Publicly visible "about me"

davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
edited April 2011 in Forum Operation
How flexible are these forums in terms of providing "About me" data?

One thing that seems to come up time-and-again in LEGO forums is the inevitable "brag" thread (or whatever), wherein people can give stats on how many pieces they have, how many minifigs, etc. It's actually sometimes helpful in knowing other people, because people with small collections are often teenagers or less-serious collectors, and people with large collections (say, 100,000+) are probably serious adult collectors.

One nice-to-have (IMHO) would be if we could have a few "about me" tidbits, such as:

- How long have you been involved in the online LEGO community?
- How many LEGO pieces do you have?
- How many minifigs do you own?

DaveE

Comments

  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited April 2011
    ^ I've posed the same question to Huw. In the meantime, if you add an "Activity" in your profile: http://www.bricksetforum.com/profile, it'll post directly under your username.

    Here is mine, for example: http://www.bricksetforum.com/profile/rocao
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    edited April 2011
    ...people with small collections are often teenagers or less-serious collectors, and people with large collections (say, 100,000+) are probably serious adult collectors.

    One nice-to-have(IMHO) would be if we could have a few "about me" tidbits, such as:

    - How long have you been involved in the online LEGO community?
    - How many LEGO pieces do you have?
    - How many minifigs do you own?
    How rude! Just jesting.

    I'm in my mid thirties and have been collecting for just over two years. In that time I have worked extremely hard to accumulate 40,000 pieces or so in OOP MISB SW UCS sets. Might I not be considered a "serious collector"?

    To make matters worse, I have zero interest in collecting minifigs...in which case you might have a point. :o) If were to take a bite from the forbidden fruit, I fear it would be the end of my marriage and the kids would be going to school in rags.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    Sorry, I should probably explain a bit more-- It's not to say anyone with LESS than 100k pieces is NOT a serious collector. But anyone with 100k or more probably IS one. And really, I'm just pulling a number out of the air to demonstrate. And even then, it's all just probability.

    My wife and I have about a million pieces (I had about 600k, she had an unknown amount, roughly 300k, and we guess around a million total now). And we've both been collecting as adults for roughly 17 years. I've been in the online community for about 12 years, and she's been in the online community for the full 17.

    Now, I'm not about to pass you off as some newbie whose opinion is worthless or anything, simply because you have a smaller collection and have only been in the community for 2 years. But I WILL expect that you're not as familiar with certain things, like (say) the history of the community, or a detailed immediate knowledge of things like Time Cruisers sets. As such, if I'm about to talk with you, I'll try to adjust accordingly.

    Then there's teens and kids. I can't determine from a post whether or not you're 15, but if your LEGO collection is less than 10,000 pieces, I can determine pretty quickly that you're a newbie of some sort-- young or otherwise. Hence, when I see someone like that comment on "THE BEST SET EVER", or "Here's what *I* think LEGO should do", I'll probably take it with a grain of salt.

    Anyway, it helps me gauge who I'm talking to. Back in the RTL and LUGNET days, there was a little more familiarity with people, since people typically used their actual names, and the community was small enough to know all the regulars. But now, the community is so diverse that it's difficult to know who I'm talking to based on a meaningless username and a blank profile, which is often what people have :(

    DaveE
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    Like i said, I was jesting and my previous banter should be taken pinch of salt. Although I would consider myself a serious collector, I have limited myself to particular lines so as I don't get carried away and there's enough readies left over for a family holiday in the summer. I would rank myself something like a sardine compared to others in the community but I do feel some posts would not be taken as serious if one only had a few tens of thousands of bricks and no minifigs as opposed to several hundreds or millions of bricks and minifigs.

