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martin&lindabryn

Event caches and souvenirs

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Its 11am, and I have had 2 people already log an attend at my space event which doesn’t start till 7pm tonight, purely to get the souvenir

The logs are

“Attended in mind if not in body!”

 

And

“Sorry can't attend as working but can I still get a souvenir for my profile?

Thanks”

 

I have deleted the logs, but they will still get the souvenir

If there is another event, with a souvenir to be awarded, would it be possible to give a code to the CO of an event, which he could give to the attendees to allow only those attending the event to receive the souvenir?

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This is true of all souvenirs, ie, logging any cache that will award a new souvenir, the souvenir remains even after log deletion.

For example, I might mis-enter a GC Code, and enter a find in a new state/country. Even if I realize my error and delete the log, I still have that souvenir.

 

As souvenirs are awarded by Geocaching.com and not by cache owners, managing this behavior is up to them.

 

I think this is a bug, but to me, it not one that rises to the level of working on it over other more pressing bug fixes.

 

You can use support to ask that any of your souvenirs be removed. http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=request 06.Souvenirs

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This is true of all souvenirs, ie, logging any cache that will award a new souvenir, the souvenir remains even after log deletion.

For example, I might mis-enter a GC Code, and enter a find in a new state/country. Even if I realize my error and delete the log, I still have that souvenir.

 

So I can log Attended on an associated event that I didn't actually attend, delete the log and I get to keep the souvenir and my log history remains true?

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Correct me if I am wrong but I thought you could log an attended to any space event cache and get the souvenir. The following is from OP's Geocaching in Space page.

 

6. Do I have to attend an official space event, to receive the "Geocaching in Space" souvenir ?

 

No. If you log your "Attended" for any geocaching event, that is held on November 6th or November 7th 2013 and listed on Geocaching.com, you will receive the souvenir. Events on both days will help commemorate Geocaching in Space.

 

Confused!

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You can log an event on the 6/7 November to receive the souvenir. But you must have attended the event

 

Not suggesting you are wrong, what you say makes sense, but Groundspeak rules that you have published say otherwise.

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And it's unlikely that Groundspeak will remove someone else's souvenir if you ask them to as it's then a matter of hearsay and drama... don't know if there's a solid way to fix the 'bug' with logging to attain souvenirs; might an inherent problem with the logic/process itself, requiring a fundamental alteration to the nature of souvenirs to fix. Which is unlikely. =/

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Its 11am, and I have had 2 people already log an attend at my space event which doesn’t start till 7pm tonight, purely to get the souvenir

The logs are

“Attended in mind if not in body!”

 

And

“Sorry can't attend as working but can I still get a souvenir for my profile?

Thanks”

 

 

Losers! :mad:

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Correct me if I am wrong but I thought you could log an attended to any space event cache and get the souvenir. The following is from OP's Geocaching in Space page.

 

6. Do I have to attend an official space event, to receive the "Geocaching in Space" souvenir ?

 

No. If you log your "Attended" for any geocaching event, that is held on November 6th or November 7th 2013 and listed on Geocaching.com, you will receive the souvenir. Events on both days will help commemorate Geocaching in Space.

 

Confused!

 

I don't find that very confusing. Presumably there were some that created an event listing for Nov. 6 or 7 prior to the Geocaching in Space promotion. All that Q&A is saying that if one attends and logs one of those events, they'll still get the souvenir. The two day windows allows qualifying events to occur in all time zones.

 

 

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Correct me if I am wrong but I thought you could log an attended to any space event cache and get the souvenir. The following is from OP's Geocaching in Space page.

 

6. Do I have to attend an official space event, to receive the "Geocaching in Space" souvenir ?

 

No. If you log your "Attended" for any geocaching event, that is held on November 6th or November 7th 2013 and listed on Geocaching.com, you will receive the souvenir. Events on both days will help commemorate Geocaching in Space.

 

Confused!

 

I don't find that very confusing. Presumably there were some that created an event listing for Nov. 6 or 7 prior to the Geocaching in Space promotion. All that Q&A is saying that if one attends and logs one of those events, they'll still get the souvenir. The two day windows allows qualifying events to occur in all time zones.

 

 

Nothing confusing about it. Your event didn't have to be about space, it just had to be on the listed dates.

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Nothing confusing about it. Your event didn't have to be about space, it just had to be on the listed dates.

Yeah, that's the way I'm reading it, too. You still have to legitimately attend an event, it just doesn't have to be a space event (because, after all, how could the system tell?).

 

I understand how someone could read it as permitting logging events you didn't actually attend, but I think that interpretation is clearly wrong.

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Well, the problem is there can't really be any disputing whether you actually "legitimately attended the event" or not, especially now that a log book isn't required.

 

Technically, you can log an Attended on any event worldwide that took place on the needed date, thematically related or not, and you get the souvenir. You can delete the log if you want, or let the CO, but you keep the souvenir.

Edited by thebruce0

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Well, the problem is there can't really be any disputing whether you actually "legitimately attended the event" or not, especially now that a log book isn't required.

 

Technically, you can log an Attended on any event worldwide that took place on the needed date, thematically related or not, and you get the souvenir. You can delete the log if you want, or let the CO, but you keep the souvenir.

 

Log books have never been required.

 

I wonder if the OP didn't change the text on his page to make it accurate, and as a way to protest that he has no control over someone using his event to get an unearned souvenir.

