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?

1234579

Comments

  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,731
    edited November 2019
    No: there is not, and won't be, one. Not possible.
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 611
    Oh, I thought that was a great way of getting people from the main site to the forum. Or are you not wanting to detract people from the main site, and posting comments there?
    The articles of discussion from the main site in the new forum section seem to have the same old faces, and no new forum users. Which I thought was the point of it? 
    andhe
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,539
    Fireheart said:
    Oh, I thought that was a great way of getting people from the main site to the forum. Or are you not wanting to detract people from the main site, and posting comments there?
    Per Huw's earlier message it's a technical issue, not a desire to keep people on the main site; put simply, when you post an article on the main page you can't link to a forum discussion that doesn't exist yet.
  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 1,189
    Can you just add the link in the top comment in the comments section? I'm not trying to pester, just shooting out ideas. :)
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 611
    Fireheart said:
    Oh, I thought that was a great way of getting people from the main site to the forum. Or are you not wanting to detract people from the main site, and posting comments there?
    Per Huw's earlier message it's a technical issue, not a desire to keep people on the main site; put simply, when you post an article on the main page you can't link to a forum discussion that doesn't exist yet.
    Ok understand..
    Create the discussion on the forum first, then post article.. as a trial for say the next 10 main site articles, and see if it increases forum activity..? 
    Just trying to help with ideas.. :)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,539
    edited November 2019
    klinton said:
    Can you just add the link in the top comment in the comments section? I'm not trying to pester, just shooting out ideas. :)
    That would require someone to visit the forum, grab the URL and manually insert the link as a comment which isn't sustainable when scaled up to include every article posted on Brickset.

    Fireheart said:
    Fireheart said:
    Oh, I thought that was a great way of getting people from the main site to the forum. Or are you not wanting to detract people from the main site, and posting comments there?
    Per Huw's earlier message it's a technical issue, not a desire to keep people on the main site; put simply, when you post an article on the main page you can't link to a forum discussion that doesn't exist yet.
    Ok understand..
    Create the discussion on the forum first, then post article.. as a trial for say the next 10 main site articles, and see if it increases forum activity..? 
    Just trying to help with ideas.. :)
    As above - a manual solution isn't sustainable.
    Astrobricks
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,127
    edited November 2019
    You could turn off all commenting on articles on the main site, then at the bottom have a link to the "articles" section of the forum if people want to discuss the article.

    Although would it do any good? It would increase forum traffic (and costs?) but what benefits would there be?


  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 611
    klinton said:
    Can you just add the link in the top comment in the comments section? I'm not trying to pester, just shooting out ideas. :)
    That would require someone to visit the forum, grab the URL and manually insert the link as a comment which isn't sustainable when scaled up to include every article posted on Brickset.

    Fireheart said:
    Fireheart said:
    Oh, I thought that was a great way of getting people from the main site to the forum. Or are you not wanting to detract people from the main site, and posting comments there?
    Per Huw's earlier message it's a technical issue, not a desire to keep people on the main site; put simply, when you post an article on the main page you can't link to a forum discussion that doesn't exist yet.
    Ok understand..
    Create the discussion on the forum first, then post article.. as a trial for say the next 10 main site articles, and see if it increases forum activity..? 
    Just trying to help with ideas.. :)
    As above - a manual solution isn't sustainable.
    Not trying to be argumentative here, and I’m not the one posting the articles, so not doing any work on this, just reading the end product..

    but it’s not like there are hundreds of articles a week, maybe one or two a day.. and a trial period to see if this works must be beneficial to see if ideas like this can help.

    otherwise the options are pay the 3k pa, and leave everything as is. Or don’t pay the 3k and shut down the forum (which will be a pity).
    (I still think the forum and main site go together very well, and the forum should be seen as a loss leader for the main site). 
    SMC
  • benbacardibenbacardi EnglandMember Posts: 623
    I would imagine some articles are posted on a schedule, rather than by somebody pressing a "publish" button, which would make the manual work even more tedious.

