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Wæki3_KL6

Favorite Point Overhaul

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I would like to express that I feel the favorite system could use an overhaul because I feel it might encourage somewhat thoughtless cache creation. It's a self fulfilling rule/policy. Hopefully some of these comments can help the community grow.

One issue, in its current state, there's an inherent saying that only 10% (or less) of all caches deserve a favorite point--since premium members get 1 from every 10 caches found. I find that ridiculous, as there are many owners that have wonderful caches that deserve favorites (for instance cschooner, WVTim, and many others). For instance, I'm trying to make 100% of my caches awesome or favorite-able--sure not everyone will see that nor agree--however, personally I'd rather not produce caches that are not loved in some way by the community (Container, View, Page, etc.).

Secondly, premium members only get them should be reconsidered too. So if you're a basic member, there's zero incentive to create great caches, because you are unable to participate with favorites. In fact their is very little incentive as a basic or premium member to create awesome caches. This is something that could be changed. Maybe, incentivize great placements and creative containers. Whether awesome creators or creations get a free month of service, special types (virtuals), coupons for merchandise, etc. Groundspeak could be actively be engaging the community that works so hard to make the experience memorable and enjoyable.

Thirdly, basic members cannot help everyone find great geocaches--because they cannot rate them. So an owner is solely reliant on premium members to get their caches noticed, but since you only get a few of them (10%), people don't rate something they enjoy. I don't know how many logs I've seen that are like "Awesome amazing cache. A must!" without a favorite awarded.

Fourth, I don't think a number rating system is the best option here. 1 out of 5 could discourage owners that get low ratings. It should be a Like (similar to Facebook). Everyone should be able to like a cache. This is likely to be a drastic change to the current system, but in time the great caches will pop out.

Fifth, members should be able to rate a cache even if they haven't found it. It might be a good puzzle that has absolutely stumped you, or you didn't sign the log (Ravens Labrynthe ), or you didn't find the cache but absolutely loved the scenic view, etc.

Sixth, I'd like to be able to rate (and therefore search) caches based on: Great Container; Awesome View; Amazing Puzzle/Page; Extremely Well Done (all three). I feel this would encourage the community to place geocaches that hit what many members like about the activity.

Lastly, the site keeps track of ratio of premium finds to favorites awarded, but this cannot be searched. Other sites you can.

Thanks a bunch, I really hope this helps create a better community! Sincerely, Chris

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40 minutes ago, Wæki3_KL6 said:

One issue, in its current state, there's an inherent saying that only 10% (or less) of all caches deserve a favorite point--since premium members get 1 from every 10 caches found. I find that ridiculous, as there are many owners that have wonderful caches that deserve favorites (for instance cschooner, WVTim, and many others).

If you emphasize everything, then nothing is emphasized. That applies to authors who put entire paragraphs in boldface, and it applies to "best of" lists that include too many of the potential candidates. If Favorites points are given too freely, then they become meaningless.

43 minutes ago, Wæki3_KL6 said:

Maybe, incentivize great placements and creative containers. Whether awesome creators or creations get a free month of service, special types (virtuals), coupons for merchandise, etc.

I don't like the idea of adding incentives to hide caches other than the desire to own and maintain caches. It is a good thing that Groundspeak doesn't allow seed caches or "curse of the FTF" caches or other caches that encourage members to hide caches before they're ready. Monetary incentives or the ability to list grandfathered cache types would be even worse.

48 minutes ago, Wæki3_KL6 said:

Fifth, members should be able to rate a cache even if they haven't found it.

Gee, I can't imagine how this could possibly be abused, especially when combined with your third point, that unpaid basic members should be able to award Favorites points.

50 minutes ago, Wæki3_KL6 said:

Sixth, I'd like to be able to rate (and therefore search) caches based on: Great Container; Awesome View; Amazing Puzzle/Page; Extremely Well Done (all three). I feel this would encourage the community to place geocaches that hit what many members like about the activity.

What about caches that are my Favorites for something other than the container, the view, or the puzzle/page? What about caches that are my Favorites for the view and the puzzle/page, but the container is completely forgettable?

But more to the point, I'm not convinced that making the process of awarding Favorites points more complex is going to give you more useful data.

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1 hour ago, Wæki3_KL6 said:

One issue, in its current state, there's an inherent saying that only 10% (or less) of all caches deserve a favorite point--since premium members get 1 from every 10 caches found. I find that ridiculous, as there are many owners that have wonderful caches that deserve favorites (for instance cschooner, WVTim, and many others). For instance, I'm trying to make 100% of my caches awesome or favorite-able--sure not everyone will see that nor agree--however, personally I'd rather not produce caches that are not loved in some way by the community (Container, View, Page, etc.).

