"Period" eh?I will say that this is what forums are for. They are here for people to ask questions period.
It's funny but I don't actually recall checking a box that says "I understand that by registering for this website I am obligated to let other members treat me like a Google search bar, answering everything asked by everyone, no matter how little effort they put into finding the answer for themselves before asking." when I signed up. Maybe they added it after I created my username.
The F.A.Q. page also says something very different, in fact it doesn't actually explicitly mention answering questions,
It uses the phrase "share information" which sounds a lot more voluntary and open ended than "They are here for people to ask questions, period." I enjoy lazily browsing through looking for topics which catch my interest, making comments, having discussions with people about common interests and even sometimes answering a question. In my own time, of my own volition, when and where I see fit. If anyone tries to put me into a forced labor camp at the Leopard Gecko Question Mines, I'm going to hit the overseer in the head with a shovel and make an escape.This site is meant to be a positive community for all herp lovers to share information, images and buy/sell/trade their animals.
I really hate being told by anyone except a site owner or the moderators what a site "is for." Especially when it looks like it's "for" a lot of things. For people to ask questions. For people to have discussions with their peers about their common interest. For people to share their photos and stories. For people to communicate about unrelated topics with people they happen to like. For people to advertise their products in the classifieds. For people to buy banner ad space where it will target an interested audience. For Kelli to promote her business and her animals. It's "for" whatever the users want to get out of it within the constraints of the conduct rules. Members do not get to issue directives, to mandate how anyone else uses the site; the only direction we have is en masse, through our posting trends and habits, not as individuals issuing ultimatums. You don't get to tell me how and when and what I must post. Only the moderation team has that kind of power and only in a restrictive sense. They make decisions about what cannot be posted. If they want something created, all they can do is encourage it, not demand it.
A common motivation maybe, but not the only one.A new person might not have all the information they need and that's why they come here or any forum for that matter.
Speaking for myself, since that's the only person I can speak for, I'm a lot more inclined to give my positive time and attention to someone who has given me the impression that they genuinely want to learn. They want information because they're aiming for self-sufficiency, they want to know everything they can, I want to know that they'll pay attention and really use what I have to say. They show me that they have an attitude that is worth helping because they make it clear that they have been trying to help themselves.
There's a world of difference between a person who asks a question, "I've been reading this book, that magazine article and these websites and could use some clarification about..." and a person who thinks that the other members here exist to mindlessly spit out answers to questions that they have made no effort to answer on their own. I have a lot of free time, it's still infinitely more satisfying for me to interact with people who'll value any of it that I choose to give to them. I am not a google server or that butler graphic from askjeeves. I won't be treated like an inanimate thing; I'll answer questions that catch my interest or for people who I think will appreciate it. My time, my choice.
And maybe they can read this sticky, find where it has been answered before with a minimum of effort and understand both herpetocultural basics and web etiquette in order to present themselves as a member of the community, rather than a parasite.With all the members here I'm sure someone different can answers and doesn't always need to be the same person if you are getting sick of answering them.