New year 'solutions?

This link,

cited by dejay, is a perfect place to direct newcomers after giving them a welcome on their post(s).

The current OU staff have more pressing problems than our iSpot issues, and deserve our support and understanding.
A visionary to save the Open University – or the man who will run it into the ground? | Education | The Guardian.

Just briefly - about the proposed “…university of the cloud”

" “Many students still learn for pleasure,” one professor tells me. “But they are not getting an intellectual community as they once did. They get relationships based on emails. The Horrocks model for teaching is atomised and impoverished."
Is a quote from that article
And here, some REAL enthusiasm from History (at last I found it)

I saw you echoed my ‘welcome’ message to a newcomer. I didn’t need to write a new ‘welcome page’, it’s all there already. I will continue to welcome those I spot ( haha) and if others want to use the same message as I posted, I won’t consider it plagiarism.
… it’s copied below, and easily adapted to personalise it.

Welcome to iSpot,
So what’s it all about?
iSpot is a website aimed at helping anyone identify anything in nature. We upload our observations of wildlife, help each other identify them and share and discuss what we’ve seen.

If you have not already found it, this link is a good place for new iSpotters to visit:

Looking forward to seeing more of your posts; do ask if you have any questions.

Sign up?,5E771,RCK430,KVAMR,1

Of some serious programming, so that we can leave our Changes Tracker, then return to find the ones we couldn’t deal with immediately? I am spending too much time with it UNrefreshed so to be certain I am dealing with others’ comments properly…
Please do some clever coding?

I’m struggling
I am really struggling with Changes and I bet I am not the only one
This came “I’ve been out of the loop for a couple of days with other things, so the Activity Changes list is very extensive and it will take me a while to work through it, and can’t do it today.”
The more I engage the worse it gets, the long pages of Changes (some are attributable to me of course) are a problem. I can stop engaging, of course, maybe go to iNat.
But how do the rest of you cope after refreshing your Changes? How do you pick up where you left off?

I sometimes favourite the ones I want to return to - but otherwise focus on records where ID has changed or where a comment has been made

I can just about cope with them at the current level of use. If the site returns to previous levels of use I think I would be struggling too. I’m wondering about making more use of “favourites” to be able to keep a closer eye on a few of the obs that I would like some more information on.

I have been through that. It is almost as unsatisfactory, when it gets to over 20. I sometimes have to ask m’self ‘why did I favourite this…?’
There is really only one way to help us, that is for some Coding
Where are the Coders now?

The changes tracker should just show the last change of a post, as it used to

Yes, I agree and NOT show our own activity - that is already in the Activity Tracker. ‘Life’ would then be much easier.

It’s a tradeoff, but the current version does have the advantage that you don’t have to open up the observation to see who agreed.

One of the problems is that you configure it to see all types of changes, or one type of changes, but not some types of changes.

Keep this Thread alive please
Can we have an Update to the Global dictionary soon please, It’s the one we suffer from most.
Add add the GBIF Link to the Global Panel?
Meanwhile we still all suffer from our OWN activity shown In the Changes Tracker and Comments not being editable
And can we see a Revamp of the Front Page please?
A huge Welcome Banner - with a link to a simplified START HERE,
A huge and regularly updated picture of a ‘nice’ very recent post, chosen by the Curator
Up to date announcements
An obvious link to Recent Observations - new page which also shows Help with These Obs (not specifically Global Obs)
A Banner reading time and date and “338 Observations added in the last 24 hours”
Chus dreaming…
Look… BROWSE and check the speed of loading…

