A lot of people puts just the photo, it’s always from the plantae kingdom, i feel like all they want to get is an identification (of course) however most of time those plants are clearly domestic/cultivated and it’s really tiring to have to organize everything, some profiles here only post domestic plants, so my question is, wouldnt be easier if Inat showed some guide or something for these users teaching them to at least put the IDs on the casual section? (i know that anyone can do that, however in the plantae kingdom this happens soooo much, sometimes if you want to identify wild specimens you have to go through so much pages of domestic plants, i feel like this would decresce if there was a tutorial or something teaching people, maybe a small video idk, what do you guys think?
There is a guide, but casual users generally won’t read it.
Most of those users are either just testing the app to see how it works or looking for a quick automatic identification of whatever grows around them; they don’t realize that iNat has a specific goal and a community of real identifiers.
I think this it’s inevitable considering the nature of the app.
I’ve been IDing a lot of unknowns recently and this is definitely a general problem, not just for cultivated plants. I’ve interacted with a few of these new(ish) participants and my impression is that they’re genuinely surprised to find that real humans are involved in the ID process. Others I’ve contacted just don’t respond. It seems that a certain proportion of new observers simply want to use iNat as an app to ID something that caught their attention at that moment, in other words, Seek would be much better suited to their needs.
I’ve been wondering if there wouldn’t be a case for making signing up for iNat slightly more complicated, with the possibility of deviating someone who just wants a quick-fix ID to Seek and making it clear that by joining iNat, you’re becoming part of a community of REAL PEOPLE who will invest time and energy in helping you ID your observation.
A low barrier to earn entry - yes.
Make 10 IDs before you can upload 10 obs. Wouldn’t work, but it would shift the obs versus ID imbalance.
Part of the inevitable slop of citizen science, I think. (I enjoy surprising people who didn’t expect a real human being to respond.)
I had someone actually ask if I was a real person… I had to think twice before answering. Should I worry?
Always good to be sceptical!
I wonder if the computer vision model could be trained to recognize cultivated plants/captive animals. If the CV flagged a particular upload, it could trigger a pop-up asking the user if the observation is cultivated/captive.
Has your ID as a real person been confirmed by any identifiers? she says, innocently…
As a newer member myself (less than 6 months) I’m still learning the ropes here on the proper way to interact with the platform and general etiquette. So far I’ve identified exponentially more observations than I myself have uploaded, I don’t “guess” on observations if I’m not confident, and I don’t blindly go along with identifications if I have no business doing so. I certainly don’t use iNaturalist as an app to help me identify something I’m unfamiliar with. My area of familiarity is mostly eastern hardwood tree species, an ever-growing list of native plants, and the invasive/naturalized species I find in southern New England. My question is this though: Do you find these newer users (who are trying to use the platform as an instant gratification identification tool) to stick around for the long-term? Or do they eventually stop logging on and then there’s yet another crop of fresh users trying to use the app in the same manner? Admittedly, I never read the guide when I signed up. I can’t imagine everybody does. I just started using the app, little by little, and the more I used it the more I started to see there’s a lot to unpack here. Where I became aware of mistakes I made previously, I corrected them. There are all types of users here too, different personalities, professionals, novices, all with varying levels of expertise. It’s rather humbling, honestly. It wasn’t even until a few days ago that I checked out the iNatForum, which from what I can see is required reading for anyone that wants to take iNaturalist seriously.
Your progression sounds like that of many iNat users (and I think it’s a good one!). I think some users definitely do get interested and stick around. Or they leave the app for a long time after their first ID request and then come back to it one day with more interest or when they’re bored, etc.
In terms of onboarding new users, I think it’s an interesting challenge for iNat. iNat does have a lot of documentation if you know where to look or are a tenacious searcher. Most beginning users won’t find it. There’s been discussion of how to onboard new users for a while, and, while I certainly think this could be improved, iNat has so much detail/is such a deep rabbithole that there’s no way newbies can be taught it all or even a good chunk of it at the start. No one wants to read tons of help, FAQs, or tutorials before they get some gratification from using it. So for new users, there will always be a lot of learning as they go (which means making mistakes or doing things non-optimally at first) I think.
Also, while many “power users” are active on the forum, there are many who are not, so I don’t think it’s required. I’m sure that there are many great iNatters who live in blissful ignorance of the forum…;)
But what if they both just thoughtlessly agreed with the CV?
Not even by myself .
Not sure the CV would get it right either, even “Life” seems a long shot some days .
But to get back on topic (more or less)…
I don’t have the perspective of some who’ve been using iNat much longer than I have, but my impression is that only a relatively small percentage of new users remain and become “regulars” and even fewer ever make any attempt at IDing (or annotating) for others.
The more information the better of course, but I just don’t think the “casual” user is going to bother to read/watch even a general guide, let alone such a specific one. Maybe I’m fixated, but I keep coming back to this idea of somehow letting people know that when they join iNat, they’re joining a COMMUNITY of real (more or less ) people who will invest time and effort in getting their observation IDed. And that if they just want an instant-gratification ID and have no interest in actively participating in a community, then Seek might be a better answer, particularly for non-wild plants and animals which take up a lot of time energy and really have very little to contribute to science.
But. None of you are real. I talk to dinosaurs, rock art, cats and dogs, flowers and trees, beetles and butterflies. Who is going to believe that Rock Art is a real person? I will get my avatar to talk to your avatar about iNat.
I am tempted to ask donkey oatley for an ID on one of my obs - to enjoy his name and avatar
the Forum is good for finding who to ask. And - presuming you are an iNat addict - finding new or more efficient / effective ways to iNat. Both as an observer (where to go, what to see, what pictures do you need) and as an identifier (wait, what, REAL people make the IDs ?!)
I started and stopped for several years, as when I first used iNats, I became very frustrated because they were using New Zealand names for Australian orchids. I came back to it a couple of years later and now I give iNaturalist workshops (Getting Started & Keep Going) here in South Australia.
It is true, as in your second paragraph, that there is a lot of documentation and rabbit holes. So I’ve been fine tuning the workshops from the feedback from newbies. I think having the personal sessions makes a big difference. I see 3 pages that are important to explain - dashboard (and if they remember nothing else checkout the Getting Started Guide widget), observation page and species. In the course of the workshop, I address the issues that @intelec raises. And the other important thing we do is realtime identification and use of the app. Feedback has been very positive.
Personally I am still learning how forums work and mainly a reader looking for ideas to be able to help others.
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