed with a belligerent tone). You assert that the problem is overworked admins, something that no one but you has suggested, and then propose solutions for that problem. How about some meaningful ideas for how to improve cache quality during the acceptance process? I'll ask you again: What guidelines do you propose to help determine during cache acceptance what delineates a good cache from a bad one?

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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I have offered the most reasonable solution, even though it was in jest. We're all willing to help. If any new player has questions about a cache they want to hide, just drop an email to an old-head cacher in your area. I'm sure they'd be happy to chop your cache for you, offer friendly advice, and constructive criticisms about how to make it better- before you submit it. Local because they could meet you at the hide site if need be.

 

Really, the last thing you need is two almost-arrested disgruntled geocachers wanting to kick you a$$ because your cache was quasi-legal. icon_wink.gif

 

EDIT: Run-on sentence

 

http://fp1.centurytel.net/Criminal_Page/

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How about some meaningful ideas for how to improve cache quality during the acceptance process? I'll ask you again: What guidelines do you propose to help determine during cache acceptance what delineates a good cache from a bad one?

 

]http://geocachingwa.org

 

I'll jump in here...

 

How about looking at the hider to determine if he/she has hidden other caches.

--Experience, as well as quality of previous caches can be taken into consideration.

 

How about considering cache density in the area of the cache?

-- Does a small park *really* need another cache?

 

How about considering how long the person has been geocaching? Did they place a cache the first day/week they registered?

 

Consider how far the hider's home territory is from the cache.

--Cache maintenance issues...Is this a "Vacation cache" that will never see a return visit?

 

Above all, open dialogue between hider and admin will solve most problems. The admins need to be clear when they communicate with the hider.

 

Let's also not expect a new cache to be approved quickly. Is it unreasonable to allow a longer period of time to do a bit of research into the proposed cache?

 

All of my ideas will still not ensure quality caches. It's up to local cachers to point out junky caches and encourage quality.

y

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quote:
Originally posted by Criminal:

 

Really, the last thing you need is two almost-arrested disgruntled geocachers wanting to kick you a$$ because your cache was quasi-legal. icon_wink.gif


 

I'm glad that there's someone with whom I can laugh about the irony of contrasting what's going on in this thread with that situation! icon_biggrin.gif

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by OUTSID4EVR:

How about looking at the hider to determine if he/she has hidden other caches.

--Experience, as well as quality of previous caches can be taken into consideration.

 

How about considering cache density in the area of the cache?

-- Does a small park *really* need another cache?

 

etc, etc, etc.


 

I'm sorry, I do appreciate that you took the time to write all this up, however I must point out that these are not guidelines. They are subjective and don't establish clearly what ought to happen. They are certainly good questions that approvers ought to ask themselves, but they really don't offer up how to make a decision...

 

An example (in my worm-riddled mind) of guidelines would be (complete with arbitrary numbers):

 

- A cache hider is required to provide home coordinates. These can optionally be the coords of their home city, for privacy reasons.

 

- A cache hider is required to have found at least 20% of the caches within a 25 mile radius of their home coordinates (unless overriden by special considerations, such as group placement accounts)

 

- No more than 1 cache per 2 acres of city park

 

- No more than 1 cache per 10 acres of state park

 

- No more than 1 cache per 2 square miles of public (BLM managed) lands

 

- No more than 1 cache per 4 square miles of National Forest lands

 

etc, etc.

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

But unfortunately, none that address the issue we are discussing ...


 

One of the primary issues you introduced to this thread was the amount of time the approval process demands of admins. It's a mystery to me why you were so deeply offended by my entirely reasonable suggestion. I can't fathom why anyone would so vehemently attack such a simple suggestion ... but I suppose it makes for entertaining reading for others.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

... (and, unfortunately, ones always proposed with a belligerent tone).


 

Nah, I supply only the words. You read them and apply any tone you want to them.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

... I'll ask you again: What guidelines do you propose to help determine during cache acceptance what delineates a good cache from a bad one?


 

It a rehash of things I've stated before, but for a start:

 

An open mind, flexibility, and a dose of common sense.

 

Approvers who are familiar with the people hiding caches and their past tendencies and problems reported with their caches, if any.

 

Limits on the numbers of active caches people may have.

