Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Is there still a need for the forum?

124678

Comments

  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,620
    I just had an idea. I'm not sure how much work it would be, although I'm reasonably confident it's technologically feasible (although whether it could be done on these forums is another matter). I'm also not sure how much extra money it would bring in.

    The idea is this: when a set number is linked to on the forums, we can click on it and it takes us to the set page on the main website. Could that be changed to a small (javascript?) popup which gives us the option of either going to the set page, going to the affiliate link on Lego.com, or going to the affiliate link on Amazon?

    I'm not sure how many people would use it that way - to buy the set from Lego/Amazon etc, but it may be worth considering? Of course, it might also be a shed-load of work to implement and therefore not worth it...
    Switchfoot55klintonKungFuKennycatwranglerBrickfan50BrickByBrick
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,963
    ^ Absolutely feasible, good idea.
    KungFuKenny
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,242
    I've been away for long stretches of time this year (months I think I'd say) but it's honestly just been a very hectic year (maaaybe two)!  But I just came across this thread and wanted to echo most of the sentiment here.  I would be super sad if the forum went away; I found it after moving to a new country and wanting to find friends who were into the same things I was.  And now I have, and that's all thanks to the forum :)

    I'd be happy with any of the ideas to earn a bit more for the forum, including paying a yearly subscription fee or donation, etc.  However, I will admit that I often don't use the affiliate links on the main page - again, mostly because of forgetfulness.  I like @Paperballpark's idea of making the affiliate links a little more prominent on the forum.  Also, I buy regularly from Amazon because I never seem to get to the shops these days, so I will try to remember to actually use the Brickset affiliate link from here on out!
    LittleLoricoconutb
  • mnbvcmnbvc Member Posts: 136
    edited October 2019
    Huw I know you are very literate in IT etc. but £3000 seems an awful lot of money for hosting of a forum. Is there anything particular that accounts for that cost? Perhaps some of with the knowhow can help look for a more cost effective solution? If we all chip in with time and knowledge surely we can sort this out.
    I'm seconding this - if you don't mind us asking, what is the cause of the cost?  Are the forums cloud hosted by Vanilla?  

    In my non-Lego life, I run a forum (and have done for almost 20 years, ever since I was a teenager) - and the cost is a fraction of what you're paying.  I would never have been able to afford it when I was a teenager/student/adult on a low wage otherwise - and even now, $3k would mean that I would have to close it as it wouldn't be worth my while, so I really understand your stance.   

    I promise I'm not comparing apples with oranges either - the fandom my forum is for is dwindling, but even so, there's 80 online members at this moment (it has a very loyal existing userbase) and about 1k who have logged in this month.  

    Happy to send over details of my webhost if it's any use to you, Huw - I am fairly sure that installing the software on a cheap (but decent) host would get the price down to the very low hundreds, as opposed to thousands.  With only 80 active users, I'm certain you'd even get away with shared hosting instead of a VPS.  

    (I don't log in very often - not because I don't love this place, but because my want list spirals out of control when I'm encouraged by everyone posting here!  I used to read every day, and I only stepped back because my wallet couldn't keep up with my Lego addiction.)
    brickventuresKungFuKennyMAGNINOMINISUMBRAbandit778catwranglerFireFox31
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,620
    ^ From memory (there was a post a few years back from Huw about the forum cost increasing considerably), I think that the packages are done by page views, and the Brickset forums get a lot of page views - think how many threads you check each time you're on here! Whether or not they still get the same amount I don't know, but I'd still expect it to be quite a few.
  • SeijiAmasawaSeijiAmasawa USMember Posts: 226
    JFC, I’ve just stumbled on this topic. I’ve been sick and have not really been on too often the past couple of weeks. I love the forum and would miss it it terribly were it to go. Willing to pay for subscription or chip in a prize for a raffle. Thanks.
    KungFuKenny
  • eggsheneggshen Middleton, WIMember Posts: 558
    I went to read the affiliate marketing info and discovered that Brickset gets a percentage from anything I buy after clicking a link on the main site to get to Amazon - not just Lego. Since I buy other items (ebooks, mostly) far more often than Lego, this is useful information, as I can hopefully get into the habit of clicking on Brickset first and using the links here to get there...
    I was completely unaware and now that you've pointed this out it makes sense. Mind, I don't buy from Amazon very often, generally only around Christmas (I prefer to support my local economy over big box/online stores) but I will hit Amazon through the brickset link from now on. We need to spread the word about this!
    catwrangler
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    One thing I would suggest is routing the main website comments via the forum. It is annoying to me to have two locations where folks comment on news and I have to have two logins with different passwords.
    Another old timer chiming in.  Years and years ago i used to constantly suggest that the main site and the forum need to be more tightly coupled.  Of
    course the forums are dying off -  nothing is being done to drive new members here, and the existence of the duplicative but far inferior comments sections of articles kills a lot of what would be a driver of
    forum members and discussion. 

