We’re thinking of introducing the following changes:
- You must have 3 verifiable observations or 3 identifications for others before you can send a new message
- You must have 50 verifiable observations before making a new project
- You must have 50 verifiable observations before making a new place
These three kinds of content cause a variety of problems:
Some of you may have been hit by phishing attempts in the last few months. They’re annoying and for some people potentially dangerous. The intent here is to make it slightly harder for a newly registered user to just spam a bunch of people. There’s been some discussion of this, including fears about punishing new users, but I don’t think three observations or identifications is too much to ask of earnest new users.
For some reason, a lot of people sign up for iNat and think the first thing they need to do is make a project. I have no idea why, but the first thing you should do on iNat is make an observation or an identification. That’s the core of iNat. Everything else is ancillary, and this will hopefully help new users understand that. Projects can be a support headache and we receive many emails about them, most of which are from people who have barely added any observations and/or have a tenuous understanding of what iNat is about. Everyone who makes a project needs to understand iNat from an observer’s perspective, and if 50 obs sounds like work, good. It is.
No doubt many of you have seen the large number of duplicate places, which is confusing and mostly unnecessary. What you might not realize is that making new places that encompass many observations imposes a significant performance cost for the site as a whole. Making a place the size of Texas requires hours of computation time during which we cannot deploy changes to the site without restarting that job. Most people do not need to make a place.
I doubt this will cause any problems for folks in the Forum, since I assume most people invested enough to be here have well over 50 observations. Still, we’re interested in your thoughts.