Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Info: FAQ

Why make a site about LEGO®?

There are two reasons for this. First, I've always wanted to make a site about LEGO®. A good ten years back, when I first heard about the internet, it immediately hit me that this would be a great medium for sharing LEGO® creations with other fans. I quickly found hundreds of other LEGO® fans who were already interested in using the web as a valuable resource – and a tightly-knit AFOL community was just out there for anyone to find. Secondly, I believe that this is one of the better hobbies for me to spend time on online. I have many ideas on websites I should start sooner or later, but this one won't be as labor intensive as some of my other "projects", and I'm sure I'll be able to make some ad revenue here (which is always good to have...)

Are there other sites like this?

Yes and no. There is an active LEGO® community online, but the sites in that community are not designed to be kid-friendly or accessible to the general public. There are many sites with interesting models online, but you may have to dig a bit to find models that are truly impressive. You'll probably see most of those sites linked to from here sooner or later, as I hope to be able to shine the spotlight on many impressive models with this blog.

Several years ago, there was a website called "Cool Lego Site of the Week", which did similar work, but ultimately ran out of websites. If I recall correctly, the creator of that site also ran out of time to maintain it. There were also some stellar links pages assembled in the earlier days of the online Lego community, but many of those pages are gone - and much worse, many of the "cool sites" linked to by these resources have since been taken off of the internet.

AFOLs, or Adult Fans of Lego, have done many great things working together at sites like Lugnet.com. Sadly, with their insistence on excluding LEGO®'s youngest and most active fans, their insistence on posters using their full names, and their insistence on using specific lingo, they are a rather exclusive community. Part of my goal with this site is to offer a less formal way of exploring fun LEGO® models online. I'll keep the terminology simple, or explain it when I use it, and I'll gladly showcase worthy models made by those under the age of 18 (even if they don't want everybody to know their full name). I hope that by working outside of the AFOL community, I'll be able to interest people who normally wouldn't pursue this hobby online.

Do you collect any personal data?

We use third-party online advertising through companies such as Google and Amazon. These companies use cookies (small text files that save data on your computer so that a website may "remember" you) as part of their services. These are not intrusive and pose no threat to you, your computer, or your privacy. Cookies are widely used for this purpose all across the internet. Additionally, if you comment on an entry on this site, that comment and related data (such as a screenname or e-mail address) will be kept with that comment. By posting a comment on an entry, you grant LMOTD and Google's Blogger service the rights to publish this data on the post's page (this is standard practice for blogs and shouldn't surprise anyone, but we thought we'd be clear about it).

Is this site kid-safe?

Although I cannot be held personally responsible for the sites that I link to (they can change their content without my knowledge at any time), I do make an effort to not post links to sites that have questionable or objectionable content on them. I also moderate all comments. These procedural precautions were decided upon with children and families in mind. If you have any suggestions on how we can be more kid-friendly, please e-mail us at legomodeloftheday@gmail.com

How are models chosen?

Some models are chosen out of my own personal archives (I maintain a library of LEGO® instruction manuals, books, etc), other models are chosen because they have received some buzz on the ‘web and seem like they should be mentioned. Other models are nominated from user submissions. You may read about how you can nominate a model at this link. I will also be looking for new models that may be of interest myself, and occasionally posting about models that are already famous that you might not know about.

Models are not being disqualified along traditional lines - professional Lego designers will be competing with children who bought their first LEGO® set last week for the award of site of the day. Any model is eligible, regardless of the age, nationality, profession, etc, of the person who made it. Heck, I'll even take models not made by people - this is 2008, and we do have LEGO® robots that can build other LEGO® models now. I do require, however, that there is a website I can link to that has fairly reliable image hosting and that the creator of the model has a link I can feature. I WILL NOT link to webpages that do not credit a model’s builder in any way (with the sole exception of models that were commissioned for a company).

I plan on using the following criteria to determine which models deserve to be spotlighted:
  • Detail - Are small parts used to give proper detail to a model? Does a model contain researched elements? Is an unusual color scheme used? Are elements of whimsy or irony included?
  • Ambition - How long did the model take to make? What kind of financial resources would be required to buy the parts for the model? Were specific programming or CAD techniques needed to build this model? Is it really big?
  • Technique - Are parts used in unusual or unexpected ways?

The following criteria will determine when a model is featured:
  • Documentation - Is there a website discussing the creation of the model? Are there plenty of pictures available so that we can see everything? Are building instructions provided?
  • Theme - Is this from an unusual theme? Is this something that has not been attempted before? How many models in the same "category" have we seen lately (I'm hoping to showcase a variety of models on the main page at any given time).

Will I be informed if my model is chosen?

I do not have the time to track down the creator of every model featured. I recommend subscribing to our RSS feed to keep track of whether or not a model has been mentioned. Additionally, we may cause a short surge in traffic to your website or Brickshelf page on the day your model is featured. It is not a problem, however, for me to reply to an e-mail in which a model was nominated. If you nominate one of your own models, I'll have your e-mail address handy to let you know that you have been featured.

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