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Welcome to BZPower!

Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. The process is easy and you can use your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account to make it even faster. Some perks of joining include:
  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
  • Show off your creations, stories, art, music, and movies and play member and staff-run games
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes, and vote to decide the winners
  • Participate in raffles, including exclusive raffles for new members, and win free LEGO sets
  • Send private messages to other members
  • Organize with other members to attend or send your MOCs to LEGO fan events all over the world
  • Much, much more!
Enjoy your visit!


Bio of a BZP Admin



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Mailbag

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower Jun 22 2012 · 255 views
mailbag, sports
Man, it's been a while since I made an entry here, hasn't it? I remembered I had this PM waiting for a reply, so it's as good a reason as any for a blog entry:

  • Who's your favorite pro football team?
  • Pro Basketball?
  • Pro hockey?
  • Pro Baseball?


Without question, my favorite team is the New York Football Giants. Football is really to only pro sport I follow. I like it because there's only sixteen games (plus playoffs) so there's a fairly limited commitment compared to other sports. Plus it give me something to talk about with my coworkers.

I used to follow basketball pretty closely, but not so much anymore. My team was always the New York Knickerbockers, and I fondly remember the days when Patrick Ewing was the big man in charge.

I've never been a huge hockey fan, but I did follow it a bit in the 90s. Back then my favorite team was the New Jersey Devils, so I'll go with them.

Baseball is probably my least favorite professional sport. And my least favorite team is by far the New York Yankees. So if I had to pick a favorite it would be the Boston Red Sox or the New York Mets, just to spite all the Yankees fans. I could also say the Baltimore Orioles since they're the local team for me nowadays and I don't really have any loyalty to another team.


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Rob Is Okay

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower, LEGO Con Jun 04 2012 · 374 views
Bricks Cascade
I don't know what the big deal is. He's a nice guy I suppose, unless he's being dumb. I have no idea how Becca puts up with him though, honestly. He's just always talking, even in his sleep!

Love you bud!


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Forum Upgrade Hiccup

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower May 19 2012 · 421 views

So I mentioned over here about some hiccups during the upgrade. Nothing major, but it was all your fault. Yes you, the blogging populace of BZPower.

Here's a quote from the IPS rep we worked with:

The long and short of all this is that the problem was with converting the tags in the blog. We've.. Still got problems there, and you have.. Somewhere around 69k tags.. Normally, I hit a site with 500 or 5000 tags.. Ok.. I can deal with that.. The sheer numbers here.. I had to get.. Shall we say.. Creative.


Geez guys, you got a little carried away over here, you think? :P

Anyway, they got through all the tags in the end, and hopefully it won't cause any problems in the future.

As a result of this, however, I have changed some settings for tags:
Maximum length per tag: 20 characters
Maximum tags per item: 5 tags

I think this should still be plenty for all your tagging needs.

We're not going to implement any new rules other than the above, but please try to take it easy with the tags.

Thanks!


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New Feature - Calendar R S V Ping

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower, LEGO Con Apr 15 2012 · 204 views
Calendar, RSVP, BrickFair and 1 more...
BZPower has had a Calendar for a while now. It's seen intermittent use over the years depending on how the staff feel at the time.

I just discovered a new feature that must have been added with the recent upgrade - RSVPing. Now events can be created with the option to allow members to RSVP to them. So now for real life kind of meetups, or even for contests on BZPower, we can keep a running tally of who is going. To test it out, I've added two upcoming LEGO Conventions:

Bricks Cascade 2012
BrickFair 2012 VA

Do you guys think this is cool/useful? Right now only Staff can create events - should we open it up to Premier Members or OBZPCs?

Also, there's an option to be able to comment on events that is currently disabled. I'm not keen on enabling it (more work for the Staff), but thought I'd get everyone's input on that too.

Let me know what you think!


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Behind Bzp - Running Contests

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower Mar 18 2012 · 166 views
Behind BZP
Since I have the current RPG contest on the brain, I thought that might be an appropriate topic for a Behind BZP. But first, some questions.

Mailbag

1) just a question, but how far up/down on the list of improvements is the skin selection etc., and how long would it be estimated until it comes up?
2) What is the state of RPG staff? I know that only one RPG staff member is even active. Is appointing more staff or suchlike possible, and what are the chances of the inactive RPG staff becoming active again?

