Create Option to Choose automatic "Follow"

I would often like to “follow” fewer observations when I add identifications using the “Identify” tool, such as when I’m focusing on giving high-level IDs to “Unknown” observations. Other times I like to follow more observations, such as when I’m going though observations of a particular taxa on the “Identify” tool. If possible, I think an option to turn the automatic “follow” on or off would speed up IDs and remove a disincentive to providing IDs.

A similar feature exists on Wikipedia in the main account settings–upon editing/participation, add the page to your Watchlist (or not). I would generally support this, though it would be really low priority for me personally. I can see it being easy to forget to turn it back on…


i agree, more control over this would be nice


I’m wondering if a much improved notifications system, which I’m really hoping we can get to this year, would help with this?

My personal issue with the many notifications I get after using Identify is that it’s hard for me to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, when I click on the notifications badge in the header. Things I’m truly interested in (mainly comments) can sometimes get lost among the ID notifications I’m not particularly interested in.


I think an improved notification system would help a lot!

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I guess it depends on the extent of the improved notifications system. If I see an “Unknown” observation from a couple thousand miles away from the area I’m comfortable with, and it just shows leaves, and I label it “plant,” I really don’t want to ever get any type of notification about it. This does dissuade me sometimes from dealing with the “Unknowns.” Having said that, if it’s either improved “follow” or improved notifications system, I favor the improved notifications system.


on the GGs this was discussed a few times, so I believe a lot of us would like this.
Also to be able to be notified of agreements for selected IDs where you would like the confirmation, even when your site-wide preference is not to be notified of agreements.


I’m confused now. How would the notifications system help with this? How would it know which observations we want to follow and which we don’t?

definitely should be optional, so anyone who likes the current defaults can keep them

I agree.


I’m not sure I understand the part about the checkboxes in the google thread. If you mean, in addition to being able to set one’s defaults for automatic following and for not getting confirming IDs, also being able to undo one’s defaults on a case-by-case basis in the Identify tool, I’m for that.

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Definitely agree that the ability to follow/unfollow things, individually, in batches, AND as default account settings, would be enormously helpful, similar to marking batches reviewed/unreviewed currently. I think this request extends beyond just the notifications system too, as does marking things reviewed/unreviewed.


One thing to keep in mind is that the Account Settings page is already quite confusing and jumbled. As mentioned here, a redesign of it is on the agenda for the year, hopefully soon after our awesome designer, @abhas, has time after Seek 2.0 is released. Until then it’s unlikely new Account Settings will be added unless they are deemed urgent.

You’re correct here. I think my response was more that notifications will be less annoying after overwhelming once a new system kicks in, but I don’t think it would solve this specific problem.


I’m going to close this. With the forthcoming notifications revamp, separating the wheat from the chaff will be easier and there will be an option to not be notified of subspecies IDs - that should cut them down even more.

Perhaps a keybaord shortcut to unfollow an observation would be a solution for these, and that’s been reqeusted elswhere.