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Author Topic: How does top spotter work? Back to Topics
lonewolf2nv

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Cleveland

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Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 4:43:14 PM

I just noticed this the other day, the top spotters listed under the station. What does it take to get credit for this does it have to be a price update for a new price or just a update? The one station near my house I do every morning but my top spotter days was at 22 for over a week just curious.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 30, 2013 9:48:30 PM

An FSL is a Favorite Station List. It exists on the web site and on the Android app. You can build a list of stations you frequently report so you can report many of at the same time with less work. On both the web site and the Android app you can back time the post up to 12 hours. The FSL has not existed on the Apple version of the app so I doubt that has changed.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Dec 30, 2013 4:10:06 PM

FSL = Favorite Stations List. It is available on the Android app and full site but not on the iPhone app.
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balley8780
Rookie Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Dec 30, 2013 4:05:55 PM

ScapHeap: What is FSL? You say it is on the App? Android? My App is iPhone. I see no way to post for a specific time on the iPhone App.

Could this "FSL" explain why the guy I'm talking about is able to avoid his top spotter day count decrementing on Saturdays? The last time he typically posts is Friday mid afternoon. He does not post on Saturday. Then he posts mid-day to afternoon on Sunday. It appears that he misses a day posting but his top spotter day count does not decrement. Or perhaps he is doing it via the web browser?

But if I miss a day posting - it always decrements. Another seemingly strange phenonomon.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2013 11:10:58 PM

Over the last few days I have been reporting prices for a station in Arizona using a FSL on the app. I back timed my post so it would not over write the most recent post. I am now on the list of top spotters for that station. I don't believe there is a distance limit.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2013 4:08:03 PM

If you're going to post prices that you haven't seen, "The station across town is 6 miles away and frequently is not kept up to date so from time to time I have updated it from data on the Murphy App (whether Gas Buddy likes it or not)", you should at least not throw it in Gas Buddy's face (or let every other member know you're doing it when you apparently already know the guidelines are:
"...in no event shall a member post a price from an online source or via telephone without visually recording the price for yourself."

But that's just an opinion.
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balley8780
Rookie Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2013 1:28:44 PM

To danindenver: Yes I am using an iPhone. On the iPhone if you look on the page about Top Spotters, there is a little "i" icon just to the right of the words "Location's Top Spotters". If you touch the "i", there is a popup that says "We use the past 30 days to crown The Champ at this location. Report gas prices here and climb to the top. Quality of the price is important. Reporting prices multiple times a day at this location does not help."

I have also been wondering about what "quality of the price" means. I assume that reporting more than just the price of Regular goes into it. At one point I thought that distance from the station had something to do with it but I do not now believe that is true now.

One of the other posters said that he thinks that there is no 3 mile limit. Maybe not if you report online but I don't know if reporting on a browser even gets you credit on the Top Spotters. I know for a fact that there is some type of mileage limit, when reporting from the App, that falls into that range. There is a Murphy station very near my house that I report on all the time and always get credit. There is also another Murphy across town. I have the Murphy gas price App on my phone and have found it to be extremely accurate. The station across town is 6 miles away and frequently is not kept up to date so from time to time I have updated it from data on the Murphy App (whether Gas Buddy likes it or not). I NEVER got credit on the top spotter feature for those updates, which is fine with me but it does prove that there is a distance limit - if you update with the mobile App.
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danindenver
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2013 2:28:42 AM

In regard to the 3 mile limit, I would suggest it is more likely to be 10 miles, based on this thread.


Look for **Notes on GPS

[Edited by: danindenver at 12/14/2013 2:28:46 AM EST]
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 13, 2013 1:58:52 PM

balley8780 wrote > Also I have noticed something that others complain about relative to this feature. This guy I'm talking about cheats. He appears to update these prices at times from some single point within the 3 mile limit - all within about a minute of each other which is impossible if he has actually passed the stations.

I don't think there is anything to this 3 mile limit other than speculation.

You get credit toward Top Spotter when you report prices using the web site. Sounds like he is reporting a bunch of prices using an FSL and the web site.
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danindenver
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2013 9:57:21 PM

"if you look at the App it says "Reporting prices multiple times a day at this locaton will not help" if you touch the little information icon "i" right there on the page."

balley8780, I'm not seeing that at all on my android phone. Are you using an iPhone?


