Issue I'd like to mention

To cut or not to cut, that is the question.
I’ve been thinking about “deletion”.
I think that deletion of posts is justifiable if they are offensive.

The suggestion has been made that a post could be deleted because it has no photo. It is known that sometimes ispot has difficulties loading our photos; it is understandable that posters might give up, meaning to return at some point; some do, some don’t.

But there was text to accompany the post. I think that should suffice. After all, the 5 volumes of Flora Europaea have no photos, drawing or diagrams….

As Marlandza says elsewhere, the best thing about iSpot is that it’s a friendly community. So overall I think the current practice of reporting offensive posts/comments (rare enough to see one here) so that the OU staff for ispot can consider them for deletion is sufficient.

Yes, few of us see offensive ‘observations’ or Spam or indeed Bats at roost, because most are spotted very quickly and ‘inappropriated’.
Recent examples of no-photo observations are here (plenty have been removed or ‘corrected’ in recent months)
They are easy to spot in Gallery view.
Most are single observations from users who do not respond to requests

You are right there is little point in posts without photos.
They are obviously not offensive but are clutter.
There has been quite a bit said about observations without a habitat selected. I feel that mandatory photos would be better if they were required before posting.

I forgot to list the habitat for a post today and I got an error message saying my observation couldn’t be posted because it had errors (although it didn’t say what was wrong). So that must be a new development?

Yes, habitat is now a required field but I’m afraid I didn’t quite finished the implementation of that change before deploying it live - so it doesn’t yet display the correct error message.

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I mentioned that important development only a day ago. Unfortunately some things are getting quickly lost in the forum - Habitat entry absences - #18 by dejayM

Whooops! (getting it up to 20 characters!)

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My stance on obs without photos is taken from the ispot website Help page.

There is a Help page for most situations.

The wording on that help page was changed in feb 2022 but (google?cache) still seems to have old version. Now it says it is possible to add an imageless observation but strongly suggests that if this is the case then you need to provide other evidence “but provide a detailed description, including such infomation as size, shape, colour, and habitat details. If you were able to identify the species say how you were able to recognise it.”

it does say that it says it’s ok to not have a photo as long as you add a description that identifys it or helps people identify it and it says it was last modified on the 5th June 2023 aswell so that would be today aswell

Today was another where things were disappearing off the carousel without any comment. (See my first post in this thread.)

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It’s such an interesting point as more observations and/or more members is really positive, but it does seem to mean that several posts roll by without input. This is such a shame as invariably the point of posting something is to have some kind of interaction from the community - be it a comment, ID, agreement etc, and in turn you do the same for other people. I know that’s not always straightforward though as, although I always agree to what I can, my knowledge and confidence levels mean there are many that I just can’t. We definitely need more “experts” - there are people on here with phenomenal knowledge who are incredibly helpful but they just can’t be expected to interact with every post. This may be a bit naive but is it possible for iSpot to recruit volunteer “experts” in different fields specifically just for that purpose? I know it’s supposed to be a self sustaining community but for whatever reason it feels like it doesn’t work quite as well as it could.

I suspect that some experts have a lot of demands on them already. iRecord has the same problem. It relies on volunteers - and some taxa just aren’t covered. I’ve noticed that some experts who used to be active on iSpot have more or less disappeared - e.g. people who know a lot about centipedes, inconspicuous ladybirds and aphids, to mention three families that I’ve had some dealings with. As a ‘generalist’, with a fair knowledge of birds and a superficial knowledge about lots of taxa, I do the best I can but I can never hope to comment helpfully on more than a small number of entries.

yes but actually we need badged Taxon Monitors. They need know NOTHING. They watch for Observations in the Help With panel and, if it’s in their field of interest, add a comment. Then, if nothing comes from the user, add a High Taxa ID like Bumble bee. This will allocate the correct Group and a likely banner.
Any expert (in bumbles) who now comes will be able to search for the ID Bombus; moreover such, otherwise lost, observations reach collections or projects like in here

Where is that panel? It’s a new one on me.

I can help with the observations in that link

Help confirm global observations (sorry)

Takes around 16 days to drop in a pit which is 6348 observations deep

We’ve had another very busy period - no doubt thanks to the good weather. Some observations get about 10 agreements within 24 hours of being posted while others have none.
I’m sure that this is too complicated for the programmers, but I found myself wondering whether there could be a way of prioritizing the more ‘difficult’ posts over the ones that are ‘obvious’. E.g. by shunting obs with, say, 5, agreements, off the carousel. This would mean that the more challenging IDs would stay in the ‘daylight’ for a little bit longer.
No offence to anyone, but there seems to me to be little benefit in a mute swan having ten rather than just five agreements. Of course, there will always be some that have no agreements, or even comments, but it is a little frustrating when things like butterfly and moth larvae or micromoths disappear with no agreements as you then have to put them on iRecord as guesses rather than informed observations.

That seems very agreeable in a modified form
I would hate to see only ‘difficult’ observations appearing in the carousel, remembering that the Mute Swan is as important (to the user) as a vague mildew might be to me.

In principle I agree and sometimes feel that one agreement might be enough for any Observation. Added agreements are usually to show support, not specially to confirm the ID and, of course, add to the ‘scoring’ system.

My subsidiary view is that when there are NO agreements, the posts should get into the Help confirm global observations (but without the Word global as they are ALL iSpot Observations).
Actually I am of the opinion that IDs (Observations) without agreements do not get the Likely Banner and ALL Observations without a Likely banner should be in a BOLD Home-page Project (there are three such projects lurking below the waterline here).

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I really like that idea.

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