MOCpages, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Firetrucks

It is my great pleasure to hand over the airwaves to friend of the blog, matt rowntRee, who has graciously agreed (after a great deal of cajoling and mocking) to share his wisdom on the current state of MOCpages.  With any luck this will not be his last article for the Manifesto, but for now lean back and enjoy matt’s take on a topic that has been burning up the comments section.

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First off, let me welcome you aboard the cruise ship here, pay no attention to the hole.  Or the slight tilt.  But the band is playing down on the Lido deck and we’re still serving drinks, albeit without alcohol much to Lloyd’s displeasure.

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But that’s so we can include the kids in our little voyage.  I mean, why would you NOT want to include them unless you’re admitting that you’re a godless pornographer looking to destroy impressionable young minds.  Is that what you want, sicko?  Is that why you’re here reading this drivel knowing full well who wrote it?  Is that why you are morbidly curious about this “fine” vessel?  Is that why the Shirley Temple you just ordered tastes like Kool-Aid with a hint of almonds?  Yes, remember folks that on this voyage we have to take into account the fragile minds of children.

(That one’s just for you Keith.  😉 )

Sound fun, constant reader?  But wait, there’s more!

Here are your monogrammed towel and rose colored glasses because our only port of call is a fine little island that goes by the nickname Castle Rock.  There you’ll find such wonders as a pigs head on a pointy stick with flies buzzing around it, a young man that talks to it, several tribes at war over a pair of glasses, and one boy named Piggy wearing a boulder for a hat.  Don’t worry if he doesn’t feel like talking, he’s just dead.  At the end of our time there, we will have ourselves a glorious little bonfire which may attract some curious soldiers on a transport to wonder how these children could become so feral and violent.  Don’t mind the warship, it’s only irony.

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You want an update on Mocpages?  Curious as to what’s going on there?  Want the latest scuttlebutt about a site where I can’t say “scuttlebutt”?  Wondering why someone that you, constant reader, here know to be zealous about artistic freedom would have some insight as to the social experiment that takes “LEGO Dark Ages” literally?

Well, you’ve come to the right place then!

But as with all things on Mocpages, I am the man to ask only by default.  All the lifeboats were filled and most everyone rowed to bigger, brighter, less sinking sites.  Good for every one of them!  You as well, constant reader, if for some reason you find yourself to be included in that wave of saved souls.  However, I have to ask why you left.  Was it the glitches like the INactivity bar?  Was it the comical Bonk, Smash, Thud-ism prevalent during contests with timeframes?  Was it the uploader that never ever EVER works, even though it does?  Was it technical, or was it something else?

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You see, constant reader, I have to tell you honestly that I don’t believe you when you say that it was technical issues for one reason:  They really only exist as minor annoyances.  Does Mocpages need upgrades?  Abso-fucking-lutely!  Without any doubt, the site is stuck in 2002, and it painfully shows its age.  It’s why many rowed their way to Sweden Flickr and Facebook.  At least that seems to be what they have said when asked, as if being courteous and non-confrontational, respectful and mindful of other points of view as if avoiding any sort of boat rocking on this unsinkable vessel.  The problem is that those sights are not Mocpages, that perfectly suited page set up ripe for conversation and display, that hive of active groups engaging in contests and community, that premier site devoted to the one single bond shared by every one of us:  Sharing our LEGO creations.  Hell, that’s even the motto at the top of the page there!  So what is it that made you flee a sinking ship?  Was it even sinking?  Had it hit the iceberg just yet or is it still blissfully full steam ahead?  If Mocpages is archaic, slow, and technically annoying, then why does anyone care?

I have the answer to that as well.

It’s simply perfect.  And you all want it to work.  It’s beautifuuuullll!