    Unless you're volunteering to post the comment with the link for each article? Doesn't matter who does it, it doesn't have to be a member of the Brickset team 😉 
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 877
    klinton said:
    Can you just add the link in the top comment in the comments section? I'm not trying to pester, just shooting out ideas. :)
    That would require someone to visit the forum, grab the URL and manually insert the link as a comment which isn't sustainable when scaled up to include every article posted on Brickset.
    All of two articles per day?

    It could be cron jobbed in any case. Article comes first. Forum post created. Cron job runs 10 minutes later, finds the forum post with the exact same title as the article and inserts the forum link at the end of the article.
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 1,452
    It's technically 100% doable to 'fix' this. And I agree it would help drive traffic here. But I'll also say that will require more time - Huw has already invested time in coding up the scripts that now create new threads here.

    We're not in a position to tell Huw what to do with his time :-) I'd say, if the forum ends up staying, it would be an okay time investment to make (you create the post, you know its URL, you could then update some database field which makes the frontend show the forum link on the article page). But I don't feel this will be the single magic bullet, so it is fully up to the Brickset team to decide to go for this or not.

    Other than that, I doubt the moderators would remove posts you guys make promoting the forum with a link to the discussion thread of the specific frontpage post!
    catwranglerMorkMan
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 372
    Sorry, late to chime in here! As someone who averaged more than a visit a day over the last 7 years (and probably much longer than that, as I remember lurking for quite awhile before Huw changed something that made it worthwhile to create an ID), I would miss the forum very much.  It has slowed down a lot from the heyday of product retirement countdowns and speculating on aftermarket prices, but I still appreciate the discussions and information that is posted.  Other than migrating to another forum solution, I don't have any great suggestions on how to resolve the cost/user ratio issues. I'd be ok with ads if necessary, or fundraising/fees, but I imagine either would drive active use down. 
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,731
    Also, I don't think it's desirable to encourage a split of the discussion between two places. If it happens that way, then that's fine.

    I guess the ideal solution would be to have something added to the end of articles once comments on the main site article have been stopped (usually a month after first publication) which directs to the appropriate place in the forum, but that's not easy to automate.
    pxchrissid3windr
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 611
    Once the article leaves the main site splash page then it’s very rare that I keep up with the comments on it, maybe because I visit the main site everyday, and have no need to search for articles.
    i normally read the article on the day, read the comments, and then that’s it. Am I in the minority or majority? 
    MaffyDBumblepantssid3windrgmonkey76andheMorkMan
  • GeordiePaulGeordiePaul Glastonbury, CT, USAMember Posts: 599
    @Fireheart That’s exactly what I do too. The forum is the only place where I revisit threads. Once the story disappears off my front page on my mobile on the main site, I forget all about it really.
    KungFuKennyBumblepantsgmonkey76andheLittleLoriM1J0E
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 2,798
    edited November 2019
    Same here. Once and only on the main site.
    gmonkey76andhe
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,731
    Same here. I suspect that's the case for 90% of readers.
    gmonkey76andhe
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 611
    Huw said:
    Same here. I suspect that's the case for 90% of readers.
    So bringing the comments across to the forum ASAP on an article with the forum link on the main site article page would be beneficial to the whole site? And bring more users across.

    i appreciate its not an easy task, but it must be possible some how... :)
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,565
    When I used the lego.com link tonight for VIP weekend it put me on the UK site. Hopefully you still got the commish when I switched to US. If not, maybe multiple distinctive links would be helpful?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,731
    edited November 2019
    @Fireheart, it would kill conversation totally given the need for two logins and the different UI and so on.

    @Bumblepants, if you've selected UK using the flag at the top of the page on the main site it'll take you to LEGO.com/en-gb.

    We'd need about 10 separate links now which would be very unwieldy!
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 611
    I appreciate that, but also it’s not a conversation on the main site, if you want to reference a comment, you put their name or ^^^^ and readers have to go up and down the comments trying to keep up with what’s being said.
    The forum is the place to have “conversations” on the topic, with being able to quote posts, images on the subject etc.

