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Criteria for Being a New Virtual CO

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I honestly believe favorite points had minimal weight in the algorithm. I looked at 2 or 3 of the new Virtuals and the CO's had very few favorite points. I also know some local cachers who recieved an invite but have bunches of FP either.  I suppose performing maintenance on caches was part of the deal too (?) but am wondering what other criteria they used. A syntax search for keywords like "great cache" or "amazing job"????  Maybe % of favorites (FP divided by hides)?  

I know GS will not disclose the algorithm.  Just curious what criteria you think was used.  

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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.

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31 minutes ago, geocat_ said:

I honestly believe favorite points had minimal weight in the algorithm. I looked at 2 or 3 of the new Virtuals and the CO's had very few favorite points. I also know some local cachers who recieved an invite but have bunches of FP either.  I suppose performing maintenance on caches was part of the deal too (?) but am wondering what other criteria they used. A syntax search for keywords like "great cache" or "amazing job"????  Maybe % of favorites (FP divided by hides)?  

I know GS will not disclose the algorithm.  Just curious what criteria you think was used.  

Hmm, wouldn't that count against COs who produce quality well-constructed well-placed caches designed to require minimal maintenance? Would someone have been excluded if they've never had an NM logged on any of their hides so were unable to demonstrate their maintenance responsiveness? I guess not responding to NMs would count against someone, but on the other hand lots of OM logs might indicate poor container choice and lack of forethought.

As for other factors, perhaps a high standard of commitment to the game over many years might be one. Most of the names I've seen mentioned around here have been involved a lot longer than I have.

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13 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Hmm, wouldn't that count against COs who produce quality well-constructed well-placed caches designed to require minimal maintenance? Would someone have been excluded if they've never had an NM logged on any of their hides so were unable to demonstrate their maintenance responsiveness? I guess not responding to NMs would count against someone, but on the other hand lots of OM logs might indicate poor container choice and lack of forethought.

I sorta agree.

Many place quality containers requiring little maintenance and act on logs, without waiting for a NM to even show up.

Similar, repeated OMs  seems (to me) to be more of  possible issues,  rather than "everything's fine"...

 

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Well, our local reviewer was one.  Does anyone have an issue with a reviewer being selected?

I only bring it up because I know our reviewer gets a lot of flak for how he handles publishing, disabling and archiving.  I personally don't have an issue with any of that, but I hear it at almost every event I attend.

Edited by J Grouchy

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10 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

Well, our local reviewer was one.  Does anyone have an issue with a reviewer being selected?

I only bring it up because I know our reviewer gets a lot of flak for how he handles publishing, disabling and archiving.  I personally don't have an issue with any of that, but I hear it at almost every event I attend.

It doesn't seem (to me) that anyone (so far...) has an issue with a selection, simply what the selection might have entailed.   :)

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6 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

It doesn't seem (to me) that anyone (so far...) has an issue with a selection, simply what the selection might have entailed.   :)

Seriously...who the ____ cares?  Are folks really concerned about HOW people were chosen?

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1 minute ago, J Grouchy said:

Seriously...who the ____ cares?  Are folks really concerned about HOW people were chosen?

I don't feel it's concern, just curiosity.   :)

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23 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

Seriously...who the ____ cares?  Are folks really concerned about HOW people were chosen?

Evidently, yes, when it comes to why they weren't. Then the "compare" process begins. "I'm the same as him, why does he get to and I don't? It's not fair."

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16 minutes ago, qtbluemoon said:

Evidently, yes, when it comes to why they weren't. Then the "compare" process begins. "I'm the same as him, why does he get to and I don't? It's not fair."

To be clear, I  personally could give two figs about this virtual thing (I may look for them...), and I find your assumptions insulting.

I merely responded to another who stated what they thought wouldn't be a part of the process.  That's all.

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I think the criteria was pretty simple - either you got an email saying you're a recipient, or you didn't.  Anything else is speculation.  It's already been stated that the way the 4000 were chosen won't be divulged, so there's little choice but to accept the outcome and move on.  

 

Or, I guess, waste some time by whining about it in the forums. :)

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The conversation in the original thread announcing the new Virtuals has spiraled in to a couple of cachers arguing that there was nothing fair at all about how these were Virtual Rewards were chosen. Clearly, a few people care about the criteria -- but I think that is mostly sour grapes on the part of those who weren't chosen.

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I'd agree. I do know some who are disappointed at not being selected (myself included) who aren't trying to pass blame. But I don't know anyone who thinks it was unfair who was selected (not that that's surprising :P).  But I don't think curiosity about the algorithm results is a bad thing.

