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1 hour ago, MerMaeve said:

I have to agree with @Aveschapines.  If we have all these other sub-forums that are reptiles, insects, etc. then it is not Whatbird, then it's Whatcreature.  Then if we add insects, snakes, lizards, then can we add Moths and Butterflys?

Silly @MerMaeve, moths and butterflies ARE insects.  And you forgot fish and non-insect invertebrates. 

But to your point, I guess I don't see the value in this site becoming the one-stop shopping of critter ID when there are specialized sites.

https://www.insectidentification.org/

http://www.reptileknowledge.com/snakes/identification.php

https://www.fishbase.de/identification/classlist.php

https://naturalhistory.si.edu/mna/

I notice none of those feel compelled to branch out to other life forms.

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On 8/6/2018 at 11:09 AM, lonestranger said:

I respectfully disagree with Aveschapines. I think the off topic sections, including the sub-forums for mammals, reptiles, butterflies, etc., is a large part of what made the old website so popular. Instead of members leaving the website and coming back hours or days later to check the ID forum, I believe the old off topic forums often kept the members(experts) here on the website where they would continue to monitor the ID forums for new activity while entertaining themselves with the off topic sections in between bird IDs. Some of the site's best birders would often offer their knowledge in the other wildlife forums, that's what made some of those sub-forums so popular, like the butterfly and dragonfly sub-forums. I think it's better to attract/keep people's attention with a few extra forums than to have them get bored and surf away to another website. Again, just sharing thoughts here.

I tend to agree you lonestranger, that people who care about birds are also curious about other kinds of wildlife, and having easily accessible forums on them would make these whatbird forums more useful and fun. I looked at the links provided by a member at the end of this post:(https://www.insectidentification.org/ttp://www.reptileknowledge.com/snakes/identification.phphttps://www.fishbase.de/identification/classlist.phphttps://naturalhistory.si.edu/mna/) and to me they are very uneven in quality. The one on mammals is very hard to use and none as are friendly and accessible as this forum. Regarding how popular these critter forums were, they had quite a few posts but I can't give you exact numbers right now because we lost all our data. So, unless people are really against this, I am going to add them in, but I will be cautious and keep it very simple so they don't clutter the site. If there is a lot of resistance lets put a poll together and see what the consensus is.

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@Administrator, I pulled those at random.  My point was that there are nature sites specializing in other life forms, and was it worth attempting to expand beyond this site's 'core competency'.

I'll happily take your word that the old forums had high enough participation numbers to justify bringing them back.

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I checked the WayBackMachine to see if I could find some numbers from the old forums. I notice that the General/Off Topic Discussion forum had nearly 100,000 posts, second only to the ID forum. The Wildlife of North America forums, as scattered as they were, had a collective total of over 20,000 posts which outnumbers many of the other forums. While they might not be bird related, it sure looks like there was an interest in those forums and I look forward to seeing them returned. :classic_smile:

 

 

 

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On 9/26/2018 at 8:31 AM, lonestranger said:

I checked the WayBackMachine to see if I could find some numbers from the old forums. I notice that the General/Off Topic Discussion forum had nearly 100,000 posts, second only to the ID forum. The Wildlife of North America forums, as scattered as they were, had a collective total of over 20,000 posts which outnumbers many of the other forums. While they might not be bird related, it sure looks like there was an interest in those forums and I look forward to seeing them returned. :classic_smile:

 

 

Might be a good idea to add Off Topic Discussion category. What do others think. We have to be careful about attracting subjects that are too remotely connected to birding. Wildlife of North America does make sense. If I recall we had it broken down by Reptiles, Mammals, etc. Is there a list somewhere in WayBack of every category we covered?

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6 minutes ago, Administrator said:

Might be a good idea to add Off Topic Discussion category. What do others think. We have to be careful about attracting subjects that are too remotely connected to birding. Wildlife of North America does make sense. If I recall we had it broken down by Reptiles, Mammals, etc. Is there a list somewhere in WayBack of every category we covered?

Clicking on the link above will take you to the opening page of the forums showing all the different forums, and numbers, as they were saved by the WayBackMachine back in April.

