Open letter of apology for once being a reckless user

oh i am sorry i can delete the comment if you want! I just found that by googling your band in your profile. I don’t mean to rail on and on about being autistic but my brain doesn’t really process social status other than “ooh this person makes neat music/art/whatever” so my comment wasn’t about that. I’m glad you still feel comfortable using the site, the obscuring algorithm also works quite well and absolutely i would protect my kids’ privacy too, and worry about that stuff even though no one knows who i am. I think making observations while on tour as a band member sounds super fun, idk if that is what you are doing or not but i would totally be all about that.

Certainly glad i haven’t been offensive as i certainly try not to be. I’ve gotten into some arguments on the forums before, but i really try not to any more especially as a forum mod (albeit a rather derelict one) !

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I get that too. Some people are all business and that’s fine, you know. Everybody goes about things differently. I just assume everybody wants the common goal of either creating good and useful data, or just having a good time, without hurting anybody along the way. Even if somebody has a different goal, if they’re nice and don’t create issues, that’s cool too.

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Your comment is absolutely fine, I just didn’t want to come out and make a declaration about it, because I feel like it seems like I am just jumping out of my skin to mention it, when it really had very little impact on the conversation. It did become relevant though, so it’s worth mentioning. It’s really the main factor in deciding to want to share the account rather than having 2, so it definitely was fair to address. It also is by no means a secret, I just don’t think it matters much, in general, and didn’t want to make it seem like I thought otherwise.

I do try to make observations while I travel, I haven’t been doing much because of the pandemic, though. I’m starting up again pretty soon, but my son won’t be with me, so there won’t be as much documentation, but I’m sure there will be some. I try to take pictures of little things whenever I’m at a venue. It’s a nice way to remember the actual location, when looking back, and also to share with my son when I come back.

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aww, that’s super neat, and also what an eat way to connect with your son. I talk to various autistic people or parents of autistic kids and i often do suggest iNaturalist to them and it’s great that you found it.

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Thanks, this is a bit off-topic to the original post but your point about kids growing up and wanting their own account is a good one and I’ll put more thought into it - still new to this, and I really hope my kid’s currently intense interest lasts through the years :) She is not allowed social media and phone/laptop - the pandemic has forced our hand some, but still restricted only to online school and iNaturalist/Seek usage, and that with parental supervision.

For now she is only 8 and doesn’t go anywhere by herself. She basically sees what we see, though she’s getting great at spotting interesting new species and pointing them out to us, and even anticipating the ID because we go through observations posted by others so much and she recognises the species!

Having multiple accounts showing the exact same observation will be wrong, as it will overcount essentially the same finding - so it works well for me to put things together and ensure that what we see is represented by a single entry, albiet with multiple pics taken with phone and/or camera.

Hope this clarifies and doesn’t violate any rules of the community.

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For what it is worth, multiple accounts showing their own photos of the same organism is not against iNat policy or rules. You are correct doing so doesn’t add any value to data quality, however. iNat already can’t be used to many anything other than rough estimates and inferences of abundance of species anyway, due to the non systematic collection of data. The data is incredibly powerful, but only for certain uses.

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Thanks, good to know. Road iNatting it is! I’ve done a little myself but I usually always seem to be the one driving.

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Sometimes I have found that one person’s angle or sharpness of focus allows me to identify the organism when other peoples’ shots of the same organism do not. Kinda like crowdsourcing a multi-photo observation.

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When we go together I post on my acc everything I see, but on his just to not spend lots of time I post only what he photographed, ofc if there’re more ambitions from a child to have everything they see on their acc it’d be more dificult, but maybe we will live long enough to see iNat having an option of shared sightings or actual strong connection between two observations.

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That’d be a really cool feature. Surely many people observe the same thing at different times, all valid observations, but it would be cool to have a way to sorta say “this is the same exact specific plant/animal as this one”. Something that sounds smarter than that, though.

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There’re observation fields that you can use now, e.g. “similar observation set”, but it’s more of a thing nobody will see without intention to find it.

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One thing that helps me interact with people in general is to remember we’re all the same species. “We are all of one blood.” No matter where in the world we live or what we do for our day jobs.
Did you know that some organisms are like celebrities to other organisms? About the closest thing in the bug world to having fans is Batesian mimicry. Who knew that some moths want to be yellow jackets or hummingbirds!?!?
Of course I expect that your next cover will incorporate a chorus of cicadas. Or maybe not! :laughing:

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I never have thought about that but I guess it does highlight how weird humans are. We are probably the only species to do a lot of odd stuff.

In all seriousness, I am a big fan of minimalism with the album artwork, and that’s sort of the brand we have going. But I would love to incorporate an animal on artwork at least once. Probably a tiger or something, because I like those a lot. Maybe a hedgehog for my son, but that would probably be a lot harder to make simplistic.

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What a nice sentiment and reminder how different the app experience is from the website and a great demonstration of community coming together in this thread. I’m glad you stuck around to explore more. I’ve never used the app but I encounter a lot of folks on our local wildflower walks who are familiar with it and will tell me all about how “iNaturalist is an app that will identify things for you.” And then they’re surprised if I tell them about all the other things like back-and-forth discussions about IDs, our projects where we annotate phenology etc. They think I’m talking about something completely different and unconnected to their phone app. So it seems like the app really is very different from the website and missing a lot of features that make the website so interactive.

I admit I frequently use iNat as a tool to try to identify pictures found online using the Computer Vision Demo site. It let’s you check things out without uploading to your account and comes in handy for all those strange oddities of nature that aren’t actually your own observations but you’re really curious to know what it might be.

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Do a tribute for your son with the minimalist hedgehog—it would be unique. Beatrix Potter first introduced me to hedgehogs. Not only was Beatrix Potter a delightful children’s author but an avid naturalist.

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I think that feature is fantastic and really contributes to the greatness of the app/website, but it’s really unfortunate that many people see it as the MAIN thing, because that’s just nowhere near true, especially when you take a closer look and see how many people talk about the problems caused by that specific feature when it isn’t used with a lot of care. That was a major run-on sentence.

I love using it for pictures that aren’t mine all the time, just to see what stuff is and try to learn from it, but I see that more as just being resourceful for my own pleasure, since it isn’t going to truly contribute to the app/site. There’s just so much more than that feature, and the more parts are even better than that feature.

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right. i mean, they were sent to you, but they never actually got to you to read them which is an unfortunate situation that i hope an app update will help address eventually. who knows how many people that could benefit

it absolutely is. there is no way to add annotations on the app, with the exception of when you add an observation to a project that asks for annotations, but ive found that is usually broken anyway. its very easy to miss comments on your stuff and as said before, you dont get messages. its also very hard to do identifications for other people on the app. its not impossible, but its not easy or intuitive. i do like the app and use it a lot, but its just not the same as the website. i dont think it has to be (except i think messages are a needed addition and i really wish we could annotate) but people who only know of the app are really missing out. ive learned so much more from discussions than i ever could from just the computer vision feature on its own

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Which app you refer to? Android allows you to add annotations (and they added messages this year) and it got even more functionality in last months, but it’s there for those who seek it and it’s easy to miss one of miriads buttons it has.

The apple app is very simplistic. If we are talking about iNat still.

You can use explore, to look at a map where observations will show up, or you can search species, places, people or projects, and also see the stats.

Then you can see interactions on your own observations, and check the news.

And then you can upload any observations.

And that’s kind of it. It’s pretty simple, which is nice, but it limits people a lot if you compare it to the website.

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Maybe we should start an iNaturalist 12 step recovery program? “Hi, my name is Cindy and I was an a-hole on iNaturalist”….”Hi Cindy!”…

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