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On going COTM discussions
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jaywc7
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Joined: 13 Sep 2004

Posts: 360

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the vote is a great idea! Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be a big hit. I can't vote myself having never been to either one. Perhapps a future vote of some sort can be organized better! I like the idea of "People's Choice Geocaches"! Very nice... Wink
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sui generis
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Apr 2004

Posts: 608

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Perhapps a future vote of some sort can be organized better


I would think a whole months notice (duration of the actual voting is a month) gives people plenty of time to get out and visit the caches if they so choose. I really don't think this is a question of organization.
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jaywc7
Geocacher


Joined: 13 Sep 2004

Posts: 360

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I really don't think this is a question of organization.


I would tend to say that timing is a big part of organization myself...
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sui generis
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Apr 2004

Posts: 608

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I would tend to say that timing is a big part of organization myself...


What is unorganized about the timing? This is a monthly occurence. There is a deadline for submissions which is sometimes extended if necessary to get more than one nomination. There is then a month in which persons with interest can get out and visit the caches and cast a vote if they wish. I suppose if someone arrives on the scene later in the month when there are only a few days left to vote, it may seem like a rush, however, no worries. They can participate in the next month's vote.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5711

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope this continued thread won't distract people from voting (or maybe SB will move this to a new thread)...

Although I don't agree that timing is an issue (there is a lot of time from when the nominations are announced until when the voting is over), one of the problems with the voting (in my eyes) is that the state is too large. The majority of the caches nominated are outside of my normal caching area. Most probably require a two hour drive to log. I'm guessing that a majority of the caches are in the Twin Cities area (although this is just a guess).

I believe this was brought up in a previous month as well although I don't know which one off the top of my head.
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
The majority of the caches nominated are outside of my normal caching area. Most probably require a two hour drive to log. I'm guessing that a majority of the caches are in the Twin Cities area (although this is just a guess).

The majority of the caches are in fact in the cities but please note that most of the more recent winners were not in the metro:

Lair: http://www.mngca.org/articles.php?strArtType=4&strArtID=80 located in SE MN (1.5+ hours from the cities)

Dark Passage: http://www.mngca.org/articles.php?strArtType=4&strArtID=79 located outside of Duluth (2+ hours from the cities)

Barn Bywater: http://www.mngca.org/articles.php?strArtType=4&strArtID=71 located in Red Wing

Both of the current nominations for COTM are outside the metro (Mantorville and Redwood Falls)

I routinely cache outside of the metro and try and share my experiences with others so that they might be more inclined to step out of the 494/694 Cache Loop and find something they might not have ever known about. Just because some cache isn't going to win a lot of votes does not mean that it wasn't worth the 5 minute writeup for COTM. How are people going to know what others think are great in Duluth, Rochester, Wilmar, Ely, etc when no one from those areas tells them?

I find it disappointing that people refuse to take the 5 minutes to write a two paragraph description of one of the caches they did recently that really took their breath away.

I keep a list on gc.com (using the bookmark feature) of my favorite caches. I add to them as I find ones that I find interesting. It's linked from my profile but you can see it here: http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=59c40eac-d547-47d1-be22-b62a761d7bcd

Sometimes when I travel to an area I wish that I had an idea of one or two great caches to do so that I could base my day around those instead of just stabbing it the area randomly based on my perception of the cache through the cache page and logs.

YMMV.
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sui generis
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Apr 2004

Posts: 608

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
the state is too large. The majority of the caches nominated are outside of my normal caching area.


This does make it somewhat difficult to visit all nominated caches. However, the forums do have discussion forums for 4 regions of the state. Perhaps no one would object if persons from those regions wanted to start their own regional COTM nominations and voting under the regional forums. The regional forums could certainly use the activity. This could also cut down on the litany of posts claiming "I can't vote because I didn't visit them." The cache choices would, in theory, be guaranteed to be closer.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5711

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marsha and Silent Bob wrote:
I routinely cache outside of the metro and try and share my experiences with others so that they might be more inclined to step out of the 494/694 Cache Loop and find something they might not have ever known about. Just because some cache isn't going to win a lot of votes does not mean that it wasn't worth the 5 minute writeup for COTM. How are people going to know what others think are great in Duluth, Rochester, Wilmar, Ely, etc when no one from those areas tells them?


Good point. I always have looked at the COTM as strictly a voting issue - I've missed the fact that there are still some good writeups, regardless of the vote.

Marsha and Silent Bob wrote:
I find it disappointing that people refuse to take the 5 minutes to write a two paragraph description of one of the caches they did recently that really took their breath away.


I don't know if I'm spoiled or what. I feel like I have so many caches that took my breath away - I would have a hard time pinning it down to one or two or even a dozen or two. The one I did today (Watch This Cache) had some spectacular views of Duluth's Lakeside neighborhood and of Lake Superior. It was on a trail system that I never knew existed. I got the opportunity to see 4 deer on the trail at what later turned out to be just feet from the cache site.

I suppose that I could write it up although I don't feel that it is even close to a unique caching experience for me. Like I say, maybe I'm just spoiled... Yet I will try and write one up in the next few months.

