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Is there still a need for the forum?

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  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 640
    ^ I didn’t know there was an app, never even thought to look for one actually.  But there it is.  There’s actually 2 with the Brickset logo.  Brickset & I Brickset.  Which one do you use?
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,583
    I've made no less than 8 Amazon purchases through the forum link since beginning of October, no way that should be $0 for the US link.
    KungFuKennydavetheoxygenmanSeijiAmasawa
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 1,441
    milamber said:
    CCC said:
    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.
    This, definitely for me. I visit the forum first, then checkout the main site, but it's only usually to check out the Amazon deals. If the forum went, I wouldn't bother visiting the main site unless I was looking for something specific. Certainly not the 4 or 5 times a day I do now.

    Plus, like @CCC, I almost always click through to an Amazon deal via the main site, not the forum, as 99% of the time any decent deal is time critical and I just want the purchase completed before it disappears. Going back to the forum and hunting for the link from there isn't something I'd ever consider.

    I suspect the hit to the main site income from scrapping the forum might be a lot more than anyone thinks. Of course, that won't be known for some time after the forum goes, by which time it will be too late.

    I'd happily pay a subscription as others have suggested. It seems a much more straightforward and sensible option than auctioning off donated sets, as noble as such a suggestion is from very generous members.

    There is no similar alternative. The other main fora have their place, but they don't have the maturity and friendliness of this forum. It would be a big hit to my enjoyment of the hobby if it went.
    ^ this comment hit the nail on the head 100% for me!  
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,566
    If for some reason all the backlog of images and posts going back to 7-8 years ago is driving up the price could they just be deleted? I doubt anyone is ever going back to plumb the depths of the ancient threads. Even classic threads like the predictions one aren't really useful pages back even if they are fun to remember.

    I'm mainly wondering if all the images of hauls, mocs, displays etc are pushing up the cost to host. 
    M1J0EandheBOBJACK_JACKBOBgmonkey76catwrangler
  • Russell844Russell844 California, USAMember Posts: 1,968
    I'm still down for paying a monthly or annual fee.
    KungFuKennyLegopantsLostInTranslation560HeliportdavetheoxygenmanflordSeijiAmasawared237
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 877
    Huw said:
    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.
    This doesn't put you in a particularly good light imo. Those people trading are doing their bit to keep the community strong, and that community is part of the larger community that submits reviews and tracks collections and want lists, engages with the main site's articles and social media channels... it's very short-sighted imo to suggest that forum users must self-finance the forum when you yourself could take further concrete steps to reduce the exorbitant annual costs. Notwithstanding the fact that Companies House suggests Brickset is doing reasonably well.
    shikaditeal93mr2
  • im2cre8ivim2cre8iv Utah, USAMember Posts: 126
    There have been many suggestions on how to decrease costs or increase revenue, but all we’ve seen so far is dismissal or additional complaints. Is it useful to even keep this thread going? Has anything changed since this thread started?
    shikadisid3windr
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 1,452
    M1J0E said:
    ^ I didn’t know there was an app, never even thought to look for one actually.  But there it is.  There’s actually 2 with the Brickset logo.  Brickset & I Brickset.  Which one do you use?

    Sounds like you're on iOS in which case I cannot advise you - I use myBrickset on Android. Check out https://brickset.com/tools/mobileapps -- it's nicely documented by Huw , too!

    SumoLego
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 640
    Thanks @sid3windr, appreciate the help!  Yep iOS which it does look like there’s different apps from what’s available on Android.  I wonder now though, if using an app would decrease ad revenue from page views on the main site?  
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,732
    Yes it does.
    M1J0ESumoLego
  • BOBJACK_JACKBOBBOBJACK_JACKBOB ScotlandMember Posts: 551
    If for some reason all the backlog of images and posts going back to 7-8 years ago is driving up the price could they just be deleted? I doubt anyone is ever going back to plumb the depths of the ancient threads. Even classic threads like the predictions one aren't really useful pages back even if they are fun to remember.