 

The number of similarly rated caches in the area.

 

Another dose of flexibility and common sense.

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quote:
Originally posted by OUTSID4EVR:

 

I'll jump in here...


 

Thanks! We do try to take much of what you propose into consideration, but could probably do better. The approval queue shows us the number of hides the hider of each cache submission has, and we do not accept caches that are within 0.1 mile of a pre-existing active cache. When an archival is made, the posted log is automatically emailed to the cache owner, and in that log we cite the relevant guidelines and reasons for the archival, along with corrections that can be made to get the cache approved.

 

I agree that open dialogue is probably the foremost answer to any problems. In the situation that led to this thread, unfortunately, the cache hider went ballistic over my attempt to ascertain the situation. I've learned from this experience to be doubly careful that such email cannot be misconstrued in the future.

 

I also think that the points Mr. Snazz makes above are important to consider. There is a difference between good questions that an admin should ask when considering a submission, and guidelines that would help insure an objective means of arriving at a decision.

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Snazz:

 

I'm sorry, I do appreciate that you took the time to write all this up, however I must point out that these are not guidelines. They are subjective and don't establish clearly what ought to happen. They are certainly good _questions_ that approvers ought to ask themselves, but they really don't offer up how to make a decision...

 

An example (in my worm-riddled mind) of guidelines would be (complete with arbitrary numbers):

 

- A cache hider is required to provide home coordinates. These can optionally be the coords of their home city, for privacy reasons.

 

- A cache hider is required to have found at least 20% of the caches within a 25 mile radius of their home coordinates (unless overriden by special considerations, such as group placement accounts)

 

- No more than 1 cache per 2 acres of city park

 

- No more than 1 cache per 10 acres of state park

 

- No more than 1 cache per 2 square miles of public (BLM managed) lands

 

- No more than 1 cache per 4 square miles of National Forest lands

 

etc, etc.


 

Yes, my rambling thoughts were not guidelines. As you said, they are things that should be taken into consideration.

 

Your more specific ideas are a good start, I'm assuming you're not being sarcastic.

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quote:
Originally posted by BassoonPilot:

 

One of the primary issues you introduced to this thread was the amount of time the approval process demands of admins.


 

As I explained in a post above, I was expressing frustration at putting a lot of effort into helping this game, only to be raked over the coals.

 

quote:
Nah, I supply only the words. You read them and apply any tone you want to them.

 

Fair enough. But as you are no doubt aware, I am not the only one in this or previous threads to have made this suggestion to you.

 

quote:
An open mind, flexibility, and a dose of common sense.

 

Please explain how this leads to fewer complaints of subjectivity from those here who have raised such concerns. Please tell me what we would say to the cache hider as a reason for why his cache was rejected when the decision is a subjective one.

 

Also, I believe that we are far more flexible than you imagine (case in point: the cache that Criminal hints to above). You are only aware of a handful of exceptions or extreme cases, or cases that led to extended rules-mongering for various assorted reasons.

 

quote:
Approvers who are familiar with the people hiding caches and their past tendencies and problems reported with their caches, if any.

 

All of our admins are currently regionally assigned. I handle the Pacific Northwest, hid the first Idaho cache, am a founding member and current VP of the Washington GC club, and am active on the Idaho and Washington forums and listservs. All of the other admins share similar levels of activity in their local communities.

 

quote:
Limits on the numbers of active caches people may have.

 

The number of similarly rated caches in the area.


 

Any ideas on how to best implement such guidelines? Any suggestions on how to word them such that the junk tennis ball cache is rejected but the creative microscapsule cache is approved?

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

Any ideas on how to best implement such guidelines? Any suggestions on how to word them such that the junk tennis ball cache is rejected but the creative microscapsule cache is approved?


 

Perhaps require that the actual cache must be an object who's primary, non-consumer-modified purpose is to act as a sealable container.

 

It could further be added that the container must be constructed out of molded plastic, metal, or finished wood. (not sure about the wood option, personally).

 

This would exclude hollowed-out tennis balls, but would still allow hollowed-out logs if tupperware or any other primary-use-as-container object were inserted inside to act as the actual cache.

