In the department here people are voting on their ‘favorite’ minerals, they are laying out specimens and, I think, telling the ‘virtues’ of each then there is a vote to see which people like best. In one sense it is a bit silly but it does get the staff and students to look and think about a range of geological specimens and find out more information about them.
I was wondering about doing something similar on ispot using observations e.g. ask users to suggest a range of interesting species then have a vote on the forum.
You may recall that Tony Rebelo used to run an ‘observation of the month’ competition for ZA observations on ispot.
The minerals competition is a bit different as it is about the minerals themselves rather than the particular specimen/observation. I wonder if it would be possible to focus on the organism in the observation rather than the observation itself. This might also persuade some people to put more information about the species in the observation or at least in the comments about it.
I have had a go at creating a test poll using a random selection of my observations, there is no particular time/geographical range involved.
If people think this is an interesting idea then the next question is how to get it to work technically, I don’t think the test poll I set up does work properly as I was hoping it would show the number of people that have voted for each item but it does not seem to do this. It is using ‘poll’ in Discourse forum software.
This is not about saying one organism is better than another, instead it is saying which is your favorite e.g. stinging nettles would not be my favourite as I have been stung by them many times whereas they may be someone else’s favourite since they support various butterflies and can be eaten etc. Hopefully the system would allow you to mention things such as this as it may convince others to vote the same way as you.