Several topics recently have touched on the idea that we need more people doing IDs. It’s been said that the number of observations is overwhelming the ID process, that expert taxonomists are hard to recruit, and that identifying can be a burdensome chore (a perspective that isn’t likely to help with recruiting).
I’d like to open up discussion on positive, productive ways to address this issue. Some qs:
How can we recruit more experts (academics, agency people, retirees with expertise)? How can we find them and get them on board? They need to take iNat seriously and not think it will distract from more “important” work.
How can we get mid-level users to help with IDs of common things they probably know well? They need the confidence to see how their knowledge can help others.
How can we make observers more aware of the service that identifiers are performing and ways they can pre-help? The quicker new observers catch on to the “community” of iNat the less likely they are to do annoying things. How can we make this more transparent?
A starter suggestion (there was a thread on recognizing service, but maybe this is more specific): Tag an “identifier of the month” and ask them to describe an ID experience that was particularly rewarding. (Don’t just go by volume or we’ll always get the same people.)