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Forums —» General Caching —» General —» Disabled Dilema
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Disabled Dilema
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:14 am    Post subject: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

Today I did a search of caches in my area, I extended this search out to 17 miles from my home co-ordinates, this included caches in Washington State as well. Here is the disturbing trend I found.

42 – caches disabled in British Columbia

1 – cache disabled in Washington State

Some of these caches have been disabled for over a year, some for up to 6 months or longer with no indication that the CO intends to do anything about them. My research did not include caches with several DNF’s which might indicate the cache is missing or at the very least needs attention, this could account for many more caches which should be maintained where again the cache owner is not meeting his/her obligations.

The issue of cache maintenance is not limited to those with large amounts of cache hides, although those tended to be the ones with the most caches disabled.

Three things need to be done here and that is for cache owners to live up to the obligations they assumed when they placed these caches and get out there and maintain them or archive them, one or the other. The second thing is for all cache seekers to post needs archiving logs on these long neglected caches, and thirdly we need to have our reviewer be more proactive in dealing with this issue.

I would like to see BCGA show more leadership in encouraging cache owners to maintain their caches, challenge them to do so, or hey how about a bingo game with all the disabled caches as spaces on the card, the owner who sets things straight first would win the prize…Just a thought.
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_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

It's not a fair comparison. 17 miles from The Valley covers a very urban area, across the states it is quite rural that far east.

If you did the same query from Bellingham(zip 98228 ), as a comparison to say Abbotsford in size, you get 47.

I Think it is comparable.

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_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:50 am    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

I agree that some caches stay disabled a Long time. Heck I'll admit to doing that myself.

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vanislelady



Joined: Jan 20, 2007
Posts: 226
Location: Campbell River

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

I agree with IRLPGUY. There are a fair amount of disabled caches here on the island. After seeing them on my list for the past couple of years I finally put them on my ignore list. I have also emailed our reviewer about them and in some cases posted a "Needs archived"
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loungelions



Joined: Sep 26, 2004
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

Generally if I see a cache that has 10 to 20 DNFs with lots of notes saying to the CO that it needs to be checked or maintained, I look at the CO's page on Geocaching.com and find out that the CO hasn't checked into geocaching.com for 6 months or a year or sometimes more. If that is the case, I will post a "needs archiving" note on the page so that the reviewer can deal with the CO.
Some people don't realize that a "needs maintenance" note only goes to the CO and if they are no longer interested in caching, they most likely will do nothing. If you post a "needs archiving" it goes to the CO and the reviewer, and mtn-man will eventually contact the CO and ask then to fix the cache or archive it. If he gets no response, he will archive it himself.
It takes a while, but at least something happens so the cache area can be cleared for another cache.
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

I agree with Irlpguy completely here. I had the same problem with some of my closest to home caches. I finally started to use the needs archiving tool and it worked. Took quite a while but worked. So now I use the tool when ever I can't get results from the cache owner.
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_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

Sending a general message out , via front page reminder, or such seems easy enough. I don't want to see the 'bcga' spending time chasing down errant owners. (I know that is not being suggested) The executive are volunteers, and did not sign up for that type of job, and I also know very few people from the membership step forward to help.

I'm sure there are a lot of cachers who'd love the chance to place caches in some spots where long disabled caches now sit. It seems a shame to have those spots sitting idle when most likely the cache is no longer even there.

Another method might be to get those caches adopted out.

Really, Groundspeak needs to get on the ball. Some automated system of email reminders, and possibly not renewing accounts if they have caches disabled 90 days. Or automatically archiving them. They can be re-activated by an approver if for some reason the owner wants to get it up and running.

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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

_canadianbacon_ wrote:


Really, Groundspeak needs to get on the ball. Some automated system of email reminders, and possibly not renewing accounts if they have caches disabled 90 days. Or automatically archiving them. They can be re-activated by an approver if for some reason the owner wants to get it up and running.

I have to lean towards this idea as being better. BCGA only has a portion of the BC cachers where as Groundspeak has them all on file. An email or deletion from them would be way more effective.
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Chewy_06



Joined: Sep 27, 2009
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

there are a few around me that have been disabled for a long long time, with CO's out of province or inactive, NA's filed on them & still no apparent action taken.

Individual cachers take on the responsibility to own and maintain their caches when they place them, however, for various reasons many dont. I would expect that when this happens that Groundspeak through the reviewers would action these caches.

