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A little hesitant about posting this...sorry

this is my first and probably last post, I am a new member. It amazes me how judgemental people are on this site!! Wow, I came here for information on how to keep our 2 piggies healthy and happy. But the comments I read by alot of people are making me want to search for a new, more welcoming site.

Scarletraven, I really don't think you have anything to worry about. The most "judgmental" topic is breeding and pet store purchases, and those can get very heated. There are some serious consequences to both, and people are passionate about them

But if you're posting to ask for or offer information, and do so in a responsible manner, you'll be welcomed. And I'm not sure you'll find any forum that's totally welcoming unless all the posts are moderated and the offensive ones are weeded out. That's nearly impossible to do on a forum as busy as this one is, and most people don't have the patience to participate in a moderated forum anyway, because you have to wait on someone to approve or disapprove the posts.

If a forum is public, as this one is, anyone can join and put in their $.02. Here, if they misbehave, their posts may be moderated or they may be banned, but it's a free exchange of ideas. I'm not sure a free-to-post public forum on pet care exists that's totally welcoming -- someone out there will be sure to post something obnoxious. It's just the way of the internet.
Ok I am sorry for starting this thread. I really should have thought about it before airing my frustration more. I do not want to scare anyone from the website, because there is some awesome, sometimes life saving, information on here. I am not going to leave it because after reading several of your postings you all (ya'll) put a lot of things in perspective. I cannot imagine @bpatters what it takes to be a moderator. I am sure you all get sick of seeing the same things.

TCtrun- you helped me as soon as registered and I thank you for that.

If someone wants to delete this thread that is fine. I feel bad for stirring up the water. I always do this- post an issue than regret it. Foot in mouth!
@TCTrun, even someone who has been on the forum for just a couple of days has a way to contribute through responses. Not all of the questions are about hard-core care issues -- I could be on this forum for years and never feel comfortable giving advice on emergency medical care for piggies -- many of them are about piggy behavior or what you did for a cage set-up, and even if you aren't responding to the question, you may be asking for clarification that is also helpful.

And sometimes people are asking for support on an issue that starts out as a piggy question and ends up being something else entirely, and is an issue of their physical or emotional well-being. It's no one's job here to play long-distance therapist, but I am repeatedly, wonderfully, joyfully surprised at how much support there is in this forum / community for people who are having a rough time.

Placating moody posters ... I like that.
People most definitely are negatively affected by things posted in a public forum. Pick up a newspaper.

Apples and oranges. A newspaper is a public forum in which people are held accountable and anonimity rarely exists. This is an internet forum where you are 100% anonymous, unless you choose not to be. Nobody here is personally affected by what happens with regards to the website other than Teresa, the owner. Nobody knows who I am, that is why my feelings don't get hurt, because they are responding to an internet post.

Edit: I'm not trying to insinuate anything, just pointing out how I view the two as very different public expressions of opinion. As if we can call some of our politically-guided newspapers a "public" expression of opinion :p
I also think people need to realise that this is an internet forum so there is absolutley no point in taking anything some one says to you personally, they dont know you, is their opinion of you or how you look after your pigs really going to affect your life in any real way? people shouldnt be so sensitive and take the site for what it is; an excellent guinea pig information resource.

AGREED! Don't people realize that it takes ALL kinds of personalities to make the world go 'round? Yes, I truly believe that people get a little 'crazy' when responding, but as someone who hates confrontation in person, I think it's funny to see how worked up people get on here. Also, we need to remember that text can read differently to everyone. There is no inflection or body language so you never 'really' know how people are saying what they're saying.

Would I post a photo of my piggie in a pet store cage? Absolutely not!!! Crucifixion would be soon to follow :) However, being a member here is helpful for medical knowledge etc. I love the idea of being able to post a quick pic of my cavy's ear (let's say) and I get hundreds of people looking at it, hoping one of which has seen whatever it is I see. This is invaluable in itself. As the woman from the rescue I went to said...this site is not your social setting of friends, it is for information. If you're looking for friends go somewhere in REAL life. This is the internet.
Just to clarify @SurfingPigs, I mean, read the articles about people who are definitely harmed about what happens on the internet, including on various fora (looks like I didn't analyze my post enough). I'm not saying that they should be so sensitive, and I wish that people had thicker skin about some things, but having a tough hide does not mean that a person is, or needs to be, devoid of sympathy.

