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Hi everyone,

I actually have been considering to create this topic for two-three months but after noticing that we didn't have the Expand the Winter Village Contest VIII yesterday (I wasn't aware of that before), I thought it was time to create this topic. Without further ado, let me jump into it.

I see that the level of activity on EB is lower than it was before. For example, the number of active members seemed to be higher; the interaction between members and also between staff and members looked more intense, more amusing and interesting discussions were going on, and people were having more fun (such as on titles). If I'm wrong and if EB is a forum that is still active as it used to be, I believe, in any case, it deserves to grow - with even more AFOLs (I do understand that every AFOL may not want/don't have time to interact but they can come only to show their MOCs). So I feel it's just the right time to take action. :classic: 

So, does anyone else feel the way I do and does anyone has any suggestions?

Staff, I know this may a sensitive subject and you may not be ok with regular members interlope and I absolutely understand that. I just would like to help in anyway I (and other members) can, I hope you'll not be offended. I really think all the forum needs to stand together. :cry_happy:

Many thanks to all, the staff and members, for your attention, consideration and support. :classic: (@Jipay, @Bonaparte, @Hinckley, @Siegfried, @Shadows, @Rick, @Jim, @Bob De Quatre, @WhiteFang, @Fugazi, @Captain Nemo, @Clone OPatra, @CorneliusMurdock, @Brickdoctor, @Stash2Sixx, @Ecclesiastes, @ZCerberus, @Peppermint_M, @Mister Phes, @Phred, @Pandora, @JopieK, @Milan, @VBBN, @Rufus, @LuxorV, @Superkalle, @Dragonator and @CopMike) My apologies for shout-outs to each of you but I just want to draw your attention. :classic:

Sincerely,

LegoModularFan  

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I don't have any site statistics to go on or anything, but I agree that the interaction in the threads seems to be a little more terse and a little less jovial than a year or two ago.  I do have to wonder if some of that - without getting political - has to do with everything else going on in the world at large right now; that is, just general level of stress and "stuff" happening is sapping some of the time people might spend on EB and possibly also taking out a little bit of the "fun" with it.

Speaking just for myself, I've probably been more active over the past year, but in most topics it's not been as deep an interaction, nor do I spend as much time following as many topics and staying involved in them as I used to.

I wouldn't go so far as to say EB is unhealthy or fading away (I don't see it becoming a Lugnet-esque wasteland anytime soon), but if there was a way to amp up the happiness level a little bit it certainly wouldn't hurt.  :classic:

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I am a "relatively" new member still, so I can't really tell how it was a few years ago, but I find it a shame that excellent and inventive MOCs often get no comments at all, or just very few. Of course we can't force people to appreciate them, and honest c&c is better than just generic praisal - but it would be nice to see interest in MOCs increase.

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Thank you @LegoModularFan for opening this thread up for discussion (somewhat ironically :grin:). I'm sure some of the other staff will have input--or would like input--from the Eurobricks community in general regarding this topic.  

I've been a member of Eurobricks since 2011 (which is a full year earlier than I remember it being!), and I have been the Moderator for Licensed for a few years now. I will say that I, and the staff as a whole, have noticed the general shift in conversation "styles" and activity (and all the things that do come with that) increasingly over the past few years. This is something we have and are addressing internally, and we are looking for ways to reinvigorate the community on the whole. 

While I do not speak for all of the Forums, I will note my views on the changing of Licensed: Over the last few years I've noted a change in the style of discussion--in that member discussion in general was focused on what's potentially coming and not what we have now. Speculation is fun, when appropriate. Perhaps this is my rose-colored glasses, but I don't remember it being this way previously, at least not to this extent. I personally see this as a negative, as first and foremost I believe this place is meant to be about Lego discussion, rather than the stuff that orbits the product. 

--

Without trying to derail this, I do have some random questions for the members, if anyone is interested feel free to reply here or to me/staff directly:  

  • Would you like to see more contests?
  • What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)?
  • Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)? 
  • Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)?  
  • Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. 
  • Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use? 
  • Do you prefer broadly defined threads or multiple specialized threads? 
  • What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? 

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1 hour ago, Captain Nemo said:

Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)? 

Not I, but perhaps I would if subforums had index topics for their own wishlist topics. That I think would be quite handy to cite to new members! :classic:

1 hour ago, Captain Nemo said:

Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc.

I'm a member of the Eurobricks group over on Flickr, primarily to follow its photo pool.

1 hour ago, Captain Nemo said:

Do you prefer broadly defined threads or multiple specialized threads?

Definitely broadly defined threads, for the most part that is.

1 hour ago, Captain Nemo said:

What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? 

Not the Frontpage, but the Forums Index.

