Jump to content

Please do NOT make bush hides a FAVORITE


Followers 5

Recommended Posts

There is probably no way I can convince someone that an average geocacher is an abstraction and that there is no reason to believe that most geocachers have tastes similar to this hypothetical average geocacher. We hear so much about statistics that follow a bell curve with most individuals clustered around the mean and few that are outliers that we sometimes assume all phenomenon are distributed this way.

 

I'm not sure if an experiment could even be designed to show the real distribution of "what makes a cache enjoyable". I use the examples that appear from time to time in the forums, where someone really feel a certain type of cache is lame and others come in to defend this type of cache, to indicate there is not average cacher.

 

There is also no average movie goer. But Netflix is able to make good recommendations because it learns your tastes over time. It sees what types of movies you rent, whether you like a particular director or actor, whether you like the latest movies or rent the old classics, and so on. Using their proprietary algorithms they can predict pretty well what movies you like. They may have you rate 1 to 5 stars, and they might even show the average rating, but this is basically to build your profile. When you look at movies and see the average rating, you are automatically considering other factors. You probably won't rent a movie in a genre you don't enjoy even it gets a high rating; and if it's the type of movie you like you may still rent it if is has a mediocre rating. Often you will see a movie in a genre you like with a high rating and think its one of the best you've ever seen, so you believe that everyone has taste similar to you. In fact you are already looking at movies that have been rated mostly by people with similar tastes, so the average rating may be a predictor of what you would rate.

 

Unlike Netflix we don't have millions of geocachers rating the same few hundred caches. Instead there are over a million caches, most of which have had fewer than 100 finds, being rated by geocachers who have found only a tiny percentage of these. In addition, there is no way to determine the type or genre of most finds. Averaging the votes on caches just doesn't provide the information that Netflix finds so useful in predicting the movies you might enjoy. Instead, TPTB came up with favorite votes. This may be "less information" than a 5 stars system, but it isn't clear that the extra information buys you anything. There are not enough people rating the same caches to make use of a rating system like this. Instead, it is enough to have an ideas that some number of people enjoyed the cache and use this to filter caches to find ones you might enjoy.

 

Now it is easy to understand those who prefer the percentage of favorites. There is a desire to normalize the information. It is clear that the number of times a cache is found influences the number of favorite votes it has. It's also become clear that some people have not gone back to award favorite votes to caches they found in the past, so that caches with more recent finds tend to get more favorite votes than caches with more finds in the past. The problem is that trying to account for the all these reasons why the number of favorites votes get skewed becomes very complicated. For my purpose (trying to select caches I'm more likely to enjoy), I find it sufficient to begin with the raw count of favorites. I'll then look at the cache page to seen if the cache looks like on I will enjoy. I can certainly look and see how long the cache as been around and how often it has been found and interpret the favorite count as I see fit using this knowledge. But in the end this is a minor factor in deciding whether I will hunt the cache or not.

Link to comment
There is probably no way I can convince someone that an average geocacher is an abstraction and that there is no reason to believe that most geocachers have tastes similar to this hypothetical average geocacher... I use the examples that appear from time to time in the forums, where someone really feel a certain type of cache is lame and others come in to defend this type of cache, to indicate there is not average cacher.

Can't disagree with any of that. That's why it's so great that any of the rating systems (favorites, favorite ratios, GCVote) can be used in conjunction with all of the criteria that make you "not average".

 

Suppose you love LPCs much more than the typical cacher. After narrowing down a list of caches likely to be LPCs (micro container, in a store parking lot, perhaps it has "LPC" in the name), you could then apply some of the ratings systems to see which LPCs people liked the most, compared with the other LPCs.

 

Anyone who is opinionated and discerning about what types of caches they like, who thinks that ratings systems should be used to the exclusion of all of the other tools they *used* to use, is doing it wrong.

Link to comment

Netflix is even more complicated than what you describe but when you get a new account it only goes on mean averages and it was still correct then. I don't want to find caches I would enjoy before I actually find the cache, that is going to happen no matter what as long as I keep caching. I want to avoid as many caches that I would be likely to detest as possible without stopping caching.

Sure I would miss a good cache for me here and there but I wouldn't be likely to wast my time even getting near most PPCs.

I understand that it is difficult to quantify what makes a good cache but it seems to me that we all can agree on what makes garbage. With a rating system, many people would be helped out by no longer needed to read through logs to make that determination, tho the option would still be open.

 

Like I said the favorite points mean nothing. a good, indifferent, bad system in its self would be a vast improvement. It would give you your chance to find the gems wile giving me my chance to delete the trash. It would also be an additional way to encourage good COs to hide more and discourage bad COs from hiding more.

Link to comment
There is probably no way I can convince someone that an average geocacher is an abstraction and that there is no reason to believe that most geocachers have tastes similar to this hypothetical average geocacher... I use the examples that appear from time to time in the forums, where someone really feel a certain type of cache is lame and others come in to defend this type of cache, to indicate there is not average cacher.

Can't disagree with any of that. That's why it's so great that any of the rating systems (favorites, favorite ratios, GCVote) can be used in conjunction with all of the criteria that make you "not average".

 

Suppose you love LPCs much more than the typical cacher. After narrowing down a list of caches likely to be LPCs (micro container, in a store parking lot, perhaps it has "LPC" in the name), you could then apply some of the ratings systems to see which LPCs people liked the most, compared with the other LPCs.

