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Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Oct 20, 2013 9:35pm
Board
So I have a newbie type of question... it seems very straightforward for a planter to update a clue in order to account for changes. For example, I had accidentally given "paces" instead of "steps" on a recent plant I placed. My first finder let me know and I quickly made a change to my clue.

Well, I seem to have found a rather large percentage of boxes lately where the clue has been unchanged since it was planted and the only way I have found the boxes is the helpful comments that past finders have left.

So, my question is this... when a planter/owner realizes their clues are no longer as correct as they once were, why aren't the clues being updated?

One example is a road trip I took where I had printed out the clues for the boxes I'd wanted to find... spent over an hour looking for a specific one (my noxer husband was even with me and we kept thinking we could find it) and when I got back and contacted the owner I was told that they knew there was a problem and that I could have checked the comments at the bottom of the introduction page and seen that part of the clue no longer existed. Really?

Then I had another one where the tree I was looking for was apparently downfall, not a standing tree, which makes looking around the base of it a very different type of search... around a very different tree... and I never would have know without the comments. So, that's another trip to try to find it... but at least this time it was successful.

Is this a common problem? Or have I just had a run of bad luck lately? I don't mean to whine... I just don't have as much time to devote to letterboxing as I'd like and I find it frustrating to have to do hunts twice.... I have started looking at the comments when I pull clues too in an effort to reduce my back-tracking.
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 20, 2013 10:22pm
Board
Short answer: some folks are lazy. I'm sure that some cases involve a planter who is no longer active, so they won't be updating anything. But if a planter is active, and a problem has been pointed out to them, there really is no excuse not to fix your clues.

K
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 20, 2013 11:14pm
Board
when a planter/owner realizes their clues are no longer as correct as they once were, why aren't the clues being updated?

We had somebody on here a coupla years back opine that clues should not be updated to reflect changes in the environment. The clues to a letterbox should be like a treasure map: Obtuse to begin with and possibly out of date. It's up to the finder to figure out that conditions have changed in the meantime and to adapt accordingly.

I'm not sure I agree with this contention, but it does have merit.
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 21, 2013 2:25am
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. I have started looking at the comments when I pull clues too in an effort to reduce my back-tracking.

sorry you've had such frustrating experiemces. Juat as a helpful hint, if you find info in the comments that you want to have on the trail copy it and paste it into the notes for the box. Then it will print when you print the clues.
Peace
CTEE
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 21, 2013 2:39am
Board
FWIW, I update the clues to all my 'boxes as conditions change except one. My first plant, it is a tribute to a boon canine companion and although the first field we often tramped thru is overgrown and nigh impassible, I leave the clue as originally scribed. It is easy enough to figure out that one does not *need* to pass thru and can walk right on by it. (If you can't figure that out--stifles an eevil laugh--you deserve to claw your way thru the second growth & buck brush! 0_o).

Respectfully,
Connfederate
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 21, 2013 3:58am
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I only update my clues upon the information of certain boxers, of if I've actually gone and checked myself. For instance, I had one reported missing, they were sure it wasn't there, checked every tree. I went outlying the next day, found if safe and sound, right where it was supposed to be, absolutely no change in clues needed. I don't know if that's the situation you're running in to, but that's why I don't always update clues.
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 21, 2013 5:38am
Board
I agree that the clues should be edited if they are actually wrong, or if conditions change drastically. Editing is easy enough to do.

But as a finder, you should try to make a habit of skimming the comments before you head out. There's often very helpful info there! And I'm sure some planters don't bother to correct the clues if there is a public comment on there explaining the change (the downed tree is a perfect example of that).
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811533 by LuLaHe
Oct 21, 2013 6:27am
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I've had this happen too. I updated the status of the box and included a message in the Comments section to note that the box was alive and well regardless of the "attempts" listed. Thus, my Comment is more recent and posted above any "missing" comments that may be listed.

I do usually wait for at least two "attempts" before trudging out to check on a supposedly missing box -- unless the attempt was made by a veteran boxer. If the veteran couldn't find the box and provided me with enough information to verify that they were in the correct location, I do try my best to check on the box ASAP.

- Kham
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 21, 2013 7:15am
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We were on an out-of-state hunt at a rest stop & found that the clue directed us to a recently fenced-in area around an air-conditioning unit. We casually checked the bushes around but not carefully enough. I got home I found that the comments told exactly where it had been moved. We I printed out the clues, I just printed from a radius search & didn't read the comments because there were so many.
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811549 by heartsquare
Oct 21, 2013 7:29am
Board
But as a finder, you should try to make a habit of skimming the comments before you head out. There's often very helpful info there! And I'm sure some planters don't bother to correct the clues if there is a public comment on there explaining the change (the downed tree is a perfect example of that).

Some people don't like to check the comments because they may contain spoilers.

