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Moun10Bike

Friends/Followers

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I'm not sure that I'd really use much of a Friends/Followers feature but...

 

a) I'd want it to be similar to now - I have to actively approve a Friend just now. It would be nice to be able to do that more quickly than I can now - when I did it a while back it was quite complex and fortunately the guy I was friending was sitting next to me...

 

b ) You need to decide if this is a "Premium" feature or not - or how much of it will be. A lot of the stuff you're suggesting is premium stuff I think.

 

c) I need to be able to block access to features in at least groups - there are some things like access to log notifications that I'd not want to be widely available to all my Friends for example. And I need to be able to approve each person as a Friend individually.

 

d) whilst you're at it, there was a thread recently that asked about hiding activity from an ex-spouse. If you're twiddling with links between users it might be appropriate to implement the ability to block access to some forms of information - such as lists of found caches etc... - either from specific users or, probably more easily implementable, all users. From a privacy perspective there are certainly some things which might be worth considering - given the EU approach to data privacy there may be a need for Groundspeak to begin to think more actively about this issue as well.

 

On your immediate suggestions:

 

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

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

 

That seems an entirely reasonable idea and could be helpful. It would be nice if this were a non-premium feature, but perhaps limited to 5 hiders or something. Potentially I'd also like to be alerted when my Friends have found a cache. That might get messy perhaps with far too many alerts, but perhaps a digest form of alert might be helpful.

 

Note that I would want to be able to turn this sort of thing on and off per Friend.

 

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

 

It makes sense to have this if you can already link into social media accounts. I wouldn't use it but it's sensible.

 

> See nearby friends on the map

 

As in their home location? Or where they currently are? The former - yes, why not; the later - eek, no thanks...

 

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

 

If it's easy to implement then why not.

 

> Friends leaderboards

> Compete against friends for an achievement

 

Personally I've no interest in these, but I can see that others might have. Again, I want the ability to turn this off for me.

 

> Collaborate on lists with friends

 

That's a good idea. I don't have access to list creation, but I can see that it would be helpful for some people.

 

> Compare your stats with friends

 

I have to use third party products to do this as I don't have access to proper stats here. Given that it's easy to do there then I see no reason why it shouldn't be implemented.

 

Certainly an easier Friends interface would be helpful in general.

Edited by Blue Square Thing
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Hey everyone,

 

Thanks for the constructive feedback on friends/follow functionality. Please remember that this forum has special guidelines to follow. If you haven't had a chance to read them yet, please take look here.

 

A few of the posts in this forum haven't met the special User Insights guidelines and, unfortunately, have had to be edited. Here are a few of the guidelines that I would like to remind you about:

  • 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.
  • For effectiveness and ease of compiling this information, please keep the conversation on topic and constructive. Any off-topic posts will be removed.

Thanks again for taking the time to compile and share your thoughts with us.

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Please keep in mind that this thread is dedicated to discussion surrounding friends/followers functionality; communication with users of the website is tangential to this discussion and off-topic. We value feedback on this issue, but dealing with non-validated users and related communication issues are being dealt with separately, as you will begin to see soon. This is not the place for that discussion. Thank you!

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Please keep in mind that this thread is dedicated to discussion surrounding friends/followers functionality; communication with users of the website is tangential to this discussion and off-topic. We value feedback on this issue, but dealing with non-validated users and related communication issues are being dealt with separately, as you will begin to see soon. This is not the place for that discussion. Thank you!

Could you elaborate on this in the other thread on the Website topic, perhaps?

 

The "Friends" features I encourage and enjoy have much more to do with communicating with others (email, PM, e.g.), and also with the ability to link directly to "the usual suspects" who I want to follow, cache with, or want to check on. I use it like a "hot link" to those I interact with regularly, or want to view their caches or trackables.

 

It's nice to have profiles with the "Statistics" tab to see what they're sharing, but also to link right to their caches, and the caches they've found. That much is the "comparison" which serves as the impetus for challenges and "competition" if one chooses to do so.

