Profile flair for prolific contributors

On YouTube, when a channel gets a certain number of subscribers, they’re presented with a little plaque to signify the accomplishment…

I just passed the 100,000 identifications milestone, where’s my plaque? That’s probably several thousand hours of scholarship shared free of charge with the iNaturalist community.

No, I don’t actually expect a plaque for my service—I’m sure this site has much better things to put their resources to then my own vanity. But I have an idea for how iNaturalist could show their appreciation, whilst perhaps also improving functionality…

Profile flair.

Presently, there’s just a little circle with our chosen avatar. What if at various milestones this was embellished ever so slightly. Post 1000 observations? Get a black border to your avatar. Post 100,000? Get a silver border. Contribute 100,000 identifications? Maybe the circle becomes a star shape instead. Or maybe just add a little :star2: atop the circle. Or how about distinct icons for the taxa identified. My expertise is in fish and corals, so :tropical_fish: & :coral:! The possibilities are endless.

The benefit to this would be that users could, at a glance, gain some quick impression of how experienced their fellow users are and where their expertise is. This is especially important when judging how much weight to give to someone’s identification. If the user identifying your observation has that :star2: avatar, there’s a better than average chance that their ID is worth paying attention to, certainly more than a new user with 3 IDs to their name and no visual flair.

While I do like the idea of some type of recognition, I think it can taken advantage of. There has been a recent example of a user logging 4000-5000 IDs per day. And these are added to observations that are already RG. I can’t believe you can achieve those kind of number while doing due diligence to the ID process. I think it would be a nice feature to separate out supporting into “supporting” if you are agreeing with the initial identification and bringing it to RG and then an “assisting” category if you’re just adding to already RG observations. If the recognition were based on “supporting” and not “assisting”, I’d be all for that.


Congratulations on all those IDs, @joe_fish! I think this is a cool idea, although it’s easy enough currently to see someone’s tally of observations and identifications on their profile. If implemented, there should be an opt-out, as some people don’t want to be flagged as super-identifiers which could lead to more requests.


Have a fynbos bouquet. I have seen you working hard on our marine life at Cape Town. Thank you!


We think it’s flair to see 100,000 IDs! Wow. We wouldn’t be interested in keeping track of what the flairs mean and would wind up looking at the user’s stats anyway to discern it. We are not against this idea; we simply would prefer not to be publicly compared to other people based on our ability/willingness to participate on inat


There has been a recent example of a user logging 4000-5000 IDs per day. And these are added to observations that are already RG.

I’ve noticed this more and more frequently lately - some users have added literally tens or hundreds of thousands of IDs by just going through agreeing with every already-RG observation of specific taxa on the site, I guess in an effort to claim “Top Identifier” spots?

Profile flair for identifications will simply incentivize people to add more IDs, not necessarily to add correct or useful identifications. Making it a contest of “who has more” I think is not a useful exercise, and was part of the reason the old leaderboards were removed from the site a while ago. I think users should identify things for others because they want to and for whatever personal joy they get out of it, not for badges or achievements.


Amazing, thanks so much for your contribution! You also IDed lots of my observations from the red sea and I appreaciate it! :-)


How about a special mark on our profile when we go above 100,000 observations?


I think it’s a neat idea, although I’m only about 1/3 of your total. Yes, it might be abused, but everything is these days. And yes, an opting out feature might also be good, although species Leaderboards already supply that information.
Maybe a little star for those of us who also do annotations!


I guess iNat could add these just for our own viewing and fun (more into the gamification thing). With the downside of that extra information they give about users and really not much of a repercussion of people taking advantage of it (however I wonder if people already abuse of the Agree button, how different it could be if they were public).

Probably a lot of people won’t agree with this, as is my understarding iNat won’t seek having a weighting system for IDs like others platforms.


I weight IDs and people by their informed comments. Quality, not quantity is what I value and use.


:raised_hands:t2: Oh, yes! Congrats on such a wonderful achievement .

I’ve often thought that some “gamification” of iNat could be fun… I was thinking more in terms of badges. Seems like when I mention it I am directed to “Seek” which I have not even tried and am not really interested in right now. But I think having a little notification when you reach milestone numbers for identifications, observations, annotations, project contributions, or taxa would be great. Would it really degrade the quality of iNat information any more than it already is?

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Meanwhile the service which provides this forum for iNat … has badges and notifications all over the place :rofl: I have earned an Admired on the forum :roll_eyes:
But only 50K IDs.


We don’t plan on adding gamification elements to iNaturalist, and I would put flair/badges under this category. Personally I think the way the “Top Identifiers” and “Top Identifiers” lists work already incentivize too much undesirable behavior, but at least they’re basic data (these users added this many IDs to this set of observations) and IMO fit in with iNat’s open data philosophy. Also, the numbers don’t actually tell the community much about the actual value someone is contributing (if that could even be quantified) - just that they’ve done a lot of things on iNat.

I agree with this.

Although, I totally recognize how much fun it is to get badges and trophies, which I love doing when playing video games. But I don’t think it’s a good fit for iNaturalist, and this is one of the reasons we created Seek - to gamify nature observation on a more sandboxed platform without incentivizing potentially unwanted behavior on iNat itself.

So I’m going to close the request, I’m sorry, but it’s not the kind of feature we plan to add to iNat.