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OpenCaching Making Changes With Stealth

Opie snuggles up to new OX Community Coordinator, StealthRT

Opie snuggles up to new OX community co-ordinator StealthRT.

If the latest OpenCaching.com newsletter is to be believed, there are big changes on the way at Garmin’s listing service … But you might have to look really hard for them – because they will be done with Stealth.

Okay, it was a lame joke but seriously it was the best I could come up with under pressure.

The newsletter is a little vague about what those big changes are, however one could assume the biggest change they refer to is the introduction of the site’s new community co-ordinator – StealthRT (aka Anthony Stealth).

Yes, you can really see how lame the joke was now.

According to OX, its new community co-ordinator is “a force at finding caches, has hidden a wealth of creative caches, and is well known as a first-rate event host”. He’s also a mad geocoin buff.

A quick Google search finds Stealth (GC and OX handle: StealthRT) is a gold-level Earthcache Master with 6555 finds and 121 hides – including 35 events – on Geocaching.com. He appears to be a relative newbie to OpenCaching.com, with his first forum comment being a tongue-in-cheek remark about, what was at that stage, a lack of information on the new guy. He likely is a very quiet individual, possibly an introvert. Maybe even a recluse. Hard to tell. I’d bet dollars to donuts, though, that he is really good looking.”

Stealth also recently responded to criticsm that the new community co-ordinator role had been very quiet. I assure you, the new guy just made a strategic choice to come in the doors Brubaker style to get a lay of the land. If the new guy came in and started pontificating about changing the world on day one, then we would have something to worry about.”

No indication yet on quite what impact his appointment will have, although it’s fair to assume events and coins will be in the mix.

The announcement of Stealth as community co-ordinator comes not a moment too soon for the OpenCaching.com community. A recent forum debate asked the question of what to do with the listing site as it appeared “Garmin has abandoned this page, which is really sad, annoying and many other things”.

*Have you got thoughts on what’s next for OX.com? Let us know in the comments below … 
 

9 comments

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  1. Pete

    What’s actually broken at GC.com that OX.com fixes?

    I mean, politics aside, from a cacher’s point of view.

  2. Nick Hudson on Facebook

    They will certainly need to make changes if they are going to regain the trust and respect of a reasonable proportion of the caching community – those who actually have enjoyed and used alternative cache listing sites prior to the release of OX. A large proportion, if not the entirety, of active OX users are those who have up til now used only GS – and it shows in the listings. Or, should I say, cross-listings.
    I don’t know anyone who is against Garmin providing an alternative cache listing site per se. The problem is the way they have gone about it thus far, which is to encourage cross-listing of caches – even giving away free Garmin units to do so! Until and unless they change their tactics, they will struggle to actually provide a true alternative to GS, rather than a re-listing site. Those who actually want to use more than one listing site will probably stick to using GS, TC and OC (and maybe even NC, if the new owners do something to the site).

  3. Nick Hudson on Facebook

    (I know three cachers who have won Oregons from OX. All you had to do was hide five or more caches on the site to be in to win. Of course, the three cachers I speak of did not hide any new caches, but OX loves cross-listed caches so five of them were enough to win the Oregon. I have to admit I was very, very tempted to join in, but ultimately I stuck to my guns. What Garmin is doing (no matter how enticing the offer of a free GPSr might be) is not good for caching as a whole. I am all for there being multiple cache listing sites, and the more the better, but GOC’s cross-listing hell is just wrong….)

  4. Kylie Walker on Facebook

    Agree with you about cross-listing, Nick, but if Garmin’s giveaways were valid here in NZ, I’d definitely have entered. My biggest issue with OX is the fact its forums are not policed better; I’ve never felt so unwelcome as I did in there. But I applaud it hiring more staff; OX seems hideously understaffed and new blood can only improve the site.

  5. Nick Hudson on Facebook

    The OX site is probably easier to use, and from my passing glance, is defnitely better looking than GS. I think that Garmin probably makes the best GPSrs too. If you are new to caching, OX is possibly the best platform to introduce you to the game, but to anyone who has been caching for any amount of time it’s a lame duck, because no-one really wants to see the same old caches on a new site (no matter how pretty or user-friendly). I am all for alternative platforms and listing sites, but OX is the first which genuinely offers nothing new or unique!!! 😮

  6. Tim

    I sure hope he didn’t quit his day job for this one.

