The future direction of vee8

Later this month, vee8 will be one year old. It’s been a great year and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed contributing to the debate among F1’s bloggers. But it’s time for some changes.

You may know that when I set up vee8, it was as a spin-off to my personal blog, doctorvee. Essentially, I had set up two blogs when I only really had enough content for one blog. I suspected I wouldn’t be able to produce enough F1 content to justify setting up a totally new blog.

If anything, my time constraints have become more severe since then. I am heavily involved in running four blogs, and much of my spare time just now is spent looking for a job. Then once I find a job I will have even less spare time for obvious reasons.

Originally I had two plans in mind to make producing content for vee8 easier.

First of all, I decided to invite everyone to post. The idea was to have the openness of a forum with the format of a blog. It was experimental. I always suspected that not many people would take it up. After all, there are plenty of other outlets for people to express their opinions, and the F1 blogosphere has developed even more since then.

That made it all the more surprising that some people actually did decide to write one or two posts for this site. So my thanks go out to Christine, Brits on Pole, Onebrow, Ollie, Ponzonha, Sammy the Finn and Scott Woodwiss for making use of the facility and producing great posts for this site.

But now I have closed down new user registration. That is not to say I am totally ruling out any guest posts in the future, and everyone who has registered is still very welcome to write a post for vee8 if they wish. But in general, any future guest posts will be done on the sort of basis they are done on other websites.

My other plan to beef up the content on this blog was to produce daily news roundups. I believe this feature proved to be popular. Back then, I don’t think anyone was offering a similar kind of service. But today, both Keith at F1 Fanatic and Christine at F1 Minute produce their own regular links roundups and make heavier use of Delicious.

Now that these two adequate alternatives to my daily links service are available, it is no longer the USP it once was. Furthermore, the time constraints I have already mentioned mean that I am no longer able to hunt for links from a variety of locations. I now normally stick to the same old sources, and if you read my daily links regularly you will already be well aware of what those sources are.

This is where your help comes in. Do you, as a reader, still value the daily links roundups? Should I re-think the feature? Give up on it completely?

Over the next few days I will be tweaking the design of the site to make it more suitable for the direction I want to take vee8 in for the new season. I am still not sure how often I will be able to keep vee8 updated. I have found it difficult over the off-season, but I was exceptionally busy in December and January, and I might well get back into the swing of things come Melbourne.

But while I am considering all of this, now is a good time to ask you guys for your advice. This will help me as a content producer get more out of vee8, and hopefully it will help you get more out of it too. Any thoughts are welcome!


  1. May I beg for the continuation of the daily links service? There are others available now but you still provide links that the others miss and, to be honest, there have been times when you have given me ideas for posts on my own blog through links to sites that don’t often deal with F1. Plus, it seems to me that the links service would be easier to keep up than original posts – they give you a regular feature to attract visitors whereas self-written articles are bound to be less regular, perhaps even more so in the future.

    Which is not to say that your own posts are less valuable than the links. You are one of the best writers on F1 on the net and I hope that you continue for many years. It is always a pleasure to visit Vee8 (which I do several times daily).

  2. I’d also like to ask for the continuation of the links posts. They’re a valuable resource regardless of what is available elsewhere.

  3. Thanks, Clive and Gordon, for the vote of confidence in the daily links posts. I would be happy to continue them. If nothing else, bookmarking so many web pages using Delicious works well for me because it means I can easily find old articles. I wanted to ensure that other still derived value from it. Thanks! 🙂

  4. Hello Duncan:
    I don’t comment very often (nearly never) due to language limitations, but please, keep up with the daily links section,(and your own views also, i loved the drivers ranking). I se you as first reference for to see what’s going around.
    Best regards:

  5. Well, I actually read this blog for your articles, which are without exception well written and informed. I only occaisonally use the twitter news links, as like you say most of those are on Keith’s site.

    So I’d love it if you still wrote your articles, but I know full well how time constraints interfere with those plans (hence my own quietness on F1-pitlane of late).

    Actually, an idea just occurred to me. Why not just contribute your occaisonal articles to F1-pitlane? Maybe John might be interested a bit of merging the twitter etc into that site as well? Just a thought.

  6. Thanks for the suggestions Pink Peril. Contributing to F1-pitlane is a good idea, though I’d like to keep vee8 running if it was feasible so I’d rather not for the time being. If things don’t work out here though it might be a goer.

  7. Hi, Duncan. What I really enjoy about your blog are your personal posts, so the review roundup, though I like it, is not estrictly necessary to me. It’s nice having a place like this blog to share our thoughts about F1, and since I’m from a different country, checking out what the opinions of the (mostly) english people are. I see this blog as a really valuable opportunity to talk to people who doesn’t have my same point of view, and that’s why I enjoy so much. We are a group of friends just discussing about F1. No need to make it daily, so take your time, and enjoy the company (at least, as much as I do).