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I've been here for awhile, and had some very mini-dark ages where I still checked the site almost every day but wasn't active. For me, I've found that there's just a lot of stuff that takes up my time and I'm active, but not as much as I would like sometimes. I think we all are looking through things with a bit of nostalgia, but I agree that some comments and discussions have been more terse as of late. I think part of it is with some of the older members slowly becoming less active (I remember eagerly awaiting reviews from Svelte) and a newer crop of members coming in. Maybe it's an age gap thing. Maybe I felt that some newer members seemed a little immature at points and the more "experienced" members stepping in. Of course, we all had to learn the rules of this forum and the culture, but it does seem different, at least a little bit.

1 hour ago, Captain Nemo said:

Would you like to see more contests?

Absolutely, especially more LDD ones as there are definitely members who for one reason or another stick to LDD as their primary building. Even if it's a collab build (when was that last one?). They were a lot of fun.

Quote

What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)?

I like them. They're cute, fun ways to see things about the board and learn a bit about other members.

Quote

Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)? 

I use lists mainly for inspiration on MOCs like for ships and buildings. Not sure how up to date they are though.

Quote

Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)?  

All the time. With Heroica ending though, I'm hoping we'll be able to get a new RPG running soon.

Quote

Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use? 

Yup, I stick to Brickshelf though.

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  • Would you like to see more contests? Would be fine and with LDD (and other softwares) allowed too
  • What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)? NA
  • Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)?  I use the recreated sets in LDD
  • Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)?   nope
  • Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. nope
  • Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use?  flickr, forums
  • Do you prefer broadly defined threads or multiple specialized threads? the right compromise
  • What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? portal/unreads

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3 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:
  1. Would you like to see more contests?
  2. What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)?
  3. Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)? 
  4. Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)?  
  5. Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. 
  6. Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use?  
  7. What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? 
  1. Yes, it would be great to have more mini-contests (like TC13) to supplement the bigger ones.
  2. They're great, but it would be good to have some more information about them - I myself don't know what most of them are for...
  3. Yes, in fact, that's how I first found Eurobricks!
  4. No (I'd rather be building MOCs), but I have looked at them before...
  5. No, I don't use either of those sites...
  6. Yes, (see my "about me" page below). I use Bricksafe.
  7. The Technic forum is where I start, but I always have a look around the other forums.

 

BTW, I've been thinking about making Lego quiz (a hard one) for awhile, so if you think that would a good idea, let me know...

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Posted (edited)
On 5/2/2018 at 3:07 AM, Captain Nemo said:

Thank you @LegoModularFan for opening this thread up for discussion (somewhat ironically :grin:).

I really didn't expect a such nice and detailed reply, thanks a lot! :classic:

And millions of thanks to whoever (I think it's you) made this topic featured, I didn't expect this at all. Really! :blush: I was thinking that this topic could instead even be locked... :laugh:

Members, thanks for sharing your opinions, I'm glad to see there's some interest to this topic! :sweet:

On 5/2/2018 at 3:07 AM, Captain Nemo said:

Would you like to see more contests?

I'd love to! It's a great way for EB to have more members coming only to participate in contests (as far as I see) and I think that even people joining after the deadline needs to be able to participate. It's also a great way to see a lot of amazing MOCs in a short time!

On 5/2/2018 at 3:07 AM, Captain Nemo said:

What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)?

I like them, they're really nice. But I agree with @mocbuild101, it would be nice to have some more info about them.

On 5/2/2018 at 3:07 AM, Captain Nemo said:

Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. 

I visit the Flickr page. Easy way to discover some amazing MOCs and communicate when EB is in maintenance.

On 5/2/2018 at 3:07 AM, Captain Nemo said:

Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use? 

I haven't done any MOCs yet but I'll use Flickr as hosting platform when I start to!

On 5/2/2018 at 3:07 AM, Captain Nemo said:

What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? 

Definitely the town forum! I lately started to visit more forums though and I'm very glad that I started doing this as I see I missed a lot of things... :grin:

Can't wait to see more replies from members and staff! :excited:

Edited by LegoModularFan

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Yes, EB is somewhat less active now than it used to be. When you look at older posts, the responses used to be elaborate, longer, worthwhile reading through and harsh, if necessary. Now, everything seems more "disposable", threats, and more sadly, MOCs. Nevertheless, EB is still, by far, a place of interest. If you want real humans looking at your build for more than a second, EB is the place still. For instance, the Town Forum is so much more crowded than it was a year ago. Then, the last topic on the first page was maybe from a week before, now, a topic that hasn't had any responses in a day or two can directly fall back to the second page.

Therefore, there's nothing the staff can do. I believe it's a shift in the way of thinking and living overall.

12 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:
  • Would you like to see more contests?
  • What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)?
  • Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)? 
  • Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)?  
  • Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. 
  • Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use? 
  • Do you prefer broadly defined threads or multiple specialized threads? 
  • What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? 
  1. Personally not, contests are very nice, but never quite interested, honestly.
  2. I love them, would be cool to have really specific ones. These add a lot to the EB addicition!
  3. Not really.
  4. Neither.
  5. Have never found it that useful. Eurobricks on Flickr, at least, is just another group to plop your MOCs into.
  6. Flickr.
  7. Both are fun and interesting.
  8. The Town Forum. @LegoModularFan has some really cool topics that I try to follow. I think showcasing modulars is firstly, very inspiring, but secondly, and antidote to the increasing speed on that forum.

