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  • Recently Off-Boarded Communities


    Jordan Paxton

    The ambition of being recognized by The LEGO Group is often a goal that many communities hope to one day achieve. Being officially recognized means that we see your community’s value within the hobby as both fans and ambassadors for the brand. Recognition for a community is also a testament of your place within your local area where we often see a behavior of stewardship, charity outreaches, creativity and knowledge sharing. 

    Many factors were considered during the quarterly review. We considered the current pandemic but also the activity/participation level of the ambassador and community they represent prior to the pandemicIt is normal for any club to ebb and flow over time and at times the responsibilities required to maintain recognition are no longer maintained. When this happens, recognition is revoked for a minimum of one year.  

    During our quarterly review of recognized communities, it was determined for various reasons that a handful of communities have needed to be off-boarded and the ambassadors of these communities have now been made aware.  

    You might be reading this as a member of a recently off-boarded community and have a variety of questions and concerns. It is first important to remember that recognition in no way takes away from you as a builder or a fan. Fans and their unrecognized community still have a place locally as well as in the greater fandom.  

    If you are reading this as a member of a recognized community and you have any issues or concerns about your community’s status, please talk with your ambassador. Your ambassador can likely ease any of your concerns.

     

    What happens next to recently off-boarded communities: 

    Please remember that an off-boarded community cannot reapply for exactly one year. After one year, an application can be submitted for review again. It will be important for a recently off-boarded community to discuss the reason behind their off-boarding and take appropriate action to address any possible concerns prior to reapplying. Here are direct links to the application and the Rules and Guidelines. 

    As mentioned earlier in this message, recognition can be a goal for many communities and losing recognition can be an emotional or challenging time for both the community that has been off-boarded and for the ambassador. Please be considerate during this time and please respect these impacted parties. 

     

    AFOL Engagement Team 

    Edited by Jordan Paxton

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    Are off-boarded communities identified or warned in advance they are at risk? I just want to make sure they have time to act before this happens.

    My LUG is among the many that have obviously curtailed activities during the pandemic. We still are holding a monthly virtual meeting (which I have been reporting). However, I have to admit my own LAN inteactive activity has dropped due to new work pressures.

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    @Andrew Beckett It all depends on the situation. There are some communities that were reached out to encourage positive behavior. While these are not warnings, they are intended to notify ambassadors/communities that they could be forgetting key tasks.

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    2 hours ago, Andrew Beckett said:

    Are off-boarded communities identified or warned in advance they are at risk? I just want to make sure they have time to act before this happens.

    My LUG is among the many that have obviously curtailed activities during the pandemic. We still are holding a monthly virtual meeting (which I have been reporting). However, I have to admit my own LAN interactive activity has dropped due to new work pressures.

    We share the same concerns amongst many of the South American Ambassadors over this, some of our communities (and personal lives) have been hit harder than others and we'd love some further clarification of where is the line drawn in these hard times for reasons to off-board an entire LUG.

    We very much understand the reluctance to name the specific reasons against these communities, and that's your prerogative which we don't expect it to change; however, please keep in mind that this lack of information has caused a heightened sense of concern that we could live without during these trying times. 

    Thank you for the notification! @Jordan Paxton

    All the best,

    Martin

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    @Jordan Paxton are the communities removed get any type of exit survey? It takes quite a bit of effort for a community to become recognized, so there must be some significant reasons whey they no longer make the effort to maintain their status. It appears that for some reason their expectations of what being recognized meant didn't quite match with reality. Learning their reasons could be helpful in presenting the LAN and what it means to be a recognized community (both duties and privileges) in a clearer and more transparent way to future applicants.

    Another question I have is that in the past, when communities were removed for whatever reason, the community's name was announced (although the specific reasons weren't). Did the policy around this change?

    Edited by Anna - theBrickBlogger
    typos
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    Are you also considering on-boarding new communities, or has it been postponed to after Covid-craze?

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    @Martin Ferrari The main reason for off-boarding is a mixture of community inactivity and ambassador inactivity. In most cases, the communities that were off-boarded have been inactive for a considerable amount (6-12 months) of time going back well before the virus. As originally mentioned, the impacts of the virus were taken into account. No community was off-boarded due to the virus. 

    Hello @Rafał Piasek. In regards to on-boarding new communities, we are in the process of on-boarding new communities as we speak.

    @Anna - theBrickBlogger There wasn't an exit survey but this is something for us to consider. Great recommendation.

    @Francesco Frangioja I can look into making this happen.

    If you are an ambassador and have additional concerns, please review  the Rules and Guidelines. If you have additional questions, please PM me and we can talk specifically about you and your community.

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    1 minute ago, Anna Bitanga said:

    @Jordan Paxton The link to the Rules and Guidelines isn't working (for me, at least).

    Hm... it works for me... what happens when you click on the link?

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    The link goes to the Visitor Zone, that Ambassadors weren't able to visit.

    But it does work for me now, so something changed, yay! (Please don't change it back, it's useful for Ambassadors too, mainly when other AFOLs ask you what to do to become recognized, we know where to send them in detail instead of a vague "Go to the LAN and look for it").

