The Ones That Go Silent...

Jenoli42

Well Known Member
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
830
Points
98
Experience
4 years
Hey team,

What do others think about those that join the freshwater beginners forum, ask a bunch of panicked questions, but then never respond to any of the posts helpful members offer as advice?

My gut tells me it's some combination of the following:
  • we unintentionally overwhelm them with advice that they don't understand and they don't feel they can tell us
  • we unintentionally overwhelm them with advice they can't afford (time or money) to follow
  • we unintentionally overwhelm them with advice they think is conflicting without us making clear (or without them understanding) that we're giving them options
  • they decide the advice is too much for them and give up
  • they get advice elsewhere and never check the forum again
  • we don't see the post in time and because they're panicking it's too late once we reply
  • they're looking for the "silver bullet" - a clear black and white answer or formula for a biological system that doesn't have one
I have seen many of us follow up on threads in order to mitigate any or all of the above - to check in and make sure they're ok.

I'm interested in other ways we can approach posts that help people stay engaged. I know many of us try really hard to be clear about "one option for you would be" or "given your specific situation, i'd suggest this option instead..." And that's kinda all I can think of.

I get intensely interested in some threads and want to help, so i guess that's why i'm posting.

In Dec/Jan when i was the panicked resurrected newbie, i was overwhelmed. I felt like the advice was conflicting or kept reasoning out why some didn't make sense as the panacea to all my worries. I did my own research and talked to others and finally realised that FL imo has the highest number of experienced, patient, helpful people whose advice is solid of anywhere i looked. I realised there are no panaceas because everyone's situation is different and 2 tanks from the same water can have different needs. So that's prompted me to reflect on other newbies' experiences...

 

david1978

Fishlore Legend
Messages
13,528
Reaction score
9,826
Points
758
Experience
More than 10 years
the ones that annoy me the most are ones that one of our more trusted fish keepers is helping someone out and someone new to the site jumps in with something off the wall as an easy fix but can be very detrimental to the tank with out getting all the details first.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3

Jenoli42

Well Known Member
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
830
Points
98
Experience
4 years
david1978 said:
the ones that annoy me the most are ones that one of our more trusted fish keepers is helping someone out and someone new to the site jumps in with something off the wall as an easy fix but can be very detrimental to the tank with out getting all the details first.
totally! i've seen that and generally they fall into two categories:

1. they got lots of help recently on our forum and are eager to help quickly...these ones typically reply and say "nm what i posted, trust the well trusted person" or "oh, i didn't think of that" when someone gently corrects their off the wall part

OR

2. someone who just joined who has cycled a few tanks themselves and never had problems who thinks they know more without finding out all the detail. they generally argue and confuse newbies.

i actually feel that a few newbies disengage once those discussions happen on their thread...
 

JoeCamaro

Well Known Member
Messages
932
Reaction score
743
Points
138
Experience
1 year
I don't know, but there is another option:

They come with a problem (or many problems), create a thread, ask a bunch of questions, but when answers are given and they do not match what the expected, they get mad and leave.

I stay away from posts like that because they start answering (incorrectly) their own questions based on what they expect to hear.

Makes me wonder, "If you already "know" the answer, then why ask? If you don't actually want advice, then why post?".
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5

Jenoli42

Well Known Member
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
830
Points
98
Experience
4 years
JoeCamaro said:
I don't know, but there is another option:

They come with a problem (or many problems), create a thread, ask a bunch of questions, but when answers are given and they do not match what the expected, they get mad and leave.

I stay away from posts like that because they start answering (incorrectly) their own questions based on what they expect to hear.

Makes me wonder, "If you already "know" the answer, then why ask? If you don't actually want advice, then why post?".
Yeah there was one like that in the last couple weeks that went septic... first person i ever "ignored"

I love this forum because there seems to be the least amount of "trolls" but i still hate to see lovely members who are offering good advice get nothing but rudeness back...
 

scarface

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,912
Reaction score
7,352
Points
598
Experience
Just started
I agree, especially with the first two and number 4. It’s kind of why I usually avoid certain threads and topics because I feel it can be a bit of an information overload, and I rather not add to it when twenty other people have already posted essentially the same thing.

I also think it might be short attention spans too. People just get bored and move on before they even really get started.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7

Jenoli42

Well Known Member
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
830
Points
98
Experience
4 years
scarface said:
I agree, especially with the first two and number 4. It’s kind of why I usually avoid certain threads and topics because I feel it can be a bit of an information overload, and I rather not add to it when twenty other people have already posted essentially the same thing.

I also think it might be short attention spans too. People just get bored and move on before they even really get started.
Yeah, i've totally seen the attention span thing! and the info overload... i've accidentally added to that before. ops: I can't get the app to log me in, so i have accidentally posted long-winded thorough advice after someone else has posted something similar because my phone doesn't tell me "someone has posted on this thread since you loaded the page" like the laptop does with the website version. i always feel bad doing that... because i tend to go through and give "agrees" and other ratings when others are giving the right advice so that the OP knows to trust it.
 

Ginni

New Member
Messages
18
Reaction score
4
Points
3
And as a newbie my self i would never give any advice to someone if another person gave them same advice as i would give i might be a newbie on the forum but I'm definitely not new in owning aquariums in my life time i even learned how from my father who owned two freshwater aquariums and one salt water aquarium although i did learn i don't want a salt water aquarium my self due to all the extra maintenance salt water aquariums take lol
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9

Jenoli42

Well Known Member
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
830
Points
98
Experience
4 years
Gah I just found another bullet point for the list that must drive the experienced gurus on here insane... very muchalong the lines of what @JoeCamaro said above:
  • ask about problems, don't like answer, ignore answer, create more problems, wait a few weeks & post a new thread on a different part of the forum to seek advice they want to hear to solve the new compounded problems they created.
tbf I didn't create this thread only to vent... although that's fine I also created it to reflect & get better at discerning those who truly want help from those who it seems don't....
 

