An Open Letter

Poec54

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- Every time a question is asked, it is wholly unneeded to start drilling the asker on what species they’ve kept and for how long.
- Just like with all hobbies, there is a certain taboo in being a ‘newbie’ (a term I despise because of the connotations). Because of that taboo, they are immediately put on the defensive and feel as if they need to explain their actions, which is then perceived by this community as arguing
- The term 'newbie/beginner' is appropriate for people new to this hobby or any other hobby. What's to despise? It's an accurate description, and it impacts our advice to them. Everyone of us were beginners at some point. There's no shame in that. I'd much rather them be honest about that than to try to lead us to believe they know more than they actually do. Don't blow smoke. Honesty is the best policy. Experience/skill level matters in the advice we give, especially when advanced OW species are involved. The 'research' many of them do is online care sheets. It definitely helps if we know where they're coming from.

- I've been involved in many animal and plant hobbies over the decades and totally disagree with it being 'taboo' to be a beginner. It's not an insult. I've had many great mentors throughout my life, that 'took me under their wing' and taught me things, gave me great advice, along with free plants and animals. What every experienced person wants to see is enthusiastic beginners, thirsty for knowledge, the ones that will carry the hobby in the future. None of them want to see the hobby die. That's why experienced people have helped me, the newbie, so many times. I wasn't a know-it-all, or came in with a chip on my shoulder. I wasn't sensitive or easily offended. That behavior turns off anyone, including experienced people that would otherwise love to help you. And we've had our share of them here, that started throwing verbal punches right out of the starting gate, insulting us, calling names, then storming out of here and bad-mouthing us. Those people probably have a history of being drama queens. I'm not going to play the game and tip toe around them. Hey, if they want to come here with an open mind and a passion for spiders, absorbing all they can, I'll help them every chance I get. I've praised some of them. I've helped many eager beginners here, and sent a number of them free spiders. How many of you have done that?

- Any beginner that starts off with an advanced species, especially a fast potent one, is going to get questions from us. We would be remiss if we didn't. Some of those people followed our advice and chose other species instead; I have a tremendous amount of respect for that. Some of them argued with us and in several months the spider grew and they were afraid of it, and they ended up selling it.

The point of us asking questions is to determine the best advice to give them. It's nothing to do with ego. All of us want the experience to go well with beginners; a few of them are going to be the ones that eventually replace us.
 
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EulersK

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- The term 'newbie/beginner' is appropriate for people new to this hobby or any other hobby. What's to despise? It's an accurate description, and it impacts our advice to them. Everyone of us were beginners at some point. There's no shame in that. I'd much rather them be honest about that than to try to lead us to believe they know more than they actually do. Don't blow smoke. Honesty is the best policy. Experience/skill level matters in the advice we give, especially when advanced OW species are involved. The 'research' many of them do is online care sheets. It definitely helps if we know where they're coming from.

- I've been involved in many animal and plant hobbies over the decades and totally disagree with it being 'taboo' to be a beginner. It's not an insult. I've had many great mentors throughout my life, that 'took me under their wing' and taught me things, gave me great advice, along with free plants and animals. What every experienced person wants to see is enthusiastic beginners, thirsty for knowledge, the ones that will carry the hobby in the future. None of them want to see the hobby die. That's why experienced people have helped me, the newbie, so many times. I wasn't a know-it-all, or came in with a chip on my shoulder. I wasn't sensitive or easily offended. That behavior turns off anyone, including experienced people that would otherwise love to help you. And we've had our share of them here, that started throwing verbal punches right out of the starting gate, insulting us, calling names, then storming out of her and bad-mouthing us. Those people probably have a history of being drama queens. I'm not going to play the game and tip toe around them. Hey, if they want to come here with an open mind and a passion for spiders, absorbing all they can, I'll help them every chance I get. I've praised some of them. I've helped many eager beginners here, and sent a number of them free spiders. How many of you have done that?

- Any beginner that starts off with an advanced species, especially a fast potent one, is going to get questions from us. We would be remiss if we didn't. Some of those people followed our advice and chose other species instead; I have a tremendous amount of respect for that. Some of them argued with us and in several months the spider grew and they were afraid of it, and they ended up selling it.

