Faefrost, on 08 July 2012 - 01:50 AM, said:
This! No really This!
Ultimately we, the dedicated Lego fans are almost worse for CuuSoo than the rabid fanboys. I said it somewhere above. The problem is dilution.
The key thing in all of the projects that made it to the end (possibly excepting the "Dark Bucket" which I still can't comprehend the support base), is that they were marvelously polished and completed projects. They weren't just an idea plopped out on LDD and never worked through again. They were and are complete, fully documented projects. Good quality stuff that have a business case built into them. The fans of all types know and support quality, regardless of license or theme.
Now the Rabid Fandoms have an advantage on CuuSoo. Concentration. There may only be 1 or a handful of projects that spark their interest. So they all go there. Whereas for the Lego fan... well CuuSoo is 210 pages at 18 projects per page. All of them projects targeted towards Lego fans. What then escalates this and further dilutes it is far too many of we Lego fans treat CuuSoo as some sort of "Show off my MOC" site, and not the serious business proposal site that it is meant to be. People will stick any old thing up there to get feedback or in the slightly lower than winning the lottery chance that it might get made. And while it is not readily apparent, using CuuSoo in that manner does harm everyone else. It's what pads out those 210 pages of projects to the point where most never get seen by human eyes. And being seen is the entire point of what it takes to get a really great project made.
Very good observation. AFOLs are already a "house divided" in some respects, favoring very different themes and having very different sensibilities about how those themes should be presented. But if what we like in common is LEGO, then seeing what we like, but made of LEGO, comes with the territory. There's no "novelty" to it, and so it's a lot harder to pile our support on any one concept.
Another reason "rabid fandoms" might support projects with more fervor than typical LEGO fans is that they might look at the projects with less of a critical eye than a LEGO fan might look at a non-licensed project. For instance, a fan of The Legend of Zelda might support a Legend of Zelda project just for the novelty of it, especially if it's presented as a good-looking and realistic-looking project. On the other hand, a LEGO fan will look at a licensed or non-licensed proposal a lot more critically. They will be judging it not based merely on how much they like the concept, but also on how it compares to existing LEGO sets-- how high its quality is, how well it "fits in" with other sets, and at the same time how it manages to set itself apart from existing sets.
Something I've noticed in addition is that I've had a lot of difficulty coming up with project ideas myself, and part of this has to do with figuring out what AFOLs will like. Some of my personal favorite ideas, like a modular road system or Hero Factory re-imaginings of the original six BIONICLE characters, would be incredibly divisive. Other ideas are difficult due to worries about "brand fit". Most of my building tends to be within existing themes, and the trouble with doing that is that you then have to compete against the sets in those themes-- both in terms of support, since people will not support a themed proposal they consider weaker than the sets already available within that theme, and in terms of the final product design, since TLG might reject it if they consider it too similar to what they already plan to have on store shelves.
The easiest way to get around these concerns is either to dig up an old theme that hasn't been touched in a while but still has a lot of appeal, like the Modular Western Town proposal, or to make up your own theme. But making up your own completely original theme is hard, especially when you know that there will likely be only one actual product released-- not much to base a theme on. It's much easier in some cases to turn to a licensed theme. With those, the hard work of making something that stands out against the tapestry of ideas has already been done for you, and the challenge becomes taking those ideas and making them into a compelling and well-presented product design.