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Free Advice On The Internet - You Usually Get What You Paid For

Discussion in 'Subscription Information' started by Mike Reed, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Lifetime Charter Member
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    by Mike Reed
    Past Editor of TFH Magazine

    It's amazing how treacherous the Internet can be if you are looking for advice about keeping tropical fishes. Every now and then, I used to visit the forums and discussion groups on "the net" and even participated in them briefly. What I saw was that in with the simple, sometimes good advice was an amazing amount of outdated advice and some downright bad advice being given to all who would read and trust it. Every now and then, somebody gave information that was startingly good and new and useful. But these gems came from intelligent and creative people and such people have limited time. The hacks that spend endless time on "the net" do not like anything new or that they disagree with - with or without evidence that it is right or wrong. So they demand "proof" of what anybody else says that they disagree with. And the more they get answers, the more they continue to harangue the contributor of the information. If you have ever wondered why you do not see well-known aquarists on the forums and discussion groups, this is the main reason. Why spend limited time trying to help when you are simply badgered for it. Better to just save the time and not participate. You can do much more, much more easily by writing an article for an aquarium magazine."

    Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Enterprises
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Free Advice On The Internet - You Usually Get What You Paid For

    Mike said what I've felt for many years, but I do not let these folks get me down, but this is a good reason why I've started this site that allows me to control the articles and the eventual book.


    Regards,

    Tom Barr
     
  3. derekparr

    derekparr Junior Poster

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    Re: Free Advice On The Internet - You Usually Get What You Paid For

    I'm glad you don't let them get you down. Because you certainly seem to attract alot of them. But then this great hobby does seem to attract several who like to keep their brains in a glass box as well. I'm farely new to this hobby and I'm no scientist type but I'm ussually able to smell unsubstantiated hogwash when it flows by. So I was pretty bummed about the info I was finding on the net until I came across Walstad's book and then APD and theKrib after doing a search on her name. At that time you were fielding quite a few objections of the sort described above. Which for me, was a good thing because it picked apart the various things you were saying. So, as I began, I'm glad you don't let it get you down, because for those with an open mind, the argueing and debate helps the understanding. Thanks.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Free Advice On The Internet - You Usually Get What You Paid For

    Some folks like to have a personal fight, some like to debate an issue.

    The debate will never get me down, the personal attacks are fine as well as long as you don't have too many going at once. They never last long becuase I don't engauge them generally and if I do, I say my peace, they are trolling and I move on. The attack reflect back on to the person, not me.
    No one attacked like Novak. It does not get any more personal than that.

    On another level...

    Some folks do not understand some things and are unwilling to trry things out or educate themselves and then blame me for not expalining it correctly.
    Blame the teacher for you not doing the homework. I get that in classrooms also, but I can handle sharp students easily. They get C's and D's. Those that do the work get A's and B's. If someone wants to learn and expand their abilities, I'll always help them.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Robert H

    Robert H Junior Poster

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    Re: Free Advice On The Internet - You Usually Get What You Paid For

    Well putting aside Tom's own issues of acceptance, I would take issue whith most of what Mike has said here. There are many knowledgable and well meaning hobbyists on the internet making a huge contribution.

    I believe the intenet community is resposible for all the advances in our hobby in the last ten years. If it was not for the internet, nobody would know who Tom Barr is and he would not have a platform for his views. It was the internet that gave a platform to all the top "thinkers" of the Aquatic Gardeners Association. Would we have ever had the paper by Sears and Conlin which gave birth to the PMDD method without the internet? How about the contribution Karen Randall made over seeing Compuserves discussion forum years ago?

    Amano created a movement and inspired thousands of people who read his books to create their own works of art and share them on the internet. I watched the intenet forums expand beyond the APD mailing list and spill over into many forums. The first AGA contest attracted many people that were active in forums all over the internet. Interest in plants grew so much that these forums developed their own close knit plant hobbyist groups that eventually started independent forums devoted soley to plants. In the last few years, local plant clubs have formed thanks to the internet forum community. Toms own plantfest wouldn't be around if it wasn't for the internet!