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Its 11am, and I have had 2 people already log an attend at my space event which doesn't start till 7pm tonight, purely to get the souvenir

The logs are

"Attended in mind if not in body!"

 

And

"Sorry can't attend as working but can I still get a souvenir for my profile?

Thanks"

 

 

Losers! :mad:

 

I wonder if these pathetic idiots sit around all weekend and stare into their screen, admiring their fake souvenirs????

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Correct me if I am wrong but I thought you could log an attended to any space event cache and get the souvenir. The following is from OP's Geocaching in Space page.

 

6. Do I have to attend an official space event, to receive the "Geocaching in Space" souvenir ?

 

No. If you log your "Attended" for any geocaching event, that is held on November 6th or November 7th 2013 and listed on Geocaching.com, you will receive the souvenir. Events on both days will help commemorate Geocaching in Space.

 

Confused!

 

Almost sounds like an August souvenir now. The first time i read about this in the Oct 14th gc.com newsletter it stated,

 

Geocaching HQ will issue a Geocaching in Space souvenir to those who attend Event Caches during the launch. You can watch the launch live online or check out the recording later to celebrate the geocaching community’s spirit of exploration.

 

Sounded to me like a person needed to be at an event at the time of launch. To me, that meant there was actually a hair bit of challenge involved to get the souvenir. Now it's changed to allow any event, at any time, on the 6th or 7th.

 

Souvenirs might actually mean something to me, if they were something that required me to put a teensy bit of effort into getting.

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I wonder if these pathetic idiots sit around all weekend and stare into their screen, admiring their fake souvenirs????

I do wonder about that, too, but I think in this case the misconception fijity brought up was in play, so a few people thought that the FAQ was allowing and even recommending such virtual attendance. That would make them misguided, and maybe even a little dumb, but not quite pathetic.

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The problem with requiring a time is that there are many, many people who don't post logs immediately, whether by choice or capability. It would be a headache to have to deal with corrections or requests after the fact, for those people who want the souvenir. Did they really attend the event or not?

 

Better would have been to, at least internally at Groundspeak, flag approved themed events, so having an attended log at one of these recognized events during the approval period would grant you the souvenir.

Maybe... maybe... also allow the COs to verify log book signing as evidence of attendance -- only because of the souvenir reward. I know that can open up the floor for more drama, but both of these limitations would certainly both encourage people to actually attend an event, and discourage/make it harder for people to 'cheat' just to get the souvenir (where 'cheating' really just means that some people might feel geocaching is cheapened by the actions of a few, since there's ultimately no real 'cheating' in this pastime).

 

IMO, for special events - that is where souvenirs are granted, for example - provide two added features:

1) Official list of approved events that grant the souvenir

2) Event guideline exception allowing log book verification as a CO right (just as with physical caches)

 

#1 is more work on Groundspeak's part, but it makes sense given they've opted to do the work in providing the souvenir itself.

#2 may cause more drama, but we've seen that drama was caused regardless - but at least this is a step in the right direction - to the intent of geocaching, and of these events

 

/my2p

Edited by thebruce0

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IMO, for special events - that is where souvenirs are granted, for example - provide two added features:

1) Official list of approved events that grant the souvenir

2) Event guideline exception allowing log book verification as a CO right (just as with physical caches)

 

#1 is more work on Groundspeak's part, but it makes sense given they've opted to do the work in providing the souvenir itself.

#2 may cause more drama, but we've seen that drama was caused regardless - but at least this is a step in the right direction - to the intent of geocaching, and of these events

 

/my2p

+1

Good idea ! Does make sense.

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We had the same experience with the space event we hosted on Nov 6th. Someone who didn't attend logged they "celebrated from afar," meaning they didn't attend but logged it anyway. I don't really care how people cache, and they are the ones who cheated themselves out of a fun event just to get a souvenir. Deleting their log doesn't change the fact that they get to keep the souvenir.

 

I just think it's stupid that someone would do that.

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IMO, for special events - that is where souvenirs are granted, for example - provide two added features:

1) Official list of approved events that grant the souvenir

2) Event guideline exception allowing log book verification as a CO right (just as with physical caches)

 

In my opinion none of the two would make an difference until deleting a log does not remove the souvenir. It is the souvenir people like to have. If people admit in their logs that they have not been there, you do not need a log book.

With the log book you rather annoy people like me who do not want to sign a log book at an event (I have stayed at least two hours at all events where I took part).

 

The fact that souvenirs are not deleted when logs are deleted shows another weakness of the very weak souvenir system (also one of the reasons why offering further country souvenirs is not trivial for Groundspeak). That's the real issue.

 

Cezanne

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Souvenirs might actually mean something to me, if they were something that required me to put a teensy bit of effort into getting.

 

I'm not sure why you're lumping all souvenirs together. Some souvenirs do require a significant effort to obtain. I figure it would cost me about $600-$700 to qualify for the Groundspeak HQ souvenir. For someone living in Europe or Asia that could run into thousands of dollars.

 

 

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Souvenirs might actually mean something to me, if they were something that required me to put a teensy bit of effort into getting.

 

I'm not sure why you're lumping all souvenirs together. Some souvenirs do require a significant effort to obtain. I figure it would cost me about $600-$700 to qualify for the Groundspeak HQ souvenir. For someone living in Europe or Asia that could run into thousands of dollars.

