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Geocaching HQ

Introducing Virtual Rewards!

305 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, medoug said:

 

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.

Sorry - typo: I'm jet lagged... I meant PM only caches...

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3 hours ago, pingurus said:

is there a way to see who got a virtual reward?

Nope

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11 hours 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).

I have wondered if the algorithm factored in event cache creators.   An event wouldn't typically get a lot of favorite points, but those that regularly host geocaching events are contributing a lot to the community.

I know of a geoacher that has decent number of hides with a lot of favorite points that got the virtual award.  Apparently forum contributions aren't a factor as he was permanently banned from the forums a couple of years ago.

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11 hours 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).

Just done a five second comparison between myself (who didn't get one) and a cacher within a 30 mile radius (who did get one).

We have precisely the same number of caches hidden but the other cacher has considerably more FP's than I have.

Edited by Team Microdot
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3 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

Active cache owners are active community volunteers.

That's a fact.

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

We are finished with this particular tangent.  Let's get back to discussing Virtual Rewards!  Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Blue Square Thing said:

Sorry - typo: I'm jet lagged... I meant PM only caches...

Ha ha. I thought PL stood for Parking Lot. 

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Though I am positive about allowing some virtual caches to be published, I am disappointed about the way the community is divided into two classes this way. Suddenly, out of the blue HQ decides: you are the top class, you are not. I thought geocaching was for fun, and there was no need for competition, but apparently there was a competition, though we didn't know about this. Apparently one percent of the geocache hiders won, and according to HQ the other 99% of the cache hiders cannot do this properly and and are second class geocache hiders. Apparently a Translator or Forum Modulator know how to create an interesting virtual geocache that follows the guide lines, but other volunteers don't.

I am mainly disappointed because: I never had a fair chance! We didn't know this was coming. We didn't know what requirements would be taken into account. And if we would have known, one wouldn't have had the time to do something about it either.

I can imagine another way: every one who wants to hide one gets the time (i.e. until a certain date) to prepare a virtual geocache and puts this in a special queue, where the CO is hidden from the reviewer. The reviewers of a certain region pick the top of those (most interesting, follow the guide lines and are ready to be published) and the other are rejected. This way every one gets a fair chance. Limiting the time will keep the amount of virtual caches down. The reviewing process will be short, since the ones that need more work will not be chosen.

Once again: I will be happy that a virtual cache might show up in my neighbourhood, but I am disappointed in how this was decided and how this was implemented, by suddenly dividing the community into two classes. Most of the second class geocache hiders didn't have any chance.

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10 hours ago, The three ts said:

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!

HQ wrote: "it created significant problems for reviewers and often led to poor cache quality. " I guess that is why they used a certain algorithm to prevent getting the same problems again. It seems that making beautiful interesting geocaches of the other types doesn't guarantee that means that the CO knows how to prevent problems when creating a virtual geocache. 

I understand you are excited: I am happy for you and I hope you will get a brilliant idea and many FP!

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20 minutes ago, marcelteun said:

Though I am positive about allowing some virtual caches to be published, I am disappointed about the way the community is divided into two classes this way. Suddenly, out of the blue HQ decides: you are the top class, you are not. I thought geocaching was for fun, and there was no need for competition, but apparently there was a competition, though we didn't know about this. Apparently one percent of the geocache hiders won, and according to HQ the other 99% of the cache hiders cannot do this properly and and are second class geocache hiders.

I'm not seeing where Geocaching HQ said that.  Rather, the blog post and the opening post of this thread make it very clear that many, many fine cache owners did not receive a virtual reward simply because of the 4,000 cache cut-off point.  There could have been 3,000, there could have been 6,000. 

Quote

I can imagine another way: every one who wants to hide one gets the time (i.e. until a certain date) to prepare a virtual geocache and puts this in a special queue, where the CO is hidden from the reviewer. The reviewers of a certain region pick the top of those (most interesting, follow the guide lines and are ready to be published) and the other are rejected. This way every one gets a fair chance. Limiting the time will keep the amount of virtual caches down. The reviewing process will be short, since the ones that need more work will not be chosen.

The day I'm put in a position of deciding whose baby is cute and whose baby is ugly is the day I resign as a Community Volunteer Reviewer.  There should be no subjectivity in deciding whether or not to publish a cache.  The old "wow factor" test was needed in order to weed out those ugly babies, and it led to incredible grief - and ultimately, the end of new virtual caches in 2005.

