Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

I could go a bundle on 2013 - Highlights from the last twelve months of Sidepodcast

Published by Christine

We have just passed over into the new year, and while season's greetings are still being shared, there is just time for another little dab of nostalgia before we turn our attention fully to the 2014 F1 season.

We are sometimes so busy that it's easy to forget what we've achieved over the course of a year, and I think it's worth a look back to pick out highlights from the past twelve months. These are mine, things I'm particularly proud of from Sidepodcast in 2013.

Best of Sidepodcast

Photography testing

When the Silverstone Young/Any Driver Test became open to the public, we quickly snapped up tickets because it's one heck of a cheap way to get to see Formula 1 cars up close. We were particularly lucky with the weather, most of the time whenever I go to Silverstone it is only to tramp through mud. But July in the UK was scorching, and we found ourselves searching out grandstands for shade rather than rain cover.

The trip was brilliant, both seeing the cars and drivers in action, but also because we got to experiment with a lot of mobile photo and video techniques - trying out some of the filters available on photo apps, and testing the versatility of video on Vine. We posted plenty of updates throughout the day, and then wrapped everything up in a neat collection or two when we got back. Hopefully, there will be more chance for experimentation in the future - my phone now records super slo-mo footage, and the choice of filters and power of apps just keeps on expanding.

The shorter the better

2013 saw the return of F1 Digest, in a new format. The short race coverage shows have evolved gradually over the years - first as a series covering all the sessions for each event, then as an introduction to a season, and now as a preview for each race weekend. I'd hoped to put more production into them, with audio from the F1 teams included, but there's little enough of that available and relevant in time to edit and release the show before it's too late. Instead, I spent the time reviewing each track and gathering quotes from the drivers in the mix, providing a nice little summary to lead into a race weekend.

I was also very happy with how the new mini series Racing Families turned out. A collection of seven shows covering a selection of motorsport's finest families, those that have the racing DNA running through their bodies. It seemed like a popular subject and I can definitely see it coming back for another series - as well as other mini series topics I have in mind!

School's out for summer

Discussing ways to liven up the enforced shutdown that occurs in Formula 1 in August, we laughed and joked about the idea of a summer camp. In true Sidepodcast fashion, what was originally a punchline became reality, and the Sidepodcamp was born. It took a bit of organisation on my part, coming up with the ideas and ways things could be done via a digital community, but it was such a lot of fun.

I particularly enjoyed the Newsletters that came out at the end of each day. I was absolutely loving rounding up the day's madness - from films to egg drops, quizzes to campfires, with everything in between. It was a little bit of crazy that did exactly what it set out to do - pass the time until F1 got going again. There was talk of a repeat in 2014, but to that I can only say, we'll see!

No layout layabout

We started to experiment with one-off post layouts this year, and whilst most of that fell on Mr C's side of the design department, I definitely enjoyed the process. I was tasked with writing things to a deadline so that he could design around them, which is excellent motivation for those struggling to overcome a blank page.

It was also a new thing for me to draw design inspiration from other places, particularly non-web layouts - magazines, advertisements, posters, they all caught my eye and were all dissected and analysed for the good and bad about them. This is something I hope we do a lot more of, both for the writing part, and the overall look. So pretty!

All the facts

I'm sure you're all aware of the Factbyte Factbox by now, and its continuation in 2013 was one of my highlights. I covered every single race of the season, as well as the majority of qualifying sessions, and really got a lot of feedback that the updates were useful, both immediately and to catch up with afterwards. Having the archives as a resource is also incredible, and well worth stretching the limits of my typing speed to keep up with racing action as it happens.

Right at the end of the year, we introduced the weekend logbook, an extended Factbyte Factbox with slightly less frantic updates covering the entirety of a race meet - from the previews, to the travel arrangements, through all the sessions, the race, and the fall-out from whatever happened within. This has me really excited for next year, as it opens up yet another new avenue for the FBFB to explore - it's the gift that keeps on giving!

Looking back at my bundle from twelve months ago, I wrote that 2012 was a season of restructuring. If that's the case, 2013 was all about expanding, experimenting and really starting to enjoy the site again. I absolutely cannot wait to see what 2014 will bring.