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Favorite Cache System

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I think a simple box that says "Would you recommend this cache to others?  Y/N" on the log your cache page would work. Then the page could say something like:

 

"14 of 17 finders recommend this cache"

Workable idea but I'm a little leery that too many caches would be recommended.

I suggested that you could only recommend 50% of the caches you've found. This would mean, basically, the 50% you recommended would be roughly above average as you see it.

 

This was part of a tiered scheme. The next tier would be 10% and then 1%.

 

You could statistically ask for only those caches that have a 50% or better recommended rate and weed out a great many of the lackluster caches. Because you have to conserve your recommendations you'd not likely recommend a cache you didn't like. If fewer than half the finder recommend the cache then you can pretty much guess it's a less than great cache even if some folks gave out recommendations willy-nilly.

 

The reason for the restriction of only being able to recommend 50% is so you'd have an excuse if someone asks why you didn't recommend their cache. "I was out of recommendations." Hey, plausible deniability works.

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If someone has only found 10 caches, they really should not be recommending any yet. After they have found 50-100 I think they'll have a better apprecation for what is truly a "wow-type" cache!

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I think a simple box that says "Would you recommend this cache to others? Y/N" on the log your cache page would work. Then the page could say something like:

 

"14 of 17 finders recommend this cache"

Being completely against a rating system, I could get behind this idea.

 

I could recommend 99.9% of caches too, but I wouldn’t give them all a stamp of approval.

 

It has my vote.

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I think a simple box that says "Would you recommend this cache to others?  Y/N" on the log your cache page would work.

Yep, sorry brian, but I gotta concur w/ TG et al - a seemingly super simple notion, but one that would undoubtedly lead only to mediocrity. i.e. there'd likely be a strong tendancy to punch the Y (recommend) for most any cache (I know I would). An "N" would likely be elicited rarely, and then only for a seriously bad cache.

 

As MM says, we're looking for valedictorian caches here - the creme de la creme.

 

I like the train of thought that leans towards those caches that would appear tops on several/many folks' "Favorites" list.

 

Much like Moun10bike's list HERE - based on 5% of all his finds, and further highlighted with the top 1%. 'Course in his case, 5% is quite a few. For far more humble folks like me - my 5% is but a handful: GG's Humble Handful of Favorites

 

Btw TG - the above link is linked to my profile page - as you suggested, we're already able to display such on our profile page. BUT that's not what I would recommend. g-knows I don't want to have to click on individual profiles to glean the most highly aclaimed caches in a given locale. Nopers, what we need is such incorporated into the central cache listing system. Which neatly segues me to...

 

Markwell's supremely fabulous blue ribbon icon system. Yes, yes, yes indeed. This could not only be a great help to folks looking for the creme de le creme, but... the incentive of getting such a kewl icon next to one's cache would very likely lead to ever more high quality, clever, fun caches!

 

Seriously. This could have dual HUGE benefits.

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Markwell's supremely fabulous blue ribbon icon system. Yes, yes, yes indeed. This could not only be a great help to folks looking for the creme de le creme, but... the incentive of getting such a kewl icon next to one's cache would very likely lead to ever more high quality, clever, fun caches!

 

Seriously. This could have dual HUGE benefits.

You said it in a nutshell and I couldn't agree more! :(

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I think a simple box that says "Would you recommend this cache to others?  Y/N" on the log your cache page would work. Then the page could say something like:

 

"14 of 17 finders recommend this cache"

Being completely against a rating system, I could get behind this idea.

 

I could recommend 99.9% of caches too, but I wouldn’t give them all a stamp of approval.

 

It has my vote.

Hmmm... not sure what you mean here. First you say you're completely against any kind of a rating system. Then you say - on one hand you'd "...recommend 99.9% of caches", yet on the other "wouldn't give them all a stamp of approval." I'm confused. Not sure whatcha mean, and thus - perhaps a good example of the potential pitfalls of a Y/N system.

 

Point is, just seems to me that most folks - when faced w/ a Y/N choice, would favor punching the Y recommend button for all but a most problematic cache. It's human nature to give folks the benefit of the doubt. To punch N, not recommend is a far more serious decision. Thus... such a system would inevitably lead to worthless data.

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...and something like this could be on the search results

7c1cb782-3cc0-4b32-9c7c-4910455c5819.jpg

I like it! I also agree that it may be an incentive for some folks to be a little more creative with their cache placements. RM

 

Edit: Removed the zipcode comment as it really doesn't apply to this system.

Edited by Rocket Man

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1d5a93b3-4698-4400-8c7c-9222a63d56c0.jpg

 

...and something like this could be on the search results

7c1cb782-3cc0-4b32-9c7c-4910455c5819.jpg

 

 

Purty!!!! Any cacher would be proud to have that appear on thier cache page!

