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Use of favorite points


ottieolsen
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There is no requirement that one has to assign favorite points. Don't paint as evil those who do not use them. I still have 28% of mine unused.

What worries me is the high number of favorite points on caches that break the guidelines. Yes. You've never seen that hide before. That's because it's illegal. Ten favorite points on a sheet of plastic velcroed to a wall, where you sign the back of the plastic? That violates several guidelines.

 

Here are the reasons why caches get multiple favorite points:

  • breaks guidelines
  • virtual, or unique icon
  • very old, or unique Jasmer challenge hide date
  • high traffic area, yet creative

 

With the Washington APE cache gleaning 700 points, it would be difficult to determine the actual favorites, or just the ones due to the icon. The same goes to virtuals, or old caches. A creative hide in a high traffic area is the only one that has genuine favorites, but that still isn't accurate, as the number goes up simply to the amount of visits, not the experience. I simply award favorites based on the top 10% to encourage more of the same.

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When I go a new city or state or whatever, I look for high favorite caches, but here is a problem that I found out in the last two years, many of those high favorite cache are "run of the mill" because I been all over the USA and I see just about anything. Only a few are totally unique and never been copied.

 

I found the APE cache in Washington, but I took my favorite point back because its archived. I got about 100 favorite point to give out and I will give it if I see that you took the time to make that cache even I see it before.(in that given area)

 

I am not ashamed to take my fav point back.

 

I do find some cachers playing the "high school" game by only giving favorite points to the CO they like or know well. :ph34r:

 

Its getting harder and harder to have a totally unique cache because someone will see it and copy it and place it 100's of miles away.

 

It does take serious money to have a totally unique cache and not everybody have that kind of money to blow around.

Edited by SwineFlew
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Is GCVote a better rating system in Europe? I like GCVote, but it hasn't caught on in North America. It looks really popular in Europe. Do you find you can rely on GCVote better than on the GC favorite point system?

 

It depends a lot on what you want to filter for. GCVote is certainly more helpful in areas where it is more widely used.

 

The point I tried to address with my previous reply was however a different one. The size of the cache container and whether there is swag typically do not play an essential role around here for whether a cache obtains a FP or not (and the same holds true for the GCVote rating).

 

In particular, traditionals with a regular sized container containing nice swag, but hidden in a standard location have a much worse chance to end up with a FP than creative hides, multi caches or mysteries with a puzzle people like. Traditionals hidden in a standard way need to be in a really superb, breath taking location around here to have a chance to earn equally many FPs or enthusiastic logs than the other cache types mentioned. There are even cachers who almost never assign FPs to traditionals. Most of the traditionals which have many FPs in my country are creative hides (many of them being very small and containing no place for swag).

 

Many FPs and/or high GCVote ratings usually alert me to take a closer look. Often it means rather that I should stay away from those caches.

 

GCVote does not take away the subjectivity, but it helps a bit to provide information for a larger number of caches when it is used by sufficienly many cachers.

If for example cachers like hzoi end up with favouriting around 4% of their finds, that's somehow a small number. Personally, I'd wish to enjoy more than one 1 out of 20 caches I visit.

Of course when someone visits an area with 500 caches for a few hours, then only a short number of caches can be visited and for that purpose FPs might provide a reasonable tool.

For areas where one wants to visit a much higher percentage of the available caches, FPs have their limitations.

 

 

Cezanne

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If for example cachers like hzoi end up with favouriting around 4% of their finds, that's somehow a small number. Personally, I'd wish to enjoy more than one 1 out of 20 caches I visit.

 

Somehow the logic of this statement eludes me. (Do not be alarmed, it happens all the time.) It hinges upon your definition of "favorite". I may enjoy 75% of the caches I seek, but that certainly does not mean they are all the favorite. Favorite to me means the cream of the crop. In my case it turns out to be around 5%.

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A creative hide in a high traffic area is the only one that has genuine favorites, but that still isn't accurate, as the number goes up simply to the amount of visits, not the experience.

That's where looking at the percentage of favorite points sometimes can be helpful. A cache could have 30 FPs, but if that's only 10% of the possible FPs, then it probably isn't all that special.

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If for example cachers like hzoi end up with favouriting around 4% of their finds, that's somehow a small number. Personally, I'd wish to enjoy more than one 1 out of 20 caches I visit.

 

Somehow the logic of this statement eludes me. (Do not be alarmed, it happens all the time.) It hinges upon your definition of "favorite". I may enjoy 75% of the caches I seek, but that certainly does not mean they are all the favorite. Favorite to me means the cream of the crop. In my case it turns out to be around 5%.

 

The issue I have is not one involving logic. I do understand the "cream of the crop" interpretation of FPs applied by many (but not all). My argument was rather about why FPs are not helpful at all for helping me to separate caches that I likely will enjoy from those I likely will not enjoy.

 

Even when I travel to some area and say have 3 hours at my disposition, I do not want to go for a very exceptional cache which typically is quite stressful for me, but for a nice and relaxing cache that invites for a nice walk or leads me to an interesting place. I'm not eager to encounter new types of containers, no methods to open containers, new hideouts I have never seen before etc I also do not except any sort of sensations. Just a nicely done normal cache that fits my preferences.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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Even when I travel to some area and say have 3 hours at my disposition, I do not want to go for a very exceptional cache which typically is quite stressful for me, but for a nice and relaxing cache that invites for a nice walk or leads me to an interesting place. I'm not eager to encounter new types of containers, no methods to open containers, new hideouts I have never seen before etc I also do not except any sort of sensations. Just a nicely done normal cache that fits my preferences.

