Congrats to the LEGO® CUUSOO Winter Review Qualifiers

Midnight last night, December 3rd 2012, marked the end of the Winter Review Deadline. The team here at LEGO CUUSOO extends congratulations to our two qualifiers:

  • Purdee Pete – This project had a strong start out the gate with 500 supporters in its first week, but really took off when word spread on the Purdue campus and it gained the rest of the 10,000 needed in a 36-hour sprint to the finish!
  • Space Troopers!* – Another reminder of how “slow and steady wins the race.” Space Troopers has been a long time favorite and an entirely original idea, reached 10,000 just days before the deadline.
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But wait, what is the LEGO Review?
After LEGO CUUSOO projects reach 10,000 supporters, they enter the “LEGO Review,” where the LEGO Company evaluates their potential as an actual LEGO product. The fastest way to come up to speed on the review process is to read our three part blog series: Projects Reaching 10,000 Supporters Will Now Be Reviewed QuarterlyThe Quarterly LEGO Review: How does it work?, and finally  Cheat Sheet: How to Pass the LEGO Review with Flying Colors.

Why don’t we know the results of the Summer Review yet?
Yes, the Summer Review has been going on for many months now, and we’re just as impatient to share the details as you are to hear them. We’re wrapping up the last details of this, so please bear with us.

Next Review Deadline: March 3rd 4th
If your project didn’t reach 10,000 this quarter, don’t be discouraged – you have another four months to reach the 10,000 votes needed to qualify for the Spring Review.  The deadline is March 3rd 4th at midnight, GMT, so start rallying your supporters now!

* The project was re-named from its original, user-submitted name, as it originally mentioned a trademark owned by another company, who  requested we cease using the trademark. For more information, see this blog post.

New LEGO CUUSOO Knowledge Base

We’re excited to announce the first version of our Knowledge Base. There you can find answers to common questions about how LEGO CUUSOO works and about creating your projects. With this, we are moving our support from Get Satisfaction (the Feedback tab on the right hand side) to UserVoice, and will be retiring our Get Satisfaction account. We appreciate all of the suggestions and recommendations you’ve given us there, and we’ll refer to them when working on our future roadmap and improvements.

Our goal is to address some of your most common questions about the LEGO CUUSOO process, the site, and the community. There are some questions we won’t answer, though, especially specifics about how decisions are made in the LEGO Review beyond what we have explained on the blog to date.

Special thanks goes to community members GlenBricker, lizardman, mopeydecker, and TheNerd, who who helped us pick the most important questions to include from the beginning, and also volunteered their time editing and proofing the articles!

What you see today is the first version, and we’ll be improving the articles over time and adding more as we see fit. Enjoy!

Status of the Summer and Fall LEGO Reviews

Just as you’ve been anxious to hear the results of the Summer LEGO review, we have been chomping at the bit to share the news with you about the results for EVE Online Ships – RifterBack to the Future DeLorean Time Machine, The Legend of Zelda, and the Modular Western Town.

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The LEGO Review board is still working on some of the final details of the Summer Review, which must be complete before we are able to announce any of the results. Projects in each quarterly review happen in batches, so we announce the results for each project at the same time. We’re sorry that we cannot yet commit to a date where we will share the news.

Fall Review has Begun
In the mean time, we have begun the process of the Fall Review, which includes the UCS Sandcrawler, Thinking with Portals, and the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover.

Congratulations to the LEGO® CUUSOO Fall Review Qualifiers

As of midnight today, September 3 (GMT), the deadline to qualify for the Fall review has passed. The LEGO CUUSOO team extends our warm congratulations to the following projects that have successfully achieved 10,000 supporters and will be included in the Fall Review!

Fall-marscuriosityFall-ucssandcrawlerFall-portal2

What is the LEGO Review?
For background, check out our three-part blog series on the LEGO Review. The first post announces the quarterly schedule, the second outlines the phases of the review, and the final post shares our our cheat sheet on how to pass the LEGO Review.

When will we announce the results of the Summer Review?
We know you’re at the edge of your seats to find out which projects will pass the Summer LEGO Review. We’re just as eager to share the news as you are to hear it. The results should be in within the next several weeks, watch this space for updates!

Next Review Deadline: December 3rd
Future quarterly review deadlines will be will be early December, March, June, and September respectively. The deadline to achieve 10,000 supporters and qualify for the Winter review is Monday, December 3 (midnight GMT).

Fall Review Deadline: You’re Running Out of Time!

Did you know that the fall LEGO Review deadline is just around the corner? How summer has flown by! Congratulations to the projects that have qualified to date: Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, the UCS Sandcrawler, and of course, Thinking with Portals. What other projects will make the cut? Maybe yours?

Now is the time to promote, promote promote! Tell your friends to go and support your project, share it on your networks, send an email blast to colleagues, even stop and tell people on the street about it – spread the word the best you can! Past projects (think Minecraft) have shown that sometimes the votes can come in practically overnight once these projects are shared within the right groups. Just remember the House Rules; please don’t promote your project in the comments on LEGO CUUSOO itself, it’s way spammy, and you don’t want to be that guy.

The fall deadline is 12:59 p.m. GMT September 3rd, 2012. Projects that reach 10,000 supporters before this deadline will be considered for production in the Fall LEGO Review. For details on the quarterly review process, read this.

Stay tuned for an official announcement September 4th to congratulate the Fall LEGO Review qualifiers.

