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A little hesitant about posting this...sorry

I was feeling the same way the SECOND I saw this thread.

Sometimes, mainly all the time, people don't realize that we are doing are true best at things. Everybody's idea of BEST, is different.

I love this thread for the fact that it is genuine and the point it is stating applies to me and to many I do believe.
I don't see what's wrong with this discussion at all or why you regret voicing your opinion?
Everyone has participated respectfully in this discussion, just like a forum should be used. I see no drama at all.
The reason I really regret it is because I don't want someone looking for information to find this thread before something important, and decide to leave. That's really the only reason. But I suppose it is nice to see everyone's human side.

I got my head ripped off a few years ago on a photo forum I post on. The person was asking for C&C, critique and comments. I told the person what I
thought could improve the photo. Using phrases like 'In my opinion', 'My only nit', etc, and ended with positive comments. The poster misunderstood what I was saying.

I know there is more leeway in photography. Owning a live animal is this or that, correct or incorrect. My point is try to look at how the person is speaking to you, not necessarily what they are saying. Make sense?
Totally get that @Dee_E. The written word is so hard to decipher. Often people want to be offended so they look for an offending statement. I have learned that if people post things like "I LOVE MY NEW CAGE" they aren't looking for advice and probably won't take it well.

I suppose if this thread makes one person rethink how they say something in a positive light then I am happy. I want people to have a good experience, I want people to feel confident about what they know when they leave here. Feeling like a bad stupid pet owner is the worst feeling in the world, and it can cause people to give up.
I have to agree with Bpatters. As a member who has been here for a few years I can say there has been MANY changes to make this forum friendlier. The fact of the matter is that yes, sometimes people can come off rude here. My advice is to try and read what is important, proper guinea pig care information, be that diets, cage or medical information. This is a pro adoption, pro rescue, forum. Most people who join learn that after the fact but they learn how to care for their guinea pig and they also learn about why adoption is better.

The internet has no feeling, so unless someone is out right calling you stupid there is no way to know how to take what they are saying.

I once was in your shoes and back in those days this forum was WAY harsher than it is now. Comparing a few years back to now is like looking at night and day. Teresa, all the other mods and admins have been working hard to make sure the forum is better.

If your posting things that could get some negative remarks like breeding, bad diets and so, then yes you may or may not get some rude comments, but its only because many people on this forum have learned things the hard way or have researched things and know that its wrong or harmful and feel passionate about educating others to prevent it from happening over and over again.

This is just my two cents and frankly when I see something I don't agree with I just don't bother posting. As my mom always says "If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all." And that goes two ways. By saying your all meanies, it pushes the "meanies" to be meaner.

Anyway that's just my $0.02.
Totally get that @Dee_E . The written word is so hard to decipher. Often people want to be offended so they look for an offending statement. I have learned that if people post things like "I LOVE MY NEW CAGE" they aren't looking for advice and probably won't take it well.

I suppose if this thread makes one person rethink how they say something in a positive light then I am happy. I want people to have a good experience, I want people to feel confident about what they know when they leave here. Feeling like a bad stupid pet owner is the worst feeling in the world, and it can cause people to give up.

You are right. When someone posts things like "I love my new cage" or "Check out my photo", they might be looking for accolades. However, in the live animal world if someone sees something that could be dangerous they would be remiss in not mentioning it.

Again, it is how a reply is couched and how it is interpreted.

I have seen threads like this deteriorate into mud slinging threads. I am very pleased to see that this one has not. :)
I am assuming that Teresa is a wonderful woman and I really am not taking a poo on her website. I know that people are passionate, that's a good thing!
Another thought; it is easier to be snarky on a forum venue. After all, you don't know who I truly am.
Very true. I wonder if I said " hi I am marissa" and everyone else had their names if people would feel more human.
I came upon this forum 6 years ago. I was involved in 4-H. I got my pigs thru 4-H. I kept my pigs in plastic tubs. I fed wrong. I answered a post about getting a guinea pig. I told her to check out 4-h pigs. Kids get rid of them all the time for a for reasonable price. I got jumped on, was fried, and crucified. I was stunned at the response. It was also my own fault. I was so involved in the posts, I never read the postings that this was a pro rescue, pro shelter, anit 4-H and anti petstore. I admit my feelings were hurt. BUT I needed the info that was presented here. My pigs needed the info here. I started to read every post on here. I started to learn. I started to get educated in the ways of pro life for animals, vegetarian lifestyle. Petstores. I came to believe in for myself Teresa's thoughts and what this whole forum stands for.

