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The FAQs
Board guidelines
10 Commandments
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Is there a set of rules for the bulletin boards?

Yes... our house rules are called the 10 Commandments. Click here to remind yourself what they say. Everyone posting on the boards agreed to keep these rules when they registered. The rules in Hell are a bit different – you can read them here.

Who are the board hosts?

Each of our boards is run by a team of hosts. The hosts are listed at the top of each board's index page (just below the board heading) and also in the guideline pages for each board. The link to the board guidelines can be found in the introductory paragraph at the top of each board. For more details and the roster of current hosts and other ship personnel, click here.

Who are the board admins?

The admins are the overall leaders of the Ship of Fools community. They look after the hosts and the day to day running of the boards. Their work includes dealing with any gremlins in the system, safeguarding the boards against vandalism, making the difficult decisions when individual members break the rules, and hosting the Styx (the board for ship-related questions and discussion). For more details and the roster of current admins and other ship personnel, click here.

How do I get started?

The best place to jump in is All Saints, where the kind hostesses maintain an introduction thread for people new to the boards. Sometimes it drops to page two, but look around, you'll find it.

What is the Hell board?

Hell is a special board, where the rules are a little different. Hell is an aggressive board, designed for heated debate about anything. It's also the place where personal arguments are sent if they erupt on any of the other boards. Click here to visit Hell, and click here to see the guidelines for Hell.

How do I take an argument to Hell?

If you find yourself grievously offended by a message on another board, Hell is the place to sort it out. We do ask, though, that you request clarification or explain to the offending party exactly why it bothers you before you drag them into Hell. Lots of times it's just a misunderstanding. If you can't resolve it to your satisfaction, by all means invite them to Hell. But read the guidelines of Hell first. There are certain non-negotiable things required of those who bring arguments into Hell. If you ignore them, you will almost immediately earn the attention of the hosts, and the spotlight in Hell is a very uncomfortable place to be.

Which board should I choose to post a new thread on?

Each board has a specific purpose, and is unique in its style, tone, and content. If you're unsure of where to post, read the guidelines for the boards, which explain what each board is about. The guideline pages are linked from the introductory paragraph at the top of each board. If you post a thread on the wrong board, one of the hosts will move your thread to the place where it belongs. If you're not sure where a thread belongs, email a host and they will let you know.

How long do threads stay on the boards?

For as long as they're active. Once a thread has been dormant for more than 14 days, it is eligible either to be deleted or archived, depending on the quality of the thread. Deserving threads are sent to Limbo for long-term storage.

Is anyone ever banned from the boards?

Members who repeatedly break the 10 Commandments or cause excessive disruption on the boards may have their posting access suspended for a while, or have their membership closed. We dislike having this rule, but sometimes it is the only solution.

Can I share information about my personal circumstances?

Remember that there is a large audience looking in. If you share things about your personal circumstances, then you open yourself up to having those circumstances discussed in the same way as anything else on these boards. Other posters are encouraged to respect statements about personal circumstances and take into account the cost involved to the person making them, but this cannot be guaranteed.

If it is judged to be necessary, the hosts and admins may decide that discussion of a personal post is off limits or the material shared is inappropriate.

The Ship is not an adequate stand-in for counselling services. Posts which seek to elicit such responses are strongly discouraged, and repeated posts along those lines will be deleted.

Neither is the Ship an appropriate or adequate venue for suicidal ideations. Do not waste precious time by posting here. If you suspect that your feelings of hopelessness or despair are more than just a reaction to a difficult time in your life or normal spiritual angst, or you think about suicide, then you need professional help, immediately, and you can't get that here.

The Ship wants to see all of you happy and healthy, and it is our responsibility to recognise the limitations of this medium.

Can my messages be re-used by Ship of Fools?

All messages posted on the public boards can be re-used by Ship of Fools freely. This enables us to produce books, booklets and other media which quote from the discussion threads without the labour of seeking permission for each post quoted. This does not include...

> your personal data, which is covered in any case by the provisions of data protection.

> material posted on boards which are privately run by shipmates, and which have closed membership lists. What is posted on the private boards will remain private and confidential and Ship of Fools will not re-publish this material.

Here is the legal notice applying to all members of these boards:

By posting on the public boards you grant ship-of-fools.com and its successors and assigns a non-exclusive irrevocable right to re-use your posting in any manner it or they see fit without notice or compensation to you. No material contained in this site may be republished or reposted without express written consent of ship-of-fools.com, except that board members retain the right to republish or re-post their own work.

Can I quote material from the boards?

As noted above, you are entirely free to quote your own material, which belongs to you. If you want to quote in public (such as on your own website) discussion that has taken place on one of these boards, you need to do the following...

> Gain permission from the authors of the posts you're quoting.

> Gain permission to quote from Ship of Fools and make sure that you publish the appropriate credit and link to this site.

Please contact the editor if you would like permission to quote discussion publicly.

What do ETA, YMMV and the other abbreviations mean?

Yeah, WTF is that all about? For a guide to Ship of Fools shorthand, go to the perpetually updating ETA and other Ship slang thread.
ten commandments
Keep taking the tablets
When did you last read the 10 commandments? They're here.
faqs hands
See the board guidelines
Each board has its own set of guidelines for posting. See them here.
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