 

 

WRONG

Edited by Byron & Anne

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Purty!!!! Any cacher would be proud to have that appear on thier cache page!

 

 

WRONG

Hmmm... why do I feel like I've been flamed?

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Hmmm... why do I feel like I've been flamed?

Opinions are like _____s, everybody's got one and some of them really stink! :P

 

Edit: I WAS JOKING!

Edited by TrailGators

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      WRONG

All opinions are welcome here but... B & A - we get the idea that perhaps you're not in favor of some of the notions being discussed here, but 5 letters of colorful input really doesn't add much enlightenment to the discussion.

 

Please do feel free to join in with your views in a more expansive manner, with your own pros, cons, support, non-support, and/or any unique new idea you might have on the subject.

 

Otherwise, you risk being ignored as simply a toddler having a bad day.

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How very interesting, that the same person who was so quick to protest when others said "this has been discussed before" now feels that it's OK to insult others' legitimately held opinions with that worn-out forum favorite statement.

 

To contribute some substance to the discussion: Here are Jeremy's latest thoughts on this issue, from a couple months ago. The search function is a powerful tool.

 

To contribute an opinion to the discussion: I continue to believe that the best rating system for a cache is called a "log entry." The good caches get the longer, glowing log entries. I've never had trouble finding them.

 

That being said, if you click on the link to my profile you will see how I've collected a list of my *personal* favorite caches. I like that idea, too. I am unsure, however, about aggregating these ratings into a sitewide scoring system.

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How very interesting, that the same person who was so quick to protest when others said "this has been discussed before" now feels that it's OK to insult others' legitimately held opinions with that worn-out forum favorite statement.

I was joking! Did you notice the smiley face?

 

Anyhow, even though there is some truth in that adage, if it offended anyone, I take it back!

Edited by TrailGators

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To contribute an opinion to the discussion: I continue to believe that the best rating system for a cache is called a "log entry." The good caches get the longer, glowing log entries. I've never had trouble finding them.

Let's do a little test (it's the engineer in me talking now). Do a search on caches in postal code 92127, and use your log method to tell me which caches you would visit if you were in the area and had a free afternoon! I happen to know some of the local favorites so it will be interesting to: 1) see what you find; and 2) see how long it takes you to do it!

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To contribute an opinion to the discussion:  I continue to believe that the best rating system for a cache is called a "log entry."  The good caches get the longer, glowing log entries.  I've never had trouble finding them.

Let's do a little test (it's the engineer in me talking now). Do a search on caches in postal code 92127, and use your log method to tell me which caches you would visit if you were in the area and had a free afternoon! I happen to know some of the local favorites so it will be interesting to: 1) see what you find; and 2) see how long it takes you to do it!

Sounds like a fair test! Are you up to it?

 

And just think.. you would be shareing your favorites list with other folks, all nice and compiled that makes it easier for us to find YOUR list. It would save all these people a lot of time and effort since none of knows who has the "best" top ten in a city we will be visiting 3 states away.

 

Yes, I like logs entries. They are the best way to determine if you are going to that cache, or the one on the other side of town. I just need a way to pick out those caches from the other 498 in the area.

 

P.S. Happy Birthday!

Edited by Moose Mob

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To contribute an opinion to the discussion:  I continue to believe that the best rating system for a cache is called a "log entry."  The good caches get the longer, glowing log entries.  I've never had trouble finding them.

Let's do a little test (it's the engineer in me talking now). Do a search on caches in postal code 92127, and use your log method to tell me which caches you would visit if you were in the area and had a free afternoon! I happen to know some of the local favorites so it will be interesting to: 1) see what you find; and 2) see how long it takes you to do it!

Yes, take the test!

 

Although I enjoy reading log entries, when I'm traveling I would find the "favorite caches" to be a much more practical tool for caching. No cache owner should feel insulted, only motivated to create caches that might end up on someone's list.

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Only one comment

Which is.......?

 

Unless you mean your quote. If you mean that, I never claimed that this idea was solely mine. In fact, if you read all the logs, many people have had and wished for this idea! Here is a quote that better reflects this rejuvenated topic:

 

"Great minds think alike!" <_<

Edited by TrailGators

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Only one comment

If there is an assumption that this was being claimed as a "new idea", then perhaps a bit of review is in order. I see this as several people reiteratting what has been said before. I am sure it will be said again and again until such point as either it is done or a reason it will not be.

 

Many of the discussions on the "Geocaching.com Web SIte" area have been discussed many times in the past. It's a good way to bring folks up to speed, and perhaps a new perspective or two.

