Dropping Ballast on Flickr

Since Flickr/SmugMug has become a recurring topic of conversation recently, I thought I’d add my unsolicited two cents to the discussion.  Until recently I really haven’t given much thought to the platform as a whole, it has simply been good enough since I joined in 2006.  Other than the interval when Flickr made the terrible decision to eliminate the ‘notes’ function, I really haven’t had much to complain about in almost 13 years of use, and to their credit, they were ultimately responsive enough to their customer base to reinstate the feature recently.  Flickr may not the perfect solution where the community at large is concerned, but it has been a stabilizing force in the hobby when Brickshelf, LUGnet and MOCPages all ceased being viable options with room for growth.  So while I acknowledge that the recent decision to limit free accounts to 1000 photos is both irritating and restrictive to many users, it’s still the best option we have in this era of echo chambers and tribal splintering.  I appreciate the fact that not everybody has the money to pay for an account and that they find the principle of having to pay to post photos online to be unfair, but Smugmug is just another company trying to turn a profit and they’re under no obligation to provide us with a free community hub or place to hang photos.  As I’ve said before in the comments, if somebody comes up with a better option I’m willing to jump ship, but I’ve yet to see anything more than good intentions and declarations of good things to come.

2018 was an abysmal year for me in terms of building and by extension, posting to Flickr. I only managed one finished model at the tail end of December, in large part because the lion’s share of my Lego related free time was taken up by DA3 on MOCPages.  There were a few disastrous collaborative and solo projects that went up in flames behind the scenes but nothing I cared to share with my fellow builders at large.  So I haven’t paid all that much attention to Flickr in quite some time, but I went back to it over the weekend with relatively fresh eyes and a sense of curiosity, and that’s what I want to talk about for the bulk of this article.  To the point, I was surprised to discover that I had 768 contacts, I just don’t look at that particular statistic very often and it seemed like an absurdly unmanageable number. A high percentage of the people I follow came as a direct result of my time spent blogging for the Brother’s Brick.  Back then I had a policy of following just about anyone who showed a modicum of skill or even a vague promise of developing skill with the brick.  I was forever on the lookout for young or obscure builders who were about to break onto the larger scene.  At that point in time I also had a hard-core reciprocal policy of adding anyone as a contact who added me.  When you write for TBB, all of a sudden everyone wants to be your contact, especially when you’ve displayed a willingness to blog more than just the obvious glossy choices.

I’m sure some of you are reading this and are thinking some version of: who cares how high that number gets?  The more the merrier, everything and everyone really is awesome in our hobby!  In essence, I’m curious if there is any value in pairing down my contacts to the point that I can increase my own sense of “community” with my fellow builders by making it more likely that I’ll communicate in a meaningful way with the ones who mean most to me.  Too often it seems as though important or interesting people and models slip past my radar because they are surrounded and obscured by the never-ending shit-show of cube dudes, minifigs and perhaps worst of all, photos of unopened sets. I think with fewer contacts I’ll be able to communicate better and more frequently with the people I care about….to stop grousing and do something productive.   So I decided it was time to trim the fat, excise the necrotic tissue…drop some digital ballast.

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It was an interesting process and I was surprised how many marginal or average builders I kept, and how many high-viz and/or highly skilled builders I let go.  I cut anyone that I didn’t like personally where in the past I would follow people regardless of how much of an asshole I thought them to be.  Fortunately that ended up being a pretty small and select group of people but it was actually fun to surgically remove them like the human-shaped tumors they are.  During the procedure some interesting trends emerged pretty quickly during the great culling, although none of them were absolute of course, I would make exceptions for people I’d met before or who I find entertaining regardless of skill….but there was definitely a fast-track to the digital guillotine.

  • An excessive quantity of cube dudes.
  • An excessive quantity of Star Wars or Marvel themed models.
  • Even a single example of a “Nerdly“.
  • An excessive quantity of Minifig-photography.
  • An excessive quantity of Classic Space models or overt product nostalgia.
  • An excessive quantity of photos of unopened sets or other official product.