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Ok, here's mine. Honest answers, as always :wink:

13 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:

Would you like to see more contests?

Sure, I probably wont build something, but they are usually quite interesting.

13 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:
  • What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)?

I don't need them really and I think they are just for ego-pampering.

13 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:

Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)?

Not really. I found the photography tutorials quite useful, but was unable to find them last time I looked. 

13 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:

Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)? 

No.

13 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:

Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. 

No.

13 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:

Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use? 

Occasionally, Wordpress.

13 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:

Do you prefer broadly defined threads or multiple specialized threads? 

It depends. It is certainly easier to communicate if the thread's topic is narrowed down to a degree.Too broadly threads can meander out quite a lot.

13 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:

What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? 

Unread content.

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I follow most of the sub-forums here in Eurobricks, but my two favorites are the Train and Sci-fi forums. I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, and most licensed themes aren't my thing, so I rarely if never visit those forums.

I guess behavior varies depending on what forum it is. The Train Tech forum for example is a great! When you post a WIP topic, people often join in and offer advice and tips on building your model or solving problems you may have with the design. It's a very supportive community and i love it. :classic:

The Sci-fi forum is awesome as well. I started my classic space discussion topic  a little over a year ago, and it's reached fifteen pages. Discussing with so many people about the merits of classic space and what the future may hold has been great!

13 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:
  • Would you like to see more contests?
  • What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)?
  • Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)? 
  • Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)?  
  • Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. 
  • Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use? 
  • Do you prefer broadly defined threads or multiple specialized threads? 
  • What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? 

I haven't participated in any contests, but they're always fun to follow! But do we need more? Maybe.  I'm not to sure.

I think tags are fun! It's a great way to express people's interests and accomplishments.

Hmm. No I don't believe I do.

Yes! I love Mafia!

Yes, I follow Eurobrick's Flickr feed, as well as post some of my MOCs there as well.

Yes, Flickr is my preferred method.

Broad threads are good. I might find something that interests me that I otherwise might have missed.

Train Tech and/or Sci-fi sub-forums.

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15 hours ago, Littleworlds said:

I am a "relatively" new member still, so I can't really tell how it was a few years ago, but I find it a shame that excellent and inventive MOCs often get no comments at all, or just very few. Of course we can't force people to appreciate them, and honest c&c is better than just generic praisal - but it would be nice to see interest in MOCs increase.

 

@littleworlds Thank you for saying this and thank you @legomodularfan for bringing the question to the table.

This is my biggest issue with the hobby. There`s one considerably small hard core and it feels difficult to "get inside" this core. I`m an amateur in any way and that makes it even more important for me that I get feedback to my work, both for inspiration to do more and to get some sort of confirmation I do anything right (if I do).. Lack of feedback here makes me stick to Instagram, there I recieve feedback and it`s much easier to share pictures.. nevertheless I visit EB several times a day to stay informed, so I love the site :)

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My 2¢ - the "sticky" threads detailing reviews, etc, are all very stale and unmaintained. It is really hard to find, for example, reviews of Friends sets after 2014. Perhaps those threads could be updated or changed into a wiki-type format that could be more easily edited?

Links like the set review index: https://www.eurobricks.com/sieg/dex/ don't work, for example. And I know some of the older reviews are killed by Photobucket dying, but it would be nice (for me at least, and I'm almost certainly the most important person here! *huh*) to be able to find that content again. For example; there is no list of Reviewer's Academy reviews that I can find. I love reading them, but I have to manually poke around to discover new ones.

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Very interesting topic :thumbup:, I generally use EB everyday, unless of course there’s I no Wi-Fi, very busy etc. I remember when I first joined the site there was talk of both a potential EB app and YouTube channel, the app would alert you if you were quoted and what not, but I guess the update since then has fixed a lot of that. 

19 hours ago, Captain Nemo said:

Without trying to derail this, I do have some random questions for the members, if anyone is interested feel free to reply here or to me/staff directly:  

  • Would you like to see more contests?
  • What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)?
  • Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)? 
  • Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)?  
  • Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. 
  • Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use? 
  • Do you prefer broadly defined threads or multiple specialized threads? 
  • What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? 

1.) Definitly! The small, one off contests are always fun to do, and I think to add on more advertising for contests within the site would be good, so more front paging of contest entries, approaching deadlines etc.

2.) I like them, it’s a great way to get members more involved in the site’s activities, members might see the tags and think “They look interesting, how can I get some of those”.

