How does it feels like to be a top identifier?

And what’s the difference between haveing 100, 1000 and 10000 ID of a group?
That’s what I already made. I mainly spend my time and efforts on Mantodea and Tettigoniidea (Mantis and Katydid). But I hardly feels changes of status or situation compared to when I first joined in.
Do I didn’t notice the changes? How does it really feels like to be a top identifier? Receiving repution? Or just remain usual?

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There’s no difference, numbers are not the sign of knowledge, it can work in both ways (many ids with no idea what is happening and a few ids from world expert).
I don’t think everyone should aim to have a million or two of ids to get some kind of reputation, I personally have more admiration to real experts in their group adding species ids where other people can’t, which takes more time to do, than getting 8th id of a crow. If you add valuable ids, it means people already recognize you, if you recieve any tags, that’s part of it.
I don’t really know what status you expect from adding ids, relationships with other iders and obsrvers is the best realistically that you can get, of course there’s a possibility of iding something super rare and being part of some science stuff through that, but that’s more of a dream and shouldn’t be the main motivator of adding ids.

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There is nothing to it really. Being the pro who gives IDs where others cannot is valuable. But parroting a gazillion IDs to some ubiquitous organisms that have been upped too many times and have already received several IDs doesn’t make too much of a difference really.
When by chance I see that I am top IDer of a species, well, that is nice. But IDing a difficult organism to species level and then find out that I was the first one to do so on iNat, now, that is something else. … if it turns out to be correct, that is.
And there is one more issue with “top IDers”: on several occasions the “Top IDer” turned out to be a top observer who just parroted all the IDs he received without actually being able to ID the species. An annoying behavior that leads to frustrating encounters. Tagging the so-called top identifier of a species, and then get the answer: “Sorry, no clue, I only ever observe them …”

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It’s not a game to me. I contribute identifications because I see value in contributing to a large, biological dataset–and the thrill of finding something unusual (a rare species) among all the usual ones. The numbers are irrelevant to me, so I ignore them. Does everything in life has to be gamified in order to see value or be satisfied? I hope not–that’s a dystopian world that I don’t wish to live in.

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I think, it depends upon an IDer. If they are “clickers” aiming for the leaderboard, it is probably enjoyable in the sense of competition/gaming (quite senseless from my point of view). If they are true IDers, it does not make much difference, though sometimes add to annoyance - my personal annoyance (slight though) is when users start to tag for taxa IDs outside geographical region I am dealing and familiar with.

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I agree. I don’t think it feels any different to be in a different leaderboard position. I do get a sense of satisfaction when the number of observations I have under a particular search in Identify goes to zero, but that happens when I do daily checks etc…more like “aaaaaaaah”.

I also find it satisfying to see interesting or difficult to ID observations and contribute to them in some way. But leaderboards? Nah.

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I’m pretty sure the only reason I’m the top for P. taeda is because I’m the only one here for now to like that particular tree enough to enjoy looking at pictures of them for hours sometimes. Extremely common tree and not very charismatic, and it is endemic to my area. I love them regardless. I could go on about them and how cool they are. I honestly didn’t notice until people starting tagging.

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I’m weird I guess in that every time this looks likely to happen I get visions of all these memes where someone tries to divide by zero and the universe implodes. So I hesitate and will leave just a handful unidentified as a seed for growing the pool again. :sweat_smile:

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I wish … I have days when I think, okay, a hundred in the queue, I can clear that today.
And the new obs trickle in over my shoulder :sob:

The leaderboards are ‘vanity numbers’ The real leaders to tag are ones who you learn to recognise, because they know whereof they speak AND are eager to share that knowledge.

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Why should it feel something special? This is not a race.

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I agree here! Number of identifications can be a sign of a “leader,” but not necessarily. It’s like trying to ascribe one factor to determine the health of the economy.

I usually check over the identifier’s profile, whether they have any interesting journal posts, and—most importantly—I just use time. Over time, you’ll start to recognize who are really giving a lot to your iNaturalist community. And you also learn to appreciate them much more.

