We want to know what you’d like from your LEGO image-hosting sites

Recent events have put the issue of image hosting in the spotlight. There are a lot of choices out there, from popular sites like Brickshelf and MOCpages to newer sites like MOCShow and BrickImage, and even commercial, non-LEGO sites like Flickr. All of these sites provide an invaluable service to the LEGO fan community – a place to host your images.

The LEGO Ambassadors would like to ask fans for your input on what you would want from your image-hosting site. Questions include:

    What would make for the “ideal” image-hosting site for LEGO fans?
  • What improved services would you like to see on such a site?
  • How much would you be willing to pay for these services, if free image hosting was not an option?

I want to be very clear about this: Asking everyone for feedback isn’t intended to start another debate here on The Brothers Brick about which existing site is better (though I suppose comparisons are inevitable). As fellow LEGO fans, those of us who are Ambassadors are simply asking you for your thoughts and ideas about the viewing and showcasing of your LEGO creations.

Unlike many of the other ideas and opinions I hear from you, I won’t be forwarding these ideas to The LEGO Group, who have publicly and clearly stated that they will not own nor run such a service. However, your comments will be available on this post for others in the community to view, and hopefully use, in building and improving image hosting Web sites.

Andrew Becraft
LEGO Ambassador

EDIT: *bump*

17 comments on “We want to know what you’d like from your LEGO image-hosting sites

  1. Rafael

    I like about everything, I wish there were a little more posts, but we can’t always be happy, can we? BTW, I *love* StarWars and Medieval sets, I grew up with them… ^^

  2. David

    One that we can trust and isn’t run by someone who acted like a 5 year old when times get tuff.

    And a yearly plan is better than a monthly one. Something like $20-$25 a year depending on what there is.

  3. Lord_Of_The_LEGO

    David, let me repeat Andrew’s request:

    “Asking everyone for feedback isn’t intended to start another debate here on The Brothers Brick about which existing site is better.”

    As for me, I guess all I can say is the ideal LEGO image hosting site would be Flickr…with only LEGO images.

    Hey, it could be called Brickr! ;)

  4. Dover

    Lego only is a big draw for me. If I wanted to see cats and family vacation pictures, I would look for them someplace else.

    I’d say brickshelf was great, but could be highly improved upon. Adding a comment, and even better, a Flickr style note feature would be top on my list.

    I would also like to see a mail feature as well as a favourite or ratings feature. A (slightly) hipper interface might be nice too.

    In other words, take the simplicity, and Lego exclusivity, of brickshelf and sprinkle a little bit of Flickr on it.

  5. Roger

    Features I’d like to see in a ‘perfect world’ LEGO picture hosting site: 1. Customizable personal profile which would include: Exclusion tags (example:click the bionicle exclusion button, don’t see folders labeled as bionicle , or train, or whatever); Favorite builders list that would alert me on the home page when I visited that they had new pictures. 2. Comments available per folder if not per pic, ability to turn comments off on own pictures as well as hide comments on other’s pictures when browsing. 3. Free to use and peruse, banner ads but no pop-ups preferably. 4. Anonymous moderation of folders by a volunteer team, user ability to contest, team members should be able to warn/suspend and permanently ban frequent abusers. 5. Private messaging to fellow users. 6. Image dimension restrictions coupled with a clean and fast browsing interface. 7. Inability to hot-link hosted images elsewhere, there are plenty of free services to do this for posting on forums, which would help keep it free by saving bandwidth. Imageshack and personal ftp’s are enough for the half dozen art forums I visit for those members to continually post pictures without the need for an ‘artshelf’. Bloggers can just as easily host the images on their blog without the need to hotlink. LEGO online sellers can buy webspace for their images, it’s very cheap, around $4/month, no need to use the bandwidth of my imaginary LEGO picture hosting site.
    Thanks for asking, sorry I got so wordy, but it’s been on my mind since the brickshelf fiasco.

  6. RichardAM

    I think something like the notion of Brickshelf mixed with added Web 2.0 features would be fantastic.

    As such, different sizes, folders for individual creations, the ability to edit the upload at any time, room for descriptions, slideshow function, a specialised integrated forum/chatroom of sorts. Brickshelf was okay, but how about actually incorporating a community into the site with the ability to comment, review etc- perhaps there could be a blog eature of the site which highlights and reviews particular MOCs and builders?

    As I work money wouldn’t be an issue for subscription (to a logical extent obviously), but certainly because Lego is a universal draw- maybe different priceplans could be available? Or indeed, the whole site could be AFOL only?

  7. Ethan

    Honestly? Brickshelf with a more flexible folder system. The Flickr setup (notes and comments) isn’t ideal for me, I just want a place where I can see other people’s MOCs and for people to see my MOCs and hopefully be inspired.

    Only-LEGO for sure.

  8. Sibley

    Folder hierarchy structure like Brickshelf.

    The ability to post comments and notes like Flickr, and the ability to turn this feature off or allow self-moderation for your own pictures. Possibly rating as well.

    The ability to edit and move folders and move pictures without them showing up again in Recent Uploads

    Oh yeah, recent uploads page like Brickshelf.

    Search for folders and members, like Brickshelf has had occasionally.

    I guess LEGO-only would be nice.

    More strictly enforced use of tags.

    Ban large types of image files like BMP, and set a maximum image size.

    Allow certain non-image file types like Ldraw files.

    Price would have to be no more than $25 (US) per year, or else I’d just use Flickr instead.

  9. Fred

    Despite all that’s happened I continue to feel like Brickshelf has it right. It’s simple, open and non biased. The lack of commenting frees us to our own opinion. Blogs like this one or any other are then free to link and comment in whatever way they prefer, effectively filtering the content to any given audience.

    Without passing judgment on the current administration, I would feel much ‘safer’ if the community took ownership of the site. 5$ a month is fine by me compared to the investment I already put into Lego. I’m concerned that I have not seen the membership plan implemented yet or any recent news of it’s status.

  10. Jordan

    I don’t like the thought of having comments on a brickshelf-like site… we have discussion forums and flickr for that sort of thing. Brickshelf is just a plain old archive, like Fred says, for the sheer purpose of viewing.

  11. Craig

    One that is quick and regular accounts are free, no ads…um… One that when you search up something broad, it would narrow it down to different sections, ex:

    You search up “Mecha”
    It would give you these groups:

    Transport Mecha
    War Mecha
    Industral Mecha

    Like I heard, a mix between flickr and bs would be good…

  12. xlm

    while I’m the enemy of user comments on basic brickshelf-like site, it definitely needs a way to contact contributor – Personal Message thingy comes to my mind. Because: who wouldn’t like to inform somebody that he features his work on some legoblog ( or be informed of being featured, though )

  13. surfininsf

    Heavier hacking guard; I was decimated.

    I’d like custom user pictures instead of the same old “Freestyle” fig. Users should also be able to comment on the work.

  14. Robert F.

    My biggest problem is that sites like Flikr are blocked in most corporate proxies. That makes sites like Brothers Brick virtually worthless when I’m at work.

    Sites NOT known for also hosting photos of the human form tend to not be blocked by corporate proxies.

    Hopefully Lego fans realize how they limit their exposure by choosing an image hosting service that often gets blocked.

  15. Johan

    GFXartist.com is a site that I like a lot and that works kind of the way you describe (those of you that like the idea of comments, anyway). The images are divided into not too many main categories, so you can browse either by category or by user. There are per image user-moderated comments as well as personal messages and personal blog (optional). One thing that a LEGO-like site of that kind would need though is the folder based structure for sorting the images.

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