This is my last blog posting for Estates Gazette on the Olympics.
It's my last day working for EG before I leave to become the editor of a new online property service. The good news for anyone who enjoys visiting this blog is that essentially means there will shortly be another resource for news on development issues to do with the 2012 Olympics.
My colleague at Estates Gazette Nick Whitten will be taking on the Olympics beat and with that taking over writing this blog - it will be Nick Whitten's Olympics blog or some such thing. And I will re-emerge shortly on a new platform - there is no way I am going to stop writing about the Olympics with the Games so close at hand and so many fascinating stories unfolding.
I would like to say thanks to everyone who has read or contributed to this blog in any way. From a personal point of view, writing the blog has proved liberating ...
When I first launched the blog in April 2009 I had been covering the Olympics and what it meant for the property industry for Estates Gazette for five years.
I saw the blog as an extension of that role. I had broken a number of significant stories first for EG that were subsequently picked up by the nationals - Westfield buying the Stratford City site ahead of the Reuben Brothers, the revelation that the deal between the government and its preferred partner Lend Lease for the Olympic Village was on the verge of collapse, the collapse of Igloo/Carillion's deal to develop the media centre, Boris Johnson's launch of a KPMG review of a black hole in the LDA financing of the purchase of the Olympic Park, the European Investment Bank's financing of the affordable housing element of the Olympic Village and a lot more.
It is clear that writing for Estates Gazette about the Olympics gives journalists access to stories and people that the mainstream press is unlikely to be following in depth, but that it turns out have genuine political and economic significance.
I saw the blog as a good way to show readers the various pieces of the jigsaw that lead to the pared down 300 or so words at most that appear in a published news story and include other elements that there just aren't space for that a more well-versed reader might be interested in. It was also a chance to provide a meeting point for the community of people following the Olympics from a property and regeneration point of view. And finally, I don't think there is much place in news stories for taking sides or expressing personal opinions. It's surprising how often I am asked why a news story hasn't come out for or against a particular protagonist as that's just not what writing news is about. A blog on the other hand does allow a news writer to express opinions and I have enjoyed doing it - although I am still not overly keen on too much of this.
Anyway I would heartily recommend writing a blog to anyone. Aside from helping me with my nine to five job, the blog has led me to meet some great people and to pick some fascinating news about one of the most interesting stories taking place in the UK just now.
As I say I will reappear shortly, but thanks so much for reading nevertheless.