Yet another new venture I am involved in is an educational (though still commercial) website, SpiderIdentification.org. It is the brainchild of webmaster Kyle Williams who in the course of building another website on outdoor survival discovered that a great number of people want to know which spiders are potentially dangerous.
Kyle posted a recruitment notice for spider experts on Bugguide.net and I hastily replied, along with another spider expert, Mandy Howe. The two of us have been sharing moderator duties in the Forums section of the website since March. The site now offers an FAQ (frequently asked questions) section and a glossary of terms. An image gallery will follow shortly, along with expanded information on dangerous North American spiders.
One of the more pleasant surprises to come out of this has been the rapid development of a community of spider-lovers who have been eager to share their own images and discoveries while helping solve the “mystery spiders” presented by other folks.
Another reward has been the conversion of many spider-phobic individuals into spider-tolerant people, or even new spider-lovers. Nearly everyone who has posted an image to the “Submit Your Picture” section, even if they have done so in a state of panic, has offered generous compliments to us for the work we are doing.
What is next for SpiderIdentification.org? We need your help to publicize the website as the resource for accurate identifications of spiders, essential information about them, and where empathetic staff understand squeamish and fearful reactions to arachnids and won’t admonish you for those sentiments.
The website currently generates revenue through Google Ads, though we do not explicitly endorse any product or service. Finding additional sources of income is another challenge we face.I am very grateful to be working with such fine people on this website, for the income it is generating for me, and for the opportunity to continue learning and passing along my knowledge of the arachnid world. Special thanks to Kyle and Mandy for making it such an exciting venture.