3.) It was reviews that brought me to the site in the first place, so initially I did use them a lot, I’ve noticed whilst a lot of the D2C/UCS sets get reviewed, usually at the time of their release, a lot of the smaller sets don’t always get reviewed.

4.) Yes, Mafia.

5.) Neither, I did visit the Star Wars blog a lot, but that seems to have been down since about February now.

6.) For contests yes, I feel more motivated when I’m building towards something. I use Brickshelf. 

7.) Definitely Specalized threads, the problem with broad threads is that the OP says one thing, a moderator says another thing, another mod says something else, and the thread can end up spiralling out of control. As there’s no strict set of rules, people can deviate so it ends up being a mish mash of speculation, real rumours, etc.

8.) Usually it’s the Star Wars thread, but I always check out the General, Licenced, Community, forums too. 

18 minutes ago, bombcar said:

My 2¢ - the "sticky" threads detailing reviews, etc, are all very stale and unmaintained. It is really hard to find, for example, reviews of Friends sets after 2014. Perhaps those threads could be updated or changed into a wiki-type format that could be more easily edited?

Links like the set review index: https://www.eurobricks.com/sieg/dex/ don't work, for example. 

I heavily agree with this, I know it’s a huge ask, but updating, (or maybe even creating new ones altogether) Review Indexes with updated Reviews would make it easier to find specific reviews. 

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 Haven't been on Eurobricks in months. When I first joined in late 2016, I was interested in TLBM and from what I remember was checking the thread at least twice a day. One of the appealing things was that pictures of new sets/ minifigure concept art and even leaks (before they were taken down) were posted there. Now I'm 15 so that means I'm still in school and generally have less time for anything Lego related each year as the workload climbs higher. I started to post moc's here using flickr, but in the end I just ran out of time/ patience to create topics.  

Anyways, I became involved in the Flickr Lego community and have stayed there ever since. From the links that were being posted in the forums here, I eventually got lead to a place where leaks are posted before they really appear anywhere else, so that also means that I don't need to look through the EB forums to find leaks and information about new sets.

But the main reason why I stopped checking in here is because of how @VaderFan2187 was treated. I really enjoyed his "Best minifigure" games and even after I had lost interest in the TLBM and Star Wars forums etc, his games were the reason I checked in each day. He had a large following and got along well with the members here, so I'm not sure if his ban had something to do with the lack of activity on EB. It stopped me from going on EB regularly. The only reason I logged in today was because of extreme boredom and I'm procrastinating my math homework. 

Vaderfan2187 created games to get people active on Eurobricks, he posted his own moc's, he participated in SoNE and got around and talked to others on EB. It seems like EB needs more people like Vaderfan2187. 

So these days if I want to talk about new sets or leaks I'll do it on Flickr or on https://vaderfan2187.wordpress.com/blog/ so basically I've lost the need for Eurobricks. Not sure if this has happened to any other members, but I thought I'd post what's happened to me.

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Thanks for this thread @LegoModularFan I have also noticed how things have quieted down.

I joined around ten years ago (10 come December!) to a really active forum with lots of members posting and sharing MOCs and ideas. Now over the years the members that I recall have gotten less active but for some I appreciate that it is part of adult responsibilities getting in the way of fun and hobbies, for others it is a case of other hobbies taking over. 

However, it also seems that the younger generation of fans interact online and with the hobby in a vastly different way. I know that the use of forums is not on the agenda a lot of the time (My youngest siblings are ten years (and more) younger and they are much more into snapchat and the like). I have also seen that the activity that is here is more talking about future sets and looking for leaks, not about creating and sharing. Again, a culture change or just what people want to use forums for?

I have made a thread similar to this for Action and Adventure themes. One nice change since the inception of the sub-forum is that there is always going to be an active theme (Ninjago is now evergreen). 

I have also seen a change in that text reviews are now less popular, people like video reviews. Would people like video reviews to be indexed in the review index? 

I am glad that people like mini contests and tags. I can arrange a lot of those! 

Another thing: What would encourage people to post more/more MOCs?

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Well I have only been a member since last November so can't really comment on whether I think it's busier than it used to be. I do think though that apart from the Expert rollercoaster and pics of the summer sets being revealed, this is a fairly quiet time of the year for Lego news. Maybe that's why fewer people are logging on and commenting on topics, there simply isn't as much to talk about. I'm sure it will pick up again as we get in to the summer and rumors start bouncing around of the 2019 sets. And then of course we have the next winter village set and the next modular to look forward to.

All this excitement tends to be clustered around late summer and Autumn so hopefully things will pick up again then.

One thing I've noticed is that there seems to be much fewer reviews on here than there used to be. Even before becoming a member I regularly used to check this site to read reviews. This year there seems to be much fewer of them than usual. I'm still waiting for somebody to put up a review of Downtown Diner.

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On 5/2/2018 at 9:07 AM, Captain Nemo said:

Thank you @LegoModularFan for opening this thread up for discussion (somewhat ironically :grin:). I'm sure some of the other staff will have input--or would like input--from the Eurobricks community in general regarding this topic.  