Although I never set out with a prejudice against Castle-themed builders, I ended up dumping a disproportionate number of them despite their often elevated skill level.  I have a developing theory that Castle building must be the easiest gateway into the hobby, I think it’s the easiest theme to be good at and achieve a level of notoriety the quickest.  Unlike other themes there is an easily discoverable and digestible collection of well-established building techniques that a novice can access and master in a relatively short period of time.  The result has been a homogenization of the genre where the vast majority of models end up looking like knock offs from the Luke Watkins Huchinson school of building.  It’s a fine style, Hutchinson is awesome (I kept him as a contact) and it was clearly groundbreaking and hugely influential style but I’m tired of it, there has to be more than that parts-intensive, super dense, mumblety-peg buildings with everything set at an odd angle and a very specific color palette and boilerplate terrain.   I’m tired of the boilerplate, even when it’s done well and until something changes I want to see less Castle when I go to Flickr.

I also cut anyone with a Brickarmz laden minifig as an avatar and anyone with SS bolts in their screen name.  That was a considerable number of people, as it turns out.  In general I cut a good deal of builders whose favorite theme was modern military and I think some of the criticisms I have of the current state of castle building apply to Military: the talent has never been higher, but creativity has rarely been lower.  I think Trains are more innovative these days and that’s saying something.Culling.png

In the end I cut over 500 builders, a massacre by most accounting.  Once the scale of the bloodshed was apparent, I decided to save (by favoriting) a single photo from each of the people I eliminated from the list, even though that proved challenging at times.  That way I can chop away with relative impunity, knowing I have some reference point to return to if I need it.  I’ve included a smattering of those builds here for your enjoyment.  I’m sure it’s not surprising to you well-healed constant readers but it turns out that just about anyone is capable of at least one good model, but that kind of surprised me.

By far the most irritating thing I discovered in the process of culling my Flickr contacts was the alarming number of good friends who were inexplicably no longer on my list, people who I’m certain I never dropped and would never drop.  I always suspected that builders had gone missing out of my contacts over the years, there were many instances where I would be very surprised to find out that I somehow wasn’t following a well established builder or friend. But after thoroughly examining each and every person on the list, I’m now convinced of it.  Take long time crony Brian “mondaynOOdle” Kescenovitz for example, we’ve been buddies for over ten years, we’ve collaborated on several projects and he’s stayed at my palatial estate in Vegas…and yet I didn’t find him anywhere in the ranks of my 768 contacts.  I thought he’d slipped back into a dark age for the last 2 years, only to find out I’ve missed 10 models.  Then there’s the awkwardness of adding him again, so much so that I felt the need to send him an email to explain it.  Although there is no way to know how many friends and favorite builders have fallen off my list, but I was able to identify 7 of them before I ran out of gas on the topic.  So if you see me add you in the next couple of weeks it’s not because I hate you, (although I hate some of you) , it’s because Flickr has decided we’re not a good match and I’m trying to right that wrong.  I’ve included a shot of one of Brian’s latest efforts, because it’s completely rad and maybe you missed it too.  He remains one of my favorite all timers and I think I’ve just found my subject for the next Two for Tuesday article.

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The “last upload” statistic on the contact list also proved to be an interesting if occasionally discouraging piece of information to consider.  One guy in particular left me with an uneasy feeling when I noted his lengthy absence, Worker201. Leigh has been around the hobby as long as I remember and was also one of the few valuable crontributors remaining on the Brother’s Brick roster until recently.  Even though he was never exactly a prolific builder, Leigh was a regular and valued voice in places like LUGNET, JLUG, and AFOL 16+ on Flickr.  I reached out to him just to let him know he was missed but I’ve yet to hear back so if anyone has an update on Leigh they can share, please let me know in the comments.  I’ll throw in a photo of one of his models since some of you might not be familiar with his work and I frankly need some photos to pad this rambling article.    There were other examples of this phenomenon, where people just seemed to abruptly drop out of the hobby, too many in fact, but I think that’s also a product for me being as old as dirt and knowing so many builders at this point.14482873791_f1d643a206_o.jpg

One positive thing to come out of the process was that it forced me to really take a hard look at the work of builders who I considered to borderline cases for the guillotine.  Most were either young or new people and folks who might not have the best presentation or super-polished models but have good ideas and the promise of growth.  I tried to make it a point to leave some encouragement as time permitted if they showed any hint of recent activity in the last year or two. Looking back I was much better about that kind of behavior or communication when I was an invested citizen of MOCpages and I don’t feel the same urge on Flickr to reach out to those types of builders anymore.  I’m not sure why that is, but hopefully I can change that a little bit because the only way to make the Flickr experience a better one is by putting in the same type of effort.

So long story short I’m now down to just 200 builders (and counting) on my contact list and I’m armed with a determination to leave more comments for them and focus on the stuff and people I care the most about.  Why 200 you ask? No good reason, but I’ve read a few articles that say you can’t really maintain more than a hundred friendships in real life and I figured I can double that for the online world. Look, I’m not advocating that any of you follow my lead here, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a massive, super inclusive stable of builders to flow, but I think this was a necessary step for me in my recent (last couple of years) quest to redefine the hobby to make it more enjoyable.  I will leave you with a gentle nudge of encouragement to look at your own list, you may find some surprises.

37 thoughts on “Dropping Ballast on Flickr

  1. Hi Keith! Well thought out train of thought here and definitely not criticizing the culling action. I’ve thought of doing the same, but honestly the best solution in my mind would be for flickr to allow for the categorization of favorites and contacts. You could then keep a “core” of contacts, or a hierarchy of some kind, and that would help immensely with managing your roster of builders. Personally, I like flickr for more than the LEGO builds, and lament the lack of being able to categorize the thousands of “favorites” I have. I’d really like to be able to categorize my favorites into groups or things like: “LEGO castle,” “LEGO medieval,” “LEGO miscellaneous,” etc. I think the only way to do that now is a round-about, and tedious “album building” exercise.

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    1. You kind of can, but not much. There’s “friends and family” and then there’s “everyone else”. The other option is to make multiple accounts and follow different people with each one, but I’ve tried that and it’s a big hassle for obvious reasons.

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      1. I use the friends an family feature for other things, one is for family to look at non-Lego pictures and the other is for collaborations so I can easily let them see WIP shots without making them public. Good call though, if your flickr presence is exclusively Lego I would probably do just what you’re suggesting.

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    2. Always good to hear from you Dave, and I agree that would be a really nice upgrade feature, but I’m sure they’d argue the friend/family feature already provides that function. All they would have to do is expand that feature with a few more slots. I also really agree that it would be super helpful to be able to categorize or filter favorites, and would definitely encourage me to look at more than just Lego on the site. It’s impossible to access them efficiently without paging ever backward and that gets old pretty quick. It’s too bad because I’m sure there is a large group of awesome models that I’ve forgotten over the years. Maybe I’ll drop those in the Flickr suggestion box, it’ll probably be ignored but it can’t hurt.

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  2. I was always pretty ruthless with my flickr contacts. I only “follow,” in the current terminology, 350. And having been out of the scene for so many years I can only imagine how many of them have also gone dark, moved on to other things, maybe died… Rip Van Winkle has some catching up to do.

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    1. Yeah it’s amazing to consider the influx of new builders when the Lego Movie hit….it created new builders and brought a tone of pre-existing ones out of the shadows, for better or worse.

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  3. Interesting stuff… I’m glad my one nerdly managed to slip by ya. It snagged 3rd place some “Nerd-vember” ago. I learned that it was actually a controversial choice, as I didn’t follow the nerdly blocky-build protocol. One judge still held firm on its awesomeness, and that was that. It is now sitting on that person’s shelf somewhere (only fair) … or maybe it’s at the bottom of a moving box. Who really knows? All I know is that it isn’t sitting in a hot garage in Vegas.

