Geckoforums.net has long been one of the premier forums focusing on geckos, leopard geckos in particular, as opposed to reptiles in general. I have been a member of Geckoforums.net since its inception in 2006 and am pleased to have the current owner, Thad Unkefer, provide some information about this valuable resource.
1. Tell us a little about your forum, whether or not you are its creator and how you came to be in your current role.
Geckoforums.net came into existence June 2006 when Kelli Hammack formed it with the intentions of creating a forum for a small group of leopard gecko breeders. To her surprise the website took off and thousands of members joined the forum. I joined Geckoforums.net in February 2008 to find out all the information I could on husbandry, breeding and genetics of leopard geckos. I was infatuated with these creatures and would spend hours every day on the forums learning. In October 2009 Kelli asked me to be a moderator for the forums and in November 2012 she contacted me to sell Geckoforums.net.
2. What are you proudest about with your forum?
Geckoforums.net is full of valuable information on husbandry, breeding, genetics, ethics and emergency care. This information dates back to 2006 and has input from top breeders over the years. This information will always be available to our members. There is no other site out there that has a history with leopard geckos like Geckoforums.net. Geckoforums has great Moderators that have a passion for leopard geckos. Our moderators are Kristi Housman of Ghoulish Geckos, Aliza Arzt of Geckcessories and Lisa Brooks of Carpe Gecko. They are extremely helpful to all our members and provide an excellent learning environment.
3. What are some of the problems you encounter?
The number of members in Geckoforums has decreased due to the rise of social media. People can post pictures/questions and get feedback immediately. I’ve noticed that people are expecting answers immediately and get upset if they do not. They might not even know if the person they are getting answers from is a reliable source on social media. You also cannot search social media and look up past history. For these reasons I believe the forums will start to make a comeback in the near future.
4. What role do you feel your forum has for gecko keepers?
Many reptile forums are based on personalities and their customers. This does help out a forum but if it can never grow past the owner then it is going to fail. Kelli did a great job of forming a community based around leopard geckos with good solid information. The geckos were the focus and the whole community was extremely active. Because of this, Geckoforums has a rich history and valuable content from some of the best leopard gecko breeders.
5. Is there anything else you want readers to know about your forum?
Members have found Geckoforums only by search engines, word of mouth and a couple of links from other reptile websites. Geckoforums is the ultimate resource for leopard geckos. It provides info for the new reptile owner and for the experienced breeder.
A Participant Weighs In
As mentioned above, I have been a member of Geckoforums.net since shortly after it was created in 2006. It has been my
“go-to” forum since then. While the number of new daily posts has decreased from more than 50 to about 35, there continues to be an interesting variety of comments and questions about leopard geckos as well as some other gecko species. For a long time I had a fantasy of being able to become one of the moderators, which was realized last year. With over 9000 members, Geckoforums has the expected problems that Thad alludes to above, namely, managing a community that is too large to be an intimate one and balancing the needs of the very experienced with those of the newcomer.
There have been a number of developments during the past 8 years that have been interesting to me: discussions about aspects of gecko breeding and care which included contributions by some of the leopard gecko greats including JMG Reptile and LLL Reptile, individuals developing new morphs posting not only pictures of their geckos, but detailed information about their findings as well, heated discussions about controversial topics including culling hatchlings with deformities, and breeding multiple albino strains together. It has been very rewarding watching new member over time “morph” themselves from being novices with a lot of questions to experienced experts helping newer gecko keepers.
Geckoforums has quite a wide age range with a few pre-teen gecko keepers as well as hobbyists in their 60’s and possibly older. Moderators keep track of appropriate use of language and subject matter in order to make the site as safe and accessible as possible for younger members.
Do you have a favorite Reptile forum? Would you like to see it profiled in Gecko Time? Let us know which forums you’d like to see featured in an article. Better yet, encourage the forum owner to get in touch with us.