Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

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DIAMONDBACK DAVE
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Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by DIAMONDBACK DAVE » September 22nd, 2011, 2:05 pm

I am loath to make large posts anymore because I am hessitant to share, even if only through pictures, accounts of my field herping expliots because I do not want to attract attention not only from the mega newbie cohert but from other classes of people as well, such as the hunter, rattlesnake roundupper crowds, secondly I do not want to induce large scale pressure from herpers to certion spots or regions where I am active.. I am just not comfortable making a post with 40 EDBs in it from this year ( with habitat wide angle shots..etc.) and having it viewable to just anybody, having open discussions about certian issues such as distributions, population densities and habitats that are open to public viewing as well makes me uncomfortable...

. I know many people here share the same sentiments....

Why not have a closed private forum...?, right here on FieldHerperForum, only accessed by closed membership, and construed of active, conservation minded herpers of good reputation. Think about it for a minute, how much Incentive would that give the new persons,... who 'want" to be 'in" ...and knowing it is an invation only forum given special status to those who present worthwhile content, and conduct themeselves in a ethical manner, both in the field and out....? How much more "Elite" would the make the whole site as well....?
Invitaion would come from members already within the closed forum and of course on a limited basis..ie 1 or 2 invitations given out each year by each member.....? Why not give new members here something to work for, and essentially weed out the novice, image, or attention seekers from the conservation minded, died in the wool herpers who have something worthwhile to share?

Lost of people have dropped off the forum because it is no longer a positive thing, and much if not most of that is from its huge membership base.....it is a simple product of attracting too many people that you attract a greater percentage of bad apples, if you dont believe me consider the normal comment thread on Youtube videos and then call that "positive"......?

Everybody here know facebook has become the new "Forum" but it is limited in its ability to present good content and discussion, becomes buried quickly, slow and subject to too much format change... lets bring the forum members back, buts let do it with piose, and make it secure and rewarding.
DBD

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Brandon La Forest
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Brandon La Forest » September 22nd, 2011, 2:18 pm

This is a good idea....in theory. This has been tried before and no matter how novel the idea people with bad intentions, rookies ect ect... will find their way in...they always do. I share your feelings about not posting, (I haven't posted pics here in 3-4 years). Most people will weed out info from photos even if they show very little....Such a shame to since all the best herpers have so much to share, however i prefer that they don't....

Peace

-Brandon-

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gbin
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by gbin » September 22nd, 2011, 2:19 pm

As I replied where you posted this idea on the Board Line, Dave, I definitely think you should create and run such a website yourself. That way you can have the best possible control over who should and shouldn't be considered "active, conservation minded herpers of good reputation."

See ya'!

Gerry

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by DIAMONDBACK DAVE » September 22nd, 2011, 3:31 pm

Good idea Jerry, but i have no intention to "have the best possible control over who should and shouldn't be considered "active, conservation minded herpers of good reputation"......this would be decided upon by each member already in the private forum...hence the ability for members to invite others.....

DBD

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gbin
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by gbin » September 22nd, 2011, 3:48 pm

Yeah, I read your original post. It was rather lacking in detail on who was going to be entrusted with deciding your new club's initial membership. I'm sure you wouldn't want any mistakes to be made at that crucial, early stage - after all, if any of the riffraff that you're trying to exclude managed to sneak in right from the start, the whole club would be ruined!

Much safer to run with your idea yourself, elsewhere...

Gerry

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Dan Krull
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Dan Krull » September 22nd, 2011, 4:07 pm

I understand your point of view Dave, and you have good reason to be concerned about protecting the areas where you herp, but if I may offer a counter suggestion.

People will always be attracted to field herping and begin pursuing it. They will go in the field, do research and find animals. Having a private forum won't stop newbs from becoming newbs, and going herping, but what it will do is remove the positive influence of more experienced herpers.

We all started out as newbs, and the best herpers here, I believe, are the ones who found mentors to guide them and teach them. For myself it was my good friend Roy Engeldorf. When I met him I was finding copperheads and ringnecks and little else... IN KANSAS. Like the easiest place on Earth to find herps!

He showed me how and where to look, but more than that, he taught me the ethics of field herping and collecting.

Without his influence I wouldn't have learned the importance of re-seating rocks, keeping spots secret and a myriad of other ethical considerations.

While I think it would be EASIER for us to exclude newbs, and have a private forum, with a public forum we have the chance to build and maintain a community of herpers that is welcoming and instructional.

Look at the post Chad dropped at the top of the page. In it, he suggests that we should adopt some uniform ethical field herping principals. Great idea!

Rather than closing the forum, if we are to make a change, why don't we change that! Why don't we make part of the entire point of the forum the education of newbs.



I think one of the best things about field herp forum is that it is one forum. ONE SINGLE FORUM where 12 year old kids who just found their first ringneck can post along side prominent, professional herpetologists, and passionate life-long field herpers.

