Topic: The Vision for the Bricks in Motion Community in 2021
In looking towards the new year and the vision for the Bricks in Motion community, we have to look at what the current state is. Rioforce and I have been talking about the current state of the site, and we are on the same page about how things are going, and I’m excited to roll out the plans for the upcoming year.
There’s a fact that’s been talked about for years that is pretty apparent: the forums are kinda dead in terms of activity. I know for many members who are relatively new to the site, they may not have a grasp on how busy things were from 2008-2014ish. I don’t have any empirical data on hand, but even from looking at the site’s evolution, forum activity has dwindled a lot. And it’s not because there’s anything wrong with them, they’re great. The staff has all worked hard on it, but forums in general are just an outdated form of chatting. As the way people can chat has become democratized, smaller groups have formed and people don’t HAVE to come to Bricks in Motion in order to talk about brickfilming. Instead, they can create their own little groups. Which is definitely a good thing! I had a Skype group that I stuck to from 2011-2015ish, and it’s built so many great friendships that I still have to this day.
The Bricks in Motion Discord has been such a great tool for us in the past 3.5 years. It’s allowed me, and a lot of others, to build new friendships with people we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. And in terms of activity, there is far more going on there than on the forums. So this is why, we will be shifting community focus towards to the Discord.
I know some of you have never visited the Discord, or you don’t use it all that much, or you’ve left, and that’s understandable. It takes some adjusting. But we’ve been working our best to make sure the Discord has enough channels that questions and discussions don’t fly by. I just released a video on the Bricks in Motion YouTube about how to join the site/Discord, give it a watch!.
The forums mean a lot to people, myself included. It has an extensive history going back to 2008, and it’ll stay right where it is. From reading the survey results, one of the things that’s helped people on the forums is the search feature, which is great! The forums are definitely a great resource to research brickfilming tips. We'll still be posting contests here, you'll still be able to post casting calls, and production threads. But from the administrative side, not much is gonna be done. I’m not saying “abandon the forums,” but if you haven’t joined the Discord or aren’t very active there, now is the time to start.
A few years ago, my church needed more space, so we built a bigger building and moved there. Leading up to the move, we did a fundraising/message campaign called “Not Just a Building” and the focus of it was this: church is not just a building, it’s a community of people. And it doesn’t matter where we meet, we’re still that community. And it’s the same with this community. Bricks in Motion is not the forums. Bricks in Motion is a community of people gathered around to make brickfilms, build off one another, and help each other get better at this weird, but super fun hobby. And I hope you stay along for the ride.
Previously, the only way of accessing the Discord was in the Community section, only when members were logged in. But we’re adding more accessibility, so that new people can find it easier. You may have noticed that a link is at the top of the site next to Forums. Additionally, you don’t have to be registered on the forums to enter, however you must be registered in order to get the “Member” role, which allows for access to multiple channels and posting photos. Additionally, links to the Discord will be in all Bricks in Motion social media accounts for easy sharing.
Here’s some of the things we hope to start doing this year on the Discord:
• Regular community events
• Post more original Bricks in Motion content
• Game nights
• Movie nights
• Add more channels
• Move the Animation Challenge over to the Discord
If you have anything else you want to see, let us know below. I know for some it might be a big shift, but I promise it's gonna be a great year.