Tips and tricks for welcoming & helping new users

The short version: You can use these links to filter for observations made by users who created their accounts in the last day or last week. Uncheck “verifiable” in filters to see even more observations that could use additional guidance. Bookmark these links to verifiable observations in the identify tool needing identification from new users in the last day or week. For dealing with common observation issues, you can copy/paste from these frequently used responses.

From the iNaturalist Stats page

We’re in the April bump! April tends to have several factors driving people to iNaturalist:
-Northern Hemisphere spring
-Earth Day/month activities, press, and promotion (e.g. there was a big media promotion in the UK last week)
-City Nature Challenge happening in 160+ cities around the world April 26-29

With all the new users, it helps to have more experienced members of the community as welcoming guides to help people correct common observation and identification mistakes and improve the likelihood that their future observations will be identifiable by the community. No one can do this task alone, but if we each take a few minutes to help a few people, then together we help steer new people in the right direction.

You can add additional query parameters such as &user_after=1d to a url to only see observations from users who created their accounts in the last day.
E.g. Observations from users who joined:
In the last 2 days (&user_after=2d)
In the last 1 week (&user_after=1w)
More than 1 month ago (&user_before=1m) (if you don’t have the patience to work with brand new users at the moment!)

Want to filter just for observations made from a mobile app? Add &oauth_application_id=2 for Android and &oauth_application_id=3 for iOS.
E.g. iOS observations from users who joined in the last 2 days
Android observations from users who joined in the last week

There are even more tips from @bouteloua posted in the Forum on dealing with low quality and inappropriate content on iNaturalist.

If welcoming new users isn’t your thing and you’d rather just focus strictly on identifications, that’s great too! We know there are hundreds of you who are extremely dedicated identifiers with thousands of identifications and 70K+ people have chipped in. iNaturalist works because of many people doing good things to help each other, so thanks for everything and anything that you’re doing to help.

-by Carrie Seltzer

Posted on April 23, 2019 01:05 PM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer


wow i had no idea the usage had tipped upward so much this month already!

Posted by charlie almost 5 years ago

Is it possible to get the stats for specific regions or communities?
Would be nice to see what regions the newbies are coming from, or what the response is from our community ...

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 5 years ago

@tonyrebelo I don't think we can break out the stats page stats by region, but to see what's happening in southern Africa (or another area of interest) with new users I'd use these queries above with the place query, e.g.

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 5 years ago

This is so helpful, thank you!

Posted by jtuttle almost 5 years ago

thanks: that is most useful (although you basically stated it above).
But I was interested in the dynamic statistics, although I should be able to construct curves with a few url calls based on your great suggestion.

Posted by tonyrebelo almost 5 years ago

Is "identifiers" (orange on graph) just of recent/new folks or in general?

Posted by lotteryd almost 5 years ago

@lotteryd the orange identifiers line shows the number of users (not just new ones) that day who added an identification to another user's observation.

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 5 years ago

This is extraordinarily helpful. It's important for me to remember that iNaturalist is a community just as much as it is a database, so welcoming new folks is crucial. So many thanks!

Posted by sambiology almost 5 years ago

What's the November bump?

Posted by sea-kangaroo almost 5 years ago

Was that Penang?

Posted by charlie almost 5 years ago

I believe November was when the iOS app was promoted in some European App Stores (the Apple App Store promotions vary country to country). Penang was in February and you can see it in the observation stats, but not really the observer stats.

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 5 years ago

ah it seemed too long ago... but it was a weird winter so...

Do you know what that mid April bump was? Seems too discrete for CNC. Seek?

Posted by charlie almost 5 years ago

Mid April user bump was massive media promotion from UK Forestry, e.g.

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 5 years ago

iNat is just getting so huge... CNC is going to blow up this year

Posted by charlie almost 5 years ago

This is very helpful. Thank you, @carrieseltzer.

Posted by jrvv almost 5 years ago

I would add one more thing based on 2021. I'm seeing more high school and college classes requiring the use of iNat this year, which is terrific.

Posted by jsuplick almost 3 years ago

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments