Monday, September 25, 2006

The Blue Diamond Saga....

Most of you probably know about the blue diamond by now--there are quite literally hundreds and hundreds of posts made on AQ the last couple of days on the subject! I'm posting this here to get out of the "where does the thread begin" problem. Here are a few thoughts and musings that I thought would be important to reiterate.

First, the system of voting is new and data is scarce, and it is not expected to be anywhere near accurate in the immediate future. So please, don't be quick to judge just because some boxes you think deserve a blue diamond don't have ones or vice versa. As of today, there is about one vote for every three boxes listed on Atlas Quest. Considering that many votes are for the same boxes, perhaps one out of every five boxes actually has any votes at all. This means that four out of five boxes aren't even in the running due to a complete lack of votes! It'll take time before a meanful collection of votes is collected.

Second, for those people who prefer not to have their boxes in the running for a blue diamond, you can opt out from your preferences page. You can choose not to vote for other people's letterboxes. There is absolutely no reason you have to participate in this little experiment at all.

I'd like to emphasize that. You do not have to participate. Ever. At all. You don't have to have your boxes ranked, and you don't have to vote on other people's boxes.

It sounds like that's not good enough for some of you. Opponents to the idea don't want others to participate either. I'm rather perplexed at this attitude--why should you be concerned if I want to put my own boxes up for a blue diamond designation? I'm very sorry if this bothers you and your conscious, and I'm more than happy to allow you to opt out of participating yourself. But please, be considerate of others. If they want to participate, let them. Why should you get worked up because someone wants to vote on a letterbox planted by someone else who wants people to vote on their boxes?

And finally, the blue diamond should not be taken nearly as seriously as some folks seem to have done so. No, it's not an exact science. No, someone else's idea of what makes a "perfect" box may not be the same as yours. There may not be enough information about a letterbox to systematically assign blue diamonds to letterboxes. And no, it's not a tool that should be used as the sole basis for what letterboxes to find. It's a single tool inside a large toolbox with lots of other tools. Some people may use the tool, some people may not, but it's available for everyone.

And remember, letterboxing should be fun. =) I've found it rather amusing to watch the diamonds bounce around from box to box as AQ tries to figure out which boxes really are the cream of the crop. It's kind of interesting to see diamonds show up on a box I wouldn't have expected but you know--that's a good thing. It's just more proof that we all don't think alike, we all have our own individual preferences, and the variety of boxes out there will continue to grow.

Now get out there and start having some fun. =) Life does not begin nor end at Atlas Quest.


speedsquare said...

I just voted on all my listed finds, not a selected few. I love experiments. Can't wait to see the results and analysis. Bounce on!

Anonymous said...

Ryan, you're just a cool guy! Always trying to add something great to this wonderful website you've created while trying to please everyone in process! We appreciate everything you do here and will pick and choose which parts make our letterboxing life richer.
~~Doublesaj & Old Blue~~

Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better. Just as there will always be those who embrace the change and welcome the new experience, there will be those who demand that the game revert to its purist state, which, of course, would mean that they'd have to abandon their computers and find at least 100 boxes via word of mouth clues before they could get their hands on a printed collection of outdated clues.

I like 'em 'cause I've got 9 blue diamonds! Yeah!

jackbear said...

Life doesn't begin and end on AQ? Doh! Back to the drawing board.

Anonymous said...

When I used the Blue Diamond html link, to 'Record Ratings', this did NOT include all of my finds.

I guess this dose NOT include any thing like Hitch Hickers ETC.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of this new trick for an already very talented baby.
While one can chose to opt in or not it still reflects on peoples' perceptions of box quality and the talent of the creator, whether or not that's the intent. As you say AQ is attempting to spot "the cream of the crop".
When I look thru my AAA guide to motels there are those that have not been rated or who do not welcome the rating system. So do you visit the no star motel? I doubt it. Only if you are desperate. Count me out of this popularity contest. I am thankful for each and every box I visit and like to be surprised by the style and effort I find. Norasta

Mark and Sue said...

I personally am not too crazy about this diamond mine! It fosters more competition in a game which is supposed to be fun.

Also - if you choose the diamond mine, you get a blue diamond symbol, right? Why not have a red circle with a line through it and a blue diamond in the midde for those that choose to opt out? This way, a boxer who opts out will have this symbol in their profile and the finder may use this as an indication that this boxer may have some worthy boxes even though they have opted out.

Level the playing field, so to speak . . . .

Just have fun and get out there & box.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea- it will be an interesting experiment. Although, I am also of the humble opinion that a little competition can be fun! There will probably be those few who take the whole thing too seriously. But I think by and large, the blue diamond could be an excellent way to encourage "quality" over "quantity" when placing boxes. Let's just see how it all plays out! :)
- KitCat