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51 minutes ago, Administrator said:

Might be a good idea to add Off Topic Discussion category. What do others think. We have to be careful about attracting subjects that are too remotely connected to birding. Wildlife of North America does make sense. If I recall we had it broken down by Reptiles, Mammals, etc. Is there a list somewhere in WayBack of every category we covered?

It has its place. I'll admit I'm slightly hesitant because the Off-Topic area was often where the most moderation was needed (for problem posts, inappropriate topics, etc.). But if people are willing to keep to the rules even in an off-topic thread it's fine! 

I just had a thought: maybe it could have a different name? "Other Birding Topics" or something more catchy? To help emphasize that it's not for political discussion, attacks on people's lifestyles, etc.

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I'm still in shock that the site went down so hard that it could not be recovered. Backups should have been maintained...  I've been busy and just haven't gotten back to making a new account...
I miss a lot of the old categories. I miss the ID categories for other critters but, not being birds, they aren't a "need." 

I can say that, as long as there are guidelines for how people treat each other, I think most forums "need" a general/off topic section.
I know they weren't used all the time and people got carried away creating new ones but, the little contests and quizzes people had were fun. I think if there are enough active moderators they could limit the number of people allowed to create new quizzes so we're not overrun by them?

And a real NEED is a section for site news and help. If you look at all the topics that are pinned at the top of this "help me identify......" section, most of those pinned posts don't belong in this section but should be in a section dedicated to site news and/or help.

I don't know who's monitoring the responses here but, another suggestion might be to find a way to make a nice big poll(even surveymonkey or something) and list ALL of the old sections we had before and get yays and nays or, on a scale from 1 to 10, how important is _____ section... 

 

Those are my thoughts at the moment anyway. :)

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Quote

I'll admit I'm slightly hesitant because the Off-Topic area was often where the most moderation was needed (for problem posts, inappropriate topics, etc.). But if people are willing to keep to the rules even in an off-topic thread it's fine! 

I completely understand that. There needs to be some clear rules listed at the top, of course...  I don't know why it's difficult for people today to be kind to one another no matter how different our beliefs and opinions are. It saddens me... 😞   
I wonder if there would be a way to give people warnings and if they violate x amount of times, could they simply be blocked from that one section?
It shouldn't be difficult to have general conversation without stirring things up. "shouldn't be", I say, but sure seems to be.
 

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4 hours ago, millipede said:

I can say that, as long as there are guidelines for how people treat each other, I think most forums "need" a general/off topic section.
I know they weren't used all the time and people got carried away creating new ones but, the little contests and quizzes people had were fun. I think if there are enough active moderators they could limit the number of people allowed to create new quizzes so we're not overrun by them?

I don't mind lots of topics being created, and it's not really a problem for me if people want to chat about the latest movies, the weather, what they're cooking for dinner, or what they are knitting. But when they post about political, religious, and other such topics and get nasty and insulting, that is a problem! Like you said, not everyone manages to be civil online, and some subject areas seem to bring ot the worst in some people.

 

4 hours ago, millipede said:

And a real NEED is a section for site news and help. If you look at all the topics that are pinned at the top of this "help me identify......" section, most of those pinned posts don't belong in this section but should be in a section dedicated to site news and/or help.

I'll pass that on to the administrator. I do think clutter in the forums makes the site less friendly, especially for newbies; the rest of us learn what we can ignore soon enough.

4 hours ago, millipede said:

I don't know who's monitoring the responses here

Currently there is 1 admin and one volunteer mod (me). We may need more mods in the future, and admin is open to that; we've discussed it. 

4 hours ago, millipede said:

I wonder if there would be a way to give people warnings and if they violate x amount of times, could they simply be blocked from that one section?

 

I don't know if people can be blocked from one section only, but if they can't follow the rules it is possible to block them from posting anywhere on the site.

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I would like to formally request a "General Birding" or "Other Birding Topics" subforum.

There's been multiple discussions over the past few months I've wanted to start, but cannot, because there isn't a good place for it. Like. . .birding goals for the year, or favorite lifer stories, nemesis birds, or this book I found that is a satirical birding guide. (Which I didn't want to put under the field guide section, because it's not factual.) That just names a few.

I've seen other posts from people mentioning the same frustration.

Thank you for your consideration!

