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Criteria for Being a New Virtual CO

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On 8/25/2017 at 11:49 AM, Team Microdot said:
On 8/25/2017 at 11:46 AM, 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?

Really?

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9 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Knowing that the Cache Health Score has a strong emphasis on DNFs as an indicator of unhealthy caches, out of curiosity I just looked through the other caches of the two recipients who've so far had virtuals published in my area and yep, sure enough, they have a miniscule number of DNFs across all their hides.

The Cache Health Score discourages difficult, clever hides. This is a problem.

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Some of my numbers and a bit of my background, without too many sour grapes hopefully:

My profile currently shows I own 56 listings. Of those, 17 are events and 1 is a lab cache. That leaves 38. Of those 38, 12 are archived. Of the remaining 26, all except one has a favorite point. The total favorite points on my active caches is 257. That comes out to roughly 10 favorite points per cache. I also have a further 42 FPs on archived caches. That totals up to 299 FPs. That averages almost 8 FPs per non event/lab caches and over 5 FP per cache including all types.

The one cache that doesn't have a favorite point had a 'Needs Maintenance' attribute from 1/6/13 to 8/25/17 due to a broken latch on the ammo can. To answer the obvious question as to why I never did maintenance: the next finder, just a couple of weeks after the NM was logged and someone I know from being local to them, didn't mention anything wrong with the container or contents. Out of the 7 times it was found since the NM was logged, 4 of them say everything is good with the contents. That indicated to me that there was really no need to visit the cache. On the other hand, I didn't feel 'right' just clearing the attribute if I didn't actually visit it. Catch 22. Until now. I figure from what I've seen that one cache may be why I didn't make the cut so I went ahead and cleared it out.

There may be a very slim chance that I did make it tho- I've recently had issues with getting credit for souvenirs and the Mary Hyde trackable code that may be due to the spaces (3 in total) that are part of my caching handle. That brings up a whole 'nother issue that I'm not real happy about...but this isn't the place for it.

I've been caching for coming up on 15 years; found caches in all 50 states and 3 Canadian provinces; found every icon type except giga, including 182 virtuals. I've also advocated for virtuals since before they went away.

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4 hours ago, dubidubno said:

The Cache Health Score discourages difficult, clever hides. This is a problem.

Only if the CHS algorithm doesn't take into account the D/T ratings.  Most cachers understand that the higher D rating means there's a chance they won't find it.  I would assume that the algorithm would also take that into account.  Perhaps each 1/2 star decreases the value of a DNF so as not to penalize a 1 star and 5 star D cache the same.  Again, this is conjecture but I'd be really surprised if they didn't take this into account.  IF they didn't, then it certainly would be a problem and would indeed discourage the hiding of difficult and clever caches.

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I'm curious...and perhaps a mod or someone with more imagination than I can answer...what happens on Aug. 24, 2018 when a large number of the rewards go unclaimed? I can think of a dozen or so 'cachers local to me who are imminently qualified (according to the speculations for criteria used in the algorithm, which are admittedly only speculations), but those 'cachers have quit the game because, hey: life happens. I would expect that for at least one of them an unread message announcing the award of a virtual placement has been granted. I'm assuming this will happen with some frequency, as the closest new virt. to me is several hundred miles away. I am planning, though, to make a special trip for at least one new virt.

If we get to the end of the 365 day limit and have only half of those new virtuals in place, do you suppose Groundspeak will "extend" the invitation?

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4 hours ago, Corp Of Discovery said:

There may be a very slim chance that I did make it tho- I've recently had issues with getting credit for souvenirs and the Mary Hyde trackable code that may be due to the spaces (3 in total) that are part of my caching handle. That brings up a whole 'nother issue that I'm not real happy about...but this isn't the place for it.

Let me crush your slim sliver of hope:  even if the email notifications didn't get to you, a Virtual Rewards cache listing page would have been created and would show up as a disabled listing on your dashboard.  I double-checked (reviewers can see unpublished caches) and there is not a new virtual cache connected with your account.

