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23 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Admin add off topic and other wildlife forums?

    • Yes
      17
    • No
      6


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As much as I love wildlife, I think if we add threads for thing unrelated to birds then we begin to get into the weeds per say. Maybe a thread for posting pictures of wildlife, but not for ID's.

I voted NO, but mostly because it's to vague to say "off topic and other wildlife forums". Can you expand on the idea a bit more as to what kind of off topic and wildlife threads you think could be useful to the community here?

Please don't think I am bashing your idea, I just feel it needs more explaining.

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1 minute ago, RustyE said:

As much as I love wildlife, I think if we add threads for thing unrelated to birds then we begin to get into the weeds per say. Maybe a thread for posting pictures of wildlife, but not for ID's.

I voted NO, but mostly because it's to vague to say "off topic and other wildlife forums". Can you expand on the idea a bit more as to what kind of off topic and wildlife threads you think could be useful to the community here?

Please don't think I am bashing your idea, I just feel it needs more explaining.

 

I think you'll find the discussion I linked to expands on the idea with explanations/arguments for both sides. Compared to the old forums, the new forums fall short in many ways and requests for more variety in forums keeps coming up over and over again, mostly from people that remember how the old forums used to be. It's my opinion that Whatbird is a fraction of what it used to be before the crash, and I admit to being disappointed with that.

 

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mixed thoughts on the issue. I miss the old one... I miss being able to post a picture of a bug and having someone here ID it. There were more people here that were quite knowledgeable in a lot of areas... 
BUT...  You know I kind of feel like there's nobody here running things on a day to day basis. The people that are responsible for it basically want a forum for ID where people can discuss  IDs and they don't really care about much else. Them wanting to make sure it's here, up  and running is better than them not caring but I still feel like there's little actual care and thought put into it these days.
But, I can go either way in considering whether or not other nature discussion is relevant or needed. I liked it but understand arguments against it. If that makes sense.

I can say with a LOT of passion/frustration that things NEED to be tweaked here. I'll forget about the off topic stuff for now, the on topic stuff is still lacking.

First thing that I'd change(if it were me) is create a section for site help/info and clear up most of the pinned topics in this ID section. They don't belong here at all. They clutter things up.

Second, I don't know if it can be helped. I think there should be a small section regarding ID tools other than just iBird. I think they make money off it here and so that's all they want to discuss? I mean, is this the whatbird forum or the iBird forum?

Third... off topic? I could go either way with that. I like some off topic discussions but some people end up discussing things that end up leaving people frustrated. Like, let's talk about climate change or border walls today?  No thanks. I prefer to focus on what we all have in common. :)   
BUT...  even more bird related, this is still lacking fun. If it's just come in, ask or answer a bird ID, then leave...  that's just not engaging enough for some. The quizzes people used to have... We lost more than just old data when the site crashed.

I'm still unsure how it crashed THAT bad...  are backups not made?
I run a forum(not that it's worth speaking of, get pretty much 0 visitors) and if it crashed today I wouldn't have to start over and build from the ground up. And if I had active members that were wanting things to be improved, I don't think I'd continue to lurk in the shadows being satisfied with simply having an up and running ID forum.
This is NOT to pick on whomever is running things. I know things don't always work out the way people plan. Things happen. But the site was TOO slow to recover structurally and it still has not recovered largely because of just how much was left out of what it once was. Whether or not it's true, it FEELS like the whatbird owners are pretty content just having this much up.
This is my attempt at constructive criticism. This site has more potential than is being used/seen.

All that to say, I wouldn't want to try and dictate exactly what we "need" back but I'm definitely in support of some changes that I'd indeed call "needs."  :)

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I can admit, I have not fully read the post. I also have been away from Whatbird for a few years, and can' remember what all area's we had before. I don't even see many names from years ago. So maybe I should step back and allow the new gen to vote. 

No harm, no foul. 😊

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6 minutes ago, RustyE said:

So maybe I should step back and allow the new gen to vote.

Nah... all opinions are valid. :classic_biggrin:

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7 minutes ago, RustyE said:

I can admit, I have not fully read the post. I also have been away from Whatbird for a few years, and can' remember what all area's we had before. I don't even see many names from years ago. So maybe I should step back and allow the new gen to vote. 

No harm, no foul. 😊

Sorry, I ment.... can't remember what all area's we had before.

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No, Milli, I mean, I have voted, and said my peace. I step back to see other opinions and idea's. 😆

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Just dug some up from 2016... even then it was VERY iBird heavy... too heavy(in my opinion)  And, I personally wouldn't have it the same exact way as it was before but you can see the old categories and get an idea of how popular different sections were.
 

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I think we have too many already.  The four under 'General Birding Topics' are too specialized, with no place for anything truly 'general'.  I'd love to see those four combined into a single 'General Birding Topics' forum.

As to non-birding topics, I'm opposed but I can obviously avoid them if I'm not interested.

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The reason our previous forum succeeded was that there was a dedicated General/off topic area where we had chats for people to discuss birds that didn't clog up any of the other specific threads. I agree - the General section is too specific ironically. Just a "General Birding" thing might be better. I liked having the different stuff for other critters besides birds - those went down to the bottom so they didn't interfere with the main purpose of the website so I don't have a problem with them being off topic. Right now it's basically "post pictures or ID a bird", not really forum-like at all, more like a reddit or yahoo answers or something.  It needs more.

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1 hour ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I think we have too many already.  The four under 'General Birding Topics' are too specialized, with no place for anything truly 'general'.  I'd love to see those four combined into a single 'General Birding Topics' forum.

As to non-birding topics, I'm opposed but I can obviously avoid them if I'm not interested.

THIS.

We seriously need a general birding subsection. There's been lots of threads I've wanted to start, but there is nowhere to put them. Like, life lists and birding goals, or about meeting other whatbirders, or a funny book I found. (that is a birding satire book, so doesn't belong under the field guide section.)

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I voted.

I really enjoyed the quiz section in the old forum.   As for the other wildlife, that was a more recent addition to the old site. ( I was one of the long-time members)  Back then, the membership was large and very diverse.  We had some members who were very good at insects and especially the herps.  I don't see them here anymore.  I'm afraid that if we add those topics they will not get many posts or worse, the posts will not get any replies.  

A section on backyard birding was very useful.  I remember a lot of great discussions on seeds, houses and how to get rid of those pesky Starlings. 

The camera/ optic section was also very useful for those wishing to purchase new gear. 

I think an increase in the number of topics would be good, but I think we need to be a little selective in our choice.  Just by looking at the number of posts in the old screenshot provided by Millipede  some decisions can be made on which forums to add and which one to let die.

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2 minutes ago, lonestranger said:

Here's hoping.

I've been busy with the Great Backyard Bird Count... and being a stay at home dad I suppose. But I had/have plans to compare the old one with the new one and make a list of what I think would work out well... 
I think if we had an organized proposal and then sent it to them it might be more influential... maybe?
I'm still working on my GBBC checklists and have some other things that I need to prioritize I suppose but I'll try to come up with something... if nothing else, for the fun of it.

I'd just create my own birding forum if I thought it would be worthwhile... Hopefully we can get this one to a place that covers enough ground without going overboard.

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On 2/11/2019 at 4:22 PM, Charlie Spencer said:

I think we have too many already.  The four under 'General Birding Topics' are too specialized, with no place for anything truly 'general'.  I'd love to see those four combined into a single 'General Birding Topics' forum.

As to non-birding topics, I'm opposed but I can obviously avoid them if I'm not interested.

I'm with Charlie Spencer.  We definitely need a General Birding Topics forum/subforum (whatever!), but I don't think we need the wildlife category.  I think the Admin is trying to keep this forum about birds and only birds and I think that is a good idea.  We don't need to be filling their server with large photos of the mammals we've seen.  There are other sites out there that help with plant and animal identification.

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I guess more than anything, I want what I know I can't have, the old community that enjoyed the old website before the first major crash. The community/members is what has always made this website great, but since the crash we seem to have lost the interest of many of our members. The old forums use to have places for birders to get together and discuss non-birding topics, and get to know each other a little better. There were forums where the young birders could be kids and have fun that wasn't restricted to just talking about birds. People used to create simple games that many of the members would participate in just for the fun of it, and there were many of those games going on before the crash. There were forums to share photos of the stuff that kept us amused when there were no birds around. Those forums or sub-forums weren't always here though, they were added to the website at the request of the members and many of them became quite popular and I suspect a few even attracted new members. The other wildlife forums weren't added as ID forums, they were added so that people could share their experiences with the rest of the community. Any IDing that was done in the wildlife forums was voluntary but because the community was always willing to share their knowledge where and when they could, and there's a lot of collective knowledge in the minds of our community, those wildlife forums had an almost natural transition into informal ID forums. The members of our community may not have built the old website but the members of our community ARE what made the old website what it was, and that was not just a great educational site, but also a fun place to be.

The WhatBird community is as diverse as the birds at the root of our mutual enjoyment, and just like the birds, some members will leave the area and never come back. I guess I am just hoping that some of the members can be enticed to come back. We all know that birds can be attracted to our yards by putting out a feeder full of sunflower seeds. We also know that putting a variety of feeders out with different seeds will attract more, and a wider variety of birds. We also know that putting out specialized feeders like hummingbird feeders and suet cages can attract specialized birds like hummers and woodpeckers. We also know that adding a bird bath or water attraction will attract more birds than just putting out seed or specialized feeders. If we remove all our feeders and bird baths from our yard, what do you think will happen to the birds that used to enjoy our yard? They might come back for a while looking for what was once there, but if they don't find what they're looking for, they're quite possibly going to stop looking in our yard altogether. I for one prefer to keep our yard as bird friendly as possible by adding attractions, not by removing them. That's just this birder's spin on things. 

