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The Snowdog

Health Score and "Maintenance Performed" logs

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I am becoming a bit more aware of "Health Score" and naturally I want my caches to be healthy. So say one of my caches has a DNF and I go check on it, and it's fine. I have three options: do nothing, post a note, or post a "Owner Maintenance" log. I have tended towards the third in the hopes that it erases the negative effect of the DNF but I have no idea how health score is computed, or the effect that a "OM" log has, or if there is really any difference in health score between these three possiblities. Anyone have any ideas?

Edited by The Snowdog
edited to say "Owner Maintenance" as I originally intended

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9 minutes ago, The Snowdog said:

I am becoming a bit more aware of "Health Score" and naturally I want my caches to be healthy. So say one of my caches has a DNF and I go check on it, and it's fine. I have three options: do nothing, post a note, or post a "Performed Maintenance" log. I have tended towards the third in the hopes that it erases the negative effect of the DNF but I have no idea how health score is computed, or the effect that a "PM" log has, or if there is really any difference in health score between these three possiblities. Anyone have any ideas?

You checked the cache. That’s maintenance. Post an OM (owner maintenance). 

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

You checked the cache. That’s maintenance. Post an OM (owner maintenance). 

I agree.  I have no idea what impact it will have on the CHS, but it does show that you're an active cache owner.  To me, that's probably more important that fixating on the contrived score based on some nebulous data.  In the end, any action taken is done by a human being (aka Volunteer Reviewer).  If they see a diligent cache owner, I would think they are less likely to flag a Listing for further action.

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40 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

I agree.  I have no idea what impact it will have on the CHS, but it does show that you're an active cache owner.  To me, that's probably more important that fixating on the contrived score based on some nebulous data.  In the end, any action taken is done by a human being (aka Volunteer Reviewer).  If they see a diligent cache owner, I would think they are less likely to flag a Listing for further action.

I'm becoming very disheartened that DNFs are rapidly turning into de-facto NM logs. The other day I logged two DNFs. The first one I couldn't find the cache, but after returning home I discovered that, between solving the puzzle and adding my corrected coordinates a few weeks earlier and going out to look for it, the cache had been moved by the CO due to muggle problems at the original location, with the puzzle having been modified to match the new location. On the second one, I arrived at GZ only to find I needed to climb up a rather slippery slope and couldn't get enough traction in my bare feet. In neither of those cases is there anything wrong with the cache and I most certainly don't want the CO dashing out to check on them as a result of my logs. I just wish now that there was a way of recording a cache I didn't find (and get the blue frowny on the map so I know it's one I've attempted and failed at) without implying that the cache needs maintenance.

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If you described the reasons for these DNFs in your logs I suppose the owners will stay at home. :)

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1 minute ago, Pontiac_CZ said:

If you described the reasons for these DNFs in your logs I suppose the owners will stay at home. :)

But will the CHS figure out that it shouldn't nag the owners to maintain their caches?

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That's a different story.

If it nagged me I would check the listing to see what are the reasons for the e-mail, then read the DNF(s) and if I assumed there was no need to check on the cache physically I wouldn't do anything and would delete the e-mail.

If the CHS alerted the reviewer he would come to my listing and see (just as me) that there was no reason for any action. Maybe he would notify the devs that the CHS didn't work quite well in this case.

CHS is just some indicator in the background, I do not care about it too much. I take care of my caches and that's all. :)

Edited by Pontiac_CZ
refining the conditional :)
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13 minutes ago, Pontiac_CZ said:

If you described the reasons for these DNFs in your logs I suppose the owners will stay at home. :)

Well, yes, I always provide plenty of detail in my DNFs so that the CO can get a feel for why it was I didn't find the cache. Usually it's something in the environment around GZ, like too many muggles or, since I tend to go for the more challenging D/T hides, terrain or camo that defeated me on the day. If I think there's a problem with the cache I'll add an NM - that's how I was brought up to play the game back in the days when a DNF was just an informational log, not an action-required one.

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3 hours ago, The Magna Defender said:

Whenever I enable a cache, I always log an OM too for the reasons of the score 

 An OM is needed to remove the red wrench attribute. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a few Enabled caches that still had the red wrench attribute because the owner didn’t post an OM. You are doing it right. 

