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Geocaching Publicity


ADKcachers
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My wife and I got a call from our local newspaper yesterday which will be writing an article about my geo-birthday celebration. There seems to be an interest in the sport. I'm doing everything I can do to promote the sport, and it's respect for the environment.

 

If you are concerned there are too many cachers you might pick up bowling instead. :huh:

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In low density areas, I guess it's a good thing.

Where there's already a good number of cachers, it's a bad thing.

 

In Finland, they could do with a few more cachers on the scene. In some parts of the UK, they could do with fewer.

 

That's my opinon. I really think the sport will be ruined if too many people hide too many caches, and the locations begin to become less special, as countless dull urban micros in the US seem to suggest.

 

Stu

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Without publicity and new geocachers joining the sport, it would die off eventually.

Once the hardcore locals have found a cache, the only people who hit it are newbies and the ocassional traveller.

 

I still don't see hordes of people trampling through the woods, no matter how much publicity the sport gets. Geocaching isn't for everybody. Every time there is an article in a local newspaper, I'll see maybe 10, or so new geocachers appear and maybe half of them will stick with the sport beyond 3-4 finds.

 

Of course it can bring the sport to the attention of miscreants who will head out with a GPS to steal caches and clueless people who will leave caches out in the open after they find them. It will also draw the attention of the few land managers who haven't already heard about it.

 

But overall, it's a plus. Publicity means more caches for us to find, and more people to find our caches.

Edited by briansnat
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If your experience is anything like what I've seen with local news coverage, you can expect a surge of activity for a few week. You can expect a LOT more caches being hidden, many of which will push the envelope on lameness. You can then expect things to finally calm down and you'll be left a few very committed locals to want to see this game grow and flourish.

 

Is it a good thing or is it a bad thing? Eh, it's a growth thing. Growth is often messy and disorganized (got a teenager?). Give it time and things will ultimately be better.

 

I keep telling myself that (about the teenager, anyway).

 

Bret

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More cachers will lead to more people trampling through sensitive areas. This could lead to stricter regulations regarding the use of public land.

I don't think that's the problem. People are tramping around as it is regardless of reasons for going there.

 

I think the problem is that the larger we get the more rules we impose on ourselves. It was a simple game not that long ago. Where I live the local handful of cachers used to place caches in areas that today would be whined about incessently on the forums. I have archived several of my own because now it's people other than my buddies looking for them.

 

I liked it smaller. But that won't happen. It wouldn't matter to me if it stopped growing but then again even I get new people involved. So publicity or not, this activity will grow.

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I lean toward it being a bad thing but I'm still on fence on this issue.

 

I myself was turned on to Geocaching because of a story I heard on NPR about it so my own involvement with it is due to publicity.

 

I'd like to think that I cache in a low key and low impact manner. Unfortunately, I don't think some others do and as Geocaching becomes more widely known and practiced I fear that what is currently an "unscrupulous few" will become an "unscrupulous many" and increase the suspicion and regulation of land managers as mentioned and debated elsewhere in the forums.

 

Broadcasting it to large quantities of people puts the methods they employ outside of our control. I, myself, only mention it to people I know who I think will practice it, if they choose to take up the activity, in a manner as respectful and non-destructive to the environment and to the "spirit" of the sport (as I have come to understand it) as I do.

 

But perhaps I (and we as a group) have no right to be so selective and judgemental about this and should, indeed, be prepared to take up bowling if it evolves in a manner that no longer makes it enjoyable.

 

Like I said: Still on the fence.

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I think it depends a lot on where the publicity comes from and how well done it is.

 

My involvement came from a spot on TechTV. To me, that's one of the best places to attract people to this game. I think the negative impact is likely to be much less than a local newspaper story where a reporter follows you around and only half pays attention.

 

That seems to be some of the problem we had around here with publicity. The reporter actually quoted (not quoted...completely made up the statement) one of our locals as saying, "It costs about 100 dollars to get your cache on." Get your cache on?!?! One hundred dollars!?!? It doesn't cost that much to get your freak on (does it?).

 

And while I'm very thankful for the article in terms of the lasting effects, there were a few weeks following it that were a tad chaotic. Hopefully that's the experience of all these publicity deals--keep an eye on the good stuff that comes out in the long range and just deal with the immediate difficulties as they arise.

