NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new cache

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NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new cache

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Tue 2008-04-22, 14:13:54

Here is a suggestion that normally would have been posted to the Steering Committee Forums for discussion. However in light of the current status of the SC, I am posting this here for everyone to comment on.

The SC had previously discussed the idea of forming a "Welcome Wagon" for new cachers. Several of us mentioned that we already did that on our own when a new cacher finds our cache. The SC did not develop the idea any further. One problem was (from a technical standpoint) how would NWOGEO as a group know when someone new found a cache.

So now after discussion elsewhere, and the interest of such an idea being mentioned independently by several NWOGEO members, I think I have an idea that may work.

Similar to our "SQ - Spirit Quest" program, what if we developed a standardized text welcome message that each of us would voluntarily use to send to new cachers that find each of our own caches?

Like BBDs said they use, the message could contain some basic info about NWOGEO, and welcome them to visit the website and attend our Meet & Eats, plus mention that more events are posted on the home page of our website.

Of course each member could then append their own custom message pertaining to the specific cache or personalized to the specific new cacher if desired.

A menu item could be created here on the website (like Spirit Quest) where members could grab the text from, to use in their emails to new cachers.

While I have sent out welcome messages in the past, lately I have not done so. Part of the problem is that I don't want to take the time to think about what I want to say. If I had pre-written message, I'm sure I would be much more likely to send them regularly.

So if you like this idea, how about suggesting the first draft?
Last edited by GizmoGuy411 on Thu 2008-04-24, 03:47:37, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby Cachemeister » Tue 2008-04-22, 20:35:55

Reading this Welcome Wagon thread, I wondered if it is possible to:

1) Have a way to query GC.com for the NW Ohio area for first logs posted. This query could run once a week and notify the committee of a newbie in our specific area. A Welcome Wagon approach can then be used.

2) Again, query GC.com stats against a list of all current NWOGEO members to notify the committee that "one of our own" has hit a milestone; such as number of finds. A shout out could then be sent for any defined milestone.

Something like this would involve all members, not just the one time newbie…
Just a thought… if even possible.

:D How do’s and YeeHaw’s for everybody! :D
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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby Mighty_Mo » Tue 2008-04-22, 22:45:19

I'm not sure of the mechanics required, but the Welcome Wagon idea is a good one. Recognition of member's achievements is also a great idea. Everyone likes a "pat on the back"

As the "New Guy" on the forum, I understand that there are many more experienced people out there so please understand that some of my "assumptions" may be invalid. (btw I take corrective criticism quite well.)

I assume most, if not all members that hide caches, have them on their "watch list" and know when someone visits it. I also assume the local newbie will find a NWOGEO member's cache. Therefore the member that hid the cache will know when the newbie finds his cache. I also assume if you are a NWOGEO member that hides caches, you are fairly "active" and would know that someone is a newbie. Therefore when an unfamiliar person finds a member's cache a "Welcome" email, with an explanation of NWOGEO and the meet & eat events, could be sent. If the newbie responds, a reply from the member enforcing the invitation to the "meet & eat" with a personal invitation.

If every member sends a "Welcome" email to someone that has found only a few local caches and follows up any response with a personal invitation, we might get more people to be active.

After all we are a fiiendly group - Right?
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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Tue 2008-04-22, 23:50:44

MightyMo wrote:Recognition of member's achievements is also a great idea. Everyone likes a "pat on the back"


Not to get off the subject, but as newbie you may have not noticed a forum we have here called, "Shout-Outs! - When congrats are due, this is where to put them! Especially for geocaching milestones! They will automatically be pruned from forum after 90 days."

So we do recognize achievements, just not new members very well.
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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Thu 2008-04-24, 03:42:05

Cachemeister wrote:Reading this Welcome Wagon thread, I wondered if it is possible to:

1) Have a way to query GC.com for the NW Ohio area for first logs posted. ...

2) Again, query GC.com stats against a list of all current NWOGEO members to notify the committee that "one of our own" has hit a milestone; ...