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Maybe one of these guys can dig through all the past logs to find out who first thought of this idea. Then we can give them credit for being the first person to enter the idea in the forum! After we do this, then all those people that keep bringing this up will feel so much better, and then we can move on to discussing the topic. <_<

Edited by TrailGators

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To contribute an opinion to the discussion:  I continue to believe that the best rating system for a cache is called a "log entry."  The good caches get the longer, glowing log entries.  I've never had trouble finding them.

Let's do a little test (it's the engineer in me talking now). Do a search on caches in postal code 92127, and use your log method to tell me which caches you would visit if you were in the area and had a free afternoon! I happen to know some of the local favorites so it will be interesting to: 1) see what you find; and 2) see how long it takes you to do it!

Yes, take the test!

 

Although I enjoy reading log entries, when I'm traveling I would find the "favorite caches" to be a much more practical tool for caching. No cache owner should feel insulted, only motivated to create caches that might end up on someone's list.

OK. back to the matter at hand. We are still waiting for the test results!

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My WRONG response was to the statement that "Any Cacher would be proud" thing. I would not want that or any other rating on any of my cache pages. It appears that there's a generation that wants everything they do to be some sort of contest. Many of us have outgrown that stage of life, if we were ever there. I would guess that same group also wants to be the judge.

 

Then you'd get the group that only goes after those with a pretty icon next to the cache listing.

 

I don't have a problem with listing your favorite caches in forums or your web page, as long as it's understood that it's your opinion not some apparent official opinion.

 

An official appearing opinion would be a very negative thing. The poor cacher that never gets the nice looking icon is bound to feel insulted.

 

As for the person that attempted to refer to me as a toddler, well, I was going to say something. But I'll consider the source and let it pass.

 

Byron

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We haven't had one so far because most rating systems online are crap. Most of them average scores (bad) or can be easily circumvented (also bad). For example, Bob doesn't like Sally so rates a cache 0 while everyone rates it a 5, but the average is diminished. Or Bob rates his own cache and Sally helps him give it a high score. Statistical averages are preferred but still faulty if you don't have a large enough sample to work from. So you'd have to supply ratings after, say, 10 users rate a cache. And most caches aren't found *that* often enough to warrant this kind of rating.

 

Markwell's suggestion is the most attractive kind of rating system. You still may have to worry about users upping their find count in order to have as many ratings as they can. I know of some sites that allow you to rate the rater which builds or reduces their ability to score. But now it starts to get complicated.

 

A non-rating system but something I like (and have been developing) is the ability to create lists, like "todo list" and "favorite cache" list. There will be an option to publish your list which will make it so others can see your list on cache listings that are on people's lists. If you're familiar with how Amazon lists work, this would be similar.

 

The final idea was my old post that referenced how Slashdot moderates their commentary on articles. Folks can moderate each post with scores like +1 Funny and you can filter out the comments that aren't rated (or rated as Flamebait -1).

 

What I'd hate to do is create a system that would punish harshly folks that place caches, but I would like to see a way to award quality caches through positive reinforcement. As long as we keep it friendly I'm not sure why someone wouldn't want it to happen.

 

Edit: Byron & Anne responded when I was posting the message so I removed the first paragraph asking for a better explanation.

Edited by Jeremy

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An official appearing opinion would be a very negative thing. The poor cacher that never gets the nice looking icon is bound to feel insulted.

There is an apparent demand for a way to filter the wheat from the chaff, so how would you address this need? In my eyes it isn't a particularly competitive reason that raised these questions but a practical one. If there are 1,000 caches in the area and you only have a limited amount of time to go caching, how do you determine whether a cache is a drive-by or a well-placed cache.

 

On the same note, why wouldn't other geocachers want to recognize folks who take a lot more time and energy to make their cache something to remember?

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<snip>

Statistical averages are preferred but still faulty if you don't have a large enough sample to work from. So you'd have to supply ratings after, say, 10 users rate a cache. And most caches aren't found *that* often enough to warrant this kind of rating.

<snip>

When travelling, I will seldom be looking for remote caches. If I will have that kind of time, I will do the time consuming research. What I am hoping this rating system will do is to allow a simple method for identifying those caches that I want to do while on a 1000 mile road trip. If there is a "favorite" cache on that exit, I will likely do others around it as long as I am off the highway.