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But just like Pantera’s Box it cannot be closed.  We have all seen that Mocpages is the best platform for what the community needs and wants.  However, it is broken.  Well, sort of.  Not really, but it has issues.  Fixable, but seeing that everyone has pretty much left the liner, there is little reason to patch the hole that doesn’t seem to be taking in any more water, if it even was in the first place.  No ballast, no hole below the waterline.  Or I may simply be imposing my bias towards the pages there as they better suit my own style of building, a concession I would readily admit.  But something as open to all styles like that should by design be open to evolving and expanding, welcoming all manner of expression to freely converse and hopefully improve.  Again, I would freely confess that my expectations are far greater than actualities.  But as Keith’s art school girlfriend, I think they should be.

Now I think it’s time for a bit of updating as you all have been patiently and anxiously awaiting, likely begging even with baited breath no less.  That nervous tick of frustration compels you to know, like ripe fruit in front of you.  So close.  So very close.  Or you are just simply bored going through your daily routine in the morning before setting off to your job and want me to get to the damn point because you have some shit to say about Mocpages and this jerk keeps yammering.  (Don’t worry, I know that answer too.)

So, are you ready?

Are you sure?

Then in the immortal words of Herb Tarlek, “Mmmmmokayfine.”

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Nothing has changed.

Yes, you heard right, folks, and you heard it here first!  Not a goddamned thing has changed with Mocpages!  Still the same old glitches, still the same old uploader, still the same old spectacular cast of dozens (except of course those that are rowing vigorously), still the same castaways on their little island nations looking for power with Piggy’s spectacles regardless of who broke the conch shell (c’mon guys, read your classics!), still the same rose colored glasses, still the same man behind the curtain (shhhh, don’t wake him), still the same Pandora’s Box open to the world, and still the same rowntRee fighting the only causes worth fighting for, lost ones.

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(God, I hate that sappy movie.)

Is it sad to know that Pandora’s Box actually gives us all a bit of hope?  Yup, I can see it’s still at the bottom of the Box there.  And it’s why I haven’t completely jumped ship.  I have been over there for actually five years now (had to look it up) and have been riding the meteoric decline since.  The great exodus was right in front of me and I still saw that the site was worth the effort of sticking around (Surf Chernobyl!)  And over the past couple years, there has been a revival of voices (the remaining ones, that is) that have all but demanded that Sean wake up and fix the technical issues.  The hope is still there and I even have proof!  We started a group where we could gather ideas and suggestions (hence the name) to present to Kelso to present to Sean, all done in the hope that Mocpages was worth saving.  There were some great ideas fleshed out into feasible positives and a host of easy changes to operations that could be tasty and attractive.  Even for Sean!  Yes, we took into account that it had to appeal to him rather than be a whine fest of MP denizens demanding more now.

Well, Sean rolled over a bit.  And then promptly went back to sleep.  Apologies, Mr. Kenney for disturbing you, we’ll genuflect softer next time.

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Actual changes can be summed up easily with LukeClarenceVan the Revanchist (Lachlan Toal) and Chris Roach being made site wide moderators to help Mark “I’m pulling out my hair with all this bullshit” Kelso and Chris “I’d pull out my hair if I had the time” Phipson.

So, four people now occupy the prestigious position of Mocpages moderator.  They have all been granted complete power to enact changes and control issues, they can step in and take action under any circumstance to affect results in Sean’s absence, and they can repair all the technical problems as Sean has granted them full access to do so as necessary.  Okay, all that was complete bullshit as it is just four mods left to clean up the mess that opening the Box created.

There is only one other change of note.  The occupancy/activity has been reduced from over twenty pages (28 mocs each) when I joined to what is now four pages at best.  And most of them are filled with, yep, you guessed it, firetrucks.  Yes, you know your site is doomed when firetrucks invade the homepage.  I’m pretty sure it’s one of the signs of the apocalypse, the eighth seal perhaps, real wrath of god type stuff.

