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martin&lindabryn

Event caches and souvenirs

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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.

 

Count me in.

 

I won't lose a wink of sleep thinking about anyone having souvenirs on their profiles they haven't earned :)

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And this is likely the solution Groundspeak is hoping the majority of its users opt for ;P

But hey, no harm in discussing other possible imperfect patchwork solutions :)

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And this is likely the solution Groundspeak is hoping the majority of its users opt for ;P

But hey, no harm in discussing other possible imperfect patchwork solutions :)

 

While there's no harm in it - I can't believe the thread has generated the interest it has given that it revolves around such a non-issue :blink:

 

I only chimed in because I was worried Groundspeak might actually take it under consideration and invest time in it which could be put to much better use on something which benefits the majority of users rather than appeases the minority who give the slightest hoot what anyone else has in their trophy cabinet :)

 

I also wonder how much of the energy invested in the discussions we have on here actually has any impact in the upper echelons :ph34r:

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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.

 

It seems to me that you have to explicitly go to a users profile page then click on the souvenirs tab to see it. There are millions of web pages on the internet that I'll never look at either but I'm not calling for the owners of sites to hide page that I'm not interested in looking at.

 

By the way, some people enjoy souvenirs. Why the condescending reference to souvenirs as "gold stars"? You never have to click on your own souvenir tab or the souvenir on anyone elses profile. Is that not enough, or do you find it satisfying to belittle those that do enjoy the feature as well.

 

 

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Hey Team Microdot.

 

Since you were wondering. :)

 

We currently watch all the threads and ideas that are simmering in the forums - I know we weren't as active in the forums in the past. While the community may not see every idea that we enter into the database implemented, we watch the conversations and are actively recording community requests...sometimes we get up and head over to the appropriate department to bounce the idea off of them. We weigh the merits of these community ideas and keep them in mind as we make bigger decisions that effect the game. We are a part of the community and love the game, as well.

 

Thanks for offering your opinion to the discussion. We always appreciate positive, constructive feedback.

 

*now entering Lackey stealth mode* :ph34r:

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Hey Team Microdot.

 

Since you were wondering. :)

 

We currently watch all the threads and ideas that are simmering in the forums - I know we weren't as active in the forums in the past. While the community may not see every idea that we enter into the database implemented, we watch the conversations and are actively recording community requests...sometimes we get up and head over to the appropriate department to bounce the idea off of them. We weigh the merits of these community ideas and keep them in mind as we make bigger decisions that effect the game. We are a part of the community and love the game, as well.

 

Thanks for offering your opinion to the discussion. We always appreciate positive, constructive feedback.

 

*now entering Lackey stealth mode* :ph34r:

 

Hey Jayme H.

 

Good to hear from you again.

 

I don't think anybody expects Groundspeak to implement every good idea that originates from within the larger community - but it sure would be nice to get feedback that they had been heard and that a contribution has been made and recognised.

 

Otherwise it's a bit like placing a message in a bottle and throwing it into the sea...

 

Personally I think I might prefer Lackey visibility mode to the alternative :D

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I don't think anybody expects Groundspeak to implement every good idea that originates from within the larger community - but it sure would be nice to get feedback that they had been heard and that a contribution has been made and recognised.

 

The honest truth here is that we are a small company and just don't have the resources to respond to every idea that is posted. Not only do we have the forums, but we also have our support queue and social media outlets to monitor. Then, you have to factor in the reality that most ideas have been presented multiple times over the months or years. For example, the thread in which you were recently interested - keyword search - was previously discussed and responded to here .

 

We make a point to respond to new ideas and get the ideas entered into our backlog. Then, if a given topic recurs, the community can point to a previous example that was discussed, or call for additional conversation (whether from us or the rest of the community).

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Why the condescending reference to souvenirs as "gold stars"?

Oooh! Gold Stars! If I got Gold Stars for them, I might take souvenirs more seriously!

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Getting gold stars for getting souvenirs - now there's a feature everyone would want!:ph34r:

Super! Do we get a separate tab for our gold stars? Oh, what happens if we don't try to get a souvenir, like the 31 for August? Do we get black stars instead?

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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?

 

Ooops, i had forgotten that i posted in this thread.

 

The first gc.com newsletter that i read stated that a person needed to attend an event that was taking place at launch time. As is obvious, i'm not into souvenirs but i had to admit to myself that this sounded like fun. There was a teensy bit of challenge to this one where i'd have to make arrangements to be at a certain event at a certain time. But then i see later, that any event, not even associated with the launch, attended on either of two days, would result in meeting the criteria needed for getting the souvenir. Just saying that to me, the souvenir would have been more special if it was obtained at a fun event with friends, at launch time.

 

In my mind, this souvenir is meaningless if it was gotten at any time other than when the launch took place. People complain about August souvenirs but at least they're were stipulations on when a person could get them.

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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.

 

As opposed to now, when their value is what exactly? People can already put whatever they want in their public profile.

 

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.

 

And because they are automatically added to the public profile there's the incentive to cheat, for those into such things. I still wonder just what the purpose of the souvenirs is - are they there as a reminder for me so I can remember the time I cached in Kentucky, as a gold star to show others where I've cached, or something else? Without knowing their purpose it's hard to see them as anything other than a pointless gimmick. Why, for example, would anyone else care that I found a cache on August 21, 2013? Yet there's a souvenir on my profile to announce to the world that I did. Does anyone else care that I've cached in South Carolina? I don't honestly suppose anyone reading this really cares, yet a glance at my profile shows the souvenir. If anyone really cared they could look at my Maps page and see the state shaded (quite lightly, I didn't find many caches in South Carolina).

 

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?

