On Competition & Flickr

Brickbuildr has been up and running since since 2007… That’s 12 years now. It started out as a way to view LEGO MOCs, built with Flickr’s API. Then morphed into a site hosting PaB information from around the world — the information was crowd-sourced. From there, BrickJournal and I hosted a FOL calendar of events on Google Calendar; and tried to open the calendar up to the community (for more updates via crowd-sourcing). That changed when we gave the responsibilities over to  Swooshable.com, but now, that looks like that endeavor is dead… I think there’s a calendar being maintained over on LAN now, but it’s not every user friendly… personally, I’d like to see events in my country, or see some type of classification of events (conventions, displays, vs. club meetings, etc.).

I’ve been busy adding new stores and going back through old emails to make site improvements. I’m finding new time to revisit old plans/back-burner projects… I’m not promising anything, but hopefully there will be some improvements in the near future.

I’m also thinking about the web-site’s future… I think the PaB part is important — looks like I out lasted my competition. The site owner succumbed to life and shifting priorities. The code that ran that site is now on GitHub. Not to talk bad about the competition, but now looking at the code, it confirmed something I always suspected — he started off by scraping the HTML from my site to build his. And to be honest, later on, I took a few ideas from his site to improve BrickBuildr. 😉

It’s not an easy task to come up with a GUI that allows you to edit 72-ish bins, with over a few dozen of color, and possible thousand of parts in various shapes and sizes, that’s easy to use on a desktop, mobile phone, or ipad… I had talked to a friend of mine in mobile development if there was a way to use the camera to identify the color and part, using some AI on the back-end, to use that as a method for updating the web-site… I didn’t get a resounding, “that’s a great idea”, but more of a “do you know how much computer power that would take?” response. Meh, oh well.

So mix into this long train of though, I’ve dropped my Flickr Pro account, on the account it’s too much per year… What once started was a web-site built on Flickr’s API, I may end up dropping that aspect of the site. I don’t get many hits from people looking the images on the web-site; people mostly use it for the PaB features… And honestly, I don’t know how many people read this blog… I’ve thought about picking up pod-casting again, but it’s a challenge to find the time & people to talk with… Anyway, more later.