Friday night, Cachedrone made an interesting post in the Groundspeak Forums – “Testing in Ontario: Organized Group Hunts“.
The text of his post reads:
Recently the reviewers of Ontario approached Groundspeak with a request. We asked if Ontario could be used for a two month period to test the idea of allowing an Event to be listed for the sole purpose of group caching (organized cache hunt). We are pleased to announce that they agreed. For the months of November and December it will be possible to create an Event Cache to simply go geocaching. We are very interested to see what the community creates during this period and how these events are received. This test is exclusive to Ontario and will end on the 31st of December. We may have to limit the number of group hunt events that are listed in any given area. With the exception of allowing group hunts, all other guidelines still apply to the review process, like the 14 days advance notice. It should go without saying that each of these events, the logs posted on them and any forum feedback will be tracked for discussion with Groundspeak at the end of the test. This should be viewed as a one-time opportunity to explore a new way to be social with fellow geocachers on the trail and not an indicator or future developments. We look forward to this study and your feedback.
If you have questions about this you can reply within this forum thread or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
What does this mean, exactly? Well, it means that for two months – November and December 2011 the rules regarding event caches are being tweaked in Ontario, Canada as an experiment. Normally a geocaching event must be a social activity that is more than just a group of people going geocaching together. This is to prevent people from listing an event every time they go caching with friends (overwhelming the event listings).
Now, these organized cache hunts can be listed as an event. That means activities like the Ottawa GeoMob’s weekly breakfast, or the BFL Crew’s friday night get togethers could conceivably be listed as events. More likely, gatherings like the massive GHMGC organized cache hunts that occur monthly will be listed as a monthly get together.
It will be interesting to see how this turns out. It could mean a new social dynamic with regular caching events bringing more cachers together. Or it could mean losing sight of the big events like Spring Fling / GHAGAFAP, as the events are drowned out by a sea of “Lamp Post Micro Events”
Is this another quantity over quality concession from Groundspeak – power trails for event cachers? Time will tell – at the end of the day, how Ontario geocachers respond to this experiment could define the future of events for everyone.
Events still need to be listed 14 days in advance, and the reviewers will be limiting the number of events in the same area if necessary. Events that are posted will be analyzed by Groundspeak. The experiment ends December 31,2011.