 

I'm sure I could regale you with the tale of my trip across New Jersey, as I drove from Pennsylvania to lower Manhatten and stopped at an interstate rest stop along the way. Except I didn't, and if I'd armchair-logged the rest stop cache you'd still be none the wiser. Which just goes to show that having a souvenir for a state could mean I had a highly memorable caching trip to the state, or that I pulled in at the welcome area on the interstate, took a leak, found a film pot behind the welcome sign, and got back on the interstate. Both have the same effect of awarding a souvenir.

 

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.

 

I still struggle to see the purpose in them at all. It's hard to know whether they achieve their purpose when it's hard to see what, if any, purpose they are supposed to serve. And when Groundspeak complain of a lack of resources I have to wonder why they expend resources on things that seem like pointless gimmicks.

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And when Groundspeak complain of a lack of resources I have to wonder why they expend resources on things that seem like pointless gimmicks.

 

Our artists and marketing folk do not write code. Conversely, our developers do not design souvenirs nor promote them in social media.

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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.

 

It seems to me that you have to explicitly go to a users profile page then click on the souvenirs tab to see it. There are millions of web pages on the internet that I'll never look at either but I'm not calling for the owners of sites to hide page that I'm not interested in looking at.

 

When souvenirs appear to have achieved little above generating a lot of complaints about being pointless and people cheating to get them one has to wonder what their purpose is. When I log my first find in a new state I know I cached in that state, so a banner telling me I earned a gold star for caching in a new state is pointless. Groundspeak keep talking about their limited resources, so it's hard to see why they use up limited resources on something that generates complaints without adding anything useful to the caching experience.

 

By the way, some people enjoy souvenirs. Why the condescending reference to souvenirs as "gold stars"? You never have to click on your own souvenir tab or the souvenir on anyone elses profile. Is that not enough, or do you find it satisfying to belittle those that do enjoy the feature as well.

 

I'm sure they do. They're still little more than the equivalent of a gold star on the wall chart.

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And when Groundspeak complain of a lack of resources I have to wonder why they expend resources on things that seem like pointless gimmicks.

 

Our artists and marketing folk do not write code. Conversely, our developers do not design souvenirs nor promote them in social media.

 

So which resource is limited?

 

Presumably the artists and marketing folk had to come up with the designs, and the developers had to come up with the code, to make souvenirs happen?

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So which resource is limited?

 

Presumably the artists and marketing folk had to come up with the designs, and the developers had to come up with the code, to make souvenirs happen?

 

Development is constrained much more so than the others.

 

The basic code for souvenirs was written years ago. This does not need to be touched when new souvenirs are released. The main dev involvement with souvenirs comes when we have to retroactively award them (which only happens for new country/state 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 :)

 

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.

 

It seems to me that you have to explicitly go to a users profile page then click on the souvenirs tab to see it. There are millions of web pages on the internet that I'll never look at either but I'm not calling for the owners of sites to hide page that I'm not interested in looking at.

 

When souvenirs appear to have achieved little above generating a lot of complaints about being pointless and people cheating to get them one has to wonder what their purpose is. When I log my first find in a new state I know I cached in that state, so a banner telling me I earned a gold star for caching in a new state is pointless. Groundspeak keep talking about their limited resources, so it's hard to see why they use up limited resources on something that generates complaints without adding anything useful to the caching experience.

 

Okay, we get it. You don't see any value in souvenirs. There are, however, apparently a lot of people that like them. The "Bring back country based souvenirs" and "Continue releasing country based souvenirs" have had overwhelmingly supportive response. Despite the debates over the 31 Days in August souvenirs (I was a staunch critic) I suspect that those that complained about them were in the significant minority compared to those that liked them.

 

As I said, I was a staunch critic about the 31 Days souvenirs but that doesn't mean that I (or others that complained about them) think *all* souvenirs are pointless. I think it's rather pointless to get a souvenir for lifting a lamp post skirt at a Walmart but would like to have received a souvenir for China after finding a cache at the great wall. Similarly, I wouldn't buy a souvenir while shopping at a Walmart but I did buy a couple of tokens of remembrance at the great wall.

 

Yes, there is known loophole that allows people with the inclination to cheat. I'd suggest that if someone is inclined to cheat that the barrier for cheating on ones total find count is only a tad higher. There is nothing stopping someone from logging finds on their own hides. There are numerous examples of events with lots of temporary caches that cache owners will gladly let you log. There are probably hundreds of power trails that one can log that have cache owners that will never verify that a lot sheet has been signed. If one is careful and does a little research I suspect that there are thousands of caches with missing owners that someone, who was inclined to cheat, could log as found. If anything, the find count, which is displayed in numerous places is way more meaningless than the list of souvenirs on a page that nobody, unless they explicitly try, has to ever look at.

 

As I see it, people enjoy different aspects of geocaching.

 

Some people like the FTF game.

Some people like to see how many caches they can find in a day.

Some people like to see their find count grow as high possible.

Some people like to see how many days in a row they can find a cache.

Some people like to complete challenge caches.

 

Personally, I'm not interested in any of those things, but I am interested in finding caches in as many different countries and states as I can, and like having a token of remembrance (which, by definition, is what a souvenir is) of , where I've been. It's the one remaining aspect of geocaching that I enjoy.

 

 

By the way, some people enjoy souvenirs. Why the condescending reference to souvenirs as "gold stars"? You never have to click on your own souvenir tab or the souvenir on anyone elses profile. Is that not enough, or do you find it satisfying to belittle those that do enjoy the feature as well.

 

I'm sure they do. They're still little more than the equivalent of a gold star on the wall chart.

 

Sorry (no, actually I'm no). You don;t get to define what is worthwhile to me. If souvenirs hold no value to you, that's fine, but that doesn't make them any less meaningless to those that like to collect them.

 

 

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