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Is there still a need for the forum?



  • kiki180703kiki180703 Montreal, CanadaMember Posts: 1,051
    I'd very much miss the forum! I haven't been posting a lot recently because I haven't had that much time, but it's the only Lego forum I use. I come here to go through the threads, look at deals and like @SumoLego's posts about ponies and sausages; but most importantly for the community.

    I would without a doubt try to contribute monetarily or otherwise to the survival of the forum.
  • Russell844Russell844 California, USAMember Posts: 2,039
    I would easily pay $40 or even $50 a year to keep the forum.
  • evantylerevantyler Central OhioMember Posts: 79
    I would really hate to see the forum go. I visit every day, and while I don't post a lot, I enjoy learning about new themes, great deals to be had, tips for when to time purchases for promotions/VIP points, and yes--the annual Secret Santa. I'd be willing to withstand some ads or participate in a raffle of some sort to keep it going. 
  • Isocleas2Isocleas2 ArizonaMember Posts: 11
    Adverts or a small subscription fee/donation system would be fine. I try to read new forum posts a few times a week to stay up to date on the brick world, also have found a couple of deals in the marketplace. It's the main reason I visit the site so I'd be sad to see the forums go. 
  • omniumomnium Brickenham, UKMember Posts: 831
    I'm another who'd be sad to see this forum go. But at that cost, I can't see how's it's really sustainable, even if some of us are prepared to pay.
    There are surely cheaper options? But then I guess the site would have to be migrated, and that's probably a big job too.
    I guess one point is that this forum drives my whole involvement with Brickset, and using the main site to make purchases on Amazon / [email protected] So perhaps the value isn't obvious, or as easy to calculate.
  • Jern92Jern92 MalaysiaMember Posts: 831
    I must admit that I haven't been visiting the forums much lately, partly due to most of my funds being redirected towards travel and gaming this year, as well as a reduced interest in Lego in general. My apartment is also rapidly running out of space, which discourages me from purchasing any new sets (my bank account does that too). 

    I have certainly enjoyed the time I spent on this forum, and the lovely people I've gotten to know, but I for one would prefer not to pay a subscription to access it. Ads I don't mind, since I've gotten used to that in most websites anyway. I will still drop by every now and then if a particularly interesting theme comes up, but it won't be as regular as before.
  • CymbelineCymbeline CanadaMember Posts: 362
    I first started visiting 2 years ago and now I visit daily though I post very little. I've enjoyed the discusions immensely and learned so much. On the whole everyone is so kind and supportive and great fun. I would be happy to subscribe or join in any other effort to keep the form going.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,917
    edited October 2019

    So we are going for a PBS style teleathon to keep the forum running. 

    We could do a charity single to. 

    "Keep the Brickset Forums. Let SumoLego keep his likes. We like sausages and Red ones" (to the tune of Do They Know It's Christmas) 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,586
    While many of us may be willing to pay a subscription it would all but ensure no one new would join. I think a fundraiser or patreon type set up would be more friendly to new users.
    Again I wonder about the site as a whole, without splitting it into main site and forum separately. If doing patreon, then why not do it for the main site instead of the forum.

    Patreon just for the forum, and only sourcing from forum members still means $40 per user on average - which will probably rise closer to $100 per user when some drop out. Whereas Patreon on the main site means that only 3000 (from 200000) users need to donate $1. I think the latter is more likely. That's 1.5% of users donating less than a coffee. Even if the real number of users is much lower, that still seems more realistic.
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 620
    Wow, I’m a bit late to this discussion and a lot has already been said.. but the visitor numbers shock me I thought it was a lot more popular... @Huw are those stats from logged in users, or all visitors hitting the forum site?
    For me this is a daily login to check what’s about and any news / leaks.

    I also think that the forum and actual main website balance Brickset very well, and is one of the reasons why Brickset is so popular, ending the forum “may” have a downturn on the actual main site, and thus a downturn on stats, and finally a downturn on advertising revenue? So is the Forum a loss leader that the whole Brickset empire can withstand to keep at the top?

