I don't think that the P2P is a realistic comparison, either. Having to download software--from a variety of developers--is going to be barrier for a lot of users who would prefer to simply go to a web site, log on, and have the data presented in a consistent manner. I'd hazard to guess that includes most of the geocaching community. Then there is the matter of keeping the data current. A shared song by the Stinkbuttfish is not going to be edited, archived, logged, etc. but geocache pages are. Who hosts the current version of the cache page? How do the log entries get stored? The P2P idea is a completely different beast and not simply another spin on how geocaching data is stored, used, and distributed. It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.
Not that the P2P idea doesn't have merit; there might be some cool things that could be done with it and geocaching. But it is not a substitute for a robust web site. Not at the scale of worldwide geocaching, anyway.
As for developing features, I think that the geocaching community has shown that people can generate ideas, programs, and features without competing against someone else. Anyone who wants to can write a program that will utilize GPX data. The fact that the data comes from Geocaching.com doesn't really seem to foul up that scenario.
It's funny how companies like Microsoft and Groundspeak grow to the point where they become Entities to be Disdained. When people post messages on the Internet to blast Microsoft, do they stop to think that a huge segment of the marketplace and government run on Microsoft products and that without them, we probably would not be sending e-mail?* (Of course we would, but only because brand X would be in place of Microsoft.) It would be like calling your friend in 1972 to bitch about Ma Bell. The fact that there are a million (or so) geocachers in the world to weigh in on the pros and cons of geocaching.com is only possible because Jeremy and Groundspeak have made sound business decisions. If it wasn't Jeremy, it would be someone else--or the game would have died long ago.
*I know, you use Linux...blah, blah, blah. But does your computer store? Your phone company? Your ISP? Your carpal tunnel doctor?
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