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Now Accepting Nominations for 08/09 LEGO Ambassadors

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Now Accepting Nominations for 08/09 LEGO Ambassadors

Postby architect » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:03 pm

Posted on behalf of the LEGO Community Team:

Hello LEGO Enthusiasts,

You may have noticed already that the selection process for the LEGO Ambassador Program will be slightly different this year. In the past we’ve selected LEGO Ambassadors based on individual applications, which meant that the program was built on a very individual basis. Now we would like to make the process more broad reaching and transparent for all members of the AFOL community. Therefore the selection of LEGO Ambassadors will be based on nominations from your clubs. In this way we give more people an opportunity to have a say in who’s name gets put in the pot for the selection process.

Who’s allowed to nominate?

* Any AFOL Community Group (online or on the map) will have the opportunity to submit nominations from their group (up to 3 people if they so choose). Not everyone can be selected for the program as we’ll still only have around 30 people when all is said and done. Each club can only have one person selected from that club.
* If you choose to submit a nomination it does not mean that your candidate will be chosen, but it does mean that your group will have just as much an opportunity to get involved in having a direct representative in the LEGO Ambassador Program. We will try to get a diverse group of people who are able to represent the whole AFOL community as good as possible.
* Groups can certainly nominate someone already in the Ambassador Program, but from now on the program will have a two term limit in order to have more room for people to be involved. After a term out of the program, a previous Ambassador can be re-nominated.
* A group that submits a nomination for the LEGO Ambassador program should be established and known within the LEGO Community.

What should a nomination have in it?

What should a nomination have in it?

* Name and age of the nominee.
* Where is the nominee from?
* Which Group does this nominee represent?
* Does this person consent to being nominated (Please do not submit a nomination on behalf of
* Explanation of who the nominees are, what their activities are, and why they would be a good
* Key interests of the nominee (themes, building styles, and some examples of their building)

When is the Nomination Due?

May 24, 2008 by midnight GMT. If a nomination is received after this time it will be automatically rejected.

Who Should the Nominations be sent too?

nominations@LEGO.com

What might a LEGO Ambassador be committing too?

* In depth discussion with other like minded LEGO Fans.
* An opportunity to speak with LEGO Group representatives on what is important to the AFOL
* Occasional opportunities to give feedback on upcoming ideas for different parts of the LEGO
* A chance to submit their own ideas and ideas from the communities they represent on what
* Participation in projects which support the community like helping rebuild LEGOfan.org and

From the 2008/09 cycle, LEGO Ambassadors will not be required to sign an NDA to join the program, but in the interest of the community, LEGO Ambassadors will be invited to give feedback on development projects which will require signing of an NDA. Discussions related to development projects will happen in a separate “top secret forum” for those who decide to sign an NDA. All discussions in the general LEGO Ambassador forum can and should be shared with the community. The decision on whether or not to take part in secret projects is up to the individual Ambassadors.

Another new aspect in the process will be that starting with this next cycle Ambassadors will only be able to serve for two consecutive terms. Current Ambassadors will not have their previous terms counted against them, and if chosen by their communities to apply for the program can serve for two more terms.

This next session of the Ambassador Program will last approximately one year.

Thank you all. Your nominations are very valuable for helping the LEGO Community Team choose the next round of LEGO Ambassadors.

Tormod, Jan, Steve
The LEGO Community Team
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Postby Sir Nelson » Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:25 pm

If I may, I'd like to add a few words (and yes, Ben's post is truncated, but that will be fixed soon).


C-C has been well-represented in the the LEGO Ambassador Program, and a good amount of the feedback forwarded to LEGO has become reality in their Castle line of products. The future looks very promising for LEGO fans - for Castle fans and fans of other themes - and we hope to continue having the Castle community here represented.

This is a good time for you to get involved, and to try to build a better working relationship with The LEGO Group. Being a LEGO Ambassador does take time and effort, but you do get back a lot from the program: from the satisfaction of seeing product offerings based on fan feedback, to the reward of being able to help fans with problems when they don't know quite where to turn.

