Announcing the iNaturalist Community Forum



If you have been a long-time iNaturalist user, you may have chanced upon the “Feedback” link in the website’s footer and you may have even clicked on it. This would have brought you to our  Google Group, which dates back to iNat’s neolithic days. While it was an adequate place for a small community, iNaturalist has expanded beyond any definition of “small” so we have decided to move our feedback and discussion forum from Google Groups to the iNaturalist Community Forum, which is hosted by Discourse.org.

The iNaturalist Community Forum is a place for iNaturalist users to discussion iNat-related topics, report bugs, and request new features. The forum has been up and running for a few weeks now - populated mostly by former Google Group users - so we could work out some kinks and understand the platform better. And while there are still improvements to be made, we’re announcing the forum’s existence to the broader iNaturalist community so you can join in!

Here’s how to join:

1. Go go forum.inaturalist.org.

2. Click on “Sign Up” at the top of the page. If you are already signed into inaturalist.org in your browser, you can sign up via iNaturalist and your username and profile picture will be ported over. Unfortunately this won’t work if you are logged in on one of our partner sites such as Naturalist.mx.

You can also sign up by entering your email address and a password. Either way, it would be best to use your iNaturalist username on the forum, so everyone knows who you are.

3. Please read the first message you receive. It has links to Discourse’s Trust Level system, a new user guide, and to behavioral guidelines for the forum.

If you read those documents and check out the forum for a bit, you should be able to get a handle on it soon. Note that new users have restricted privileges.  If you have questions or concerns about the forum itself, you can ask them in the Forum Feedback category.

Discourse suggests that we start off with as few categories as possible and evolve from there based on our community’s needs, so while things may look fairly sparse now, they will likely grow in the future. Please bear with us, we’re all trying to build this community together and that takes time.

Now for what might be the unpleasant part but what I like to look upon as optimistic. Discussion fora on the internet can often devolve into petty arguments, insults, condescension, and meaningless back-and-forths. However, we can all work to create a place that is the complete opposite of those fora. Discussions on this forum, just as on iNat, should be based on respect, openness, facts, and constructive conversation. Please adhere to the Discourse and iNaturalist guidelines, and if you see content that violates those guidelines, please flag it so that iNat staff and forum moderators can investigate. We have a chance here to create something positive, open, and helpful to everyone on iNaturalist.

Posted by tiwane tiwane, March 13, 2019 12:54 AM

Comments

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Great to see this added a little more locally and with integration with the main site. I've already gone through their in-house tutorial, which is fairly easy to figure out as online tutorials go.

Posted by jonathan142 12 days ago (Flag)
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Thanks for all your hard work on this, Tony. Already a vast improvement on the ol' Google Group.

Posted by kueda 11 days ago (Flag)
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this nice.

Posted by kastani 11 days ago (Flag)
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I really appreciate the work the iNat staff have put into getting the new Discourse forum up and running. It's a great addition to the main site and one that I hope will be as helpful to users looking to get the most out of their iNat experience.

Posted by whaichi 11 days ago (Flag)

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