 

The other use is while in a town, I'll use Las Vegas as an example (since I am most familiar with our local caches)... fairly cache dense, but not as much as others. If a person wants to get away from "The Strip" then where do they go? Jeremy, I know that you went up to/through Red Rocks, but where will you go next time? I think that this will help narrow down which direction to go to. I would give a few examples, but I will keep it challenging. I have no top 10 on my profile. Other cachers in this area do. Other cachers not in this area have some of our local caches on thier top ten. Most have been visited 20-30 times. As far as seldom frequently visited caches, perhaps a way of saying "This cache is on the top ten list of 30% of those who have visited this cache".

 

Markwell's suggestion is the most attractive kind of rating system. You still may have to worry about users upping their find count in order to have as many ratings as they can. I know of some sites that allow you to rate the rater which builds or reduces their ability to score. But now it starts to get complicated.

 

By all means, keep it simple. Of course we know that some people have finds of questionable legitamacy, but how many would do that? and how many would go through all that effort? I know that 1% system abusers can seem pretty obvious. I, too like Markwell's approach. I would start the count at 5 or (as far as how many cachers "favorites list" it is on.

 

A non-rating system but something I like (and have been developing) is the ability to create lists, like "todo list" and "favorite cache" list. There will be an option to publish your list which will make it so others can see your list on cache listings that are on people's lists. If you're familiar with how Amazon lists work, this would be similar.

 

I'm not familiar with Amazon's method, but... how would you consolidate several lists? I was hoping that this would do the compliations for you.

 

What I'd hate to do is create a system that would punish harshly folks that place caches, but I would like to see a way to award quality caches through positive reinforcement. As long as we keep it friendly I'm not sure why someone wouldn't want it to happen.

 

I think we all agree on that. Although there is one cache that I have found that is of poor taste (placed in a pile of cat litter), the remainder should in no way be made to feel inferior.

 

Premium membeship may have a role as far as cutting down on abuse also, but I would also want everyone's opinion, not just those who can/willing afford it

 

IMHO I think the benefits outweigh the risks on this one.

 

Thanks...

 

** takes deep breath and steps off soap box **

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In my eyes it isn't a particularly competitive reason that raised these questions but a practical one. If there are 1,000 caches in the area and you only have a limited amount of time to go caching, how do you determine whether a cache is a drive-by or a well-placed cache.

 

On the same note, why wouldn't other geocachers want to recognize folks who take a lot more time and energy to make their cache something to remember?

Thanks for recognizing the intent here, Jeremy!

 

I'm not a programmer but Markwell's favorites list seems like a relatively simple thing to do. It also seemed like most liked that approach. If only 1-2% of caches are given a gold medal I don't think feelings would be hurt. Mine certainly wouldn't be!

 

I agree with making this a premium option thus making it a another benefit to those who become premium members! It also might draw more people to become premium members, who knows?!

 

The bottom line is that it would be really awesome to have the local favorite caches loaded in my GPSr and my Palm the next time I visit a new part of the country! :D

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Markwell's suggestion is the most attractive kind of rating system. You still may have to worry about users upping their find count in order to have as many ratings as they can. I know of some sites that allow you to rate the rater which builds or reduces their ability to score. But now it starts to get complicated.

 

By all means, keep it simple. Of course we know that some people have finds of questionable legitamacy, but how many would do that? and how many would go through all that effort? I know that 1% system abusers can seem pretty obvious.

Well yes, no doubt a few will abuse the system. But shoot, some will abuse ANY system. And if some (presumably small) percentage of folks inflate their finds so they can add what? - 1 or 2 or 3 additional favorites? 1. such small numbers wouldn't seem likely to bankrupt/negate the benefits of the entire favorites system, and 2. regardless, those few extra would indeed be "favorites" after all, so arguably wouldn't contaminate the data anyway.

 

And I dunno about systems that allow folks to "rate the rater" (please explain, what is that all about?), but surely we're not talking such here, are we? Granted, there are no doubt many factors to consider (to ANY system.) But it just doesn't seem that Maxwell's plan is all that complicated. And surely the benefits would more than eclipse whatever few (potential) negatives that might arise (that would inevitably likewise accompany any other such system as well).

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Well, none of these concepts are particularly "simple" to implement, and once they're implemented they're pretty much here to stay. Rule #1 of creating web sites is never remove functionality. I've learned this lesson time and again :D

 

Rule #2 is don't create something unless you intend to support it. So lets make this a good solution, not a quick one.

 

Rate the rater means that users can say whether you're trustworthy or not. If you get rated positively your score is higher. Everyone is equal but some people are more equal than others. It's a bit of a check and balance where someone who is nasty gets rated negatively and, in turn, their nasty ratings have no bite. I am not suggesting we implement this kind of idea.

 

Creating lists is fun since you can make tours out of them, and cache listings would have something that says "10 lists have this cache listing" which would indicate popularity (much like watchlists do). In fact, lists are an improvement over watchlists.

