Just so everyone doesn't think I am power crazy...
A few months ago I had asked @dave
if the original poster
could be given the ability to make changes to the subject once the identification was made. Dave could have asked the moderators to do this; he could have assigned the task to any member. I volunteered to be one
of the people to work on this. It was his decision to give me (only me for now) the task and I am happy to help. In truth, I thinks I'm being used as a Guinea Pig but I don't mind one bit.
Here is a longer explanation for those who like to read lots of words:
This began when I asked @dave
if there could be a way for the original poster to change the subject once the identify has been made. It was his decision to grant me the ability to make the changes which I started doing in mid-October.
I'm not yet finished as there are over 3,000 threads to read through in the Plant ID forum. Some of them I have to read several times.
Some folks who start a thread asking for an ID will follow the rules and remember to let others know that the plant has been identified.
But not everyone remembers. When that happens it is necessary for the viewers to read every word in every post to discover if an agreement has been made as to identity of a plant (or plants in the cases where there are several different plants lumped into one thread*). Lots of folks just like to skim and not read every word.
If there is a definite identification, and especially when the OP has added their image to the database, the subject can safely be changed so readers can see the true name instead of a subject such as:
"Popped up in my compost bin", or
"What the heck is this?", or
"Help, please" or
"Another one for ID", and my all time favorite
"I think you nailed it!!!" sometimes followed by
In some cases the conversation indicates that there has at least been an agreement as to genus. In that case I will change the subject to (example) Rumex; for ID.
In some cases the original subject includes pertinent information such as "in the shade in Brazil", "shade plant", "growing at the beach", etc. and those words remain in the subject and are not removed.
The original poster and other members may decided that the plant can not be identified.**
They may then click on "Mark this solved, finished or expired". Not everyone remembers to do this, but those who do will see the word "Identified" in front of the subject, making it appear
that the plant has been identified...even if the plant has not
been identified. (???)
In a perfect world every person requesting an ID would stick with the conversation, be prepared to answer questions, to add more photos of specific plant parts to assist in the identification process. The members may request additional photos, location, time of year, sun/shade?, vine?, evergreen? and it helps if the OP responds to assist.
In some cases the chit chat gets diverted to other things such as memories of childhood gardening, recipes, etc. Lots to read through...all very interesting.
If the subject reflects the plant name, or at least the genus, readers have a better chance of learning more about the plant in question and the chit chat becomes frosting on the cake.
Check this out! One unexpected benefit to reading every word in every post is that I have finally discovered the thread where @JRsbugs
was given her special name of Super Sleuth. The subject has not been changed; it reads: Calling all Hickory detectives.
Here it is:
The original poster was @flaflwrgrl
who was so impressed with the detective work done by Janet aka JRsbugs to identify the tree as a Red Hickory (Carya ovalis) that she said, "I'm going to start calling you Super Sleuth! "
Did I change the subject of some threads? Yes, but was given permission to do so.
Did I make any mistakes? Probably a few and for that I apologize.
Did every original poster follow through to mark their thread as solved, finished or expired? No...but
maybe they'll come back later to do that.
Am I finished? Not yet, but I'm reading as fast and as accurately as I am able.
*Even though the instructions state that there should be only one plant per thread in the Plant ID forum it is sometimes necessary to post more than one when making a comparison.
**Having a successful identification allows the images to be added and helps to grow our ATP database. However, if a decision cannot be reached the photo of the NOID plant can be added to the Bin of Unidentified Photos - a holding space, but here again, not everyone does this.