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Members Only Caches


TeamRussell

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Geocaching.com is more like shareware. There are a few premium features to encourage people to support the service, but the vast majority of operability is free. Geocaching.com provides a effective and well implemented (relative to any other geocaching site I've seen) free service for 1000s of people. That is a huge commitment of time and resources without any demand for payment up front or even payment ever.

There's nothing unusual about that, every company needs an initial investment. The phone company had to build the infrastructure before they saw any payment from me.

 

The way I see it is this. The fact that the "basic service" of gc.com is free is not an act of charity by Groundspeak but it is part of their business model. If even the basic service was fee-based, the number of members would be by orders of magnitude smaller, i.e. the number of caches (and logs) would be orders of magnitude smaller, and the game would be much-much less interesting, less popular and less enjoyable, i.e. the business plan simply wouldn't work, the hobby would die off and the company would go down in a short time. Therefore, GC.com badly needs the masses of non-paying members because they are the ones who place the bulk of caches and enter most logs and make the game possible even for the paying members. And of course, they are the ones who will become premium members later when they switch to paperless caching, etc. So, it's not Jeremy's good heart why the basic service is free and it's not a sacrifice by him; it's part of a well thought-out, long-term, strategic business plan with a good understanding of how a massive consumer base can be built.

 

The shareware analogy is good: the fact that there is a functional trial version helps to make the software well-known and popular and helps to build a sizable consumer base so that more people pay for the full version.

 

Therefore, non-paying members do contribute tremendously to the business success of GC.com. And they deserve the same appreciation as paying members.

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Boy, this has been amusing. I just wanted to get my thoughts on record here:

 

We don't currently own any MOCs, mainly because geocaching in Arkansas is still in its infancy. (In some areas this is no longer an issue.) We don't want to exclude anyone from finding our caches ... yet.

 

HOWEVER, I think MOCs are a great way to reward those who are willing to pay for the services that everyone enjoys. In my own (admittedly small) way, I'm paying for the ability of everyone here to search for caches and list caches that they place. Heck, I'm even helping to pay for every post on this very forum!!!

 

Members Only Caches are a benefit for paying MEMBERS. I don't see why anyone is getting upset here.

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Therefore, non-paying members do contribute tremendously to the business success of GC.com. And they deserve the same appreciation as paying members.

And likewise, paying members pay the bills (a tremendous contribution) so that GC.com can be free to non-paying members. Paying members deserve the same appreciation as non-paying members.

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Therefore, non-paying members do contribute tremendously to the business success of GC.com. And they deserve the same appreciation as paying members.

And likewise, paying members pay the bills (a tremendous contribution) so that GC.com can be free to non-paying members. Paying members deserve the same appreciation as non-paying members.

Don't forget the ads on gc.com that non-paying members see as well. The advertisers base their decision to use gc.com as an advertising medium based on the number of visitors to the site and the more visitors the more the advertisers pay. The majority of visitors are non-paying members.

 

MOCs don't reflect the desirable equal appreciation you mentioned.

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So, if I were to place a MOC, it would not be an elitist endeaver or pyrmid scheme, it would simply a user trying to encourage other users to help keep the community alive, just like lobbying for a levy to raise taxes a few bucks a year to maintain a community swimmingpool or park. It's not paying the phone bill, it's paying taxes volunterily.

I can certainly understand encouraging folks to support the site. I generally do that with the argument of going paperless and just how easy it is to do that. Even then, you don't need a PDA for PQs to be useful because you can bookmark individual PQs, in essence creating custom filters for your nearest list.

 

Unlike the verbose post above implied, I don't discourage people paying for premium memberships. If I did, why would I sponsor an introduction to paperless caching at this event?

 

I feel MOCs are a bad idea that simply divides the masses. It is a visible, in-your-face flaunting of "I'm a member and you're not" to those who chose not to pay. Placing an MOC, IMHO, is not "encouraging" to pay up. It's more like twisting an arm. I don't like arm twisting.

 

While some will maintain they paid because they were interested in a MOC. We paid because we wanted to support the site. We felt we were getting such a value out of simply hunting caches we should help out. Granted, upon learning some of this site's history--after I became disenchanted with some elements, thank you--there was some question about continued support, but in the end we've paid our $30 a year. The reason is no longer to "support" the site, it is to license the data for personal use. We are buying a product.

