Saturday, October 31, 2009's New Groove

One of the things that has been lagging with is that is that it has not really worked as a web counterpart to the magazine. There has been a long-range vision for the magazine for it to be part of a media platform, with the magazine being one part of a larger group. This makes sense, because printed media is only one way to present the hobby, and a way that has advantages and disadvantages.

Print advantages are:
1. Very portable - you can carry around the mag at will in your bookbag.
2. Nice presentation - well, if designed correctly:-)
3. Easy to disseminate - why pass a link when you can pass a publication???
Print disadvantages are:
1. High investment - need some programs to produce content
2. Production cost is high - to make cost-effective, there have to be large magazine runs.
3. Decay - a magazine will last only as long as you take care of it.

The web as media offers:
1. Video - some displays, like the Great Ball Contraption at events need to be seen in motion to appreciate them.
2. Audio - an interview that is taped has more than the written word.
3. Space - for photos and instructions - the web is as big as we make it!
4. Interactivity - links to galleries, other pages, and more can be made...

so the question is: how can these be worked together? There's some ideas already being floated around...but the first priority is to make (or at least try to make) the website a destination for those wanting to know about the community and the magazine.

As a designer (I have a design degree from North Carolina State University), I realized early on that the web has tremendous potential for showing MOCs. A viewer can see all of a model with a video and with new media. I am planning BrickJournal to be part of this and am doing some research and development on my own some areas. Stay tuned to see what is going on:-)!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hey! What happened?

yes, the website is changing. Not to this blog, mind you, but to a new site design!

Here's what happened and what is happening...

We switched webhosts from Near-Time, as they are changing their services to a new model. Notice was given to us about a month ago, and with that the process of receiving all the files from them was done over the next week. From there, a new webhost was found and set up, and...

I looked at this as an opportunity. While had some good things about it, I wanted to see more.

For those wondering about the subscription for the site, it's gone. The subscription was meant for a premium level of accessibility for the website and its contents, however, it was a failed experiment. The site generated a very small amount of revenue, but not enough to support the site and any content I wanted to use as enhancements. The revenue gathered was used for support of the site, but it ultimately declined to a very low level and shut off entirely by Near-Time.

So, the site as we know it is now gone. The content is now with the new webhost, but will have to be reconfigured for something new.

So what is going to happen? In the next couple of weeks, there will be some new construction going on with the website. Instead of a blog like page like it formerly was, will look like, well, a website. There will be a section devoted to the current issue with exclusive content, such as video and photos that didn't get in the magazine. A second section will have the current news items that we get from LEGO and other sources, such as DK Publishing. And a third section will have exclusive content on the site, such as video and instructions. And that's just the beginning...

And now is an opportunity for you. What would you want to see on the new BrickJournal site? Drop a line here - I'll be watching.

And I'll be putting updates on the website design - a basic design has been decided, and now refinements are going on. As we closer to launch I will be posting some layouts.

So when is launch? The goal is to have the site set up and running to cover the Festival of the Masters in Florida, in about two weeks. As new sections are completed, they will be added.

Excited? I am!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Caption Contest Winners!

This past weekend, we held a caption contest with prizes from DK Publishing. Here are the captions that won a LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary Minipak (a copy of the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary and a launch event t-shirt):

By Alfred Jr:
I find your lack of height disturbing.

by Edward:
How come I always get stuck with R2?
Where's my bikini-clad slave Leia?

by inkblob:
You can see here, the Death Ball orbiting the forest moon of Encrab.

and the winning caption of the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary Megapack
(LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary, one launch event T-shirt, one San Diego Comic-Con postcard pack, and a Darth Vader minifigure):

by wyndryder:
That's right, son. Now run up and kick it!

I need mailing addresses for all the winners to send their prize packages, so send your mailing info to:
Many thanks to all who entered and also to DK Publishing for providing prizes!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Caption Contest Deadline

The deadline for caption submissions to the three pictures is 12:00 AM Monday, October 12 Eastern Standard Time. So take a look and drop a line or two!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Caption Photo 3

DSC00133, originally uploaded by jmenomeno.

Here's the last pic to caption - you can choose from one or all of them. Put your caption in the comments and the best one overall will get a LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary Mega Pack, and the next three will get the Mini Pack! Have fun!

Caption Photo 2

DSC00132, originally uploaded by jmenomeno.

Here's the second pic to caption - you can choose from one or all of them. Put your caption in the comments and the best one overall will get a LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary Mega Pack, and the next three will get the Mini Pack! Have fun!