 

Anyone who is opinionated and discerning about what types of caches they like, who thinks that ratings systems should be used to the exclusion of all of the other tools they *used* to use, is doing it wrong.

In the same breath those that think rating systems are useless should simply not use them rather than argue against them.

Link to comment
In the same breath those that think rating systems are useless should simply not use them rather than argue against them.
Sure, assuming that rating systems are already in place, we can just ignore them. That's easy enough. I've spent hundreds of dollars for a product based mainly on a review that gave it a 1-star rating. I read what was written in the review, and ignored the rating system. To quote another forum regular, "easy-peasy".

 

But if people are suggesting that Groundspeak invest limited resources developing a rating system, then it makes sense to argue against a rating system, and for something that would actually be useful.

Link to comment

I always envisioned the favorites system not as a guide for the caches that people find in their normal area. I rather thought of them as a recommendation of nifty caches (I know that's not how it's being used by everyone, but follow me for a bit). The best benefit is when someone is either new to an area (just moved in, or just started), or is in town for a short time - a weekend or just passing through.

 

I'm taking a journey coming up that will be about 300 miles of travels. I will have limited time to stop on the way because of time allotted for the trip, patience of my family for casual stops, etc. But I will have time to find a couple of caches on the way. So I take the route, upload it to a PQ. Then I filter:

*Terrain greater than 1.0

*Difficulty less than 3.5

*Traditional caches

*Container listed as small, regular or large

*Enabled

 

I got about 750 caches on that list, so I plug it into GSAK and filter further:

*Terrain less that 3.5

*Exclude any mention of poison ivy (attribute or in logs/descriptions

*Last four logs were found

 

That got me down to about 420. Now I look at the results in Google Earth and filter further:

*If it's along the interstate, but the closest exit is 15 miles in either direction, skip it. In other words, look for ones that are nearer to interchanges.

 

That got me down to about 226. That's 226 caches that I'm pretty sure are going to match my criteria of ones I'm interested in and that will likely fit with my schedule and my family's tolerance. I've bookmarked all 226 in a list and have them on a notification, so if any of them are archived or have problems, I'll know.

 

I also did the GSAK "average log length" macro and filtered down some of the caches that seemed mundane because of average log lengths of less than 60 characters. That still left me with 245 caches.

 

Trouble is, I'm only going to realistically be able to find maybe five or six at most. Which five or six should I do? I don't really want to take any MORE time on filtering by reading each of the listings to see if these are caches that are extra cool.

 

So - ALL OTHER CRITERIA BEING FAIRLY EQUAL, I would probably prioritize the caches by favorite points. Why not start off with ones that other people think are good?

 

If I've got a list of movies narrowed down to Sci-Fi "Feel Good" movies and that list includes Avatar, 2001, Close Encounters, Back to the Future, Star Trek II, Star Trek: First Contact, E.T., Star Wars IV: a New Hope and Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, but I could only watch two movies, wouldn't it be nice to know which ones a set of viewers "liked" to help me in my selection?

Link to comment

I issue one of my favourite points to a cache that I've enjoyed; I do it because I like to give the person who hid it a pat on the back for the fun I had, not because I'm recommending that cache for anyone else.

 

I've enjoyed a few "bush caches" where you have to ooze your way into a bush, untangle yourself from branches and then try and tidy yourself up before going to a meeting in your best suit, only to have someone enquire why you have mud on your shiny shoes and twigs in your hair, with faint dirt marks on your knees.... makes for some interesting stories! :laughing:

Link to comment

Part of the problem is that the site actively encourages you to "spend" a favorite point as soon as it's earned. That gives a lot of people the idea that they then have to choose one of the last 10 caches they've found as a favorite, even it they all sucked. And a lot of people think they need to favorite any caches that they're FTF on. This results in a lot of lame caches getting Favorited. Until a cache gets at least 3 points, it doesn't mean much in my book.

Edited by Prime Suspect
Link to comment

Part of the problem is that the site actively encourages you to "spend" a favorite point as soon as it's earned. That gives a lot of people the idea that they then have to choose one of the last 10 caches they've found as a favorite, even it they all sucked. And a lot of people think they need to favorite any caches that they're FTF on. This results in a lot of lame caches getting Favorited. Until a cache gets at least 3 points, it doesn't mean much in my book.

By giving cachers a favorite point for every 10 finds they are largely responsible for lame caches being awarded favorite points. 1 in 20 would have been better. I would have made it 1 in 25.

Link to comment

Individuals rating caches is so subjective that gc.com shouldn't have gone anywhere near it. It is virtually a worthless tool on the website for all the reasons being discussed here. Anyone who bases their caching on Favorites ratings is doing themselves a massive dis-service. Ignore the favorites rating and base your decisions on whether to seek a cache or not on what others say in the logs for the cache and on your previous experience with the cache owners' hides (if any). That will give you a far more accurate guide to the quality of a cache than a flawed "favorites" system. gc.com, please dump the favorites function and put your efforts into things that actually serve a purpose.

Link to comment

From the Knowledge Books site:

 

1.9 Favorites

 

Geocaching Favorites is a simple way to track and share the caches that you enjoyed the most. For every 10 caches that you have found, you will be able to Favorite 1 exceptional cache in your find history. The Favorites accumulated by a cache are displayed in search results and on the cache page so everyone can see which caches stand above the rest.

 

What does it mean when people say a cache is a Favorite cache?

