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Some of you are likely aware that there was concern about the name of our site from TLG in the past. As part of becoming Recognized LEGO Fan Media, this concern has resurfaced. I've been in communication with the LEGO community engagement team for several weeks about this, and this is where things currently stand as of this morning:

I’ve been talking with quite a few people around here and the requirement to alter the name still stands.

I am aware that previously it has been accepted, but over the past 5 years or so a lot of things have changed and we are forced to protect our trademark and intellectual property even more than ever.

Would it be possible to make a reasonable change where LEGO® Answers become part of the site name’s tagline?

Like “Something – Your place for LEGO® Answers!”

We got until end of year to adjust and find a solution.

I responded letting TLG know that we'll try to find a solution that works for everyone, and that we appreciate having until the end of the year to work something out.

Five years ago, StackExchange didn't allow us to choose our own name, but I'm hopeful that there is now some flexibility on this. I'm also hopeful that whatever name we choose will help us to clearly communicate to all users that we are not answering on behalf of TLG.

Based on the name suggestion from TLG, and the other thread where our community discussed this, I'd like to approach StackExchange about changing our name to "Brick Overflow". We would just show Brick Overflow on the logged in page, and update the info for anonymous users to read:

Brick Overflow is a question and answer site for LEGO® and building block enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute: [sign up link]

This is identical to the current language, aside from replacing "LEGO® Answers" with "Brick Overflow".

Since this represents a very significant change for our site, I'd love to get feedback on this.

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    I passed this question on to the SE community team, and they are going to discuss it on Thursday to see what sort of options we have. Coming up with alternatives to Brick Overflow might be good, as they'd prefer to avoid having a number of sites that are simply "x Overflow". – jncraton Mar 28 '17 at 18:23
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    I'm putting in a request for a developer to make the change. It might be a few weeks depending on who is around to do the work. – Jon Ericson Apr 11 '17 at 17:14
  • Thanks for the update! – jncraton Apr 11 '17 at 19:56
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I'm actually going to throw out another (admittedly boring) option just in case it's decided that it is best not to use Brick Overflow. How about just:

Bricks

Many other SE sites have very simple names (e.g. Law, History, Arduino, etc).

I don't think "Bricks" would cause much confusion about what our community is about. Users who aren't logged in would still see a brief description of the site. For example:

Logged out

For logged in Stack Exchange users, we'd appear like this in the site list:

Site list

It seems pretty obvious what the site is about in both cases. This name also has the advantage of being our current URL.

Outside of the Stack Exchange network, I think it would be just fine to refer to ourselves as any of the following if we change our name to just "Bricks" here:

  • Bricks Stack Exchange
  • Brick Stack
  • Stack Bricks
  • bricks.stackexchange
  • BricksSE
  • Bricks.SE (not the best since bricks.se is a Swedish domain that is already registered and could cause some confusion)

Update:

Given that this is the top rated name option, and the SE folks were uncomfortable with using the word "Overflow" due to their own trademark concerns, we are proceeding with renaming the site to just "Bricks".

I've changed our official name on the LUG map:

LUG Map

Update 2:

I received the following communication from TLG regarding the change. They seem pleased that we were able to work this out without a lot of fuss or either party having to escalate things to lawyers:

I am so relieved that you take this change so ”lightly”.

I am really sorry to have to “enforce” this request, but we have to protect the brand and trademark and that sometimes results in awkward and unwanted consequences.

I hope this will not affect our future cooperation in a negative way or that you regret ever applying for recognition.

I conveyed that we understood the reasoning behind this request and are excited to collaborate more in the future.

  • +1 I'm in favour of Bricks Stack Exchange although I think Bricks on it's own is too generic unless it's being used colloquially on the site. It also avoids the conflicts Brick Overflow had as described in Jon's reply and appears higher in the drop down list of site names. – Ambo100 Apr 1 '17 at 18:07
  • My only concern with "brick stack exchange" is that potential users will think it is a place for swapping bricks with other users. – Kramii Reinstate Monica Apr 2 '17 at 17:34
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It's a bummer The LEGO Group won't make an exception, but I understand why. When it comes to trademarks and such, there's good reason to avoid confusion between official and unofficial sites.

