Proposal for Saving the Future of Lego Space! (SatFutoLes)

Idea? Problem? Discuss here.

Proposal for Saving the Future of Lego Space! (SatFutoLes)

Postby Stargorger » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:33 am

Yeah it's a wierd name but I'm working on it ;-)

So. Basically I've been looking over the archive forum and the new one and come to a sad realization.
Lego Space is dying. Lego is dying. Or at least, the community is.
I don't know why or what it is. Maybe it's those dang Megablock cretins. Maybe it's videogames (as always).

But, what I see is that the young Lego community is nowhere near as vibrant and alive as that a decade ago. And it makes me sad.
A perfect example of this is Classic Space. Since the start of the old site our numbers have dropped to like, 1/100th of what they once were. Ok maybe that's a bit of exageration but, the point remains.
And it saddens me. Which is an elaborate way of saying, it sucks. My heart goes out to all you guys that are still with it, and to the new site...glory days past and all that...anyway.
What I see is that Lego Space must be reborn from the ashes! We've got a golden opportunity here, in the embers of this new site, to create a new version of Classic Space that will help to bring together and revitalize the Lego space community. And most importantly, bring fresh blood in! While I love the AFOL community, it's aging. Members are leaving. And too few youngsters are coming in. We need to fix this. And I certainly can't do it myself (I'm not really a programmer).
On the "what's up with space" topic I posted a proposal for the refreshed site. I'll repost it here in a minute. But let me begin by saying I know this is a lot of work, but its not really HARD work per se. A lot of my ideas can be easily implemented: the biggest trick will be getting a new front page for the site, and I can't really do anything on that front, so some of the impetus from this will have to come from the mods.

While the forums are great for us, they're not really informative or helpful for newcomers, young lego fans, or what-have-you. I think the site still needs a main page with menu bar, etc...
The forums are awesome and should be linked on the side, but we need the articles back, we need a Factions page again, we need a Links page, we need a Stories/Comics page, we need a news feed, we need community wiki/scripting space, and we need a community connections page with links to a FB, Twitter, etc...
I'd be more than happy to help with any and all of that...write-up text/descriptions, code for formatting, design backgrounds, whatever. "I gotwhatyaneed!" :-)
Also a couple other things that weren't on the old page and I always wished there were:
1. An 'instructions' page. We need a page where new users (especially younger ones) can come to read mini instruction booklets for some of the simpler lego creations we've made over the years. Now, I can make the instruction booklets (in PDF form, or flash) for designs that I know, like the egg-mech, generic vic-viper, etc....but this is something that will require more involvement from you guys, even if that just means sending me step-by-step photos of you building it.
2. A 'games' page. Not that we need to invent or host games per se, but in order to draw-in more folks and get them connected with the Classic Space community we need game links. I know there are other lego games out there, but even just linking to the individual ones on the Lego website would be good. Something to make this site the one-stop portal for all things Lego Space.
3. A news feed page. I know I already mentioned this but it needs more explanation: we need a LIVE update feed. Something where noteworthy lego news, photos, video, Lego website updates, whatever can be constantly monitored and updated. Obviously, this would be a time-consuming job for a person, so what would be ideal is a page that links scripts to the coding of other sites: Bricklink, LUG.com, Flickr, Lego.com, etc...and updates according to new headlines in the script. I don't currently have the code for this but I know it exists and should be simple to find/acquire. As a last resource I can get my father-in law to send me a code for it...he designs database-gathering systems and robots programs for a living so...shouldn't be too hard.


So all that to say: while I think the current state of things is dim, the future can be bright! It'll probably be a while, yes, and it relies a large part not only on community help/input but on the introduction of new members to the site, which I can help with somewhat (my little brother and his friends, for starters...and theirs, and so on...) but I think it can work.
I love Lego Space. I want to save it, revitalize it, and make it glorious again. Maybe I'm remembering things wrongly but hey, there's always a new opportunity, right?
Don't know if any of you have read the Song of Ice and Fire series, but if you have you'll know that "what is dead can never die, but rises again, harder and stronger."

I look forward to your suggestions, ideas, etc...although useless "oh, this will never work" type comments will NOT be appreciated: that's exactly the kind of spirit that kills future hopes.
"Re-go no kaijuu wa hoshi kara yo"
"Los monstruos de los Legos de las estrellas!"
"Lego monsters from the stars!"
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Re: Proposal for Saving the Future of Lego Space! (SatFutoLe

Postby Alyosha » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:49 pm

Well before the site was hacked, Classic Space was not nearly as active as it had once been. Many active builders moved entirely to Flickr. Why did our forum shrink while other LEGO forum communities like Classic-Castle, FBTB, and Eurobricks survive and continue to thrive? Clearly, a forum can co-exist with Flickr.