I have known you for many years, and we have much in common in our geocaching styles, including enjoyment of finding virtuals.  If Virtual Reward recipients were chosen by subjective means instead of through operation of an algorithm, I would have put your name on my nomination list. 

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3 minutes ago, Keystone said:

a Virtual Rewards cache listing page would have been created and would show up as a disabled listing on your dashboard.

I guess this explains why the hyperlink in the following paragraph is broken on every page:

Quote

This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between August 24, 2017 and August 24, 2018. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards on the Geocaching Blog.

 

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5 hours ago, Corp Of Discovery said:

 

The one cache that doesn't have a favorite point had a 'Needs Maintenance' attribute from 1/6/13 to 8/25/17 due to a broken latch on the ammo can. To answer the obvious question as to why I never did maintenance: the next finder, just a couple of weeks after the NM was logged and someone I know from being local to them, didn't mention anything wrong with the container or contents. Out of the 7 times it was found since the NM was logged, 4 of them say everything is good with the contents. That indicated to me that there was really no need to visit the cache. On the other hand, I didn't feel 'right' just clearing the attribute if I didn't actually visit it. Catch 22. Until now. I figure from what I've seen that one cache may be why I didn't make the cut so I went ahead and cleared it out.

 

Impressive stats, to say the least. 

Obviously, you have more experience than I when it comes to hiding caches, and when to do maintenance and when not to. But I think I would've handled this differently. A broken latch isn't going to magically fix itself, and surely just because the next bunch of cachers roll through and say everything is a-okay with the cache, doesn't mean everything is a-okay with the cache. I'm just assuming here, but the reason cachers decided not to say anything about the broken latch is because someone had already logged a NM about it. So why would the next bunch of cachers come through and further pester you with more NM logs about a broken latch? I'm assuming (again) that the cachers think that you're aware of the issue and have made plans to do something about it. 

Me, personally, I would've made a trip out to confirm or deny the problem with the cache, and if nothing is wrong, so be it. That's why I keep my caches within easy driving distance so I am not burdened with petty NM logs. I'm not saying your caches are far away, I'm just saying I'm not going to overreach myself with too many caches that are too far from home base. You left a NM on your cache for almost four years with no action. If I come across a cache that has problems, and a NM has already been logged, I will log it again. Not all cachers cache like that, though. A lot of cachers cache with their phones and probably don't know how, or care to, log a NM. Some old school cachers cache with their GPS and maybe write field notes on busted up caches, and have intentions to log a NM when they get home and forget. There are so many variables as to why no one besides that one cacher didn't log a NM. To each their own, I say and cache on! 

That is all.  

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I just recently learned about the CHS from a reviewer and lackey at a mega I was at a few weeks ago.

When I saw that rewards were being distributed across the globe, I knew right away that this "score" would play a factor in how they were assigned. I am sure it was not the only factor but I am betting that the better the score on the cache, the better the chance. Combine that score with additional information such as how many finds the owner has, how many hides, if they've cached in other places, as well as the general saturation of caches in their area, population of cachers in that area, and other factors unbeknownst to us, you get a formula that would spit out candidates that made the most sense.

I also suspect that the list they created may have even been vetted afterwards to see if TPTB agreed with the names it produced.

Honestly, I think this was the best, and fairest way to pick people. I didn't get one nor did anyone in my entire province from what I know, but every area is different and some areas were going to be overlooked just by the nature of it being a calculated selection.

If GSP had hand-picked people, there would have been a huge argument about why they chose those people and not others who many felt were worthy. By letting the computer do it, they removed the subjectivity of it and tried as best as they could, within the parameters they set, to be fair.

Just my two cents on it.

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9 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Only if the CHS algorithm doesn't take into account the D/T ratings.  Most cachers understand that the higher D rating means there's a chance they won't find it.  I would assume that the algorithm would also take that into account.  Perhaps each 1/2 star decreases the value of a DNF so as not to penalize a 1 star and 5 star D cache the same.  Again, this is conjecture but I'd be really surprised if they didn't take this into account.  IF they didn't, then it certainly would be a problem and would indeed discourage the hiding of difficult and clever caches.

