I have a couple of observations as a CEC Online newby that probably need some attention before the first event-related clearinghouse occurs.
My initial experience was a bit frustrating. I spotted the link from CGS, visited the system, and figured out how to register. I wanted to leave a message to report a broken link in the flier but could not. It wasn’t until the next day that I saw an email from the system telling me to click on a link to verify my email address. I do not recall seeing any indication to check my email for such a confirmation message after I registered. If that prompt doesn’t exist, then one should be added.
I also suggest that a one-page FAQ for users be developed with basic instructions about accessing the online clearinghouse site. I can imagine dozens to hundreds of researchers wanting access but not knowing how to do so. Similarly, I imagine that many will want to know how to upload data to the web site either for immediate display or for review and eventual display. For example, the first FAQ ideally would spell out how to register and alert users that they will not be able to post or submit data until they verify their email address.
Regarding data collection, I recent read an article about the “top smartphone applications for academics.” One uses the GPS, camera, and data entry capabilities of the smartphone to report road kills. On reading the article (see http://chronicle.com/article/College-20-6-Top-Smartphone/125764/ ), I quickly realized that the app probably could be adapted for collecting information either in a Did You Feel It or EqCH operation. More information about the road kill data gathering effort should be available at http://roadecology.ucdavis.edu/ or from Frank Shilling (#nbsp;firstname.lastname@example.org#nbsp;), co-director of the Road Ecology Center.
I have other thoughts on related topics but will save them for another post. Back to grading final exams for one of my classes.
— Ted Smith