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Source: (consider it) Thread: FAQs - History of the Ship
Shaun

BANNED
# 348

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Hi i was reading the info about the history of SofF, and i was just wondering why there was no mention of Murray Watts or Paul Burridge? i may have got their names slightly wrong but when i was introduced to this website by my uni lecturer, she mentioned these names as if they were really important, with regards to the conception of SofF.

Could you shed some light on this, or am i just going completely mad?

[ 05. January 2011, 21:22: Message edited by: Tubbs ]

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Simon

Editor
# 1

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Hi Shaun... sorry for the delay in replying -- I've been away. There's no mention of Murray Watts or Paul Burbridge in the background notes to SOF because they haven't had any involvement in the magazine either in its print or web versions. We did publish a feature by Murray way back in (let me see... must have been 1982), but that's it.

Murray and Paul had a big influence on the 1970s evangelical culture in the UK that SOF originally started off in (through their work with Riding Lights), and maybe that's what your lecturer was talking about.

--------------------
Jumble Sales of the Apocalypse


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Shaun

BANNED
# 348

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ah now i see!

I remember the riding lights part as well, now things are a lot clearer! Many thanks Simon!


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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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This is idle curiosity, or just plain noseiness, but it's something I've often wondered about. The two key figures on Board are Simon (definitely English, seems to based in UK) and Erin (most definitely American and firmly rooted in the USA). How did you two come to meet and get the whole thing going?

(And if this is already described somewhere I apologise. If it turns out to be a FAQ I grovel in the dust. Certainly I can't find the History that Shaun refers to, so I must be missing something.)

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin


Posts: 8891 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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How much time do you have?

The thing is... Simon and I have never met. We've spoken on the phone a fair few times, but there has never been a face-to-face meeting.

I stumbled across the Ship about a month or so before the official launch in the spring of 1998, via a link from Anglicans Online. The original board was implemented in July of that year. (Trawl around in the Ship's Archive for an article that Steve Tomkins wrote, it's freakin' hilarious.) I remember when there weren't that many of us, and looking around, the only people still left from that first month or so on the boards are me, David Rayner, Steve T, Dyfrig, Chris, rachel (not rachel_o, the rachel who had Sven in Minnesota), DP, rosemary and Fudge. (Apologies if I left anyone out.)

Anyway, in January of 1999, I was a regular member, just like you, until the Ten-Horned Beast of the Apocalypse descended upon the poor, unsuspecting souls of the bulletin board. I'm not going to get into the details, unless someone really, really wants to know, but I will say that it took three months before she finally left us alone, and to make that happen Simon, Suse (no longer here) and I spent days and nights deleting thousands of posts; we shut the board down in order to implement the registration and subscription requirement; and David, Simon, Douglas (no longer here), Claudine (again, no longer here) and I spent countless hours doing battle on other (now-defunct) bulletin boards where she had gone to rally people against us.

Because of ALL that we had been through, and because we were also the group that put the original 10Cs together, we sort of became board advisors. At the time I was working a job from 3~11p which was SO BORING that I would pray "please, God, let someone post a message". So I became very active in overseeing the boards, and gradually Simon ceded various responsibilities to me.

Believe it or not, that's the short version. If you want the long and boring one, just ask.

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Thank you. For myself I would like to hear more, if you have the time. In fact if anyone else from the early days wants to post their memories I would be fascinated to read them.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

Posts: 8891 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Steve Birks
Shipmate
# 1413

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originally posted by Erin, Administrator, member #2:-
quote:
If you want the long and boring one, just ask.

we are asking.......

(when you have the time, of course)

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what I say and what I mean are not necessarily the same thing (at least not in this universe)


Posts: 299 | From: Stoke-on-Trent | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
starbelly
but you can call me Neil
# 25

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And Erin, If you could put it all in the form of a Traditional Folk Song, that would be even better!

Neil


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babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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It would be very interesting in hearing the story of the led up to the ship becoming aa web-entity. Perhaps some 're-prints' of some old articles?

bb


Posts: 13287 | From: Cottage of the 3 Bears (and The Gremlin) | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
strathclydezero

# 180

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[Waiting eagerly]

(I love a good story)

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All religions will pass, but this will remain:
simply sitting in a chair and looking in the distance.
V V Rozanov


Posts: 3276 | From: The Near East | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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I'm with bb on this one - I think a place on the ship ( probably somewhere in the lower bilges ) where important historical documents - sorry articles - an be stored, that would give newcomers ( like myself! ) a historical insight into ship-building and crew press-ganging. A longer version of your tale, Erin, would be interesting!

