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Brickshelf
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Iare Zombite
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Joined: 04 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know. It's so odd. If I owned brickshelf, I would have simply banned BMP files and any files over 1 MB. That would have seriously cut down on space and bandwidth.
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porschecm2



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iare Tosevite wrote:
I don't know. It's so odd. If I owned brickshelf, I would have simply banned BMP files and any files over 1 MB. That would have seriously cut down on space and bandwidth.


Absolutely. That is some "functionality" I would like to see reduced. It's gotta be as annoying for Kevin as it is for us.

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Iare Zombite
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly. I would have warned users to backup any BMP files and 1 MB+ files for a month, then well a little scripting action to kiss goodbye to bandwidth robbers. Wink
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ZombieSolo
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Joined: 05 Feb 2005

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the plan is not to reduce any functionality, but then again there was never really a plan to shut it down like he did either. And really, why would people pay for the featured version if they get all they need for free? Something will change, and I think a lot of people will find it hard to justify $60 a year for photo hosting. If he just posted how he's doing his best to keep it online as it is but also mentioned that (obviously) now would be a great time for some extra financial support from the users - that would probably be best. But as it stands I only see a half hearted temporary solution. I hope this gets resolved amicably.
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Poohbear
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Reduce functionality'...woah!?! Let's say he did; what would be limited to non-paying members? There wasn't a lot of functionality previously besides putting a picture up and having to deal with finding the right title that would finally be accepted.

$60.00 a year is a little much for brickshelf; in fact, it seems over the top. I'll be staying with my flickr account now.
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imperialshadows



Joined: 10 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The official word of Kevin Loch at LUGnet ... http://news.lugnet.com/announce/brickshelf/?n=128

Kevin Loch wrote:
So we are going to try something new and see if it works.


My take...

I'm sorry, but that doesn't quite work for me. Sounds like, "send me some cash and we'll see what happens down the road." Well, in the real world, the one where you charge for a service, you provide it or you face the consequences. It's all well and good to offer something for free and then shut it down. No one paid, no one loses. But when you cross the line into taking payment for this service, you just entered a whole new world, one where "see if it works" doesn't work at all.

Basically, for those of you who decide to pay, make sure you get a proper agreement in return. This isn't donation territory anymore, this just turned into a full fledged business. Without knowing how payments will be accepted (a payment made every month, yearly in advance, etc) it's hard to say exactly how it should go, but be sure you get the exact amount of service time you pay for. I've seen sites pull things that were remarkably similar to this in the past, and they rarely turn out well.

I'm not saying whether this is something being pulled of simply a problem that got out of handm but a lot of people start things for free on the net with the idea that they'll either pay for themselves with ad banners and subscriptions, or become very profitable later when a company wants to buy them. See the news for stories of massive successes at this. What they don't mention are the failures and the sites that take in money only to disappear.

I'm not at all convinced this is well thought out. Based on the track record of the past few days, it doesn't seem to be at all. This problem didn't suddenly start, shutting down to "send the message" smacks of a stunt to convince people that they'd do just about anything to get it back (like pay $60 a year) and the lack of communication is simply unprofessional. Based on the clear lack of planning involved in the process so far, don't be surprised if the complications outweigh the profit quickly and it dries up again.

Bottom line, back up your stuff, grab the things that inspire you, hope for the best, and have an alternate plan ... just in case.

That said, I appreciate the site and the effort that has been put into it through the years. Most of all, I appreciate the work of the LEGO community that it has showcased, and wherever we all end up in the future, let's just make sure we end up there together. That's the really important message in all of this. Seeing how the various forums have come together to attempt to backup the many years of work was an inspiration (and should have been predicted by Kevin, another problem he didn't seem to foresee and another reason I have doubts about anything in the future).
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Unit 186



Joined: 27 Mar 2007

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was certainy quite a great publicity stunt. Reminds me of the Y2K scare...we're all stocking up on images and nothing happens. Nice work, Kevin. Rolling Eyes
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Iare Zombite
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah. It's a case of "pay me or I take ball home".
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knapplZ
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What, exactly, does Kevin owe any of us? Why should he provide a free image hosting site for us?

I have "used" Brickshelf for years and years to look at others' creations and get ideas for my own. I have paid zero money for that service during that time, while Kevin has paid who-knows-how-much to host those pictures. Do I deserve to have Brickshelf at my beck and call whenever I want it? No.

The Internet may seem to be free, but everything you see, use, watch and read costs someone somewhere some money. If you're not paying for it someone else is. Do not expect to have the things you want provided for free. It is an unreasonable expectation, and one which I suspect in the future will be eliminated more and more.

For my part, I plan on finding out how I can support Kevin and Brickshelf sometime soon. Money is tight at my house since my wife is unemployed at the moment, but I still plan on using Brickshelf, so I will do my part to help defray the costs Kevin has for providing that resource to me.

If you like Brickshelf, it wouldn't hurt to support it.
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CaptMaarek



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The situation was scary for everyone, but I think we learned some lessons.

Make sure you have copies of your important photos, don't rely on any online service to be your backup (unless you pay for it as such)

I used brickshelf for some of my stuff and I'm glad it'll stick around. I don't know if I'll be able to pay the $60 a year, but when you think about it it's not that much. If you drink Starbucks Coffee, hold back on about 10 drinks and you've covered the cost.

I never donated to brickshelf, but I plan to now. Will I only host images their, no, I think I'll dual host at Brickshelf and Flickr.

One of the nice things about brickshelf is it's all about the Brick which I love and I'm thankful that Kevin will keep it open...

I'd also welcome limits to file types and sizes on files being upload if that helps his overall cost down. It's not hard to make bmp's into jpgs and resize them. So thats my 22cents.
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Battle Zombie Alita
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A general sigh of relief is in order.

I am VERY GLAD to see the continuance of BrickShelf.

Unfortunately, I am in the poorer boat because of a $700 car repair. So the $5/mo = $60/year is high right now. I suppose it feels that way too because Flickr is $25. For most of the kids, $60 is too high. For adults, it is much cheaper than most online game subscriptions ($15/mo). But, that is as much as a fairly big set for the budget bound. Argh, decisions.

It will be interesting to see the new functionality.

BrickShelf wrote:
IMPORTANT: do NOT try to download the entire site, it causes major problems, slows things down for normal users and you will be permanently blocked.

I do think that downloading the entire site will drop off quickly. I do see a problem with downloading entire galleries of many users. I would like to know if downloading a gallery per week or month is still allowed.

Should we preserve MOC history?
Due to this scare, it seems that the community wants to preserve creations of its best builders - the current, the passed on, and those lost to a dark age. We have BrickJournal but that has pretty low resolution images.

Is there interest in creating a "Best of Month" collection of content? This could have the MOCPages content and the full pictures. An index/search feature would be useful. A BitTorrent could distribute the monthly collection and $'s for DVDs could provide a quarterly distribution. General Traffic could be the popularity index or busy bees in the community could highlight creators. A problem is the copyright issues.
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CAV Trooper



Joined: 09 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin Loch wrote:
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.



With all due respect, if all Kevin sees the site as is a ‘distraction’ then it’s time for him, as has been suggested by others, to step aside and let someone who cares about the hobby take charge, perhaps selling the site to someone within the community. The biggest ‘risk’ I see is people giving their money to a man who has lost credibility over the last week, and the ‘right thing to do’ is to hand it over to someone new. I’d gladly give monetary support for Brickshelf, but not to Kevin.
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Dazombie
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CAV Trooper wrote:
With all due respect, if all Kevin sees the site as is a ‘distraction’ then it’s time for him, as has been suggested by others, to step aside and let someone who cares about the hobby take charge, perhaps selling the site to someone within the community. The biggest ‘risk’ I see is people giving their money to a man who has lost credibility over the last week, and the ‘right thing to do’ is to hand it over to someone new. I’d gladly give monetary support for Brickshelf, but not to Kevin.