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lisae2960
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2013 2:11:27 PM

I agree with most of “balley8780”comments. It’s no wonder so many newbies don’t care if they’re reporting Diesel &/or Premium where none exist, as well as the infamous $0.10 increment between each, despite my little “Notes” & messages to their “Whiteboard”! I, too, figured that was how some folks just came out of nowhere & quickly climbed to the “TopSpotter” rank; they’ve learned how to “beat the game”! My 15 yr old g’son told me there are tons of “how to” websites for every game imaginable, maybe this one, too?!?
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balley8780
Rookie Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Dec 10, 2013 10:07:02 PM

Since my last post on this subject, curiosity got the best of me and I've been doing some analysis of how the Top Spotters "rules" seem to work. Waste of time? Probably. But hey, driving home from work calls for a little stress relief. So for those of you who are curious, here is what I think I've discovered so far. It may explain some of those seeming quirks that some of you have commented on. For those of you who don't care, then why are you reading this thread? So here we go.

This app seems to keep track of what days, during the last 30 days, you have actually posted prices at a station. For sure, it is not just keeping a simple ongoing total. It is remembering a points count for each day of the last 30 days. So for example, it remembers that at day -10, -15, and -20 you did not post anything but on all the other days in the last 30 you did post. Therefore, you would have a score of 27. Each day you continue to post prices, your score stays at 27 until 10 more days have passed. At this point the system knows that you have posted all days during the last month at this station except days -20, -25, and -30. So today when you post, you are in effect replacing that post that you missed 30 days ago and your score rises to 28. This is one reason it seems erratic, but it isn't really.

So whether or not your score increases or decreases when you post has to do with whether or not you posted 30 days ago or not. If you did post 30 days ago and you post again today, your score does not increase. If you did not post 30 days ago and you post today, your score increases by 1. Straight forward so far but their technique probably explains some people's frustration with their own score seeming to erratically increase or decrease.

Now what about tie breakers? This seems to be more complex but I think I'm beginning to roughly understand how it works. I noticed that another guy that posts every day at a couple of stations near my house just like I do always seemed to have priority over me. So for example if I was 30 at that particular station and he was 29, then if on the next day he became 30 just like me, he would immediately (over night) become leader. But if I was 29 and he was 30, and I became 30 as well the next day, I did not become leader - not ever. So what was different about him? We were both reporting all prices, every day, for 30 days. I finally noticed it. He was almost always the first to report the price each day. Apparently he goes to work at about 6am every week day based on the time he posts I go to work about an hour later.

I also discovered that if I post at a station, that the number of grades I post is important but the number of times per day that I post prices for a station does not seem to be important. In fact, if you look at the App it says "Reporting prices multiple times a day at this locaton will not help" if you touch the little information icon "i" right there on the page. So in summary, the number of grades and who posts the first price for the day is important.

The App is able to display 4 grades of fuel, whether they exist at the station or not. Internally, I think the App is keeping score for tie breakers something like this. Each day, each poster is given 1 (hidden internal) tie breaker point for each grade of fuel that he reports. They are only given these points for the first time they post at that station. If you are the first poster for the day, at that station, then you are given an extra point. So each person has the ability to capture 5 of these tie breaker points each day. So if I have posted all 4 grades every day for 30 days, but was never the first to post, then I have an tie breaker score of 120. If the other guy was always the first to post at that station and also posted all 4 grades, then his internal score would be 150. During a tie in number of days we have both posted, he will remain leader until my tie breaker score exceeds his. This works no matter what the score, all the way up to 30. If both of us had a score of 20 days and if his internal tie breaker score is more than mine, he will become leader as soon as he matches my days. If my internal tie breaker score is more than his, he will have to exceed my number of days I've posted in the last 30 days.

Then of course, there is the distance factor. Someone else discovered that 3 miles is the limit for posting credit. If you are over 3 miles from the station when you post then nothing is added to your "internal score" for that day at that station and your day count could go down by 1.