 

Being able to "like" someone's log would be really cool. And integrating the "Favorite Points" a little more obviously via the Lists link/tab would be nice--perhaps add a more prominent tab devoted to favorites right on the profile page--instead of through the "Lists" tab. (See my previous comment for context)

 

I do think that there should be some checks and balances in the "friending" aspect of the new integrations--you shouldn't be allowed to follow someone without their permission. Unlike the Watchlist where you can't see who is watching your cache, you should be able to approve and communicate that approval with the person who wants to follow you. I'd see blind "following" as a bit too much creation of competition and imparting undue celebrity status to people who might be more prolific than others.

 

The bottom line is to ask staff if they think that Groundspeak wants to head the direction of creating a competition between users, or to simply continue to host geocaches which encourage people to engage in locations in a new and interesting way--all while being able to track their own experiences through cache logs and find counts. (The count as inventory number, not a score: My cache #156 was GX12345A, and here's the log I posted...e.g.)

Edited by NeverSummer
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The bottom line is to ask staff if they think that Groundspeak wants to head the direction of creating a competition between users, or to simply continue to host geocaches which encourage people to engage in locations in a new and interesting way--all while being able to track their own experiences through cache logs and find counts. (The count as inventory number, not a score: My cache #156 was GX12345A, and here's the log I posted...e.g.)

 

We're not trying to direct things one way or another; instead, we posted some possible ways to use a Friends/Followers feature in order to initiate the conversation and stimulate brainstorming. We are relying on users to tell us which way they want things to go.

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The bottom line is to ask staff if they think that Groundspeak wants to head the direction of creating a competition between users, or to simply continue to host geocaches which encourage people to engage in locations in a new and interesting way--all while being able to track their own experiences through cache logs and find counts. (The count as inventory number, not a score: My cache #156 was GX12345A, and here's the log I posted...e.g.)

 

We're not trying to direct things one way or another; instead, we posted some possible ways to use a Friends/Followers feature in order to initiate the conversation and stimulate brainstorming. We are relying on users to tell us which way they want things to go.

Ok, and then I ask if feedback from some users includes facilitating or de facto encouragement of competition, does it fit the Mission and Vision of Groundspeak?

 

Since Groundspeak launched in 2000, we've been inspiring discovery, exploration and adventure. We do this by providing tools for the creation and sharing of story-worthy moments. Our goal is to make everyone an explorer and to put an adventure in every location.

 

We're essentially discussing the philosophy of the game--what is the service that Groundspeak is providing? If it is in line with the Mission, I think that any suggestion that integrated site updates would include anything of a competitive nature would take away from the focus which developed the foundation--that it was about location-based adventures, not about finding more than the next person. Mission statements can help focus the

company on what really matters--to itself as well as to its stakeholders. An effective mission statement defines the fundamental, unique purpose that sets a business apart from other firms of its type and identifies the scope of the business's operations in product and marketing teams (Pearce, 1987).

 

I do think that there are great partner sites that help users of Geocaching.com integrate interesting side-games. This would include the ability to foster competition if one chooses to be motivated by that aspect of what one can do with the service Groundspeak provides. Someone can compete if they like, and another can enjoy the service Groundspeak provides in another way.

 

I think that an improved "friends" feature would be a great way to meet the mission statement of the company--to "inspire discovery, exploration and adventure" with others around them. To be able to meet, communicate, follow, collaborate, and share experiences is really a fundamental part of the game. And I think that developing a way to meet, greet, discuss, and share experiences out "in the field" with each other is a really fun part of what the Geocaching.com website provides us all.

 

Exploring and sharing is what this site is really all about. And to share, creating a robust and specialized way to connect with "friends" would be an improvement. Right now all we get is a way to keep "friends" in a single location for reference. There's no interaction, no collaboration, and no clear way to communicate beyond the existing "email user" link on everyone's profile. I don't think that you need to create another social media platform however. I do think that you can simply upgrade the way we "friend" and can view our "friends":

-Add our friends to our profile page for others to see who we interact with on a regular basis.

-Create a new collaborative Bookmarking process

-Develop a more in-depth way to view someone's profile if you're "friends" versus if you aren't

 

But the bottom line is, what is the goal of a Groundspeak/Geocaching.com "Friends/Followers" function? How does it serve the mission? How does it meet the needs of users within the construct of the company's mission?

