Saturday, July 15, 2017

Winding Down LMOTD

I've recently made the difficult decision to wind down LMOTD. The reasons why may seem obvious if you've already read the timeline recapping the blog's history - we've been off-kilter for some time now, most of what was attempted here is now done elsewhere in the LEGO fan blogging community, and I simply don't have the resources to make LMOTD succeed on its own. While this effectively means the end of this blog, we do have a few plans here going forward:
  • I (Dan) will continue to attempt what I was trying to do here as part of BZPower. I was brought on there as a Staff Reporter for the news section of their front page this past January, and we are still in the process of rolling out additional features there based on my editorial instincts here. While merging our resources should make for a stronger site overall, there are no plans to attempt daily MOC blogging on BZP (call this what you want - it's neither a full shutdown nor a full merger). Do expect to see more news from me there that is of interest to LEGO fans in general, and not just Bionicle fans.
  • The archives of existing posts will stay right where they are indefinitely. We don't want to break existing links. There are also no current plans to move older posts to BZPower. The primary driver of keeping this separate is insecure content that now causes errors here at LMOTD - the difficulty of resolving these now makes it virtually impossible to even edit LMOTD posts here on Blogger (which unfortunately means that further updates and edits on older posts here are now unlikely).
  • I will change the address to forward to a personal address. PR requests should be sent to going forward.
  • We will occasionally add new posts here to inform you of former LMOTD contributors' current projects in the AFOL community. Please keep us in your feed readers so that you'll see these announcements.

A Brief History of LMOTD

I don't think it's news to anyone that this blog's 10+ years of existence have been rocky. While the relevance and influence of LMOTD has waxed and waned over the years, the recent anniversary brought us an appropriate time to reflect on how we got here. Below is a timeline of (subjectively chosen) major events in the history of LMOTD and the LEGO MOC blogging world - if you see an egregious mention (or omission!) let us know at
| 19969-year old Dan discovers an early version of Dan Jezek's links page. Thus begins his descent into the rabbit holes of AFOLdom.
1996Dan reads "Cool LEGO Site of the Week". He'd follow it on-and-off over the years, before eventually forgetting that "[adjective] LEGO [noun] of the [timeframe]" had already been done and would thus make a terrible name for a new blog. |
| 1999Dan attempts to join LUGNET and gets frustrated that AFOLs prevent young people from getting involved in favor of focusing exclusively on adults. Luckily, Brickshelf doesn't have that restriction, and there are plenty of places to soak in the knowledge of the AFOL community without giving back (for now...)
9/03Dan decides against attending NW BrickCon as public because he wouldn't be allowed in to the full event (again, some AFOLs try too hard to keep "kids" out). There's no reason why anyone in their right mind would pay to attend a small, crowded part of someone else's party when they can already see serious LEGO displays for free (LEGO hosted an official event near BrickCon's venue shortly before the convention). |
| 2004Dan begins pitching a LEGO blog concept to anyone who would listen. Most people don't think it could catch on.
7/05Dunechaser's Blocklog starts, and features some OK minifigures, I guess. Over the next several years, that blog would mature into The Brothers Brick as we know it today, primarily covering models (instead of minifigures) and also covering a variety of other LEGO-related news. Without nitpicking, I'll say that that growth took long enough that it still made sense to start a more general MOC blog in 2007. Over time, LMOTD and TBB would compete against each other, borrow ideas from each other, and occasionally cover the same models - but in the end, TBB ended up accomplishing much of what LMOTD set out to do, even while LMOTD went off the rails. |
| 2/07Dan starts the blog, after years of talking about it and not following up, and then seeing others attempt it "badly" (I was insistent on some beliefs about credit, detail, variety, and inclusiveness).
2/07First post |
| 2/07First non-test post
4/07Dan remembers the Fair Play policy and moves the blog from to No URL ever had "Fascinating" in it, leading to a decade-long side discussion about what this thing is actually called. |
| 11/07Dan joins NCLUG, beginning a long habit of joining LUGs instead of just critiquing them (I'll skip listing the rest of them, since it gets ridiculous quickly after the accident in 2012).