Some on this thread have commented about some poster rising in their 30 day score rapidly and taking the lead sort of out of the blue. I have also noticed that this guy seems to somehow get extra credit so that once he is at 30, if he misses a day posting, he stays at 30. If I hit 30 and miss a day, my day total drops the next day. Somehow he seems to accumumulate extra hidden days that give him a reprive if he misses posting for a day. I suspect that the "internal/tie breaker scoring" is how this happens and he gets that reprieve after posting first for some number of times. I believe that once this internal tie breaker score of the guy on top drops below the challenger, then he quits getting the reprieve because he looses as much as 5 of these internal points when he misses a day. This gift is only given to the "champ".

This whole narrative is "for what it's worth" to anyone curious about this "feature". Also I have noticed something that others complain about relative to this feature. This guy I'm talking about cheats. He appears to update these prices at times from some single point within the 3 mile limit - all within about a minute of each other which is impossible if he has actually passed the stations. He also updates prices that he has no clue about since some are not posted street side and I have verified that he is not posting correct gas prices at these stations. This little game is definitely contributing to inaccurate postings.

I personally think that it would help if the 1st poster credit were removed and the 3 mile limit was changed to a credit a variable amount between 0.5 to 3.0 miles based on GPS distance from the station. Full credit for a post within .5 mile, all the way up to no credit over 3 miles.

There is probably some reasonable technique that would estimate the probability that a poster is just guessing at mid-grade and high-test prices if they are not street side. If Gasbuddy would allow those people who configure the station settings to specify which prices are posted street side, they could use price change history to guestimate the probability of whether or not the prices just posted for non-street side prices are bogus or not. This could be used to not only impact the tie breaker score, but also whether or not the posting is even accepted. I'd personally rather see a blank price than a bogus one.

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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2013 3:47:25 AM

Something that applies only to the app, not the Web site. I think it's best to ignore it (even if you have the app).
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pghbill
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2013 1:41:58 AM

what is a top spotter?
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cinFrog
Rookie Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Oct 13, 2013 10:10:39 PM

Thanks for the info. I was curious about this, too.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 3:24:43 PM

<<<"Just post the prices and not worry too much about it. ">>>

Exactly right. There is more life than the app awards. Posting CORRECT prices helps the membership.
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cnygas
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Sep 29, 2013 3:14:34 PM

I read through this discussion briefly.

Is this discussion for your overall count or the per location found on the app? If it is for the location then it isn't calculated correctly. It hasn't changed in a while at the stations I frequently update. I pass by one station six days a week and two other stations everyday. (I might have missed one day) My number doesn't change. The two stations I pass every day are across the street from each other have two different totals for me. I didn't think the top spotter number meant anything.

Just post the prices and not worry too much about it.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Sep 24, 2013 6:09:02 AM

lisae2960, to delete a price, you need to (1) if you're on a mobile device, launch the browser rather than the app, and point it to the full Web site www.daytongasprices.com; (2) either find the price already listed in the top/bottom 15 stations, or perform a search (based on area and/or station) causing its listing to come up; (3) if the price to be deleted is not for regular gasoline, then select the tab for the fuel in question (midgrade, premium, or diesel); (4) click on the bogus price, which should get you to a page that shows new input fields for the station in question; (5) enter "0" in the price field; (6) enter your reason for deletion in the comment field; (7) click to submit.

As for notifying the offenders -- there's definitely a nontrivial art in wording it such that they won't get nasty. I assume that the overall success rate has been rather low, and that's why the current policy is not to do such notifications, but just immediately to the mods.
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lisae2960
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Sep 23, 2013 2:01:37 AM

Zeroing out the price does not work, at least in my area; no wonder so many do it! ; ) That's why I do the other two things mentioned... In the past I did notify the moderators, but lately they seem to be overwhelmed... Also, the newer posters don't accept my friendly alerts/suggestions when I inform them that certain stations carry no diesel, don't all increase by $.10 from Reg. - Prem., etc... and that consumers depend on us. I get replies like, "get off your high horse" and that's a mild one!
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Sep 22, 2013 10:25:49 AM

lisae, I would just as soon get rid of the APP awards, but it appears they are here to stay, and I expect periodically we will even see more lame awards.

