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Author Topic: Beware the name change preventing stations showing in searches. Back to Topics
CampKohler

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Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 3:13:23 PM

I was puzzled why this station was not showing on a search well before it should have aged out. Steam was curling up from my ears as I prepared to ask why, but then a look at the MSL History of Changes told the answer. Someone had changed the name of the station from D Food Store to Circle D Food Store. I believe this is wrong*, but that is not the point of this post.

When the MSL changes, FSLs change and the the list of the stations in the entire state changes, all of these being synched. However, the local metro-area sites' station search menus DO NOT CHANGE, because those are manually maintained by request to GB. If nobody (including the author of the change) remembers to put in the request, the situation in the pix results. The station, in essence, disappears from the search. This is the price paid for having a manually maintained list (in order to make it an abridged—shorter—list).

This problem is a really good argument for NOT having an abridged list, but nevertheless, as long as such lists exist, we must all be on our toes and continuously monitor the lists of our sites for changed search menu names, else this problem will crop up again and again.

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*From memory, the pylon signage and pumps are D Food Store, but Circle D Food Store is on the building, so the station name should be reverted to the former and the Circle variant be added as the Alt/Store Name. This will solve the problem with no requests to GB, but I will have to verify with a visit first (tomorrow morning).
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2013 7:46:04 AM

I know what "preaching to the choir" means CampKohler.

I think the reason the MSL doesn't populate the search list is because of the volume of stations. I know in Pittsburgh, we requested the ones we wanted listed as well as the areas.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2013 7:04:03 AM

@DavisSta"While I agree that it would be nice to be in sync, the MODS added the newcomer stations to our list w/out delay or problem. I don't know about removing, but one approach might be to start a thread in your local discussion group about the list and stations to be removed/added and once you get some consensus let the mods know.
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DavisSta
All-Star Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2013 1:51:56 AM

I agree that the list of stations in the Search Gas Prices station menu should be dynamically generated from the MSL. To prevent the menu from becoming too long and unwieldy, the brands with, say, fewer than three locations in the site's territory could be omitted or lumped together into an Other category.

As things stand, the Search Gas Prices station menu can be woefully out of sync with current reality. For example, the SanFranGasPrices menu includes brands such as BP and Alfa Gas, of which there have been zero stations in the area for probably at least ten years. Olympic Gas is on the menu, even though the company changed its name to Olympian over ten years ago (as a result of legal action by the US Olympic Committee) and has since been bought out by Flyers, although several independents still retain the Olympian signage. Other brands with several stations in the area are not on the menu.

Many years ago I tried to get the moderators to update the SanFran station search menu, giving them a list of brands that should be added to and deleted from the menu. However, they replied that they could not update the menu unless other members were canvassed and agreed to the changes. This never happened and so the menu remains out of date.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 8:49:18 PM

"Preaching to the choir" is a phrase meaning that your audience is in complete agreement. No actual preaching is involved.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 14, 2013 4:12:08 PM

I never preach. Never have. Never will. My point is this topic started because a member didn't realize the actual name of a station.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 14, 2013 2:58:28 PM

You are preaching to the choir.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 14, 2013 6:14:16 AM

It would make sense to use the MSL list for each area. That way, problems like CampKohler listed would be eliminated and we wouldn't have this topic.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 13, 2013 9:15:35 PM

GB could use the same list as in the MSL, but they want a short list for users.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 13, 2013 8:31:22 AM

SM: " This can be accomplished by contacting the moderators. "
Yep, I had to do that when a new player came to town. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the sticky key didn't work and was short one letter in the name and it had to be corrected.

As CK noted - the drop down list is manually maintained. It might be nice to have this linked in the future to the MSL, but also to include linkage to "AKA" names. Then, if the station has alternate names listed in the MSL (CS vs Brand, or recently changed name - maybe up to 2-3 AKAs?) one could search by any of the AKAs and find the station. The station would show with the "Master" name for the station when found.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 13, 2013 7:48:52 AM

It sounds like the problem is not knowing what the correct station name is. Apparently it is Circle D Food Store not D Food Store. Circle D isn't in the pull down list and should be added and D Food Store should be removed. This can be accomplished by contacting the moderators.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Jul 13, 2013 2:29:23 AM

I took the figurative steam to be frustration rather than anger.

