Opencaching - Views from others about a new site
I have been contacting a few of the other helpers and operators of other websites. To get their thoughts on the new opencaching site.
In speaking with DudlyGrunt that spends time working over at the Opencaching.us site. He is a member of almost all of the geocaching websites, a proponent of competition, and open to the idea of a new website.
I asked him his thoughts about them taking up the opencaching name.
Well, that domain does seem to go back to a failed attempt to launch a new site back in 2003, 2 years before opencaching.de started the current OpenCaching community of sites. However, using this name now would seem to only lead to confusion, unless their intent is to work with the current OC community and perhaps serve as some sort of portal. However, as far as I know, they've not been in touch with the other OpenCaching sites, so far.
In trying to get a comments from the operator of opencaching.de he sent the following
At this time we will wait for a dialog between Garmin and the opencaching-network.
I think, it is the right way and not to force more public statements before a dialog has taken place.
He is hopefully awaiting contact between garmin and their sites before making comments.
Navicaching's PC Medic responded with the following
if Garmin is to use that name then I would hope it is just that.... OPEN caching.
Unfortunately I can see a possibility that it will become restricted to Garmin device owners only and even possibly on a subscription only basis, but I have no inside knowledge so am only guessing at this point. It would be a shame were that the case as I think one pay-to play site is enough. If they keep the "Your caches , Your Devices, Your Community" attitude it may be all good.
Both people were intent on the open database idea. So we will see what happens on the front. What I saw on their site made it easy to get your data in, but getting data out may be limited, such as a limited pocket query, or a one by one pick of the caches.
I wish that I had more time to play on the site to answer more questions before they locked everyone out.
As I have mentioned a few times, I am not at all convinced that multiple sites are really a good idea. I am not keen on there being a possibility of four caches all in the same 20' grove of trees, however having some alternatives is a good thing. Competition can spur faster changes and reactions. It can also filter ideas through multiple services. There are also geocachers that get frustrated with reviewers or local players. Multiple sites allow people to go to other sites to play with geocaching if they really enjoy it.
No one really has an idea on how Garmin makes it financially feasible. Of the people that I have talked with most have said that this makes them seriously look at other models. If Garmin does not want to promote Geocaching.com then maybe they should look at other models. More and more companies are making models that are designed with geocaching in mind and not as an afterthought.
I asked a few others what their thoughts are, and send for information from the media contacts from three of four companies (including Garmin). We will see if anyone responds. I will also have more from those that responded in future blogs.
If you have any comments you want to make feel free to post here, or email me with the contact section on the lower left.