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Study Group

Discussion in 'Site Feedback and Suggestions' started by tuna, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. tuna

    tuna Member 5 Year Member

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    Does anybody know of a active Apisto study group?
  2. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Since the old Apistogramma Study Group died, this forum is about as active as you'll find . I miss the ASG in some ways. There is so much information out there on dwarf cichlids that, due to length, can't be put on a forum like this. Books are expensive to produce (in time and money) and are out of date by the time they are published. On the other hand, new species appear here more quickly than in the old ASG quarterly mags.
  3. tuna

    tuna Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks
    Mike
  4. jose_vogel

    jose_vogel Member 5 Year Member

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    Mike, I do miss the availability of information on dwarf cichlids that, as you said, due to length, can't be put on a forum like this.
  5. tjudy

    tjudy Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    We certainly have the option of making Apistogramma.com a content-driven site. The issue five years ago was the labor to do it. My time is, if anything, even less available than it was then.

    I am willing to give it another go if we can get a staff willing to take on the responsibility of maintaining the site.
  6. Richgrenfell

    Richgrenfell Member 5 Year Member

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    I'm certainly willing to help out!
  7. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    I discussed this with Ted. It will definitely require more that a couple of people to keep it up and current. As Ted told me, ideally we would need people to "build and maintain a species/photo database for all 'dwarf' cichilds, ... someone to be an articles editor, ... a person to solicit, edit (if unpublished) and publish the articles on the site, and and someone to maintain an articles database" (reference librarian?). In my opinion this means that least 3 dedicated people: articles solicitor/editor to solicit and get articles in condition to publish online, technical editor to keep a dwarf cichlid species photo/database, and a reference librarian to keep current with ferreting out the latest articles on dwarfs. Since we are international in scope, each of these people would also need others to help from many different countries. As I see it we need at least 3 people willing to put in 3-5 hours/week (at least at the start) plus others willing help them occasionally. This is not an easy task. The old ASG often had only 2 people dedicated enough to do it all. It died when it got too much to handle. If you are really interested in getting such a site up and going, think hard about the amount of time you are willing to devote. We can't do it halfheartedly. As the old proverb says, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions".
  8. ed seeley

    ed seeley Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    I'd be happy to help out with the editing and assembling process. Not sure I can spare 3-5 hours a week at the start but at least a couple a week will be easy enough.
  9. Ruki

    Ruki Member 5 Year Member

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    If only my English was better I'd be happy to help you.
    But If something about polish version(me and peterK are maintaining polish version of cichlidae.org) or something like that I'll help.

    P.S.
    Now I only can help with lending my photos. :frown:
  10. Apistomaster

    Apistomaster Member 5 Year Member

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    You describe essentially the foundation of the equivalent of the American Killiefish Association(AKA) with the focus being the Dwarf Cichlids.
    You know the early years of the AKA were very similar to the old Apistogramma Study group.
    The AKA has had a bit over 5 decades to evolve into it's present form but because of the advances and advantages we now have with this internet site one leg of such an association is already in place. A quarterly electronic news letter/Journal of the American Dwarf Cichlid Associations is missing, another missing element is modest annual dues of about $25 to $35 a year and formally organizing into a non-profit group. Advertisement by sponsors would not be affected.
    If I recall early AKA history there was Albert Klee, and 4 or 5 others who started the club using snail mail and the phone and it managed to become an international organization despite it's name. One of the driving forces and attractions of membership was the monthly fish and egg listings. Killies do have an advantage of having eggs with long enough incubation periods, size and durability to make mailing them around the world very easy. But finding Dwarf Cichlids is often the most difficult part of this hobby. Being able to list fish we have available and/or want is already possible here but maybe making it a more prominent feature as part of the group's function could help with fish keepers getting connected to fish and another useful function would be to apply some standards to species descriptions and efforts to maintain pure lines of naturally occurring variants as opposed to aquarium strains of unknown ancestry since we share a common problem with other specialized fish interest groups of many not yet described species and newly collected species regularly being introduced to the hobby. Promoting species maintenance is another worthy goal.
    Even though there are other on line market places for Dwarf Cichlids like aquabid.com organizations like the AKA and Killiefish trading/sales still have managed to thrive and fulfill purposes the auction sites can not.
    I know I would not be against paying an annual membership fee. There must be incentives for becoming dues paying members like access to the fellow hobbyist/members' fish listings while allowing free flowing discussions about the same as it is now and transfers of new information about fish to non paying members.

    I can't see any great need to produce slick quarterly publications unless and until the membership decided to do so and was willing to pay for it.
    That is something only a mature organization tends to do well.
    Some may think this would be a poor step child of the American Cichlid Association(ACA) but I think we are sufficiently specialized that we need not be a subsidiary of the ACA.
    This is something worth discussing.
  11. tjudy

    tjudy Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    My concern is with maintaining momentum. Making a dwarf-cichlid conntent site is not a new idea. Some exist. Apistogramma.com started as a content site with a forum, and after a great 3-year start it was not maintained. Without updating the information soon became stale. When we tried to update it after I purchased the site everyone involved was well-intentioned but were not able to provide the time to get it done. A big part of the problem was that I my technical knowledge was not up to par. That has changed, but the need for labor has not.
  12. Apistomaster

    Apistomaster Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi Ted,
    I know you are right. It is too much for only a few and volunteers become scarce when they needed. Few beginning organizations attain the critical mass required to become institutionalized.
  13. slimbolen99

    slimbolen99 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I'd like to volunteer as well. I am a stay at home dad, so I've got time to contribute. I've been the webmaster at www.kcfishclub.org for a little over a year, and do a little bit of application design consulting on the side. I'd be willing to help wherever needed if you folks can get something going.
  14. tjudy

    tjudy Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    I have asked Juan Miguel Artigas Azas to consult with me a bit. His curator system provides an edit page with fillable fields that populate the species profile. His profiles are, in my opinion, a lot larger than they need to be; but a similar system in which all a curator needs to do is open the edit page for a species and fill in missing information is a good way to go.
  15. ste12000

    ste12000 Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi guys, just reading this with interest, i am a busy man but am devoted to the organised side of the hobby, im currently on the committee of the British cichlid association. I cannot possibly put in 4-5 hours per week but am more than willing to help where required, im also based in the UK the same as Ed so would gladly give him a hand where needed. I can also supply pictures and even articles if required.

    Its a noble idea and it could work but as has already been said, things like this are ran by a few dedicated individuals for the majority, they never get the recognition they deserve and gradually drop out when they realise that their precious time is better spent elsewhere.

    Ill keep a eye on developments here and anyone is welcome to contact me for any help i can give.

    All the best, Ste Chester.
  16. Apistomaster

    Apistomaster Member 5 Year Member

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    This is so true. I have been paying US $20 a month for 6 months for my unpublished website/domain name apistomaster.com because I have not overcome my own inertia to make something out of it. I am a high level procrastinator. I once took a test, a study habits test, but it still accurately described my style of doing(or not) anything. I literally scored in the lowest 99th percentile for putting things off and in the mid 90's percentile of organization...once I get going. I often wonder how and why I have ever accomplished anything. I'm good at ideas but not so good at execution.
    I will probably take another 6 months before I ever publish that web site.
    It is just meant to be a fish room type site with articles on breeding, some of my experiences I have had over 40 some years of involvement in the hobby and venue to sell some of my fish.