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iSpot Forum

Re iSpot changes - from the iSpot Team

Dear iSpot users
Thank you for continuing to use of iSpot following the recent downtime. As most of you are aware, iSpot was originally launched over 8 years ago, with technical development starting in 2008. Over the years we have tried to maintain the system, adding new features and functionality where feasible.

But as you know technology dates and changes rapidly and we were facing a difficult situation of trying to support iSpot on an out of date, unstable and insecure platform infrastructure. Therefore we had no choice but to completely rebuild the site in new technologies from scratch, moving it from the platform it was built on to a new one which we worked on behind the scenes.

However, to move the process on and meet security deadlines we were faced with a difficult situation. The choices were to take iSpot offline indefinitely while we did the reconfiguration; or, to ensure we had a workable site back online in the shortest possible time, take the site down for a few days and bring the system back as quickly as possible. Albeit with some functionality missing (such as tracking and changes) as well as some known bugs and issues evident. Without this future proofing, sustainability and security of the system would potentially be compromised.

We appreciate your continued support during this difficult transition and apologise for the negative impact this is having. We thank you for your concern, comments as well as feedback and will keep you, our online community, informed as we progress with this rebuild.

The iSpot Team

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Thanks Janice.

It goes a long way towards satisfaction, seeing your voice here.

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Thanks, it would have been useful to know these things were coming from the start to stop the negative feeling. Plus without changes tracked the website is as good as if it was unavailable, and I’ll keep my eyes open for when this is back and usable again -zero point using iSpot until then. Any time scales?

Without the “changes” section I will learn much less - putting all comments into favourites is not an option - pictures also seem to take a long time to load

Mark

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Better late than never .Why wasn’t this posted on front page ?Would have a lot of frustration.

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Thanks for the update…that all makes sense. I need the changes back so that I can extract records from iSpot to add them to a national recording scheme…which often entails commenting and following a thread through to get details. Hopefully, iSpot will soon return to that and so remain a useful link between the general public and recording schemes. If it does not, I fear a lot of people will migrate to facebook sites.

Ian

Thanks for the update it is useful to know that key functionality will be restored eventually.

One suggestion is that you might want to use the forums here to get a sense of what the priorities for the restoration should be.
The impression I get is that back in 2008 and thereafter iSpot very effectively got a lot of the active online natural history community on board quickly (both knowledgeable amateurs and professional experts). That really contributed to iSpot’s success as it meant when new people joined they would typically get helpful support and training. What I am seeing here though is that a lot of the active people are saying they are going to stop using it until certain functions are restored. If that does happen then new users will not have a good experience, which kind of defeats the point.

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Good to hear from an authoritative (I assume - the structure of the site admin being somewhat obscure) voice.
The news that it is intended to reintroduce tracking, whilst it directly contradicts the information I was originally given (“No!!! There is no intention” - Changes to existing posts), is good news indeed. The other bugs are frustrating; but without this facility, I find the site almost completely useless.

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Complaints make a big difference - and our requests have been taken to the programmers. But has Janice promised this specific functionality? Watch this spot!

why does this response to Amadan not show a link from Amadan

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OK, so I’m still confused. I am trying to express myself as a fairly regular user of iSpot and I think this is the third post to a forum of some sort I am making in a few minutes. I’ve only just logged back on today.

I don’t see the purpose of stamp collecting images and posts without the confirmation or otherwise of IDs, which is part of the learning process I value so much. Without ‘My iSpot’ and ‘Changes’ (to observations) looks like I would have to trawl through my observations - assuming I can find those! - and check each one individually for any update - that seems daft so I hope I’m wrong.

Tracking of forum posts is not helpful to me.

Janice, does your message mean that My iSpot and Changes (to observations) will be restored in the near future?

Maggie

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Brilliant to get back the automatic geolocation of pictures.
Can’t find out how to see my posts (a list of posts available, but no pictured list)
Also looking forward to seeing the Changes button again.

Cheers

Stephen

You can see your own posts by using the Explore Community - Observations - List feature and filtering it to only show your user ID

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Finding Your Photos :-Basic 6 clicks
When in yourIspot/observations, you press the ‘view on map’ tab. This brings up the list & gallery tabs, so press the list tab et Voila! (or bingo!)
A second more direct way (once it’s set up) 5 clicks, or 3, even 2 using Bookmarks Toolbar
The Yourispot list (like the community’s list) has a ‘FILTER BY USER’ tab with umpteen options, & at the bottom ‘by user’ type your user name; then the apply tab. The list reappears with to the right an option to save the filter & give it a name. Now instead of going into “Yourspot/observations” you go into “yourspot/filters” & choose the name.
If your browser has a bookmarks toolbar Rightclicking it should let you ‘add’ or ‘open’ new book mark.Give it a name eg mylist or myfilters & the ‘location/URL’ https://www.ispotnature.org/your-ispot or https://www.ispotnature.org/your-ispot/filters

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Thanks, Chris. That’s a good quick fix. Any chance of filtering observations by place?

Chris speaks sense above in ‘Finding your photos’
I have a FOLDER in my CHROME Tabs here’
this is easily created in my Bookmarks Bar which should be evident in all Current Browsers. I will need to add more I suspect…

Why do this - it aleady exists: the programmers just have to replace the myspot>Oboservations with this to meet our needs. Why do we need to do in 6 clciks what used to be one. And how on earth is a new user to the site suppsoed to figure this out. The site should be intuitive, obvious and simple. Not one where one has to fudge things with bookmarks and filters and other stuff.

The problem with the site is all the unnecessary steps and intermediate windows making what should be one click a real pain. Especially when you have slow lines.

I don’t think they can just add stuff from the old site to this one. My understanding is that they’ve rebuilt the site completely, so cutting and pasting functions isn’t an option. I could be wrong though - I often am.

I do agree about all the extra steps, though, I almost always forget to open obs in new tabs.

No they cannot just copy-paste (not without a few tweaks anyway)

But these pages already exist: they have already written them (or can call them up by adding the filters - which they have arleady done). So the unwanted pages can easily be replaced by the ones we want. Why dont they?

Janice, it was good to read this post. But since you made it a week ago you haven’t responded to anything anyone has said, on this or any other post about the changes.

My suspicion is that an increasing number of people are becoming disillusioned. I think people are submitting fewer observations as a result of the changes, and those observations that are submitted are receiving fewer responses in terms of agreements and comments. If this goes on much longer, there won’t be any point in submitting records for someone like me. I often have no other place to go to when I want to check if my identifications are correct.

So I think we need more feedback so that we know you’ve heard what we’re saying, as well as, hopefully, some information on the progress you and your colleagues are making towards returning some of the functions we all miss.

I think we all want you to succeed in remodelling this site. Please let us know what’s happening!

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