I’d like to argue that I’ll still be engaging with the iNat community. Just to explain myself/plead my case a bit more:
I won’t be uploading any photos via my own account, I’ve created a new account for Valerie, so all photos I upload will be as if they’re coming from her. When I explained iNat to her she was very amenable to and interested in the idea, especially the fact that she’d be able to share her images/observations with a wide global community. However, she’s 87 now, has bad arthritis in her hands, and is still very busy as she continues to dive, paint, write books, and engage in conservation efforts. She told me that while she doesn’t have the time or really even physical means re using a computer extensively to upload images, she loves the idea. So I feel like being able to upload images for her is satisfying the goals/aims of iNat as envisioned by yourself and Ken-ichi.
I also think that even though she won’t be physically active on the site herself, uploading these photos will still engage the iNaturalist community to a huge degree. People will be able to see these amazing fish/marine observations from decades ago that are essentially now a time machine to ecosystem states that don’t exist anymore. Going through some of her footage now, there are species I’ve never seen before, species that have gone locally extinct, enormous individuals that don’t reach those sizes before. I feel that regardless of whether it’s Valerie actually behind the monitor, these kinds of special uploads are almost tailor-made to foster community engagement.
I think these in lieu of accounts also create a cool testament/legacy for these amazing scientists/explorers and ensure their incredible observations don’t disappear forever. I assume there are some from other parts of the world too, but in Australia there are a few post-humous accounts floating around that are amazing. Even though you cannot talk to Graeme Cocks or Ken Graham anymore because they’ve passed away, their photos are still being made accessible. When Graeme’s account got created I spent hours going through his observations, and I’m sure others did too; half of the stuff posted for him is the first observation of the species (in many cases anywhere online, not just on iNat), and many observations are of undescribed species. Similarly with Ken; he used to be a commercial trawler. His photos are all of rare, amazing deep-sea fish and sharks, and every time one gets posted the Australasian Fishes community are engaged.
Would love to hear more on what you think here Tony (or anyone else).