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Introducing Virtual Rewards!

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Just as a friendly reminder to all those interested in new virtuals in your area. Don't forget to go set your notifications for virtuals. Most cachers probably have not set a "new publication" notification for this type as there have been no new ones in quite some time.

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1 hour ago, SwineFlew said:

Are you saying if you submitted a not so great virtual and the reviewer deny it, you wont get a second chance? 

No, I did not say that.  I am sorry if my prior post was unclear in any way.

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46 minutes ago, The Magna Defender said:

I'd be interested to learn more details of the algorithm. Nine years in caching and hundreds of caches hidden, adopted and maintained, with a variety of different cache hides thrown in, each with large amounts of favourite points. If this isn't good enough, then I may as well just archive all my caches now. 

Five gone already! :o

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24 minutes ago, Uncle Alaska said:

Just as a friendly reminder to all those interested in new virtuals in your area. Don't forget to go set your notifications for virtuals. Most cachers probably have not set a "new publication" notification for this type as there have been no new ones in quite some time.

Yep, this is a good reminder. I've had a notification set up for a long time, but didn't have "Publish Listing" checked for the obvious reason. It is now, so I'll wait and see if any of the locals were selected. Nothing yet, but I bet there will be an explosion of new Virtuals around the world this weekend once people have time to get out and find great spots for them.

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36 minutes ago, BigFurryMonster said:

I hope they will reveal how many cachers per country got rewarded.

Since Virtuals are not restricted in terms of distance from a cache owners Home Location, a bit irrelevant. Although, I suspect most cache owners will place them relatively local. 

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3 minutes ago, BigFurryMonster said:

Well, a cache owner must have visited the location recently. So, indeed, most will be placed close to home.

But the cachers receiving a Virtual Reward have a year to place the Virtual. If they don't already know of a good location for one, then they might come across a good spot in their travels during the next year.  In those cases, they might end up placing a cache far from home.

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2 hours ago, Keystone said:

Limiting Virtual Rewards as a "rare commodity" will hopefully lead to high-quality submissions.  ("I only get one of these, so I'd better make it a good one.")  When there were no limits on submitting virtual caches, anything and everything was being submitted, placing the burden on reviewers to separate the awesome from the mundane.  This was a prime reason for the demise of virtual caches.  The new program is designed to prevent that.

I feel something for using my virtual for a parking place at a McDonalds. Please take a photo near a garbage bin. :P

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31 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

Yep, this is a good reminder. I've had a notification set up for a long time, but didn't have "Publish Listing" checked for the obvious reason.

I always add Enable and Unarchive to those notifications as well, just to be safe :)

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2 minutes ago, terratin said:

I feel something for using my virtual for a parking place at a McDonalds. Please take a photo near a garbage bin. :P

If that's how you choose to utilize what looks like a one-time only opportunity, and if you're able to meet all the listing guidelines (for virtual caches and the general guidelines like "no commercialism"), then yay for you.

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2 minutes ago, Keystone said:

If that's how you choose to utilize what looks like a one-time only opportunity, and if you're able to meet all the listing guidelines (for virtual caches and the general guidelines like "no commercialism"), then yay for you.

See the smiley. Of course not! I'll find a fantastic, memorable location and idea in due time. I have whole year to search for one, and I won't make this a quick decision.

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I am also quite pleasantly surprised at this news. Let's wait and see how the new ones turn out, OK? And then we can start bashing Groundspeak if the experiment doesn't turn out to be the most brilliant thing since a can of beans in a bucket.

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I actually am excited to use the new Virtuals as another way to search for awesome caching experiences when I travel or visit new areas (Note: Not the ONLY way). We may not know the algorithm, but of the people I found out received the ability to hide a Virtual, I love their caches. If this is true, I'm HOPING that if I search for COs of Virtuals hidden since 2017, I can use that to find other caches hidden by those COs, and they would be cool caches.

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3 hours ago, Team Christiansen said:

Wow, announcement has only been out for minutes, and I see 3 new virts already published, one within 56 miles of me.

That seems too soon to put any real thought into it.  Even if I'd received one of these emails, it'd be weeks - maybe even months - before I chose a spot.  

I suppose if I already had some places in mind to put a traditional or other type that would also work for a virtual.  I hope that's what it is.

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I would like to think of something novel in our area. We don't have any virtuals very close to us.

 

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2 minutes ago, Ambrosia said:

I would like to think of something novel in our area. We don't have any virtuals very close to us.

 

My question to you... do you get a virtual reward?

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3 minutes ago, SwineFlew said:

My question to you... do you get a virtual reward?