The CHS does take D/T ratings into account.

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12 hours ago, Corp Of Discovery said:

Some of my numbers and a bit of my background, without too many sour grapes hopefully:

My profile currently shows I own 56 listings. Of those, 17 are events and 1 is a lab cache. That leaves 38. Of those 38, 12 are archived. Of the remaining 26, all except one has a favorite point. The total favorite points on my active caches is 257. That comes out to roughly 10 favorite points per cache. I also have a further 42 FPs on archived caches. That totals up to 299 FPs. That averages almost 8 FPs per non event/lab caches and over 5 FP per cache including all types.

The one cache that doesn't have a favorite point had a 'Needs Maintenance' attribute from 1/6/13 to 8/25/17 due to a broken latch on the ammo can. To answer the obvious question as to why I never did maintenance: the next finder, just a couple of weeks after the NM was logged and someone I know from being local to them, didn't mention anything wrong with the container or contents. Out of the 7 times it was found since the NM was logged, 4 of them say everything is good with the contents. That indicated to me that there was really no need to visit the cache. On the other hand, I didn't feel 'right' just clearing the attribute if I didn't actually visit it. Catch 22. Until now. I figure from what I've seen that one cache may be why I didn't make the cut so I went ahead and cleared it out.

There may be a very slim chance that I did make it tho- I've recently had issues with getting credit for souvenirs and the Mary Hyde trackable code that may be due to the spaces (3 in total) that are part of my caching handle. That brings up a whole 'nother issue that I'm not real happy about...but this isn't the place for it.

I've been caching for coming up on 15 years; found caches in all 50 states and 3 Canadian provinces; found every icon type except giga, including 182 virtuals. I've also advocated for virtuals since before they went away.

So is this your Virtual Hider resume? :D

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7 hours ago, Keystone said:

Let me crush your slim sliver of hope: 

Arrrrrgggghhhhhh!  Now I have no hope whatsoever :(  I'll just have to get more creative :P

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10 hours ago, Keystone said:

Let me crush your slim sliver of hope:  even if the email notifications didn't get to you, a Virtual Rewards cache listing page would have been created and would show up as a disabled listing on your dashboard.  I double-checked (reviewers can see unpublished caches) and there is not a new virtual cache connected with your account.

I have known you for many years, and we have much in common in our geocaching styles, including enjoyment of finding virtuals.  If Virtual Reward recipients were chosen by subjective means instead of through operation of an algorithm, I would have put your name on my nomination list. 

Oh well, I pretty much figured that. Thanks for checking and the kind words. :)

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So far I have to consider it more of a lottery than anything else.  I don't want to single out any cacher who received a reward, and don't think comparisons are particularly useful, but it has been hard to find any thing that has stood out.  

The few I have looked it - and the one I have done -are hardly a representative sample.   Still, cache hides, favorite points (which I don't think are a particularly useful measure), the level of involvement or the range of caching experience have not stood out.   Interest in virtuals does not seem to be a factor - finding old virtuals (at least if there are some within the same region as a hider) might be one measure of knowledge or experience  

If i look at it as an algorithm designed to identify catchers who might place the best virtuals, I would have started from a completely different place - and I don't think the method used has been all that successful.  If I look upon it as a lottery, it fits a lot better.

 

Edited by geodarts

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300 of 4,000 have been published worldwide. Still a ways to go before the final submission deadline. I am curious as to how many will go un-published? I am guessing that there are many waiting to find a good spot/idea to present itself.

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I've just come across one of the new virtual caches placed by someone who has only placed 16 previous caches - 2 mystery and 14 trads - so nothing special.  The new virtual takes you to 10 different locations and you have to take a photo at each one - more like a multi but no cache at the end.  However did this cacher get chosen?

 

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11 minutes ago, footsore & weary said:

 However did this cacher get chosen?