1. It's fairly close to the top, actually. That said, I can give no ETA on when things will change.
2. They're like the staff anywhere else, except moreso. They have real lives and get busy. I can't say when they might start showing their faces more often, but I always hope it will be soon. There's always a possibility of appointing more staff, but I only do that when I see a need. As of now, I think things are getting by alright.

Want to see your questions answered? PM them to me and put 'Mailbag' in the subject line.

Running Contests
I'm going to start things off by saying that running a contest is different on each subforum of BZPower, and even between hosts there will be changes. That said, I'd like to think I've been around enough and run/hand my hand in a variety of contests that I can speak to them as a whole.

Contests have a long history on BZPower, dating all the way back to the early days of the BBC forum. Since then they've expanded to art, the Library, RPGs, fan-made games, LEGO creations, storyline, blogs, and, in one instance, poetry. That's a lot of variety, and it's something we're proud of and do our best to continue as the years go on.

The first contest I ran was, of course, in the RPG forum. I had gotten tired of members asking me for permission to make RPGs, and decided a contest would be more fair. This is pretty different from most other contests, where the motivation is to get members to make something cool and win a prize if people like it. It helps keep the community active and pushes people to flex their creative muscles.

Anyway, the first thing you do when you want to run a contest is decide to have one, quickly followed by where you want to have it. Then you need to come up with a theme, unless you're lazy and want it to be an open contest. At this point, the next step is usually to go steal the rules from the last contest of that type and tweak them until they fit what you're trying to do. After that, you have to determine how long the entry period is going to be. This varies based on the type of contest, and in some cases, like if the finalists of the contest are supposed to send their entries to BrickFair, is very time-sensitive. Careful planning is also done to avoid/give extra time when major holidays are involved.

You get all your info together, pick your dates, themes, and rules, and you post it. Then you wait for people to enter. If you're lucky a Reporter will post about your contest on the front page to help make people aware of it. But mainly you wait, answering questions here and there.

Then the entry period comes to a close. If you're smart, you've been updating the entry list as you go, because otherwise you have a bunch of work to do now, sifting through the entrants and making sure everyone followed the rules. It helps if you have some assistants to do some of that tedious work. (Hey, it pays to have minions.) Once all the entries are together, you do one of two things - split them up into polls or start judging. Polls is by far the easier of the two - several rounds of people picking their favorites culminating with a winner and several runners-up. Judging is a bit of a nightmare - you need to get people to help, and then hope they don't back out. Then you wait for them to go through all the entries and get back to you with their results. Overall it's necessary for things with long, intricate entries like stories. Most members aren't going to read them and would just vote randomly or based on whether they like a member or not, and that's not very fair.

Congratulations to the winners! The contest is nearly done! But now comes the hardest part - prizes. Oftentimes contest hosts turn to me to ask if I can provide prizes for a contest, and usually I say yes. The problem is I tend to have a difficult time shipping them out in a prompt manner, so my apologies to all those who I still owe prizes. It's on the list of things to take care of, I swear. In the meantime, you may see us giving out more Premier Memberships as prizes, since those are a lot easier to deal with. :P

As always, I hope you enjoyed this look behind the scenes. If you have an idea for a Behind BZP, let me know!


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Mail Call

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower Mar 12 2012 · 156 views
Mailbag
I've had these sitting in my inbox for a bit, and I figured before they became completely irrelevant I should do something about them.

Mailbag

1. I've been wondering -- how come you run the RPG Forum but never participate in any of the active RPGs? What's stopping you from handing the mantle of control over to someone like Friar Tuck or Nuju Metru? Is it nostalgia/loyalty from the fact that you used to role-play?

2. If you had time, would you ever consider joining one of the winners from an RPG contest?

3. If yes to the above, what kind of game/game aspects/elements would you look for?

4. Also in relation to the above, when am I going to get the two prizes from my RPGC #20 and 21 wins? It's been over a year. :P

5. And speaking of RPG contests, how do you decide on the themes for the themed contests? Is it random, or do you just think of something that sounds cool?