A Favorite can mean many different things. It could mean that the location is interesting or unusual in some way, or that the hiding place or cache container itself reflects the creativity of the cache owner. The one thing you can say for certain is that the overall quality of the cache is likely to be above average.

 

When requesting a reward type of system people wanted to separate the wheat from the chaff (the lame from the above average). Does a parking lot cache suddenly become an above average cache because it was a FTF for someone?

 

 

It appears to me that the first statement about caches that one enjoyed the most and the statement about the overall quality being above the average are contradictory at least in some cases. (Well, "likely" of course weakens the second statement, but for some cachers it is not even likely that these two criteria will lead the same result.)

 

It might well be that some cachers enjoys his FTFs the most because he likes to compete and to win.

 

Another example from my personal experience: There are caches with ingenious hideouts which leave me with a negative experience because it takes me so much effort to handle the container. Such caches are definitely far beyond average, but I will never ever enjoy them.

 

Certainly there is a large group of cachers for which their own definition of cache quality and the criteria which make them enjoy a cache coincide, but that is not necessarily the case, and I am a counterexample myself.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
Link to comment

From the Knowledge Books site:

 

1.9 Favorites

 

Geocaching Favorites is a simple way to track and share the caches that you enjoyed the most. For every 10 caches that you have found, you will be able to Favorite 1 exceptional cache in your find history. The Favorites accumulated by a cache are displayed in search results and on the cache page so everyone can see which caches stand above the rest.

 

What does it mean when people say a cache is a Favorite cache?

A Favorite can mean many different things. It could mean that the location is interesting or unusual in some way, or that the hiding place or cache container itself reflects the creativity of the cache owner. The one thing you can say for certain is that the overall quality of the cache is likely to be above average.

 

When requesting a reward type of system people wanted to separate the wheat from the chaff (the lame from the above average). Does a parking lot cache suddenly become an above average cache because it was a FTF for someone?

 

It appears to me that the first statement about caches that one enjoyed the most and the statement about the overall quality being above the average are contradictory at least in some cases. (Well, "likely" of course weakens the second statement, but for some cachers it is not even likely that these two criteria will lead the same result.)

 

I think this line is the all important line....."The one thing you can say for certain is that the overall quality of the cache is likely to be above average." The cache can be enjoyable (example, the cacher enjoyed getting an FTF), but it must also be considered above average.

 

It might well be that some cachers enjoys his FTFs the most because he likes to compete and to win.

 

Example: FTF on a bison tube in a spruce tree between a plaza parking lot and a public sidewalk. If the only redeeming value of the cache was getting the first smiley and the FTFer can not think of any other reasons to recommend the cache to other finders, then as defined by GS, it does not meet the definition of a Favorite. I think this would also be the method most of us who wanted a reward system were looking for. The Favorite list is actually a communal system to help other cachers, not a personal list of 'First Finds' or FTFs or 'Sunny Weather Day' or 'Caching with My Best Friend' or 'My Milestone' caches. Private bookmark lists would qualify for those types of caches that were average or below average but were significant only to the particular finder.

 

Another example from my personal experience: There are caches with ingenious hideouts which leave me with a negative experience because it takes me so much effort to handle the container. Such caches are definitely far beyond average, but I will never ever enjoy them.

 

In the case of finding a cache that you consider above average but you didn't enjoy, I personally would not give it a favorite vote because it is not a cache I would recommend to others. There may be others who, for instance, don't mind (in fact are enthused by) a risky 20 foot climb up a tree for an ammo can but I wouldn't recommend that people take the risk.

Link to comment

I think this line is the all important line....."The one thing you can say for certain is that the overall quality of the cache is likely to be above average." The cache can be enjoyable (example, the cacher enjoyed getting an FTF), but it must also be considered above average.

 

But then "favourite list" is definitely the wrong name for the thing. My "recommendations for others" is something completely different and might be more appropriate then.

 

 

 

Another example from my personal experience: There are caches with ingenious hideouts which leave me with a negative experience because it takes me so much effort to handle the container. Such caches are definitely far beyond average, but I will never ever enjoy them.

 

In the case of finding a cache that you consider above average but you didn't enjoy, I personally would not give it a favorite vote because it is not a cache I would recommend to others.

 

There are many examples of caches which I regard as above average and which I did not enjoy which do not fit into what you write above.

I would not recommend these caches to cachers like myself, but would recommend them to the majority of cachers.

On the other hand, there are caches that I really enjoyed that I would not recommend to the majority, but maybe only to a very selected small group.

 

 

There may be others who, for instance, don't mind (in fact are enthused by) a risky 20 foot climb up a tree for an ammo can but I wouldn't recommend that people take the risk.

 

Actually, I thought that the description, the D/T ratings and the logs are serving the purpose of making the risks apparent if there are any.

 

I think that it might make sense to have two different lists "My recommendations for others" and "My favourites". I am quite sure that it would help to avoid also the problem described in here.

 

The majority of cachers in my area is mainly caching in this area. The do not award favourite points with the intent to help cachers from other areas to find the best 10 caches out of 500. They simply set up a list of the caches they enjoyed the most and some wish to somehow award the hider of the cache. There are caches that are very badly suited for non local cachers as most cachers need several visits - yet some among these caches are very special experiences for the cachers who have visited the cache. An example is this cache

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=dc8e2869-d48d-4aa9-b608-b1794c9e405c

I never ever would recommend it to a non local geocacher living relatively far from Graz and I guess that the other visitors of the cache share my opinion. Yet it has a favourite rate of about 64%.