    I am “following” 841 on Flickr at the moment. I was actually thinking I should go back through the 2,169 people following me and see who I need to reciprocate. I kind of use your criteria on first glance after someone follows me to reciprocate. I like to check back from time-to-time to see if they progressed beyond fig-posing, crappy photos, etc… I’m not sure if I am compelled to cull who I follow, as sometimes gems pop up from a builder on a long hiatus (great to see you back in action Nate! ). What is a given is that I don’t have to bother with following people that use the crappy camera icon… then again, why.not?

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    1. Ted, you’re such a solid crony that I’ll permit your terrible lapse in judgment, let us both pledge to never speak of anything “Nerdly” again, it’s beneath you brother. There are a lot of great models entombed in a hot garage in Vegas, from builders all over the world, so at least you’re in good company.

      It is good to have Nate back, he clearly has not lost a step during his hiatus. Again, I’m not advocating that anyone participate in radical surgery on their contact list, just that it can be both interesting and productive to take a hard look at it if time allows. I totally forgot about the crappy camera avatars…99 of the time they’re worthy candidates for madame guillotine.

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  4. This is the kind of incredibly specific content that makes me love this blog. It’s also relatable because I’ve done the purge myself…twice. During my first year or two on Flickr I’d reciprocate for just about anyone who contacted me. At some point I reached the 1.5K mark and had to clean up my own mess. There was a whole lot of what you described – defunct accounts, memeposting kiddos, gobs and gobs of military stuff. Guess I didn’t do a thorough enough job, or maybe I didn’t learn my lesson, because I hit 1K about a year or so ago and went through again. There was a surprisingly large number of accounts that I expected I would have unfollowed the first time.

    Sometimes I worry that keeping the numbers so low comes across as a persnickety or snobbish thing to do, but it really is a practical move. You summed it up well; it’s hard to see builds from the builders whose content I want to see if there’s a sea of other stuff drowning it out.

    Nowadays if there’s someone up-and-coming who I want to monitor, I save their account URL to a “Person of Interest” file to check up on later…that file has gotten large. It’s occurring to me that I could mark all my current contacts as “friends and family” in order to filter out their uploads and then follow all those other up-and-comers. Only issue is that there’s no filter for mobile and that’s what I use most often. :1

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    1. Thanks Aaron, I frequently get a bout of self-doubt when I post inane ramblings like this because you don’t see it anywhere else and maybe there is a reason for that? Is it boring and self indulgent?…probably yes. I don’t know, but I just can’t do set reviews or too many model spotlights, so I appreciate the encouragement for these rants. 1.5k contacts is some serious dedication to reciprocal following, and you bring up a good point, my list is already climbing so I may find myself in your shoes and have to conduct a second one. It’s interesting that you said you found a number of accounts that you were surprised had survived the first purge. Do you think your taste has changed?

      I seriously considered your point about appearing snobbish or elitist with this kind of move, but I don’t really have some huge reputation as a nice guy to tarnish and I really don’t care if I offend Star Wars fanboys or Brickheadz / Brickarmz enthusiasts. I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of the people I cut from the life-list will never know they’ve been beheaded, and still more wouldn’t really care.

      That’s really interesting that you keep a Person of Interest file, that’s not a bad idea…if I were not so impossibly lazy when it comes to this stuff.