The point of the Favourite Points isn't to recognize all the good-quality caches you find, it's to recognize the caches you found to be your favourites. You need to think carefully about which ones are truly your favourites. If you like all of them, then you need to pick out the 10% that you feel are the best of the best. As an analogy, any athlete playing in a major sports league is already among the best players of that sport in the world, but each league still finds a way to identify and award the best within that group.

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Secondly, premium members only get them should be reconsidered too. So if you're a basic member, there's zero incentive to create great caches, because you are unable to participate with favorites. In fact their is very little incentive as a basic or premium member to create awesome caches. This is something that could be changed. Maybe, incentivize great placements and creative containers. Whether awesome creators or creations get a free month of service, special types (virtuals), coupons for merchandise, etc. Groundspeak could be actively be engaging the community that works so hard to make the experience memorable and enjoyable.

There should never be any incentive to hide caches, other than the warm feelings that come with knowing you're contributing to geocaching. Incentives would lead to cachers hiding caches when they really aren't cut out for cache ownership. They may hide a bunch of caches to get the incentive, but then fail to perform the ongoing maintenance.

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Thirdly, basic members cannot help everyone find great geocaches--because they cannot rate them. So an owner is solely reliant on premium members to get their caches noticed, but since you only get a few of them (10%), people don't rate something they enjoy. I don't know how many logs I've seen that are like "Awesome amazing cache. A must!" without a favorite awarded.

This would be way too prone to abuse. If Basic members could award Favourite Points, there'd be a huge number of free, dummy accounts created in order to award points to a CO's own caches.

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Fourth, I don't think a number rating system is the best option here. 1 out of 5 could discourage owners that get low ratings. It should be a Like (similar to Facebook). Everyone should be able to like a cache. This is likely to be a drastic change to the current system, but in time the great caches will pop out.

It's already a "like"-style feature. You can only either award a Favourite Point, or not award a Favourite Point. There isn't a scale.

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Fifth, members should be able to rate a cache even if they haven't found it. It might be a good puzzle that has absolutely stumped you, or you didn't sign the log (Ravens Labrynthe ), or you didn't find the cache but absolutely loved the scenic view, etc.

See my response to "Thirdly" above. There'd be abuse here too.

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Sixth, I'd like to be able to rate (and therefore search) caches based on: Great Container; Awesome View; Amazing Puzzle/Page; Extremely Well Done (all three). I feel this would encourage the community to place geocaches that hit what many members like about the activity.

There are a huge number of reasons why any given cacher may like a cache beyond the three you've listed. I think it would be far too cumbersome both to try to capture that data and for the finder to provide the data (ie. it would require a bunch more clicks for each find).

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Lastly, the site keeps track of ratio of premium finds to favorites awarded, but this cannot be searched. Other sites you can.

I agree that it would be nice to at least sort a list of caches by the Favourite Point ratio. It seems to be the best way to identify the truly-good caches. The raw number of points sometimes works, but not all the time.

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Let's keep it simple. You enjoyed a cache enough as a favourite or you didn't. Write nice logs if you want to want to express your gratitude or read other people's logs if you want to know more. And yes, a cache has to be found. If not, you never had the complete experience and can never judge every aspect.

Nowadays the most mediocre caches get favourites because people already get too many favourites to give. For me, 1 favourite point in 10 found caches is way too much. 1 in 25 or even less is more appropriate to me.

In the Netherlands there's a "pearl of the month" contest for years. People can suggest and vote for the best new cache and at the end of the month that cache gets the "Parel van de Maand" award. No surprise these caches are mostly well-designed and challenging (multi) caches which can take most part of the day with creative (regular/large) cache containers in beautiful landscapes. And no surprise these cache are done not so often and get not much favourites. The award means more to me than its favourites count.

And please leave Facebook out of this. Geocaching is definitely NOT Facebook!

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1 hour ago, Wæki3_KL6 said:

So if you're a basic member, there's zero incentive to create great caches, because you are unable to participate with favorites. In fact their is very little incentive as a basic or premium member to create awesome caches. This is something that could be changed. Maybe, incentivize great placements and creative containers. Whether awesome creators or creations get a free month of service, special types (virtuals), coupons for merchandise, etc. Groundspeak could be actively be engaging the community that works so hard to make the experience memorable and enjoyable.

