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Author Topic: How we treat new hobbyist  (Read 20740 times)
Badman
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« on: July 28, 2011, 09:02:44 AM »

I received this email and I think it brings up a lot of good points.

"I can appreciate the passion some people show toward responsible fish keeping and I totally agree; however some members as well as mods sometimes become somewhat rude and belittles some new members to the point that it could be viewed as discouraging rather than encouraging. I have noted that some new member do not come back for the needed help to become a responsible fish keeper because of this or maybe they do from a guest to a member. I would think encouragement would work better than threats and belittlement to teach a "new to the hobby" person to stay in the hobby and not give up. Some things are stated in the way that it is "the only way" if not "get out". Surely there are more that one right and/or wrong way for anything, just different. Perhaps I am totally out of line with this but felt I needed to say something of my observations on this board. It is sad to think that some new hobbyist "quit" or go some place else receiving less than quality information that this forum can provide in this hobby because of treatment on a forum."

I posted this here because I believe it is important to try to help there new hobbyist past the point of fish haver to true hobbyist. While many will not except our help or take our advice, the few that do can turn into responsible hobbyist and we all benefit from it.

Please try to think back when you were first starting out and base your responses to how you would feel at the time. Now for those that wont take good advise or listen to solid practices, that is a different story..........Smiley

Please post your thoughts on this subject as well.
thanks as always for all you do!

Pat
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Fish516
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 06:47:01 PM »

I agree with whoever sent that email.  I feel that people on this forum can be slightly harsh at times.  Especially to newbies.  I still relatively new to PROPER fish keeping and feel that people expect me to be an expert right from the start.  I apologize for sometimes giving wrong advise, but I am not doing it to ever mislead someone on purpose.  I've also been accused of lying when accidentally misreading a question or assuming something that is not right.  I don't appreciate that because I would not ever lie on this forum.  I mean, why would I? 
Last night in the chat room it was brought to my attention that people on this forum are aggravated by what I mentioned above.  So I just thought I would make my thoughts clear and I also want to apologize to anyone I have ever frustrated.
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GB
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 06:29:08 PM »

I received this email and I think it brings up a lot of good points.

"I can appreciate the passion some people show toward responsible fish keeping and I totally agree; however some members as well as mods sometimes become somewhat rude and belittles some new members to the point that it could be viewed as discouraging rather than encouraging. I have noted that some new member do not come back for the needed help to become a responsible fish keeper because of this or maybe they do from a guest to a member. I would think encouragement would work better than threats and belittlement to teach a "new to the hobby" person to stay in the hobby and not give up. Some things are stated in the way that it is "the only way" if not "get out". Surely there are more that one right and/or wrong way for anything, just different. Perhaps I am totally out of line with this but felt I needed to say something of my observations on this board. It is sad to think that some new hobbyist "quit" or go some place else receiving less than quality information that this forum can provide in this hobby because of treatment on a forum."

I posted this here because I believe it is important to try to help there new hobbyist past the point of fish haver to true hobbyist. While many will not except our help or take our advice, the few that do can turn into responsible hobbyist and we all benefit from it.

Please try to think back when you were first starting out and base your responses to how you would feel at the time. Now for those that wont take good advise or listen to solid practices, that is a different story..........Smiley

Please post your thoughts on this subject as well.
thanks as always for all you do!

Pat

I agree 100%!!! We should try to encourage new members. It can sometimes be frustrating, specially when people take advice from the minimum-wage help at their local pet shop, and ignore the good advice they revieve here. But let's remember that new members are sometimes confused and get contradictory advice. They will learn from their mistakes and come to rely on advice from this and similar forums...and another aquarist is born  party

GB
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Kim
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 07:59:29 AM »

~Instead of telling a member right from wrong, tell them what YOU WOULD DO and keep a judgemental attitude to yourself.
~Vent in private.
~Don't feel the need to stay in a thread or keep talking to someone who has annoyed you to the point you can't be civil.
Pat Mary, there is nothing wrong with deciding to ignore a particular member, you're not obligated to help someone whom you find it difficult to communicate with.
~Common Courtesy. Demonstrate it.

If a moderator is abusive or persistently rude, copy the post and send it to Badman. That doesn't mean anything will be done about it, but it will be duly noted and might make you feel better.
If a non mod member is persistently rude, start with talking to a mod.

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Debra
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2011, 12:55:22 AM »

Kim is 100% Correct!