I think there are some other important questions to ask before we set out on coming with a plan to revitalize CS. The most important questions, in my opinion, are: Who is currently paying for the site, and do they have a goal or plan in mind? I think that we need to know that there is a desire to continue the site before we worry overmuch about trying to grow it again.
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Re: Proposal for Saving the Future of Lego Space! (SatFutoLe

Postby Admiral Netsooj » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:21 pm

As Alyosha pointed out, most everyone has moved to Flickr, especially when the old forum went down. Also, Eurobricks has a Space subforum, and some people, after the site went down, might have migrated there, and simply forogt about Classic Space (Just a theory, no proof)

I stongly agree that we need a front page. And the sooner we can get the rest of the subforums up, the better. A fornt page that UPDATES more then once a year would be even better. I would be willing to update a front page with MOCs and reviews and such, but MOCs and reviews would be needed. (Then again, being a bit of a procastinator I might not be such a good choice. Just look at how regular I post on my blog)

Not so sure why people would need instuctions for MOCs. I see no point to that. Seems like way to much work for something that might never be used. Then again, I am into Castle and Pirates just as much as I am into Space, and most Castle and Pirate creations people generally don't ask for instuctions. The idea that soemone wants instuctions for a MOC seems only to be something that happens in the space community. Did that make sense? Am I just too much of a Castler and Pirate to see the use of this?

Okay, enough rambling...
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Re: Proposal for Saving the Future of Lego Space! (SatFutoLe

Postby Stargorger » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:39 am

@Alyosha
Exactly. And that's a problem. Why DID it shrink>?
See ok right there is I think part of the mindset we gotta do away with. Classic Space has to be MORE than just a forum to survive. The forums are great, but provide nothing BEYOND interaction to the community. We need to provide something BEYOND just talking with each other and posting pictures, because that's something Flickr does infinitely better. Hence my other suggestions.
Agreed, we need to answer those questions. But that doesn't mean we can't start taking small steps. Because if we don't, we'll never get anywhere...I know I won't.
So let's start: 1. I don't know. How should we go about finding out?
2. I don't think they do. I think it's a take-up-and-leave-it....basically I think they're a deist's God, make sense?
3. I disagree. There's not GOING to be a desire to continue the site...not without change/improvement. Otherwise, it would be growing...it wouldn't have died-off in the first place. I
think it's our job to CREATE that desire by improving it.

@Admiral
That's possible. But if we simply toss-up our hands and say "oh well, they left, we're screwed", well, that certainly won't produce any progress.
I'll address your points one by one so it's easier to read/respond to, ok?
1. Yes. Front page must come first. Without that we have no other face to the community and no way to get linked to other stuff.
2. I'm....not sure we...really need the subforums up...like, at all. Not yet. We can keep creating those as we go along, but if everyone comes-back/enters afresh and just sees miles and miles of the same old text from when they left...it's not really helping out 'out of the ashes' case that much, know what I mean?
3. That sounds good. I would be willing to help with that too. I can find the MOC's and I'd be willing to help write reviews. I think a good way to approach this would be to create a 'resources contact' list of the members here who are A: able to contribute something like reviews and B: are willing to do so on an intermittent basis.
4. No I think you have a point! I'm not sure why that is either. My idea was mainly for young members...kids man, we need to get kids in here. Kids have the endless creativity that Classic Space needs to become great, and us adults have the skill to help them out. Put the two together and it's the perfect mix. To an extent, obviously, but I was thinking of the instructions for kids that come on and want to build some of the cool stuff they've seen us make. Plus, that one's pretty far-down my list of priorities.

So: We need to find out:
1. Who owns/pays for the site?
2. What is the owner's plan for the future of the site?
3. Who has the capacity/desire to produce set/MOC reviews, MOC photos and descriptions, web-banner type art, html code for backgrounds and menus for the frontpage, etc...
4. What more (at the absolute LEAST) of the sub-forums need to be brought back to really make this Classic Space again?
"Re-go no kaijuu wa hoshi kara yo"
"Los monstruos de los Legos de las estrellas!"
"Lego monsters from the stars!"
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Re: Proposal for Saving the Future of Lego Space! (SatFutoLe

Postby Bluetron » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:42 pm

Maybe it would be a good idea to contact the members of The Nostalgia Factory. I know there are several builders there who don't post to this site and might not be aware of what's going on over here.
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Re: Proposal for Saving the Future of Lego Space! (SatFutoLe

Postby Stargorger » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:12 pm

Awesome! Thanks Bluetron, good idea!

