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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:25 pm 
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Is there anybody in there? This website is dead. The President has not posted anything for over two months. The CAM cache web page is not here. The teaser map is described as diabolical and was of no use at all last year. It was supposed to be of use for those of us that make weekend trips so we can plan overnight trips. The counter just restarted today (3/4/19) after having all zeros for weeks. No excitement or interesting things here. Is everybody sucked into the stupidy of facebook and being a twit on twitter to abandon the official web page of the MGS? I have checked this website at least three times a week since I started caching and it might as well be deleted at this point in time. No activity at all.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:36 pm 
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I'm here. I noticed this morning that I forgot to update the counter after the last event so I updated it earlier today.

You can ask last years and this years officers, I try to keep things up-to-date on the web site and make the web site our focus not Facebook. That is why most of the Facebook posts are links to the forum or geocaching.com. And also why the forum is the official source of info for CAM and other MGS events. But we get the most interaction on Facebook. I have posted several times but not on the main page, my error, I guess. It is also the busiest time of the year for the officers right now.

There are a couple of diehards that check-in here regularly. I have gotten a couple of response to my personal posts.

But in the end, people will be here if they want to be and there is no amount of forcing them that will make anybody participate.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:37 pm 
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You get the most interaction on Facebook because facebook wants everybody there to gather as much information about them as possible to sell for a profit. The only reason everyone abandoned the MGS website is because stuff is posted on facebook first and on the MGS website, maybe, never. I hear about things that are NEVER posted on OUR Website that are only posted on facebook. I did not think that is what we were as a group. I thought that the mdgps.org site was where we conducted official business and conversation. NOT FACEBOOK!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:47 pm 
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You won't get a disagreement about Facebook from me. That is why most of what I post on Facebook is links to the forum. We keep the events calendar up to date too. That itself is a near daily endeavor.

Whether it is an event or something else like the CAM FAQ (which is what i should be working on), all of our main communications start with the web page. Can't put a link in Facebook, a tweet or post on Instagram unless it is on the website first.

But we are also fighting a rising tide. Facebook is well integrated in peoples lives and for the reasons you said and has many features to make it more attractive than our website.

MGS itself is a struggle to keep alive. We have to use every channel and medium possible to get and keep people involved just to stay relevant.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:05 pm 
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MGS itself is a struggle to keep alive. We have to use every channel and medium possible to get and keep people involved just to stay relevant.

I do not agree with your assessment of the MGS. For crying out loud, we could afford to bid on GWS 13. And got it and all the profits that came along with winning and hosting. Are you saying that we wasted all that away?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:22 pm 
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It is only a struggle because you have abandoned the MGS home site and ventured out to the masses that really don't care but post crap that nobody really cares about and probably talk a lot but live in Slovenia. Do you understand?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:27 pm 
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I was speaking about the membership not the money. Two different issues.

I haven't really looked at the membership numbers (hard to get good data) but my sense is that a lot of the older members are falling away except for a group that only does CAM each year. I suspect our new member growth isn't matching the loss as the older members fade away. It certainly feels that way.

I can say it has been several year since we have had a seriously contested election and every year there is a hunt to find people who will serve.

As for the money, I know there was some profit from GWS13 passed back to MGS in 2015. That was four years ago. I don't know how much (but am sure I could find out). We are doing ok but we certainly can't sit back and take it easy. We are pretty tight with our money and have to work hard to break even each year. CAM is our biggest expense at around 3.5-4.5K plus another 1.5K or so annually for event facilities. We don't make that much in fundraisers.