--------------------
Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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sophs

Sardonic Angel
# 2296

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Im with every one who asked, it would be intresting to hear about the ship!
Posts: 5407 | From: searching saharas of sorrow | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by starbelly:
And Erin, If you could put it all in the form of a Traditional Folk Song, that would be even better!

Neil


The trouble with that is now the only melody that is echoing through my brain is the theme song to Gilligan's Island. Thanks a lot.

More memories, huh? It took us about three months to get to a situation where we needed the 10Cs. And that, interestingly enough, came out of a discussion on tolerance!!

Oh, and Laura the admin was the person who proposed the board split that happened about two years ago.

[ 28 March 2002: Message edited by: Erin ]

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Chapelhead*

Ship’s Photographer
# 1143

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Yes, the unexpurgated version, please.

Not only would it be interesting in its own right, but it might help those of us who are more recent recruits to understand what is going on in the (thankfully rare) moments when when somebody (either by accident or design) presses the button marked "don't go there - the last time we went through that the Ship almost sank".

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Benedikt Gott Geschickt!


Posts: 7082 | From: Turbolift Control. | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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The hottest topic of all was a series of... shall we say... misunderstandings re: the United States. I don't want to reopen old wounds, because a lot of the people (on both sides of the argument) are still posting, but suffice to say that it was so bad that I quit as administrator a little over two years ago. It was hideously ugly, and there weren't a whole lot of Americans posting at the time, and nearly every one of us was ready to bail. Clearly we worked through it, but that is the main reason we are so quick to jump on any form of racism, sexism, nationalism, etc. Outside of the fact that it just shows an appalling level of ignorance that we really prefer not to have displayed on our boards, we have seen what it does to the community to let that stuff go unchecked.

The other hot topic, which was so very recently resurrected and subsequently beaten to a bloody pulp, is the likening of a member's position to that of a universally-reviled group. That generates far too much heat, and absolutely no light, so in the interest of community preservation that is simply out of bounds. A big explosion a year ago over this particular technique (note: I was not involved in that debate AT ALL) led us to implement this policy.

We also had a shipmate who was in the habit of telling those who did not agree with his interpretations of the Bible that they were going straight to hell. Again, huge argument, so that's out of bounds.

Those are the major no-go areas that I can think of at the moment.

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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Actually, I don't want to bore y'all with extraneous stuff that you couldn't care less about.

How about we do it like this: y'all ask questions about things that you don't understand or are curious about. Could be anything from what is perceived to be an inside joke, to how did we get certain rules, to why we're set up the way we are, and so on. I think it would be easier than us trying to recreate the last four years or so.

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Chapelhead*

Ship’s Photographer
# 1143

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Fair enough, and now that I’ve rattled my brain cell into action I realize that my last post wasn’t terribly sensible.

I think what I would find very interesting is a “behind the scenes” glimpse of life on the bridge of the SoF (unless this would be too much like letting daylight in upon magic!). Who does what and how? We have some idea of what the hosts do, but much less with “Community Editor” or “Administrator Member” (I’m not even sure I have those titles correct) and so on. Speaking for myself, but I suspect this would be echoed by others, I have very little idea how the ship works and knowing a little more might help shipmates to appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes.

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Benedikt Gott Geschickt!


Posts: 7082 | From: Turbolift Control. | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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Who does what and how... well, let's see. I won't get into the main site stuff right now, I'll just look at the boards.

Simon is editor, owner, designer, and basically The Final Word. Just about all the board functions are delegated to me, as he has loads of other things to worry about outside of them. I, in turn, have delegated them outwards. Once upon a time, when there was one lonely bulletin board, I was it.

I am the Community Editor, which basically translates to manager of the bulletin boards, along with other community functions. (There are six editors, total.) Besides the stuff y'all see (responding to 10C violations, tech support, etc.), I manage the hosts behind the scenes. I'm responsible for the direction and high-level maintenance of each forum, recruitment and management of the hosts, and decisions about threads, posts and members. If members have complaints about hosts, they are referred to me. I spend a lot of time in trend analysis, too, to see if we're headed in the right direction and what the next step in our evolution should be.

David and I sort of split the overall, high-level functions -- he deals with a lot of the technical stuff and I deal with the people aspect of the boards, though we cross-cover each other's functions quite regularly.

Clare and Laura are member administrators, which means that if (the general) you continue to argue with a host after a ruling, the host turns it over to one of them and they deal with it. They do everything that David and I do, with the exception of major board maintenance and disciplining hosts.