  7. Allison Silvers

    @Tim

    The position was listed as a full time position. I would guess he quite his day job.

    I met one of the people who applied for this job a few years ago and have kept in touch with them. They were told by Garmin they didn’t have enough geocaching experience. From I have read about this Stealth person, the only thing he has more experience in is finding and hiding caches. So it appears that Garmin hired quantity over quality. Of course, when they keep holding contests that include crosslisting caches, who is surprised. The job involves having an online presence, but outside of Facebook and GC.com, Stealth doesn’t really seem to have an online presence. There is a twitter account for him, but it looks barely touched. Has he ever been a guest on any major geocaching podcast (beyond calling in a milestone on Podcacher)? Maybe I am biased towards my friend, but when they have done these and more, and I can’t seem to find anything on StealthRT, I am wondering what beyond his numbers they consider “experienced”?

    And big surprise that they can’t even get their numbers right. If you read the announcement on Garmin’s website, it says “As proven by his hundreds of placed caches, he’s skilled at hiding them, too.” He has only 121 cache placements on his GC account, and 35 are events. How does 86 caches equal hundreds? It also reads “He’s very active in the geocaching community, having hosted close to 30 geocaching events in the last 2 years alone.” Shouldn’t that read “over 30 geocaching events”? It is cool that he has hosted so many events. The email OC sent out said he is a first rate event host. He has been regularly hosting a monthly event which is cool. We don’t have one around here. However, with some digging it seems someone else spent almost two years hosting monthly events in the area, then stepped away right before Stealth’s events. So his success does appear to be a result of someone else’s efforts. Between mostly sit/eat/talk events and a collection of flash mob events, I saw only a few events that might meret OC’s statement. I saw one called Interview with the Cachefather that looked like a very fun event to participate in. And his Poker Run event sounded good. But unless I’m missing something, I am not seeing where his “first-rate event host” status is coming from as most of the events could probably be handled by just about anyone.

    I understand his statement about going in “Brubaker style”, but wasn’t he hired in early June? There was a forum post by OC admin in mid June saying they had already hired someone. Not making big changes is one thing, but when you have a community begging for OC admin to respond to them to address their concerns, you could at least quell the rising tide of annoyance by announcing the hire and beginning to touch base with your users so they know they haven’t been forgotten. That’s not big changes. That’s communication. Waiting two months and allowing users to build up more frustration just hurts the site. I wish the guy the best of luck. He has a hard job ahead of him. Garmin’s site has spurred GC.com into finally making some needed changes and they started with some good ideas. But at the moment, I am wondering what he is going to bring that might rescue Garmin’s dying product.

    1. Manville Possum Hunters

      Great post Allison. StealthRT seems like a great person that loves geocaching and collects trackables, and has hosted some events. I’d say he is a well rounded cacher, but what can he do to help OX? I don’t know, why even beat a dead horse? Now we are taking bets that GroundSpeak will ban his account. It’s all geocache politics. But as a geocacher that uses more than one site and I also Waymark, OX has allowed me to expand my geocaching hobby. If the site were managed would help. Some members are still willing to try and use the site, but I’ve seen alot leave. I’ve made a few friends with Garmin employees, and they have been great about sending me swag and Opie pathtags. I’m sure that OX is going to be around for awhile, the site is still beta. LMAO!

    2. Mr.Yuck

      OK, Opie needs to give the guy a little space in that picture. And am I to believe from the article that his real last name is Stealth? That would be incredibly ironic for a Geocacher..

      Allison’s post may seem like sour grapes, but I can realize her frustration, and speaking for a “friend” who was told they didn’t have enough “experience”. Stealth appears to be a very high number cacher with well under 3 years Geocaching experience (but high numbers) as of the date of the hire. Sure, the position was advertised world-wide, but was anyone outside a couple hundred miles of Kansas City really interested, or considered? I know if Garmin world HQ just happened to be located in my area, it would be somewhat controversial if someone relatively new, but with high numbers got the position. I certainly have 3X the “experience”, with 1/3rd the less numbers, myself.

      But enough of that, best of luck to him. I do not believe The Frog will ban him, although it is true that AngryKid was banned for life for starting Terracaching.com way back in late 2004. But back then, that was considered a real threat. I do not believe Groundspeak considers Garmin, or any other alternative website a threat, in this day and age. If he keeps a low profile, I”m sure he’ll be fine.

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