Show analytics for journal posts to project admins/author

Platform(s):

All.

Description of need:

The idea is that you can see who is viewing you journal posts, whether on profile or on project. The feature should only be accessible to the project admins.

Feature request details:

There should be a line graph, and then when you hover a specific date, then the people who saw it in that date should be visible. It can be useful in situations like:

You give a link to one of you journal posts and you want to know whether the person had seen it.

I am pretty sure staff have previously said analytics aren’t/won’t be made available for projects or journal posts, but am coming up short with finding that post.

I would be strongly against this level of data being provided to people.

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why not just ask the person whether or not they have seen it?

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I didn’t know if anyone read the journal posts I write for one project, until someone sent me an email complaining about something I had written. So at least I know one person reads it!

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Data could be kept anonymous.
Visible only to the author of the journal post.
How many people have seen this?

Won’t happen - but I would also like to know, how many have already looked at this obs, and quietly abandoned an ID attempt? Is it worth me trying, when ‘so many’ have despaired already? Especially when clearing the 10 year old backlog. Enquiring minds do want to know.

yes, it makes sense for analytical data on observations. Maybe similar to display for how many observations each month, like on the taxon pages?

Within the Forum we can see
6 clicks on this link - no names - that simplest of info.

@dianastuder I am talking about the real iNaturalist, not forum.

For the journal, maybe the same could be achieved with a “favorite” icon at the end of the journal entry. We don’t really know how they got to the journal entry (forums/external link/inat website/…) so there wouldn’t be a link where clicks can be tracked like that. But I often look for a way to favorite/like a journal entry I read. I will add a comment sometimes if I really want to let the author know how much I appreciate it, but if there were a favorite icon underneath I’d click that much more readily. And the number of favorites (not names) could just be displayed next to it for everyone to see.

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But not everyone would do that…

I sometimes link to my journals while id’ing (planthoppers) here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/fulgoromorpha-the-coolest-insects

I guess @psyllidhipster may be interested in voting here.

I was suggesting that the Forum function (of counting clicks), could, be applied to iNat itself.

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I routinely and deliberately right click/new tab in order to not be counted.

I think it’s a bad idea to provide that kind of data to users, it will only lead to people engineering their observations to maximize whatever metric is shown.

The question to ask is if it’s worth it to you. Do you enjoy keeping up with the observation, then do it. If not, no harm done.

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People vary. Some will chase vanity metrics. That’s the same argument which is regularly rolled out against leaderboards - which I use - to find suitable @mentions each time.

But authors would like to follow trends. I use StatCounter for my blog. I check which pictures are downloaded - then check if and where they appear again. I check which of my links are clicked (any?) I check which site my readers come from, and get a steady trickle from iNat or the Forum (and vice versa since I include relevant iNat links in my blog posts) It is useful information to the author.

I have a link to the City Nature Challenge and am interested to see where the clicks come from. If the iNat journal were outsourced as the Forum is (to Discourse), we could have analytics.

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i think this is not really related to the original idea in this thread, but it’s sort of similar to this other thread: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/show-number-of-reviewers-for-an-observation/38623.

i tend to agree that collecting raw view counts and/or allowing folks to see who has viewed their stuff is a bad idea. i wouldn’t mind iNat saying generally how many people look at an average observation or an average journal post, but i don’t think most people would be able to do anything useful with those kinds of metrics on specific observations and posts.

that said, people who really want to track that kind of data should be able to do that on their own. for example, you could just add a small image file in your observation description or journal post, and if you control the image file, you should be able to count the number of times that image file is served up, which should be roughly equivalent to views of the particular observation or journal post. i think there used to be a free service that would serve up these image files for you and keep track of how many hits, but i forget what this service was called, and i don’t know if they are still active.

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This is not a feature we’ll be implementing. It’s not data we really keep, and not providing users view stats for their content is a choice iNat’s made for a long time, for the reasons others have brought up here.

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