    I do recall something I read a few weeks ago in the forum whereby the moderators didn't want to highlight themselves as such to help encourage their posts being viewed as equal. Surely introducing a ranking system would go against the whole ethos of being equal. I think regular users would get to know others well enough through time - I have.
  • Bluefox1966Bluefox1966 UKMember Posts: 360
    I have over 17000 minifigures alone I must be way serious :-)
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    edited April 2011
    @davee123 - I think you make some very good points but IMHO, the issue can be a slippery slope. One of our goals with this forum was to simply let the contents on one's posts dictate one's value to a discussion. Over time and based on your individual experiences in the forum, you'll probably begin to pay more attention to posts by some users and less attention to others. But it would be a shame to reflexively dismiss/ and/or give less/more weight to some posters simply because they have too many or too few sets, etc. To me, this kind of metadata tracking could result in a defacto ranking system.

    IMHO, the same goes for moderators and admins here. I'd like to think that you'll dismiss those posts of mine that you find unhelpful and then consider those posts of mine in which you feel I made good points. Hopefully, I'll have more helpful than unhelpful posts, but you never know. :o) All that being said, we'll likely and at some point add badges or such to the admins and moderators here. But that will be moreso for informative purposes and less-so for grovel-inducing. ;o)
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    While true, I think it's also relevant to the "ask an expert" discussion. If certain people are labeled "experts" (or, more to the point, if some people are NOT labeled "experts"), you're in the same game.

    To be honest, as you hinted at, I think the whole "moderator" badge thing is probably far worse in that regard. It's handy when you want to proactively find a moderator and notify them of something (IE, the "informative purposes" you mentioned). But the rest of the time, forum members will often kowtow to moderators and give them the respect that is deserved to everyone, not simply those with special powers. Actually, that's probably an understatement-- sometimes moderators act childishly, and still get treated as though their actions were justified.

    Anyway, I don't particularly subscribe to a ranking so much as a more detailed "about" for people.

    DaveE
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    ^ My intention with identifying experts in particular aspects of LEGO is to have them host an "ask me" thread. This would only be a handful of people, 1-2 each per topic.

    This should not and would not invalidate discussions that others might have, they would just have to come forward. Other people are certainly welcome to participate in the discussion, but I thought it would be beneficial to have a direct place to go for information from an accredited source.

    Again, I see value in unifying one's forum profile with a brickset profile as a matter of "getting to know" someone and understand where they are coming from.

    I think this is all a matter of perspective: identifying someone as an expert doesn't make novices of everyone else. Understanding that someone has tremendous depth of experience lends credence to their opinion, but people that lack these same measures shouldn't be discredited on that basis alone.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    I'm in total agreement, I just think it may be a conflict of interest if there's a desire on the one hand to prevent people from feeling "ranked" and a desire on the other hand to have an "elite" group. IE, I think BrickSet needs to figure out what the stance is and where things fall on the line.

    For instance, many other forums, quite clearly, have the "number of posts" and "members since" date clearly visible on each person's post, let alone their profile. And many forums also give a "ranking" for people based on the number of posts they've made. And although I don't think that information is quite as useful in the LEGO hobby as OTHER information, it's fun for people and occasionally provides some extra information.

    But members often treat it as a competition or ranking, even though they ought not to. Is that a bad thing? I don't really mind one way or another, honestly. I've never felt put off by my "ranking". But I guess I can see that other people might be bothered by it. Only problem I have personally is with people INTENTIONALLY posting fluff so as to bring up their post count.

    Anyway, I'm interested in it so I can learn about who I'm talking to without having to spend time perusing someone's post history (assuming they have one). I'd probably go with something like:

    - Gender
    - Age
    - Country
    - Collection Size
    - # Years spent in the LEGO community.

    The other thing it accomplishes is basically helps to do away with "bragging" threads, which, while fun, often get out-of-date, and aren't very comprehensive. That's (more honestly) the reason I suggested having "minifigs" on there as a field.

    As I think about it, it's actually a throwback to the old LEGO Geek Code signature from back in the RTL days. That'd be cool to have :)

    DaveE
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    ^ I understand that this designation would run counter to Brickset's expressed interest in a "classless" society, but it truly would be a handful of individuals recognized in a specific thread and they would not carry any label in a profile or signature.