Now back to the list of 7 things I was trying to do for MGS tonight after work.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:59 am 
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If you are depending on the facebook members to become officers then good luck to you. I can not run for office because I have a rigid 8 to 5 job. But I assure you that you will never find a good officer base on facebook. We need to get back to our base which is the people that come to the website because that is what they are interested in and not just trolling facebook. High numbers of likes are not what makes the world go round. Real people that show up to functions and help out are what is needed. Even if that number is much lower than the thumbs up. It is so easy to click a :D than to actually do something.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:31 am 
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Again, I am not defending Facebook. I am also not depending on Facebook to deliver volunteers or officers. I have been a strong advocate for the website for some of the same issues you have raised. Should I have posted on the front page more, yes. And NOTHING the officers is doing is driving people to Facebook. Facebook is where they want to be because the rest of their lives is there too. I am pretty confident that there is NOTHING official that was posted on Facebook that wasn't posted at least one place on the website first. There might be a perception of that but I can tell you that perception is wrong because I have made virtually every website and Facebook post over the last 14 months.

I was talking about people showing up in general. Doesn't matter where you try to communicate, Facebook or the website, active membership is down. Real people willing to show up and contribute are in short supply and neither Facebook or the website will bring those folks around. People come and go. Life goes on. Right now most people are of the same mind as you, that being an officer is too much work. Right now, I tend to agree.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:24 am 
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Wow, what a discussion! I have my digest set to daily and every morning receive an email of all the posts from the previous 24 hours. It might be an idea to mention this service to our group so that those who don’t know about it can sign up. (Forums/user control panel/options/digests)
For me it acts as my quick short cut to the MGS happenings. I actually only rarely view the front page :oops:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:48 am 
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Wait...who is Al's Guide? I don't ever remember seeing him/her at any of our MGS events, supporting the program.

When I first became a Geocacher in 2016, I was introduced to this web site. After years of experience with networking, and working directly with new teenage geocachers, I/we found this site was a bit cumbersome and antiquated. If you're a programmer (BBCode? really? How old is that?), this site fits you. For everyone else, not even close. Most new geocachers are never going to come here. Our future Geoaching members will mostly prefer Facebook, Twitter, or an updated/modernized version of this site. You can't NOT pay attention to that means of reaching more members, even future leaders of MGS. Using or not using this site does not qualify nor disqualify member leadership. The goal should never be about getting more members in order to suck more funds out of them, either. It is and has always been about having cooperative fun, meeting other people at events, going out on awesome group hikes, etc. Isn't it?!

I don't know why anyone would think that working a strict 9-5 job schedule makes anyone ineligible to be president of this organization. Does our current president not work the same hours? Most, if not all events take place on weekends. Not during work hours. From where I'm sitting, working a strict 8-5 job, I am VERY happy with the efforts of our current president, littleblkdog. I've recently had the privilege of seeing him late at night (after work) talking with the new leaders in VTC/face-time meetings lasting hours, to get and keep the ball rolling on this program. I can also confidently say that littleblkdog is the best president we've had since I started this adventure in 2016! The new leadership is doing a great job!

A private chat would be more appropriate next time there is a complaint about someone specific, rather than blasting the entire community with negative, demeaning remarks toward someone's "supposed" poor performance.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:50 pm 
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littleblkdog wrote:
As for the money, I know there was some profit from GWS13 passed back to MGS in 2015. That was four years ago. I don't know how much (but am sure I could find out). We are doing ok but we certainly can't sit back and take it easy. We are pretty tight with our money and have to work hard to break even each year. CAM is our biggest expense at around 3.5-4.5K plus another 1.5K or so annually for event facilities. We don't make that much in fundraisers.

Now back to the list of 7 things I was trying to do for MGS tonight after work.


As a long time, proud member of the MGS, former Officer, Director and GW Coordinating member, we did leave the MGS with plenty of funds to last a long time!!! I served the MGS many years and worked thousands of volunteer hours, serving an organization that is very near & dear to my heart.

