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Dear Venomland Members and Friends, Venomland is a little more than 6 years old now and by far the biggest Hot Snake community on the Planet! We want to thank all of you who made Venomland the leading Board. We are also very thankful to our Moderators and Admins for years of hard work. Now, it is time to move on. I have been thinking how to proceed and what to do with our beloved board as we reach a size, that we need to make drastic changes to secure the future of our community. As of now, Venomland is hosted by a free (well mostly free) hosting service. That was good for the first years but now we need to find a new way to run our forum. I have spend hundreds of Dollars over the years to keep Venomland up and running, and i have done so with pleasure. Now, we need your help! We need to come up with several thousand dollars for our Venomland 2.0 project, which i frankly cant pay for any longer by myself. So Venomland is asking his Friends and Members for the first time for their financial Support. Please help to keep Venomland alive, and let us move on to a new, better Portal in the Future! Every Dollar is helping us a great deal. I know, its hard times for everyone, but please spare a few Dollar for our community. If you have only 10 Dollars to spare, we are grateful, if it is more, it would be awesome. We are planning to develop a very new Venomland, with real community functions, a forum like you are already loving it and a real (online) Hot Snake Magazin. Also, there will be download areas for scientific papers, Wallpapers and more. Again folks, we can only do that if you all help. Please send me a Private Message if you want to keep Venomland alive, i will provide you with the details on how to donate Money. For now, we can accept money from creditcards via skrill (please google it, its a free service - account-details will be forwarded to you) and paypal. All the best, and for a (hopefully) nice future of our Board. Mario

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Dexter Bressers
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Sun 11 Dec - 3:45

Jan Jonkman wrote:
Stefan Anthonijsz wrote:
Great post Dexter! You nailed it!

You nailed it big time...

Do YOU have an hour or so to do some moderating every day? Cool
Well, I don't know if I 'nailed it' gentlemen, but I did try and get a discussion going on a subject that looked like it clearly needed to be addressed.

As for becoming a Mod on this board.....I promised myself 3 years ago not to do that kind of work anymore.
And that hasn't changed since then..... Neutral

@Peter: Try to take the modding a just a little bit less serious from time to time, it will make life a lot easier! Cool
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Stefan Anthonijsz
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Sun 11 Dec - 4:00

I think you nailed it Smile You wrote exactly how I feel too!
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Peter Zürcher
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Sun 11 Dec - 7:28

Ladies and Gentlemen,
the problem here which has led to this discussion about moving topics must be seen in a wider connection.
I've been talking to Mario recently - he's been very unhappy about the way his forum goes and was thinking about closing it right away.

It doesn't matter how other forums work, what their main goal is (if they have one except fun and smalltalk), and if users in other forums decide which way "their" board should go.
We didn't want to be like other boards, VenomLand should be something special, and it was for some time.
I have been happy about one year ago about increasing member numbers - Mario was not, he said we need quality, not quantity.
I understand and follow him completely nowadays.
It's just alarming to see how VenomLand has lost its way in the last couple of months and changed to a simple funny chatbox and photobucket in big parts.
Too many "post collectors" with hundreds of mostly senseless posts (consisting of just a very few words often) have taken place here, and our genus sections, reserved for professional discussions, have been overflooded with hundreds of pictures, followed by no real discussions, but a whole bunch of short-postings like "stunning", "wow" and so on....
Nobody want's to ban photos completely, we accept that all members are proud of their animals and need a possibility to show'em - but that has to be released from the professional sections.
Additionally, many breeders/dealers have discovered VenomLand as a board for their business and post ads, but do no participate on discussions, that has to be ruled too.

That's it, Ladies and Gentlemen - get prepared for either having the board closed in the near future or restructured completely to fulfil the owners (and coincidentally my) expectations again.

You can discuss all these things, but it will be the owners part alone to decide what should be done and which way that ship should sail in the future.

Thanks to all.

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Peter

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Dexter Bressers
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Mon 12 Dec - 23:24

Thanks for the elaborate and clear answer Peter.