    If it really does present a problem, we could create "nameless" accounts that are intended only for hosting the "ask me" threads and that do not post elsewhere in the forum, but that's making a mountain out of a molehill, in my opinion.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    Yeah, I guess honestly I'm just disappointed that adding more information to an about me would be construed as some sort of rating or something. I want to be able to learn about who else is on the forum, so for me it'd be helpful. But if that's viewed as detrimental, I guess I don't know whether the same view would be taken on having "experts", etc.

    I guess my solution to the problem might be to try and revive the LEGO Geek Code :) I tried that once, but it didn't work all that well. Just means I'll have to come up with a useful-looking web interface!

    DaveE
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    edited April 2011
    @davee123 - Please note that you have been banned. J/K

    I agree with you that its helpful sometimes to know a little bit about the person posting and I'm definitely not against it, in principle. Linking Bricksetforum and Brickset accounts by email address, or such, might help in this regards, but I'm definitely not an IT guy so who knows what is or is not possible. Mostly, I'd like to know genders because I hate messing that up when referencing previous posts, "i.e. @drdavewatford obviously wants to complete her Star Wars collection." :o) I'm just trying to keep an eye on the prize, as they say. And I do like the fact that I'm evaluating you and rocao (to name just two) on your posts alone and not on some metadata, ranking, or status.

    And in keeping with this ethos, my vote would be that moderators remain anonymous as much as possible. What we do here is usually in the background anyway and a good topic/post is a good topic/post, regardless of who generated it. Anyone familiar with my posts here or on Brickset will know me as an avid collector but a novice with regards to MOCs, Ebaying, Photography, etc. You start a topic on BLEY, and I'm likely on the sidelines. :o) For those disciplines, it would so far seem more beneficial to turn to vynsane, legowomen1980, bluemoose, respectively and to just name a few. :o)
  • aplbomr79aplbomr79 Member Posts: 159
    I disagree, I think that the moderators need to be public. I have an ongoing conversation with a moderator and have appreciated his outlook on how he based his decisions. I think that when we know the moderators, we can address concerns with them and understand their background.

    This is a forum. In it's nature it is set up to be a place where we (the LEGO community) is looking for answers and are able to address the experts. I would hate to see this forum become a place of a guarded nature. I think that the moderators were chosen because of their expertise - expertise that many of us rely upon.

    There are many of us AFOLs that lost a few years in the 'Dark Ages' and still need help in redirecting us. The access to the moderators aids in refraining from posting benign posts or asking pertinent questions. As we have seen in such a short while, some posts can seem redundant - but over time, we will see more and more of this - especially as the new generation of LEGO fans come of age. We need access to your knowledge on a direct basis. I understand that as time goes on, this will become more a nuisance to you moderators.

    Maybe Huw and Brickset can create a tab of 'Ask the Experts' for each theme and subtheme. This may alleviate some concerns.

    Thanks

    BUILD ON!
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^There is an "Ask Brickset" category that allows anyone to directly ask the people in charge of the forum any questions they may have.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    I think it would be really useful just to have a tag or badge of something for the 'SheFOLs'/'AFFOLs' and the mods, just to iron out the he/she issue and to just clarify authority.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    I respectfully disagree because IMO mod / no mod and male / female shouldn't really matter. One can always load a gender specific avatar if that's important to him / her.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    ^ agree. I think the 'badges' idea goes against pretty much everything we're trying to do here.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    OK, I don't really like the ranks on EB by number of post, but I do think 'Ladies' and 'Admin' come in useful over there.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Agree that number of posts doesnt help much (it rewards volume not quality).

    The ability to optionally add some profile information would be helpful.

    Thats why I chose this ID; although its a clumsy and ugly ID it does help people know at least where I am in the world, which I think is helpful information since a lot of the threads are location-sensitive (e.g. when pricing or availability subjects come up) and knowing where someone is from can instantly clarify things.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    Little national flags next to the name would be cool, like on shopping news on the main page.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy