Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Geocaching, the public secret

On may 18th, the first Lost and Found video was released featuring the 3 founders of the website. In this short video they talk about the founding of the website but also about the future of geocaching. I asked the same question to Brian Roth, one of the founders, in a chat organised by a couple of months ago. The answer was very simple, but not what I expected...

Especially for the geocaching dinosaurs (as early adaptors of the geocaching game are sometimes called), one of the exciting parts of geocaching is to be a member of this secret community searching for hidden tupperware treasures. They want to keep the geocaching community small. In their opinion a lot of new geocachers are trend followers, running for the simple caches out there to be a kilo cacher in no-time and after a few months move on to their next exciting new hobby. I must say, they have a point here. More geocachers equals more noise around the secret hobby causing more attention for cache rippers.

Groundspeak however, is going exactly the other way. For the question of the future of geocaching I was expecting an answer in the area of new features for the current geocaching community, such as Wherigo. Groundspeak however, is not focussing on the current geocaching community, but on increasing the geocaching community by reaching other people outside the current geocaching community. They simply just want more people geocaching. Off course they want to put a smile on peoples faces with their work, like they mention in the video, but also from their commercial point of view it makes sense. More geocachers means more traffic on the website, equals more income from banners and advertising.

So, if you already have problems with the large number of geocachers out there running through the forest hunting for a cache, I wish you luck for the next years. If you are waiting for exciting new developments in geocaching, you might have to wait some more time as they are not coming from groundspeak but, like wherigo, from the GPSr manufacturers. In meantime, I just look for the creativity that a few new geocachers will add to the community and try to keep away from all the rubbish that all the other new geocachers put out there...

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