Having read very carefully what you wrote, I can only say that what is happening here is the ultimate faith of all message boards sooner or later.
Posting rates go down and so does the quality of the content, because you can only talk so much about different subjects as your knowledge about it allows you to.
Repeating yourself over and over again to your peers is not an option and that is why people stop posting content and start posting one liners or short messages, thus turning a board into a (slow) chat-box.
However, closing down the Venomland board for that reason would be a shame since there is a wealth of useful information to be found here.

What I actually wanted to propose was this: Maybe it would be an idea to put up a poll to find out as to which direction the members want to see the board go.
More scientific (or elitist as some would call it) or more liberal and loose as the board has developed for the last year.

But after reading your text it is obvious that you and Mario do not seem to see any way in which these two could overlap and have already made up your mind.
So, I hope the board will stay online and that both of you will find a way to give it another life even though it will be very difficult.

I wish both of you a lot of wisdom in making your decision!


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Jon Davidson
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 3:53

Dexter Bressers wrote:

'Posting rates go down and so does the quality of the content, because you can only talk so much about different subjects as your knowledge about it allows you to'.
Some good comments, Mr. Bressers. The statement quoted encapsulates what, in my view, remains the point of contention here for some members of this site. For you and other new members here, I can tell you that the young man who has been temporarily banned from Venomland- in essence- sent to stand in the corner and remain silent for a time has a history on this site of being emotional, highly agitated, foul mouthed and launching personal attacks against other members when that other member happens not to share his point of view. That kind of behaviour should not be tolerated on any forum site. In my view, there should be a place on the internet where experienced individuals who have an academic or scholarly interest in venomous snakes can communicate freely without a small group of individuals who appear determined to take over the site and turn it into any number of dozens of other 'Kingsnake.com' type internet forums. I remain puzzled as to why this point of view causes so much anguish amongst some of the participants in this discussion- especialy when there are so very many other internet forums where individuals can discuss their latest Cinnamon Banana Sulphan Colour Morph Snake in depth and at length. Let me put it this way... The Holiday season is here and for many of us, this means getting out and socializing with friends, family and associates. We might enjoy a festive meal with friends which can include children. In my neck of the woods, children are relegated to the children's table where they can dine and talk about the things that amuse and interest children. The adult table is reserved for the adults, so that the grown ups can engage in discussion without interuptions and temper tantrums from the children who clearly do not have the communication skills, experience, perspectives and insights as the adults do. Clearly, everyone is encouraged to participate in conversation, but when that conversation starts to break down because a child becomes frustrated at not being able to communicate their ideas clearly and/or becomes abusive, highly emotional, foul mouthed, etc. , then it is time for an adult to intercede and reprimand that child (as what has happened to the young man in this discussion). There are some members here who need to be reminded that there are Venomland participants who are more than twice as old as they are and who have decades and decades more experience than they do. Venomland is a great site and I commend Mr. Lutz and his moderators for taking the initiative in opening this forum and endeavouring to maintain a standard of excellence that strives to make the site a high quality internet resource. Sincerely, Jon Davidson .
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 5:17

Quote :
Posting rates go down and so does the quality of the content, because you can only talk so much about different subjects as your knowledge about it allows you to'.

Until now, posting rates did not go down, but the quality of the content.

Many things concerning posting rates, visibility of topics and view numbers of topics have been affirmed in this discussion by people who do not see our statistics.
I do.
First of all, all statistic values, be it numbers of posts per month, numbers of new topics per month, numbers of new users per month and so on, have been on an equal level for the last two years (with normal seasonal differences).
Further on, it's been affirmed that postings in the photography section are hard to find and should not have a high number of views. Well, it's been funny anyway that the moved topic which triggered off the discussion has been visible on the portal from its start for several days. Additionally, it's a statistical fact, that some of the most viewed topics are in the photography section. Looking for a topic in the photo section needs just a click, or maybe two, exactly the same for topics in the genus sections, when they have disapeared from the "latest postings" on our portal!
So what?

Thanks to Dexter for his factual posting, makes sense to discuss that way.

Quote :
that you and Mario do not seem to see any way in which these two could overlap and have already made up your mind.