 

Another example:

I enjoyed this cache http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=979f2682-d462-4757-bf07-6c984585ca37

(the favourite point is not mine as I have no favourite list) because I enjoyed the bicycle tour. I would not have enjoyed the cache if I had done it by car. There are many traditionals that I enjoyed because they motivated me to go for a nice bicycle tour. Whether or not there is a nice bike route from my home to a cache is typically not among the things the hider of a cache can influence.

 

 

Personally, I have more use for "Favourite lists" of other caches than for the "My recommendations for others lists". I know the preferences of most cachers in my area quite well and seeing what caches they enjoyed or did not enjoy that much, helps me in knowing in advance with which probability I will enjoy the caches. That's a completely different type of focus than in the markwell posting - he wishes to select a few special caches out of a huge number of caches and then wants to visit only those caches. For markwell's approach a "my recommendations for others list" makes much more sense than a "favourite list" and I agree that for many cachers it is too much to recommend 1 out of 10 visited caches as they are not visiting that many special caches (but still enough that they really enjoyed in the sense of listing the 10% caches they liked the most).

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
Link to comment

The majority of cachers in my area is mainly caching in this area. The do not award favourite points with the intent to help cachers from other areas to find the best 10 caches out of 500. They simply set up a list of the caches they enjoyed the most and some wish to somehow award the hider of the cache. There are caches that are very badly suited for non local cachers as most cachers need several visits - yet some among these caches are very special experiences for the cachers who have visited the cache. An example is this cache

http://www.geocachin...08-b1794c9e405c

I never ever would recommend it to a non local geocacher living relatively far from Graz and I guess that the other visitors of the cache share my opinion. Yet it has a favourite rate of about 64%.

 

Looks like it meets the definition -- the overall quality of the cache is above average. It looks like a creative multi/puzzle cache in a scenic location. The GC Votes are very good on this cache too - 4.5 and 5s.

Link to comment

The majority of cachers in my area is mainly caching in this area. The do not award favourite points with the intent to help cachers from other areas to find the best 10 caches out of 500. They simply set up a list of the caches they enjoyed the most and some wish to somehow award the hider of the cache. There are caches that are very badly suited for non local cachers as most cachers need several visits - yet some among these caches are very special experiences for the cachers who have visited the cache. An example is this cache

http://www.geocachin...08-b1794c9e405c

I never ever would recommend it to a non local geocacher living relatively far from Graz and I guess that the other visitors of the cache share my opinion. Yet it has a favourite rate of about 64%.

 

Looks like it meets the definition -- the overall quality of the cache is above average. It looks like a creative multi/puzzle cache in a scenic location. The GC Votes are very good on this cache too - 4.5 and 5s.

 

Yes, of course that cache is above average (it is among the best 5-10 urban caches I have ever found) and almost all visitors enjoyed it. Still it is not a cache that one would recommend to someone from another area as it almost surely needs several visits and if one does not have the time for that, it easily turns into a frustrating experience. (The only somehow negative logs come from some local cachers who expected to be able to finish the cache in one go.)

 

What I tried to say with that example is that recommending a cache to others without being able to specify for which audience is something different than having enjoyed a cache or thinking that it is above average etc.

 

The other example cache I mentioned (the one I did by bicycle) provides an example that I would put on my favourite list, but do not regard it to be above average.

 

This cache

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=3180cd83-739f-4c5d-8429-7783e7f5d6fe

is definitely above average, but for me it was a terrible experience and I never ever would put it on a favourite list or provide it with a high rating on GCVote or whatever. Nevertheless, I would recommend the cache to about 99% of cachers.

 

All these examples should show that what I consider as above average and what I enjoy and what I would recommend to others can vary a lot.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
Link to comment

Yes, of course that cache is above average (it is among the best 5-10 urban caches I have ever found) and almost all visitors enjoyed it. Still it is not a cache that one would recommend to someone from another area as it almost surely needs several visits and if one does not have the time for that, it easily turns into a frustrating experience. (The only somehow negative logs come from some local cachers who expected to be able to finish the cache in one go.)

 

What I tried to say with that example is that recommending a cache to others without being able to specify for which audience is something different than having enjoyed a cache or thinking that it is above average etc.

 

It is a cache you would consider above average and would recommend to people who have more time to spend on a cache. A few tourists who are spending a few days in the area might like to attempt it.

 

If I was travelling to Austria I'd set my PQs for caches that are closest to my travelling route, and also by D/T and cache size as well as type - likely only Traditionals. Then I'd float the Favorites to the top and read through the more highly favored caches. That highly favored multi would not make the list for me. But if I lived in the vicinity I would definitely want to know about this above-average cache.

Link to comment

I think two separate points are being muddled together. It makes more sense to me to keep them separate.

 

First, the knowledge books article addresses those who are considering awarding Favorites votes:

Geocaching Favorites is a simple way to track and share the caches that you enjoyed the most. For every 10 caches that you have found, you will be able to Favorite 1 exceptional cache in your find history. The Favorites accumulated by a cache are displayed in search results and on the cache page so everyone can see which caches stand above the rest.
Note that those who award Favorites votes are told only to choose the caches they enjoyed the most.

 

The next paragraph is addressed to those trying to understand the meaning of a cache's Favorites votes:

What does it mean when people say a cache is a Favorite cache?

A Favorite can mean many different things. It could mean that the location is interesting or unusual in some way, or that the hiding place or cache container itself reflects the creativity of the cache owner. The one thing you can say for certain is that the overall quality of the cache is likely to be above average.