So where does that leave us, constant reader?  Because if you’re really interested in what’s going on over at a FREE website, then why aren’t you over there interested?  You all know it not to be LUGNET, it obviously was more than an exclusive sounding board and offered pics to share.  You know it wasn’t Brickshelf, it allowed more depth than a simple photo dump.  It was the best of both worlds; Flickr became the clubhouse by default.  But why is that?

My experience on Mocpages was tame by most standards and I’m not compooter savvy enough to know otherwise; it likely afforded me a bit of wiggle room when throwing in some sound reasoning to any argument.  It still however did not prevent me from getting booted out of a group there for pointing out their bias.  But I know that Vitreolum and Bricks Noir have both been “chase(d)…round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before (they’ve been given) up!”  Seriously guys, read the classics, but if you insist:

So that’s it.  All that is going on over at Mocpages is the same.  And it’s been the same over the past fifteen years.  And it’ll be the same over the next.  So, you want to know more?  Then get over there.  If everyone’s so curious, then go check it out.  But the only thing that really has changed in all the years is that everyone left.  For whatever reason, no one stays.  Blame Sean, he’s certainly culpable in letting it fall into ruins.  Blame the bands of roving mobs dictating policy based on their juvenile sensibilities, they are definitely the loudest voices since no one else there is speaking, let alone against them.  Blame me for trying more indirect approaches after seeing that kicking down the front door only let more flies in to swirl around the rotting pig’s head.  But if you’re not there actively engaging, then I’m not sure how anything I say will be enlightening.  There are no more players and there is no game, the lights are on but there’s no one home.

I tried.

I tried here as well, constant reader.  I was tasked with writing an article about Mocpages, but I’m afraid that although I have a unique insight, there just simply isn’t anything worth writing about.  Gertrude Stein would call it the Oakland of the interwebs, there’s no there there.  I am not one to call to arms and go fight the fight as I don’t see anything there worth fighting for.  Lost causes are one thing; Mocpages has simply devolved into a mob ruled monarchy.  And no matter how many moderators are put in charge, it’ll remain that way until Sean is out of the picture.

Or we take it back.  I mean what can they do?  Kick us out of a site we aren’t really on in the first place and certainly one we’ve been forced to not care about.  But for some strange reason, we still do.  And out of my own morbid curiosity, I am wondering why everyone will not give it a second glance.  For academic reasons, I want to know that if all the technical issues were fixed then is it possible for a migration back there.  Would the prodigal community be welcome by the locals?  Is a new uploader, all shiny and chrome, important enough for anyone to go back?  It seems to me that we’ve all adapted to Flickr relatively well, would adapting to Mocpages be out of the question?  If so, why?  We all seem to harbor fond memories of the old gal.  Yeah, on occasion she can be a bitch, but there was in fact something there that isn’t anymore.  Maybe it’s just us that aren’t there anymore.  And if it is more Mobpages than Mocpages, maybe it’s just the wrong mob.  Have we all been on that cruise long enough and are just simply sick of shrimp and Shirley Temples?  Should we just wish it a fond bon voyage from our own island?

As I said, constant reader, I am not one to call to arms.  But there she sits; same old Mocpages where nothing has changed.  But now you have an article telling you not only something you already knew but also absolutely nothing worth reading and somewhat indicting in its tone.  Apologies and you’re welcome.  Will any curiosity drive you to take Mocpages back or is the ease and features of Flickr enough?  Is community there at all appealing in comparison to community on Flickr?  Is there an obligation to one over the other?  Is there any hint of responsibility to this medium that compels you to help the next batch of builders to not make the same mistakes we all did?  Anyone else just simply enjoy a good fight?  Is matt going to relent with all these fucking questions?

Just one more:  Is Mocpages worth starting the fire of revolt over or is simply setting it ablaze the best option?

Either way, thankfully there are enough firetrucks to prevent it from getting out of hand.

21 thoughts on “MOCpages, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Firetrucks

  1. I liken MOCPages to the Linux platform. There are people claim that it is superior, yet hardly anyone uses it… I think the platform choice really boils down to getting quality interactions out of the community, and that all depends on where the cool people decide to hang out (… the comments section of the Manifesto?).