 

Yep, it would be wonderful if there was a magic system that would point you to just those caches you feel like seeking out on that particular day. Difficulty, Terrain, attributes, fav points, past logs are all factors to help the seeker hone in on what they desire to hunt. Of course, none of them alone, nor even used together will guarantee anything. If you do come up with such a system I would be glad to invest in it.

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Even when I travel to some area and say have 3 hours at my disposition, I do not want to go for a very exceptional cache which typically is quite stressful for me, but for a nice and relaxing cache that invites for a nice walk or leads me to an interesting place. I'm not eager to encounter new types of containers, no methods to open containers, new hideouts I have never seen before etc I also do not except any sort of sensations. Just a nicely done normal cache that fits my preferences.

 

Yep, it would be wonderful if there was a magic system that would point you to just those caches you feel like seeking out on that particular day. Difficulty, Terrain, attributes, fav points, past logs are all factors to help the seeker hone in on what they desire to hunt. Of course, none of them alone, nor even used together will guarantee anything. If you do come up with such a system I would be glad to invest in it.

 

Of course none of the factors alone will be sufficient. The issue I have with FPs is that they are q

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Even when I travel to some area and say have 3 hours at my disposition, I do not want to go for a very exceptional cache which typically is quite stressful for me, but for a nice and relaxing cache that invites for a nice walk or leads me to an interesting place. I'm not eager to encounter new types of containers, no methods to open containers, new hideouts I have never seen before etc I also do not except any sort of sensations. Just a nicely done normal cache that fits my preferences.

 

Yep, it would be wonderful if there was a magic system that would point you to just those caches you feel like seeking out on that particular day. Difficulty, Terrain, attributes, fav points, past logs are all factors to help the seeker hone in on what they desire to hunt. Of course, none of them alone, nor even used together will guarantee anything. If you do come up with such a system I would be glad to invest in it.

 

Of course none of the factors alone will be sufficient. The issue I have with FPs is that they are quite a bad guidance for my choice.

It happens very often that I encounter cache series with a bonus cache that has a very high number of FPs and I end up being very disappointed with the entire series even though having read all the logs (which typically for such series contain anything relevant which makes me realize why the people awarded the FPs) and having taking into account all available information.

 

Just knowing the favourite books of person X without knowing why this person likes those books is not helpful for me at all.

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How DO you know what book to buy when you go to a bookstore? Likely you already have your favorite genre and will try to concentrate on those (if they are properly labeled). You may have favorite authors, but there are no guarantees there. There are book reviews, no guarantees there. There are critics ratings, no guarantees. Recommendations from friends? MAYBE friends who like the same kind of book.

 

All these things in part or together will be taken into account when selecting the book. In the end you may or may not like the book, but taking these things into consideration you probably had a better chance of enjoying it than if you went in blindfolded and just reached onto a random shelf. Or not.

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

 

I can see your point, looking at a list of the favorite books of every person in your town will not help much. You are in a way equating the current FP system such a list. I tend to think; however, that the Favorite Points book list is generally more attuned to my tastes than you do...

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A creative hide in a high traffic area is the only one that has genuine favorites, but that still isn't accurate, as the number goes up simply to the amount of visits, not the experience.

That's where looking at the percentage of favorite points sometimes can be helpful. A cache could have 30 FPs, but if that's only 10% of the possible FPs, then it probably isn't all that special.

 

The favorite percentage is probably more accurate than a the raw number, but for me, just having the raw number has been adequate. You can't really compare two caches based on the raw number when the two caches are in different areas. Caches that happen to be located in cache rich areas (which generally means more cachers that are able to find those caches and acquire lots of favorite points to award) are generally going to have fewer FPs than a cache located in area where there are a small number of caches and geocachers.

 

However, I typically look at favorite points be searching for cachers in a specific location (for example, I recently did a search in Portland, Oregon), then click on the blue ribbon. The cream of the crop tends to come to the top. With so many different cachers awarding favorite points after the system has been in use for the past few years, the differences in the criteria each uses to award a FP tends to get minimized.

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If for example cachers like hzoi end up with favouriting around 4% of their finds, that's somehow a small number. Personally, I'd wish to enjoy more than one 1 out of 20 caches I visit.

 

Somehow the logic of this statement eludes me. (Do not be alarmed, it happens all the time.) It hinges upon your definition of "favorite". I may enjoy 75% of the caches I seek, but that certainly does not mean they are all the favorite. Favorite to me means the cream of the crop. In my case it turns out to be around 5%.

 

The issue I have is not one involving logic. I do understand the "cream of the crop" interpretation of FPs applied by many (but not all). My argument was rather about why FPs are not helpful at all for helping me to separate caches that I likely will enjoy from those I likely will not enjoy.

 

Even when I travel to some area and say have 3 hours at my disposition, I do not want to go for a very exceptional cache which typically is quite stressful for me, but for a nice and relaxing cache that invites for a nice walk or leads me to an interesting place. I'm not eager to encounter new types of containers, no methods to open containers, new hideouts I have never seen before etc I also do not except any sort of sensations. Just a nicely done normal cache that fits my preferences.

 

Cezanne

 

That I can relate to. I mostly want to have a pleasant walk to a decent location (woodsy is always a bonus for me and my dog) with a maintained swag-size cache at the end. Those don't usually get favorite points because they're nice but not cream-of-the-crop. I don't know how one could create a rating system for nice-decent-all-round-caching-experience-but-not-WOW. Perhaps GCVote comes closest to doing that. With regards to those nice pleasant caches I tend to give them FPs because I would recommend them to finders. People who notice that I FP'd one of these caches, can then check the rest of the caches on my FP list because there will be quite a few of those on the list. I also like to add to my log why I liked the cache - 'This was an all-around very nice caching experience - nice forest trail, great walk with my dog, quality authentic sandwich size lock and lock, and a nice hide.' I figure it will help anyone wondering why I fav'd the cache and also help me remember why I fav'd the cache.