BluefishEly

New Member
Messages
16
Reaction score
13
Points
3
Experience
5 years
I don’t know. I lurked this forum for quite a while before I joined. Since then I find it to be all over the place and rather chilly. Great advice given here. I am sure the moderators spend countless hours keeping it running. But I have had and seen very simple posts straight to the point just sit there for weeks with no answer. Then very vague posts go so far off the rails with replies that you can’t even remember what the original post is about. FWIW.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12

Jenoli42

Well Known Member
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
830
Points
98
Experience
4 years
I'm sorry that's been your experience... but I appreciate you sharing & hope to be the first to answer a thread of yours in the future if I can help
 

Algonquin

Well Known Member
Messages
1,267
Reaction score
908
Points
148
Experience
2 years
I think sometimes newbies to the forum might get scared off when they are told casually to 'rehome their fish' or 'get a bigger tank' when that isn't really an option for a lot of people (or at least not an easy one). For more experienced fishkeepers that have multiple tanks and are 'well connected' to a local community in the hobby, those may seem like obvious solutions to the common stocking issues many newbies unknowingly come to the forum with.
Of course most people offering advice on this forum have the best of intentions, but perhaps their advice is not always interpreted that way. Just my 2 cents
And great idea for a thread Jenoli42, it's always good to get a potentially productive dialogue going!!!
 

CanadianFishFan

Well Known Member
Messages
3,408
Reaction score
2,158
Points
298
Experience
3 years
I had some newbie who asked me questions on my betta who had a fungus and they never replied back when i answered them mins after. There for my thread was no longer in the unanswered section and got moved further down the "New posts" thread. I waited for 2weeks and re did the thread and couple hours after the thread my fav betta died.... I also hate when the newbies say "HELP! Betta has finrot" And then they give us no info.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #15

Jenoli42

Well Known Member
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
830
Points
98
Experience
4 years
Algonquin said:
I think sometimes newbies to the forum might get scared off when they are told casually to 'rehome their fish' or 'get a bigger tank' when that isn't really an option for a lot of people (or at least not an easy one). For more experienced fishkeepers that have multiple tanks and are 'well connected' to a local community in the hobby, those may seem like obvious solutions to the common stocking issues many newbies unknowingly come to the forum with.
Of course most people offering advice on this forum have the best of intentions, but perhaps their advice is not always interpreted that way. Just my 2 cents
And great idea for a thread Jenoli42, it's always good to get a potentially productive dialogue going!!!
Thanks! I find myself wondering "whatever happened to the dude whose filter flooded his wood floors" or "I wonder how the woman left high and dry with her exes live bearers got on" & I've gone back to follow-up sometimes. but sometimes i see a newbies thread flooded with excellent advice but never see them post after their initial question. those are the ones I reflect on how we approach them when they've reached out.

I think you're quite right - I tend to look at their age before suggesting bigger investments. but there are awesome diy people on here who can turn a plastic tub into an aquarium on the smell of an oily rag. sometimes we hafta get creative to keep them engaged I reckon
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
9,290
Reaction score
8,071
Points
608
Experience
More than 10 years
Great thread @Jenoli42 Sorry it took me so long to find it. Internet crashed and I felt like I was thrown back into the dark ages fortunately I am back up and running.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #17

Jenoli42

Well Known Member
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
830
Points
98
Experience
4 years
mattgirl said:
Great thread @Jenoli42 Sorry it took me so long to find it. Internet crashed and I felt like I was thrown back into the dark ages fortunately I am back up and running.
oh no! I'm all for unplugging once in a while but I am addicted to the internet I will admit. and i can't handle involuntary unexpected internet crashes... lolz

good to have you here now
 

scarface

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,912
Reaction score
7,352
Points
598
Experience
Just started
Algonquin said:
I think sometimes newbies to the forum might get scared off when they are told casually to 'rehome their fish' or 'get a bigger tank' when that isn't really an option for a lot of people (or at least not an easy one).
This. You’ll never hear me tell someone to rehome their fish. That doesn’t mean I’m completely against it, as long as it’s done tactfully. Unfortunately, a lot of times it’s not. This is how I see it: would you tell someone to get rid of their fish in a casual and abrupt manner face to face, in real life, not behind a computer or phone screen? I wouldn’t.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
9,290
Reaction score
8,071
Points
608
Experience
More than 10 years
Jenoli42 said:
oh no! I'm all for unplugging once in a while but I am addicted to the internet I will admit. and i can't handle involuntary unexpected internet crashes... lolz

good to have you here now
Totally off topic Hubby can usually get us right back up and running but not this time. Our ISP actually had to send a service tech out this time to upgrade our line to the new system. They sent us a new modem a week or so ago and it appeared to be working good but then crashed. We were still back in the dark ages (not back as far as dial up though) as far as speed and didn't even notice it. I can't believe how much faster it is now.

Pages load so much faster but I still type slower than molasses in winter.
 

WTFish?

Well Known Member
Messages
3,628
Reaction score
3,002
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
Interesting thread for sure. I’ve seen it go both ways, newbies not getting the answer they want to hear so they get defensive or just move on and well known “know-it-alls” get a bit snippy to someone who doesn’t have the innate fishkeeping knowledge that they obviously do, it’s sad really, on both parts. I’ve also seen many great members with actual knowledge and have given helpful advice get banned for reasons I’ll never understand....
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom