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Terracaching is under new ownership and is trying to make a comeback!


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#1 Snoogans

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:03 PM

A few months ago I wouldn't have cared one way or another if TC came back or went dark. I certainly didn't care when ownership changed hands in January of 2011..... But now I do care and here's why...

I have long been an advocate that there needs to be an alternative cache listing site to geocaching.com. I just had no reason to use one since I more or less abandoned my TC account sometime in 2006. An 800 pound gorilla gets flabby without competition...

Then I looked into Garmin's version of Open Caching and discovered that it exists to do nothing more than duplicate Geocaching.com's listings. I heard some unsubstantiated rumors at GWX that Garmin wanted to acquire Geocaching.com and the founders sent them packing with a counter offer that was at least 100% more than Garmin's offer.... So lo and behold Garmin launches Open Caching.

Interestingly, their database consists mainly of cross listed gc.com caches. They facilitate that by giving you a nifty tool to import all of your caches over to their site. And ply you with offers of a pathtag for every 5 cross listed caches and chances to win a new GPS. Why would a corporation do that? Especially one that has such a good name among GPS enthusiasts. It seems to me that there is at least some truth to the rumor and I'm here to tell you they don't deserve to be #2. I don't know about you guys but I have a huge time investment in geocaching.com, I count a few Groundspeak employees and at least one Founder and more than a truckload of Groundspeak volunteers amongst my personal friends. I can't stand to see what Garmin is doing. It is beneath their good name.

Terracaching came into being in 2004, but it had a self-limiting ideology that it was to somehow maintain higher quality standards than geocaching.com because the founders of TC like so many others didn't like the direction geocaching was evolving and they wanted some features that gc.com either didn't offer or were going to eliminate. I never found or hid a TC that was any better than my GC hides or any other GC for that matter. The "Quality Caching Community" was a bit of a misleading joke to me.

Well it more or less died in many areas including here in Houston for a number of reasons that I won't go into, but Houston and Texas in general had once been a mecca for terracachers.... The top terracachers were mostly from Texas and the top 3 (Geowyz, Sock Puppet, & Skammers) were ALL from Houston.

The important thing is that the site is now in good hands. Local hands to be more precise and that's as good a start as TC needs. More Lefts, Gsguru, and I met with Cash108 (sorry I don't know Cash's wife's cachin' name) and Ag08, the new owners of Terracaching, last Saturday evening. They are looking for input to relaunch a new version of Terracaching with new core values and an attitude adjustment.

I left the meeting with a renewed urge to hide Terracaches and to help rebuild the TC community and database of mostly unique caches to TC rather than cross listed copies of caches already published on geocaching.com like on Garmin's Open Caching website.

Remember, on TC you can hide AND find locationless, virtual, and moving caches and the spaces between the .1 rule on geocaching.com are now up for grabs. My favorite thing to do with TCs was to add a little DOH! factor to my hides when a new TCer discovered that after finding my GC.com caches there were terracaches to be found very close by. I had one TC (micro magnetic key holder) that was 6 feet from a GC TB hotel I had that was larger than a .50 cal ammo can. Only TCers found the nearby cache. GCers weren't looking for a micro. I loved that nuance of the hiding game.

I'm going to try to help the new owners rebuild the TC community. I hope some of you will too. Give it a chance for local spirit if nothing else. The new owners of TC are a welcome addition to our local cachin' continuum.

This is your chance to have a ground floor, grass roots geocaching experience and be part of something that could be much bigger in a few years if the new owners get the formula right. TC will never be #1, but it CAN be a secure #2 if we explore the niche that the rules and ideology over at gc.com have left for an alternative cache listing site to grow in.

PS Dump OX if you are using that site. It's not worth your time and effort.

