Taken for granted?

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 (item 4) how can we expect new-comers to read 12 pages of help or browse the stale and outdated Home Page?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.

1 Like

Thanks for the tip…

Will work on it, Cheers

Just popped in for a browse as I often do.

Regarding the suggestion that we thank ID’ers for our sightings. I think most of us would do that as a matter of course, it’s just good to say thanks. However, to attempt to coerce or cajole doesn’t work for me. I love to walk in the countryside and spot nature, I feel it lessens the stresses of life and fills me with enthusiasm to see and learn more every time I am out. I have received a huge amount of ID support, and am now even able to offer support back albeit in a small way. For me, it’s all about the sightings and working with others who share this passion.

When I read these posts I was immediately worried and reviewed several of my pasts sightings to make sure I had given thanks as I should. I was pleased to find that I had indeed offered thanks often to the many experts who had supported me to identify wild flowers in my area. I also noted that many of the posts were ID’d by me and then agreed to by others. That is the community working as intended in my view.

As a small aside; I recently joined Facebook after many years of avoiding it. It seemed like I was missing out on all the conversations going on and I thought I needed to be part of this. After several weeks of trying to fit in, I realised it just wasn’t for me. Taking part in all of these angst-ridden conversations was simply wearing me down. Everyone seemed to have their particular favourite subject, politics, innuendo, dogs, religion and everything else you can imagine. I removed myself from this Social Media platform and haven’t missed it one little bit.

So why am I getting back into this here… I’ve just read the many posts about thanking people (17th April 2018), and not re-posting my sightings on other sites (without acknowledgement). I did largely move away from Ispot during the difficult times mostly due to the technical difficulties but also significantly due to the more challenging conversations taking place on the forum. For me, it’s not about Ispot or any other site for that matter, it’s about being outside spotting nature and talking to like minded people who share the enthusiasm for the sightings. I even took part in these other conversations for a while before I removed myself (as I did with Facebook) because it just isn’t me…

Do you remember the old Ispot forum. One expert (Ratchy) once joked that she had destroyed the forum, it was seldom used with posts being months old and without reply. With hindsight, that was perhaps how it should have been… We were focused on our sightings, our ID’s and specifically commenting on the flower or insect etc. Since the troubled times for Ispot, we appear to have awakened the Social Media side of the site with much comment on he-should, she-should type stuff. But this just isn’t for me…

So to summarise, I am now thinking about (1) have I thanked people enough, (2) are these sightings my own? Can I freely move them around? (3) Is my happy Journal Entry on another site (https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/mikeq) written 4th April 2018 enough thanks? (4) have I upset anyone?

Way off subject and not for me.
Written with the best of intention to my fellow spotters.
FYI, I won’t move any more of my past sightings just in case I break any rules…