I've been a member of Eurobricks since 2011 (which is a full year earlier than I remember it being!), and I have been the Moderator for Licensed for a few years now. I will say that I, and the staff as a whole, have noticed the general shift in conversation "styles" and activity (and all the things that do come with that) increasingly over the past few years. This is something we have and are addressing internally, and we are looking for ways to reinvigorate the community on the whole. 

While I do not speak for all of the Forums, I will note my views on the changing of Licensed: Over the last few years I've noted a change in the style of discussion--in that member discussion in general was focused on what's potentially coming and not what we have now. Speculation is fun, when appropriate. Perhaps this is my rose-colored glasses, but I don't remember it being this way previously, at least not to this extent. I personally see this as a negative, as first and foremost I believe this place is meant to be about Lego discussion, rather than the stuff that orbits the product. 

--

Without trying to derail this, I do have some random questions for the members, if anyone is interested feel free to reply here or to me/staff directly:  

  1. Would you like to see more contests?
  2. What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)?
  3. Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)? 
  4. Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)?  
  5. Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. 
  6. Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use? 
  7. Do you prefer broadly defined threads or multiple specialized threads? 
  8. What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? 

I was very active in following leaks about 2 years ago. It was fun speculating because knowing what's coming makes it easier to have an educated decision what to buy and what not to buy. I don't see it as negative because TLG adjusted their release cycle and the regular playsets tend to have a shorter shelf life now. By the time I get my hands on current sets, new sets are about to come out already. Can you really blame those members who talk about the future products when the existing product is already stale or outdated after coming out in less than 2 months? Times are changing, and TLG made it harder to keep up.

To answer your questions:

  1. Yes, preferably with an easier entry point to encourage other members, and hopefully easier to find because there were many occasions I missed out the deadline.
  2. To me, tags are like novelty item that you collect as you progress in your Eurobricks journey.  Unfortunately, there are very few references what those tags mean. I can equate that to an inside joke that no one appreciate because the meaning is limited to those who only know the story behind them.
  3. I use Eurobricks as reference to write  reviews get insights what people like about the sets. Unfortunately, the number of quality reviews in written format is sharply declining as more people go for video.
  4. Games are not my cup of tea but I fully support those people who enjoy them. :)
  5. Yes, but I don't believe EB has interest in doing social media because most of the times I feel that there isn't much activity there as well. It feels that there is zero social media interest. Is it shortage of volunteers to operate and keep things interesting? If there is something EB can immediately change is to keep its FB, Instagram and Twitter streams active. I observed that the only times EB operate FB and Twitter is during server downtime period. Seriously, if you need help I'm sure there are a number of trustworthy members who can part-time as your social media ambassadors.
  6. Yes, mostly Flickr and Instagram.
  7. There are cases that I prefer the broadly define threads because people can get creative in answering -- it helps when you define certain ground rules
  8. I always check first "Contents that I posted In"
29 minutes ago, Peppermint_M said:

I have also seen a change in that text reviews are now less popular, people like video reviews. Would people like video reviews to be indexed in the review index? 

I am glad that people like mini contests and tags. I can arrange a lot of those! 

Another thing: What would encourage people to post more/more MOCs?

Would be awesome to have an index of video reviews... but I think the index of text reviews need an overhaul first.

I did a lot research for online participation on social media / online community before and there are different aspirations and motivational factors. It could be internal or external factors. Those that are actively posting in the forums are usually internally motivated. EB needs to understand how to engage these active posters. As for the lurkers  -- all of them have different reasons to stay on mute or just read, the challenge is how to switch them to active participants in the community.

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Comparing with when I started (early 2013 with my first account, I think it was), I too feel that people seem to post, and, more importantly, interact less with each other. There has also been a prolonged move away from some types of topics I really liked when I started here. Overall, I think the following two aspects I've noticed the most:

1) People seem to be less and less interested in actually reading posts and threads:

I see this regularly, and experienced it in my own topics as well: People take time and put an effort in posting a longer, though-out post, or put a lot of effort describing their newest MOC - and get replies by people asking questions they had already answered in their original post. Following the same scheme, people seem to go into on-going discussion threads (e.g. the modular buildings one) more and more often to ask questions that have literally been answered only a few posts further up, or post some 'new' bit of info that had already been posted by someone else just before.

I find this to be really annoying and off-putting, because why bother taking the time to create longer posts when no one reads them anyway.

I'm aware that on-going discussion topics tend to circle back to certain discussions time and again, but similarily, I lose interest in taking part in a discussion, if every other post is just someone else posting/asking something "new" that had already posted several times.