#2 HoustonControl

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:24 PM

I still have a couple of TC's listed on the site, but they haven't been found in years. I used to like the points system on TC.com and the leader board, etc, but the site never progressed past the rudimentary stage while GC.com was adding all kinds of nifty features.
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#3 Mr Muddy Buddy

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:25 PM

I had gotten into TerraCaching in its infancy, at a time when there was a lull in regular GC.com caches around Houston.
We also got into LetterBoxing during the same time frame.
Somewhere along the way, the GC.com caches in Houston grew exponentially and we have never caught up.
The game has changed so much over the years, that I would be hard pressed to give support to another site. (After a quick glance at opencaching, I saw it was essentially a cross-listing site, so I pretty much lost interest)
As with any startup, the site will need local support and word of mouth to get it going. (and a android/Iphone app wouldn't be bad either)
Good luck to the new owners.
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#4 Eagles1181

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:25 PM

Somebody needs to work on an app, or better yet, work with C:geo so it can check both. Somebody else needs to reach out to Clyde so that the caches can be downloaded into GSAK.

Eagle
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#5 Snoogans

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:48 AM

Somebody needs to work on an app, or better yet, work with C:geo so it can check both. Somebody else needs to reach out to Clyde so that the caches can be downloaded into GSAK.

Eagle


All good suggestions the new owners need to hear. The only one on your list that we discussed was the smartphone apps. They are very aware that they need to get the ball rolling there.

I know nothing about C:geo having only heard the name a few times and not being all that great with new software....

I completely spaced GSAK. That is a great suggestion!

#6 Snoogans

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:13 AM

The game has changed so much over the years, that I would be hard pressed to give support to another site. (After a quick glance at opencaching, I saw it was essentially a cross-listing site, so I pretty much lost interest)


I totally get where you're coming from Stan I was right there with you until I met with the new owners of TC.

And I know Groundspeak/Geocaching.com doesn't need a champion against a blood sucking tick like Garmin's Open Caching, but for me, supporting TC serves two important purposes.

#1 Supporting real, viable competition for an 800 pound gorilla that at times strikes me as an internal mutual admiration society amongst staff and volunteers to the exclusion of the wishes of the vast majority of regular cachers. Don't get me wrong. They deserve to be proud of what they have created and as of last year, Groundspeak was voted the #3 best place to work in Seattle. However they are missing the mark in a couple of key areas with me and if the competition fosters these areas (which I believe TC will after meeting with the owners) things can only get better in both places.

#2 To send Garmin a message that their tactics are beneath contempt and that they are trashing their good name with the very same people who have shoveled millions if not billions into their pockets. I can't express in words how much I detest what Garmin's Open Caching is doing. I won't participate and I will do my best to discourage others from participating by pointing out the truth.

Bonus Reason: I was here during the rise of TC and I witnessed at least some of its downfall. I imagine that it will be a satisfying feeling to help it rise from the ashes to take its rightful place as the viable alternative listing service of choice. It may take several years, but I think it's gonna get FUN!

Bonus Reason #2: TC is now the home team and an underdog to boot. Rooting for an underdog is always fun, but it's special when it's a team from your home town.

Edited by Snoogans, 01 August 2012 - 08:49 AM.


#7 Eagles1181

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:32 AM


Somebody needs to work on an app, or better yet, work with C:geo so it can check both. Somebody else needs to reach out to Clyde so that the caches can be downloaded into GSAK.

Eagle


All good suggestions the new owners need to hear. The only one on your list that we discussed was the smartphone apps. They are very aware that they need to get the ball rolling there.

I know nothing about C:geo having only heard the name a few times and not being all that great with new software....

I completely spaced GSAK. That is a great suggestion!


C:Geo is an opensource app for Android caching, and by FAR the most popular. It uses data stripping from GC.com's website so it provides full cache information without having to utilize the API. It also is FAR more functional that the GC.com android App (and in my opinion is also better than the GC.com Iphone app). Since it is open source, if nothing else somebody could at least start with their code, and adapt it to TC.

Eagle
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#8 Hedge Hopper

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:57 PM

GSAK rocks!!! and it DOES work with the Terracaching queries...I worked with Clyde way back when Terracaching started and we got it working...been using it all these years. It doen't give all the data, but most of it is there.