 

Bret

Edited by CYBret
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... countless dull urban micros in the US seem to suggest.

I'm quite a tadpole, but...

 

I like the urban micro. It's like mission impossible. *play theme music here* But seriously I enjoy trying to be discreet when there are people about. It also makes for a quick to location, and search. That is especially nice with winter weather! Don't get me wrong I like the trails too.

 

On the publicity issue, I don't see it being a bad thing having more people tromping through the forest. It can't be any worse than people that use the area as there personal garbage dump. I guess I don’t see the increasing number of geo-cachers greatly increasing the number of people that mistreat public lands.

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Broadcasting it to large quantities of people puts the methods they employ outside of our control. I, myself, only mention it to people I know who I think will practice it, if they choose to take up the activity, in a manner as respectful and non-destructive to the environment and to the "spirit" of the sport (as I have come to understand it) as I do.

I think you've hit the nail on the head for my thoughts as well. We've introduced some people to caching, but also think some people just wouldn't get it, and could ruin things.

 

As for geckoee's comment, I really think urban micros have their place - we did three this weekend. They were not dull ones though. It's not urban micros I have a problem with, it's when they're placed willy-nilly with no thought as to whether it's actually a quirky, interesting or otherwise notable location.

 

Cheers,

 

Stu

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OK here is a Newbie's perspective. I am sure there is alot of genuine concern from some of the old gueard but do you really think new partipants are going to be any more reckless or destructive than more experienced cachers? I may have only been caching for a few months but I have been using the outdoors since I was a kid. I know to tread lightly as I imagine most people that will be interested in this hobby would.

 

I think awareness would be good for the hobby. We jsut have to make sure that people know what they are getting into. I am sure that some new people would be detrimental but I am sure there are people that have been caching for quite a while that do't cast a favourable light on our hobby as well.

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I think you inherently know that having the general population involved is not a good thing.

 

The general population is already involved and I thinkits a good thing. I learned about the sport through a newspaper article and it appears that the vast majority of other geocachers learned about it the same way.

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You people who think it is a good thing, would you have better luck hiring someone off the street or someone you know?  I think you inherently know that having the general population involved is not a good thing.  It will grow just fine by word of mouth.

If you want to compare recruiting new GeoCachers, to hiring employees, I think you would have to look at a multinational company with thousands of employees, but not necessarily any more than 100 in any one office. It would also have to be a very specialized field as GeoCaching requires specialized equipment and interests.

 

Lets assume a large RADAR designing and manufacturing company.

 

Based on that premise, It seems to follow that most of my friends, including some I graduated with in collage, would not make the best employees(perspective GeoCachers). If they didn't have a job(weekend hobby), I'm sure they would take some sort of position. They would probably do well for a while, maybe a few weeks, maybe a month, and then slack off (become ambivalent). Because they are your buddies you aren’t going to fire them, and they aren’t going to quit/give up on you! So you are stuck with a bunch of slacking employees in a field they don't like, in the end hurting the company they work for (or environment they are in).

 

So I would hire the one off the street, as they are more apt to enjoy and respect the job (hobby.)

Edited by geckoee
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You people who think it is a good thing, would you have better luck hiring someone off the street or someone you know?  I think you inherently know that having the general population involved is not a good thing.  It will grow just fine by word of mouth.

First: I only heard about geocaching through an article in a newspaper. I also know 5 others who heard about it from that same article. All of us have contributed positively to geocaching. I have hidden nearly 30 caches so far and they all get rave reviews. I have also found nearly 300 and I'm always sure to re-hide the cache at least as well as I find it, and I always trade up. Since I started in June another article came out. I noticed a few newbies come out after. None have had a negative effect on geocaching in my area. Then the holidays came around. Probably around 8-10 new cachers. Still no negative effect. In fact a couple of them have already hidden a couple of really great, well thought out caches.

 

Second: When hiring new people I run an add in the paper. Hiring someone from word of mouth never seems to work out well. Better to interview and hire a stranger. 9 out of 10 times I am more satisfied with someone responding to a newspaper ad. The same with a geocaching article. Like Brian said, it's not for everyone. You're only going to attract those who will be inclined to enjoy outdoor sports, and have respect for the environment. Those that respond, 9 times out of 10, will be "qualified" to be a geocacher.