I find it amusing that this last sentence uses the term "for certain" when explaining something that "is likely", but that's another discussion.

 

However, the point stands that any meaning Favorites votes may have is based on the different reasons people award Favorites votes. The only certainty is that there is a chance that caches with Favorites votes are above average in overall quality. But even that is only a chance, based on the assumption that most people enjoy caches that are above average in overall quality, and thus will tend to award Favorites votes to such caches.

Link to comment

Yes, of course that cache is above average (it is among the best 5-10 urban caches I have ever found) and almost all visitors enjoyed it. Still it is not a cache that one would recommend to someone from another area as it almost surely needs several visits and if one does not have the time for that, it easily turns into a frustrating experience. (The only somehow negative logs come from some local cachers who expected to be able to finish the cache in one go.)

 

What I tried to say with that example is that recommending a cache to others without being able to specify for which audience is something different than having enjoyed a cache or thinking that it is above average etc.

 

It is a cache you would consider above average and would recommend to people who have more time to spend on a cache. A few tourists who are spending a few days in the area might like to attempt it.

 

I would not even recommend the cache to cachers coming from the North of Styria or from Vienna except when I know that their preferences are rather different than the preferences of most cachers in my country.

 

I think that the cache is not one that warrants cache tourism, but it is a nice cache for locals to learn to know the city park from a new point of view and to learn new things about trees. The container in the end is just a micro somewhere. The tasks are set up in an interesting way, yet the cache is not a typical cache of the type that fits into the pattern "It warrants to go on a 1.5 hours drive just to see this cache".

 

This cache e.g., on the contrary, fits into the pattern that it would warrant a longer drive for most cachers (not for me as I am not interested into creative stages, but rather in scenic hikes)

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=07000e9a-b602-4d81-b81a-834f321d34c0

 

 

Cezanne

Link to comment

I will admit I have not read all the posts, but here is my two cents:

I give favorite points to caches I enjoyed and would recommend to others. Sometimes this is because of the cache itself, sometimes because of the cache location and sometimes it is because of the “journey” to find the cache.

I don’t take the favorite points too seriously. If I am going out caching and I only have time for one or two caches I might use the favorite points to help determine which cache to go after, but that is only if it has more than a couple of points. Otherwise I go after the one that I have the time for or is in an area I want to cache in.

Link to comment

If I enjoyed a cache, I'm gonna favorite it. I'm not gonna not favorite just because you didn't like it. That's what your favorite points are for. They are favorite points, not the Ventura Cache Selection Voting System.

 

This gets a 'FAVORITE' point from me!

 

I hate micro's in 'forests' but recently awarded a favorite point based on the experience I had finding it. It was a 'keystone cops' classic gong show and I loved every minute of it .... I came away soaking wet, with a cloud of mossie's chasing me and laughing out loud ALONE in the middle of a wooded area.

Favorite points are MINE, I earn them with my finds. I will hand them out as I see fit.

Link to comment

If I enjoyed a cache, I'm gonna favorite it. I'm not gonna not favorite just because you didn't like it. That's what your favorite points are for. They are favorite points, not the Ventura Cache Selection Voting System.

 

This gets a 'FAVORITE' point from me!

 

I hate micro's in 'forests' but recently awarded a favorite point based on the experience I had finding it. It was a 'keystone cops' classic gong show and I loved every minute of it .... I came away soaking wet, with a cloud of mossie's chasing me and laughing out loud ALONE in the middle of a wooded area.

Favorite points are MINE, I earn them with my finds. I will hand them out as I see fit.

 

Well it looks like many people feel the Favorite vote is a personal list and not a communal list. For cachers that want to separate wheat from chaff we probably want to rely on percentages and caches with probably 4 votes or greater. I still feel the Favorite system is a success. Most of the 2 or more vote caches I found were indeed decent caches.

Link to comment

If I enjoyed a cache, I'm gonna favorite it. I'm not gonna not favorite just because you didn't like it. That's what your favorite points are for. They are favorite points, not the Ventura Cache Selection Voting System.

 

This gets a 'FAVORITE' point from me!

 

I hate micro's in 'forests' but recently awarded a favorite point based on the experience I had finding it. It was a 'keystone cops' classic gong show and I loved every minute of it .... I came away soaking wet, with a cloud of mossie's chasing me and laughing out loud ALONE in the middle of a wooded area.

Favorite points are MINE, I earn them with my finds. I will hand them out as I see fit.

 

Well it looks like many people feel the Favorite vote is a personal list and not a communal list. For cachers that want to separate wheat from chaff we probably want to rely on percentages and caches with probably 4 votes or greater. I still feel the Favorite system is a success. Most of the 2 or more vote caches I found were indeed decent caches.

You want to know another problem? You have to earn the favor points you get so you can give them and this automatically sets up awesome caches that are better than 20 point caches yet don't get found often so have little or no points.

Ya also have the fact that only being able give a point or remain silent equals lopsided results. As a metric it doesn't matter if 1 million people on facebook "Liked" the microsoft page when 1 billion voices go unheard because they don't have the option to be heard as a comparable metric.

 

Any way, next time I am near the west coast I'll actually log some caches, but only the bush caches that have points on them so that I can add to them.

Link to comment

A huge hue and cry went out from the multitude saying:

Give us a RATING SYSTEM so that we can know that we wasteth not our precious time in looking for a cache that may not please us.

