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Old 07-07-2012, 09:13 PM   #1
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A friendly reminder about tact

Recently, the site staff here at AA has been noticing an increase in posts that end up driving some of our members away from posting on the forum. Often, it is clear that the offending posts are meant as helpful advice, but because of the way they are worded, any helpful advice is overshadowed by negativity. We want AA to be a community where new and old members of all experience levels can feel welcome.

Disagreements are going to happen, and that’s just part of posting on a forum where members have diverse opinions on how to do things. It is perfectly acceptable to disagree with another member; however, it is important to take into consideration the “tone” of a post, and how it might be perceived by others. It can be difficult for others to infer tone from a post on a computer screen, so please bear this in mind as you are writing up your post. Sometimes a little explanation goes a long way toward avoiding conflict. For example:
“Your tank is totally overstocked and your fish are going to die”
Comes across quite harsh as opposed to something like
“I’d like to bring up some possible stocking and compatibility issues with your tank. Species X may be aggressive toward Species Y, and Species Z may eventually outgrow your tank… “ (go on to explain why you feel this way).

Here’s another one we see a lot. Someone joins the site and doesn’t know about cycling, and asks why their fish are dying. All too often, we see something like
“OMG it is horrible to cycle your tank with fish. Return your fish or you’re being cruel to them!”
The person gets attacked right off the bat, probably doesn’t want to come back to the site, and definitely does not feel welcome here. A much more diplomatic response would have been to offer an explanation of the cycling process, or point them to the articles section.

A final note: Sometimes we can’t help being frustrated by the choices that certain individuals might make- as a community of hobbyists who are passionate about aquaria, this is bound to happen. If you find yourself in that situation, it is best to just bow out of the thread. If you’re really aggravated, there is always the option for you to make use of your Ignore List via User CP. Our community rules are quite clear regarding acceptable posting standards. When in doubt, please review them HERE before hitting the Post Reply button.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and review our Community Rules.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by severum mama
Recently, the site staff here at AA has been noticing an increase in posts that end up driving some of our members away from posting on the forum. Often, it is clear that the offending posts are meant as helpful advice, but because of the way they are worded, any helpful advice is overshadowed by negativity. We want AA to be a community where new and old members of all experience levels can feel welcome.

Disagreements are going to happen, and that’s just part of posting on a forum where members have diverse opinions on how to do things. It is perfectly acceptable to disagree with another member; however, it is important to take into consideration the “tone” of a post, and how it might be perceived by others. It can be difficult for others to infer tone from a post on a computer screen, so please bear this in mind as you are writing up your post. Sometimes a little explanation goes a long way toward avoiding conflict. For example:
“Your tank is totally overstocked and your fish are going to die”
Comes across quite harsh as opposed to something like
“I’d like to bring up some possible stocking and compatibility issues with your tank. Species X may be aggressive toward Species Y, and Species Z may eventually outgrow your tank… “ (go on to explain why you feel this way).

Here’s another one we see a lot. Someone joins the site and doesn’t know about cycling, and asks why their fish are dying. All too often, we see something like
“OMG it is horrible to cycle your tank with fish. Return your fish or you’re being cruel to them!”
The person gets attacked right off the bat, probably doesn’t want to come back to the site, and definitely does not feel welcome here. A much more diplomatic response would have been to offer an explanation of the cycling process, or point them to the articles section.

A final note: Sometimes we can’t help being frustrated by the choices that certain individuals might make- as a community of hobbyists who are passionate about aquaria, this is bound to happen. If you find yourself in that situation, it is best to just bow out of the thread. If you’re really aggravated, there is always the option for you to make use of your Ignore List via User CP. Our community rules are quite clear regarding acceptable posting standards. When in doubt, please review them HERE before hitting the Post Reply button.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and review our Community Rules.
Thank you !!!!!
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:18 AM   #3
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Well put thank you
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:26 AM   #4
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Well said! I've read some posts where people have been harsh in what they've said. I also get annoyed when say they stocked a 10 gallon with a ghost knife fish some members even though it's been said will keep repeatly saying it's overstocked, remove the fish, and stuff like that. Well done though
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:57 PM   #5
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If you haven't read post #1 in this thread yet, please take a few moments to do so. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samzter View Post
Well said! I've read some posts where people have been harsh in what they've said. I also get annoyed when say they stocked a 10 gallon with a ghost knife fish some members even though it's been said will keep repeatly saying it's overstocked, remove the fish, and stuff like that. Well done though
I see where you are coming from here, but all too often in this instance, we see a pile-on of negative comments. If explaining the situation reasonably doesn't work, then beating someone over the head with it over and over probably won't work either. When it comes down to it, it's their tank and their decision, and if someone is really frustrating you, it's time to bow out of the thread.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:39 AM   #6
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Good points, SM. The Be Nice rule is what sets this forum apart in a lot of ways imo. I think it is important that people continue to offer great advice, and some times that is telling people what they don't want to hear. It doesn't mean it has to be rude or insulting. There are nice ways to explain things to folks when they might be headed down a path that is most likely not going to end well for their tank.