-Meghann

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On 10/11/2018 at 12:46 PM, millipede said:

And a real NEED is a section for site news and help. If you look at all the topics that are pinned at the top of this "help me identify......" section, most of those pinned posts don't belong in this section but should be in a section dedicated to site news and/or help.

Late, but, I like this idea. It never bothered me cause I'm used to it but one of my friends that I had join this site was confused at all the pinned posts there at first.

I also would be in favor for some kind of forum/subforums for the non-bird critters to come back, as well as the polling subforum and definitely a general birding topics forum!

Edited by Ves

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Respectfully, I think it's time to 'unpin' a few of the pinned topics.

- Whatbird Moderator

- Please Leave Your Opinion

- Is Artificial Intelligence ...

- Where Have We Been?

- Express Yourself with Emoji

Also, it seems to me having the iBird banner between the first and second topics draws attention away from the topmost topic, more than if the banner came before the first topic.

Just one idjit's opinions.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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34 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Respectfully, I think it's time to 'unpin' a few of the pinned topics.

- Whatbird Moderator

- Please Leave Your Opinion

- Is Artificial Intelligence ...

- Where Have We Been?

- Express Yourself with Emoji

Also, it seems to me having the iBird banner between the first and second topics draws attention away from the topmost topic, more than if the banner came before the first topic.

Just one idjit's opinions.

Agreed! And about that banner...I often miss the first post on every page. It might just be the way my eyes work, OR it might be a less that ideal spot for the big banner.

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1 hour ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Respectfully, I think it's time to 'unpin' a few of the pinned topics.

- Whatbird Moderator

- Please Leave Your Opinion

- Is Artificial Intelligence ...

- Where Have We Been?

- Express Yourself with Emoji

Also, it seems to me having the iBird banner between the first and second topics draws attention away from the topmost topic, more than if the banner came before the first topic.

Just one idjit's opinions.

I respectfully agree with you for the most part...I think Whatbird Moderator should stay, in case Avechapines needs to relay any info to us...but all of the others you listed plus We're Back and Daily Reaction Limits should go...that should clean up the page nicely. As for the banner, I don't see it as I have an ad blocker...I know sites like this gets perks or whatever for ads but they drive me loco so bad on me. 🙂

Edited by lonesome55dove
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Thanks for your thoughts, and I agree that they can be thinned out. I'm consulting with Admin. and we'll see what we can do. 

Quote

I think Whatbird Moderator should stay, in case Avechapines needs to relay any info to us...

I could easily re-pin the thread or start a new one in that case. 

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51 minutes ago, Aveschapines said:

I could easily re-pin the thread or start a new one in that case. 

yeah, IF there was a section devoted to whatbird news and support, that would be a good place to discuss moderator type stuff.
I hope the conversations are productive. 🙂

 

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13 hours ago, Aveschapines said:

Thanks for your thoughts, and I agree that they can be thinned out. I'm consulting with Admin. and we'll see what we can do. 

I could easily re-pin the thread or start a new one in that case. 

You're welcome!

OK, duh, of course, you could but I didn't think about that, lol! If, Whatbird Moderator is unpinned is there another thread/topic that a person can ask questions or report problems to then?  Thank you. 🙂 

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18 hours ago, lonesome55dove said:

I respectfully agree with you for the most part...I think Whatbird Moderator should stay, in case Avechapines needs to relay any info to us...but all of the others you listed plus We're Back and Daily Reaction Limits should go...that should clean up the page nicely. As for the banner, I don't see it as I have an ad blocker...I know sites like this gets perks or whatever for ads but they drive me loco so bad on me. 🙂

Yeah, I have ad blocker too because ads annoy me. So I can't see them either.

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19 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Respectfully, I think it's time to 'unpin' a few of the pinned topics.

I agree.  I think really the only ones we need to leave is 

 

  • What, Where, When! .......
  • Whatbird Moderator

Maybe.... We're Back!

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I forgot to say yesterday that the ads here are for iBird products only; no third party ads. The sale of iBird products makes the WhatBird forums possible 😄

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5 hours ago, lonesome55dove said:

You're welcome!

OK, duh, of course, you could but I didn't think about that, lol! If, Whatbird Moderator is unpinned is there another thread/topic that a person can ask questions or report problems to then?  Thank you. 🙂 

Well, I guess there isn't an obvious place for that. Good point. 

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