    I'm mainly wondering if all the images of hauls, mocs, displays etc are pushing up the cost to host. 
    ^this. I had as similar thought a while back but then read some comments where people were expressing dissapointment that the old threads may be lost. IMO if a thread is inactive and is costing money it should be removed. I would also suggest deleting comments after a certain amout of time. Some threads go back years and years. I don't really see a reasonable need for comments over 2 years old.
    I'm sure some people will disagree, but that's the collecting mentality! ;)

    KungFuKenny560HeliportMr_Crossgmonkey76andhecatwranglerSumoLego
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 612
    On the flip side to that..

    quite often when you do a google search (especially images) it’s the Brickset forum images of items that come up, and thus new users find their way to this forum and then Brickset.com via that.. if the old images and posts are removed?

    maybe as other forums remove old posts etc, is why Brickset forum always comes up quite high in the results? Or is the cost mentioned numerous times allowing good Google search results 😉
    560HeliportBOBJACK_JACKBOB
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,491
    edited January 3
    M1J0E said:
    Thanks @sid3windr, appreciate the help!  Yep iOS which it does look like there’s different apps from what’s available on Android.  I wonder now though, if using an app would decrease ad revenue from page views on the main site?  

    Not if you are a member who logs in as you don’t see ads anyway, right?
    sid3windr
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 640
    M1J0E said:
    Thanks @sid3windr, appreciate the help!  Yep iOS which it does look like there’s different apps from what’s available on Android.  I wonder now though, if using an app would decrease ad revenue from page views on the main site?  

    Not if you are a member who logs in as you don’t see ads anyway, right?
    That was my next thought & question now too.  Ok decreasing revenue from page views is a good enough reason to not use an app.  But does the pay scale work on total number of page views served up, even if I’m not seeing them because I’m logged in?  Or do page views truly only count for those not logged in & seeing them.
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,433
    I would rather pay a subscription for the forums. Not sure of the conversion rate (also don't know where other currency symbols are) but paying $1 a month would be worth it for something I use every day. There is a sports gaming forum I gladly pay $40 a year for because it is a valuable resource for me and there are plenty of people that access it for free.  $3000 a year doesn't sound bad to me. 

    Frankly, I'm not sure why brickset.com and the forums are considered separate entities. 
    Astrobricks560Heliport
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,854
    I realise we started out being aghast at the prospect of losing the forum's history, but given that we're now thinking in terms of "How can we set up a free forum to keep the community going?" (which doesn't come with a built-in guarantee of being able to move all old threads), it seems sensible to consider what exactly is leading to the £3k costs.

    Are there cost thresholds involved in terms of forum content? For instance, could we bump it down into a lower cost bracket by, say, deleting videos? And perhaps not allowing video embeds going forward? Ditto images - and it's not necessarily all or nothing. The oldest thread in the "Collecting" forum is from 2011. What if everything more than five years old gets deleted? That still leaves a lot of content to be picked up by Google image searches and drive traffic to the forum. 


    Bumblepants560HeliportandheAstrobricksMr_Crossgmonkey76
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,491
    ....

    Frankly, I'm not sure why brickset.com and the forums are considered separate entities. 
    I wonder the same thing. It seems to me there are at least a few forum sections that are important to running the main site, like the Brickset.com and Database sections. Then there would be the loss of the charity and fairybricks sections, which would be a shame.
    shikadi560Heliport
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,142

    Are there cost thresholds involved in terms of forum content? For instance, could we bump it down into a lower cost bracket by, say, deleting videos? And perhaps not allowing video embeds going forward? Ditto images - and it's not necessarily all or nothing.

    It is probably for Huw to answer, but I don't see why videos would be that big of a deal as most are not hosted here. Whereas images tend to be.

    catwrangler
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,142
    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 used a link in the forum a couple of days ago from the UK Amazon Bargain Watch section, as it was actually up to date for a change. On following it I noticed the tag was bargainwatch-21 and not bricksetforum-21. So these links on the forum are "stealing" forum contributions and attributing it to the main site pot instead.
    BumblepantsMr_CrossCymbelinecatwranglerLittleLori
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,854
    ^ So then maybe the question is, has overall revenue from these links (across Brickset  main + the forum) increased since the forum-specific links were added/we started discussing making more effort to click on the ones here?
    LittleLori
  • im2cre8ivim2cre8iv Utah, USAMember Posts: 126
    edited January 9
    CCC said:
    I used a link in the forum a couple of days ago from the UK Amazon Bargain Watch section, as it was actually up to date for a change. On following it I noticed the tag was bargainwatch-21 and not bricksetforum-21. So these links on the forum are "stealing" forum contributions and attributing it to the main site pot instead.
    I think this has been mentioned several times (maybe @CCC has always been the one to bring it up), and nothing has been done about it yet...