 

Algorithm :ph34r:

 

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1 hour ago, footsore & weary said:

I've just come across one of the new virtual caches placed by someone who has only placed 16 previous caches - 2 mystery and 14 trads - so nothing special.  The new virtual takes you to 10 different locations and you have to take a photo at each one - more like a multi but no cache at the end.  However did this cacher get chosen?

 

Many people seem to equate lots of hides with quality.

My guess based on what I've seen so far, cache owners who got virtuals had a handful of caches (usually under 30 active caches) and respond very quickly to issues like a string of DNFs, or NM logs. 

Edited by L0ne.R

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4 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

My guess based on what I've seen so far, cache owners who got virtuals had a handful of caches (usually under 30 active caches) and respond very quickly to issues like a string of DNFs, or NM logs. 

I can see DNFs, though those are often false too ...  but curious if you've seen any of  those who rarely (if ever) receive any NMs on their hides?   I'd think that would show better "quality" (if there is such a thing...) than one who continuously answers to NMs "quickly". 

A string (to me) says there's issues, not that that person's a good CO, no matter how quickly it's fixed... 

If that algorithm  only counts issues, that's a shame.

I received a NM once because there wasn't a pencil in an ammo can (people steal 'em).  Didn't see a reason to "quickly" fix that.  :)

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Anecdotally, I have seen a lot of those chosen to hide a new Virtual with a high percentage of Puzzle/Mystery hides placed.   

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I'd completely be lying if I said I wasn't at least curious as to what the standards were for selection. I've been looking at my stats vs. a local cacher that was awarded a virtual. For the sake of analysis, here are the numbers.

Myself - 200 hides with a total of 521 favorite points. 77 of those were events and cannot be awarded favorites, so for the purposes of FP, call it 123 hides. My most favorited hide has 158 FP's. I have no Needs Archived/Needs Maintanance logs active on my hides.

Other Cacher - 5 hides, 1 event. One of their caches has 58 FP's. They also have no maintanance or archive issues.

You guys can call me jealous (hey... I am) if you want. But I am left wondering what the criteria was, and if I'll ever get a crack at placing a virtual. In the meantime, I'm VERY happy to go ghostbusting. I LOVE virtuals.

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On 9/9/2017 at 1:29 PM, footsore & weary said:

I've just come across one of the new virtual caches placed by someone who has only placed 16 previous caches - 2 mystery and 14 trads - so nothing special.  The new virtual takes you to 10 different locations and you have to take a photo at each one - more like a multi but no cache at the end.  However did this cacher get chosen?

 

 

On 9/9/2017 at 1:40 PM, on4bam said:

Algorithm :ph34r:

 

 

22 minutes ago, KNAPAHOLIC said:

Myself - 200 hides with a total of 521 favorite points. 77 of those were events and cannot be awarded favorites, so for the purposes of FP, call it 123 hides. My most favorited hide has 158 FP's. I have no Needs Archived/Needs Maintanance logs active on my hides.

Other Cacher - 5 hides, 1 event. One of their caches has 58 FP's. They also have no maintanance or archive issues.

You guys can call me jealous (hey... I am) if you want. But I am left wondering what the criteria was, and if I'll ever get a crack at placing a virtual. In the meantime, I'm VERY happy to go ghostbusting. I LOVE virtuals.

If the cacher is a volunteer then the Virtual Reward was given for being a volunteer.

If the cacher was chosen by the algorithm: see Keystones post from August 30 in this thread https://forums.geocaching.com/GC/index.php?/topic/345758-criteria-for-being-a-new-virtual-co/&page=2#comment-567633 or https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2017/08/virtual-rewards/ and scroll down to August 30, 2017 Update:

"For this promotion, the algorithm included many factors but it heavily favored cache quality over quantity. Among these factors were percentage of Favorite points on active caches (not the total number of Favorite points) and current geocache Health Score."

 

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I've seen several comments about how many FP's a cache or CO has. Personally, that number means nothing to me without context. The more relevant number, and I'm guessing the one the algorithm considered, is the FP% (Favorite Points divided by Premium Member Logs).  A cache could have 20 FP's out of 40 PM finds (50%), while another cache could have 800 FP's out of 4500 finds (17%).

