Wednesday, July 11, 2012

about exceptions to Nature ID posting rules

Myocastor coypus
picture taken at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Portland, OR
June 23, 2012

It surprised me to receive 223 blog visits since summer road trip published 2 days ago. Nature ID is usually not that popular. So it occurred to me that I should explain three of my posting rules that may not be obvious to the average blog visitor.

First, I always backdate posts of featured CA nature to the photo date in order to accurately document when (e.g., I published colonial orb weaver on 08/14/11 even though the entry shows the actual date of the picture from a year before of 08/04/10). Since this practice is rare for blogs, I do not get many visits on newly published backdated posts, and it confuses some folks who use RSS readers, which often only pick up entries backdated to about 3 months before. To add to the confusion, I do have exceptions to my backdate rule, such as photos taken from outside of CA, a handful of miscellaneous posts, and wordless Wednesday. The reasoning for these exceptions is as follows: when I'm traveling, I focus on the moment and blogging rarely enters my mind -> I occasionally like to share my travel or non-nature pictures -> and by posting currently dated entries, I want to let readers know I haven't abandoned Nature ID.

Second, I'm quite thorough and consistent about including labels for identification (e.g., plants) and location with all of my nature photos taken within the boundaries of CA. For all photos taken outside of CA, I do not include identification labels. Even though introduced nutrias are also found in CA, the above photo wasn't taken here; therefore, I am not including any labels with this post for mammals, and I do not have a specific location label like I do for CA locations. The purpose for this practice is so people can click on identification label links, see what I have personally found in CA, and not be mislead by things I have pictured from elsewhere in the world.

Third, I have my settings open to all comments, because I maintain it should not be necessary for anyone to have gmail or an OpenID-type blog simply to make a comment on Nature ID. Of course this opens me up to all sorts of spam, anonymous or otherwise, especially those trying to sell pharmaceuticals from other countries or promoting websites that have nothing to do with nature or relevant topics. In my zealousness to report spam, I sometimes delete legitimate comments. My apologies to those few anonymous commenters.

These rules and exceptions may seem trivial and arbitrary, but they are important to me for the integrity of Nature ID.