I’ve long had an uneasiness about the monopoly that GC.com has over our hobby, and the precarious position this places us in. All our accumulated experience could be wiped out if the company ceased trading, and if they decide to hike prices (and it was only a matter of time before the did, and will do again), then we have no option other than to pay up or quit.
I have tried my hand at Terracaching, open caching and munzeeing, and all have their pros and cons, but they are at the end of the day marginal pursuits compared to geocaching, and they don’t have the same appeal. The small numbers of players taking part in these activites ensure that they remain marginal, and they will probably not gain the critical mass to make them serious players.
Also, since GC.com does have the monopoly, they don’t pay much heed to what their customers want, and the ongoing debate over virtual caches is one example of this.
I did think a while ago that there might be a market for a web service that brings all of these GPS-based activites together in one place, so one could go out and find all kinds of caches and other markers on a single walk, and all the resources could be found in one place. Perhaps more importantly such a site could tally up all the various stats from the different component games to give a dashboard of statistics. Such a site would also tend to boost activity in the less popular caching sites, as all finds would contribute to the “numbers”, not just GC caches. That would probably help to balance out the market, and encourage a more co-operative attitude from GC.com.
I personally think that the position the GC.com is in at the moment is far from beneficial to us, and anything we can do to give us a bit more control over our hobby can only be a good thing.