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Anna - theBrickBlogger

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  1. "However, on his way home to Billund, he ponders over the idea of creating a new design for a brick with three inner clutch tubes instead of two. When he reaches Billund, he has come to the conclusion that three tubes will work better than two, because it will provide even better interlocking action." My Dad told me a slightly different version of this story decades ago. I don't know if there is any truth to it, but it might be worth looking into it further. My Dad was an architect, born in Germany, and he was using LEGO for modeling since the early 70s. He had a deep appreciation for the company, and for Godtfred Kirk Christiansen. I don't think he ever met any of the Christiansen family, as I'm sure he would have mentioned it, but he did know several of the early employees. (All of this of course meant that we had tons of LEGO at home! ) He told me about the issue with early LEGO not having enough clutch power, and the meeting to solve the problem, like it's mentioned in the article. What he added though is that when Godtfred Kirk Christiansen was pondering about how to improve the LEGO brick, at some point he was walking on a muddy path, and he noticed how the grooves on his shoes/boots stuck to the mud and created a strong bond. This was like a light bulb moment that gave him the idea of using inner tubes for clutch power. Again, I don't know if this part of the story is true or not, but this is what I heard from my Dad. He told the story several times and used it as an example of the brilliance of Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, and also as an example of inspiration that may come out of nowhere if we just remain quiet and listen. My Dad also used nature for inspiration and always strived to listen to nature and make his structures fit in harmony with the surrounding landscape. Unfortunately, he passed away last year, so I can't confirm any more details.
  2. This is something I was thinking about the other day. I can't remember in which thread it was, but someone mentioned that sometimes Ambassadors are reluctant to give up their post on the LAN, even if they aren't doing the best job, because the LAN is getting too awesome. When we joined the LAN back in 2011, all communication with the AFOLET happened through email. There was a LAN forum, but it was basically dormant. For an Ambassador, loosing access to the LAN when they traded their position with someone else was no big deal. Then we went through several versions of the forum until we're here today. In the past three years, there has been great emphasis on building a LAN community and participating in LAN discussions. This is great, but it had the unintended side-effect of people not wanting to give up their position. I personally know of at least one community who went through exactly this and lost their position for a year. @Jordan Paxton, your point of communities keeping an eye on their Ambassador to make sure they perform their forum duties is important and something that each group will have to revaluate on a regular basis. Now, the question is, will Ambassadors convey your message to their groups.
  3. Yes, I was surprised to read the following section of @Nicolas Lespour post, which seems to indicate that there was no prior communication with him: 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. Nicolas is a new Ambassador. He only joined a year ago (sorry, Nicolas for using you as an example, but you're the only concrete example we have). He should have been teamed up with a Brick Mate who explained and guided him on what is expected of him as an Ambassador during the first four months after onboarding. If this didn't happen, then that's a failure of the system that we need to look at, more so than the new Ambassador. Of course, there are situations when a community really has to be removed for clear violations, or for being absent for a long period of time. But especially with new Ambassadors, there should be more communication and guidance. My suggestion would be to first reach out to the Brick Mate of the new Ambassador and see if they know what's going on. If the new Ambassador was onboarded properly, if it's clear to them what their duties are, etc. (As far as I know, there supposed to be a questionnaire at the end of the 4-month onboarding process where new Ambassadors can confirm that they understand everything, but I'm not sure if this is actually happening. It doesn't seem to have happened with my Brick Mate partner. @Matt King, can you confirm?) Sometimes relationships and partnerships don't work out. That can happen too. It's possible that even after going through the whole application process, the waiting period, the training, etc., down the line an Ambassador (whether new or old) realizes that this relationships is not working out for their community. However, even then, communication is key. Otherwise there will be confusion, bad feelings, and just an overall feeling of not being clear on what's happening. It's not a good way to end any relationships, and I'm certain we can do better than this...
  4. Hm. That's super weird. It works for me.
  5. Hm... it works for me... what happens when you click on the link?
  6. @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?
  7. @Bogdan Gherasim I thought the Innovation Portal was open already, but for the life of me, I can't find the link. Am I remembering wrong? Is it not open yet? There is a project I became aware of that may be a good match. Can I please have the link again for where can I direct these people?
  8. "Coming from a country where many people don’t have access to LEGO bricks,.." I often think of this and how sad it is that LEGO is not available in so many countries. LEGO is an incredibly enriching hobby for kids and adults alike, but there are places people can't even buy them, AFOLs, like Luis, make such a big difference in such places. And hopefully, LEGO will follow up and open up more stores, or at least make online shopping available. Anyway, great article, and I love Richard's awesome mask!
  9. I have also noticed this with BOOST sets. It seems that LEGO thinks that BOOST is awesome and people should pay a lot of money for those sets. However, on the secondary market, BOOST sets consistently sell for significantly less then the MRP even in brand new and sealed condition, and there is little demand for them. The secondary market can be a real eye-opener on what is actually popular and what isn't. I wonder if LEGO marketing every looks into that. Now that they have access to BrickLink's data, they could easily pull real numbers to get a reality check.
  10. Gotcha! And it makes a lot of sense. My guess is that's why the treehouse was under review for so long too, and now the piano. Thanks, Sara, for checking!
  11. Great article! I always love to hear what goes into the design process. It makes me appreciate the set even more. I'm glad they didn't give up, because the model is fantastic! Question; what would have happened if the designers couldn't make it to work? Or do they make these early prototypes before they announce which project is chosen?
  12. Ha-ha! This is great! It's always a pleasure when LEGO forces people to think outside the box and delivers something unexpected. Unikitty is the best!
  13. Some really gorgeous builds there. They are masters of mechs, and I like their big castle builds too. I still hope that the piano will be made into an Ideas set. Nice to see the AFOL community thriving in China.
  14. Fascinating article! I had no idea that Harleys were so popular in China. And it looks like it's the younger generation! Here in the U.S. it's mainly baby boomers who ride Harleys. I can confirm though that there are no two identical Harleys. Their owners are very proud at their customizations. And they keep their bikes decked out and super shiny. The customized LEGO Harleys look awesome! In fact, the set could have been done like the Mustang with some customization options. But looks like Chinese AFOLs had no problem customizing them on their own!
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