 

I know someone who has it and never went. He said he got it when they came out and doesn't know how. He is not into souvenirs so doesn't brag about it and is not interested in getting it deleted

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Souvenirs might actually mean something to me, if they were something that required me to put a teensy bit of effort into getting.

 

I'm not sure why you're lumping all souvenirs together. Some souvenirs do require a significant effort to obtain. I figure it would cost me about $600-$700 to qualify for the Groundspeak HQ souvenir. For someone living in Europe or Asia that could run into thousands of dollars.

 

I know someone who has it and never went. He said he got it when they came out and doesn't know how. He is not into souvenirs so doesn't brag about it and is not interested in getting it deleted

 

The HQ souvenir was just an example. Other than obtaining a region based souvenir for the area in which you live, all others are going to require some effort in order to travel to obtain the souvenir. For me, traveling to Japan and South Africa required more effort than driving a half mile to the event location where I got the 12-12-12 souvenir. As a result, I care more about the souvenirs I have for Japan and South Africa than the ones I got for merely getting out of the house and finding a cache (or attending an event).

 

 

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The HQ souvenir was just an example. Other than obtaining a region based souvenir for the area in which you live, all others are going to require some effort in order to travel to obtain the souvenir. For me, traveling to Japan and South Africa required more effort than driving a half mile to the event location where I got the 12-12-12 souvenir. As a result, I care more about the souvenirs I have for Japan and South Africa than the ones I got for merely getting out of the house and finding a cache (or attending an event).

 

The issue with the current souvenir system is that you do not need to invest any effort for whatever souvenir. Log a cache and delete your log afterwards works. Of course this is not a way I suggest and it is not sincere, but given this situation your claim above is wrong.

Edited by cezanne

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Correct me if I am wrong but I thought you could log an attended to any space event cache and get the souvenir. The following is from OP's Geocaching in Space page.

 

6. Do I have to attend an official space event, to receive the "Geocaching in Space" souvenir ?

 

No. If you log your "Attended" for any geocaching event, that is held on November 6th or November 7th 2013 and listed on Geocaching.com, you will receive the souvenir. Events on both days will help commemorate Geocaching in Space.

 

Confused!

 

Almost sounds like an August souvenir now. The first time i read about this in the Oct 14th gc.com newsletter it stated,

 

Geocaching HQ will issue a Geocaching in Space souvenir to those who attend Event Caches during the launch. You can watch the launch live online or check out the recording later to celebrate the geocaching community’s spirit of exploration.

 

Sounded to me like a person needed to be at an event at the time of launch. To me, that meant there was actually a hair bit of challenge involved to get the souvenir. Now it's changed to allow any event, at any time, on the 6th or 7th.

 

Souvenirs might actually mean something to me, if they were something that required me to put a teensy bit of effort into getting.

 

How about driving 80 miles round trip? Is that enough effort?

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Souvenirs might actually mean something to me, if they were something that required me to put a teensy bit of effort into getting.

 

I'm not sure why you're lumping all souvenirs together. Some souvenirs do require a significant effort to obtain. I figure it would cost me about $600-$700 to qualify for the Groundspeak HQ souvenir. For someone living in Europe or Asia that could run into thousands of dollars.

 

Or you could just armchair-log the appropriate cache, delete the log, and enjoy the pretty souvenir. Which I guess is the point of the issue being raised.

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Souvenirs might actually mean something to me, if they were something that required me to put a teensy bit of effort into getting.

 

I'm not sure why you're lumping all souvenirs together. Some souvenirs do require a significant effort to obtain. I figure it would cost me about $600-$700 to qualify for the Groundspeak HQ souvenir. For someone living in Europe or Asia that could run into thousands of dollars.

 

Or you could just armchair-log the appropriate cache, delete the log, and enjoy the pretty souvenir. Which I guess is the point of the issue being raised.

 

Perhaps Mudfrog could clarify but I assumed that their point was that many souvenirs require no effort beyond going out and playing the game as we'd normally do.

 

If we're going to assume that playing the game without any integrity is acceptable then you could probably armchair log finds on most of the large power trails in the world and enjoy your really high find count.

 

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If we're going to assume that playing the game without any integrity is acceptable then you could probably armchair log finds on most of the large power trails in the world and enjoy your really high find count.

 

But Groundspeak does not invite such armchair logs. In the case discussed here the souvenirs are awarded even if the cacher themselves delete their log instantly without being asked to do so.

There is something wrong with the souvenir system.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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Souvenirs might actually mean something to me, if they were something that required me to put a teensy bit of effort into getting.

 

I'm not sure why you're lumping all souvenirs together. Some souvenirs do require a significant effort to obtain. I figure it would cost me about $600-$700 to qualify for the Groundspeak HQ souvenir. For someone living in Europe or Asia that could run into thousands of dollars.

 

Or you could just armchair-log the appropriate cache, delete the log, and enjoy the pretty souvenir. Which I guess is the point of the issue being raised.

 

Perhaps Mudfrog could clarify but I assumed that their point was that many souvenirs require no effort beyond going out and playing the game as we'd normally do.

 

If we're going to assume that playing the game without any integrity is acceptable then you could probably armchair log finds on most of the large power trails in the world and enjoy your really high find count.