 

As for MOCs being a revenue stream, I wonder just what the precentage is of paying members paid because they wanted to see one and place more? We know of at least one, but everyone that I've talked to so far the reason was to support the site and/or paperless caching.

 

There are better ways of encouraging membership than being divisive.

 

Someone recently posed a question concerning the reason some 90% of all cachers have found less than 54 caches or some such number. What happend between the first cache and number 53? Maybe we're discussing one of those reasons right now.

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MOCs don't reflect the desirable equal appreciation you mentioned.

Really, I wonder what would happen if ALL the paying members just decided to stop paying. I'm pretty sure there would be some appreciation for MOCs and the amount of money we contribute. Just a guess...

Edited by clearpath
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Really, I wonder what would happen if ALL the paying members just decided to stop paying. I'm pretty sure there would be some appreciation for MOCs and the amount of money we contribute. Just a guess...

I think a more valid question would be if all of the paying members who paid to be able to place and hunt MOCs quite paying what would the impact be?

 

What if you countered that with giving away free limited Pocket Queries and let folks "upgrade" with a paid membership? How many who were uncertain of the value of a PQ suddenly learned of this value?

 

See, a free 200 cache PQ a week would certainly tempt some folks. Enter your home coords/region get your nearest 200 caches with no filtering or other options. Upgrade to full PQ like we have now. Tempting? Most likely. AND not divisive.

 

There are plenty of other ideas that would work along those same lines.

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CR, I apologize for my unfair portrayal of you. After reading your post I see that some things have changed since we had our initial disagreement, as I have not followed all of your posts since that time I was unaware. I even take back what I said about you getting your panties in a wad, but cut me some slack, you did compare me to Joe. Even though he is a friend of mine and I often agree with him, our writing styles are very different. All kidding aside, I commend you for your efforts to teach people about paperless caching and your endorsement of PQ's. I understand and respect your views on GC.com but I also appreciate that you purchase a membership in order to take advantage of some of the benefits.

 

I am serious, I am sorry that I used an unfair portrayal of you in my initial post. If we ever get in the same place at the same time, I'll buy you a drink to make it up to you.

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Why don't we hide some caches that are for non-premium members only?

NMOC? Now yer thinkin :blink: I can see it now "gc.com's first 'Non-Members' Only Cache. Please note if you're a premium member and you log a find on this cache it will be deleted by the cache owner." :D:unsure:

 

Thorin

So if I let my membership lapse then log the cache, then pay again, do I get deleted or grandfathered?

<shrug> I dunno what happens if you're a member and then you're not? My guess is you get GF'd

 

Thorin

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Really, I wonder what would happen if ALL the paying members just decided to stop paying.  I'm pretty sure there would be some appreciation for MOCs and the amount of money we contribute. Just a guess...

I think a more valid question would be if all of the paying members who paid to be able to place and hunt MOCs quite paying what would the impact be?

 

What if you countered that with giving away free limited Pocket Queries and let folks "upgrade" with a paid membership? How many who were uncertain of the value of a PQ suddenly learned of this value?

 

See, a free 200 cache PQ a week would certainly tempt some folks. Enter your home coords/region get your nearest 200 caches with no filtering or other options. Upgrade to full PQ like we have now. Tempting? Most likely. AND not divisive.

 

There are plenty of other ideas that would work along those same lines.

Probably even more relavent would be (at this point) what if GC.com suddenly made all PQ free of charge. How would that impact the paying membership base? My guess is that most (not all) would still pay.

 

Or, what if GC.com decided to increase their fee for all of those who want MOC. Again, my guess is a lot of people would pay the increase as long as it was within reason.

 

Why? It goes back to the dog licking his crotch, for one. And secondly, there is a market for MOC. Like it or not. For whatever reason, who really cares. I don't. If someone doesn't like MOC, fine. They still need to respect the rights of those that do.

 

Here's one to cook your noodle ... what if all MOC were free. hehehe

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After reading this thread I'm inspired to create a MOC. I think it could actually increase the number of local cachers who pony up the measley thirty bucks a year for membership.

While it may not take the whole caching community to support this web site I wonder what might be available with more funding?

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Want to know why I've got a Member's Only Cache? Ask me. You can use this fantastic free feature to send me an email through the website. Lumping people into groups and trying reading people's mind as to why they have one is really annoying.