On a different note, If one is a top identifier and and pretty big leader in the community, I think one can feel a sense a joy in helping others.
But then again, you don’t need to be a top identifier to help others. And is it selfish to feel good about helping other people? :wink:

Note that I’m using leader here, but I really don’t think that encompasses the character of our valued community members

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Guys I know what you mean. I am trying to be and in fact I am, the one who can make very rare ID which hardly any one else can make. I feel proud of it, but I want to know except self satisfying what can I get from it.
I also make, and would be many, IDs for normal species. For one reason normal species always get a lot of observations. And I think it is still necessary to give ID to even normal species (I usually give ID to those aren’t as accurate as it could be or nice photo that I think) because there still some one can’t recognize them —— We must realize that not everyone is as knowledgable as we are. Giving ID and share knowledge to them at the same time will be meaningful.

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Indeed I love helping other. But I also want some very little feedbacks such as a thank, or tag me the next time when they need help, or a chance to further discussion.
Unluckily, those situations are rare, which makes me doubt myself, am I spending time and efford to do what I can do but finally in vain? Do I really help people? Am I inessential? Should I quit to be more relax?

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I feel exhaust to a bunch of real life situations and affairs. I really hope the thing I did can benefit my life or at least myself, or I may not be able to keep on and quit. But I am afriad to see what if the group I work on still goes well after I leave, which prove that I am nothing but optional.

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Agreed. I am the top identifier of Rallus rails, but I only know the 4 species that regularly occur in the United States and Canada (and I can recognize Rallus aquaticus though I don’t include that in my workload for IDs). Sometimes I get tagged for help identifying Rallus rails outside of North America, but I’m unable to help.

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I’m both amazed and frustrated with the users here, because no matter how many I check, there’s always more tomorrow. I am much more confident in my knowledge of Penstemon species and look-alikes now and I do get tagged a little bit more. I hope that I’m providing a useful service and giving back for all the IDs others provide for my observations.

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If it exhausts you, I would certainly quit or cut back at least. I actually identify for very selfish reasons - I don’t get out as much as I like, and if I’m really going to become familiar with a species then I need to see it in all seasons and all conditions, and iNat has been incredible in providing me with that. I like to think I might be helping the person who made the observation, or perhaps I’ll be helping a person who uses the identification for research in the future, but mostly I’m just helping myself and I can zone out and relax while doing so.
It terrifies me to be on the top identifier board - especially when I know that there are more knowledgeable people under me - but I am good at bumping the question to someone else, or bowing out, when I don’t feel comfortable. And I think those that know me are aware of that and it actually builds confidence.
I don’t say “thank you” all the time - usually only when someone gives me extra information, or IDs an organism that has been sitting for years. It just seems redundant and meaningless if done all the time. But I appreciate every identification that is put on my observations - even the extra ones.

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I don’t fully agree on some of these. I think there is a great benefit to running the common taxon, because there’s often so many of them that they get missed, and I’ve found some pretty cool finds by running ID’s through RG common taxon like Bombus impatiens. Meticulously pouring through the common stuff can yield the occasional gold dust. One guy I was talking with was saying that when running through Honey Bees (I think the 2nd highest observations on here?), he’ll occasionally find something really good.

Yes if you’re treating the agree button like a “Like” button then you’re more of a hinderance then a help, and if you’re trying to learn a taxon then I think you’re better off ID’ing at a higher level and bringing Family stuff down to Genus, but if you truly know a taxon then yes hitting agree 10k times on it is helping to validate the data. Plus if you know the taxon then you will be kicking some things back. And just looking to ID rarities is a good way to not ID much at all (there’s a reason they’re called rare).

I also disagree that numbers is not a sign of knowledge, it is. Of course it is not the final sign, but when looking for an expert on here the first thing many of us do is go to explore, set the region, and start reading profiles, starting at the top (ie the ones who ID the most).

I do agree that completing a Needs ID set feels good. It’s like, “ahh, back in control”.

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It’s not ID itself exhaust me, but I might feel hard because awful real life and ID can’t help me out.
Still thank you for letting me know that people are appreciated.

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I feel some satisfaction seeing my total number of identifications go up, but I think I felt pretty much the same satisfaction when I reached half the number of identifications I have now, and a quarter, etc. The daily satisfaction is much more important than that from reaching any particular milestone (though I pause to enjoy those ephemeral good feeling, too).

Part of the satisfaction comes from knowing I’ve done X amount of work to help create and improve a huge database that is and will be useful to researchers. Part come from knowing I’ve helped individual observers get information they want. The game-like aspect is fun too – this has replaced playing solitaire in my life.

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