    Losing the forums would be losing the Soul of Brickset - the community that binds us together.  Like many have already mentioned above, I expect there would be unexpected financial ramifications as well, perhaps more so than the cost of keeping them. 
    SumoLegoBumblepantscatwranglerDougTemplarFireFox31
  • TheMaker37TheMaker37 Norfolk,VaMember Posts: 482
    I would pay the subscription fee even though I rarely get on here lately. It has been an invaluable resource for me coming out of my dark ages I knew nothing. Thanks to the help of many users I have been able to turn my obsession into a tiny profit maker and get many sets for free by buying lots and selling them off at great prices. Lego has been a healthy lifestyle for me the last 6 years and has improved my life in so many ways. When will we know the verdict?
  • redarmyredarmy AberdeenMember Posts: 725
    Hurrah!
  • benbacardibenbacardi EnglandMember Posts: 542
    I almost always buy from Amazon via the iOS app. Is there any way to make that give you the commission?
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,319
    edited October 2019
    @Huw Thanks for adding those links. I already always use the affiliate links on the main page for any Amazon purchase I make, but this could save me a couple of clicks.

    However the new forum link takes me to Amazon.com - I assume because I don't have a 'local' Amazon site. Could this however be changed to Amazon.de as that's where I actually purchase most of my Lego (and other items) from? This is likely the case as well for a lot of other European users without their 'own' Amazon site.

    If I'm an edge case and this is not worth the bother, I'll just keep using the links on the main Brickset page of course ;)
    SumoLegoBOBJACK_JACKBOBMorkMan
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,581
    If I am not logged in to the forum, I see a banner at the top of the page with the reminder. If I am logged in, I only see the note at the bottom.

    It might be better to have the reminder at the top even when logged in. It is reasonably small and not too intrusive and acts as a reminder. Whereas the one at the bottom is probably not going to be seen - how many people scroll all the way down?

    SumoLegodougts
  • milambermilamber Norfolk UKMember Posts: 626
    Certainly works for me. I've clicked on the link twice this morning, whereas I haven't used the links before
    SumoLegoBOBJACK_JACKBOBMaffyD
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,644
    @ccc, I'm not sure why that is, it doesn't show for me either when logged in but as far as I can tell it should do.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,644
    @stlux, done. Please try again.
    stlux
  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Felixstowe Member Posts: 1,467
    I'm logged in and seeing at top and bottom of every page here.  Win10, Chrome in case it is a browser or o/s issue.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,581
    This is what I see (linux with firefox and chrome, both the same)

    Logged in:

    Logged out:

  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 2,948
    Huw said:
    @stlux, done. Please try again.
    On Firefox from Belgium goes to amazon. Com too. If I click that link and then change the country on the actual amazon site, will that still be an affiliate link?

    I see the link at the top of each page, good idea. I try to think about using the affiliate links on the main site but sometimes just forget so this will definitely help!
  • benbacardibenbacardi EnglandMember Posts: 542
    I see the links at the top and the bottom, but the ones at the top are in a nice blue box and the ones at the bottom are easy to miss, as they're just plain text in the footer. Perhaps they should be in a blue box too?
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,319
    edited October 2019
    Huw said:
    @stlux, done. Please try again.
    I can confirm that works and now takes me to Amazon.de. Thanks!
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,301
    So we need to use the link out of the forums rather than the main site to show our support for this aspect of Brickset?
    klintonsnowhitiedougts
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,644
    ^ Essentially, yes.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,644
    snowhitie which one would Belgians typically use, .fr or .de?
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 1,448
    We use both... depending on who's cheapest :-D I think that's 90% of the time .de though. At least for me.
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 2,948
    @Huw mostly de, but we also get free shipping from France so certain deals are quite tempting on there too!

    Maybe on top of the link at the top of the forum, you could make a sticky thread post with all affiliate links in case people want to buy in a different country? But might not be worth it... Although you do have some active benelux-ers on here :)
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,620
    It might be worth noting that on my mobile (which I now read the forums on 90% of the time), there's no links either at the top of bottom.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,644
    Unfortunately I have no control over the mobile site layout so can't add them :-(
  • PeteMPeteM Gallifrey (near Bristol)Member Posts: 417
    Links appear for me on the mobile view (iPhone/Safari) - though the Amazon one didn’t work when I clicked on it just now... 