 

So I'd throw the question back to you, Moun10bike: What is the staff of Groundspeak hoping to create if it were to improve or develop a "more robust" peer-to-peer interaction (friends/followers) on Geocaching.com?

 

Pearce II, John A. Corporate Mission Statements: The Bottom Line. Academy of Management Executive, 1987. Vol 1, No. 2. http: //www.simpsonexecutivecoaching.com/pdf/orgmission/corporate-mission-statement-bottom-line-pearce-david.pdf

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So I'd throw the question back to you, Moun10bike: What is the staff of Groundspeak hoping to create if it were to improve or develop a "more robust" peer-to-peer interaction (friends/followers) on Geocaching.com?

 

As I've already explained, we are not trying to create anything in particular right now, simply collect ideas from people on what the friends feature should look like in a future iteration. Please limit your feedback in this thread to specific ideas related to such a feature rather than philosophical discussions regarding Groundspeak's misson and vision. Thank you.

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I am NOT opposed to the majority of what you listed, as long as there's the ability to opt out of each one so we can keep everybody happy. I personally, would like to connect with friends on other social media networks who already have a geocaching.com account which I might not be aware of.

 

These two though, not so keen on them.

Friends leaderboards

Compete against friends for an achievement

 

And as someone mentioned earlier, a personal achievement badge system of some sort, I think is a great idea.

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I wouldn't mind seeing the friend functionality be a user controlled filter for who can see what on a profile. For example we can hide statistics from everyone. Maybe have an option that those are available to friends but not everyone else. Give everyone the option of what they want the whole world to find in one place with a single click and what they don't. It would still be available on the individual cache pages but not in one place and within a click or two. Make the stalkers work for it.

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* For a number of features that could exist but affects no one who won't use it, such as social media friend detection, I wouldn't put too much weight on the "nays". It would be useful for those who use it, and irrelevant to those who don't.

 

It should certainly be opt-in though.

If you have your facebook or twitter account connected to your gc profile (already possible to do, people!), you should have a toggle to 'allow' you to be discoverable or not by those accounts' friends. You may not want all your facebook friends to find your profile by clicking a button. For whatever reason. So social media 'discoverability' should definitely be optional (and off by default, to be safe).

 

* Map? I don't see a good reason for that really. There's no reliable way for that to be valuable, and there are many smartphone apps that already provide that ability in a better context. Geocaching is geocaching. Leave the non-geocaching location services remain external. (but otherwise, again, any location broadcast should definitely be opt-in, and off by default)

 

* Leaderboards? No. Statistics comparison among select friends? Perhaps. It's all in how it's presented. Do not present it as a competition. Sometimes it's interesting to simply compare stats - people who want to compete will find any way to make it competitive, so don't worry about those. Comparison though would be interesting; though I myself would still use it rarely if at all. For the most part the only stat I look at of friends is their find count.

Promoted competition = BAD

 

* Friends Timeline? I could see this as useful/fun... for some people. I'd definitely 'digest' it though. That is, don't list every friend's find as a new timeline item; present it more like 'Friend X logged 53 finds...' and show the first few in brief form with the ability to expand and show more, or just jump right to their Found geocaches summary page. In short, Group events that happened in one day by the cacher. Or better, provide other grouping options, such as log type, or D or T. But do not under any circumstances default to showing every friend event as its own item - powertrails and mass logging will be absolutely hated in a feature like that, and would just cause people to unfriend or ignore very active people instead of actually making friend connections :P

* Cache recommendations - sort of like favorites, and sort of like 'Sharing' with friends; provide a flag for caches that you can toggle, which will drop the cache into your 'Recommended' list which is visible to friends. When viewing our profile, we could then look at the caches that our friends have recommended. That would help the idea of 'favorites' be more targeted and relevant. High public favorites doesn't necessarily mean a quality cache. But if you can view a list of caches that your friends themselves have recommended, that list would much more likely be closer to your interests. What you recommend doesn't have to be public, and the CO wouldn't have yet another list to view ('recommended X times'), it would just be between you and your friends.