Sounds like the specific case is resolved, with "Circle D" being the winner. Good; now we can return to the main topic, with less chance of anybody mistaking this for a local issue.

What are some possible ways to deal with the issue?
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jul 13, 2013 12:01:12 AM

Sorry, but the way the post was written it seemed pretty clear that you were more than simply annoyed or bothered by the "problem". At least that's how it reads without knowing you were using poetic license. As several have said about what I've written, you can't read between the lines; you can only read the words on the screen and take them to mean what they say. And, you (like me and several others) are often strong in your feelings and commentary.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 10:57:08 PM

GB: There was no steam; it was only a literary device. Honest.

Scrap was right on point: this topic is about the problem that arises when the station name is changed and a matching request to change the metro-area search menu item is not submitted. The station mentioned was merely an exemplar.

TX's comment got me to thinking that that brand is in a situation identical to Circle K. The circles do indeed uh, encircle the D's, and so, logically, it should be treated in the same manner; that is to say, Squawbear was correct in changing the brand to Circle D Food Store. Phone listings show that name, so we are not swimming upstream here*. I will request that the Sacto. menu be changed to match and the problem will be solved.

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*This is only a literary device. There is no actual swimming involved.

PS: If you do change a brand back to the former name, it will show up instantly in the MSL and state menus, but give it a few minutes to propagate through the system so that searches begin to work again.



[Edited by: CampKohler at 7/12/2013 11:02:59 PM EST]
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 7:42:56 PM


kwzh might have a point:
"On the signs that seem to call it "D Food Store",
is the "D" enclosed in a circle?

The logo portion of the sign (which can't be shown on these text only forums) may hold the answer to the pylon sign and store sign appearing to be different.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 9:04:58 AM

CampKohler wrote > When the MSL changes, FSLs change and the the list of the stations in the entire state changes, all of these being synched. However, the local metro-area sites' station search menus DO NOT CHANGE, because those are manually maintained by request to GB. If nobody (including the author of the change) remembers to put in the request, the situation in the pix results. The station, in essence, disappears from the search. This is the price paid for having a manually maintained list (in order to make it an abridged—shorter—list).

The above is the point of CK's post. People should be less concerned about the particular name of the D store or the steam coming out of his ears (that part was meant in jest).

Something has changed regarding the drop down lists. The list in the MSL is dynamic. If you look at the drop down list for the MSL, there is a Circle D Food Store (a total of 1 store in the entire state). There is also a Circle D Food & Liquor (again a total of 1 in the entire state). Neither of these appear as search options in the drop down for "Search Gas Prices" but D Food Store does. If one were to edit the Circle D Food Store and change it to D Food Store, you will no longer see Circle D Food Store on the drop down list in the MSL and D Food Store will now exist. To me, it seems that both lists should be dynamic. They should automatically change when an MSL entry is changed. I don't think that brands were automatically added or deleted from the MSL drop down list in the past.

As a side issue, I tried reverting the station in question to a previous version but the change did not take. I also tried that with a Virginia station but the change did not take. I had to change the name of the station by typing it in instead of using "Revert to this version". Is this a new bug? Is anyone else have trouble with this?

With respect to whether this particular station should be called D Food Store or Circle D Food Store, that is probably something you and the other member who edited the MSL should work out. Doing a Google search on Circle D Food Store, returns a mixed bag of Circle D Food Store and D Food Store hits. Many of the Circle D Food Store hits went back to GasBuddy and should be discounted. Either entry would seem to be acceptable as I think people will focus on the "D" and be able to figure it out.

[Edited by: Scrapheap at 7/12/2013 9:07:03 AM EST]
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 8:11:49 AM

Very similar TxJeans, yet different.

And sorta like the Circle M~

And sorta like the Circle E~

[Edited by: scoutmaster at 7/12/2013 8:15:07 AM EST]
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 8:02:32 AM

Sort of like Circle K? ;-)
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 6:49:58 AM

Just did s Google search on D Food Store. Got results like

D'Agostino's Food Stores

A & D Food Stores

but no D Food Stores.