    PS: @Jordan Paxton The link doesn't go to "Rules and Guidelines", though, it goes to "Welcome".

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    2 hours ago, Anna Bitanga said:

    @Jordan Paxton The link to the Rules and Guidelines isn't working (for me, at least).

    The easiest is to open the link in incognito mode, this way you won't be logged in and you'll see the non-Ambassador section of the LAN.

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    16 minutes ago, Balazs Kiss said:

    The easiest is to open the link in incognito mode, this way you won't be logged in and you'll see the non-Ambassador section of the LAN.

    It is exactly what I do every time someone ask me own to apply for Recognition

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    Can we get the permissions on that link fixed? It's bizarre that logged-in ambassadors can't see it but incognito can.

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    56 minutes ago, Mark Richards said:

    Can we get the permissions on that link fixed? It's bizarre that logged-in ambassadors can't see it but incognito can.

    Fixed

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    I'm still seeing the same error. I can see the content in incognito but not when logged in. I even tried logging out of the lan then logging back in again.

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    Is there any way a club member can find out why the club they belonged to was off-boarded? So that they can help the club fix whatever caused it to happen. As a club we were having meetings until covid. We did displays in December to benefit Toys for Tots and a small museum. We stopped getting together after the March meeting for safety. That is not 6-12 months ago. I am very sad and confused.   

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     I can provide insight for our own Group, as we lost our status a couple years ago.  We had an Ambassador who didn't understand how to interact with the LAN and regarded it more as a forum or blog.  We also put someone in that position who had no daytime access to the internet, which was a mistake. This person rarely visited the LAN, never submitted reports and was late submitting LUGBULK.  If your Group isn't doing these things, TLG has no idea how you are interacting with the Product if you don't product feedback to them.  We also suffered the death of two members and really needed time to regroup our membership and really had no business being a Recognized LUG at the time and it was appropriate for us that it was rescinded.  It gave us time to focus on how to move forward and reapply when we ready.  

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    On 7/3/2020 at 12:57 PM, Jordan Paxton said:

    Fixed

    Not fixed for me either.

     

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    Hello,

    I can confirm, from being a recent off-boarded ambassador that the activity was a mentioned reason. Even if I read some topic, I did not participate very well. I make the review and support on time but I agree that I should have participated more. 

    I am more concerned to see that the fact I have a "business" in Lego was a problem and the other reason to off-boarded me. For information, I create Lego Technic creations for 10 years now, and make building instructions in high quality PDF that I sell on my website and Rebrickable. Of course, I explained this during my application 8 month ago and never used the support of Lego for my business, it was separate activity (making review, and creating creations, not using Lego support for creating creations).

    The "business" word is a bit tricky to understand, as many other RLFM are communities of fan following a person. For many of them, a business is coming from the activity : making youtube monetized video, having ads on blog/website post, sell magazine etc.  It is evident for me that those people gain something from the activity they do with the Lego support, and it shouldn't be a problem for me.

    The other problem is that when you are off-boarded, you no longer have a way to contact any Lego employee, all Lego email simply do not exist anymore for you. I would like for instance more detail about "business" problem, to understand which business is problematic, and which is not. But also for legally purpose, as I have two sets to review and I do not know if I have the right to make the review or not, write that the set was given by Lego or not and I have not access to report anymore. 

    I totally agree that Lego can remove the privilege of being a RLFM but I would prefer that Lego explain clearly what the problems are or explain in the guideline which business is authorised and which is not. I would also prefer to have a warning before off-bording.

    I have the feeling to have tried to make my best by being honest with my activity and my project and the application and creating content to promote Lego, and then 6 months later there is a problem. For me it is a big energy loss in this project and would clearly not recommend if I would have known that the business was a problem, I would have not apply to be off-boarded 6 months later.

    So for this point, I think lego should guide a bit more the out boarded community by authorising them to talk with Lego to debrief and maybe made a survey to grab data.

    ps : I do not post to have public answer of my specific case, neither for complaining (I am agree with the choice of Lego, but criticism a bit the explanation), but more for making the discussion move and help to answer some questions people can have.

     

     

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    4 hours ago, Nicolas Lespour said:

    you no longer have a way to contact any Lego employee, all Lego email simply do not exist anymore for you

    This was a glitch. You can still email but late last week my email went down. Extremely bad timing. It is back up.

    "Business" is a tough one as you mentioned. Perhaps the quickest way to explain it is that to be Recognized you need more than customers but a community. I will reach out via email to discuss the matter further.

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    We are a community seeking recognition, and this is of course somewhat distressing to hear as the timeframe for recognition is quite long.  While undoubtably the reasoning behind most of the off-boarded communities would make complete sense, I agree with the above it might be helpful to understand more the specific reasoning.  At times, some of the requirements and expectations can be confusing or mis-interpreted.  Above all, clear guidelines seem paramount here along, of course, with guidance if things aren't going quite right.  It is also excellent to hear recognition has resumed and is currently in progress!!!  🥳

    Stay Safe Y'all!  

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