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Site Problems and Questions for the Moderators


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1 minute ago, Jefferson Shank said:

I was actually at school. Wish I could have been birding.

Well, not really birding, more like backyard bird photography n stuff. Which is all I can manage birding wise, despite being homeschooled haha.

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6 minutes ago, Jefferson Shank said:

@Aveschapines What happens when our attachment quota becomes full? Mine isn't near full yet, but it is already at 12%. Will we just not be able to post photos any more or what? That would lack... 

I'm really not sure but that would be my guess. In the old-old forums (before the big crash a few years back) the limit was very small - I think 20 mb - and everyone hit it almost immediately if they were active on the forums. Once it was hit yes, photos had to be hosted elsewhere (flickr, facebook, your own blog, etc.) and hot linked on the forums. Then after the crash when the site was reopened on this platform, before the most recent big update, it seems we didn't have a limit. I haven't heard of anyone hitting the limit yet so I'm not sure exactly what happens; but I assume it would mean hosting your photos elsewhere and using the URL to link and show them in posts.

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Yeah, I think it's best to start uploading your media elsewhere (like eBird) now and refrain from uploading directly to the forum.  Gotta remember that it costs money to host our media, so I try not to upload much, and when I do, I resize my photos.

Edited by The Bird Nuts
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I'm really not sure but that would be my guess. In the old-old forums (before the big crash a few years back) the limit was very small - I think 20 mb - and everyone hit it almost immediately if they were active on the forums. Once it was hit yes, photos had to be hosted elsewhere (flickr, facebook, your own blog, etc.) and hot linked on the forums. Then after the crash when the site was reopened on this platform, before the most recent big update, it seems we didn't have a limit. I haven't heard of anyone hitting the limit yet so I'm not sure exactly what happens; but I assume it would mean hosting your photos elsewhere and using the URL to link and show them in posts.

Well, I just hope it doesn't happen to me for a long time. It seems weird to me that there is a limit. Other sites like BirdForum don't have a lifetime limit.

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2 minutes ago, Jefferson Shank said:

Well, I just hope it doesn't happen to me for a long time. It seems weird to me that there is a limit. Other sites like BirdForum don't have a lifetime limit.

I can't comment on other sites but yes, my understanding is that it's because of the cost of hosting photos. Remember this site doesn't have outside advertizing; the forums are basically a support service for the products being sold (iBird apps) and is run by the owner. 

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I can't comment on other sites but yes, my understanding is that it's because of the cost of hosting photos. Remember this site doesn't have outside advertizing; the forums are basically a support service for the products being sold (iBird apps) and is run by the owner. 

Or we could upload to Dropbox and link to there.

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I'm posting a response to the request for a separate sub-forum for gulls that was mentioned in another thread. I thought it better to put it here so more people will see it and be able to comment if they wish.

I did a quick survey – I looked back at the most recent 5 pages of posts in the North American ID sub-forum to see what types of birds were being posted for ID help. Here's a summary of what I found. The numbers indicate the number of threads requesting IDs for the type of birds indicated.

Gulls: 26

Raptors: 22

Finches/siskins/sparrows etc: 15

Shorebirds (including herons and pelicans): 13

Ducks: 13

Mixed species, not including any gulls: 10

Miscelaneous (cowbird, titmouse, waxwing, robin, thrush, wren – 1 each): 7

Flycatchers and gnatcatchers: 4

Hummingbirds: 2

Mixed species including at least one gull: 2

Warblers/vireos etc: 1

Woodpeckers: 1

No consensus reached on ID or family: 1 (difficult photo)

Of the 26 gull threads, 13 were a recent series posted by a single user in a short period of time, so not necessarily typical; there is absolutely no problem with posting multiple threads like this but it doesn't tend to be the usual pattern of posts.

Obviously these numbers are going to vary a lot at different times of year. However there seems to be agreement that now is peak time for gulls.

None of these threads went unanswered; a small number had fewer than 5 responses but most had a great deal more. I only found two that did not produce a reasonable consensus on the ID, both cases involving a difficult photo.

There were also a number of threads where the original poster didn't know (or at least didn't identify) the general type of bird that they were asking for help with, so of course they would not be able to use a subforum for a specific family. Also of course there are times that people are mistaken in this inidial classification, so the thread might still end up in the “wrong” sub-forum.

