State of the Blog address

kc8nd7BEiThis blog will be three years old on Sunday, March 13th, 2016. We started out enthusiastically trying to be a general interest news and interview blog, of interest to all Geocachers, whether or not they used, or even gave a hoot about our website. Just trying to get our name out there, so to speak, while hopefully providing some fresh content, and making a few geo-friends in the process (the interviewees themselves). You may have noticed we’ve lost sight of that goal for the past year or so; although the blog is far from abandoned, we’ve only talked about/promoted ourselves. The last interview was in October, 2015, and could easily be considered “self promotion” about some Geocaching events listed on our site by Rob, AKA obxgeek, from Northern Virginia. Our last general interest Geocaching interview was with the then brand new Geocaching Vlogger Geocaching Kaity in late March 2015. We did have a little flurry of guest content (by our standards) on the blog in May and June2015, however.

A very little known fact is the WordPress installation that powers this blog was, in technical terms, “pretty messed up” the last few months! Those issues have been 100% fixed by our new web hosting company, Kickassd.com! They did an outstanding job on our entire site, by the way. Hats off to them; highly recommended. So with that, why don’t we resolve to celebrate our 3rd birthday by “getting back into it a little”, and start aggressively pursuing some guest content, and bring you some Geocaching news and/or interviews (hopefully at least once a month). Because hey, with the It’s Not About The Numbers Blog having gone essentially silent (5 posts since May, 2014), someone has to do it! 🙂

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OCNA 5th Anniversary Pathtag winners announced!

clipart-winnerAll three winners in our 5th Anniversary Pathtag contest have responded and claimed their prizes! We won’t disclose the number, but we had the most entrants of any contest we have ever held on this blog. This was surely due to sharing the blog post on Reddit, more specifically, the /r/geocaching sub-reddit, for those who know what we’re talking about there. The first prize winner of 5 of our Pathtags was Josh AKA radioguy949, a cacher from Idaho Falls, Idaho. The second prize winner of 3 of our Pathtags was  Ron AKA GeohnnyCache, a cacher from St. Clair, Michigan. He is also probably our most famous winner, as he is a Geocaching Vlogger, and you can check out, and subscribe to his YouTube channel here. The third prize winner, of a paltry 2 of our Pathtags was Constance AKA a member of the Jeepguyonline team, a cacher from Hesperia, California. Also, although we didn’t get permission to post his name, City and Geonick, we sent a consolation prize of 1 Pathtag to a “winner” who didn’t respond to the initial email in time according to the rules of the contest, but did respond to the “sorry, too late” email. Aren’t we nice? And we’ll prove it by duplicating this contest, and giving away 10 more to 3 winners in the Spring or early Summer, stay tuned. And remember, you can always buy your own OCNA 5th Anniversary Pathtags, still shown as the latest item for sale at thegeocoinstore.com.

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Win some OpenCaching NA 5th Anniversary Pathtags!

frontAfter many delays, The OpenCaching North America 5th Anniversay Pathtag has finally been manufactured, and is on sale now! They can be purchased in lots of 20 for $20 from TheGeocoinStore.com under a “club fundraiser” program. You’ll note the page for our tag on their website references us receiving $5 for every 20 pack sold. However, that applies only to registered non-profit LLC’s, one of which we are not (although we have, and still are considering, that legal status), so that $5 is payable only in Pathtag cash. The OCNA team will of course use this Pathtag cash to buy more of our own tags, which we will generously distribute to promote the website.

We will give you an example of that generosity right now. How about we give away 10 of them? Not to one person though, lets spread them around a little bit. We will have three separate winners. The 1st prize winner will receive 5 of our Pathtags; the 2nd prize winner will receive 3 of our Pathtags; and the 3rd prize winner will receive a paltry 2 of our Pathtags. These tags feature the OCNA Mascot Hank The Hawk, and were designed by Nancy of Deadliest Cachers, who also is the designer of Hank himself. They also feature the “free” OCNA Pathtag back that anyone can use for their tags (approved by Pathtags.com October, 2105), which, you guessed it, was designed by Nancy. We are very happy they have finally been produced. If you don’t win any, you can always buy some. And remember, people love to trade for Pathtags, and “traders” who don’t even use our site, have bought packs of both this 5th Anniversary tag, and our 1st Edition tag from 2013.

