|I have not posted until now because there was too much uncertainty about|
how (or if) this was going to work out.
Due to financial reasons, Brickshelf was no longer in a viable position to
continue operating. As our costs are billed monthly, any shutdown would occur
at the end of a calendar month. I decided that 15 days was enough time for
everyone to copy their files. Turning it off completely for a few days was
intended to send the message that this is serious and get everyones attention so
they could use the remaining time wisely. It also gave everyone an opportunity
to see what would break when it did finally shut down.
In hindsight I should have handled this differently but it's too late for that
I had long ago written off various ides for charging recurring fees because
AFOLs and geeks in general expect everything on the web to be free.
What turned this around is the totally unexpected volume of email I received
from what appear to be regular people. Many of these people expressed an
interest in paying some modest fee to keep the site running, if only there was
a way to do that.
In addition, I had underestimated the extent to which things would break
on other sites with Brickshelf gone. It was clear after the "test" shutdown
that some long lasting solution would be needed to at least keep old content
available in some way or I would not be able to sleep at night.
So we are going to try something new and see if it works. The site will
continue to work as it does now for free users. Paying users will have
the opportunity to have greater visibility of their folders (that pass
moderation and are not junk/avatars). Of course paying users would
also not see ads nor have ads on their folders.
To those wondering why maj.com was unaffected: It has
a tiny fraction (< 10%) of the traffic that Brickshelf gets While many
of you are aware of it, many more brickshelf users are not and it is possible
for me to run that site out of pocket at it's current size. This is one
reason there were no instructions posted to simply move over there.
For those wondering if this was some elaborate stunt: I have a very
full time job and this distraction is the last thing I needed to deal
with right now. I did what I thought was necessary given the financial
circumstances. I am still taking a risk in continuing this but the
tremendous show of support has convinced me it is the right thing to do.
It has come to my attention that some people have been impersonating me
on various forums. LUGNET is the only LEGO related forum I have ever posted
on (other than r.t.l in the old days) and it's user authentication system
should give you reasonable assurance that it really is me.
Message has 17 Replies:
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| James Trobaugh|
|Cool beans Kevin! I while I enjoy things for free I also don't mind paying my share to keep resources like Brickshelf up and running. jt (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Akos Kostyan|
|Kevin, Our LUG (The Hungarian LUG) was still in the process of collecting signatures for a Thank You note we wanted to send to zou to express our appreciation for running BrickShelf. This is how we worded it: "Dear Kevin, Thank You for running (...) (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Tony Kilaras|
|(...) I think people are somewhat more open to paying for Internet content than they used to be. While it's easy to shrug off requests for donations, $5/month is pretty nominal. (...) Will paying users be able to customize their accounts? I posted a (...) (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| James Michie|
|Kevin, it's really good to hear from you, but please don't shock us like that again. Some thoughts and suggestions: Remember you don't have to shoulder all the burden of running Brickshelf yourself - if it's becoming difficult then send out a call (...) (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Niels Bugge|
|Hi Kevin You certainly got your message through! As I've said (URL) elsewhere>, I'm not personally one of those people that clog up your badwidth, because I have way too little time surfing for lego, and because I upload most of my pictures to my (...) (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general, FTX) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Marc Nelson Jr.|
|(...) Kevin: I don't know about other AFOLs, but right now I have very little trust in Brickshelf's continued viability, and certainly not enough to give you $60 a year. I don't expect to get things for free - I just spent $25 to upgrade to a (URL) (...) (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general, FTX) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Bruce Hietbrink|
|Hey Kevin, First up, thank you so much for Brickshelf, both for the last decade and for it's continuance. I don't know if you hear enough how great a resource this is for the whole community. I'm really sorry if the massive downloads over the past (...) (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general, FTX) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| John P. Henderson|
|(...) (snip) Awesome. Thanks Kevin for all your efforts! I can barely imagine how much work or how much of a strain on resources running a site that big might be. But you can count me in along with those who have emailed you as one who will put his (...) (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Julian Guerrero Molina-Prados|
|Thanks for coming up, and for not shutting down our LEGO® image bank. I wish you and BS the best. Julián. (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Scott Lyttle|
|(...) Kevin, While I've forgotten my password (and thus, don't upload to my account), I do not have a problem paying a bit to keep brickshelf up and running. I don't use it extensively, but I think it's worth some money to keep it going. Scott (...) (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Aaron M. Sneary|
|In lugnet.announce.brickshelf, Kevin Loch wrote: ...snipped...> (...) ...snipped... Kevin, I will renew my offer to purchase Brickshelf from you again, this time publicly. I'm concerned my initial offer may have been lost in the flood of email I'm (...) (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) !! |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Andrew Cross|
|Kevin, Thank you, first and foremost. BrickShelf is a key part of the community. I apologize for my part in the download spike from FBTB users. Is grabbing one folder download per week excessive? I would accept file/picture size limits. I would not (...) (6 years ago, 20-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Kotaro Ono|
|Kevin Thank you sincerely for your statement! I translated yours into Japanese, and talk to J-FOL. Also in Japan, many LEGO friends had been worried about BS-files, ideal "Brickshelf", and you, Kevin. I'm glad to hear your decision. No mods? No (...) (6 years ago, 21-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Magnus Lauglo|
|Kevin, Thanks for resonding publicly. I've enjoyed BS for many years now and in the past year or two I have finally gotten around to posting my own MOCs there. I certainly appreciate the service you've provided, and look forward to see what benefits (...) (6 years ago, 22-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) !! |
| ||Re: Brickshelf Status|| Chris Smith|
|I'm fairly sure the first part of this post has already been mentioned in this discussion, but I'll echo it with different words. Restricting images to non-.bmp formats will save a lot of space for starters, as will pixel limits. I have images that (...) (6 years ago, 25-Jul-07, to lugnet.general) |
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