 

* Profile popups (not so much exclusive to 'Friends') - if you hover over a name for a a second or two, pop up a dynamic display of their basic stats. It's a space saver where the info isn't already visible (like a cache's log history); this would be site-wide, similar to Facebook's user hover-popup widget.

 

* Public galleries... this one's interesting. There's an argument to be made about accessibility - that even though a user may have all their photos publicly visible, packaging and presenting them in a much more friendly, accessible, direct way, may not be desireable. I'm thinking in terms of a link taking you to your friends' galleries as a sort of unified timeline, or some such. Now suddenly every photo your friend has uploaded to a log is visible at the click of a link. Technically, they were already available, but now much more so. I'm not sure where I'd stand on that. I'd love a friends' photo gallery, but I could understand the concern of its presentation.

 

Note: For any 'sharing' type features, whether it be profile details, even account visibility, or online activity (especially live location) - every feature should have a privacy setting, and it should be defaulted to OFF as soon as it's implemented. Privacy is HUGE, and any feature that makes you publicly visible in any way (beyond what we already currently have through gc.com) should be entirely opt-in.

I repeat, any sharing or public broadcast feature of the website should have opt in privacy settings. If not, you'll have a riot on your hands :P

People who want them will turn them on. People who don't know about them won't be harmed by them. People who don't want them or hate them need do nothing, and nothing will change for them.

 

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.

 

I hadn't thought about that really until you mentioned it this way. It really is an inverse to collaborating with friends - this is more like solo caching while keeping friends in mind. Only show caches that have been found by selected individuals so that you can target those on your own outings, and leave the caches you can both/all find together. It's a sort of catch up. I can see couples or families with multiple accounts making heavy use of the feature if each gets out caching at different times.

Displaying caches no one has found - great for collaborating on a caching trip with them.

Displaying caches they have found - great for planning personal outings to save mutually unfound caches for when caching with them.

** But I think that's more applicable to the advanced search filter discussion... I think I'll cross post that.

Edited by thebruce0
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* Cache recommendations - sort of like favorites, and sort of like 'Sharing' with friends; provide a flag for caches that you can toggle, which will drop the cache into your 'Recommended' list which is visible to friends. When viewing our profile, we could then look at the caches that our friends have recommended. That would help the idea of 'favorites' be more targeted and relevant. High public favorites doesn't necessarily mean a quality cache. But if you can view a list of caches that your friends themselves have recommended, that list would much more likely be closer to your interests. What you recommend doesn't have to be public, and the CO wouldn't have yet another list to view ('recommended X times'), it would just be between you and your friends.
It would be interesting to be able to see caches to which my Friends have given Favorites points. Ideally, I'd like to see caches that have received Favorites points from people with similar preferences to my own, but Favorites points from Friends might be a good start in that direction.

 

Of course, it would be nice if this were more fine-grained than just Favorites of Friends. I have a number of Friends who might not be interested in all the multi-caches and mystery/puzzle caches on my Favorites list. And I might not be interested in the caches on their Favorites lists. So I'd like to be able to exclude some of my Friends from my Favorites view.

 

And I think the added complexity of both a Favorites system and a Recommended system would be confusing. I think it should be one unified system.

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True, a summary of caches favorited by friends would be more easily implemented. It could actually be a search filter option, or a new PQ option. "Favorited by a Friend" as a toggle would work wonders!

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I agree that in its current format, the Friends function serves little more purpose than providing a link to the accounts of people you've met through caching.

 

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

I like the idea of seeing when a friend places a new cache, but as they are likely to be close to my home coords, I'd get that information through Notifications anyway.

 

Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts

Like so many others have already posted, I personally wouldn't like to see development time/money being spent on linking the game with the plethora of other social media accounts. I know that social media is an important portal for contacting others and sharing information, but feel that it is an aside to the core elements of caching - namely getting out and finding caches.

 

See nearby friends on the map

Although I've nothing to hide (unless I'm placing a new cache!) I wouldn't like to see where my friends are or for them to see where I am.

 

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

If I would like to see if/when my friends find a certain cache or trackable, I could just add it to my Watchlist and get an alert when they (or others) find/move it. As such, I don't think this feature would really add any new functionality, just another method for getting the same information.