But, if you find someone posting diesel where there is no diesel, zero out the price and put in comments and drop a note to the moderators concerning the member posting non-existent prices.
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lisae2960
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Sep 22, 2013 12:40:00 AM

{"Between two users, the person that updates a station with "more prices" than another (ie. routinely updates Regular and Premium over another user that just updates Regular) would be the deciding factor as to who gets the Top Spotter position."}
I recently wondered, then realized how, a poster at a station I used to have top spot in was somehow getting more "Top Spotter" points than myself. They were posting for diesel even though this particular station doesn't carry it! Despite my "Notes" on the APP & messages on is "Whiteboard", he continues. Perhaps he realizes he's getting more points that way?? Again, it encourages cheating...
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Sep 21, 2013 11:28:53 PM

balley8780:

If you read through this thread you'll see that one of the moderators (Don) provided the following:

"A station's Top Spotter is the user who updates a station the most, with the most prices, within a 30 day period, the number of consecutive days that a user updates the station for is accounted for, but may not always result in a top spotter position.

Let's say I update the same station that you do on a daily basis, and that this station sells regular and premium gasoline. If I update the station for regular fuel for 30 days straight, and you update the station for regular and premium for 30 days straight, you become the top spotter for reporting the most prices in 30 days. In another example, if you update the station 15 times in a 30 day period, but I update the station 15 days consecutively, depending on how many prices I posted and having the longest streak updating the station, I would be the top spotter."

In response to several follow-up posts from members, the moderator posted (added) the following:

"I suppose I was a little vague on the explanation there, by "the most prices" I was referring to updating the number of available prices for a station, the volume of prices is not factored once you've updated a station for the day, you could almost consider the Top Spotter as it's own 30 day consecutive period of updating each individual station.

Between two users, the person that updates a station with "more prices" than another (ie. routinely updates Regular and Premium over another user that just updates Regular) would be the deciding factor as to who gets the Top Spotter position."

For perspective in answering your question, you may want to read through the various posts (starting from the beginning of the thread pages) rather than simply reviewing the more recent posts. Just a suggestion is all.

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balley8780
Rookie Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Sep 21, 2013 10:50:55 PM

There is obviously more to Top Spotter than just posting all prices at a station for 30 consecutive days. I have been doing that for a while at the station closest to my house and had a "rank" of 30 days and Top Spotter for a while. Another poster comes along and hit 30 days and immediately took the top spot. Very wierd. You would think that being the first one there would give you the lead but apparently there is some other factor.

I have also noted based on time stamps that this guy has to be copying prices, cheating as it were. And that is the problem with this "game". It encourages cheating.

The little information popup on the app says that reporting prices multiple times per day does not help you reach top spotter. Also, "quality" of the report does help. I assume that this may mean number of grades reported and possibly distance from the station. One poster says that you have to be within 3 miles. I think this is true. But I also wonder if distance from the station is also calculated into the Top Spotter forumula.
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Retired-Coastie
Champion Author Arkansas

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Message Posted: Sep 15, 2013 9:23:50 AM

Top spotter and app rewards need to be abolished then people would post prices for there own merits, not inflated egos.
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fish1552
Veteran Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Jul 14, 2013 7:29:18 PM

I'm not sure the app is calculating the Top Spotter according to how it was mentioned earlier in this thread.
I drive by this one station every day either going to work or into town. I enter the price for all grades of fuel every day for almost 3 years now - usually in the morning. I can sit there for almost 19-20 hours with no other posts, yet this one guy posts about 7PM and he takes over the top spot. I take it back because he doesn't post after he gets that spot, then when I'm up about 5 days, he comes back and can post about 11PM and he gets credit for that day too. I drive by at 11PM and for some reason HE gets credit for that day. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the process.

Not that this is such a big deal, but it gets slightly annoying when I was sitting around 1k days as the top spotter only to have this n00b suddenly take it over even when I post every day.
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jecaton
Rookie Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2013 9:44:07 PM

I have been confused by this for a while and this thread sort of explains it...
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CaptainStall
All-Star Author New Brunswick

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Message Posted: Jul 3, 2013 9:47:15 AM

I have a Curve 9320. Maybe Top Spotter is in some other BB app, but not in mine. There's station features and photos below the prices, that's all.