Also, would be good if anyone's got a list of previous members on Flickr now hat are still active. We can get in touch with them and ask for help/input and what theyd like to see on an updated site.
"Re-go no kaijuu wa hoshi kara yo"
"Los monstruos de los Legos de las estrellas!"
"Lego monsters from the stars!"
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Re: Proposal for Saving the Future of Lego Space! (SatFutoLe

Postby Alyosha » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:45 pm

I just think that perhaps we are being over-hasty. Consider me an Ent - or perhaps a Space-Ent! :)

In fact, when I said that I wasn't sure who paid for the site, I was being hasty, as well. The lead admin here is SteveR. Inquisitor General has been an admin and the person in charge here since Chris Giddons stepped down some years back. However, I believe IG is currently busy in RL. Along with Blake, who is a new admin, they're the ones in charge of the forum.

When I say that I think we're being hasty, I don't mean insult. It is frankly amazing that this site still exists! This is a testament to posters like you who have kept on moc'ing and posting. It is also a testament to the admins that they haven't chosen to shut the site down. The fact that Blake was made an admin and was able to resurrect the old archive means a lot! However, it will take time to grow again.

So, TL;DR version: Let's not be hasty, and let's get more input before any action is taken.
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Re: Proposal for Saving the Future of Lego Space! (SatFutoLe

Postby Stargorger » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:49 pm

Alyosha wrote:I just think that perhaps we are being over-hasty. Consider me an Ent - or perhaps a Space-Ent! :)

In fact, when I said that I wasn't sure who paid for the site, I was being hasty, as well. The lead admin here is SteveR. Inquisitor General has been an admin and the person in charge here since Chris Giddons stepped down some years back. However, I believe IG is currently busy in RL. Along with Blake, who is a new admin, they're the ones in charge of the forum.

When I say that I think we're being hasty, I don't mean insult. It is frankly amazing that this site still exists! This is a testament to posters like you who have kept on moc'ing and posting. It is also a testament to the admins that they haven't chosen to shut the site down. The fact that Blake was made an admin and was able to resurrect the old archive means a lot! However, it will take time to grow again.

So, TL;DR version: Let's not be hasty, and let's get more input before any action is taken.


Right...well, we cant really do anything until we hear from the mods.

Blake, IG, and SteveR...how do we get in contact with them?
Secondly, I think weve come to a pretty good consensus that to get anything rolling we need a new frontpage. We can contact the mods with this suggestion, but we will need folks to help construct it.
Who here knows web-programming?

Second step would be to figure out what the look of the FP should be and what would be on it. Obviously a link to the forums...what else?

I agree it will take time for it to grow. We just gotta start somewhere is all. For now, if we can work on getting a new frontpage up, that should help.


PS: Id love to see an MOC of a space-ent!
"Re-go no kaijuu wa hoshi kara yo"
"Los monstruos de los Legos de las estrellas!"
"Lego monsters from the stars!"
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Re: Proposal for Saving the Future of Lego Space! (SatFutoLe

Postby Blake » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:17 pm

I too would like to see this site return to its former glory. Creating the archive was just the first step. Since there seems to be a lot of demand for a new front page, I can make that the next priority. If other members of the community are willing to help, it would be great. I have all the skills necessary to do it myself, but it will get done a lot sooner if I have help.

I asked SteveR about the missing subforums, and he said that he just wanted to simplify things. He doesn't mind adding more forums if there is demand for them. If the community wants one or more of the old subforums back, just let me know, and I can make it happen.

Anyone who wants to get in touch with me can PM me here. I visit this site at least once a day.

I think that the ability to leave notes on specific details of an MOC is one of the draws of flickr. I've been pondering writing a plugin that would allow our members to leave notes on photos in the forum.
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Re: Proposal for Saving the Future of Lego Space! (SatFutoLe

Postby Admiral Netsooj » Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:20 pm

Yes, let's all be ents, and not be hasty.

If I knew how, I would offer my services to help make the front page, but I have no such skills.

Contacting people elsewhere who used to be here is a great idea. No someone just has to do it.
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