We're working on some updated guidelines to posting on the site.  We've been talking about it for some time but haven't put it down in writing.  I'll get started with a few things we've discussed, the other committee members will add what they've come up with and members can add their concerns and suggestions in the form of replies to this blog.  

Then we'll draw straws to see who gets to compile it into a document.

1) All posts pertaining to nature in New Brunswick are encouraged.  This includes pictures and posts taken outside the province of species that occur in NB.

This does not include pictures of zoo or captive animals, (excepts rehab pictures, they are educational).

 

2) When posting a picture, the title would be best if it were short and sweet, I suggest (some may disagree) the common name in french and/or english ONLY.  All other description, date, location and computer generated numbers would fit better in the description or tags text boxes. 

Latin names aren't necessary, I'd much rather see date and location.  I can always look up the latin name if I need it.

I noticed this when I was trying to make the text easier to read, if the titles of the pictures are lengthy, they are repeated over and over as other members comment on them.  

 

3) While I don't expect anyone to never make a mistake, I think if other members take the time to correctly identify a post, then the corrections should be made.  If you don't know how to edit, one the moderators can do it and/or walk you through it. 

This site is very educational, it wouldn't be if mistakes were left up, uncorrected.  

 

There are generic guidelines we can copy and paste from the NING suggestions, Denis has great suggestions from other sites he belongs to, as I'm sure others do.  

 

This is just a start and just my suggestions, not cut in stone. 

 

That's all for now, it's too nice of a day to sit at the computer....

Dwayne

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Comment by Denis A. Doucet on April 18, 2011 at 9:56pm

Well Dwayne,

Perhaps it is time to put this to a vote? Or what is the other function you were wanting to try? A Poll?

Let's see what others think...Inviting all input!

Comment by Anne Marsch on March 14, 2011 at 7:05pm
Sorry to have been away from the site for a while & hope I don't have to leave town shortly due to family health problem. I think the heading Sightings is great and if it is used daily people will get the idea it is not just for rare sightings. I was wondering if it is possible to have a translation link handy as my French is terrible and I know lots of French birders are more comfortable with bird names in French. Now I know why I need a French Bird book ha.
Comment by Dwayne Biggar on March 14, 2011 at 10:27am
Sorry, you'll see a SIGHTINGS TAB at the top of the page now, second in from the left.
Comment by BNB Host on March 14, 2011 at 10:05am

Another great suggestion by Gerry, to create a more direct link to sightings.  This site is about more than photos and if people were using the sightings forum more, it should increase our membership.  There are a lot of sightings that go unnoticed because they are simply posted as a photo.  A birder checking out the site for recent bird sightings wouldn't likely find them.  

Post what you're seeing, you don't need a photo.  But, if you do you may want to post it in the PHOTOS section as well, (so it'll show on your albums) you can post it in the SIGHTINGS FORUM or simply post the link to the photo in that section. 

I can help, it's the one thing I know how to do.

Thanks Gerry, now you have to post some sightings there though. 

Comment by Dwayne Biggar on March 13, 2011 at 9:28pm

Hi Gerry, 

I'll try to address your points.  

I was merely pointing out that the site should be expanding it's membership so more current daily sighting reports get posted. 

I couldn't agree more, I promote the site at every chance I get.  I think I've mentioned it in my T&T column more than 10 times, to the point where I'm sure some think I'm making money from the site, (I assure you I'm not).  I pass out my card at the Market so people can email me and I can send them the link, I'm seriously considering having BNB cards printed to eliminate that step.  I sent invites to everyone who has ever emailed me about birding and to everyone who took part in my quiz when the site first launched. 

Some people are just learning computers and beginning bird watching and it takes time to learn both.

Yes, that's why I said we could do it for them, or walk them through it.  I hate editing peoples pictures without permission.  (Although I do fix some typo's, just so they are picked up in search.  It's a huge job, we hope people will learn to do it themselves sometime.)  Misidentified birds throw everyone off, a lot of people I talk to come to the site to learn, without posting.  If errors aren't corrected, I think it causes more harm than good.  It would be easier in some cases to just change it myself, but then the poster doesn't get the benefit.  