Oh well, life goes on.
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lisae2960
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jun 30, 2013 12:36:22 AM

As I’ve continued to post for the few stations I pass by 2 to 4 times per day, I’m amazed at how quickly some “newbies” have moved up in the ranks, eventually taking over as the “Top Spotter”! I think what’s happening is that since one gets more points for being a “Perfectionist” by filling in all 4 fuel types, those that continue to fallaciously post diesel &/or or premium at stations that don’t even offer them are getting more “credit”. Apparently this, combined with their posting behind others a dozen or more times per day, boosts them up the ranks faster than my lil’ ol’ accurate posts, “Notes” telling consumers to disregard so & so’s posting, & “Whiteboard” messages (If only they could make it past seeing themselves as “Top Spotter” & scroll down to “Features” they’d see that no diesel is offered).
I just looked up six of my area’s newbies, & interestingly they all have zero forum posts, therefore they most likely don’t read their "whiteboards", either. It’s all about the game : (
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gas_phil
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 29, 2013 11:32:31 AM

hmm yeah ... weird... maybe it's not in the BB app(?) On mine (android app) just look at any station, and it'll show the 3 or 4 gas prices. Then scroll down on this page and it'll show the top spotters, station features/info and photos.
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CaptainStall
All-Star Author New Brunswick

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Message Posted: Jun 28, 2013 9:40:34 AM

It must not be in the blackberry app. I just looked at some local stations, but saw nothing. Then, because the problem might be low volumes, I looked up stations in Las Vegas (first city that came to mind) and couldn't see it on any of those stations.

Anyone want to give me a station to look at?
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gas_phil
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 26, 2013 2:50:14 PM

I'm a top spotter for 3 stations nearby. I have no idea how I got there other than regularly reporting their prices just to get a few points (and eventually a free GB toaster oven ha ha).
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jun 26, 2013 2:31:38 PM

CaptainStall - You will only see top spotter if you are looking at a station on the app.
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CaptainStall
All-Star Author New Brunswick

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Message Posted: Jun 26, 2013 11:50:52 AM

Where exactly is top spotter? I can't see it on any station pages.
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Jun 25, 2013 1:57:06 PM

lisae2960 said:"I think "Top Spotter" has definitely done what it was most likely intended to do, capture the interest & competitiveness of the video/APP game playing generation..."

That checks my data. If you drill way down in the "New Awards Under Profile" thread, and perhaps some others with the same subject matter, I think you'll find comments by a moderator allowing as how the benchmarks to acquire the various award levels were purposely kept quiet as an encouragement to discover the next level. Of course, there were plenty of people interested in pursuing this until (at least for some) it became apparent that the game comes at the cost of price accuracy.

Top spotter is similar in this regard. The less that's told, the greater incentive for discovery.

RG

[Edited by: RichWLIN at 6/25/2013 1:57:59 PM EST]
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ihuey99
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Jun 24, 2013 11:20:15 PM

Always wanted to know the point of Top Spotter. Nice post.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jun 22, 2013 10:34:44 AM

buckeyecountry "get rid of the app awards"

I concur.
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buckeyecountry
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jun 22, 2013 10:17:56 AM

get rid of the app awards
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04coupe
All-Star Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Jun 22, 2013 9:53:41 AM

Thanks Lisae2960,
I knew there was more to it. Things just didn't add up. If you post the price of two stations every day when you pass them, both at approx the same time, and your top spotter count is 30 at one station, and 24 at the other. There is more to it than what some have taken the time to explain.

Thanks

[Edited by: 04coupe at 6/22/2013 9:54:35 AM EST]
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lisae2960
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jun 17, 2013 7:13:19 PM

I think "Top Spotter" has definitely done what it was most likely intended to do, capture the interest & competitiveness of the video/APP game playing generation... Since its inception there've been a lot of new, younger players in my area. The problem is they don't care whether their prices accurate; they report diesel &/or premium where none exists, assume all stations have $.10 increments from Reg. - Prem., & that all stations with the same name have the same prices!
I've welcomed & advised numerous newbies on their "whiteboard" of the fact that consumers rely on the accuracy of their posts, with the warning that GB mods will eventually be notified if they continue, yet not one has ever acknowledged my advice. However, I've become weary of leaving "Notes" re: the fact a station doesn't have diesel, etc... and the mods must be overwhelmed with reports, as the same people seem to continue...
By the way, I finally did get a reply from the moderators regarding how the "Top Spotter" works. Apparently it does matter who reports the first price of the day, how "perfectionistic" they are, and how often they post a new price throughout the day. I've also observed that when you're still the top poster & the person below you suddenly surpasses your points, that the next day they'll take over as the "Top Spotter". I've seen several folks just come out of nowhere, take over the top (where I had been for 200-300 days on a few I pass daily), then get bored after awhile until a new one discovers the "game"!
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snirt
Champion Author Anchorage

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Message Posted: Jun 5, 2013 2:53:30 AM

I agree, get rid of the app awards
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 11:42:07 PM

I agree with you TxJeans, the site should dump the app awards, and "Top Spotter" nonsense.
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04coupe
All-Star Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 11:22:47 PM

Ditto guys, communications is key in any business, and they have a Big F for communicating the operations of some features. Maybe, some folks are testing and trying to figure out how it works, and in doing cheat the system by posting prices without seeing the price. :)
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:7,395
Points:817,525
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 10:32:11 PM

" maybe you shouldn't do it at all."

I like that idea === get rid of the APP awards!! ;-)
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dcoxdcox44
All-Star Author New Hampshire

Posts:993
Points:551,285
Joined:Aug 2011
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 2:24:50 PM

Here's an example of how screwed up this is-

This morning I checked "top spotter" on a station I've been reporting lately. My score was 15 and I was listed second, right below the "Champ" - who has a score of 14!

Makes you wonder about the calculating integrity of GB's programs when 15 is ranked below 14.

Hey Gas Buddy - if you can't do it right (and be able to explain it), maybe you shouldn't do it at all.





[Edited by: dcoxdcox44 at 6/4/2013 2:26:22 PM EST]
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:7,525
Points:1,240,680
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 6:33:03 AM

"...are all the stations that you report along your daily route 29?"

No. But it's not too hard, or even unanticipated, to miss a day by deviating from routine. I was out of town earlier this year and missed several days...so what? Time marches on and the ill-conceived 30 day counter will be surpassed eventually.

The best advice is to just keep reporting accurate prices as often as you can every day and don't worry about the reporting games that are purposely designed to play on the competitive nature of members. Or, you can continue to fret over this like some folks who obviously reach a fervored pitch in gas price reporting just to play the game.

I just try to keep the prices along my routes accurate and up to date. This is certainly hard enough to accomplish daily, and enough of a challenge itself, when others are trying to accumulate game points by entering as many prices as they possibly can regardless of accuracy.

RG

P.S. We all play the points game here by reading news, posting in the forum, reporting prices, voting in polls, etc. The app awards and top spotter games are cracking the whip to stimulate more of the same.


[Edited by: RichWLIN at 6/4/2013 6:36:20 AM EST]
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04coupe
All-Star Author Ontario

Posts:596
Points:967,880
Joined:Aug 2011
Message Posted: Jun 3, 2013 11:26:09 PM

I do see yes, but if you are top spotter for 29 day, are all the stations that you report along your daily route 29? Or as some higher and lower?
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:7,525
Points:1,240,680
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Jun 1, 2013 7:44:59 AM

"why haven't the folks that work with GB or the app taken the time to clear this up. Or, is this what they want to do, keep it a mystery."

Keeping it a mystery seems to be exactly what is intended. Isn't this is what I have been saying all along?

"my top spotter is at 24 and someone else that reports every day is 30"

You must have missed a day. As bfree000 explained below, you'll have to keep reporting for another 25 consecutive days to make the counter start advancing again. I know that it doesn't make much sense, but this has indeed been confirmed as the way this reporting game works.

"I noticed that you have this game beat. :) I don't mean anything negative with that, just that you play that game as many, many others do."

Not sure what you mean by this? As I said, there is no winning or beating any of these games. If you report gas prices with regularity, you're in the top spotter and app award games whether you like it or not. That they initiate ongoing curiosity and, yes that we discuss it here, is another intended facet of the games that serves to stimulate web site/app traffic, and ultimately advertising revenue. This is all intentional.