5/08First LAML Radio appearance. |
| 5/08The Brothers Brick tries covering "Classic Creations" the way LMOTD had been. Notably, LMOTD has frequently featured models built and shared in years gone by, but The Brothers Brick has always focused on current buzz-worthy models. Several AFOLs comment that they rememeber seeing it the first time.
7/08The Brothers Brick incorrectly credits Dan with a MOC he didn't build. |
| 8/08Mariann Asanuma's Model Building Secrets blog launches.
10/08Dan joins Brick Town Talk, a blog for fans of Jamie Berard and the "Cafe Corner standard". |
| 10/08Dave from contacts TwinLUG after reading about a LUG show on LMOTD - and ends up joining in for the show. While it seems to have been lost to time, one of the LUGs' websites (GMLTC?) had a recap of the show that said that they hadn't known about this blog or the post about the event until they heard from Dave. Garth Danielson from TwinLUG also blogged an account of the show.
11/08The Brothers Brick announces a policy for advertising LUG shows. It may have been a coincidence...but it definitely lead to a number of LUGs and events putting together high-quality "press releases" so that they could get mentioned on The Brothers Brick and other LEGO fan outlets. |
| 11/08Integration with BrickJournal Shared Calendars starts.
1/09The Living Brick starts. Although an exclusive focus on brick-built characters made The Living Brick unique, Ochre Jelly (Iain Heath) would later say that LMOTD's tendency towards non-minifig-scale models was an influence towards starting the blog. |
| 1/09Dan's last LAML Radio appearance also includes an early clip of his robot band.
2/09Matthew (Brickapolis) joins the blog. Since this was the first contributor besides Dan, some formatting changes were required to accomodate additional bloggers. |
| 3/09Chris Howard (Duckingham) joins the blog.
8/09Chris Howard leaves LMOTD to focus on Bricks-A-Billion (first post). |
| 2009Posts become more regular (closer to the promised "of the day") after Dan finishes college and settles in at a steady job.
8/09First convention appearance and roundup (BrickFair). Since Arthur Gugick ran the first seminar/workshop of the event, Dan immediately had the opportunity to start meeting people he had previously only blogged about online. Upon receiving an LMOTD tile, Arthur immediately strikes up an arrangement to claim any extra LMOTD tiles if this blogging thing doesn't work out. |
| 8/09According to our internal e-mails, we had all but entirely ceded coverage of minifig-scale models to The Brothers Brick. By this time, a "rule" was in place to avoid blogging minifig-scale models more than once in a 5-day period.
1/10lego diem tumblr quietly begins. |
| 4/10First Maker Faire appearance (at the first Maker Faire NC). This is also the first event where Dan coordinated an AFOL display. Incidentally, Matthew (Brickapolis) would decide to join in at the last minute, and Joe Meno contributed models and flyers (to promote his current projects at the time: BrickMagic, BrickFlix, and BrickJournal).
8/10First Bloggers' Roundtable event at a convention (BrickFair). |
| 8/10First convention Mindstorms Robot Rock Band appearance. Even with amplifiers, few people could hear it over the crowd. That convention center is now a Wal-Mart, so congratulations BrickFair attendees who did hear it - you now have some "hipster indie cred" for seeing a band no one has heard of "before they were cool" in a venue that isn't there anymore.
9/10The Brick Blogger quietly launches. While The Brick Blogger also took on a daily format, that's merely a coincidence (of all the other bloggers I've met in the AFOL community, The Brick Blogger was the only one who hadn't heard of me or LMOTD). The Brick Blogger continues as kid-friendly, public-facing LEGO fan blog to this day. |
| 1/11Brick Town Talk changes ownership. This happens a few times over the years, but no newer owner of that blog followed up with older contributors enough to keep Dan in the loop. Eventually, Brick Town Talk would return to having a single intermittant author instead of multiple contributors, and would swap the focus on Jamie Berard and modular buildings for covering any town models the new owner felt like.