I totally agree there.

I was one of the first here to "call off the dogs" that were after Kevin the minute Brickshelf went down, but I agree that taking care of Brickshelf shouldn't be considered a "distraction". You either do it because you love it or you simply don't and pass on the torch to someone who will.

Of course, if Brickshelf pays for itself (or even make a little profit), that's good. But the guy running it should be involved because he likes it, not because he feels obligated to it.

Add to that the fact that that whole "Added features for paying members" sounds pretty much improvised, my level of trust in Brickshelf or even MAJ right now is pretty low...
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ZombieSolo
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Joined: 05 Feb 2005

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This whole thing has soured my taste of brickshelf and Kevin Loch himself. Good intentions or not it was handled poorly, and for those saying he didn't ow "us" anything: fact is he did. Respect. Pulling it all down to get attention caused a panic and turned loads of people against him - for good reason. Any idiot could have predicted it; doubly so for anyone who knew how many fans rely on brickshelf, even if they still underestimated it. Like Daz said, that sort of site should be run by someone (or better yet a group of people) who has more than a passing interest in it. And this little gem...
Quote:
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.
Makes me not like him on a personal level. Nice generalization based on personal interests, jerk. Sure, it's nice to get free stuff online and I prefer it where possible (who doesn't?) - but as a user of Flickr, PayPal, eBay, and as a geek who own's his own domain name I'd say that's blatantly inaccurate. I think very few people expect to get everything for free... that doesn't stop the rest from hoping for it.

So, in short, take a step down off that high horse and pass the site to someone who cares about the LEGO fan community. Rolling Eyes
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legomd



Joined: 04 Feb 2005

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i, for one, appreciate very much that brickshelf is back. a couple of days ago, i think we had to envision life without brickshelf and it seemed pretty dismal. it is cliche, but i didn't know what i had until it was gone. i, like many others, downloaded as much as i could because i thought the content was going to be lost forever. at that time, $60/year seemed pretty cheap.

if you don't like brickshelf, don't use it. simple as that. i plan on doing what i can financially to help keep it afloat. i guess i never really thought it about until it was gone, but running brickshelf certainly costs money. i just took it for granted. i have over the years enjoyed its content and been inspired. so for all of the years of enjoyment, $5/month seems pretty inexpensive.

i would like to think that kevin is going to do what he can to keep brickshelf viable. if it becomes too much of a hardship, i hope he will consider transfer to someone else. i think he really understands that brickshelf is pretty important to community.
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DarthPineapple



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm happy that's it's back. I was pretty sad when I read the news that it would be closing down. I have pretty much photo's on there, way to much to post over on another site. I an't have better news than this on y vacation! Very Happy
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Duckman



Joined: 08 Nov 2006

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DonSolo wrote:
This whole thing has soured my taste of brickshelf and Kevin Loch himself. Good intentions or not it was handled poorly, and for those saying he didn't ow "us" anything: fact is he did. Respect. Pulling it all down to get attention caused a panic and turned loads of people against him - for good reason. Any idiot could have predicted it; doubly so for anyone who knew how many fans rely on brickshelf, even if they still underestimated it. Like Daz said, that sort of site should be run by someone (or better yet a group of people) who has more than a passing interest in it. And this little gem...
Quote:
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.
Makes me not like him on a personal level. Nice generalization based on personal interests, jerk. Sure, it's nice to get free stuff online and I prefer it where possible (who doesn't?) - but as a user of Flickr, PayPal, eBay, and as a geek who own's his own domain name I'd say that's blatantly inaccurate. I think very few people expect to get everything for free... that doesn't stop the rest from hoping for it.