 

See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable

The ability to quickly filter logs to see if a friend had already found a cache would be very helpful, both in planning prior to caching and if stuck at GZ - I'd love to see this functionality implemented.

 

Friends leaderboards and Collaborate on lists with friends

Although stats are great, I wouldn't want to see competition imposed between friends because of the harm that that could cause. Collaborating with friends towards a common or 'Clan' goal is somewhat different though. If the leaderboards could be created/customised, moderated and opted-in and out of by a group of friends then that might be fun. People participate in Geocaching for a variety of reasons and whilst some play it as a competitive game, others take part just as a hobby/pastime. Therefore, making it competitive might spoil the fun for some.

Would it be possible to create the leaderboard framework and then let the users themselves decide how and indeed whether they wish to use it or not be part of it at all? Does Groundspeak have any ideas what achievements might be included in the leaderboards and if there might be scope for different groups of friends to compete against each other towards goals? Possible ideas might be linked to numbers of finds in a period of time, D/T Combos and/or Cache Types found, Fave points received, Cache Attributes gathered whilst caching in a set period of time etc. Whatever criteria are chosen though, they need to reflect the fact that cachers participate at different standards in different areas.

 

Compare your stats with friends

There are already other mechanisms that facilitate this and I think any work here would just be duplicating effort.

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I agree that in its current format, the Friends function serves little more purpose than providing a link to the accounts of people you've met through caching.

 

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

I like the idea of seeing when a friend places a new cache, but as they are likely to be close to my home coords, I'd get that information through Notifications anyway.

 

Agreed. It's not really a 'friend' feature but more of a new alert/watch of a cacher's 'geocaches owned' list. Scratch the friend feature and add sharing features to bookmark lists and to the geocaches owned list.

Edited by L0ne.R
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I wouldn't mind seeing the friend functionality be a user controlled filter for who can see what on a profile. For example we can hide statistics from everyone. Maybe have an option that those are available to friends but not everyone else. Give everyone the option of what they want the whole world to find in one place with a single click and what they don't. It would still be available on the individual cache pages but not in one place and within a click or two. Make the stalkers work for it.

I like the idea of being able to hide statistics, but to share with friends. For a while, when I was being harassed by a user, I hid my stats so he couldn't "track" me. I'd have to toggle them on and off to check in on dates and D/T grid, etc.

 

I agree that all settings should be default set to "off" for any integrated Friends/Followers feature. We should be able to toggle things on and off based on who we would like to share it with.

 

Additionally, I think being able to link to a social media profile could be helpful. But, on a site where we all use "web handles" for names, it could get iffy when people do or don't want to share their real name with each other. It's pretty much taboo in my experience to "out" someone unless they've publicly provided their name to everyone on the forums, in their logs, or via their public profile.

 

It could be nice to add a link to profiles that could be populated with a social media profile of their choice. Then, when you are "friended" on geocaching.com, you can toggle on and off the ability to share that social media profile link with your friends.

 

Essentially, the ideas of integrations that I like are

  1. toggled
  2. set by default to "Off"
  3. and only visible to those who you've added as "friends" or "followers"

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I wouldn't mind seeing the friend functionality be a user controlled filter for who can see what on a profile. For example we can hide statistics from everyone. Maybe have an option that those are available to friends but not everyone else. Give everyone the option of what they want the whole world to find in one place with a single click and what they don't. It would still be available on the individual cache pages but not in one place and within a click or two. Make the stalkers work for it.

I like the idea of being able to hide statistics, but to share with friends. For a while, when I was being harassed by a user, I hid my stats so he couldn't "track" me. I'd have to toggle them on and off to check in on dates and D/T grid, etc.

 

I agree that all settings should be default set to "off" for any integrated Friends/Followers feature. We should be able to toggle things on and off based on who we would like to share it with.

 

Additionally, I think being able to link to a social media profile could be helpful. But, on a site where we all use "web handles" for names, it could get iffy when people do or don't want to share their real name with each other. It's pretty much taboo in my experience to "out" someone unless they've publicly provided their name to everyone on the forums, in their logs, or via their public profile.

 

It could be nice to add a link to profiles that could be populated with a social media profile of their choice. Then, when you are "friended" on geocaching.com, you can toggle on and off the ability to share that social media profile link with your friends.

