What Exactly Are We?

In case you’ve missed it, the nomination process for Cycle 7 of the LEGO Ambassadors is well underway. Here at LAML, Aaron Andrews graciously offered to represent the podcast as an official LEGO Ambassador in the nomination process.

Here is how Aaron put it to me:

I have been voted out of the running for LA on Flickr.  I am still running for LA on the Forbidden Cove but I would like to run for LAML too.  I believe that we have the audience to justify it.  Also I would prefer to run for two communities, and since flickr is out, the next online location that I am devoted to is LAML.  I also feel it would be very beneficial to the podcast to have the ear of TLC.  We could even run a LEGO sponsored contest later in the year similar to what Keith G did for the You control the action contest

I think Aaron`s right, having a local Ambassador for the largest LEGO podcast would be great, no doubt. But the Ambassador program has been set up for AFOL communities and I`m not convinced that LAML fits that bill.

I mean, are we really even a community?

Despite attempts at creating a larger community (mainly through live shows) nothing has really ever taken off. We of course have this blog, but that seems about it. I think for the most part people simply check their iTunes feed every so often and check for the latest episode. There is of course nothing wrong with that, but does that make us a community?

P.S. Expect some more episode in June and July as I gear up for another big August.
 
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9 Responses to What Exactly Are We?

  1. Andrew says:

    I agree with your last paragraph James, I pretty much wait for my RSS reader to tell me there’s a new show so I can make sure to listen to it. I love the show (where’s it been recently? 😛 ) but I’m not sure if you can really count it as a community.

  2. Jason says:

    well if this isn’t a community i don’t belong to one then. i have tried to be a part of some of the other blogs such as eurobricks and TBB but found the members, well rather inclusive or just general jerks. no offense to anybody out there (unless you were the jerks), and yes I’ll get the caveat out of the way and say, Of course there are also a lot of great members and a few jerky apples shouldn’t spoil the bunch…blah, blah, blah. This is the only place i can come for Lego news anymore as the other sites, well either they NEVER update on anything new (I’m looking at you CC) or they only seem to be about MOCs which honestly I think is just a form of narcism. I’m a happy AFOL and wish all sites nothing but the best, but TBB really put me off over the beginning of the year with their overtly political bent, and other than FBTB, i really only come over here. So James, keep it up even if we only end up a community of three that’s fine, I like it here. I’m staying.

  3. TheQ says:

    James, you keep forgetting that we actually have a forum too. There is even very simple URL for that 😉

    Joking aside, I don’t really feel LAMLRadio should be asking own Ambassador. LAMLRadio is “radio show” of the LAML community and it should be the LAML community which asks for the Ambassadors set, not the Radio. If Aaron wants to represent LAML (and LAMLRadio in the same time), be my guest. I am happy to write a testimonial to him 🙂

    Oh and I am currently running for LA spot via Finnish LEGO forum, Palikkatakomo (which is also hosted at LAML.org). So, let’s see who gets in, Aaron 😉

  4. BrickPoor says:

    If The Brothers Brick can be considered a community, I don’t see why LAML radio shouldn’t be. I get the latest news and see cool MOCs at TBB but here I get news and find out who these people are behind the MOCs and why they build. Maybe LAML is smaller and gets less traffic but getting to know people is “community”.

    P.S. I don’t have iTunes and check the Blog regularly.

  5. Jasbrick says:

    James,

    The definition of community is far more difficult in the current environment as the online aspects are changing the way in which we communicate. My understanding of community is the coming together of individuals with shared interests and acting as a cohesive group. You could say that LAML does not quite fit the letter of the definition, but in my view it certainly supports the spirit of community.

    My own personal view is that the LAML podcast is a method of communicating to the wider community as a whole. It offers the cohesion across more traditional community boundaries (flickr, MOCpages etc.) so that the shared interest is supported. You know how many people listen to the podcast and I am sure that the number is far from insigficant…. so why do we religiously check to see whether a new podcast is available? Because it is a focus for our shared interests and brings us together

    I think the only reason to doubt the LAML = Community argument is the amount of comments, however I think you will realise that generally the majority of the community is silent.

    Enough of that… sorry I am rambling on, however I do feel that LAML warrants representation in LA. What better conduit for the purpose of Ambassadors?

    Jasbrick

  6. Jason says:

    Brickpoor, Jasbrick,
    Perfectly put you two, well said, I could not agree more.

  7. Jason, I’d be curious to hear about the negative experience(s) you had on TBB. I certainly hope it wasn’t one of my contributors. Even as the Editor-in-Chief, I was experiencing some of the same things, perhaps, and so we instituted a policy requiring registration to leave comments and rolled out a clear Terms of Service (which includes basic Code of Conduct stuff). I think things have improved considerably since then, but I’m always open to suggestions.

    James, in considering whether the word “community” applied to TBB, I had to give the word’s definition a lot of thought. I arrived at the criterion of multi-directional communication. In other words, are community members talking to each other, as well as back to us and us to them? Once I saw genuine discussions *between* readers taking place on a regular basis in the comments, I knew that TBB had become a community.

    Setting that aside, there’s something to be said for remaining neutral, parallel, or above the broader LEGO fan community. BrickJournal certainly doesn’t claim to be a community, and rightly so. If TBB were purely journalistic, reporting nothing but LEGO news, calling ourselves a community wouldn’t really work. I’ll also readily admit that having a more formalized relationship with The LEGO Group (through the Ambassadors) has its downside, as well as benefits for members of our readership community.

  8. James says:

    Andrew, I think I’d agree with you about a community needing to have members who talk with each other on a regular basis. Clearly TBB has achieved this but for us at LAML its still a little bit off. Hopefully one day we’ll achieve a small portion of what you guys have, but until then I’m happy to remain neutral (as you put it).

  9. Jason says:

    James,
    Not sure you should sell yourself to short, as some other sites institute draconian, and lets be honest, inclusive posting reqirments, this may soon be the only actually OPEN place to disagree with anything that the Lego group does. For a example see Eurobricks new posting requirments which in a lot of ways translate to “agree with us our we will ban you” There are some other communities where disenting voices of any kind are just simply crushed, that’s something that I really like over here. We can and do disagree, and even when we do, like we did about Clone Wars, you handled it in a mature adult fashion and I think we had an actual conversation. Your members continually impress me with the level of mature dicouse that exists here. So long as you keep up with this there is no reason that you will not grow and prosper. Now off of the soap box, and I hope I don’t skin my kneee or break my hip on the way off.

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