 

Of course lists and top 10% ratings can hold hands and live together in harmony. I do intend to do lists as soon as we work through cache attributes. From there we can implement an idea relating to ratings, but in the meantime can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of them.

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and cache listings would have something that says "10 lists have this cache listing" which would indicate popularity

Maybe I don't understand completely how these lists will work, but I thought we'd also be able to have an "ignore" list. I wouldn't want *that* list to contribute towards "popularity" :D

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Rate the rater means that users can say whether you're trustworthy or not....... I am not suggesting we implement this kind of idea.

 

I don't particularly like the "rate the rater idea". Plus it seems like do that makes things more complex than they need to be.

 

I think most of us so far agreed that it was better not to "rate" a cache but simply pick a handful of our favorites. The word "rating" scares a lot of people as evidenced by some of the responses already to this topic. So if each cacher were to maintain his own short favorite list, the data could be compiled to produce a local favorites list. The programmers could set limits to make sure a cache had >50 votes (or whatever) before a cache was given a special symbol like Markwell's proposal.

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and cache listings would have something that says "10 lists have this cache listing" which would indicate popularity

Maybe I don't understand completely how these lists will work, but I thought we'd also be able to have an "ignore" list. I wouldn't want *that* list to contribute towards "popularity" :lol:

 

Yes... to display that "this cache is being ignored by 37 accounts" would have a negative impact. We each have our own reasons for ignoring a particular cache, I would suspect most reasons won't be because it's a bad cache. Then, of course, there are some folks may strive for those type of numbers if they were available :D

 

These lists will be great when implemented. The ability to have a pretty blue ribbon next to a cache would be an honor for "an extrememly high percentage" of cachers. (rephrased from a similar note :lol: )

 

I'm looking forward to them (as well as the Cache Attributes, and Caches along a route).

 

Edit: spelling

Edited by Moose Mob

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Creating lists is fun since you can make tours out of them, and cache listings would have something that says "10 lists have this cache listing" which would indicate popularity (much like watchlists do). In fact, lists are an improvement over watchlists.

Not sure what you mean by "making tours out of them" (would love to hear more details), but your general notion about the ability to create a number of different "lists" is especially welcome.

 

Indeed, I presently use the "watchlist" as a "wannadooz" substitute for the "todo" list you describe (though I must admit, given the achingly clumsy 2 page d/l for each "watch" and likewise every "delete", 'tis rather like using a club to sign a micro log in the dark - sigh...) I also use bookmarks to "watch" my caching chums' (as well as a nemesis or two) daily activities. Oh, and what with 2 daughters now fully corrupted :D ) living in distant states, I also use the watchlist to keep an eye on THEIR caches. So if we could create a "list" of chums to watch, that'd be great too.

 

Al of which is a long and verbose way of pecking... yes, YES "lists" - a system where we can create various and sundry lists would be truly swell.

 

Furthermore, if as you say, the plan is that each cache listing would include a note/icon w/ "10 lists have this cache listing" or somesuch. Then great - that's pretty much what I understand Maxwell's system to be. Only...

 

Puleeeeeze include such info on the searched list of caches please (as opposed to only on the individual cache page itself) - so we don't have to click on each and every cache listing - only to find out it's not a favorite (much like we do now - sigh - on the state search lists we set to stay abreast of new caches - alas, no way of knowing til we click through to each individual cache page if the silly cache is even remotely nearby.)

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I think most of us so far agreed that it was better not to "rate" a cache but simply pick a handful of our favorites.

Yes indeed TG - though it may seem but semantic nitpik - it is important to differentiate the connotation of "rating" a cache, vs. simply compiling a list of folks' favorites.

 

Thus Jeremy - best to dub any such "lists" as "favorites" or somesuch, not "ratings." The latter would seem to conjur up images of a numbers system with some caches "rated" low (i.e. negative) and some rated high. While the former "Favorites" has no negative connotation whatsoever.

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Does anyone know can I change the title of this topic from "Cache Rating System" to "Favorite Cache System"?

Yep, I believe most of us are on the same trail. :D

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An official appearing opinion would be a very negative thing. The poor cacher that never gets the nice looking icon is bound to feel insulted.

There is an apparent demand for a way to filter the wheat from the chaff, so how would you address this need? In my eyes it isn't a particularly competitive reason that raised these questions but a practical one. If there are 1,000 caches in the area and you only have a limited amount of time to go caching, how do you determine whether a cache is a drive-by or a well-placed cache.

 

On the same note, why wouldn't other geocachers want to recognize folks who take a lot more time and energy to make their cache something to remember?

