An Open Letter

Haemus

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
128
@Toxoderidae I dabbled in DOTA, Smite, and HON. After playing mobas through university, everyone in life just seems so civil to me lol.

@EulersK Sorry, I kinda sent this off track. What I should've said was that as a new hobbyist, I've actually found the people here friendly and very informative. Big fan of your vids too :)
 

Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
Messages
5,805
I'm offended, I was never berated by anyone for choosing a P. murinus and an A. geniculata as my first two Ts. Someone, quick, question my intelligence quotient and experience with animals!!!!
That's because you own a centipede as well therefore already in full 'Dark Side' :pompous:
 

Poec54

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
4,762
I
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.

Please give specific examples of what subjects long-term collectors have been afraid to talk about here.
 

Vanessa

Grammostola Groupie
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Mar 12, 2016
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2,436
Please give specific examples of what subjects long-term collectors have been afraid to talk about here.
Don't play that game with me - you're fully capable of going back and reading the responses to this thread yourself. Talk about having to spoon feed someone.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
Please give specific examples of what subjects long-term collectors have been afraid to talk about here.
Here you go. I'm sure I missed one or two, this was just from casually browsing posts.

Thanks for this post @EulersK. You're definitely one of the helpful ones!

I am new to the hobby and the forum and posted a classic newbie "hey I got a T and heres my Petco setup". Most people were helpful (or I wouldn't still be here). There were some terse responses which I took with a grain of salt, recognizing my lack of knowledge and honestly, I also assumed that like most Internet forums, there are people who lack some social graces and things often just don't come across well so I didn't take it personally. First rule of Internet forums- don't take it personally!!! I'm older and not afraid to admit what I don't know so it didn't bother me, but if I were a lot younger and less confident then it would be another matter. I definitely got the lectures about not knowing a lot about biology, not knowing they are species not breeds, etc and I am learning quickly from this board and from other reading. Don't assume everyone is a blabbering idiot because they don't know very much about Ts. Some of us are very well educated (in other fields) and well meaning, doing the best we can and simply didn't know better before coming here.

Thanks to everyone who has been kind and helpful to me and to other new users. I've picked up a brand new hobby thanks to this board and it's brought a lot of joy to my life! And I think my Ts will have good lives too, so everybody wins.
I know one person (Name starts with a V) in particular your referring to. He almost ran me off but I stuck with it and try to help others with what I have learned. There are a lot of good people here but some are jerks and will run you off.
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 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 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.


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.


Totally fair, but getting questions for us doesn't mean getting ganged up on. Or at least it shouldn't.


Again, it's easy to like the good child.

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.


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.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
Please give specific examples of what subjects long-term collectors have been afraid to talk about here.
I gave a good one in that post that kinda got glossed over in favor of the 'newbie' side track. Well if a year could be considered long term.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
I gave a good one in that post that kinda got glossed over in favor of the 'newbie' side track. Well if a year could be considered long term.
I'm sorry that side track caused that. You had one of the most thoughtful responses in this thread.

For the record, you are a respected member here. Time spent in the hobby had nothing to do with it - you help new hobbyists, you're constantly seeking new information, and you have a wide range of spiders. You're clearly in it for the long term.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
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.
Here it is again. The assertion that everyone who had a bad start on here is a drama queen or came out guns blazing looking for trouble. In my previous post (the one that was kinda overlooked) I point out one example where the person didn't and was still jumped on till they felt the need to defend their actions against the (IMO) overly harsh criticisms. There are more of these.
 
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magicmed

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
404
I'll add just that when I entered the hobby and first started posting, most people were very friendly and welcoming of me, and that's continued to this day so I genuinely appreciate those of you that have made me feel good about entering the hobby. I won't name any names but I do recall 2 members did make me feel like I was being a tad intrusive by entering the hobby, or annoying by asking questions, I think (could be wrong) that those members have sense warmed up to me a bit. (Not saying they enjoy me being here, I just don't feel like I'm being confronted anymore) but the feeling was there at first. I did get the feeling like I couldn't post certain things without belittling, but I ignored those feelings and I'm glad I did, because now I'm confident enough to ask you guys about anything. That's just how it should be from the get go, not a couple months in
 

Poec54

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
4,762
Here it is again. The assertion that everyone who had a bad start on here is a drama queen or came out guns blazing looking for trouble.

You're getting carried away with your own rhetoric. I said some, you said 'everyone.' I simply pointed out that some of the worst starts here were self-induced. You've missed some classics, and it's certainly more than one or two. Some of them are probably still ranting about this forum.

The topics that have set off the most 'lively' discussions here have been handling and beginners getting OW's, especially as their first.
 
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elysium

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
69
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.
This. It is page 3 and we are still arguing about if there really is anything wrong with the way things are done around here. When members like Vanessa Eulers and Trenor say that there is a problem, we are no longer talking about the problematic few, THERE REALLY IS A PROBLEM. We need to be open and honest here, if the folks that are the problem never admit and realize what the issue is, it will continue to grow and threads like this will always come up as Vanessa said. It has nothing to do with being a newb and it has everything to do with being treated with respect, regardless of experience level. When someone disrespects you and your forum, I have no problem with the cold treatment (I'm with you Poec not everyone really cares about the hobby), but when someone respectfully asks for advice you cannot go and disrespect him and say it's okay, welcome to the world. I'm not singling Poec out; in fact I think Poec has been more mindful of that in the past few months and I get the sense he's actually trying to be nicer, even though he probably doesn't agree with any of what we say. But there are a few folks out there (biology PhDs seemingly) who continue to belittle people constantly for no valid reason, and the rest of the old timers continue to endorse the behavior. That has to stop.
 

Vanessa

Grammostola Groupie
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
2,436
I feel that there is far too much emphasis being placed on the length of time someone has been here and whether their concerns are taken seriously because of it. I appreciate the amount of time and commitment some members have made, and the impact that they have had over the years, but I also see the value in someone who has been here for only a short time as well.
Whether you have been here for five months or five years - you have made an investment in the people who visit this forum. Your time matters and the investment of your personal time on this forum matters. Your concerns should be treated as being valid and not dismissed.
It only takes one post to save a tarantula's life. It only takes one post to change the outcome for a tarantula and whether it is going to live another ten months or ten years. It doesn't take five years for a member to have an impact and have their contribution be of value to another person and their tarantula. They shouldn't be made to feel as if they don't count because they haven't been here the same length of time as someone else.
 

metaldad904

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 18, 2006
Messages
39
The only time I've ever had anyone really get onto me in this forum was admittedly my own fault. I broke the rules and after realizing what I had done I made my apologies. Otherwise I've always been treated with kindness and respect on AB. Now if you wanna talk about seeing some really rude behavior in a forum I direct you to the AB Facebook page. Some of the stuff on there just makes me cringe. I would agreed though with the general consensus that we could all be a little nicer sometimes especially when someone is just asking for help.
 

Vanessa

Grammostola Groupie
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I was gone from these forums for over a decade. The only reason I came back on was because my very first tarantula, my G. rosea/porteri Evelyn, was dying. I knew in my heart that she was dying and that there was probably nothing that I could do for her, but after sharing her life with me for 17 years, I felt that I owed it to her to try everything I could. The least I could do for her was try after all the time we had spent together. After all the hearts she changed and all the different places that we lived together. After seeing me through knowing nothing about tarantulas and being so forgiving of my mistakes. I owed her and I wasn't going to give up on her.
I lurked on this forum, and another forum, before taking the plunge and posting about her. Even though I was heartbroken and distraught, I lurked until I felt comfortable pouring my heart out and pleading for help.
I chose to post my thread on another forum, even though it was less active and had less members, because I was afraid to post it here.
Why? Because I had seen enough in my time lurking that I wasn't going to take the chance that some jerk, in all their infinite wisdom, might actually feel it was a good opportunity to voice their opinion about naming my tarantula, or having the feelings that I did about her, on a post that was a heartbroken, desperate plea for help.
Because she didn't have feelings, because she didn't have a brain, because she was just a spider and I was so clueless not to know that. Especially when that member could have actually still been pooping in his diapers when I bought Evelyn and especially when I have forgotten more about tarantulas than they even know to this point. I would like to be able to tell you that people like that don't exist on this forum, but they do exist. And they are the reasons why people bad mouth this forum.
If I had made the mistake and posted to this forum and gotten the reaction that I thought I might have - I would have ripped that person a new one. I would have gone off on them the likes of which some of you might never have seen before. Because people need to have better judgement and realize when to keep their mouths shut and when to exercise the good judgement that being a responsible adult means you should have.
And the worst of it would have been that I would have been the bad guy for ripping into them. I would have been the drama queen because I was the 'newbie' ripping into a long term member.
Thankfully, I had the good judgement to post my concerns to another forum and got the help that I needed and the reassurances that I had done all I could for my sweet little girl. There are members here that are part of that other forum and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for treating me with the respect, and kindness, that you did in my time of need. I am forever grateful to you.
When people say that there is a problem with some members of this forum and how they treat people, please pay attention to what they're saying.
 
