This article was originally published on Cache Up NB. It has been mirrored here for archive purposes only.
In part 2 of our 101 series, we talked about how Cache Up NB has become a lot more than just another geocaching website. From coin programs, to national TV involvement, we’ve really branched out. But we haven’t always been able to get our ideas into action. And in a few instances, those ideas just didn’t translate well on our site.
Here’s some tidbits about projects that Cache Up NB has tried, or was going to try, and they just didn’t work out. I’ve also included projects that were not unsuccessful, but were retired for their own reasons.
If you were around when Cache Up NB had it’s original look and feel, you’d know that we went through a major site overhaul a couple of years ago. The entire look and feel of the site changed and it took a little while to get used to. In the process of doing the overhaul, we also added a new “feature” called Who’s Caching?
The idea was that you could bring up a Google map and see a map of NB and see where geocachers were caching. Anyone who wanted to participate simply had to fill in some extra profile information, and enable Google Latitude on their mobile phone whenever they were caching.
The premise was that people could look on the map, and see where people were actually out in the field caching, and then perhaps opt to go join them. Hence the name “Who’s Caching?”
The problem was that for starters, most people didn’t want to have their location broadcast on the internet. Secondly, it was kind of a pain to turn the functionality on and off so people would tend to try the map out, then disable it permanently.
Turns out our NB community wasn’t ready to share that much about their caching activities.
Cache Up Canada
About a year after Cache Up NB was launched, I had this idea for creating a “Cache Up” network. The idea was that different geocaching associations could join, and through a central website called Cache Up Canada, news from all of the various associations could be posted.
It was intended to allow all of the main associations within our country to share news and stories, along with creating custom content for Cache Up Canada itself.
I reached out to a couple of associations and got a couple of positive responses, but for the most part, most associations ignored my emails. It seemed that, at least at the time, most associations sort of wanted to stay in their own silo and not “associate” with others.
It seemed that the concept of a Cache Up Canada was not going to work. But after meeting RCA777, and talking to John Robb of the OGA, an alternate version of this project surfaced.
Last year (early 2014), I took another approach with this project and started GeoConnect. Instead of a central website, GeoConnect would serve as a partnership program between associations. It would also allow Cache Up NB to release some of the code we had written for our GC integration to others, under the premise that anyone we shared our code with, had to run a special plugin on their website that displayed content from all of the members of GeoConnect.
This project was put on hold in the fall of 2014 due to the amount of work Cache Up NB has to put into the mega. Once the mega is over, work on GeoConnect will continue.
The Cache Up Canada website and project was basically put on permanent hiatus in favour of other projects. I still have the website and basis for it so perhaps someday it may come to fruition. Feel free to check it out here. It has not been updated in a VERY long time.
Cache Up NB T-Shirt Design Contest / Geocoin Development
The two most commonly requested swag items for Cache Up NB have always been a geocoin, and a t-shirt. The geocoin was supposed to move forward in development but got delayed / sidelined when Cache Up NB became involved in several other projects. It was also hindered by the fact that a suitable design for the coin seemed harder to obtain than originally thought. With all of the other Cache Up NB projects on the go, the coin was shelved until time could be made to get it done.
There is a good possibility that a Cache Up NB geocoin may show up at the mega in 2015. Only time will tell.
We also ran a contest on Cache Up NB for t-shirt designs. We asked people to come up with a few concepts for a shirt and there was not much in the way of feedback. The original concept I had come up with for a shirt ended up feeling too much like the MGA shirts that were produced a few years ago.
Over the course of 2014, the idea of making a t-shirt or golf-shirt has been going around but nothing has ever been finalized.
If either of these swag items are something you’d really like to have, let us know.
In June of 2011, this post appeared on our news feed. It asked our readers to compile a list of their favorite caches. The intention behind this article was to collect enough information about caches in our province, to include them in a book that was to be published.
In fact, not long after that, an “interview” PDF was circulated where people could answer a long series of questions about their thoughts on geocaching in our province. I think Tetagoucher was the only one I ended up sending it to. I actually sat down with Rev Slippery and interviewed him for almost two hours asking about various topics in the world of geocaching. I had also tried to arrange interviews with Inspector Gadget and Ma & Pa but was never able to coordinate the timing.
The intent was to take all of the information from the local geocachers, combine it with some interviews, editorial comments and anecdotes, to produce a book about geocaching in NB.
As of today, there are only 18 pages of this book written, none of which contain information that was collected either through the website posting, or the interviews. However a few news articles that have been posted here on Cache Up NB have been actually excerpts from the book.
As time has progressed, the idea for the book has changed considerably and so although the original concept is still a good one, if any book is to be produced, it will likely not be in the same format as was originally intended. It’s an ongoing project but not one I talk about because it’s more personal than Cache Up NB related.
I would love to be able to have something to show folks at the mega, but once again, it’s an ongoing project that may or may not ever materialize.
Other Retired Projects
Aside from the above, the only other things that stick out in my mind that sort of fit the theme of this article, are the Random Geocache and mobile apps.
We announced the retirement of our Android & iOS based mobile apps in June of this year. The apps served mainly as a mobile application that would serve you our news, podcasts, and event listing.
The apps were made using a free online tool called AppMakr. It was a web based interface that allowed you to create mobile applications that could be listed on the various app stores. No coding was really required as it just used RSS feeds to feed the content.
The problem was that AppMakr was bought and the new interface and mobile platform it moved to, sucked. It’s horrid. And it wasn’t free. There was no real ad-based free apps we could create. Further to that, our event listing plugin we had on our website stopped working the way we wanted it to, so events were not updating correctly. The nail in the coffin was really the fact that once Appmakr was bought, we couldn’t ever update or modify our existing app. We’d have to manually code it ourselves. This was not something we wanted to take on so we opted to retire the apps in favor of putting our time into other things. A mobile app may come again sometime, but not anytime soon.
The Random Geocache was a widget that appeared on the right side of the website. It would show the details of a randomly picked cache anywhere within NB. It was retired after we started to get more integrated with GC by doing GC hovers. We never really got a lot of feedback on it but it is something I have considered bringing back as it was kind of neat to see random caches from time to time.
If you made it this far, then it’s worth noting that we are always looking for new ways to make this site, and the things we do, more interesting. A few of the projects listed on this article are ones that have never been publicly announced before. I’ve purposely kept those kinds of things under wraps so that Cache Up NB would never claim to be doing something, and then not deliver on it. For several years, there were certain individuals who would make grandiose promises of doing all of this cool stuff, and then never deliver on it. It subsequently killed their reputation in the geocaching community.
I have always wanted to insure that if Cache Up NB announces we are doing something, that we deliver on it. We might seek feedback, and get ideas from folks, but until we have a fully formulated plan and ready to execute it, we keep it to ourselves.
So there ya have it. A few things we’ve tried and failed at, or just have never had a chance to complete.