 

Essentially, the ideas of integrations that I like are

  1. toggled
  2. set by default to "Off"
  3. and only visible to those who you've added as "friends" or "followers"

 

Some really great and interesting feedback so far. I'm surprised and quite pleased to see so many people in agreement especially about competition and privacy.

I'm definitely in agreement with NS's suggestion. That would be a good reason to keep 'friends/followers'... optional privacy settings. Allow us to toggle off/on (visible to everyone/visible to friends-only) some profile settings. The items I'd like to have a toggle option for are : chronological list of our finds (All Geocache Finds), stats (which we already have but we could open it up to friends-only), souvenirs.

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re: privacy, yep; and I'll reiterate what I just commented earlier:

Note: For any 'sharing' type features, whether it be profile details, even account visibility, or online activity (especially live location) - every feature should have a privacy setting, and it should be defaulted to OFF as soon as it's implemented. Privacy is HUGE, and any feature that makes you publicly visible in any way (beyond what we already currently have through gc.com) should be entirely opt-in.

I repeat, any sharing or public broadcast feature of the website should have opt in privacy settings. If not, you'll have a riot on your hands :P

People who want them will turn them on. People who don't know about them won't be harmed by them. People who don't want them or hate them need do nothing, and nothing will change for them.

 

If GS builds a privacy settings interface, then a number of existing profile toggles can be moved to it, and allow for the 3 settings that should apply to all items therein - hidden/private, friends only, and public.

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Friends is a single, symmetric list. I see this as the main problem with both the existing Friends feature and most of the suggestions. I suggest that Friends be generalized to Cacher Lists. Oh, it needs a better name ... for now I'll call this suggestion Personmark Lists, though I certainly hope someone comes up with a much better name.

 

We have Cache Lists: Watch List, Ignore List, multiple Bookmark Lists, and probably others I've forgotten. Each list has multiple possible capabilities: a watchlist always gets notifications and a bookmark list may; a bookmark list may or may not be shared or public, etc. I could see other capabilities being added -- for example, notify only of logs other than finds. (This is relevant to the topic in the sense that the concept of lists with capabilities could apply to Personmark Lists as well as to cache lists.)

 

Clearly there are many possible capabilities we may want to attach to Personmark Lists: notification of logs, notification of hides, comparing find lists, planning trips, and more that have been suggested. In all that I've seen suggested, a single list of Friends does not serve the purpose well:

 

  • Trip planning? How many people always cache with exactly the same set of acquaintances?
  • Watching? I might want to know about caches placed by someone I have no contact with otherwise.
  • Again watching: I might want to be notified of the activities of one set of cachers all the time, but of others only at limited times, and being able to turn notifications on/off on different lists would handle this.
  • Comparing stats? I don't, but others clearly do.
  • Show On Map. (Which map or maps, I'm not sure ... maybe only when called up, but also maybe on all geocaching maps.)

I'm sure others can suggest many other examples.

 

There's also the issue of symmetry. At present, if I'm friends with X, then X is friends with me. I may want to follow X (with her permission of course) but she may not want to follow me, even though she does want to follow Y. This is handled much better by a framework of multiple asymmetric lists (similar to Google Plus circles) than by a symmetric Friends list.

 

Not all features need lists at all. Collaboration on caches and bookmark lists (cache lists) have been noted, but these possible features have nothing to do with either Friends or Personmark Lists. Many of us want a feature to co-own caches. Some want a feature to co-own bookmark lists. I see no reason that such collaboration should be tied to Friends or to Personmark Lists.

 

Because of all the above considerations, if Moun10bike's "a robust system for interacting with your friends" means more capabilities for a single, symmetric Friends list, I think those added capabilities would not live up to the promise. A larger restructuring is needed.

 

Privacy has been noted. If I want to watch M (that is, receive notifications of M's logs and hides), that should require M's permission. Actually, most of the Personmark Lists features I can think of might require permission from the cacher being added to the list, either as their indicated default or explicitly for my list. The framework of Personmark Lists and their associated Permissions may simplify sorting out the privacy needs. (Facebook's history tells us that this is a lot harder than it looks.) Privacy is an important way that Personmark Lists differ from Cache Lists: we generally don't feel there are privacy implications to adding a cache to a list.