ETA:  Thanks to AnnaMoritz for quoting the relevant info in the post above, which I didn't see until after I submitted my post.  :) 

Edited by noncentric
ETA
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24 minutes ago, AnnaMoritz said:

 

 

If the cacher is a volunteer then the Virtual Reward was given for being a volunteer.

 

 

That particular cacher was not. I've met all the locals.

Thanks for posting the other info, though. Looking forward to reading it in a bit.

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I don't think anyone is going to reverse engineer the algorithm. And even if so, just like SEO, attempts to 'game the system' can easily cause the system to be adjusted and adapted. I honestly think it's a futile effort to attempt to "figure out" why one person got it and another didn't, and there are other wildcard factors thrown into the mix that hinder any reasonable result too. People got chosen. People got cut. I just want to try to enjoy the results instead of tearing it apart (and that's something I love to do with puzzles). In this case there's no real reward, and (to me at least) it's not really fun because the vast majority of it is speculation and opinions over what's "important" in geocaching ownership. meh.

Enjoy the new virtuals. If there are any near you. Not every new virtual will be quality (to every person's opinion), but not every cache is.

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On 9/9/2017 at 2:47 PM, L0ne.R said:

Many people seem to equate lots of hides with quality.

Yes, it speaks volumes that so many complaints about the algorithm circle around the assumption that the contribution of an owner hiding 2*n caches must be far superior than that of an owner with n caches.

On 9/10/2017 at 7:49 PM, KNAPAHOLIC said:

Myself - 200 hides with a total of 521 favorite points. 77 of those were events and cannot be awarded favorites, so for the purposes of FP, call it 123 hides. My most favorited hide has 158 FP's. I have no Needs Archived/Needs Maintanance logs active on my hides.

Other Cacher - 5 hides, 1 event. One of their caches has 58 FP's. They also have no maintanance or archive issues.

FWIW having only this information I would have no problems to decide who's caches I probably would prefer searching for.

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For those who still believe that the algorithm was fair, please read this story originally posted on the Geocaching Blog but mysteriously disappeared a few hours later.

In this story, geocacher names are fictitious. But unfortunately, the conclusion is neither fictitious nor an exception.

BTW, English is not my first language so sorry if my written English is not perfect.

---

Once upon a time in Stashhunttown, there were two geocachers: Mary and John.

Mary is a very well-known geocacher. Over the last 10 years, she hid superb series of caches appreciated by the whole Geocaching community. She has worked hundreds of hours on the organizing committee of a Mega-Event in Stashhunttown, she attended all the CITOs and she is always available to initiate people to Geocaching. Often, instead of going Geocaching, she takes her weekends to perform maintenance of her caches. But this is ok for her because she is very proud of her 250 caches and she knows that geocachers from all over the country come to hike her Geocaching trails. This is the case of Peter who heard about Mary's caches and scheduled a Geocaching long-weekend in Stashhunttown. On the first day, he hiked a series of 35 great caches very well maintained and would have liked to give a favorite point to each cache. But he could not because he only had 2 points available plus 3 other points earned during the hike (1 FP per 10 caches). So he was able to give only 5 favorite points to Mary while he would have liked to give her 35 points. Mary finally received a percentage of 14% FP for this beautiful series. On the second and third day, Peter hiked other amazing series created by Mary but was able to give only one favorite point per 10 caches found. While driving back home, Peter was thinking: Wow, this is what Geocaching is all about, thanks Mary!

John is a less-known geocacher. He started Geocaching 3 years ago but never participates to any activities such as Events and CITOs. He was asked to be volunteer at the Mega-Event but he declined. He never hid caches except last year when he decided to hide 3 caches similar to those of Mary. A few months later, Joanne was passing by Stashhunttown and stopped to find the 2 active caches of John (the 3rd cache was disabled by the reviewer following a need maintenance and John never performed maintenance of this cache). As Joanne had 2 points available, she was able to give a favorite point to each of the two active caches of John. John received a percentage of 100% FP for those 2 active caches.

