The steady decline of the quality of geocaching....

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Do you think the quality of geocaches is going down with the quantity of caches going up?

Yes!
94
58%
No!
47
29%
Don't care!
21
13%
 
Total votes: 162

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Papa Bear_Left
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Post by Papa Bear_Left » 11 September 08 4:07 pm

Jardry wrote:
Papa Bear_Left wrote:I made a tongue-in-cheek comment here some time ago (as an April Fool's Day joke, I think) that gc.com were going to be charging a couple of bucks to list a cache. It has merit, I think! With very few exceptions, an extra $2 wouldn't add much of a percentage of the cost of our caches, but it might discourage some kid from throwing a dozen film cans around the neighborhood.
Only if the $2 went to GCA not GC!!!
I was thinking of a profit-sharing scheme with the reviewer who published the cache, myself... 8)

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Jardry
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Post by Jardry » 11 September 08 4:08 pm

Team Wibble wrote:
Jardry wrote:
Papa Bear_Left wrote:I made a tongue-in-cheek comment here some time ago (as an April Fool's Day joke, I think) that gc.com were going to be charging a couple of bucks to list a cache. It has merit, I think! With very few exceptions, an extra $2 wouldn't add much of a percentage of the cost of our caches, but it might discourage some kid from throwing a dozen film cans around the neighborhood.
Only if the $2 went to GCA not GC!!!
No snark intended, but why wouldn't you want the $2 to go to GC if that's where the cache was listed?
No snark taken, probably a quick gut reaction to the earlier call for funds for the server and the fact that the Ump is very active on this forum. Nothing more, your probably right that it ought to go to GC.

Taking a little more thought, perhaps GC premium members should only be permitted to place caches. Each GC annual premium membership includes 10 cache placements (sort of like $3 a pop indirectly).

Non-premium members and premium members who have placed more than 10 could purchase placement tokens at 3 for $10 or something like that.

I am digressing and getting off topic a bit now.

My aplogies.

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calumphing_four
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Post by calumphing_four » 11 September 08 4:21 pm

I still think finding a crap cache beats the alternative of being a couch potato. Also a good reason to have company when caching, so that the journey is memorable even if the cache isnt. :) Although not needing to find every cache (unless its in the close to home/work list) does mean I have driven past spots and said "pass" occassionally.
This thread does remind me, that I've been meaning to do a cache similar to Hide It and They Will Come in Adelaide. (But I doubt any log I get on it will beat this one.
BTW Isn't it bizarre when you think of an idea for a cache, do a bit of a search and find out your idea isn't unique. :?

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tronador
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Post by tronador » 11 September 08 4:32 pm

[quote="Jardry

Taking a little more thought, perhaps GC premium members should only be permitted to place caches. Each GC annual premium membership includes 10 cache placements (sort of like $3 a pop indirectly).

Non-premium members and premium members who have placed more than 10 could purchase placement tokens at 3 for $10 or something like that.

quote]

Making rules like this? :shock: :shock: Now this is all becoming a little too exclusive. Kind of the "in group" and the "out group".

The thing I like most about caching is "Free and open" concept. Also as some before me have said, Horses for course. Just choose those that appeal to you. And have fun getting to the places. Doesn't the journey count any more? Well it is the most important to me. Just because I don't care about how many caches in a day- yeah the numbers thing , doesn't mean that others don't.

And it doesn't bother me what's inside the container. I don't care about the swaps. But I love finding caches with coins or TB's in them. Especially caches that haven't been found in a while.
I tend to avoid the "kiddie" caches cause finding a box full of toys, doesn't appeal to me, but I'm not upset if caches like this are hidden for others who do like this stuff.

I just really hope hiding a cache doesn't become a list of can and can't do's. :evil:

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calumphing_four
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Post by calumphing_four » 11 September 08 4:32 pm

Webguy wrote:Sort of makes me cringe when I read a comment like...

"This is one of my little Nanos that I am trying to hide everywhere in the bay area."

I guess you won't have to worry about crap swaps, or whether you logged a TB or coin out of em.
Maybe there should be a section on the "Report A New cache" form that states: "In 25 words or more, why are you creating this new cache".
Would certainly start to make one think if they should go ahead or not with the cache.

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Papa Bear_Left
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Post by Papa Bear_Left » 11 September 08 4:47 pm

calumphing_four wrote:BTW Isn't it bizarre when you think of an idea for a cache, do a bit of a search and find out your idea isn't unique. :?
I fairly regularly have to exercise my tact when someone comes up with "this amazing idea!" for a cache. I have responses to a couple of the more common "brand new concept!" stored as macros so I don't have to type them over and over!
(That's probably coming across as snarkier than I mean it to be; I do realise that most cachers haven't had a chance to see a wide cross-section of cache ideas, so they have no reference point for what's been tried before. Innovation is still innovation, even if it's been done before!)