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  5. This is a great way to say, “If you want me to be interested, then be interesting.” I eliminated all the firetrucks from my life by leaving Mocpages, who knew it could be that easy? XD

    I sort of like having a lot in my feed, it makes me really look for something to catch my eye. But I can definitely see the advantage of a purge now and then, especially when favorite builders only build one damn moc for the entire year. hint, hint! But I think it gives me a better sense of the pulse of the community seeing posts drop or increase, well, drop mostly. But I will join the fun in unfollowing builders that don’t build but rather post sets and figs on a plate. That shit’s just irritating. I especially love it when a new CMF series comes out and I have the same pics in my feed as Lego’s press release. I can say that the builders that vomit out boring shit like brickheadz are easy to pass over every time without hope for a second glance. But I think in this case that I wish I was just more of an asshole. Post a brickheadz in my feed and expect a comment like, “Dude, this shit sucks ass.” or “Wow, another variation on a boring theme! It’s like trying to shove a turd back in once it’s been in the bowl.” or “You’re as interesting as Nick Pascale!” Okay, that last one was a little too harsh, but seriously stop building brickheadz. When you make firetrucks seem interesting, you need an intervention.

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    1. I think some of the major bloggers are at fault for the popularity of the brickheadz. I ran a search for “headz” on TBB and got 486 hits! With that kind of encouragement, it’s no wonder those builds show up with so much regularity.

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      1. If we’re talking about TBB I blame the people running it, I don’t think the bloggers have all that much freedom of choice anymore. I could be wrong, but when I was over there it was trending in that direction and since Ian Heath took over I can’t tell the writers apart without a byline. Part of the reason I left was because things were tightening up to the point that it wasn’t fun anymore. That particular blog walks a fine line because they covet the approval and access to TLG more than anything else, that’s why you see so many of the same kind of models being promoted over there. Whatever the company is currently pushing will always take precedence. I do agree with you that the strategy is effective, I don’t think we’d see as many cube dudes without that kind of promotion, if you create one that’s tied to a current media sensation, you’ll probably get blogged.

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      2. Yeesh, looks like Homo ergaster with that brow ridge. If you’re gonna share Dickheadz, at least share some decent ones.

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    2. I can appreciate that approach, I pretty much had the same attitude for years and you’re right, it’s more difficult to see the big-picture trends of the hobby writ large, with a really tight group of cronies. In a way I’m doing exactly what I rail about, the development of echo chambers and tribalism, I”m narrowing my focus instead of expanding it to be more inclusive. Hopefully my tendency to run contests and this blog and DA kind of balance that out with their openness. The best thing about this culling experiment is that it’s really easy to just add a bunch of people if it doesn’t work out.

      Be the asshole you were born to be roonTree, we all believe in you! In some ways, you should thank Nick Pascale, for a brief moment he really ignited some peak roonTree, your exchanges over the Toys r Us logo was comedy gold.

      Has anyone seen a Brickheadz Firefighter? I did a quick search and didn’t find one….yet that seems impossible!

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  6. I’m leaning on both sides as well; on one hand, I’m tempted to cut off some people – on the other, I dislike the idea that they may post something interesting and I’ll miss it. Some time ago, this wouldn’t have been an issue; if it’s unmissable, it most likely would have been blogged; now, plenty of builds I find praiseworthy are overlooked in favor of brickheadz & co.

    Another reason, aside from those you mentioned, for wanting to cut off some people is flickr itself; I’m not sure I’m getting all the new posts in my activity feed; plenty of times when I checked someone’s page, I found a few builds I haven’t seen; sometimes I’m not getting notifications at all from some builders I really admire. Maybe a lower pool will fix this?

    Nowadays I tend to cut off people straight from the feed; if they post something that captures my attention in a negative way, I’ll check who they are, if I’m unsure, and remove them if the goods are not enough to balance the annoyance of showing stuff I don’t wanna see in my face. I even removed some builders I actually like for posting several vacation shots between each build; I don’t want to see several of these in my feed, they’re already plenty enough as it is.

    (Phew, that was a close call, I nearly built a nerdly with 4 boobs on top (Total Recall+1 nedly, d’uh) last time… oh wait, nevermind, I have a nerdly as well complete with Tommy companion. 😀 )

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    1. You bring up a very good point about new postings not necessarily showing up in your activity feed. I definitely have the same issue and I’ll be looking to see if the shortened list corrects that issue. That would have been a good point to include in the article, good call.