    Want a 10 year ago flashback? Take a look at this piece of crap MOC from April 2007, with the even crappier photos.
    http://www.moc-pages.com/moc.php/29922

    This is the evidence that I dabbled with MOC pages many moons ago, before leaving to where the rest of the community was going. What were the reasons for heading to flickr? Pretty simple I think:
    – People needed to store there images somewhere prior to linking them on Lugnet, Classic Space, or elsewhere. The old choice was low-res Brickshelf. Flickr was the new kid that offered hi-res goodness, and…
    – It also offered NOTES!!! This was uber cool, and you could really could hone in on what areas of the MOC’s were either NPU, or “have you tried this instead?”. It really drove critiques above and beyond the boilerplate… at least at first…
    – All this lead to interaction right at the image storage location. So why bother reposting to other areas? It became redundant.
    – On MOC pages, everything was getting 5-fig head ratings back then (and probably still is). Any comments also seemed to finally come about a week later after you posted it too… and then at random monthly intervals.
    – The highlighted MOC’s on the front page many times were iffy. Tried to use it to find cool builds, but it was like everyone’s MOCs were being placed on the refrigerator door, and it ended up being a mess of old expired coupons, etc.

    So even with the focus for current users being on “technology”, I don’t think that will help it from going Sears/K-mart. Think it really boils down to sticking with the all-in-one place for image hosting, note adding, and commentary… and where your tribe is hanging out.

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    1. “– The highlighted MOC’s on the front page many times were iffy. Tried to use it to find cool builds, but it was like everyone’s MOCs were being placed on the refrigerator door, and it ended up being a mess of old expired coupons, etc. ”

      Sean’s laziness is matched only by his genius. Everything there on the homepage is generated randomly so he doesn’t have to lift a finger. The end result is a crap shoot Crayolia Refrigeratum that caters to everyone which caters to no one. Inspiration and expression is few, far between, and fleeting. And when auto-moderation prevents any discourse that may be misunderstood as merely constructive rather than demoralizing or controversial among the fragile lil’ tykes, enforced by the volunteer police state of the vocal minority, and ignored/encouraged by nothing more than a mall cop (What are you doing?! Carry on.) I don’t see how anyone with half a brain could stay, outside the appeal of the page format and story telling/comic book type set up.

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  2. MOCpages had /has the best format for sharing MOCs and ideas.

    Format mind you. Like, the way stuff actually looks on the screen. Comments, yellow heads, pictures, and activity ticker… all really good features.

    But… it’s broken… a lot of the time. And… getting your stuff onto that screen is prohibitively difficult.

    And that sucks… and so everybody shuffles off to Buffalo.

    Matt, you gave this topic a pretty good run for it’s money in this article. I would have liked to see a tiny bit more FACT, and a tiny bit less STYLE… (I know… this is Pot calling Kettle… Pot calling Kettle… come in Kettle) but I give this article solid marks man. This topic is deceptively difficult to discuss man! Should be pretty straight forward… but it’s not.

    After looking at MOCpages for any length of time, the number of questions that arise, and the fact that only Mr. Kenny can answer them sort of brings the whole analysis to a grinding halt. Why this? Why that? Why not fix this or that? What cost? Why not allow? All the serious questions end at the door marked “Mr. Kenny. Owner.”

    Nobody he has empowered to see to the myriad daily headaches on the site has the knowledge to comment intelligently on Kenny’s motives, goals, or likely actions. It’s just a blind ally. And really… that blind ally is where the entire deal stops. No answers, no messages, no forecasts, no nada. It’s frustrating… but it is also the way it is.

    Without Mr. Kenny’s input, without some kind of input from him (and I’m pretty sure it’s him alone) there just can not be anything more than this sort of Ouija Board meets tea leave style speculation.

    Good picture choice as well! I was especially delighted with the pic from Catch 22. Good shite man.

