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Moun10Bike

Friends/Followers

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Most of you know that we currently have a Friends feature that does not provide much functionality.

 

If we implemented a robust system for interacting with your friends on web or mobile, what features would you like or expect to see?

 

Feel free to suggest any and all relevant ideas that come to mind. Some examples to help you get started (feel free to discuss these or add your own):

 

  • Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide
  • Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts
  • See nearby friends on the map
  • Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables
  • See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable
  • Friends leaderboards
  • Collaborate on lists with friends
  • Compete against friends for an achievement
  • Compare your stats with friends

Thank you for taking part in the conversation!

* Please note: If you haven't read the pinned thread for this forum, please take a moment to do so. This thread will be open for one week.

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I'd really like the ability to be alerted of caches by a "cache placer".

- But I'd rather "Caches placed by ..." was kept to the new search, without having to build a "friend's list" , as I'm only looking for their caches and not looking for "friends").

 

I don't compete or compare with the few friends I have that cache.

- They're actual friends (not like that facebook kind...), yet none of us has the other in that "friends feature" on this site.

 

I wouldn't be interested in a friends feature. Thanks.

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Most of the Friends-related features that I'd like to see are related to collaboration, rather than notification or competition or comparison.

 

Of the ones you mentioned, I'd like to be able to collaborate on lists with friends.

 

I'd also like to see features that make it easier to plan group trips. For example:

  • filter PQs based on caches that no one in a list of friends has found
  • search for caches that no one in a list of friends has found (possible using the new advanced search feature), and then easily turn that into a PQ or bookmark list (not possible yet)

Perhaps PQ data could be shared among Friends, so each person doesn't need to run the same PQ separately. Then each person could download the GPX/ZIP or download via the API as needed.

 

Perhaps the Personal Cache Notes could be made visible to all Friends, to specific Friends, or just to myself. That way, if I'm working on a puzzle with a group of friends, then we could all view the same PCN that records our current progress on the puzzle.

 

Perhaps my email address could be made visible to my Friends, but everyone else sees only the "Send Message" link.

 

Actually, some people have asked for other privacy-related features that could relate to the Friends features. For example, on my public profile, some of the tabs (e.g., Geocaches, Gallery, Statistics) could be restricted to my Friends. That might help some with concerns about ex-spouses, stalkers, etc.

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I'd like the ability to share a cache with people on my friends list. To have a button on the cache page that you can click to share it with your pals.

 

I'd also like to be able to flag caches and add them to a list shareable with friends..say to work a tough puzzle cache.

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I personally don't use and I don't need any "friend" features at all.

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My comments are indicated beside each bullet point from the provided list of possible features

 

  • Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide - I would use this
  • Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts - I might use this
  • See nearby friends on the map - I feel this is too big-brother-ish. Would it be on when I'm at home? How would I turn it on/off? Is it based on use of the official Geocaching app? 3rd party apps? What about stalkers? This one seems to be a really bad idea.
  • Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables - This needs to be toggable on/off by log type. Maybe I want to see logs on Earthcaches and travel bugs, but not traditional caches. ALSO, Not sure why this would be necessary because if I want to see what a friend has logged, I can view their profile.
  • See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable - Not sure why this would be useful... I can check the cache page or watch it for logs.
  • Friends leaderboards - It's not about the numbers! I will gladly celebrate milestones with my friends, but it's not a competition. I don't see the point of leaderboards.
  • Collaborate on lists with friends - Yes, I want this. Would be very useful in planning geocaching adventures and/or road trips with friends.
  • Compete against friends for an achievement - No, I don't want to see Geocaching become a competition. Bad idea.
  • Compare your stats with friends - Could be interesting for stat geeks, but again, I don't want to see Geocaching become a competition.

 

Collaboration features are desirable, competition features are not. DO NOT TURN GEOCACHING INTO A COMPETITION!!! It would be better to add a Badges or Awards feature of some sort to show individual achievements rather than make it a competition.

 

Give me an alphabetical list of my geocaching friends with a link to their profile. That's all I really need.

 

I would also like to see a small addition to the Search feature: the ability to search for caches already found by friends, so I can go out and find those caches without my friends. The current search doesn't allow this; it only allows a search for caches that none of a group of geocachers have found.

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A one-click "Phone-a-Friend" feature that the friend can specify in their profile how they want to be contacted by their friends: text, email, phone. Then if they're my friend, I could click on the PAF feature to easily ask for help.

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Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide

 

No, not necessary.

 

Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts

 

No. I am not on Facebook or Twitter. This "detecting" geocaching friends on other sites sounds creepy.

 

See nearby friends on the map

 

Heck, no. How would this work? The privacy implications are troubling.

 

Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables

 

No, but I have a similar idea. See below.

 

See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable

 

I can find that by going to the cache page, no? Trackables are harder because they are split into multiple pages, sometimes with pages and pages of automatic visit logs.

 

Friends leaderboards

 

??? Who is the best friend? Who has the most friends? I pretty much know where people stand in find and hide count. I'm not "winning" in comparison who's been playing a fraction of the time.

 

Collaborate on lists with friends

 

Yes, this would be great.

 

Compete against friends for an achievement

 

No. They're my friends. It's not a win-lose situation.

 

Compare your stats with friends

 

I can already do this.

