ncook57's picture

Contacting other users

Hi, Would it be possible to have the facility to contact other users of this forum?

Sometimes it would be nice to be able to ask other users a question without having to post it on a forum thread.

This is something that can be done on other forums I belong to.





Martin Harvey's picture

contact info


We were discussing this again today. iSpot was quite deliberately set up without the ability to contact users direct, in order to ensure that the site was safe for all users, including children. However, given that so many other online activities do allow for some form of direct contact we are perhaps swimming against the tide here.

We'll have a think about allowing people to 'opt in' to direct contact if they wish to do so, but it would be useful to get thoughts from others as to whether you'd like to see this on iSpot or not.


Entomologist and biological recorder

ncook57's picture

Thanks Martin, I agree it

Thanks Martin,

I agree it would be better to make users who are happy to be contacted to opt-in rather than make opt-in the default.


There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those who don't.
Regards, Nick

sirhandle's picture

I also agree that an 'opt in'

I also agree that an 'opt in' option would be best if you're going to go down this route. As a primary teacher I am only too aware of how easy it is to contact children on the web and I'm forever having to try to get the children to safe guard themselves without putting them off using the web. What about making the opt in option only available to those over 18?

Just go out there and do it!!!

Refugee's picture

18 Years

This would increase the workload on the hardware hidden away at the OU and bring up issues related to false dates of birth being entered. This could lead to legal costs and so on. Policing it would take up time that would be better spent on the wildlife.
I do use the same user name on a number of sites that do indeed allow private messages. I would go along that rout if i chose to get in touch privately for any reason.

***I vote against it being added to Ispot***


Matt Smith's picture

Contact info

I'd rather leave to "private message" system out of I-spot as it is now, otherwise I think at least part of the objectives of I-Spot will be sidelined if it turns into more of a forum along the lines of Wild About Britain. Comments about a particualr photo or ID reason should stay attached to the Observation as at present so people can see how and why an ID might be arrived at.

Tachinid Recording Scheme

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Bredon's picture

Contact Info

I too would rather leave "private messages" out of I-spot.

ophrys's picture


I agree that introducing private messaging is best left out, too. It is good to have a site that you can dip into without worrying about extra contact. Let's keep things simple. It works fine as it is, doesn't it? Discussion is only about identifications, really, and that can be done photo by photo.

I also agree with the comment that there are children posting pictures as well, and that is another reason why it should be left private.

iSpot is sold as a family site, unlike some of the other sites referred to, which do allow private contact.

Keep it simple...the formula works as it is.


My Flickr photos...

Fenwickfield's picture

Leave it

I think it should be left as it is,I to agree that there are children posting pic's and they have to be protected as Ophyrs had said and it is a family site.If someone does wish to contact you then it can be done vie the ispot team as I have had a couple of ispotters getting in touch with me this way but they were expert's and another helping with an id sending material for microscope examination.I personally do not wish to give my details and I am not on any other sites so it does matter to me.
If it an't broke don't fix it.


DavidHowdon's picture

If people want to be contactable they can be

For instance at the bottom of my iSpot messages I've put a 'singature' block which provides a link to my website. From that if you were so inclined you could find out my email address and contact me.

Jonathan's picture

Yes, that is the way to do it

Yes, that is the way to do it. Glad people appreciate why iSpot is organized this way, even though we know that it can be inconvenient.
(I recently signed up to one website and before I new it I had an in box full of welcome messages and all kinds of other stuff I did not want.)

University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)