Changes to the F1 Fanatic Live Blogs

Since the introduction of the live blogs at the start of this year they have grown quickly and are available on several F1 sites including BlogF1, Vee8 and F1 Wolf.

From this weekend we’re making a few changes to the live blogs which are explained below, plus details of when this weekend’s live blogs will be run.

The live blogs have become so busy in recent races it has often become difficult to follow the conversation. We’ve had up to 400 people participating in some sessions, and just as a conversation between 400 people cannot take place if everyone is speaking at once, the same is true with the live blogs.

These are the changes that will be made from this weekend in order to allow everyone to continue contributing to the live blogs.

More moderators

Thanks to an excellent response to the call for volunteers last week, we now have more moderators to help run the live blogs.

Commentators

Recognising that many people who use the live blogs are not able to follow the sessions on television or live timing, we will now have dedicated ‘commentators’ whose role will be to provide updates on things like race order, changes in gaps between drivers, lap times and so on.

Moderating the discussion

The moderators will try to keep the discussion centred around a limited number of topics at once. Usually this will be about what’s going on at the track at the moment.

During the live blog if you’ve got a question or point about something that’s not being discussed post it as usual, and the moderators will publish it if they can. Some comments might be held for a while to be used during a lull in the conversation, others may be used as subjects for polls.

Comments that repeat something that’s been said recently will usually not be posted. For example, when a major event has happened on track and 20 comments each saying “Sutil spins” (or similar) are posted, only one will be published. Comments giving further observations or thoughts, e.g., “Sutil’s rear wing had fallen off” or “Sutil spun at the same corner yesterday” are more likely to get posted.

I know some people will have concerns about every comment not being posted ‘live’. But with the sheer number of people using the live blog now it’s no longer possible to continue in this way. We will do our best to ensure everyone gets a chance to air their thoughts and opinions during the live blog.

Future changes

This weekend will be the first time we’ve tried this new system and it’s likely there will be some things that work well and some things that don’t. We’re always open to suggestions for future changes:

Feedback

Got any feedback about the changes to the live blog? Post your thoughts below.

Singapore Grand Prix Live blogs

The free practice live blogs will run during the free practice sessions.
The qualifying live blog will start 45 minutes before qualifying and end 20 minutes after.
The race live blog will start 60 minutes before the race and end 20 minutes after.
Singapore Grand Prix session times here.

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12 comments on Changes to the F1 Fanatic Live Blogs

  1. Oliver said on 26th September 2008, 1:25

    The curse of success:-)

  2. Keith,

    This is what happens when one has a great success.

    As in the rest of the things in life, the formula for success is so simple:

    5 days of inspiration and…
    5 years of “transpiration”!

    Always combined with loads of talent and knowledge.

    Congratulations! F1 Fanatic is the most successfull F1 blog now, and I’m afraid your destiny is increasing it each day.

  3. I would suggest you reduce ,if possible, the time that takes for a cmment to go on air because in a discussion between two people it is hard to follow it as questions and answers chat as there are so many irrelevant comments between them.
    For sure this live blog is one of the best and I hope these changes make it even better !

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th September 2008, 9:09

    Eddie – That’s basically what we’re trying to do. Instead of just posting everything as it comes in, we’ll post stuff that’s relevant to the current discussion first and other stuff later. On-track matters will take priority. We’re going to be fine-tuning a lot over the weekend but hopefully the end product will work better than it currently does. Thanks for your suggestion.

  5. This sounds much better Keith. I found that it was impossible to keep up with the action on the tele and what was being said in the live blog.

    I think this will promote much better discussion rather than 30+ people commentating on the race.

  6. Keep up the good work Keith & Co.

    i applaud your success, and see this step as crucial, however, during the beligian GP i was home and tried to contribute to the converstaion, and reading past posts is very hard, as when you scroll up, the thing just goes back to the latest message posted, and messages stream so fast, that it’s hard to follow them.

    can you like do something to enable us to scroll up and keep it there while we read something we’ve missed without having to wait till the blog shuts down at the end?

    the rest is excellent, even with that tini winny inconvenience it was great fun watching the race with you guys. looking forward for this weekend talk to you then.

  7. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th September 2008, 11:08

    Ron – Yes there is a function that allows you to do that. On the live blog there is a button that allows you to turn ‘autoscroll’ on or off as you need, allowing you to look earlier into the conversation without being moved back to the bottom every time there’s an update.

  8. As ever, great blog Keith.

    Is there a way to expand length ways the blog box. I find the space allocated to incoming comments is a little small and not always easy to follow especially when there are several larger posts. I know you can stop the automatic scrolling but I find this is not always the best solution especially in the heat of an exciting moment.

  9. martinb said on 27th September 2008, 9:42

    I agree with Chaz — make the box longer if possible.

    Here is another suggestion that will get more comments in the length of the box: Put the commenter’s name on the same line as the comment as you do for the moderator’s name.

    Currently:

    F1Fanatic.co.uk: Hamilton was fastest from the Ferraris af Massa and Raikkonen with Kovalainen fourth.

    [Comment From Kris]
    Afternoon all – some french onion soup sees me nourished and ready to roll :)

    [Comment From Chaz]
    hi all. back for more

    Suggested:

    F1Fanatic.co.uk: Hamilton was fastest from the Ferraris af Massa and Raikkonen with Kovalainen fourth.

    Kris: Afternoon all – some french onion soup sees me nourished and ready to roll :)

    Chaz: hi all. back for more

  10. martinb said on 27th September 2008, 9:53

    Oh, and make comments editable if possible.

    I meant to add: that makes two lines saved, and four words we don’t have to read, in the space of three comments.

    Note that there is no point in re-reading “Comment From” again and again — it only slows down one’s reading.

    I’m not criticizing, only suggesting. You have a wonderful blog, and I appreciate the live commentary because I often can’t watch the race on TV or on the net (low bandwidth).

  11. A few more thoughts.

    I think the moderators should be careful not to censor or edit to much repetitive commentary especially during exciting moments of the Grand Prix as I think this heightens our excitement enjoyment and appreciation of the F1 craft. This thought is confirmed many times over when some fans can only follow the race through the blog and they see the collective repetatative excitement and are equally gripped with developments.

    I think that significantly speeding up the time it takes for comments to be posted would be great as it sometimes takes a very long time. This would probably then do away with the concerns of repetitive commentary as it then wouldn’t matter much thereafter.

    Once again, thanks for giving up your time to do this Keith. Its appreciated and its great we have a forum for fans to get together.

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