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Well Rounded Washington Cacher - Discussion, Ideas, or ?


FluteFace
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This issue has continued to bug me as I've thought about it today, mostly because I feel like if I'm going to complain I ought to offer a constructive possible solution as well. So here's an idea (thanks to GrnXnham for helping jog my brain cells into an idea):

 

Instead of setting an arbitrary cutoff date, and then moving it forward periodically to keep the pool of possible caches from getting stale, how about permitting caches only after they have "aged" for six months or so? That way, if there are major issues about whether the cache is appropriately rated, there will be opportunities for cachers and/or FluteFace to review them before the cache qualifies for the Fizzy. The cache owner can correct a mis-rated cache, or FluteFace can ban that cache from consideration.

 

Truth is, that's already what happens. There are certain caches that are mis-rated, and as cachers find them, they provide feedback to the owners, who, if they are responsible, update the rating accordingly. If a cache owner refuses to correct an eggregious mis-rating, or if the rating appears to be "tongue-in-cheek" and eggregiously out of keeping with the spirit of the Fizzy Challenge, then cachers can alert FluteFace to the problem, who can disqualify that cache from consideration if large numbers of cachers share the same concern.

 

A six-month probationary period would simply establish a standard review period, and prevent someone from publishing a cache with a specific rating simply to complete the last combination of difficulty and terrain they need to complete the Fizzy challenge. They would have to wait six months and be open to the usual process of informal peer review before the cache would count. But once that probationary period passed, anyone could use the cache, and FluteFace wouldn't have to keep resetting the arbitrary cutoff date.

 

What do you all think?

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This issue has continued to bug me as I've thought about it today, mostly because I feel like if I'm going to complain I ought to offer a constructive possible solution as well. So here's an idea (thanks to GrnXnham for helping jog my brain cells into an idea):

 

Instead of setting an arbitrary cutoff date, and then moving it forward periodically to keep the pool of possible caches from getting stale, how about permitting caches only after they have "aged" for six months or so? That way, if there are major issues about whether the cache is appropriately rated, there will be opportunities for cachers and/or FluteFace to review them before the cache qualifies for the Fizzy. The cache owner can correct a mis-rated cache, or FluteFace can ban that cache from consideration.

 

Truth is, that's already what happens. There are certain caches that are mis-rated, and as cachers find them, they provide feedback to the owners, who, if they are responsible, update the rating accordingly. If a cache owner refuses to correct an eggregious mis-rating, or if the rating appears to be "tongue-in-cheek" and eggregiously out of keeping with the spirit of the Fizzy Challenge, then cachers can alert FluteFace to the problem, who can disqualify that cache from consideration if large numbers of cachers share the same concern.

 

A six-month probationary period would simply establish a standard review period, and prevent someone from publishing a cache with a specific rating simply to complete the last combination of difficulty and terrain they need to complete the Fizzy challenge. They would have to wait six months and be open to the usual process of informal peer review before the cache would count. But once that probationary period passed, anyone could use the cache, and FluteFace wouldn't have to keep resetting the arbitrary cutoff date.

 

What do you all think?

 

I think you are adding a TON of work for the cache owner. Now we have to go through and verify that each cache is rated legitimately? Did you know there are thousands of caches in WA? Are we going to go back and forth on a forum like this and argue about difficulty ratings for specific caches? Are we going to require the cache owner to go out and check all the caches herself to verify the rating? How complex do you want this to be? It's geocaching. It's a game. Let's keep it fun. Let's keep it simple.

 

There is nothing wrong with the Fizzy Challenge the way it is now. The owner has done a fine job with it. Let's not make this a full time job for her.

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There's no doubt that there are many mis-rated caches out there, but it was never my intention to be the 'cache police'. Additionally, there are cache D/T ratings that have been changed by their owners for the purpose of this challenge. This all sounds more like something for the geocaching community at large -- a little pressure from your peers, along the lines of what was suggested earlier. I will not now nor in the future be contacting any cache owner because I think their cache is not rated properly, nor will I disallow that cache because somebody thinks it is not rated correctly. My suggestion would be to contact the owners yourself and make the helpful suggestion that there might be a problem. But, as with any rating system, our D/T indication is usually an opinion, rather than fact. Any caches that have been excluded from this challenge have been done so at the owners request and with thoughtful discussion.

 

As of now, I am not expecting to change the current cut-off date. That is not to say it won't happen again, but for now and the foreseeable future, it will remain as is. If a rare combination becomes unavailable, then that combination will not be required for this challenge, unless I decide to allow newer caches of that combination.

