★ A Change in Philosophy and The Road Ahead

★ A Change in Philosophy and The Road Ahead

This website has always been a very much personal affair- I’ve always been the sole writer behind all the articles on here and am culpable for it’s constant design changes. Truth be told, I’ve been very pleased and satisfied with the last two designs on the website. I spent significant (read: far too much) amount of time designing and customising them. My aim’s always been to reach an ideal mix of simplicity, minimalism and rich content. I keep iterating to reach that idealist aim.

Until this point, Literal F1 has been a showcase of written text. Articles that I’ve penned on fascinating Formula One developments. However, that tends to be a burden in itself. Long time readers will know of my manta “quality not quantity” when it comes to posting on here. I’m a self confessed ardent perfectionist and most certainly the biggest critic of my own work. I always ask myself the question: “are you fully proud of what you’ve written?” before hitting that rather intimidating ‘publish’ button. This is however, incredibly time intensive. I’m rather ashamed to say it takes me weeks to go from an idea to an article published and up on the website. Furthermore…  I’m a third year university student studying Medicine and doing a dissertation in BioMedicalSciences – as a result, my days tend to be pretty packed.

All the way back in 2006, there used to be a great blog (sadly now it’s dead) which I used to love visiting and reading. But it’s author became more and more busy and thus found it more and more difficult to regularly update it. Posts went from being 2/3 a week to 2/3 a month. Everyday I would visit the website and be disappointed to find no new content on there.

A quick look at my archive shows that I’ve only written 6 articles in the last month. Granted, they have been arguably some of the best I think I’ve written but that is simply too little. Yet, I will not compromise on quality just to arbitrarily increase the quantity of content.

I’ve been thinking over the last month of offering even more value to you – dear readers – from the website. And I think I’ve gotten a pretty sweet solution.

Links

Here’s the thing – the web is full of incredible content. Formula One is lucky to have so many great websites offering great, freely available content. I’m thinking of site’s like ScarbsF1 and SomersF1 for technical analysis; Peter Windsor’s and Will Buxton’s for well analysed paddock insight and VivaF1 for truly insight stats just to name a few.

More so, we have some great fans as writers (I won’t individually name any here – there are simply too many who I converse with regularly on twitter). In fact, some of the very best writers have the least twitter follower numbers so their writing doesn’t get noticed or featured. It’s tough writing for what you perceive is an empty audience (I’ve had that when I started).

So here’s the big deal. I’ve decided I will be featuring and linking to these websites. By which I don’t mean I will be doing that shameful new-media-esque practice of paraphrasing an article on someone else’s domain and returning with a small mention.

I strongly believe in acknowledging and crediting sources. In my view, it’s the right thing to do and simply just good internet etiquette. So here is how it’s going to work – I’m going to take a pen off two of my favourite websites and authors on the internet – John Gruber of Daring Fireball and Shawn Blanc of ShawnBlanc.net. They cover the technology field, another avid interest of mine.

Linked posts link their post header directly to the source website. Have a look below at the post this one (Coanda exhaust) to see it in action, but here is an image representing it (which you can click to go to the post):

If an article is linked on here, it’ll include a small note from me. These links are a public recommendation from me to you to “check out” this article, should you so please. Here’s some great content, not written by me, that I think you’ll enjoy.

Multimedia Posts

Just like links, I’ve now buit in support for pictures and videos. The virtue is the same: great content, not restricted to text, that I’d like to showcase. Here’s how they look:

Videos: Great for driver interviews

Images: some worth a thousand words

The New Philosophy

“A curated portal of fascinating Formula One content”

That is the new vision of LiteralF1. The website is now no longer restricted by my ability to churn out articles. It features and promotes content from all around the web. It highlights fascinating videos. It showcases incredible images.

I’ll be aiming to keep the website regularly updated with new content. Think of it as a curated twitter/RSS feed that respects your attention. Your attention is a precious commodity and I respect that. I’ll only showcase the best content I come across.

You can now visit the homepage now now every day and encounter great content to digest.

What about YOUR articles?

I love writing. Especially writing about Formula One. Some of feedback I get on some articles is truly heartwarming. I find writing about F1 a nice way to unwind after a busy day at all and I will still definitely be doing them.

If you noticed, in the top right corner of each post there is a special icon denoting pictures, videos, links and articles. I’ll be prefixing each self article with a ★ in the title to make it even easier to highlight my own writing. (A subtle homage to John Gruber, who also uses the star to do the same).

It’ll be the same kind of writing you’ve come to expect. It’ll be mostly opinion pieces or in depth analysis, not ‘breaking news’ or ‘session report’ – several other website do those pretty well.

I’d like my website to be linked/featured.

Sure, drop me an email with your website’s RSS feed. I suscribe and read website through my feed reader. If you post something engaging, thrilling or fascinating, I’ll feature it here.

Design Updates

I’m going to not sound overly geeky and will skip the many, many behind the scene updates I’ve worked on over the last month. Here are the major updates functionally

[1] Responsive Mobile-First Design

The world is going mobile. I read most website either on my iPhone at my lunch break from lab-work or on my iPad early in the morning with coffee. My biggest priority for this redesign was to be designed for mobiles first – regardless of their operating system (Android/iOS/Windows Phone) or screen size. I posses a dislike for those fancy faux-iOS simulating “mobile themes” that look nothing like the “real desktop themes”. This design scales to all screen sizes with no sideways scrolling at all:

[2] Comments with Twitter, Facebook or WordPress

Using the powerful Disqus system. Try it on this post below. You can even ‘Star’ well writing articles and “like” or “thumbs up” comments you agree with. Bit like Facebook/Reddit.

[3] Full website translation

I know lots of my reader’s native language is Spanish or Polish (Google Web Analytics) – now you can translate the whole website. Just chose your language from the sidebar.

[4] Typography & Contrast

Using my favourite font – Open Sans at 15px at a higher contrast between body text and background to further enhance readability. There are also loads of miscellaneous, subtle design touches such as gradients and textures.


Only I could have written 1300 words on a website upgrade. I’m incredibly excited about these changes. If you’ve made it this far on this article, then I’d love to hear your feedback and views on the big changes. Write a comment below or drop me an email. My website is designed around my readers.

  • PO13

    Good work mate