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39 minutes ago, marcelteun said:

Though I am positive about allowing some virtual caches to be published, I am disappointed about the way the community is divided into two classes this way. Suddenly, out of the blue HQ decides: you are the top class, you are not.  . . .   Apparently one percent of the geocache hiders won, and according to HQ the other 99% of the cache hiders cannot do this properly and and are second class geocache hiders. 

. . .

Once again: I will be happy that a virtual cache might show up in my neighbourhood, but I am disappointed in how this was decided and how this was implemented, by suddenly dividing the community into two classes. Most of the second class geocache hiders didn't have any chance.

I did not receive a Virtual Reward. (As I've yet to hide a cache in this hobby, it would be absurd for me to have been given one). Yet, I sure as heck don't feel like I "lost". Reading the post on this yesterday, I felt as though I had most certainly "won". The entire geocaching community wins here. You should have heard me trying to explain the history of virtuals and the decision by Groundspeak to award these Virtuals rewards yesterday -- I had to, as I had to explain my jubilation. 

I do not feel as though I have been put into a "second class". I commend Groundspeak for giving the entire community something that we have been clamoring for since I joined the hobby almost 6 years ago (and far longer than that, I assume). Using an objective, mathematical formula (even if it is a secret) seems certainly the best way to identify those who would receive the responsibility of placing these. 

Edited by mvhayes1982
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I think I got it now—two words:
 
Occam's razor.
 
"The simplest explanation is the most likely."
 
So what's the simplest explanation?
 
MONEY
 
The "double secret probation" algorithm selects the cachers who somehow result in the most $$$$$ flowing to Groundspeak coffers.
 
GOT IT!!!!
 
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5 minutes ago, mvhayes1982 said:

(As I've yet to hide a cache in this hobby, it would be absurd for me to have been given one). Yet, I sure as heck don't feel like I "lost".

Since you don't want to hide, I understand that you don't feel you lost anything. But someone who has a great idea for a vritual cache, and lives in an area that isn't suited for (m)any other type of caches, never had any chance. That is unfair.

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24 minutes ago, Keystone said:

I'm not seeing where Geocaching HQ said that.  Rather, the blog post and the opening post of this thread make it very clear that many, many fine cache owners did not receive a virtual reward simply because of the 4,000 cache cut-off point.  There could have been 3,000, there could have been 6,000. 

The day I'm put in a position of deciding whose baby is cute and whose baby is ugly is the day I resign as a Community Volunteer Reviewer.  There should be no subjectivity in deciding whether or not to publish a cache.  The old "wow factor" test was needed in order to weed out those ugly babies, and it led to incredible grief - and ultimately, the end of new virtual caches in 2005.

Well, that was one suggestion where at least anyone had a chance. One could just let the reviewer decide the first X number of ideas that come in and that won't lead to any of the problems with classical virtual geocaches. My biggest point of disappointment is that not everyone had a fair chance.

That said: I am still happy that more virtual caches will be created!

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It will be interesting to see if the law of diminishing returns manifests here - or first up, best dressed if you prefer.

Those given the opportunity early on hoover up the best locations - those who come after (if there ever are any) get to sift through what's left and so on.

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54 minutes ago, marcelteun said:

Though I am positive about allowing some virtual caches to be published, I am disappointed about the way the community is divided into two classes this way. Suddenly, out of the blue HQ decides: you are the top class, you are not.

HQ didn't decide, an algorithm that looked at cache owner's statistics, habits, and activity highlighted the most preferably candidates. So, apart from the relative handful of specific selections (eg volunteer reviewers), everything else was matched by an assortment of criteria.

Not just quantity of favourite points.

Not just quantity of finds or hides.

Not just years as a member.

Not just amount of caches with NM.

A combination of many of these factors plus most likely a few more we may not even know of.

 

54 minutes ago, marcelteun said:

Apparently one percent of the geocache hiders won, and according to HQ the other 99% of the cache hiders cannot do this properly and and are second class geocache hiders.

There's no "winning". No one competed for this. There was no chance, no preparation. The only "incorrect" way to have done it was to not have satisfied the criteria of the algorithms, which no one outside GS knows.  The best way to have been picked by the algorithm would simply to have been, to date, a "good cache owner". What does that mean? Who knows. But generally, you place caches, you respond to maintenance quickly, and your caches are favoured by community.  That's pretty much all we have to go on. And because it's so unspecific, with only 4000 being flagged, as Keystone said, there are probably 100's of thousands more who'd be just as "worthy", but didn't make the cut, as it were.  You may have been one.