2) There's less nostalgia:

One thing that originally got me to sign up here were numerous intersting topics where someone restored some old sets (I saw this mostly in the space section, since that was my starting point here), describing their journey in great detail. Nowadays, we still sometimes get threads where someone bought/fiound an old pile of Lego, but nobody shares their journies in as much detail as they used to. The (pretty much) departure of LegoHistorian Gary Istok is another aspect here: I loved reading his detaiuled posts about some obscure old Lego stuff, but he stopped posting those some two or three years ago.

3) Less reviews:

This is the one aspect that has changed I actually don't mind, but it's worth mentioning anyway: When I started here, I really enjoyed reading the detailed reviews that were posted regularly in the forums. I sometimes even read reviews on sets that held no deeper interest for me, just because they were so well written. Those, for the most part, are gone. Occasionally, one pops up, but they are often very late to the game, and sometimes tend to focus on stuff that doesnt interest me as much (e.g. the minifigures).

However, I since then started following jangbricks on youtube, and he covers most sets i'm interested in - and I have to say, I vastly prefer this style (video) of review, so I don't really miss them on here.

 

Both 2) and 3) can also be attributed to the general laziness to read and react to longer posts mentioned in 1)

 

Having said that, there's one thing I really don't get on here, and that is how the Featured Topics for the starting page are chosen. It seems to happen rather randomly, and some MOCers apparently have some sort of subscription to it, while others never get chosen - despite creating MOCs that I'd deem on par or even better than some that are featured. I guess that the moderator for each forum can chose featured topics as they like?

 

As for @Captain Nemo's questions:

  • Would you like to see more contests? I don't have strong feelings here - there's rarely been a contest on here I was really interested in. Apparently, there used to be modular contests wayyy back, those I'd be interested in, but in general I don't have the time, interest and resources on hand to participiate.
  • What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)? Don't really have any.
  • Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)? Usually, I just use the search function. I often use the archive of lxf files, though.
  • Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)?  No.
  • Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. I'm following the flickr page. I'm not on facebook.
  • Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use? Yes, they are on flickr and, subsequently, on here and a german forum I'm somewhat active on.
  • Do you prefer broadly defined threads or multiple specialized threads? Depends. For example, I like the general modular building threads we have, but I'm completely lost in the "New XXX sets for 2018" discussion threads....mainly because I don't actively follow them, but want to check out pictures of new sets sometimes...but those usually are buried somewhere in a thread with several dozen pages...
  • What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? Portal, then the Town forum.

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Posted (edited)

I know it may seem pointless commenting on this issue if I haven't any answers or solutions to offer, but, I'd like to particularly lament upon how inactive The Embassy Forum is. In concept, it should be earning a lot more attention, given that it's essentially a near direct line of communications to TLG through Ambassadors. 

So, can anyone think of a few good ways to revitalize traffic on that subforum? I would think topics such as @Bonaparte's Survey: New parts and new colors and @CopMike's What minifigs are we missing - post your detailed suggestions here should be earning as much attention as they did back then, but... :look:

Edited by Digger of Bricks

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On 02/05/2018 at 2:07 AM, Captain Nemo said:
  • Would you like to see more contests?
  • What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)?
  • Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)? 
  • Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)?  
  • Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. 
  • Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use? 
  • Do you prefer broadly defined threads or multiple specialized threads? 
  • What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? 
 

1) Contests - don't really interest me and the voting appears rather cliquey at times.

2) Tags - I ignore them, fairly pointless. I also turn off all signatures too.

3) Reference material - occasionally but not much.

4) Games - only the first (unofficial) favourite CMF one.

5) No, never used the facebook or flickr pages for Eurobricks.

6) Yes, mainly flickr these days. But I don't post them here.

7) Multiple specialised threads are easier to follow details, but they all tend towards the same topics anyway which means duplication or triplication or worse of everything said before. For example:

This was a thread about set 21314 Tron Legacy, started at the time of approval and the set number being announced. I happened to have started this one, but it happens quite often, I just remember this one and can find it quickly.

Then another thread on the same set gets started by a mod about four months later at the time of the press release, so everything gets said again in that thread. Even though the other thread was very active at the time (it was at the top of the list in licensed). The information is then spread over multiple threads and the same thing gets discussed again and again.

Having multiple generic threads on one set seems pointless to me and quite annoying if you are looking for something already posted and realise it must be on the other thread on exactly the same subject.

8) I normally go to the front page, then click through from there.

 

 

Some other thoughts:

EB has quite a bad reputation on other forums. EB is used as a bit of a joke when it comes to moderation, forum police, etc for over-active moderation and banning people. This does put people off joining.

It used to be that constructive criticism was allowed. These days I think the EB culture has all but wiped this out. If you criticise something, you get railed on by either the OP or by other users, which now means less criticism is given, if any. I think this is why there are posts with generic positive comments, or for some MOCs, no comments at all. I think it can be a shame that someone uploads a MOC and gets nothing back, but that is presumably because people don't think it is good but won't say that and won't offer suggestions for improvements.

