I propose we add a way to track user contributions to our site so that over time users gain reputation for their contributions. Cory Doctorow calls this virtual currency, "whuffie".
+2 When a user adds an observation
+1 Observation includes photo or verifiable citation
+10 Our scientists confirm observation
+25 It expands the range of a species
+5 User provides evidence to verify another users observation
Questions and Answers
+1 For asking a question
+1 When another user finds your question useful
+5 For answering a question
+1 When another user likes your answer
+10 When the questioner accepts your answer
Over time users gain "badges" and a total Rep.
Some someone may become a "Tutor", "Student", "Teacher", "Field Assistant", "Biological Expert". We add points for all sorts of contributions. These badges and the total reputation number are visible to everyone providing feedback and giving credit encouraging repeated contributions.
I'm still flushing out the details, but this is the basic gist.
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