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Cumbyrocks: Some Thoughts On OpenCaching(.com) Now

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So OpenCaching.com is one year old. At the time it was released, I was awaiting the arrival of my third child, who was born one month later. It occurred to me earlier today that as they were both born about the same time that there may be some similarities here.

No, I’m not about to sarcastically suggest that they both slobber and poop all the time.

The comparison I was thinking of was that they are both new to the world and still learning to function (walking, talking, when I bribe you with cuddles/swag I get what I want … or not) and whilst they may have come a tremendous way in the last 12 months neither is quite capable of operating at the highest level yet.

So much in the same way that my wee lad can’t drive, write or, most importantly, operate a GPS unit, neither is OpenCaching.com ready to make a serious impact on Geocaching.com.

What it will take to get there and when that might happen, I can’t really say. My guess is the day OpenCaching.com starts to offer something that you can’t get elsewhere, and that geocachers really, really want, is the day people will begin to use the service more. Until then, it’s hard to see how it can have an impact on the market.

In many ways it did score a bit of an own goal setting up OpenCaching.com. Others have expressed dismay that Garmin so seriously encroached on the already well-established opencaching network. This faux pas seems to have turned off the vast majority who were looking for an alternative.

Not cashing in on the power of the company’s brand name seems another mistake, especially in light of the above. I’m sure there was possibly some logic in aiming for the community angle as geocachers are very community minded types. Maybe that stopped it making ‘GarminCaching’, or maybe it didn’t want to suffer any brand damage if it decided to pull the plug. But that would be a powerful caching brand. Of course, it’s never to late to rebrand and relaunch. 😉

Like the vast majority, I suspect, I explored OpenCaching.com, tried out the cache export tool, published (then archived) a cross-listed cache and secured my caching handle. I found the site quite simple, pleasant to the eye, but lacking one important thing … GEOCACHES!

That’s not to say there aren’t a few other things that bug me. I’m not a fan of the site’s peer review system and think it was an unfortunate gimic to appear more community minded. In reality, it may not be as terrible as some of the horror stories make out but I think it’s unnecesary and muddies the waters.

I’m also not a fan of the overwhelming anti-Groundspeak sentiment in its forums. In the real world, I lead and develop communities so know first-hand that no community is perfect, especially those stemming from online forums. There is always that P.E.R.S.O.N who makes the attacks personal, or who is so bloody-minded that they can’t debate in a friendly way. But the OX forums are simply acerbic and, as a result, they make me want to geocache at OpenCaching.com less.

What is most interesting is that OpenCaching.com is happy to take ANY questions from us. I have huge respect for this willingness to front and am looking forward to seeing what the company has to say. The challenge for OpenCaching.com now is to reconnect with us by being honest and open, and avoiding any corporate spin.

6 comments

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  1. Manville Possum Hunters

    As one of the first supporting members of OX I have to agree with you. But that does not keep me from being a OX member. I have taken alot of crap as a peer reviewer. I have complained in the forums and to moderators about the peer review system. If you go back to the beginning of the site they explain how the review system is calculated, which is total BS. Read a little more and see how if your user name contains the word “possum” effects your weighted reviewer vote. I’m not a GroundSpeak hater, but some of TPTB have crossed a line when they blamed me because of a BOT attack that uploaded pornorgraphy on my listings there and NA on all my listings. Their forum members also attacked me as if it were my fault. I’m sure the posts are still in their forums unless they censor and delete posts like the moderator on OX does. I was really po’d when I joined OX. The BOT attack followed me there on my 81 cross listed caches, and I’m glad the site don’t have photo uploads. One difference, OX worked with me quickly and removed the contentent posted by the BOT attack where GroundSpeak left it all up to me to delete the bogus logs. Only when I told them to shove the site and my account up their arrogant asses did they do something about it. I did as instructed, made all my listings PMO after deleting 81 bogus logs, then WHAM! The pervert hit my account again!

    If this blog site can’t handle the truth, do what they do on OpenCaching.com and delete my post.

    Manville Possum Hunters.

    1. kjwx

      MPH: I suggest you raise any issues you have regarding your deleted comments on the OX forum with the correct website. Surely, as a regular user of that site, you would know only moderators can remove somebody else’s posts.

  2. Manville Possum Hunters

    I’m sorry kjwx, looks like you missed the whole point. Maybe I missed the whole purpose of this one sided site. I forgot to bash OX and Garmin, and as a known member of OX you seem to resent me. At first when we entered the Chirp give away contest I thought this site was part of or at least supportive of Garmins new site. Somewhere along the line things must have changed. If all this site is used for is to bash OX it is really a waste of time, I have never saw OX as a threat to any other geocache listing service. They did give us Virtuals long before GroundSpeak gave us Challanges. I enjoy both, and some of my Challanges that are also listed as OX Virtuals are being logged on GS but not OX. We are a small little site on OX with few active members, so what is the big deal? I think because the site is growing and did not fold up and go away like some wanted and expected.

  3. Cumbyrocks

    Hi MPH. It’s great to have someone openly agree with me. As I wrote above the acerbic atmosphere in the forums really puts me off caching on ox. You seem to take a lot of rubbish there – how do you manage to keep coming back time and time again? Don’t all the personal attacks get to you?

    1. Manville Possum Hunters

      Well, that is a good question. I’m not really sure to be honest. Could it be because I have teenagers? I guess I have disagreed with or insulted every member that is a fourms regular and a moderator on the OpenCaching.com site. My skin likely got thick in the GroundSpeak forums. There are some real smart people there too that go out of their way to flame other members. I have not had those problems there lately, and I have been “Stoned” as they say there, enough to modify how I post and to avoid some posts altogether. On OX our threads are quite off topic and derailed, but improving. I enjoy using the OX site because of their Virtual caches. I really enjoy Waymarking, but the site is used very little, so I know a waste of time when I see one. But that still does not keep me from enjoying the site and creating listings. I enjoy history, and I enjoy listing geocaches, waymarks, and virtuals more than I do finding them. It really is not about the numbers to us, unless you count the GSA EarthCache Masters program. My son and I are at Gold level now and only need one find in another State to reach the higest level of Platinum. It’s not a easy task for many.
      I just can’t find one site that is perfect to my GPS fun. I use both Garmin and Magellan GPS units, and I have MapSource, BaseCamp, and Vantage Point. I would like to combine MapSource and Vantage Point, that would be nice. Now that Garmin went it’s own way and Megallan partnered with GroundSpeak, the last update to Vantage Point was major kick ass! I can link directly to GroundSpeak and load my PQ’s directly now without issues. I like OX, and some say it was just launched to be a big middle finger to GroundSpeak. I don’t believe it. I think Chirps and QR codes that only work with their expensive top of the line units were a flop. It’s a cool idea, but not affordable to most geocachers. But then again most new geocachers use smart phones, so there you go.

  4. Michael Kappel

    I want to use OpenCaching.com but because it is some small I have not used it much. I love Geocaching.com but I do feel a little like they “own” the sport. No one company should have so much power so I am going to try to use both OpenCaching.com and Geocaching.com

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