I don't know why the concept that when you start handing out "this is good" awards you've created a competation. Let put this another way. This cache is better than the one above it or one below it. Now you've put a lot of your customers in a "not quite as good as the next guy" situation. That doesn't sound good from a business standpoint or a "let's all enjoy geocaching" standpoint.

 

As soon as you start this little rating system cliques will form. You help me get the "pretty little icon" and I'll help you get one.

 

There's been a lot of whinning about "cheating" because somebody logged a cache they didn't find. Well you aint seen nothing yet once a cache rating system is implemented.

 

Do you really want that?

 

Byron

 

<edited for spelling, I think>

Edited by Byron & Anne

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An official appearing opinion would be a very negative thing. The poor cacher that never gets the nice looking icon is bound to feel insulted.

There is an apparent demand for a way to filter the wheat from the chaff, so how would you address this need? In my eyes it isn't a particularly competitive reason that raised these questions but a practical one. If there are 1,000 caches in the area and you only have a limited amount of time to go caching, how do you determine whether a cache is a drive-by or a well-placed cache.

 

On the same note, why wouldn't other geocachers want to recognize folks who take a lot more time and energy to make their cache something to remember?

I don't know why the concept that when you start handing out "this is good" awards you've created a competation. Let put this another way. This cache is better than the one above it or one below it. Now you've put a lot of your customers in a "not quite as good as the next guy" situation. That doesn't sound good from a business standpoint or a "let's all enjoy geocaching" standpoint.

 

As soon as you start this little rating system cliques will form. You help me get the "pretty little icon" and I'll help you get one.

 

There's been a lot of whinning about "cheating" because somebody logged a cache they didn't find. Well you aint seen nothing yet once a cache rating system is implemented.

 

Do you really want that?

 

Byron

 

<edited for spelling, I think>

It is NOT a competition! Why do people keep saying that? How is listing a handful of very fun consensus caches in your area a competition?

 

Are there any caches in your area that stand out?

 

If you were taking a newcomer to the sport out caching, where would you take them?

 

If you were traveling to another state and had a few hours to spare which caches would you visit?

 

Please back up your opinion with some examples that would frequently occur and be a problem!

Edited by TrailGators

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I don't know why the concept that when you start handing out "this is good" awards you've created a competation. Let put this another way. This cache is better than the one above it or one below it.  Do you really want that?

That's precisely what I was specifically differentiating between "rating" and "favorites" above Byron:

...While the former "Favorites" has no negative connotation whatsoever.

Why do you keep insisting that simply letting folks list their favorites is somehow ominous/threatening?

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It is NOT a competition! Why do people keep saying that? How is listing a handful of very fun consensus caches in your area a competition?

You're right it's not a competition, that's why there has been so much fuss about the numbers. This will just add one more competitive element to an otherwise pleasant non-competitive activity. Go check the forums for all the fuss about "cheating" all the fuss about stats. Then come back and tell me the geocaching isn't turning into a big competition.

 

Are there any caches in your area that stand out?

 

Yup, the one I haven't looked for yet, and I haven't researched it yet either.

 

If you were taking a newcomer to the sport out caching, where

would you take them?

 

Depends on a lot of things. Those that I have taken I've take to a cache I haven't found yet. I evaluate there capabilities, travel time, etc., then research and choose one.

 

If you were traveling to another state and had a few hours to spare which caches would you visit?

 

I've traveled to other states several times. Picked up a cache or two while doing so. I managed to do my own research without help.

 

Please back up your opinion with some examples that would frequently occur and be a problem!

 

Hmmmm..... This seems kind of impossible to asnwer since at this time there is no rating system in place and I think that's the topic of discussion.

 

If you're refering to my predictions, maybe a term or two of psycholog 101 would help in understanding my predictions.

 

I'm sorry, I don't really mean that as a put down. I've made a hobby of studying people. I'm not a psycologist, but I have a few classes. My daughter has the degree.

As with any predictions I could be wrong. However, from everything that I've seen in the forums, I don't think that's very likely.

 

To expand a bit more. There's an engineering study that put on video tape a number of years ago. There was a constant theme repeated throught out the 45min. tape. "All successfull designs will be modified to failure. All failed designs will be modified to success." At this time geocaching is successfull. It expanded very fast. Now the question, how fast will it be modified to failure? Will rating caches be the modification that creates the failure? Remember is started as very simple activity, simple concept. Hide a box, find a box, trade trinkets, log find. No issue on "cheating", no issure on stats, no issue on various type of caches, quite successfull. Lot of modifications now. Is the end near, or can it stand a few more modifications?

 

I'll leave you with that thought.