Edited by L0ne.R

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49 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:
4 hours ago, The Magna Defender said:

Whenever I enable a cache, I always log an OM too for the reasons of the score 

 An OM is needed to remove the red wrench attribute. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a few Enabled caches that still had the red wrench attribute because the owner didn’t post an OM. You are doing it right. 

What if there's no red wrench to clear? A case in point, I discovered when doing a routine check a couple of weeks back on one of my caches (GC6PE5B) that its first waypoint had gone missing so I immediately disabled it. I plan to put the new waypoint in place as soon as the current school holidays finish and will then post an enable log saying that it's back in action. In this situation it seems silly to also require an OM log saying exactly the same thing, it just means there'll be fewer useful logs in the GPX files people load onto their GPSrs.

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11 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm becoming very disheartened that DNFs are rapidly turning into de-facto NM logs.

I can get this sentiment. Yet at the same time, it's predicated on the idea that OM logs imply there was a problem that was fixed, as opposed to an owner verifying that all is in good condition to be found (whether there was a fix or not, which would be described in the log text).  If we cached with the idea that seeing an OM log only mean that "all is well", then I think COs wouldn't be so hesitant to post them.

DNFs could be interpreted as a kind of NM, but really they aren't; they still don't mean "the CO should check" - the NM always means that, the DNF might mean that. The CHS doesn't treat the DNF equivalent to NM, but it does nudge the listing towards a similar status.  They're siblings, not twins. :)  As long as everyone understands and recognizes the difference...

~NM -> OM! -> chs:GTG!
~DNF -> ...OM? -> chs:GTG!

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6 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

The CHS doesn't treat the DNF equivalent to NM, but it does nudge the listing towards a similar status. 

In my case the flow was Publish -> WN -> Find -> DNF -> 2 days later -> CHS email -> 4 days later -> Find by DNFer

No, it doesn't treat DNFs as equivalent to NMs; from what I've seen of other instances reported in the forums since its inception, it thinks a DNF is a stronger indicator of poor cache health than an NM.

Edit to add: Last year, in a thread about a cache that had an NM outstanding for six months, someone asked whether the CHS would take care of it and Keystone's reply said it needed more "negative logs" and a longer passage of time before that would happen. So on a D2/T5 multi with just a single DNF, the CHS springs into action after 2 days, but an NM outstanding for six months, no, more time and more negative logs are needed.

Edited by barefootjeff

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I heard that the more your post in the forums, the lower the CHS threshold is set before it sends out an email about your cache. 

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If you are a CO and check on your cache, posting an OM is the best option, posting a note that you visited would be second, doing nothing would be third.  A dnf means nothing more than a particular cacher couldn't find the cache and does not indicate an issue.  Even multiple consecutive dnfs mean little (some "evil" caches have far more dnfs than finds and are "designed" to).   

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On 4/19/2018 at 11:58 PM, barefootjeff said:

I'm becoming very disheartened that DNFs are rapidly turning into de-facto NM logs. 

And that has really changed logging habits in my area. A lot of us now only post DNFs if we are certain that the cache is actually gone, and post notes if we can't find it but are pretty sure it's still there. That helps keep the "please check your cache..." robot at bay.

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23 minutes ago, The Snowdog said:

And that has really changed logging habits in my area. A lot of us now only post DNFs if we are certain that the cache is actually gone, and post notes if we can't find it but are pretty sure it's still there. That helps keep the "please check your cache..." robot at bay.

Of course, that perpetuates the DNF=NM myth, making things even worse. It would be better to simply use the logs as they're intended to be used and ignore any spurious optional warnings.

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49 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

Of course, that perpetuates the DNF=NM myth, making things even worse. It would be better to simply use the logs as they're intended to be used and ignore report any spurious optional warnings.

Yeah, I feel like a broken record.

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1 hour ago, The Snowdog said:

And that has really changed logging habits in my area. A lot of us now only post DNFs if we are certain that the cache is actually gone, and post notes if we can't find it but are pretty sure it's still there. That helps keep the "please check your cache..." robot at bay.

How many COs in your area have received the robot email message to check their cache? Or is this local reaction more of a pre-emptive strike?

From what I can tell in my area, people seem to be continuing along as normal--many still log DNFs; I'm not seeing notes replacing DNFs. I expect many do what has always been done, not log anything if they don't find the cache.

Many still log a find on a lid, a scrap of camo tape, or a ziptie, instead of a DNF.  And some who prefer not to log a DNF, leave a throwdown pill bottle and log a find.

Edited by L0ne.R
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I haven't changed any logging. I log a DNF if I don't find the cache and log a NM if appropriate. I don't know why someone would change how they log to accommodate what they *think* some back end process might or might not be doing. Seems like you're letting something you don't know or control actually control you. That's pretty sad.

Edited by Team DEMP
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I tend to get the sense that the ones who no longer log DNFs are the ones who themselves don't like getting the nudge email, so project that annoyance for all other COs - proactively looking out for them by not 'damaging' their listings with DNFs. I'd bet that most COs actually either don't pay attention to those emails or don't even consider anything bad'll happen by ignoring them (in the cases of where maintenance isn't needed). Almost like the log-no-DNFers are an activist group :) Really, it's no big deal - keep logging the DNFs, honestly, relevantly, and normally. The system is built on reacting to how people use the website features the way they were intended, and is regularly tweaked based on reported feedback about how it's doing.  Don't let the system get you down :P

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I log DNF's as usual and encourage others to do that as well, including on my caches. I even noticed that amount of posted DNF's in my area has been rising recently.

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I love DNF's ? as a C.O
and I'm not shy to log a DNF , as an honest cacher who can't find what I'm looking for .

as a cacher , it may be missing , my DNF log will hopefully sent an alert to the C.O , it might just me having a bad day , or the C.O is a good hider , as If I can't find it how's a muggle going to find it 

so as a C.O why do I like DNF's 

as above , 

have I hiden the cache so It wont get muggled ,
do I need to take a look at my cache's , is there a problem with it ,

Edited by little-leggs
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14 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

How many COs in your area have received the robot email message to check their cache? Or is this local reaction more of a pre-emptive strike?

From what I can tell in my area, people seem to be continuing along as normal--many still log DNFs; I'm not seeing notes replacing DNFs. I expect many do what has always been done, not log anything if they don't find the cache.

Many still log a find on a lid, a scrap of camo tape, or a ziptie, instead of a DNF.  And some who prefer not to log a DNF, leave a throwdown pill bottle and log a find.

I always find these threads about CHS amusing. People worried about how the CHS affects them or that they might receive the dreaded nag email. Even the most diligent CO can make a mistake and receive the email. It's not a biggie unless you're a lazy CO that hates receiving automated geocaching dot com emails.:P

It's very rare that i check on a cache because of a single DNF. If an automated email did come in, then i'd check to see if there was anything going on with the cache. It wouldn't matter if i found a problem or not, i'd  be sure to post an OM log stating that the cache was good to go,

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10 hours ago, Pontiac_CZ said:

I log DNF's as usual and encourage others to do that as well, including on my caches.

Same here, as a CO I like the tools. I encourage others to log DNFs and NMs on my caches. It helps me maintain my caches in good order. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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12 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

I always find these threads about CHS amusing. People worried about how the CHS affects them or that they might receive the dreaded nag email. Even the most diligent CO can make a mistake and receive the email. It's not a biggie unless you're a lazy CO that hates receiving automated geocaching dot com emails.:P

It's very rare that i check on a cache because of a single DNF. If an automated email did come in, then i'd check to see if there was anything going on with the cache. It wouldn't matter if i found a problem or not, i'd  be sure to post an OM log stating that the cache was good to go,

