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View Full Version : "Email for a hint": Good Idea or Bad?



Gaddiel
09-22-2004, 12:06 PM
Well, I've done some thinking about the "email for a hint" issue that was brought up in another thread. I figured this might deserve it's own thread, so here goes...

Here's the crux, from my viewpoint: For some caches, if the hints were included on the cache page, it would decrease the difficulty rating a notch or two and could change the "caching experience" that the hider intended considerably. It seems, then, that the real question here is whether people prefer to seek a cache with a readily accessible hint (LOWER difficulty rating) or to seek one with NO readily accessible hints (higher difficulty rating).

In my opinion, the "email for a hint" method could be a good compromise. The hint is ACCESSIBLE, but not READILY accessible. I feel that if you're willing to email us AND make a second trip to try to find one of our caches, you have EARNED that hint. In that case, the difficulty rating is not compromised because the cacher is putting forth some extra effort.

For our two caches in this category, I suppose that we could just leave the difficulty rating as it is, provide no hints, and just remove the statement on the cache page about emailing us. That way, if you can't find it and you don't want to bother with emailing us (or visiting our area again), then "NO SOUP FOR YOU!!" (Sorry, couldn't resist a little Seinfeld reference there...)

However, it was our intention to make this a courtesy to the seeker, to make sure that cachers know that they have the option and are welcome to email us if they would like more help. Short of giving out our home phone number, that's about the best we can do. Until I read Geezer's post in the other thread, I never considered that it might be sending the wrong message.

So, what does everyone think? Is this an acceptable way to provide hints, or is is just plain annoying? Are there other ways to do something like this?

southdeltan
09-22-2004, 02:01 PM
I agree with you about having the hint on the page - a hint can drastically change the difficulty of a cache. I understand your reasoning.

However, I also understand the problem it poses for people that cache great distances from home.

I think a possible solution would be to leave the clue blank. In the body of the cache - put this message: "If you would like a hint, email us BEFORE the hunt and we'll send you an encrypted clue".


Of course, this won't help those people who depend on PQ's for spur of the moment caching - but it's a step in the right direction.

sd

The_Griswolds
09-22-2004, 06:20 PM
Requireing an Email for a hint is perfectly acceptable. Another option is to ask them to post a DNF and ask for a hint in the log.

We have two types of caches we hide: easy and challenging. The easy ones get hints, the challenging ones don't (or maybe they get a challenging hint). The easy ones are for people who don't have a lot of time to look or don't have a lot of experience. The challenging ones are (IMO) more fun to hide and more fun to look for. I want the looker to be rewarded for his efforts, and if there is more effort, there is more reward. I believe there are cachers that decrypt the hint before they even leave the house. This circumvents my intention when I hid it.

However, I do not think it is a good idea to leave a hint telling the cacher to email you for a clue. This wastes the cachers time in the field decrypting a useless hint.

rock_hound
09-23-2004, 11:28 AM
I think putting a challenging hint is better than the email for a hint option. I think people who really want to find your cache would email you for a hint whether you state it on the cache page or not. Nonnipoppy is a master at providing challengeing hints. Some of thier hints are just down right frustrating, but I think they add to the fun of the cache.

One thing that urks me is when hiders provide a hint such as "email for a hint" or "log a DNF". And also hints that are a paragraph long. Back when I was using printed cache pages these were especially frustrating. I guess this is a little off topic, so I will stop now.

nonnipoppy
09-29-2004, 02:50 PM
Requireing an Email for a hint is perfectly acceptable. Another option is to ask them to post a DNF and ask for a hint in the log.

We have two types of caches we hide: easy and challenging. The easy ones get hints, the challenging ones don't (or maybe they get a challenging hint). The easy ones are for people who don't have a lot of time to look or don't have a lot of experience. The challenging ones are (IMO) more fun to hide and more fun to look for. I want the looker to be rewarded for his efforts, and if there is more effort, there is more reward. I believe there are cachers that decrypt the hint before they even leave the house. This circumvents my intention when I hid it.