1. Time. I really don't have the time even if I wasn't the Forum Leader over there. And not that I do a huge amount (other than reading through all the contest RPGs, dealing with reports, and running the contests - you know, little things), I haven't seen any other staffer maintain a level of activity in there that I'd be ready to hand things over to them. And yes, it is my baby. :P

2. I would. There's a lot of great ideas that have come out of those contests.

3. I'm a fan of classic fantasy, or anything that captures the mystery of 2001.

4. I recently updated the sidebar here to show everyone how far behind I am with contest prizes. You have not been forgotten.

5. There is most definitely a pattern, one that a few have figured out. I don't see any need to address it further. ;)

Your still doing this in your blog, right? :P


What would you do if someone made a skin for BZP and presented it to you that you found suitable enough and didn't break any rules?

Is there some thing you can activate for the forum software [like how there are the different tabs (forum, members, blogs, calendars, and store)and maybe you or bink could make one for "skins"] that would make a place to select a skin (for the computer you are using, not the entire forum) like I mention in the quote above?

Is there some way to change the standard color (for instance right now it is blue at the top and all the tabs have blue at the top) to a different color temporarily and save screenshots of it or something so when someone makes a skin that they could download the pictures of the different colors of the skin "headers" or "banners" that are on the tabs and main forum page so they wound't have to go through the effort to change the backround color?

just wondering, because I have an amazing idea for a Bzp skin.

thanks in advance.

If we had multiple skins available, a menu would appear to allow you to select them (I've tested it, none of you were paying attention though).

We're still working on figuring out how we're going to handle members creating skins. At this point in time it's looking like it's going to involve providing you guys with our CSS file and the important images that make up the forum. Them members will create their own, custom versions, and we'll vote to see which ones people like the best.

Want to see your questions answered? PM them to me and put 'Mailbag' in the subject line.


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Behind Bzp - Toy Fair

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower Feb 26 2012 · 132 views
Toy Fair, Behind BZP
Hey everyone, now that I'm all done with Toy Fair coverage I thought I would do two things. First - update my blog more regularly again. Second - talk more about Toy Fair! I just can't get away from it, can I?

Behind BZP - Toy Fair
This was the eighth year I've been invited to a part of Toy Fair by LEGO. The way they've handled the event has changed over the years. Originally they had a private show room they would give us a tour of. Then they had gala events for a couple years where they'd make big announcements. Nowadays though they get us into the expo hall early and let us take pictures and talk to the PR teams about the new sets before anyone else (well, except for the people who went to the other Toy Fairs). BZPower greatly appreciates the opportunity and will continue to go as long as we are able.

So, Toy Fair 2012. No longer living int the New York metropolitan area, it's a bit more of a hassle to attend, but thankfully I still know people in the area to help make the process easier. Arriving in the greatest city in the world the Saturday before, I headed for my hotel and checked in and got settled. A short while later I headed out to a local Thai restaurant to meet up with Jim Foulds and Joe Meno. I hope you all know who Jim is by now. In case you don't know Joe, he's the owner and editor of Brick Journal magazine and a long time member of the AFOL community. Both are cool guys and total geeks so we get along quite well.

After dinner, we attempted to make our way to Burgers and Cupcakes for some dessert, but unfortunately it was closed for a private party (very private, there was only one person there). We turned around and headed uptown then until we found ourselves in Time Square, where we of course had to go to Toys 'R' Us. A word of advice - never ever buy anything there. Their prices are always jacked up, and NYC has some ridiculous sales tax. We followed that up with the Disney Store, and then made an attempt at Rockefeller Plaza to go to the LEGO Store. Unfortunately it was closed, so we resumed our attempt to find cupcakes, when we fortuitously stumbled upon the Magnolia Bakery, which deliciously satisfied our hunger. All this was interspersed with talk of LEGO, the community, and various geek topics. All in all a fun time.

Sunday started way too early with breakfast at the Skylight Diner with Jim and Joe again. By seven we were at the Javits Center getting checked in. From there it was two hours of taking pictures, talking to other attendees, and taking pictures. Yes, as you saw, there were lots and lots of pictures. I chatted with the BS01 guys, Cholie and Aanchir, as well as people from some other fan sites. Everyone has their own interests and favorites, and it's nice to get different perspectives from other fans. And that's actually all there is to it. After the event I went back to my hotel and checked out, hopped back on a train, and was on my way to picture-editing land, where I would stay for far too long.

