Getting The Most From The Forum!

jojackson

New Member
Welcome new Member!
Like myself, this is probablely not the first forum you have joined or visited.
You, like me, may have experienced minor difficultys during your online experience,
Or been a little frustrated at the responses you received, to what you thought must
be a simple straightforward question for a bunch of reptile keepers?
You are not alone!

This page is designed to help you get the best from any forum you visit, and make your time
enjoyable and useful to you.
The following paragraphs explain where such difficulties and frustrations arise online,
and how to overcome them.
It was once said that the best way to solve a problem, was not to be part of it, but rather, to
be part of the solution. By reading the following paragraphs, you are on your way to helping
create a better forum experience for yourself and others too!
Ready?....Let's Go!




1. looking for threads related to your issue, but there are none that appear relevant?

Did you find lots of threads entitled things like 'Help'? I'll bet you did!
A bit vague arn't they, do you click each one to discover what its about, or just skip them?
Ofcourse you skip them, me too, who wants to wade through so many threads only to discover its
about something else entirely, not me!

This is the top problem here, and relates to the next paragraph too.
Somebody else is no doubt also trying to find your thread! Somebody who shares your problem.
Will they be able to find Your thread?
You betcha they will, because the next paragraph will tell you how to make your thread stand
out from the rest!

2. Nobody reading/Replying my thread? Whats going on?

As we learnt in the last paragraph, finding threads of interest, sometimes isn't so easy!
So how can you make your thread stand out, before they read it, so they will read it?
The 3 keys to success are:

A. Your title

Remember those vague 'Help titles' we talked about earlier? Useless aren't they.
They dont tell the reader what the thread is about.
It's best to make your title specific, direct and to the point! For example, If my
lizard is having trouble shedding, I think its about humidity and I want to fix it, Then I might
title my thread "Lizard Shedding Problem Humidity"
Now people reading through those threads, know exactly what mine is about, and I've hinted that
I have a clue, So they may be more willing to help me!
Even better, when people use the search functions, the words in my title are what they will type
in and be looking for in the results, helping my thread stand out and be read!

B. Content

Have you ever opened a thread and read something like this:
Tom: " My lizards has these spots on his side whats wrong with him?"

"Crikey, what's he talking about?"



If only you had a crystal Ball huh!
This person will not receive help, infact his post will be laughed at and probably ignored. why?
The reason is that he has provided so little information, and been so vague, that nobody,
could possibly begin to guess if or what might be wrong.
When typing your opening post, it's important that somebody reading understands what you mean, and,
has as much information as you can possibly give them.
Not everyone likes typing, thats ok, but remember that you want somebody to help you, so help
them help you.

Take your time writing your post, there is no hurry. Don't be too concerned about bad spelling,
it's really not as important as making yourself understood. Big fancy words are not nessesary to
get the idea across either. I often find it helps me, to type a post, just as if I were actually
talking to you, like I am here .
That way the words are just as you would say them, folk will understand that better.

C. Information

As I mentioned earlier, 'Tom' forgot to tell you rather alot didn't he!
Here is some vitally important information Tom should have included!


What kind of reptile? What species?
How old is the animal?
What sex is the animal?
What has it been eating?
How does he house it?
What kind of heating?
What kind of lighting?
What temperatures does Tom provide it?
When did Tom first notice the problem?


Seems like a lot to type for poor Tom, But armed with this information, you have a much better understanding
a clearer veiw of the big picture, to help you decide what the problem might be.
You should always include all this information and more if you can think of it, because the
person reading is going to have to ask you all this before he/she can help you.
Imagine how long that could take, compared to the time you spend carefully writing your post!


3. Whats with all those 'sticky' threads at the top of different forums? Should I read them?

It may seem a bit of a chore to read them, but they have been written, like this page, to give you vital
information, that will help make your forum experience better!
Such 'Sticky' posts, often contain information about where and how to post your thread,
so that it will get the best response, aka, a lizard post in the lizards specialty forum. More lizard
keepers read those, better chance of getting help.
Makes sense!
They also often contain information about rules of conduct that is acceptable or not on a particular forum.
Who wants to get in trouble for posting something 'not allowed', when you had no idea? No, me either.
Probably nobody reads 'sticky' threads the minute they join, but if you visit a forum enough,
you will notice that due to timezone differences, there are often 'quiet' times on any forum, where you find
nobody is posting and there isnt much fresh activity.
These are the perfect time to check out those mysterious 'stickys' and see for yourself just whats up!
Sticky post also often include more useful information for new members, such as, hints and tips about how
the forum's software works, how to edit posts, post images, attachments and so on.

Quite often a forum has some really cool personel functions for your profile page and personal prefrences
that you didn't even know were there! All this stuff can be found in those Mysterious Stickies!


Well freind, Thats about it! You are now armed with information and equipped to best out of your forum experience!
WE hope you enjoy this forum and we look forward to seeing you post!
Off you go and post up a storm! and remember, Reptiles Rule!



Note. The author Of this page, I am not Steve Irwin, but he was such an amazing guy, and so humorously expressive, that I thought i'd brighten it up with a few pics. :D
 
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Ace

Avid Member
awsome JJ:cool:

though i think it would help if you "bold" the steps and numbers so people can see the different paragraph divisions:)
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Good post jojackson!
So true about the titles that say something like "Help" and ones that don't even give the age, species or sex of the chameleon that the person is asking about!
 

Elizadolots

New Member
Non-representative thread titles are the bane of many forums, but it's especially bad for this one. Can the poster edit the title? If so, maybe we should make a point of requesting that and pointing out why it's important?

I know boards where the moderators automatically edit meaningless thread titles.
 

Fergie1989

New Member
I am new to the forum and i am getting a veiled cham in a week or so. I just want to see if you think what i have is good enough for it. I have...
Exo terror terrarium
Rep carpet
Fog machine
Lots of fake plants
A custom hide made from a tree trunk i made
Uvb light
Moonlights

Would be grateful for your opinions
John
 

Trillian

New Member
I am new to the forum and i am getting a veiled cham in a week or so. I just want to see if you think what i have is good enough for it. I have...
Exo terror terrarium
Rep carpet
Fog machine
Lots of fake plants
A custom hide made from a tree trunk i made
Uvb light
Moonlights

Would be grateful for your opinions
John
Sorry to answer a list with a list:
What size is the terrarium?
Rep carpet is fine, easy to wash regularly.
Fog machine not necessary for Veileds, most mist their vivs or use an automated mister.
Fake plants are good for hiding, but live plants help humidity more effectively.
They hide in clumps of leaves rather than an actual 'hide'.
What sort of UVB light is it?
No lighting or heating at night is required. A temperature drop at night is good for them and any light disrupts their sleep.

There are some excellent guides if you wander around the forum a bit. I definitely recommend setting everything up and keeping an eye on the temperatures and humidity for at least a day or two.
 
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