I'm an active community volunteer, so I received one. :)

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1 minute ago, Ambrosia said:

I'm an active community volunteer, so I received one. :)

I figured that all reviewers got one. So far of the 10 new virtuals that are out, two are reviewers.

So we all know that one way to get one is a to be a reviewer.

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7 minutes ago, SwineFlew said:

So we all know that one way to get one is a to be a reviewer.

 

You just need to read the Announcement after all.

"Active community volunteers are also receiving a Virtual Reward as a thank you for giving their time and talent to support the geocaching community."

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11 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I'm an active community volunteer, I did not receive one.

"Active community volunteer" is used in the OP and the Blog Post to mean Cache Reviewers, Forum Moderators and Translators. 

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9 minutes ago, Keystone said:

"Active community volunteer" is used in the OP and the Blog Post to mean Cache Reviewers, Forum Moderators and Translators. 

Which does not alter the fact that there are thousands of active community volunteers contributing to geocaching who are not Cache Reviewers, Forum Moderators or Translators.

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I will word it in a clearer way: I am an active geocaching.com forum moderator, so I received a Virtual Reward. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Which does not alter the fact that there are thousands of active community volunteers contributing to geocaching who are not Cache Reviewers, Forum Moderators or Translators.

It's true, if you take the wordage literally, it sounds confusing. Of course, they will not be giving a Virtual Reward to every active "community volunteer" (active cacher), because they wanted to limit it to a smaller percentage.

 

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57 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:
4 hours ago, Team Christiansen said:

Wow, announcement has only been out for minutes, and I see 3 new virts already published, one within 56 miles of me.

That seems too soon to put any real thought into it.  Even if I'd received one of these emails, it'd be weeks - maybe even months - before I chose a spot.  

I suppose if I already had some places in mind to put a traditional or other type that would also work for a virtual.  I hope that's what it is.

I would expect certain "active community volunteers" to have known about this opportunity well in advance. And I would expect some of them to have had a cache listing ready to go as soon as TPTB flipped the switch to enable the necessary functionality.

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2 minutes ago, niraD said:

I would expect certain "active community volunteers" to have known about this opportunity well in advance. And I would expect some of them to have had a cache listing ready to go as soon as TPTB flipped the switch to enable the necessary functionality.

A few years back when I took a tour at HQ, someone whispered in my ear that "virtuals may yet return someday". I guess this is what they were talking about. Seems fairly well thought out (IMHO).

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6 minutes ago, Ambrosia said:

It's true, if you take the wordage literally, it sounds confusing. Of course, they will not be giving a Virtual Reward to every active "community volunteer" (active cacher), because they wanted to limit it to a smaller percentage.

 

I wasn't confused, just wanted to underscore a distinction.

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14 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Which does not alter the fact that there are thousands of active community volunteers contributing to geocaching who are not Cache Reviewers, Forum Moderators or Translators.

2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I wasn't confused, just wanted to underscore a distinction.

Community -> Volunteers

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4 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I wasn't confused, just wanted to underscore a distinction.

You could have simply pointed out the confusion surrounding the terminology, rather than passive-aggressively implying it.

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1 minute ago, The A-Team said:

You could have simply pointed out the confusion surrounding the terminology, rather than passive-aggressively implying it.

Thanks for that helpful suggestion.

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35 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:
37 minutes ago, noncentric said:

?

The announcement said "active community volunteers".  The site has a very clear definition of "community volunteers".  There's no need for you to confound the term and imply that any cacher is a 'community volunteer'. It's very clear what is meant by "community volunteer" per the website. Do you also want to whine about the "active" part of the text?

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Taking a shot in the dark here, but I suspect there's a decent chance that FP percentage is somehow being factored into this algorithm.  Of the 3 cachers I know of in my area who have received one of these, all three have FP percentages of over 25% (and each has at least 20 hides).

Edited by ZeppelinDT

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3 minutes ago, ZeppelinDT said:

Taking a shot in the dark here, but I suspect there's a decent chance that FP percentage is somehow being factored into this algorithm.  Of the 3 cachers I know of in my area who have received one of these, all three have FP percentages of over 25% (and each has at least 20 hides).

If thats the case... WVTim should get one. I am watching to see if he placed a virtual cache.

Edited by SwineFlew
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Well, I think this is fantastic. I really hope this becomes an ongoing initiative to reward responsible cache hiders. I don't want to leap in too early making suggestions but if the algorithm does factor in a way of calculating cache health score, could that be implemented in listings like how favourite points are displayed? I mean, it could just be as simple as a cache with 0% health is disabled, one with 50% health has an enable log after a disable log and one with 100% has an enable log AND a owner maintenance log. DNFs could lower it by maybe 5% per log but an owner maintenance returns it to 100%. It could also be pushed to classifying owners as either highly responsive COs to unresponsive COs based off their aggregate cache health score. 