Are you saying the email is always the result of a mistake by the CO? In that case, I guess the mistake I made on my D2/T5 multi that got pinged for a single DNF was to have hidden it in the first place. And am I a lazy CO because I wasn't willing to immediately dash out in my little kayak onto a waterway full of holiday-makers in their jet skis and speed boats? That's a cache I prefer to check on outside holiday times and on a weekday with favourable tides and little wind, when it's a pleasant paddle, but the CHS didn't give me that option. It fired off just a couple of days after the DNF with instructions to fix it immediately, disable it until I could (which the DNFer didn't want me to do because she wanted to have another go at it - her DNF was about muggles interrupting her search) or archive it. None of those was appealing at the time, nor was I comfortable about logging an armchair OM implying I'd checked on it when I hadn't. Then the DNFer went back a week later and found it anyway. Why couldn't the CHS have at least held off long enough for her to do that? Why the rush? When someone logs an NA the CO has a month to respond, but for a DNF we're expected to go out, "fix" the cache and log an OM straight away. I don't get it.

Not all caches are easy to find or easy for the CO to check on, yet the CHS assumes they are. Most of the false positives reported in the forums have been higher D/T caches with just a small number of DNFs and no NMs or NAs. Those caches typically get insufficient finds for any DNF-to-find ratio to be statistically significant, even if such statistics were ever really relevant to an individual cache.

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On 5/2/2018 at 9:43 PM, barefootjeff said:

Are you saying the email is always the result of a mistake by the CO? In that case, I guess the mistake I made on my D2/T5 multi that got pinged for a single DNF was to have hidden it in the first place. And am I a lazy CO because I wasn't willing to immediately dash out in my little kayak onto a waterway full of holiday-makers in their jet skis and speed boats? That's a cache I prefer to check on outside holiday times and on a weekday with favourable tides and little wind, when it's a pleasant paddle, but the CHS didn't give me that option. It fired off just a couple of days after the DNF with instructions to fix it immediately, disable it until I could (which the DNFer didn't want me to do because she wanted to have another go at it - her DNF was about muggles interrupting her search) or archive it. None of those was appealing at the time, nor was I comfortable about logging an armchair OM implying I'd checked on it when I hadn't. Then the DNFer went back a week later and found it anyway. Why couldn't the CHS have at least held off long enough for her to do that? Why the rush? When someone logs an NA the CO has a month to respond, but for a DNF we're expected to go out, "fix" the cache and log an OM straight away. I don't get it.

Not all caches are easy to find or easy for the CO to check on, yet the CHS assumes they are. Most of the false positives reported in the forums have been higher D/T caches with just a small number of DNFs and no NMs or NAs. Those caches typically get insufficient finds for any DNF-to-find ratio to be statistically significant, even if such statistics were ever really relevant to an individual cache.

That's not what i said at all. I just meant that any cache can get pinged under the right circumstances.

I received one of the emails a while back on one of our caches. I figure it was sent because of 2 DNFs that came in that i didn't look into. After reading all the concerns and gripes on here, i guess i was supposed to have been angry that i received it, but it was obvious after reading, that it wasn't sent to cause me any angst. Below is the exact wording of the email.
 

Hello Mudfrog,

Your geocache, Olive (GC227GM), looks like it might need some attention. The recent logs may contain more details about what sort of maintenance needs to be performed. This could be anything from a new logbook to replacing a missing container. Here are a few options for what to do now:

    Maintenance: Visit your geocache, make any needed repairs, and post an “Owner Maintenance” log so the community knows it’s available to find.
    Disable: If you cannot check on your geocache within a reasonable amount of time, please disable your geocache listing. Once you perform maintenance, you can enable it and post an “Owner Maintenance” log.
    Archive: If you decide it is time for your geocache to be permanently retired, please archive the listing and retrieve all physical stages.

For tips about how to perform maintenance and to learn why Geocaching HQ sends occasional geocache maintenance reminders, please see this Help Center article.

Thanks,
Geocaching HQ 

I've read over it a few times and for the life of me, cannot see anywhere in it, a demand for me to go check on my cache asap. I really don't understand why the CHS and its automated email causes so much concern.

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1 hour ago, Mudfrog said:

I've read over it a few times and for the life of me, cannot see anywhere in it, a demand for me to go check on my cache asap. I really don't understand why the CHS and its automated email causes so much concern.