But wait…what about the Summer Review?!
We know you’re at the edge of your seats to find out which projects will pass the Summer LEGO Review. We’re just as eager to share the news as you are to hear it. Like we’ve said before (and maybe you’re sick of hearing it), this process involves factors outside of our control, so it can take some time. However, I can tell you that an official announcement will occur in a matter of weeks, not months, and we’ll update you on the exact timeframe when we know ourselves.

Lastly, if you’re wondering who I am…

My name is Sara, and you’ll be seeing me around LEGO CUUSOO from time to time. Many of you know me from ReBrick, but check out my profile to learn more.

Improvements to the Activity Feed

The Activity Feed on your My Page has now become a bit more relevant to your daily activities on LEGO CUUSOO. We’ve removed the largest source of clutter on the feed; you’ll now no longer see feed items for each new supporter and comment made to a project you have supported. Now your Activity Feed will show a notification when the following things happen:

Your Account and Project
You’ll receive notifications when:

  • Someone follows you
  • Your project reaches the following supporter milestones: 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, … 10,000
  • Your project receives an official LEGO comment
  • Another user replies to a comment or thread on your project

Projects You Support
You’ll receive notifications when the projecs you support:

  • Are edited or deleted
  • Reache supporter milestones (25, 50…)
  • Receive an official LEGO comment

Projects You Bookmark
You’ll receive notifications when the projecs you bookmark:

  • Reache supporter milestones (25, 50…)
  • Receive an official LEGO comment

Finally, when you follow someone, you’ll be notified when they publish a new project. Do you like the changes to the Activity Feed? Let us know in the comments below.

Updates to the Project Guidelines and House Rules

Today we have posted an update to the LEGO CUUSOO Project Guidelines and House Rules. This document outlines how LEGO CUUSOO works and communicates what we expect in terms of project content, basic quality, and what kind of behavior we welcome on the site. All new submissions to LEGO CUUSOO are reviewed to ensure they follow these Guidelines, and we moderate user behavior based on the House Rules.

In the last couple months, we’ve posted more specifically about our brand standards and what content we allow. Today we have integrated those standards into the Project Guidelines and House Rules, and have added two new sections to the page; Acceptable Project Content and Basic Project Quality Standards. The original Guidelines content (rights, royalties, plagiarism, etc.) hasn’t changed, and you can find it under the first section, “How This Works.”

Acceptable Project Content
The Acceptable Project Content section incorporates the framework from the Brand Standards blog post several weeks ago. This section is a guide to help you understand what types of projects we will accept. It’s a framework for our decision-making. Our team will apply the standard, but we won’t explain each decision in detail.

The section adds also a couple more rules about project types. For instance, projects should be product concepts (LEGO CUUSOO isn’t a gallery), drawings and photos are OK (as long as you position the project as a LEGO product), and we don’t accept ideas that propose new MMORPG games–projects of that nature are outside of the scope of LEGO CUUSOO.

Basic Project Quality Standards
The Basic Project Quality Standards section outlines a few things you should pay attention to when creating your project:

  • Make sure your photos are clear and well lit (not dark, blurry, or pixilated)
  • Any altered images should be clear and easy to read; we don’t allow jagged edges, poor cropping or compositing, hard to read text, or scaling distortions
  • Titles and descriptions should be clearly understood (really, who likes to read TONS OF CAPS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!! anyway?)
  • Finally, we’ve seen people submit projects where the image doesn’t match the discription at all, and won’t accept those

You can read the full changes on the LEGO CUUSOO Project Guidelines and House Rules page. For those interested, we’ve also done a refresh on the email messages you receive when we accept, reject, or delete a project, so the reasons become much more clear.

Cleaning Up Existing Projects
Some projects posted before we implemented our pre-approval process on March 29 might not follow the Acceptable Project Content framework. We are reviewing and removing these projects in descending order by number of supporters, but with over 3,000 published projects this will take some time. If you find a project that you don’t think fits our standards, you can tell us by using the “Report This Project” link on the right-hand column of the project page. We will then receive your report and make a decision.

Pre-Approval is Good, but not Perfect
We’ve been pre-approving new project submissions now since the end of March. This allows us to filter content we deem inappropriate for the LEGO brand, with one caveat; some things are not obvious on the surface and the filter won’t be perfect. There are especially so many IP-related projects that though we try, we can’t give every IP a thorough review. Projects that are obviously over the line will be caught, but expect that we’ll make mistakes from time to time and let something through we’ll remove later.

How do I know what’s OK?
We’ve provided the Guidelines and House Rules as a framework to communicate our standards. We know it can’t cover every possible situation, so we offer this simple advice; remember that are many LEGO product ideas that both appeal to older fans and do not present an issue for our younger fans. When creating your projects, our advice is to stick to what’s safe. While not every model or IP makes for an appropriate LEGO product, you can still share your creation with the world on sites like Flickr and ReBrick.

LEGO CUUSOO is a learning process for us. Opening ourselves to your product suggestions has tremendous opportunity. In fact, allowing people to publicly suggest new products and build audiences that want them in the open is brand new territory not just for us, but quite cutting edge as a practice overall. Doing this also opens us to risk of criticism for our decisions. That’s great, because it means people care about what we’re doing. So, we’ll stay focused on the good that has happened with LEGO CUUSOO so far, and the great things to come as we grow.

As always, best wishes with your LEGO CUUSOO projects!