The hosts are the people who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the boards, as well as communicating to the administrators and editors any problems, suggestions or comments that come from the members. Each board's hosts are the primary guides, so to speak, of the boards, but all hosts offer opinions and suggestions about the direction of each board. For example: David, Ruth, Tom and 'frin run Hell. With rare exceptions, they make 100% of the decisions about how the place operates on a daily basis, but it is not done in a vacuum. They get input from me, from other hosts, and from Steve Tomkins and Simon before they make the decision, but in the end the decision is theirs. They interpret the 10Cs through their board's guidelines, which is why some things that earn a nudge from a host on one board are engaged in by a host on another.

A lot of discussion happens behind the scenes, between hosts, between administrators, between editors and writers. We propose ideas, talk them out, weigh the pros and cons, look at it from every possible angle, see what our options are, and then make decisions. A perfect example would be the sex edition -- this had already been discussed by the writers and editors for the main site, then the boards were brought into it as it is the point of interaction for all of our readers. We had to determine what the potential problems were, how we could best deal with them, and who would take on which responsibilities in all of it.

So them's the basics. Does that help at all?

[ 28 March 2002: Message edited by: Erin ]

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Shaun

BANNED
# 348

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Very good Erin, but could i be an administrator?

i could take over from Karl! Think of the fun we'd have!


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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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I'd like to know more about the Joanne episode. Last year Suse posted her account of spending eight hours one night deleting Joanne's posts. She said there were over two hundred.

I take it you and Simon took turns doing this for a couple of weeks.

You also said something about helping prevent Joanne from shutting down other boards.

This whole thing sounds really bizarre.

I'm very glad you guys managed to keep the ship afloat.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
---------------------
See you later, alligator.


Posts: 20128 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Chapelhead*

Ship’s Photographer
# 1143

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Thanks Erin.

Perhaps Simon could be persuaded to tell us about the very drunken party where he first thought it sould be a good idea to set up this Christian-unrest website. At least, I presume you were drunk when you first thought of it (and it still seemed a good idea in the morning ).

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Benedikt Gott Geschickt!


Posts: 7082 | From: Turbolift Control. | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Simon

Editor
# 1

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In the beginning was the board. Just one board. It was 17 July 1998 and there was just one message on it, by me, which said: "testing... testing..." In the first few weeks and months this was a free-for-all space: no rules, no hosts, just conversation. You can read about this Eden-like period in the article Erin mentioned, by Steve Tomkins. It's here.

The first time we ever had to consider having anything approaching a rule was when someone posted something about their personal experience and someone else responded insensitively to it -- which led us to caution people about the wisdom of posting overly personal stuff. After that, the first version of the 10 Commandments was assembled in response to specific events onboard.

Hurricane Joanne struck us on 7 January 1999. It's memorable to all old-timers here because it was so completely unexpected and traumatic. Joanne was warmly welcomed, like all newcomers. She debuted by asking us all to spam another website that she violently disagreed with. When we checked the site, it turned out to be a role-playing game, so various people told Joanne that they thought spamming it was unnecessary. This was met with incredible hostility, and Joanne heaped personal scorn and ridicule on anyone who attempted to calm her down.

At this point, she also started large numbers of new threads, all designed to start flame wars, and she dominated every active thread on the board. Basically, we were being spammed ourselves, and normal conversation very quickly became impossible.

Our board software at this point was pretty basic, so when I finally asked Joanne to leave us, she simply refused to go, and there was nothing we could do about it. The incident you mentioned, Moo, took place on Sat/Sun night 30/31 January, when Joanne posted many hundreds of messages on the board, which Erin and Suse deleted manually... no wonder it took 8 hours. I seem to remember the night concluding with the entire text of Amazing Grace, with Erin and Suse posting the verses alternatively.

The only way to be rid of our unwanted guest was to shut down the board, which we did the next day. We reopened a week later with newly-written software that gave us a registration procedure and some protection against people who wished us harm.

Joanne then registered a few times under different usernames (but her unique style quickly gave her away, of course), and we repeatedly booted her back out. She then took her quarrel with us to another bulletin board, The Godless Zone (sadly no longer running), where our banning of Joanne was hotly debated and where we were initially taken to task for censorship.

A few weeks later, The Godless Zone banned her themselves, as she did to them what she had done to us. Erin wrote about it: "They, like us, sought to engage her in dialogue. They, like us, tried to ignore her, warned her, and finally banned her. She took that fight to still other boards, and then dragged Ship of Fools there with it." I think the fight continued on a further three boards across the Net.

