Provide more guidance when creating new projects

Can you add some more detail / guidance to the projects homepage and new projects page? something like

In text form for search purposes:

Managing Projects: Before you decide to create a project, spend some time using iNaturalist: adding observations, IDs, and comments - those are the core aspects of iNaturalist. You should be familiar with iNaturalist before creating a project. Read more about Managing Projects…Should I start a project? Compare project types, and Ideas for project outreach. Read more… link to https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/managing-projects

Teacher’s Guide: Are you planning to use iNaturalist in the classroom? It might seem like the perfect blend of science and mobile technology, but too often it gets misused in the classroom. In order to help you avoid some common problems, here are some pointers for teachers seeking to use iNaturalist in the classroom. First, use iNaturalist yourself, Focus on wild organisms, and Be the steward of your classroom’s data. Read more… link to https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/teacher’s+guide

Hear hear, great idea!

As I see how many projects get created every day, one thing I have been curious about is how much extra system overhead they entail, collection projects in particular. If the answer is not much, then great. But if it is significant, one thing that might be part of “Should I start a project?” is, consider the audience size for collection projects.

If it would only be of interest to 1-3 people, consider just creating the corresponding observation filter (which might include some manual URL additions), and bookmarking and sharing that URL instead. A project can always be created later if the potential audience grows. But again, if system resources are a non-issue for collection projects, then that’s great too.

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One of the major reasons that we created collection projects is that they’re quite low impact, infrastructure-wise. Observations are already indexed as being of a certain taxon, in a certain place, by a certain user, etc, so when the collection project page loads, it just performs a search (just like Explore does) and displays the observations meeting the project’s requirements. It’s basically a prettified observations search.

Traditional projects actually have observations “added” to them, and our database has to reflect that, which means each observation has to have info attached to it that it’s in a certain project. So they have a higher impact on iNat’s infrastructure.

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I want to second what @jdmore is saying. I doubt teachers would stumble into using an URL to track their students rather than a project. I am currently using the URL approach to track students observations. I still have issues with students uploading cultivated plants, no image, or no location, but if the student is still active in the course I can work with them to fix these issues. An example of a URL that functions as a pseudo-project:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?user_id=adorewill,gina_segal,josseljgallen,luckinos,jaylinolalotog,marice1,mj39,myewhie,sheepaul&place_id=any&subview=grid&verifiable=any

Rather than bookmark the URL, I put the URL where the students can access them from a page linked from my college homepage:
http://www.comfsm.fm/~dleeling/ethnobotany/ej3/inaturalist_taxa.html

I also follow my students, a practice I strongly recommend, which again alleviates the need to create a project. I strongly support this request along with other improvements to onboarding new users, especially teachers and instructors.

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Yeah the intention of this feature request isn’t to alleviate impact on the server, but the community.

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