Did a Google search on Circle D Food Stores and voila! Lots of Circle D Food Stores. Sounds like Circle D Food Stores is correct!

Again, this is a local issue and this topic should be either moved to the Sacramento site or closed since it appears the OP has been asked and answered.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 11:40:55 PM

On the signs that seem to call it "D Food Store", is the "D" enclosed in a circle?

The problem I have with unabridged lists is that the selection interface -- a mouse-driven menu -- does not scale well. For example, on the Edit Favorite Stations page, the "Sort order" field is a pain to use; I can type a two- or three-digit number much faster than I can find it in a 500-element menu.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 11:13:40 PM


"...the pylon signage and pumps are D Food Store, but Circle D Food Store is on the building, so the station name should be reverted to the former and the Circle variant be added as the Alt/Store Name."

It's not a question of the pylon and pumps or if the name is on the building. Gas Buddy guidance is "We ask that stations be listed by their most recognizable name. For example, when someone sees the station for the first time, what is the name they will be looking for?" I can't speak for how that specific gas station is known by those living in the community but apparently the store owners think it's known as Circle D or they would have marked the noticeable sign as "D Food Store". I would assume that's why the other member corrected what he/she perceived as an "error" in the Gas Buddy listing.
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 9:59:23 PM

>> For the most accuracy the MSL should show the brand of gas as the primary
>> name and the convenience store name as the Alt name.

Unless you pay GasBuddy for the privilege of listing your convenience store name — i.e. Valero listing some of their stations as "Corner Store".
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 9:56:52 PM

Moderators please move this to the local Sacramento site as this is a local issue. Thanks
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 7:33:38 PM


1. Perhaps the pylon sign was shortened either for cost or to allow the name to fit without making the letters too small, and that is the naming choice cutoff the station owner made.

2. I wonder: does Circle D Food Store sell their own brand of gas? For the most accuracy the MSL should show the brand of gas as the primary name and the convenience store name as the Alt name.

However I'm divided on this; if the pylon sign and the gas pumps are labeled Circle D (or some variation) then it's also important for drivers to be able to find the station by the name shown on GB search results; in that case maybe the MSL primary name should match the name that is easily seen from the street, whatever that may be.

3. Might "Steam was curling up from my ears" be a bit strong as a description of your reaction of the moment? Just wondering.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 7:00:38 PM

"I was puzzled why this station was not showing on a search well before it should have aged out. Steam was curling up from my ears as I prepared to ask why, but then a look at the MSL History of Changes told the answer. Someone had changed the name of the station from D Food Store to Circle D Food Store."

I'm amazed, if that's the right word, that anyone can get steamed because a gas station isn't showing up on search. Really, steam curling from your ears because of this and before you even found out it wasn't a problem (apparently not a problem because you found out that someone changed the store identification). I would think that one station missing from a search couldn't (or shouldn't) be that serious a problem but, I guess, kudos to Gas Buddy for making this website so essential that something seemingly so innocuous or incidental as one station missing in a search can cause anger in a member.

As for the footnote, the "I believe this is wrong*, but that is not the point of this post." and "From memory, the pylon signage and pumps are D Food Store, but Circle D Food Store is on the building, so the station name should be reverted to the former and the Circle variant be added as the Alt/Store Name."
Forgetting that it's from memory but it would seem that the name on the permanent building would be a more accurate identification of the station, and that the other member simply corrected the station identification based on his reading of the rules. That said, and I'mm not trying to dismiss the suggestion or the comments, but I think most members have better things to do than "we must all be on our toes and continuously monitor the lists of our sites for changed search menu names..." Sorry, but while I understand the issue in the original post, I just can't take it so seriously that "steam curls from the ears and need to be on our and we need to continuously monitor the lists."

However, if others think that this is that serious an issue, steam and continuously monitoring is necessary, I'll be more than willing say I'm wrong and my comments should be retracted.

[Edited by: Gas_Buddy at 7/11/2013 7:02:03 PM EST]
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