|Services and activities||Online: Hosting of images
Real Life: none
|Membership type(s)||Free registration required to upload, anyone can view|
|Membership cost||Free, but donations accepted and give ad free access|
|Target audience||ALEs worldwide who need a place to host pictures|
Brickshelf is an image-hosting site founded by Kevin Loch. Brickshelf also hosted LEGO instruction scans (with tacit permmission and funding from The LEGO Company), but the scans have now been moved to Peeron. Registering is free and only requires an e-mail address. Registration enables fansto upload pictures of their LEGO creations to a personal gallery. Although membership is free, donations are encouraged, and Google ads appear to users who are not logged logged in. The main page on Brickshelf.com includes an area that displays a selection of recently created or modified folders. Clicking the More link opens a page that displays more recent folders.
Uploading and Organizing LEGO Images on Brickshelf
Registered users can upload your LEGO images to their Brickshelf gallery, either one at a time, or in Zip files.
Uploaders can also organize their LEGO images into folders, which can themselves contain subfolders. Brickshelf offers predefined keywords, such as "Train" and "Castle," that can be selected when creating a folder. These keywords enable other users to find relevant LEGO images more easily. (custom keywords can also be added, via an "Additional Keywords" box.) Assigning image files meaningful names also makes them searchable.
Linking to Brickshelf Images
All images are moderated by Brickshelf administrators before becoming visible to other users. This means that someone reviews each image to make sure it abides by the Brickshelf terms of service agreement. Moderation is sometimes very quick, but it can often take several hours. Fortunately, deeplinking makes images accessible immediately. Deeplinking is especially useful when posting links to MOCs on LUGNET or other LEGO user forums. View counts appear at the bottom of each image page, as well as for each folder and gallery.
The Brickshelf server automatically creates thumbnail images of each picture members upload. Thumbnail images are stored in a special subfolder invisible from main gallery pages. However, users can still link directly to thumbnail images. To link to a thumbnail image, right-click the image and select Properties (on Windows), or CTRL+click the image and select Open Image in New Window (on Macintosh). The address seen is the link to the thumbnail. Thumbnail image addresses follow this format:
With this format in mind, links to a thumbnail image can be used without finding out its path.
Brickshelf has a companion gallery, Maj.com, which uses the same database coding and user accounts, but is not restricted to LEGO content. Although some people have placed LEGO content on Maj.com, most LEGO users continue to use Brickshelf.
July 2007 saw some major churn regarding Brickshelf. There was a discontinuance, where the site was not available at all, followed by a restoration with a warning that it was going away by 31 July, and an urging to users to save images. This resulted in several image slurping programs being announced or dusted off, other sites making announcements about what might be done, and presumably a spike in the load. As the users tried to save things, what was savable and with what degree of automation changed. Finally, as of 20th July, 2007, the Brickshelf site stated that it will be kept alive with a combination of free and paid-for premium accounts.