 

My suggestions:

 

Daily digest by e-mail of logs by friends, with links. I am not only interested in finds, but also what they could not find, or events they plan to attend.

 

Ability to send e-mail to multiple friends at the same time. Perhaps with checkboxes for recipients.

 

Co-ownership of caches.

 

Ability to cooperate on pocket queries, i.e., share the same one.

Edited by msrubble
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Co-ownership of caches would be useful to a lot of folks.

 

And selective sharing could be nice, perhaps just my friends' Favorites. But I'd want this to be controllable. Their Favorites may not interest me, my Favorites may not interest them, but we may still be Friends and we may still go geocaching together, maintain lists together, etc.

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I would like to see people's DNFs as well as finds.

 

If I go caching with a friend I like to check their list of finds to make sure I didn't forget to log any. Some way to make that process easier including seeing DNF logs.

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Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide

No, but if something like that was implemented I'd like better privacy settings such that people would not be able to do that.

 

Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts

NO! I don't want to be detected across other social media accounts

 

See nearby friends on the map

NO! I don't want to be seen on the map. Please an option to opt out for me.

 

Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables

NO! Again, an option to opt out please.

 

See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable

More than what the search tool can do so it's possible to plan a caching trip together? Don't see the reason for that.

 

Friends leaderboards

No. I don't care about leaderboards

 

Collaborate on lists with friends

YES! That is actually a nice idea for caching trips.

 

Compete against friends for an achievement

Not interested

 

Compare your stats with friends

Not really

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I put my comments at the end of each proposed feature.

Red ones do not appeal to me, green ones are the ones I'd like to see.

 

  • Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide - No need for that, I'm using notifications for my area
  • Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts - Not at all! Keep Geocaching apart from social media platforms.
  • See nearby friends on the map - Don't even think of implementing big-brother-ish features. I would certainly turn it off. There are specialized apps for dynamic meeting points and emergency rescue purposes.
  • Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables - If I'm interested in a cache I put it on the watchlist. If I want to see what a friend has logged, I can view his profile.
  • See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable - This could come in handy for planning a short after-work Geocaching trip.
  • Friends leaderboards - It's not about the numbers! I will gladly celebrate milestones with my friends, but it's not a competition.
  • Collaborate on lists with friends - Yes, I want this. Would be very useful in planning geocaching adventures and/or road trips with friends.
  • Compete against friends for an achievement - No, I don't want to see Geocaching become a competition. Bad idea.
  • Compare your stats with friends - Again, I don't want to see Geocaching become a competition.

 

As user brilang said above: Collaboration features are desirable, competition features are not. DO NOT TURN GEOCACHING INTO A COMPETITION!!!

It's for leisure and pleasure, not for fighting!

 

Additional proposal:

On the Geocaching map/result list/pocket query, filter out caches found by selected friends.

 

Or even better: Indicate caches not found by any (green border), found by some (yellow border), found by all (red border).

This would greatly help in planning group trips.

 

Cheers, Alex

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Many respondents have already mentioned this, but we feel it cannot be emphasized enough: we are not interested in features that make geocaching more competitive; we are very much interested in features that make geocaching more collaborative.

 

• Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide - This is an added capability that we would use.

 

• Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts - not at all interested, do not want our Groundspeak account linked to any other accounts. While we do have our account linked to services like Project-GC, that is only because Groundspeak does not provide the functionality that that service provides. Our preference would be one stand-alone go-to source.

 

• See nearby friends on the map - Definitely not, don't want Groundspeak tracking us or anyone else. If you implement this please provide an opt out function along with it.

 

• Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables - Unlikely to use, this seems invasive. We already have that capability by looking at their profile anyway.

 

• See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable - This would be good, adds to our ability to collaborate and plan expeditions together.

 

• Friends leaderboards - This is an added capability that we would NOT use. It is our believe that this would have a negative overall impact on the hobby. Our experience with competition in geocaching thus far (over the last decade) has been uniformly negative. If you implement this please provide the option to opt-out.

 

• Collaborate on lists with friends - This is an added capability that we would use.

 

• Compete against friends for an achievement - Please see above comment regarding leaderboards.

 

• Compare your stats with friends - This only has utility with regard to collaborative planning, perhaps for challenge caches, and we already have the ability to look at each others stats. Little value added here.

 

We would also note that if you don't know the correct spelling of the cachers name, it is extremely hard to find them on the site; a more robust search feature, or a specific tool to search for cachers (as opposed to caches) would be of great utility.

Edited by Zekester & Simon
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I would want the ability to opt out of each specific feature, so I could control which of the items would be available to my friends list and which would not. That way everyone could have ONLY the feature(s) they want. It would also make it possible to turn on a specific feature for a while - like if planning a big outing - then turn it back off later, if desired.

 

I agree with the ABSOLUTELY NOT crowd on:

 

1. interfacing with social media

2. tracking anything on a map

3. competitions - please NO!

 

Mrs. Car54

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I'd really like the ability to be alerted of caches by a "cache placer".

- But I'd rather "Caches placed by ..." was kept to the new search, without having to build a "friend's list" , as I'm only looking for their caches and not looking for "friends").

 

I don't compete or compare with the few friends I have that cache.

- They're actual friends (not like that facebook kind...), yet none of us has the other in that "friends feature" on this site.

 

I wouldn't be interested in a friends feature. Thanks.