 

Don't guess. Ask.

 

Oh, BTW, it's 90% traffic reduction, 6% feature for other members, 4% user tracking, and 0% elitism.

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The army of volunteers from moderators to the approvers who approve the MOC caches.

I actually never understood that. People volunteering to a for-profit company, serving company interests. Strange. In a normal world these people would be democratically elected by cachers, and they would represent the cachers' interests as opposed to some commercial listing service's interests.

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The army of volunteers from moderators to the approvers who approve the MOC caches.

I actually never understood that. People volunteering to a for-profit company, serving company interests. Strange. In a normal world these people would be democratically elected by cachers, and they would represent the cachers' interests as opposed to some commercial listing service's interests.

Great. Now we are going to have to pay to get our cache listed! :lol: Just kidding.

 

Ya, know what? I do understand that. I'll help volunteer to support something this cool. All this bellyaching and whining against this company just makes me support it financially and voluntarily (were I to be asked).

 

Wake up, dude. This is the normal world. Cache volunteers are hand-picked from regional geocaching organizations who have proved their mettle; similarly for forum moderators. They do represent the cacher's interests and the commercial interests and not the interests of the vocal, and quite eloquent I might add, minority.

 

Crap. This has gone way off topic. ... uh... MOC's rule. Phew.

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Cache volunteers are hand-picked

By whom?

Honestly, why does it matter? They volunteer to support *this* particular listing service. Said lisiting service selects people of reputation to help in reviewing to ensure submitted caches to THIS listing service fit within the guidelines of this listing service. That is the lisiting services right, and the volunteer reviewers agree to work under those guidelines. Hopefully cache submitters to THIS site do so as well.

 

Perhaps another listing site might be better suited for you, if that seems unreasonable.

Edited by New England n00b
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....

Crap. This has gone way off topic. ... uh... MOC's rule. Phew.

It happens on occasion. I think the OP wanted to know if MOC's were considered "bad form" it appears the answer is no. MOC's are perfectly acceptable. Some feel there is no point to listing a cache as MO since they want to get visitors, others have stated they start out listing a cache as MO to give paying members first crack at the coveted FTF. And some use MOC's as a way to avoid cache Pirates.

 

Does that sum things up accurately?

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Honestly, why does it matter?

Because they will represent the interests of those who hand-pick them.

They volunteer to support *this* particular listing service.

I was hoping that they volunteer to serve the community of geocachers...

Edited by as77
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Cache volunteers are hand-picked

By whom?

Honestly, why does it matter?

 

They volunteer to support *this* particular listing service.

I was hoping that they volunteer to serve the community of geocachers...

Because they will represent the interests of those who hand-pick them.

Sound like a new topic to me.

You seem to have a habit of hijacking threads.

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Sorry to inform you that those goals are not mutually exclusive.

Hopefully. Especially if they don't get any financial compensation from any commercial listing service in any form. Volunteering for the cachers, representing the cacher community, is obviously a good thing and very respectable. This applies to approvers who do so. Volunteering to be a moderator on these forums... that's a different issue.

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Sorry to inform you that those goals are not mutually exclusive.

Hopefully. Especially if they don't get any financial compensation from any commercial listing service in any form. Volunteering for the cachers, representing the cacher community, is obviously a good thing and very respectable. This applies to approvers who do so. Volunteering to be a moderator on these forums... that's a different issue.

Only to those who like being abusive and disrepectful.

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Someone always has to knock the reviewers, questioning their motives.

All the reviewers want to do is help the community by approving caches. But someone always has to screw it up. Thanks AS77. nice to see you appreciate the hard work the reviewers do. I don't see you volunteering to not hide caches in protest of your beliefs. to keep this in the guidelines; my example is, you said.

I was hoping that they volunteer to serve the community of Geocaches
How dare you assume they do NOT already do that!!!!! who died and made you god that you can presume to know what motivated a cache reviewer????

 

I will leave you with this example of a good thought.

Wake up, dude. This is the normal world. Cache volunteers are hand-picked from regional geocaching organizations who have proved their mettle; similarly for forum moderators. They do represent the cacher's interests and the commercial interests and not the interests of the vocal, and quite eloquent I might add, minority.