 

Byron

 

Edited by moderator solely to fix quote formatting.

Edited by Keystone Approver

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1d5a93b3-4698-4400-8c7c-9222a63d56c0.jpg

 

...and something like this could be on the search results

7c1cb782-3cc0-4b32-9c7c-4910455c5819.jpg

 

 

Purty!!!! Any cacher would be proud to have that appear on thier cache page!

 

This is a great idea. I often look at caches and then take quite a bit of time to read all the logs and try to make a determination as to which caches we want to visit. In fact this Friday we are trying several caches. I cant tell you how awesome it would be to look through the search page and see that ribbon icon.

 

I think it would do two things. 1. It would be an easy way to identify caches that are worth visiting, not that others wouldnt be visitied, but i would ceratinly put a priority on thise.

 

2. I think it would cause us all to place better caches. After all who wouldnt want the ribbon on their cache?

 

One difficulty is defining the criteria for the rating system, and then ensuring that people are following that criteria. For example is the rating based on challenge, the cache items, the fun in doing the cache?

 

This is definately worth doing some research on and coming up with something.

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The fact that GC show each other's find and hide count creates competion. I would say that this created even more competition that consolidating everyones 'favorites' lists. The fact that we display TB miles creates competition.

 

We have people that abuse the competitive attributes of this sport, no argument there. Most of the competition is within ourselves. Whether it be for quantity, or for quality, we al have our own reasons for spending all this time and money towards this sport.

 

To think this will chase people away? No. Would there be a clique that is out to create "favorite caches", probably so. Cliques already exist in this sport, and it doesn't keep me from caching with my daughter.

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Well, you guys have my vote for a "Cream of the Crop/Blue Ribbon Cache" type system. Certainly most people wouldn't be too put off if their caches weren't in the top 2%. That would be silly.

 

As a newcomer here, I would welcome this sort of thing. Also, if taking out others to introduce them to the game, this would be a nice system to use to decide which caches to go to. Young people especially, since they are very impressionable.

 

Just my 2¢.

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<snip>

One difficulty is defining the criteria for the rating system, and then ensuring that people are following that criteria. For example is the rating based on challenge, the cache items, the fun in doing the cache?

 

This is definately worth doing some research on and coming up with something.

Since there is no way effectively "pigeonhole" caches into catagories of a cacher put this in thier favorites list, perhaps it is best to just say that it is a favorite. Maybe there could be a "comments" field associated with the items in a given list. The thought kinda scares me.. but...

 

Knowing that these 3 or 5 out of 600 caches in a given city will sure reduce the amount of reading that I need to do.

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One difficulty is defining the criteria for the rating system, and then ensuring that people are following that criteria. For example is the rating based on challenge, the cache items, the fun in doing the cache?

That's why my suggestion doesn't ask why people like it. That puts too much thought into it. Just make it a Yes/No to include it in your blue ribbon selections.

 

Everybody likes different types of cache hunts. If I were to never find another Park Bench Magnetic Micro (PBMM), I won't be too disappointed. But there are plenty of people that think they're all that and a bag of chips.

 

People that like the PBMMs may rate a particular as their favorite - possibly in their top 10%. If enough people REALLY like THIS PARTICULAR PBMM, then it will show up with a ribbon. The likelihood of that happening with a run-of-the-mill PBMM is low - this is probably an oustanding PBMM. If that's the case, then I probably wouldn't mind finding it.

 

So, basically, what I'm saying is that it doesn't really matter why someone marks it as one of their favorites. If you want to find out why people are marking it as a favorite - THAT'S when I'd say go to the logs and read the page.

 

Also, don't forget that I'm proposing that this is something that will be integrated into the cache coding - and could therefore be combined with other characteristics in pocket queries. Difficulty and Terrain ratings, cache attributes and other options could combine to get you the best caches in the area with the attributes you want.

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Since there is no way effectively "pigeonhole" caches into catagories of a cacher put this in thier favorites list, perhaps it is best to just say that it is a favorite. Maybe there could be a "comments" field associated with the items in a given list. The thought kinda scares me.. but...

 

Knowing that these 3 or 5 out of 600 caches in a given city will sure reduce the amount of reading that I need to do.

D'oh!

 

That's what I get for formatting my answer so carefully. We're on the same wavelength.

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Since there is no way effectively "pigeonhole" caches into catagories of a cacher put this in thier favorites list, perhaps it is best to just say that it is a favorite.  Maybe there could be a "comments" field associated with the items in a given list.  The thought kinda scares me.. but...

 

Knowing that these 3 or 5 out of 600 caches in a given city will sure reduce the amount of reading that I need to do.