You didn't "lose". They didn't "win". Instead, everyone's getting new Virtuals placed by people who have the best chance of making ones that people will enjoy.

 

55 minutes ago, marcelteun said:

I never had a fair chance! We didn't know this was coming. We didn't know what requirements would be taken into account. And if we would have known, one wouldn't have had the time to do something about it either.

Everyone had a "fair chance", since the day they began geocaching. And, if we'd known beforehand, people would have 'played the system' to try to earn the right. Guaranteed. If this was about selecting based on a criteria analyzing general geocaching activity, telling people about it would have spoiled the samples, as it were.

I'm disapopinted too. But I'm happy to know a couple of people who have been selected, so I'm really interested to see where they'll place theirs. And the fact that GS is doing this is encouraging in general. :)

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21 minutes ago, marcelteun said:

Since you don't want to hide, I understand that you don't feel you lost anything. But someone who has a great idea for a vritual cache, and lives in an area that isn't suited for (m)any other type of caches, never had any chance. That is unfair.

I never once said that I "don't want to hide" -- I have every intention of hiding a cache or two eventually.

To imply that any one "never had any chance" is, simply put, false. Every participant in this hobby had the exact same "chance" to be awarded these Virtual Rewards. It did not matter who you know. Or how many caches you've found. Or how much money you've spent in the Groundspeak store. Each of us had the exact same chance to be awarded one of these. About as fair as it could be. 

If you have a great idea for a virtual cache, share it with someone in these forums who has already asked the community for suggestions on their Virtual cache.

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8 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

HQ didn't decide, an algorithm that looked at cache owner's statistics, habits, and activity highlighted the most preferably candidates. So, apart from the relative handful of specific selections (eg volunteer reviewers), everything else was matched by an assortment of criteria.

A self originating, self configurating algorithm?

Let's hope it doesn't start to learn at a geometric rate or it's curtains for all of us :ph34r:

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6 minutes ago, mvhayes1982 said:

To imply that any one "never had any chance" is, simply put, false. Every participant in this hobby had the exact same "chance" to be awarded these Virtual Rewards. It did not matter who you know.

There's no getting around the fact that you're mistaken here in all sorts of ways.

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5 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

A self originating, self configurating algorithm?

Not self-originating. I mentioned elsewhere that because it was written by Groundspeak then there is a level of subjectivity involved in who is selected, but that's not the same as handpicking the 'best of the best'. They provided what they felt were most important factors, and the algorithm determined 'best matches', and then had to greatly limit it to 4000.

There may have even been no difference in 'score' between 4000 and 4100, but #4000 happened to be checked by the algorithm first. Who knows.

Edited by thebruce0
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2 questions

1) Will there be a bookmark of the new virtual's and

2)Are or were the 4000 emails rolled out at once or over a time period?

Glad to see GS allowing just a few Virts back

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8 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Not self-originating. I mentioned elsewhere that because it was written by Groundspeak then there is a level of subjectivity involved in who is selected, but that's not the same as handpicking the 'best of the best'. They provided what they felt were most important factors, and the algorithm determined 'best matches', and then had to greatly limit it to 4000.

So we agree than that HQ had a hand in the selection process - which isn't the same as HQ didn't decide.

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23 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

HQ didn't decide, an algorithm that looked at cache owner's statistics, habits, and activity highlighted the most preferably candidates.

And who decided the algorithm,...

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Just now, marcelteun said:

And who decided the algorithm,...

HQ.

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3 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

HQ had a hand in the selection process - which isn't the same as HQ didn't decide.

HQ didn't decide on specific people, other than a few community volunteers/reviewers (who are not only of the general geocaching ilk).

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2 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

HQ didn't decide on specific people, other than a few community volunteers/reviewers (who are not only of the general geocaching ilk).

Only the specific sets of people who would be included and excluded from the selection process.

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I'm not going to get into another argument about opinions. I wasn't selected. I'm sad about that. But I'll say it again:  By their description of the process, the criteria were numerous, and all based on aspects that demonstrate a "good cache owner", and being limited to 4000 means that MANY people who are also "good cache owners" were not selected.  This is not a "classist" selection process, unless you consider demonstration of being a cache owner somehow elitist.  If you don't like the criteria of what constitutes a "good cache owner", well, not much else anyone can say.

 

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36 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

There's no "winning". No one competed for this.

..

