The Follies was the brain child of Bob (Bubba) Badger, who described its rules this way.

Fibstorm Follies Guidelines
(we don't call 'em rules)

1. They have to be fun! There may be a place for threaded verse of a serious nature, but it ain't here. If you want a "Heartstrings" list, feel free to start one, but this one's just for fun.

2. Fibstorms just happen. You can't force one into existence, but they inevitably result from the creative minds that every single one of you has exhibited from time to time.

3. Fibstorms have to be congenial. Part of the fun of Fibstorms is poking good-natured fun at each other, but if you find yourself wanting to "take the gloves off" and get after it, then do it in private. Me and the rest of the gang ain't got time to referee any real fights. However, if you get your feelings hurt and you feel like pouting, then this probably isn't the right place for you. In other words, "No Whining!" We play hard.

4. It's okay just to sit back and enjoy. You will stay on the mailing list as long as it exists unless you let me know you don't want to get any more issues. It's just as easy to unsubscribe as it was to subscribe just email me.

5. It is considered a courtesy to send a copy to the person whose poem inspired your poem just as a "heads up" so that they can respond in kind if they choose. (That's how Fibstorms get ignited.) Some people (myself included) were also sending copies to everybody who had contributed to the current thread so that they could add their own two cents worth (and so that they would know the current direction of the thread).

However, I got requests from some of the players to cease and desist with that practice because it made the actual issues of the Follies meaningless for them since they had already read everything that was going to be in the issue. Although I am loathe to tell anyone to whom they can or cannot send email, I spread the word about those requests. None of our participants wants to send email to a "Cuzzin" who says they don't want it. At the present time, most of the "stormers" are still sending copies to all the current participants with the exception of those who have told us they don't want to get them.

It is my hope that all the stuff written back and forth for a "fibstorm" will be sent to me so that I can format it for an issue. We have a lot of subscribers who never contribute, but who enjoy reading the repartee very much from "the wings". It would be my advice to send a copy of anything you contribute to me for the Follies to at least the person who wrote the piece to which you are responding. Then, if you find yourself inundated with "follies fodder" that you really don't want to read before the issues come out, just tell the folks who are sending you stuff that you don't care to receive it before the publication of the issues.

6. Because of some confusion that has occurred in the past, we will only accept contributions from email addresses that are included on our list of subscribers. If you think it is absolutely necessary to send a contribution from a fictitious address, please email me privately, and I will consider each case on an individual basis. Otherwise, the contribution won't be considered for an issue unless it comes from an address we recognize as being a subscriber.

I hope this info sheds a little more light on how these threaded verses come to pass in such a hurry between issues. I sometimes get copies of as many as ten poems a day when a "storm" really gets raging. There are a lot of quick and clever people who play in this sandbox, and many of them love to play with each other and send me their stuff just so that I can share it (via blind cc) with those who don't write for the follies.