D'oh!

 

That's what I get for formatting my answer so carefully. We're on the same wavelength.

:yikes: yep... I think most folks who have been following this thread are on the same wavelength.

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Byron and those like him should read the book "Who Moved My Cheese"! It is the Hem's and Haw's that drive businesses down the drain due to lack of creative thinking and adapting to changing conditions. I honestly think that Geocaching is facing a threat of having a too many banal caches and not enough "wow" caches. It's reminds me of renting a movie. How many movies do you have to rent before you finally rent one of those awesome inspiring movies? Maybe 10-20? It used to be a lot less. So sticking with the status quo can cause more harm than good.

 

The favorites concept puts some wind back in the sails of Geocaching by incentivising the output of higher quality caches. It isn't a competition is is an acknowedgement by your own caching piers that you have created a cache that given them a memorable and very enjoyable experience!

 

Edit: We have some guys in our area that go to a lot of effort and why not reward them with a blue ribbon? Plus if you ever visit our area you can have a blast doing some of these caches that you'd never know about without the aid of a blue ribbon next to it!

Edited by TrailGators

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To contribute an opinion to the discussion:  I continue to believe that the best rating system for a cache is called a "log entry."  The good caches get the longer, glowing log entries.  I've never had trouble finding them.

Let's do a little test (it's the engineer in me talking now). Do a search on caches in postal code 92127, and use your log method to tell me which caches you would visit if you were in the area and had a free afternoon! I happen to know some of the local favorites so it will be interesting to: 1) see what you find; and 2) see how long it takes you to do it!

Yes, take the test!

 

Although I enjoy reading log entries, when I'm traveling I would find the "favorite caches" to be a much more practical tool for caching. No cache owner should feel insulted, only motivated to create caches that might end up on someone's list.

OK. back to the matter at hand. We are still waiting for the test results!

Oops, sorry... I am only now returning to this thread. I see that it's moved along without me. I am busy now planning an actual caching route out of town, so I'd rather not take the time to do a hypothetical one. Let me share my planning process, which would be the same if I did a hypothetical plan for the requested zipcode.

 

I order PQ's that exclude caches I don't plan to search for (terrain 5 caches, disabled caches, webcam caches, high-difficulty puzzle caches and other stuff a traveler doesn't want to mess with). I then skinny down the resulting PQ files from big circles to corridors along my route (in this case, Pittsburgh to Erie to Buffalo to Rochester), using Watcher and GPSBabel. Once I've narrowed the list of caches to ones I'll actually look for, I then choose "destination caches" and "route caches." "Destination caches" are the ones where cache ratings would arguably be helpful. Yet, in 30 months of geocaching, I've always been able to spot good destination caches. If I'm with my daughter, and we're at our trip's endpoint, we will look for a good state or county park with several caches. If I'm on my own, I look for a terrain 3 cache by a hider I'm familiar with. Or the destination may be an event cache, which is easy: find all the caches nearby the event.

 

For this particular trip, we had learned of a new series of caches placed in Erie, PA, which is about halfway to our final destination. We thought it would be fun to stop and find all of Santa's Reindeer. I wrote to the hider and asked how long it would take an experienced micro hunter to find all 9 reindeer micros plus a bonus Christmas Card cache in an ammo box, and she said 1 to 2 hours. Perfect travel break! I fully expect the micros to be fairly lame drivebys but they are IDEAL for what we want to do while passing through. None of them will likely ever receive seals of approval.

 

When we get to Rochester, we will focus on some harder caches with a bit of hiking. I've picked these out based on filtering by terrain rating and then sorting the PQ results by hider (to see who's active in hiding lately) and then reading the logs. I need about 5 of these for a good day or two of geocaching.

 

Having picked some destination caches, everything else is a "route" cache. This includes rest stop caches, caches very nearby interstate exits, and caches that are on the way to the destination caches. I have no expectations that these will be "great" caches and I'm not disappointed when they aren't. Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised when they are!

 

The selected destination caches and likely route caches then receive a highlight in my software so that they're flagged. Of course, I'll download way more onto the GPS and PDA, because plans change.

 

In summary, the type of cache I'm looking for is highly dependent on the type of trip I'm taking, whether I'm on my own or with my daughter or another adult, and the type of cache that *I* enjoy the most personally. A cache rating system would be of some value, but only limited value, to assist in these subjective determinations.

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Hi Leprechauns sounds like a fun trip! You forgot to answer the time portion of the question but that's OK. Anyhow, if there had been a few blue ribbon caches in the area you are heading to you could have quickly scanned through them! Maybe you wouldn't have appreciated the time savings but I'm sure some others would!

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