No more id-a-thons?

I was wondering how often the id-a-thons happen, and my search of forum posts and projects about it suggest that the last one was May 2021? That was over a year ago. Are these not going to happen anymore?

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The main person who was organizing is on (perhaps permanent) hiatus from iNat. I was the co-host but I have been too busy do another.

Of course anyone could host one at any time; I’d be happy to explain the URLs @pisum made to pull the ID counts from the API.

I believe @lynnharper ran a small one local to New England in Jan or Feb 2022.


Meanwhile we have Identifridays


Someday I will have the time to do it again. The IDathon itself is really not too much work for the host as long as they don’t get intricate with the activities/categories/prizes. The mentorship program took much more time and I largely considered it a flop anyways.


Good intentions, and good memories along the way.


the discord does id-a-thons and twitch streams

I don’t think id-a-thons are the best idea, especially since the amount of incorrect published ID’s there are are growing higher and higher. I would be concerned that someone ends up id’ing 30,000 observations in a day, and then ends up giving 500 observations erroneous Research Grade. Finally, there might be a user that ends up with 3,000 notifications!

I wold like to participate in another one, but with changed rules. All the “numbers don’t matter” means old iders can’t ever win, doing 2k ids a day you still will have less % of growth than a new ider, so I want to see a competition for numbers, maybe make it separate from new members, in hopes people won’t give meaningless ids, but I don’t see a reason to participate with no chance to ever win.

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Eh, that’s not so bad. Would only happen if they have agreeing IDs on, anyway.


We always strove for an atmosphere of cooperation and learning rather than pure competition. Many of the participants in my events were just putting high level IDs on unknowns, unless they felt they knew what they were doing. Generally those who did specific IDs were well-known users you’d recognize from the forum, quite trustworthy. Of course I couldn’t possibly vouch for every ID made, but I did do a random sampling of people’s work during each event and didn’t find anything questionable.

By the way, no one made even close to 30,000 IDs in a day. For the my 48-hr ID-Blitz project in December 2021 the most enthusiastic participant made 2000/day, and keep in mind for that event I didn’t even publish rankings, only PM’d people their individual results at the end. The two longer projects, the 8 week Jan-Feb 2021 IDathon and the 1 week May 2021 IDathon did publish raw number rankings for some categories but “total” numbers were indirectly reported relative to the user’s lifetime ID count prior to event start. (That’s what Marina is referring to in her post above.)

Pretty much any time “how can we motivate identifiers” comes up on the forum, someone expresses the opinion that gamification of any kind will lead to junk IDs. I think in a monitored group environment of 50-60 people the chance is pretty low–the other participants would be all over anyone who they thought was “cheating.”


I’m sorry you feel that way. Like I said above, we were going more for more of a spirit of cooperation and group encouragement.


I get it, other than pure numbers it could be done in other ways, e.g. clearing up all unknowns in a certain region (but please don’t make it unknown-only event), or check all X in Y place, something that will make it fair, I think I’m talking more about earlier ones and not yours that you mentioned, but it was long ago.
What I don’t understand is a cheating argument that always comes in these topics as if that’s what forum members are known for.


I totally agree about the cheating aspect. I was quite new to iNat at the time of the 3 month ID-a-thon, and was really just starting to gain confidence in the identifying aspect. I really don’t think that gamifying (especially controlled gamifying like this) leads to cheating - to me it just adds to the fun - but cheating isn’t fun and makes you unpopular!!

I would agree that having a raw number of IDs category would add to the sense of ‘achievable challenge’ for those with more starting IDs, but I also think the proportional IDs was a cool idea. Both, I say!


which we do - because the agreements are also interesting.
WHO agrees. At what taxon level.

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