Can't we all just get along? : )
Player A writes:
“[T]he person was probably not a NAZI that wanted people to do everything their way.”
Approver B replies:
“Apparently the rest of the readers of this list feel its OK to call someone a Nazi....”
Well, this has clearly spun out of control.
First off, if we all have to respond to a message unless we agree with 100% of the its contents, I would have to cancel my subscription to this message group because the volume would just be too great and the messages would be quite repetitive. I don’t want to do that. I enjoy this group. MOST of the time.
Of course we all don’t think its okay to call someone a Nazi. That’s ridiculous, and so was calling someone such a name in the first place. There is simply nothing more to be said about that.
Tempers have clearly flared here, and there is simply no reason for it. Personal attacks are being made when they are clearly inappropriate, while at the same time volunteers and staff of Groundspeak are feeling personally attacked from other people when I doubt a personal attack was intended.
Even not being from the Dallas area and being a relative newcomer, I do appreciate 9key’s contribution to the sport. I’ve found at least 1 or 2 of his hides already, and they stick out in my mind as great hunts. I have been eagerly looking forward to finding time for a trip to Dallas to find a bunch more of his that look interesting. I’m sure the approval process is pretty thankless, as no one is particularly thankful when a cache is approved, but I’m sure people constantly get pissed off when they are denied. Who wants that job? I don’t know a thing about Erik, except that I totally disagree with the one decision that I know he made. I’m sure he’s made a bunch of decisions that I would wholeheartedly agree with. So I’m sure he’s not stupid, or a Nazi. He just made a mistake. Sure there is a chance that he’s power hungry, but there is no reason to point that out, even if it is true (which I doubt); it does no good. Lets just go with one decision at a time, and not make blanket statements about folks.
At the same time, I’ve thought more about Mark’s plan, and while it is a lot of work, at least some of the steps need to be done. There is no reason such a project needs to be any type of “seceding” or “rebellion”... we are all stakeholders in this sport. Unlike most other sports or entertainment companies, geocaching relies primarily on its customers / players for its content. Therefore, unlike other companies, geocaching.com should not get to call the shots. Does Jeremy deserve to make a buck with this? Hell yes... he came up with a brilliant idea (at least I assume he came up with it) and deserves compensation for that. For that matter, do the small group of approvers deserve to make a buck with this? Sure... they are doing a thankless job with little reward. I’d like to see them paid; at least they’d get something out of it. But a not for profit organization can handle that. Should this group get to call all of the shots because of their creativity and thankless work approving caches? No way... there are thousands of others out there who have put in just as much creativity and work that deserve to have a say in the sport. A not for profit eventually has got to be the way to go... the participants will be the “owners.” Its goal should not be rip geocaching from its creators’ hands, but to ease the burden and make life easier for all of us within the sport – both the administrators and those trying to participate through cache additions. By forcing more of the administration down to the lower levels, and putting it in more people’s hands, the players feel like they have more of a voice, and the burden is lifted from the sholders of those at the top.
Lets face it, the sport is growing phenomenally fast, and my experience in the business world tells me that when that happens, somebody is going to try and nudge their way in and figure out how to make money out of it. We are already seeing this with Magellan’s Geocaching Treasure Hunt contest. That’s a relatively positive example. Unless some of the prudent steps Mark has outlined are taken, negative acts by those eager to make a buck will follow.
And at the same time, like several have said, it could all be gone tomorrow. If I was Jeremy and got very many of attacks like the one directed at 9key today (and I’m sure he does!) I would be tempted to pull the plug on this project every day. Who wants to subject themselves to that garbage? If he did pull the plug, a lot of people’s hard work would be lost, and it would take a VERY long time to rebuild. What seems like a lot of work now to safeguard is nothing compared to what would have to be done in the future to rebuild.
Sooner or later someone is going to say it, so I’ll do it first – in the immortal words of that great statesman (!!!) Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” Let’s drop the personal attacks and respect and protect the hard work EVERYONE has put into this wonderful game. (Everyone except me, of course... I am still woefully embarrassed by the “You haven’t hidden any caches yet” Message under the “My hidden caches” section of my profile. August is going to be my month! I swear! :-) )
P.S. I think this forum is a great place to discuss these issues, as opposed to the geocaching.com forum. First of all, we’re at too early of a stage for the administrators to pay much attention to this, and second of all, I hate those forums (not geocaching’s specifically, but forum’s in general) because too often they just turn into flame wars and stupid posts. The fact that we here all have to face each other at cache events and cache sites (and even the supermarket!) USUALLY should keep this forum from disintegrating.