Guide for Contributors - Part 1: Why?

Information for those wishing to contribute photographs to the Nature of Dorset.

From the 1st January 2017 I am inviting wildlife enthusiasts who take good photographs to contribute them to my ‘Nature of Dorset’ website. Until now this website has been virtually all of my own work.

 

Why am I now inviting contributions? 

  1.  I started the Nature of Dorset back in 2010 as a repository for my nature photographs and records. I was amazed that the website had 2,500 in its first year. In 2016 that has now grown to over 52,500! I feel those visiting the website deserve the best I can give them and that means extending what is offered.
  2. I have never considered myself a photographer and many of you out there take photos that put mine to shame. Your photos could certainly enhance the website visitor’s experience and could help them with identification questions or generally improving their knowledge.
  3. As I am now ‘getting on’ in years my opportunities for work in the field are becoming more and more restricted. It would be wonderful if some other enthusiasts could take over the field work. 

Who uses the Nature of Dorset?

  1. Wildlife enthusiasts, often people starting out with a new and growing interest, who are looking for help with identification or looking for information about where to find species they have not yet seen
  2. Casual observers, people who been out for a walk and seen something that caught their eye. Many families use it to help them find places to take the children!
  3. Visitors to the county who want to know where to go and what to see while they are here; people plan there holidays around the site.
  4. Teachers and students; the site gets visits from schools, colleges and universities, and I get queries from students for information to help them with their studies
  5. Many other people for many other reasons!  

Why should you contribute? 

  1. Good photographs deserve a long shelf life! A photograph published on Facebook or Twitter has a very short life and has limited reach. Published on a permanent, well visited website your photos will reach a much wider audience and remain accessible for as long as the Nature of Dorset continues to exist.
  2. There are over 50,000 people a year out there looking for more information about wildlife and places to go to see wildlife. Those of us who ‘know’ should be willing to share with and encourage those who don’t
  3. The Nature of Dorset is by far the most comprehensive guide to the nature reserves and the species found in Dorset. Help make it even better. 

What should you contribute? 

  1. Any good photograph of a species that shows characteristics that might aid identification. You may also contribute photographs of habitat or key features of any of the reserves and other places featured on the website.
  2. One photograph only of a species (or two if they show gender differences or additional identification features), you can always delete one if you get a better one!
  3. Photographs of any species of animals, birds, insects, flowers, plants or fungi that were taken in Dorset 

What will happen to your photographs? 

  1. Your photographs will be permanently available in the contributed photographs section of the website (News and Information > contributions). This means they will be accessible by any interested website visitor as well as to the search engines, Google and Bing,
  2. They will be permanently displayed on the master page for the species along with the other key information. They may also appear in identification tools on the website. If the photograph was taken at one of the 200+ places featured on the website they will appear on the site master page as well.
  3. For three months they will appear on the popular ‘what’s new’ function that is accessible from every page on the website. This is also promoted via Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Stumbleupon and other social media which increases the number of visitors to this part of the website. 

How do you contribute? 

  1. You can input photographs directly into the Nature of Dorset
  2. If you are a Twitter user you photographs can be picked directly from yor feed
  3. If you are a Facebook user then by sharing your photographs with the NoD Contributions group your photographs can be picked up automatically
  4. If you use any other web service that provides an RSS feed your pohotgraphs can be picked up automatically

Details of how to do this can be found on the next page 

What else do you need to know? 

  1. In the short term, whilst the new function is bedding in, photographs may not display straight away. I am intending to review them to start with and I also need to make sure the system cannot be hijacked by robots for the purposes of spamming.
  2. There is a copyright notice on the website but I cannot stop someone downloading any photograph if they wish to. If you are unhappy with this then please do not load a photograph you wish to protect.
  3. If you have any questions or need any help please use the contact form to get in touch. My hearing is not what it used to be and so I try not to use the telephone if I can avoid it!

If you want to know more click on the ‘About the Nature of Dorset’ tab on the main menu where you will find some background information as well as the terms and conditions for users of the website

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