The point of us asking questions is to determine the best advice to give them. It's nothing to do with ego. All of us want the experience to go well with beginners; a few of them are going to be the ones that eventually replace us.
I'm alright with the term "beginner", it's "newbie" that I have issues with. It's all about connotation, really. It has a negative undertone.

As for everything else you said, I wholeheartedly agree. But it's all about approach. While you may not be a part of it, you can't deny that there are times when people get attacked pretty harshly on here. I think the issue is that we get new hobbyists that have read caresheet after caresheet citing specific humidity requirements (for instance) and are taken back when we unanimously say that it was all garbage. It's hard to absorb, I'm sure. I expect them to have a bit of resistance, honestly. Unfortunately, that combination leads to a defensive new keeper and an upset group of people trying to give advice.
 

magicmed

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Jun 4, 2016
Messages
404
- The term 'newbie/beginner' is appropriate for people new to this hobby or any other hobby. What's to despise? It's an accurate description, and it impacts our advice to them. Everyone of us were beginners at some point. There's no shame in that. I'd much rather them be honest about that than to try to lead us to believe they know more than they actually do. Don't blow smoke. Honesty is the best policy. Experience/skill level matters in the advice we give, especially when advanced OW species are involved. The 'research' many of them do is online care sheets. It definitely helps if we know where they're coming from.

- I've been involved in many animal and plant hobbies over the decades and totally disagree with it being 'taboo' to be a beginner. It's not an insult. I've had many great mentors throughout my life, that 'took me under their wing' and taught me things, gave me great advice, along with free plants and animals. What every experienced person wants to see is enthusiastic beginners, thirsty for knowledge, the ones that will carry the hobby in the future. None of them want to see the hobby die. That's why experienced people have helped me, the newbie, so many times. I wasn't a know-it-all, or came in with a chip on my shoulder. I wasn't sensitive or easily offended. That behavior turns off anyone, including experienced people that would otherwise love to help you. And we've had our share of them here, that started throwing verbal punches right out of the starting gate, insulting us, calling names, then storming out of her and bad-mouthing us. Those people probably have a history of being drama queens. I'm not going to play the game and tip toe around them. Hey, if they want to come here with an open mind and a passion for spiders, absorbing all they can, I'll help them every chance I get. I've praised some of them. I've helped many eager beginners here, and sent a number of them free spiders. How many of you have done that?

- Any beginner that starts off with an advanced species, especially a fast potent one, is going to get questions from us. We would be remiss if we didn't. Some of those people followed our advice and chose other species instead; I have a tremendous amount of respect for that. Some of them argued with us and in several months the spider grew and they were afraid of it, and they ended up selling it.

The point of us asking questions is to determine the best advice to give them. It's nothing to do with ego. All of us want the experience to go well with beginners; a few of them are going to be the ones that eventually replace us.
I'll say something and I hope it doesn't offend anyone, but I think a lot of it is all about perspective. I can't really truly explain it, but in reading this thread I agree 100% with @EulersK on what he said, but in reading @Poec54 post I can certainly see the passion he feels for the hobby, and even for making sure the hobby lives and grows and developes. I think in the end we all really want the same things, we just go about them in different ways. The ways we were taught how, which may not be the way others learned.

Might sound stupid, I dunno, but it's like we're defending the hobby the way we know how from people who are trying to defend the hobby the way they know how.

Like I said that might have been a stupid post, but I GREATLY respect both poec and EulersK both.
 

Octagon

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I'll say something and I hope it doesn't offend anyone, but I think a lot of it is all about perspective. I can't really truly explain it, but in reading this thread I agree 100% with @EulersK on what he said, but in reading @Poec54 post I can certainly see the passion he feels for the hobby, and even for making sure the hobby lives and grows and developes. I think in the end we all really want the same things, we just go about them in different ways. The ways we were taught how, which may not be the way others learned.

Might sound stupid, I dunno, but it's like we're defending the hobby the way we know how from people who are trying to defend the hobby the way they know how.