If you are dedicated to building a better community, and would like to become a LEGO Ambassador, I would encourage you to state your interest here and to let this community decide its representatives. The C-C Admins (if willing) can then compile a list of nominees and post them in a different thread for members to select three nominees.

Your current Ambassadors - all of whom have done a commendable job - would also probably welcome a nomination if you feel that they have done a good job in the past cycle.

Play well, and best to all.

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Postby Bruce N H » Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:36 pm

Hey Ben,

A couple of questions. First, what counts as a "community group" for the online community? I'm assuming the major boards (CC, Classic-Space, Eurobricks, 1000Steine, Lugnet, FBTB, Eurobricks ...). What about the smaller forums? Or Flickr groups? Or even established blogs (Brothers-Brick and Klocki being perhaps the most established group blogs)?

For CC, how do we want to proceed with this? People post nominations in this thread? Can the nominate themselves? Then what? Just a big poll with all of those names? Should the admins and mods get together and suggest some names?

I could certainly come up with a list of names of some of the more active community members here, probably starting with some of the highest achievers in our contests (since that's an indication of mature builders), some of the most active posters, and current admins/mods. Not sure which of these would be interested.

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Postby Athos » Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:45 pm

I'm not sure how the logistics of this will work. Its going to be hard to nominate someone who is willing to do it, without the nominee angling for the nod. Though, I guess you could do it by PMs...

Also, what happens when multiple forums nominate the same person?

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Postby davee123 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:57 pm

I expect this technique may lead to a lot of whining from clubs or groups whose nominees didn't get selected, when other clubs/groups get "doubly" represented. For instance, say that Ben gets in for Classic Castle, but someone else from his local club (GtwLUG?) also gets in. Now GtwLUG is "doubly" represented, while some other smaller LUG didn't get anyone in at all. Potentially dangerous...

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Postby Scnicker » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:06 pm

Hmm... It will be interesting to see how this thing works out. The last years' worked pretty good, why change it?

Anyway, for our community, the representative must be a member that is active a lot and is friendly (well, no one wants a mean ambassador right?;)). I don't think building a lot has a lot of involvement with this thing. I'd rather prefer for my rep. to be wise instead of being a good builder (of course why not have both :P). But we all must agree that there will be no hard feelings when someone is chosen and the other is not.

So anyhow, what do we do? Do we clearly state our nominees here or do we PM current ambassadors?
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Postby SavaTheAggie » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:20 pm

For the time being, I say post your nominations here. If the discussion turns sour and personal, we'll stop and go through the PM system.

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Postby Sir Dano » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:23 pm

Can you nominate yourself? :wink:
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Postby SavaTheAggie » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:38 pm

Sure, I see no reason why you couldn't nominate yourself...

But.

Wether you are nominating yourself or someone else, you must sell the nominee. Think of it as a job interview, just like the ambassador program used to be.

Why would the nominee be a good ambassador?

What makes them a good representative of Classic-Castle, specifically?

How is the nominee involved in the greater LEGO community outside of Classic-Castle?

Etc. Etc.

We're going to have to kull this list down to only three names, so be convincing. Don't nominate yourself just because you'd like to be an ambassador. It isn't your 'turn', it isn't 'cool'. The nominees will represent Classic-Castle and the greater LEGOverse as a whole to the LEGO company. While it isn't a paying position, it IS a job, that has time and attention requirements.

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Postby Sir Dano » Thu May 01, 2008 12:20 am

SavaTheAggie wrote:Sure, I see no reason why you couldn't nominate yourself...

But.

Wether you are nominating yourself or someone else, you must sell the nominee. Think of it as a job interview, just like the ambassador program used to be.

Why would the nominee be a good ambassador?

What makes them a good representative of Classic-Castle, specifically?

How is the nominee involved in the greater LEGO community outside of Classic-Castle?

Etc. Etc.

We're going to have to kull this list down to only three names, so be convincing. Don't nominate yourself just because you'd like to be an ambassador. It isn't your 'turn', it isn't 'cool'. The nominees will represent Classic-Castle and the greater LEGOverse as a whole to the LEGO company. While it isn't a paying position, it IS a job, that has time and attention requirements.