 

+1 I would really like an alert feature for "Caches placed by..." without building a Friends list.

 

I have a few people on my friends list because they asked to be friends but that's all that happened. They just sit in my Friends list. I never look at their finds. I think most of them stopped playing.

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First off, few people will see this request for feedback to this subject since the request is restricted to the forums, which I dare say many players are not aware that the Forums even exist. For that matter, the Forums are designed in an archaic manner and are not user friendly or easy to search with any certainty of finding what one is really looking for when searching.

 

As for Friends, do friends really compete with each other. Perhaps, but in my area and with my group of friends we cooperate with each other for the most part and assist each other in making finds either together or alone with some guiding info along the way. This game was not meant to be a 'numbers' game. Alas, for many, that is what it has become. This game started with a walk/hike in the woods, not scurrying along power trails, which take away from a 'family' aspect of the game. A mix of hides is important. Yes, I like the outings, in the city or the back country. Okay, going off topic. Keep it simple. Individual links for specifc puposes and list friends alphabetically or allow the user to select listing position.

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I would want the ability to opt out of each specific feature, so I could control which of the items would be available to my friends list and which would not. That way everyone could have ONLY the feature(s) they want. It would also make it possible to turn on a specific feature for a while - like if planning a big outing - then turn it back off later, if desired.

 

I agree with the ABSOLUTELY NOT crowd on:

 

1. interfacing with social media

2. tracking anything on a map

3. competitions - please NO!

 

Mrs. Car54

 

+1 again. Especially no to tracking/stalking, and competing/leaderboards.

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Respectfully,

 

I would like to see a unified messaging system. Not having to bounce between geocaching.com and my email everytime I want to reply. I know most cachers send a message with their email. However I can not control who sends me messages and when they send me messages. If I want to prevent harrassment I want to be able to block that.

 

However on a social media standpoint messaging is a different field and platform for geocaching. It would be nice to have a small collaborative way to communicate and statistically view cachers.

 

Another tab on the cache page that only appears for the user and not the CO is a "Friends who found this cache" window with a small list of names that can be displayed on the side or top. Wherever that fits in. That would assist with trip planning and cache groups.

 

Other rural areas I am assuming do not collaborate as much together. In Maryland we have a very close geocaching community throughout the entire state. Everyone knows each other pretty well. I would suggest the "Friends who found this" so when a trip is planned ahead we can already know who found the cache and either include or not include that in a search.

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I would like the ability to "tag" cachers in pictures so they also show up in their gallery.

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A big NO to any kind of social media "detection", live tracking features or any kind of statistical pixxing contests like leaderboards and stat comparisons! Please don't ruin geocaching by trying to make GC.com a social media site or by trying to make this wonderful game a competition! Besides, all of those surely expensive "live" features will raise the server load quite a lot whereas those are completely useless to all the geocachers using GPSrs (even these days not everyone uses a smartphone to find caches...) and therefore probably a huge waste of money.

 

A big YES to collaborating on lists with friends and on seeing which of ones friends have found a cache or Trackable - this will definitely come in handy when planning trips with friends, especially if there'll be options to save a search as .gpx or create a PQ of it!

 

A not so big "Meh, don't care" to the ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide (I'd filter Notification emails by placer name if I needed that feature), and to the ability to get alerts or newsfeed content when ones friends find caches or Trackables (I'd use my watchlist to keep an eye on interesting caches - besides, if I wanted to know what my friends are doing or where they are at the moment, then I'd simply give them a call), maybe an Opt out-option would be a good idea...

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Many respondents have already mentioned this, but we feel it cannot be emphasized enough: we are not interested in features that make geocaching more competitive; we are very much interested in features that make geocaching more collaborative.

 

• Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide - This is an added capability that we would use.

 

• Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts - not at all interested, do not want our Groundspeak account linked to any other accounts. While we do have our account linked to services like Project-GC, that is only because Groundspeak does not provide the functionality that that service provides. Our preference would be one stand-alone go-to source.

 

• See nearby friends on the map - Definitely not, don't want Groundspeak tracking us or anyone else. If you implement this please provide an opt out function along with it.

 

• Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables - Unlikely to use, this seems invasive. We already have that capability by looking at their profile anyway.

 

• See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable - This would be good, adds to our ability to collaborate and plan expeditions together.

 

• Friends leaderboards - This is an added capability that we would NOT use. It is our believe that this would have a negative overall impact on the hobby. Our experience with competition in geocaching thus far (over the last decade) has been uniformly negative. If you implement this please provide the option to opt-out.

 

• Collaborate on lists with friends - This is an added capability that we would use.

 

• Compete against friends for an achievement - Please see above comment regarding leaderboards.

 

• Compare your stats with friends - This only has utility with regard to collaborative planning, perhaps for challenge caches, and we already have the ability to look at each others stats. Little value added here.

 

We would also note that if you don't know the correct spelling of the cachers name, it is extremely hard to find them on the site; a more robust search feature, or a specific tool to search for cachers (as opposed to caches) would be of great utility.

 

Absolutely agree. And one wish more - please add a possibility to send a message more of Friends without the very restrictive limit existing now.

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My two-cents worth...

 

**Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide

Eh..... we have lots of notifications around here. If it's an option, sure.

 

**Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts

This would be nice. As an OPTION if you want to enable that sort of thing. Some folks do tend to "creep" on you and that should be able to be turned-off.

