I bumped into some old stuff I used to do online the other night which I found somewhat interesting. I’m mainly a lurker when it comes to forums and four years ago I really loved all things Star Wars Lego! The FBTB forum was probably the only place to go where you can nerd out over it, share reviews and news of up and coming sets, etc.
I was relatively new to the forum, but I put some effort into contributing my own Lego review one night which you can find here. I reviewed the Sith Infiltrator which came with a very cool Darth Maul fig + Speeder bike. I took a lot of photos of my step-by-step processes and gave my score on each of the attributes people were looking for: build, durability, ‘swooshability’, functionality and overall.
The thread resulted in 29 replies of people’s thoughts on it, and however number of views the forum would’ve garnered (a few hundred SW lego fans at the time?). I guess I could take a jab at around 400 people, as that was how many views I received on my flickr album of the build process.
This struck a chord with me at the time because that was a lot of attention I got from anything that I shared online at the time, and with a lot of people who shared the same interest with me: Star Wars Lego. I was obsessed with the replies and people’s feedback on my review, and it felt like I had an opinion to anything that was said. We stayed on those forums for a long time, being passionate about what we thought of the Sith Infiltrator and other reviews people shared. From a high level perspective, we were under the influence of the awesomeness that is Lego and its community.
I try to replicate these types of situations from a work perspective (probably not the best idea with some clients, you really can’t compare Lego to financial services or a yoghurt brand); how do you allow people to naturally talk about their favourite brands, as opposed to churning out content with the brand’s name on it? In what situations do people comfortably talk about what the brand is propositioning? How can you best provide a channel for this? What is the best channel for it? How can you amplify it, etc. etc.
All I (somewhat confidently) know is that Lego did not need to commission anyone, nor had the direct intention, to build FBTB or any of the large Lego community sites out there.