Stashnote anonymity

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TwoDrews
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Stashnote anonymity

Post by TwoDrews » 26 November 11 6:16 pm

This has been gnawing at me for a while. So I'd like to have a discussion about stashnotes and their amazing ability of hiding their owner's true identity.

Ever since I got into caching I have been dismayed at the generic stashnote that reads something like this (and I paraphrase):
"...If possible, let us know that you found it, by visiting the web site geocaching.com, or if you want to learn more, or have any comments. If this container needs to be removed for any reason, please let us know. We apologize, and will be happy to move it."

If you are a muggle or landowner the first thing you'll ask yourself is "Who is 'we', why can't they use their real name?", and "Is this a secret society planting boxes of crap all over the countryside?" and "Why are they doing it? Do the cops know about this?" And so on...

IMO it is woefully inadequate in regards to cache owner identification and helpfulness to a muggle. I have come across many caches that have no identification on them at all. So how is a muggle supposed to use the gc.com website to find it if there is no cache name, GC code or CO avatar?

But maybe there is a cache name scrawled with texta on the lid or on the logbook cover which at least gives the muggle or landowner a clue. But then they have to negotiate the "Hide and Seek A Geocache" page at gc.com that to a muggle would look VERY confusing. Especially when the text input fields they need are right down the bottom listed under "Other Search Options". Why do we make it intentionally hard to find the owner's info?

I guess what I'm asking with this post is this... why are most cachers so reluctant to take responsibility for the caches they place? Why are we so reluctant to put even basic contact details on them? Or is it too easy to delegate responsibility to a faceless web site where anonymity reigns and no-one uses their real name?

Well I am not afraid to put my contact details onto my caches. Every one of my caches have the normal stashnote preamble about what they've found, etc. But at the end of the spiel I put the following... "If this container needs to be removed please phone the cache owner Andrew on 0428xxxxxx. I apologise, and it will be removed promptly".

Why, in two years and 269 cache finds have I NEVER seen a similar "owner identified" stashnote?

Comments are very welcome. Am I being dumb for identifying myself so readily, or do you all have a good reason for being anonymous that no-one has shared with me yet?

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blossom*
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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by blossom* » 26 November 11 6:35 pm

I put my mobile phone number on the cache note and always have the GC or GCA code too

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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by Bunya » 26 November 11 6:51 pm

TwoDrews wrote: <snip> So how is a muggle supposed to use the gc.com website to find it if there is no cache name, GC code or CO avatar?
<snip>
However, whatever you do put in the cache, DON'T call the website "gc.com"!
Although we use that shorthand all the time, only the full name geocaching.com will get you to the right website.
The website gc.com does exist, though.
There have been cases of geocoins being issued which referred to "gc.com", leading to some confusion.

Sorry about the sidetrack, but I thought it needed mentioning . .

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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by caughtatwork » 26 November 11 6:52 pm

My name and phone number are on the front of every log book I leave in a cache. (I think).

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TwoDrews
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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by TwoDrews » 26 November 11 6:57 pm

Bunya wrote:Sorry about the sidetrack, but I thought it needed mentioning . .
That's fine Bunya. I was just using it as an abbreviation. I hope everyone reading this knows that...

And in regards to the two posts from blossom and caughtatwork - I'm very happy to stand corrected about rarely seeing identity info on stashnotes! :)

The response so far is 2 out of 3, which ain't bad...

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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by CraigRat » 26 November 11 7:09 pm

I've made a copy of the GCA stash note and put it up on Google docs for others to use, and have put a place for the hider to put their email:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17IO ... Bs8Ac/edit

ALSO:

As someone who handles public queries about caches on private property:
Can you use a stash note referencing Geocaching.com for GC caches and Geocaching.com.au for GCA caches

I get many queries from landowners that say our GCA URL is on either the cache or the note inside only to find the cache is a GC listed cache in most instances!

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CraigRat
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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by CraigRat » 26 November 11 7:16 pm

TwoDrews wrote: The response so far is 2 out of 3, which ain't bad...
I've been VERY bad in the past

I am still guilty of hiding caches without waypoint codes in them as usually they are opportunistic hides

But mine *SHOULD* usually have stash notes in them with my email address at a minimum. Most times. Honest.