Library book caches, breaking a multicache into a 'cache series', hiding text in html comments or with text-colour=background-colour, etc. are all ideas that come along fairly regularly. And, to a local inexperienced cacher, they're just as novel as the first time they were done and afford them just as much enjoyment.

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NastySteve
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Post by NastySteve » 11 September 08 4:54 pm

The standard of Geocaches may well be falling, but I think the standard of Geocachers is falling too. We have placed some big ammo boxes with well over $50 worth of swaps in each one, and within 3 months there was nothing left. We replace the swaps from time to time, but we can't keep putting $50 worth of swaps in 20 caches every 6 months! What incentive does someone have to put out nice big cache containers full of swaps?
<BR><BR>
The other area where i think geocachers have slipped is in the quality of their logs. There are a bunch of usual suspects who write very detailed and often witty logs, but the vast majority of logs seem to be 6 words or less, or simply a copy and paste of their other logs for that day. Things like "TNLN TFTC" or "We were on a numbers run today and this was one of the caches we found".

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Team Wibble
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Post by Team Wibble » 11 September 08 5:37 pm

[quote="Papa Bear_Left]I was thinking of a profit-sharing scheme with the reviewer who published the cache, myself... 8)[/quote]

I see no problem with such a scheme, myself :wink:

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McPhan
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Post by McPhan » 11 September 08 6:07 pm

Seen the themed GCA frontpage???

As said previously we'll go find 'em anyway.

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Post by cdmark » 11 September 08 6:52 pm

Webguy wrote:7 people have voted they don't care. I'm really curious as to why you don't care if the quality of caching is going down.
I was one of these voters with my initial response of "I don't care" more in relation to the fear of this topic becoming another flame war - thankfully I don't feel that it has.<p>
I still consider ourselves to be new to this game and don't feel that I have the knowledge or experience to support if I feel that the quality of caches, or caching in general has declined. Our caching adventures have slowed up at present due to our new addition to the family, so if we do get out it is more close to home.<p>
The main areas that we have cached in have been around the Shepparton, Bendigo, Sunbury and Wagga areas. I feel overall that these caches are of high quality. Sure, there was the occasional micro in a tree stump but then I tried to put my self in the hider's shoes and work out why that had decided to bring us to this place - most time we could. <p>
As Team Rubik mentioned in an earlier post, we are a close knit group of cachers over this way and quite happy to support or make suggestions about placement or how a cache could be changed or improved.<p>
One thing I did find disheartening when we placed one our earlier caches was that it was bagged out by a very experienced cacher both in our log book and also in several other log books of similar types that we found over time. I would have preferred if there was any feedback in regards to our cache placement or quality then this should have been discussed with us directly rather than harsh remarks in log books or on the forum.<p> Constructive criticism, or suggestions, may be beneficial in directing those new to the game what 'unofficial standard' is expected of them. We would have appreciated the advice and taken any suggestions on board.
Caching experiences are obviously different in each area and maybe like comparing apples to oranges when looking at rural/regional caches to those in the larger cities. Again, I don't have the experience to make that call.<p>

Perhaps we could set up some sort of cacher exchange program? :D <p> Some of the locals might be happy to hire out Team Rubik, Silver dice and Romax and their clever puzzles and dastardly hides! :twisted: <p>
Cheers, and happy caching.

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Post by Big Matt and Shell » 11 September 08 8:42 pm

I'm in two minds on this one. There are areas that have been discussed on this forum that I choose to avoid if I'm in town and want to do some quality caches. I normally read up about the cache before I go and I know it will take me to somewhere with a good view. <P>Then there are the caches that whilst they may not have the best container or placement, we still find them, don't we? And if you feel strongly about them then leave them alone.<P>All in all they get us out and stop us from being "Norms"!

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Coffee and Cache
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Post by Coffee and Cache » 11 September 08 8:52 pm

Webguy wrote:7 people have voted they don't care. I'm really curious as to why you don't care if the quality of caching is going down.
I suggest they may have just wanted to see the result of the survey, without registering either yes or no. The "I don't know option" may be needed.

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Gwennie1984
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Post by Gwennie1984 » 11 September 08 9:00 pm

Coffee and Cache wrote:
Webguy wrote:7 people have voted they don't care. I'm really curious as to why you don't care if the quality of caching is going down.
I suggest they may have just wanted to see the result of the survey, without registering either yes or no. The "I don't know option" may be needed.
I voted 'dont care' because I dont feel strongly in either direction due to only be a newbie.

