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Posted by Glenn Bartley on June 23, 2002 at 11:08:45:
In Reply to: Not a better forum posted by audri on June 23, 2002 at 03:57:14:
: All that it takes to become an expert is -guess- sign up for it!
I signed upo with no problems and was immediately labelled an expert. I thought for sure that someone would review my qualifications before I could answer questions but that apparently is not the case. It seems as if you can answer questions right away and be an expert. Once you answer, there are moderators who can rate your answers. The moderators have to have had answered 100 questions with something like an A average. If I remember correctly - some of the answers that get an A are obviosuly incomplete (my opinion), or actually wrong about some points (my opinion). Moderators also answer questiuons just like experts do. It seems to me, my opinion, that some of the moderators and many of the experts must be children. Nothing wrong with that is they know what they are talking about but I wonder. One person answered a question about what to feed to "common Smooth Green Snakes". I answered also - but before I answered I asked the inquirer if they were actually talking about the Smooth Green Snake of North America (just to be sure). Then I gave the answer as if it were for them, but said if he meant another species please contact me. I wanted to make sure because another person, an expert, who had already answered, said in essence, that these snakes eat, and I quote: "...smaller reptiles such as frogs and newts, sometimes fish and small birds". That kind of made me recoil - this person is listed as an expert. According to said expert's profile - h/she feels he/she can answer herp related questions with the best of them, but if I remember right he/she has only ever kept one snake! I guess he/she must have been referring to another type of Smooth Green Snake than I am familiar with.
The site seems to be geared toward children and neophyte animal keepers (in regards to snakes anyhow). There are lots of questions that seem to come from young kids or there parents wanting to know about Garter Snakes (usually spelled Gardner or something like that). I got in quite a row over a rating I got that received a 5 out of 10 for completeness, when the moderator who rated me also answered nad gave a much less complete answer than did I. Two other moderators then gave me straight tens across my rating.
The site administrators apparently want nothing (or certainly want to avoid) questions dealing with wild caught snakes. They seem to think that wild caught are pretty much taboo. I know people feel like that here too, but if someone asks a question about w/c I like to give both sides of the story on them. They let me give both sides at PPC, but I was mazed at how many people seemed to get mad that I did. PPC had a warning that they do not want to answer such questions. They also do not want to answer questions about snake identifications. I imagine they would shy away from other topics too. Many of the experts seem to think a pet shop is the best place to buy a herp, and that advice is often found there. When I posted my beliefs that pet shops, in general, are notoriously bad places to buy herps - I received answers that would make you think pet shops were great. Many experts and moderators also seem to think, in my opinion, that an immediate trip to the vet is necessary when you have a problem with a snake. I have not seen, in my recollection, one answer other than my own that suggested trying something other than a vet for what seemed like possible easily fixed things. I get the feeling (only my opinion) that there must be some type of collusion between this site and commercial pet trade industires.
All in all, although I certainly do not agree with a lot of what they seem to think, I guess they are trying to do the right thing for neophyte herpers as far as pet care goes. This is theirarea of concern - pet care. In my opinion, you get better advice here on kingsnake.com and at faunaclassifieds.com when it comes to questions about herps.