 

Because I want to encourage good cache placements, I tend to use up my FPs and occasionally need to take back a few from archived caches (or as Swine pointed out, old caches that are no longer being maintained and aren't that good anymore).

Edited by L0ne.R
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The favorite percentage is probably more accurate than a the raw number, but for me, just having the raw number has been adequate. You can't really compare two caches based on the raw number when the two caches are in different areas. Caches that happen to be located in cache rich areas (which generally means more cachers that are able to find those caches and acquire lots of favorite points to award) are generally going to have fewer FPs than a cache located in area where there are a small number of caches and geocachers.

 

However, I typically look at favorite points be searching for cachers in a specific location (for example, I recently did a search in Portland, Oregon), then click on the blue ribbon. The cream of the crop tends to come to the top. With so many different cachers awarding favorite points after the system has been in use for the past few years, the differences in the criteria each uses to award a FP tends to get minimized.

When I'm traveling, I often do the same thing. The caches at the very top of the sorted FP list usually are high in both raw points and percentages, so one can probably ignore the percentages without too much difficulty. But if I have the time, I'll also check the percentages, logs, maps, etc. when determining which caches I want to seek. As I go deeper into the sorted FP list, looking at the percentages becomes more important.

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The favorite percentage is probably more accurate than a the raw number, but for me, just having the raw number has been adequate. You can't really compare two caches based on the raw number when the two caches are in different areas. Caches that happen to be located in cache rich areas (which generally means more cachers that are able to find those caches and acquire lots of favorite points to award) are generally going to have fewer FPs than a cache located in area where there are a small number of caches and geocachers.

 

However, I typically look at favorite points be searching for cachers in a specific location (for example, I recently did a search in Portland, Oregon), then click on the blue ribbon. The cream of the crop tends to come to the top. With so many different cachers awarding favorite points after the system has been in use for the past few years, the differences in the criteria each uses to award a FP tends to get minimized.

When I'm traveling, I often do the same thing. The caches at the very top of the sorted FP list usually are high in both raw points and percentages, so one can probably ignore the percentages without too much difficulty. But if I have the time, I'll also check the percentages, logs, maps, etc. when determining which caches I want to seek. As I go deeper into the sorted FP list, looking at the percentages becomes more important.

 

Agreed. As you get to the second or third page on the list the impact of criteria such as "it was a FTF so it gets a favorite point" is probably more significant. On the other hand, when traveling to the area I'm probably not going to have time to finder the first 20 favorited caches on the list. If I tried, it would probably mean I was more interested in finding a lot of caches more than finding the best of the best in an area.

 

Frankly, I think the favorite system, in general, works quite well.

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When Favorite Points came out, I easily "back dated" my Favorite points using a "Top 10%" bookmark list I kept that was inspired my Moun10bike's lists. I had left over favorite points, so I skimmed through my list of finds in GSAK and if a cache triggered a good memory, I awarded it a favorite point. This got me down to a couple of dozen favorite points that I reserve for if I get into an area that features particularly high quility hides.

 

I tend to award more Favorite points when traveling than when at home because I use GSAK to filter on caches with lots of Favorite points and make those caches the focus of my hunts. As a result, I find a higher than normal ratio of better than average caches.

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When Favorites points came out, I first went through my past Finds and awarded points to only the very best of the best. I had a ton of points left, and was probably awarding them to my top 1-2%.

 

Figuring that unspent Favorites points aren't doing anyone any good, I went through my list again, awarding points much more freely. I ran out of points about half-way through the list, so I was probably awarding them to my top 20%.

 

Clearly, using twice as many Favorites points as I have available is unworkable. So I went through my list a third time. I ended up spending most, but not all, of my points. And that's essentially the approach I continue to use. I try to keep several points around, just in case I encounter a string of exceptional caches, but I also try to avoid hoarding them. It works for me.

 

And yes, it would be nice if everyone awarded Favorites points for the same reasons I do, but I consider that an unlikely situation. A more likely alternative would be for the Favorites system to correlate my Favorites with those of others, to determine caches that were enjoyed by people with preferences similar to my own. Such systems exist in other contexts, so in theory, such a system could be developed for Favorites points here.

 

In practice, such a system does not exist for Favorites points here. I do find it effective to use Favorites points to distinguish between similar caches in a similar area. So when I've know I'm visiting a location, I create a PQ for (e.g.) puzzle caches, and then sort it by Favorites points to get the best puzzle caches. Then I tweak the PQ to select (e.g.) EarthCaches, then sort it by Favorites points to get the best EarthCaches. And so on for Wherigo caches, multi-caches, and any other cache types/sizes/ratings that strike my fancy. It works pretty well, assuming that I can use other criteria in my PQ to narrow down the list to caches that are generally comparable to each other in some way.

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I have no real data to support it, but I think that the percentage of premium members who do not give out ANY FPs is small. I don't know of anyone like that, and there are caches in my area with 100% FPs and significant numbers of FP (>20) - which would be unlikely to happen if lots of cachers don't give them out at all. But I'm sure not every cacher gives all their FPs out.

 

What worries me is the high number of favorite points on caches that break the guidelines. Yes. You've never seen that hide before. That's because it's illegal. Ten favorite points on a sheet of plastic velcroed to a wall, where you sign the back of the plastic? That violates several guidelines.

 

I'm sure that is true, but it doesn't bother me. I understand there needs to be guidelines. And some "illegal" caches (eg buried caches) can give the game a bad name and are a concern. But whether you sign that sheet of plastic or a sheet of paper in a plastic bag stuck to the plastic is a detail which I think most cachers don't think about and really isn't a problem.