One of the things this episode taught me was that it is very difficult to draw solid lines between "real life" and what happens on the Net -- it was a line a lot of people tried to draw solidly in those far-off days. Joanne's behaviour was cruel in the extreme (I especially recall her vicious attacks on one poster's marriage, which was at an already agonising point of collapse at the time) and she left in her wake a lot of confused, distressed and wounded people -- all through words typed onto a screen. The wounds were real, not virtual.

The rest of our structure (rules, hosts, admins, the separate boards) evolved over time in response to quarrels, growing numbers and our desire to try different and better ways of doing things.

Hope that's long enough on Joanne... As for the drunken party, Chapelhead, I'll post something on it when I've had a whisky or two.

[ faulty date fixed ]

[ 29 March 2002: Message edited by: Simon ]

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Jumble Sales of the Apocalypse


Posts: 3769 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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When all was said and done, I believe that she was the primary cause of 22 other boards on the Internet either shutting down or significantly altering their moderation practices.

Ooooh... rereading through what Simon posted, there's one bit he left out -- she was originally booted in mid-January, but she refused to go. Neoworks logged her IP address and then banned that ISP's customers from posting on the bulletin board. She joined AOL to get around the block on her original ISP, which is when we finally decided that the registration software needed to be implemented.

(The Amazing Grace thing happened the night Simon chucked her the very first time.)

[ 29 March 2002: Message edited by: Erin ]

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Shaun

BANNED
# 348

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ooh this is exciting! I wonder if this Joanne will one day return to try to bring SoF to its knees?!

The battle between good and evil, simon (obi wan kenobi?), and erin (luke skywalker?Princess leia? yoda!?!??!) versus Joanne, the darkest, cruelest christian poster on the internet!

But seriously though, you wanna be careful against nutters like this spiking you with virus' i know its very possible. We had a guy at uni who got kicked out, who very nearly brought the entire university computer system down. Scary stuff.


Posts: 112 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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Thanks. That was interesting.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
---------------------
See you later, alligator.


Posts: 20128 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Yes, that was great. One change that happened just before I joined was you went from a subscription-only system to the present free boards (I might not have joined the old system - I am well known for being extremely mean). Why did you change, and what number was the membership when you did? (Personally I think there is real status in having a member number below 100. Is there any way of buying one, like a rare car number plate?)

--------------------
Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

Posts: 8891 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Edward Green
Review Editor
# 46

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Hmm, sell my Number ... I could put it in the Shop!

Down Below... mentions some of the other people involved with the ship and some handy links.

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blog//twitter//
linkedin


Posts: 4893 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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The subscription changes were discussed here.

The membership on the Neoworks board hovered around 250, but I would say that there were only 50 or so active participants at any one time. In less than a year our membership has grown to ten times that. Everyone had to reregister for the new boards, so the hosts, administrators and editors at the time we bought the software got the lowest numbers.

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
sophs

Sardonic Angel
# 2296

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(Time for me to look really thick)
Yes i know its stupid person but i had to ask anyway.....
IS there really such a person as St Simon the holy fool?

Posts: 5407 | From: searching saharas of sorrow | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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I assumed he was synonymous with Simon Jenkins
by the way, has he really written lots of books, on sale at amazon.com,or is that a namesake too?

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

Posts: 34561 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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St Simeon, the holy fool

There are at least two Simon Jenkins. One is our dear Captain, and the other is a writer for The Times. Both are published authors.

bb


Posts: 13287 | From: Cottage of the 3 Bears (and The Gremlin) | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jonah the Whale

Ship's pet cetacean
# 1244

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What an interesting thread. Many thanks to Simon and Erin for taking the time to post their memoires.

quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
Personally I think there is real status in having a member number below 100. Is there any way of buying one, like a rare car number plate?

Wow! And I look up with great awe at anyone with less than four figures!


Posts: 2790 | From: Nether Regions | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Arrietty

Ship's borrower
# 45

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And just to confuse us even more, 'twas the other Simon Jenkins, I believe, who wrote the Good Church Guide......

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i-church

Online Mission and Ministry

Posts: 6634 | From: Coventry, UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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When I first started posting on SoF it was on another set of discussion boards - noth the ones you had to pay for, something else - before I didscovered these. What were those, and what happened to them?