Everyone had a "fair chance", since the day they began geocaching

It is like a parent is saying: you are not punished, this is a consequence,... That is why there was no warning. In nature there aren't any warnings, but nature isn't fair either. In a fair situation you get to know the rules that are applied before they are applied. It is like going to court to defend yourself without knowing the rules. A is freed, B isn't. But had the same fair chance you could argue. I would argue they didn't.

 

Edited by marcelteun
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1 minute ago, thebruce0 said:

I'm not going to get into another argument about opinions. I wasn't selected. I'm sad about that. But I'll say it again:  By their description of the process, the criteria were numerous, and all based on aspects that demonstrate a "good cache owner", and being limited to 4000 means that MANY people who are also "good cache owners" were not selected.  This is not a "classist" selection process, unless you consider demonstration of being a cache owner somehow elitist.  If you don't like the criteria of what constitutes a "good cache owner", well, not much else anyone can say.

 

We're not arguing opinions - we're discussing facts and an assertion that you made which doesn't fit them.

 

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15 minutes ago, coman123 said:

2 questions

1) Will there be a bookmark of the new virtual's and

2)Are or were the 4000 emails rolled out at once or over a time period?

Glad to see GS allowing just a few Virts back

1.  I'm sure someone will develop a bookmark list, or already has (I didn't check).  It is fairly easy to construct a pocket query or a simple search query from the home page, asking for virtual caches in a particular region.  The query can then be sorted by placement date, or with a cutoff of placement dates in 2017 or later.

2.  All 4000 virtual cache pages were created yesterday and notices were sent to their owners.

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3 minutes ago, marcelteun said:

It is like a parent is saying: you are not punished, this is a consequence,...

Except they're not parents. They're a private company.

 

2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

We're not arguing opinions - we're discussing facts and an assertion that you made which doesn't fit them.

Everything I've concluded has been from what they have said, so no assertions which aren't logical conclusions or haven't been disclaimed as such. Yet somehow we have different opinions about fairness.

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1 minute ago, thebruce0 said:

Everything I've concluded has been from what they have said, so no assertions which aren't logical conclusions or haven't been disclaimed as such. Yet somehow we have different opinions about fairness.

I'm not even commenting on fairness - only on your assertion that HQ had no hand in the selection process.

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4 minutes ago, Keystone said:

1.  I'm sure someone will develop a bookmark list, or already has (I didn't check).  It is fairly easy to construct a pocket query or a simple search query from the home page, asking for virtual caches in a particular region.  The query can then be sorted by placement date, or with a cutoff of placement dates in 2017 or later.

2.  All 4000 virtual cache pages were created yesterday and notices were sent to their owners.

https://project-gc.com/Tools/MapCompare?profile_name=project-gc.com&nonefound=on&ownfound=on&hidden_fromyyyy=2017&hidden_frommm=1&hidden_fromdd=1&type[]=Virtual+Cache&submit=Filter

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2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I'm not even commenting on fairness - only on your assertion that HQ had no hand in the selection process.

Don't misquote me.

They had no hand in selecting individuals, other than who they stated they hand selected.

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Not just here, but I'm seeing a lot of people that are butt hurt that they didn't fall within the algorithm. Can't people just be happy that new Virtuals are on the way?

Edited by igator210
grammar
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6 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Don't misquote me.

They had no hand in selecting individuals, other than who they stated they hand selected.

I haven't misquoted you - see the quote in my earlier post

And they clearly did have a hand insofar as they defined the selection criteria.

Them's the facts - like it or not.

Edited by Team Microdot
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2 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Except they're not parents. They're a private company.

 

Everything I've concluded has been from what they have said, so no assertions which aren't logical conclusions or haven't been disclaimed as such. Yet somehow we have different opinions about fairness.

Did you understand the point I was making? It was a comparison, not an equation: you didn't win, you got a reward. You are not being punished, this is a consequence. My whole point about this: you can twist the words as you like: I miss the fact that I didn't have a fair chance, since I didn't know what was going on and what rules would apply.

Even a lottery to which people could have applied would have been fairer, since at least then you know on the fore-hand. But I guess HQ wanted to make sure about a certain quality when these virtual caches are going to be reviewed, but even for that there are other ideas (as I wrote some of them before)

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3 minutes ago, igator210 said:

Not just here, but I'm seeing a lot of people that are butt hurt that they didn't fall within the algorithm. Can't people just people happy that new Virtuals are on the way?