  8. Duncan,
    The timing of this post couldn’t be better from my point of view, as it was only yesterday that I came to realize how much I appreciated your daily news roundups, and to realize and appreciate, as well, how much effort you have must have been putting to them over the months. Your site has been my primary source of news and insight into the Sport that has remained my one true passion since the days of Hill ( yes, Phil ! ) Clark, Brabham, Hill, and Gurney. You are one of the givers that are the soul of the internet, and I am in awe of all of you who choose to do what you do. So as a taker, so far, in this, what do I say, do I say please continue what you are doing ? How could I, when we all know from experience finding a day job can take total focus ! What I can say is you are appreciated, and you have done a very good job. Whatever you chose to continue to do, I for one will follow.

  9. Duncan, your delicious account of links is the first site I check everyday since it always has more links than F1 Fanatic (another of my favorite sites). Sidepodcast’s links have not even been updated since the 9th, so your links list is better than any other I have found. I assume you are checking multiple sources for stories everyday for your own interest, why not keep posting them? I enjoy all your articles and understand if they are infrequent. Please keep up the links list on delicious and if you dont think you can create enough original posts on the main site to keep it going I hope to see your posts somewhere else, preferably F1 Fanatic. Thanks for all the great F1 coverage.

  10. A popular feature that I aprove as well. Most of the times I only have to read your coments under the links to stay well informed.
    I like the blog as it is, and I prefer to engage in conversations here than in other more crowded english-speaking blogs.
    I only wish I had more time to sit down and contribute with posts, I really like the forum.

  11. Well thanks to everyone for your kind comments. Rest assured that I will continue with the links posts. As for other articles, I will produce them when I can, but please don’t mind too much if I am quiet sometimes. 🙂

  12. hello doctorvee..
    i echo the words of guille2306..
    your features are top notch..
    so keep them coming whenever you can 🙂
    and good luck with the job search

  13. Duncan – thanks for extending us the opportunity to post on Vee8, which we appreciated greatly and enjoyed doing.

    I do think that we were perhaps a bit too aware of the responsibility of having direct access to someone else’s blog and this may have made us a bit uncomfortable about posting – it would have been dreadful to have sent pieces live which you didn’t feel happy about and we were reluctant to risk that.

    We’ve always found the links roundup very useful and readable. But the bottom line with a blog is that it must be fun and not a chore if it is ever going to succeed. Sometimes with Brits on Pole we feel like we’ve created an absolute monster, but we still normally regain our enthusiasm pretty quickly.

    So you should probably continue with whatever level of involvement you feel comfortable with and not feel too pressured by the views of other people. Although, with the new season coming up, having a venue to sound off about the first outrageous thing that Bernie or one of the teams does will probably seem very appealing!

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  14. Put me down as another who would like the daily links to continue. There’s always a couple that slip through the net everyday!

    Otherwise, time permitting, just do as much as you can. Quality rather than quantity! So the odd feature now and again would be great!

  15. Dear Duncan,

    I already mentioned to you how fantastic it is that people like you entertain us “for free”; this alone speaks volumes of you as a person considering how is people nowdays.

    Regarding the content of your posts, I have always thought they are the most balanced and creditable. In my mind you represent the “true British” if stereotypes mean something. It is your personal writings what I like and not the link posts (not that much), so if you once have to choose between both you know my vote.

    Good luck with the search of jobs; never easy to finish the “student life”…. after that family, house…. don’t worry, most people are successful with that!

  16. just a quick clarification vee. f1 minute’s daily links list isn’t really doing the same thing as yours at all.

    the intention is to provide a list of source material that goes into making up the daily show, rather than a collection of useful sites as you’re providing.

    incidentally, that list is taking a break anyhow, due to delicious’ inability to rate or rank stories according trust. what we really need is some means of saying:

    – “story x is from autosport and likely to be 99% correct. do trust.”
    – “story y is from a foreign magazine and probably contains 10% of truth. consider suspect.”

    if we can’t find a solution, we may have to make one. but please don’t see that as any reason to stop doing what you’re doing. you be the original and the best, keep it up squire.

  17. Thanks everyone for the comments! I’m bowled over by the response.

    LJH — I wouldn’t have worried about you publishing any pieces. I understand the reluctance about writing on someone else’s blog though.

    Sidey — Have you looked at StumbleUpon? It has some kind of ratings system. I don’t think it’s designed to illustrate how much you trust the source, but I don’t think there’s anything to stop you from using it for that purpose.