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Papa Bear_Left
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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by Papa Bear_Left » 26 November 11 7:29 pm

A good point, and a danger in using pre-packaged, generic stashnotes.

Ours have our email address on them, as a compromise between accountability and privacy.

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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by Laighside Legends » 26 November 11 8:42 pm

I'm guilty of not including my name on stash notes... :( that said is is on the front page of the log book...
When I started hiding I printed off a heap of the generic gc.com ones and laminated them and I've slowly been using them up... (I even put them in my GCA cache :-$ )
But the pile only has one or two left so I will be making some new (better) ones soon!

Can this go on the GCA website? Or if it already is where is it?

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Richary
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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by Richary » 26 November 11 9:02 pm

I should be putting more on mine I guess. Mine are often opportunistic hides so I wouldn't have the code to put on it.

One problem I can see (and it isn't an excuse for not putting contact details on stashnotes) is that mobile phone numbers and email addresses change over time. When I move on the next few months I will be looking for a different ISP so my current email will die.

I'm not sure if there is an answer to that though, unless the caching sites offer an email such as Richary@geocaching.com.au that will redirect to whatever address you currently have registered. Or as a cacher you commit to having something hopefully permanent like a hotmail address that you check occasionally.

Personally I wouldn't want my mobile number out there, as occasionally happens in any hobby group you might inadvertently make an enemy. If someone harrasses you via email you can block them, it's harder if they have your (in my case work) mobile phone number.

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TwoDrews
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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by TwoDrews » 26 November 11 9:23 pm

Richary wrote:I should be putting more on mine I guess. Mine are often opportunistic hides so I wouldn't have the code to put on it. One problem I can see (and it isn't an excuse for not putting contact details on stashnotes) is that mobile phone numbers and email addresses change over time.
I think putting GC codes, GC names or avatar names on a cache as an owner-identifier is useless anyway. Why make the muggle jump thru hoops to find out who owns the thing? Just put your name and a contact phone number and the muggle/landowner can fix it quickly and sensibly.

Richary wrote:Personally I wouldn't want my mobile number out there, as occasionally happens in any hobby group you might inadvertently make an enemy. If someone harrasses you via email you can block them, it's harder if they have your (in my case work) mobile phone number.
I know how that feels. I've raised questions in other geocaching forums that didn't go down well and drew a bit of animosity towards me. But you've got to make a stand against the bullies some time. If they ring, don't answer the phone.

But next time if the phone rings and it's some farmer wondering why you've stuck a lunchbox under a stump down by his back paddock then you'll feel good about making a friend rather than a foe!

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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by covert » 26 November 11 9:51 pm

Never gave it any thought till now. I guess I am getting something for my $30 premium membership, some GC lackey to direct the query to the right person.

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Papa Bear_Left
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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by Papa Bear_Left » 27 November 11 2:22 am

Richary wrote:When I move on the next few months I will be looking for a different ISP so my current email will die.
gmail, etc are great for this reason; just set it up so your mail program gets it from gmail's servers (and leave the mail there as an automatic offsite backup as a bonus!)

Your own domain is another way to make your email address portable. I've had mackereth.net for many years, and so my email address has been constant over many ISP, State and country changes.

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Hoojar
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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by Hoojar » 27 November 11 11:00 am

TwoDrews wrote:Well I am not afraid to put my contact details onto my caches. Every one of my caches have the normal stashnote preamble about what they've found, etc. But at the end of the spiel I put the following... "If this container needs to be removed please phone the cache owner Andrew on 0428xxxxxx. I apologise, and it will be removed promptly".
I'm curious as to why you are so open with a telephone number in a cache, and yet choose to hide it when posting it onto the forum?

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TwoDrews
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Re: Stashnote anonymity

Post by TwoDrews » 27 November 11 11:52 am

Hoojar wrote:I'm curious as to why you are so open with a telephone number in a cache, and yet choose to hide it when posting it onto the forum?
Because only a thousand or so of my fellow cachers will see the phone number in my caches (if they look for it), whereas the forum is available to the whole world. I already get enough unsolicited calls on my home phone, I don't need them on my mobile too.

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