While I appreciate, that there are many users on the site with many needs, and many skills and many approaches, the title of this thread is
“Why do some serious “power users” add so many unknown observations?”
I told you why I do! And my opinons, which are entirely mine.
Thinking about it more I would not mind if I could switch of all notifications of identifications above order level.
I appreciate that beginners might find a rapid response useful, but if I posted something as a beginner and someone posted “plant” as the ID, I would seriously worry about the nature of the site.
I am also probably a “power identifier” (well in the top 25 anyway, although not in the league of the top 10 identifiers - on the other hand, considering that “identifications” do not include IDs to one’s own observations, so I might well be in the top 10). I would probably enjoy looking at the breakdown of ranks of the identifications provided (I bet I would be in the top ranks of those identifying at family and below), and I honestly do not find the ID above class useful in any way at all. That is my opinion and my impression, and I am sure that others might disagree.
On the other hand I find IDs at family and lower levels incredibly useful (even when they are occasionally wrong).
Sorry to harp on about iSpot, but on iSpot one had to specify when one loaded if it was a Bird | Mammal | Herp | Fish | Invertebrate | Plant | Fungus | Unknown - it was an obligatory field not related to the taxonomy-dictionary and made that first cut binning the data into categories, without requiring any input from anyone other than the observer. Less than 1% of the observations were “unknown” although there were some weird classifications (the usual dolphins as fish, but also totally bizarre and incomprehensible selections).
Perhaps this is where an extra category “Pending - leave alone” might come in handy?
While busy with higher ranking identifications, one that I would really appreciate is that of “Not Life”, for observations of rocks and minerals (some look like lichens or fossils), clouds, rain, fire (although perhaps that is living) and so forth.
And I would dearly love Bacteria not to show up in the no-identification category - look at all the “Phytoplasma” and “Rhigobium” identifications in: