Civility and good will

Overall, I think people are very friendly here but it's probably important to stay ahead of things and nip it in the bud if you've noticed the atmosphere getting worse.

My only complaint is that on these types of forums after several years it just becomes people repeating care sheet information and if someone has novel ideas it gets shot down. I haven't noticed it that much here, but on Dendroboard it seems like a close minded echo chamber (that's the dart frog forum). When I do a search and read posts from 2005 or whenever in the past, it's like this freewheeling atmosphere, but now they get very few new posts and anything that doesn't conform to accepted dogma is shot down immediately. I think that's why so few people post there (that, and it's a fairly obscure hobby). People just seem more coarse these days in general (that doesn't necessarily apply to anything I've read here, just in general).

My favorite posts are when someone comes along and is trying something different, even when it ends up being just plain wrong. That's how you learn new things I think. I almost guarantee there are people out there having success keeping chameleons that are breaking every accepted rule that we currently have in the hobby, but they're not as likely to post what they're doing because it'll get criticized and shot down by people quoting care sheets (I think that probably applies more to Dendroboard than here, but in general I bet it is true).
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
The only Petco I go To, has the right lighting, Asnd i do see crickets looking like ghosts. One of the employees "Anthony" even hand feeds the reptiles. He takes care of them as they're his, even names them.
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ive only ever been mad twice and it was the dumb dumb who came on here with his dyi fish tank that didnt listen to anyone and the college student wanting to use a cham for their project. Im never upset when im on here, just stubborn. Impulse buying a cham to save it but not knowing how to fix its situation is not rescuing. Once youre here and working on fixing it you may have saved it, but you could possibly have shortened the life worse. I mean on facebook you watch as people impulse buy a chameleon to "rescue it" and then cham dies because of their poor husbandry. We're all here which means we came, learned and now instruct on proper care, but not everyone is us, we do not make up the majority by a long shot, were the minority.
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ive only ever been mad twice and it was the dumb dumb who came on here with his dyi fish tank that didnt listen to anyone and the college student wanting to use a cham for their project. Im never upset when im on here, just stubborn. Impulse buying a cham to save it but not knowing how to fix its situation is not rescuing. Once youre here and working on fixing it you may have saved it, but you could possibly have shortened the life worse. I mean on facebook you watch as people impulse buy a chameleon to "rescue it" and then cham dies because of their poor husbandry. We're all here which means we came, learned and now instruct on proper care, but not everyone is us, we do not make up the majority by a long shot, were the minority.
This is beyond true . That makes me so very angry and sad . We as keepers have to know them really know them to know when they are sick never mind not to know how to keep them to begin with . Then not take any advice . Some threads I simply don’t say anything , I know emotionally I can’t .
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
Being a new member (joined about 3 months ago) and not even having my chameleon yet. I can relate to all the people who buy a chameleon thinking that they are doing everything correctly. Because they did ask the place they bought it what husbandry steps should be taken. Only to have them get sick, injured, or on their deathbeds. They do what everyone does now a days. They google search it, find this site, post out of desperation on not wanting their loved pet to get worse or even die. But I have seen some of those posts go badly were to new member was made to feel like they are doing everything wrong and its their fault that they didn't find this site before they purchased their chameleon and they don't care if their chameleon dies or not.

One the flip side, we do have members that simply say, welcome to the site. Please replace that equipment with this. You should add this and take out that. You should be using this supplement and so on. Which I applaud those members that explain nicely what is wrong with what they are doing and how to correct it.

Maybe for the "my baby is sick" posts, we should just focus on the immediate life threatening needs of the chameleon and not list $500+ worth of products that must be replaced all at once. Because we all know the high ownership costs of having them and most people just paid $300 for the chameleon and another $150 for the complete chameleon kit. Getting another huge list of products to buy I think is overwhelming a lot of the new people.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I dunno.... Yall know my cham buying history. I have done it the "wrong" way with a big box store and have a wonderful healthy boy. And I did it the "right" way and bought from a breeder and had a most unfortunate situation happen.

So for me it is a double edged sword. I have a wound there when I should not. For me it is really hard now when we slam people for buying a cham from a store. I hate seeing it. It makes me sad because they do not know any better and honestly to me at least the cham was not left in a situation where it would get sick and die. Then these people come here looking to do things right. We slam them for where the cham was obtained and honestly I would not want to stay either.

I just think our tone has such a big impact.
Nobody is slamming anybody idt? and if they are they are wrong for that. Maybe I'm on a different page than others, but slamming the box stores is a proactive measure, not a way to put people that did it down.

As much as we are mad at that breeder, fact of the matter is, the petco you got beman from probably killed twice as many animals in a week than any of the breeders here have in a lifetime. I know you're newer with reptiles and that's cool so maybe you don't or maybe you do know this(no offense intended, just friendly debate) but it's not just chameleons at these stores suffering. Nearly everything they sell probably has a 90%?? chance of premature death

So the way you saw bahari suffer, imagine seeing that on a regular basis, from the saltwater fish they shouldn't carry to leopard geckos and any other animals. I'm sure there's a few decent Petco out there, but they are still part of an organization that promotes animal abuse to make a profit.

Look how we blew up on a once respected breeder of this site, yet petco as an organization, hands out diseased and dying animals on a daily basis and a MASSIVE scale, but it's meh?

Sometimes I think we become complacent to bad things if they are on a large enough scale.
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Nobody is slamming anybody idt? and if they are they are wrong for that. Maybe I'm on a different page than others, but slamming the box stores is a proactive measure, not a way to put people that did it down.

As much as we are mad at that breeder, fact of the matter is, the petco you got beman from probably killed twice as many animals in a week than any of the breeders here have in a lifetime. I know you're newer with reptiles and that's cool, but it's not just chameleons at these stores suffering. Nearly everything they sell probably has a 90% chance of premature death

So the way you saw bahari suffer, imagine seeing that on a regular basis, from the saltwater fish they shouldn't carry to leopard geckos and any other animals they carry. I'm sure there's a few decent Petco out there, but they are still part of an organization that promotes animal abuse to make a profit.

Look how we blew up on a once respected breeder of this site, yet petco as an organization hands out diseased and dying animals on a daily basis on a MASSIVE scale, but it's meh?
No, I get it hun. Totally. I do not shop at Petco for that very reason. I have seen people slammed for buying from big box stores. Not all the time but I have seen it. I just think in the end it has to be about educating people the way I was. Granted it took me much longer to learn since I was too scared to post initially asking for help. I think I am just a little more sensitive to it due to my own situation. And yes I am very very new to reptile keeping. I will be honest I had never even looked at the reptiles in the big box stores until I found Beman. Now that I know better on their husbandry I can't stand going in so I don't because I do see all the flaws in their set ups.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
So this brings up another hot topic. The Help form...

Perhaps this could be on another thread so this doesn't get off topic, but here goes...

The health form should not be treated as a requirement. It does help us with information vital to the best advice, but we often come across as not willing to help if they don't fill out our questions.

I am working on a better version of the form that is going to be more user friendly and guide them to the desired info. I am very excited for this, but still don't think it should be required. New members need to learn the Forums and how things work. Hopefully they cooperate and give us what we need so we can help.
Being my usual self when I have to say, i disagree a little. Or maybe i stopped looking at most threads and haven't noticed? but most of the time I see people ask for the help form when there's a problem that we know we can't answer without more info. I also like to recommend it for newbies, as I think anyone should to help get things straightened out. I do see sometimes, a problem at hand will get sidelined a little for less important things. Random example: cham is falling, but people worry about not enough foliage. So I'm with you on that.

I guess a refusal to help with no help form isn't the best, but honestly, if somebody can't fill that form out, do we really think they're going to do what's right for their cham? To me, that help form would be a gift. If I was new somewhere and people told me to just fill that out and they'd correct it all for me, I'd be geeked!
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Overall, I think people are very friendly here but it's probably important to stay ahead of things and nip it in the bud if you've noticed the atmosphere getting worse.

My only complaint is that on these types of forums after several years it just becomes people repeating care sheet information and if someone has novel ideas it gets shot down. I haven't noticed it that much here, but on Dendroboard it seems like a close minded echo chamber (that's the dart frog forum). When I do a search and read posts from 2005 or whenever in the past, it's like this freewheeling atmosphere, but now they get very few new posts and anything that doesn't conform to accepted dogma is shot down immediately. I think that's why so few people post there (that, and it's a fairly obscure hobby). People just seem more coarse these days in general (that doesn't necessarily apply to anything I've read here, just in general).

My favorite posts are when someone comes along and is trying something different, even when it ends up being just plain wrong. That's how you learn new things I think. I almost guarantee there are people out there having success keeping chameleons that are breaking every accepted rule that we currently have in the hobby, but they're not as likely to post what they're doing because it'll get criticized and shot down by people quoting care sheets (I think that probably applies more to Dendroboard than here, but in general I bet it is true).
Curious, what would be an example of this? People love to bring this 'doing things different' idea up, but I don't really know of any examples? Bioactive has almost gone mainstream, glass vs screen is old debate, fogging is cool now, not really sure what someone could come along and do differently that could have a purpose, but gets shut down?

Don't get me wrong I love an interesting topic that is truly different, like maybe replacing dusting with isopods, snails, and whole vert prey. Or experimenting with different gutloads to dust or feed in order to help health concerns or rid parasites. Things like that I think should get open arms, but I don't see topics like this often.
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
I think we are losing the actual point of the OP. We can be mad at pet stores and Disney for making little children want a chameleon as a pet to play with, but it is ultimately the consumer that needs to decide from there to provide for it and understand that these animals come with responsibility. We don't need to be so critical that we come across as monsters and drive them away from the help they need.

What I have noticed occurring here on the forums is we tend to have long stretches of "quiet" times with great discussions and then every once in a while we get a new member that we see needs help desperately and doesn't realize it because they are doing what the store told them to do. They get someone from the forums giving great advice, but since they have been told already how to care for the animal they do not heed the advice and continue to brag how great they are doing. Even though often we see an animal in terrible shape they do not know what to look for and continue posting as if there is nothing wrong. This gets more people sharing concern and tips, but these too are not received well. Now, after a few more posts there inevitably will be a very stern or even downright rude response that defends the Forums and the advice so far, and that the pet store should not give advice about caring for them because they don't even sell the correct things for success. Now the post gets derailed...

At this point often the new member will simply post another thread to show off their new friend, and now they are immediately attacked for not taking us seriously and told not to post twice. Now we have multiple groups arguing in multiple threads with someone that can't understand why we are so mean here...

Now, unfortunately some other newbies are also registering here on the forums right after the discussions cool down, but we are not that quick to forget the recent threads. Now the new member gets blunt answers from their first post on the forums and they quickly decide to leave. We continue to lash out at the problems and more and more regular long term members get tired of the cycle. Now they are not active anymore because the drama is tiring. I see plenty who are here but do not participate much at all. Some just do not want to answer the same question over and over and believe the newbies should get their answers from a search bar (and many of us will use that as the first answer to their questions forgetting that the new members may not know how to navigate the site) and this also comes across as rude.

Now we get discussions on how "that is just how I am and take it or leave it", or "they should do research first before getting a chameleon", or every once in a while a large boulder will scrape across the ground and someone will come out of the cave to chase people off his (or her, no one in particular meant here...) lawn while usually adding just enough of a comment to make sense of things, but to the general community it is not helping things to keep the debates going.

I love- and I mean love- this forum. Its become pretty important to me in the day-to-day, both for the sharing of knowledge and moral support, and also for the social community. I know you all understand what I mean. But, I gotta speak out on something. I am struck by what feels to be an escalation over past weeks in undue criticism, a lack of sensitivity and just plain rudeness. Also- drama. SO much drama. It breeds, it spreads...this decision we make to let the basic civility slide and bang out whatever we feel like saying on the keyboard, knowing we don't have to face the human we are saying it to. I've done it. Maybe you've done it. But we can and should do better. We are all human. We all f*ck up sometimes. We've all made impulsive, uninformed decisions and then needed help...we've all gotten defensive at some point in our lives in reaction to criticism, or been skeptical when bombarded with advice (sought or unsought).

I often cringe, reading some of the stuff that gets fired off around here. I can easily see this forum getting a reputation for it, because the bad news travels way faster than the good. If we want to help make the world a better place for chameleons (couldn't resist) then everybody get your adult pants back on and take the time and energy to BE CIVIL.

my respect to you all :)

Barb
So again, I have asked before that some of you think about how you post and think about the person on the receiving end of things. I get that sometimes that person may need to be set straight in a less than civil manner, but that truly should be the exception.

Glad this was brought up, it is a good discussion!
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
Curious, what would be an example of this? People love to bring this 'doing things different' idea up, but I don't really know of any examples? Bioactive has almost gone mainstream, glass vs screen is old debate, fogging is cool now, not really sure what someone could come along and do differently that could have a purpose, but gets shut down?

Don't get me wrong I love an interesting topic that is truly different, like maybe replacing dusting with isopods, snails, and whole vert prey. Or experimenting with different gutloads to dust or feed in order to help health concerns or rid parasites. Things like that I think should get open arms, but I don't see topics like this often.
Fogging at night is still not totally mainstream, but I can remind you about the original thread I saw it in. (I was already doing this but hadn't shared my results yet in the thread because I was still experimenting ...)

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/the-naturalistic-approach-in-humidity-and-water-management-unleashed-by-petr-necas.165025/

I often bring up one of my favorite threads about drainage to question if there is another way to do things...

https://www.chameleonforums.com/way-if-you-need-drainage-indoor-habitats-youre-doing-wrong-over-wate-79468/

This was radical thinking then for some, but it created quite the buzz and stuck with me through the years.

Great discussion about the technique and the community here was not telling anyone that you should not do that. We do tend to stick to the basics of the caresheets for newbies to give them a solid foundation to go by, but that doesn't mean we are closed to new ideas. I think that is why it doesn't seem like we are closed off to suggestions and new techniques. Who knows what the next topic will be?
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
Being my usual self when I have to say, i disagree a little. Or maybe i stopped looking at most threads and haven't noticed? but most of the time I see people ask for the help form when there's a problem that we know we can't answer without more info. I also like to recommend it for newbies, as I think anyone should to help get things straightened out. I do see sometimes, a problem at hand will get sidelined a little for less important things. Random example: cham is falling, but people worry about not enough foliage. So I'm with you on that.

I guess a refusal to help with no help form isn't the best, but honestly, if somebody can't fill that form out, do we really think they're going to do what's right for their cham? To me, that help form would be a gift. If I was new somewhere and people told me to just fill that out and they'd correct it all for me, I'd be geeked!
So I am working on a "form" that guides the member through the information rather than just asks for answers. This should make it easier to fill out and encourage participation. We need to remember members don't always understand why these things are important, and it can be very overwhelming to them. Currently we are asking them to fill out 15 sections. I have a concept that contains 6 or 7 sections and still gets all the info needed. Would you want to answer 15 things when all you really want is help? It can seem a chore to new members and actually turn them off.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Fogging at night is still not totally mainstream, but I can remind you about the original thread I saw it in. (I was already doing this but hadn't shared my results yet in the thread because I was still experimenting ...)

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/the-naturalistic-approach-in-humidity-and-water-management-unleashed-by-petr-necas.165025/

I often bring up one of my favorite threads about drainage to question if there is another way to do things...

https://www.chameleonforums.com/way-if-you-need-drainage-indoor-habitats-youre-doing-wrong-over-wate-79468/

This was radical thinking then for some, but it created quite the buzz and stuck with me through the years.

Great discussion about the technique and the community here was not telling anyone that you should not do that. We do tend to stick to the basics of the caresheets for newbies to give them a solid foundation to go by, but that doesn't mean we are closed to new ideas. I think that is why it doesn't seem like we are closed off to suggestions and new techniques. Who knows what the next topic will be?
Good points. Should fogging be mainstream though? I think mist vs fog is a good example of 2 ways of doing something that can meet at the same result. Fogging might be more practical, I plan to do it this winter indoors and cut down on misting. I don't have to do it outside for summer. I don't think there is any evidence that chameleons live any longer or better lives with fogging over misting though? And that is assuming someone misting is doing it correctly. I get that the fog is more natural, but I don't see one method being much superior over the other. JMO, but I believe using bioactive substrate to have more positive benefits than barebottom and it is also natural, but it hasn't caught on as fast*. I'm biased though and we will always defend our own choices to some degree so I'm alright with that. I have no issues with people fogging/misting or using barebottom/substrate.
 
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