Like I said that might have been a stupid post, but I GREATLY respect both poec and EulersK both.
I don't think that's a stupid post at all. I think you are correct in that everyone here shares a common passion for T's and a desire to see the hobby thrive.
 

Trenor

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- The term 'newbie/beginner' is appropriate for people new to this hobby or any other hobby. What's to despise? It's an accurate description, and it impacts our advice to them. Everyone of us were beginners at some point. There's no shame in that. I'd much rather them be honest about that than to try to lead us to believe they know more than they actually do. Don't blow smoke. Honesty is the best policy. Experience/skill level matters in the advice we give, especially when advanced OW species are involved. The 'research' many of them do is online care sheets. It definitely helps if we know where they're coming from
As far as this goes I agree with most of it. Newbie is a negative title when used this way though but regardless of what name is used your intent is the big factor. I can call you master in a condescending way and it's still a negative. Intent shows and honesty (that is the best polisy) is in not always met with kind helpful responses.

- I've been involved in many animal and plant hobbies over the decades and totally disagree with it being 'taboo' to be a beginner. It's not an insult. I've had many great mentors throughout my life, that 'took me under their wing' and taught me things, gave me great advice, along with free plants and animals. What every experienced person wants to see is enthusiastic beginners, thirsty for knowledge, the ones that will carry the hobby in the future. None of them want to see the hobby die. That's why experienced people have helped me, the newbie, so many times.
I agree with this but this is also from a person to person perspective not an internet one. People will always treat you better in real life then they do online. I am very fond of mentor programs and have myself been involved in many of them. My Mom will teach anyone who shows any interest about bees and plants etc. In this setting you don't have several people at one time having a go at you while implying your a troll. Which you are likely to find online. That is a big turn off and if your trying to foster interest in your hobby that is not the way to do it. It also leads into this next bit.

I wasn't a know-it-all, or came in with a chip on my shoulder. I wasn't sensitive or easily offended. That behavior turns off anyone, including experienced people that would otherwise love to help you. And we've had our share of them here, that started throwing verbal punches right out of the starting gate, insulting us, calling names, then storming out of her and bad-mouthing us. Those people probably have a history of being drama queens. I'm not going to play the game and tip toe around them.
I have seen some show up the way you describe so this statement is fair. I have also seen some that became that way after the way they were treated. A prime example is when crlovel got some OW from a show and had not been a T keeper long. He was excited and a lot of people lit into him about the Ts he had did not prep him for the OW Ts he got. He was informed that he was going to get bit and that keeper like him would end up ruining the hobby for everyone. He got mouthy after being lit into not the other way around. From there it degraded into a brawl that the admins had to shut down the thread. If the intent is truly to foster the hobby then that was a bad way to go about it IMO. I can point to a lot more threads where this is the case. This doesn't help anyone or the hobby.

Hey, if they want to come here with an open mind and a passion for spiders, absorbing all they can, I'll help them every chance I get. I've praised some of them. I've helped many eager beginners here, and sent a number of them free spiders. How many of you have done that?
This is great and I'm glad you do this. I've learned a lot from posts you have made. It is a bit like the story of the good child though. It's easy to be fond of the good child who always listens to what the parent says. It is harder to like the bad child who often questions what they are told. When mentoring I've found this true of even myself and I have to be careful to not treat the people I'm teaching different because of it. To me that's not tip toeing it's just being a good teacher. You can't help someone whom you have offended.

- Any beginner that starts off with an advanced species, especially a fast potent one, is going to get questions from us. We would be remiss if we didn't.
Totally fair, but getting questions for us doesn't mean getting ganged up on. Or at least it shouldn't.

Some of those people followed our advice and chose other species instead; I have a tremendous amount of respect for that.
Again, it's easy to like the good child.
Some of them argued with us and in several months the spider grew and they were afraid of it, and they ended up selling it.
I agree this has happened.

There is also a third outcome. Some of them kept their OW Ts and did just fine with them. For some reason we always seem to over look this outcome. I got three pokies within 3 weeks of getting my first T. I have had them almost a year and have done really well with them. The sad part was I found this board looking up some questions I had on them. After seeing how people were treating when they got OWs early I didn't ask my questions or even say I had them to anyone on here for the longest time. I found the answers on my own and they are doing great. Is that how we want to foster the hobby?