What I would surmise is happening is a prioritization of work by these volunteers. I'll wager that someone like mtn-man puts his energy into releasing new caches & probably not so much into addressing the headaches of the old ill-maintained ones. It's human nature to some extent when you get into it. Now, if we presume i'm right, and the reviewers are prioritizing the work and this type of stuff just isnt getting done because the bandwidth doesnt exist - then I would suggest that the root cause lies in a failure at Groundspeak's end to ensure that the reviewing team is staffed appropriately.

We could look at the dramatic rise in caches, cachers and caching activity in this Province over the last few years - with focus on the last half year - during this time, is anyone aware of any additional reviewers put into place for BC beyond mtn-man - or, during that time has his scope of responsibility changed? If not, then he's load is significantly more than it was - and is likely to continue increasing. If nothing changes, what will the impact be on us here? Caches not as well or thoroughly reviewed before release? Less / no review of disabled caches? Lengthening delays in releasing new caches? Non-response / delays in getting opinions / input from reviewers on cache issues? All are logical results.

I'd suggest that the BCGA's position on this could be twofold (the board would have to decide for themselved though, have fun with that folks!):

1. Take a leadership role in educating cache owners in the province about their responsibility to maintain their caches (somehow)
2. Through Groundspeak, highlight the concern about the reviewer's end of this and find out what they've done to ensure that the growth of the sport is reflected in the growth of the reviewing team (if the two havent grown together then we likely have a symptom of a bigger problem that doesnt just impact us here in BC). Asking Groundspeak to identify how they plan to rectify this & what their strategy is to cope with what appears to be almost exponential growth should be valid questions which we should get answers for.

We should be prepared though, to also be willing to throw some names to them as potential resources for the reviewing team in the process (it's harder to say no we cant add resources when there are volunteers already lined up!). I'd certainly be willing to & I suspect many of you would as well.


my nicklel's worth at least.
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SOLONM



Joined: Apr 12, 2008
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

This summer I cached in Idaho, Montana, Washington & Oregon. I was amazed as to how caches were disabled & promptly had a note posted by a reviewer...pretty much it was a polite generic note but the message was clear "get this thing cleared up ASAP or it will be archived" sometimes there were extenuating circumstances......but not one of those caches was in hiatus for more than a month or so.....
I've seen local caches disabled for almost 2 years..I have posted need archived notes to some repeatedly & yet there is nothing posted by the reviewer to the cache page.
All of a sudden someone is granted the "spot" or amazingly adopts the "spot".......despite a year or so of needs archive posts..this isn't right either.
Perhaps we need volunteers to cover that end of it for mtn_man.
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:23 am    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

For whatever reason, there does appear to be a high level of disabled caches in the more populated centres of BC. I applaud the fact that people at least disable the caches. It's better than doing absolutely nothing and leaving an active cache for people to load on their GPS and DNF.

I'm watching this thread closely (along with a few others). Although I do not believe the BCGA should be a policing force. There have been several good ideas on how to tackle the problem.
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Restless10101



Joined: Nov 15, 2009
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

Just my two cents, if you see a cache that has been DNF'd for a long period of time (6 months or so...) and you have found it in the past, go out and take a look for it. If it's not there, post a need archiving. I think id mtn-man see 4 or 5 people that have found it in the past that say it's not there, I think he would archive it.
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gearhedd



Joined: Feb 16, 2007
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

Guilty...... I'm on top of it.

But is this a DILEMA..

I did the same search of 17km and out of 520 caches 45 were disabled
10% of caches... which leaves here it is 90% of caches or 475 caches to do.

This is just a game not life and death... two of the three caches I have disabled are for reasons they may not be there. But neither one has DNF's posted. OR COMPLAINTS neither archive posts or maintaince post or emails.

I agree 90 days is plenty of time. and I myself have left mine far too long.
Sorry!

_____________________________________________________________

On the other side... of cache maintaince. If this is a group that wants this sport to grow for the better.

1) replace wet logbooks
2) close lock and locks properly making sure nothing is between lid
3) trade up or fair
4) watch out for muggles (quite and stealth)
5) hide cache back in its place
6) replace full logbooks
7) if your really nice replace cache

these are a few things that could be done,that cost you little and would help the cache owner out and save them a trip ( gas cost and enviroment savings)

Just MY 2 Cents.... BestRed has her own opinion just ask her.. LOL
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:12 am    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

My intent in starting this Forum was not to identify any specific cacher, or cache, at no time in my posts did I do that, nor should anyone else.

This forum was intended to bring to the attention of those that read the forums, the very large amount of caches that were sitting disabled for long periods of time, and to seek suggestions as to how to best address that situation.

It was and continues to be my opinion that the BCGA through it’s website or other means of communicating with it’s membership could play a part in reducing the amount of caches that sit unattended with some kind of regular reminder, perhaps on a quarterly basis or something along those lines.

If there are other suggestions from other members please put them forward, you might just come up with a solution to helping reduce the problem.

The simple fact that this forum jogged the memory of some of us that might have forgotten about a cache we have disabled, may result in some of those caches being visited and attended to, and that is good.
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Family Extremes



Joined: May 14, 2009
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

I agree that we have a great number of "disabled" caches...
I am certainly not willing to follow into arguments of "why" here -- rather, perhaps it is up to us to assist the reviewer by making the necessary notes as we find these caches in our travels...
By making notes for DNF's, "Needs Maintainance" and even "Needs Archived" (if disabled for long periods of time), we are in effect assisting in the "clean-up" of these many caches.
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MaliBooBoo



Joined: Jan 06, 2007
Posts: 100
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

That's right, post the appropriate note to the cache page and let the reviewer do his job. End of story...
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Bestred



Joined: Jul 08, 2008
Posts: 280
Location: Abbotsford, BC

PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

is feeling good that she only has 2 disabled caches and that is because they are doing work in the area of one of the caches and the road is gone to the other cache.
but I don't want to loose my spots, so instead of archiving them, I will keep them disabled until things are ready again Smile

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ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN...not Kelly's, he has his own - ask him.
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gearhedd



Joined: Feb 16, 2007
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

I did the same search of 17km and out of 520 caches 45 were disabled
10% of caches... which leaves here it is 90% of caches or 475 caches to do.

Checked out some of these disabled caches, and noticed close to half were in the States. So there really is no difference there. As well half of the Canadian ones were only disabled at late Oct - Nov, and I thought we agreed that 90 days was accepted. So really we are talking about 2-4% of caches in my area at least. And yes if we did post Needs Archived I believe they will be by our reviewer.
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Bestred



Joined: Jul 08, 2008
Posts: 280
Location: Abbotsford, BC

PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

gearhedd wrote:
I did the same search of 17km and out of 520 caches 45 were disabled
10% of caches... which leaves here it is 90% of caches or 475 caches to do.

Checked out some of these disabled caches, and noticed close to half were in the States. So there really is no difference there. As well half of the Canadian ones were only disabled at late Oct - Nov, and I thought we agreed that 90 days was accepted. So really we are talking about 2-4% of caches in my area at least. And yes if we did post Needs Archived I believe they will be by our reviewer.


Ok and with the weather turning cold, icy and snow starting to fall in some areas you have to figure that YUP some of these caches are going to be disabled for the winter right?
Has that been looked into as well?

Just a thought Very Happy

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ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN...not Kelly's, he has his own - ask him.
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anakerose



Joined: May 26, 2007
Posts: 107
Location: Kelowna

PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

Around the Okanagan I get labeled as the Cache Police when I post a 'needs archiving' note on caches. I've had 3 cachers send me nasty emails saying to mind my own business after I put a needs archiving note on caches that had been disabled for over a year. One was even disabled for 2.5 years with many needs archiving posts, but I guess slipped through the reviewer.

I can understand if people have busy lives and can't get out to replace or maintain caches for weeks or months (I mean I've done it), but after a year I think caches need to be archived unless there's a specific reason why they have not been re-enabled.

If you can't maintain the cache, then open up the area for others who can. I archived 2 of my caches on the waterfront in Kelowna because I was having issues finding parking with the hospital construction and opened the area for a cacher who lived in the area.
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

anakerose wrote:
Around the Okanagan I get labeled as the Cache Police when I post a 'needs archiving' note on caches. I've had 3 cachers send me nasty emails saying to mind my own business after I put a needs archiving note on caches that had been disabled for over a year. One was even disabled for 2.5 years with many needs archiving posts, but I guess slipped through the reviewer.

I can understand if people have busy lives and can't get out to replace or maintain caches for weeks or months (I mean I've done it), but after a year I think caches need to be archived unless there's a specific reason why they have not been re-enabled.

If you can't maintain the cache, then open up the area for others who can. I archived 2 of my caches on the waterfront in Kelowna because I was having issues finding parking with the hospital construction and opened the area for a cacher who lived in the area.

I applaud you for taking the stand you have and for posting needs archiving logs in spite of the negative emails from the owners. I don’t think the reviewer should hesitate to archive a cache that has been disabled for the length of time you are talking about. We have a problem with our reviewer, this issue of disabled caches does not seem to have any priority with him at all, even when several such logs have been posted, seldom does he seem to initiate any action on the part of the owner. In fairness to our reviewer, perhaps his work load as a volunteer is more than he can deal with himself, if that is the case then additional help should be given him by Groundspeak.

There are cache owners that continue to seek other caches, and place new ones, and yet have caches of their own sitting disabled and unattended for months with no attempt being made to get them enabled again, if there is time to seek and place caches then there is surely time to maintain the ones you have.

I am not interested in having a cache archived for any other reason than seeking to have the cache owner live up to his/her responsibility to maintain their caches in a reasonable time frame. The ability to disable a cache is intended to give the cache owner time to deal with cache issues, I don’t believe it was in any way intended to allow for prolonging the life of a cache in any particular location. Fix the problem or archive the cache, simple really.
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Bestred



Joined: Jul 08, 2008
Posts: 280
Location: Abbotsford, BC

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

IRLPGUY wrote:
The ability to disable a cache is intended to give the cache owner time to deal with cache issues, I don’t believe it was in any way intended to allow for prolonging the life of a cache in any particular location. Fix the problem or archive the cache, simple really.

I would have to disagree with this statement as unfortunately there are times that the city decides to do work in an area where there is a particular cache and it is needed to be disabled to prolong the life of the cache in that particular location until the city is finished it's work/upgrade/etc. and the owner can re-activate the cache.

I also do agree with this as well....

1) replace wet logbooks
2) close lock and locks properly making sure nothing is between lid
3) trade up or fair
4) watch out for muggles (quite and stealth)
5) hide cache back in its place
6) replace full logbooks
7) if your really nice replace cache

I know that it isn't policy, just a nicety and would probably cut down on some of the disabled caches Smile

Another reason for disabled caches would be the time it takes to purchase a new cache for replacement. Sometimes that takes time and not always does it work out to the CO's advantage. It does depend on where the cache container is being purchased from. (as sometimes these are special containers)

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ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN...not Kelly's, he has his own - ask him.
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couloir



Joined: Jan 19, 2008
Posts: 152
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

There are a good number of geocaches in the Kamloops area and we have very few disabled caches. When one needs to be disabled because it has been missing for a long time, Interior Geocachers discuss the cache and then we post a temporarily disable or an Archive note to the site. Because we coordinate our response and we have been reliable, the reviewer also follows up. The key is to be reasonable and supportive to cache hiders. We sometimes post a note offering help with how to adjust coordinates or better hide techniques, etc.
In addition, with a foot of snow on the ground, some cache owners disable their caches for the winter. I have 170 hides and I go through every one of my listings and write a note about finding the cache in winter. In some cases, I state it is findable, in some I post a note about how to find it in winter, and in some I recommend it be left until spring (which is March in this area). Responsible cache owners help cache seekers in every season. For the others, we have to help them learn how to be responsible, and for a few, after making reasonable efforts, we post a note to Archive and in rare cases, contact the reviewrer.
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Mrs_Landsharkz



Joined: Dec 04, 2008
Posts: 295
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

*wishful thinking*

It would help immensely if the BCGA could coordinate a 2 week moratorium on hiding and listing new caches so mtn-man could spend some time going though our 'needs archived' caches. He does go through them when he has time Wink .

Alternatively, instead of hiding a new cache - go and maintain one that is being neglected!

You may see an event along this theme coming up on the island soon - it's been a bone of contention here for a while, but we're tackling it a bit differently!
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

After we find caches, they tend to go off our radar so we don't always notice how many disabled or abandoned caches are in our area. But tourists sure notice.

I'm not sure if the BCGA could or should have a moratorium. It's not the BCGA's place to tell people when they can and cannot hide caches. But the suggestion definitely has merit. Cache maintenance should definitely be a topic at the next BCGA endorsed event.
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Mrs_Landsharkz



Joined: Dec 04, 2008
Posts: 295
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

I was totally teasing about the moratorium, it would have to be self induced for sure Jester .

We are about to have a LOT of international tourists coming by our caches though, so if you know of one that is at a very inviting location that is in tough shape and really seems abandoned, why not go and do a good deed at least to tide it over for a while? People do come back from holidays making general statements like 'NL' or 'Martinique' has a lot of wet, mouldy, rotting, rusted caches full of junk (sorry NL and Martinique to use you as an example). We really don't want people going home saying that BC has yucky caches, and they'll make that comment even if it's just a few that are like that but they are the ones they visit. Think of the caches that are in popular locations that are easy to get to and make a list.

Tell ya' what... Lightbulb if YOU (yes YOU) are willing to go and do real maintenance before the Olympics on a cache that is in rough shape and it is potentially on the 'tourist trail', drop us a line with the GC number and your address and we'd be happy to put a wee cache maintenance kit in the mail to you, to thank you from Landsharkz.ca for doing your bit. It won't cost you anything more than your time (and bus fare/gas?) but you'll be sprucing up the place for our upcoming international caching visitors. Believe me, when the caches look great nobody thinks twice about it, but when they're 'sad' word gets around on the forums back home.

* Kit will include a Rite in the Rain Logbook, some swag and a pencil. If we see that it's in a BC Park, we'll add a couple of BC Parks items too Present .

1. Find an abandoned cache that is likely to see tourist visitors,
2. Post a note on the cache page that you're going to come by and fix it up,
3. Send us the GC number and your mailing address so Robyn can ship your kit(s),
4. Go fix it and post another note to let folks know it's done,
5. Sit back and feel great for doing your part!
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

Can it be our caches? **lol** Yes, I'm kidding.

Seriously, that is a very nice offer. Thank you.
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katcogo



Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 534
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

I just came back from NCR (Ottawa/Gatineau) area and noticed how few disabled caches there were. Looking at logs, the reviewer is right on top of them - if they are not dealt with IN TWO WEEKS they are archived.

They may have a local reviewer as it is necessary to be bilingual (helpful for a cacher too as I found).

Learned a few other things there that makes me glad to be back home . . . like doing a projection on top of a windy mountain at -18 (before wind chill) with gloves off on a cache that claims to be available in winter tho looks like it is on the side of the very snowy cold mountain.
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mtn-man



Joined: Sep 03, 2004
Posts: 8
Location: Ubiquitous

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

I just did one overall sweep in the last 45 days posting warning notices and have archived about 50 or so caches in the last couple of days. This will become a more regular thing. I tend to want cachers to take care of them themselves, but it is obvious that there is a need for proactive measures. Hopefully this will free up some areas for new caches.
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

Well the fact that our overworked and sometimes underappreciated reviewer must be relied upon to prod cache owners to take responsibility for their cache placements is truly an indication that some cache owners seem to think because they have placed a cache they don't have to maintain it and the spot will remain theirs forever. It is not much to expect to have cache owners maintain their own cache placements. If we all did better, the workload for Mtn Man would be lessened considerably, and he would then be able to go caching more often, which would make him a happy Reviewer, now wouldn't that be nice...

Thanks for all your work Mtn Man.
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Chewy_06



Joined: Sep 27, 2009
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

I agree; but, I still think there's a fundamental problem around the quasi-exponential growth we're seeing (cachers in BC and caches) - which i'd expect is dramatically increasing the load on our reviewer - and ultimately if nothing changes, will see him get burnt out (bad) and/or service levels drop for cachers in BC (also bad).

The thing is that the hobby is changing - and has changed dramatically. As larger numbers of new cachers take it up, and learn from other relatively new cachers, the knowledge base, best practice and tribal knowledge gets diluted. The game changes because of this (it's more of an evolution really) - and, i'd also expect that the newer a cacher is, the more work they pose for reviewers (ie to hide their first, caching practice etc).

I would really like to know how Groundspeak addresses this. Are there established ratios of reviewers to cachers / caches that are set and once exceeded will trigger allocation of additional reviewing resources? If not, is it based on the reviewer's own judgement? I'd pose a second set of questions around BC specifically and where we stand now - and what the plans are to address where we'll be in six months.

