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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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It's A Conspiracy

Posted by Black Six , May 24 2012 · 744 views

A GLOBAL conspiracy.

They're all out to get me!

I'm onto you guys...


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Behind Bzp - Being An Ambassador

Posted by Black Six , Feb 06 2012 · 133 views
Ambassador, Behind BZP
In case you were wondering, I never said I was going to post these every Sunday. :P

Mailbag

1: If you could be any character in any movie, who would you be and why?

2: What's your favorite color?

3: On a scale from 0 to 10, how exciting is it to be Black Six? (zero being dreadful and ten being the most awesome thing ever)

4: How did you or the artist of your avatar come up with the character's design?

1. Tough question. I might have to go with Indiana Jones, because he's awesome.
2. Blue. No, yellllllow!
3. 6 (See what I did there?)

Just a few questions:

1. Will you ever update the content blocks of your blog?
2. Does this question exist?
3. What do you do for a living outside BZP?

1. Yes.
2. Yes.
3. I'm a computer engineer working for the U.S. Army.

To: Black Six
You are the “Lego Ambassador”. How is our relationship with Lego going? How do they communicate with us? Do they just call you into a convention and hand out sets to review or do they listen to what you have to say? Or both? Do they think we are a bit crazy for existing now that Bionicle is dead? Pulling back the curtain on that would be interesting.

fishers64

fishers wins with this outstanding suggestion for a Behind BZP.

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

Being an Ambassador
I had to go back and look it up, but I've been BZPower's Ambassador since June 2008. That's actually shorter than I expected, because it feels like I've been doing this for a while. But since I'm pretty sure that means I've been an Ambassador longer than Kelly was, I guess I'm the best person to talk on the subject.

To start I'll answer fisher's questions: Our relationship with LEGO is great. You can tell this because they spend so much time hanging out with us at fan events. At BrickFair Alabama this year I'd estimate we spent at least a third of the convention time hanging out with Jim Foulds and/or Kevin Hinkle. We talked about LEGO and Bionicle, of course, but also life, the universe, and everything.

There's a bunch of ways they communicate with us. Obviously there's the fan events. Then there's a set of forums LEGO uses for the Ambassadors and other fan projects. Sometimes Kevin or Jim will just email me too if there's something specific they'd like to know. They definitely listen. They want to know how BZPower is dealing with Bionicle being canceled, what we think of Hero Factory and other lines they're working on, and what we're doing to keep the spirit alive. As far as sets to review - we don't get those because I'm an Ambassador. LEGO sends us those because BZPower is still a large LEGO news and community site with a large reach.

They certainly don't think we're crazy for existing. They understand how big of a line Bionicle was and is for many of us. Fun fact: Kevin Hinkle's son still plays Bionicle Heroes, so he's in the know when it comes to our universe. They want to understand what we're doing and how we're reacting and then do what they can to help the community continue to thrive.

As far as the Ambassador program as a whole goes, these days it's kind of a nebulous concept. Back in the day (before I was selected) LEGO hand picked people from the community to give feedback and help give input on new LEGO themes. It was all under an NDA and very hush-hush. When I first joined, they were transitioning to a new mode of operations. There were several projects that Ambassadors could sign up for that were designed to help the community. There were also periodic calls for feedback and just general discussions with Ambassadors asking questions of LEGO.

The projects idea failed when too few of the Ambassadors were actively participating in them and LEGO was unable to provide the level of support we were expecting. So the program shifted to focus more on the discussion and feedback. A couple of times they've tried to encourage Ambassadors to start their own projects, but that's never really gotten off the ground.

All the while LEGO has been letting in more Ambassadors, most of whom rarely post or give off any signs of activity. But with more people come more questions, and the LEGO Community Team doesn't have the time usually to answer everything. As a result, the program has stagnated a bit, which is why you haven't heard anything about it from me of late. LEGO assures us that they're working on things though, so we'll see.

And hopefully that was elucidating, even if it wasn't as exciting as you might have thought. Remember, if you have something you'd like to see me talk about, just drop me a PM!


