Update: changes and tracking functionality - from the iSpot Team

The iSpot Tracking and Changes tools have been present in some form since the start of iSpot and are key to social learning and community interaction on our site.

As many of you are aware, however, these two functions have been missing in the current process of translating iSpot from its old infrastructure to a new platform. We would like to reassure you that this definitely does not mean that the role of these functions, and indeed how you, the users, view them, is unimportant. We are therefore happy to now confirm that, yes, tracking and changes functionality will be reinstated on iSpot soon! We are now finalising the timeline and work required but it is anticipated that tracking and changes functions will be available on iSpot within the next 6 – 8 weeks. We will update you further on this as work progresses.

Over the past weeks we have been very busy reviewing the new technology in line with the old, noting differences between current and past iSpot functionality. In doing so, we have had to explore costs and requirements alongside other priorities, while responding to and assisting users, logging and fixing bugs, updating website help and other pages etc.

I am sure you can appreciate how important the above considerations and your feedback have been in the review process, and why we have not been able to respond directly on comments and discussions etc. However, please be assured that we have been noting all responses critical, negative and positive with a view to delivering the best service we can.

This transition has been a difficult one for us all. Your comments, messages and suggestions have provided overwhelming evidence of the importance of iSpot and the role it plays. For us, as noted in my earlier message, iSpot changes - from the iSpot Team, we have been dealing with having to make some tough decisions; dealing with the challenge of the potential risk of continuing to use an out of date technology while supporting the needs of ever growing invested user community (as well as the masses of data and images generated); while continuing to provide a popular, free service.

Our goal is to have a system which has a sustainable future that delivers the best possible results, supporting the community it serves. We thank you – our loyal community – for your feedback which we know demonstrates your continued passion and interest in iSpot.


Oh lovely - can it possibly be retrospective so that our old Track is reinstated - I have been to over 8000 posts and left comments I would like to see if there are any responses. Thanks @Janice_A

What is crucial is to keep and not lose our experts and regular users. Any ideas how we can stop them moving elsewhere? (other than by rapidly fixing all the bugs)

It s also important to keep up the motivation and mood of our iSpot addicts, who are sorely missing the lost functionality. Is there no way that we can feed into helping getting fixed first those bugs and issues that bother us the most?

This is great news - would be nice to have facility to track older changes as @dejayM suggests - but i am so keen to have this function back that I almost don’t care whether we can track changes made since the new version was launched or prior to that - just having it back would be wonderful.


Thanks for the update. 6-8 weeks before iSpot is fully functional will be annoying but knowing there is a solution in sight is encouraging.

Suffering lapses on a daily basis - what I’m missing most is the way you, Tony Rebelo, used to check the SA posts and then comment, eg this one from Gaby https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/southern-africa/view/observation/733715/false-truffles
Where are the other experts and followers of Rondebosch Common who would have been able to post an agreement?
THEN also: You may be able to help Tony - how do I get to go ‘back’ or to the ‘next’ observation, once I’ve opened one to comment or agree?
Some sites allow one to open in a NEW TAG, which helps a lot.
This also applies to the Projects - looks as though I have to go back to GO each time.
I’m sure this has been pointed out to the Team, but is there a way to get over this in the meantime?
THEN also - is there still a possibility that the whole project will be ABANDONED? And who has the authority to do this?
No wonder so many are of the regulars are losing heart.

Use the mouse-wheel-click to open an observation in a new tab. Then you will be on the original page and can move appropriately. This should work everywhere!!!
if the page does not allow this: complain vigorously!!!

The next and previous buttons are - I am afraid - gone! Complain if you use them. I never did.

Thanks for the info Janice.
Have been on Ispot for the last 5 years so think we can stick around for another 6 - 8 weeks.

ThanksTony - but I don’t have a mouse. However I’ve been told of another way - just needs practice
Hold down the Ctrl and click on the heading at the same time

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Yes and hold down Shift (and click on the heading) for a New Browser Page

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Thanks for this reassuring information. It looks to me like they are fewer ID agreements to observations since the change (and perhaps fewer observations??); restoration of ‘changes’ may encourage some users to stay or return. Browsing through observations seems to take ages, all the way out and all the way in again. I was surprised to find the new system slower than the old one!

We were promised that it would be MUCH faster.

Hmmmmn… was all I wanted to say but it wants me to write in sentences - could all that effort not go into the iSpot system!! (yes, I know, a bought-in forum arrangement)

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“have you tried the like button” no I haven’t and I have no intention of ever using it

I’m dying to know WHY - all rather economical with their words

Would agree with the like button - if I had nothing to add to the topic - but believe it should be used as little as possible.

Actually, I’m on these forum pages because I an as bored as hell, with a program that is not working - with promises of it getting better - which seems to be the reverse - hoping, hoping, hoping -but using bandwidth at a massive rate for no comprehensible reason!!!
should have left at the start of the “upgrade” but hey some times better late than never…
Believe you need a bloody good doctor to resuscitate a medium rare steak - don’t see any thing to date that proves that we have such an able person
As such, copping all my data on to back-up hard drive - was great whilst it lasted!!!
Thanks to all for a great few years - SA Ispot was great
Mike & Riana

So sorry you feel that way :cry: - hope you’re around to read this - it’s really working for me.
Wondering what we could do to make you change your minds.
You’ve said it!! was great whilst it lasted You can make it great again

Store your on-going observations for the better days. We MUST remain (at least quietly) to help make iSpot great again