Amen brother Amen




However, I do not think it is a good idea to leave a hint telling the cacher to email you for a clue. This wastes the cachers time in the field decrypting a useless hint.

When we first started caching there was only a few active players in the river valley. Between Golfnutz, HugoNaDie, MooreMonkeys, The_Griswolds and nonnipoppy we began an escalation of cache dificulty that was lots of fun. We have put the "log a DNF for an additional clue" line on several of our caches. Having said that we got very frustrated with some cache hides in the DFW area for the same reason.

One of the great things about this game is that we can all do it as WE choose. There is no need to conform. Homogenization is not required. The diversity of the cache hides is one of the many things we enjoy. Visiting a new area and trying to figure them out is part of the challenge we really dig. We generally read the previous logs to get some feel for the cache and the experience of others. If we do not feel it will be enjoyable we just do not look for that cache.

Some time ago ORR placed Main Street in Russellville. It requires a math book and a scientific calculator. That is not for me. So we have chosen to ignore that cache. This is not an indictment of ORR, just our particular opinion. We have discussed it with him and he talked about Main Street for Dummies. Now that is my kinda cache.

How boring this would be if everyone hid an ammo can under parallel sticks in the woods with a clue to tell you it was under parallel sticks in the woods.

After all the caches we have found we can honestly say there were perhaps two lame caches. Those were virtuals that were state boundary markers. Someone else might have found them exilarating. I for one appreciate anyone placing a cache as they want. Without that there is no game. The last thing I want to do is offend someone about their cache.

So we will take them as we find them and keep looking....poppy

Gaddiel
09-29-2004, 03:40 PM
Thanks so much for the discussion, everyone! While I agree with nonnipoppy that diversity is crucial, I also don't wish to offend or eliminate cachers simply because of some wording of my cache page.

We may end up just removing the "email us for a hint" phrase from our cache pages. Although it wouldn't really solve the problem of the seeker being from out of town (since it wouldn't help them either way), it might solve the problem of them being turned off by the wording. In its place, we could just include the following disclaimer on all of our cache pages: "As with all of our caches, feel free to email us if you have any problems."

LadyEngineer
09-29-2004, 05:36 PM
Just a thought.

Not saying you should, not saying you shouldn't. Your privacy is up to you but you could put your cell number if you felt comfortable enough for those out of towners that made the drive.

Just a thougth.

arkansas_stickerdude
09-29-2004, 08:20 PM
LE do you have your cell number on your cache pages? I would not mind putting my cell number on my cache pages it does not bother me one bit. On the email for hint I thinkl that some of the hints I have seen in Clarksville are great some helped me but some did not. One I can think of that was disabled was "it HINGES on your view" and the cache has a hinge on it to find it. The wife found it as the kids and I looked for it. These clues are great because after you find it ,its like dughhhhh thats what it meant. So I think a clue is better then email for clue. Just my 2 cents.

LadyEngineer
09-30-2004, 05:54 AM
No. I don't have my cell number on any caches pages. I've put clues on all of them. (Except for one cache because I couldn't think of a good clue and I regretted it :( because someone didn't find it and had to go home and email me and then go back. Which they did and I'm greetful that it didn't sour them to my cache. It was suppose to be an easy cache not a challenging one. That cache now has a clue. Now if it had been a micro bison capsule, then that would be different.)

I don't have a problem with people having my number either and you, ASD, know that. :)


It was just a random thought that crossed through my brain and out my fingertips.

GEO
09-30-2004, 09:32 AM
Well my 2 cents,
I love the challenge.The one's with no clues are great if you find them,without a hint.
Or an extra hint.
They are not suppose to be easy.
I see alot of them are like mine if you use your noggin a little it really helps,and I do get the duhhhhhhhhhhh's sometimes to.

