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Ringing in the changes; time for a new Ambassador

bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
edited February 2012 in Brickset.com
Reposted from the main site -

"Back in November 2010, LEGO changed the qualifying criteria for their 'Ambassador' programme, and on-line communities such as Brickset.com, fbtb.com, etc., were then elligable to qualify for an 'Ambassador' post for the first time ... for a year or two prior to that, only regional LEGO User Groups qualified (i.e. those that existed in the real world), and prior to that LEGO picked individuals that were felt to be exceptional buiilders and 'key' influencers in the wider LEGO fan community. Just out of interest, Huw was one of the chosen Ambassadors right at the beginning!

So what is a LEGO Ambassador? That's a good question. The role has changed quite a lot since the programme first stood up; today it is mostly about being a conduit for information between LEGO and the fan community. It is a way for LEGO to target information at the adult fan community (e.g. passing press releases, asking for feedback, promoting the on-line questionaires, etc.) and for the adult fan community to be able to ask for information from LEGO ... unfortunately much of what the fan comminuty wants to know is information that the team in LEGO that looks after the Ambassador programme (the Community Engagement team, which also supports fan events, runs the LUGBULK programme, etc.) are unable to answer for commercial and other reasons. It also acts as a forum for Ambassadors to work together and discuss topics of interest across the world-wide fan community. There are currently over 70 Ambassadors, from all across the world.

In the early days of the Ambassador programme, the Ambassadors got involved in a lot of 'secret' projects; however, that stopped a few years ago, and the Ambassadors get no access to priviledged information anymore.

I've been the Ambassador for Brickset.com since November 2010; over the last 14 months I've enjoyed the experience (despite the occasional frustrations) but I have chosen to stand down to give someone else the opportunity to represent the community here; it's my pleasure to announce that felllow Admin DrDaveWatford has just taken over as the official LEGO Ambassador for Brickset.com and I'm confident that he'll do a great job representing the community.

If you've got any questions about the Ambassador programme, ask away and one of us will have a crack at answering it!"

Comments

  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Sorry to hear you're moving on Bluemoose, you've done a great job.
    And a good choice for a replacement too, good luck DrDave in your new role.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,520
    edited February 2012
    Thanks for your service to our Community @bluemoose - virtual hugs to you!
    Congratulations and all the best in your new role @DrDaveWatford :)
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    You did good @bluemoose, and looking forward for @DrDaveWatford, I'm sure you will do great for the community.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,702
    What they all said ^ + ^^ + ^^^
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,261
    Cheers, folks - things seem decidedly slow on the LEGO Ambassador Forum, but I'll pass along anything worthwhile....
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    ^ Just to make sure, if TLG decides to bring back Brickmaster, will you still tell us? ;o)
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    And please dont let them know about our international shopping shennanigans, as companies dont tend to like that as it skews their regional sales figures :)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,261
    :-)

    Even a hint that Brickmaster is returning in its previous form will be met by a stream of invective of industrial proportions, Ambassador or not. But you knew that anyway...!

    And as for shopping shennanigans, my lips are sealed....
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Congrats @drdavewatford and thanks @bluemoose for you all your work
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    Brilliant, thanks bluemoose for your past efforts and good luck to Dave. Actually I was wondering if you could pass on a request for me Dave, bring back Cafe Corner and Green Grocer, cheers, let me know what they say, tomorrow will be fine for an answer no rush ;-D
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    lol! and can you ask them to stop making so many childish sets while youre there
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Bringing back CC and GC? That could cause some serious heartaches to people who have shelves stocked up of these :P
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    The Community team in Lego have little-to-no influence on what sets get released or rereleased. They don't do 'requests'. The usual response to questions about missing parts or quality issues is 'talk to customer support'; even when there is a systemic issue (fire brigade missing parts, cracking in 1x bricks (especially 1x1x2/3 slopes), etc) getting any kind of official response is challenging. Much of the discussion is about how the Community team can better support AFOL organised public displays.

    I, and many Ambassadors from other groups before me, have asked to have better access to set information - official digital inventories, official release info, etc. - and it has always been gently refused, not due to commercial reasons, but because they ( the Community team) don't have the resources to pull the info into a releasable format. The official colour charts are the most they've been able to release for us, because they were already in an easy to release format.
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711
    edited February 2012
    Okay, I gotta ask... but not sure exactly how to phrase my question... so bear with me.

    I've read the first post, so I have an idea what the role of an Ambassador is, but what exactly can or does an Ambassador do for the community?

    Here's what I'm getting at: I collect diecast cars. The folks that make Matchbox assign a new Ambassador every year. Each individual Ambassador fullfills their role in their own particular way, one of the goals is for the Ambassador to present to the community prviews of products to be released that year. Several times a year the community receives a report about what's coming and where things are headed. The Ambassadors are also supposed to gather information and questions from the community to present to the Matchbox team so they can know what is on the collective minds of the collecting community. Then we usually get some feedback from Matchbox.

    Now maybe I've missed it or just haven't been paying good enough attention, but do the LEGO Ambassadors do the same thing? If so, can you show me where? I think it's kind of hard for most layperson AFOLs to really get a feel for what the Ambassadors do, without seeing some actual results. I'm not trying to belittle the role of the Ambassadors, but I do think it is important for them to communicate on a regular basis with the community even if they do not have access to priviledged information. Maybe if @bluemoose could summarize some of his experiences during his term as Ambassador it might help.... ;o/
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited February 2012
    It's tough to summarize it because the program goals itself are not well defined and have morphed somewhat over time.

    But I do think your request for examples is the best way to demystify it, so here is a smattering of examples:

    1. Community -> LEGO ( and then back -> Community)
    Stability issues with 10213 Shuttle Adventure --
    If I recall, the issue gained steam in the online community and was mentioned to the LEGO CEC team in the Ambassador forum (other groups within LEGO may have also heard of, i.e. Customer service). After investigating, TLG decided to issue a service pack of supplemental parts, and then later decided to discontinue 10213 and produce 10231 with the structural improvements. The presence of the service pack was communicated to the Ambassadors to disseminate to the groups they represent, as was news about the discontinuation and new set. In many ways, you can see this is the catalyst for general awareness as the information propagates onto the community websites (which have Ambassador representation), and people begin to inquire about it with LEGO store employees, and the staff, if not already aware, educates themselves and begin telling many more customers.

    2. LEGO -> Community
    Nominations of past sets to be updated and released --
    Last year, Ambassadors were asked to query their constituents for nominations of past sets that TLG would use as candidates for a refresh and re-release. We haven't heard anything since the lists were submitted about which set, if any, were chosen, but if it ever happens, it came via this means.
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711
    @rocao ~ Thank you!
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