These are the types of questions that an association like ours is in an ideal position to address with Groundspeak carrying the weight of many cachers - and being within scope of our mandate.
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Cuddlefish



Joined: Oct 20, 2008
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

Chewy_06 wrote:
I agree; but, I still think there's a fundamental problem around the quasi-exponential growth we're seeing (cachers in BC and caches) - which i'd expect is dramatically increasing the load on our reviewer - and ultimately if nothing changes, will see him get burnt out (bad) and/or service levels drop for cachers in BC (also bad).

The thing is that the hobby is changing - and has changed dramatically. As larger numbers of new cachers take it up, and learn from other relatively new cachers, the knowledge base, best practice and tribal knowledge gets diluted. The game changes because of this (it's more of an evolution really) - and, i'd also expect that the newer a cacher is, the more work they pose for reviewers (ie to hide their first, caching practice etc).

I absolutely agree that mtnman is overworked overseeing the caches in the Greater Vancouver area. He has the job of two people, for sure.

However, I dislike the suggestion that new geocachers, in particular, are somehow more work for reviewers. I've seen my fair share of lousy hides from people who should know better, and recently I've seen some great hides from new geocachers. They had gotten appropriate permissions etc. to place their caches where they did.

I placed my first caches when I had probably less than 30 finds under my belt. I researched well prior to placing those caches. My caches were not any more work back then than my most recent hide was after well over 700 finds.
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IRLPGUY



Joined: Mar 01, 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

Cuddlefish wrote:


I absolutely agree that mtnman is overworked overseeing the caches in the Greater Vancouver area. He has the job of two people, for sure.

However, I dislike the suggestion that new geocachers, in particular, are somehow more work for reviewers. I've seen my fair share of lousy hides from people who should know better, and recently I've seen some great hides from new geocachers. They had gotten appropriate permissions etc. to place their caches where they did.

I placed my first caches when I had probably less than 30 finds under my belt. I researched well prior to placing those caches. My caches were not any more work back then than my most recent hide was after well over 700 finds.

It would be interesting to know the ratio of caches here in BC that Mtn Man must review and keep abreast of in comparison to those in Washington State where there are 2 reviewers, there is no doubt he has a very large work load, and does an amazingly good job in spite of that.

I also take exception to suggestions that new cachers are the problem, some of the best caches I have seen recently are being placed by new cachers, those that are not all that great, I am sure are the result of emulating the placements they have seen in the early stages of becoming a geocacher. I find that the majority of disabled caches are those owned by owners who simply won’t take the time to look after their caches, even when they are very nearby. It is also the more seasoned cacher who seems to feel entitlement to the location while not maintaining the cache. The only cache that should go for any long period of time with maintenance issues, are those where the owner simply cannot get to them due to conditions beyond their control, this would certainly include caches in the Interior during winter months. No cache in the lower mainland with the exception of perhaps some on mountaintops should go un-maintained for months on end.

New cachers learn by example, the majority of them do not attend caching101 events, and even those that do attend are met with what I consider a mediocre learning experience at best, in most cases there is no discussion on placing a cache and the requirement of then maintaining your caches

It is we, the more seasoned cachers who need to do better, to set a better example for the new cachers to see and emulate.
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Chewy_06



Joined: Sep 27, 2009
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

I would agree that new cachers aren't "the problem".

The good news, is that's not what I suggested. I was very careful in how I worded my point about new cachers and workload on the reviewer in order to build the logical arguments around the growth of the sport and the dramatically increasing workload. Whether new cachers pose more load or not really doesn't affect the final argument that much - unless someone would like to suggest that newer cachers actually present significantly LESS work for reviewers - which would really surprise me (but it would certainly be a discussion worth having).

The underlying case is still there - our reviewer is up against a huge workload, we think that the reviewing bandwidth in BC might be understaffed compared to other close areas such as WA and, there's not been any communications around what the plans are to deal with the rapid growth in the sport.

Unless there's a dramatic process change that makes it easier for the reviewers to deal with the work, the only other solution is to add horsepower. If we were seeing a weak to moderate growth trend and weren't seeing a plan to address it there would be good reason to be concerned.

