This week's issue of the autosport.com journal, the last of 2008, will also be the final weekly journal. As of next week, autosport.com will publish features on a daily basis, allowing us to provide even more premium content to our subscribers on a more timely fashion - and in a manner more befitting the Internet medium.
The editor of autosport.com Simon Strang kindly asked me to write a few parting words for the weekly journal - although I certainly wasn't the one who founded it, almost 15 years ago. Paul Kaizar, Dr William Doolittle and Dr Robert Balling get the credit for that. For nine years, from 1998 to 2007, I was its editor, and have stuck to a format that I knew was growing more and more anachronistic because of tradition and because it was right, at the time, for Atlas F1 and later autosport.com.
Nowadays, it makes no sense to publish 8 or 10 features online once a week, when you can publish one or two every day. It's been a recurring theme in our subscribers' feedback, and we are now heeding to those requests.
Make no mistake, this does not mean less value for your subscription, quite the contrary. It also does not mean you won't have technical reviews, stats, race analysis or other recurring columns that you have grown used to reading every week. And for those who still wish to download the week's tally of all features in PDF format, that option will remain available - as will the weekly newsletter update, which will offer a round-up of all the past seven-days' features published.
In other words, the journal will simply be published in daily segments rather than all at once.
The end of this weekly tradition, while by no means sad news, is nonetheless an opportunity to reflect back on 15 years and be, just for a moment, a little nostalgic.
In 14 volumes, we published well over 5,000 articles from over 100 contributors, providing a stage to some well known motorsport authors along with journalism rookies that grew to become the industry leaders.
The weekly journal became a tradition of its own - mad-refreshing Wednesdays, some readers called it. It spawned the Atlas F1 Bulletin Board, with 'Readers Comments' forum replacing the same-name spot on the weekly issues, when there were simply too many emails coming in for us to handle.
My favourite journal issues were the special ones, with the entire team collaborating together to offer an in-depth view on one chosen topic. Among those is the 50 years of Formula One issue, from the end of 1999; 100 years of Mercedes in 2001; Renault Back to Front from 2003; 20 Years of Minardi from 2004; and a farewell to Michael Schumacher from two years ago.
The journal showcased some of the best motorsport journalism ever published on the Internet, and every reader will surely have his or her own memorable feature or column down the years. They are all in the archives for you to read and enjoy.
For starters, just search for Don Capps' series of articles on the 1982 season; David Cameron's column Season in the Sun; Adam Cooper's superb investigative reporting on the 2005 US Grand Prix; or even my own Dinner in Paris with Pierre Dupasquier.
For laughs, dig up Mitch McCann's F1 Insider - his Belgium '98 one is my favourite - or Tony Dodgins' Dodgy Business (the one about his motorhome still cracks me up), not to mention Reginald Kincaid's the Fuel Stop and Bruce Thomson's Season Strokes. For unparalleled insight into the business of the sport, read through F1 Sponsorship 101, or any of Thomas O'Keefe's articles on Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley.
The list is truly long, and I take great pride in all that we have achieved throughout the years. I also look forward to all that will come on autosport.com in the next 15 years - we made history online with the weekly journal; now we're going to do it every day.