#1 is something we discussed, and no one at the time had an answer. Although I knew much of the inner workings of GC at the time, I had no idea how to do it automated or not then or now.

#2 is a great idea, if we knew how to do that too. I don't think we thought of that before either.

Maybe jslagle has an idea on how this could be accomplished.

So that is why I suggested that it could at least be a volunteer effort by everyone, with NWOGEO.org providing the recommended text for the "Welcome Wagon" message.
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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby schwnman99 » Thu 2008-04-24, 04:06:48

I think these ideas are great, it will also allow a new cacher a chance at interacting with a more seasoned cacher. That way if there are any questions from a new cacher we can help them. Almost like a mentor.

I remember when I first started I was a bit intimidated going to a meet & eat, If I had been contacted first I may have started going sooner. We are a great group, and I think people would enjoy a nice welcome to NWOgeo and geocaching.
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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby Cachemeister » Thu 2008-04-24, 17:39:09

To get the ball rolling, I think it’s a great idea to request that owners volunteer their effort to have dialogue with a First Finder.

Unfortunately, not all cachers are NWOGEO members; not all owners will want to participate; there are “owners� out there with a cache that they don’t even care about anymore – like somebody with 10 finds and 1 hide, that hasn’t been involved for some time.

If a First Finder were to hunt down one of the above caches, they might miss out on the opportunity of being “Welcomed� to the sport and introduced to NWOGEO. This is why I suggest to segue to a queried result (again, if even possible).

Even if it were possible to generate a Welcome letter (or Shout out for a milestone), this shouldn’t completely replace involvement from other area cachers. After the birth of my caching career, a handful of other cachers would drop e-mails, or even post notes to caches that I’ve found after reading my log. The likes of Cheech and B Bear would do so frequently, which made me feel that my presence in the caching community was noticed.

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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Thu 2008-04-24, 18:04:37

Cachemeister wrote:To get the ball rolling, I think it’s a great idea to request that owners volunteer their effort to have dialogue with a First Finder.

Unfortunately, not all cachers are NWOGEO members....

... other cachers would drop e-mails, ... which made me feel that my presence in the caching community was noticed.


All points well taken. Once we have a committment from jslagle that he will continue to keep this site running, I'll cab work on setting up the menu item for the volunteer Welcome Wagon. At least that part I know how to do.

Then with his connections and programming skills, maybe jslagle can inquire as to how we could do the data inquiries, necessary to send Welcome Wagon and Shout-Out mesages automatically from NWOGEO.org.

As you said, doing so should not eliminate others from doing the same individually too, to help with the personal touch.
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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby Mighty_Mo » Thu 2008-04-24, 21:49:36

Why should the welcome be limited to the First Find someone makes? I think it should be the first few finds or at least a personal note to someone who is new to the sport.

Didn't jslagle say he could keep the site up indefinitely? At least I thought I read that quite early in the other conversation or maybe it was in his email.
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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Thu 2008-04-24, 22:03:03

MightyMo wrote:Why should the welcome be limited to the First Find someone makes? I think it should be the first few finds or at least a personal note to someone who is new to the sport.

Didn't jslagle say he could keep the site up indefinitely? At least I thought I read that quite early in the other conversation or maybe it was in his email.


With the volunteer Welcome Wagon idea, the new cacher could get a LOT of welcomes! Every time the cacher found a cache hidden by a different person who was participating in the program, they could get a message. That is a good reason for each cacher to have their own personal note along with the "standard" welcome text from NWOGEO.

However, with an automated system, it would probably be best to send only one message from NWOGEO so they would not be deluged with messages. However each cache owner could still send one of their own as they desired with their own customized message.

Jslagle was in the process of upgrading our entire site to different software. If he intends to follow through with that, then for some future enhancements, it might be better to wait for the new software to be installed first. However for the volunteer Welcome Wagon idea, a new menu item and code would not be hard to set up and should not be hard to port over to the new software either.
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Re: Feedback from Email by jslagle - Includes Poll

Postby Stumpy75 » Sat 2008-04-26, 11:45:56

Here's what I have been sending to newer people. If someone reading this has actually got one of these from me, it really is not a true form letter, as I do personallize it as needed!