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Post by djcache » 12 September 08 1:27 am

This debate has been going, and will go on for years.

I set out when I started caching in a town with no other local cachers. I placed a few with more effort put into them than many I'd found - I was fortunate that I struck up a friendship with Embi early and was encouraged or coached at times which was great. A couple of my very early caches are caches that I'd now rate as mediocre for my own reasons but which are still popular with other cachers.

That increased effort either went into the quality of the cache page, or the cache, or both.

Putting effort into a cache can either be in the construction of the container for maximum camo effect, or doing 500km (or 12000km) to place it.

Cache placing cost vary between stuff all and hundreds of dollars. If I'm placing a cache I've spent $200 on fuel, $10 or 10 hours on the container for, more for the camo, and $20-40 on swaps for, I'm not going to object to a $3-5 hiding fee to GC.com.

One cache I placed which was going to require people to undertake a significant effort to find - maybe even hire a boat - had a brand new $50 fishing reel in it for FTF and the post from the Dad of the kid that found it made it all worthwhile. I love getting good logs. Makes it all worthwhile.

But as a result of what I started, I am proud to say, that area where I no longer reside has a great reputation and the cachers that followed after I started there place sensational caches, both by my own and others estimation. The fact that some other cachers credit me with starting that tradition is somewhat flattering.

People hide what they learn to be the norm.

Apparently in Canberra that unfortunately seems to be nanos near ashtray & rubbish bins, roadside caches against long stretches of double lines, and nanos 12 foot up trees where good size regulars could have been hidden within feet.

There were a few we did where the location took me somewhere I'd not have found otherwise which justified the location and made me smile.

But there were only a few where I felt I'd been wasting my time in a city I wasn't familiar with so some of the others regardless of their size took me somewhere I appreciated.

In Vic I have the luxury of picking and choosing whose caches I do based on their reputation and past experience. I don't cache for numbers so I'm happy to drive past others.

In the ACT I had no such luxury. I knew no-one and had no experience there. After a few disappointing caches I did something I'd never done before. I consulted the recommended caches list on GCA.

However even that yielded caches below the par I'd consider good enough to bother recommending them to others.

BUT. That is based on my opinion of what is good, bad or excellent.

So what I learnt from caching in a new city was that the caching collective sets it's own bar. It may be higher or lower than the bar set by other cachers in other areas.

It probably relates to the coment made by Rob (Team Rubik) earlier.

Maybe the ability to recommend a geographic area or post code district is of some value in recognising great caching, and conversely other areas could be given a thumbs down which might send a message to a collective of cachers that other people caching find their area to be less worthwhile caching in.

This would give the ability to send a message which doesn't target a particular cacher and depersonalises it - unless a particular cacher owns ether all of or a swag of bad caches in a postcode - in which case the message is probably badly needed.

Either way experience breeds the outcome.

Crap will propogate crap.
Great will propogate great.
Big leads to more big, small to more small.
Good camo will breed more good camo.

And puzzles will unfortunately breed puzzles.
(If you don't like puzzles don't go to the ACT.)

After a while a cacher who sticks at it for a long time will let their early hides tainted at the time but enthusiastically placed, lapse into the archives momentarily boosting the overall quality of the game.

DJ

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Post by SecretSquirrel-BJC » 12 September 08 8:06 am

djcache wrote
Apparently in Canberra that unfortunately seems to be nanos near ashtray & rubbish bins, roadside caches against long stretches of double lines, and nanos 12 foot up trees where good size regulars could have been hidden within feet.

In the ACT I had no such luxury. I knew no-one and had no experience there. After a few disappointing caches I did something I'd never done before. I consulted the recommended caches list on GCA.

However even that yielded caches below the par I'd consider good enough to bother recommending them to others.
:shock:

It's not that bad. :evil:

I remember that nano up the tree when I first started caching about 18 months ago - it was exciting and fun to precariously climb a tree at 48 yrs old and remembering how to be a kid again. :D

Yes there is a wide variation but for me they have achieved one thing - got me out of the house and exploring new areas (hills and parks and monuments and interesting historical spots) of Canberra which I had never set foot in. I take the good and the average in my stride, and always try and see what the hider saw. I am so grateful to Canberra cachers for their hides and their creativity.

Caching in other places has shown me a few other clever "camo" cache. I have also seen some average hides in other spots - but again I try and see what the other people see. Other areas aren't better or worse - just different.

Of course with the number of caches here, if you are coming for a visit and only want to track down certain types of caches that might be more difficult to go through the listings and work out what is what.

There is only one cache that I have really thought was worthless. A dead bush with rubbish and litter in it in a Wagga industrial estate.
:roll:

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