#9 Mr Muddy Buddy

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 06:24 AM

There were some really good TC's in the early days, but the majority of the ones I found were lackluster in quality. For a site that preached "quality", I don't think that ever truly happened, save for a few.
I never really saw TC as a competitive site to GC. It was just another site to list caches.
I think the downfall of TC came from the lack of interested cachers, to hide and find the caches. (At least locally, there were only a handful of active cachers) It also became over-weighted in puzzle caches, and high terrain caches, both of which limited the player base.
Mark, I remember that you did a lot to promote TC at the beginning, especially with http://www.terracach...cache.cgi?C=LCB.
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#10 HoustonControl

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 07:09 AM

LOL, on some of those logs I saw WAAAAAAAAY more of my fellow cachers than I ever wanted to.

The site was (still is) a bit clunky to navigate -- even finding the link to post a log to a cache takes some searching. My biggest gripe at the time was the inablility to upload pictures to your cache pages or logs. You had to host them on some photo sharing site, then link to them. Lame.

The very best puzzle cache I've ever done was a terracache by Geowyz -- An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. Awesome, awesome, awesome!
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#11 Snoogans

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:51 AM

Mark, I remember that you did a lot to promote TC at the beginning, especially with http://www.terracach...cache.cgi?C=LCB.


Yeah. Cybercat and I were rock stars at the 2005 Texas Challenge. Me for posting the LC and her for the awesome picture she took.

So many people, including Jason who was FTF, told me that was the most fun they ever had logging a find on a cache at the time they did it.

That has always meant a lot to me.

#12 Team Four Paw

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 01:31 PM

Sometimes.. "logging a cache" has a completely different meaning.

img.aspx?txt=Cache+Happy!&uid=0a8c0638-d


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#13 HoustonControl

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 02:08 PM

Sometimes.. "logging a cache" has a completely different meaning.

Let's see, I know I have that picture around here somewhere.... :notme:
img.aspx?txt=What+in+the+Hell?&uid=1dd8c

#14 Snoogans

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 03:35 PM


Sometimes.. "logging a cache" has a completely different meaning.

Let's see, I know I have that picture around here somewhere.... :notme:


So do I.

#15 Team Four Paw

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 05:20 AM


Sometimes.. "logging a cache" has a completely different meaning.

Let's see, I know I have that picture around here somewhere.... :notme:



Sometimes.. "logging a cache" has a completely different meaning.

Let's see, I know I have that picture around here somewhere.... :notme:


So do I.


Every time this comes up you guys say this... and every time I wonder why you guys are saving a naked picture of me... :idiot2:

img.aspx?txt=Cache+Happy!&uid=0a8c0638-d


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#16 HoustonControl

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 08:01 AM

True Bro-mance...

Uh, I mean.... for blackmail purposes only...
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#17 Team Troglodyte

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 08:17 AM

<gripe_mode> If the website continues to perform at its current level of refinement, I think it will be hard to attract new users. Like many, I had a terracaching.com account and eventually drifted away from the site for various reasons. Today I received notification of a new terracache and thought I'd look at it. I was unable to log on, and received a inactive user or bad password response. Thinking it was the password, I tried the password reset, but still received an inactive/bad PW response. Tried to re-register, but was told account is active. OK, I give up. I don't mind spending a fair amount of time hunting caches, but I'm not particularly inclined to spend hours trying to log onto the web site. I see slow going ahead for terracaching if what I encountered is the norm. Oh yes, I wasn't able to spot a way to contact the site administrators for help either (although there may be one somewhere on the site). Sorry, folks at TC, but it looks like you have some refining to do. </gripe_mode>

#18 SockPuppet

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:37 PM



Sometimes.. "logging a cache" has a completely different meaning.

Let's see, I know I have that picture around here somewhere.... :notme:



Sometimes.. "logging a cache" has a completely different meaning.

Let's see, I know I have that picture around here somewhere.... :notme:


So do I.


Every time this comes up you guys say this... and every time I wonder why you guys are saving a naked picture of me... :idiot2:

I think it might have something to do with the large sized ammo can.
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