However, what we've seen and can expect to continue to see is much more rapid growth. Unless there's plans that we don't know about - and additional reviewers are in development for BC already, we should be *screaming* for it now. Otherwise, we risk burning out mtn-man and by the time a reaction has taken effect, we'll be at the point that we have two overloaded reviewers - and won't be any better off than we are now.
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Chewy_06



Joined: Sep 27, 2009
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:14 am    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

There was one other thing I wanted to mention about the examples of great hides from new cachers. There's an assumption being made there - that may or may not be valid.

If we're saying that new cachers aren't more work from a reviewer's perspective than experienced ones, we also have to say that the final products that were the great hides from these new cachers started that way also (ie they were submitted perfectly including permission from the city of surrey if required?). Considering Surrey's policy isnt on their website - nor this one for that matter (I couldnt find it) I'm not entirely convinced that it's reasonable to compare end-states without knowing what effort went to get there - which we don't have.

If we REALLY care about the load newer cachers present vs seasoned ones, maybe we could ask mtn-man for his take. Otherwise, I'm thinking maybe this has strayed far enough off topic?
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LordEd



Joined: Feb 03, 2008
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

If mtn-man / groundspeak feels there is a a work overload, he/they can appoint a new reviewer.
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Cuddlefish



Joined: Oct 20, 2008
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

I'm sorry I misunderstood, Chewy when you wrote "i'd also expect that the newer a cacher is, the more work they pose for reviewers (ie to hide their first, caching practice etc)". I thought you were suggesting that newer cachers were more needy because they put out caches that needed greater oversight.

If you were meaning that the numbers of cachers out there is increasing and therefore the workload of the reviewers is increasing correspondingly, I totally agree.
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Bestred



Joined: Jul 08, 2008
Posts: 280
Location: Abbotsford, BC

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

IRLPGUY wrote:
It is also the more seasoned cacher who seems to feel entitlement to the location while not maintaining the cache. The only cache that should go for any long period of time with maintenance issues, are those where the owner simply cannot get to them due to conditions beyond their control, this would certainly include caches in the Interior during winter months. No cache in the lower mainland with the exception of perhaps some on mountaintops should go un-maintained for months on end.

New cachers learn by example, the majority of them do not attend caching101 events, and even those that do attend are met with what I consider a mediocre learning experience at best, in most cases there is no discussion on placing a cache and the requirement of then maintaining your caches


I have to disagree with both these statements...again I will post that sometimes the city is doing work in an area of a geocacher's placed cache and it is not accessible...therefore to preserve the cache placement it must be disabled. I will admit, I have one such cache, but now the city is finished and I will be dealing with this cache, BUT, I have/am recovering from surgery last month.

Sometimes, family/personal/illness issues get in the way of caching to. Caching is not someone's life, it is a hobby. If they need to disable a cache to preserve the placement of that particular cache due to illness issues, family issues, personal issues, city developments, then I 100% agree that they should be allowed to do so.

I personally feel that cachers who want to force caches to be archived because they are disabled for a length of time, due to those issues, are doing so only to open up the area for themselves. What happened to the Geocacher's Creed...show respect towards other cachers? Ok, so a cache is disabled and it bothers some cachers, totally understandable. Though this is not the end of caching as we know it, and who is to say this cache is being un-maintained? Truly if someone doesn't answer an email as to why it is disabled, well they may not want to say. It really may not be anyone's business. Who knows?

As for new cachers NOT attending 101's, again I disagree. The Geocaching 101 event that was held here in Abbotsford, showed that there were 63% more new cachers at that event then there were regular cachers. I have the list of all who attended in front of me. Placing caches are highly discussed at these events. Searching for caches as well. Having been to now 3 different Geocaching 101 event's, I know that these areas are discussed with great importance, as would many of those cachers whom have attended these events.

As for our reviewer being under a great workload...I think Mtn-man has done a wonderful job with everything that has been thrown at him, which I am sure is A LOT. If he found himself under great stress, I am sure he would say so to ground speak, and request help. I am not sure it is up to us to request more reviewers, as I believe they just added more recently did they not?

_________________
ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN...not Kelly's, he has his own - ask him.
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curnew



Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

Bestred wrote:
I think Mtn-man has done a wonderful job

here here!
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doingitoldschool



Joined: Jan 07, 2008
Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Disabled Dilema Reply with quote

mtn-man does a fine job, and I do appreciate him, but I do think that groundspeak should give us another reviewer, preferably in our own time zone. I think we're a big enough and diverse enough province to have 2 reviewers.
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