No final decision has been made yet, Mario and me just did some brainstorming, but we agree that someting must be done.
Unfortunately, our forum software is quite simple and does not allow real advancements.

Maybe we could be a home for both serious, professional members and those who just want to show their animals and have a relaxed talk about them.
Let me explain it on the photo-level:
I'm not happy with putting all photos into the photo section.
First of all, we still need photos in the professional (genus) sections for illustration purposes, or just to show rare species (like recently Bitis heraldica), or to show local colour differences (I hope the topic opened by Jean-Henry will go this way). But we do not need 100 pictures of Copperheads or the 278th more or less good picture of a normal Naja naja.
The rest of numerous pictures should go to two sections:
First - the "serious" photo section, where only outstanding pictures from high quality should be presented and technical discussions about photography should be placed.
Second - a common photo section (maybe called "show us yours") where every picture can be posted and any comments are allowed.
Of course, these are just rough presettings, and no one would give a damn for an enthusiastic shortposting (like "wow" or "stunning" or a good joke in the "serious" sections - but we should rule that a little, otherwise this board will not differ from thousands of others just bobbing up and down in the www.
There's so much work to do, so much to organize. Another problem are scientific papers. They're posted here and there, and some of'em are really hard to find. We should organize that too, creating some kind of scientific papers database.
We could organize a photo contest, or a contest for the most outstanding breeding project of the year - so many possibilities to keep that board animated....
We'll see what can be done - unfortunately Mario hasn't plenty of time yet.
regards
Peter

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Ro vd Bergh
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 5:49

@Jon; You use a lot of fancy words but basically you're just insulting Randy and everybody that doesn't meet your superior level with all your experience. Exactly what brings a forum down. Isn't it time to move on?

@Peter; Sounds good.

Cheers, Ro.
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 6:58

Ro vd Bergh wrote:
'@Jon; You use a lot of fancy words but basically you're just insulting Randy and everybody that doesn't meet your superior level with all your experience. Exactly what brings a forum down. Isn't it time to move on'?


Cheers, Ro.
My point is clear, Mr. vd Bergh; 'fancy words', if only in your mind, notwithstanding... Please note that Mr. Ciuros has been foul mouthed and abusive towards me on this site in the past(links available upon request)for no other reason, it seems, other than that I may not share his opinion on a particular topic. Additionally, one can see in this discussion that my only previous and benign post has generated- yet again- another emotional response with inappropriate language from Mr. Ciuros; and this is, in my view, exactly the kind of behaviour from members that 'brings a forum down'. Perhaps it's time for Mr. Ciuros and other like minded individuals to move on to another, different forum made up of members that are at a similar level of development and sophistication. Sincerely, Jon Davidson .
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Stefan Anthonijsz
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 7:05

Jon Davidson wrote:
Clearly, everyone is encouraged to participate in conversation, but when that conversation starts to break down because a child becomes frustrated at not being able to communicate their ideas clearly and/or becomes abusive, highly emotional, foul mouthed, etc. , then it is time for an adult to intercede and reprimand that child (as what has happened to the young man in this discussion). There are some members here who need to be reminded that there are Venomland participants who are more than twice as old as they are and who have decades and decades more experience than they do.
Oh really? Are there 100 year old members overhere? Suspect

By the way... Randy has years of experience with venomous snakes and has lots of knowledge about them especially about cobras. Maybe there are some members overhere who talk with lots of fancy words but don't say anything. I guess those people need to read a little more and talk a little less...

And yes you are so mature... I hope you enjoy it at the adult table with Christmas talking about really important stuff with a serious face. I will stay at the childs table and have some fun and laughing with my family & friends (That is what Christmas about to most people now, having a good time and enjoy eachothers company). To citate Johann Wolfgang von Goethe "Happy people have kept their inner child alive". So yes, let me be the child Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 7:14

Stefan Anthonijsz wrote:

Oh really? Are there 100 year old members overhere?

By the way... Randy has years of experience with venomous snakes and has lots of knowledge about them especially about cobras. Maybe there are some members overhere who talk with lots of fancy words but don't say anything. I guess those people need to read a little more and talk a little less...