REITERATING (edited 2 March)
Our notes about improvement are being buried by our enthusiasm to follow links and to digress. From time to time, HERE, it is necessary to reiterate the IMPROVEMENTS needed to make the site much more pleasant to use.
In no special Order of importance then -
1 Improve Track Changes - REMOVE our own entries from CHANGES TRACKER, which are duplicated in ACTIVITY TRACKER. Only display the last change to the same Observation (if there are several).
2 Allow Edit of Comments - until locked by Reply
3 Refresh the Home Page - Add a running Welcome banner which changes when ‘things’ are not right. Add strong links to RECENT OBS and START HERE (New Pages?). Tidy up and remove stale notices. Add a large Picture of the Month (NOT competitive?).
4 Update all Help Pages - create an Index
5 Rationalise Global - currently, it means two things in iSpot, ALL Communities or those not UK.
EXCLUDE Other named Communities from GLOBAL or include them all - make it plain which.
6 Retain Locations somehow - allow users to creature their own Index (Home, Mill, Foxton Wood, etc) thus saving the laborious need to enter location details every single time.
7 Allow HTML Text to be retained in descriptions (projects mostly) through Edits. Allow restricted HTML text in comments and Ob. descriptions, but particularly <a ref and so avoid terribly, sometimes over-spillingly long, URLs :heart:
8 Improve Search - allow a specific search for Observations (find all Obs (only) of Phytolacca acinosa for example) And for precise occurrences like “gooseneck”
9 Update dictionaries - this is imperative as we observe more more rare varieties
10 Bring back Social Points shows those who engage with users or the system or add agreements to be seen as 'valuable’ as those with high Score Icons
11 Sort Enlarge Picture remove Zoom? Allow Cycling through Observation pictures when enlarged
12 Next & Previous buttons - bring back Next and Previous clicks when browsing Carousels (JoP)
13 Fix the Reputations algorithm. Where sometimes the score rating is not balanced - may apply mostly to Experts and Knowledgeables (ChrisMcA)

Anyone can add to this list (please)

:heart: here’s a pretty one (simply to Marine habitat - where I sometimes live!) -
Will it work? yes. But this is href coded
>>Marine Habitat>>

1 Like

I endorse all of these - some don’t bother me too much, but if others want them then I woiuld support that wish.

I agree with Derek on his No1 as the top priority and would shuffle No8 up a bit. The Search facility isn’t that great and half the time I can’t find my own observations unless I can recall precisely what they were and where they were growing.

I would add No 12 "bring back the ‘next’ and ‘previous’ buttons. I still miss them.

Hi old friends
This will probably be one of the last posts I will be making on iSpot. It feels like a part of me has died here with the demise of this site. Our ultimatum to the Open University expires in three days time: we want our southern African data repatriated. But despite given our ultimatum in September there has been no engagement - The story of iSpot.
If negotiations fail we will extract our data and move it. To this end we have approached southern African users and secured over 75% of our data and identifications for the migration. Whether users leave their iSpot data or delete it is up to the users, we will merely transfer their data.
The ONLY features that iNaturalist does not beat iSpot hands down in, is the reputation and badging system. iNaturalist is investigating a reputation system, quite unlike iSpot’s, but it wont be as good. Definitely not as good as iSpot’s could have been had it mapped to taxonomy rather the just the iSpot groups.

Which leads to the difficult question. You all have been superb in helping us with identifications. It would be sad to see all your efforts vanish should users delete their data after migrating. if you would like us to transfer your identifications with our data, I will require a contract from you permitting us to transfer the identifications/agreements and comments/replies. iNat does it differently, so it wont map exactly. In addition, you will have to sign up to iNaturalist so that we can transfer your data.

I fully understand that this is a cheek, bordering on an insult, to request this. I will fully understand if you have already refused to read on, let alone entertain the idea.

In the event that you may wish to preserve your contributions to the southern African (remembering that most users will probably keep their iSpot data) community, and transfer it to iNaturalist, can you please email me following to [email protected]

I xxx xxx , request and give permission to SANBI to copy my iSpot contributions of only comments and replies, identifications and agreements to iSpot, onto the southern African community at iNaturalist during the course of 2018. In the event of the Open University not providing the material by the end of February 2018, I give permission for SANBI to extract my material, or to help me extract my material, to effect the transfer.
I have created accounts on both sites, my user names are:
iSpot = xxx,
iNaturalist = xxx. .
Signed by me
Signature: Place:
Name: Date:

or if you wish your southern African data to be migrated as well, we will oblige. Note that we will not remove any data from iSpot: that is up to the user. Note that regrettably we will not move any of your data not from southern Africa.

I xxx xxx , request and give permission to SANBI to copy my iSpot contributions of pictures, comments and replies, identifications and agreements, descriptions, tags, localities, titles, exif, and any other of my contributions to iSpot from southern Africa, onto the southern African community at iNaturalist during the course of 2018. In the event of the Open University not providing the material by the end of February 2018, I give permission for SANBI to extract my southern African material, or to help me extract my material, to effect the transfer.
I have created accounts on both sites, my user names are:
iSpot = xxx, &
iNaturalist = xxx
Signed by me
Signature: Place:
Name: Date:

with apologies to anyone who might be offended.

Added to which I would like to renew my plea (I may be the only one) for each Yellow marker in CHANGES NOTIFICATIONS to remain (yellow) until the specified Observation has been visited

There seems NO other method for presenting Ideas for improvements so please add requests here.

13 Fix the Reputations still not done