--Tony

Oh, I knew that, I just figured I'd get that question out of the way. I'm gonna reserve my vote for someone more worthy than myself.
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Postby architect » Thu May 01, 2008 1:32 am

Bruce N H wrote:A couple of questions. First, what counts as a "community group" for the online community? I'm assuming the major boards (CC, Classic-Space, Eurobricks, 1000Steine, Lugnet, FBTB, Eurobricks ...). What about the smaller forums? Or Flickr groups? Or even established blogs (Brothers-Brick and Klocki being perhaps the most established group blogs)?


I believe that larger theme communities (Star Wars, Space, Castle, etc) along with large discussion community sites (Lugnet, 1000Steine, Eurobricks, etc) would be able to nominate fans. Edit: How small could a community be and still nominate? This is something the LEGO Community team will have to address.

For CC, how do we want to proceed with this? People post nominations in this thread? Can the nominate themselves? Then what? Just a big poll with all of those names? Should the admins and mods get together and suggest some names?


If a CC member wants to nominate another CC member, they should first contact them via private message to see if they want to be a LEGO Ambassador. After two weeks or so, a list of nominees can be compiled and voted on by everyone at CC.

Also, what happens when multiple forums nominate the same person?


This would likely make a stronger case for that person to become a LEGO Ambassador. Most LA's represent several different groups online and offline. We often post and answer questions on multiple forums and participate in large & small LEGO fan festivals.

I expect this technique may lead to a lot of whining from clubs or groups whose nominees didn't get selected, when other clubs/groups get "doubly" represented. For instance, say that Ben gets in for Classic Castle, but someone else from his local club (GtwLUG?) also gets in. Now GtwLUG is "doubly" represented, while some other smaller LUG didn't get anyone in at all. Potentially dangerous...


With only thirty Ambassadors, many lugs will not have direct representation. But large lug organizations (ie: ILTCO, lugnet) and fan theme sites will have representation. These organizations represent a much larger overall fan base than most single lugs. Of course European lugs are different as there are countries with one lug, so they are very large. For example, Jakob Bindslet and Caspar Bennedsen are both in Byggepladen.

Hmm... It will be interesting to see how this thing works out. The last years' worked pretty good, why change it?


The LEGO Community Team feels that this new method will better represent the entire fan community.

So anyhow, what do we do? Do we clearly state our nominees here or do we PM current ambassadors?


You can post them here.

Can you nominate yourself?


No. Another community member must nominate you.

Ben Ellermann
LEGO Ambassador
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Postby JoshWedin » Thu May 01, 2008 2:40 am

I, for one, am not excited about this recent development. No matter who the "clubs" choose, there is going to be hurt feelings and disappointment. I don't think this will help the community any more than the previous process for Ambassador selection. I think it helps Lego narrow down the applicants, but that doesn't mean it is good for the community.

The vague definition of "clubs" is extremely problematic. I think Lego was specifically thinking of forums, but what about those little forums with a handful of members? Do they have the same amount of clout as the larger ones? It appears the LUGs are included, since they are clubs first and foremost. But most of them are small and have little online presence on their own. Also the apparent exclusion of blogs, Flickr groups, email groups, etc, is very disturbing. Many of these have a significant influence in the community. Why can't they nominate Ambassadors?

Also, the statement that there can be only one Ambassador per "club", is ill-conceived. It assumes that people belong to only one group. That, in and of itself, is ridiculous. Does this mean, if a person is chosen based on a nomination from Classic-Castle, that they have to cease involvement in other "clubs"? They might overlap with another Ambassador and give some "club" too much representation, you know. :roll:

Just my 2 cents,
Josh

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Postby davee123 » Thu May 01, 2008 3:34 am

JoshWedin wrote:I, for one, am not excited about this recent development. No matter who the "clubs" choose, there is going to be hurt feelings and disappointment.


I think the more distressing thing is that it's a way of Lego effectively acknowledging which clubs it cares about and which it doesn't. Beforehand, individuals were the ones with hurt feelings, because they weren't picked. Now it's going to be entire clubs whose nominees aren't chosen, assuming that the chosen 30 don't somehow cross-represent every group that submits nominees.

JoshWedin wrote:I don't think this will help the community any more than the previous process for Ambassador selection. I think it helps Lego narrow down the applicants, but that doesn't mean it is good for the community.


