• Check out the new Feedback and suggestions forum. This adds the ability to add ideas for the site and upvote/downvote them. It would be great to hear from you all in how we can boost site activity and who would like to assist with some exciting ideas from Rob and I.

My reflections on being a “good” forum member

Not open for further replies.


Almost Legendary
I’m off work today and a bit bored so I thought I would write down some things that have fairly recently dawned on me about being a successful, contributing member of any forum but especially this one. Some of the younger members may not know this but APS has a pretty bad reputation in the real world, especially with the really well-known and experienced guys. This, to me, is a real shame because it means that there are literally hundreds of human-years worth of experience that we miss out on because those people have left and refuse to contribute any more. I’m guilty of a lot of the things I mention here but I thought that if I share what I‘ve learnt, it might help some of the less experienced forum-goers to have a more fun and productive time on here.

  • You don’t have to respond to people, especially if they are attempting to start arguments with you. It’s actually really easy to just ignore argumentative and antagonistic posts once you get over the initial anger/annoyance at what they’ve written. As an experiment, next time someone tried to start a fight, try not responding for at least a couple of hours to a day. You’ll be surprised how quickly you stop caring about what they’ve written. On the other hand, if you respond and start a full-blown fight, it seems much more difficult to extract yourself from the conversation.
As a parallel to this, don’t start arguments or make antagonistic posts in the first place. There’s really no need for it and, once you gain a reputation for being a jerk, you will find a lot of people are unwilling to offer you help when/if you need it.

  • If you don’t know, don’t answer. Obviously, lots of people love the sound of their own voice (even in written form) but you will gain much more of a negative reputation on here if you comment on every thread with advice that is incorrect half of the time. If you can’t help but comment, at least preface your comments with something like “I don’t know for certain but in my experience…” or “This is just my opinion but…”

  • If you don’t like a particular sub-forum or think it’s a stupid idea (i.e. Chit Chat), don’t visit it. Nobody is forcing anyone to read every post and it’s quite easy to just gloss over the stuff that doesn’t interest you. Plenty of people say things like Chit Chat don’t belong on a reptile forum but the fact that people use it would say otherwise.

  • Don’t take everything on here as gospel. Sure, there are some very knowledgeable people here and you become familiar with who to listen to and who is just a five-minute forum herper who really knows very little but try to make a habit of researching what people say and taking a number of opinions on board before making up your own mind about the validity of advice. There is actually a huge knowledge base accessible to people called the internets (or something). A quick Google search often produces answers to almost all of the questions that new keepers tend to ask. So, while it’s not against the law to ask questions, keep I mind that the answers you are seeking are probably out there if you just take a couple of seconds to look them up. You also gain a much broader perspective if you learn to use a range of resources rather than any single one.

Anyway that’s just a couple of points and I know this won’t change the behaviour of many (most?) of the people on here but these are just my opinions on some observations that I’ve noted. Following these simple rules has certainly improved my experience here and I think that if more people followed these basic things, it would help improve things a great deal but, of course, you’re all free to say and do what you want. Don’t just take my advice ;). Just remember, though, it's the actions of the members that make a community what it is...

Last edited:


Staff member
I would just like to add that this post has been given the Site Administrator's approval as sound advice.

I recommend all users take note.

Thread closed & stickied.
Not open for further replies.