I too have been concerned about the financial health and overall well being of the MGS. I had questioned and requested former officers to publicly post minutes, monthly & yearly treasury reports, etc... Unfortunately, my requests were not honored. I also noticed over the past few years, what appeared to be a wasteful use of MGS funds. Such as minting the CAM coins in multiple metals. This is a total waste of money and we only need one CAM coin!! AN anniversary edition could be an exception. I also noticed business cards that were printed, fancy name tags, attire, etc.... I do not know for certain these items were paid for out of MGS funds but one officer told me it was. In the old days, IF we needed a business card for a meeting, we would just make and print a few using Word. And in our day, we were having big meetings in Washington, DC with members of Congress, Senate, NatGeo, NPS, and many more, in an effort to lay the groundwork for the acceptance of geocaching. I would love to see a complete and thorough audit of the MGS going back 4 - 5 years.

I also questioned and have a concern over our non-profit status. Has the proper yearly paperwork been filed? We had worked hard years ago to gain this status and I would hate to see it lost.

As for the website, it should be the primary foundation and source of information of the MGS. However, social media is an important outlet and as long as posts drive folks back to our website, I am OK with it.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:57 pm 
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Al's Guide, I understand that you live nearly as far west in our state as I live east, but I echo larspolo's question regarding your attendance at recent MGS activities. Last year, I was the Public Relations Officer of the MGS, and I want to tell you that it was an extremely rewarding and enriching experience for me. Unfortunately, due to family concerns, I had to relinquish my position or I would have continued in that position (assuming the MGS membership would elect me to the position). Unlike you, I am a very neophyte geocacher. I have only a quarter of the number of geocaches under my belt as you do, but I feel that I am much more devoted to the MGS and its Mission/Function as you maintain to be.

All that above is to preface the fact that we used the MGS website exclusively for announcements, elections, CAM, games, picnics, CITOs, fundraisers, and everything related to geocaching as it pertained to the MGS. Unfortunately, not everyone would use the MGS site as it is/was intended and for whatever reason, preferred to use Facebook. As you must admit, FB is like a one-stop-shop for all of someone's enjoyment from shopping, to general information, to MGS goings and comings, but most of this is generally between individuals as opposed to MGS happenings. Facebook has its place as does the MGS website.

littleblkdog has done an outstanding job of trying to keep our membership informed through both forums. It's up to the membership, not the President, to keep the MGS forum alive. You can do that without interfering with your rigid 8-5 job. Remember why the MGS exists to begin with, "The purpose of our organization is to promote the sport of geocaching in Maryland by communicating with state and local parks, law enforcement, etc., and to provide information to the public about our activities and the sport of geocaching". We are the "premier advocate for geocaching activities in the State of Maryland," and as such, the MGS website plays a vital role in that capacity.
  • Where do you go to find out the requirements to submit geocaches within one of the many parks within Maryland? - The MGS website.
  • Where do you go if you wanted to find out what events are occurring throughout the state including CITOs, Picnics, CAM, and other monthly or impromptu events? - The MGS website.
  • If you want additional information about geocaching, who would you go to? - Hopefully, an MGS Officer or a member of the MGS Board of Directors (members of both of which can be found on the MGS website). My particular responsibilities included educating, promoting, and informing the public, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H groups, etc. Recognizing fellow geocachers in the Member Spotlight section of the MGS website each month, and also promoting our organization with various geocaching related vendors and even securing donations from them to support our annual (and only) fundraising event which was part of our summer picnic. BTW - were you there this past summer?
  • Where do you go to complain about the MGS as you're doing? - The MGS website.

I hope you get my point.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:30 pm 
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I do not want anyone to think anything I said was an attack on anyone. And if you have not have heard of me that is OK too. Just check my Profile under events and see how many MGS events I attended. Personally, I do not know. I never attacked anyone or laid blame for anything. Just asked why there is nobody here.