5/11Drama in the AFOL community pushes Dan away. Daily posting rate never recovers. |
| 8/11Dan recovers some faith in the AFOL community after BrickFair blows away the previous bar for events. This included a chance to meet Jamie Berard, and a speed build of the just-unveiled Tower Bridge set. Upon seeing the (then-not-yet-available) tan cheese slopes, Arthur Gugick attempts to strike up an arrangement to claim them after the timed build. Upon seeing that, Steve Witt decides to give the competitors smaller sets instead of allowing us to draft out the Tower Bridge. Fun was had by all.
9/11A young Josh Hanlon e-mails in response to a post about expanding the LMOTD team, but is ignored after asking for a follow-up phone call. Spurned, he goes on to start a podcast, a YouTube channel, and a quest for world domination. We regret the error. |
| 10/11Seth (Lego obsessionist) joins the blog.
11/11Josh Hanlon starts the A Look at LEGO podcast. |
| 3/12Dan and Matthew appear on A Look at LEGO.
4/12Matthew (Brickapolis) joins the A Look at LEGO podcast. |
| 8/12A Look at LEGO changes its name to Beyond the Brick.
10/12Steve Oakes starts "My Micro Brick Con" at BrickCon in Seattle. |
| 11/12Merger between LMOTD and Beyond the Brick announced to LMOTD contributors over e-mail.
12/12Scheduled launch of a combined LMOTD/Beyond the Brick site becomes delayed indefinitely after a debilitating accident knocks Dan's life off-track. The injury might not look like much, but it results in the rest of Dan's life spiraling out of control. All pre-summer travel plans are scrapped. Dan immediately stops maintaining his LUGs' website (beginning a surprising string of LUG drama we won't get into here). |
| 12/12Bricks-A-Billion updates stop (most recent post).
2/13Beyond the Brick announces move to YouTube, eschewing podcasts for videos. |
| 3/13Dan is dragged to a new state in a process that can fairly be described as a hate crime. Things get worse from there. Unable to put his personal life back together, he lets the blog and the new site hang indefinitely.
3/13Merger with Beyond the Brick publicly announced, although the deadline for completing the merger had already past. |
| 4/13Chris Howard (Duckingham) launches Bricks 4 Kidz Knoxville. This becomes his main "LEGO outlet" and grows to become (as of this writing) the #14 Bricks 4 Kidz franchise in North America.
4/13Dan hears about BZPower's "Convention Circuit" and BioniLUG and is finally motivated to join BZPower, after creepily stalking them since 8/2009. |
| 6/13New Elementary starts, and goes straight for the academic level of nerdery LMOTD occasionally aimed for but rarely delved into as much as I would have liked. New Elementary almost immediately seemed to be more successful at it and are now the undisputed champions of the deep-dive part-nerdery format.
6/13BrickNerd starts, covering a better breadth of models than existing MOC blogs, but not writing about models in as much depth. Not that the writing matters much, since by now, creeps on social media were plagiarizing images left and right - or worse, completely missing the point and attributing images to people blogging about them instead of the people who built the pictured models. BrickNerd continues to this day as a team-run blog and YouTube channel covering MOCs and LEGO/AFOL news. |
| 6/13First Brickworld convention appearance.
6/13Mariann Asanuma brings "Mini LEGO Con" to Brickworld Chicago, and Dan immediately insists on taking it up. |
| 8/13 Dan and Mariann bring "Mini LEGO Con" to BrickFair Virgnia as a MOC.
1/14Dan's first non-BrickMagic small convention (BrickFair Alabama). After this, Dan would attend every BrickFair event through 2017 (except for the first year of BrickFair New Jersey, which completed the cycle of never attending first-year BrickFair events). |
| 1/14BrickFair starts running "Mini Con" as a feature of the event, with Dan hosting it (and Mariann co-hosting in Virgnia).
2/14Ochre Jelly (Iain Heath) ends The Living Brick. |
| 3/14Dan tries to move the Beyond the Brick website project along, and realizes most of the necessary content from Beyond the Brick is missing. Intermittant blogging resumes.