Then in the summer of 2017, Geocaching HQ decided to develop an algorithm to reward the best geocacher between Mary and John. This is a very sophisticated algorithm since it favored quality over quantity and the percentage of favorite points on active caches instead of the total number of favorite points. Thus, John was selected by the algorithm as the best geocacher. HQ proudly rewarded John by granting him the right to place a virtual cache as one of the 4000 Geocaching's great contributors around the world.

Congratulations John!

Later, HQ apologized but Mary still hurts from this injustice.

---

I would have written this story before August 24th 2017 and no one would have believed me.

All the Geocaching community would have chosen Mary, but not the algorithm.

Two factors that seem to have penalized Mary:

1. Since geocachers can give only one favorite point per 10 caches found, her percentage of favorite points on her hiking trails is a lot lower than the 2 caches of John;

2. Since Geocaching Favorites was introduced in December of 2010, all her caches hid before December of 2010 do not have all the points they deserve and therefore the percentage of favorite points of these caches is a lot lower.

Personally, when I'm planning Geocaching trips to Canada, US and other countries around the world, it is because of geocachers like Mary, not because of geocachers like John.

It is geocachers like Mary who have made Groundspeak what it is today, not geocachers like John.

I sincerely hope that never again such an algorithm will be used to separate geocachers into two categories.

Edited by OusKonNé & Cétyla
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29 minutes ago, OusKonNé & Cétyla said:

I sincerely hope that never again such an algorithm will be used to separate geocachers into two categories.

It seems to me that part of the problem is the attitude that those of us who received a Virtual Reward are somehow in a different category from those of us who did not.

A small portion of the 4000 were already in a different category: They were active community volunteers. And they all received a Virtual Reward regardless of their history as cache owners.

But the rest are just normal geocache owners who happened to have a high cache health score with the algorithm that was in effect at the time.

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2 hours ago, OusKonNé & Cétyla said:

For those who still believe that the algorithm was fair, please read this story originally posted on the Geocaching Blog but mysteriously disappeared a few hours later.

In this story, geocacher names are fictitious. But unfortunately, the conclusion is neither fictitious nor an exception.

BTW, English is not my first language so sorry if my written English is not perfect.

---

Once upon a time in Stashhunttown, there were two geocachers: Mary and John.

Mary is a very well-known geocacher. Over the last 10 years, she hid superb series of caches appreciated by the whole Geocaching community. She has worked hundreds of hours on the organizing committee of a Mega-Event in Stashhunttown, she attended all the CITOs and she is always available to initiate people to Geocaching. Often, instead of going Geocaching, she takes her weekends to perform maintenance of her caches. But this is ok for her because she is very proud of her 250 caches and she knows that geocachers from all over the country come to hike her Geocaching trails. This is the case of Peter who heard about Mary's caches and scheduled a Geocaching long-weekend in Stashhunttown. On the first day, he hiked a series of 35 great caches very well maintained and would have liked to give a favorite point to each cache. But he could not because he only had 2 points available plus 3 other points earned during the hike (1 FP per 10 caches). So he was able to give only 5 favorite points to Mary while he would have liked to give her 35 points. Mary finally received a percentage of 14% FP for this beautiful series. On the second and third day, Peter hiked other amazing series created by Mary but was able to give only one favorite point per 10 caches found. While driving back home, Peter was thinking: Wow, this is what Geocaching is all about, thanks Mary!

John is a less-known geocacher. He started Geocaching 3 years ago but never participates to any activities such as Events and CITOs. He was asked to be volunteer at the Mega-Event but he declined. He never hid caches except last year when he decided to hide 3 caches similar to those of Mary. A few months later, Joanne was passing by Stashhunttown and stopped to find the 2 active caches of John (the 3rd cache was disabled by the reviewer following a need maintenance and John never performed maintenance of this cache). As Joanne had 2 points available, she was able to give a favorite point to each of the two active caches of John. John received a percentage of 100% FP for those 2 active caches.