 

Many souvenirs don't require anything over and above doing what you might normally do. I've got souvenirs for finding caches in (I think, can't be bothered to look) 11 states, simply because I found caches in those 11 states during the course of normal caching activity while visiting the US. So on that basis they didn't take any particular effort despite being anything up to 4000 miles from home, because I happened to be there anyway.

 

I guess if people genuinely go out of their way to collect a particular souvenir they might have some value, at least to the people who took the trouble to earn them. I'm not sure whether I'd feel more pity for people who travelled thousands of miles just to earn a gold star on a web site, or people who logged a cache they never found in an area they never visited to earn a gold star on a web site.

 

But then it's probably no secret by now that I think the souvenirs are pointless.

 

 

If we're going to assume that playing the game without any integrity is acceptable then you could probably armchair log finds on most of the large power trails in the world and enjoy your really high find count.

 

But Groundspeak does not invite such armchair logs. In the case discussed here the souvenirs are awarded even if the cacher themselves delete their log instantly without being asked to do so.

There is something wrong with the souvenir system.

 

Cezanne

 

There is, although fixing it could be trickier. A single cache log generates an "earned" status but deleting the cache log doesn't necessarily remove that status, simply because another cache log could also generate the same "earned" status. Short of changing the database to effectively count how many times over someone earned a souvenir, docking the count when a log is deleted or changed so that if it hits zero the souvenir can be withdrawn, it's hard to see any way of automating it. And I'm sure Groundspeak has better things to do than handle complaints that someone has a gold star they shouldn't have.

 

I can't help wondering whether the solution to a lot of the issues is to hide souvenirs and find counts from other users. That way people who want to collect the pretty gold stars can do so but without even the pretence that they might represent some kind of status among the community, and those who want to log "finds" from their desks can gain the same collection but nobody else will ever see them. Likewise people who want to armchair the power trails won't get any public recognition of their "efforts". Maybe then as a byproduct we'll also see a return to more inventive hides than film pots behind signs every 200 yards.

 

Perhaps a key question to ask when designing a user interface is a simple "what behaviours does this reward?" - as far as I can tell the interface as it stands rewards number hunting and souvenir hunting, making no distinction between people who gain them by caching a lot (power trails for high find counts or travelling a lot for souvenirs) or by cheating (armchair logging power trails, faking dates on logs, answering virtuals with a bit of Google use, etc). I'm obviously not the only one who cares little for gold stars on a web site, and maybe I'm also not the only one who wonders whether the game as a whole would be improved by getting rid of things that reward a lot of the kind of behaviour that used to be frowned upon.

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Groundspeak, Moun10Bike I believe, have said that the current database implementation will get overloaded if they allowed the awarding of souvenirs that are post-dated. Meaning that their database can't handle checking the date against all possible matching souvenirs for every new log entered. So my guess is that the same thing is going on in reverse. Deleting or changing a date on a log could require the same exhaustive checks that this database implementation will fall over on.

 

It certainly seems like a problem that doesn't posses an unobtainable solution but Groundspeak believes that to be the case currently.

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Groundspeak, Moun10Bike I believe, have said that the current database implementation will get overloaded if they allowed the awarding of souvenirs that are post-dated. Meaning that their database can't handle checking the date against all possible matching souvenirs for every new log entered. So my guess is that the same thing is going on in reverse. Deleting or changing a date on a log could require the same exhaustive checks that this database implementation will fall over on.

 

It certainly seems like a problem that doesn't posses an unobtainable solution but Groundspeak believes that to be the case currently.

 

Yes, I fully agree with you (and I have been aware of Moun10Bike's post as well), but the reason that an overload occurs is that the system is not cleverly implemented.

I also agree that given the small development ressources aavailable at Groundspeak it is not an efficient use of them asking for a better implementation. They should focus on more

important issues.

 

That however still does not make the used solution a clever one. It stays a dumb one and I would have preferred if they had given it a thought before introducing the souvenir idea. There are so many pieces of code used by Groundspeak which just have been

put together and not been developed with a clear vision and some genius behind. There are many aspects where they are far from what can technologically been done.

Groundspeak in my opinion very often acts quite impulsive - first act and analyse later.

 

 

Cezanne

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Groundspeak, Moun10Bike I believe, have said that the current database implementation will get overloaded if they allowed the awarding of souvenirs that are post-dated.

 

No, post-dated awarding happens all of the time. The limitations of the system come into play when a log is deleted. People want deletion to remove any souvenirs that were gained by posting that log, but there is not a simple one-to-one relationship like that. To remove a souvenir when a log is deleted, the system would have to double check all of the users souvenirs and, most critically, all of the users other logs to see if any of them count toward the souvenir in question. This would be a huge burden on an already overtaxed system.

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I've been thinking about this for a while now while watching this thread.

 

Best idea I could come up with is to store the algorithm for each souvenir as an optional check that a user can run periodically (like the My Finds PQ). Wherein, say I do delete a log for an event and want to keep an accurate list of souvenirs. I could go to this page, and re-check that particular souvenir. If it's still valid, it'll stay, otherwise it'll get removed. Same could then be applied to souvenirs given for caching in certain regions, or finding caches on certain dates - whatever the 'grant' algorithm, a periodic check allowed to run manually would be about the only way I could see it working out. Benefits 'honest' users, and changes nothing for users who don't care. Presumably it would barely tax the system at all (definitely no more than the ability to run a personal Finds PQ every few days) - could even only be provided as an option for Premium members.