I will be the first to admit there is a steep learning curve for OWs when you get them early. Not everyone is ready for that but that also doesn't mean everyone who does will fail.

The point of us asking questions is to determine the best advice to give them. It's nothing to do with ego. All of us want the experience to go well with beginners; a few of them are going to be the ones that eventually replace us.
I can get behind this even though some of it does seem egoish at times. I too want the experience to go well for the new keepers. Going full tilt at the new guy/girl is not a good introduction to the hobby though.

I have learned a lot from @Poec54 and so many others on here. Though I was disappointed that I felt I couldn't be honest and get help on my OW Ts due to how people were treated who got them early. That is one reason I have always been quick to call out when it was happening to someone else on here. I want people to come here for help. Even if I don't think they are ready for the T they got I'd rather them have the best information they can get to help them out. That makes it less likely that something bad will happen and we all want that.

Finally, how you present yourself is often as important as the advise you give. You can hand out the best advise in the world badly and no one will listen. We are the face of the of the tarantula hobby. When they look at us what do we want them to see?

Again thanks to @EulersK and @Poec54 for their great posts on this topic. I have wanted to talk about this for a while and I think it'll greatly help out.
 
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Poec54

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I'm alright with the term "beginner", it's "newbie" that I have issues with. It's all about connotation, really. It has a negative undertone.

Not to me. I've never thought of it with a negative connotation. I use the term 'newbie' for two reasons:

- it gives a little variety, rather than always using 'beginner'.
- it shorter and faster to type than 'beginner.'

With all the assorted hobbies in my life, I just don't understand negative connotations to being new to them. I think it's ridiculous. What, everyone's supposed to have experience and be an expert? I don't think anyone expects that. Animal-wise, I've collected tarantulas and cobras. In plants I've collected palms, bromeliads, & crotons for years. Last year I started collecting heliconia and gingers. This year I started collecting caladiums. I have no problem walking up the long-term experts in any of those fields and saying: 'I'm just getting started and love these. Please teach me all you can.' Every single time I've gotten a warm response. I ask probing questions that show I'm truly interested, that I really want to understand the subject. They love it. Most people ask a few superficial questions and walk away. I ask question after question, they see the passion. Every hobby needs new blood. The last thing a collector/expert wants to see is the public losing interest in his hobby. When I see a newbie/beginner here that shows a spark of that passion, I light up. Just like my mentors have done in the past.
 
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Poec54

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I think in the end we all really want the same things, we just go about them in different ways.

No, and that's the problem. Many are transient and don't particularly care what happens to the hobby in the future. They'll have moved on to something else. Some want an animal for a show of courage or adrenaline rush, which usually involves OW's, especially OBT's. Everyone that owns a tarantula isn't 'one of us.' Some make poor choices for the wrong reasons. It's a free country, you can buy what you want, but every species is not a good fit for every person. This is one of the few forums that have the integrity & commitment to the hobby to say that.
 
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Haemus

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As a new hobbyist I've no issues being called a newbie/noob...but then I used to play MOBAs, an online 5 vs 5 (kill the other team) styled video game, and I would get TORCHED for my bad plays lol.
 

Toxoderidae

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As a new hobbyist I've no issues being called a newbie/noob...but then I used to play MOBAs, an online 5 vs 5 (kill the other team) styled video game, and I would get TORCHED for my bad plays lol.
Doing one thing wrong in games like LoL especially, BOOM Team chat gets filled with "You've cost us the game!" "I can't believe it..." or just a slew of profanity. I play MOBAs all the time, what ones do you play?
 

magicmed

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I do feel like the term newbie has a negative feeling to it, but I think that feeling is given by the community, as being almost expected negative because of what a lot of us know the term from, gaming.