    Attack!

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    1. I think you nailed the issue I had in writing any article about MP, and everyone’s apprehension in doing the same. We are all simply several steps removed from the source. The unfortunate result is that the primary source, Sean, is neither able to defend, explain, or otherwise contribute anything factual or vital to any conversation or discussion. This does nothing to help him in any of our eyes, and any divide initially formed is widened. The first goal in our MP group was to get confirmation that Sean was willing to partake. Nothing. Other than Luke and Chris being made mods. Outside that, there was, is, and will likely be nothing. There are really no facts in play other than experiential data, and that is always biased. And what I see is a potentially brilliant place to share mocs and build community, but it is pissed away in favor of a few whiny shits and their over-glorified, self important, arrogant moral code. As Shannon Young said, Sean kowtowed to the insignificant few that screamed the loudest. Hopefully it might be mentioned in the site’s eulogy.

      And I think Yossarian clicks with most of us on some level just in the pure absurdity of this silliness called life with Lego.

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  3. Seeing as I joined mp while it was already a shipwreck, there’s not much I can say about it. But that didn’t stop me from seeing the potential. So as long as the site stands, I’ll be there to dump at least my better builds (and the ones the natives love so dearly). And I’ll be there looking forward for more mocathlon/olympics fun, which was always a treat.

    Thanks for nailing the lord of the flies – homeschooled zealots connection permanently in mind mind.

    Firetrucks über alles!

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    1. You’ve taken some serious heat from those zealots and I actually commend you for staying. I always felt that you do it out of spite. I approve. 😉

      You and I both see the potential, as I’m sure a lot do, and coming in late to the game affords us a unique perspective of the sinking ship. I’m just not sure anymore if it’s worth it. I for one am tired of bailing water when the captain seems to have rowed away.

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  4. This is one awesome article Matt, and I reckon you nailed what many have been thinking about the site. For me, the main reason I’ve stuck around is because the pages simply suit my style of building, that being story-telling. I’ve obviously made the jump to Flickr too, but for me the format of only sharing one photo at a time just isn’t great for twenty minute long novels that my MOC’s generally fall into.

    But alas, as many others have said, the site has its issues. A lot of it leads back to Sean, some of it leads back to the zealots that attack anything that they disagree with and the lack of community (and therefore activity) has stilled a lot of the growth that could be had.

    But I’ve stuck around for long enough now, and don’t think I’ll be leaving anytime soon. Heck, it was thanks to MP that I even found out about the wider community, and got to know you fine fellas (as far as online interaction is concerned).

    So yeah, I’ll stick around. Hopefully others do as well.

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    1. Your story of MP birth into the community at large is identical to mine. In fact, I think we both can cite Keith and Mike as well as Decisive Action as being the real smack to the back of the head to open our eyes. I’ll throw in Tim Clark, DAS, David Roberts, and VLUG as well. In fact, with all the cronies in the Private Group, the whole idea of MP and growth still exists and is encouraged although it runs quiet very often. I’m good with that knowing I can pick up any convo instantaneously as if the months in between never existed. The setting drifted to Flickr though to allow me and everyone to speak normally. And by that I don’t mean to cuss as was argued with full retardation engaged at maximum in the MP Help Group. But we moved there as a platform to hone what we did before using Mocpages as “the show.” The show is no longer there and the audience doesn’t appreciate it anyways.

      And that ends up being the ultimate issue with the zealots; no matter how many facts or expressed opinions you throw at them, they are adamant about not listening. They form these inane mores into doctrine and dogma, and somehow they get everyone in their circle to conform to their belief without question. Beliefs by definition can never change. If they do, then they weren’t beliefs in the first place but ideas instead. Ideas are much better, they don’t require enforcement on any level or blind devotion.

      Considering that realization is itself therapeutic, I have little faith that many there especially Sean will ever realize the full potential and the hazards they have released. And giving Sean the information does NOT make it knowledge; if he has the knowledge, it does NOT follow that he has the wisdom. And shit usually flows downhill, the mods are crippled and the community doesn’t care. MP sinks. We can all beat the dead horse of Sean not caring until days’ end but it won’t elevate the site to what it can and has yet to be. It’s so beyond frustrating to see it wallow there.

      I will always stay on MP, I just cannot leave. I think it is a toss up as to whether my motives are the hope of it recovering and growing into the potential it has yet to realize or pure spite to shit in the cornflakes of every zealot out there. I think I lean 55% towards the latter. 😉 I’ve noticed a massive change in how I post there: In and out. I’ve forgone the story aspect that something like the Insurgency caters to as well as my own style (for fuck’s sake, I’m writing a damn novel based on a build, I’d like to share it and I am unconvinced that MP is the place to do so.) I think I will hold my breath for Pascal to win the German lottery and build a MP without Sean over Sean actually fixing what’s already there.

      Thanks Wolff, always great to hear from a youthful perspective that has reasoning (and poetry) behind it.

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      1. All good mate! Glad my two cents are worth something 😀

        And yes, I do appreciate your posts when the zealots attack. Honestly, sometimes they annoy me more than others due to my own (Christian) beliefs and how hypocritical their arguments are. Anyone who brings the Messiah into an argument forgets one of his biggest teaches, that of ‘loving they neighbor as thyself.’ Cherry-picking at it’s finest.

        Me, I personally don’t swear, don’t drink, don’t smoke… heh, you’ll probably think I’m a bit boring now. But I have the common sense to recognize that whatever I believe in isn’t shared by everyone. As you say, beliefs can’t be changed, and people bringing belief into arguments like it’s some kind of awe-inspiring power will generally leave little affect on someone else. Again, ideas are better for persuasive arguments (especially when a website’s community is concerned), as they can be argued with, be reinforced by facts, numbers, stats etc.

        Honestly, I think you covered it pretty well when you said the community doesn’t care, as Sean himself has been reluctant to do. I’m sure Sean is a great guy, but without his needed hand in basically anything anymore, as you say, the site wallows. And I hate it sitting there as well.

        Still, Pascal’s site it looking good. I look forward to seeing this novel of yours in it’s fullest. Who knows, maybe there’s a Pulitzer waiting in the wings for the AFOL with ruined hands out there XD

        Cheers mate. Your praise means more than you know. Glad to see my 18(ish) years of life haven’t been wasted thus far…

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  5. I’ll echo what Ted said about the rise of Flickr. Notes were huge, to the point of people being up in arms at their removal which still wasn’t enough to make a significant amount of people migrate elsewhere. There was some talk of an exodus to Ipernity, but it never amounted to anything. People just got used to a world without notes and now that they’re back it’s a non-issue. For us all to up and move to another site, there’s gonna have to be some major advantages over Flickr. There’s the full version of Brickly on the horizon, but honestly I’m not in favor of a Lego-specific site for sharing MOCs. Part of what’s great about Flickr is that I can see concept sketches or the other mediums builders dabble in, or even follow artists from those other mediums. MOCPages lets you include multiple images on one post, which is no doubt great for keeping all the discussion in one place, but that’s about it. I would argue that the comments section sucks on both MP and Flickr because it’s such a pain to scroll up and down to keep track of who’s responding to who. My ideal site would offer full-res uploading and sharing, notes, gallery-like posts, nesting comment threads, groups that are easier to navigate and keep track of, and isn’t exclusive to Lego. Flickr only ticks three of those, MOCPages two. But if we get something that does four or five I think we might be in business.

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    1. Yup, I’m sold as well. I think that it’s a beautiful wish list especially for the Lego community. Not being exclusively Lego has way more appeal with me than you think. I’ve built and have many designs for creating works in other media that use the Lego brick’s iconic form. Albeit, they are abstract but very respectful. I would love to find a place where I would be able to bounce ideas and get critical feedback with like minds that understand the simple form and the loaded nostalgia and potential. I would also like to explore other avenues that are not necessarily flattering to Lego but play on those same ideas and ideals, almost critical in themselves. I would be able to do that on Flickr, but not on Mocpages. Just ask Bricks Noir and Vitreolum when they post something that drifts into a nude representation. Oh, the shitstorms you’ll see! Actually, I find them delightfully entertaining when I hit Flickr first in the AM and see a nude from Bricks, I may actually salivate a bit knowing what’s coming on MP. 😉

      That would be my ultimate site inclusion, a primarily Lego focused theme with a directory perhaps for other artwork and certainly more adult/mature content. This would never happen on MP for the sole reason of the moderation and the filters all being cranked up to 11, which may or may not be the age limit of thought involved there. The saddest part of that is those people, like Millie McKenzie (Leda Kat) feel self excommunicated from the community because they are just burned out on Lego. They still have that itch they must scratch, but the medium of choice for them is no longer ABS. But they still need the community they built a trust in; no point in reinventing the wheel every time someone wants to try something new. Mocpages won’t allow it and that sickens me to write.

      The technical wishes are complex as always but ultimately a doable thing, even for Mocpages. Forging a community into an open and fully sharing one is the true test of a successful site. Flickr tends to wander about with pockets here and there, but there is no central hub from which they all branch out. It’s one end of the gamut that I feel doesn’t work well by being noninclusive (not exclusive.) Mocpages at the other end is a hub but it is set up and run exclusively in favor of being a children’s site with no possibility for expansion and growth into maturity. Hence the four explore pages filled with clones on plates, awsum clones fighting on plates, the same damn castles, clones on bigger plates, clones fighting in a castle on a plate, and my personal favorite, firetrucks. I’m fine with those builds being an outlet for the youthful even though they do tend to burn my retinas. I wouldn’t want those to be excluded from that hub but the fact that the stuff I want to see is, doesn’t help any community flourish.

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  6. Apologies for taking so long to respond to this article my friend, especially after I badgered you so vigorously to do so. The reason is pretty simple: although i enjoyed the piece and the humorous photos and clips, the content is ultimately depressing to me. The article (like MOCpages) doesn’t really go anywhere. I’m reminded of the death of Kingsley Zissou.

    You admit as much near the end of the article, but I guess I was hoping for some greater “insider” wisdom. I’ve been gone from the site and it’s politics for so long that I thought there must be something new to learn. I was hoping for some spark of optimism, that change was possible and I was also hoping that you’d have a quote from Kenney or even Phipson that might offer some explanation for the ongoing state of affairs then. As I’ve said before elsewhere on this site, until the Manifesto, my best memories of the online communitay mostly reside in the salad days of MOCPages, everything before or since has seemed disappointing by comparison. Did you reach out to anyone for a quote? I know Kenney still deigns to comment on various platforms but he never addresses the issue at hand, and he never seems pressed to do so. Or perhaps he’s immune to such pressure. The fundamental question remains…why won’t he fix it or let it die? Along with some other questions like does it generate enough ad revenue to cover the operating costs, and how many active users remain.

    One question you can answer is this: how long will you stay?

    Like Pascal, if I had enough cash to burn, I’d pay someone to create a clone site (with a few upgrades) and keep it going. We don’t have a lottery here in Vegas but maybe I’ll get lucky at the tables one night.

    Nevertheless, if nothing else I love this article for the title alone, thanks for writing the article. I’m sure it was as frustrating to write as it was to read.

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    1. In actuality, thanks for the opportunity to write it. If anything it was somewhat cathartic in revealing that it was essentially hopeless. Sounds depressing on every level, doesn’t it? Not really. It WAS a great place and that shouldn’t be forgotten. I think what made it great was all the builders there that have since left. Fighting for that is futile, reliving glory days is pointless. We all grow and evolve and expand and Mocpages cannot provide for that and Sean will not provide for that. I did reach out mildly to him; however, I admit that my effort was minimal at best. Call it experience to that end as he has yet to say a single word on the site in years, even his own posts in response to direct questions not even regarding MP. I cannot see him speaking outside self promotion, and that’s fine. It won’t help his creation though.

