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Was Greg Paid to Participate in BZP?


Illuminatus
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This question literally just popped into my head and I had no idea who to ask, so I just thought I'd post a topic.

I hope the question isn't insensitive; it's just something I'm genuinely curious about. It makes perfect sense from a management and marketing perspective to commission the official Bionicle writer if you want to run the biggest and most successful Bionicle fan site. Considering the numerous partnerships BZP has had with TLC and e.g. our strict no-leaked-images policy, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Greg turned out to have been hired all along, with TLC's blessing of course.

I don't seem to remember Greg being part of any other Bionicle-related board excluding LEGO's official message board, which would also make sense. And honestly, would anyone really spend years upon years replying to every single fan question out of good will alone? I find that really doubtful now that I'm no longer a teenager.

Thanks and, again, sorry if this question is crossing any lines.

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nope! he did it out of his genuine passion for bionicle and the community. The comics he wasn't really paid for either (it was folded into his main job as the lego magazine editor, and my understanding is that was with no extra pay) and the novels were freelance he did in his off time for Scholastic. whether or not you like his writing style, the dude was dedicated.

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believe victims. its actually not that hard, and youd look kind of bad if you were to, say, side with an abuser because theyre your friend

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Thanks, that's helpful. ^_^

Although to be honest, it could very well have been part of his contract/agreement to say he wasn't being paid. Not to sound conspiratorial but I could very much envision it happening. If you ran the biggest Bionicle fan site and made every effort to set yourself apart from your competitors (which it was coincidentally forbidden to mention by name), it would make sense to not only hire the official Bionicle writer but also to create the impression that he was on here because he genuinely enjoyed it.

And while I'm not saying he didn't enjoy it, remember we're still talking about answering literal thousands of member questions every day, every week, every month, for at least 5 years in a row, very often having to repeat yourself. I for one have sent Greg at least 50 messages over the years and he has not once failed to respond, up until 2011 anyway. And speaking of 2011, isn't it odd that he stopped coming online AND writing the serials altogether? Personal issues and official TLC age restrictions could be the explanation, but I can also imagine an end-of-contract situation being an additional factor.

Here's what happened in late 2010 and 2011: Bionicle ended, Greg stopped coming online and writing serials, the ban on mentioning other Bionicle fan sites and YouTube was lifted, and there was also a prolonged downtime. Most, if not all of these things, could have something to do with an official contract involving BZP, TLC, and Greg.

I never got to be BZP staff despite my best efforts years ago so I was never enlightened as to some of the inner workings of the site. And my question was mostly addressed towards the staff. If someone from the staff could chime in, that'd be really helpful.

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"And speaking of 2011, isn't it odd that he stopped coming online AND writing the serials altogether? Personal issues and official TLC age restrictions could be the explanation, but I can also imagine an end-of-contract situation being an additional factor.

Here's what happened in late 2010 and 2011: Bionicle ended, Greg stopped coming online and writing serials, the ban on mentioning other Bionicle fan sites and YouTube was lifted, and there was also a prolonged downtime. Most, if not all of these things, could have something to do with an official contract involving BZP, TLC, and Greg."

I think you're getting a little carried away with this. And most of the stuff you mentioned didn't happen at the exact same time, so it's not that much of a coincidence.

Edited by Sir Kohran
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From what I recall, back in 2011 we had to fight to get the site mentioning thing lifted. Nothing changes on BZP without a war. If the ban on mentioning other sites had to do with Greg, we wouldn't have had to fight so hard to get it lifted. 

If Greg was paid to answer questions, TLG likely paid him directly. If TLG found out that he was taking money from BZP for answering questions, he would have lost his job. Also, Greg answered a ton of questions on the Lego Message Boards after Bionicle ended, too. Why would he agree to do that if the only reason he answered questions on BZP was because the staff paid him? 

 

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8 hours ago, Sir Kohran said:

I think you're getting a little carried away with this. And most of the stuff you mentioned didn't happen at the exact same time, so it's not that much of a coincidence.

Yeah, true, that was a bit convoluted. Never mind it.

5 hours ago, 1womanarmy said:

If Greg was paid to answer questions, TLG likely paid him directly. If TLG found out that he was taking money from BZP for answering questions, he would have lost his job. Also, Greg answered a ton of questions on the Lego Message Boards after Bionicle ended, too. Why would he agree to do that if the only reason he answered questions on BZP was because the staff paid him?

It's really not that hard to imagine an agreement (if not a contract) involving all three parties—Greg, TLC and BZP. Did BZP not do its absolute best to uphold TLC's interest? No leaked images, no direct linking. Pure good will could explain that, of course, but so could a set of terms and conditions, which no other fan site appeared to adhere to.

Also, I never suggested a paycheck was the only reason Greg stuck around. The man clearly had devotion. All I'm suggesting is that he was given an extra incentive to participate, quite possibly as a regular donation either to him directly or via TLC.

Obviously I'm not familiar with BZP's budget but if you were running this site and you had a financial surplus from, say, premier memberships, wouldn't you at least consider finding a way to give some of that to Greg? As a gesture, if nothing else.

Anyway, I don't mean to push this subject too hard; clearly Greg has addressed this question himself at least once. I'm just not entirely convinced is all. If someone who was involved in the financial management of BZP could step up and definitely deny or confirm this claim, I think that would be pretty sufficient. Otherwise we're just throwing hunches back and forth.

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This is sounding a bit too conspiratorial for me. If Greg did get paid and engage on BZP as part of his official job, and it was openly acknowledged, it wouldn't have reflected less on him. He's got bills to pay and we're not entitled to his time. What makes it so fascinating and praiseworthy is that he did it in his free time was because it was above-and-beyond.

He's said before that BIONICLE was never his main job, editing the LEGO Magazine was, which, while not as visible, was probably way more labor-intensive behind the scenes.

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On 2/26/2020 at 8:38 PM, -Windrider- said:

Man, I wish I had gotten paid.

1 hour ago, Laval- Master of Energy said:

Maybe it was a money thing at first, and then he started enjoying BZP for what it was?

Which brings us to another question: why does BZP inspire so much unpaid labor from people, and inspire them to spend so much time on it that they may later regret?

On 2/28/2020 at 2:26 AM, Taka Nuvia said:

Wasn't there something about COPPA (or another, similar regulation) that was the reason why Greg stopped interacting on BZP? At least that's what I remember.

Yeah, he wasn’t allowed to interact with people under the age of 13 without certain protections. BZP didn’t have those protections or the ability to tell that all their users were over 13. If one 12-year-old had a dangerous interaction with Greg, or one that was iffy, TLG could get sued. 

I’ve been on a COPPA-certified site before. Emails are sent to “parents”, random names are assigned to members with strict naming controls to ensure that nobody gives out their real first and last name. No face reveals, no revealing where you live or you get banned, etc. You can’t post photos that reveal your location either. Needless to say, it would be a hard pill for most of us to swallow,  and it wouldn’t get us Greg back anyway at this point.

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On 2/26/2020 at 2:09 PM, Peri said:

nope! he did it out of his genuine passion for bionicle and the community. The comics he wasn't really paid for either (it was folded into his main job as the lego magazine editor, and my understanding is that was with no extra pay) and the novels were freelance he did in his off time for Scholastic. whether or not you like his writing style, the dude was dedicated.

Thanks Peri! :) This is the answer, straight from Greg himself. Answering questions was never part of his job, at least officially. He may have used work time to answer questions, but it wasn't part of his job description, and BZPower never paid him for it. It was something he did for the fans out of his passion for the community (which is super commendable IMO).

@Illuminatus Does this answer your question?

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