With Brickshelf.com currently unavailable and speculation still rampant about what this means for the future of the worldwide LEGO fan community, the mass migrations to other image-hosting sites have already begun.
The “Recent Folders” page on Maj.com (owned and operated by the same person who ran Brickshelf) is now full of LEGO. MOCpages now has image-hosting capabilities. Many of my Flickr contacts have upgraded to Pro accounts and have uploaded all their old pictures originally on Brickshelf. There are also several discussions underway to create new, LEGO-specific image-hosting sites.
However, I would strongly caution everybody reading this from making a decision now, without knowing what’s going on with Brickshelf itself. I’m concerned that, without a coordinated effort, premature migrations will result in unnecessary fragmentation of the community.
Perhaps asking this of tens of thousands of people is futile. Nevertheless, please, let’s hold off making any rash decisions until we know all the facts and can come up with some sort of coordinated effort.
EDIT: We now have confirmation that Brickshelf will be gone for good after July 31, 2007. My heartfelt thanks to Kevin Loch for the service he’s provided to the LEGO community over the years, and for giving the LEGO community this opportunity to back up our files and create a historical record of builders who are no longer with us in one way or another. Kevin: Thank you.
A word of caution for everyone, however: I don’t believe that a mass migration to Maj.com would be the right move, given that the same thing could happen there at any time. Personally, I’ve liked Flickr for more than a year and a half, but I understand that many people still want something free (an unfair requirement, I think, given how expensive bandwidth is for such a large quantity of images), they prefer something LEGO-specific (yes, that would be nice), and some people find Flickr to be slow (I’d suggest trying a newer or different Internet browser).
I’ll post something more comprehensive weighing all the image-hosting options tonight, but seeing the two directions people seem to be going already, I would strongly suggest Flickr over Maj. I’m also encouraged by Sean Kenney’s generosity in adding image-hosting to MOCpages, so that may be another alternative to consider. More later…