The email lists three options, either go fix the cache and log an OM, disable it until you can, or archive it. Sure, it doesn't say you have to do one of those three things, but the implication is that in an official email from HQ, it's what they'd like you to do. That's fine if doing one of those three is easy, but what if it's not? There's a thinly veiled threat in the Help Centre page that says further action might be taken if the email's ignored and cache's health score doesn't improve. I tried contacting the Help Desk for guidance but their reply just said that the CHS has been well received by the community and it's a CO's responsibility to maintain their caches. By then I knew the cache wasn't missing as the person who'd logged the DNF had gone back and found it, sending me photos of the cache and logbook as proof, so what I wanted to do was report a pretty blatant false positive and clear whatever black mark the system had put against my cache or me. Nup, you can't do that.

Now it appears from the more recent reports that the CHS, once it's decided from the DNF log or logs that the cache is missing, doesn't even accept a subsequent find as evidence that it isn't. At a meet-the-reviewers session at a recent mega, we were told that, in a situation like this, we need to log an OM to clear the slate, even if the cache is still there and is being found.

Edit to add: Of course, logging that OM tells the CHS that it got it right - the cache really did need maintenance and the CO has responded to the email by fixing it. Look ma, the system is working perfectly and there are no false positives.

Edited by barefootjeff
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14 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

There's a thinly veiled threat in the Help Centre page that says further action might be taken if the email's ignored and cache's health score doesn't improve.

Right, a human reviewer gets to judge the situation. That's a good thing. If there's nothing wrong, what do you have to worry about? If there is a concern, then a reviewer would take action if action should be taken. So, good outcome all around, assuming a trustworthy and capable reviewer. ie, if the reviewer can't be convinced that it's too hard to maintain in the short term and a reasonable maintenance plan is in place if indeed it looks like it does need maintenance, then action taken. If the reviewer agrees that maintenance is not needed, no action taken.  Human element. Everyone seems to forget that. Nothing happens until then.

 

14 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Of course, logging that OM tells the CHS that it got it right

Nope, only if HQ has programmed it to "learn" in the manner that a followup OM strengthens / adds more weight to the previous algorithm. I find it HIGHLY suspect that HQ would assume that every OM posted means that the cache DID in fact need maintenance, so I take issue with your assumption.

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:
16 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Of course, logging that OM tells the CHS that it got it right

Nope, only if HQ has programmed it to "learn" in the manner that a followup OM strengthens / adds more weight to the previous algorithm. I find it HIGHLY suspect that HQ would assume that every OM posted means that the cache DID in fact need maintenance, so I take issue with your assumption.

 

So how DO you tell the CHS that it got it wrong? The help desk doesn't want to know about false positives, they just tell you to maintain your caches properly. The reviewers just say to log an OM to clear it.

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Quote

The email lists three options, either go fix the cache and log an OM, disable it until you can, or archive it. Sure, it doesn't say you have to do one of those three things, but the implication is that in an official email from HQ, it's what they'd like you to do. That's fine if doing one of those three is easy, but what if it's not?

 

Well, for me it's very easy to just disable the thing if i believe there is a problem. Disabling gives me plenty of time to come up with a plan. Of course if i don't think there is a problem with the cache, then i leave it be. More than likely, someone will come along later and find. If that doesn't happen within a week or two, then i'll move to step 2, making plans to go out and check on the cache.

 

Like yours, some of our caches take some effort and time to get to. Checking on one of those isn't straightforward and requires some planning.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

So how DO you tell the CHS that it got it wrong? The help desk doesn't want to know about false positives, they just tell you to maintain your caches properly. The reviewers just say to log an OM to clear it.

 

I guess i'm missing something. What's the penalty for having a low CHS? Or, what are the drawbacks? If your CHS ends up being low, are you punished in some fashion? Are you not allowed to hide anymore caches until you get your CHS back up on your existing caches? Do we actually get to see our CHS score?

 

Yes, because of my pride, i try my darndest to maintain my caches the best i can. I certainly don't do it because of the CHS system that Groundspeak has put into place.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

So how DO you tell the CHS that it got it wrong? The help desk doesn't want to know about false positives, they just tell you to maintain your caches properly. The reviewers just say to log an OM to clear it.

