Last week I wrote a post about why Garmin might want to create opencaching.com. In that post I gave my opinion about why I thought Garmin might go in this direction. My problem with that post is that it was all opinion. I had no facts. I like facts. I like to know what is going on versus theorizing about what is going on. To that end I decided to try and track down someone at Garmin who can shed light on the situation. I had some failures and some success.
My first attempts to speak to Garmin failed entirely. I contacted the media relations department and they ignored me. I didn’t give up at the media relations team. What I needed was to find someone on the inside of Garmin. Here I was partially successful. I was able to speak with someone at Garmin that is knowledgeable about the opencaching.com initiative. My contact is not directly responsible for that project but he is aware of it. It turns out the folks at Garmin are well trained. When I asked him probing questions I got a very straightforward “I”m not able to answer that question”. I asked if I could get the name and number of the manager that looks after the project, again I received a polite no.
Here I will add some conjecture. How big does a project need to be in order for it to have a manager? Is there a team at Garmin working on opencaching.com? If there is a team how big is it? Here are some facts. After reaching out to Garmin on Friday I received 21 visits to my blog. Only 6 of those were new visits. Add in the 10 new visits from Garmin that I received from my first post on Monday and that’s 16 people. According to the Garming website the media relations team consists of 5 people . One of the people that visited my site was the fellow that actually I spoke to. That leaves 10 other people at Garmin that looked at my site. So how many people at Garmin not working on the opencaching.com project would care enough to read my blog? Let’s say there are 3 unrelated people at Garmin that read my blog. Could it be that there is a team of 7 working on the opencaching.com project? I’d be interested in finding out for sure.
The folks at Garmin have done a very good job of NOT being open with me. For now the geocaching community is going to have to continue to guess at what Garmin is going to do. I hope that Garmin will be more forthcoming in the future. I understand that as business they have to be prudent. I also hope they understand that as Geocachers we want to be heard. Whether it is Groundspeak or Garmin any business that wants to profit from our hobby needs to respect our wishes and concerns. Failure to include the community could have a negative impact on either business.