A basic member's caches can still receive FPs from the premium members who find them, so as far as incentive to create great caches goes, it makes no difference whether the CO is a basic or premium member. As for other incentives, no, I'd hope caching will remain an activity divorced from monetary or value-in-kind rewards. Isn't the enjoyment and pleasure from creating something others enjoy enough?

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One issue, in its current state, there's an inherent saying that only 10% (or less) of all caches deserve a favorite point

FPs aren't like restaurant or hotel room ratings and shouldn't be taken as such. For an individual, it's just their most favourite ten percent (or less) of all the caches they've found. Different people find different things memorable, so my list of favourites is likely to be quite different to yours. As a result, far more than ten percent of caches receive FPs and very few receive 100% FPs.

For me, FPs are all about the caches I've found especially memorable. It's not about whether the cache is good or bad, or as a reward to the CO, it's just how I felt on the day when I found that cache - if my reaction is oh wow, that was a really great experience and is in that top ten percent of experiences, it gets an FP. It's not about the view, the container or the ingenious puzzle, it's about the whole experience.

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Luckily the outdoors part of this hobby is nothing "like" faceboook...

We see people place fps just because they're ftf or friends of the CO.  We also see fps at guardrails and lampskirts (pmo to boot).  Curious what fps on a series, with  hundreds of caches simply at road signs (fortunately another state...)  would really say about the hobby.  Luckily most don't have enough accrued to be so silly, but could see some would. 

As a pm, I use very little for that yearly fee (notification and FPs).  I believe I'm sorta helping long-time basic members continue to get info free from the site  but I don't believe they should receive extra while not contributing.

Many have seen "Awesome spot. Thanks for placing and maintaining this cache!" cut n paste logs just before you NM it with an "everything's floating" .  Can't tell you how many caches we've seen  in such poor shape by the time we get there that,  that "Awesome amazing cache. A must!"  log doesn't mean much anymore...

If I could "rate" caches  without visiting first, I 'd probably have to put a coffeemaker next to the pc.  Maybe we could bulk-rate 'em...

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17 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

Many have seen "Awesome spot. Thanks for placing and maintaining this cache!" cut n paste logs just before you NM it with an "everything's floating" .  Can't tell you how many caches we've seen  in such poor shape by the time we get there that,  that "Awesome amazing cache. A must!"  log doesn't mean much anymore...

This is a big reason why I don't bother with Favorite Points anymore.

Many FPs on good caches were given when those caches were new. Fast forward 3 years and that cache has never been visited again by the cache owner, the disguise and/or container has fallen apart, it's a mess.

Maybe there could be a bar graph included in the drop menu when you click the Favorites down arrow. The bar graph would show how many FPs by year.

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6 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

It's really too bad that GC Vote hasn't caught on in North America. Or something equivalent. 

Thank goodness.  But then again, I can "vote" on caches I can't currently "rate" ?  Do I have to visit it first ?  :D

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On 11/16/2017 at 11:31 AM, Wæki3_KL6 said:

I would like to express that I feel the favorite system could use an overhaul because I feel it might encourage somewhat thoughtless cache creation. (Your suggestions for improving the system, IMHO, are more of an encouragement in this direction ... but that's just my opinion).  It's a self fulfilling rule/policy. Hopefully some of these comments can help the community grow.

One issue, in its current state, there's an inherent saying that only 10% (or less) of all caches deserve a favorite point--since premium members get 1 from every 10 caches found. I find that ridiculous, as there are many owners that have wonderful caches that deserve favorites (for instance cschooner, WVTim, and many others). For instance, I'm trying to make 100% of my caches awesome or favorite-able--sure not everyone will see that nor agree--however, personally I'd rather not produce caches that are not loved in some way by the community (Container, View, Page, etc.).  I have given only a handful of favorites, and those to caches the really, really stand out among those I have found.  I haven't found enough of that caliber yet to give many favorites.  

Secondly, premium members only get them should be reconsidered too. So if you're a basic member, there's zero incentive to create great caches, because you are unable to participate with favorites. In fact their is very little incentive as a basic or premium member to create awesome caches. By allowing MORE favorite points to be given (by your system), the incentive is DECREASED.  By allowing only premium members, and a limited number of points, those awarded are more valuable, IMO.  This is something that could be changed. Maybe, incentivize great placements and creative containers. Whether awesome creators or creations get a free month of service, special types (virtuals), coupons for merchandise, etc. Groundspeak could be actively be engaging the community that works so hard to make the experience memorable and enjoyable.  "Great placements, creative containers" are in the eyes of the beholder ... 