 

**See nearby friends on the map

How... unless it's live?

 

**Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables

We see some of this now with the watchlists.

 

**See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable

Again, watchlists already do this

 

**Friends leaderboards

Maybe..... for some of us, it IS about the numbers.

 

**Collaborate on lists with friends

Yes, this probably would be helpful. Group-effort

 

**Compete against friends for an achievement

Again, group-effort for acheivements either together or a "contest"

 

**Compare your stats with friends

Don't we do that now? :)

 

Some stuff just makes sense.

 

PLEASE GIVE THE USERS what we want! :)

 

Thanks. :)

Edited by Jayme H
Off topic post in User Insights forum
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I would like the ability to "tag" cachers in pictures so they also show up in their gallery.
There have been times when tagging cachers in photos would have been nice.

 

A while back, I suggested a new feature, to allow members the ability to select a photo from their galleries, rather than uploading another copy. This would be useful for photos that are appropriate for multiple logs (e.g., a photo at an Attended event showing people with various Discovered personal trackable items).

 

A useful variation might be the ability to select Friends' photos that you've been tagged in.

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First off, few people will see this request for feedback to this subject since the request is restricted to the forums, which I dare say many players are not aware that the Forums even exist. For that matter, the Forums are designed in an archaic manner and are not user friendly or easy to search with any certainty of finding what one is really looking for when searching.

 

I'll reiterate something that I posted in a previous User Insights thread:

 

These forum threads are only the initial step in a long journey to a final solution. They are designed to help us make sure we are collecting the most critical elements needed for inclusion in the basic feature under discussion. This information helps us to develop the User Insights games that we build and play with the community (usually at various Mega Events held around the world), which are incredibly useful for gaining deeper insights into how people interact with the feature and how they want and need to use it. The results from those games then directly guide how we move forward with design, User Testing, Play Testing, and Beta Testing. So, please don't worry that we are packing all research on decision making on the feature into this single week or from a single venue; it is just the tip of the iceberg.

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***Things I would like to see**

 

VIRTUALS

Why is this so difficult for Groundspeak to understand that we truly DO need these? We have that for Earthcaches and puzzles, why do we NOT have virtuals anymore? This just makes no sense.

 

WEBCAMS

Again, this is something that as our technology has evolved, webcams have become more available and more frequent. WHY isn't this endorsed?

 

I don't care for Waymarking. Waymarking isn't the same as Geocaching and you get NO smileys or points for logging waymarks. Virtuals should have the same guidelines as Earthcaches, in that if it's not taken care of, it can get archived.

 

Some stuff just makes sense.

 

PLEASE GIVE THE USERS what we want! :)

 

Thanks. :)

 

Please be sure that you read the pinned post at the top of this forum. The first bullet point states:

 

  • We know that there are many other topics that are incredibly important to the community and deserve discussions as well. Each of the posted topics in this forum are specific inquiries that the Product Team is asking for targeted insight on right now.

 

We understand that there are a number of features that individual users would like to see, but we are asking only for comments on this one idea at this time. Thanks!

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I agree that the friend feature on Geocaching doesn't do anything right now, so it would be nice to have benefits to adding fellow cachers.

 

Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide

Yes, I would definitely use this to see when my favorite COs places a new cache.

 

Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts

No, I prefer to keep all my accounts separate and don't like when sites bug me to link Twitter, Facebook, etc.

 

See nearby friends on the map

No, but I would like the next thing below instead.

 

Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables

As long as it's a separate page we can click on and not on the main page that loads when we log in and see all our own info. Having instant or digest emails would also be good options.

 

See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable

That would be fun to see, maybe as a little extra box on the left side of a cache or trackable page, like where the map and inventory sections are.

 

Friends leaderboards

No, I don't think Geocaching should be competitive and I think it could lead to a lot of drama (cheating, bickering, etc).

 

Collaborate on lists with friends

Yes, it would be nice to see our Geocaching lists with two additional options to keep the list up-to-date: edited by anyone or edited by authorized users only.

 

Compete against friends for an achievement

No again, I don't think Geocaching should be competitive and I think it could lead to a lot of drama (cheating, bickering, etc).

 

Compare your stats with friends

A side-by-side comparison page would be neat rather than clicking through our profiles separately.

 

And other suggestions that I agree with:

 

+ See friends' DNFs as well as finds so we know what they may want help with, especially if we're planning a trip

Edited by LestISmiteThee
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I would like to be able to say thank you to some of the comments catchers make about my cache hides. Something like a Thank you button or something similar, perhaps an active comment box. There is no way to say thank you other than email which is not always a sure thing.

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Most of you know that we currently have a Friends feature that does not provide much functionality.

That's right. I just know the logbook function, to view my friends logs seperated from other logs. Nothing more.

 

If we implemented a robust system for interacting with your friends on web or mobile, what features would you like or expect to see?

In Germany, you say "this train has gone". It means youre too late and you can't return. Looking back the years I do geocaching since 2008, I still remember that we first used simple walkie talkies in the field, later we used "telefonjockers" (we just called other geocachers by phone). Thats how we communicated. Later there were Groups with the same interests on WhatsApp or Facebook. Today, these ways are established. While looking for better ways to let geocachers communicate using geocaching.com, you have to provide functions they won't get anywhere else. If you want to provide new functions to let geocachers interact, it is not enough just changing the website. You need to change the mobile app too.