 

I've found some really good caches (which I've given FPs to) which were clever and unusual, and while I didn't think about it at time, probably against the guidelines. Two in particular, which were a variation on the reverse geocache. You use a handmade electronic device (attached to a TB) to find locations. Only when you have gone to the correct location(s) are you given the code to open the device, which has a logbook inside. I.e the physical cache IS the TB, so it's a kind of travelling cache. And in one of the variations, the location you need to take it to is different each time. Really clever, does not give Geocaching a bad name in any way. But I don't think it meets the guidelines, as it is a puzzle cache, with no physical container which is hidden at a specific location. Note these caches are fairly recent (within the last 2 years) so it's not a case of a grandfathered cache.

 

Certainly not all highly favorited caches are pushing the boundaries of the guidelines, but quite a few are. And I personally don't think that is a bad thing.

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As you get to the second or third page on the list the impact of criteria such as "it was a FTF so it gets a favorite point" is probably more significant. On the other hand, when traveling to the area I'm probably not going to have time to finder the first 20 favorited caches on the list. If I tried, it would probably mean I was more interested in finding a lot of caches more than finding the best of the best in an area.

 

I strongly disagree with the statement that one will end up with the best of the best in an area with this approach. That's extremely subjective and biased. It can be true for some and can be blatantly wrong for others.

 

While I think that effects like "it was a FTF", or "the cache has been hidden by a friend" are neglectable at this level, there are other aspects that influence the result considerably.

If I applied your approach e.g. in Vienna, this cache (bonus of a series) http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC37JCE_chiccas-marchenrunde-bonus would show up very prominently (and also the FP ratio is almost 2/3). I have visited this cache series and I ended up quite disappointed. There are tons of caches in Vienna that take the same time than this series, have much less FPs and which I would enjoy so much more. This is just one example of numerous ones I could provide you with.

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Visiting a new area / city, looking at the caches with most FPs and having a read of the cache pages, to decide on a wishlist, is definitely worthwhile. Mind you it can lead you to some duff ones too. Look me up on project-gc and you'll see my 3 most favourite finds are all in Hamburg - the one 544 steps up the spire and the one in the old tunnel (recommended by NY Paddle Cacher of this parish) yes, but the 3rd one, some paper in a bag stuck on the back of a roadsign, isn't.

 

A a cacher - I have 2 FPs in stock at the moment. I use them on good puzzles (field or mystery), nice scenery or clever hides but also caches which led us a merry dance (one in La Coruña, back or roadsign but involved giving piggy-back to son day after DNFing it, springs to mind). # 1800 got a FP as a thanks for the trail of 19 neat but ordinary caches that helpd me rack up that number. The last in a series of 120, tackled over a year and finished at dusk on Christmas Eve 2013, got a FP from me becuase for me it was an achievement. Still its only FP out of 259 finds but I bet the first and last numbered caches will have a disproportionate number... which is a good way to flag up a trail as recommended I suppose.

 

As a CO I love to get a FP. A FP with a nicely-written log from an experienced cacher is even better than an "awesome!" + FP from a newbie (but that's a whole new subject...) And guess what, I put out caches like the ones I enjoy: puzzles, field puzzles, minimum of tupperware or film pots. Things with a bit of humour / quirkiness involved. (Thinking of my leader on 10FP at the moment - if you lived near a sign saying "<-- MAGNETTE CLOSE", what would you do, eh?)

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I have used Favorites to filter caches and it had worked well for me. I look for at least 5 or 10 Favorites on most non-local caches (especially Traditional) and am rarely disappointed when I do.

 

Some cachers do use them for lousy reasons like thanking a friend or marking a FTF.

 

When Favorites came out I went back to assign a point to my bookmark list of Favorites but I only had a thousand or so Finds so that was fairly quick and easy. I have usually kept a small surplus of Favorite points (10-20) but I hand them out whenever I feel a cache stands out for quality.

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As you get to the second or third page on the list the impact of criteria such as "it was a FTF so it gets a favorite point" is probably more significant. On the other hand, when traveling to the area I'm probably not going to have time to finder the first 20 favorited caches on the list. If I tried, it would probably mean I was more interested in finding a lot of caches more than finding the best of the best in an area.

 

I strongly disagree with the statement that one will end up with the best of the best in an area with this approach. That's extremely subjective and biased. It can be true for some and can be blatantly wrong for others.

 

While I think that effects like "it was a FTF", or "the cache has been hidden by a friend" are neglectable at this level, there are other aspects that influence the result considerably.

If I applied your approach e.g. in Vienna, this cache (bonus of a series) http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC37JCE_chiccas-marchenrunde-bonus would show up very prominently (and also the FP ratio is almost 2/3). I have visited this cache series and I ended up quite disappointed. There are tons of caches in Vienna that take the same time than this series, have much less FPs and which I would enjoy so much more. This is just one example of numerous ones I could provide you with.

 

Yes the "best" is subjective. But for most, I think choosing what to look for based on FPs does help find better caches. Of course the more time you have to look at the logs as well will give you a better reading.

 

FPs on a bonus cache I would interpret differently, but again need to check the logs to confirm. Often if cachers enjoyed the series they will award a FP to the bonus cache as as way of saying they like/recommend the series. The actual cache might not be any "better" than others in the series.

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Yes the "best" is subjective. But for most, I think choosing what to look for based on FPs does help find better caches. Of course the more time you have to look at the logs as well will give you a better reading.

 

Nowadays the logs often do not help at all. While in the early years multi caches that invited for a walk of say 6km were quite common, such caches more and more get replaced by a series of say 9 traditionals (or mysteries) and a bonus cache. 95% of the logs for such series are copy and paste and tell nothing about the caches (it's the modern form of multi caches which allows for many finds logs). FPs at the bonus are often just a way to thank for 10 new finds and the new FP is financed by the 10 new logs. In other cases the FP might come from special containers. In rare cases which are hard to dinstiguish the FPs come from the nice walking route.