If anything, it could help us determine better what GS is prioritizing as qualities of a "good cache owner" :)

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46 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

To be clear, I  personally could give two figs about this virtual thing (I may look for them...), and I find your assumptions insulting.

I merely responded to another who stated what they thought wouldn't be a part of the process.  That's all.

Sorry, cerberus1, I wasn't speaking of you. I apologize for any offense.

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1 minute ago, thebruce0 said:

I'd agree. I do know some who are disappointed at not being selected (myself included) who aren't trying to pass blame. But I don't know anyone who thinks it was unfair who was selected (not that that's surprising :P).  But I don't think curiosity about the algorithm results is a bad thing.

If anything, it could help us determine better what GS is prioritizing as qualities of a "good cache owner" :)

I agree. 

I might have responded more,  simply to attempt a grasp on what may be perceived as "quality" by an algorithm, possibly to improve other hides later. 

 

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1 minute ago, thebruce0 said:

 But I don't think curiosity about the algorithm results is a bad thing.

If anything, it could help us determine better what GS is prioritizing as qualities of a "good cache owner" :)

I think the community (at least those who participate in the forums) have a solid consensus on what makes a good cache owner. I imagine that Groundspeak (and the Almighty Algorithm) have the same idea of what makes a good cache owner. The question (and a valid one) is how these factors are weighted in the algorithm. I'd assume favorite points are involved. We know that the Cache Health Score is involved. 

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17 minutes ago, mvhayes1982 said:

I think the community (at least those who participate in the forums) have a solid consensus on what makes a good cache owner. I imagine that Groundspeak (and the Almighty Algorithm) have the same idea of what makes a good cache owner. The question (and a valid one) is how these factors are weighted in the algorithm. I'd assume favorite points are involved. We know that the Cache Health Score is involved. 

In whatever way the human beings setting the selection criteria required.

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3 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

In whatever way the human beings setting the selection criteria required.

Yes, obviously human beings programmed the algorithm. Your point?

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2 minutes ago, mvhayes1982 said:

Yes, obviously human beings programmed the algorithm. Your point?

That's my answer. It doesn't need further qualification.

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27 minutes ago, qtbluemoon said:

Sorry, cerberus1, I wasn't speaking of you. I apologize for any offense.

Okay.  I just wanted to be sure that I wasn't lumped into the issues of another thread,  that was recently linked here for that discussion.  :)

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2 hours ago, qtbluemoon said:

Evidently, yes, when it comes to why they weren't. Then the "compare" process begins. "I'm the same as him, why does he get to and I don't? It's not fair."

"Well, who says life is fair? Where is that written? Life isn't always fair."
- Grandfather (The Princess Bride)

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Words to live by. "Life is not fair". Also, "all of life's disappointments consist of 1 ingredient - expectation"

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3 hours ago, J Grouchy said:

Seriously...who the ____ cares?  Are folks really concerned about HOW people were chosen?

Probably anyone wanting to satisfy Groundspeak's requirements for being selected for any future rewards?

After all - isn't that what this is all about - encouraging improved standards across the board by rewarding those who meet them?

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2 hours ago, DocDiTTo said:

Or, I guess, waste some time by whining about it in the forums. :)

What sort of whining did you have in mind?

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2 hours ago, mvhayes1982 said:

The conversation in the original thread announcing the new Virtuals has spiraled in to a couple of cachers arguing that there was nothing fair at all about how these were Virtual Rewards were chosen. Clearly, a few people care about the criteria -- but I think that is mostly sour grapes on the part of those who weren't chosen.

As far as I could see there was only one cacher suggesting that the selection criteria were unfair.

That question of fairness though begs another - fair to whom?

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10 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Probably anyone wanting to satisfy Groundspeak's requirements for being selected for any future rewards?

After all - isn't that what this is all about - encouraging improved standards across the board by rewarding those who meet them?

Isn't encouraging improved standards a worthy goal without "rewards"?  We're not children or pets.  I think we can all be mature enough to want better without it being a result of some type of prize or reward.

9 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

What sort of whining did you have in mind?

Maybe three posts in a row?  That begins to kinda seem like whining.

4 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

As far as I could see there was only one cacher suggesting that the selection criteria were unfair.

That question of fairness though begs another - fair to whom?

You do seem quite worked up about all this.  I'm not even sure what sort of point you're trying to make with all this.

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8 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

Isn't encouraging improved standards a worthy goal without "rewards"?  We're not children or pets.  I think we can all be mature enough to want better without it being a result of some type of prize or reward.