    I feel like I’m being the bad guy here, discussing back and forth with the top honcho of Brickset, and the man that designed all this (which is the best site by the way), as I previously said I’m not trying to be argumentative or awkward, just trying to help with suggestions, and keep the forum alive.. 🙂
    SMCdatsunrobbiesid3windrRecceMorkMan
  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 524
    Huw said:
    @Fireheart, it would kill conversation totally given the need for two logins and the different UI and so on.

    @Bumblepants, if you've selected UK using the flag at the top of the page on the main site it'll take you to LEGO.com/en-gb.

    We'd need about 10 separate links now which would be very unwieldy!
    Did you already think of the issue on how to support the forum if you avoid amazon like the plague?
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,565
    Hmm maybe my browser reverted back to Bulgaria which then caused it to default to UK. Hopefully you got yours anyway
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,583
    Fireheart said:
    Oh, I thought that was a great way of getting people from the main site to the forum. Or are you not wanting to detract people from the main site, and posting comments there?
    Per Huw's earlier message it's a technical issue, not a desire to keep people on the main site; put simply, when you post an article on the main page you can't link to a forum discussion that doesn't exist yet.
    Would it be possible for the main page article to create the forum discussion if it does not already exist? I'm a programming dinosaur with minimal HTML experience, so I really don't know if it can be done. In the code that I write and support in Synergy DBL, I have many instances where I create records in a database when a program tries to lookup data and comes back with a "record not found" error. 
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,867
    I just had to sign in to the forums again. There was a light blue section at the top with the amazon links before I signed in, but once I'd signed in it was gone!
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,528
    A question for @Huw or anyone else that knows for certain. If I load up my cart on Amazon or Lego websites and then close the tab and then go through the Brickset link at the top of the forum page, does that count for revenue for Brickset? 
    AstrobricksMynatt
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,731
    No, I don't think so.
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 640
    Very late to the discussion but just wanted to add my thanks for being able to keep the forums going for another year. Now it’s up to me to try to remember to use the affiliate links. 
    drdavewatfordSnizzlebuttsshikadi
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,492
    did the black friday help much?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,731
    Overall, yes, but I've not looked into how much was attributable to the forum. I'll let you know when I have.
    M1J0E
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,731
    edited January 1
    It's been around three months since I added the links to enable you to fund the forum via purchases at LEGO.com and Amazon so I thought I'd provide an update of what's been raised so far:

    LEGO.com (USA) £74
    LEGO.com (UK) £63
    LEGO.com (all others) £17

    Amazon.co.uk £32
    Amazon.com £0
    Amazon.de £15

    Skimlinks £180

    Total: £381

    For the forum to survive it needs about £3k p.a. so we are some way short of that and there is therefore a danger that I will have to shut it down when the annual contract is next up for renewal.

    So, we need to do better!

    Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

    Please use our links: LEGO.com • Amazon


    M1J0E
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,565
    Sigh, unzips wallet
    KungFuKennyandheBastyGothamConstructionCo
  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 524
    Huw said:
    It's been around three months since I added the links to enable you to fund the forum via purchases at LEGO.com and Amazon so I thought I'd provide an update of what's been raised so far:

    LEGO.com (USA) £74
    LEGO.com (UK) £63
    LEGO.com (all others) £17

    Amazon.co.uk £32
    Amazon.com £0
    Amazon.de £15

    Skimlinks £180

    Total: £381

    For the forum to survive it needs about £3k p.a. so we are some way short of that and there is therefore a danger that I will have to shut it down when the annual contract is next up for renewal.

    So, we need to do better!

    Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

    Please use our links: LEGO.com • Amazon



    You never provided a alternative way for those that do not shop on amazon at all (there are reasons why people do that) so it means i'm currently unable to provide any funding at all
    560Heliport
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,127
    The Amazon deals are always out of date, that is where I tend to check and buy. So my "forum contribution" goes to the main site instead.
    Mr_CrossSMC
  • truck730truck730 Member Posts: 281
    I love the forum but as I don't buy enough for online deals (adult pocket money budget) my contribution is zero, I love the main site too and wonder if the forum dies can topics fly on the home page instead?
  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 1,189
    edited January 1
    Am I the only person that full cringes every time this thread resurfaces? It's pretty clear at this point that Huw wants rid of these forums. I suppose that's his perogative.
    Perhaps the discussion can then shift to what the alternatives will be? What other Lego forums do regular users frequent? I know I see a few of you when I peruse Eurobricks, but that can't be the only active Lego discussion group. Perhaps people can post their favorite Lego discussion destinations so that when this place does inevitably fold, we've hopefully found some common place to pick up the conversation. Something positive rather than this constant death knell. /2cents

    sid3windrPJ76ukshikadiRogerKirk
  • brickmattbrickmatt USAMember Posts: 96
    Huw said:
    It's been around three months since I added the links to enable you to fund the forum via purchases at LEGO.com and Amazon so I thought I'd provide an update of what's been raised so far:

    LEGO.com (USA) £74
    LEGO.com (UK) £63
    LEGO.com (all others) £17

    Amazon.co.uk £32
    Amazon.com £0
    Amazon.de £15

    Skimlinks £180

    Total: £381

    For the forum to survive it needs about £3k p.a. so we are some way short of that and there is therefore a danger that I will have to shut it down when the annual contract is next up for renewal.

    So, we need to do better!

    Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

    Please use our links: LEGO.com • Amazon


    I'm a bit confused about the 0 for Amazon.com. Does that mean the forum link to Amazon for the USA didn't provide anything at all? I used the Amazon link for all of my Christmas shopping (as opposed to the main site link I used before this thread came up). I'm surprised that the amount I spent this year didn't contribute anything.
    KungFuKennyBumblepantsdavetheoxygenmandatsunrobbieSeijiAmasawa
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 1,437
    brickmatt said:

    I'm a bit confused about the 0 for Amazon.com. Does that mean the forum link to Amazon for the USA didn't provide anything at all? I used the Amazon link for all of my Christmas shopping (as opposed to the main site link I used before this thread came up). I'm surprised that the amount I spent this year didn't contribute anything.
    I’m also confused...Between the Batmobiles, Black Friday, and Christmas I spent close to $800 dollars on Lego.com and Amazon in late November and December (don’t judge me!)... I’m surprised that isn’t reflected here... I worry that the links aren’t working or that my purchases are being attributed to the main site...
    BumblepantsandheSeijiAmasawa
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,565
    Yeah I clicked through the forum link for numerous Christmas purchases. Something is very wrong if the number is 0
    davetheoxygenmanSeijiAmasawa
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,922
    klinton said:
    Am I the only person that full cringes every time this thread resurfaces?


    Yeah Iv been trying hard not to say the same thing.

    I don't think Huw wants rid or he would have got rid before now but I am not sure posting we need to do better will change anything and at some point a decision needs to be made. Better to know now if it will go and then people can think about a replacement. And not just for us but brickset who do use the forum for reporting issues or errors on the main site and a few other bits which I am sure they will miss once gone.

    There are other options for keeping a forum but first you need to decide what the forum is for. Starting over in a cheaper form could work or starting over to attract more people bring in more money though the forum or main site could also be very interesting.

    The first post talked about how few people use the forum so the only option is to get more people to use the forum or make it cheaper. Trying to get the few of use here to use the links more and more doesn't seem like the long term answer.

    catwrangler
  • CymbelineCymbeline CanadaMember Posts: 287
    I also think that there is some fault in the way that the statistics are being tabulated. Originally when this thread was started the number of members Huw said logged in for the month of September seemed incredibly low and now the purchase numbers through Amazon don't make sense either. 
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 1,437
    edited January 2
    SumoLego said:
    If there's a transparent/appropriate way to make a direct contribution, I'm sure a number of us would happily do so.