 

Related to topics frequently mentioned in this thread:

 

  • Competition: like everyone posting, I don't cache competitively. But clearly some do, and one of the attractions of geocaching is that so many different people fit under its umbrella. I would object to promotion of competitive features, but if such features were just one of several check boxes on each Personmark Lists, I think that would provide for those who want that capability, without pushing it as an integral part of geocaching.
  • Facebook: yes, it's huge. Yes, many web sites now allow "login with FB credentials". Yes, I dislike it. FB wants to own the web. Maybe it will. More likely it will erode:
    • Where's MySpace?
    • Recently I read an article referring to Microsoft as "the once-dominant software company" -- ouch.
    • Back in the days when input to computers was on punched cards, they were often called "IBM cards".
    • Etc.

    FB wants to blur the difference between itself and every other web presence -- FB wants to be the web. I want geocaching to stand on its own.

    [*]Socializing gc.com: LinkedIn started as a site for professional networking. As their IPO approached, they promoted the just-plain-social features. I starting getting contacts from people who were just friends and neighbors and had absolutely nothing in common with me professionally. Now LinkedIn has become far less useful for professional networking. But they got their IPO ... there are social forums on gc.com. Let those who want more social stuff learn to use forums, which are far more focused than FB and are likely to survive and flourish as a result. Perhaps make the social forums easier to find, easier to use on mobile devices, but leave them as a place to join, not something that just appears.

Edward

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I would like to go to cache pages see cachers who have low finds and send them an invitation to attend an event. I am not sure if this would be "friends" but it sure would be friendly. :D If it could be done so that it would collected in a way the names were accumulated so that it would not be duplicating the invitations or you could at least see if they were already on he list.

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The current friends feature has one function that I like, and that is the ability to view my friends logs easily in the logbook on a cache page.

 

Of the items listed, these would be useful to me:

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

- 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

- Collaborate on lists with friends

 

These would be nice, but third party tools take care of it today:

- Friends leaderboards

- Compete against friends for an achievement

- Compare your stats with friends

 

The ability to see events my friends are hosting or planning to attend would also be nice.

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Collaborate on lists with friends

I'd love to be able to collaborate on lists with other cachers. I don't see any reason to limit that ability to friends or make it dependent on the friends feature.

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Good morning - a little late to the game but I'm finally better understanding the community engagement model at Geocaching.com. Thank-you for your work & patience in connecting with those of us who use your products and services. Please accept my thoughts below in the spirit that the original questions were asked - brainstorming. Where there is no right or wrong answers, just ideas to bounce around in order to help make the end solution better. I am trying hard to avoid any "tone" in my responses; they are intended as constructive.

 

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

- most of my thoughts on this topic have already been shared by others, but in the interest of "tabulating the responses" and hopefully adding weight to those i feel are important areas for Geocaching.com development teams to focus...

- first thought here, I would like the ability, via mobile, to message a friend directly by their chosen medium (i.e.: from the "friend" button be able to launch a phone call, text, etc. from my mobile while I'm standing at GZ scratching my head. I think this would be a useful enhancement to the friends functionality.

 

 

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

Yes please - this would be a fun and useful function.

 

Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts

No thank-you. I like being able to keep my lists of friends distinct between different SoMe platforms. I also don't want my geocaching toolset to become a SoMe platform.

 

See nearby friends on the map

Oh please no. I think this opens a Pandora's box (as already mentioned by brilang and others) that GC.com doesn't want to be responsible for...

 

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

No thank-you. It's simple enough today to see what they've found via "pull" methodologies - I don't feel there is value in a "push" methodology for this data. Too much data will lead to people beginning to undervalue the information coming in. When I wish to share about an interesting find (cache or TB) I post that on SoMe channels for those who wish to know.

 

See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable

This may have some value - I'd love to see this idea explored and expanded.