I've been reporting the same stations in a 2 mile stretch along my daily route multiple times/day pretty much every day for going on a year now. When the discussion about the top spotter came up here in the forum, I noticed some of the same ambiguities that you and others have reported, and in particular the odd way that the consecutive day counter remains stuck until surpassed by a larger number of consecutive days. Again, this is on purpose...made you look!

Checking my phone today, I see that I'm listed as top spotter at 5 of the stations I report daily; however, at 3 of these the consecutive day count is only 29 days...oh my! What to do? I guess I'll have to diligently report prices daily for these stations until I have surpassed the 29 days and maxed out at 30, or I just won't be able to sleep well! (sarcasm intended)

Surely you see how inane these games really are?

RG

[Edited by: RichWLIN at 6/1/2013 7:46:11 AM EST]
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04coupe
All-Star Author Ontario

Posts:596
Points:967,880
Joined:Aug 2011
Message Posted: May 31, 2013 10:42:36 PM

RG,
I understand what you're saying, but I know that none of this is confirmed either. My point is/was, why haven't the folks that work with GB or the app taken the time to clear this up. Or, is this what they want to do, keep it a mystery.

My issue is, I honest reported daily for a station, but my top spotter is at 24 and someone else that reports every day is 30. They only report reg price and I report more that reg when I can.

This is the same sort of game as the 90 consecutive days is, and it will promote inaccurate price reporting too... I noticed that you have this game beat. :) I don't mean anything negative with that, just that you play that game as many, many others do.
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:7,525
Points:1,240,680
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: May 31, 2013 8:39:05 AM

04coupe, I wasn't trying to be funny.

There have been other discussions about how the "Top Spotter" award is achieved. You can try to search for them here, but the answers you'll find are purposely nebulous; again this is all part of the allure of the game. The same sort of discussions went on for months when the app awards first began. Most members here in the forum now realize this and don't spend a great deal of time trying to figure these games out. There are probably some here who are curious enough to play the game and may be privy to more. However, to continue my bait/fishing metaphor, these members are typically those that have been snatched up hook, line and sinker.

That said, here's what I have read and observed. Like bfree000 mentioned:

"What I've found is that it counts a rolling 30 days. So if you miss a day, you'll be at 29 for the next month. Where multiple users have the same number of days, it considers the number of prices reported. I'm not sure how this is factored in."

I'm not exactly sure what the hierarchy is but it seems that the number of consecutive days takes precedence, then the number of price posts (i.e. all fuel grades or just regular) and the number of times prices are posted per day. There may also be a factor that considers the reporting of new prices and not just reposting existing numbers, but I don't know if this has been confirmed. Again, this info can be found in other discussions elsewhere in the forum.

As you might expect this is another version of the "Perfectionist" award that rewards spotters for posting all available data for a station whether they know this to be factual or not. Some folks take the time to confirm all prices at the stations they report. Some simply enter all grades without ensuring that the data is correct; apparently, to gain "Perfectionist" or "Top Spotter" status. Some grades of fuel don't exist at every station, yet these are often posted as well. The bottom line is that these app games that play on the competitive nature of members tend to cause price data inaccuracy. While this may increase site traffic, the trade-off is often bad data.

"Don't bite and you won't get hooked" still seems like good advice.

RG
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04coupe
All-Star Author Ontario

Posts:596
Points:967,880
Joined:Aug 2011
Message Posted: May 29, 2013 11:41:01 PM

Too funny Rich, and I agree. But someone must know how it works and how credit is assigned.

[Edited by: 04coupe at 5/29/2013 11:42:11 PM EST]
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bfree000
Rookie Author Denver

Posts:1
Points:592,045
Joined:Mar 2012
Message Posted: May 29, 2013 10:09:41 AM

What I've found is that it counts a rolling 30 days. So if you miss a day, you'll be at 29 for the next month. Where multiple users have the same number of days, it considers the number of prices reported. I'm not sure how this is factored in.

One thing that might be throwing many off is that it seems you have to post from within 3 miles of the station. I ride a motorcycle mainly in the summer months and report when I get to my destination. I don't get any credit for stations more than 3 miles from my destination. But when I drive my car and report at the next light, I'm getting credit.
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