      I’m with you on the vacation photos too, it’s not really what I come to Flickr for, but it’s still more entertaining than obnoxious photos of people’s Xmas haul. I really don’t care what sets you were given to celebrate the birth of the savior, I care what you do with the parts. I think everyone has their own process of pruning the vine, I’ve just never seen anyone really talk about it, and I’m glad to have your perspective as someone with a lot of followers.

      Just for the record, I put you in the same category as Ted…you’re a pal and I wouldn’t cut you from the list, but it does make me question your sensibilities as a human being. I can’t help but think a tiny bit less of you. I can only struggle forward with the hope that some day you’ll come to your senses and delete it Soviet style and we’ll all pretend it never happened.

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  7. “the talent has never been higher, but creativity has rarely been lower”

    You took the words right out of my mouth. Castle builders do some impressive things… that they’ve all been doing for the last 5-10 years with little change. I swear the only people in that genre who have a unique voice anymore are Markus Rollbühler and Simon NH. The rest are like Thomas Kinkade paintings: pretty to look at, but they all use the same colors and have the same details just arranged slightly differently. Maybe one day AFOL grannies will buy jigsaw puzzles with the latest from Mark of Falworth printed on it. The genre needs some expansion both in aesthetics and in content. It’s literally stuck in the dark ages. Explore architectural styles outside of the British Isles and add some fantasy outside of HP and LotR, for heaven’s sake!

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    1. I think you’ve just defined the entirety of how fast this genre becomes dreadfully boring much in the same way that ACTUAL castles do. Big and impressive, but they’re still just a damn castle. Even exploring inside, different rooms with castle-y activities like knighting a knight, sitting in a throne, knighting a knight, sitting in a throne, knighting… exciting. Or venturing outside where your collection of minifigs can do battle-y things like battle, battle, or even maybe battle. zowey, the innovative fun never ends. Or you can show off that new green halberd you just bought from a third party who are sitting there wondering how they managed to unload a green halberd for $2. my brain reels from the NPU. BUT WAIT!!! Now we have every incarnation of Tolkien; we can relive EVERY damn scene of knights being knighted, sitting in thrones, battles outside, the dreaded green halberd of Absurdia. But now we can have all that with orcs! hooray. But, Tolkien! hooray, again. No! You just don’t understand! IT’S TOLKIEN!!! oh, my bad, hooray, no really this time. o_o

      I get it, and yes it can and is done well, I even understand the compulsion to do it better. But Jeezis suffering fuck, grow out of it or at least find one of the many, MANY more authors that were much better. I ALWAYS found Tolkien boring and for some odd reason, I find builds based on his boring books equally so. Yes, I went there; bring the hate. Even Ted’s example is truly boring to me. Yes, I agree that the stairs are impressive; but in the end, it’s still just a castle build. I feel like Tom Hanks in Big trying to play with the building that transforms into a robot. “What’s fun about playing with a building? That’s not any fun.” Like Josh, I just don’t get it.

      At least firetrucks are vehicles.

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      1. I forgot to add that I especially love the drunken camera work of this video. All of the waviness, in-and-out swaying, and blurriness make it almost like being in a Brickworld virtual reality simulator…

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      2. I did notice that, and for a brief moment had to question my current sobriety. Thankfully the monotone music anchored me squarely in the realm of merely stupefied.

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      3. Heh, looks like I’m not the only one who found Tolkien boring; I mean, I like the movie and found the story itself a darn good fantasy bit, but Tolkien’s “I’m gonna finish describing that blade of grass 20 pages later, bear with me!” writing style was sleep inducing at best.

        And castles? Not too many of those around in the castle theme; it’s always that blasted bent cottage in configuration xyz with color scheme abc. Not a day passes without having a new one in my stream. Or on some blog. It’s bloody everywhere.

