Matt Stum <>
Sent: 6/2/2001 9:26:18 PM

Re: [gpsstash] Geocaching and whats to be!

>The thing I hate about this kinda internet faction crap, is I _always_ find
>myself in the middle of the debate...

:-) From day one, Mike... from day one... :)
And I've admired you for admitting that... always diplomatic, but never
afraid to say what you're thinking. "You're a good man, Charlie Brown."

>I agree with you Matt, that Jeremy has no claim to the word "geocaching",
>but I think he's probably done more for the game than ANY of us, including
>Dave Ulmer... Remember, Dave bailed out after about 5 weeks because I
>wouldn't put his imaginary "cybercaches" on my site...

But you know the difference between now and then? You didn't tell Dave
that he couldn't build his own web page listing his caches... you didn't
threaten to sue him if he infringed upon the name. You didn't tell me that
I couldn't build my distance calculator... you didn't tell the guy in Australia
to take a leap when he created his page (sorry, I forget the name at the
moment)... you never claimed to be the one and only "official" site for
caching. You shared your data freely, and accepted it from others. You
had a true passion for the *activity* rather than just wanting to make a
name for yourself. The "more the merrier" was the philosophy we all had.

What we needed (and still need) was a template for sharing and mirroring
the data on all of the sites. We were still relying on pretty labor-intensive
methods, but it would've been pretty easy to build a common template and
distribute tools in Excel, perl, VBscript, etc. to read and merge the data.
I love brainstorming that sort of thing and would be willing to help. (However,
before I become active again, I want to know that the caching "community"
is willing to stand behind some basic ground rules concerning invalid
locations for caches... which I think is also a major concern of Dave's.)

>Perhaps I am the only person who has pleasant thoughts about BOTH of them...

I've never really talked to him, and I do realize that all of my information
about him is second-hand. I'm reserving my personal judgement based
on the reply I get from him to my e-mail. And even then, I am the type
of person who can disagree with you on issues and still think you're a
pretty swell guy. :) One of my mantras has always been "Argue the
issue, not the person."

>I just take a step back, look at what the objective of the game is... To get
>some coordinates, go find a box...


>Jeremy's taken it beyond that, You can get the stash coordinates. he has
>various email systems setup so you can know when your own cache has been
>logged, we can log online, as well as in the cache.. the site is free.. etc.
>etc. Theres no argument that it's a better site than we had, and we'd end up
>with the same complaints, no matter WHO ran it, if it got this good.....

Oh, sure, you can't please everyone all the time. But, Mike, I can never imagine
you threatening to sue someone because they used the term "geocaching" on
their website.

Again, I'm not arguing that the features on his site aren't great. But what happens
when/if he suddenly disappears? Sure, the sport will continue, but because a lot
of us have been sitting idle because someone else has claimed to be the one and
only official site it will take us quite a long time to rebuild the features (and data!).
There needs to be a "network" in place of many smaller sites, not just one. If we
design the tools correctly, then you could submit your data to any of a number of
sites and it shouldn't take long for it to automatically propagate to the rest of the
participating sites.

To be honest, my vision of GPS-based cache hunting was to go even lower tech
in the future, not higher. For example, you'd subscribe to a newsletter. New
members would receive a mailing (snail mail, perhaps, but e-mail is okay too)
containing a simple list of coords, no text, no descriptions, no names. You have
to find the cache to get that info. And then each month you'd receive another
mailing containing the coords added that month. Simple, mysterious, and even
more rewarding to find the caches. But I do realize that idea has some flaws
as well.

Maybe I should just go back to lurking until I'm feeling less grouchy :)