 

And thus the great Jeremy and his minions went about to devise a system whereby it could be known if a cache was of high quality or not. And in their great wisdom, they decided that negativity was not to be allowed, and that saying a cache was 'not so good' was not possible. And thereafter the voting points were allocated to be only ten percent of the caches anyone had found, but no other criterion was discussed.

 

And so it came to pass that any n00b who had found but only ten of the LPC caches could indeed make a 'favorite' of one of them, not knowing even unto himself the value others impart to the favorite point he hath so carelessly bestowed.

 

So it is written.

Link to comment

Anyone who bases their caching on Favorites ratings is doing themselves a massive dis-service.

Thank you so much for letting me know this. I guess when we went down south in February, using the favourites system didn't give my husband and I one of our best geocaching vacations since 2002. I'll remember that the next time we go anywhere. :anibad::rolleyes:

Link to comment

Well it looks like many people feel the Favorite vote is a personal list and not a communal list.

 

yes, in accordance with the intent of the feature

 

Geocaching Favorites is a simple way to track and share the caches that you enjoyed the most.

 

http://support.Groun...=kb.page&id=287

 

You're ignoring the next paragraph that explains what it means when you reward a cache with a Favorite...

 

"...the location is interesting or unusual in some way, or that the hiding place or cache container itself reflects the creativity of the cache owner...The one thing you can say for certain is that the overall quality of the cache is likely to be above average."

 

The Favorite list was implemented to separate the wheat from the chaff, award a cacher for a job well done. If you enjoyed a cache solely based on an empty logbook, it hardly seems like a reason to reward a cacher for, or to recommend to another cache finder. 'I think this cache is above average because it has a pristine empty logbook.' As soon as you sign it, it no longer provides that type of exciting experience for the next finder. FTFs are better stored and recorded in a personal bookmark list.

Link to comment

Well it looks like many people feel the Favorite vote is a personal list and not a communal list.

 

yes, in accordance with the intent of the feature

 

Geocaching Favorites is a simple way to track and share the caches that you enjoyed the most.

 

http://support.Groun...=kb.page&id=287

 

You're ignoring the next paragraph that explains what it means when you reward a cache with a Favorite...

 

"...the location is interesting or unusual in some way, or that the hiding place or cache container itself reflects the creativity of the cache owner...The one thing you can say for certain is that the overall quality of the cache is likely to be above average."

 

No, I do not think that t4e is overlooking something. What you cite are just examples for reasons why someone could have enjoyed a cache.

I argued already before that the list should be called differently and the comment "share the caches that you enjoyed the most" would have to be changed if the intent is recommending caches that a large group of cachers might consider as nice.

 

 

If you enjoyed a cache solely based on an empty logbook, it hardly seems like a reason to reward a cacher for, or to recommend to another cache finder. 'I think this cache is above average because it has a pristine empty logbook.' As soon as you sign it, it no longer provides that type of exciting experience for the next finder. FTFs are better stored and recorded in a personal bookmark list.

 

FTFs are just one example of many different reasons why someone might have enjoyed a cache that is not enjoyable for the majority of visitors.

I have provided some other examples like the one of me going to a cache via a nice bicycle route. What I will keep in my memory is the bicycle ride. I do not care whether the container is water tight, creatively hidden etc. and indeed prefer a wet container at the next tree stump to a creatively hidden very nicely constructed container if the first cache invites me for a nice bicycle tour and the latter one is a drive-in style cache to which no nice bicycle route leads to from my place. There are so many aspects that make us enjoy or not enjoy something and it is not a good idea to relate the favourite list to personal enjoyment if it's not the personal enjoyment that is the target object.

 

If I had a favourite list and put there caches that I regard as above average, but have not enjoyed at all, all cachers that have read my logs for those caches or know my preferences, would be left quite perplexed. People around here expect favourite lists to mirror the personal preferences.

 

Cezanne

Link to comment

Anyone who bases their caching on Favorites ratings is doing themselves a massive dis-service.

Thank you so much for letting me know this. I guess when we went down south in February, using the favourites system didn't give my husband and I one of our best geocaching vacations since 2002. I'll remember that the next time we go anywhere. :anibad::rolleyes:

 

I wouldn't say it's a massive disservice but you can miss some very good caches. I can think of dozens of quality caches that I found (and some that I own) that have no favorite points. Some are older caches that are found infrequently. Some are good but are overshadowed by a nearby cache.

 

For example Gerbil Cache was the 2nd most favorited cache in NJ last time I looked. It's an OK cache, but there are 33 caches within a mile of it in the same park.

 

Same park, nearly identical terrain, mostly quality containers and in some cases, with more interesting hiding places or with far nicer views than Gerbil. Yet most have zero favorites. The next closest cache has 5 favorites and it happens to be directly along the most popular trail to Gerbil.

 

Since the advent of favorites I notice more people finding Gerbil then leaving, where previously they would find Gerbil then visit many of the nearby caches.

 

Anybody visiting this area and ignoring the caches with zero or one favorite would indeed be cheating themselves out of some outstanding geocaches, but many seem to be doing precisely that now.

Link to comment
You're ignoring the next paragraph that explains what it means when you reward a cache with a Favorite...

 

"...the location is interesting or unusual in some way, or that the hiding place or cache container itself reflects the creativity of the cache owner...The one thing you can say for certain is that the overall quality of the cache is likely to be above average."

