Taken for granted?

This is FAR from the simplicity implied here. iSpot is loaded with people, not all beginners by a long way, who do not use the site like ‘we few’ do.
Many (it might be safe to say most!) users may have NO idea that the Tracker exists or maybe what it might be for. A few of those will go back to their Observations (maybe use my iSpot/Observations) and see that they are (or are not) dealt with but will not go to comments - why should they? How do they know they exist?
And why should they know about Site Etiquette?
Even more users won’t read News Items - again WHY should they?
Over recent times I have left pleading messages to current users (I check THEIR tracker) who have still not responded. At least one regular and very well-regarded senior here, leaves notes about the Tracker, but I have not seen a single response to one of those.
It may not be protocol to pick on one user but I have no other way to make my rather forceful point.
Look https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/observation/233330/unidentified-seaweed-6
The user, whose name we do not need to remember, is NOT unusual. She has been here 7 years, has 142 excellent Observations and one icon and yet appears not to understand? I MAY be VERY wong but it serves my aim.
My point?
There needs to be a better way, than a note in News (the page is very stale - tweets and quizzes) or comments added to their Observation.
There needs to be a highlighted box in the ID panel which shows (12) COMMENTS ADDED and maybe another which says ACTION NEEDED - for those who forget to fill the Habitat box or put the Location in the Centre of the Med.
There needs to be a gorgeous Introduction-pack, short, to the point (five points of etiquette), persuading newish users how to get the very best out of iSpot. .And this needs following up by an iSpot mentor - of course I do not mean the solitary Curator.
Newbies need to be nurtured here. Quite a lot post once and leave. WHY?

Same user
There is a tendency to forget the user when we discuss and swap notes about the detail - I am sometimes guilty of that.
But DO note this telling comment by @Peachysteve . https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/observation/624507/unidentified-fungus#cid-265878

There’s been a long standing complaint that it’s easy for even experienced users to overlook the existence of comments on an observation.

I asked for a banner ‘Comments are Present’ in 2013.
Very experienced users miss comments today.
LIST MODE shows Comment Present https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/observations so it should be easy to add that small display to the ID panel. It would be nice if a click on comments present would take you to the most recent comment (specially when there are two pages!)

There’s a HELP icon In the tool bar. It contains Info on all the basic points needed, including etiquette, Changes tracker and, within the latter, Comments. It seems to me like everything we need to know is there.
Of course, we can only recommend it, we can’t ensure it is read an applied. But isn’t that always the case with ‘manuals’?

As you’ve raised it (and I really HATE going on like this) The help Pages need reviewing and updating.
There are Broken links throughout. Example? https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/article/571/why-no-personal-messaging-or-closed-groups - click on Childline
Or https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/global/view/article/8265/so-whats-it-all-about - click on Groups
Or (the all-important) Using your “Changes” section here https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/global/view/article/565/help
This is nice https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/global/view/article/567/exploring-ispot - full of interesting links
If Admin don’t read this and respond New year 'solutions? (item 4) how can we expect new-comers to read 12 pages of help or browse the stale and outdated Home Page?

@DejayM - I think something at the top of the post to alert you to active comments would be very useful. I have lost count of the number of times I have hurtled in and identified something only to find that there has been a very polite conversation with the observer encouraging them to add their own identification: this scenario is more obvious when you see something from a few days back which is an easy ID which hasn’t been made - but less so on a more obscure species

Nice support thanks Jo. I have learned to look for Comments first after having to apologize too many times. Oh that Admin might also think such things useful - or even respond to some of our other suggestions @Janice_A

Hi dejay, you are right to point out the broken links, which I had not checked. And 12 pages is too much for beginners. Your earlier post in this thread to admin has a list of issues which when resolved, would enhance the ispot experience. Jo’s [P] idea for an alert near the top of a post is a good one.
All that seems worthwhile to us, but requires resources from what is probably a limited and declining OU budget for this sort of enterprise.
So, in the meantime, what can we do to help?

