tozainamboku, on Jan 12 2008, 04:34 PM, said:
You can argue all you want that putting a warning on the logging page that you must visit a virtual to log would stop armchair cachers. I doubt this.
It won't stop them all. But it might stop 95%, just as requiring a photo seems to stop about 99%. I'm not after perfection, mostly just not having to wade through trash.
The feedback we've received on this thread from three people much closer to that community than you or I, is that most of the armchair cachers think it's OK because they learned caching that way, not because they are trying to perpetrate fraud. The historical perspective which you gave earlier in this thread (that armchair caches were at one time not in violation of the rules and were grandfathered when the rules were clarified) supports this position.
In addition, you will anger a lot of cache owners who feel that it in their right to allow the variation of armchair caches or will insist that caches like Four Windows need to be grandfathered because if the warning applied here you would have no one logging that cache.
OK, make it an owner option, an attribute. Would take significantly more effort to implement, but since it appears (based again on the history that you've provided) that armchair caches were grandfathered at one time, this may be appropriate. Or the message might say that logging a virtual cache without visiting is not allowed unless the cache owner says so in exactly these words ("this is an armchair cache", or "it's OK to log a find without visiting the physical location").
While you shouldn't have to post a "no armchair logs allowed" message on your cache page, it might be a place to start.
And if I owned any virtual caches, that's exactly what I'd do. (Anybody got a virt they want me to adopt?
The Geocaching FAQ
ooga booga, on Jan 12 2008, 12:07 PM, said:
The net result of this, as I see it, is this: That by people bending (if not outright breaking) gc.com's rules, they put at risk an already-dwindling number of virtual caches, either by getting them archived due to owner non-maintenance or by owners who archive them to avoid the hassle.
I'm not sure what rules are broken. There are guidelines on cache owners
"Virtual caches - A cache is actually an existing landmark, such as a tombstone or statue. You have to answer a question from the landmark and let the "cache" owner know as proof that you were there."
While that's the wording I've been saying is too wishy-washy, it is
clear to native English speakers: answering the question is for the purpose of proving that you were there
, not an end in itself.
I personally don't care how someone else wants to count finds.
I don't care as long as I don't have to wade through their logs. Let them say they have found 10,000 virtual caches, I don't care. But when I open a cache page to read some entries from previous visitors, don't make me sift through fifty armchair logs. Don't make me investigate which logs are physical visits to figure out how popular the cache is. (I started this after noticing that Rocky Oaks had suddenly become a great deal more popular than in previous years.) Yeah, I know, I'll have to wade through some TNLNSL entries, but I have seldom seen them take over a cache the way the armchair logs do.
Having an "armchair" attribute would resolve this too, since I could filter those out and never look at them.
However, it is still the owners job to find a verification method that makes it too difficult to armchair log the cache.
Can't do it. Raise the barrier, and anyone who wants to climb it will find a way. If there are armchair cachers determined to defeat the system, they'll find a way. They can share information far more easily than we can track what they are doing.
But the evidence presented here is that most (most)
armchair cachers are not determined to beat the system, just playing a conflicting game. That's why I don't think bulletproof methods are needed, just practical ones.
If we were only talking about making sure new virtuals were written to make it clear that armchair logging is not allowed, that might be sufficient -- but there are no new virtuals, and many virt owners are no longer active in caching. If we could do non-consensual adoptions to save the good virtuals whose owners are not maintaining the web pages, that might be the solution (I'd be glad to take on a few) -- but non-consensual adoptions of grandfathered types are not allowed