I agree that this isn't a place to hold hands and some issues require direct, no-holds-barred responses; we should go full-tilt on breeders or people who treat piggies as toys or disposable objects. However, that someone is stating their concerns about participating and whether they are going to get skewered does not strike me as one of those issues -- that person is expressing a concern, a fear, that may actually interfere with good cavy care if not addressed with respect.
I agree with you, @Wildcavy, it is a worry if people are concerned about participating. I don't feel, and hope neither you nor the original poster feel, that I responded to this person stating their concerns with any sort of condemnation. My motivation was to implore this person to post without fear. I genuinely, aside from those who I feel are trolls, hope that everyone continues to interact openly here. I feel the dialogue in this post is very helpful and I have learned from it. I just feel that being open minded and reading things without interjecting emotion makes for a better experience for all involved, and will help new members share more openly.
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Crazymom, I'm glad you posted it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it. I think the discussion has been helpful and respectful, and that's as it should be.
I sometimes see things directed at new members on their first few posts that is harsh at times. It makes me wonder has the person that is commenting ever read the BIG YELLOW BOX that appears above a newbie's post?

I have seen posts that make me cringe for the person it's directed at. I'm not offended by much but when the arrows start flying to skewer somebody on a personal level I have to wonder why the attack is happening. If you want to debate about somethin, then DEBATE, don't get in the mud and wrestle:mad:. Highjacking somebodys thread to wage your personal war on somebody is way beyond rude, don't you think? PM each other to death but please don't ruin it for the rest of us.

I want somebody to come along and correct advise I have given if it is wrong. I don't care how blunt you are, as long as the information is corrected.

Also, the comment about "people being very rude and judgemental, don't realize I'm not a child" hits on an excellent point. Why should anybody be treated that way, let alone a child? We do have a lot of young kids on here and we do need to be very careful with our responses for that very reason.

My piggies live a great life due to this site and the thought of people not sticking around to get the information they need is sad. Hopefully they will stay to read up on stuff, even if they don't feel comfortable commenting.
As someone who is also a newer member I'd like to add my input. First, though, there are a few things I would like to point out to people who are senior members.

1. There is no where on the main page of the forum, or in the Intro forum where it says "We are a forum that ONLY supports rescues. Breeders or people who buy from them are not welcome." ('cause lets face it, that's the attitude those people are met with).

As a vetran of many different forums I did lurk and read all the (dozens of) stickies...but someone who is new to using forums in general might not be as savy at that. Many new members, here and on other forums I'm a part of, simply join and immediately post their intro. Especially if they have just gotten a new pet.

The other pet forums I am a part of also support rescue very strongly...but at those forums a very strong effort is made by everyone to be welcoming foremost, and supportive/instructive second.

2. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

There is a reason people say this. In my experience it is way more than true. I've found (in forums where I am a senior member and therefor very knowledgable) that if a new member feels slighted or put-down not only will they not come back but they will have no intention of ever listening or learning from your advice or the advice of others.

What this means in a practical sense, is that by jumping down someone throat (sometimes with good reason) you aren't just chasing that one person off, you are dooming their pig to live in the tiny cage you so righteously insulted. You are ensuring their pet will never eat enough hay, or veggies, and will sit in a stinky cage. Not because this person didn't try to learn better, but because of the way you replied to their query.

I want to be very clear that I'm not say to compliment the tiny cage, or pat someone on the back for buying from a breeder or a store. I'm saying think carefully about how what you say might affect the pet involved.

I, personally, feel jumped on or put off simply because of the way people have replied, or many people have replied. I have a big c&c cage, I feed as much hay as my three want, I bought the best pellets, and I did rescue all three pigs...if I feel a little put off by people's responses I can't imagine how a teenager who did make some wrong choices would feel.

Overall this is a great forum. But forums get better through education and teaching new members. If the many new members who posted in this thread are any indication then maybe it's time to rethink the approach.
There have been times when I am not the most welcoming to newbies because of first posts. What gets me is when people come on this site, not following any of the rues. We all owe Teresa a big thanks for this site. It has cost her a lot of time and money, and it personally drives me bananas when people aren't following her rules.
I usually get angry when people talk about breeding their pigs, or try to fight the fact that a harness can break a pigs back. I wish some newcomers would have a look around the site a bit before posting silly things. If it's an emergency, then by all means post away because the site is here for the welfare of your pigs.
I wish people wouldn't get so heated during some discussions. People have to take replies with a grain of salt. Posters also need to use discretion.
I don't see a pattern of "senior members" acting righteous. In my opinion, the more active members tend to be quite inviting, mostly because we have seen the big warning in the intro section that implores us to be cool headed and not dig for dirt. In my experience, it has been relatively new members who go for blood right away, and they usually drop off the map after a while. I, for one, tend to phrase my statements when seeing a tiny cage in an intro post along the lines of "great looking pig. have you considered a larger cage such as ..." That isn't stepping on toes, that isn't elitism, it is a kind and helpful suggestion.