You don't want to read the posts from new guys with their first ringneck? Don't click on those posts!

Scott Waters created and provides this forum for EVERYONE at great personal stress and cost, and has never asked anything back from the community except this: That we all post our field reports on ONE forum where we can all be part of ONE community.

That's why there is no "kids corner." That's why you are discouraged from posting field trips in your regional forums or N.A.F.A. forums, because in the long run, our entire hobby and community is strengthened by being placed here together.

Thanks for listening,

DAN

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Daryl Eby
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Daryl Eby » September 22nd, 2011, 4:25 pm

DIAMONDBACK DAVE wrote:. I know many people here share the same sentiments....
I do share your concern about giving out too much info. However, I think the idea of a closed "elite" forum could backfire.
Why not have a closed private forum...?, right here on FieldHerperForum, only accessed by closed membership, and construed of active, conservation minded herpers of good reputation.
Problem is that some reputations (good or bad) are undeserved. Also, people change. The person you thought was trustworthy and conservation minded may turn out to be a slimy poacher.
Think about it for a minute, how much Incentive would that give the new persons,... who 'want" to be 'in" ...and knowing it is an invation only forum given special status to those who present worthwhile content, and conduct themeselves in a ethical manner, both in the field and out....?
Yep. It would have that effect on many. Unfortunately, it could also result in some poachers and commercial collectors "acting" ethical so they can get profitable info.
How much more "Elite" would the make the whole site as well....?
I've never been a big fan of "Elite".
Invitaion would come from members already within the closed forum and of course on a limited basis..ie 1 or 2 invitations given out each year by each member.....?
Sounds good, but eventually a member or two will unknowingly invite the "wrong" type of person. Once that happens, all of the sensitive info that was shared with "trusted" herpers will fall into the "wrong" hands.
Why not give new members here something to work for, and essentially weed out the novice, image, or attention seekers from the conservation minded, died in the wool herpers who have something worthwhile to share?
Again, an excellent goal, but easily exploited by a patient and conniving wildlife profiteer.
Lost of people have dropped off the forum because it is no longer a positive thing, and much if not most of that is from its huge membership base...
It is true and very unfortunate that some folks have left. However, as you point out, many more keep joining. Some good, some bad. We all have a chance to influence which members stay or go based on how we respond to them. We also have a chance to influence their behavior. Of course, we can only do that by interacting with them. We wont have much influence if we hide from the masses.

EDIT: Just read Dan's post. Ditto everything he said!

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by azatrox » September 22nd, 2011, 4:28 pm

Dave...

Interesting topic...I certainly share your concern over the ethics of herping and herpers, and on it's surface a place where only a select group of people can get together and talk without fear of a "leak" or "giving out too much info" seems to me to be a good idea...

I do however have concerns about a "private, members only" type structure. As has already been mentioned (by you I believe) I do think that creating such a structure under the shield of the FHF would create a perception of elitism that many here are guarded against...Whether or not such elitism actually exists would be secondary to the perception that it exists.

Second, as Dan pointed out, we were all "rooks" at one point...we all were once at that stage where we didn't know much about these animals or how/when/where to find them and benefited from the knowledge/instruction of others. My concern here is that the perception of a "members only" type of structure might inadvertently alienate some "rooks" that really share a lot of the same views seasoned herpers do and (if given time) may actually make positive, substantive contributions to the world of herping in the future.

If these concerns could somehow be addressed, then I think a members only type scenario could be a positive thing.

-Kris

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BChambers
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by BChambers » September 22nd, 2011, 5:25 pm

Such an idea is antithetical to that which I believe should be the inclusive ethos of the Herp Nation as a whole, while also being doomed to almost immediate and inevitable failure as a practical undertaking. A bad and counterproductive concept on every level. There's no way to do it without throwing just about all our babies out with the bathwater.

All the concerns enumerated as justification for a "private" (or even worse, "elite") forum can better be addressed by education and peer-group encouragement of a consistent code of ethics.

I would, however, support remedial instruction in english composition and spelling for certain forum members ;)

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Josh Holbrook » September 22nd, 2011, 5:29 pm

Daryl Eby wrote:Problem is that some reputations (good or bad) are undeserved. Also, people change. The person you thought was trustworthy and conservation minded may turn out to be a slimy poacher.
Excellent point. I know there's one kid here who annoyed the crap out of me when he first started posting, but has seemed to become a pretty good herper. Everyone grows. I think FHF has a pretty sage way of going about localities and whatnot. Will it need to evolve? Certainly. But I'm a firm believer in discipleship - even in the realm of field herping - as well as learning to deal with people who may be diametrically opposed to my mentality.

-Josh

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Dan Krull
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Dan Krull » September 22nd, 2011, 6:12 pm

I don't think that we should turn this into a Dave bashing session guys. Part of being an educational forum is trying at all times to keep a positive, constructive air to our communications.