"Dumb newblood" was thrown around a lot in tribes back in the day, enough so that newblood was programmed into tribes: aerial assault as an insult after a kill
"I own you, newblood"

I don't believe that's how it should be though, especially in a hobby setting where welfare of animals is concerned. To me personally a "newbie" is just someone who is new, whether they try or they don't try to learn seperates the "good" newbies from the "bad" newbies. Hell even in card games you see some newbs just get it, some need a little guidance.

The "timeframe" aspect of newbie is silly, people learn at different rates and you cannot compare two people. To me someone stops being a newbie once they stop making those basic mistakes that EVERYONE makes, has a bit of knowledge in them, and can stand on their own a bit in a discussion board such as this. (For the record, I still consider myself a huge newbie, I just hope to be a GOOD newbie, so I can become a great hobbiest.)

Sidenote: I mentioned there are good and bad newbies. But there are also good and bad experts. Yes someone may have tons of experience, and knowledge. But if they shelter that experience and knowledge then they are no better for the hobby than the blabbering fool. Belittling new hobbiest and attacking questions is just not the way to foster anything at all. Teach the next generation so they can share these animals as well.
 

Vanessa

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The term 'newbie', like many other terms that were born primarily because of the internet and forums like this one, has evolved to a certain degree over the years. Back when it was first being thrown around - it absolutely, and without doubt, carried with it very negative connotations and a stigma that there was almost nothing that you could be called worse than a newbie.
And the people who gave it that connotation, who created the stigma attached to it, were those who would not be considered newbies. It was condescending and patronizing and it was meant to be.
Like many other words - the 'newbies' out there claimed it and called it their own and started to make the term less defined by those who weren't newbies and more defined by those who were. As a result, it has lost a fair amount of it's negativity.
For me, I will always remember a time when being called a newbie had a pretty hefty amount of shame associated with it. So, no matter how much more time it takes me to type beginner, newcomer, new people, new to the hobby - I will take that time. Because it isn't about me and how calling someone a newbie makes me feel - it is about how it makes the other person feel.
 

Poec54

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I will always remember a time when being called a newbie had a pretty hefty amount of shame associated with it. So, no matter how much more time it takes me to type beginner, newcomer, new people, new to the hobby - I will take that time. Because it isn't about me and how calling someone a newbie makes me feel - it is about how it makes the other person feel.

I've always been excited about starting a new hobby, and couldn't care less whether anyone called me a beginner or a newbie or whatever else. Never saw it as negative. Why are people so obsessed about being 'found out' that they're new and learning? I've always been proud of the fact. I seek out the most knowledgeable people and pick their brains. I want to absorb their ideas and opinions. I can sort it out later and decide what will work best for me. When I start a hobby, the last thing I want to come across as is a know-it-all or too wrapped up in my ego to listen to what experienced people are trying to teach me.

I see the beginner/newbie thing as PC gone too far. I refuse to tip toe around this month's 'approved' buzz words. If you're new here, enthusiastic & open-minded, you'll be welcomed with open arms. Who cares if it's called beginner or newbie? All anyone asks is: don't start arguing with people who have been doing this for years, or even decades. Listen to what they have to say. You'll find that you'll discard some of the preconceived ideas you came here with, along with some of your online 'research.'
 

EulersK

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The whole issue of verbiage around the word "newbie" is far from the point of what I brought up :rolleyes: A point, yes, but not the point.

I simply don't like our reputation on these boards. I've seen other tarantula forums bashing us, and they're not entirely wrong on their arguments. We can all agree that this is an amazing community, we just need to portray that.
 

Hellblazer

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I see the beginner/newbie thing as PC gone too far. I refuse to tip toe around this month's 'approved' buzz words. If you're new here, enthusiastic & open-minded, you'll be welcomed with open arms. Who cares if it's called beginner or newbie? All anyone asks is: don't start arguing with people who have been doing this for years, or even decades. Listen to what they have to say. You'll find that you'll discard some of the preconceived ideas you came here with, along with some of your online 'research.'
I agree with that 100%. What I think is obnoxious is when someone that probably only has a couple of years of experience themselves interrogates a new person in a semi hostile manner.
 

Chris LXXIX

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Poec54 is right in his statement/s. I say, what's the issue with the term "newbie" one moment? Does that hurt the Internet feeling of someone, because he/she feels that he/she is the "nerd" leaved out of the party? Madness.