Maybe three posts in a row?  That begins to kinda seem like whining.

You do seem quite worked up about all this.  I'm not even sure what sort of point you're trying to make with all this.

And I'm not sure why you would ask a question and then get bent out of shape when someone answers it but I won't let it get in the way of posting whenever it's convenient for me even if it contravenes any post count obsessions others might have.

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4 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

And I'm not sure why you would ask a question and then get bent out of shape when someone answers it but I won't let it get in the way of posting whenever it's convenient for me even if it contravenes any post count obsessions others might have.

Awesome...ummm...response?  I mean, I guess it's kind of a response.  

 

giphy.gif

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5 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

Awesome...ummm...response?  I mean, I guess it's kind of a response.  

 

giphy.gif

Awesome.

I remember thinking when it became evident that the new forum software made inserting images easier it would open the door to this sort of moronic response.

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35 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

As far as I could see there was only one cacher suggesting that the selection criteria were unfair.

That question of fairness though begs another - fair to whom?

Fairness to the community as a whole. Everyone was on equal footing. Everyone judged by the same criteria.

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1 minute ago, mvhayes1982 said:

Fairness to the community as a whole. Everyone was on equal footing. Everyone judged by the same criteria.

There were two sets of people. 

Set one included around 4000 cachers.

Set two included everyone else.

Only one of those sets has received a Virtual Reward.

That's not equal footing / everyone judged by same criteria.

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1 minute ago, Team Microdot said:

There were two sets of people. 

Set one included around 4000 cachers.

Set two included everyone else.

Only one of those sets has received a Virtual Reward.

That's not equal footing / everyone judged by same criteria.

There was one set of people: "Geocachers" 

That set was then judged on a mathematical criteria.

4,000 of the set were chosen to receive a Virtual Reward. 

The "set" was on equal footing and judged by the same criteria, from which 4,000 were chosen.

The remainder of us get to hunt the new Virtual caches.

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Wow!  This thread has spiraled down pretty quickly.  Keystone probably already has one hand on his holster B)

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7 minutes ago, mvhayes1982 said:

There was one set of people: "Geocachers" 

That set was then judged on a mathematical criteria.

4,000 of the set were chosen to receive a Virtual Reward. 

The "set" was on equal footing and judged by the same criteria, from which 4,000 were chosen.

The remainder of us get to hunt the new Virtual caches.

Touche.

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I'm very curious to see if any cacher in my neck of the woods received one of these awards. I can think of 2-3 CO's who, imho, would certainly be deserving of such an honor. It'll be interesting to see over the next year if any new ones pop up. 

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2 hours ago, mvhayes1982 said:

The question (and a valid one) is how these factors are weighted in the algorithm.

No, I do not agree that that's a valid question for the forums. GS made some decisions. Those decisions are somewhat arbitrary by their very nature, so there are always going to be people who disagree with many of them. We already know that, so there's no reason to second guess what GS did.

Personally, I'd be fine if the good people at GS just went through the lists of prominent COs and picked out the ones that have given them the least trouble over the years. I don't think that's what they did, but, for my money, that would be more likely to produce the best results for both us and them, all things considered. At least, as long as no one found out that's what they did, of course.

44 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Probably anyone wanting to satisfy Groundspeak's requirements for being selected for any future rewards?

After all - isn't that what this is all about - encouraging improved standards across the board by rewarding those who meet them?

GS is being very careful to say this is a one time thing, so they're actively discouraging the idea that people should start working for the next reward.

But having said that, if their clever plan really is to encourage improved standards across the board, what better way of doing it that keeping the criteria secret? That way people wanting to achieve the next reward have to do everything they can think of to improve their standards, not just the specific things emphasized by the algorithm. Publishing the algorithm would just open the door to people studying it to figure out the ways they can trigger the algorithm in the easiest way possible even if that reduced quality.

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2 minutes ago, mvhayes1982 said:

I'm very curious to see if any cacher in my neck of the woods received one of these awards. I can think of 2-3 CO's who, imho, would certainly be deserving of such an honor. It'll be interesting to see over the next year if any new ones pop up. 

Check any local facebook group if you're on there and there are any. Chances are there's a lot of discussion going on there too. There are in my area(s). :ph34r:

Edited by thebruce0

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1 minute ago, dprovan said:

No, I do not agree that that's a valid question for the forums. GS made some decisions. Those decisions are somewhat arbitrary by their very nature, so there are always going to be people who disagree with many of them. We already know that, so there's no reason to second guess what GS did.

