Opencaching and Garmin
I have been following the development of the opencaching site that is owned by Garmin. There are many people that have posted thoughts about the site, and trying to get information about the site. I was lucky enough a week ago to check the site as everything came online. Hopefully it was for a test, because the site was a mess. Most the links would not work, dead ends were everywhere. I played for about an hour and later in the day it was down.
Why? That is the big question. I read some of a report on garmin finances and it appears that Garmin is hemorrhaging money. Mostly in the hand held and auto division? Their site says that the geocaching site is free, but the purpose behind the site is unknown. They even gave up on their phone, scrapping the plan for more.
My initial thoughts are that the website idea is dumb.
1st Where a few years ago the best geocaching option was Garmin. Now it is not as clear cut. Magellen and Delorme have developed hand helds with the cacher in mind, and arguably are giving Garmin a run for the money.
2nd Are they turning their back on the group that supported them for years? Who knows. This can only create a rift in the organization.
3rd Do we need another site? Other sites are niche sites. Each drawing their own crowd. Navicache, Terracache, opencaching. I do not fully see the reason for jumping to another site. Multiple caches in the same area could cause many issues. How will they deal with publishing caches? Paid people in other countries?
The idea that it is not commercial is a joke. The site is owned and developed by Garmin. Big businesses do not do things for free. Won't Magellen, Delorme jump more on board and form their own groups or throw more support behind GC.com if Garmin tries their own?
How will things play out? In some ways I see it as a good thing. It will push geocaching.com to react a little faster, or react when needed. It is funny that some decried the corporate Groundspeak against the little boys (open, terra, and nava). Now we have The giant corporation, head to head against the smaller funded GC.com, and the others.
How will opencachin.us take it? Seems like a slap in the face. They are taking advantage of people typing opencaching.com instead of opencaching.us, .uk, etc. I would be really annoyed.
What are your thoughts? what position do you take on the growing battle?