6

We seem to be doing a great job with random set identification - even correctly identifying a much larger set from a tiny collection of bricks, or reverse engineering sets from MOCs, however I think we're going to hit the limits of our question title creativity fairly soon:

A question with that title already exists

Ignoring the fact that the bricks in this question where from the same set as the matched question (they were from the same user who has clearly bought a bulk collection of random LEGO bags from somewhere), it's quite conceivable that we are going to have people asking "What set is this from" for some time and trying to come up with unique titles for them will be tricky.

While these are questions that we seem good at answering, I'm not sure how good a fit they are for long term storage - the questions aren't typically searchable, nor are they that helpful to anyone else, unless they also have the same set of elements - but they won't be able to find the question as they are typically all variants of "What set is this?" with a picture.

I've retagged "How can I identify kits from a box of parts" as Set Identification which might help, but I guess we need to think about pruning some of these questions...

Also we should encourage answerers of these questions to show their workings, which will people learn how to do it.

5

I'm not a big fan of these questions for the reasons you've highlighted.

Usually I will re-word the title to be more descriptive and adjust the tags used on the question to match the accepted answer. (If a set has been identified as a Star Wars set, it will be tagged as such). It can be difficult to find descriptive titles for every question.

Also we should encourage answerers of these questions to show their workings, which will people learn how to do it.

I think this is a good idea but it might be difficult to enforce. Even, just one line to explain how someone identified the set would help.

I'm surprised we don't have a question about how to identify sets in general. If we do, I can't find it.

I've posted a question titled What are the best ways to identify any LEGO set? and added the methods I use to identify a set.

I'm sure there are more techniques people use, so I encourage people to add their answers. Hopefully this will de-mystify how people can identify sets.

  • I was going to post a question but felt it was already covered by the one linked in my question "how can I identify kits from a box of parts" – Zhaph - Ben Duguid Oct 25 '17 at 16:02
  • 1
    I have merged the question. I think I misread it the first time. – Ambo100 Oct 25 '17 at 16:04
2

I also don't love these questions in terms of long term storage and usefulness, but I think that we provide the most reliable way to get questions like these answered.

I think that these questions can also be a source of new users for us if they are handled well. These questions are often coming from folks who are emerging from a dark age (whether they know it or not 😁) and who may be engaging more deeply with the community in the future.

Would it make sense to:

  1. Wiki and clean up our canonical how to identify a set question
  2. Wiki and clean up our canonical how to identify parts question
  3. Add links to these in our help section so that users can have a fighting chance of finding these tools before asking a simple question
  • 2
    One comment from me, a frequent answerer of these questions (because I simply love the challenge it poses :) ). You cannot teach someone how to correctly identify a set from pieces without teaching them the Bricklink parts taxonomy. That itself will take a long post to cover, as there are quite some anomalies in the taxonomy, and quirks in the BL interface. – Phil B. Nov 3 '17 at 15:54
  • +1 @PhilB., this might be a good topic for a blog post (or a series of blog posts)? – JW8 Nov 7 '17 at 6:52

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