 

I'd appreciate if more cachers would explain like Lone.R tries to do it why they award a FP to a cache. Then reading the logs helps.

 

FPs on a bonus cache I would interpret differently, but again need to check the logs to confirm. Often if cachers enjoyed the series they will award a FP to the bonus cache as as way of saying they like/recommend the series. The actual cache might not be any "better" than others in the series.

 

Yes, you are right, but I did not enjoy the series as a whole. I did not have the expectation that the bonus would be better than the remaining ones.

If the bonus cache of a series has no or almost no FPs, then it typically means that one should not expect too much. However many FPs for a bonus cache could mean almost everything and is no indication at all what to expect.

Edited by cezanne
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the percentage of premium members who do not give out ANY FPs is small. I don't know of anyone like that

 

I don't give out FPs at all. My reasons for this are:

 

- I don't want to compare caches which cannot be compared in my mind,

- my impressions are often different from what other people would expect,

- I don't want to (unintentionally) offend anyone,

- my geocaching experience is quite limited to talk about "favourite caches".

 

If I wish to thank any CO I can do this by writing a good and unique story about my visit to his/her cache.

 

I also don't use FPs when travelling to some area to choose among caches to visit.

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Nowadays the logs often do not help at all. While in the early years multi caches that invited for a walk of say 6km were quite common, such caches more and more get replaced by a series of say 9 traditionals (or mysteries) and a bonus cache. 95% of the logs for such series are copy and paste and tell nothing about the caches (it's the modern form of multi caches which allows for many finds logs). FPs at the bonus are often just a way to thank for 10 new finds and the new FP is financed by the 10 new logs. In other cases the FP might come from special containers. In rare cases which are hard to dinstiguish the FPs come from the nice walking route.

I suppose it might be a regional thing, but around here (and everywhere I've traveled), logs usually provide some help in determining whether I want to seek a cache, even if they don't provide as much help as they previously did. They aren't foolproof, of course, but I've found them worth reading if I have some spare time.

 

Around here, few people seem to award FPs simply to thank someone for placing 10 new hides. A scattering of folks will give FPs to FTFs or friends' caches, but if a cache has 5 or 10 FPs, there's usually something special about that cache. That special thing won't always correlate to something enjoyable for you or me, but there's usually something that makes the cache different than most of the others.

 

If the bonus cache of a series has no or almost no FPs, then it typically means that one should not expect too much. However many FPs for a bonus cache could mean almost everything and is no indication at all what to expect.

I disagree that many FPs for a bonus cache are "no indication at all what to expect." It's not a guarantee that everyone will enjoy the series, but a greater percentage of FPs generally means there's a greater chance that more people will enjoy the series. Again, it doesn't mean everyone will always enjoy it; it just means more people are more likely to enjoy it.

Edited by CanadianRockies
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FPs on a bonus cache I would interpret differently, but again need to check the logs to confirm. Often if cachers enjoyed the series they will award a FP to the bonus cache as as way of saying they like/recommend the series. The actual cache might not be any "better" than others in the series.

 

I recently did a series that I thought was so well thought out and so much fun as a series (This is the final: http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC51CX6_memory-lane-the-final-thought?guid=010de57c-b48c-4ce3-8406-cf8d8d91e9ea ) that I gave every cache in the series a FP, even though each cache, other than the final, taken individually, would not have merited one.

 

I am one of those who take the FPs away from archived caches. When FPs first came out I awarded them to caches that I had enjoyed when I found them, but I had occasion to return to one of them later and found that it had degraded into nothing but a bag of slime. So I took away its FP and by extension that led to taking away the FPs from archived caches, because I certainly can't recommend them to anyone anymore.

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While I think that effects like "it was a FTF", or "the cache has been hidden by a friend" are neglectable at this level, there are other aspects that influence the result considerably.

If I applied your approach e.g. in Vienna, this cache (bonus of a series) http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC37JCE_chiccas-marchenrunde-bonus would show up very prominently (and also the FP ratio is almost 2/3). I have visited this cache series and I ended up quite disappointed. There are tons of caches in Vienna that take the same time than this series, have much less FPs and which I would enjoy so much more. This is just one example of numerous ones I could provide you with.

This may be a situation where it helps to start with a relatively selective PQ, then filter that based on favorites points. For example, if someone likes caches with long hikes, but dislikes challenging hides/camouflage, then starting with a list of higher-terrain lower-difficulty caches and sorting that based on favorites points might produce useful results.

 

Or maybe you'll just have to hold out for the (currently hypothetical) system that correlates your preferences with those of others.

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A couple people in this thread mentioned not awarding Favorites to avoid possible offense to those they don't award Favorites to.

 

IMO that is a terrible reason for not using Favorites, or when applied to anything else for that matter. Do you also not give compliments to other people because those you don't compliment might be offended? Do you think giving awards or trophies for accomplishments is a bad idea because they make other people who didn't win feel bad?

 

Caches (and people) are not all alike. Nobody should feel bad because they acknowledge when one stands out from the others.

 

If someone gets offended their cache doesn't get Favorite points they should try placing a better container in a better location next time. Besides, there are some people just looking for reasons to get offended and some of those sad souls are also cache owners; the Venn overlap between those people and "people offended when someone doesn't give them a Favorite" is almost total.

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MO that is a terrible reason for not using Favorites

 

There are two kids both aged 3, you give a pie to one and nothing to another, and you're in trouble. Sadly, geocachers sometimes behave like small kids.

 

Anyway, this is only one of my reasons and not the most important one.

