Here it is: The list of rules for the birthday card project. I realize this looks like a very long, picky list, but we need to follow the rules to make it work. I've chatted with MP, Ginj and Fryphile (through PMs and such) and here's what's happening:
1. Deadline for US participants to join: Wednesday, March 25 (firm). Deadline for all others to join: Friday, March 27 (firm).
2. Once the card leaves your nation, it won't be coming back unless someone has made a mistake somewhere. If that happens, and it must have happened to someone who signed up in time, we will do our best to get it to you. But everyone should be responsible for knowing who is sending the card to them and where it should go next. We will follow the maps and the order (which will include new people signing up) that MP created which are on Page 3 of the original birthday card thread. I want to try to transfer them over here, but I'm not sure how to do that. If someone else can, feel free.
3. All participants must be willing to give their mailing addresses to the person just before them in line. If not, they can't be in on the project.
4. If you are under the age of 16, please make sure your parents or guardians are OK with this. As a parent of teens, I would expect to know the people my kids are contacting online as far as is possible. They might not want you to give your mailing address to strangers and that's their call. And if you're in a position where you have to ask your folks for money to mail the card, then their permission is almost a must. If your parents have a problem with this and won't allow you to send it on, then we all have a problem. I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but some parents would object to their teens participating in such a project, even an innocent one like this. I certainly can't enforce any of this, as you know. Please just use common sense.
5. Participants should keep the card no longer than 2 days or it will upset the timing and logistics. As soon as you receive it, PM the next person in line so she/he can give you an address for the next destination.
6. You must answer any PM within 48 hours. If you don't, the card goes to the next person in line. Don't send the card to someone who doesn't answer your PM. We must adhere to this or again, we won't have time to complete the card.
7. Use common sense when decorating your page. If you glue something, make sure it's completely dry before you close the book. Tape might be a better choice much of the time. Please don't use markers or paint that might bleed onto someone else's page. Also, it looks like most people want to include their photos with the card. Sounds OK to me, and maybe we can still do a photobucket page with everyone's contributions. If someone wants to take that on, let me know. I don't know the first thing about photobucket.
8. If at all possible, could everyone use a postal tracking method? It costs about 50 or 60 cents in the US. That means if the package is waylaid somewhere, we can find it.
9. Fryphile will start a new thread once he's sent the card to Boiler12 (or whomever is next on the final list). Each person will update with when he or she receives it and when he or she sends it on. That way we always know where it is. Check this thread frequently for updates.
10. If you've changed your mind about participating, please let me know ASAP. I would hate for someone who wasn't expecting it to have to spend the money to mail it on. But that shouldn't happen if we follow the 48-hour rule for PMs.
11. As of a week or so ago, Almighty Naji was scheduled to be last. I will find the best place to send the card when it is completed. I'm also hoping Naji or whomever ends up last can upload some photos of the card so that we all can see it, especially those who won't get to view many decorated pages. Not a must, however, if you can't.
12. I don't know how much the card (more likely a journal-style thing) will cost to send, but it shouldn't be much. If anyone has trouble with this, please let me know. I'll try to think of something. I don't want anyone not to participate because of costs.
13. Ginj has suggested that everyone keep photographs of their pages on the off-chance something happens to the original. These don't have to be shared unless you want to, but that creates a back-up for us.
14. If, at the end, any map gurus want to track how many miles the card traveled, that would be great.
15. I will make the US list next Thursday, March 26, and the rest of the world's list on Saturday, March 27 or Sunday, March 28.
I know this looks like a lot of rules. But we have to have them with snail mail or this might not work. And I so want it to work and for people to have fun. Our Mr. Fry loved the Valentine card, so he should enjoy this one, too.
If you think of anything I've forgotten, please post it here. I'd like to reserve this thread for specific card-related problems and questions. Other posts should probably go on the original card thread (shouts of jubilation, that sort of thing). And Fryphile will start an altogether new thread when he sends on the card. According to his post on the original card thread, it will likely be a journal-style book with everyone getting two pages to use. He will let us know.
edited to change number of days participants can have the card to 2