One of these days we're going to get ourselves into the full event. That will allow us to walk around the whole show. From the LEGO perspective there wouldn't be much added bonus (other than more time to gain info and take pictures), but as a geek I'd love to see some of the other toys out there.

I think that might have come off as more boring than I thought it would, but there you have it. If you have a better idea for a Behind BZP, post it in the comments or PM it to me.


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Busy Weekend

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life, BZPower Feb 17 2012 · 158 views
Real Life, Toy Fair, BZP
Sometimes real life takes priority over BZPower, unfortunately. This weekend, starting about three hours ago, is going to be a busy one. I'm not sure if/when I'll have time to post more Toy Fair coverage, but I'll bring what I need to work on it with me just in case.

I'm going to see a presentation of the play 'Shakespeare Abridged,' tonight, which I hear is hilarious. Then I'll be helping a friend move into some new digs. Then I have some other possible plans. It should be a fun time, but putting together those stories can take some time, time I may not have.

I hope everyone else has a good weekend too!


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Toy Fair Pic Counts

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower Feb 12 2012 · 165 views
2012, Toy Fair, LEGO
I'm hard at work going through the pictures I took this morning at Toy Fair. Hopefully I'll be able to post something later today. To give you an idea of the work I have to do, and also what to expect from our coverage, here's counts for the pictures I took of each theme. Please note that I'll be taking out the bad ones and the duplicates so you won't be seeing this many posted:

Bricks & More: 6
Cars: 6
City: 33
Creator: 12
Dino: 16
Duplo: 9
Friends: 26
Games: 10
Hero Factory: 52
Lord of the Rings: 58
Minifigures: 1
Monster Fighters: 20
Ninjago: 46
Racers: 5
Spongebob: 3
Star Wars: 46
Super Heroes - Constraction: 10
Super Heroes - System: 21
Technic: 6
Total: 386

Also, you can VOTE for the pics you want to see first.


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New Feature?

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower Feb 01 2012 · 207 views
BZP, Feature, Gallery
Shhh, this is a secret. You guys are the first to hear about this, because I trust you for some honest feedback.

Before the upgrade there was a 'Gallery' link that people always asked us questions about. The feature was never turned on, mainly because we were worried that hosting images on BZPower would adversely affect the performance of the site (even more). Things have changed, and now we have a new server and fewer active members.

What would you think if BZPower had a gallery where you could post pictures of your MOCs, artwork, and other LEGO-related things? And what would you think if normal Members could post a certain number of images and Premier Members could post more? Would you use it? Would you keep using Brickshelf/Maj/Flickr? Would you upgrade to a Premier Membership for more pictures?

I'm really interested to hear what you all think...






Welcome To My Blog

I'm glad to see you made the trip intact.

Posted Image

Name:
Andrew
Alias:
Black Six
Join Date:
August 2, 2001
Staff Since:
August 6, 2001
Position:
BZPower Administrator
Forums Currently Moderated:
Bionicle RPG, LEGO RPG, News Discussion
Forums Previously Moderated:
Fan-Created Games, Promotions, Marketplace Banter, Storyline & Theories, Buy/Sell/Trade, probably some others
Other Responsibilities:
Making sure news is posted, keeping the forums running smoothly, learning the ways of server-burping.

Video Games!

Most Played Games (as of late):
  • Halo 4
  • Tiny Death Star
  • Plants vs Zombies 2
Currently Playing:
 
 

Posted Image

It's A Trash Can!

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Comment Approval


Please note, due to people posting inappropriate comments in my blog in the past, I have chosen to approve all comments before they become publicly visible.

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BZPower Prize Status

Contest:
RPG Contest #18 - On hold
Library Summer Olympics - On hold
RPG Contest #19 - On hold
RPG Contest #20 - On hold
BBC Contest #61 - Sorted
RPG Contest #21 - On hold
BBC Contest #62 - On hold
Short Stories Contest #8 - On hold
RPG Contest #22 - On hold
Comics Contest #1 - On hold

Key:
Shipped! - Prizes are on their way!
Packaged - Prizes have been boxed up.
Sorted - Prizes have been separated from my stash and are ready to be packaged.
Pending - Prizes are the next to be shipped.
On hold - Prizes are waiting for other contest prizes to be shipped.

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