TAG :: Toronto Area Geocachers » Pro Tip: Geocaching.com and Social Networks

Another feature that popped back to Geocaching.com with the August update is renewed social networking links.

This isn’t the controversial feature that allowed you to “Like” a geocache on Facebook. This time it’s more personal – you can connect your Twitter account and/or your Facebook account, and have the link generated by your geocaching log posted to your feed. It still links directly to the cache, not your specific log but there’s no “Like” count incrementing on Facebook, for example. People looking at a cache page will not see that you have linked to it.

Connecting your geocaching account to a social network is fairly straightforward. When you go to http://www.geocaching.com/my/sharing.aspx , you are (currently) presented with two buttons: Login with Twitter and Login with Facebook. If you pick the Twitter one, you’ll be presented with a web page that asks for your Twitter credentials and a big “Authorize app” button. At this point, if you give Geocaching.com authorization to use your account, the site will be able to post updates to your twitter feed.

If you change your mind later, go back to http://www.geocaching.com/my/sharing.aspx and pick “Remove Access”. Or go to your Twitter account, and remove access from the “Settings” menu.

The process is similar for Facebook integration. Back to http://www.geocaching.com/my/sharing.aspx, hit Login with Facebook. If you’re already logged into Facebook on the computer, you’ll see the screen above. Otherwise you’ll be asked to login first. You will see what Geocaching.com wants access to, specifically the ability to post to your wall at any time.

Again, if you change your mind there are two ways to remove the link. Either click on the Remove Access button at http://www.geocaching.com/my/sharing.aspx, or you can do it from the Applications subpage of the Account page on your Facebook profile.

Something I highly recommend, so that you are not flooding your newsfeed … turn off automatic posting from http://www.geocaching.com/my/sharing.aspx. Go to the page, and clear the  check boxes under Twitter for Send a Tweet when: “I log a geocache on the website”, “I log a geocache through a Geocaching Live-enabled application”. Also clear the check box under Facebook for “I log a geocache on the website”. Keep an eye on that greyed out one that is “(coming soon)” as you will likely want to disable it too.

Why did I take you through connecting up your Social Networks, only to disable them? Simple. This stops you from spamming your Twitter and Facebook followers/friends every time you go out caching. If you are the sort of cacher who goes out for one or two caches once in a while then this doesn’t affect you much. If you tend to go out power trail caching, visiting 100 caches in a day then you will likely have no followers or friends left by the end of your caching day. The options above will post a Tweet or Status Update every time you find a cache. That means 100 Tweets for a 100 cache day, and that is the sort of thing that causes people to want to silence your updates.

You can still have your connection to Twitter and Facebook though! When logging on the site, you’ll notice two new options have appeared below your log text. There are check boxes for updating your Twitter Status and your Facebook Status. When you want to highlight a cache  to your friends and followers, just tick those two boxes in the “Sharing Options” block and it’ll be sent to your feed or your wall.

On Facebook, the posts are pretty noticeable, with an image representing the cache and a link back to it.

And here it is on Twitter – with the simple text that I “found the geocache” and a link to the cache.

Interesting enough, the links go straight to the cache page, and not straight to your log but then again anyone acting on your link will most likely see your log right there at the top of the list. I would have preferred that they link straight to your log entry but I suppose this is more about introducing people to the cache as opposed to your story.