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Lego has begun to roll out its new model for Recognized Communities.

The gist is that there are now two tiers of recognition and three categories (Traditional LUGs, Fan Media, and Online Communities). There was previously no tiers and no distinct recognition for Online Communities.

I received the following email regarding our status:

As a key component of this model, all Recognized Communities will be placed into two tiers to fit both the growth of the Fan Community as well as the different levels of ambition and desire. This tiered approach will allow us to better engage and support the individual needs of each community, in other words put the most effort where it has the biggest impact on the community.

By evaluating Bricks SE based on the activity report and the past records, we believe your community is more locally oriented and focus on a fair amount of activities, contents, or traffic to stabilize the members participation and development. Therefore, we recommend you to be Tier ONE.

Please note that we will have regular evaluations based on the criteria of Presence, Activity, Value Creation, Compliance, Structure and Engagement of each Recognized Community.

In addition, to embrace the trend of digitalization and support the increasing activities based on online platforms, LCE is opening a new category in the LEGO Ambassador Network called Recognized LEGO Online Community (RLOC). Based on the nature that your group is mainly operating on Facebook/forum/Flickr/Naver and has the focus of digital interactive activities, we suggest transferring you from RLUG/RLFM to RLOC to remain your strength and stay on where your group’s interest is. Also, by doing that, the RLOC will have the access to the support which aims at facilitating the online activities mentioned above.

If you disagree to our Tier placement or your new community type, please reach out to us via CommunitySupport@LEGO.com and explain carefully where, how and why you find the placement not to be aligned with your needs and expectations. We will then bring your feedback to the first evaluation during the first quarter of 2018 and reevaluate your placement.

The tier placement makes sense to me. While we are a successful community, we have about an order of magnitude less activity and traffic than some of the larger sites such as Brickset and Eurobricks.

I did want to get some feedback on the distinction between Online Community and Fan Media. Which do you think is a better fit for us?

While we are certainly an online community, at the core we have a small group of highly active contributors producing content that is consumed by a much larger audience (e.g. page views outnumber posts 1000 to 1). In addition, we actively discourage using this site as a place for discussion. Other sites exists for this purpose, and our focus here is on producing high quality Q&A content. Should I advocate for us to be recognized as Fan Media, or does Online Community make sense for us?

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    I think we fit into the RLOC category (see below) but what I don't get is the "local impact" part of the first two bullet points in the model. How can an online community have local impact? Is it because most members are from the US (are they)? Or is the impact local around each member? – Aziraphale Dec 11 '17 at 22:16
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    Some online communities are based primarily in certain regions or countries although this site has a very international audience. – Ambo100 Dec 11 '17 at 22:26
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The distinctions stated in the document are not too big. However, bullet three in the LOC brick of tier one is what Bricks SE is about: "Forum traffic mirrors activities and is perceived as valuable by the Community". We mostly don't spread press releases or other fan media related material. Therefore, the category chosen by LEGO is fitting, or the other way round, we fit into the category. I am also glad that we are considered a stable community.

  • Thanks for the feedback. That's very helpful. I'm also encouraged that we are considered to be a stable community. – jncraton Dec 13 '17 at 15:43
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I'm very pleased with the tier we have been assigned. I think it's a fair assessment of the current state of the site.

Bricks Stack Exchange is in an unusual fit as it is neither primarily journalistic (fan media) nor a traditional discussion forum.

I think Bricks SE is closer to the definition as a LEGO community as the content is driven very much by the community, even the less active users do contribute with voting, editing, commenting, etc...

We very rarely have articles written on this site (Events, LEGO Meetups) and they only make up a very small amount of our content.

  • I don't disagree that the content is driven by the community, but I wasn't sure if we were in a different place than a community like Eurobricks. It at least feel different to me, as our content is primarily consumed via search traffic and non-members. – jncraton Dec 13 '17 at 15:42
  • I think from the point of view of TLG, they want to give RLFMs the chance to interview set designers and review unreleased sets. When we do rarely post articles on Meta we don't have nearly as many views as even the smallest LEGO blogs. My trip report from Billund for example, has been viewed 45 times over the past six months. – Ambo100 Dec 13 '17 at 15:52
  • Although I wonder how Brickset and Eurobricks are categorised when they can be both be considered to be big online communities as well as fan media. – Ambo100 Dec 13 '17 at 15:56
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I think it's right for where we are currently - we don't really have "Activities [that] extend far beyond their circle of members/subscribers potentially with a global impact" for example - and our members here who do exhibit at events tend to do so under their LUG rather than as Bricks I think.

Interesting that we get/had access to LUGBULK - although that would be more of a nightmare to organise than for a LUG I imagine ;) However we will lose the Fan Media days, which is a shame.

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    That makes sense. I was thinking more along the lines of the bulk of our traffic not coming from members (e.g. 85% of traffic is from search engines). – jncraton Dec 13 '17 at 15:40

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