Thirdly, basic members cannot help everyone find great geocaches--because they cannot rate them. So an owner is solely reliant on premium members to get their caches noticed, but since you only get a few of them (10%), people don't rate something they enjoy. I don't know how many logs I've seen that are like "Awesome amazing cache. A must!" without a favorite awarded.  That's OK - the points are more meaningful (to me) if they are limited.  Favorites should go to OUTSTANDING caches, not simply to ones I enjoy. 

Fourth, I don't think a number rating system is the best option here. 1 out of 5 could discourage owners that get low ratings. It should be a Like (similar to Facebook). Everyone should be able to like a cache. This is likely to be a drastic change to the current system, but in time the great caches will pop out.  What rating system?  The favorite point IS a LIKE - ???

Fifth, members should be able to rate a cache (didn't you just say a rating system would not work???)  even if they haven't found it. Ummmm, no.  It might be a good puzzle that has absolutely stumped you, or you didn't sign the log (Ravens Labrynthe ), or you didn't find the cache but absolutely loved the scenic view, etc.  Too much opportunity for abuse and "armchair" rating here.

Sixth, I'd like to be able to rate (and therefore search) caches based on: Great Container; Awesome View; Amazing Puzzle/Page; Extremely Well Done (all three). I feel this would encourage the community to place geocaches that hit what many members like about the activity.  Way too subjective to be accurate and reliable, IMO.  Read the logs, read the description, and judge for yourself.  ANd leave feedback in YOUR log for the cache.

Lastly, the site keeps track of ratio of premium finds to favorites awarded, but this cannot be searched. Other sites you can.

Thanks a bunch, I really hope this helps create a better community! Sincerely, Chris

I don't think the system needs tweaking; in fact, some have recommended doing away with "favorites" - but it is interesting to read the logs and see why fav points were awarded to some of the highly favorited caches.  I do take those fav points into account when looking for caches in a new area.

I've only placed a few caches, and a couple are generating favorite points, and that's nice.  But that's NOT why they were created as they are - they were created and placed to bring people to a specific place, and find a cache in good shape, unmuggled, safe to place trackables, and where I don't have to do a lot of OM to replace damaged or muggled containers.  FAV points are a side game, and are fine as they are.

Just my thoughts....

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I find the percentage of favorite points (# of fav pts awarded/# of premium cacher finds) to be a useful way to distinguish well above average caches from the run of the mill.  In general, any cache with a 25% or higher ratio is going to be worth the drive.  (Most folks who have been playing the game for a few years have pretty much exhausted the nearby stuff, so having a way to sort thru the morass is very useful).    Multis and puzzles tend to be "over represented" on the list, which perhaps tells you something about the effort involved in creating and finding them.  No power trails make the list (though if you are a fan, a glance at a map is sufficient to locate them).   I periodically comb thru pocket queries by location to identify these caches and post an "A List" which is bookmarked to any cache that meets the criteria.  The process can be tedious but does tend to reveal not just some good caches, but who places them, which is often the most reliable way to identify the "good stuff".  

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5 hours ago, edexter said:

Multis and puzzles tend to be "over represented" on the list, which perhaps tells you something about the effort involved in creating and finding them.

One technique that I've found useful is to search for caches of a particular type (e.g., EarthCaches) in an area with high Favorites scores. Then I search for caches of a different type (e.g., multi-caches) in an area with high Favorites scores. Then a different type (e.g., virtual caches), then a different type (e.g., mystery/puzzle caches), and so on.

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Great responses to the points above. All that said...

The only addition to the favourite point system I'd support, and I'd actually really like to see implemented, is the ability to add a brief note to your favourite point as to why you personally awarded it.  That at least can give someone who is curious about why a cache has so many favourites, the potential to glean what a common theme might be in the amassing of points. Sure, most might still be just points, but say if a simple cache has 50 points, 5 of them for reasons irrelevant to me, but 7 note the cool container and 2 liked the view, then at least I'd have an idea the container could well be the reason it's got so many favourites... it gives me a little more data to consider.

If content moderation for abuse is a concern, perhaps the CO could flag/report a fav.pt comment they don't like or which contains a spoiler (just as a CO would keep tabs on photos or text content posted in the log history).