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magicmed

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
404
I was gone from these forums for over a decade. The only reason I came back on was because my very first tarantula, my G. rosea/porteri Evelyn, was dying. I knew in my heart that she was dying and that there was probably nothing that I could do for her, but after sharing her life with me for 17 years, I felt that I owed it to her to try everything I could. The least I could do for her was try after all the time we had spent together. After all the hearts she changed and all the different places that we lived together. After seeing me through knowing nothing about tarantulas and being so forgiving of my mistakes. I owed her and I wasn't going to give up on her.
I lurked on this forum, and another forum, before taking the plunge and posting about her. Even though I was heartbroken and distraught, I lurked until I felt comfortable pouring my heart out and pleading for help.
I chose to post my thread on another forum, even though it was less active and had less members, because I was afraid to post it here.
Why? Because I had seen enough in my time lurking that I wasn't going to take the chance that some jerk, in all their infinite wisdom, might actually feel it was good judgement to voice their opinion about naming my tarantula, or having the feelings that I did about her, on a post that was a heartbroken, desperate plea for help.
Because she didn't have feelings, because she didn't have a brain, because she was just a spider and I was so clueless not to know that. Especially when that member could have actually still been pooping in his diapers when I bought Evelyn and especially when I have forgotten more about tarantulas than they even know to this point. I would like to be able to tell you that people like that don't exist on this forum, but they do exist. And they are the reasons why people bad mouth this forum.
If I had made the mistake and posted to this forum and gotten the reaction that I thought I might have - I would have ripped that person a new one. I would have gone off on them the likes of which some of you might never have seen before. Because people need to have better judgement and realize when to keep their mouths shut and when to exercise the good judgement that being a responsible adult means you should have.
And the worst of it would have been that I would have been the bad guy for ripping into them. I would have been the drama queen because I was the 'newbie' ripping into a long term member.
Thankfully, I had the good judgement to post my concerns to another forum and got the help that I needed and the reassurances that I had done all I could for my sweet little girl. There are members here that are part of that other forum and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for treating me with the respect, and kindness, that you did in my time of need. I am forever grateful to you.
When people say that there is a problem with some members of this forum and how they treat people, please pay attention to what they're saying.
Just to let you know, you're not allowed to take another hiatus, you have to stay now, cause I say so ;)
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
Since we're sharing stories, let me add my drop to the bucket. I've told this story before on these forums.

I was the stereotypical new hobbyist. I came home from the pet store with the works - a G. rosea (which turned out to be a G. porteri), a 10gal aquarium, a heat mat and lamp, a sponge for the water dish, and a humidity gauge. Well that was all sorted out pretty quickly, and while people weren't exactly going out of their way to be nice, I stuck around and learned from these clearly educated people. A bit of crass is to be expected, I thought. Fast forward a couple months and this demon spawn of a G. porteri had bitten me twice. Rather than suggest the multiple ways to restrain a tarantula while performing cage maintenance (drop a cup, block the hide, buy longer forceps, etc.), I was treated to a few pages of berating. I forgot who, but a single user was actually helpful; it didn't matter, I was gone. I imagine they continued to yell at me in that thread long after I checked out. Shortly after, I ended up buying a C. andersoni, which is an OW Asian terrestrial for those that don't know. I didn't get it out of defiance, I got it because it seemed interesting. The problem was that I was so green that I didn't even know what OW meant. Thankfully, I continued to lurk on these forums, which allowed me to learn enough to raise him to maturity. When I found out what I had done in buying an OW, I immediately had questions. I was far too afraid to ask questions here, so I went to the ATS forums - which are a ghost town for the most part. I ended up doing well with him, thankfully. He actually only recently passed away, having lived almost two years as a mature male. That G. porteri is just as aggressive as the day I bought her, by the way.

So here we are with myself, @VanessaS, and @Trenor with very similar stories. I don't think many would argue that we aren't heavily involved in both the hobby and this forum. Would someone like to say how this isn't a problem? How many examples of this kind of treatment would be enough to prove a point?
 
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magicmed

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
404
Since we're sharing stories, let me add my drop to the bucket. I've told this story before on these forums.

I was the stereotypical new hobbyist. I came home from the pet store with the works - a G. rosea (which turned out to be a G. porter), a 10gal aquarium, a heat mat and lamp, a sponge for the water dish, and a humidity gauge. Well that was all sorted out pretty quickly, and while people weren't exactly going out of their way to be nice, I stuck around and learned from these clearly educated people. A bit of crass is to be expected, I thought. Fast forward a couple months and this demon spawn of a G. porteri had bitten me twice. Rather than suggest the multiple ways to restrain a tarantula while performing cage maintenance (drop a cup, block the hide, buy longer forceps, etc.), I was treated to a few pages of berating. I forgot who, but a single user was actually helpful; it didn't matter, I was gone. I imagine they continued to yell at me in that thread long after I checked out. Shortly after, I ended up buying a C. andersoni, which is an OW Asian terrestrial for those that don't know. I didn't get it out of defiance, I got it because it seemed interesting. The problem was that I was so green that I didn't even know what OW meant. Thankfully, I continued to lurk on these forums, which allowed me to learn enough to raise him to maturity. When I found out what I had done in buying an OW, I immediately had questions. I was far too afraid to ask questions here, so I went to the ATS forums - which are a ghost town for the most part. I ended up doing well with him, thankfully. He actually only recently passed away, having lived almost two years as a mature male. That G. porteri is just as aggressive as the day I bought her, by the way.

So here we are with myself, @VanessaS, and @Trenor with very similar stories. I don't think many would argue that we aren't heavily involved in both the hobby and this forum. Would someone like to say how this isn't a problem? How many examples of this kind of treatment would be enough to prove a point?
I can't imagine you being fresh and new to the hobby like that, I don't know why but I just figured you came out of the womb as a tarantula expert 0.o

I'm all seriousness, it's actually really refreshing and encouraging to hear these stories you gods of T's are posting. I'm just waiting for @cold blood to post his beginner story and blow my mind lol. It's nice to know that even the people that I respect the most in the community made some of the same mistakes I've made in my beginning.

Going on that, since theres so much negative, I just thought I'd thank some of you guys and gals that I do respect greatly that have made entering the hobby fun, and not a chore.

So @EulersK @Trenor @cold blood @louise f @VanessaS @Chris LXXIX @shining you guys all rock and have been super friendly and accepting of me and many others.

(I know I forgot some so I'm sorry)

I know im new and my opinions are kind of moot. But this really is an amazing hobby, these animals are so intersting and should be shared, so maybe someday common fears of spiders may not be so widespread. The members of this board I've pointed out have made me overjoyed to join this hobby, I actually haven't been this excited about something in quite a while
 

Garth Vader

Arachnobaron
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Messages
436
I can't imagine you being fresh and new to the hobby like that, I don't know why but I just figured you came out of the womb as a tarantula expert 0.o

I'm all seriousness, it's actually really refreshing and encouraging to hear these stories you gods of T's are posting. I'm just waiting for @cold blood to post his beginner story and blow my mind lol. It's nice to know that even the people that I respect the most in the community made some of the same mistakes I've made in my beginning.

Going on that, since theres so much negative, I just thought I'd thank some of you guys and gals that I do respect greatly that have made entering the hobby fun, and not a chore.

So @EulersK @Trenor @cold blood @louise f @VanessaS @Chris LXXIX @shining you guys all rock and have been super friendly and accepting of me and many others.

(I know I forgot some so I'm sorry)

I know im new and my opinions are kind of moot. But this really is an amazing hobby, these animals are so intersting and should be shared, so maybe someday common fears of spiders may not be so widespread. The members of this board I've pointed out have made me overjoyed to join this hobby, I actually haven't been this excited about something in quite a while
Agree completely. I just want to add @BobBarley as another helpful T expert on here who has offered lots of helpful advice when I ask beginner questions.
 

Coconana

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
105
I've been nervously lurking since page one, but I've decided to poke my head in and drop a few of my own pennies as well, given that this thread really does resonate with me.

My mother was an old-timer on here (evidenced by her perma-sticky in the watering hole and thousands of her old posts), but I've come to learn over the past few years --ever since I got back into the hobby--that she wasn't always right about tarantula husbandry. Things have changed dramatically since I was a kid when it comes to what we know and do not know about tarantulas, and naturally, when I dipped my toes back into the hobby and came back to these boards, I was astounded.

Immediately, it became evident that while this place and its user base were still responsible for so much rich and meaningful advice, the manner in which 'new' users were treated was appalling. I absolutely did not feel comfortable posting about my tarantula-related problems, and to an extent, I really still don't. I've watched countless other people arrive with questions, only to be berated and told that they are what's wrong with this hobby given a lack of knowledge, a lack of caring, a lack of possessing the ability to differentiate between good and bad husbandry; something that I wouldn't have blamed them for citing as their sole reason for leaving this board --and consequently, all of the potentially wonderful advice that might have come with a longer stay or even different voices.

I hope that the attitude changes, but it's existence is undeniable. Passion should never translate to hostility, and hostility is not an excuse for passion.

Thank you, everyone who shared their experiences. Hopefully they can serve as valuable insight as to what's happening here on AB.
 
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