Dave brings up a really great point. It is a conversation that must be had. We shouldn't verbally spank him for bringing it up. He is certainly not the only person that has thought of this.

The great thing about open, constructive discussions is that there is always a chance that the other person might change their mind once they have heard your point of view. If you start off by personally attacking while making your point, your point will not carry as much weight.

A perfect example, as cited by many, are the Herper123 posts. Is the guy a newb? Obviously. Does he ACT like he knows what he's doing? Sure. But, when he posted on here he realized very quickly that you must know your stuff to wow this crowd.

One of two things will happen with that kid now.

1. He will keep making asinine videos, and show them to people who don't know what they are talking about, and gain an audience that way... OR

2. He will take our suggestions and work to impress us. Over time, his videos, his knowledge, and his perspective may grow and change.

If you get on here and call him "Scared Bitch Project" Option Number 1. is going to look really good to him.

If you say,"good effort, but here's how you can improve," we have a shot at option 2.


The same goes for posts like Dave's. Diamondback Dave is an extremely serious, and experienced field herper. He posts some amazing stuff, and while I've never met him in person, I've heard from many people that he is hardcore.

In short: he deserves our respect. By all means disagree with him (thereby agreeing with me! :thumb: ) , but do so in a constructive, and respectful way.

Thanks,
Dan

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by BChambers » September 22nd, 2011, 6:38 pm

Dan, I apologize if my objections were too strongly worded. But I have to say the more I think about this idea, the more reprehensible I find it. Regardless of the severity (which I think is at least debatable) of the problem it seeks to address, it's just the opposite of the direction I feel we've quite rightly been heading. But you're right, I want to make it clear I'm attacking Dave's idea, not himself.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by gbin » September 22nd, 2011, 6:43 pm

I'll respectfully disagree with you, Dan. ;)

Dave might be a right studly field herper - in fact I too have enjoyed some of his posts on his exploits - but that doesn't by any means equate to his every idea being worthy of respect. On the contrary, I see this latest idea of his, that an exclusive club be formed here from what he sees as the right kind of field herpers (still waiting to hear your thoughts on the initial membership of that club, Dave), offensive and counterproductive in the extreme. I'm sure that I'm far from alone in holding that view, too.

If it makes Dave or anyone else feel better, I'm sure some of my ideas merit being slammed, too. That doesn't make him or me bad people; it just reflects the fact that they're bad (or in the case under discussion, horrendous) ideas.

Gerry

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Dan Krull
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Dan Krull » September 22nd, 2011, 6:53 pm

gbin wrote:I'll respectfully disagree with you, Dan. ;)

Dave might be a right studly field herper - in fact I too have enjoyed some of his posts on his exploits - but that doesn't by any means equate to his every idea being worthy of respect. On the contrary, I see this latest idea of his, that an exclusive club be formed here from what he sees as the right kind of field herpers (still waiting to hear your thoughts on the initial membership of that club, Dave), offensive and counterproductive in the extreme. I'm sure that I'm far from alone in holding that view, too.

If it makes Dave or anyone else feel better, I'm sure some of my ideas merit being slammed, too. That doesn't make him or me bad people; it just reflects the fact that they're bad (or in the case under discussion, horrendous) ideas.

Gerry
Let me clarify.

Dave is worthy of respect, not his every idea. Because he is a field herper of great accomplishment, someone that people I know would vouch for personally, and a long time contributing member to this forum, we should respect him personally.

That means he should no be belittled, or attacked personally, his ideas not withstanding. I disagree with his idea, and I said so, but I didn't kick him in the balls while doing it, because he is one of us.


His idea, not all his ideas but this one, is worth listening to and discussing for several reasons.

1. Dave is not the first guy to think it, or even the first to post and suggest it.

2. Lot's of people have left, and may leave this forum for the concerns that he is addressing

3. There are private forums in existence, and the idea does work.


We should take the time to explain why we think the idea is bad or good for this forum, because it helps make this forum what it is when we do it.

As we discuss, calmly and constructively, we strengthen our beliefs about the given topic, and we set up the framework of our community.

DNA

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gbin
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by gbin » September 22nd, 2011, 7:07 pm

Dan Krull wrote:His idea... is worth listening to and discussing...
Sorry, Dan, but I vehemently disagree - and I firmly believe I have as much of a right to do so as he did to post his idea.

But sure, let's get this discussion rolling. Hmmm, where to start?... Oh, I know, with the question that I've asked him a number of times now and that he hasn't answered - but that is essential to his entire idea:

Exactly who is to be entrusted with deciding this exclusive club's initial membership, and exactly what criteria will s/he apply to do so?

