OCNA Blogger does Washknight’s interrogations

yuckbackThe OpenCaching North America Geocaching blog is the blog for an alternative Geocaching website of course, but it’s no secret that other than guest content, it has always had one Author, known on most Geocaching websites as Mr.Yuck, pictured here with stylish army coat, sweatpants and backpack. We’d tell you more about him, and let you see his face, but all you have to do is read on, as this weeks post is him doing the Washknight interrogation. What exactly is that? Washknight is a Geocaching blogger from the UK, who in late September sent out 20 questions to a few fellow Geocaching bloggers to “interrogate” them. This then went sort of viral world wide, at least by the standards of the small Geocaching blogging community, and has become sort of a challenge. As of the date of this post, 18 other bloggers have taken the challenge, with a few more working on it. We ourselves first heard about it via Dabaere’s Only Googlebot reads this blog, and decided to give it a try.


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After 10+ years, an FTF on a lonely Virtual Cache

1024px-BoldtCastle_aerialRecently, FTF was claimed on a cache in France that sat for over 12 years before being found. However, the finder of that cache declined to be interviewed by this blog, as he is a Groundspeak volunteer reviewer elsewhere in Europe. We  did not know they were a reviewer before contacting them, and can totally understand that. Since we are the blog for an alternative or indie Geocaching website, we can tell you that in our world (Navicache.com, to be exact), FTF was recently claimed on a virtual cache created on August 10th 2004. The cache is on the somewhat famous Island in the foreground. Do you know where that is?

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The HikerJamz Geocaching Talk Show: May 31st, 2014


OCNA Blog note: The OCNA blogger (what’s his name) calls in near the beginning of the show. He still hates the sound of his own voice, but he is getting better at calling into Geocaching podcasts. After he bids farewell, another caller talks to James for most of the rest of the show.

Hikerjamz Geocaching Talk Show is a proud member of the Tech Podcasts Network. We have a new episode every Saturday at 3:00 pm. Eastern (New York) time here on Blog Talk Radio. We will discuss news, events, different types of caching tips and tricks and from time to time we will have a special guest visit our show. Hikerjamz Geocaching Talk Show is sponsored by CacheFace.com which is a dedicated social network for geocachers to connect and share in their caching passion globally and in real time. All Geocachers are welcome to join for free. To learn more about Geocaching, go to geocaching.com/guide and find the Q&A’s on what geocaching is all about. Thank you in advance for listening to our show. Host: Hikerjamz from Ohio. Don’t forget to like us on our show page!



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OCNA Blogger heading out on the road!

It’s a Mule, not an Ass

That really is Mr.Yuck, AKA Jim, the OCNA Blogger, at a photo opportunity available at one of his own caches, which is listed exclusively on the Opencaching North America websites. That would be this cache at the Erie Canal Museum, in Lockport, N.Y. This is what we call a guestbook cache, where you sign the guestbook at a museum (in this case), or just about any tourist attraction you can think of. You could also use it for a trailhead register, or even a summit register at the top of a mountain. The blogger has made the high point of Ohio a guestbook cache on opencaching.us, for example; although technically a summit register, it’s admittedly not too much of a hike for that one! It sits on the grounds of a Technical High School, which was formerly a cold war era Air Force Installation. Anyways, you can read more about this cache type on our OC Wiki, which is not a wiki in the traditional sense, as it’s “closed”, but there is a wealth of information about our website there, including the many unique cache types we offer. Please check it out.

So yes, we’re heading out on the road! We will be attending what is often touted as the World’s 2nd largest Mega Event, the Midwest Geobash, which has made it’s permanent home at the Fulton County Fairgrounds, in Wauseon, Ohio, in the extreme NW part of the State. Geocachers Unlimited is hosting a little “event within the event”, Geocachers Unlimited Meetup @ The Mega II  which is listed on our website, as well as being cross-listed on other alternative Geocaching websites Terracaching.com and GPSgames.org. Check us out if you happen to be at MWGB!

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“Our” Opencaching vs Garmin’s Opencaching, a comparison of sorts


Part two of two, You can find part one here. Since we at the world-wide Opencaching Network, which includes Opencaching North America, are often confused with Garmin’s Opencaching.com, I figured a blog post comparing the two listing services was in order early on in the history of this blog. This blog post is highly influenced by a post fellow OpencachingNA Admin Dudley Grunt made to his local Geocaching forum in July 2012, and he posted links to that post at the forums of all the U.S. based alternative Geocaching websites. I asked him if he wanted to come on and do a guest post, but he was OK with my using it as reference material, and I promised to not to plagiarize it too much!!

 Garmin: Like Groundspeak, the Garmin site is run by a corporation with relatively significant money to  invest in the site.
 OCNA:  The site is funded and run on a fully volunteer basis, essentially, as a not-for-profit entity. We pay for our three domain names and web hosting (at the well-known website host Rackspace.com) out of our pockets.

 Cross Listing:
 Garmin: Strongly encouraged. With a few mouse clicks, you can import thousands of hides or finds. Often runs contests encouraging listing caches on their website. There is no direct way to tell whether or not a cache is cross listed, and no way to filter for unique hides to their site in searches.
 OCNA: Permitted, but unique hides are preferred. The very first page in the cache submission process contains text that informs the hider that we accept cross listings, but prefer unique caches. The cache submission page contains fields to link to sites the cache may be cross listed on. We have a special attribute “OC.US ONLY” available for caches that ARE unique to the site. It is possible to filter searches to show only the unique hides via our “advanced search”.Currently, about 55% of our listings have the “OCUS ONLY” attribute, and we believe approximately 75% of the listings are unique.

 Garmin: None, per se. They have “Peer Reviewing”. The site members vote up or down on caches. The blog author has not participated in this, but from reading their forums, it seems to be often problematic.
 OCNA: Caches reviewed by three site admins (Mr.Yuck, DudleyGrunt, NativTxn), who treat our guidelines AS guidelines and can work with individual caches/cachers to approve things that might not be 100% within the listed guidelines. Caches are generally reviewed & published the same day. Since the blog author, Mr.Yuck, is a newbie admin, he has not reviewed any caches to date.

 Cache Types:
 Garmin: Traditional, Multi, Puzzle, Virtual.
 OCNA: Traditional, Multi, Puzzle, Virtual also. But we also list Moving, Webcam, BIT Caches, Events, MP3, Guest book and Unknown (a catch all).

 Membership Fees:
 Both sites are completely free, with all features available to all users.

 Rating of caches by users:
 Garmin: Finders can give caches a rating based on “Awesomeness”. Garmin uses a sliding scale from 1.0 to 5.0 (in 0.1 increments – that’s 49 possibilities for each).
 OCNA: Cache finders can rate each cache on a 5 point scale and can give a “Recommendation” to 1 out of every 10 caches they find (this is similar to, but predates Groundpeak’s “Favorite Points”).                          

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A Blog begins…

Welcome to the first blog post of the Opencaching North America blog! You can read the introduction about who we are to the right of this post. We are a free, volunteer run and volunteer funded Geocaching listing site. So as you can see, this blog is a standard free Google Blogspot blog. We will eventually host it on our own server, although we have to do some domain name ownership shuffling amongst the Admins first. Then we may move to WordPress, or other such dedicated blogging software.

I am Mr.Yuck, the primary author of the blog. But you can call me Jim (last name undisclosed). I am from the Buffalo, N.Y. area, and have been Geocaching since August, 2003. There are very few pictures on the Internet documenting my existence, but I managed to dig this one up in someone else’s Geocaching log (taken July, 2012); this is me enjoying a 24 ounce can of Labatts Blue after a 1.2 mile hike to a .50 Cal ammo box. That’s the lower Niagara River rapids (i.e. below the Falls) in the background.

I joined Opencaching North America (then Opencaching.us) on the day of it’s official launch, August 18th, 2010. I guess you can say I’ve always been an alternative Geocaching website kind of guy. I blame this on the oldest alternative site, www.navicache.com originally being started in Rochester, N.Y. about 90 miles from where I live. Many of the early 2001-2003 caches in my area were cross-listed on that site, and many of those cache owners knew the owner of that site personally from Geocaching events. So I just went with the flow, and cross-listed my caches there. I later joined www.terracaching.com (founded in late 2004), and www.gpsgames.org (founded in 2002, but didn’t start listing Geocaches until 2005), and of course Opencaching.us when it came along. I should note that I’ve always used www.Geocaching.com and have been a premium member since February, 2004. How can you not use Geocaching.com? I just feel it’s a good thing that there are alternatives out there, and I use them. Oh yeah, another thing,  I’ve been playing Munzee since July 2012, and have captured about 130, and deployed about 20 there. Not too much of a fanatic for that game yet.

About this blog: Ideally, I would like this to be a “Geocaching in the news”, and general interest Geocaching blog, along the lines of the great www.notaboutthenumbers.com blog. I would like people to read it even if they don’t create an account, or visit our website. But we want you to, obviously. I say ideally, because I’d be lying if I didn’t say a decent portion of the posts will be about “us”, or our fellow alternative Geocaching websites. You can expect to see posts about Geocaching in the news (say for example, a major bomb scare incident), interviews with “famous” or interesting Geocachers, as well as “Sporadically featured OpencachingNA members” (as opposed to a regular cacher of the week or month) and “Sporadically featured OpencachingNA caches”, again not a regularly scheduled feature. I will also pursue many subject matter experts to write guest blog posts in their area of expertise. Oh yeah, and I plan on giving stuff away!! Being the blog for a Geocaching listing service, although admittedly a small one, does carry some weight. Once we get some decent readership numbers, I can see sponsors donating prizes to give away, also like the notaboutthenumbers blog.

We are excited to be the first U.S. based alternative Geocaching website to launch their own blog. Thanks for reading, and please come back again!

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