Edited by thebruce0

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Many souvenirs don't require anything over and above doing what you might normally do. I've got souvenirs for finding caches in (I think, can't be bothered to look) 11 states, simply because I found caches in those 11 states during the course of normal caching activity while visiting the US. So on that basis they didn't take any particular effort despite being anything up to 4000 miles from home, because I happened to be there anyway.

 

I guess if people genuinely go out of their way to collect a particular souvenir they might have some value, at least to the people who took the trouble to earn them. I'm not sure whether I'd feel more pity for people who travelled thousands of miles just to earn a gold star on a web site, or people who logged a cache they never found in an area they never visited to earn a gold star on a web site.

 

But then it's probably no secret by now that I think the souvenirs are pointless.

 

 

If I decide that I want a New Mexico and Texas souvenir and plan a camping/caching trip to get them, I have the memories of my trip, the scenery, cooking a steak over the coals of the campfire, the trails that I hiked to find caches, along with a ton of photos. I also get a 100X100 pixel image on my souvenir tab on my profile that reminds me of all these things.

 

The guy sitting in his Mom's basement in his underwear that posts a log and deletes it, gets a meaningless 100X100 pixel image on his profile.

 

The thing is, when this guy does this, I have no idea that he did, I don't care that he did it and it has absolutely no power to remove the memories that I get when I look at the souvenir. To me, it's obvious who is getting cheated.

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I've been thinking about this for a while now while watching this thread.

 

Best idea I could come up with is to store the algorithm for each souvenir as an optional check that a user can run periodically (like the My Finds PQ). Wherein, say I do delete a log for an event and want to keep an accurate list of souvenirs. I could go to this page, and re-check that particular souvenir. If it's still valid, it'll stay, otherwise it'll get removed. Same could then be applied to souvenirs given for caching in certain regions, or finding caches on certain dates - whatever the 'grant' algorithm, a periodic check allowed to run manually would be about the only way I could see it working out. Benefits 'honest' users, and changes nothing for users who don't care. Presumably it would barely tax the system at all (definitely no more than the ability to run a personal Finds PQ every few days) - could even only be provided as an option for Premium members.

 

Bruce, this isn't about you wanting to keep your souvenir tab accurate, it's about some knicker twister wanting to do it for you because he thinks you're cheating. A post from a lackey in another thread says that we may have the ability to hide souvenirs in the future, but this doesn't solve the problem highly trivial issue of people that intentionally added souvenirs that they didn't deserve.

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If I decide that I want a New Mexico and Texas souvenir and plan a camping/caching trip to get them, I have the memories of my trip, the scenery, cooking a steak over the coals of the campfire, the trails that I hiked to find caches, along with a ton of photos. I also get a 100X100 pixel image on my souvenir tab on my profile that reminds me of all these things.

 

The guy sitting in his Mom's basement in his underwear that posts a log and deletes it, gets a meaningless 100X100 pixel image on his profile.

 

The thing is, when this guy does this, I have no idea that he did, I don't care that he did it and it has absolutely no power to remove the memories that I get when I look at the souvenir. To me, it's obvious who is getting cheated.

 

I think that you compare the wrong things. Someone who dreams about going to Texas for camping or about attending the block party and has the chance to go there, will prefer a real visit anyway. Most of those who cheat to get some icons do not have the alternative: They either get nothing or only the virtual souvenir. For me the 100x100 image has no meaning, to some it obviously has a meaning. Some appear to feel that the recent space souvenir compensates them a little bit for not having been able to attend a event on that day.

 

Cezanne

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Bruce, this isn't about you wanting to keep your souvenir tab accurate, it's about some knicker twister wanting to do it for you because he thinks you're cheating. A post from a lackey in another thread says that we may have the ability to hide souvenirs in the future, but this doesn't solve the problem highly trivial issue of people that intentionally added souvenirs that they didn't deserve.

I know... I didn't say it did...

But what do you mean by "trivial"? Unimportant? or Easy? Simple to remove? I very much disagree with the latter.

 

And, your reply feels like you're really bothered by this, counter to your previous comment which implies 'who cares':

The thing is, when this guy does this, I have no idea that he did, I don't care that he did it and it has absolutely no power to remove the memories that I get when I look at the souvenir. To me, it's obvious who is getting cheated.

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Many souvenirs don't require anything over and above doing what you might normally do. I've got souvenirs for finding caches in (I think, can't be bothered to look) 11 states, simply because I found caches in those 11 states during the course of normal caching activity while visiting the US. So on that basis they didn't take any particular effort despite being anything up to 4000 miles from home, because I happened to be there anyway.

 

I guess if people genuinely go out of their way to collect a particular souvenir they might have some value, at least to the people who took the trouble to earn them. I'm not sure whether I'd feel more pity for people who travelled thousands of miles just to earn a gold star on a web site, or people who logged a cache they never found in an area they never visited to earn a gold star on a web site.

 

But then it's probably no secret by now that I think the souvenirs are pointless.

 

 

If I decide that I want a New Mexico and Texas souvenir and plan a camping/caching trip to get them, I have the memories of my trip, the scenery, cooking a steak over the coals of the campfire, the trails that I hiked to find caches, along with a ton of photos. I also get a 100X100 pixel image on my souvenir tab on my profile that reminds me of all these things.