I don't think that section means what you think it means. See my previous post for an explanation of what I think it means.
Link to comment

I wouldn't say it's a massive disservice but you can miss some very good caches. I can think of dozens of quality caches that I found (and some that I own) that have no favorite points. Some are older caches that are found infrequently. Some are good but are overshadowed by a nearby cache.

 

Agreed. I have found more than one cache without favorites that made it to my list -- there was one in particular near where we were staying that had no favorites, but I ended up going back to our hotel and bringing my wife to the cache location so that she could see it. I do not know if it would have been a massive disservice to me if I had missed it, but it made the trip better.

 

Favorites are probably the last thing that I look at when deciding whether to do a cache. When traveling, the roadside attractions app, various lists of "wierd [insert state name here]," or historical and natural wonders are generally more important to me. Sometimes the caches that I choose to do have a lot of favorites, sometimes they don't - and if I look at them, they are usually just a starting point to see what else might be in that particular area that would make me want to go there.

Edited by geodarts
Link to comment

Anyone who bases their caching on Favorites ratings is doing themselves a massive dis-service.

Thank you so much for letting me know this. I guess when we went down south in February, using the favourites system didn't give my husband and I one of our best geocaching vacations since 2002. I'll remember that the next time we go anywhere. :anibad::rolleyes:

 

I wouldn't say it's a massive disservice but you can miss some very good caches. I can think of dozens of quality caches that I found (and some that I own) that have no favorite points. Some are older caches that are found infrequently. Some are good but are overshadowed by a nearby cache.

 

For example Gerbil Cache was the 2nd most favorited cache in NJ last time I looked. It's an OK cache, but there are 33 caches within a mile of it in the same park.

 

Same park, nearly identical terrain, mostly quality containers and in some cases, with more interesting hiding places or with far nicer views than Gerbil. Yet most have zero favorites. The next closest cache has 5 favorites and it happens to be directly along the most popular trail to Gerbil.

 

Since the advent of favorites I notice more people finding Gerbil then leaving, where previously they would find Gerbil then visit many of the nearby caches.

 

Anybody visiting this area and ignoring the caches with zero or one favorite would indeed be cheating themselves out of some outstanding geocaches, but many seem to be doing precisely that now.

 

I tend to use Favorites as a place to start and then pick up caches around the area that have had good recent logs.

 

There are plenty of decent caches out there that are nice average caches but I don't reward Favorites to them because 1. I'd run out of votes and 2. they are decent in my opinion but not a notch above-average.

 

I'm wondering Brian. Do you use the Favorite vote system? If you do, why not award a Favorite to those caches near Gerbil that you consider above-average?

Link to comment

In the interest of science....I designed an experiment.

 

I hid a crappy bush hide and a super clever awesome cache right next to it (yes, it was point one mile away).

After a dozen cachers found them both, I checked the favorites votes. The lousy bush hide had ZERO FAVORITE votes, and the awesome cache had 11 votes. I can only guess that the one cacher who didn't vote for the awesome cache must have been out of votes!

 

So in conclusion.... I love the new FAVORITES voting system. :DB):P

Link to comment

In the interest of science....I designed an experiment.

 

I hid a crappy bush hide and a super clever awesome cache right next to it (yes, it was point one mile away).

After a dozen cachers found them both, I checked the favorites votes. The lousy bush hide had ZERO FAVORITE votes, and the awesome cache had 11 votes. I can only guess that the one cacher who didn't vote for the awesome cache must have been out of votes!

 

So in conclusion.... I love the new FAVORITES voting system. :DB):P

 

You apparently hid those experimental caches under some sock account. B)

Link to comment

In the interest of science....I designed an experiment.

 

I hid a crappy bush hide and a super clever awesome cache right next to it (yes, it was point one mile away).

After a dozen cachers found them both, I checked the favorites votes. The lousy bush hide had ZERO FAVORITE votes, and the awesome cache had 11 votes. I can only guess that the one cacher who didn't vote for the awesome cache must have been out of votes!

 

So in conclusion.... I love the new FAVORITES voting system. :DB):P

 

Woo hoo! Nice to hear.

Link to comment

In the interest of science....I designed an experiment.

 

I hid a crappy bush hide and a super clever awesome cache right next to it (yes, it was point one mile away).

After a dozen cachers found them both, I checked the favorites votes. The lousy bush hide had ZERO FAVORITE votes, and the awesome cache had 11 votes. I can only guess that the one cacher who didn't vote for the awesome cache must have been out of votes!

 

So in conclusion.... I love the new FAVORITES voting system. :DB):P

 

You apparently hid those experimental caches under some sock account. B)

 

Oh crud. I was worried that the experiment might not have been real. Hmmm.

Link to comment

I use the Favorite vote as a communal list, not a personal list.

 

When someone clicks to see who gave the cache a Favorite vote, I hope that when they see my trailname they will associate it with a good chance that they too will enjoy the find.

 

When I give a cache a Favorite vote I'm always thinking, would I recommend someone go out of their way to find this cache? To me that usually means a pleasant and/or interesting and/or historical and/or scenic location and a decent maintained swag-size* cache container. (*I'll award a micro a Favorite if there's something unique about the micro and it's used because a larger cache won't fit.)

Link to comment
Since the advent of favorites I notice more people finding Gerbil then leaving, where previously they would find Gerbil then visit many of the nearby caches.

I didn't find Gerbil until recently... (so for those who don't know, Gerbil is the first placed cache in New Jersey.)