LEGO IDEAS. I find it really annoying when someone joins EB, uploads a MOC, has their IDEAS link right at the top, and doesn't come back or post again. I'd like to see IDEAS links banned completely or maybe shifted to signatures only (which of course can be turned off). They are meant to be discreet, but often it is clear that the only point of the "look at my MOC" post is to get IDEAS votes.

Reviews. For the most part, I like the reviews here but I find the forum structure an odd way to present them. That said, I tend to prefer video reviews now, to see the parts and the set. I don't like reviews with 100s or 1000s of words when a couple of decent pictures or a short video would do. I also don't like reviews where lots of photos include parts from other sets - this is a big problem I have with the CMF reviews. I tend to read (well, look at) CMF reviews elsewhere. When I look at a CMF review, I prefer to see the figures and the parts for the new set, whereas the ones here have significantly more pictures of the character interacting with or parts being swapped with older ones all mixed up with the pictures within the review itself. I would prefer to see a concise review with the figures and their constituent parts at the top, then any other fun pictures mixing them up could go later after the main review. But I guess I am in a very small minorty not liking this style based on the voting. Which is why I tend to read / look at the reviews elsewhere and just take a look at the distribution photo here (if I have not already got it), skipping over everything else in the review.

 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, MAB said:

EB has quite a bad reputation on other forums. EB is used as a bit of a joke when it comes to moderation, forum police, etc for over-active moderation and banning people. This does put people off joining.

It used to be that constructive criticism was allowed. These days I think the EB culture has all but wiped this out. If you criticise something, you get railed on by either the OP or by other users, which now means less criticism is given, if any. I think this is why there are posts with generic positive comments, or for some MOCs, no comments at all. I think it can be a shame that someone uploads a MOC and gets nothing back, but that is presumably because people don't think it is good but won't say that and won't offer suggestions for improvements.

LEGO IDEAS. I find it really annoying when someone joins EB, uploads a MOC, has their IDEAS link right at the top, and doesn't come back or post again. I'd like to see IDEAS links banned completely or maybe shifted to signatures only (which of course can be turned off). They are meant to be discreet, but often it is clear that the only point of the "look at my MOC" post is to get IDEAS votes.

Does it? I seem to recall that many people liked EB, but that was sometime ago. I do think the banning offenses are reasonable, though, but I don't pay attention to everyone who gets banned.

I still see some decent constructive criticism in the Pirates forum, but that's where I'm mainly active now. I do wish people posted more elsewhere.

I agree about the Ideas thing. I don't mind someone posting the link to their Ideas page at the end if it's a thoughtful, original post that isn't a copy+paste of the Ideas description. I came to see the MOC, not be hounded into supporting something. While it would lead to more moderation, I would prefer someone having been active for awhile before being allowed to post Ideas links, similar to how you have to have a minimum of ten posts before being able to use PMs.

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My kinda topic :devil:

A little input from a former regular, like 10+ years ago (damn):

  • Too many users by now
  • Too many weird users who start those long and boring speculation topics
  • Too many users who have no clue about the product (there's people who actually like the new Arctic sets which really are an orange re-hash of this - but the animals are cool)
  • Yes, there's too little discussion about what we have
  • Too many users make interaction between them (and staff) hard and/or impossible
  • There were leaks in the past
  • There were actually discussions about leaks, with the pics in the same topic, without referring to some "secret" link to a "secret" picture to a "secret" site that starts with "r" and ends with "eddit"
  • There were cool staff members, everybody knew each other (even in person)
  • It was smaller and thus felt "homier"
  • There were leaks
  • There was a weird Australian pirate
  • There was a Fabuland story teller
  • How the hell do those role plays even work?! Never mind...
  • Is the Ambassador program still active? Does TLG even do anything to reach out to their fans? There used to be a "community feeling" but maybe that has shifted to other platforms which I don't follow (like that one with the blue logo... myspace or whatever it's called...)
  • There were leaks
  • Reviews weren't too long and barely used words but pics
  • Topics didn't die after 3 answers
  • Speculations were called ideas and lasted for a few posts, maybe pages, within a topic - not whole topics with 300+ pages
  • There was strong language
  • There was black humor and sarcasm and everybody understood it
  • There was Fabuland
  • There was an Australian walrus
  • There was a hologram doctor
  • There was a cowboy who told ghost stories about the Wild West and knew what it meant to own a pristine 7760
  • The french guy was still active ("Go Red Sox!")

Crap, now you made me log in and post...

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Posted (edited)

As a longtime reader who only recently joined, I'll answer the specific questions first and then describe my general perspective.

