Now that the City Nature Challenge is world-wide, I’d like to discuss making it a little more iNat-friendly and more like nature itself. Presently the observing part is April 30 - May 3, and the identifying part is May 4 - May 9. That probably works for San Francisco, but less so for Phoenix, and is definitely not optimal for Santiago. Nor is it particularly kind to our servers, as many users have noticed, and slow upload/ID response is not a good experience for people using iNat for the first time!
Wouldn’t it be better to hold the event throughout the calendar year depending at least upon latitude? Not only would it make it more “natural,” meaning kids would see more interesting things, it impact our servers less and improve the experience for new users.
The way I contribute to the City Nature Challenge is to filter “needs identification” through “account created in the past week” and spend time making ID’s and explaining to new users how to get more satisfying results. Probably more newbies would receive a better “community ID” experience if it were spread out across the year as well.