 

The guy sitting in his Mom's basement in his underwear that posts a log and deletes it, gets a meaningless 100X100 pixel image on his profile.

 

The thing is, when this guy does this, I have no idea that he did, I don't care that he did it and it has absolutely no power to remove the memories that I get when I look at the souvenir. To me, it's obvious who is getting cheated.

 

Yep, although if you plan your camping/caching trip to New Mexico and Texas I don't imagine the presence of a 100x100 thumbnail of those states on your profile is going to carry much weight against the memories of the trip, the steaks, the trails etc. So the souvenir is worth as much to you as it is to the rather cliched guy sitting in the basement claiming he went there. If you didn't get the souvenirs at all you wouldn't be missing anything. If you camped, hiked, cooked steaks over a campfire, took a load of pictures, enjoyed the scenery, and didn't manage to find a single cache your trip would still be just as memorable, no?

 

Personally I get more memories out of my photos than I do out of looking at my souvenir page. I only found (I think) three caches in West Virginia and they were in rest areas on the interstate. Most of the caches I found in New York were urban micros, the kind of thing I often pass by these days. The three caches I found in Kentucky were more memorable, and I don't need to look at my souvenir page to remember any of those.

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If I decide that I want a New Mexico and Texas souvenir and plan a camping/caching trip to get them, I have the memories of my trip, the scenery, cooking a steak over the coals of the campfire, the trails that I hiked to find caches, along with a ton of photos. I also get a 100X100 pixel image on my souvenir tab on my profile that reminds me of all these things.

 

The guy sitting in his Mom's basement in his underwear that posts a log and deletes it, gets a meaningless 100X100 pixel image on his profile.

 

The thing is, when this guy does this, I have no idea that he did, I don't care that he did it and it has absolutely no power to remove the memories that I get when I look at the souvenir. To me, it's obvious who is getting cheated.

 

I think that you compare the wrong things. Someone who dreams about going to Texas for camping or about attending the block party and has the chance to go there, will prefer a real visit anyway. Most of those who cheat to get some icons do not have the alternative: They either get nothing or only the virtual souvenir. For me the 100x100 image has no meaning, to some it obviously has a meaning. Some appear to feel that the recent space souvenir compensates them a little bit for not having been able to attend a event on that day.

 

Cezanne

 

This is how I see it, I would love to visit London, but I never will. To compensate, I order a souvenir of the London Tower from a mail order house and have it shipped to me then put it up on my fire place mantle. Every time someone new comes over I show them the souvenir and regal them about my trip to London. Are you saying that the so caller "cheaters" are doing it to remind them of something they couldn't do?

 

I guess the reason to collect souvenirs is different for different people. If a friend visits New York and brings me back a snow globe of Manhattan, unless I collect snow globes, it really doesn't mean anything to me except as a gift from a friend. If I visit New York and bring home the same snow globe, it will always be a reminder of my trip to New York and obviously hold a greater value.

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Bruce, this isn't about you wanting to keep your souvenir tab accurate, it's about some knicker twister wanting to do it for you because he thinks you're cheating. A post from a lackey in another thread says that we may have the ability to hide souvenirs in the future, but this doesn't solve the problem highly trivial issue of people that intentionally added souvenirs that they didn't deserve.

I know... I didn't say it did...

But what do you mean by "trivial"? Unimportant? or Easy? Simple to remove? I very much disagree with the latter.

 

And, your reply feels like you're really bothered by this, counter to your previous comment which implies 'who cares':

The thing is, when this guy does this, I have no idea that he did, I don't care that he did it and it has absolutely no power to remove the memories that I get when I look at the souvenir. To me, it's obvious who is getting cheated.

 

I think that you really misread what I was saying. I think that the issue of people gaming the system to get souvenirs that they didn't earn is trivial, not that the programming issues to fix it are.

 

I have no idea of the programming issues involved. Groundspeak is hinting that in the future we will be able to hide souvenirs that we did not earn, or have no interest in. This is different than removing them automatically when a log is deleted. I also have no idea what Groundspeak's resources are, but I really would hate to think that they would expend them to fix a problem that really doesn't affect anybody. Yes, some people log caches and then delete the log to get a souvenir on THEIR profile. This does not affect me, you or anyone else.

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Ok, well my point was more directed towards the suggestion of having deleted logs trigger a re-check of related souvenirs (ie, that if an owner deletes an invalid log, or a user posts and deletes just to get the souvenir) - and why (as per Groundspeak's comment) it would be ridiculously hard to do (ie stressing on the system). I didn't have a solution for that (having the system do it automatically when someone else deletes a user's log), but rather that the closest solution that would be feasible is to have an optional souvenir checker function you can run on your own profile.

Heck, by extension, depending on how improved the 'servers' get over the short term, that profile-souvenir-checker feature could become an automated weekly execution for all users. Or roll weekly throughout the week over all users. Then there's no way a user could have a souvenir they didn't legitimately earn, for more than a week.

 

In short, my point was that doing the souvenir validation live with algorithms potentially for any and all geocaching website functions would be an extreme addition. But having the feature start out as a manual execution allowed periodically for our own profiles, to even eventually become an automated profile check periodically per all users, is to my mind a much more viable solution.