 

Here is the bottom line for me: There has to be an element of fun in the cache, both for the seekers as well as for the owner. If this were to become the chore that has been suggested, I would seriously consider other options for this cache. (Sorry this is so poorly written . . . I'm getting rummy!)

 

Rule Updates:

1. Rules concerning GC13YM7 have been removed as there is more than one of that D/T combination.

2. Caches that you have found, that you did not place, but that are currently owned by you through geocaching.com's adoption process may be used towards this challenge.

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It's FluteFace's cache, of course, and I don't want to presume to impose my own rules on someone else's cache! Please read my suggestions only as that, as humble suggestions by a fellow cacher, take 'em or leave 'em. I'm happy to stand down now and leave the issue be.

 

Except for a clarification of my original point: I did not intend to imply that FluteFace (or any challenge owner) would "police" the ratings on anyone else's cache as the primary method of dealing with mis-rated caches. Rather, my proposal was that a probationary period before a cache qualified for the challenge would give the caching community time to apply the only method of "policing" available, which is peer review, peer pressure, and peer feedback. Much like the self-correcting process of peer review in science. We all know there are cachers who don't play fair, who bend the rules to their own purposes; but we tend to know who they are, too, and they carry a reputation appropriate to their behavior. They're like the growing number of people in the baseball stat books with asterix next to their names.

 

FluteFace, no worries, I'll pursue your challenge according to your own rules; it'll take me a little longer, and I'll be unable to count some great new caches, but it's still a great challenge!

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The cache page seems to be turning into a forum, so I have moved that discussion here to the forum. Please make your comments here.

 

The coins will not be sold but given to finishers as they finish. They last as long as they last.

 

Watch for an upcoming change to the cache rules.

 

===============================================

June 1 by TeamIDFC (1461 found)

 

(Don't want to clutter up the cache with comments, but...)

 

Given this line in the listing: "No rating changes of existing caches will be accepted as counting towards the goal"

 

... I would assume those that had already found Cryto could still count it. I guess TeamIDFC is now at 70... :laughing:

 

===========================================

June 1 by GeoEskimo (577 found)

 

Cryptonomicon just changed within the last week or two, and I did it a year ago for this challenge. I emailed him today to ask if he wouldn't mind changing it back so we could still use it since it's the only one of that combination that's valid for this challenge within the entire state of Washington. We'll see what happens...

============================================

June 1 by hydnsek (6418 found)

 

When I did the challenge, Cryptomonicon in Bellevue was D4.5/T1, but I see that's changed. The D5/T3.5 has always been problematic.

 

The Fizzy coins were made by kealia (California, owner of the original Fizzy challenge) and distributed to Fizzy owners around the country to give as prizes. He has said he distributed them all, and a limited number to each CO, but maybe Flutey got more than 15.

 

==================================================

June 1 by GeoEskimo (577 found)

 

We should start coordinating or something so we can help each other finish. I'm at 74, but the last few are going to take a while because of distance and cost of gas and ferries, etc. My hope is by the end of the summer though! You can see my profile for what I have left, and if anyone has any in common, let's see if we can go together!

 

FluteFace - I would be very interested in buying one of those coins if I'm not in the first 15 to finish. Is that a possibility?

 

=======================================================

June 1 by agent_chiggs (1446 found)

 

I'm there with you at 69 TeamIDFC! 12 more to go WOOT!

 

===============================================

June 1 by TeamIDFC (1461 found)

 

After this weekend, TeamIDFC has gotten 69 of the 81 combinations and we have targets on several of the remaining caches, but we've now got two combinations that have no candidates that match the rules. Specifically:

 

D4.5/T1 – nothing older than 7/17/09

D5/T3.5 – nothing older than 4/9/09

 

FluteFace, any thoughts on how we can get some eligible caches?

Edited by FluteFace
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This issue has come up before with people changing the ratings on caches and we've talked to Fluteface about it.

 

She said that as long as your find of the cache was made prior to the rating change, you are okay to use the cache for the prior rating. Simply include it in your bookmark list under the old rating.

 

This is only fair. Lots of cachers change the ratings on their caches over time for various reasons. It could become difficult to complete this challenge if you are constantly having to go out and look for "replacement" caches because you just lost one of the less common of the 81 categories due to a difficulty rating change.

