Recruiting more identifiers

An attempt to summarize a few of the issues and existing and potential solutions for attracting accurate identifications.

“iNaturalist isn’t useful” “It’s just a toy” “Instagram for nature”

  • A general “iNaturalist is useful” page? Expand/improve this one?
  • Using iNat as your data platform guide
  • Feature research or conservation wins that came from iNat observations (see many examples on the iNat blog and social media)

“iNaturalist is full of bad data and a waste of my time”

“I need 100% control over the taxonomy”

  • I don’t think iNat is likely to develop a free-for-all where people can enter whatever they want as an ID, though I would like to be able to at least sort observations by my ID, and
  • Have an easier way to export observations with my IDs as the labels
  • Users can use a project to export “project curator ID”
  • As observers, they can opt out of community ID
  • iNaturalist can deviate from the standard taxonomic authorities if needed

Prompting iNatters to help ID

Not sure how to use Identify page

Lack of confidence to help ID

  • Cultivate a welcoming community where anyone can make a mistake without fear of being yelled at

Lack of knowledge to help ID

Improvements to ID tools

Get feedback on helpful IDs

  • Highlight helpful IDs
  • Tony does frequently highlight identifiers in his Observation of the Week blog posts
  • Emphasize Improving and Leading IDs
  • Some very modest badges or automated acknowledgment of helpfulness could be useful for spurring additional activity, e.g. “Thanks! You just added an Improving ID for the first time!” or, when the community confirms it, “That’s the first time you’ve IDed SpeciesX!” (and not anything like “Congrats on adding 1000 IDs, can you get to 2000???”)

Prevent ID burnout