During the hiatus I gave some serious thought to the topic of how to improve the blog in order to both maximize the satisfaction I get out of writing about Lego and maximize the entertainment value for you, the constant reader. From the beginning I’ve been writing for an audience of builders, I don’t really care about the sort of boilerplate reader who indiscriminately devours nerd culture and loves the Big Bang Theory. The Manifesto is for the hardcore, the people who do more than just idly consume the product of our benevolent Danish overlords. With that in mind, lets talk about one topic that came up time and again when I thought about the blog, the proverbial meat and potatoes of Lego bloggery, the model spotlight. Since the dawn of the hobby as we enjoy it today, blogs have traditionally focused on two things: new product information and giving a digital high-five to the builders who make compelling models. The Manifesto doesn’t have the access or interest to comment on new product, that kind of news is better delivered and discussed elsewhere. I cut my teeth doing nothing but model spotlights on TBB and I continued the tradition here during the first run, but I’ve begun to question its value.
Before we go any further I’d like to give credit to up and coming builder Tammo S. who recently posted this striking pair of spotlights that I can imagine several delightful uses for. Each one could easily be the starting point or even centerpiece for a diorama, and I like how they are highly detailed without being busy. You can’t go wrong with a little functionality either, although I find the gold one to be the more appealing of the two. So check out Tammo’s work if you get the chance, I think he’s on his way to bigger and better things so you might as well find your seat on the bandwagon early.
I’m not sure how much value the concept of the ‘MOC Spotlight‘ has for this blog in particular, at least in the traditional sense of harvesting the best recent Lego models and giving them adulation. Let’s take Tyler Clites for example. I’ve met the guy in person, I’ve collaborated with him and I’d put him up there with the best our hobby has to offer regardless of genre both as a builder and a decent human being. All that said, I’m not sure how much value there is in posting Tyler’s latest model. By the time you read my glowing opinion of his nearly immaculate creation you’ve already seen it in your Flickrstream, Facebook feed, Instagram and two or three of the big blogs. I’ll do it here, since I’m talking about him, and it really is a kick-ass ship with an amazing interior but does it benefit anyone if I echo what you already know and has already been said five times over? Does a guy like Tyler really need an ego bump, when everyone acknowledges his greatness already? He’s already got a billion followers, favorites and comments. I know he deserves them all but is it actually pushing the hobby forward or encouraging new or young builders? I’m not so sure.
So if I’m not that excited about posting the Top 40 hottest models, should I drop the concept entirely from the blog and stick to the other features you see in the sidebar? Or should I focus on blogging lesser known builders who are not “ready for prime time” and give them the spotlight and in a best case scenario…meaningful critique from the commentariat here on the Manifesto? With the diminished pace and output of the blog it seems difficult to do both. Maybe you favor some other approach entirely, as always, I’m ready to hear you in the comment section.
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