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On 3/12/2018 at 9:06 AM, thebruce0 said:

... The only addition to the favourite point system I'd support, and I'd actually really like to see implemented, is the ability to add a brief note to your favourite point as to why you personally awarded it.  That at least can give someone who is curious about why a cache has so many favourites, the potential to glean what a common theme might be in the amassing of points. Sure, most might still be just points, but say if a simple cache has 50 points, 5 of them for reasons irrelevant to me, but 7 note the cool container and 2 liked the view, then at least I'd have an idea the container could well be the reason it's got so many favourites... it gives me a little more data to consider...

From what I have seen among cachers locally, this would be redundant, as most tell WHY in their log for the cache find.  Anyone reading the logs for those "highly awarded" caches will get an idea of what's special about this particular cache just from reading the logs.  Caches given lots of favortites tend to have more wordy logs just because they are an outstanding experience.

Those who simply award points but don't write anything in their "Found it" log about why are not likely to go the extra step to explain it in a separate log either.  And those that DO write about it in their log for the find are not going to want to re-write it out for the "Fav point" reason.

All I see this addition doing is creating ANOTHER log to write, and another place to have to look for background info on the cache page; it's redundant and unneccessary, IMHO.  And it is just my opinion and I'm open to discussion!!

Edited by CAVinoGal
Edited for typos
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22 minutes ago, CAVinoGal said:

From what I have seen among cachers locally, this would be redundant, as most tell WHY in their log for the cache find.  Anyone reading the logs for those "highly awarded" caches will get an idea of what's special avout this particular cache just from reading the logs.  Caches given lots of favortites tend to have more wordy logs just becasue they are an outstanding experience.

Those who simply award points but don't write anything in their :Found it" log about why are not likely to go the extra step to explain it in a separate log either.  And those that DO write about it in their log for the find are not going to want to re-write it out for the "Fav point" reason.

All I see this addition doing is creating ANOTHER log to write, and another place to have to look for background info on the cache page; it's redundant and unneccessary, IMHO.  And it is just my opinion and I'm open to discussion!!

Yes, the option is there to explain why the point in the log, but the log has many other purposes and content. Having a very brief blurb about the reason for the favourite, in a location dedicated to such information, makes even scanning over cache summaries and listings easier. For example, high favourites on a young, seemingly normal cache?  Click the find count, see list of point details people felt worth noting; no need to go comparing who favourited the cache to the find logs and scanning through the log content for relevant info (unless you still want to). Plus as a finder, I might want to, say, toggle the fav point and jot "great container", then in my regular log go into greater detail as usual.  IMO, very different contexts and purposes.  And again, it's just an option, which likely the people who use the field the most when logging finds would be the ones who check the field the most when finding caches; meaning, another 'if you don't use it or you don't like it, you can just ignore it' feature, which is better than some of the "features" we see that actively make the caching experience worse for anyone who isn't directly benefitted by it :)

Edited by thebruce0
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I wonder whether a "word cloud" of a cache's logs would be useful. For example, one cache might have a word cloud that looks like this:

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married                view      years

                      hiking                 ago                                  amazing

Another might have a word cloud that looks like this:

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DNF                      time                                   hidden               redeem

attempt                           clever     art             sculptures

Another might have a word cloud that looks like this:

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QEF               micro                  TFTC                         TNLN

+1             found                     soggy                  replaced

 

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18 minutes ago, niraD said:

I wonder whether a "word cloud" of a cache's logs would be useful.

Iiinteresting... I'm sure that could be doable by Project-GC already, having all the logs and text content. Don't see why not. It would need to be a special script I'm betting, but could be a neat feature for them to implement.

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On 3/13/2018 at 2:35 PM, niraD said:

I wonder whether a "word cloud" of a cache's logs would be useful. For example, one cache might have a word cloud that looks like this:

Another might have a word cloud that looks like this:

Another might have a word cloud that looks like this:

 

I've done a bit of development with dynamically created word clouds.  The can be pretty useful as long has the source data is relatively large (a long cache description).  For the systems I'm working on the word clouds are fully interactive.  Clicking on a term in the word cloud will perform a search using that term across all the data.  For example, if a word could included "spirit" it could search the system for other profiles (geocaches) which include "spirit" as a term.  One of the difficulties is that the text from which the terms are extracted isn't coming from a controlled vocabulary.  A cache description which used cemetery instead of "spirit" would not link to other "spirit" caches.  The system that I'm working with has a "site wide" word cloud which can be used to discover user profiles which use the same term, then clicking on the user profile would bring up that users word cloud.  

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