Not me though, I love comments and have never had someone post what I consider a spoiler in the comments of my hi. But, I do tend to forget to read comments before heading out. I use Clue Tracker on my smartphone but the app doesn't include comments. I could go to the AQ site but I'm usually to impatient to go through all the clicks and waiting time while out in the woods.

I agree with everyone that says that clues should be updated when the environment changes.

Personally, if I change the box clues significantly, like moving the box a substantial distance, I will leave the old clues on the box for the history of the box, so folks who found it with the old clues can still see them and remember that experience. Example: McQuillan Bridge and Trees
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 21, 2013 8:00am
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While I agree with Kelsung that many people are just lazy, I also think there is a small percentage who enjoy being jerks. I've run into a few boxers who truly get annoyed/offended if you dare suggest that their clue is wrong, and that maybe they should change it. Sometimes it's not even about instances where conditions have changed, sometimes it's poor clue writing from the start. One area boxer I know is notorious for it. He/she often has clues with major errors (telling you to turn left, when he/she meant turn right. Telling you to travel North on a trail that runs east-west, etc., etc.). And I don't believe for a second they were done on purpose to make a more cryptic clue. But, like I said, if you dare question the clue, or tell them it was really 2 miles, not 0.2 miles, you'll get some smart a** comment like "Well, you still found it, didn't you", or "Others have found it, why couldn't you?" Maybe I think too rationally, because trying to understand the logic behind these kind of responses is just mind-boggling.
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 21, 2013 8:01am
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As someone who is also quite new to the hobby, I always read the comments. There is sometimes some very useful information in there. While it might not make sense in the comments, when you're out on the trail, they can often lead to that A-HA moment.

Another reason is the owner of the box might not be active any more to know that the clues aren't correct any longer. Example: I was going after a box that was located indoors. The clue stated that the box was located in the back of the store. The store has since been remodeled and someone in the comments mentioned that and that the box wasn't quite in the back. The owner of the box hasn't logged into AQ in over two years so the clue hadn't been updated but the comments were very helpful in finding the box. I still had to look more than if the box had actually been in the back of the store. Another example is a trail had been remarked and the clue was wrong. The comments while not giving it away, gave enough info to put you back on the right track and find the box.
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 21, 2013 8:26am
Board
when a planter/owner realizes their clues are no longer as correct as they once were, why aren't the clues being updated?

Yeah...frustrating

My "favorite" was the clue that said SADLY THIS BOX HAS GONE MISSING
so of course, I didn't go look for it, but would check the clue periodically, hoping the box would get replaced. Yes, the box is now there - I only found out because I decided to look at the Show Finds history and people logged it in. Supposedly, the clues had been modified in August, but the statement SADLY THIS BOX HAS GONE MISSING still remains! (box was found July, August, and this month...)

Show Finds are also helpful since some boxes still show "active" but there have been unsuccessful attempts logged in, so we don't spend a lot of time looking for those boxes...come on, we have 4 more in the series to look for!
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 21, 2013 5:52pm
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welcome to letterboxing.

we call this "the hunt." isn't it exciting? no? whaddaya mean, it's just frustrating??

i like to think of it as Where's Waldo? with plastic. For instance, if i were a 4-year-old "tall tree stump" in SC, just how tall would i be right now?? OK, that makes me that itty bitty little tree stump over there, in just about the right place. . . . BINGO! i win. mystery solved!

Yup, Where's Waldo? it helps if you really like solving puzzles more than finding boxes. it's great to be out in the woods, fresh air and trees, sunshine on your face and all that. Exercise, don't you know! Really! This is what we're out here for! It's FUN!! Plus, you're building all those muscles carrying around all that ink and paper and stuff!!

~tigs (are you feeling any better yet? . . . well, i tried. . .)
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811508 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 23, 2013 10:04pm
Board
Thank you to those of you who weighed in on my question. Your responses always help me to consider different points of view.

I had thought about the planters no longer being active (although that's not the case with all of them), but hadn't considered those who don't update based on wanting to maintain the historical integrity of the box or not wanting to for personal connections to a specific lb.

Also, since I'm still very new to planting, I wasn't thinking about the frustration that comes with being told a box is missing only to find it's exactly where it's supposed to be when you check on it... boxer error, not clue error.

I will definitely be paying more attention to the comments in my future hunts, and thanks again! =)
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #811762 by tiggermama
Oct 23, 2013 10:09pm
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And, yes, I do love a good mystery! :) Thanks for the "cheering up" everyone!
Re: Updating clues
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #812134 by 3Daydreamers
Oct 24, 2013 7:31pm
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Also, since I'm still very new to planting, I wasn't thinking about the frustration that comes with being told a box is missing only to find it's exactly where it's supposed to be when you check on it... boxer error, not clue error.

Only ONE of the MANY reasons the clues you write can include restrictions. Once you realize what can and does happen to the plants you've spent hours creating, you might not want newbies looking for it.

~~Doublesaj~~