Edited by thebruce0

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Groundspeak is hinting that in the future we will be able to hide souvenirs that we did not earn, or have no interest in. This is different than removing them automatically when a log is deleted. I also have no idea what Groundspeak's resources are, but I really would hate to think that they would expend them to fix a problem that really doesn't affect anybody. Yes, some people log caches and then delete the log to get a souvenir on THEIR profile. This does not affect me, you or anyone else.

 

I'm with Don_J on this one - I'd much rather see resources channelled into areas which will deliver benefits. By comparison, seeking out and penalising souvenir cheats seems a poor use of valuable resource.

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Ok, well my point was more directed towards the suggestion of having deleted logs trigger a re-check of related souvenirs (ie, that if an owner deletes an invalid log, or a user posts and deletes just to get the souvenir) - and why (as per Groundspeak's comment) it would be ridiculously hard to do (ie stressing on the system). I didn't have a solution for that (having the system do it automatically when someone else deletes a user's log), but rather that the closest solution that would be feasible is to have an optional souvenir checker function you can run on your own profile.

Heck, by extension, depending on how improved the 'servers' get over the short term, that profile-souvenir-checker feature could become an automated weekly execution for all users. Or roll weekly throughout the week over all users. Then there's no way a user could have a souvenir they didn't legitimately earn, for more than a week.

 

In short, my point was that doing the souvenir validation live with algorithms potentially for any and all geocaching website functions would be an extreme addition. But having the feature start out as a manual execution allowed periodically for our own profiles, to even eventually become an automated profile check periodically per all users, is to my mind a much more viable solution.

 

Even if such a script were to run it still wouldn't stop people. When events don't have log books anyone could claim to have been there and the chances are nobody would really know whether they hadn't shown up at all or if they were just the quiet one in the corner. It would catch the people who log a cache and then delete the log but wouldn't do anything about people who log a cache and leave the log. On this I'm with Don_J - it's not worth expending system resources to try and correct a problem that's trivial.

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Even if such a script were to run it still wouldn't stop people. When events don't have log books anyone could claim to have been there and the chances are nobody would really know whether they hadn't shown up at all or if they were just the quiet one in the corner. It would catch the people who log a cache and then delete the log but wouldn't do anything about people who log a cache and leave the log. On this I'm with Don_J - it's not worth expending system resources to try and correct a problem that's trivial.

Sure, I'm not in disagreement about that. I just figured, you know, instead of shrugging and closing down ideas, add something to the conversation :anibad:

There are many areas of geocaching that aren't worth tightening up, let alone easily implemented. All I provided were suggestions, ideas, regardless of opinions over their 'worth'. Just ideas, that obviously don't solve every issue. Will they happen? Unlikely... amongst buckets of great suggestions posted elsewhere to the forums for other features and fixes and whatnot. Just ideas, man, ideas. ;)

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Even if such a script were to run it still wouldn't stop people. When events don't have log books anyone could claim to have been there and the chances are nobody would really know whether they hadn't shown up at all or if they were just the quiet one in the corner. It would catch the people who log a cache and then delete the log but wouldn't do anything about people who log a cache and leave the log. On this I'm with Don_J - it's not worth expending system resources to try and correct a problem that's trivial.

Sure, I'm not in disagreement about that. I just figured, you know, instead of shrugging and closing down ideas, add something to the conversation :anibad:

There are many areas of geocaching that aren't worth tightening up, let alone easily implemented. All I provided were suggestions, ideas, regardless of opinions over their 'worth'. Just ideas, that obviously don't solve every issue. Will they happen? Unlikely... amongst buckets of great suggestions posted elsewhere to the forums for other features and fixes and whatnot. Just ideas, man, ideas. ;)

 

All good points, it's just that a script people could run to remove souvenirs that had been incorrectly awarded wouldn't solve the problem the OP was talking about where people had deliberately cheated to gain a souvenir. If someone logs a cache only to realise they had logged the wrong one (or the wrong date, or whatever else) and hence been awarded a souvenir they didn't deserve they could remove it, but the person who logs a Find or Attended knowing full well they didn't find or attend and only want the souvenir is never going to run such a script.

 

Ideas to solve similar issues (or totally different issues) are great, but if they get lost in a thread like this they have even less chance of ever being implemented than if they are put in their own thread.

 

In theory the database link between a user and a souvenir could contain an extra field to indicate how many times over it had been earned, such that adding a new log would increment the counter and the deletion of a log would decrement it. That way if the counter hit zero the souvenir would be removed. It would mean that if a cache owner deleted someone's log for cheating the souvenir would disappear, as well as automatically withdrawing a souvenir from someone who entered a log in error and subsequently deleted or corrected it, but it would seem to generate coding work with minimal benefit. Most of the comments in here (which admittedly represents a small fraction of active geocachers) seem to be along the lines of caring very little for souvenirs.

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All good points, it's just that a script people could run to remove souvenirs that had been incorrectly awarded wouldn't solve the problem the OP was talking about where people had deliberately cheated to gain a souvenir. If someone logs a cache only to realise they had logged the wrong one (or the wrong date, or whatever else) and hence been awarded a souvenir they didn't deserve they could remove it, but the person who logs a Find or Attended knowing full well they didn't find or attend and only want the souvenir is never going to run such a script.

Thus my extended comment about eventually making it an automated periodic run on GC profiles, such as weekly, or less. The system can go through as souvenir and the profiles that have them, and double check that they're still valid. In the background, no one notices it's running, it's periodic and only select profile so that it's not a system burden.

Souvenirs aren't checked 'live' (like when deleting a log), so someone who 'cheats' may only have that pleasure for say up to a week.

Anyway, already mentioned that earlier...

Yeah, in a thread like this ideas can get lost. It's more like a place to bounce ideas around before actually making a separate feature request thread :)

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All good points, it's just that a script people could run to remove souvenirs that had been incorrectly awarded wouldn't solve the problem the OP was talking about where people had deliberately cheated to gain a souvenir. If someone logs a cache only to realise they had logged the wrong one (or the wrong date, or whatever else) and hence been awarded a souvenir they didn't deserve they could remove it, but the person who logs a Find or Attended knowing full well they didn't find or attend and only want the souvenir is never going to run such a script.

Thus my extended comment about eventually making it an automated periodic run on GC profiles, such as weekly, or less. The system can go through as souvenir and the profiles that have them, and double check that they're still valid. In the background, no one notices it's running, it's periodic and only select profile so that it's not a system burden.

Souvenirs aren't checked 'live' (like when deleting a log), so someone who 'cheats' may only have that pleasure for say up to a week.

Anyway, already mentioned that earlier...

Yeah, in a thread like this ideas can get lost. It's more like a place to bounce ideas around before actually making a separate feature request thread :)

 

It would be easier and achieve much the same thing to just hide the souvenir tab from other users. That way if people want to keep their own private wall of gold stars they can, whether by finding the appropriate caches or by armchair logging them, but nobody else sees them. If people feel they want to cheat to get gold stars nobody else can see then good luck to them. If people want to travel half way across the world to get a gold star on a web site good luck to them, and we still don't need to see it.

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The system can go through as souvenir and the profiles that have them, and double check that they're still valid. In the background, no one notices it's running, it's periodic and only select profile so that it's not a system burden.

 

If it consumes processor cycles / disk time - it's a system burden. Might be a small burden - I don't know - but a burden it is.

 

Even a small additional burden on a system which we are frequently told is groaning under the weight is a burden too many - the straw that breaks the camel's back effectively.

 

The system apparently has insufficient resources to provide a reasonably useful search function - as discussed here - so I for one wouldn't be voting for throwing unavailable resource at an issue that isn't going to deliver any useful benefit.

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The system can go through as souvenir and the profiles that have them, and double check that they're still valid. In the background, no one notices it's running, it's periodic and only select profile so that it's not a system burden.

 

If it consumes processor cycles / disk time - it's a system burden. Might be a small burden - I don't know - but a burden it is.

 

Even a small additional burden on a system which we are frequently told is groaning under the weight is a burden too many - the straw that breaks the camel's back effectively.

 

The system apparently has insufficient resources to provide a reasonably useful search function - as discussed here - so I for one wouldn't be voting for throwing unavailable resource at an issue that isn't going to deliver any useful benefit.

Indeed. Though my parallel was with the running of My Finds pocket queries, which are allowed only every few days.

Given that the style of feature is doable, ultimately it's a matter of priority. Is the ability to periodically run validation checks on users' souvenirs worth having, worth the small amount of extra strain on the system. (and by burden, I meant past a certain operating 'line' - of course it would be extra stress on the system periodically, as is any function people execute on the website, but would it be a burden? ymmv, as mentioned above :), it's relative; we have no stats for how much stress the system would take with a weekly (eg) souvenir check - complex searches that people can execute at any time through the entire database of caches would understandably be a far greater stress on the system)

 

It would be easier and achieve much the same thing to just hide the souvenir tab from other users.

Enh, that practically defeats the purpose of the souvenir tab. At worst, someone could easily then just copy the text into their public profile tab. Then the whole point is moot anyway, since they can add whatever they want, but there's no way to know if it's true or not. There'd be no value in souvenirs really at all. A personal gold star no one else can see? You could tell your friends you just earned a souvenir; so, how would they know or trust you were telling the truth? There'd be zero value in them except to yourself. Not really something most people would end up caring about. Apart from anyone's opinions about the souvenir system in general, I doubt that Groundspeak would give any priority to that profile feature in that case; they'd go the way of the dodo.

The reason they're popular as they are is because they can be shown to people within your profile.

The problem is fundamental in that they're granted automatically on completing a pre-designed algorithmic check. To do an active inverse of that algorithm is too much work. So 'cheating' is easy. But there's inherently the desire to share them as achievements.

 

The only solution (with zero added stress to the system) really is for each of us not to care if someone else's are legitimate or not. Heck if you're suspicious, you could ask the user to tell the story of how they got the souvenir - therein lies its value, no?

 

As a web app developer, I can understand Groundspeak's position on the souvenir system - I can't think of a way to make them feasible and accurate on a system so wide as geocaching.com, not without adding, to some degree, to the stress of the system - whether it be periodic manual checks of your own souvenir collection, or automated regular checks of all profiles and souvenirs in the system.

 

It's a matter of priority.

And likely, right now, the system does what it's supposed to do, and any value on them is given by the profile owners, so it seems to be that the drawbacks of tightening up the souvenir system don't outweigh the 'negatives' inherent in the system... not just yet at least.

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