Herpetoculture: Changing Perspective

Austin Taylor with snake hooks

I am the Snake King!

Herpetoculture has been a part of my life for over a decade now. The photo to the left was taken of my son when he was about 8 years old. Who just told me yesterday that I was to be a grandfather. Talk about changing perspective! That was some news, I mean I knew someday I might be a grandfather but just didn’t think it would be this soon.

I wish them both (my son and his wife) the best and look forward to spoiling said grandchild. He also mentioned that he was looking at going to school for herpetology. This is something that I do regret at times. I remember now, clear as day showing an interest in reptiles early in my childhood but that wasn’t encouraged for whatever reasons. Let’s not digress further shall we.

My perspective of herpetoculture has been changing for some time now. As of January 2013, my life revolves around the herpetoculture industry. The year prior, I was living on unemployment insurance and what was brought in from the various websites that I run or own as I’d just been terminated. Eight years, dedicated to a company that in the end had different visions than I did. I could have changed my ways and done what they wanted. I didn’t, I knew the consequences, I weighed my options, I paid the price. But it was worth it…

I happened upon a young lady in Canada via a Facebook Group known as Reptile Owners of Canada. Shout out to my Southern People, I’m loving the Great White North! We talked about our passions, desires, hopes, etc. We decided to meet, and while things weren’t exactly smooth sailing transition wise, to say things worked out for Rebecca and I would be an understatement.

Rebecca and I were engaged on May 29th of this year and shortly thereafter we took our life savings and began working full time at what is now the Reptile Apartment Group. Now, for those lifers who’ve been around since day one this will be a quick rehash so skip to the next paragraph. Reptile Apartment Group currently consists of Reptile Apartment, Reptile Apartment Canada, Herpetoculture House Magazine, and Reptile Living Room.

Reptile Living Room Chameleon LogoReptile Living Room while still very active with followers both new and old is an area of herpetoculture which we feel is better served by others. If I’m 100% honest with you though. No one, that we know of was, or is doing what we were, which is broadcasting about both herpetoculture and herpetology in a way which sparked conversations and friendships. Finding those interesting guests is not as easy as we’d hoped. They do a lot of traveling and are very hard to convince sometimes that their words will not be altered, etc. due to their prior experiences with ‘other’ such media productions.

Now then, there were a few interviews we had recorded this year with Tom Crutchfield, Dusten Otey, and some other folks. What we’re going to do is transcribe those interviews and then once final approval is given by those we interviewed we will release those on Reptile Apartment.com. Reptile Living Room will remain with us but will be in a dormant state indefinitely. It’s been discussed we may also take Reptile Living Room into a complete multimedia experience, with how-to videos, video interviews, captive care podcasting, etc.

In the autumn season of 2013 Rebecca and I will be opening the only exclusive herpetoculture store here in the Canadian Maritimes. We will also have a direct purchase online store where customers can order directly from our store (we will be phasing out the Canadian Amazon Affiliate Store) and have the items shipped to their door. At that time a few changes will occur with our websites. Reptile Apartment will become the primary domain for the entire Reptile Apartment Group. What does that mean for our readers? Not much, it’s a simple bookmark change is all. The sites will be getting some facial feature uplifts, navigation, and reorganization of content to improve user experience in both desktop and in mobile environments in the meantime.

We are also changing the newsletters for both sites as well. What we are going to do is begin doing exclusive product and book reviews in the newsletter on a monthly basis. We will also be making coupons available for our eBooks and Herpetoculture House Magazine, as well as other manufacturer rebates, etc. So we are combining the two Reptile Apartment and Reptile Apartment Canada Newsletter into one entity Reptile Apartment News. We will feature relevant content to both the United States and Canada evenly giving neither precedence over the other. We will also be inviting interesting content from our readers such as show reviews, field herping experiences, or even fine herpetoculture photography they want to share with our readers. We want your input so drop us an email.

Finally, Herpetoculture House will also be getting a large facelift as it were. We are also going to be taking Herpetoculture House into the stores very soon as well so be on the lookout for the announcement. No, it’s not going to print media we still don’t think it’s necessary to kill trees to produce quality reptile information and make it available to the masses. None of this should have an impact on users of our sites however if you do come across an issue please notify us immediately via email or the contact us form.

Last little tid bit of information. Very soon Reptile Apartment Group will begin featuring Herpetoculture Spotlight which will be an audience vote contest to promote those people in herpetology and herpetoculture doing great works whether they are awesome customer service, a great rescue, or even someone who is producing some quality reptiles. It’s truly wide open and we look forward to seeing your nominations and we’re sure the prizes we offer will be ones not offered anywhere before!