 

So I'm assuming that people have been making pilgrimages to Gerbil for several years. Are you saying that before favorites voting they would find the other caches around the area, and now they largely don't? I always assumed that for caches like Gerbil, The Spot, Mingo, etc. that since at least 2005 people have largely been zeroing in on those listings and ignoring most of the other caches on the way. But are you saying people didn't do that before favorites voting?

 

I'm honestly asking the question, I never paid attention to Gerbil before recently.

Link to comment
Since the advent of favorites I notice more people finding Gerbil then leaving, where previously they would find Gerbil then visit many of the nearby caches.

I didn't find Gerbil until recently... (so for those who don't know, Gerbil is the first placed cache in New Jersey.)

 

So I'm assuming that people have been making pilgrimages to Gerbil for several years. Are you saying that before favorites voting they would find the other caches around the area, and now they largely don't? I always assumed that for caches like Gerbil, The Spot, Mingo, etc. that since at least 2005 people have largely been zeroing in on those listings and ignoring most of the other caches on the way. But are you saying people didn't do that before favorites voting?

 

I'm honestly asking the question, I never paid attention to Gerbil before recently.

 

I really can't say that the advent of favorites is the dividing line, but the line is quite recent. I have most of the caches in the area on my watchlist and I often see logs on Gerbil without logs on other caches in the area. Previously Gerbil was usually just one of a number of finds in the area.

Link to comment

Sounds like I need to go place some more bush hides around the VKs house. :anibad:

Will you let me armchair log them so I can favorite them? :laughing: It isn't like it would improve my find count considering I don't track it here.

The hides would be pointless if they weren't voted as favorites. :lol:

Link to comment

I use the Favorite vote as a communal list, not a personal list.

 

When someone clicks to see who gave the cache a Favorite vote, I hope that when they see my trailname they will associate it with a good chance that they too will enjoy the find.

 

Doesn't that depend on their caching preferences and their physical condition?

 

My way of using the favourite lists of other cachers is always based on whether or not the caching preferences of the owner of the list and my own match (or are likely to match).

 

A while ago I and some other cachers have written positive logs for a multi cache that involves a walk of about 1.5 hours of which the first and the last part lead along tarmac. One cacher (he is young, fit and healthy and prefers adventurous hikes and climbs) complained about our positive logs and wrote that we apparently have no demands whatsoever on a cache (it is hard to translate exactly what he wrote). I enjoyed the cache (it leads to a nice chapel at a location with a scenic location in the end - the complaining cacher did not continue with the cache until this point) and I was even glad about the tarmac parts as I was suffering from knee pains and was glad that only a part of the route was leading through more challenging terrain.

If I had a favourite list, I would put this example cache on it. I want to encourage hiders to hide multi caches that are neither quasi-drive ins (i.e. 100 m offset from the starting point) nor are extreme hiking tours. Whether or not I would recommend this cache to others depends on their situation and their preferences.

 

You might argue that in the example above the cache involves a scenic location. The point I tried to made is that the expecations of cachers are different. Those who prefer adventurous tours and are able to go for such tours, will for example often feel that the caches I enjoyed are boring. I can well envisage that there are many different reasons for going caching and thus many different types of preferences.

 

As long as is not possible to categorize recommendations (e.g. recommended for families, adventurous hikers etc)

I think that a personal view to the favourites makes more sense than a communal one (your own approach is however a mixture of both approaches - you personal preferences apparently influence the result as you e.g. do not favourite a micro if a larger container would fit.)

 

Cezanne

Link to comment

I use the Favorite vote as a communal list, not a personal list.

 

When someone clicks to see who gave the cache a Favorite vote, I hope that when they see my trailname they will associate it with a good chance that they too will enjoy the find.

Doesn't that depend on their caching preferences and their physical condition?

 

I consider myself to be an average cacher, of average physical condition. A cache that I award a favorite to will not be a micro in a parking lot because it happened to be a FTF for me. Or a margarine tub in a woodlot because I introduced a friend to geocaching that day. Or a gladware container in a city parkette because it was my 500th find. The criteria for me, is the box and location.

Edited by Lone R
Link to comment
It is virtually a worthless tool on the website for all the reasons being discussed here.

I find it to be a highly useful tool. Guess I'm doing it wrong? :unsure:

Personally, I award my favorite points to those caches which have given me the greatest adventure. How I define "adventure" might change a little bit from day to day, but there are usually a few qualities which are present: A quality container, a nice location, an interesting write up and an enjoyable journey to the cache, are all things I look for when deciding to grant a favorite point to a cache.

 

Apparently, the folks local to me follow similar inner guidelines, as, to date, using the favorites system to separate the wheat from the chaff has worked perfectly. Not even one exception. I will say that I rarely ever look at just the total number of points a cache receives. Generally, I prefer to use the percentage of premium members who favorited a cache. For instance, a virtual fairly close to me is one of the most favorited caches on the planet. Had I gone just by the total, I might have mistaken that for something I would enjoy. But when you look at what a paltry percentage of premium members favorited it, this number falls closer to my own aesthetics.

 

So far, any cache with more than 6 finds, with a percentage of favorites higher than 50, has proved to be a stellar adventure. Could this evaluation become skewed in the future? Of course it could. Some mook who is infatuated by film cans behind dumpsters could go hog wild, spewing out favorite points on every 1.5/1.5 P&G in Central Florida. Then create a bunch of socks to follow his lead. Till that happens, I will continue to use this awesome tool.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 5
×
×
  • Create New...