So my take is that I don't see the need for a separate gull sub-forum (or for any other family/groups of birds) for the following reasons. All threads appear to get responses and almost always result in an ID of the bird in question. Many people don't notice or don't choose to use the separate non-North American sub-forum, so I assume any others might be ignored as well. I'm happy to move threads in these cases but wouldn't be excited about having to move a lot if the sub-forum isn't offering any real benefits.

I think it's useful to think about why a sub-forum is being suggested. I don't think simple volume of posts creates that need. In fact, the non-North America sub-forum was started for the opposite reason – the threads often went unanswered because there weren't as many of them, and there are fewer experts. The NA threads move quickly and tended to bury them. Actually a UK sub-forum was created first, because there were several UK birders on WhatBird and their posts were also getting buried often, and later the World Bird sub-forum was added for birds that were neither from NA nor the UK.

So in summary I think that as long as threads are getting responses and IDs, adding more sub-forums by family/group of birds would unnecessarily complicate the forums without providing any benefit. This is my PERSONAL opinion. I will definitely pass the suggestion on to the admin, but I can't recommend it or describe the thinking behind the need unless I have a better idea of why people want the extra sub-forums and what benefit they see in having them.

Comments welcome!

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6 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

How many people suggested new ID subforums?  Two?  I don't see a need for it at all.

Thanks for your opinion. I'm always up for a little objective research so I saw no harm in entertaining the idea. I was also surprised at the comments about large numbers of gull threads; I honestly hadn't noticed and it made me curious about what kinds of requests we're getting.

There have been numerous requests (over time) for a general birding topics sub-forum, and I do think that would be useful. 

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I only see one advantage to a separate Gull sub-forum, I wouldn't have to wade through all the gull IDs that I have no interest in. :classic_laugh:  Nothing against gulls, it's just that I seldom see them and have no interest in learning the subtle differences for the odd time I do see them.

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17 minutes ago, lonestranger said:

I only see one advantage to a separate Gull sub-forum, I wouldn't have to wade through all the gull IDs that I have no interest in. :classic_laugh:  Nothing against gulls, it's just that I seldom see them and have no interest in learning the subtle differences for the odd time I do see them.

I don't pay a whole lot of attention to them either; on the rare occasions I see gulls I need help identifying them!

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I’m also against creating sub forums for different species. That would make this site look more birdforumish which isn’t a good thing in my opinion. Looks far too cluttered and just more stuff people have to click through and no doubt people would still be posting gull IDs in the NA section anyways. 
Sparrows were popular a few months ago, and so were warblers and I don’t think we need a separate section for those either. 

Though I do agree that gulls are one of the more difficult birds to ID as they’re so variable and hybridize so frequently. 

I also skip gull ID threads... I don’t have to deal with the difficult ones much and since they’re all away for the winter, I rather not have to deal with them at all when I don’t have to! 🙂

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15 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Do we really need an iBird ID? 

Yeah; I'm not sure. That was originally introduced as part of the iBird feature that offers ID help. There is (was?) a link in the app to click for ID help and it directed people to that sub-forum. Part of the ide was for people to be very careful with IDs in that area. I'm not even certain if that's still available. I'll ask! 

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21 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Do we really need an iBird ID? 

So photo sharing could become other bird-related topics, and the photo threads stay there?

Actually the four areas in "General birding" seem to get pretty good traffic, although birding trips has been quiet lately. I think we all know why that might be. So maybe a sub-topic added there for "other birding topics"? The photo sharing sub-forum also seems pretty active.

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12 hours ago, Aveschapines said:

So photo sharing could become other bird-related topics, and the photo threads stay there?

Actually the four areas in "General birding" seem to get pretty good traffic, although birding trips has been quiet lately. I think we all know why that might be. So maybe a sub-topic added there for "other birding topics"? The photo sharing sub-forum also seems pretty active.

My gritch with the four 'General birding' sub-forums is that they're IN General Birding.  Visibility of many sub-forums would be improved by combining all current ten sub-forums under Home, and eliminating the 'BIRDING', 'IBIRD GUIDE TO BIRDS' and 'GENERAL BIRDING TOPICS' middle groupings.

And yeah, an 'Other Birding Topics' forum would allow 'Photo Sharing and Discussion' to return to strictly photo-related posts.

Just one idjit's opinion.  What do I know, I can be fooled by a Swamp Sparrow.  :classic_blink:

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  • Aveschapines changed the title to Site Problems and Questions for the Moderators

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