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Ashraf
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2011, 04:15:33 AM »

Can you complain about a mod to another mod?
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MattTheMorrisSailor
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2011, 01:54:02 PM »

I don't see why not, if they're not acting appropriately then I would have thought it would need to be rectified.
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russ
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2011, 12:27:03 AM »

Can you complain about a mod to another mod?


Voice a concern........Yes.

Complain?....You can try.


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gwright74
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2012, 02:46:54 PM »

I would just like to say that I am new to this forum and a new hobbyist.  I have been told many many different things by the local pet stores and of course they have all been contradictory and confusing.  I came on here yesterday and asked a question and was treated very friendly and warmly.  I recieved very helpful advice from different memebers and they were all friendly and helpful.  I did not feel I was being belittled, I know I do not know what I am doing exactly, but I do want to know and I know the best way to learn is from the personal experience of others as well as trial and error of my own.  I want to say thank you to everyone who takes the time to offer thier experience and support to someone who is willing to learn aobut a wonderful hobby.
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Debra
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2012, 11:38:19 PM »

I hope that you find all the factual and helpful information that you need. It's all about attitude and concern for properly caring for living creatures.

Good Luck and Welcome to Badmans. happy
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     "Give others freedom to be themselves. Appreciate the differences between their ways and yours."
steffelem
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2012, 08:18:37 PM »

That's a nice way to put it, Debra.  Some may feel that remarks are sharp, but if you keep in mind that fish welfare is the primary concern then such comments ought not to be taken amiss.  Doctors in ER are abrupt because certain needs must be immediately met.  Same with fish problems.  If a long-standing member or a moderator advises to immediately change the water, don't argue. Do it. Now.  Then come back and tell 'em your feelings were hurt.  They may then post a  finger_wave or a  Angry or something but, really, its all about the fish, not our egos.
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GB
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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2012, 09:26:19 PM »

Steff,

I agree -- but still totally think we should treat new aquarists with respect and courtesy, even if they are making dreadful mistakes. Yelling and SCREAMING in capitals are a turn-off; it just means the newbie will go away and keep making mistakes or give up the hobby.

I got interested after I inherited a dozed 'feeder' goldfish and killed almost all of them due to my ignorance. I started prowling the web for goldfish care and landed on this site. Thanks to good advice from aquarists like Pat M and Karen and Muffuletta (and many others!) I learned what I was doing wrong. Today, I believe I am keeping fresh-water fish successfully and have just started on salt-water.

Let's keep giving good advice and encouraging newbies!

GBose
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steffelem
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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2012, 11:23:16 PM »

I have never seen any moderator be rude or belittling.  But they can be stern when they are trying to save the lives of fish.  Always they are  encouraging and helpful.  And you're right: first and foremost we're all about the interest in fish and in being the best 'keepers' we can be.  Unfortunately, its all too easy to find bad sites for advice. Only a few consistently offer good advice.  This is one.  The best one, I think.
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russ
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I know where rasaqua's stuff is.....


« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2012, 11:51:21 PM »

Posters really need to learn to understand what the basic question or concern is when considering their answer. Even experienced hobbyists tend to overload with extra information that is not directly related to the basic question. Example: A poster requests information on how to eradicate ich from their infected tank.  More often than not, I see replies that request information about their tank parameters, size tank, how long they have kept fish and even the merits of a fishless cycling to the type of food and filtration. How would this benefit the poster's original question? I call this "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic after hitting an iceberg syndrome".

The easiest answer would be to recommend the safest and most expedient means to do so or link them to the information on this site. If the original poster has already identified the issue, it could be implied that an answer or assistance to that particular issue is being requested. Later follow on or follow up discussions could take place.

On the other hand, hobbyists replying may have to ferret out certain pieces of information because the poster may not be experienced enough to formulate a question that adequately describes the issue. Thats when you really have to put the thinking caps on.

The great thing about our site and forum is that anyone with an interest in aquaria and possesses a computer can rely on an answer. Most are answered within a couple hours or less 90% of the time.

Some folks may not understand a reply when rendered in absolutes. I see wording like "need" instead of "should". In addition, even if something has worked for one person for years, doesn't mean it is correct.  

I know folks have the best of intentions when replying to new hobbyists or new members, but one of my pet peeves is reading a reply that barely says nothing more than, "I'm not the expert, or I've never kept that fish or used that piece of equipment, but I'm sure a more experienced person will weigh in soon on this. Now what good will this do when that poster sees a new reply to their question only to find out that the person who replied is also ignorant to their situation? If one even knows part of a correct or right answer, then reply and or direct them to a link or other member who may know the answers to the rest. Don't just display ignorance.