 

Unfortunatly, this would exclude some clever things such as the World's Smallest Geocache (which, if I recall, is just a very small magnet with writing on it). Fact is, new rules exclude old allowances. Not that this is a bad thing. icon_smile.gif

 

I think this would be a good baseline rule to start seperating cache from trash. Forgive me if this rule already exists, or if it has already been suggested. Too much stuff to remember with all the chatter. icon_biggrin.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

Any suggestions on how to word them such that the junk tennis ball cache is rejected but the creative microscapsule cache is approved?


I would like your response to my suggestion to this:

 

Some time ago it was suggested that an independent body be formed to handle issues with the game. That would leave GC.com/Groundspeak to do what it does best--host a web site.

 

There's an idea that would improve the game, alleviate the frustration felt by some toward the admins, and solve the issue for Groundspeak as to how to ensure quality (defer to the governing body).

 

Any chance Groundspeak would lead the way to that solution?

 

Fro.

 

________________________________________

Geocaching . . . hiking with a purpose

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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Snazz:

 

Perhaps require that _the actual cache must be an object who's primary, non-consumer-modified purpose is to act as a sealable container._

 

It could further be added that the container must be constructed out of _molded plastic, metal, or finished wood._ (not sure about the wood option, personally).


 

I like this suggestion. How do you feel, though, about a plastic sealed tube containing chocolate sprinkles that is placed in a generic location, and being required to email the hider as to how many sprinkles are in the tube in order to log the find? How about the next step, in which it is a plastic tube containing nothing, with the same logging requirements? Do you feel that these are acceptable caches?

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Frolickin:

 

I would like your response to my suggestion to this:

 

Some time ago it was suggested that an independent body be formed to handle issues with the game. That would leave GC.com/Groundspeak to do what it does best--host a web site.

 

There's an idea that would improve the game, alleviate the frustration felt by some toward the admins, and solve the issue for Groundspeak as to how to ensure quality (defer to the governing body).

 

Any chance Groundspeak would lead the way to that solution?


 

Unfortunately, that is not something that I am able to asnwer. I am not an employee of Groundspeak, but only volunteer to help out with cache acceptance. You need to contact Groundspeak on the matter.

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

I like this suggestion. How do you feel, though, about a plastic sealed tube containing chocolate sprinkles that is placed in a generic location, and being required to email the hider as to how many sprinkles are in the tube in order to log the find? How about the next step, in which it is a plastic tube containing _nothing_, with the same logging requirements? Do you feel that these are acceptable caches?

 

http://geocachingwa.org

 

I personally don't feel that either is a good cache. I would carefully read the instructions and then send an email to the cacher, "What's the point?"

 

I am against rules applied to me and not others. I am against rules that will stifle creativity. I have seen some really unique and fine caches on this site and with the current mentality I see displayed (not by you) I wonder how the caches were ever approved.

 

Capn Skully

Vini Vidi Velcro I came I saw I stuck around

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:Unfortunately, that is not something that I am able to asnwer. I am not an employee of Groundspeak, but only volunteer to help out with cache acceptance. You need to contact Groundspeak on the matter.

 

I am more confused. Admins are capable of changing cache requirements but not supporting a change to the structure of the game.

 

The list of rules will, as somebody else pointed out, result in argument/debate as to their meanings. Lawyers will be brought in to ascertain the meaning of primary, non-consumer-modified purpose is to act as a sealable container and other such phrases.

 

This is unfortunate and why GC.com and geocaching need to be separated. The branding of this site as the game I have spoken of previously is evident here.

 

The solution is evident, yet apparently, out of anyone's authority (around here anyhow).

 

So, the question needs to change from What is acceptable for a cache? to How can we rescue the game from the commercial interests of this site? (For the record, money can be made with web-hosting and leaving regulation to someone else. It is the need for GC's regulation that is interferring.)

 

Until then, the quality of the caches posted will reflect what Groundspeak (or, I guess, what the admins) determines will make the game better overall. That is not in the best interests of the game, imo.

 

Fro.

 

________________________________________

Geocaching . . . hiking with a purpose

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quote:
Originally posted by Frolickin:

 

I am more confused. Admins are capable of changing cache requirements but not supporting a change to the structure of the game.


 

We are empowered to accept or reject caches, and mold the guidelines that affect that process. How Groundspeak conducts its business is beyond the responsibilities of the volunteer admins.

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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