Marsha and Silent Bob wrote:
I keep a list on gc.com (using the bookmark feature) of my favorite caches. I add to them as I find ones that I find interesting. It's linked from my profile but you can see it here: http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=59c40eac-d547-47d1-be22-b62a761d7bcd


I forgot that was there. Handy tool!

Pear Head wrote:
I believe this was brought up in a previous month as well although I don't know which one off the top of my head.


It was brought up in solicitations for Feb COTM.
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tomslusher
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Jan 2003

Posts: 182

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I find it disappointing that people refuse to take the 5 minutes to write a two paragraph description of one of the caches they did recently that really took their breath away.


I find it disappointing that myself and several others have expressed alternative ways to do these Cache of the Months and they are not even attempted, let alone discussed by the leader of these boards.

tomslusher
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomslusher wrote:
I find it disappointing that myself and several others have expressed alternative ways to do these Cache of the Months and they are not even attempted, let alone discussed by the leader of these boards.

Well, let's go back a bit to http://www.mngca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=10218#10218

tomslusher wrote:
Personally, I think asking people to submit a few paragraphs telling about their favorite cache would be better than a vote. Then, once a month, you can print one of the submissions. When you start to get low on submissions, ask again for people to submit.

Since this is exactly what COTM is currently I don't see how this particular comment would change anything. I can't get more than three submissions for a month you think I am going to get a surplus of other submissions? I don't. Please prove me wrong.

Then we heard from pogopod here: http://www.mngca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=10792#10792

pogopod wrote:
I think if you want to do a COTM, you should decide what you are looking for. the old system of doing a nice write-up of a cache each month was quite nice. I have a list of those caches and try to get to them if I can. Perhaps a "best cache to find with kids" one month and the next month take nominations for the "cache with the best view", or "cache with the toughest climb". Then those that have an interest in such a cache might be inclined to try to visit it or them. Lord knows it is getting hard to sift through the tons of urban micros (mine included) to find something that is a little different.

So while this month's COTM wasn't altered I did ask for caches with a view and submissions to include pictures of that view. I have two submissions one of which is mine. So this was implemented and nothing changed.

What did I miss during my research of this post that was suggested by you or anyone else tomslusher? Please let me know so that I can consider it for the future.
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sui generis
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Apr 2004

Posts: 608

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I find it disappointing that myself and several others have expressed alternative ways to do these Cache of the Months and they are not even attempted, let alone discussed by the leader of these boards.


What I find disappointing is that many times, the "suggested changes" are unsolicited. Seems a lot of people always want something changed, but expect someone else to do it for them. This is an open forum. If you have an idea, get off your butt, create a topic, and implement it. It will either be well received and work out, or it won't. If you think it would be nice to have a featured paragraph every couple of weeks to a month, then send out a request and start collecting them. (although the curent system with the voting features 2 to 3 caches featured and written up each month instead of just one.)
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tomslusher
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Jan 2003

Posts: 182

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Since this is exactly what COTM is currently I don't see how this particular comment would change anything


No, it's not. We now vote on a cache. I enjoy reading the cache of the month nominees and I will visit a few from those write ups but I along with many others will not vote unless we have visited. That is what I see the problem is with the COTM, about 3 people decide which one is best unless it is a metro cache. And those are, for the most part, caches I will not visit.

Quote:
What I find disappointing is that many times, the "suggested changes" are unsolicited


So unless I am specifically asked for my input, I should keep my mouth shut? Nice way to run an organization.

Quote:
Seems a lot of people always want something changed, but expect someone else to do it for them


I did do this awhile back when the cache of the month was written up by Towelbooth. I also offered a few suggestions if you would go back and look at my past logs, but I guess they were "unsolicited" so they are meaningless.

thanks,

tomslusher
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Dances With Beehives
Geocacher


Joined: 12 Sep 2003

Posts: 671

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe we could add a disclaimer, stating that the votes cast, do not necessarily represent for sure or not whether or not a certain cache is in fact the best cache or not , and that the votes are just for fun.
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towlebooth
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 26 Nov 2002

Posts: 1270

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to publicly thank Silent Bob for taking this over from me. It has allowed me to focus on other site areas while keeping the COTMs rolling.

I feel it is important to the site and the organization to have a COTM, but the mechanics and lack of submissions & voting always felt like a lot of grief with little tangible return. My experience was that a lot of people asked for it before we started it, then a lot of people asked to change from a single "Featured Cache" chosen by me to a voting-system COTM. COTM worked well for a while but it was hard to get submissions and more than 10 or 15 votes. Got a lot of input again during the hiatus asking for it to return.

Before we change again I would ask for a vote between whatever is being asked for now and the traditional COTM.
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomslusher wrote:
No, it's not. We now vote on a cache. I enjoy reading the cache of the month nominees and I will visit a few from those write ups but I along with many others will not vote unless we have visited. That is what I see the problem is with the COTM, about 3 people decide which one is best unless it is a metro cache. And those are, for the most part, caches I will not visit.

If I took the rare submissions I received (most of which would be mine) and posted them to the front page I would be blamed for having a bias. I can't win.

In my original post I mentioned that just because a particular cache doesn't win a vote doesn't mean the cache writeup wasn't worth it. They all get posted publically, I don't see the difference in the way you suggest and the way it is currently carried out.
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