Then in the summer of 2017, Geocaching HQ decided to develop an algorithm to reward the best geocacher between Mary and John. This is a very sophisticated algorithm since it favored quality over quantity and the percentage of favorite points on active caches instead of the total number of favorite points. Thus, John was selected by the algorithm as the best geocacher. HQ proudly rewarded John by granting him the right to place a virtual cache as one of the 4000 Geocaching's great contributors around the world.

Congratulations John!

Later, HQ apologized but Mary still hurts from this injustice.

---

I would have written this story before August 24th 2017 and no one would have believed me.

All the Geocaching community would have chosen Mary, but not the algorithm.

Two factors that seem to have penalized Mary:

1. Since geocachers can give only one favorite point per 10 caches found, her percentage of favorite points on her hiking trails is a lot lower than the 2 caches of John;

2. Since Geocaching Favorites was introduced in December of 2010, all her caches hid before December of 2010 do not have all the points they deserve and therefore the percentage of favorite points of these caches is a lot lower.

Personally, when I'm planning Geocaching trips to Canada, US and other countries around the world, it is because of geocachers like Mary, not because of geocachers like John.

It is geocachers like Mary who have made Groundspeak what it is today, not geocachers like John.

I sincerely hope that never again such an algorithm will be used to separate geocachers into two categories.

Did Mary ever get a Reviewer Disable note? How quickly did Mary respond to NMs? Did she disable her caches and then did nothing until prompted by a reviewer disable?  Did Mary check her caches from time to time and then post OMs? Did Mary archive caches rather then fix them after getting a Reviewer Disable?

I sure hope favorite points did not weigh heavily in the algorithm. They are not the best marker of a well maintained cache that doesn't break the damage/destroy/defacement guidelines. Generally, regularly-,maintained and well-maintained watertight containers like authentic Lock & Locks in the woods do not get many favorite points.

My point is that I think "health score" was a bigger factor.

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Many OM to me seems like they care about their cache enough to keep it up to date, make sure the logsheet isn't full, making sure it is still there. etc.

Haven't I seen it written that COs should check their caches on a regular basis? And in doing so post an OM log stating the cache has been checked?

On many of my evil ones I get DNFs but it doesn't mean it's not there. Just means I did a good job hiding it.

 

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20 hours ago, OusKonNé & Cétyla said:

All the Geocaching community would have chosen Mary, but not the algorithm.

FWIW I would have not necessarily chosen Mary.

No matter how well she is maintaining her 250 caches I can easily imagine that someone hiding 3 nice and well maintained caches which are distinguishable and each providing a unique experience (eg each cache is showing a different area and take a couple of hours to complete) is contributing much more quality I would be interested in looking for.

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21 hours ago, OusKonNé & Cétyla said:

Mary still hurts from this injustice.

Mary needs to let it go, man.

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1 hour ago, hzoi said:

Mary needs to let it go, man.

Mary needs to be thankful she's not going to get hundreds of bogus logging attempts and messages from people that she has to explain about virtual caches to.

Peter's the one with a full inbox and needing to deal with dodgy logs and explain the login requirements time and time again. That'll serve him right...

(and I might not chose Mary's caches either)

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On 9/20/2017 at 1:29 PM, L0ne.R said:

. . .  favorite points . . . .  are not the best marker of a well maintained cache that doesn't break the damage/destroy/defacement guidelines. Generally, regularly-,maintained and well-maintained watertight containers like authentic Lock & Locks in the woods do not get many favorite points.

Yeah, buried caches and birdhouses screwed into trees rack up the FPs like crazy.

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Today I see a new virtual reward allocated to someone who has few hides (all from 2011 or earlier) and three finds in 7 years and none since 2013.  This no comment about the virtual created, which is probably pretty good, but to get a reward seems very bizarre to me. Next time just allocate randomly please.

Edited by lodgebarn
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55 minutes ago, lodgebarn said:

Today I see a new virtual reward allocated to someone who has few hides (all from 2011 or earlier) and three finds in 7 years and none since 2013.  This no comment about the virtual created, which is probably pretty good, but to get a reward seems very bizarre to me. Next time just allocate randomly please.