Everyone
was a "newbie" and a "beginner" once. The only differences is what is written in our ID cards. I started in 1992, I was a brat. Poec54 started prior. Ok.

Here there isn't "sages" or ultimate keepers of all sorts. Everyone risks a bite or what else. Those that doesn't risk a bite are only those that, Captain Obvious, doesn't own venomous inverts at home.

In this hobby the word "end" is far to been written, and everyday we, and I say we, learn something new. How many Theraphosidae are waiting out there? How much differences in behaviour etc we experienced with the same Theraphosidae?

This is the reasons why community like this exists. For share the knowledge.

If someone is offended by a good, heart in hand, advice, well... let's not blame those that given a Brother, for free, advice.

To be offended by "newbie" is IMO madness. The fact that I do not use those terms means nothing. Everyone was a "newbie" in life when performing something, and that's normal. It's called "Life".
 
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Poec54

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I simply don't like our reputation on these boards. I've seen other tarantula forums bashing us, and they're not entirely wrong on their arguments. We can all agree that this is an amazing community, we just need to portray that.

I've been on a couple other tarantula forums, and they're chit-chatty with very little info, very bland. More of a social group loosely held together by an interest spiders, some of their members with only a passing interest in spiders, just lonely and wanting someone to talk to. That's fine if that's what that forum is about, but I don't want this forum to become like that. There's already plenty of those now. I know that some of the people bad-mouthing this forum, came here with an attitude and were throwing insults and name calling right out of the starting gate. A few have thrown tantrums. It's not just us, those people are doing the same thing wherever they go, and we can't let ourselves be manipulated by them. That's how they get their way, they're drama queens, I've worked with people like that. We've had too many good new members to be alarmed at the few who are intent on stirring things up. We don't trash other tarantula forums here, nor do we encourage it. So you have to wonder about the motives of the ones that feel compelled to do it to us.
 

Vanessa

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I see the beginner/newbie thing as PC gone too far. I refuse to tip toe around this month's 'approved' buzz words.
I wish that you would stop calling this Political Correctness because it isn't. This isn't about going out of your way to make people feel good about themselves or welcome here, either.
It boils down to some people just not caring about making people feel poorly, or treating people poorly, in order to get their point across versus people who feel that you can get your point across without making people feel poorly. That is all it is - it is not being politically correct. Just call it the way it is and be done with it. You don't care how poorly you make people feel just as long as you get your point across. We get it. And, to be fair, you are definitely not alone.
And you are going to be just as adamant about your way of doing things as those of us who feel that you can still get your point across without beating people up over it.
It has been brought up several times, in this thread alone, that dedicated, long term, keepers have felt that they couldn't post certain things, or ask certain questions, because they knew that the ramification was going to be that they were attacked for it. This isn't just one or two people making stories up to gang up on long term members here over some personal vendetta. If you want to ignore, and dismiss, all those people who have said what they have - again, so be it. But it will just result in posts like this being made time and time again.
 

TownesVanZandt

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I've always been excited about starting a new hobby, and couldn't care less whether anyone called me a beginner or a newbie or whatever else. Never saw it as negative. Why are people so obsessed about being 'found out' that they're new and learning? I've always been proud of the fact.

I see the beginner/newbie thing as PC gone too far. I refuse to tip toe around this month's 'approved' buzz words. If you're new here, enthusiastic & open-minded, you'll be welcomed with open arms. Who cares if it's called beginner or newbie? All anyone asks is: don't start arguing with people who have been doing this for years, or even decades. Listen to what they have to say. You'll find that you'll discard some of the preconceived ideas you came here with, along with some of your online 'research.'
I´m on my best behaviour tonight, so I will refrain from risking to derail another thread. I´ll just give this a +1 and the thumbs up!
 

EulersK

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It has been brought up several times, in this thread alone, that dedicated, long term, keepers have felt that they couldn't post certain things, or ask certain questions, because they knew that the ramification was going to be that they were attacked for it.
This is really what the entire thread boils down to, not the red herring of the term "newbie". Spot on.
 
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