 

Feel free to suggest any and all relevant ideas that come to mind. Some examples to help you get started (feel free to discuss these or add your own):

 

First of all, there must be a new authentication. Today, it is sufficient to provide an email address that is not checked. This often leads to problems, because members are not reachable. These may be young children who have their own account without being able to communicate via email. In other case it may be that the emailadress is no longer active.

 

For upcoming functions: basically I want to decide who is following or watching me. This can only be done with consent from me.

 

 

  • Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide? Yes, but this is rather a function for notifications.
  • Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts
  • See nearby friends on the map? This is too hot! What will be seen on the map? My friends home coordinates? Their actual GPS-position? Doing so, it is too easy to track someone 24 hours a day an 7 days the week. Even if I say yes to my friend and let him find me on the map there are several days I won't be seen on the map. Nice idea ... but very hot. I would turn this off.
  • Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables? NO
  • See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable? In some cases. Caches YES - Trackables NO
  • Friends leaderboards? NO, other would certainly. They use their stats for this.
  • Collaborate on lists with friends? Yes. I would call it groups. Just combine this with the ability to include one ore more geocache lists in a group of users.
  • Compete against friends for an achievement? ???
  • Compare your stats with friends? NO, other would certainly.

 

Thx!

 

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See nearby friends on the map? This is too hot! What will be seen on the map? My friends home coordinates? Their actual GPS-position? Doing so, it is too easy to track someone 24 hours a day an 7 days the week. Even if I say yes to my friend and let him find me on the map there are several days I won't be seen on the map. Nice idea ... but very hot. I would turn this off.
Neongeo implemented something like this. I leave it turned off too. But the way it works is that if you turn on the feature, then other Neongeo users can see your location when both of you are actually using Neongeo.

 

So I would expect Groundspeak's feature to show you markers on the map when your friends are nearby, when both of you are using Groundspeak's app, or possibly when both of you are using any API-based app.

 

And yeah, I'd still leave the feature turned off.

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Add as an integration to "Lists". Update the "Lists" page to provide links to Favorites, Bookmarks, and Watchlist (and replace "Lists" on the "Play" main-page drop-down) to include "Friends". Then it is easy to link to their profiles, find caches hidden, stats, etc. You could then have lists which include Favorites, Bookmarks, Watchlist, AND "Following".

 

I don't really use the "Friends" thing much, as I keep in contact with them via standard email. So I'd also recommend adding a link to the forums "messenger" (Personal Messages) page, and integrate the notifications you see in your forum profile in the upper right to your geocaching.com profile.

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As I read this topic, two things came to mind:

 

- Please don't try and turn Geocaching.com into some sort of social media platform. I already have plenty of ways I can connect with my friends (both real and cyber) and I don't need another one. Don't clutter and confuse the site by trying to add functionality that isn't needed/wanted.

 

- No, no, and no to anything that adds to the competitive nature of geocaching, even if it is a friendly competition between friends. Friends who want to compete can do so on their own. Do not promote competition on the site. It's bad enough we still have challenge caches around that encourage people to all try and one-up each other for the most obscure and difficult criteria.

 

I rarely visit my Friends list, other than as a quick way to locate their profiles and see who's been active recently. I don't need any more functionality -- in fact, I don't even really need the functionality that exists now and I wouldn't even care if it disappeared.

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I agree that the friend feature on Geocaching doesn't do anything right now, so it would be nice to have benefits to adding fellow cachers.

Actually, the friends feature does one thing right now that I find very useful: in the cache log, I can limit my view to only the logs my friends have entered. I'm not sure I want the friends feature to do anything else, but I definitely want to keep that feature.

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As I read this topic, two things came to mind:

 

- Please don't try and turn Geocaching.com into some sort of social media platform. I already have plenty of ways I can connect with my friends (both real and cyber) and I don't need another one. Don't clutter and confuse the site by trying to add functionality that isn't needed/wanted.

 

- No, no, and no to anything that adds to the competitive nature of geocaching, even if it is a friendly competition between friends. Friends who want to compete can do so on their own. Do not promote competition on the site. It's bad enough we still have challenge caches around that encourage people to all try and one-up each other for the most obscure and difficult criteria.

 

I rarely visit my Friends list, other than as a quick way to locate their profiles and see who's been active recently. I don't need any more functionality -- in fact, I don't even really need the functionality that exists now and I wouldn't even care if it disappeared.

If the site turns that 90-degrees toward the competitive ideal, I'm really not going to enjoy the game in the same way anymore. The low levels of competition has always put me on knife's edge in terms of tolerating difficult behaviors in the community.

 

I know that Groundspeak is a business, and there is a larger incentive to making this competitive in nature, but I BEG that Groundspeak does not make any move--even an inch--toward incentivising an ability to "compete" outside of ones existing ability to just look at someone's profile or use an API site (project-gc, e.g.) to play their own side games.

 

I agree--"challenge caches" are bad enough. If Groundspeak wants to move that direction, I suggest they create a spin-off or new cache type that can be avoided altogether by those who want the traditional version of the game to continue unadulterated.

 

Heck, the FTF game is close enough to pushing many people away, and the "race to the top" in terms of find count is now beginning to trump good caches, good logs, and geocache maintenance. Competition will only muddy the the water, or dilute the already anemic ability to keep this game on the up-and-up in communities.