We have members who devote an astonishing amount of time here. Others cover the range from beginner to advanced aquarists that can discuss the merits of various treatments and approaches to the hobby. This site and forum has a pretty extensive library and source of information that offer members the sorts of specific information that beginners have a difficult time finding on their own.

But, no one gets away with just anything; the slightest bit of ill-considered advice is quickly demolished, often with great wit.  Wink


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GB
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2012, 08:46:03 PM »

Russ,

I agree with almost everything you say here (as usual  Wink)

But I'm going to disagree with your 'pet peeve' -- I understand, but don't think it's justified. I sometimes see someone has posted a question and got no reply hours later. I think it's totally frustrating when no-one replies!! So I've sometimes replied along the lines of 'I wish I knew, but I'm sure someone with experience will soon weigh in'. I just want the OP to know that their post wasn't ignored...

Just my  11574


GBose
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russ
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2012, 09:45:27 PM »

Russ,

I agree with almost everything you say here (as usual  Wink)

But I'm going to disagree with your 'pet peeve' -- I understand, but don't think it's justified. I sometimes see someone has posted a question and got no reply hours later. I think it's totally frustrating when no-one replies!! So I've sometimes replied along the lines of 'I wish I knew, but I'm sure someone with experience will soon weigh in'. I just want the OP to know that their post wasn't ignored...

Just my  11574


GBose

Highly noted  happy


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submariner24
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2012, 12:02:14 PM »

i moved my insights over to this website because i was treated like that on another forum. The admin on here are so understanding and posting this topic proves it Smiley
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Reva
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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2012, 01:20:44 PM »

I must admit that I haven't logged on to this forum for sometime for this exact reason.  Even though I have owned a tank for 2 years now I still have no clue sometimes what I am doing which has resulted, unfortunately, in several fish losses.  The majority of people on the forums have been extremely helpful and I still think this website is one of the best for getting information and hope that this thread encourages those who are giving the advise to be a little more patient and understanding with those people who really have no experience but would like to learn how to be a better and more responsible fish owner.  happy
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deblou7
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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2012, 05:22:05 AM »

Hi all

I am new to tropical freshwater aquarium keeping (I have experience of cold water) and I have registered so that I can gain the best possible knowledge to keep my fish as happy and healthy and they can be.  I really welcome any advice that is offered as there is no better qualification than experience.  I'm sure at times I will ask daft questions and hope that your members take on board your post and remember that we all have to start somewhere.  Thanks for the post Pam.

Much appreciated

Debbie newbie
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kieran
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« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2013, 01:40:51 PM »

Too many snobby aquarists on here when it comes to replies. They treat newcomers like dirt and as if to say you are hopeless.
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Ruthy
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« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2013, 01:52:38 PM »

Too many snobby aquarists on here when it comes to replies. They treat newcomers like dirt and as if to say you are hopeless.

I'm very sorry if you felt like that Kieran, but looking through all of your threads I can't see any snobby replies. Perhaps it's just how I'm reading them know as have been here longer so know everyone's way of typing?
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kieran
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« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2013, 02:33:40 PM »

dont worry maybe i just took it the wrong way.
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kieran
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« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2013, 02:40:15 PM »

"Kieran, I'm not sure if you have a question but if you do, it is best if you start a new thread".

To me that is snobby and said as if i am dumb obviously if you want to ask a question you start a new thread and i didnt even hint at asking a question anyway.
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2013, 03:42:03 PM »

Too many snobby aquarists on here when it comes to replies. They treat newcomers like dirt and as if to say you are hopeless.

You know, I am not out to get anybody.  I do not know you and have no idea of what you know and do not know.  I simply said something because many new people to this forum post new questions in old threads.  I was not being snobbish and was not treating you like dirt.  It is amazing to me that some (I am not saying all)  new people come on here and seem to have a chip on their shoulder.  Everyone on this board remembers what it is like to be new to the hobby.  We give advice freely and happily.  When I was new, I made sure to read and listen to the regulars to get a feel for the board and the hobby.  I would suggest that others do the same.  Now that I know your feelings, you can be assured that I will not respond to any more of your posts.  I just hope that you do not flame the experts on here because, if you do, you will lose out on some valuable information.     
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BallAquatics
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« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2013, 05:04:56 PM »

Don't take it to heart Pat.  Some people just want to whine and complain no matter what you do on your end.....  Life's too short!

Dennis
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