It helps to be with others,who may or may not know where they are hidden,and have clues.
This is communication to me.
And what geocaching is about.
Example,ASD,lukywest and I at Clarksville,I went with just what was listed,gps and a few extra things.
ASD had the phone #
so if we ran into a stump we could get help.
I always encourage,maybe I should post on cache pages,
e-mail me when your coming and I will get any communication you may need.
I just last month got my first cell phone(imagine that)have had a bag phone for years but carrying that around would be a hassle.
So now I am up to date in that facet.

I love to cache alone as well.......the challenge thing,you know the guy thing as well,some of the new cache areas are challenging when you do not know the area.This is part of the challenge,if I climb to a top of a mountian and did not find the cache that was there it would make no difference to me and would place it on the list to come back.
I guess with (not finding) so many benchmarks the same falls into geocaching I will just have to go back and look again,no problem.

I guess I should just come out and say it I do not like whiners,you know those who for some reason or another did not enjoy what they have done find fault in something and blame that for the expression of their disatisfaction in others.

I hope that sounds correct I am not pointing at anyone but just expressing my opinoins.

I guess that Old saying holds true.

YOU CAN PLEASE SOME OF THE PEOPLE SOME OF THE TIME,
BUT YOU CAN NOT PLEASE ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME.

DarkKnight
01-02-2005, 06:16 PM
I don't see any problem with email for a clue, unless I am 500 miles from home, and have no idea where to access a pc would be. If thats the case I usually email them up and ask for some kind of hint before I go. Most people if they know you are driving 500 miles will give you some type of hint. As for having a cell number, thats all well and good to, only problem is when I am out in the woods looking for a cache, or even in some of the smaller urban areas around, my cell signal is not worth anyhing......Maybe I need to change carriers :)

DK

MrsGeoark
01-04-2005, 01:09 AM
I don't like to look like I just got off the last train thinking I am in Mufflataville or waiting for signals from space at the bubble ball. But holy smokes, hints can be very personal you be the judge. Sometimes when you reach the end of the line or the pinnacle of a hunt in caching, you might have to call the doctor because you have a friday nite fever. I am of the old school that if you don't succeed go try again. I won't log a DNF if I don't score a homerun, cause I don't like to be kept inside the box for long and then get back out there and cross that bridge, but rest in peace you can call or email if you are wanting to log the cache in your dream field, so hurry hurry, ready, set GO.
Mrs. Geoark

Gaddiel
01-04-2005, 09:18 AM
I don't like to look like I just got off the last train thinking I am in Mufflataville or waiting for signals from space at the bubble ball. But holy smokes, hints can be very personal you be the judge. Sometimes when you reach the end of the line or the pinnacle of a hunt in caching, you might have to call the doctor because you have a friday nite fever. I am of the old school that if you don't succeed go try again. I won't log a DNF if I don't score a homerun, cause I don't like to be kept inside the box for long and then get back out there and cross that bridge, but rest in peace you can call or email if you are wanting to log the cache in your dream field, so hurry hurry, ready, set GO.
Mrs. Geoark

:D :lol: :D :lol:

RuffRidr
01-06-2005, 04:38 PM
I don't like to look like I just got off the last train thinking I am in Mufflataville or waiting for signals from space at the bubble ball. But holy smokes, hints can be very personal you be the judge. Sometimes when you reach the end of the line or the pinnacle of a hunt in caching, you might have to call the doctor because you have a friday nite fever. I am of the old school that if you don't succeed go try again. I won't log a DNF if I don't score a homerun, cause I don't like to be kept inside the box for long and then get back out there and cross that bridge, but rest in peace you can call or email if you are wanting to log the cache in your dream field, so hurry hurry, ready, set GO.
Mrs. Geoark

Nice!

--RuffRidr

nonnipoppy
01-07-2005, 11:06 PM
I don't like to look like I just got off the last train thinking I am in Mufflataville or waiting for signals from space at the bubble ball. But holy smokes, hints can be very personal you be the judge. Sometimes when you reach the end of the line or the pinnacle of a hunt in caching, you might have to call the doctor because you have a friday nite fever. I am of the old school that if you don't succeed go try again. I won't log a DNF if I don't score a homerun, cause I don't like to be kept inside the box for long and then get back out there and cross that bridge, but rest in peace you can call or email if you are wanting to log the cache in your dream field, so hurry hurry, ready, set GO.
Mrs. Geoark


What the heck is she talking about? 8O 8O

Oh wait! We resemble that remark. 8)

If you have ever cached in Clarksville you will understand. If you haven't I ask. Why Not?

Back on topic we have abandoned the email for a clue in favor of using poppy's cell phone number. If no answer ....sorry.

Phantom_491
01-07-2005, 11:32 PM
I don't like to look like I just got off the last train thinking I am in Mufflataville or waiting for signals from space at the bubble ball. But holy smokes, hints can be very personal you be the judge. Sometimes when you reach the end of the line or the pinnacle of a hunt in caching, you might have to call the doctor because you have a friday nite fever. I am of the old school that if you don't succeed go try again. I won't log a DNF if I don't score a homerun, cause I don't like to be kept inside the box for long and then get back out there and cross that bridge, but rest in peace you can call or email if you are wanting to log the cache in your dream field, so hurry hurry, ready, set GO.
Mrs. Geoark

It took me a couple of times reading it through before I understood. :lol: I guess my age or maybe lack of is getting to me. :roll:

demonicangel
03-07-2005, 02:14 AM
With some of the harder caches I pretty much expect to make more than one trip to the cache site to score a find. Two caches stand out in my mind. The Judge and Amalgamation both took many many trips before I finally scored a find (and only then after figuratively being taken by the hand and led to the cache).
However, having said that, I would hate to make a long trip out to a cache site and not score a find if I know it will be a LONG time before I can manage to get out there again, if ever.
I know on my hides if anyone ever has a problem with them, they are more than welcome to give me a call. Most of the local cachers know my number already and I never have a problem with giving it out. I'm open to discuss caching anytime (unless of course I'm so far out in the woods I don't get a signal).
In addition to that, I try to give abstract hints that still require a little thought to figure them out.

nonnipoppy
03-08-2005, 07:51 PM
In addition to that, I try to give abstract hints that still require a little thought to figure them out.

Man is that ever an understatement! 8O .....poppy

demonicangel
03-21-2005, 12:17 AM
In addition to that, I try to give abstract hints that still require a little thought to figure them out.

Man is that ever an understatement! 8O .....poppy

Hehehehe, I was just going back through some of my finds and remembered something. I think your brother-in-law is the current champion of those abstract hints. Remember his simple clue "Could It Be?"
That one had me scratching my head for a long time before I found the cache and only THEN realized what he was talking about. LOL

nonnipoppy
03-21-2005, 07:48 AM
........ I think your brother-in-law is the current champion of those abstract hints.

Well it is the Golfnutz/Demonicangel School of useless cache hints :wink:

RuffRidr
03-21-2005, 08:31 AM
........ I think your brother-in-law is the current champion of those abstract hints.

Well it is the Golfnutz/Demonicangel School of useless cache hints :wink:

Hahah, how about Golfnutz's clue on Pioneer House Micro:

Neil expected to win many awards for this one, but did not. “Larry” did very little to console him.

I still don't get that one even after I had it explained to me.

--RuffRidr

BACKPACKNJACK
03-22-2005, 03:08 PM
Here would be a few One size fits all sort of hints that few could argue with:
"Look in the last place first" :roll:
"finding the log book should help alot" :roll:
Or loosely written in a language like Norwegian or Gaelic to add a little salt in the ......:
"plassert hvor De ser lest"

Seriously though. Attempting helpful but non-spoiler hints for my next cache has made me much more appreciative of those who are good at it. :D