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Thread: "Email for a hint": Good Idea or Bad?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    1,392

    "Email for a hint": Good Idea or Bad?

    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?
    I get my directions from above.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Rolling Fork, MS
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    111
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Russellville
    Posts
    363
    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.
    "Honey, we're not normal people. We're the Griswolds. "


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Vilonia, Arkansas
    Posts
    85
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Clarksville, AR
    Posts
    563
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Griswolds
    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


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Griswolds
    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
    May those who love us, love us. And those that don't love us, may God turn their hearts; and if he doesn't turn their hearts may he turn their ankle so we may know them by their limp.... An Old Gaelic Blessing

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Conway, AR
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    1,392
    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."
    I get my directions from above.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Cabot, Arkansas
    Posts
    313

    Just a thought.

    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.
    The Pixie with an Attitude!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Fort Smith, AR
    Posts
    846
    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.
    If your not living life on the edge your taking up too much space!!!!!!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Cabot, Arkansas
    Posts
    313

    NO

    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.
    The Pixie with an Attitude!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Flint Rock Hills,MO.
    Posts
    339

    0.02

    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.

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