As a result of my posting I got a personal e-mail at home and this was my response:

Hi,

I am about to look at the conversation since last night and I have gotten home and settled in for the night so I do not know any responses since my last one yesterday. I mean no disrespect to anyone but had some concerns or questions about the website. I would love to sit and chat with you or any other member or non-member at any time but I do not wish to undermine the MGS or talk bad about anyone. Positive or not at all. The officers work hard and we do not often see the hours they spend trying to keep things going. What I do see is that we had one of the best websites in the entire geocaching community and it has become a ghost town and I want to know why it has been abandon.

I feel that people that use social media for everything they do have no commitment to each subject they 'like' or are force fed to them through their associated online friends and the whole time the host site is building a profile of them to sell or be stolen. Kinda like the person that starts caching on their phone and never buys a GPS. Not really committed to the game. Maybe they will continue or maybe they won't. HOWEVER, we used to have a large group of people in MD that chose to go to the MGS website and talk geocaching. They were interested enough to leave the surfing dogs and dancing cats scene to get serious about getting outdoors and being active. I never posted that much in the past but I read everything. Most things I read many times. Some were purely entertaining and some were informative. Zeekster, where are you?

I suggest that MGS events and business only be posted on our website. Especially anything our officers have to say. Let anyone else that visits post anything said or done on our website to social media if they wish. Not vise versa. Bring our core and true caching nuts back home.

Thanks for listing,
Jerry
AL's Guide

That was my response although you do not know the inquiry.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:26 pm 
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I read through all the posts and noticed that there was a perception that I was attacking LBD. Not at all. Phil, you are working your hind end off. And doing a good job but you are not alone. I will help if you delegate some responsibility. So will many others. Just call and say "Hey can you go check on this for me, just don't tell anyone and report back this weekend". It would be done. You are not alone, many of us want MGS success.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:05 pm 
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Al's Guide, I understand that you live nearly as far west in our state as I live east, but I echo larspolo's question regarding your attendance at recent MGS activities. Last year, I was the Public Relations Officer of the MGS, and I want to tell you that it was an extremely rewarding and enriching experience for me. Unfortunately, due to family concerns, I had to relinquish my position or I would have continued in that position (assuming the MGS membership would elect me to the position). Unlike you, I am a very neophyte geocacher. I have only a quarter of the number of geocaches under my belt as you do, but I feel that I am much more devoted to the MGS and its Mission/Function as you maintain to be.

Well Mr. FBOM, Now you and larspolo have questioned my involvement in the MGS. Personally, I have met you only once. at the Meet the Officers last year. I love Wizzard and Suzanne and they have known me for many years. Just ask her. Last year I was at the CAM picnic, won a first place on one of my pictures, the Summer picnic, The Fall picnic. So where were you? and I never have seen larspolo. Not saying both of you were not there,(even though you think I wasn't) just questioning the fact that that you did not see me and say that I do not support the MGS. Hell,,,,,,,,I always donate to the Summer auction and grosely over pay for items. Once I paid $70 for an ammo cam because the profits went to the MGS. Lets meet up at the next MGS event and talk good times. No hard feelings, just understandings.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:32 am 
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AL's Guide wrote:
Lets meet up at the next MGS event and talk good times. No hard feelings, just understandings.


I look forward to it, Jerry. In fact, if sometime during CAM this year, you're in the Harford County area, why don't we get together for a brew, a coffee, or whatever your pallet desires, my treat.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:47 pm 
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Looking back through the forums I find little information about 2017 or 2018. A few meeting minutes
but no Treasurer's Report for 2017 or 2018 nor any request for an audit for those years which is called for by the By-Laws. I searched the MGS News section for these items, if they are posted
somewhere else can we have them moved to that thread.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:49 pm 
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All, FYI, I took over as Treasurer for 2019 and once I'm finished sorting through everything (just got access to the bank account last week) I will see what I can do about piecing together a Treasurer's report for 2018. I'll try to get this done within the next several days. I also plan on getting the annual audits back on track. Stay tuned.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:01 pm 
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Just seemed liked a fitting post for the thread :whistle:

Is There Anybody Out There?

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

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