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It is not a secret LEGO recognize and support a lot of AFOL groups all around the world. Most of these groups are LUGs (LEGO User Groups) which are formed by groups of adult LEGO fans gathering together in real life (or maybe term "offline" fits better?). LUG and its members have certain perks, like LUGBULK and some other good stuff, so I won't go too much details about it as this is not the point of this question.

My question is about Bricks SE, which has been recognized as Recognized LEGO Fan Media (RLFM) couple of years ago. It is not entirely clear what kind of benefits does Bricks SE and its members have as RLFM.

From my investigation I found that LEGO has provided some free sets for past severals Winter Bash competitions. As well as some sets used for review. There have been several events in 2017 where Bricks SE members participated. It seems it has been a little quite since then.

So, what kind of perks we, as a community as well as members of this community, get (or can get) regularly in terms of physical (sets, bricks, else) and non-physical (events, gathering, previews, etc) perks?

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Great question. There are a lot of benefits. Here are some of them:

  1. Direct communication with LEGO staff. As our ambassador, I'm connected with the AFOL Engagement Team and can reach out to them with specific questions. We've also participated in Fan Media Days in Billund, and I attended a meet and greet with TLG staff in Enfield.

  2. Direct communication with the AFOL community. As our ambassador, I have access to the LEGO Ambassador Network (LAN). This is basically a forum where ambassadors communicate with one another. TLG has several staff members regularly participate and answer questions on LAN.

  3. Increased awareness among AFOLs for our community. I participate on LAN as a representative of our community, and our community is listed in the community locator to make it easier for other AFOLs to discover. I'm also able to add events (e.g. Winter Bash) to the event calendar for everyone to see.

  4. Activity Support. As was mentioned in the question, LEGO will support activities throughout the year by providing LEGO sets for us.

  5. LUGBULK. We technically have access to this, but we've never tried it as administration would be painful, and most of us can simply join local LUGs.

The most significant perks from my point of view are the connection points that recognition provides for us.

I will say that we don't currently make full use of our activity support. We can have one supported activity up to 500EUR per quarter, and we typically don't take full advantage of this. I'm happy to explore ways that we could do more with this support, but understand that I have to request sets for a specific purpose and report back to TLG regarding how they were used and how they performed (e.g. page views, new users, etc), so we need to be thoughtful about how our requests benefit the entire community.

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  • Would we risk our standing with TLG if we were to use more of this activity support? I can easily imagine quarterly contests, about either building or site activity. Or just a quarterly raffle among all actively contributing (new) users to foster activity and signup rate. Of course, we'd have to consider whether we can even grow anymore while still keeping the questions on topic. – zovits Mar 3 at 14:36
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    I don't think that we're risking anything as long as I'm staying on top of the paperwork and reporting and we're making good use of the support. I will say that I don't personally have the bandwidth to run a contest every quarter, though. Offering prizes for new user contribution doesn't always seem to generate the kind of engagement that we're looking for either. I think I'd be more interested in providing incentive for great contributors to create great content. e.g. bricks.stackexchange.com/questions/10074/… – jncraton Mar 3 at 15:22
  • I too want to avoid repeating the Winter Bash hysteria :) My idea would be to run a quarterly event, where we (I'd gladly help) take the list of every user who has earned at least 100 reputation in that quarter and randomly draw a few to win a prize. Repeat this for the subset of the above users who are newbies in the quarter. This way no cutthroat competition would ensue, but everybody (especially newbies) would be incentivized to contribute. If this does not result in way too much content, I'm confident the quality can be held to the existing standards. And if it does, it can be canceled. – zovits Mar 3 at 16:36
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    I like this idea in principle, and I think it would encourage more user engagement, but it would be very hard for me to report back to TLG how much it is encouraging engagement. I'd be more interested in running something like we did with our annual support in 2018: bricks.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/432/… The nice thing about doing this through the activity support system is that I wouldn't have to repackage and ship everything, and users could submit proposals for whatever sets they think they can create meaningful Q&A content around. – jncraton Mar 3 at 17:14
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    This still encourages users to be involved in general, as we had rep thresholds in place for proposal submissions. It's actually a lot like your idea, except users have to both meet the rep criteria and put forth a proposal for a set. – jncraton Mar 3 at 17:16
  • @zovits I've put up a request for Q3 activity support proposals: bricks.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/513/… I'd love to hear any feedback that you may have on this. – jncraton Jun 14 at 17:19

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