I'm not saying to "second guess" GS. I have no problem with what they've done. I simply meant that the question of how certain things are weighted is certainly a valid question for a discussion forum, and certainly for a thread titled "Criteria for being a New Virtual Reward CO (sic?)".

I don't intend any of this as second guessing. Simply discussion. 

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17 minutes ago, mvhayes1982 said:

There was one set of people: "Geocachers" 

Technically, there are two sets of people, judged by different criteria:

  • All 3 million geocachers were evaluated by mathematical criteria, and those above a certain threshold were chosen.
  • And certain "active community volunteers" identified by Groundspeak were evaluated differently: everyone in that group was chosen.

I've seen complaints both from people who thought they should have been considered an "active community volunteer" (and thus, automatically chosen), and from those who thought that they should have been above the threshold (and thus, the mathematical criteria must be flawed/biased/unfair).

Apparently Groundspeak put themselves in a no-win situation here. Too bad. It seems they were attempting to reward some of geocaching’s great contributors, while making new virtual caches available to the community.

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3 minutes ago, niraD said:

I've seen complaints both from people who thought they should have been considered an "active community volunteer" (and thus, automatically chosen), and from those who thought that they should have been above the threshold (and thus, the mathematical criteria must be flawed/biased/unfair).

Apparently Groundspeak put themselves in a no-win situation here. Too bad. It seems they were attempting to reward some of geocaching’s great contributors, while making new virtual caches available to the community.

I didn't see that first complaint - where was that?

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3 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I didn't see that first complaint - where was that?

In another forum, not here.

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8 minutes ago, niraD said:

Apparently Groundspeak put themselves in a no-win situation here. Too bad. It seems they were attempting to reward some of geocaching’s great contributors, while making new virtual caches available to the community.

I couldn't agree more. I think they've done a fantastic thing and, imho, done it well. 

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From the other thread and this one, I have noticed every argument about criteria has been focused on hides.  Per haps some criteria also to consider is:

* How many Virtuals have you found (possibly as a percentage of your total finds)  - correlation being your interest in virtuals.

* Length of your logs on all or or just virtuals - correlation being your investment in the experience of virtuals.

* Area you have cached, do you travel and find virtuals far from home coordinates - correlation being you may relate what makes a virtual attractive to people not from your area.

*Do you actually provide the ALRs or just log the caches. Determined by your record of email or messaging the COs - correlation being real interest and not just a number/icon collector.

*Depending on the algorithm if discernible, number of virtuals with different types of ALRs. Require just a pic or information - correlation being experience with different ALRs in order to most likely create an interesting destination and cache.

These are just suggestions that could be viewed as a 'more well rounded cacher' or a 'more virtual centric cacher' depending on point of view. These points are also not to be turned into an argument over numbers or stats or even long c&p logs. Please don't. The correlations may not be perfect but they need to be defined for the algorithm to work.  The staff at Geocaching can not possibly manually vet some 5 million geocachers, hence the algorithm. I would assume that many geocachers are highly "qualified" to hide a virtual. Based on the sheer numbers of geocachers, I would assume some lottery system was implemented. For a given region say 100 geocachers are chosen by algorithm but only 5 (non volunteer) virtual caches are to be awarded in that area.  I would think a random selection or lottery of those 100 would be "fair" to be given the opportunity.   (I apologize for the over use of parentheses and quotation marks.) B)

Edited by OwenfromKC
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Deleted as I misread the post I was responding to.

Edited by MartyBartfast

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3 hours ago, qtbluemoon said:

Words to live by. "Life is not fair". Also, "all of life's disappointments consist of 1 ingredient - expectation"

And "entitlement."

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1 hour ago, DocDiTTo said:
1 hour ago, niraD said:

Apparently Groundspeak put themselves in a no-win situation here. Too bad. It seems they were attempting to reward some of geocaching’s great contributors, while making new virtual caches available to the community.

I disagree.  Groundspeak is doing just fine

I agree with DocDiTTo. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and the few complaints don't seem to hold much water. The negatives boil down to whining about how it was done but without any coherent ideas about how it could have been done better.

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2 hours ago, OwenfromKC said:

*Do you actually provide the ALRs or just log the caches. Determined by your record of email or messaging the COs - correlation being real interest and not just a number/icon collector.

One major flaw with this one is group caching.  I have a caching partner and we almost always cache together, and many times I go in larger groups.  But usually only one person in the group actually sends the answers to the CO on behalf of the whole group.  I don't think there's any way that could be factored in.  (Then again, I'm usually the person in my group who sends the answers, and I did receive a Virtual Reward, so who knows).

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