Edited by Jayme H
Off topic post in User Insights Forum
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I miss the feature allowing to see how long time ago my friends were online. The past feature allowed this, down to the minute. Especially during release it was fun to watch which friends actually logged on to see the new caches (and knowing who to expect in a race), or knowing that your friends logged on to check new caches, if I send them a link to an interesting cache. It is a feature which was there before. Can we have it again?

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Have been caching since Aug/'09, and have never found the "Friends" feature of much use or interest to me.

None of the above ideas/suggestions in the OP would cause me to find "Friends" of any more use or interest to me.

Edited by Jayme H
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  • Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide
    Yes
     
  • Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts
    No
     
  • See nearby friends on the map
    No
     
  • Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables
    Yes
     
  • See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable
    Yes
     
  • Friends leaderboards
    :blink: No
     
  • Collaborate on lists with friends
    Yes
     
  • Compete against friends for an achievement
    :blink: No
     
  • Compare your stats with friends

Yes

 

For me, it's the planning of a caching excursion that requires some work. If the "friends" function could make that easier and faster, that would be great.

 

If it was possible to collaborate on bookmark lists, for example, where each friend's finds or dnf's of caches in the list could be displayed, that would be helpful.

 

The other major thing that sounds good is to be alerted when a friend has placed a new cache.

 

All the competition and leaderboard stuff should be left up to the cachers who want that. I don't think that GS should enable them.

 

Thanks for the opportunity to provide feedback.

 

 

B.

Edited by Pup Patrol
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Just chiming in on the "PLEASE NO" to any sort of feature that promotes competition. If that was somehow built-in to the friends feature I would remove all my friends and just stay in touch with them on actual social media platforms. I am not here to compete with anyone but myself.

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Some features may be cool or useful (I didn't read through all of this thread) but if implementing something like new cache notifications for just people on yuourfriends list, or having friends show up on the app when they're nearby, well I may noting it, but there are those who do. I'd like above all else customizable privacy settings. Perhaps for all your friends, or different for each friend. But I'd like to have some stuff not visible to the general population. For example, I could have my phone number, or direct email available only to people on my friends list.

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I have almost no interest in any of any of these features.

 

The one social media like feature I would like to see is a "like" button on logs, such that anyone can "like" a well written log, which might encourage better logging.

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I like others have said have no real interest in this list. Most of the people on my 'friends' list aren't really friends, infact some of them I've never met. That said I'm stioll going to give my opinion on the bits you suggested. But on the whole I feel this feature either needs massive improvement or scrapping altogether. I feel I should add I think it's important that geocaching.com does not attempt to become another social media site, there are enough of those out there already!

 

Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide

Not sure I would use it, there are no cachers I 'follow' in the sense I will go out and find any cache they set.

 

Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts

It depends on what you class as 'friends' I have several people on my facebook page that also have geocaching accounts, but I don't really care about their caching habits.

 

See nearby friends on the map

This one could be interesting, but I would be worried about people I don't want to knowing where I am having access to my location. I also don't like the idea of being tracked, although preasumably this would run through the App which I don't use anyway!

 

Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables

Facebook for geocaching? I've had enough of the people who share the occasional find on Facebook. Not reaslly keen on hearing that my friend found 30 different caches in a series.

 

See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable

Could be handy, It would be much more helpful if I could see a map showing caches which me and a friend have not done. That way we can work out what seires to do (Something like Map compare on project-gc!)

 

Friends leaderboards

Preasumably it would just show their find counts and number of caches they've hidden?

 

Collaborate on lists with friends

Maybe, if I'm going on a road trip with friends we would make a list of caches we want to go and visit. Could be a good idea.

 

Compete against friends for an achievement

Do I have to wait for Groundspeak to create an achievement or can I create my own? Also surely this could also be done by comparing my stats.

 

Compare your stats with friends

Could be interesting, but not sure how much I would use it!

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Work commitments left me with little computer time and I missed the window for the previous User Insight topic. Ug. I hope to never repeat that scenario!!

 

My comments are flavoured by:

 

1) 99% of my caching is done on a solo basis -this is how I prefer to play the game.

2) I've done the power trail thing, and I've done the FTF thing.

3) Occasionally, it still is about the numbers -but never at the expense of quality caches.

4) From time to time, I make use of the GS iPhone app. But I'm old school. I prefer to center

my caching around my desktop by making use of gc.com, GSAK, and my GPSrs.

5) I've no complaints with the functionality of the Friends feature as it is now.

 

Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide

This might be cool -as long as I control who those cacher(s) are. And let's not get all cutesy with 'Oh, snap! So-and-so just placed a new cache!!' again, yeah?

 

Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts

Holy Mother of God, don't go there. For that way lies madness.. Just say 'no'... Danger, Will Robinson... Run, Forest. Run!

 

See nearby friends on the map

Neat little feature -until you consider the ramifications. If I want to be found, I'll use my Spot.

 

Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables

When I want to know if a cache has been found, I put it on the watchlist. I've no issue with the current functionality.

 

See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable

I can do this now, by pulling up their profiles. Something I do quite often, actually, and don't consider it a pain. But if you've an easier way in mind....