Caption Photo 1

DSC00131, originally uploaded by jmenomeno.

Here's the first pic to caption - you can choose from one or all of them. Put your caption in the comments and the best one overall will get a LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary Mega Pack, and the next three will get the Mini Pack! Have fun!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Of Sets and Contests...

The response from Alfred about his return to building reminds me of a goofy comment I made about a set...

I was asked about the smaller Millenniun Falcon set that came out about a month ago. I bought it when it arrived on the shelf, so a friend wanted a review.

I told him that it was a pretty nice set with a lot of parts for building other stuff. When asked if I liked this set over the Ultimate Collector's version of the Falcon, I quickly answered tha I liked the smaller much better. Why?

It's more swooshable. Really.

On another note, the contest for the Mega and mini packs is going to be a (drum roll)....
wait for it....a CAPTION contest!

I'll be posting pics late tonight, so the idea is to come up with the funniest caption - best one gets the mega prize, and the next best 3 get the mini packs. And yes, I plan to have more than one photo. So see ya soon!

Star Wars: A New Beginnng...

With BrickJournal helping out with the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary launch, it's appropriate to write something about the sets and the phenomenon behind it. Another blog came up with a top ten list of LEGO Star Wars sets. There have been reviews of the book too (I will post one pretty soon), but I decided to give a more personal reflection of what the sets are to me.

When the sets first came out in 1999, I was working at Disney World (Downtown Disney at DisneyQuest). I needed to get a second job to get things financially stable, so I decided to apply for a job at the LEGO Imagination Center. Working at DIsney, it wasn't had to get in at the LIC, and after training, I was placed on play area duty..outside.

One of the benefits, though, was the discount, and the first set I bought there was the first version of the Star Wars X-Wing. The set was grey and had the fighter and a support vehicle. And I opened it and built it outside the store. It was a nice day, and I just found a space in the shade and started building.

After six weeks, I left the LEGO job - it was too hot working outside. But I kept on buying sets, which led me to finding LUGNET and Ebay online, and after that I became an AFOL.

So for me, the Star Wars sets were a new beginning for me. I know that more than a few AFOLs came back to the hobby because of the Star Wars sets which one got you back into building?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Skinny on the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary Launch...

On Saturday, there will be a launch event at 65 locations in the US for the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary. BrickJournal was one of a group of websites and bloggers selected to document and celebrate this event. Thanks to DK Publishing, I have some prizes and contests for you, but they will only happen Saturday, so be online Saturday at noon!

The prizes:

Well, here are the things I get to give away:

1 Mega pack - which is 1 LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary, 1 10/10/09 T-shirt (commemorating the event), 1 postcard pack from San Diego Comic-Con, and 1 Darth Vader minifigure.

3 Minipacks - which each have 1 LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary and 1 10/10/09 T-Shirt.

How do you win these? Hmmm......

Ultimate Collector Spread

Ultimate Collector Spread, originally uploaded by jmenomeno.

Last spread from the Visual Dictionary - now available!

EchoBase Spead

EchoBase Spead, originally uploaded by jmenomeno.

Spread 4 from the Visual Dictionary

Droid Army Spread

Droid Army Spread, originally uploaded by jmenomeno.

Spread 3 from the Star Wars LEGO Visual Dictionary

Death Star Spread

Death Star Spread, originally uploaded by jmenomeno.

Spread 2

BrickJournal's webpage will have a review soon of this book.

Cloud City Spread

Cloud City Spread, originally uploaded by jmenomeno.

Spread 1...

Check out the BrickJournal blog for some contests - more after the pages are uploaded!

LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary Cover

For those in the US, there will be a launch event happening for this book on 10.10.09 - you can go here:

for event sites. From the DK event site:

LEGO STAR WARS: The Visual Dictionary, which was a prominent feature this year at San Diego’s International Comic Con, will be released on October 10th at select stores across more than 65 cities.

Fans can meet and take pictures with the StormTroopers of the 501st Legion and other STAR WARS characters. The public event will include giveaways such as posters, stickers, LEGO product, limited-run LEGO STAR WARS postcard packs, and other freebies.

In the meantime, here are some spreads to look at...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Brickcon Video 1

from Tommy Williamson...

LEGO STAR WARS Visual Dictionary Fun!

Drop by this blog Saturday to get in on the LEGO STAR WARS Visual Dictionary launch, happening at LEGO stores and selected stores! I'll be doing some giveaways and having fun, and hopefully getting some photos from our store here! If you are nowhere near a store, drop by here!

See ya soon!