    Incidentally, do I have to click on the link ever time I make a purchase, or will it capture all purchases made a defined period?
  • PeteMPeteM Gallifrey (near Bristol)Member Posts: 417
    PeteM said:
    Links appear for me on the mobile view (iPhone/Safari) - though the Amazon one didn’t work when I clicked on it just now... 

    Ignore that, must have been an issue my end as now loading up Amazon uk :)
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,644
    ^^ 24 hours, as long as you don't click on another Amazon affiliate link in the meantime.
    PeteM
  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 1,026
    On Amazon I usually just stuff things in my cart as I think of them, only placing a single order every few weeks or so. Can I click through the link and then buy my cart, and have it count? Or do I need to manually add things to my cart only after clicking the link? 

    Sorry if my question is inane, I'm just trying to be attentive to this. 
    JenniAstrobricks
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,581
    By the way, the skim links that appear (such as two up from here ^^), don't include the correct bricksetforum-21 affiliate tag. So you might want to make sure people don't click on them thinking they are doing good.


  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,644
    ^^ I don't know the minutiae of how it all works to be honest!

    ^ The link is still monetised and will count towards total forum income so it's not a problem.
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 1,018
    It might be worth noting that on my mobile (which I now read the forums on 90% of the time), there's no links either at the top of bottom.
    Both links show up and work for me on iOS 13.1.3


  • milambermilamber Norfolk UKMember Posts: 626
    edited October 2019
    klinton said:
    On Amazon I usually just stuff things in my cart as I think of them, only placing a single order every few weeks or so. Can I click through the link and then buy my cart, and have it count? Or do I need to manually add things to my cart only after clicking the link? 

    Sorry if my question is inane, I'm just trying to be attentive to this. 
    @klinton It's a very valid question and I messaged Huw with the same query earlier. I use another cashback site for Amazon and that only ever tracks if I click through and add the item to my Amazon basket (or cart if overseas......), then check out. If I have something already in my basket, click through and check out, it doesn't track.

    I've given Huw details of two purchases today, one already in the basket, one added after clicking through, so hopefully he will be able to check at some point.
    klintonAstrobricks
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,644
    Cashback sites will conflict with my links so you'll need to make a choice: support the forum or save a few bob...
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,620
    I think I'll create a bookmark of the affiliate link to use instead of just going to Amazon.

    Also, this is what I see on mobile:


  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 513
    Maybe some optional sort of "subscription" should be added, too for those that avoid amazon on purchasing stuff, otherwise those people got limited ways of supporting the forum if there is a lego drought
  • eanaireanair IrelandMember Posts: 150
    @Huw I have a similar issue to @stlux. I’m in Ireland and use amazon.co.uk not Amazon.com. Is there any way to get the link changed?  Thanks!  (I have the urge to celebrate another year of the forum by buying some lego!)
    560Heliport
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,644
    ^ Yes, I'l do so.
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 2,948
    @Huw for me it still goes to amazon.com, I don't mind just as long as it still works if I click on the link and then change the country on the actual amazon site? Especially as me (and other Belgians) might buy from de, fr or even uk (which is what I did yesterday).

    Thanks!
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,644
    I changed it an hour or so ago so hopefully it works now.
    SumoLego
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 2,948
    Huw said:
    I changed it an hour or so ago so hopefully it works now.
    It does! Ta
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 403
    I don't normally buy from Amazon or Lego.com, but I promise that I will link through the forum when I do!
    drdavewatford
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,522
    Just to say I like the new blue banner at the top. Not too intrusive and nice shade of blue!
    Legopantssnowhitie
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 585
    To be honest I never realised that the Amazon affiliate link could be used for any Amazon purchase.. I only ever thought about it as a buying LEGO on Amazon via the link. I use Amazon quite a lot for day to day purchases, so will definitely use this.

    @huw how many pennies in the pound or cents in the dollar does a affiliate link purchase get Brickset? Only reason for asking is seeing how much spend is required overall to raise the required funds for the running of the forum per annum?
    LittleLori
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,644
    I wish there was an easy answer, but it depends... It can be up to 5% in optimal circumstances.
    Fireheart
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,581
    If you are checking the viability of the forum for amazon commission, I notice that the links in the new amazon posts in the forum are all using the bargainwatch rather than bricksetforum tags. Shouldn't these change so that purchases vi links on the forum are correctly tagged.
    sid3windr
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.