We' like to take an informal poll here, since you all are some of our most active and thoughtful eBirders.
A couple years back we released "Checklist Sharing" with some fanfare. this was something we wanted for a long time an allowed to friends (or 20 friends) to go birding together, to have one volunteer to do the data entry, and then to copy the checklist automatically to their friend's account. The others that received copies could still edit the checklist and eBird would be able to track the changes and still store a master copy that was essentially the sum of all the lists, and all are linked together in our database. Checklist sharing has been a huge success, and is a great way to expose new people to eBird, especially since you can share a checklist with someone who doesn't have an eBird account yet by just entering their email address.
However, we are wondering whether we picked the right term to describe the process. Checklist sharing might suggest that you just want to let someone know what you saw, whether or not they were there. In fact, this has been a problem, since some people have clicked "share" and entered a listserv address in the sharing field. I'm sure you all have seen this at least once on the listserv. And the problem is that anyone who clicks the link then gets a copy of the list in their eBird account, implying that they actually saw the bird. We have the "email" link to allow people to post their lists to listservs, and checklist sharing was obviously intended for another purpose. It is clear, that the term "Share" does not instantly convey what is going on.
So our questions for you all are as follows:
1) Is there a better term or way to describe this process that would make it clearer what is happening. We are considering an "Add people to this checklist" after data entry as an alternative. Of course, we'd need to have short links (on the "Checklist Edit" page and the "Manage My Observations") too, and those currently read "Share". Would "Add others" be better?
2) Is the term "checklist sharing" already too ingrained in the eBird lexicon that changing it now would just make things even more confusing. We of course need to cater to our long-term users, our occasional users, and first-time users we hope to attract tomorrow.
Any and all thoughts are welcome. Please just comment below, let us know what you think, an why. We aren't sure what direction we'll go, and your feedback will help. Thanks!