CacheCrazy.Com: Creative Cache Pages….do they really make a difference?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Creative Cache Pages….do they really make a difference?

So far on this Blog series we talked about maintaining the swag level to insure a “treasure hunt” and placement location of a geocache.


Today I want to talk about an often overlooked feature of a geocache and that is it’s cache page.

A cache page posted on geocaching.com is a permanent representation of the cache in detail, location, description and of course the coords. What most folks don’t do is jazz up the cache page to add another element to the cache itself. Early on when I just started I read everything! In some cases I was glad I did because there was specific cache information within the cache page text that really helped in nailing the find. At other times they were just amusing to read a little bit about the history or location related information. I knew that I wanted to do something “neat” with my cache pages and those HTML classes I took in college really paid off. I started by trying to tie a theme to the caches. My caches are all dog themes because of our teams caching name, Team Bloodhounded. So when I place a new cache a dog theme goes with it such as Barking Up The Wrong Tree, let Sleeping Dogs Lie and all Dog Go To Heaven just to name a few. When I did my Scooby-Doo where are you series, I used Scooby as the main “dog” in the series and built around it with five mysteries without dog themes such as Lady Of The Lake, and The Mystery Of The Lost Boy Scout Camp. Finally, there were some locations that a dog theme may have not been appropriate but I wanted to capture some of the rich history such as my Bear Creek Village Cache and Grace Chapel/the Lewis Family Cemetery which are part of the “Friends of Team Bloodhounded” series.

With the theme in mind, I wanted to build a story and possibly display some historic facts of that area. In some caches I do a little of fiction along with facts and tie them all together. I love to write, even though I’m not very good at it and my grammar has a lot to be desired, I still love it! So I started to write fictitious stories around these caches that led the seeker to an experience rather than just a cache. Some of these stories were rather long and detailed (see No Pets Allowed )while others were short and sweet (see Giants Despair  ).I also wanted to add some humor to caches to make the seeker laugh even before they even set foot outside the door (see Help Lost Puppy ) to add a little levity to our sport.

The finishing touches for me were to add some cool pics that related to the story and the theme of the cache. I also do some hyperlinks to hints and puzzles, links to alternate websites that are beneficial, coords checkers so that you don’t need to find out that you may have done the puzzle wrong in the field and some fun additions of backgrounds and stuff. It’s a lot of work! I personally enjoy it and it’s a great time consumer for me to keep me busy and productive but, I guess what has me a little bugged is this question; does anyone really read this stuff? I wonder because I do get some comments but few on the cache page itself. Some folks really like the stories and others the cartoons but relatively speaking compared to the overall number of finds, it’s less than 10%. So why do I even do it? Why would I work on perfection of these pages when only a very small percentage of cachers comment? To spend three to four hours on the page alone seems crazy don’t you think? Maybe I’ll just bag it and add simple text to my pages to make it easy and quick.

NOT! I am never going to compromise on what I feel MY caches should be as an experience for the seeker. From the time that the seeker opens my cache page to when the cache itself is open, I have an expectation of myself in hopes that my hides can be an example to new cachers as the standard in the sport. I am on a mission to help shape the future of the sport of geocaching one cache at a time and it all starts with MINE. Never feel that once your cache is published, you are done with it. Obviously maintenance is important to fulfill the experience but you can also go back into your page and edit it. If you would like to add a picture, do it! If you want to access many of the simple HTML tutorials and try your hand at it then go for it! You can add colored text and layouts very easily. Try this link for some quick and easy help.

In the end there is no limit on what you can do. Geocaching is an outlet for expression and if you don’t do any of these things that’s ok too. By placing a cache you have added to the future of the sport. How you want to present it is totally up to you. I am not here to say my way is the right way but only to display what works for me and how I personally approach the presentation. I don’t sleep too much so I may have more time available where another might be pressed just to upload the cache. The bottom line is to keep those caches coming. Never feel that you cannot participate in the hiding portion of the game. After you post your cache and it’s approved, you can always add later like I said before. I am here to help anyone with any part of what I speak of in this post so feel free to ask questions, comment or just send me an email. Together we can set the standard in a specific area that grows as quickly as the game itself.

Your friend in caching,

Bloodhounded

3 comments:

Shell said...

I read most of the caches through my Trimble app on my cell phone, so I can't see the large jpg images or stories you put together for all of them... but the ones I see on my computer, I really enjoy! I think it's really awesome to see a "different" cache page. It shows the owner really cares about their caches!

Once I get a spare minute, I'd like to get something together for my caches. Just have to think of something good! :)

Keep on trucking Kev! You're in it to win it!

Bigal437 said...

Kevin, first let me say that I love your cache pages. They are worth reading. This article itself is well worth it too. You are very infmorative and funny. That cartoon above almost made me lose my breakfast today because I was laughing so hard. I too love to write and that is why I do it. I know that some people don't like to write so that is why their pages are short and sweet. And that is fine too. But I want to publish pages that zing with fun.

I do not know much about HTML, but I am willing to learn. Thanks for offering to help. I'll be seeking it for sure. I guess I never spent much time looking at the cache page instructions, and maybe that was wrong, but I never could figure out how to put a background around the cache page. I also love the idea of your themes. I'll keep that in mind for the future.

I am going to go through and check out the places you linked to and see what they are all about. Who knows, maybe I'll learn something new again today. Thanks for a job well done.

BLOODHOUNDED said...

Hey thanks guys!
First Shell, you are correct, you will not be able to view some of my pages using your ap because I captured all of the contents of the cache page in Microsoft Publisher and then converted it to a jpeg file. I am in the process of converting all of my jpeg pages to html. More and more cachers are going paperless and using ap's. Unfortunately some of the older aps don't read html either but the new ones display it perfectly. I have to change with the times or be left behind and that’s not how I roll!

Rob, try this link - http://online-html-editor.org/
It is a HTML editor and you just type in, insert pics and whatever else you please and it will convert your information to html. Then all you have to do is cut and paste it into your cache page. Please read all of the information about cache page creation in the link I provided in the post above and it will take the mystery away. I choose not to use an html editor because then I'll forget html. The same thing happened with a calculator. I use to be like the Rain Man and could do math right off the top of my head. Now, I use a calculator so much that I forgot some basic head math. Never make the same mistake twice, lol.

Thanks for your comments guys they are important!

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments, you mean a lot to us at CacheCrazy.Com!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...