Teresa has given her life and lifes blood to put out the word for guinea pigs and animals. This whole site stands for that. It is pro rescue, anti breeding, and anti pet store. I know members can get very overly passionate when posts to come up on these issues. All of us from Teresa on down is working very very hard on changing the tone of this forum. We want EVERY person that comes to this forum to be welcome, to stay and read and share all the great resource this forum is. I spend many hours on the chat getting to know many members old and new in a more personable way. We want this it be a fun site, a friendly site a great sharing site for ALL who love and share guinea pigs.

BUT the principles of this site does stand. We as mods, and members try to get these principles across without being rude, fried, or cruicified. If you do feel bad forgive us. There are times it can come across heavy. Stay with us, like I did 6 years ago. I learned and it has changed my life and of course the lives of my piggies. You truely cannot find a better website for the life and health of your piggies.

We really are you for you and your guinea pigs. Let us keep hearing from you. We as Mod, will do our very best to answer your questions, in a timely and accurate manner. You as members can always PM an one of us with a problem you do not want to share on a post, or cannot find in the search engine.
Crazymom, I wasn't fussing at you for asking what a sticky is, and I'm sorry if it came off that way. Believe me, it gets asked very often. I was just picking it out as one example because it had just been mentioned. There are plenty of others.

I was just trying to make the point that there are things that people can do for themselves, but don't, for whatever reason. And then it somehow becomes the fault of the forum responders or moderators that they didn't tell them what the OP needed to know.

I'll give you the most extreme example I've run across, and it happened both here and on another forum at about the same time, from two different original posters. They were posting from other countries, asking about hay, pellets, supplies, etc. The people who answered them were as polite as they could be, but knew almost nothing about supplies in those countries, and suggested that the OPs call some of the horse farms/feed stores/pet shops around them and see what was available. In both cases, the OPs came back with, "But do you think so-and-so would sell me the hay/pellets/whatever? And what should they cost?"

How should we know whether a horse farm in a country halfway around the world would sell anything? We've already answered the post, suggested ways the OP can look into the issue for themselves, and they want to know if we know if the farm just down the road from them will sell hay. It truly will drive you batty at times if you let it. And if the OPs money isn't US or Canadian dollars or euros, we won't have a clue what it costs or whether that's an appropriate price.

It's the same thing with coroplast. Googling almost any American city (and many large cities overseas) and the word "coroplast" (or correx or corflute or whatever it's called where you live")will get you several sign companies that sell it. But a lot of posters don't google, they just ask the forum and expect the people who usually respond to do the googling.

Or fleece. "How much is fleece where I live?" Not only do we not know where you live, but we probably don't know how much fleece costs there. We may not even know the name of the fabric shops there. A little googling turns up stuff like that very quickly, and a phone call gets you the exact information you need.

Or cages. "Is a 4x6 cage bigger than 5x5?" As someone said earlier this week, the math is right in front of you.

So it's not just stickies. I guess what I'm addressing is the expectation that someone on this forum, whether a moderator or another forum member, will do all of the work, whether it's truly forum related or not.
i was ridiculed about THINKING of going to a breeder for a skinny. i hadn't even made the choice yet. yes i am 16, but i do know about breeders and that this sit is against them but i thought it was pretty mean tho when someone replied to it with, "if i shaved my pig would you want it then?". my post was asking questions concerning of how to care for a skinny. I expected to be ridiculed for going to a breeder when someone asked if i was and i wasn't going to lie but to say something like that? when i wasn't even positive if i was going to get it or not? and then to criticize me about even getting a third pig? that was rude. i stopped replying to the forum completely after that because a few people answered my questions i had of how to take care of it and the rest where criticizing me for "going to a breeder".

i am currently looking for another for another site for my information similar to this one only more welcoming. there have been a few post on this site that, yes, people where being straight forward but in a vary rude way and to be frank, I'm not a bad GP owner. I just dont think this sites right for me.

p.s i decided not to get a skinny pig from a breeder or shelter due to the facts i don't think id be able to properly take care of it with out neglecting my other pigs. I am still looking for a third pig to add to my family that i will be getting for ether Craiglist or a shelter. (i am nether pro breeder nor completely against breeding. if you can get a pig from a shelter do it.)
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While I think that the many users who have posted on this thread have had some good points, I have to agree with the key points here.

