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1413RE: [SoWestOdes] Re: AZOdes Website

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  • Ann Johnson
    Oct 24, 2013
      Point well taken, Jim. The critical mass of interested persons plays out in two ways. Although there has been an exponential interest increase in odonates (as well as butterflies, moths, wasps, etc.), that critical mass of people hasn't yet been realized to create a decent infrastructure to keep things going. First of all, you need enough people willing to take a little time to share their information with others in some kind of structured way. One analogy I like to use is that I keep my birding records in AviSys (my private collection if you will) but can then add anything significant to the database maintained by the Iowa Ornithologists' Union for seasonal field reports and eventually North American Birds. I can even upload a day's worth of records to eBird for the greater good. It does take a concerted investment on my part to do that, however, and it takes a fair number of people doing the same to eventually collect anything meaningful. Odonata Central is a good case in point. County lists and range maps are only as good as contributors make it.

      I've built a number of state-oriented web applications over the years and am not overly concerned about the birding-related sites since they have organizations with ownership and commitment to continuation. Content is maintained by members of the organization. The back-end pieces occasionally require an additional skill set but finding that isn't an insurmountable problem, either from a volunteer with some familiarity with the technology or from a contractor. I do worry about Iowa Odes, however. Our informal infrastructure is working well for content management and record review and things are relatively up to date, but I would dearly love to find an interested group to take over the ownership. Heck, I'd even pay the $100 a year for hosting and provide free labor as long as I can. I do worry about what happens if I get hit by a truck tomorrow. That's a lot of information to lose and right now it exists in my personal account. I'm not sure what the answer is. For us the most obvious answer would be to bring all these things under the umbrella of our state's DNR wildlife diversity bureau but I should live so long as to see that idea ever get much traction. Data is so much easier to organize than people J.

      Ann Johnson

      From: SoWestOdes@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SoWestOdes@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jim Stuart
      Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 9:46 AM
      To: SoWest Odes
      Subject: [SoWestOdes] Re: AZOdes Website

      I suspect all web-based databases are potentially vulnerable to neglect and eventual extinction, even broad-based well-established ones like OdonataCentral (although I hope in the case of OC, it has sufficient support in place to buffer against that possibility). The broader and more established such a database is, the greater likelihood it can secure support funds and that it will be carried on by others if its originator(s) aren't there to do so since so many are invested in it. The situation is comparable to small specimen collections in research museums ... some have been lost and others will be lost as they are "orphaned" by lone curators who retire and pass on.

      It might seem nice to have a web-based site dedicated to just your state, but the critical mass of interested persons just might not be there to maintain it once its creators are gone.



      From: " <mailto:dennispaulson@...> dennispaulson@..." < <mailto:dennispaulson@...> dennispaulson@...>
      To: Ann Johnson < <mailto:aj@...> aj@...>
      Cc: <mailto:SoWestOdes@yahoogroups.com> SoWestOdes@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2013 8:12 AM
      Subject: Re: [SoWestOdes] AZOdes Website


      I think what you are writing will be a perennial problem, as group after group is formed and website after website is set up. There are already far too many such things for me to keep track of, and at one time I prided myself on being up on all things odonate. The ease of doing all this prompts many to do it on their own rather than contribute to a centralized place, and I suspect that this decentralization will continue apace. This trend has to lead to the dilution of already established programs, and yours is a good example. I pine for the days when it was easy to keep track of dragonflies or anything else!



      From: "Ann Johnson" < <mailto:aj@...> aj@...>
      To: <mailto:SoWestOdes@yahoogroups.com> SoWestOdes@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:44:03 PM
      Subject: [SoWestOdes] AZOdes Website

      What seemed like a good idea many years ago; i.e., a centralized repository of Arizona county records and early/late dates, has just never taken off. I just checked the record review queue again and there has been nothing new entered in well over a year so I am beginning to dismantle things. AZODES.COM domain is due to expire on 4 November and I am going to let that happen. If anyone is interested in that domain name for themselves, let me know ASAP and I can transfer it to you before one of those scalpers grabs it and wants to sell it for $1000! The site will continue to be hosted on <http://azodes.org/> http://azodes.org/ until next spring when it expires. If you want that name before it happens, let me know that as well. As much as I like having good information available on the web, I really hate having stuff that is inaccurate and this site is rapidly falling into that category and must go away. Hopefully Odonata Central will be helpful to everyone at least on the county level and thanks to Kathy the early and late dates are kept in a spreadsheet from messages posted here.

      Enjoy your bugs down there! It is supposed to be 30 degrees here by morning. Ugh.

      Ann Johnson

      5362 120th Ave

      Norwalk, IA 50211


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