dejayM's picture

Know team

This post originates here
and from Clare Flynn's response.
I believe that there is an underbelly of VERY good and experienced Naturalists in iSpot. I don't just mean mentors or badged experts nor, necessarily, those with 5 icons.
If you one takes a look at bird postings (I'm generalising) one can see the support that is given to difficult 'spots'. The reason? Well I suspect (know really) that the experts therein are watching and contributing like hawks - get it?
In two other zones, particularly, I have attempted to prise out informed comment. One is Marine Invertebrates (I know it's not a Group YET!). I have been successful, a few others have been very supportive and together we have interesting discussions via Comments - which some, inevitably, might find boring.
My point is, and it's not emerging well, is that there ARE people underpinning iSpot who have a broad understanding of spotting, posting, responding and encouraging posters, old and new, BUT who only seem to tick the I Agree box.
This NOT a gripe about Mentors but they, as well as the very experienced Naturalists, ought to make more effort to comment and promote discussion. Amen



wildaboutnature's picture

Looking back to the thread

Looking back to the thread above, I think I saw 2 points for discussion emerge:
1)Lack of numbers in expertise (and consequently not the same level of iSpot input) in some taxonomic areas (e.g.marine inverts) and associated reliance on dubious on-line info or on-line 'facts' being copied and repeated. Probably needs its own thread!

2)Your point made above that more interaction from the team would be helpful.

As I've not had a chance to discuss this I can only speak for myself but as mentors we have a considerable remit of tasks as part of our role and in fact much of it involves face to face engagement, giving talks, getting involved with local projects etc.which obviously requires balancing with on-line support of the iSpot community. Personally I am not an expert naturalist though am currently enjoying developing my taxonomic skills and one or two specialisms and so find myself often on iSpot as a learner as well as a Mentor. I'm still relatively new and am finding myself drawn into an extremely friendly and helpful community where the extended interaction and comments are extremely important to iSpot and indeed to improving the quality of IDs and agreements. Have a look here for an example:
I think the point you've raised, as a very engaged (and engaging!) iSpot user, certainly warrants discussion from us as a team.
Many thanks

Clare Flynn

dejayM's picture

not just..

Yes thanks.
Not just mentors (as I wanted to emphasise)
See here
this simple engagement by 'an expert' makes so much difference to knowledge and understanding.
And here
a rare and very interesting posting but attracting so little interaction.
Finally (Martin's Wisdom)
I do think that the plethora of blind postings (put up a picture, say what it is and go away) is obscuring the site's purpose to encourage and educate.

John Bratton's picture

Your third node is the same

Your third node is the same as your second node so we are on tenterhooks for the wisdom.

As for not giving explanations of why this is that: we don't all live on-line. I have an hour a day on the web in the local library and tend to spend the last 10 minutes on i-Spot. I often add one that that I've identified to my favourites, so if the poster asks for more info I can give it, but there isn't time to endlessly repeat why Lagria hirta is Lagria hirta.

John Bratton

dejayM's picture

bad link

That's a shame John and I'm sorry. I was dribbling on my mouse at the time, wandering through History and striving for discussion 'points'.
It was almost certainly a comment, (not a post, because I cannot find it), made by Martin Harvey who is very wise anyway.
I think I (may) have made my points without having to go through them again.
You are quite right of course about NOT spending too much time at the computer but doing so only at the Library must be onerous (or lifestyle saving!)
I think Lagria hirta is sometimes mistaken for Lagria glabrata.
Regards then

trudy-russell's picture

Hi Derek, Good to see lots of

Hi Derek,

Good to see lots of discussion!

As a mentor I am always keen to help however I can but please do bear in mind that most of us mentors were taken on due to experience with working with the public rather than being expert naturalists so please do keep challenging Ids etc were things are not clear!

Im learning a lot from this new interest in marine, I had started to give up on it ever taking off on iSpot if anyone has ideas or comments about improving marine stuff do let us know the more voices the more likely we will get an area to ourselves

Trudy Russell
Marine Advisor
Natural England

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