And yes you are so mature... I hope you enjoy it at the adult table with Christmas talking about really important stuff with a serious face. I will stay at the childs table and have some fun and laughing with my family & friends (That is what Christmas about to most people now, having a good time and enjoy eachothers company). To citate Johann Wolfgang von Goethe "Happy people have kept their inner child alive". So yes, let me be the child
At 24 years of age(at least according to what you've told us)I'm certain that there are many, many individuals who have more experience and knowledge than you, Mr. Anthonijsz... Sincerely, Jon Davidson .
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 7:23

Yes, guilty as charged for being 24. Luckily I have some friends around who are mature (with inner child alive!) who have lots of experience and we all share information with eachother. Even I have some good ideas where experienced peoples can learn from, so it is going both ways Wink

But your post was about about "that child" Randy... So that is where I am talking about...
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 7:24

Okay, gents.

Actually, age should not be a criterion, Knowledge and experience might be one, and these could be correlated with age, but not in every case.....
Mr. Anthonijsz hasn't be named in Mr. Davidsons maturity remarks, but has been in a hurry to pull on that shoe.
Also Mr. Davidson did not speak about Mr. Ciuros' experience or knowledge.
I really would appreciate to go back to topic, means respectful, factual discussion, otherwise i have to play my dictator role here again..........
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 7:27

Stefan Anthonijsz wrote:
Yes, guilty as charged for being 24. Luckily I have some friends around who are mature (with inner child alive!) who have lots of experience and we all share information with eachother. Even I have some good ideas where experienced peoples can learn from, so it is going both ways

But your post was about about "that child" Randy... So that is where I am talking about...
I see... and Thank you for your efforts in clarifying what it is that you're trying to say in the discussion... Sincerely, Jon Davidson .
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 7:31

That is ok with me Peter Smile

Please let me say that I was not in a hurry to pull on that shoe. I only replied to Jon about that he is so mature and that Randy is such a child in his "Christmas story". So if mature people are like Jon I'd rather stay being a child haha Smile

edit: Back on topic... I asked for the way how Mario can be reached best? Via PM or via email? Maybe I can help "moving posts" Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 7:38

Yeah, everybody has to reply something, holding the fire, that's the problem!
No one except me and Dexter are trying so far to discuss friendly and factual about that topic, so if you don't want to participate on that discussion, stay away!
Unbelievable!

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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 7:41

Stefan Anthonijsz wrote:
'...people need to read a little more and talk a little less... '
One could add the prefix 'Some' to Mr. Anthonijsz words... Thank you Mr. Zurcher for your moderation in the Thread. Clearly the younger, more excitable members have made their own case in point. Sincerely, Jon Davidson .
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 8:02

I will have a thought about what things could improve Venomland and about the serious/fun part. And come up with some ideas this week.
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 15:09

In my opinion when you have with the photos some information to show/discuss with other members it's correct to post in the genus section the other must be post in the photography section.
I think also photography have an important reference, we have here excellent photographer like Guenther and many other but all can post his work and the idea to make two different phtography section grade A /grade B it's not humanely easy (who decide the grade of the pic).
A new idea it's a new section with a monthly photographic contest.(beware, make a good photography sometime can be a really dangerouse moment).
Ciao all
Michele
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 17:17

Well the ideas brought up here seem good ,if they ever come real . But what will make the diffrence between a thread that will go in the actually species section or the photo section .
will the photo section then will be divided in to species aswell so member dont have to go through an hourerly search t find what they looking for ?
i been followig this thread ever since it opend , it surprises me how so many grown up individuals cant have a diskussion with acousing or trying to hurt each other with words , the way i see it there some truth in both sides argument but no one will even move an inch or give room for the others opinion , people grow up !

@Günther , sorry that i have to proof you wrong i know several forums where mods are able to go into pm boxes of each memeber and could even delete these if the wanted to , with a little knowledge of the programm and time to find what your looking for such thing is possible , and no Peter iam not saying you did so .
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 17:38

@Stephan; You're right. I was a mod for 10 years and I couldn't, no pc skills but I know 2 admins who could and did in the past. And I am also not insinuating that this happened overhere.

Maybe it's a good idea to add a subforum 'PDF' to every species section? It would be nicer to have a huge database of course but that takes up way too much space. It's at least easier to find specific files in the way I proposed.

Cheers, Ro.
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 17:51

Stefan,
the problem of "to go through an hourerly search t find what they looking for" is at least partially a matter of meaningful topic titles too.
And don't you think finding professional, valuable postings in the genus section or scientific papers in a separate section is more important than a quick find of the 27th photostream of Cryptelytrops albolabris?
Wether our forum software nor my computer-knowledge do allow me to have access on the members PM database, but that's not the point! Only to suggest that an admin might have done that is a respectless personal affront able to destroy any mutual trust.
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Tue 13 Dec - 18:03

i agree Peter , but i still think making the photo section in to species section would be a good idea and doesnt take so much room up ,
yes it is disrespectfull to acusse you of doing such a thing , i only wanted to tell Günther that such thing could be done , i in no way intended to say you would do such thing
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Wed 14 Dec - 17:35

I would like to make a further contribution in this thread by saying that while visiting an expo last Sunday, I discussed this subject extensively with someone who is not a member here.
We actually had a discussion about message boards in general and I brought this board, and the problems its having, up as an example.
What makes it worth mentioning in this thread, is that I told this person that a possible solution here would be to split the board members into 3 seperate groups.
One for beginners, one for enthusiasts and one for professionals each with their separate posting rights.
This would also mean that the board remains the same, but will no longer be fully accessible for all groups.
Before you start calling in objections to that, let me explain what I mean by that:

- Beginners would only be able to read in the enthusiasts and professional sections but can only post in the beginners section.
- Enthusiasts would only be able to read in the professional section, but can post in the beginners and enthusiast section.
- Professionals would be able to read and post in all three sections.

In that way beginners can discuss on their own level of expertise and learn from enthusiasts or professionals. ( if they choose to contribute in a thread)
The same goes for enthusiasts who can learn from their fellow peers or from professionals. (if they choose to contribute)
On the top level it would be simple: professionals amongst each other which should present no problems.

Of course there are a few criteria that have to be set before dividing the board members into these separate groups which will probably raise some problems.
And also a choice has to be made as to which parts of the board are suitable for beginners and enthusiasts.
But I believe that in the end this could be the solution for this board without getting too elitist or too much of a Kingsnake.com like chatting box.

As for the Photography board: I would certainly welcome a board for general enthusiast photography (the biggest part of photography contributions) and a board for the more serious photography.
After all a professional in herpetology does not necessarily has to be a professional in photography as well and vice versa. Wink

Well, there's some food for thought I guess so let the (respectful) discussion begin!
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Wed 14 Dec - 18:46

Who should do these classifications, Dexter? Members themselves when registering or the team members either when activating members or after some postings?
i see here a giant source for discussions or even uproars in cases where members should be downgraded - even worse than in moving posts.

Additionally, we will have another problem. I don't think professionals will visit the beginners section periodical, so beginners will not have a good chance for having their questions seen and answered by professionals. That would be a loss for all of us, because some good, professional threads have been triggered off on this board by good and serious questions of beginners.
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Israel M. Sánchez
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PostSubject: Re: Moving topics   Wed 14 Dec - 19:50

I have a question here. Maybe you find it stupid and probably is, but... You are all talking about 'professionals'... what do you mean with that term? Professional= professional scientist in general, zoologist, professional zoo reptile keeper, both...? I have always thought that stablishing categories among people is not a good thing to do, and for me here we are all pares. I personally would not like to be considered 'special' just for being professional biologist. And I didn't like to be separated apart from the rest of the people here just due to my work. So I hope that this thing never happens. And that's why I make this question. I hate elitism in whatever face it occurs. And I think that maintaining a good level in Venom Land has nothing to do with elitism and exclusion, but with good moderation and new ideas to keep the board alive and moving. Not a single forum board is safe from what it is happening here. But I do not see things so 'dark'. When something gets bigger and evolves in time, it gets more complex. The work of the Mod/Admin team now is to change things to cope with the more complex nature of the forum. And to erase personal hates inside the forum, because that really will kill it.

Regards.
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