    This, plus the "£0 from Amazon.com" along with the "only 80 users have logged in" metrics are stressing me out, as it seems like big decisions are potentially going to be made based off data that is obviously incorrect. And still nothing has (publicly) been changed to improve the data quality.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,963
    ^ Or all the data could be exported and imported into an open source instance of Vanilla Forums. This could probably be hosted for $10-$20/month, but someone would have to spend more time looking after it.
    AstrobricksBumblepantsSumoLegoandhecatwranglersid3windrKungFuKenny
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 1,452
    So, question again, if you use the forum Amazon link, and buy non-lego stuff, is it also attributed to the referral key?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,142
    ^Yes.
    sid3windr
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 1,452
    Good! :-)
  • izxizx USAMember Posts: 36
    My family shops quite a bit on Amazon US and I usually bookmark the homepage with an affiliate link to support my favorite folks. So, @Huw , may I ask if
    bricksetforum-20 
    is the proper tracking ID for forum referrals?

    I also don't mind PM'ing you some sample purchases in a week or two if you still need to verify whether things are being correctly tracked or not.) Thanks!
  • FireheartFireheart Suffolk, UKMember Posts: 612
    @Huw you mentioned previously on the main site how the number of new members has increased quite a lot in the past few weeks. 
    Interested to know (Now some stats should be available) have many of the new users made it across to the forum pages? 👍🏻
    Mr_Cross
  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Felixstowe Member Posts: 1,528
    @Huw as we are coming up to the anniversary of wondering whether to keep the forum going, and presumably billing time again, what's the prognosis this year? 
    snowhitieMr_Cross
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,873
    Curious that on the thread, the above post is times as 8:56am today, but on the thread listing, it's showing as 10 Jan...
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,732
    The thread was 'sunk' last year which meant it didn't rise to the top. Presumably that's why it shows an old date.

    Yes it will be billing time again soon. I've not looked at the graphs lately but will do so.
    SumoLegoRonyar
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,142
    The bargain watch links on the forum are still useless. UK is up to 20th Sep and USA stuck in April. Even two days behind mean the deals are already gone.
    BumblepantsKungFuKennyshikadi
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,873
    They're simply not there for me. The forum looks like it always did, no shopping links at the top or bottom.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,142
    Do you not see this? You are not missing much as the prices are out of date by the time they are posted and so probably generate next to nothing.



    Then I also see this right down the bottom.


    I tend not to use it, it is just easier to go to amazon via one of the front page links (especially when checking recent prices) but of course that does not go to the forum link.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,873
    CCC said:
    Do you not see this? You are not missing much as the prices are out of date by the time they are posted and so probably generate next to nothing.



    Yes I see that, but I don't see this on mobile (although it's there on my computer):
    CCC said:




    I probably read the forums 80% on my phone these days.
    andhe
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 504
    I see it just fine on Android.


  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,491
    edited October 18
    I see it just fine on Android.


    That doesn’t appear to be on a phone, which is the situation @Paperballpark was pointing out.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,732
    I can't alter the mobile template unfortunately.
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 1,994
    @Huw I just don't believe that there is anything you can't do. :)
    KungFuKenny
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,491
    edited October 19
    “I canna change the laws of physics captain!”

    RIP James Doohan
    KungFuKenny560Heliportgmonkey76Cyberdragon
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,131
    I have been curious as to when the next bill is due - so very interesting to find it is once per year and we are coming around to it yet again.  @huw do you have an idea around how much you have raised?  Will the forum go on?
    andhe
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,149
    I would hope now more than that the 'need' for the forum is apparent (with people stuck at home/working from home etc, in the UK at least). And seeing the amount people drop on lego regularly... I'm sure a one off fundraiser (if needed) would be a drop in the ocean for many but hopefully provide enough for the forum to continue.
    560HeliportBooTheMightyHamsterpxchrisMr_CrossjmeninnoBumblepantsKungFuKennyRonyar
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 504
    I see it just fine on Android.


    That doesn’t appear to be on a phone, which is the situation @Paperballpark was pointing out.
    Are you using Chrome or the crappy built-in browser?
  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 524
    Poking @Huw for updates
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 2,033
    ...careful with the poking...
    KungFuKennyAstrobricks
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