This is a guinea pig care forum and if you are here you are going to receive care suggestions, soliticted or otherwise. I am confused by the motivations of those who are offended by hearing suggestions on how to provide better care. I love my pigs to death, and anything you guys can suggest that I change about my pigs I read with an open mind and I genuinely appreciate. If I disagree with what someone says, I express that and hopefully we can have a dialogue. That is the beauty of this place, differing minds coming together for a common good: providing a higher standard of care to these amazing animals.

And hey, what internet drama can't be fixed by a good snuggle with a pig? ;)
The fact is, this is an anti-breeding, pro rescue site. There are specific guidelines stated for cage size, diet and nutrition. There's a wealth of information on here for those looking to find excellent and accurate information on medications and medical treatments. There are plenty of sites out there that don't have those guidelines and are meant to be social venues. I consider this to be the best site around for those who are looking for the best and proven recommendations for guinea pigs. If responses are abrupt, it's usually because inaccurate information is being given that can be detrimental to guinea pigs.
I'm all for the anti-breeding, anti-pet store stuff. I completely agree with everyone here on that and I'm glad you guys let me share my horrible experience with pet store purchases as a lesson to new members without coming at me and being all "why did you do that in the first place?!" Maybe that's because I can admit I made the mistake and move on. I agree with SurfingPigs in the fact that there's a way to word something and a way not to. Where she states "have you considered a bigger cage..." that's perfect, but I think the original point trying to be made is turn that statement around to "you need a bigger cage" can to some people come across as being scolded. Most of the time I can take what is said if it's very straightforward as being just that, very blunt and straightforward, and there are matters where I am that way as well, but I think being straightforward can come across wrong sometimes. What if that person is just having a bad day in general, or is stressed? Something can then be taken very wrong. Many of you are right, emotions shouldn't get wrapped up in these forums, but unfortunately they do. It's just a matter of getting past it and moving on.
Responses to several posts here, in no particular order.

What is a "sticky" anyways?

I'm sorry, but I really don't think it's our job to teach anyone about forum usage. We're up to our ears in guinea pigs, here. Google is your friend, for this and many other issues that get asked here. Just google "sticky forum" (without the quotes), and you'll quickly find out what a sticky is.

There is no where on the main page of the forum, or in the Intro forum where it says "We are a forum that ONLY supports rescues. Breeders or people who buy from them are not welcome." ('cause lets face it, that's the attitude those people are met with).

It's true that there is no disclaimer, and maybe there ought to be something, but that's Teresa's decision to make. But it's not quite true that breeders or people who buy from them are not welcome. What they're not welcome to do is to post about breeding their pigs, or argue about how wonderful breeding is. We do support rescues and adoptions, and we support people with pigs who have obtained them by purchasing, even though we wish they hadn't done that.

That said, some people do come down way too hard on purchasers, even with the notice from Teresa not to do so. When that happens and we catch it, the mods PM the responders reminding them not to do that. That's one of those behind-the-scenes things you don't usually see, unless someone is just being a total jerk about the topic. Then it gets posted on the forum.

However, for those of you who think this forum is unwelcoming and unfriendly, I'm certainly glad you weren't here three years ago. People were lambasted for even asking questions about purchase or breeding. I got thoroughly chewed out by one longtime member when I was confused about short-haired pigs and American short-haired pigs. I said I wanted a short-haired pig (because I didn't want to deal with the long hair) and she assumed I wanted to purchase an ASH and read me the riot act about buying from breeders. I had no intention of doing so, and was actively looking for a rescue to adopt from. But her response was rude, uncalled for, and more than a little irritating.

But that was the norm, then. Teresa has gone to a great deal of effort to make this a more friendly forum, and to support people in the care of their guinea pigs, no matter how they get them. Some people ignore her request, but others don't. Again, unless you want to part of a totally moderated forum, where every request is approved by a moderator, you'll get people who post unwanted things.

I, personally, feel jumped on or put off simply because of the way people have replied, or many people have replied.

That's sometimes a valid response. People do occasionally get jumped on, or replied to in an improper manner. But there's another side to that, too -- there are people who will get their feelings hurt over the slightest imagined thing, and go flouncing off to complain mightily on other forums about how ill-mannered we are here. One person here that I know of was "de-friended" by someone simply because she didn't answer a question in the time the questioner thought was reasonable -- no consideration whatsoever that she might not have missed the post, or not been on line, nothing. Just "you didn't respond to me on time, so goodbye."

Just so you know, we don't worry a lot about trying to please people like that. We do expect some degree of maturity for participation, and as many people have pointed out, an internet forum is not the best place to count on having your ruffled feathers smoothed.

As the woman from the rescue I went to said...this site is not your social setting of friends, it is for information. If you're looking for friends go somewhere in REAL life. This is the internet.

I wasn't trying to call anyone out. I wasn't thinking of anyone in particular, more of the group total.

As an example, if a newbie posts something inflammatory by accident and one person replies in a confrontational manner no problem. The newbie will probably get over it. If 5,6,7 or 8 people reply harshly it sends different message.

I also wasn't saying that I disagree with any of this forums accepted morals and ideals. Rather I disagree with the way they are presented.

I really value the opinions of the members here and have been very grateful to receive support and advise. But I have also felt bad for someone who said something incorrect, illadvised, or uninformed who got completely shut down.

I also don't mean to say you have to soothe every drama queens ruffled feathers. But not everyone who has felt injured has felt that way without reason, in my opinion.

It's the method, not the message, I was addressing.

Anyways, I've said my piece. I'm off to look at cute pig pictures :)
I get what you mean. I think it mostly comes from people not fully reading the OP. I know I got a couple of nasty private messages from people when I first joined. I shared photos of my piggies and even stated that the cage was for a couple of days while I finished building my C&C cage. I ended up finishing it that night, so they didn't have to stay in it for more than a couple of hours. Anyways, had a few people yell at me saying it was wrong to keep them in a pet store cage. Yes, thank you Captain Obvious. When I pointed out they neglected to read the rest one replied "Well you shouldn't have bought the cage in the first place." Um, my mom lent it to me. It was for her ferret to travel in the car on trips, but thanks for the judgement. ;) If people would read the entire post without fixating on one thing and replying right away I think things would be a lot better.

And yes the repeating the same thing over and over is annoying, whether it's from the person asking the question, or the person answering the question. I personally would never want to be a mod because I would end up despising people. (LOL! Not really, but still.) If a person buys a piggy from a breeder or pet store not knowing any better, they don't need 20 pages of people telling them the same stuff over and over, especially when the OP has shown that they feel terrible and did not know any better. And yes, I have seen this. It broke my heart because this person was a young teen and their parent gave them the piggy.

I know that if tons of people post the same thing, you get angry, you feel like they are ganging up on you and you tend to want to do the opposite of what they say. That's why I refresh the page after I read a OP to make sure no one has posted the same response, if they have I respond with a "Opps, so and so already said that. Sorry for posting the same thing. We are here if you have any questions. GL!" Why do I do that? Because it doesn't seem like an attack then, because it's not an attack, it is a simple post that unfortunately was already posted. Think of it like wearing the same dress as your friend to a party. Neither of you knew what the other was wearing, so it's not a personal attack, its a weird mishap. :) Anywho. Good thought OP, I get where you are coming from, it was just a "We should be more careful" post. :)
I don't know, I guess I am blind as I haven't noticed many really nasty posts here.

That is part of the problem with the written word. You can't see the poster's face nor hear the voice. I know I 'hear' the words in my own head and sometimes am a bit offended. However, if I 'hear' them in another way the intent of the message changes. :)
I don't know, I guess I am blind as I haven't noticed many really nasty posts here.

That is part of the problem with the written word. You can't see the poster's face nor hear the voice. I know I 'hear' the words in my own head and sometimes am a bit offended. However, if I 'hear' them in another way the intent of the message changes. :)

I think you're right. The written work can be interpreted differently sometimes. I think sometimes people are direct in their comments to correct something that has been stated. I think comments are made to steer people in the right direction so their guinea pigs are given the best care. I haven't seen anyone on here trying to offend anyone.
I don't want to be the newbie that drums up drama and leave so I guess I have to stick this post out since I started it. (Which I am becoming increasingly sorry for) I think what it boils down to is common decency and respect.

@librarychick -I love the reference to the honey and vinegar analogy. I have found (as many have I am sure) that you can get through a lot better to people using a tactful, respectful manner than being stand offish. I think of PETA in this regard. Honestly I agree with them on a lot of views. But they can be so rude and obnoxious that I will rarely listen to a thing they say.

@bpatters- so sorry about asking what a sticky was. When it was first brought up I thought it was a language thing. Sorry it is not you "job" to explain.

I understand this is an informational place, but I was also under the impression that it was a community of cavy lovers as well. No most of us are not looking for our next "best friend" on here, but we are looking for a supportive community to share our experience and our downfalls. That's really all I have to say, so I am not just trying to drum up drama and leave, I just don't want to beat a dead horse.
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