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I use a real cache rating system (GCVote) so I don't see a point in assigning favorite points :) which is like ability to give a cache either 0% or 100% and even with this 0% you don't know whether cachers don't like the cache or just ignore the entire system.

There is another voting system out there. I am not sure if this is the one I seen or not. I only see it on one app I use. I often wonder who is using this as I don't even see it as a option but have seen some caches with them rated.

I have never given them much credit when looking for a cache but now give them less as I seen a new cache published and when I looked at it the cache had a 5* rating and had yet to be found. Again I am not sure if this is the rating system you are talking about but the one I see sometimes.

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This may be a situation where it helps to start with a relatively selective PQ, then filter that based on favorites points. For example, if someone likes caches with long hikes, but dislikes challenging hides/camouflage, then starting with a list of higher-terrain lower-difficulty caches and sorting that based on favorites points might produce useful results.

 

I agree that in some cases it helps to first preselect a set of candidate caches based on some carefully chosen criteria and then use the FPs in case too many results show up.

 

My example was rather thought to explain why I disagree with NYPaddleCacher.

 

There are situations however where the preselection step is not so trivial. While in areas where there exist virtual caches, a tourist who would like to be guided to special locations not mentioned in the typical tourist guide books could have a decent chance to be led to an interesting location by looking at the virtuals in the area, the chances to be led to a superb not well known location by a traditional with many FPs is not very high. Typically urban traditionals with many FPs are awarded the FPs due to the hideout/container.

 

If I visit a city where I have not been before, my interest is even less to be confronted with special containers at boring places than at home. This is another reason why I regret that virtuals do not exist any more. If they still existed and were not rare, FPs could be helpful in filtering out many of the lames ones.

 

Cezanne

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If I visit a city where I have not been before, my interest is even less to be confronted with special containers at boring places than at home. This is another reason why I regret that virtuals do not exist any more. If they still existed and were not rare, FPs could be helpful in filtering out many of the lames ones.

 

Cezanne

 

So you would use FPs to sort through virtuals but not all other types of caches? I'm not sure I understand the logic there. It's ok for this one type, but not ok for the others because you think it might have more validity? It doesn't matter what type of cache you're looking at - what one person may find worthy of a FP is NOT worthy to another. It's all based on an individual's preference and a virtual falls under the same guidelines. If they were still allowed, my guess is that there might be as many virtual caches as there are traditional, meaning that the same issue you have with all the rest of the caches under discussion here might now be inherent in the virtual caches. You can still read the logs to determine if it's a gadget/unique container or if it's the hike that garners the FPs to determine whether or not you want to try it. I haven't seen anyone say that a cache with high FPs is the perfect cache for all, just that there's a better possibility it will be a more enjoyable one.

 

Generally, FPs are a filter I use when looking at traditional caches in order to sort through those and eliminate a large group from my PQ. At first, I usually keep all the non-traditional caches and then, with the multitude of traditional caches, I have to sort on something, so FPs is one of the filters I use. I'll check the % as well. Most anything over 50% I'll initially keep in the PQ and the lower 50% get a reading of logs to see if it might make the cut. If 1 out of 2 cachers like a cache, there's a good bet that there's something there of interest to me. Other times, not so much. I'll read the logs and then make a determination about whether or not to keep it or remove it. Then, once the traditional caches are done to my liking, I'll do the same to the non-traditional caches, although I have a tendency to keep more of them because they aren't traditional. It's not foolproof and it's no guarantee that it will be a great cache, but it's a way to weed out a PQ to a more manageable number. One of the top 10 FP caches in my state is one I found but didn't think it was worthy of a FP. It was cute, but that was its only distinguishing feature. Cute isn't enough for me to give out a FP.

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So you would use FPs to sort through virtuals but not all other types of caches?

 

I'm not sure whether I actually would use it, but in any case I guess that FPs would be more helpful there for someone like me who is not at all interested into hideouts, containers and swag.

 

It's ok for this one type, but not ok for the others because you think it might have more validity?

 

I argued about helpfulness for me and not about being ok. It's apparent that FPs are helpful as they are for many cachers.

 

It doesn't matter what type of cache you're looking at - what one person may find worthy of a FP is NOT worthy to another.

 

Certainly true.

 

It's all based on an individual's preference and a virtual falls under the same guidelines. If they were still allowed, my guess is that there might be as many virtual caches as there are traditional, meaning that the same issue you have with all the rest of the caches under discussion here might now be inherent in the virtual caches.

 

Not to the same extent as for virtuals containers, hideouts, swag etc do not play any role at all. So a lot of the aspects that

influence the number of FPs for physical caches (beyond a few FPs for FTFs, friends etc) are eliminated.

 

You can still read the logs to determine if it's a gadget/unique container or if it's the hike that garners the FPs to determine whether or not you want to try it. I haven't seen anyone say that a cache with high FPs is the perfect cache for all, just that there's a better possibility it will be a more enjoyable one.

 

I know a lot of urban caches with many FPs where it is not possible to conclude from the logs or the map what is the reason for many FPs.

 

Generally, FPs are a filter I use when looking at traditional caches in order to sort through those and eliminate a large group from my PQ.

 

When looking at traditionals with a very high number of FPs (or a high ratio of FPs), there is almost none among them that interests me. So by this approach I would eliminate almost all caches that could be of interest to me.

 

The more I think about the topic the more clear it becomes to me that one of the reasons why FPs are not helpful for me is that my primary interest is not the cache, the cache comes second. Depending on the situation, I want to be led to an interesting location or get a nice city tour (say in a city) or be guided along a nice walking/hiking route (in the non urban setting).

 

It is very hard to filter out the influence of containers, creativity, hideouts, swag etc

 

When visiting city A, I'd wish to have a ranking of the locations to which the caches lead to and not a ranking of the overall experience of those for whom caching is the primary interest.