 

I don't know, these are just some ideas for further encouraging owners to take care of their hides. I'm just very happy to see a new injection of virtual caches into the community.

 

EDIT: This may not be an original idea so I apologise if someone has suggested this before

Edited by Cankid

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I'm so excited for this new Virtual Rewards opportunity. I won a virtual myself, but don't know too much about them. I'm wondering if I could have any input on good ideas on making a virtual that will rack up the favorites and will make my opportunity worth while.

Thanks so much!

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Am looking forward to seeing all the new virtual caches being published ... not sure that an algorithm would ever work to give out rewards properly though. 

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59 minutes ago, Crow-T-Robot said:

While it's possible, I doubt this ends up flopping. I have no idea how, but I ended up being awarded the opportunity to place one of these new virtual caches. After the initial "holy smokes, is this really real and if it is, why me?" phase, the reality of the situation hit me. While I'm over the moon to be one of the lucky ones, I recognized that it's also a responsibility. These are the first new virtuals GS has allowed in well over a decade and I feel the pressure to make sure mine is worth the wait. Fair or not, these new virtuals will be coming under plenty of scrutiny and anytime a "lame" one is published, it will be held up as an example of why this isn't going to work. I don't know what algorithm Groundspeak used to determine who should be awarded this opportunity, but my guess is that pride in cache ownership and creativity both weigh heavily in that decision. It would really go against their character for one of these new virtual owners to put out a stinker just to, you know, put one out as if it were just another cache. 

The forums have long bemoaned the direction that geocaching has taken the past few years, where quantity ruled over quality. I think this is a good first step by Groundspeak to right that ship a little bit. If these new virtuals turn into something special, maybe that opens the door to discussions to bringing back other dormant cache types. While that just might be a pie in the sky thought from me, I do like the trust and confidence that Groundspeak is giving over to these new virtual owners. They're essentially saying "Go make us proud". I hope I can do that. 

I must say that the recipients in my area, or at least the ones I've heard about so far on the local FB group, have very much deserved the honour and I'm sure the caches they produce will meet or exceed expectations. I look forward very much to seeing them.

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I'm great with this, thanks Groundspeak! Those that don't get the opportunity to have a new virtual published, well, I hope you can just be thankful that others can!  

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6 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I must say that the recipients in my area, or at least the ones I've heard about so far on the local FB group, have very much deserved the honour and I'm sure the caches they produce will meet or exceed expectations. I look forward very much to seeing them.

There are 2 couples in my area, plus a few other cachers that I feel the same way about, but if they aren't chosen to participate....I will make it a priority to see any cache they have (past or present) published anyway.  

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9 hours ago, The Magna Defender said:

I'd be interested to learn more details of the algorithm. Nine years in caching and hundreds of caches hidden, adopted and maintained, with a variety of different cache hides thrown in, each with large amounts of favourite points. If this isn't good enough, then I may as well just archive all my caches now. 

 

9 hours ago, Blue Square Thing said:

A lot of yours seem to be PL only caches. I wonder if that played a part in the algorithm?

OK, please excuse my ignorance.  What are "PL only caches"?

I've racked my brain and nothing I can come up seems to match that acronym:  PMO (premium member only), PT (power trail), PL (public library)?, etc.

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10 hours ago, The Magna Defender said:

I'd be interested to learn more details of the algorithm. Nine years in caching and hundreds of caches hidden, adopted and maintained, with a variety of different cache hides thrown in, each with large amounts of favourite points. If this isn't good enough, then I may as well just archive all my caches now. 

Why? How does not getting something that didn't even yet exist when you became a cache owner even affect your reasoning for being a cache owner?

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I have long stated that virtuals might work if submissions were limited to a single cache by a defined group. My only concern with the algorithm is when I read about people receiving the reward who are relatively unfamiliar with virtuals.   I hope they are quick learners.   

After finding 1000 of them I realize how much of a responsibility it would be to place one.   I won't have that chance, but am glad that they will continue to be part of this game.  

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8 hours ago, noncentric said:

The announcement said "active community volunteers".  The site has a very clear definition of "community volunteers".  There's no need for you to confound the term and imply that any cacher is a 'community volunteer'. It's very clear what is meant by "community volunteer" per the website. Do you also want to whine about the "active" part of the text?

Active cache owners are active community volunteers.

That's a fact.

Falsely characterizing mention of such a fact won't change it

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