I actually FAR prefer this method in terms of practicality, because it means that everyone who's selected is being nominated by their peers to represent their peers. I don't want to name names, but some of the past Lego Ambassadors I just didn't get, decision-wise. Some people I haven't heard of, but are foreign, and that's fine, since I don't really know much about the foreign communities. But others I've never heard of, but they're in the English-speaking community. Or claim to be. As someone who considers himself pretty well rounded in English AFOL-dom, that was rather worrying to me. Not that these people aren't worthy, but they might not be. I don't have any assurances beyond blind faith that these people are worth their salt.

Effectively, by writing your own application, you can exaggerate the level of your contributions-- plus the fact that since real names are obscured on most forums behind strange usernames. That means it's difficult to prove that certain users are who they say they are, and makes recognition less likely. Hence, good candidates whose "real" names aren't out there aren't as likely to be recognized because they usually use some sort of pseudonym (or multiple ones!).

But now, it's more of a series of group decisions. Classic-Castle, effectively as a community, gets to decide who it nominates. So its candidates are liable to be more worthy than someone who decides offhandely to nominate themselves.

JoshWedin wrote:The vague definition of "clubs" is extremely problematic.


I think any way you slice it, there's problems in that regard. There's only 30 slots, so it's probably not going to cover everything. Smaller clubs won't be represented anyway, no matter what system you use to choose your 30. Only way around it is to open up more slots.

JoshWedin wrote:Also, the statement that there can be only one Ambassador per "club", is ill-conceived. It assumes that people belong to only one group.


I think agree that it probably shouldn't have been stated, except as a goal. As a rule, it'll be broken. There's very little chance that a group won't be represented doubly. Closest thing they could hope for is that no location-based group is doubly represented, since people generally live only in once place.

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Postby JoshWedin » Thu May 01, 2008 4:07 am

davee123 wrote:I think the more distressing thing is that it's a way of Lego effectively acknowledging which clubs it cares about and which it doesn't.


Excellent point. I think this is very true and it disturbs me.

davee123 wrote:
JoshWedin wrote:I don't think this will help the community any more than the previous process for Ambassador selection. I think it helps Lego narrow down the applicants, but that doesn't mean it is good for the community.


I actually FAR prefer this method in terms of practicality
[snip]
But now, it's more of a series of group decisions. Classic-Castle, effectively as a community, gets to decide who it nominates. So its candidates are liable to be more worthy than someone who decides offhandely to nominate themselves.


I wasn't very clear and I apologize for that. When I said it wasn't good for the community, I meant the process of nomination itself. True, the process might enable the community to select Ambassadors who are more representative of the whole. However, I think the process may become very divisive. Another way that this may be bad, for the AFOL community, is that it puts accountability for the Ambassador program on us. If problems with the program arise, Lego could say that its the fault of the AFOL community since we "chose" the Ambassadors. Maybe I'm being overly cynical here, but I've seen too many similar things happen in other arenas.

Again, these are merely my opinions or 2 cents worth. I do hope the new process works. I just have a lot of concerns about its viability.

Thanks,
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Postby Bruce N H » Thu May 01, 2008 5:39 am

davee123 wrote:
JoshWedin wrote:Also, the statement that there can be only one Ambassador per "club", is ill-conceived. It assumes that people belong to only one group.


I think agree that it probably shouldn't have been stated, except as a goal. As a rule, it'll be broken. There's very little chance that a group won't be represented doubly. Closest thing they could hope for is that no location-based group is doubly represented, since people generally live only in once place.

DaveE


That's something I was wondering about. Almost everyone who would be an ambassador is involved in multiple forums, even if there is one main one they call home. I'm probably a member of 10 or so different forums, not to mention Flickr groups and posting to blogs. Granted, these days I mostly lurk everywhere but here, but there was a time where I was in the top 20 noisemakers on Lugnet for three years running and before the big crash I was a pretty prominent member of FBTB. I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

BTW, if anyone wants to nominate someone anonymously, go ahead and PM me. I will contact that person by backchannels to see if they're interested and post the nominations to this thread.

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