So, in short, take a step down off that high horse and pass the site to someone who cares about the LEGO fan community. Rolling Eyes


TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU DAN, I DON'T LIKE THIS GUY ONE BIT EITHER. Sounds like a cross between Hitler and Bill Gates. Especially considering a lot of the users are just little kids uploading their lego soul. He has completely gone about this in an extremely unscrupulous way.
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Xeta



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Location: SWG

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duckman wrote:
TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU DAN, I DON'T LIKE THIS GUY ONE BIT EITHER.


Dan? Wink

Don, where did you find that quote? It makes him sound like some bully who calls people geeks... If he calls us geeks, I don't think he cares very much about us. And I think we all know that things on the internet are not always free. He makes me feel like I should switch to flickr because he doesn't care.....
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General Veers



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a jerk...... glad I switched to flickr. I'm now dumping BS for MAJ.
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Blacknight



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the end of the day I'm just really, really, really glad it's not going to shut down. I've never posted my own photos on brickshelf but I do like to surf it for ideas.

The centralization aspect of brickshelf shouldn't be underestimated. One central site, one search engine. No fragmentation of pictures to all corners of the web = very important service. Is it $60 a year important to me? Perhaps - that's less than the new JSF set. But since I don't plan on uploading my own pics any time soon, I really won't be able to take advantage of the service provided. But maybe I'll donate like $20 if he lets me.

I think this would be a good point for LEGO to step in and start up its own free photo hosting service, maybe help Kevin switch all the pics on brickshelf to their servers. Brickshelf is a major asset to Lego's business and it would be a real loss to its legacy as a company and corporate citizen if it let all the pictures of past and present members disappear from our collective ownership.
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ZombieDraykov
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DonSolo wrote:
...and I think a lot of people will find it hard to justify $60 a year for photo hosting.


I agree. I love Brickshelf and would very much like to support Kevin and keep it alive, but if I can pay $20 at PBase for 500 MB of space annually and a lot of nice functionality, I'd have a hard time throwing out an extra $60 for the use of Brickshelf. The only reason I wouldn't host LEGO photos at PBase is because it's more of an artsy-fartsy photography site.
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Revan's#1fan



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blacknight wrote:
I think this would be a good point for LEGO to step in and start up its own free photo hosting service


LEGO does have its Cool Creations section in the LEGO Club site but most things there are anything but cool. They are almost all made up Star Wars vehicles with no color scheme, crappy Bionicles, and pitiful excuses for multi-colored castles. Oh, and the occasional box on wheels with ump-teen robot arms on top. LEGO does have an image hosting site of sorts but I steer clear of it as much as possible. I do admit that there are a lot of great creations but they are surrounded by so much... yuck that it is like trying to find diamonds in a land fill.
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Zedsier
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has all the price business gone away? It says nothing on the front page or anything now. Sorry if I missed something, I haven't been here for a month and a half.
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ZombieSolo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woah woah woah... KL is somewhere between Bill Gates and Hitler? Are you kidding? That's not even close to what I was going for! ::D:

Look, he started the site, ran it out of pocket for a long time, and it's just been recently that he's botched things up (so far as I know). That jerky quote was from his port on Lugnet as linked above (it's also where the info on the pay accounts can be found Jun (by the way, welcome back!)).

Oh, an Veers, you know the same guy runs both sites, right? The only reason that didn't get the ax as well is because the traffic there is so much lighter than BS. Rolling Eyes

So yeah, nice that he's working on keeping it going, but I have low expectations and do not ever plan on relying on it. It's all very unfortunate the way things have turned.
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Iare Zombite
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah. I appreciate what he did, but he handled this... badly. If I ever got tired of my own picture/whatever website that allows people to add their stuff, I work add warning for a month, then sites gone. No trickery to get cash or anything. It may be simple case of greed, he got tons of offerings so he kept it going to get some pocket cash.

But then I'm not him, and don't really know his plan or anything.
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