    I think more accurate advice than the generalization Mike makes is take ANY advice with a grain of salt. Never reley on one person's advice. Do your own research. Do what you feel comfortable doing. Enjoy your hobby. Learn what you can from as many sources as you feel comfortable with and your own experience will become the best teacher. Don't be afraid to challenge ideas no matter what expert it is coming from but be open to new ideas. bla bla bla

    Robert Hudson
    www.aquabotanic.com
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Free Advice On The Internet - You Usually Get What You Paid For

    Many folks such as Karen Randall and Neil Frank, in the USA have felt this way in the past as well, they write for TAG and are heavily involved with other forms of dissimination as well as post on the web. Many things are often ripped off the net and from web sites and appear on other people's sites.

    This illegal problem occurs much more so on public sites. I've had many things I've said and developed be pirated, the same can be said for plant club sites also.

    There are good sites and folks out there, many assume a cynical nature, after getting burnt, Neil, Karen, myself and mnay others are cautious. We still greatly enjoy helping others promote the hobby.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. fgencoz

    fgencoz Junior Poster

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    Re: Free Advice On The Internet - You Usually Get What You Paid For

    I am strongly interested in the psychological matters behind the debates. I cannot say I have followed the debates, mentioned above, close enough to form a spesific idea about the psychology behind. But I do catch some points from what has been said above.

    I believe developing such a personal web site, like a castle, is an economical and practical defense manauver which will make you more organized, and in turn more productive and less stressful.

    On the other hand as more people subscribed to the site, the demands will increase. The walls of the castle will be in need of expansion. Do you have plans for that kind of manauvers as well? In other words, as Mike Reed addressed, do you have time to manage such a colorful site in the long run?
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Free Advice On The Internet - You Usually Get What You Paid For

    I can delgate work and help folks there. Greg does part of the work, I do the content. If either of us had to do the other's job, we could not do this. Team work can accomplish anything and this hobby and site is no different.
    Debates are a team effort and requires people to focus on the idea behind the debate.

    I would and do welcome a wildly popular site, we have hit our optimistic ambitious targets already and I think it will continue to evolve and become better. The initial start up is always the hardest part. The so called "activation energy".

    Success is not something to shy away from. Where there is fire, pour gasoline. Keep the reaction going.

    The private forums are a great way to help understand the more difficult concepts in a techincal article. It's then a team, no longer just one person. This feedback is important.

    I believe in the Socratic method. Feeble minded scientist sit around and talk about a paper and read it over very carefully as well. Well don't catch everything the first time either.

    Often time the new person ask extremely important basic questions: "Why use CO2?" So new folks are very important as well even if they are scared of redox reactions and oxidases, they will pick up the lingo and jargon in due time should they decide to grow and learn that directions. Many are okay with not knowning about that but find it interesting to read and would rather be working on the artistic elements. Others relish the science.

    This site will continue to grow and improve to suit the subscriber. The article base will become quite large as I slowly build it and each month's article and provide links and add to the gallery pages.

    I do not plan to stop after one year or even two. I have topics ahead for the next 25 months...........and they start from the base and keep going.

    As seen in the first few, they do not cover things like my post and they are totally new presentations. These too shall evolve and be better as time pasts.

    Things become easier once you get them off the ground and moving.

    The same is true for a good deabte, you need much like a biological process, a catalyst, an enzyme to get the reaction started. This activation energy will be discussed later in the Feb 2005 article:)

    The time issue is resolved two fold: I no long er write for mag's and as I plan to publish a book later. This is the "magazine" in a sense, I chose this media rather than FAMA, TFH etc, as it gives me more control, magazines are not paying much anyway, want photo's etc. The magazines give typically general hobbyists articles on planted tanks. A good article is often far and few in between. I try to give a good article each month.

    So I don't write for magazine now, I write for this private site that allows me control and immediate response and interactions with the subscribers. I am relying on a team, not just myself alone. This allows the benefits of a magazine and the benefits of the internet without as much of the negative points of each.

    The castle can always be built on to and refortified as needed.
    That is a team effort.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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  10. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Not to make a zombie out of an old thread, but is this book still in the works? What's the time line looking like? Less credible work has gotten a greater reputation through publishing than what I have read for free on this forum so far.

    -Philosophos
     

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