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Complete Message Board FAQs
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Permanent FAQ (updates by administrators only, to keep it clear & simple)

1. Sending Neil a message
2. When/Where/How/etc Neil appearances

-The Board-
3. How to navigate the message board: The shortcuts
4. How to use private topics
5. How do I get an avatar or custom member name?
6. Getting to know the Boardians
7. Rules of conduct
8. How to get help

1. Sending Neil a message

Neil Gaiman does not contribute to these boards. If you wish to send him a comment or question, you may do so with the FAQ feature of, here. He gets hundreds of FAQs and cannot reply to them all, but he does try to read them all. Watch the blog for answers.
Suggestions: Neil is unlikely to reanswer questions he's answered before. Use the search function to the left of his journal to see if he's answered your question before. (The links are all labeled backwards, but the search function is there.) This message board is also a good source for answers to general questions

2. When/Where/How/etc Neil appearances

All available information on Neil's appearances are posted in the Where's Neil section of the website, and occasionally on the blog. Information beyond that, such as 'when will Neil visit my hometown/country?,' is unavailable.
Neil's response to this question, as well as how to get him to visit your town, is available on's FAQ, here.

3. How to navigate the message board: The shortcuts

Here are two handy shortcuts for navigating the board:
*The "Go" function in the menu bar will allow you to jump directly to any of the forums
*Within a forum, clicking on the name of the most recent poster to a thread will take you to the last page of the threads. There is no longer a way to jump into the middle of a thread from the thread list.

4. How to use private topics

To create or view private topics, go to the "Go" tab in the top left of the screen, then scroll to "Personal Space" link in the upper right corner of the screen. Within this area, click the "Private Messaging" option. This area functions in the same way as the normal forums, except the topics are only visible to those invited to it. Posters may only be invited while the topic is being created, with a maximum of 20 invitees. Only invited members may read the subject. No one else will even know it exists. Administrators will be able to see the title of the thread but not the content.
*I recommend all posters to set up notifications of new posts to the private forum to save the trouble of actively checking the forum each time you log on. To set up notifications, use the "Notifications" button in "Personal Space".
*Within the private messages area, posters have the ability to delete their own posts. The administrators would appreciate it if you delete old Private Messages you no longer need as they use up our limited allotment of Live Posts.

5. How do I get an avatar or custom member name?

To change your avatar, go to the "Go" tab in the top left of the screen, then scroll to "Personal Space" link in the upper right corner of the screen. Within this area, click the "Profile" option. In the upper right corner of the profile will be an option to edit your profile. Sometimes the link isn't immediately obvious because you have to scroll right in the window's sub-window. In the editing area, scroll down to where it says "Change Avatar" and follow on screen directions from there. Make sure when you are done that you scroll down the edit profile window and click "Submit".

Custom member names, appearing under your handle, are handcrafted by crafty mod Dweller in Darkness. Please PM him or post in the FAQ area to request one. We don't have the time to constantly change these things, so expect the one you get to stay with you awhile.

6. Getting to know the Boardians.

We do have a large roster of members here. To get to know some folks better, you can read their own personal FAQs here.

7. Rules of conduct

A. Nudity: (edited 7/17/2007)
No nudity may be posted in the general forums except by labeled link. Even then, the moderators reserve the right to limit the pictures that are so linked and can and will remove them at any time. This is because so many people check the boards from school or work. Linked photos still can't be explicit. It's hard to define boundaries, so use your best sense. Flame Wars is more lenient. Flame Wars is not work safe. In Flame Wars, any picture it would have been OK to post with a link in the general forums may be posted. Pictures that would not have been OK to link to still may not be posted. Although posting such images is currently allowed, an excessive amount of such photos, and threads specifically devoted to such photos, will not be allowed. The mods will delete without notice if we feel we need to.
*No nude images of the posters will be allowed. This isn't a private forum among friends, it's a public website, and the idea of weirdoes stealing images of our friends is not something we like.

B. Spam
No spam is allowed. This includes, but is not limited to:
*Newcomers asking for attention for their website/cause/book/etc. We expect posters to come to contribute not to use us.
*Ebay promotions. We do not allow any ebay promotions either from newcomers or old timers, even if the item is a super-rare Neil item. On the rare occasion, an ebay link will be allowed, usually if the proceeds are all for charity, but the link must be approved by the mods first.
*Self-promotion. For newcomers, it is generally not tolerated. We feel like we're being used. For old-timers, it is more tolerated as it's more about sharing your life. If you don't know if something should be posted, please contact the mods.

C. Hotlinking
So, a while back, we moderators came across an issue that any growing board has to answer to: hotlinking images.

For those who don't know, hotlinking images is, for the purposes of our dicussion, "using an [img] tag to display a JPEG image you found on someone else's web page so it will appear on your forum posting." In other words it's what many of us do in every "welcome" thread, and it's bad. Hotlinking is a very bad thing because the sites you link to have limited bandwidth and have to pay for every bit of it. One website compares it to plugging an appliance into your neighbour's wall socket and taking their electricity.

How can you avoid being a bandwidth thief? It's pretty simple, really. If you find an image you want to use on the boards, only its on a website where you don't pay the rent, find a place to host it. There's or or . . . quite a few. They're free, and simple enough to use that I can figure them out. Really, that's pretty simple, trust me. Save your pictures there and then link to the picture at that hosting site.

If we find a hotlinked image, we will delete the image and we will take 100 points off your Karma. If you don't have 100 points of Karma yet, we'll send you a message letting you know that your picture's been removed and what you can do about it. Repeat offenses from "newbies" or regulars will lead to greater consequences.

This starts as of February 8th, 2006,

For more information, check out or similar sites. Feel free to ask questions here, by PM or via e-mail.

D. General Rules Of Conduct
*Cussing is allowed. It is not allowed if that's all you do.
*Flaming is not allowed. This includes flaming Todd McFarlane and George Lucas. We have a Flame Wars area where that is allowed. Even though it's allowed in Flame Wars, remember that if you misuse that privilege, people will most likely stop listening to you in general.
-Please remember that debates can get heated and that opinions about a stance in a debate and opinions about the person proposing the stance are different things.
*Please keep your avatars small. Rule of thumb is that if it's width passes the line between the "New" and "Find" links on the tool bar, or is longer than your average post, then it's too large.
*Links to the full text of copyrighted books/stories or to copyrighted songs will be deleted.
* We do ban members from the board, though it is a rarity Usually, they get 3 strikes/warnings before they are banned, but on occasion (such as someone's first post being blatantly trollish) posters will be banned immediately.
* Please post threads in appropriate forums. We have Coraline, American Gods, Gaiman's Other Works, and 'Thoughts on Neil' (Neil discussion not focused on a specific work) for all Neil related subjects. Gaiman posters around the world for geographic conversations, Other Writers for non-Neil literary discussions, a FAQ, a Flame area, and the World's End for all other discussion and silliness. Mods will move threads as appropriate.
*Please type "*Spoilers*" or post in white before you give away anything about plot lines others may want left a surprise. Even for defunct shows or old movies.

8. How to get help

For additional help/questions, there are several options:
*Post a topic in this (FAQ) forum or in the Private forum
*Email one of the administrators. We're Aitapata, Dweller In Darkness, Smaug and GMZoe
If there is a problem with a specific post, for example you accidentally double posted/got a link wrong/want to report someone's bad behavior, then click on the "!" icon at the lower right corner of the post. This will send a flag up for us in a private administrator area and let us review the post
*Three of the three mods check the boards from work. If you need to ask about an image which is not work-safe, either contact GMZoe or smaug any time or Aitapata in the evening or night.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: aitapata,
Posts: 13129 | Location: Tucson | Registered: June 19, 2001Report This Post
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