    As I've noted in the past, I'd be happy to donate a few sets for an auction.  My guess is that even if others don't want to make a direct contribution, getting a set at a good price would be attractive.  (And a more direct money-maker for the site.)
    I’ll second that!  As I mentioned when this thread began, I’d also be pleased to chip in some nice retired/sealed sets to help defray the cost of running the forum (I know it’s not the preferred method but it might be worth looking into the possibility...).  I also think that a crowdsource/go fund me type venture would be successful, as those that can could give alarmed amount and others what they could afford.  
    I know a Lego forum isn’t a charity but I feel that the Brickset forum is quite distinct and special compared to others around.  Just peruse the 2019 Secret Santa thread for a bit and I think you will see what I mean.  It would be a crying shame to see it die...
    brickventuresMr_CrossM1J0Esid3windrgmonkey76shikadicatwranglereMJeeNL
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 1,437
    ^ not sure why “alarmed amount” came out of my keyboard... meant to type “larger amounts” — late night typing fail...
    Mr_Cross
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 611
    Huw said:
    I must admit I'm not sure why Amazon.com is showing 0 because as far as I can tell the link expands out to contain the correct referral code but I will investigate further.

    Even so, it's not likely to make a huge difference.

    I don't necessarily 'want rid' but do wonder why I pay out to keep it running when it's not self-financing, particularly when some here are I suspect profiting from it (by using it as a trading platform), not necessarily at my expense, but without contribution.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I still think the forum is a loss leader for Brickset.com
    and the forum and main website are like a ying and yang, I.e. you need both to make it work well, and differentiate from other LEGO AFOL websites.

    Does Brickset.com make a profit overall? I suspect yes, or it would not be around.
    Does the cost of the forum make a huge difference to the overall cost of Brickset.com? Only @huw can answer that?

    I would be happy to have a sale thread which the proceeds goes to running the forum site, maybe even some of the LEGO sets sent to Brickset for reviews can be silent auctioned to pay for the running of Brickset?

    i don’t think the affiliate links are a good way of funding the forum, as to be honest people forget to hit the link first (I do anyway). And then think once this thread comes up, yes I could have made lots of purchases to help, but totally forgot.

    @huw has made it clear before that he doesn’t want a membership fee for running the site, but maybe if you can only access the site if you are a paying member of £1 pa then this might make the £3k you need to run the site.. I’m sure there will be 3000 LEGO AFOLS wanting to read the content of the site, and £1 per membership isn’t going to hurt anyone’s wallet.
    Before shutting it down, please try all options. 😉

    Mr_CrossKungFuKennyAleyditaMaffyD
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,127
    SMC said:

    There are other options for keeping a forum but first you need to decide what the forum is for. Starting over in a cheaper form could work or starting over to attract more people bring in more money though the forum or main site could also be very interesting.

    The first post talked about how few people use the forum so the only option is to get more people to use the forum or make it cheaper. Trying to get the few of use here to use the links more and more doesn't seem like the long term answer.

    It is still not obvious to me now more people using the forum would be a good idea, if those people come from the main site. More people mean more page accesses, more traffic, more costs. But the income would be the same, just rebadging main site income to forum income. Of course if the forum brought in completely new users, that is different.

    If the forum had decent deals tools like the Amazon alerts on the main site, I'm sure there would be a higher income from the forum. As it is currently, I'm not going to use the Amazon tool in the main page, then come here and find the link then search again for something I've already found via a direct link. Maybe have two links on the Amazon deal tool, where buyers can choose to fund the main site or the forum.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,127
    Fireheart said:

    Does Brickset.com make a profit overall? I suspect yes, or it would not be around.
    Does the cost of the forum make a huge difference to the overall cost of Brickset.com? Only @huw can answer that?


    Huw obviously knows the costs. However the income is much harder, as forum users are also main site users. If the forum goes, some main site income may also go.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,148
    I wonder how other forums are supported? For example, somewhere like eurobricks, is someone really forking out £3k a year to keep it running, as I'm not aware of any affiliate links or funding?

    The affiliate links seem like a bit of a dead duck/horse/other animal so how do other free forums remain viable?
    Modeltrainman
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy Brickset.com

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.