Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Future of LMOTD

Edit: I've set this entry (written August 20th) to appear at the top of the page for the rest of the month. I am trying to squeeze in a few models this month, but you'll have to scroll past this post to see them (they should show up in the correct order in the RSS feed, though).

I don't think it's news to anyone at this point that I've been having trouble with posting a new model on here each day. To some extent, it's a problem with finding models that fit my self-imposed rules on variety, but a big element of it is that I've been having trouble finding the time to write on here. The time element isn't going to get any better over the next few months, so I am considering changing the title and format of this site.

Personally, I don't like that this blog hasn't been able to deliver what it promises (a fresh model pick each day). I'm grateful to have a bit of a following, but I think this blog has been a bit of a let-down. Further, I'm a bit uncomfortable with the fact that we've picked up momentum (and a bit of ad revenue) while this site hasn't been getting updated (I may assuage my guilt with a contest at some point - no plans for one yet, though).

Part of the problem is the calendar - having to dig up giant show galleries on Sundays, find an appropriate robot for any given Monday, and then spreading out all the themes fairly equally on the other days of the week.

Additionally, some of my original goals of this blog have been met by other blogs out there. As far as I know, this is the only LEGO-centric blog that aims for an all-age audience outside of the hobby, but I think a few of the other blogs out there have really grown over the past few years (yes - it's been about a year and a half since I started this blog, but I didn't mention the anniversary because we still haven't hit 365 models yet).

NXTStep has been linked from here quite a few times - they don't cover RCX-based ideas or some of the more mechanical robotics projects I've featured, but they're an excellent blog and one that's done a great job of getting kids interested in robotics. On the minifig-scale side of things, The Brothers Brick has become THE destination for MOC (My Own Creation) news and general-interest news on the LEGO company (it's aimed at adults, but most of the things featured aren't too racy or controversial). While it's a bit concerning that a handful of people on that site control what most of the big "nerd" blogs cover, I do appreciate that they've encouraged the larger sites to properly credit builders - something I had hoped to help with here. Additionally, both NXTStep and TBB have been able to appeal to people outside of the hobby without imposing a pace - I had assumed that people would be more interested in getting a small dose (a daily "fix", if you will) instead of getting multiple updates a day, but I think I may have been wrong here.

Lastly, I've noticed during the time I've been blogging here that there have been many times when I've wanted to give this blog more of a personal tone instead of a cold (impersonal), descriptive, this-is-awesome-too tone. I'd be open to considering changing the name of this blog to reflect a different pace and a more presonal angle - perhaps "LEGO® Model Offered Through Dan"? Realistically, I think that blog updates here will have to be scattershot and disappointing here for quite a while unless I decide to change the format.

Let me know what you think of all this - and I know you're out there, about 300 unique hits a day and another 55 readers subscribed to the feed. What would you like to see happen here?

(In case anyone was wondering, I'll probably skip Sunday and Monday this week and post short write-ups of models for the other days I missed sometime soon)


Amy said...

I know my son and I have been enjoying the posts when they show up. He gets a kick out of seeing what's possible with Legos.

TooMuchCaffeine said...

I wouldn't fret too much about updating daily, as long as it doesn't grind to a halt totally.

Whatever you do with the site it will still be one of the best Lego blogs, and a firm fixture in my favourites list.

Nathan said...

I enjoy this site in my feed whenever it gets updated. It's a nice compliment to the others I read and offers an in-depth perspective on the model.

The tone of the articles isn't bad, but if you're interested in making it more personal, that's never a bad thing either. People like to hear opinions, even if they don't agree with them, as it gives them more of a personal connection to the author.

Like others have said, it's nice to see it updated, even if it isn't every day, so keep up the good work!

James said...

I'm not sure what blogger allows, but have you considered writing the posts a week in advance? I know with WordPress you can write a post and schedule when it will published. I'm not sure if you've thought of that already, but if you haven't...

Alex Zealand said...

Even once a week would be most welcome. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. And I'd be fine with a more personal note, too.