      As for an insider’s view, all I can say is that it cannot be insightful given that everything is already known. When nothing changes, outcomes are very predictable. And speculating about revenue or intentions is all we can do. Asking the mods for insight, I hate to say, is actually more depressing as they are kept in the dark as much as we are. They’re however left holding the mop to a site that is in decay. And I find that to be the worst part of all because it is indicative of everyone who is willing and able to make MP an adaptive site for the Lego community’s needs versus the unwillingness of Sean to let it go that way or just let it go.

      But again, this is not anything new, and it is definitely why writing about it or talking about it always gets frustrating for everyone. I’m sure Sean is tired of being badgered by people about it and even badmouthed regarding it. I know that I have been very critical as of late in that respect. But now it just exists as an archive. What was once THE hub of activity is now a derelict library with leaks in the roof and people shushing you. How long I intend to stay is hard to say. However, if I get the time to archive all my builds from there to another site, I could walk away without any regrets. Only memories of a great place.

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      1. The fact that Kenney hasn’t said a word on the Pages in years speaks volumes about his character and attitude towards the people who use his site. What a shame. I think he deserves his share of badmouthing, since it’s all very avoidable…just make a statement dude, even if it is to say “Fuck off losers, it’s my site and I’ll do what I like with it.” Although that’s essentially what he’s saying without speaking a word. Well, you’re the most connected dude I know when it comes to this issue, so please update the article if anything happens. You should consider emailing him a link to this article. I still see him pop up here and there to comment on unrelated things, so maybe he’ll at least read it.

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      2. I would respect a simple, “Fuck off” from him; this silent treatment is completely unwarranted. And baffling on a galactic scale. We are a captive audience, promote yourself and make the sale in the least bit. And if he’s done with the site, then he needs to turn it over to someone willing to carry it on further. I would be more than happy for him to engage in the discussion here, it would be more than on the site he seems to have no care for or pride in. Emailing him is a dead end, so if anyone else knows of a means to communicate with the great and powerful Oz, I’d be up for that.

        I’ll keep my ear to the grindstone (o.O) and update the article if there are any changes. I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath for part 2 any time soon though.

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      3. I have a minor update regarding Mocpages:

        The word “terrible” is now automatically moderated.

        That is all.

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  7. Godammit matt! The first thing I think of doing for the Manifesto contest and you’ve already done it, and far more eloquently… Like you, I stick around MP as I still prefer it to Flickr (which I haven’t been able to log into for months, thanks Yahoo), I even sometimes comment on the firetrucks (!)

    I wish Chris and Luke well in their new roles; Luke in particular has the skills and enthusiasm to fix the fucking place if only Sean would let him, or even acknowledge his existence.

    We’ll keep fighting the good fight. I enjoy pushing water uphill.

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    1. I heartily welcome you, good General, to the Manifesto! Damn great to see you here.

      Please don’t let this rant take the wind out of your sails, I’m sure your perspective of that sinking island would be more than welcome here. And likely more informative than mine was. I know you are far more active there than I have been over the past couple years; so, even though as a vehicle aficionado who might feel obliged to comment on even the emergency varietals there, you have seen more of the reality of the population decline and overall faulty conditions. Whenever I click over there, I have that strange giddy bet in my head that I will be treated to the ol’ reliable Bonk, Smash, Thud. 😉

      I also wish the new, and old, mods the best of luck; however, I will not be holding my breath that Sean will do anything to let them help. Right now they all seem to be more janitors than anything resembling a repair crew.

      Again, great to see you here. And I’d suggest blocking out a lot of time in your day to read through the articles, Mike’s here. XD

      Like

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