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

Posts: 8891 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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This time last year, and for a while before that, there were two sets of boards running on the Ship. The main boards (Purgatory, Hell etc) you had to pay to contribute to. In addition, there were some additional free to post to boards; MW was one of these (it is somewhat unfair if people at a church that's been MW'd then have to pay a subscription to respond to the report), there was also a general discussion board (I've forgotten what we called it) where I reckon the intention was that people could try out the boards before subscribing.

With free registration on these new boards the division between free and subscriber boards became irrelevant. The old free general discussion board vanished into Purgatory.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.


Posts: 31964 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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The subscription charges were introduced after the departure of the "Ten-Horned Beast of the Apocalypse" to ensure that nothing like that would ever happen again. The rational was, if I remember rightly, that paid access would act as a discouragement ...

And I paid my tenner ya skinflint!

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am


Posts: 12618 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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I started on the old boards, and didn't quite get round to paying my subscription . But I only posted on Small Fire ( which was free ), so I didn't feel a need to progress at that time.

IIRC, the deeper boards ( Heaven, hell and purg ) were subscription only, and the others ( MW, SF, UM? ) were free, because they benefitted from a wider audience participation.

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Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.


Posts: 18499 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
When I first started posting on SoF it was on another set of discussion boards - ... what happened to them?

Check out the Caption Competition. The neoworks software is used for the displaying the captions.

bb


Posts: 13287 | From: Cottage of the 3 Bears (and The Gremlin) | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Aha! I thought it looked familiar.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

Posts: 8891 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
David
Complete Bastard
# 3

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Better yet, check out the Archive.
Posts: 3815 | From: Redneck Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Thank you. Never seen the Archive laid out like that before - and that is exactly what I remembered. Sadly, on a quick look, I can't find any threads with my name on them. Am I being discriminated against? Am I terminally boring? Is it 'cos I's black?

(Note to non UK shipmates - the lasr question is a humourous reference to Ali G, not a serious accusation of racism. )

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin


Posts: 8891 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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We stopped archiving threads a few weeks before we made the switch.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
clare
Contributing Editor
# 17

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Huw, the Shiptalk board started life as the letters page. In fact, the whole thing did, as far as I know when the ship first sailed the letters page started to take on a life of its own, which led to the bulletin board format, as being more discussion friendly.

When the boards became subscription the letters page was kept as a way for non paying readers to put up comments on the ship content. People would email Simon, would would format it into html and post them up as a list of links. I imagine this became increasingly tedious for him, so a bit later the neoworks board format was used so that people could post their own 'letters'. There was something in the blurb about there being a bit of a time delay (just so people didn't think they were getting the full bulletin board experince maybe?!) though I'm not sure if this was ever the case or a bluff!

IIRC when the boards did the heaven/hell etc split this was renamed from the 'letters page' to 'shiptalk board'.. and in reality became a sort of parallel discussion comunity to the main boards - yeah... the skinflints! So when the boards went free again it made sense to integrate them all.

clare


Posts: 2317 | From: edge of the peak district | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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The resurrected E-pistles page was moderated for a while, so Simon would have to go in and approve all posts before they'd show up. That was to prevent both a Joanne-style spamming AND to mitigate against the conversation aspect. But that got tedious, so it was ditched.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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E-pistles - that was it. Sorry, at my advanced age (I'm 97 and still got my own teeth) the memory needs a bit of jogging.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

Posts: 8891 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Another thing I've wondered about - has the Ship really grown bigger, and if so by how much? Yes, I know there are now over 2500 registered members, but most of those are not active. Sadly quite a few people never seem to post at all, while others make a splash for a while and then just fade away (Matt the Mad Medic are you out there?).

Is there any way of finding how many people posted on Friday, say, and comparing that with the number a month earlier, six months, a year? It would just be a way of getting a snapshot of Ship activity, and seeing how we're going. Not sure if it's of any use, but I would be interested to know.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin


Posts: 8891 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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There's not really any way to show that, other than by a manual count. However, last month we had approximately 450,000 hits for the bulletin boards, which is our busiest month to date. We did start with less than 300,000 hits per month, so it's been steadily increasing.

Other useless fact: there are 318 people who qualify for shipmate status.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Grief - only 318? out of over 2500? Now that dose surprise me. It would seem that more people "fade away" than I had realised.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

Posts: 8891 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Orcadian
Shipmate
# 1564

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Wanderer - suggest you put Quizmaster onto the case. He has ways of getting people to answer these sorts of questions!
Posts: 87 | From: London | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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Actually, that's fairly typical of bulletin boards I've seen. Usually only between 5 and 10 percent of the membership are active at any given time. Some register to specifically comment on an article, some are lurkers and post very rarely.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged



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