 

Friends leaderboards

I've not been wanting for anything of this sort. Currently, we're able to augment our profiles with GSAK and Project-GC data and I think that's great as it is. I spend time on others' profiles and the data is often fairly interesting. Yeah, I also like the eye-candy and the vanity aspect of it. Ultimately, though, the only person I'm competing with is myself. :)

 

Collaborate on lists with friends

Is 'public' and 'shared' not enough? Give me an example -a 'for instance'. Perhaps I'm missing something here.

 

Compete against friends for an achievement

The only upside to this would be that those who insist on calling this a 'sport' would now actually be correct. As others have already stated, this would be a turn in the wrong direction. As it is, common sense already goes out the window in the rush for FTF, or the twisted desire to lay down another mind-numbing power trail. And let's not forget that we're on some pretty unstable ground with the various land use entities out there.

 

Compare your stats with friends

Again, we can do this already. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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Most of you know that we currently have a Friends feature that does not provide much functionality.

 

If we implemented a robust system for interacting with your friends on web or mobile, what features would you like or expect to see?

 

Feel free to suggest any and all relevant ideas that come to mind. Some examples to help you get started (feel free to discuss these or add your own):

 

  • Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide
  • Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts
  • See nearby friends on the map
  • Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables
  • See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable
  • Friends leaderboards
  • Collaborate on lists with friends
  • Compete against friends for an achievement
  • Compare your stats with friends

Thank you for taking part in the conversation!

* Please note: If you haven't read the pinned thread for this forum, please take a moment to do so. This thread will be open for one week.

 

I wouldn't use any of these features. Thumbs up for those who don't want to see a focus on competitiveness, "likes" for the thought of encouraging quality logging rather than mindless "That's one more for me" button pushes, +1 to the poster who noted that any real time options might adversely impact server loads and +10 to the one who called any such tracking "creepy".

 

My tuppence. But thanks for the return of the old style search. :rolleyes:

Edited by Jayme H
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If we implemented a robust system for interacting with your friends on web or mobile, what features would you like or expect to see?

Don't try to emulate Facebook, LinkedIn, or the other big social networks. You will fail. I volunteer for a large organisation (150,000+ paying members in 127 countries) that has tried to turn their website into a social networking platform, and it has been a waste of money, a turn-off for members, and an embarrassment for the volunteers. The established social networks have the resources to do it much better than anyone else, and everyone who Geocaches and is interested in this type of interaction will already have accounts with them. Many geocachers will either not be interested in social networks, or will want to keep their Geocaching activities separate.

Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide

I'd like this feature, but wouldn't necessarily want these cachers to be my "friends". They wouldn't necessarily be the same set of people I would interact with regularly.

 

Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts

No. I don't want this. I prefer to keep my circles of friends separate.

 

See nearby friends on the map

No. I don't want to be tracked, and my friends won't want to be spied on.

Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables

I can see the merit in this, but wouldn't use it much. It would be OK if it was an on-demand feature where I could visit a page to see my friend's recent logs, but would be intensely annoying if the content was forced onto my profile page, or if I got an email alert every time my friends moved.

 

See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable

It would be nice if logs on a cache/trackable page could be filtered to show just Friends' logs, or if Friends' logs could be shown at the top of the list or highlighted in some way. As above, I'm not interested in any alerts beyond the current Watchlist feature.

 

Friends leaderboards

No. I'm not competing with anyone.

 

Collaborate on lists with friends

I wouldn't use this myself, but can see it might appeal to many.

 

Compete against friends for an achievement

No interest.

 

Compare your stats with friends

I can already do as much as this as I like via profiles.

 

In general, I'm against competition on Geocaching.com. I've nothing against people setting up side-games amongst their mates, but I wouldn't want it to be part of the platform. One reason is that people's ability to find caches varies enormously depending on where they live, their ability to travel, and the amount of time they have free. I wouldn't want to restrict my geocaching friends to "people like me", but a competition over a cross-section of my friends wouldn't be fair. If your stats pages always show that you're being beaten by someone who has more time to go caching than you, it's going to be a fairly disheartening experience.

 

One social feature that might be interesting would be a "Like" or "Vote up" button for log entries, with an accompanying statistic that would indicate how well received a cacher's logs were (whether humerous, helpful, etc.). This might help improve the quality of the site's content, by getting more people to take pride in their logs. You could take it further and add a "vote down" button. That seems to work well on StackOverflow and its sister sites, but they do have a complicated privilege system to avoid misuse.

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Collaborate on lists with friends

Is 'public' and 'shared' not enough? Give me an example -a 'for instance'. Perhaps I'm missing something here.

I imagine this being used to allow multiple people to help maintain some of the large bookmark lists. For example, the bookmark lists of all challenge caches.

 

I can also see this being useful when a group plans a geocaching trip. Someone could create a bookmark list for destination caches for the trip, and then everyone in the group could add caches to the bookmark list. (Obviously, this fails if people in the group have wildly incompatible preferences. But I'm assuming that the groups who would use this feature would be reasonably compatible with each other.)

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Yes to anything which helps me to collaborate with my friends and list caches which none of us have found.

 

No, no, a thousand times no to anything which promotes competition, leader boards or rivalry between cachers.

Edited by Gill & Tony
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Here's our take on this:

 

Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide

I thought we had this, but it may be useful for caches being placed outside our selected radius area, so yes!

Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts

Prefer this not to happen, but ok if it can be switched off/on.

See nearby friends on the map

It's not something we would use.

Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables

Again, its not something we would use.

See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable

Not something we would use.

Friends leaderboards

Absolutely not.

Collaborate on lists with friends

May have some mileage but more detail required.

Compete against friends for an achievement

Absolutely not.

Compare your stats with friends

It's not something we would use.

 

To reiterate, for all of the above we would want to switch these features on/off and would strongly resist any form of competition/leaderboard/social media functions. We enjoy caching with friends and people we have met by chance, on the odd occasion that happens, but don't feel the need for it to be formalised/facilitated.

 

Thanks for the opportunity to air our views.

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Last night, I was in a group setting with a dozen other cachers (all adults, from rarely active to 30+/week finders), none of whom have visited the forums. I brought up this subject and the discussion was interesting. Our general consensus was that the ability to connect with other geocachers in the ways mentioned would be creepy, and for those who have children geocachers the word scary was used. Who at Groundspeak will be responsible if someone is stalked by using the tracking feature?

The other thought was 'why would a company which has so many other functionality problems in their site, new search anyone, try to to build a TwitFace copy? Is the desire to cater to the new Appers (our word for phone app users, who download a game, try & drop it within a couple of weeks, never to return) that strong at Groundspeak?

Only one person out of the 13 present in the group was interested in the competition aspect of the game. (that is just his personality-type, everything is a competition to him)

Our group agreed that the privacy concerns of live tracking, linking of other accounts to geocaching, social-media type following of others are things that Geocaching should leave out of any site changes. Only the younger couple in our conversation was keen on the idea of connecting their facebook friends to geocaching, the rest of us didn't like the duplication and overlapping of connections.

 

We agreed that the only favorable thing from the proposed suggestions was the ability to follow a cache placer with alerts of their new placements, provided this ability is not limited by distance. Some of our favorite cache owners are on the edge of our 50 mile notification circle.

 

[qoute]Most of you know that we currently have a Friends feature that does not provide much functionality.

 

If we implemented a robust system for interacting with your friends on web or mobile, what features would you like or expect to see?

 

Feel free to suggest any and all relevant ideas that come to mind. Some examples to help you get started (feel free to discuss these or add your own):

 

  • Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide - This would be useful, especially if it has an Ignore This Owner selection, and is not limited by distance or any other factor
  • Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts - NO, NO, a Thousand times NO
  • See nearby friends on the map - NO - Privacy and security concerns
  • Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables - Only as a Daily Digest list, not as a live feed
  • See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable - The ability to see a page of Friends logs, separate from the cache page logs would be great.
  • Friends leaderboards - NO, Geocaching is not a contest, there is no Leaderboard......
  • Collaborate on lists with friends - This could be useful if it facilitates groups caching - common finds, caches unfound by the members in the group, etc.
  • Compete against friends for an achievement - NO, Geocaching is not a contest, there is no Leaderboard......
  • Compare your stats with friends - Not needed. This is easy to do by looking at their stats page

Thank you for taking part in the conversation!

 

 

 

For the love of all that is holy, please do not turn Geocaching into a competitive, social media type entity.

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  • Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide - yes, this would be useful
  • Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts - NO. No more interactivity with social networks needed
  • See nearby friends on the map - I do not feel the need for this. Why?
  • Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables - YES.
  • See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable- YES.
  • Friends leaderboards - no attitude to this one.
  • Collaborate on lists with friends - YES
  • Compete against friends for an achievement - NO. This game should be about recognizing things and places, not about competing.
  • Compare your stats with friends - NO. Like before, this would support competing.

 

But what would be great to use the Friends page for - to see my friends recent logs chronologically sorted (with links to appropriate caches).

Today I use GClh to see which friends of mine have new finds, then open particular cache pages to read their logs. Sometimes they write interesting stories. :) But this takes my time and CPU power and bandwidth of your servers. So why not to have the logs displayed at once? They could be right under the Friends list.

Edited by Pontiac_CZ
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Most of the suggested features were things that I would not want to see as default items without the ability opt-in. A friends leaderboard or stat comparison is not what I am seeking (if I could prevent my name appearing on any leaderboard, I would do that). If a person truly is a friend, they will know in general what I am up to so I do not see any need to show locations on maps, be alerted when they find a cache, or other such things.

 

To me, the friends feature is simply a handy way to shortcut to things that I like to see - such as photos that are posted. I would like it if the friends feature worked in conjunction with increased privacy, to set various items in the profile as being available only to friends.

 

I also would like it if if the friend request was a little more separated from the other boxes to check when sending a message through the site - or have a friend request only after confirming that you want to do so. There have been a few times that I have accidentally hit the button when sending out earthcache answers on my phone -- and have gotten a few friend requests that I suspect were sent in the same way to me.

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I also want to add a tag feature that allows a friend to be an "Official" co-owner to a cache up a request sent via email. If I am to go down for the count or I just decide to never log in again. Someone I authorized can have moderator control of the cache to do maintenance and post updates. However control is ultimately up to me of when its archived.

 

So when you add a tag and click the owners name at the top of the page it allows you to navigate to each owner independently. This feature would be optional for each cache.

 

As I do realize this modifies guidelines it creates a door for some of the community wanting a co-owner later down the road that has owner powers of the cache listing.

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