I was asked today what the biggest problems are that reviewers see when they are reviewing a new cache for publishing.
Here are the main issues that come to mind — all easy fixes that will get your caches published more quickly if they are double-checked before you submit them for review!
1. Read the guidelines! Don’t rely on what you think you remember when you read them years ago, or assume that because you’ve seen a similar cache hide it must be OK. Cachers are required to read the guidelines before submitting a cache (it’s the last step when you submit a new cache — those two checkboxes at the bottom of the page). The guidelines are frequently updated, and an old cache may not be something that would be published today. The current guidelines are what we have to work from.
2. Mistakes on entering coordinates. Probably 25% of the caches we receive for review have bad coordinates. They have typographical errors, the cache owner thought the waypoint on their GPS was the right one when it wasn’t, they didn’t wait for their GPS to settle down, or they are using a smart phone which can easily be off by 20 or more metres. 99% of these errors would be caught before the cache was submitted by clicking one of the map links on the cache page and viewing the satellite map of where your entered coords were pointing to. It takes a lot of extra reviewer time and delays getting caches published when we have to send them back for such a simple mistake.
3. Cache owners not reading reviewer notes. We see a large percentage of caches being resubmitted after they were disabled by a reviewer with some problem — too close to another cache, school, railroad, etc., or bad coordinates, for example — with no changes and no response. People apparently think they forgot to submit their cache when they see it back in their unpublished cache inventory and submit it again without looking to see if there’s a reviewer note on the page. It’s frustrating for the reviewers to have to disable caches multiple times only to see them back in the queue hours later with no changes.
4. Cache owners emailing with a question about their cache without providing a link to the cache page or the GC number. Someone writes and says “Hi, my Walk in the Park cache hasn’t been published yet. What’s the problem?” Well, there are probably 10,000 caches with that name. We can’t begin to help someone unless we have a link or GC number to look at.
5. Lack of patience. During the summer, we publish thousands of caches in BC. We try to do the best we can, but we are volunteers who also have family responsibilities, holidays, jobs, and other things to do along with reviewing your cache. If you submit your cache with problems, it will take longer to deal with than one that has no issues and can just be published. More complicated caches can take longer to review.
6. Lack of useful information on the cache page. Reviewers LOVE reviewer notes with an explanation about the cache — what the container is, where it was placed, any special considerations that will help us understand things, how your puzzle is solved. When we have to guess, it usually means that we will need to disable your cache to ask for more information, which results in more delays in getting your cache published. All reviewer notes are deleted when the cache is published, so don’t be afraid to include spoilers!
Taking a few minutes to double check your new cache will really help to get it reviewed quickly and most likely published quickly, too!