With all due respect, is it really as big a problem as you think it is? Didn't you only get a single one of these messages something like a year ago? I haven't heard of any false positives from the locals around here. For all we know, HQ has made numerous tweaks to the algorithm to avoid false positives like the one you got.

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3 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

 

I guess i'm missing something. What's the penalty for having a low CHS? Or, what are the drawbacks? If your CHS ends up being low, are you punished in some fashion? Are you not allowed to hide anymore caches until you get your CHS back up on your existing caches? Do we actually get to see our CHS score?

Some people have theorized that the CHS was a factor in determining who got the Virtual Rewards, but that can be nothing more than a guess because we can't see the CHS and don't know how that all worked. Otherwise, I'm not aware of any impact beyond the automated notices and the ability of reviewers to view the CHS to assist in determining how to act on caches with potential maintenance issues.

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2 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

With all due respect, is it really as big a problem as you think it is? Didn't you only get a single one of these messages something like a year ago? I haven't heard of any false positives from the locals around here. For all we know, HQ has made numerous tweaks to the algorithm to avoid false positives like the one you got.

 

There have been numerous false positives reported on the forums since then, and given that the CHS is still pinging caches solely on just a small number of DNFs (with no NMs or NAs) then it'll always be a problem until you can convince the caching community to only log a DNF if they're pretty sure the cache is missing. We keep getting told that the algorithm is being constantly tweaked in response to false positives, yet there is no way for a CO to report a false positive. How does that work? In any case, given the low probability that a DNF actually means a cache is missing, such tweaking would probably end up just chasing its tail, closing each gate after the horse has bolted only to open another gate for the next horse.

 

As for the consequences of a low CHS, we aleady know that it was used in the Virtual Rewards algorithm and I'd be surprised if it isn't used in other things, given the effort that went into creating it.

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6 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

Some people have theorized that the CHS was a factor in determining who got the Virtual Rewards, but that can be nothing more than a guess because we can't see the CHS and don't know how that all worked. Otherwise, I'm not aware of any impact beyond the automated notices and the ability of reviewers to view the CHS to assist in determining how to act on caches with potential maintenance issues.

No, that's not a theory, it was stated in the Virtual Rewards announcement that the CHS was used as part of the selection process.

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31 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

No, that's not a theory, it was stated in the Virtual Rewards announcement that the CHS was used as part of the selection process.

 

One could infer that it was possibly used, but it was not stated explicitly.

 

Quote

Can you describe the algorithm?

We are not sharing the algorithm. But we can say it factors in geocaching activity, geocache quality, and geocache health. The algorithm heavily favors cache quality over quantity.

 

For all we know, they could have used a heavily-modified form of the CHS for the "geocache health" Virtual Reward algorithm. We, as the general public, have no way of knowing.

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18 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I tried contacting the Help Desk for guidance but their reply just said that the CHS has been well received by the community and it's a CO's responsibility to maintain their caches.

Based on the wording here, it isn't clear whether you were reporting a false positive or were asking about something else. Can you confirm that you've reported a false positive and have received a response similar to "well, just maintain your cache"? If that's the case, then I'd love to hear from any Lackeys that may be reading this to find out if reporting of false positives is desired and how that should be done.

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9 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

One could infer that it was possibly used, but it was not stated explicitly

 

Yes it was. To quote from the announcement in the blog,

Quote

Starting today, approximately 4,000 geocachers in 63 countries around the world will receive emails with information about their Virtual Reward. This group is made up largely of top quality cache hiders from countries with at least 100 hiders. We created an algorithm to identify these people based on overall cache quality and cache health. Active community volunteers are also receiving a Virtual Reward as a thank you for giving their time and talent to support the geocaching community.

 

The "cache health" reference is a link to the CHS page in the Help Centre. It couldn't really be any more explicit than that.

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9 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

Based on the wording here, it isn't clear whether you were reporting a false positive or were asking about something else. Can you confirm that you've reported a false positive and have received a response similar to "well, just maintain your cache"? If that's the case, then I'd love to hear from any Lackeys that may be reading this to find out if reporting of false positives is desired and how that should be done.