 

Friends leaderboards

As a competitive person myself, this could be fun, but I recognize that others are not as competitive as myself, and as the game is about the journey not the numbers, I agree with others' previous comments that Geocaching.com isn't the correct place for this function. Perhaps GC.com could support partner sites that wish to focus on the competitive angle, to allow GC.com development teams to concentrate their resources on collaboration, integration, and the over-all "search & find" experience?

 

Collaborate on lists with friends

Oh yes please - this is a genius idea and much needed!

 

Compete against friends for an achievement

No thank-you. See my earlier comments on leaderboards.

 

Compare your stats with friends

Again, I think this functionality is better served elsewhere.

 

Thank you for taking part in the conversation!

Thank-YOU for inviting us to do so.

 

LANMonkey

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Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide (I don't see this being too useful. Wouldn't just a daily PQ of your caching area or the cachers area suffice?)

 

Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts (If I want to connect with someone, we can just exchange this information. I hate apps that try to automatically connect me with people. Some of us our social media for different purposes and like to keep things separate).

 

See nearby friends on the map (Ummm...No. What would be the benefit of this?)

 

Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables (This could be fun although depending on how many friends and how many caches they find this could get crazy.)

 

See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable (Not 100% sure what this would entail but I guess it could be fun).

 

Friends leaderboards (This seems to go against the "personal challenge/ recreation" intentions of geocaching. Why?)

 

Collaborate on lists with friends (Nice idea. Two other friends and I are working on completing a particular challenge and this could be useful.)

 

Compete against friends for an achievement (Once again- Why? Let folks compete on their own if they want but it doesn't seem like something that needs to be endorsed.)

 

Compare your stats with friends (This could be OK, just for fun.)

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There is nothing here or that I can think of that I am super eager to see, but there are a couple I would use from time to time.

 

Ability to follow a cache placer and be alerted of new caches they hide. This could be useful. I am not much of an FTF hound, but this could be fun.

Ability to detect and add friends from other social media accounts. No interest.

See nearby friends on the map. Intriguing, but not sure what I would be looking at. Needs more explanation. Is this where the live? Last logged a fine?

Get alerts or newsfeed content when your friends find caches or Trackables. Could be fun.

See which of your friends have found a cache or Trackable. Could be fun.

Friends leaderboards. Leaderboards in what? How fine tuned could it be? Could it be a designated are such as a park?

Collaborate on lists with friends. Yes. This could be useful.

Compete against friends for an achievement. Yes, but more curious about the achievement.

Compare your stats with friends.Sure. I look like at stats anyway.

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It would be great to have more "friends" functionality.

 

For the specific points you listed, here are my opinions:

 

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

This is actually something I asked about / suggested a while ago, and is the thing I would like to see the most. I don't think it should be limited to just your friends list you should be able to follow anyone, but a person should be able to see a list of who is following them, and be able to block people they don't want following them.

 

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

Yes - it would be useful to find out who is a secret cacher.

 

- See nearby friends on the map

Yes, this could be good.

 

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

Some people may like this, but it definitely needs to have an option to turn it off. It could get very annoying very quickly if you have several very active friends.

 

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

Isn't this already there? Clicking the bit on a cache's online logbook that lets you look at just your friend's logs? An easier/quicker way to do it would be good though, that just shows a simple list of names and found dates rather than the whole logs.

 

- Friends leaderboards

I'm not sure what is meant by this. I'm not sure it's a good idea. Caching should be collaborative, not a competition.

 

- Collaborate on lists with friends

This is a really great idea. Shared cache lists would make going on trips and caching days a LOT easier to arrange. Please do this.

 

- Compete against friends for an achievement

I don't think caching should be a competition with your friends, so I don't like this idea. I believe a much better idea would be achievements/souvenirs that require two (or more) people to work together.

 

- Compare your stats with friends

This could be fun but doesn't really have much of a purpose that I can see.

 

That's all of those ideas, and my opinions on them. I would also like to add one of my own to the list:

 

When you look at an event's page on geocaching.com it would be great to have on it a simple list of your friends that have logged "will attend" on that event. Just like seeing which of your friends have found a cache, it would be nice not to have to go looking through the event's online logbook.

 

Thank you!

Pan

:D:antenna:

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Thank you all for sharing your feedback. We will now be compiling all of the posted messages and using this information to start the next step in planning.

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