Authors: Howard Chou and Jennifer Liu


web.entclub.org is affiliated with the Cambridge Entomological Club, the second oldest entomological society in North America.

The web site is an online community centered around entomologically related discussions, including general insect questions, collecting insects, photographing insects, identifying insects, classifying insects (taxonomy), pest control, and much more!

Goal of v1.0

The goal of web.entclub.org v1.0 is to build an online community where entomology enthusiasts, whether they're novices or experts, can intermingle and easily share knowledge and experiences related to entomology. It is essential that all content on the site serve this goal so that the community remains focused and is useful to users with diverse backgrounds in entomology.

Our Approach

What makes web.entclub.org different from other online communities is the ability to associate a forum posting with images and insect specimen records. Forum postings are not limited to being textual communication between two users consisting of only question-answer type discussions. Instead, forum postings can also have images associated with them. Perhaps the user wants to share a rare insect image he took, or he wants someone to help him identify an insect he has never seen before.

To facilitate insect identification, forum postings and their images can be associated with insect specimen records, and the trio become part of the virtual insect collection on the site. Users browsing through the virtual collection can help each other identfiy and classify insect specimen records of unknown identity based on the images and description in the forum posting associated with the specimen record. The ability to associate forum postings with images and insect specimens can be a source of rich content for discussion in the forums, and enjoyment for users, as they help each other identify and classify unknown specimen on the site. The virtual insect collection is open to the public and can also have a lot of educational value.

Main Features

Forums are the portals to discussions in the online community. A forum is defined by the entomological topics within its scope, and it serves to focus and organize discussions.

The root of a thread in the forum, usually the start of a discussion, can be associated with one or more images and an insect specimen record. These associations help to stimulate discussions and are part of what makes this site unique from other online communities.

Insect Specimens

Insect specimens are part of what makes web.entclub.org different from other online communities related to entomology. An insect specimen record is similar to a real life specimen in an insect collection, where images of the specimen replace the actual live specimen. Therefore, the specimens online can eventually become an online insect collection shared by the web community.

Each specimen record can be associated with a forum posting, because topics like the classification of insects specimen records and sharing of insect images are all wonderful sources of discussions for the forums.


Articles are part of the inital magnet content on the site and can be about anything, including information related to the Cambridge Entomological Club, instructions for collecting and photographing insects, and general information about entomology and insects. The articles section is a place where users who are new to the site or new to entomology can learn enough about the site and enotmology, so that they can quickly become active participants in the forums and active members on the site.


The site calendar is where events related to the Cambridge Entomological Club and the online community are posted. Calendar events can be club meetings, seminars, lectures, and any events the members of the online community organize amongst themselves, such as field trips to collect or study insects.

Other Features

The features described above are the key features that serve to make web.entclub.org unique from other online communities related to entomology. Additional features the site provide include the following:

  • User profiles
  • Full text search of all content
  • Moderation functions for approving,rejecting,archiving, and unarchiving content
  • Administrative functions to give and revoke privileges, and to warn troublemakers and deactivate accounts
  • Collection of web traffic and site statistics about usage and activity of different features for different time scales

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