  • Would you like to see more contests?
    • I don't have the time or skill to invest in most contests, which are usually won by longtime members and expert builders who I can never hope to compete with.  If there were more contests open to small, simple entries and digital builds, I might be more interested in building an entry, regardless of the competition and prizes or lack thereof.
  • What is your opinion of Tags (those small images on the left <---)?
    • Don't care about them.  Don't know what they mean nor how to get them.
  • Do you use, if ever, Eurobricks reference materials (ie. lists of Reviews, lists of MOCS, lists of Forums)? 
    • I really liked the Eurobricks review indexes about ten years ago, when I followed Eurobricks as a kid without an account.  However, they haven't been maintained for so many years that they're practically useless now.  If I want a set review with written words and still images, I Google "lego [set number] review" or read the reviews on Brickset.  Much of the time the former approach pulls up a Eurobricks review from several years ago.
  • Have you participated in games on Eurobricks (ie. Role-Playing, Mafia, etc.)?
    • No.  I have no interest in these games.
  • Do you use/visit the Eurobricks Facebook page? Eurobricks on Flickr? etc. 
    • No.  I didn't know about these pages.  If I knew where a good aggregator of MOCs and set reviews was on Flickr, I might follow it.
  • Do you post MOCs online? What hosting platform do you prefer to use? 
    • I have posted a few MOCs online.  The images are hosted on Flickr for the sake of deeplinking in Eurobricks threads.
  • Do you prefer broadly defined threads or multiple specialized threads? 
    • I prefer multiple specialized threads.
  • What is the first page you visit when opening Eurobricks on your browser? 
    • Recent activity.

Based on what I remember from following Eurobricks several years ago, I agree that the forums used to be more active and more constructive, particularly with respect to set reviews.  Although it would be great if most posts in most threads were thoughtful responses that advance the topic at hand without rehashing old arguments and offer builders measured praise and constructive criticism without being vapid or trollish, that kind of response takes time and thought to craft.  Most of the time I check the site on my phone, which isn't good for longform replies, or as a quick distraction while working on homework, which isn't a good time to craft a longform reply either.  So if I don't have the time to write a longform reply or don't feel like I have anything new and constructive to say in the moment, I don't reply.  Instead I hope that the builder sees the incremented page view as a "like," more or less.  I would like to see more constructive comments and criticism on the few MOCs I have posted, but as a part of the problem rather than the solution myself, I can't complain. 

I agree with MAB that Eurobricks has a bad reputation on other sites, like the Brickset forum (which can also be rather slow) and Reddit.  The general attitudes there are that Eurobricks is the best place to keep up with rumors and speculation, but you can never tell when you'll accidentally run afoul of a mod and get banned.  That's another reason I don't post much - sometimes I'd like to say something to try and gently correct some of the toxic behavior that stifles some MOC topics and some news/rumors topics, but I don't want to look like I'm mini-modding and end up banned as a result.  Perhaps it would encourage more people to post MOCs if moderators were to take a more active role in promoting MOC topics and in regulating behavior in them - setting the example by being the first to respond, with a thoughtful reply demonstrating personal engagement with the build, and preventing things from getting vapid or toxic.  Just in the past few months, we've had quite a few promising new members give the forums and try and then quit because their MOC threads got sidetracked by personal attacks instead of staying focused on comments and criticism of the builds themselves.  However, I recognize that that would result in a huge additional workload for the mods, so I don't expect it to happen.

As for the general role of the forum as a place to share creations and discuss current sets instead of just speculate about future releases, I see two main factors at work now compared to in years past. 

  • First, set collecting is a much easier entry point into the hobby than MOC building, and therefore there are probably a lot more AFOLs who primarily collect sets than AFOLs who primarily build MOCs.  It takes time, money, and creativity to build a MOC of any kind, but it only takes money to build a set.  That's why Reddit is dominated by box hauls and by pictures of MOCs that, frankly, look childish.  The same thing occurs on Eurobricks, but in the form of speculation and rumors instead of box hauls.
  • Second, there have been a lot more large collectors sets released in the past five years than in the years 2005-2013 or so, and Lego has also been a lot more visible as a result of three big-screen movies.  Add in the return of Star Wars and the Super Heroes licensing, and suddenly there's a lot more people who get into Lego because "I want that set" rather than "I like to see what I can make out of a pile of parts."  For example, it's a lot easier to say as an adult getting into Lego that "I want an $80 Lego X-wing for myself" or "I want a $120 Lego Saturn V rocket for myself" than "I want an $80 bucket of loose Lego bricks for myself" or "I want a $90 Lego submarine base with crazy angles and colors [link] for myself so that I can rebuild it into a different submarine base with crazy angles and colors."  The first set of examples gets shared across all sorts of tech web sites and blogs, and may even make it into mainstream newspapers and magazines.  The second set of examples doesn't.  So the supply-demand picture in the hobby has shifted significantly towards collecting as a result of market forces, and fan sites like Eurobricks must adapt or become irrelevant.  I think we've seen that adaptation happening in the speculation threads that (in part) prompted this topic, and in the ascendancy of Brickset as a fan site specifically geared towards collecting as opposed to building.
Edited by icm
Added to a paragraph.

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