It is also important to note that there are MANY MANY paths to success in this hobby. Just because a method didn't work for 1, doesn't mean it won't work for someone else. Passion about one's own set of methods and procedures is a good thing, and just keep an open mind about what is/isn't possible in this hobby - because you will be surprised.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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Agree whole heartedly. Often times we (and yes I'm just as guilty as anyone else) don't intend to be harsh or rude, but it comes across that way when read. One of the things I've tried to start doing which tends to soften responses is to never state things in absolutes (i.e. that fish will starve to death in that tank) for two reasons. First of all, stating it as "it is generally thought that fish of the type will starve in a tank of that size" simply makes it sound less harsh or rude, and secondly, it allows room for error. As fort pointed out, just because it didn't work for me or others, doesn't mean it won't work for someone else. One thing that I have learned over the years I've been keeping aquariums is that you can almost always find someone who is the exception to any rule.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wy Renegade View Post
Agree whole heartedly. Often times we (and yes I'm just as guilty as anyone else) don't intend to be harsh or rude, but it comes across that way when read. One of the things I've tried to start doing which tends to soften responses is to never state things in absolutes (i.e. that fish will starve to death in that tank) for two reasons. First of all, stating it as "it is generally thought that fish of the type will starve in a tank of that size" simply makes it sound less harsh or rude, and secondly, it allows room for error. As fort pointed out, just because it didn't work for me or others, doesn't mean it won't work for someone else. One thing that I have learned over the years I've been keeping aquariums is that you can almost always find someone who is the exception to any rule.
totally agree with you renegade. when i first started to come to this site i showed pictures of my new coffee table aquarium. i loved it and was thrilled to have a forum where i could share my interest in fish and aquariums. unfortunately the response to my, as they put it, gimmicky tank, was VERY rude. people posting things like toilet aquariums, sink aquariums, etc. anything that was an odd aquarium and saying how bad it was for the fish etc. my local fish store is "that fish place/that pet place in lancaster, pa. they have marine biologists on staff there and i went there and talked to them about my tank. i showed them the filtering system, the tank set up etc. the tank is 45 gals. and is 56" long and 23 inches wide. i won't go into the entire conversation but they assured me that it was a great tank with a few limitations. because it was only 12" deep they advised me not to keep any deep bodied fish such as angels or discus. however they loved the length of the tank for forward swimming. anyway the point is that this tank was ok'd by marine biologists (and i didn't buy the tank from that fish place) and people here were making very rude comments about how i'm going to kill my fish and i was not a good fish keeper for using this tank. i almost left this site for good and i think i would have if it wasn't for the few posts i got that said the comments were mean spirited and that the way you take care of the tank is more important than the tank itself. that support kept me here for the past year. i love this site but i do understand how some people can feel they are getting attacked instead of helped.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:41 AM   #9
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Good post SM
Been comig to this site for nearly 4 years (wow im getting old haha) and have also noticed an increase in that behaviour and i find it very refreshing to know that Moderators are indeed looking at things and keeping things in check
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:57 PM   #10
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Quite honestly i can see how new members to the forum can be a little overwhelmed by our suggestions. Most of the time they just wanted something low maintenance and pretty. So when we come in and say weekly PWC and stock changes, they don't understand why all of the work needs to be done. And when we say "it needs to be done for the health of the fish" they sometimes just laugh it off and think "its just a $3 fish, ill get another one" .
But it's up to the members of AA to restrain themselves because thats just what some people think. There are people like us who care about each $3 life and cherish it as more than that. But its our commitment to all of the people who come to AA looking for answers, to keep our cool.
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