 

Take a look at the updated difficulty/terrain grid on our profile page. Because of the rating change being discussed here, we are now back to only 80 categories filled. So a year after completing this cache, should we now lose our smiley? Of course not. Although I do find it irritating that we are missing a category and we WILL go out and find another 4.5/1 cache!

Edited by GrnXnham
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This issue has come up before with people changing the ratings on caches and we've talked to Fluteface about it. She said that as long as your find of the cache was made prior to the rating change, you are okay to use the cache for the prior rating. Simply include it in your bookmark list under the old rating.

 

Because of the rating change being discussed here, we are now back to only 80 categories filled. So a year after completing this cache, should we now lose our smiley? Of course not.

Agree. I finished the challenge almost three years ago. The change to Cryptomonicon means that I would lose that D/T combo if rating changes were retroactive. Ditto for caches that are archived after you find them.

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After over 5000 finds, you'd think I would have more than 67 of the 81 needed. I finally started to look at the challenge and looked to see where to grab the last 14. Then I saw the '08 cache cut off date and said frigg it. Now I have to sift through all might finds and see which ones count or not and perhaps bypass a nearby cache that a fits the criteria otherwise and drive a hundred miles for another one. I do understand why. I could see people making a sock puppet cache to fulfill requiments and such. It's just a PITA.

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After running a pocket query, the only one that showed up in WA was Bingo Challenge - Let the Tournaments Begin!. But it doesn't meet the publication requirements. Unless I messed something up I don't see a viable cache out there currently. Hopefully somebody can prove me wrong. Bes of luck though.

 

What!? My Bingo Challenge is the only one of that rating in the state? Wow, that's pretty cool. I hope the change to the Fizzy is a date requirement change so it includes my cache for everyone then. I'll make sure that one is well maintained. :blink:

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We have a question about the matrix and changing diff/terr ratings. If we have our matrix completed and a CO changes a rating on a cache that we have only 1 of, will we find an empty box the next time we download our data? Is there any way to prove that we found the cache when it had a different rating? Or is there a way to maintain the ratings in our data so they don't get changed when we run the matrix. We appreciate that you have such a good discussion going in your forum. I don't think we will ever qualify for a fizzy cache with some of the rules, but it feels great to know that we are well rounded cachers....almost. And that is what it really is all about. A lot of cachers are only after the numbers. They don't know what they are missing.

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Watch for an upcoming change to the cache rules.

It has been almost a week - the suspense about the changes is killing us. C'mon Flutey! ;)

Sorry for the delay. I'm in the middle of transitioning to a new computer . . . *sigh*

Three weeks and my fingers are burning to hear what the changes are and start plotting our next series of trips... :)

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As promised, rules have changed, and there is a clarification concerning D/T rating changes -- see the cache page for the last.

 

1. The date has been changed to May 3, 2010 -- any cache placed on or before that date will qualify. A quick check tonight indicated that there are at least two (usually more) of each D/T combination active (not counting inactive caches) in the state.

 

2. Two additional icons are required: the icon for a Wherigo cache, and the new (as of July 4, 2010) icon for Groundspeak Headquarters. If you have already found HQ, you have automatically received that icon.

 

Have fun!

Edited by FluteFace
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The clarification, although not stated exactly like this, is:

 

If you have completed the WFC (Washington Fizzy Challenge), meaning that you have submitted your bookmark list and I have approved it so that you can officially log the final online, even if you have not logged it online, then you are not affected by any changes a CO may make to the D/T rating of an owned cache at that point or in the future. You have earned the right to log the Fizzy Challenge, you have earned your coin according to the rules at that time. You would not have your log deleted, you would not have to give your coin back! (Ha Ha!!) :anibad:

 

If you have not submitted your completed bookmark list because you are still working on the challenge or, as in your case, you have submitted your list but I did not approve it, then all caches on your list should be considered in a state of flux until the list is approved. If another D/T rating change occurs on some other cache on your list before your list is approved, then something will need to be done about it -- most often another cache substituted.

 

 

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A clarification regarding the Fizzy coins has been posted under Miscellaneous notes: Because we are nearing the end of my supply of coins for this cache, I'd like to make sure that it is understood that the final for this challenge must be found and logged before a coin can be awarded. Only the first 15 finishers are guaranteed to receive a coin. I have a very few in reserve being saved for unforeseen emergencies (I have actually had to use one.) but I will award them until I run out. I will post here and in the forum thread when I am out. I am considering a pathtag for future finishers.

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