Edited by JMBella
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Right now geocaching is a lot like CB radio. There is no accountability because everybody hides behind an avatar. We depend on the goodness of cachers to uphold standards of conduct that cannot be enforced because no one can be held responsible. Geoterrorits will drive away many of today’s cachers but will ultimately selfdestruct because they will not be able to sustain geocaching without our help. In the mean time, do what is right, and wait. All we have to do is last.

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It is both good and bad IMHO

the good aspect is it sheds light on our somewhat obscure

sport. The bad is that the same light might not necessarily

be glowing reviews of our sport. I still think the best method

is a groundswell of support from those who learn of it from

others. This is how I was brought into the sport and I learned

to respect our practices from day one because someone cared

enough to show me the ropes.

 

So it is good to be 'advertised' in a way, but it also opens it

up to people who would rather wreak havoc on our sport than

truly participate.

 

My two cents...

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Personally I have to think that publicity is a good thing. I never would have found out about geocaching if it hadn't been in my local paper.

 

Unfortunately we probably will have to deal with a sudden flood of newbies that may or may not cause some difficulties. But I'm sure that a couple quality cachers will emerge and create some nice caches.

 

So there are good and bad things about it I guess, but I have to lean toward the good just because the publicity is how I got involved.

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You people who think it is a good thing, would you have better luck hiring someone off the street or someone you know?  I think you inherently know that having the general population involved is not a good thing.  It will grow just fine by word of mouth.

If you want to comparing recruiting new GeoCachers, to hiring employees, I think you would have to look at a multinational company with thousands of employees, but not necessarily any more than 100 in any one office. It would also have to be a very specialized field as GeoCaching requires specialized equipment and interests.

 

Lets assume a large RADAR designing and manufacturing company.

 

Based on that premise, It seems to follow that most of my friends, including once I graduated with in collage, would not make the best employees(perspective GeoCachers). If they didn't have a job(weekend hobby), I'm sure they would take some sort of position. They would probably do well for a while, maybe a few weeks, maybe a month, and then slack off (become ambivalent). Because they are your buddies you aren’t going to fire them, and they aren’t going to quit/give up on you! So you are stuck with a bunch of slacking employees in a field they don't like, in the end hurting the company they work for (or environment they are in).

 

So I would hire the one off the street, as they are more apt to enjoy and respect the job (hobby.)

But I didn't say hire people because they were your friends. Thus your point is moot. And if you have friends you don't feel comfortable vouching for, maybe you need to be wiser choosing your friends? The lack of character you seem to take as a given with your friends (but is somehow absent in strangers????) isn't simply negative on a jobsite.

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Second: When hiring new people I run an add in the paper. Hiring someone from word of mouth never seems to work out well. Better to interview and hire a stranger. 9 out of 10 times I am more satisfied with someone responding to a newspaper ad. The same with a geocaching article.

Problem is that there IS no interview in this scenario. You "hire" some random person, or choose someone you know whose traits you know already. As someone mentioned, if you have lowlifes for friends, you don't have to tell them about it (hire them). But you have some control over it. Broadcast it everywhere and you don't know who you will get.

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But I didn't say hire people because they were your friends. Thus your point is moot. And if you have friends you don't feel comfortable vouching for, maybe you need to be wiser choosing your friends? The lack of character you seem to take as a given with your friends (but is somehow absent in strangers????) isn't simply negative on a jobsite.

Okay, I wasn't trying to make a personal attack, just trying to make a point. That whole bit about me not having friends, and seeing them "lacking character" seems a bit off the point.

 

I am just saying people that make good friends don't necessarily make good electrical engineers, or good cachers. My point was that with an interview you find out who fits the job, in a similar way that an article posted on caching may bring out the people interested in caching.

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My interest in geocaching was the primary reason I bought a GPS with some Christmas money this year. Although I enjoy seeing my cache finds climb, I really entered the sport to enjoy the nature hikes that bring me to some of the most beautiful places that many people don't appreciate and will never truly see (The old Civil War battlefield, rails to trails paths, historical landmarks, etc.) Geocaching will certainly become more and more popular, but I know that the caches that I enjoy finding the most will continue to remain as remote as when they were first hidden and those that have taken up the sport for the same reason I have will be the last ones to log their finds to these spots. <_<

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