4/14Merger with Beyond the Brick cancelled, with no clear plans for LMOTD in sight. A key factor was the determination that Netcast Studio owns much of the planned contents of the new site, calling the point of the website into question. |
| 4/14Involvement with BrickJournal Shared Calendars project ends amidst more community drama. When making the decision to leave the shared calendars, Dan found that most contributors had long since abandoned them and that he was not on speaking terms with most of the people still involved.
4/14Ochre Jelly (Iain Heath) joins The Brothers Brick. |
| 6/14LUG Project announced, with a loose deadline of having things up to speed within a year. Response is thoroughly skeptical, even as Dan insists that BZPower has already done an inclusive online LUG successfully.
10/14Dan's first BrickCon appearance. He discovers a variety of both longtime readers and knowledgable AFOLs there. There is some overlap between the two categories. The latter category inspires an attempt at a "Memory Lane" series of convention seminars. |
| 10/14Dan's first Brickworld Expo (Tampa) - a largely successful event with only one truck driven into Dan's MOCs.
6/15Our LUG project silently fails, having not attracted anyone in serious need of a LUG. While a few people expressed interest, most were unable or unwilling to try meeting up at conventions (or were already involved elsewhere and just trying to be supportive). The idea lives on in the (still not revealed publicly) AFOL Incubator project. Arguably, this was another casualty of Dan not putting the time in for the blog after the accident. |
| 7/15lego diem tumblr goes on hiatus.
8/15NetCast Studio becomes Modern Life Network, giving the old A Look at LEGO / Beyond the Brick podcasts a new URL (this may have happened earlier - 8/2015 is the earliest reference I could find to this having happened). |
| 8/15First Memory Lane seminar at BrickFair Virgnia. It goes OK, but suffers from a lack of attendance from people who remember the AFOL community in the 90s.
1/16First public appearance of the DUPLO Ball Run. It would improve considerably in later years. Regretably, I have not properly written about this MOC of mine to this day, on the blog or otherwise. |
| 4/16BrickUniverse Online Community Panel - during a pit stop on Dan's trip moving back north.
6/16National Maker Faire. Dan (by himself) is the only exhibitor representing the FOL community. The previous year, LEGO Systems' marketing arm had sponsored the event and brought the "Creation Nation" interactive activity. While a few other AFOLs would stop by and talk about pursuing the event the following year, National Maker Faire did not recur in 2017. |
| 8/16After 10 months of planning "how to make it be interesting this time", Dan hosts a panel version of "Memory Lane" at (BrickFair) featuring Dave Eaton, Suzanne (Rich) Eaton, and Larry Peniazek. That sort of AFOL star power attracts a crowd that includes Tormod from TLG. Notably, a few people attending and speaking up during the panel are people who can't stand Dan.
8/16Matthew (Brickapolis) is quietly removed as a contributor following an incident outside of a convention. |
| 11/16The Brothers Brick gets caught covering a Galidor model that LMOTD covered in 2008. Few notice.
12/16For the first time since the fallout from the accident in 2012, Dan actually has a regular enough job to consider prioritizing the blog again. |
| early 2017Blog posts ramp up ahead of LMOTD's 10th anniversary. The trend doesn't stick, due to more issues in Dan's personal life.
1/17BrickFair stops running "Mini Con" as a feature of the event. Dan re-organizes it as an ad hoc collaboration. |
| 1/17Dan joins BZPower's news team as a semi-regular contributor.
2/17Toy Fair 2017 coverage begins dripping out (in collaboration with BZPower's coverage). |
| 2/1710th anniversary of the first post.
7/17Dan finally gets around to finishing off the blog's 10-year retrospective timeline (you're reading it now). |
| 7/17Merger (of sorts) with BZPower announced. It might seem strange, but "those Bionicle kiddies" turned out to not just be one of the few all-ages friendly LEGO fan communities - they're just friendly in general. More importantly, BZP has a large enough staff to keep a site current in ways that LMOTD hasn't been, and a news team that Dan has already known and been on good terms with for years.
Late 2017AFOL Incubator unveiled |
| 2018Arthur Gugick finally gets those tiles he asked about in 2009. Maybe there's a single tan cheese slope hiding deep inside the bag.
2019 Arthur Gugick reveals awesome new mosaic. |