One of my favourite things about iNaturalist is the good-natured competition with friends and local iNat’ers. Climbing to the top of a ‘Most Species’ list in a given area is a huge motivator to observe organisms I might otherwise pass by (for me, that’s plants). I think another feature could be added that gives us a competitive push.
Much like in the annual data summary which graphs our observations over time, I’d like to see a version which graphs both our observations AND those of mutual followers (people who follow us, and we follow back). Ideally, people would have the option to opt out if they didn’t want their stats displayed, but I know of a few folks who’d be interested in the friendly competition aspect.
Admittedly, I’ve seen concern over viewing iNaturalist as a game degrading data quality for the sake of a ‘high score’. This is a problem iNat-wide, and this competitive feature certainly wouldn’t help things. I would hope the ‘mutual follower’ requirement would keep things community-oriented and honest.