Agreed. The algorithm was a farce. 

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3 hours ago, lodgebarn said:

Today I see a new virtual reward allocated to someone who has few hides (all from 2011 or earlier) and three finds in 7 years and none since 2013.  This no comment about the virtual created, which is probably pretty good, but to get a reward seems very bizarre to me. Next time just allocate randomly please.

Maybe the geocacher is also a volunteer?... All the volunteers were granted with a VR.

Edited by RuideAlmeida
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If the owner(s) aren't volunteers, maybe they simply met the criteria listed in the blog for non-volunteers?

"Cache quality means many things to a hider, a finder, and the community. For this promotion, the algorithm included many factors but it heavily favored cache quality over quantity. Among these factors were percentage of Favorite points on active caches (not the total number of Favorite points) and current geocache Health Score."

There were many examples for Virtual Reward where the owner had 'only' three active geocaches (of at least a certain age) at the point of time when Virtual Reward candidates were chosen, but with enough percentage of Favorite points for their corresponding country or whatever applied. Whether the owner was finding many caches or hosting/attending events at all or owns a big number of geocaches was no criteria.

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4 hours ago, lodgebarn said:

Today I see a new virtual reward allocated to someone who has few hides (all from 2011 or earlier) and three finds in 7 years and none since 2013.  This no comment about the virtual created, which is probably pretty good, but to get a reward seems very bizarre to me. Next time just allocate randomly please.

Someone looking in from the outside would assume that's exactly what they did. Even from the inside, there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason.

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I'm not sure it was a good idea to have these new virtuals at all - it seems to have caused upset and brought out the worst in some people :(

I heard a tale that a when a local CO who owned a number of virtuals sadly passed away there was a scramble for his virtuals within minutes of the news being announced.

I'm very happy that any new virtuals in my local area weren't allocated on the basis of the number of cache hides belonging to a particular CO.

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Yes but giving virtuals to inactive cache owners who give nothing to the game is also a bad idea. I agree about number of hides shouldn't have been a factor but there are cache owners who have a large amount of hides who also have a high total number of favorite points who effectively were spat at in the face for years of work. 

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1 hour ago, Team Microdot said:

I'm not sure it was a good idea to have these new virtuals at all - it seems to have caused upset and brought out the worst in some people :(

I heard a tale that a when a local CO who owned a number of virtuals sadly passed away there was a scramble for his virtuals within minutes of the news being announced.

I'm very happy that any new virtuals in my local area weren't allocated on the basis of the number of cache hides belonging to a particular CO.

Virtuals can't be adopted.  Not sure what you are referring to.  How could people scramble for his virtuals?

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1 minute ago, Dame Deco said:

Virtuals can't be adopted.  Not sure what you are referring to.  How could people scramble for his virtuals?

Just because there's a rule against something doesn't mean people will comply or resist the urge to find a way around it or seek special treatment.

And these virtuals were subsequently adopted, just not by a scrabbler.

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1 hour ago, The Magna Defender said:

Yes but giving virtuals to inactive cache owners who give nothing to the game is also a bad idea. I agree about number of hides shouldn't have been a factor but there are cache owners who have a large amount of hides who also have a high total number of favorite points who effectively were spat at in the face for years of work. 

if you run a search on Project GC 'Favourite Points Received' - how many of the top 5 in the North West got a Virtual?

https://project-gc.com/TopHiders/FavGained?country=United+Kingdom&region=Northwest+England&submit=Filter

 

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I can't see how favourite points alone can be considered the yardstick for cache worthiness.

I can think of one instance where the large number of FP's amassed by the CO are purely down to adoption of a slew of already well-loved caches from a particularly clever and inventive CO.

I can think of other instances where more inventive / novel / riskier caches would have amassed many more FP's had they not been badly muggled and thus retired prematurely.

And another case where a previous hider of numerous novel and superbly engineered caches with plenty of FP's subsequently abandoned their hides and stopped responding to Needs Maintenance logs - while still actively finding.

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