The ideal name under our naming convention would be "LEGO Stack Exchange". But that's clearly a step backwards when it comes to strengthening the relationship with TLG. Given we already have "bricks" as the URL slug, that would be the next best option under our naming scheme. It might be a bit confusing to users of other sites on the network but I don't think it will matter much to folks who find answers on the site via search.

The community team considered the "Brick Overflow" suggestion yesterday. Unfortunately, we can't use that name because:

  1. We're avoiding custom names for sites.
  2. While it's an interesting name, it doesn't help users understand this is a site about LEGO.
  3. Other than MathOverflow, which is a very unusual case, we don't have any sites that use the "X Overflow" convention.
  4. While someone has set up brickoverflow.com as a redirect to this site, I don't know exactly who owns the domain. (Even so, thank you, anonymous domain owner!)
  5. Just as TLG is protective of their brand, we are protective of the Stack Overflow brand. (Yes, I know both sites are in our network, but we don't want to dilute our identity as serving the needs of programmers.) It won't serve this site well to potentially confuse users who might think it's only for developers and not all LEGO enthusiasts.

At any rate, it looks as if just "Bricks" is the best choice (and currently the top-voted option here). When you all have worked out the details with The LEGO Group, let me know.

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    Thanks for looking into this. Renaming the site to "Bricks" seems to be the best option. I've updated our official name with TLG to "Bricks Stack Exchange". Let us know if there is anything more you need from us to facilitate the name change. I will confirm with the appropriate parties within LEGO just to be sure they are comfortable with the new name. – jncraton Apr 1 '17 at 1:51
  • Hey Jon, I can see from jncraton's edit that TLG are happy with "Bricks", so we should update our site name now? – Zhaph - Ben Duguid Apr 11 '17 at 10:15
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I think it's very important that our site has an identity and that we respect TLG's wishes.


I like the name Brick Overflow for several reasons.

  1. It had a lot of support and was the most popular name suggestion when the issue was brought up in 2011.
  2. It's clear the site is about LEGO (Bricks) and Stack Exchange (Stack Overflow)
  3. A 'overflow' or abundance of LEGO Bricks is something almost every LEGO Fan dreams of.
  4. It turns out www.brickoverflow.com already redirects to www.bricks.stackexchange.com

enter image description here

My only concern is that the name would be interpenetrated as a combination of LEGO & Stack Overflow, a question for only programming questions related to LEGO products such as Mindstorms but MathOverflow doesn't seem to have that problem.

  • It's interesting that the brickoverflow.com domain already points to us. I've updated my original recommendation to use "Brick Overflow" with a space, as this matches Stack Overflow. – jncraton Mar 28 '17 at 17:24
  • I used both versions with and without a space but I think it's better with a space. There isn't a very clear reason why MathOverflow is written without a space however... – Ambo100 Mar 28 '17 at 17:56
  • Is brickoverflow.com owned by Stack Exchange? If not, this may be a problem, even if it redirects now. – Wrzlprmft Mar 29 '17 at 7:11
  • @Wrzlprmft It's definitely not owned be SE, it's also not an official alias for the site. That much I now. As for who it is owned by, not sure, the registrant's info is privacy-protected. – Jason C Apr 1 '17 at 6:37
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I propose

Brick Models

as a site name. The second word adds information by clarifying that the site is not about building brick houses.

"Overflow" also conveys information: this site is run by the same company as a popular programming website. But (1) this is not really important to know; (2) many won't recognize the connection; (3) having "Overflow" in the name is not a reliable indicator of anything; e.g., Physics Overflow is not affiliated with Stack Exchange.

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    I like that. Just as a note, my first impression of the name was that the site is specifically about LEGO models, and not necessarily about all things LEGO (part identification, history, etc). – jncraton Mar 28 '17 at 20:57
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I have upvoted "Bricks" as it seems to be the cleanest, simplest name for this site, and lines up with the established bricks.stackexchange.com URL.

If people want alternatives, how about

Brick Building

or

Brick Fans

?

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