Good luck with that! :roll:

Gerry

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by joeysgreen » September 22nd, 2011, 7:15 pm

Sign me up as a Dan fan because I ditto'd every one of his posts.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Daryl Eby » September 22nd, 2011, 7:29 pm

I've had the honor of meeting DBD. He is indeed a serious, accomplished, and ethical field herper. He is also a very distinguished poster on this forum. His finds, photos and accomplishments are nothing short of inspirational. Also, his intentions in suggesting a private forum are very worthwhile. Unfortunately, I think that the potential unintended consequences outweigh the potential benefits. Does this make Dave a bad guy or an idiot? Absolutely NOT. For that matter, it is possible(though I think unlikely ;) ) that he is right and I'm wrong.

The idea is worthy of discussion. In particular, I'd like to hear suggestions of other ways that some of Dave's concerns (disclosing sensitive info, reducing distracting and negative or counterproductive threads, avoiding the loss of accomplished herpers, attracting input from accomplished herpers, etc) can be met.

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Dan Krull
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Dan Krull » September 22nd, 2011, 7:33 pm

My two cents on Gerry's point:

Although relentlessly snippy :P , Gerry makes a great point. How does one found this private forum, and prevent it from being contaminated? It is an interesting question. When Dave gets back on, perhaps he could suggest his method.

My method is as such: If you were to do the private, elite forum thing, you would probably have to start over at the bottom and build it a person at a time. Perhaps even have discussions, or voting with those who are already members deciding whether or not to allow those that are invited in. I was a member of a private milksnake forum once.
It was handled just like that.

It is worth saying that the forum I mentioned died from lack of posts. (One problem with a private forum is lack of diversity, and low post rates)

That being said, I don't think that method would work with FHF. Even if we picked 20 people to "found" the new elite forum, what would the hundreds of other posters do while they waited to be invited, or vetted?

The third option is to create a separate, elite forum right here on FHF that is password protected, and leave the main forum for the newbs, poachers, and law enforcers.

That might work, but, if I may refer to my own post from above, you go against the founding principles of Field Herp Forum by doing so.

Joey- Thanks.
Brad- If I didn't mention it before, no need to apologize to ME. You, and Gerry are just passionate about this forum. My intention was more to curb the FUTURE posts that might slam Dave hard, more than slap the PAST posts on the hand. I realize it is not my position on this forum to do that, but I've been a diplomat since I was 2 years old. I can't help but break up fights. Which isn't always good. Some people only come to the forum for fights!

DAN

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by MHollanders » September 22nd, 2011, 7:34 pm

Sounds rather elitist to make a Business Lounge on FieldHerpForum. FHF is for newbies to get started in the hobby... Jesus if photography was anything like herping you couldn't find a lens review with a Google search, not to mention a website like Strobist.

Also, I don't fully understand how posting photos of animals (if there's no habitat included) gives away anything about it. People don't know when, how, or where the animals were found. Furthermore, information can be found in books and journal articles that is not displayed in photographs of animals. I don't understand why DBD can't post the rattlesnakes he's seen this year, no matter where they came from. If it's such a big deal, don't post the location...

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by reptilist » September 22nd, 2011, 7:36 pm

Clique on the link?

Not for me thanks. I got facebook.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by MHollanders » September 22nd, 2011, 7:39 pm

BChambers wrote:I would, however, support remedial instruction in english composition and spelling for certain forum members ;)
Word up!

The way one's grammer affects the overal image of their intelligence is tremendous.

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umop apisdn
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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by umop apisdn » September 22nd, 2011, 7:42 pm

So why are you so concerned about sharing these photos on the forum when they appear on your website, viewable by anyone who knows how to type fieldherping.com?

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Greg Theos » September 22nd, 2011, 7:47 pm

MHollanders wrote:
BChambers wrote:I would, however, support remedial instruction in english composition and spelling for certain forum members ;)
Word up!

The way one's grammer affects the overal image of their intelligence is tremendous.
Yeah...the same way spelling skills reflect on one's intelligence.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Retes » September 22nd, 2011, 7:51 pm

there is a huge problem with "to much data"

When I was young, we gooned, that is, we found snakes here and there and crossing roads. As we worked in the field, we learned more, then way more.

But for years, this way more, the actual reproductive stradgy of many snake species, was not talked about. not shared

The reason is, this knowledge is the most sensitive and can and is abused.

This forum is full of very very sensitive information. Sensitive to well being of the groups of snakes being broadcast over the internet.

At times, the folks doing the broadcasting do not even understand what they are looking at. Like all the gravid timbers, Folks that is something that should not be put out for everyone to see.

I talked with one ex member of this forum and that person said, it was so easy to go from a beginer to an expert. You can find out anything you want. Folks that is dangerous.

Its a very sensitive subject, to much information is bad for the animals, and too little is also bad.

Such things as the actual reproductive stradgy and the ACTUAL numbers(much higher then most think) need to be known, as its these areas that need to be protected, you know, where they breed. These areas are key to populations.

But these areas are also so easy to exploit.

I work with gilas and observing five to ten gravid gilas a day is normal. And very exploitable. So I keep it to myself.

I do not know what to do about this other then keep it to ourselves, and hope others do as well.

But sadly that is not happening. This forum is full of information that be used to exploit the animals, with no safeguards what so ever.

So yes, Dave as a point. a real important point. I do not know the answer but I think the owners of this site need to sit down and think about where all this is leading. Cheers

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by MHollanders » September 22nd, 2011, 7:55 pm

Greg Theos wrote:
MHollanders wrote:
BChambers wrote:I would, however, support remedial instruction in english composition and spelling for certain forum members ;)
Word up!

The way one's grammer affects the overal image of their intelligence is tremendous.
Yeah...the same way spelling skills reflect on one's intelligence.
LOL! I will plead ignorance as English is my second language. ;)

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Daryl Eby » September 22nd, 2011, 8:02 pm

MHollanders wrote:Also, I don't fully understand how posting photos of animals (if there's no habitat included) gives away anything about it. People don't know when, how, or where the animals were found.
I've been amazed at how much some people can figure out from a typical field herp photo. Any decent field photo will invariably show some habitat. Soil, rocks, and rock formations can often reveal a location, if the viewer is familiar with the region and keenly observant. Plant matter (living and dead) can reveal astonishing habitat detail, seasonal, and locality info to folks that know their plants. Dates and timestamps (even shadows) can reveal when the animals where found. Flipped or disturbed cover items can reveal how the animals were found. Multiply all of these possibly revealing details by the number of photos shown and add in the occasional scenery shot and it becomes easy to imagine how an industrious lurker could use a large post about a specific trip to pin point a general or even very specific locality and hunting techniques. Caution is never a bad idea. Careful cropping, photo selection, and maybe even throwing in an outlier photo or two is definitely worth the effort.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by ChrisNM » September 22nd, 2011, 8:06 pm

Dave...this has been done outside of FHF. I won't name the private forum(s) that I was priviledged enough to be invited to, but those forums have been defunct for some time now due to unscrupulous individuals sharing priviledged information/finds outside of said forums. One such forum was supposedly restarted, and a member here whom I consider quite upstanding told me about it restarting, but I've yet to be offered an invite back.

What I find just as annoying is when I share some info, only to not have the favor returned or to find out others I know were told. The best example I can give of this involves a snake I PM'd you about last year after you posted photos of finding that certain snake. Weeks later I'd meet up with a NAFHA president, only to find out he knew of your location, via you, which ironically happened to be the location I knew of and had been herping in hopes of finding that snake since March of 2005.

Situations like this, sentiment like that which you've voiced in your OP, the mere fact that I don't like some of the forum politics/cliques, and the sad fact that I'm male (i.e., I don't have tits, so my photo "stories" don't get tons of replies from leg humpers) has kept me from feeling obligated to share many/any of my photos for the now last 2 years. I actually got to a point where I almost exclusively posted photos only to the private forums I was once priviledged on, but one in particular was way more exciting to lurk on since many of my NM finds paled in comparison to those on that forum.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by BChambers » September 22nd, 2011, 8:07 pm

Daryl, we're lucky to live in Texas-the most one could figure out from the majority of our photos is which grade of asphalt the county road crew is using :lol:

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Daryl Eby » September 22nd, 2011, 8:12 pm

BChambers wrote:Daryl, we're lucky to live in Texas-the most one could figure out from the majority of our photos is which grade of asphalt the county road crew is using :lol:
So true. So sad. :lol:

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by hellihooks » September 22nd, 2011, 10:34 pm

The NAFHA now has a 'Members Only' Forum... But you gotta enter data in H.E.R.P, and be a chapter member, to access it. I was invited to join one of the 'private forums'... but I like it here, where I can, by teaching the next generation, give 'something back' to the herps I love. Private forums only benefit the people in them... kinda like a circle jerk... :crazyeyes: :D jim

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Dan Krull » September 22nd, 2011, 11:09 pm

Why would NAFHA need its own forum? That doesn't seem to make sense. They have forums right here on FHF.com to discuss their business, and the main forum to post field trips. How would another forum benefit them? That seems weird to me...?

Dan

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Crote Junky » September 22nd, 2011, 11:41 pm

Private or not!!! I WILL find you best snake holes and hunt them vigorously !!!!!!!!!
:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by ChrisNM » September 23rd, 2011, 4:38 am

hellihooks wrote:The NAFHA now has a 'Members Only' Forum... But you gotta enter data in H.E.R.P, and be a chapter member, to access it. I was invited to join one of the 'private forums'... but I like it here, where I can, by teaching the next generation, give 'something back' to the herps I love. Private forums only benefit the people in them... kinda like a circle jerk... :crazyeyes: :D jim

So, hypothetically, if one were to rape, plunder, and pillage spots in the name of entering data into H.E.R.P/NAFHA/NAHERP and was a member of a NAFHA chapter they could access a members only forum, but if one were an upstanding steward of herping, maybe or maybe not collecting an animal here or there for personal use, is or isn't a chapter member but is a member of FHF, yet chooses not to enter data into HERP/NAFHA/NAHERP, then they don't get access to the "elite" NAFHA forum that the rape, plunder, and pillager gets access to?

I'll take the risk of the circle jerk of assumed participants with ethical and moral standards, though as I've said, those forums I was at least on closed due to invitees leaking information out of the forums. One such forum had Crotalus lannomi / eriksmithi leaked from it, and funny enough that info was "old news" and posted as a test to find the leak.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Don Becker » September 23rd, 2011, 5:15 am

hellihooks wrote:The NAFHA now has a 'Members Only' Forum... But you gotta enter data in H.E.R.P, and be a chapter member, to access it.
Just have to be a chapter member.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » September 23rd, 2011, 5:26 am

:?

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by ugh » September 23rd, 2011, 5:36 am

David-i haven't read this whole thing but dude with all due respect-I gotta ask why do you need an f'in forum at all?
I seriously don't get it.Someone as knowledgable as you has more to 'lose' than gain from other on here these days anyway right?

Besides what's wrong with good old fashioned private personal communication,when you actually know who's hearing/seing what you feel this overwhelming need to share?
I don't get it,I pretty much thought folks grew out of that stage after a while.But hey to each his own.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by hellihooks » September 23rd, 2011, 6:02 am

Dan Krull wrote:Why would NAFHA need its own forum? That doesn't seem to make sense. They have forums right here on FHF.com to discuss their business, and the main forum to post field trips. How would another forum benefit them? That seems weird to me...?

Dan
The member's only forum is for topics and field reports that are perhaps too sensitive for full public posting. A membership in NAFHA demonstrates (by the quality and quantity of data entered) a commitment to the ideals expressed in our bylaws....which I think are pretty good. It's not that huge a group, and most members are known to each other, at least on a chapter basis. We, as a group, are committed to being law-abiding and ethical. I DON"T see those kind of ideals expressed by members of 'private networks'... in fact, my impression has been that some of the 'privateers' are if anything, more likely to bend or break laws... thinking themselves the 'elite'. :shock: Me... I got nothing to hide...
I'm working all day and herping tonight, and it's not my intent to start a big sh!Tstorm... just my opinion. I'll take the transparency and openness of NAFHA (including it's provisions to expel members for flagrent law-breaking) over the private networks any day. jim

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Paul White » September 23rd, 2011, 6:29 am

Daryl, we're lucky to live in Texas-the most one could figure out from the majority of our photos is which grade of asphalt the county road crew is using


So true. So sad.
Not true. They can tell mesquite and prickly pear are found in some of the same area as C. atrox and C. collaris :lol:

My suspicion is that someone industrious and flat good enough to piece stuff together like Daryl described is probably going to be fairly good even without the photos and forums like this.

I'm 100% happy with this form being high quality herp porn--lots of good pictures and the occasional exciting story. I like seeing what others find...I try and ignore the politics. It's not like I'm gonna get the chance, for instance, to go pilfer Taiwan by using Han's stuff anyhow.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Mike Pingleton » September 23rd, 2011, 6:44 am

Paul White wrote: My suspicion is that someone industrious and flat good enough to piece stuff together like Daryl described is probably going to be fairly good even without the photos and forums like this.
I agree. There's plenty of technology available today to aid anyone with a little time and determination.
Paul White wrote: I'm 100% happy with this form being high quality herp porn--lots of good pictures and the occasional exciting story. I like seeing what others find...I try and ignore the politics. It's not like I'm gonna get the chance, for instance, to go pilfer Taiwan by using Han's stuff anyhow.
Agreed on all points.

Mike

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by ugh » September 23rd, 2011, 7:31 am

hellihooks wrote:. A membership in NAFHA demonstrates (by the quality and quantity of data entered) a commitment to the ideals expressed in our bylaws....which I think are pretty good. It's not that huge a group, and most members are known to each other, at least on a chapter basis. We, as a group, are committed to being law-abiding and ethical........ I'll take the transparency and openness of NAFHA (including it's provisions to expel members for flagrent law-breaking) over the private networks any day. jim

And not to get sidetracked here but since you brought it up-
What the F$%k does anyone know about any other fellow NAFHA members?

Other than the fact they occasionally enter some of their finds on that database website?
You use the term 'Ethical'-compared to what?By whose definition of the term 'ethical'?
Ethical meaning,
-they won't collect what they find there?
-they follow every bylaw of NAFHA to the letter?
-they won't tell a soul about the spot or what they find there?
-they will only tell their single most very bestest bestest herp-buddy?
-their buddy won't share it with anyone?
-their buddy will only tell his or her best best buddy?etc. etc.

Ridiculous,that this question/point needs to be raised or spelled out to anyone here.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by JAMAUGHN » September 23rd, 2011, 8:25 am

I don't know if this will be helpful or not, but that's the spirit in which I offer it, so please keep that in mind...

It seems as though this idea of a private forum is intended to address two perceived problems. On one hand, there's all the posts like mine, that can cause involuntary eye-rolls when the pictures start loading ("oh look, it's a fence lizard..."). On the other, there's the stickier problem of people abusing forums such as these to pilfer and poach and otherwise engage in unethical behavior. I'm not sure it makes sense to bundle these together, and I wonder if trying to address these issues separately would be more efficacious.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I primarily come to this forum for the sense of community and camaraderie it provides (I don't have herping buddies. Most my hiking partners can't understand why I keep taking pictures of fence lizards...) and also to enjoy some high-quality herp porn. I know I wouldn't be adverse to a forum or a subforum where I could look at the really experienced herpers' photos, but couldn't post myself. That wouldn't address the ethical issue, but it might help the other, at least for a while.

All the best,
JimM

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by chad ks » September 23rd, 2011, 8:52 am

I agree with Gerry, Dave you should start a Crotalus forum and be the sole decider of who comes and goes. I think your judgment would be sound.

Re: posts. Folks, let's not pretend that LOCATION is the only important factor to protect within a post. The time of day and time of year and methods of search are all important information for someone, in fact some of the most important. You can have all the knowledge in the world of a hillside with lots of herps, but if you don't know how to find them and if you go at the wrong time of year than it simply will not matter.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by heavenscloud » September 23rd, 2011, 10:04 am

Mike Pingleton wrote:There's plenty of technology available today to aid anyone with a little time and determination.
Yeah, like decent field guides. It amazes me how neurotic people can be about this issue (just read any multi-page thread in the NE subforum) when there is so much data available to the lowly "n00b" with critical thinking skills and patience. I'm not saying we should broadcast information, but it's really not that hard to find.

I like the idea of an "Epic Forum" that would give anyone a shot at having their post selected and would provide incentive to produce high quality posts.

Brandon

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Brendan » September 23rd, 2011, 10:28 am

As I have shared with DD via other means of communication I think the idea is one that has been tried many times in the past and it ultimately ends in failure for one of many reasons. Even getting a sound forum like that started is going to be difficult. I have been around this forum and many others since the late 90's and have participated at different levels at different times. As time has passed I've limited my posts to a few year end wrap ups and specific trips out of the norm. I also check out just about all the threads I can involving rattlesnakes on any level. Based on this much participation how does one decide if I qualify as trustworthy and someone who would make a good addition to a private board? Although many of us communicate via this board and through FB we really don't know very much about each other. I think this makes getting started very hard.
Once the board does gain momentum it seems that in time there are always those who contribute the majority of the posts and others just sit back and lurk or add a quick "nice job" on rare occasions. Eventually those who take the time to put together a decent thread get tired and stop posting and the board just goes dead.

Security is always an issue especially if it's known there is a private board and others who have not been invited get wind of good posts being made. Most herpers have a really hard time keeping quiet about anything of significance and let the cat out the bag to one person who tells one person and on and on.....A lot of the points that ChrisNM made are also very valid.

In the end the only way to know if it's going to work is to try it. Maybe it works for a while maybe it doesn't. My bet is on the latter but who knows.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by dragoncjo » September 23rd, 2011, 11:18 am

I agree with much of what Brendan said. In particular about how you decide who to bring onto the private forum. Personally speaking it takes me about a year and several times in the field to consider trusting someone. If I were to start a forum today I think I would have about 6 people or so I'd invite. If I were to set one up I'm relying on my sense of judgement on who is ok and forcing others to agree with that, as if my judgement is most sound. My definition of ok is different then someone else.

The hobby of herping is increasing quickly there is nothing you can do to stop it. WE have all benefited from this forum, however I'm not positive the net effect on herps has been beneficial, in fact I think that the spread of herping is a major threat to wild populations. Bottom line is you can't stop the fire from spreading but you can control how much gasoline you throw on it. I think this forum has gotten better at not disclosing sensitive details but could certainly do better. Herpers will always come here as long as there is information to be learned and will slow up in their participation once most of that info is absorbed. Whether there is a private forum somewhere it won't stop that from happening. Best thing this forum can provide is content on herping that is least disruptive to the species, enlightens people of threats, encourages working with groups for conservation and helps educate young herpers on sound/ethical/sustainable methods in the field. I would love to see this forum move away from the trophy hunting, competitive, ego boosting mentality.....which I think casts a bad impression to outsiders and trains youngster on the 'its all about ME' aspect of this hobby that I so often see.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by Mike Pingleton » September 23rd, 2011, 12:30 pm

Are these assumptions of yours, or do you have data / references?

Field herping is a 'major' threat, really? How would you rate it, compared to bulldozers, development, seven billion humans, etc.?
-Mike
dragoncjo wrote:
The hobby of herping is increasing quickly there is nothing you can do to stop it....

...in fact I think that the spread of herping is a major threat to wild populations.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by azatrox » September 23rd, 2011, 12:55 pm

Field herping is a 'major' threat, really? How would you rate it, compared to bulldozers, development, seven billion humans, etc.?
Took the words right out of my mouth Mike....
however I'm not positive the net effect on herps has been beneficial...Best thing this forum can provide is content on herping that is least disruptive to the species, enlightens people of threats, encourages working with groups for conservation and helps educate young herpers on sound/ethical/sustainable methods in the field.
And my question would be....how has this forum NOT worked towards those goals? If we concede that it has, then how could the first part of the above statement be true?

-Kris

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by VanAR » September 23rd, 2011, 1:06 pm

Are these assumptions of yours, or do you have data / references?

Field herping is a 'major' threat, really? How would you rate it, compared to bulldozers, development, seven billion humans, etc.?
Mike, these are some ideas that are becoming pretty prevalent (or at least, vocal) on some of the subforums here, which is why I mentioned in Chad's thread that collection is no longer the most controversial issue related to herp conservation here. Personally, I think its folklore, especially in light of the issues you raise. Thats just my opinion though, and its sure to piss some people off.


unrelated- it seems like this part of the discussion may better belong in Chad's thread than here

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by dragoncjo » September 23rd, 2011, 1:46 pm

Thanks for the response guys.

Mike - Personal observation and opinion, which never trumps factual data, I will say that. But in my area in the Northeast I've seen about a 300% increase in herpers over the last 3 years. I basically go to the same spots often enough and see the increase in herpers in the field. Its my opinion based on observation and this is biased and may not detect a national trend. I'd be interested in what others have witnessed in regards to increased traffic. It would be interesting to see the account activation rate growth on this site and similar ones over the years along with rates of increase in Naherp members.

Mike - in regards to the second statement. I generally dislike this comparison and hear it often over the last 10 years or so. All are threats in my opinion, just because a bulldozer is a greater threat doesn't justify another. I can't poach a turtle and then say its ok because a bulldozer cleared land in a town over, so my poaching is ok because of anothers bad decision. Similar situation I can't run a ponzi scheme eventhough the goverment runs one of greater size (social security) which is ok. ***Not comparing herping to any of these, just using as a crazy comparison to illustrate my thinking.

Major threat issue. - ALL BASED ON MY EXPERIENCES MAY NOT BE INDICATIVE OF OUR HOBBY - I think the individual benefits we provide to herps by field herping is outweighed by the disruptions we cause to the species and habitat in the short term. Long term is entirely dependent on folks willing to keep track of their data and share it with decision makers to help in the conservation of a species and the land it resides on.
- I think the amount of delicate info we broadcast on here can lead to illegal collection of a species, that is somewhat documented per Shellshock.
- I think the broadcasting of our finds creates competition with eachother which often times results in poor field etiquette (peeling bark, breaking open logs, overvisiting den sites, over flipping natural cover, overvisiting gestation sites, harassing species for a money shot etc.), all done in a urge to get the photo that can result in one's ego being boosted on here, I've seen these all the time.
- I just think the sheer amount of herpers in the field are an issue, I can't imagine having a person visting a site every weekend can't be a threat in some capacity.

Kris - ways in which this forum has not worked towards those goals, hooking up with collectors and unknowingly helping them collect a species. Revealing localities and obvious detailed information about a species. Sending thousands of people in to the field disrupting species activities and habitat with the sole goal of boosting ones ego with their pictures. I could go on.

Bottom line is I'm a herper and a member of the community. I think there are ways to minimize our impact and still allow us to enjoy the hobby. But I'm also willing to admit that much of my activity in the field and all of ours is disruptive and I just conciously try to minimize the disruption I cause.

I didn't read chad's thread I will now. Apologies for sidetracking and please remove and place over there if you want.

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Re: Private Forum or Chapter...? How do you feel..?

Post by peterknuteberg » September 23rd, 2011, 1:51 pm

Keep the forum open. I echo much of what Dan Krull states so well:
People will always be attracted to field herping and begin pursuing it. They will go in the field, do research and find animals. Having a private forum won't stop newbs from becoming newbs, and going herping, but what it will do is remove the positive influence of more experienced herpers.

We all started out as newbs, and the best herpers here, I believe, are the ones who found mentors to guide them and teach them.
I think we cannot underestimate the educational value of this forum in a positive way for conservation and the future well being of herps. Relationships are being formed on this forum which may have a profound effect on what happens in the future. Future law makers, law enforcers, judges, biologists, breeders, doctors and scientists are all in the making--some are only 11 years old right now. Surely, many wonderful and enlightening friendships have formed as a result of this "open" forum.


Ultimately, groups of people form anyway--despite the forum being "open" to all. This is only natural. There are always times and places for private discussions and for information which should remain private or protected. Discretion should be used. That's just part of being an adult and is probably something that needs to be tought to the younger ones too.

By the way, I don't think that field herping is a threat to herps--just the opposite. I think field herpers will fight to protect what they love.

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