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Ever since Ship of Fools launched online in 1998, discussion and debate has been at the centre of what we do. Our bulletin boards are some of the oldest, liveliest and best moderated on the Net, and they are the opposite of the echo chamber of social media, with people from around the world, and with very different experiences and beliefs, engaging with each other.

That’s why choosing new software to run our boards was one of the most important decisions in launching the new Ship of Fools.

We’ve chosen Vanilla, which is free, open source forum software, which integrates exceptionally well with WordPress, and has a native mobile version for easy browsing and posting from any mobile device.

RuthW, one of the Ship of Fools admins, says: ‘I’m very much looking forward to being able to read and post on my phone without going blind or crazy!’

Alan Cresswell agrees: ‘I’ve found Vanilla to be much easier to read and use on my phone than the UBB software. I’m looking forward to the great discussions we’ll have on this new platform.’

Another change RuthW is looking forward to is the ability for shipmates to save drafts of their posts before they actually post them. ‘There’ll be no more posts about how “the computer ate my magnum opus so I’m just going to post this summary, but trust me, it was brilliant!”’, she says.

Another admin, Marvin the Martian, says: ‘In terms of the new boards, I’m most looking forward to being able to use them on my phone, but also to the fact that everything will just work – search function, I’m looking at you!’

Registration for the new Ship of Fools bulletin boards will open in December.