Profile Improvements?

I’m realizing now that, beyond a research and learning too, iNat is kind of social media that enables us to connect and form a community. Of course, we can find people that share our interests when they ID our observations or we ID theirs, and we can connect with them through comments and in this forum.

I’m wondering if there’s more we can do with profiles. I really like the idea of life lists and the recent developments there. I also know you can feature taxons.

How about specific observations or photos? There are good reasons why other social media networks use profiles to feature what the user likes or in ways they define themselves or want to announce to others.

I remember an interesting post somewhere about observations that told stories. It would be great if someone had a good story and was able to publish it on their profile. Or if someone had a great photo of something and wanted to do something interesting with it beyond use it as their profile pic.

Maybe I’m missing something, but after some effort, I haven’t figured out how to do much with my own profile. It’s pretty bland.

Adding more power (features) to our profiles could also attract certain talents to iNaturalist, like professional photographers, and connect them to scientists, authors, teachers, people in media, and more.

Any ideas out there?

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Journal posts do exactly that, though ability to pin observation or post so it would be visible similar to favourite taxons would be cool!


Ideas like this have been brought up in the past and the general argument for not implementing them is that the main purpose of iNat is engagement with nature, not with other people online (although that obviously does happen). There are a lot of other social media sites, emphasis on the social, side where that sort of activity can, and does, take place, and most of those social media platforms have special groups for those interested in specific subjects.

The forum portion of iNat is mainly meant as a way to communicate about things to do with iNat itself, although there are the “General” and “Nature Talk” portion for less specific discussions.

That’s the reasoning I’ve seen put forth in the past, and I agree with it. I’m not keen to see iNat turn into another repetitious generalized social media platform.

You can always use your profile to link to groups you’re a member of on other more socially based platforms, to any blogs or photo collections you keep, etc. People who are interested can easily follow those and engage with them without turning iNat into something that it wasn’t meant to be.

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Thank you. I also do not want to see iNat to turn into Facebook. But my impression is that updating profile capabilities will not result in that. Yes, iNat is about nature, but people and nature are interdependent. We people need to connect with each other in order to protect and better understand nature. iNat is already a social media platform and not simply a research tool.

I’m not sure I have great answers, but this is an idea. Will iNat go the way of the Blackberry, whose CEO didn’t keep innovating and finding ways for his platform to continue developing?

Where does iNat see itself in 10 years?

If anyone else sees any interesting possibilities in this, please chime in.

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