Quite a lot perhaps
Bring on beginners, not just welcome them but help them get more - mentor them (without, somehow, going o’er the top)
Look out for those who may not understand how to get the best from iSpot. It means looking at Other’s trackers to see where they may not be getting support - finding THEIR obs that are not generating responses.
Here’s one, long gone - https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/observation/188744/growth-on-blueberry-might-not-be-uk-native loads of Observations, no icons. He needed help 5 years ago. Far too late now
Add praising comments for Observations and Photographs - we love praise
Spend time in the Help with Carousel, which continuously shunts 49 posts rightwards to drop into the very deep unresolved bin, almost forever. A few of us have just spent well over a month (nearly three!) rescuing a few thousand Observations made up to 5 years ago. Hardly any (almost NONE) of those users are rescued - most of them were beginners.
Think beginners - bring them on with vigour.
@miked dare you inform (here perhaps) us when someone registers? Can there be a Register of New Registrees? Somewhere we can go and pick one at random to see if they are posting or anyone is responding - bring them on with suggestions, praise and agreements? Can we be trusted with a link to their Activity Tracker? It is after all NOT private. Let them drop off that list after 3 months say?
You @miked also have their registration emails, so why not drop early mails on them - “we hope you are enjoying iSpot, have you looked at your Changes Tracker recently?

here is a iSpot Starter, who knew what was needed in iSpot, we let him slip though our fingers
Perhaps read my comment then add an ID - please

The previous debate was started by me and the conclusion was it is better to say thanks. But if every identification and agreement received a thank you, our changes trackers would be full of comments not really worth opening. Personally, I try to say thanks when a picture has been identified, but am less conscientious when I have already identified it and am just receiving agreements. Ones that might slip through the net are identifications which are not definite, as I then wait in the hope of a confirmation from someone else.

Looking at it from the other direction, as an identifier it is nice to occasionally get a thanks but I don’t feel neglected when no thanks are given. If I have gone to the trouble of explaining how to identify the species, I feel miffed if there were no thanks. What becomes annoying is when I ask a question such as what plant was the beetle on, and get no reply.

As for giving credit: My records go into a copy of Recorder 3 and some get distributed around recording schemes, conservation bodies etc. The determiner is one of the most important parts of a record and ids from this site go into Recorder as J. Surname (iSpot). But it does not help that so many people on iSpot won’t say who they are. I’ve said before that I don’t see any shame in being a naturalist and don’t understand why people involved in biological recording want to hide their identity.

Saying who we are. There is no shame in being a naturalist. However this site is open to allcomers and publishing a full name enables easy tracking to personal details and affiliations which visitors may take advantage of.
Comments. Reading and responding to comments is for me, the more interesting part of iSpot than a simple agreement. So support from me for raising the profile of the existence of comments.

Interesting to read this thread. I’ve not been on ispot for over a year, and it’s like arriving on another planet. Not least because everything that you see first in the forums is all about how awful the new site is, and the first threads are dated last summer, and have random text in that looks as though nobody has ever used them. If I hadn’t used it before, I would have given up with the forum by now (after about twenty minutes fiddling about and being confused).

However, now I’ve seen hovering Ian ophrys is on here, I’ll go and put the hoverfly on that I saw a couple of days ago. :slight_smile:

All Forums are like this. Never read back, only forward!
But while you were away we had an AWFUL time, well I did. Hundreds left but are dribbling back. And there are plenty joining each week who need nurturing by experienced posters
Help make it good again.

Many thanks for the welcome back - much appreciated. I’ll see if I can stay around for a while. Though I was reading forwards - when you’re new, the first thing you see is all the depressing stuff about how it was last year. 1.3 thousand people have been ‘welcomed’ by that! Not exactly encouraging - but I don’t know whether it’s possible for the admins to update the main welcome to something that actually makes sense?

This bit: [not meant to be in bold!]

This is a welcome paragraph. Choose its words carefully

Edit this into a brief description of your community:

Who is it for?
What can they find here?
Why should they come here?
Where can they read more (links, resources, etc)?

You may want to close this topic via the admin :wrench: (at the upper right and bottom), so that replies don’t pile up on an announcement.

As a newcomer here, I find it hard to navigate the site anyway. Would not know how to thank anybody.

Not a criticsm, but an observation, the site is very slow, and not very intuitive for new comers…

No doubt time will tell…:slight_smile:

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Hooray for strong voices.
Might try some Observing now…
things are not uploading very well - this took 4 attempts and 45 mins (691Kb) and almost never did…

It does get easier. Key tips - open the observations you want to look at by right-clicking and ‘open new window’; use the drop down under your name (usually 2nd tab from LHS to get to ‘your ISpot’ and thence ‘Changes Tracker’ which uses yellow highlight to indicate where others have agreed, updated ID or commented on your observations. Once you get used to it, it works well.

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Thanks for the tip…

Will work on it, Cheers