        Play features and incorporating motion? Get off my lawn, nothing is more gimmicky and more yawn inducing than that. That stuff gets old as soon as the function video is over. If it’s a very short and to the point video, otherwise much sooner. :))

        Chris is right on point here, it’s all about vision and sources of inspiration. It’s obvious most builders can do castle, and do it quite well; but they’re just rehashing old frames and techniques. The only ones that are going to rise out of that pit are the ones with a vision of their own, that will take things in a different direction and refuse to be influenced by the norm. Which is extremely difficut, since that is the gateway into building for most of them; that is what leaves them in awe and what they aspire to build themselves.

        Markus’ stuff isn’t unique either; Jonas Kramm, Travis Brickle, Wookieewarrior and a few others are doing pretty much the same thing. And it’s mainly inspired by Xenomurphy’s style. But it’s irrelevant, they’re definitely some of the best castle builders at the moment.

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  8. Keith, I think if you would have stuck too strickly to your criteria you would have had about a dozen contacts left. 🙂

    Good article. This was an interesting read. I totally agree about Castle. Most of them look like a mess with the parts-intensive weathered look. The one Ted just posted has it about right. It is messy, but somehow still pretty clean. Didn’t go too far with it. It’s hard to describe, but you know it when you see it.

    Back when I was first got into the online community I was always looking for good builders, but I find that I’m usually late to finding good new builders these days. I’m often amazed when I click on someone’s flickr photostream and someone I’ve never heard of has few years of good builds.

    I have one pretty strick rule on Flickr that I’ve never broken. I’ve never clicked on the fav button. I have no fav’s. It seem too close to “likes” or “thumbs up” I see on facebook, etc. that I absolutely hate. I’ve said this before, but I’d take one good comment over 100 favs anyday.

    I’m following 278 and have 637 followers, just checked, kind of surprised I have that many given my very sporadic and limited posting. Let’s see who my biggest influences were early on. I joined the Flickr community in 2011 and here are the first 20 I followed.
    1. Legohaulic – makes sense.
    2. mondayn00dle – badass mechs! I think I tried to make one, but didn’t really have a large enough collection to do much back then.
    3. Yatkuu
    4. nnenn, I joined to late to ever interact with him.
    5. Blake’s Baericks
    6. wunztwice
    7. Nannan Z.
    8. Rook
    9. Walter Benson
    10. bruceywan
    11. Wyrk Wyze
    12. deborah higdon
    13. Carson Hart
    14. .Bricko
    15. ted @ndes – the legend.
    16. Rogue Bantha
    17. Keith Goldman – you made the Top 20! I was/am always blown away be your dioramas, but Zero Hour I’m pretty sure was the first one that I remember finding with all of Brian’s mechs. That was eye-opening for me for what could be done with LEGO.
    18. Jerac
    19. lego_nabii
    20. Kris_Kelvin

    Not a bad list, most are still active and kick’n out excellent. Though some have maybe become a bit too good.

    If you are looking for a new person to follow I’ve got one for you, Gabor Pauler. Maybe the most bizarre LEGO photostream I’ve come across. Everything is digital, terrible renders, huge military tanks/helicopter hybrids, large-scale, somehow linked with Star Wars vehicles (not sure how). Anyway, I was mesmerized. Instantly was following him… maybe my standards have dropped…

    Sorry for rambling. Later.

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    1. Gabor’s stream is insanity in mechanical form. So completely detailed, it’s like those drawings from Popular Mechanics if they were drawn by someone nose planting into a pile of coke and only coming up once in a while for a breath of crank.

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      1. Perfect description of Gabor’s photostream, Matt. You aren’t going to find a triphibian octocopter anywhere else, nothing boilerplate about that.

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      2. Sometimes the Manifesto feels like it’s the LEGO hobby’s version of “Dinner for Schmucks” (or “Le Dîner de Cons” for the Francophiles). I’ve never been made aware of so many builders that Leg Godt out on the fringes of sanity (but with all the MOCPages commentary that goes on here, I guess it stands to reason). I guess Twee effect picks up some too now and then, but they usually focus on simply taking people down a notch…

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