No I am disappointed because I didn't have a fair chance. That since it was unknown what was going on and what rules applied. Overall I am happy with new virtual caches.

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3 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I haven't misquoted you

*sigh* Dude, come on. Here's what you quoted, which I said:

38 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

HQ didn't decide, an algorithm that looked at cache owner's statistics, habits, and activity highlighted the most preferable candidates. So, apart from the relative handful of specific selections (eg volunteer reviewers), everything else was matched by an assortment of criteria.

HQ created the algorithm.

HQ hand-selected a few people.

 

3 minutes ago, marcelteun said:

No I am disappointed because I didn't have a fair chance.

You did, ever since you began geocaching. As we all did. Therefore - fair, even, equal. You don't know if you were #4001 on the list. No one does.

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52 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Everyone had a "fair chance", since the day they began geocaching. And, if we'd known beforehand, people would have 'played the system' to try to earn the right. Guaranteed. If this was about selecting based on a criteria analyzing general geocaching activity, telling people about it would have spoiled the samples, as it were.

 

One more time the comparison: Person A goes to trial and person B goes to trial. Both a judged by the same rules, however they don't know the rules. Person A had good arguments, person B too. Only A is freed. The problem was that B wasn't dressed well, which is part of the rules for showing respect to the court. Because of this lack of respect and the fact that the rules stated that someone who shows no respect for the court will be found guilty. No could say that both had the same chance, so the trial was fair. But I would argue that they didn't have a fair chance.

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4 minutes ago, marcelteun said:

One more time the comparison: Person A goes to trial and person B goes to trial.

It's not a trial. There's no court room. No one did anything wrong. No one was judged individually.

Edited by thebruce0
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3 minutes ago, marcelteun said:

But I would argue that they didn't have a fair chance.

Luck favors the prepared. 

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2 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

It's not a trial. There's no court room. No one did anything wrong. No one was judged individually.

Do you know the concept of a comparison?

Here is another one: if someone says "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" Will you say: I am not an apple?

 

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2 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

Luck favors the prepared. 

OK. I forgot to say that the both will well prepared, but both didn't have access to the rules. In other words, luck is just luck, nothing more than that

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15 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

*sigh* Dude, come on. Here's what you quoted, which I said:

HQ created the algorithm.

HQ hand-selected a few people.

*sigh back*.

The quote still makes no mention of HQ having a hand in the selection process and, rather,attributes that responsibility entirely to the algorithm - which is incorrect.

 

Edited by Team Microdot
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5 minutes ago, marcelteun said:

Do you know the concept of a comparison?

Here is another one: if someone says "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" Will you say: I am not an apple?

There is such a thing as a false analogy.

(btw "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" isn't a comparison, but let's not get into grammar in the geocaching forum)

 

1 minute ago, Team Microdot said:

The quote still makes no mention of HQ having a hand in the selection process and, rather, lays attributes that responsibility entirely to the algorithm - which is incorrect.

I don't know how to answer this because I'm baffled. So I won't.

Edited by thebruce0
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2 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

There is such a thing as a false analogy.

(btw "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" isn't a comparison, but let's not get into grammar in the geocaching forum)

 

I don't know how to answer this because I'm baffled. So I won't.

The answer is simple - HQ influenced the selection process and pointing innocently at the algorithm and crying out he did it! is pure fantasy.

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2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

HQ influenced the selection process and pointing innocently at the algorithm and crying out he did it! is pure fantasy.

Who pointed "innocently" at the algorithm? HQ created the algorithm. As I've repeatedly said, there is subjectivity involved. Highly complex subjective criteria, not subjective specific selection. I'm done.

 

For the sake of not derailing or increasing the noise/signal ratio in the thread further (or maybe hurting any score that may prove rewarding to me in the future), I'm stepping back... carry on! :ph34r::P

Edited by thebruce0
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1 minute ago, thebruce0 said:

For the sake of not derailing or increasing the noise/signal ratio in the thread further (or maybe hurting any score that may prove rewarding to me in the future), I'm stepping back... carry on! :ph34r::P

*sigh*

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7 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

*sigh back*.

 

 

7 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

There is such a thing as a false analogy.

 

Of course the first bit of the algorithm was trawling the forums looking for people who regularly get into arguments  :P

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1 minute ago, MartyBartfast said:

Of course the first bit of the algorithm was trawling the forums looking for people who regularly get into arguments  :P

Ohhhh.... of the handful of people I know that got the reward, none of them post of the forum

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