Family of the Day widget

I know that there are group projects that people can add their observations to. But I noticed that many people tend to specialize in certain taxa, myself included. I also know that many people tend to go through Unknown identifications, or help confirm IDs to Research Grade (RG). There are also many taxa that go unnoticed by people. Perhaps to help make people using iNaturalist more aware of different taxa, and increase their knowledge of the natural world, there should be a featured “Taxon of the Day”.

So how would this be different from “Photo of the Day”, which is currently implemented? After all, the featured photo would be in effect advertising a particular taxon or sub-taxon. The difference would be that it the featured taxon would be picked randomly from iNaturalist’s pool of taxa, rather than having moderators pick it out. This would be similar to “Word of the Day” given by Dictionary.com, or Merriam-Webster.

But if it is randomly picked from the whole taxa pool, it would take too much time to assign a random number to all possible taxa and pick that via a random number generator, wouldn’t it? It would if taxa were not divided based on systematic classification. Everyone remembers the mnemonic Kings Play Chess On Fine Grained Sandstone, or Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genera, and Species/Subspecies. This will also work for intermediate classification levels. At each level, starting from Kingdom, a random number is assigned to the groups that comprise a particular classification level. From this pool, one group is chosen. This process would then move on and repeat to the next lower level of classification until a particular taxon, or sub-taxon, is chosen.

But where would this “Taxon of the Day” be put? This taxon/sub-taxon would then be featured below the “Subscribe to a Taxon” option, where the main picture for the taxon/sub-taxon would be seen.

Aren’t there going to be problems with bias due to the number of observations on iNaturalist being skewed toward one Kingdom than another? There is no guarantee that the same taxon will not be featured again in the near future. This is true. However, it is extremely unlikely. It is more possible that a different taxon will occur everyday.

Of course, there is a caveat. This is assuming that the taxon chosen has pictures in the first place. That is why a person will have to check the process while it is happening at every stage. It does not make sense to go further down in taxonomic level if there are only pictures for the genus/family, e.t.c.

I hope this description helps with any projects.

Would a better system be to limit this feature to higher taxonomic levels only? In my mind, having an individual species featured as the ‘taxon of the day’ would not fulfil the goal you envision (i.e. make people using iNaturalist more aware of different taxa), and would overlap too much with the Observation of the Day. But if it were restricted to say, families only, that would (to me at least) be far more interesting/useful. It would also make it easier I assume on the selection process given the fewer options to choose from.

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something like this? https://www.inaturalist.org/blog/5273-critter-calendar

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iNat already has featured taxa. They’re found at inaturalist.org/taxa and switch when you reload the page. Other than location and timing, do you see your proposal as significantly different?

You can vote for your own suggestion. I’m all for your idea, but I agree that it would be great to have as Family of the Day or Subfamily. Microgastrinae anyone?:grinning:

Ah! I did not know that. Thanks!

Now that I have read these posts, yeah, Family of the Day sounds like it would be a better idea. Although, I do not know if I change the name of the feature to “Family of the Day” whether that will cause the entry to go through the entire approval process again. I am still new to the forum. Thanks for all the feedback.

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I’ve edited the title for you (also remember to vote for your own request)

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