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Old 02-24-03, 02:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
BWSmith's Avatar
Join Date: Oct-2002
Location: Georgia (USA)
Posts: 1,888
Talking Have Experience? (another rant)

OK, time to address another one of my pet peaves. why? cause I can Ya'll can aggree, disagree, ignore it, whatever, but this drives me nuts!

Issue: People with no experience whatsoever giving advice!!!

For years i have seen this. I remember on the KS venomous forum when some 15 year old kid posted a care sheet on Black mambas and he had never even SEEN ONE! HE had never had a venomous. He had no experience. He regurged what he read somewhere! We see it constantly. Some kid (I use the term loosley, no offense to younger members) who has only had 2 corn snakes and a ball python giving breeding tips on Retics. Come on people. You do not have to reply to posts just because they are there. If you dont have experience and dont know the answer, that is fine. If you dont have personal experience, but read a great deal about them, that is fine. Just say it as "I have read that this is how you do it" or "In the book "Anyherpbook" it says to do it this way". Dont try to pass off someone elses experience or literature as your own. Don't regurgitate what you heard some guy say in a pet shop while you were buying feeders. On every one of these forum sites, there is a tremendous amount highly experienced people. There is no need for inexperienced and/or uneducated keepers to offer partial quotes or misinformation. Now I am not saying, dont post. But if you really don't know what you are talking about, the qualify your statements so that the person needing advice KNOWS that you are not an expert.

Example: Someone makes a post asking about caring for Vine Snakes. For the sake of argument, you have never had one or even really worked with them. Don't post a long paragraph about keeping them at a certain humdity level, cage decorations, temp variations and feeding habits. If you have some knowledge share! But at least qualify it. Such as "these guys come from a fairly humid environment so a higher humidity level maybe benificial" or "In Mr. Soandso's article, he suggested these temps" or even "I have heard several meople comment they are difficult to get feeding on rodents". These are all fine. Youa re not pretending to be an expert.


Jeez this one drives me bonkers! "I know what I am doing, I read it on the internet". ANYONE can make a web page now! There are no qualifications to put up a care sheet. You have to remember that when yo uread a site, these are opinions usually. And opinions are like tater-holes! Right now I could put up a care sheet for Bearded Dragons and say that you should hold them under water until they stop kicking in order to help them shed. I guaruntee that within a couple weeks, i would get angry emails about how I killed thier lizard (or they would go by another one and try it again). "But this came from a breeder" Who cares? i have had herps get loose and breed! No offense to anyone, but very few "breeders" impress me. That by no means says that they do not know what they are doing or that they dont have great info to present, but every person with a pair of ANYTHING is calling themselves breeders now. So I take that term with a grain of salt. The internet is the single best resource int he world for information. I just try to read everything I can find and that tends to weed out some of the idiots. Forum sites are probably the best resource because it brings experts to you. But again, when people with no experience post hear-say or assumptions, it makes it difficult to navigate through to find good information.

If you know something, post it. If you don't, that is fine. You notice I am rarely on the Colubrid forums. I have only kept a little over 100 colubrids, so I don't consider myself an expert on them and only comment on threads that I have relevant information or to ask a question or to make an observation. Many seasoned herpers have little tolerance for newbies getting too big for their britches and trying to pass off someone elses experience as their own. We all started out as newbies, noone has to prove themselves by hundreds of posts about subjects you don't know. Many of us worked through this hobby for years to gain the knowledge and reputation we carry. But we all started in the same place. There is no shame in not knowing an answer. live, learn and grow.
I planted some bird seed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it.
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