myFOSSIL Features and Priorities

FOSSIL Kickoff Meeting
February 19, 2014

myFOSSIL Breakout Session

Desired Features

  • Constantly updated
  • Calendars
  • Research Connections
  • ID Links/Resources
  • Collection Connections
  • Ethics and Protocol
  • Education and Outreach K12, Higher Ed
  • Master Paleo
  • Lectures

 myFOSSIL website

1. What are we currently doing?

  • 16-clubs were represented in this group. We polled them and basically every club has a Web site.
  • 3-club sites have password-protected information for members only
  • This allows them to keep their listserve information hidden from the public, but allows for maintaining private contact information for their membership.
  • 6 have active Facebook accounts and 2 have active Twitter accounts
  • Someone suggested looking at ( an example of a fossil site that they go to often. They described the ‘mystery fossil of the day as the most commonly used feature. This also makes me think about astronomy picture of the day, with I know to be very popular with astronomy folks (
  • Someone expressed an interest in images of ‘tracks that people are using’.
  • Many people are using the fossil forum website for identification.
  • The group felt that providing a standardized lesson plan and resource repository for schools/teachers was a good thing to do.
  • Someone suggested that it would be neat to have a forum that was a wish list for professionals to post needs/ideas that amateurs and clubs could respond to (like crowdsourcing).
  • One person reported using Google docs to manage membership lists.
  • One person reported using dropbox to maintain club files.
  • One person reported using vertical response ( to successfully manages and club and maintain interest.
  • Those with Facebook pages reported that the page is managed by at least one club member. This led to a question and short discussion about myFOSSIL having both a public and private space, which they thought was useful. However, they were most interested in what could be happening on the private side and how users would manage passwords.
  • The majority reported that their clubs were struggling with infrastructure issues related to managing information.
  • They expressed the need of clubs for content for meetings and newsletters.

2. Biggest issues

  • This wasn’t really discussed as a theme.

3. What could we do? (In addition, see the Desired Features list above)

  • A proposal and discussion about myFOSSIL supporting the concept of ‘project linkup’ – where professionals propose projects for amateurs to get involved in OR amateurs display fossils and ask professionals if they want to study it
  • A discussion of the need for policies and/or codes of behavior
  • A proposal and discussion about myFOSSIL supporting geocaching for fossils (
  • A discussion about myFOSSIL helping clubs share materials and expertise related to education and outreach
  • A proposal and discussion about offering certifications – master paleontologists (ex. master gardener)
  • A proposal and discussion about having a database of available lectures and technologies that can be supported (phone, Skype, etc.)

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