 

 

Cezanne

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In my experience, favourite points tend to breed favourite points. Once a cache pops its head above the others in a particular area, everyone wants to find it and it gets more visits and hence more points. Another better cache nearby might not be found as often and therefore can't get as many favourite points. And the cycle continues.

 

That's where a star rating system (such as GCVote) that is averaged over time and over many ratings, provides, in my opinion, a better gauge of quality/fun/interest.

 

That said, I give out favourite points but don't use GCVote. Because favourite points are integrated into the site.

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This may be a situation where it helps to start with a relatively selective PQ, then filter that based on favorites points. For example, if someone likes caches with long hikes, but dislikes challenging hides/camouflage, then starting with a list of higher-terrain lower-difficulty caches and sorting that based on favorites points might produce useful results.

 

I agree that in some cases it helps to first preselect a set of candidate caches based on some carefully chosen criteria and then use the FPs in case too many results show up.

 

My example was rather thought to explain why I disagree with NYPaddleCacher.

 

Cezanne

 

You certainly have the right to disagree with me but my contention was that *in general* FPs work pretty well and can be a useful tool for finding the best caches in the area. Note, that I wrote *in general*. You may feel that they don't work for you but that's pretty much an expected response from you. Whether it's favorite points, cache rating systems, and practically anything else related to the game you seem to always have an exception for why it doesn't apply to you our your area.

 

Let's face it. No favoriting/voting system is going to be perfect. No cache rating system is going to be perfect. Rather than complaining how they don't work for every possible geocache or every geocacher and identifying specific exceptions, as long as they work for most or even many geocachers I content that they're worth using.

 

 

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In my experience, favourite points tend to breed favourite points. Once a cache pops its head above the others in a particular area, everyone wants to find it and it gets more visits and hence more points. Another better cache nearby might not be found as often and therefore can't get as many favourite points. And the cycle continues.

 

That's where a star rating system (such as GCVote) that is averaged over time and over many ratings, provides, in my opinion, a better gauge of quality/fun/interest.

 

That said, I give out favourite points but don't use GCVote. Because favourite points are integrated into the site.

I'm not cynical about favorite points - I think they work. Nobody awards FPs just because someone else did.

 

Another test is *%* of FPs (gotten by clicking on cache page's FP count.

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It is very hard to filter out the influence of containers, creativity, hideouts, swag etc

 

When visiting city A, I'd wish to have a ranking of the locations to which the caches lead to and not a ranking of the overall experience of those for whom caching is the primary interest.

 

Cezanne

 

Really? Across the pond here, most FP cache logs talk about creative hides, great container, good swag, neat location, etc.., making it pretty easy to filter out the reason why the hide has so many FPs. The more FPs, the more descriptive the log (usually) telling the CO and future visitors what made it so interesting.

 

As to the second sentence, you do realize that this is a caching site where geocaches are the primary purpose, right? Locations are important, but if you're going to City A and using this site as your primary reference for interesting locations, you're probably using it wrong.

Edited by coachstahly
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As to the second sentence, you do realize that this is a caching site where geocaches are the primary purpose, right? Locations are important, but if you're going to City A and using this site as your primary reference for interesting locations, you're probably using it wrong.

 

For several years geocaching worked better for this purpose than anything else I ever have got aware of.

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For several years geocaching worked better for this purpose than anything else I ever have got aware of.

While I use geocaching to find interesting sites to visit, I also use Tripadvisor for major attractions and Roadside America and Roadtrippers for more offbeat attractions. Sometimes these attractions are on private property where caches cannot be placed.

 

Roadside America and Roadtrippers is probably useful only in the U.S.

Edited by Chrysalides
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In my experience, favourite points tend to breed favourite points. Once a cache pops its head above the others in a particular area, everyone wants to find it and it gets more visits and hence more points. Another better cache nearby might not be found as often and therefore can't get as many favourite points. And the cycle continues.

 

That's where a star rating system (such as GCVote) that is averaged over time and over many ratings, provides, in my opinion, a better gauge of quality/fun/interest.

 

That said, I give out favourite points but don't use GCVote. Because favourite points are integrated into the site.

I'm not cynical about favorite points - I think they work. Nobody awards FPs just because someone else did.

I never said that. I said those caches get more visits and therefore more points.

Another test is *%* of FPs (gotten by clicking on cache page's FP count.

You're right. Except you can't see % fave points on the results list of a search or pocket query - you have to click on each and every cache page (or use project-gc.com)

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^ Why *shouldn't* caches with more FPs get more visits (& thus possibly more FPs)? FPs are one of several screening tools.

 

It's seems pretty obvious to me that there is a correlation between the number of FPs a cache gets and the number of visits it gets. Caches which don't get visited a lot generally won't get as many FP's a caches that do.

 

I think that there is also a a correlation between the number of FP's a cache gets, the number of other of geoaches in the area, and the number of geocachers in the area.

If an area has, say 5000 caches within a 20 miles radius, that probably means there a lot of geocachers in the area that can accumulate a lot of FPs to award because those geocacher probably also have a lot of finds.

If an area has, say 200 caches within 20 miles, there probably aren't a lot of local geocachers, and because there are few caches to find they probably have a relatively small number of FPs to award.

Two caches which area essentially the same might have a significant difference in the number of FPs it gets, simply because they're in different areas.

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If an area has, say 5000 caches within a 20 miles radius, that probably means there a lot of geocachers in the area that can accumulate a lot of FPs to award because those geocacher probably also have a lot of finds.

If an area has, say 200 caches within 20 miles, there probably aren't a lot of local geocachers, and because there are few caches to find they probably have a relatively small number of FPs to award.

Two caches which area essentially the same might have a significant difference in the number of FPs it gets, simply because they're in different areas.

That's one of the reasons I often will look at FP% as well as raw FPs. A cache that has 50 FPs but only 10% of possible FPs usually won't be as special as a cache with 20 FPs but 50% of possible.

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If an area has, say 5000 caches within a 20 miles radius, that probably means there a lot of geocachers in the area that can accumulate a lot of FPs to award because those geocacher probably also have a lot of finds.

 

If an area has, say 200 caches within 20 miles, there probably aren't a lot of local geocachers, and because there are few caches to find they probably have a relatively small number of FPs to award.

 

Two caches which area essentially the same might have a significant difference in the number of FPs it gets, simply because they're in different areas.

That's one of the reasons I often will look at FP% as well as raw FPs. A cache that has 50 FPs but only 10% of possible FPs usually won't be as special as a cache with 20 FPs but 50% of possible.

 

I generally don't use the %. Anything over 5 FPs is likely to have something interesting about it. Very high FPs often mean that the cache has a guideline breaker which makes it unique. I'll check the logs to see if it's really something I'd like to visit on high % caches. Micros with high % is very likely going to be something I've seen at least a dozen times already (fake bolt, nano in a lock, centrifuge tube in a toy). I'll read the logs and look at the photo gallery and often put that micro on my ignore list.

 

What I would like to see GS implement eventually is how many FPs on the cache by year. As the years go by the older FPs will have less meaning, especially if the cache owner isn't maintaining the cache as it was when it was first planted. An example that I had found - a cache covered up in an old racoon hat and placed in a hollow tree. Funny and nerve-wracking for the first year. A bit of a mess in the second year. Cap gone in the third year but cache still there. So it may have received 20 FPs (70%) in the first year and 10 FPs (50%) in the 2nd year but by year 3 it's an old cache container in a hollow tree next to a trail that hasn't been maintained in 3 years, no FPs rewarded.

Edited by L0ne.R
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Last summer while planning a trip to Austin/central Texas, I filtered a PQ of all the traditional caches in the area by favorite points. Ended up with a short list of highly favorite caches, and incorporated some of them into our planned route. It still took some investigation of the pages/logs to decide which ones to hunt, but in the end it took us to some interesting areas and some cool hides. FP can be a handy tool to help guide you through unfamiliar areas.

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For me, it's not necessarily about the whole 'experience', or the location + cache hide + cache container/quality = favorite point. Any one of those three is enough to garner a point from me. I've found really creative containers or well-camouflaged hides in otherwise uninteresting areas that I felt were worthy of a favorite point. I've found unremarkable caches hidden in really cool or interesting parts of town...or even boring old ammo cans tethered to trees where the hike in was the only thing worth the time.

 

"Swag size", in my opinion, is not itself worth much of anything to me. Sure, it's always nice to find a good sized cache with quality contents...but I don't just assume bigger container = better cache.

 

The above is pretty well how we give out a FP.

 

But I have problem deciding what to do when we do a great series of caches. I would like to acknowledge the fact that I really enjoyed the series but I do not want to give a FP to all the caches and individually each cache does not merit a FP. So we give out a FP to the first cache with a note in the log.

 

I do not think we are stingy with FP but we got so many when they were introduced that we still have 1566 remaining (70% of our total). Maybe I should sell some.

 

.

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I generally don't use the %. Anything over 5 FPs is likely to have something interesting about it. Very high FPs often mean that the cache has a guideline breaker which makes it unique. I'll check the logs to see if it's really something I'd like to visit on high % caches. Micros with high % is very likely going to be something I've seen at least a dozen times already (fake bolt, nano in a lock, centrifuge tube in a toy). I'll read the logs and look at the photo gallery and then usually put that micro on my ignore list.

Maybe you're talking about caches around your local area. I normally use FPs only when I travel.

 

Where I travel, there could be hundreds of caches with 6+ FPs, so I generally will filter on something other than just that criterion. Like you, I might check logs and photos. Looking at maps and reading cache descriptions also can be helpful. And I'll usually use the FP%.

 

A fairly mediocre cache located in a convenient location might get lots of visitors and collect some FPs. So, a cache with 32 FPs but only 8% of possible FPs will raise a red flag for me. If I'm short on research time, then I might immediately reject such a cache. If I have some spare moments, however, then reading logs, etc., might convince me to add it to my To-Be-Sought list.

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I generally don't use the %. Anything over 5 FPs is likely to have something interesting about it. Very high FPs often mean that the cache has a guideline breaker which makes it unique. I'll check the logs to see if it's really something I'd like to visit on high % caches. Micros with high % is very likely going to be something I've seen at least a dozen times already (fake bolt, nano in a lock, centrifuge tube in a toy). I'll read the logs and look at the photo gallery and then usually put that micro on my ignore list.

Maybe you're talking about caches around your local area. I normally use FPs only when I travel.

 

Where I travel, there could be hundreds of caches with 6+ FPs, so I generally will filter on something other than just that criterion. Like you, I might check logs and photos. Looking at maps and reading cache descriptions also can be helpful. And I'll usually use the FP%.

 

A fairly mediocre cache located in a convenient location might get lots of visitors and collect some FPs. So, a cache with 32 FPs but only 8% of possible FPs will raise a red flag for me. If I'm short on research time, then I might immediately reject such a cache. If I have some spare moments, however, then reading logs, etc., might convince me to add it to my To-Be-Sought list.

 

Goes to show that for many of us the FPs are generally quite useful. Many of us use FPs to create our own system of finding good caches. :)

 

I agree that for travelling 5+ is too broad and have to apply a stricter FP strategy. I generally use a multi-tool system: PQs, Project-GC (filtering for size and D/T), logs, photo gallery, create my own bookmark list.

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