 

I don't have a copy of the exact wording in my submission to the Help Desk, but I explained that it was a brand new D2/T5 multi, only 7 weeks old, with one found log followed by one DNF two days ago, and was astounded that I'd received the email. After exchanging photos with the person logging the DNF, it was clear she was looking in the wrong place, having been put off by muggles setting up camp at GZ. She has asked me not to disable it as she wants to go back and try again. Given that it's a T5 and not easy for me to access, particularly in the midst of the summer holidays, what should I do? This was their response:

 

Quote

Thank you for maintaining your cache and being a responsible cache owner. 

 

We send automatic emails to geocache owners when it appears that a geocache needs maintenance. The emails may result from any combination of logs, including Did Not Find (DNF's), Needs Maintenance (NM), Needs Archived (NA) or caches that have not been found in a long time. In your case, I would not be concerned with any action taken against your cache. 

 

These emails have been generally well received by the community, since they alert cache owners that action may be needed. When hiding a cache, a geocacher must agree to the guidelines including "Owner is responsible for visits to the physical location."

 

Thank you and happy geocaching,
Geocaching HQ

 

Perhaps I'm misreading it, but my take on it was that, while in the circumstances I described the reviewer looking at it as a result of the CHS flag probably wouldn't disable or archive it, I was still obliged to go and visit the cache.

 

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20 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I don't have a copy of the exact wording in my submission to the Help Desk, but I explained that it was a brand new D2/T5 multi, only 7 weeks old, with one found log followed by one DNF two days ago, and was astounded that I'd received the email. After exchanging photos with the person logging the DNF, it was clear she was looking in the wrong place, having been put off by muggles setting up camp at GZ. She has asked me not to disable it as she wants to go back and try again. Given that it's a T5 and not easy for me to access, particularly in the midst of the summer holidays, what should I do? This was their response:

 

 

Perhaps I'm misreading it, but my take on it was that, while in the circumstances I described the reviewer looking at it as a result of the CHS flag probably wouldn't disable or archive it, I was still obliged to go and visit the cache.

 

 

The information you have from the DNFer would make it easy for me. I'd post an OM log and be done with it. If another DNF does happen to come in, then disable and check when you can.

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7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The help desk doesn't want to know about false positives, they just tell you to maintain your caches properly.

Two statements here.

A] They tell you to maintain your caches properly (this is true)

B] The help desk doesn't want to know about false positives (who told you this? Or are you assuming this?)

 

Information sent to them is now information received. They have no obligation to respond and tell you that your input was valuable and implemented. Again it comes back to reducing the chance of the algorithm being 'gamed'. On the other hand, we've had feedback saying that the CHS is adjusted based on feedback.

 

So. Send feedback. Know that it's received, that it may or may not be used. But "doesn't want to know"? Certainly not, no evidence for that at all.

 

6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

...given that the CHS is still pinging caches solely on just a small number of DNFs (with no NMs or NAs)...

 

...plus any other number of potential issues that may have been flagged that we aren't privy to...

 

4 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

The information you have from the DNFer would make it easy for me. I'd post an OM log and be done with it. If another DNF does happen to come in, then disable and check when you can.

 

Yep. OM log: "Explanation for the DNF has been reviewed, and with no reason to believe there is an issue with the cache, cache on!"

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7 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

 

The information you have from the DNFer would make it easy for me. I'd post an OM log and be done with it. If another DNF does happen to come in, then disable and check when you can.

 

For me, an OM log means I've performed maintenance. Logging one without doing anything at all just to pacify a stupid algorithm that thinks one DNF on a 7-week-old cache means it's missing or abandoned doesn't sit comfortably. Anyway, at the time they didn't tell me to log an NM, instead they said that I had an obligation to visit the cache.

 

I would dearly love to know why, out of all the caches out there with long strings of DNFs and long-outstanding NMs going back years, it picked out this cache, a new D2/T5 multi with just one DNF, as needing special attention, and why it is continuing to do so on caches with just one or two DNFs and no other history of trouble.

Edited by barefootjeff

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5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

For me, an OM log means I've performed maintenance. Logging one without doing anything at all just to pacify a stupid algorithm that thinks one DNF on a 7-week-old cache means it's missing or abandoned doesn't sit comfortably. Anyway, at the time they didn't tell me to log an NM, instead they said that I had an obligation to visit the cache.

 

I would dearly love to know why, out of all the caches out there with long strings of DNFs and long-outstanding NMs going back years, it picked out this cache, a new D2/T5 multi with just one DNF, as needing special attention, and why it is continuing to do so on caches with just one or two DNFs and no other history of trouble.

 

I understand where you're coming from for sure. Owner maintenance is important and not something to take lightly. But there are a few cases such as yours, where there is plenty of evidence to show everything is ok with the cache. This would be an instance where i feel an OM log is fine without a visit to the cache site.

 

I agree, i haven't figured out the rhyme or reason for how the algorithm works. The nearest cache from me has three DNFs in a row, from three separate people at three different times. The last one came in just about a year ago. The last logged find was back in 2016. No maintenance and no log from the owner. Seems strange that this cache listing sits and goes on but at the same time, the algorithm picked up on my cache last year with just the two DNFs.

 

 

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7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 Anyway, at the time they didn't tell me to log an OM, instead they said that I had an obligation to visit the cache.

I don't read their message that way. It's boilerplate except for the part I highlight here:

Quote

Thank you for maintaining your cache and being a responsible cache owner. 

 

We send automatic emails to geocache owners when it appears that a geocache needs maintenance. The emails may result from any combination of logs, including Did Not Find (DNF's), Needs Maintenance (NM), Needs Archived (NA) or caches that have not been found in a long time. In your case, I would not be concerned with any action taken against your cache. 

 

These emails have been generally well received by the community, since they alert cache owners that action may be needed. When hiding a cache, a geocacher must agree to the guidelines including "Owner is responsible for visits to the physical location."

 

Thank you and happy geocaching,
Geocaching HQ

 

Yes, the part you highlighted ("owner is responsible for visits to the physical location") is true, but it's boilerplate. It doesn't say that in your particular case it is an obligation. It doesn't say "Owner is responsible to visit the location every time they get a nag email/DNF/NM".

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2 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

I understand where you're coming from for sure. Owner maintenance is important and not something to take lightly. But there are a few cases such as yours, where there is plenty of evidence to show everything is ok with the cache. This would be an instance where i feel an OM log is fine without a visit to the cache site.

I agree with this. The way I think of it, there are cases like this one where posting an OM is itself an act of maintenance. If someone posts an NM saying "I could not find the cache in the stump, so it needs maintenance," posting an OM that says, "the cache is not hidden in the stump" is perfectly reasonable and there's no earthly reason the CO should feel they have to walk to GZ and see that the cache is still where it should be and isn't in the stump before they file the OM log.

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Yep, I see the OM log as an indication that the owner has reviewed the state of the cache and telling the owlrd "good to go". It's not "owner has fixed the cache container". It's just "owner [has performed] maintenance". That means if there's a string of DNFs and I'm confident that there's still no issue, I wouldn't have a problem posting an OM assuaging any concern from people who might look at the cache and think there's a problem, because I've reviewed the cache status.  Ideally I'd go and look at the cache to confirm, but if we're referring to the situation where it's clearly obvious to the CO that the cache IS fine because the DNFers don't know enough to find it, then an OM saying "It's all good" is within the realm of what I believe to be its reasonable use cases.  A note is something anyone can post, so a note from the CO could get missed. An OM stands out.

 

I don't know how many times I've looked at a cache listing with loads of DNFs, but even only seen an OM log as the most recent one and felt that the cache was good to go. Wouldn't be the same it were just a note. The OM log itself is an encouragement that the cache is GTG.

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On ‎5‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 4:28 PM, barefootjeff said:

Yes it was. To quote from the announcement in the blog,

 

The "cache health" reference is a link to the CHS page in the Help Centre. It couldn't really be any more explicit than that.

I stand corrected. I missed the mention in the middle of the paragraph.

 

In that case, it's unfortunate that they explicitly stated that. This will inevitably lead to people "gaming" the system in an attempt to keep their CHS unnaturally-high in the hopes of receiving some possible future award.

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