To enter the Pathtag giveaway, fill out the form below with your name (as it says, “Geonick” is fine), and a valid email address. Entering as “Geonick” is indeed funny, but someone did it for one of our contests already, so it would be less funny this time. We will never use your email address, and the Google Document storing all the entries will be deleted after the contest. There are rules, of course, which appear below, in italicized text above the entry form.

Rules: To enter, provide your name and email address in the form below. One entry per person, and one entry per email address. There are no Geographical restrictions, contest is open to anyone in the world. The contest begins upon publication of this blog post on Friday, February 12th, 2016, and ends at 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, February 21st, 2016. Three winners will be chosen at random from the entries received, shortly after the end time of the contest, using the services of the website random.org. Winners will be notified via email, notification being sent from the email address opencachingnorthamerica at gmail.com (be sure to check your spam folders!), and must respond within 48 hours, or the prize will be forfeited, and another winner will be chosen. Once the prize is accepted, you must provide a valid mailing address, and the prize will be sent out via the U.S. Postal Service .


 Contest ended, entry form removed!

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OpenCaching NA 5th Anniversary Pathtags on sale now!

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After several delays, most notably getting our free Pathtag back that anyone can use for their tags up and running (our blog post about that here), The OpenCaching North America 5th Anniversary Pathtags are finally on sale to the general public. You can see them as the most recent item for sale on the main page of Thegeocoinstore.com. Alternatively, here is our Pathtag listing on that site.

Like our OCNA 1st edition Pathtag, released late summer, 2013, our 5th Anniversary tags can be purchased in lots of 20 for $20 from TheGeocoinStore.com under a “club fundraiser” program. You’ll note the listing for our tag on their website references us receiving $5 for every 20 pack sold. However, that applies only to registered non-profit LLC’s, one of which we are not (although we have, and still are considering, that legal status), so that $5 is payable only in Pathtag cash. The OCNA team will of course use this Pathtag cash to buy more of our own tags, which we will generously distribute to promote the website. We owe several tags to lucky players from our August, 2015 sitewide contest, and of course we will be giving some away on this blog. Perhaps even multiple times.

 

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Actual tag arrived after this post

The tag features The OCNA Mascot Hank the Hawk, and was created to commemorate our 5th Anniversary on August 18th, 2015. And yes, we did start the process long before then; we told you there were several delays. We certainly didn’t expect them to not be on sale until early 2016, but what can you do? Like Hank The Hawk himself, the tags were designed by Nancy of The Deadliest Cachers, a Geocacher from Derby, New York. Her cache page graphics are sort of legendary in Western New York. She has also designed several Pathtags for fellow Geocachers, as well as us. Feel free to contact her via her profile on Geocaching.com, as linked above, if you’re interested in her services.

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OCNA bucks the worldwide downward trend in new caches in 2015

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On December 11th, 2014, this blog reported that there was a noticeable decline in new cache placements in most (but not all) Countries in the world in 2014 vs. 2013. This was using Geocaching.com numbers (as given by project-gc.com), because lets face it, they probably have a 95% worldwide market share of Geocaching listings. Well, those numbers were down again in 2015, and that’s from the bad 2014 numbers! Just as an example, the numbers for the United States were:

  • 2013: 211,986 new caches
  • 2014: 161,659 new caches, down 24% from 2013
  • 2015: 149,986 new caches down, 7% from 2014

You can see from our previously linked to blog post from Decemember 2014, that we too at OCNA were feeling this trend, with 2014 being the worst year of our existence, as defined by new cache placements. Well, we decided to buck the trend in 2015, and in a big way, per the bar graph. We had our 3rd best year, with 440 new caches published! And we really blew up in Canada, as 77 of those caches were located there, as opposed to only 4 in 2014.  We attribute this 149% increase to gaining quite a few enthusiastic new users who created a lot of caches, by our standards. Some, but certainly not all of them coming over from Garmin’s opencaching.com site, which was on life support for a couple of years, and finally passed away in August, 2015. We also had our 2nd annual site run contest running the entire month of August, that certainly helped as well. We plan on having a third annual contest in August, 2016, and who knows, maybe more contests.

We thank all our users for helping us to buck the trend. Please help us to do it again in 2016!!

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