I am feeling in a reflective mood what with it being the end of the year and all. I have thought about how I blog about geocaching and am on balance very proud of the entries I have produced during the year. Some might say that they tend towards the long and waffly, but that mirrors my personality to some extent and if nothing else, I feel a blog should be personal and offer a glimpse into the mind of the individual that is behind it. Don’t worry, it won’t be much more than a glimpse… I wouldn’t want to give you nightmares.
The one point that I have had cause to question on a couple of occasions is the amount of detail I go into when describing caches. I am in two minds on this point and often flip back and forth. I want to tell you the reader all about our adventures and the fantastic and not so fantastic caches that we find. I don’t want to sell you short and gloss over the descriptions of the great hides and elaborate containers of some of the caches. But am I spoiling the fun for others? Is it too much detail? Is it unfair to cache owners, who have worked so hard to put together “out of the ordinary” geocaches only to have me plaster all the secrets and surprises over the web? Do enough people even read my blog for it to be an issue or does considering this dilemma in itself demonstrate an inflated opinion of the worth of my blog entries?
I do exercise some restraint when creating entries, although it might not seem like it sometimes. I generally won’t go into too much detail about new caches. But if a series is more than a few months old then isn’t it fair game. If I am describing caches of personal friends or acquaintances, people that I know through the Beds, Bucks and Herts Facebook group for example, then I tend towards more discretion perhaps. If the caches I am describing are miles away and the chance of anyone who reads my blog actually doing those caches is so low then I worry less about giving away the surprise. In actual fact the majority of my readers live many many miles away from the geocaches that we do. I do, of course, have some local readers, mostly gained through the above Facebook group, but some of my readers are on the other side of the world – you know who you are 🙂 What does it matter how much detail I go into for these people. Kel from Australia or Dave from America or travelgypsynz from New Zealand are never ever going to be out doing a puzzle cache local to me so what does it matter if I go into detail on how to solve it or exactly where the container was hidden?
But I have had a couple of comments, normally from cache owners, that I might have said a little too much. I don’t want to offend anyone, but on the other hand, it is MY blog and I CAN say whatever I want. But on the third hand, I don’t want to offend anyone. I was recently asked to modify a blog entry of one of our latest caching adventures because it was rather revealing in a couple of places about the hides. I thought about it long and hard and in the end I very politely replied that I would rather not edit or censor myself but did agree to remove any links to the blog entry from my cache logs for the series. Just to be clear here, my actual geocaching.com logs are always vague and nonspecific – sometimes helpful and hinting but never explicit in their description of the hide or cache. I do however paste in a link to my blog entry if there is one about that particular caching series. I do this for a number of reasons but most honestly and selfishly to bring more people to my blog. It works, I see in my stats on WordPress.com when people come to an entry from a log on geocaching.com.
I am not sure I will change my behaviour, or the way I write my blog entries, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about it, or consider editing or censoring myself. I would be interested to know what you, dear reader, think. I am not fishing for compliments or reassurance that I am doing the right thing, but I am seeking honest opinion about the style of my blog entries and whether they tend towards giving away too much sometimes. Alternatively, fellow bloggers, I would be interested to know how you have handled the same internal dilemma when writing on your own blog about your caching adventures.