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As soon as I finish typing this, well and then go chase some kids and get them doing their schoolwork, I plan on looking over the forum categories we have now vs what we used to have and making a list of what I think we NEED here... Might add in some wants and label them as such but, definitely want to try and organize things better and then ask opinions on it...  and then, try really hard to propose it to the admin. And here's why this is kind of important to me.  This forum we're sharing this topic in doesn't belong here but, there is no good place for it.

Just a while ago someone told someone to remember to share the location and date next time... they said it nicely but there are times where I've seen people almost seem frustrated...(you know how easy it is to interpret feelings on the internet, HA)
And so I started typing up a response... wanted to share it right then and there but realized I would essentially be ranting/complaining in a topic started by someone brand new. Thankfully I figured out that was a bad idea before I did that.....  This is what I typed...
 

Quote

I see a lot of people almost seem upset when they remind people here.  It's definitely good advice and VERY helpful to those helping but, it's also not common knowledge, especially for new people.  This is where it would be good if we had an administrator that was active here. ALL the current pinned topics in this section need to be moved out and ONE pinned topic put in place...  a "Before you post" topic explaining just that. Post the location and date.
We can't just expect everyone coming in to think about that, especially if they're not birders. (And there's so many pinned posts, if we had one with directions I'm certain it would get overlooked in the midst of them)
Please do not mind this rambling... it's not directed at ANYONE in the conversation, just a general frustration with the organization of the forum.
Unless that changes we can't expect new people to understand that "rule."
phew... 

Sometimes we EXPECT people to post that information because it can be so necessary but we have to remember that some of us that have been here a while will forget to do that... AND, it's not a written rule anywhere. It needs to be put in plain site but we need to move all those other pinned topics out of the way(this is where we need a site help/info kind of forum) 
Okay, I'm rambling... 
I'm going to try and be more productive with my frustration and create what I think it should look like and then go from there and see what we can do to convince the admin to change a few things. 🙂 

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@millipede  YES!  I actually have already made a list of changes and I was about to send it to the Admin, but decided to wait.  I guess I'll post it here to see what you think.

 

Change the BIRDING category to BIRD IDENTIFICATION

 

Change the GENERAL BIRDING TOPICS category to BIRDING

Add General Birding Topics under the BIRDING category

Move Photo Sharing and Discussion under the BIRDING category

Change the description of the Birding Trips forum to “Here you can post details of birding trips you have taken or ask for information regarding your next birding trip.”

 

Add a WHATBIRD category at the bottom

Add Forum Help under the WHATBIRD category

Add Forum Info under the WHATBIRD category

Move most of the pinned posts from Help Me Identify a North American Bird to Forum Info

 

Add an OFF TOPIC category below the BIRDING category (if non-birding topics are allowed)

Add Other Wildlife under the OFF TOPIC category

Add Off-topic Discussion (?) under the OFF TOPIC category

Edited by The Bird Nuts
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1 hour ago, millipede said:

It needs to be put in plain site but we need to move all those other pinned topics out of the way(this is where we need a site help/info kind of forum) 

By the way, I was saying "yes" to this. 🙂

 

I just realized I forgot a Polls and Games forum.  It should probably go under the Off Topic category.

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1 hour ago, millipede said:

Sometimes we EXPECT people to post that information because it can be so necessary but we have to remember that some of us that have been here a while will forget to do that... AND, it's not a written rule anywhere. It needs to be put in plain site but we need to move all those other pinned topics out of the way(this is where we need a site help/info kind of forum) 

The site does have a pinned topic that addresses all of this but it has gotten lost in all of the other non-pertinent junk in the Help Me Identify a North American Bird. Charlie Spencer worked his tail feathers off composing the guidelines for a successful ID for new members and as a friendly reminder to us ''old birders''. 🙂

What, Where, When! How to Request a SUCCESSFUL Bird ID!  

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6 minutes ago, lonesome55dove said:

The site does have a pinned topic that addresses all of this but it has gotten lost in all of the other non-pertinent junk

Thanks for pointing that out. Another "DOH" moment for me today. I skimmed the titles for something more along the lines of "rules," "guidelines," or "read before posting."  something along those lines.
But yeah, it's easy to overlook with all the other ones around it. 

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3 minutes ago, millipede said:

Thanks for pointing that out. Another "DOH" moment for me today. I skimmed the titles for something more along the lines of "rules," "guidelines," or "read before posting."  something along those lines.
But yeah, it's easy to overlook with all the other ones around it. 

You are welcome.  Sadly, I'm not sure many people even read it. 🙂 

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