First and foremost, it's the internet. While mistakes and misunderstandings happen (and those should be forgiven) you have to have a different kind of politeness that you don't use in real life. They can't hear what you're saying; what comes off as a harmless criticism on your end may seem like a sarcastic, biting remark. Sarcasm, I've learned, doesn't work very well on here.

Secondly, I've noticed that on some threads, it's really gone past the point of sarcasm. Some people were honestly attacking users about their personal decisions they made with their guinea pigs, some of which there was no logical reason for. I know that we are all concerned for the welfare of guinea pigs, but in the end, it is the owner's choice whether they should add a third (in the case of nibbler100) or buy from a petstore, like I did. Before I came to this site, I had no idea about the consequences of buying from pet stores. I got the largest cage available. I got a single guinea pig. I came here, and it was like an explosion of "WOW YOU ARE SO STUPID." I should have bought from a rescue. I should have made my own cage. I should have gotten two. This realization is enough to make us feel bad, and any further reprimanding by other users is not fun. We all joined because we LOVE guinea pigs. We have to respect that all users have the best interests in mind for their own fuzzy friends, and should be treated as such.

However, in some cases, it's definitely the fault of the user that posted the question.
OP, this is a very good thread. People are getting out their thoughts, while others are sharing how or why it sometimes seems hostile when it's really not. :) Good thread. :)
Something else I've learned is that on the internet, as in real life, people have different personalities and different communication styles. Some of us prefer to communicate to convey information, and prioritize being clear, accurate, and timely. Some of us communicate to build and maintain relationships, and prioritize being gentle and responsive. Some enjoy healthy debate, some enjoy peacemaking. And--since all of these are extremes, most of us fall somewhere in-between.

As with any form of communication, I think one key is to try to see through others' eyes and to assume that everyone has the best of intentions (unless they actively demonstrate otherwise).

And--always a good failsafe--if you wonder what somebody means: ASK!
I'm 38 years old and have worked in a business that relies on people being very direct and matter of fact, so I have a pretty thick skin. That said, I do forget that this bbs has members of every age group at times. And everyone's communication style is going to be different.

I have no problem being told that my viewpoint is wrong. Therefore, I always try to frame my opinion as coming from direct experience (however limited). A mark of my youth is that I believed I knew everything, but as I age, I realize I know nothing! It can be humbling.

I think newbies should definitely let other members know what works for them personally. And if it's wrong-headed, try not to take the opposing opinion personally. This place can be inspiring for those who are stuck and need a good meeting of the minds to solve a problem or make a crucial decision.
Ok there are too many people to thank, so I won't do it individually. Several of you posted replies that I found both useful and friendly :). I DO feel like my opinions and (somewhat limited) experience are welcome on this forum, so again - Thanks! To Crazymom - Thanks for starting this thread - Somebody had to do it lol
Since everyone else is putting their 2 cents in I figured I might as well add mine as well. I haven't been on this website for long and I am only 19 years old but I have had guinea pigs for 5 years now and I have 12 guinea pigs. Whether or not some ridicules me or even may sound a bit blunt or rude, I don't give a damn because, in the end, my pigs are my concern and I want to provide the absolute best for them. Just from this website alone I have been able to gather all of the information I needed to do just that. I love it here. All of my questions get answered and I have even been through alot. From a supposedly "neutured" male to a female that turned out to be a male and pregnancies and upper respiratory infections and even the death of an old friend.
I honestly believe the people on here care because even though my boyfriend and I were having trouble they all stopped and took the time to make sure I was okay and I really needed that. This is an online community that gives us the tools and information we need to be the best cavy owners as possible.
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