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Behind Bzp - Recording The Powercast

Posted by Black Six , in Uncategorized, BZPower Jan 22 2012 · 125 views
Powercast, Behind BZP
As I discussed last week, I was thinking of ending my Weekly Update series. And I am. Last week was the last one. It had become too much of recap of the news than anything substantial. You can get the same content from reading the front page.

So I'm trying something new - 'Behind BZP' - where I'll pull back the curtain a little on the things the staff an I do. It won't be every week, but I'll be doing it as often as I can think of things. If you have something you'd like to see me talk about send me a PM and let me know.

Recording the Powercast
There's a lot that goes into recording an episode of the Powercast, which is why they're every month and not every week or something crazy like that. Let's see how it goes.

My recording starts with a MXL-990 microphone, suspended by a Heil PL-2T boom arm. Be aware that I do not pay retail for any of this, I always search around for good deals. :P A Nady MPF-6 pop filter attaches to the boom to keep those harsh consonants from coming through too strong.

The mic is plugged into an M-Audio Fast Track Ultra mixer, to which I also plug in me Sennheiser HD-380 headphones. Then the mixer plugs into my laptop (a MacBook Pro).

So that's how I sound so good, but there's a lot of software involved to get everyone else on the show. Once we decide on a topic and who's involved, we use Skype to talk to each other. I record that conversation using Audio Hijack Pro.

After all the segments have been recorded, I open them up with Audacity. For some reason I've yet to determine, my mic only gets recorded on the left channel while everyone else goes on both the left and right. I use Audacity to split the two channels, get rid of the right, and save it as a mono-track file. I then run it through Levelator to even out the volumes of all the different speakers and to help remove noise. This saves me from actually having to do a lot of advanced audio editing. :P

Then I pop open Garageband. All the tracks get brought in, I cut and splice things together to get rid of awkward pauses and some of the 'ums' and 'ands' and such. This helps make the show flow better when you're listening. Around now I'll record the intro and outro pieces too. Once all the audio is in place, I add in the transitions. Then I listen through the whole thing (again) and adjust the levels so the volume doesn't change dramatically between segments. Finally, the metadata gets added and I export it into iTunes.

The file then gets uploaded to BZPower, I edit the XML file with the new episode, and post a news story.

Pretty simple, right?

Oh, and since I still have some questions, here's a Mailbag. I'll keep doing these if you guys keep sending questions.

Mailbag

1. Best Doctor? (Sorry if you've answered this before!)
2. What is your favorite BZPower fad?
3. Least favorite?
4. Favorite internet-wide meme? Least favorite?
5. Have you played Cave Story? If so, what did you think?
6. Does the set of all sets that do not contain themselves contain itself?
7. Will you consider on purpose a train at some point in the future?

-Canama

1. Hmm. I think I'd say David Tennant, even though Matt Smith is quite awesome.
2. There've been so many they all blend together.
3. The ponies are starting to get a little old.
4. Lolcats for sure. Rickrolling might be my least.
5. Nope.
6. By definition it can't.
7. Sure?

What's your favourite:

1. Rahkshi power?
2. Mask power?
3. Toa element?

1. Invulnerability
2. X-ray vision
3. Fire

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

I hope you all enjoyed that. Please let me know if you did! And let me know if there's other things you want me to discuss here.


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Weekly Update - 10/14

Posted by Black Six , Oct 14 2011 · 92 views
Weekly Update
Intro
The forums are back! Woohoo!

Updates
The forums are back! Do you need any more updates?

Oh fine, check out our super-prompt BrickFair coverage. Okay, maybe that was a bit of a fib. But it was still a fun time and you should check out all the awesome creations.

You should also answer this survey for LEGO. They want to hear from you and learn about how you interact with the LEGO online community. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Mailbag
Well, the forums have been offline for almost six months, so no one has been sending in any questions.

Want to see your questions answered? PM them to me and put 'Mailbag' in the subject line. I'll pick the few I like the best and answer them in the next update.

Conclusion
I'm just going to let you all enjoy the forums being back. Next week we'll try to get into more depth. Enjoy your weekend on BZPower!





Welcome To My Blog

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

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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:
 
 

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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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