 

Thank you

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I became a member very quickly after starting out. (Ducking the flames here) Thinking was - "why not pay my 'small', but I am sure, 'appreciated' share?". A very resonable amount if you ask me. That was my primary reason.

Of course my secondary reasons are self-serving. I wanted to be able to hunt for members only caches too. How do you find them? I see the icon that would one, but have yet to see one. I wonder if the absence of them in my area (Eastern MA) indicates that they are frowned upon for some reason that a greenie like myself does not yet see. Thanks.

 

TR Edited to change wording a bit.

This was the original post in this topic. This topic needs to get back on topic.

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I didn't say or imply that any approver has objectionable motivations and I don't think any of them has. The issue is much more complex than that and it is related to the relationship between GC.com and the geocaching community and the way they work together in general, which I have certain views on. But I feel that unfortunately the atmosphere in this thread doesn't allow the considerate and civil discussion of these ideas and issues, even though the question of MOCs, which is the topic of this thread, is closely related to this more general subject.

 

As far as the OP is concerned, if the sole purpose of this thread was to answer that question, this has been completed (the answer is that some people frown upon MOCs, others don't) so the thread might as well be closed.

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I invite you to add something new to this discussion, something that was not said last month or the month before that.  If you have something to add to the discussion I am sure that we would all like to hear it, perhaps you have the key to solving this once and for all.  If not, then you prove my point rather well. Thank you.
And yet here you are for the Nth month in a row and you're still responding.

 

"hey, you are not using pocket queries? then I will not allow you to hunt for my cache unless you pay $3 to the company of my choice, even if you don't need their extra services". What's the point of that?

Sometimes, some people just need to stroke the ole ego-

Ya know- its just not a good day until youve been deemed superior to someone else.

 

Pocket queries are worth $0.00 to me. Any other "added value" my $30 could buy are also worthless to me. Being unable to search MOC caches is not a big deal to me.

You mean the "warm fuzzies" don't actually retail for $30? :lol: Don't worry Pto alot of people fall in to this category.

 

What’s the point of not being a paying member other to whine and complain that they can not use the services, if they are finding caches, reading the forums they are using the site, why not help out………….. JOE
As was pointed out earlier in the thread there is no mechanism by which to make donations in support of the site. I know plenty of people that would send $10, 15, 20 etc to support to site and it's infrastructure but they have no way to do that.

 

Suffice that some of us just see it as a simple consumer issue.  Like many I'm not inclined to purchase the presently offered perks for any amount.  Indeed, as I've said before, I'm neither offended nor enamored by the MOCs, but rather, view them simply as a misguided and ineffective marketing technique - that's clearly turned out to be devisive at best.

Well said.

 

The day Use Fee for Texas State Parks is $3.00 per day per person, there are plenty of caches hidden in State Parks and I KNOW we have spent over $30.00 in State Park fees to do caches, so why is it raising such a noise about $30.00 a year for a premium membership which gets you WAY MORE than only MOC's?
I wouldn't pay $3 a day to enter a park. But then again where I live all the parks have free entry. And as has been discussed many times over now PQs and "wam fuzzies" don't represent "WAY MORE" then just MOCs to the vast majority.

 

I see no reason to not place MOC's, no one is excluded, you just need special equipment, a membership.
So they're all rated 5 right?

 

The shareware analogy is good: the fact that there is a functional trial version helps to make the software well-known and popular and helps to build a sizable consumer base so that more people pay for the full version.
Now they just need to make the package feature rich enough to appeal to the masses.

 

Therefore, non-paying members do contribute tremendously to the business success of GC.com. And they deserve the same appreciation as paying members.

And likewise, paying members pay the bills (a tremendous contribution) so that GC.com can be free to non-paying members. Paying members deserve the same appreciation as non-paying members.

Hmmmm the "same" eh? How do MOCs fit that? Plus I don't think we ever got word (after the discussoin earlier in the thread relating to costs etc) that memberships even make a dent in the bills.

 

Really, I wonder what would happen if ALL the paying members just decided to stop paying. I'm pretty sure there would be some appreciation for MOCs and the amount of money we contribute. Just a guess...
How would that generate appreciation for MOCs? The community would miss the service(s) of gc.com if it went under without the subscriptions to it's service(s) but I highly doubt that anyone would specifically miss MOCs. "I'm so peeved that gc.com went under I can't do any MOCs today" :(

 

Thorin

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