Hi:

I see you found my "xxxxx" cache. Thanks for the nice log, and welcome to the hobby!

Not sure if you know about this group, but check it out. http://www.nwogeo.com It's a loose group of people who get together once a month to trade stories about caching, and also have a web page up. No dues, no joining. Just stop by and see what is happening on the caching scene in NW Ohio. All are welcome.

Have Fun with caching. It's addicting!

Chris
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Re: Feedback from Email by jslagle - Includes Poll

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Mon 2008-04-28, 03:10:08

Stumpy75 wrote:Here's what I have been sending to newer people. If someone reading this has actually got one of these from me, it really is not a true form letter, as I do personallize it as needed!



Hi:

I see you found my "xxxxx" cache. Thanks for the nice log, and welcome to the hobby!

Not sure if you know about this group, but check it out. http://www.nwogeo.com It's a loose group of people who get together once a month to trade stories about caching, and also have a web page up. No dues, no joining. Just stop by and see what is happening on the caching scene in NW Ohio. All are welcome.

Have Fun with caching. It's addicting!

Chris
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That is a great example Stumpy! Does anyone else want to share theirs?
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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby Stumpy75 » Mon 2008-04-28, 03:22:40

I tend to send that one out to someone who has less than 50 finds. Nothing special about that number though, and I've sent them out to people who have had a lot more. I do personallize the greeting, based on what is on their profile page and what they wrote on my cache, but this was the basic thing I have sent, with a lot of mods...
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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby TeamMina » Sat 2009-02-28, 20:16:30

GizmoGuy411 wrote:Here is a suggestion that normally would have been posted to the Steering Committee Forums for discussion. However in light of the current status of the SC, I am posting this here for everyone to comment on.

The SC had previously discussed the idea of forming a "Welcome Wagon" for new cachers. Several of us mentioned that we already did that on our own when a new cacher finds our cache. The SC did not develop the idea any further. One problem was (from a technical standpoint) how would NWOGEO as a group know when someone new found a cache.

So now after discussion elsewhere, and the interest of such an idea being mentioned independently by several NWOGEO members, I think I have an idea that may work.

Similar to our "SQ - Spirit Quest" program, what if we developed a standardized text welcome message that each of us would voluntarily use to send to new cachers that find each of our own caches?

Like BBDs said they use, the message could contain some basic info about NWOGEO, and welcome them to visit the website and attend our Meet & Eats, plus mention that more events are posted on the home page of our website.

Of course each member could then append their own custom message pertaining to the specific cache or personalized to the specific new cacher if desired.

A menu item could be created here on the website (like Spirit Quest) where members could grab the text from, to use in their emails to new cachers.

While I have sent out welcome messages in the past, lately I have not done so. Part of the problem is that I don't want to take the time to think about what I want to say. If I had pre-written message, I'm sure I would be much more likely to send them regularly.

So if you like this idea, how about suggesting the first draft?


We will gladly do this for new cachers in our area. We could have a volunteer from each area that would do the same. It would hopefully generate more interest in the site. We could become their "buddy" if they have questions about finding and hiding caches.
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Re: NWOGEO "Welcome Wagon" Greeting idea for new c

Postby GizmoGuy411 » Fri 2009-03-06, 10:31:51

GizmoGuy411 wrote: ... Jslagle was in the process of upgrading our entire site to different software. If he intends to follow through with that, then for some future enhancements, it might be better to wait for the new software to be installed first. However for the volunteer Welcome Wagon idea, a new menu item and code would not be hard to set up and should not be hard to port over to the new software either.


Since the upgrade has not happened yet due to multiple reasons, we may just go ahead with the "Welcome Wagon" idea, combined/consolidated with some other ideas recently discussed in other forums, such as the "Think Before You Hide" guideline concept, coupled with a new statement to accompany our NWOGEO logo when added to GC cache pages. (Yes I am guilty of run-on sentences!)
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