I hope I'm explaining myself, I'm in a rush.  Maybe we'll talk some day?

I hope my post is taken just as a post to trash around and not as criticism of the website or any one personally. 

Thanks.

Comment by Gerry Mazerolle on March 13, 2011 at 8:04pm

Thank you for your reply, Dwayne and Denis.  My post was not to criticize anything but to offer an opinion like you ask.  I have leaned more from people like Denis this winter than I have learned on my own, with field guides and 40 years in the bush.  That is why I spend so much time here and I hope it continues.

I was merely pointing out that the site should be expanding it's membership so more current daily sighting reports get posted.  Some people are just learning computers and beginning bird watching and it takes time to learn both.

I hope my post is taken just as a post to trash around and not as criticism of the website or any one personally. 

Thanks.

Comment by Denis A. Doucet on March 13, 2011 at 7:55pm
I think the tone of my first response was too harsh (especially guideline #4) and I will delete it all, but here is some stuff in there I will keep. Mea culpa, I did not read it well enough and then it was posted. I am copying it onto a word document and I will edit it and re-post it to this discussion after the edit, but it will look a little strange after I delete it. I know we are just looking for suggestions and GUIDELINES to help make the site better, not rules. I am very sorry if I offended anyone. I agree that we want to make this a good place to be, a happy place, a fun place AND a place where people can learn stuff too.
Comment by Dwayne Biggar on March 13, 2011 at 7:23pm

Gerry, 

I'm not sure if you are agreeing with us or disagreeing.  But, these are just guidelines, not regulations.  You can post as 34528.jpeg if you are unsure of the species etc if you want, but when you find out the name it would be nice to label it as such. (Like you always do) That is how people learn.  Your pictures are THE perfect example. 

Date is often an important clue to identifying a species, it tells what plumage it may be in.  Also, if the date is "TODAY" other birders may be interested in finding the bird. 

Location is just really nice to know, for birders looking for the bird and for future reference.  

I was saying to keep it simple, common name (if you know it), date and location, (in the description box, to keep the "recent activity" column a little cleaner and easier to read).  You don't have to look up the scientific name, you're right, I don't think this is that kind of site either. 

I'm not likely explaining myself very well, but there should be some guidelines and this is the rough copy, we'd like everyone to input. 

Comment by Gerry Mazerolle on March 13, 2011 at 5:42pm
I have read with interest to two previous post on this website's proposed guidelines.  This is a private website and the owner or owners can stipulate the posting regulations that they wish.
 
I do like this website and do try to learn and post a photo by a proper name and data, or ask, but I do feel that the long term success of this website, is in membership numbers.  If you feel that you want to make it a scientific website, with proper name, date, location, time etc, so be it.
 
On the contrary to what was said, if someone has the perfect photo and data, maybe there are other sites for that. I have posted many photos here, but none of mine would make much waves on a site like that.
 
Everyone has some kind of digital camera today and if I went to my friend's cottage last summer, sometimes, and took a photo of some kind of bird entitled 34528.jpeg and I'm excited about it, I should feel free to post it here without being worried that I do not meet the posting criteria.  If someone takes the time to post on it and tell me about it, that would be great.  That is how people learn.
 
I really think,"the more the merrier". if this site is to become the premier birding photo and information site on the internet, for New Brunswick, we need to not restrict any entry level, be it in photographic skills, or bird and nature knowledge.
 
Just my opinion, and thanks for taking the time to read.
 
Gerry Mazerolle
Comment by Dwayne Biggar on March 13, 2011 at 4:49pm
Yes, I should have said, "common name in the language of your choice."  I was pointing out mostly that latin wasn't necessary.  Also if you play around with search a bit... the titles that have a number after the species name that isn't separated by a space, simply don't show up in search.  For example, if you post Black-capped ChickadeeP001078, it isn't searchable.  Black-capped Chickadee P001078 is searchable but lengthy.  (sorry it's hard to explain)

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