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Yet Another Suggestion

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I was thinking the other day that it would be great to be able to search for caches based on the number of people watching it. Some of the best caches that I have seen were not necessarily high in difficulty, but they did seem to have a lot of people watching them. Any time I find a cache particularily impressive, I always add a watch to see what other cachers reactions were. It is a kinda a passive voting system of sorts, the more people that like the cache, the higher the number of watchers. I think it would be a great way to find some of the better caches in an area that you are unfamiliar with. I would probably drive 100 miles for a cache that had 20 people watching it!


Just a thought


Mr Smiley :)

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That's certainly a unique request! We have explored the idea of ratings, we just haven't figured out what the right way to do it is yet.

I'm endorsing the request - so it's no longer unique now :-)


This is much better than devising rating systems. A cache might be of interest temporarily because of a particular trade item, or because it's a part of a bigger hunt or an event. When seaching according to rating, you rely on some sort of decision by raters, via unclear and unequal criteria. The number of watchers does not have any of these problems. Popularity, even temporary, is indicated in real ' live' numbers indicating the degree of interest.

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Then you have guys like me, who dumps every cache that I have found or failed to find into his Watch List. I don't use it as a rating system at all, I simply like to follow them and see what happens after I've been there. Ot, to see if someone else finds one that I haven't been able to yet.


It's also been useful for me to help check up on local caches that I've found in the past. If one starts getting a bunch of no finds posted to it and the hider hasn't been active lately, then I might check it out. I've archived a couple that way that turned up missing.


But the Watch list as a rating system? That's not what I use it for. :lol:

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Ditto to Mr. Duck. I've probably got 600 caches on my watch list. And I read almost every [LOG] that pops into my mailbox.


Not that I disagree that this is a good way to gauge the interest level in a cache. But you could safely say that for any cache in my area that has "1 account(s) watching this cache", that 1 account(s) is me.

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I am not saying that this is a perfect rating system. I actually wasn't suggesting it as a rating system, more as just an indicator. There are several reasons that people add watches to a cache. I have some set because a cache is inactive or missing, and I want to know when it comes back online. I have some set because, I am having trouble finding a cache, and want to know when someone else finds it. I have others that are because I liked the cache and want to see what other people thought about it. But I think as the number of watches increase, the likelyhood that the cache is worth looking at increases.

I also don't think that this is an exact indicator. I think of it more in ranges. Like 1-5 is normal, 6 -10 is worth looking at, 11 - 15 is worth the drive, and 16+ is worth getting on a plane for. Something like that. But like I said, I only think of this as an indicator, and a way to separate a few caches out of hundreds. Once you find the ones with a high watch number, you then would look at each one individually.


:lol: Mr Smiley

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A problem I see with this (I’m sure this isn’t the only) is that someone could have say 21 email accounts and create 21 GC.com sockpuppet watchers.


It would be a short time before the skewing would make the search useless.

Edited by Harrald
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I think it's certainly a good question to ask - "What are the most watched caches in this area?"


I usually watch only caches I haven't found, so clearly I don't think this is a good way to do a popularity or recommendation ratings (although searching for the most watched cache is still a valid question, it's just that the answer is not the same as what is the most popular cache, or what is the cache gc.com thinks I would most like in this area).


Off-topic, there are a lot of systems out there which could work for popularity measures or recommendations.


There's the Zagat style rating system?: Food, Decor, Service. You rate each on a scale from 0 to 3. The final restaurant rating is on a scale of 0 to 30 and I believe is the average of all three, but you can get top lists just based on food, etc. Cache categories could be some of things like: Fun, Difficulty, Originality, Location, View, etc. For a Zagat-style rating, I doubt you'd want to include difficulty in the factor that make a cache the "top cache", since people may not want that to factor into what they like about caches.


A Netflix-style recommendation system would also be a possibility, where you simply give a single rating to the cache. Then a correlation is done to show caches with high ratings by people who liked the same caches as you. Interesting in a different way. Because caches are geographically separate, this may not be useful, because when planning a trip, it would only be able to recommend caches which people who had hit the same caches as you also liked - but that's only able to pull from the people who have hit the same caches as you have and have hit caches in the area you are planning to visit. And then there's a decision whether to descend the recommendation tree (how many?) levels to gather a bigger population.

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I like the idea. Even if people add all their visited caches to their watch list, it wouldn't pad the numbers too much. The caches that have 10+ watchers would easily float to the top.


My only thing is I wish I had a way to disable being Emailed each time a cache on my watch list is hit. I would prefer a weekly or daily digest.

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