    Im also happy to have a monthly subscription (not so keen on adverts, as they annoy me) and maybe Brickset could add additional items to the forum (not sure exactly what at this time), to make it unique and desirable for LEGO collectors which in turn would increase the number of subscribers / revenue. 
  • Mr_CrossMr_Cross East Anglia (UK)Member Posts: 1,409
    I suspect that this forum generates a lot of sales for LEGO, through shared deals information, if not just through seeing or discussing stuff here. I know I regularly add to my wants simply because of a mention of a set I hadn't fully appreciated or seen.
    Would LEGO be willing to donate a D2C set or 2-3 smaller big sets each year? We could augment that by donating smaller sets ourselves too. Could any unwanted review set be thrown into the mix?
    We could hold a raffle, £10 per ticket depending on what's on offer. 500 tickets, anything over the forum costs goes to fairy bricks.
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 620
    @huw why don’t you also post an article on the main Brickset site explaining that there is a Forum, and try it out. Then make a judgement on what Brickset would do with it after seeing the traffic / reaction? 
  • BrainsluggedBrainslugged England (the grim North)Member Posts: 1,592
    Fireheart said:
    @huw why don’t you also post an article on the main Brickset site explaining that there is a Forum, and try it out. Then make a judgement on what Brickset would do with it after seeing the traffic / reaction? 
    This could be a good idea. I had been visiting the main Brickset site regularly for a couple of years before I discovered the forum.

    There could also be a new regular main article - "comment of the week" (or month) to drive awareness/interest in the forum, as well as being a fairly simple regular addition to Brickset's articles.
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 663

    If the advertisements were built into the margins of the pages, I'd have no problems allowing ads for the forum (I refer you to for an example).  If they are those annoying pop-up ads that inevitably block your access to the login area, then I would be against them.

    I voluntarily give a few bucks each year to other LEGO fan sites that I use, and I wouldn't have an issue with a voluntary gifting system for and/or its forums.

  • PJ76ukPJ76uk EnglandMember Posts: 547
    I too hope that this forum could continue in some way, I read most topics daily even if I don't post all that much. Enjoyed some forum activities such as CCCs round robin boxes and there is probably many deals I've been able to save money on from places like supermarkets, smyths etc that aren't reported on the main site (I do use the BrickSet links to Amazon for all my orders on there) so happy to accept ads/subscription/fundraising or whatever Huw decides on.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,012
    There's a lot of good ideas on here, and I suspect whatever is done may well be a combination of some of them, rather than just one thing.

    I quite like the idea of a 'tiered' membership - maybe bog-standard members would see ads, whereas paying (UCS? Metallic Gold?) members wouldn't see ads and would maybe get a few other perks. I'm not sure whether Vanilla's forums can do that though.

    Someone said something about a free version of Vanilla's forums. Clearly there'd be a limit on page views for this, if there is a free version, but given the number of members active, it might be a goer.

    Also, someone asked what it is about the forums that people like so much, whether it's the banter, the specific layout of the Vanilla forums, or the archive. For me it's definitely the first two - I do like these forums, they're light-hearted, quite informal, and you get to know the people using them a bit. It's a nice community. But I also like the layout of the forums. It feels like it facilitates that sense of community and informality in a way that might be difficult to replicate with other forum software. Certainly Eurobricks' layout feels much more structured and formal (even divisive, given each subforum is a partitioned off section) which maybe contributes to the more serious feeling there.

    These are just my thoughts having read what everyone has said, but I would be really sad if it were to go.
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 2,129
    I'll just throw my support in for @sid3windr 's idea. With the Vanilla export option, it could be THE solution. That's not to say other options still couldn't be implemented, but it looks like a solid alternative. 

    Admittedly, I know nothing in the world of hosting, running, managing, transitioning, etc... online platforms. I'm sure there is a lot more to it than that.  But still, it sounds like a great option. 
  • shikadishikadi TRU AlumniMember Posts: 118
    As one of the 80, another vote for yes. I would still visit if you show ads, no problem with them.
  • eMJeeNLeMJeeNL The NetherlandsMember Posts: 600
    I'm good with a yearly subscription. This site helped get me out off my dark ages in 2011. I visit here whenever I can and if I break that $40 by the numbers of hours I'm reading posts, it's a friggin steal.
    Same here! For some reason (probably one already mentioned), i like this forum and its discussions better than any other. Also, as said by @Switchfoot55, the WV-threads are an inspiration, not just a show off as on some other fora.

    I can’t really contribute to a raffle by means of stuff to be raffled, but surely will by some tickets!
  • brickedinbrickedin London, UKMember Posts: 507
    I am a long term user of the forum and although i don't post a huge amount i would certainly miss it, i actually think my interest in the hobby would diminish greatly without it. 

    I would echo most of the comments already made and certainly feel that the loss of the forum banner on the main page may have contributed to the downturn in traffic. The fact that so many of us avoid facebook and other platforms perhaps is an indication of the dominant age groups in these parts :)

    Like many others i would certainly be willing to pay for the privilege but that would probably mean the beginning of the end. 

  • GremerGremer The Commonwealth of VirginiaMember Posts: 183
    I don't want to be a pessimist, but I can't see a subscription style service or users paying for the forum going well. It really seems to me like it would just delay the inevitable. I do like the forum, I come here occasionally but not enough to justify paying for it. I can't imagine I'm alone in that, and making it so that new members have to pay will keep everyone away. It'll just kill off the forum slower.

    I suppose a Patreon-style fundraiser is possible for main site members, but I'm iffy on how many people would actually contribute.

    Personally, I think an alternative would be the best option, but I understand the want to keep it here.

    Sorry for being so negative.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,966
    A far cheaper option would be to download the free open source version from and deploy it onto a Digital Ocean droplet. I tried this a couple of years ago and it wasn't too hard; never looked into how you would port the existing data across, though.
  • BrainsluggedBrainslugged England (the grim North)Member Posts: 1,592
    Another potential idea to add value for nothing to potential contributors/VIPs would be to have their comments highlighted in a different colour on the main website. At the moment the editors are highlighted in pink (I think). Maybe VIPs could have blue or something. Again, I can't imagine it would cost anything, but it would potentially add a little bit of prestige and acknowledgement to those who had contributed financially.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,397
    brickedin said:

    IThe fact that so many of us avoid facebook and other platforms perhaps is an indication of the dominant age groups in these parts :)

    Funny you should say this, I recently had to do a marketing workshop for work and they said that the average age for Facebook users has risen very fast over the last 5 years - in that time personally I've noticed a lot of my older relatives started using it, including my nan! 

    Of the better known social media sites Instagram has the lowest average age, which I didn't need convincing of, if you've been over there to look for leaked LEGO images you'll know just how juvenile the users tend to be. 

    And being able to OT for the sake of natural conversation like that is why I prefer Brickset to Eurobricks (where the mods would now likely be telling me to stay on topic) 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,586
    Jenni said:
    I wonder if closing off the deals and marketplace threads has contributed to the decline already.

    They are still there. You just need to be logged in to see them.
  • HugeYellowBrickHugeYellowBrick At my PCMember Posts: 496
    I would miss the forum, which I read most days. I enjoy the banter. I'm not sure I would pay $40, but ads and a raffle sound acceptable.

    I miss the memes.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,772
    SumoLego said:
    I'm still game to do a raffle!
    How about a SumoBumbleRafflepalooza?
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Northern edge of London, just before the dragons...Member Posts: 1,391
    Let's do a raffle, people!
    Kev used Paypal to collect funds, and it was all done on a fairly professional basis.  Do we need to do that if we restrict it to just Brickset members, or can we be a bit more 'low tech'?
  • PJ76ukPJ76uk EnglandMember Posts: 547
    If someone puts up an early modular like Cafe Corner, Market Street or Green Grocer I will certainly be buying a few tickets/bidding!
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,733
    legomatt said:
    ...$40 per member, into my account, and I'll start posting funny comments again...
    If that's the case, I'll take my check in the exact amount of $1,316,000.00, and I'll ensure the Forum is in existence until "Beneath Planet of the Apes".
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,548
    How much of that would be repeat fees?


  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,733
    I get paid on 'Likes', not posts.
  • JenniJenni JapanMember Posts: 1,390
    CCC said:
    Jenni said:
    I wonder if closing off the deals and marketplace threads has contributed to the decline already.

    They are still there. You just need to be logged in to see them.
    Yes, I know. I'm permanently logged in :).

    There's a certain amount of turnover in groups like this. If obviously useful things like the deals threads and marketplace are not visible to unregistered lurkers I think we might be getting fewer new members. Or is there something to tell people these things will be accessible if they register and log in?

    And I was fully in the camp of closing them off, I was sick of people just taking and not helping everyone else, I'm just wondering if that decision had some unintended consequences.
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