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Tenth blogiversary

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This Sunday, I celebrate 10 years as a blogger. I published my first blog post on 25 March 2008 and had absolutely no inkling that blogging would become such an integral part of my career. I’m also stunned that it has spawned two books with another - Bite Size Advice 3 - due to be released later in the year.

Blogging has been a wonderful adventure and has kept me busier than I ever imagined. For a decade, I have offered insights and made predictions about the issues that are shaping politics, impacting economies, transforming societies and driving technology.

It’s hard to accurately judge what impact you make as a blogger. There are literally millions of bloggers around the world and everyone is trying to find an audience. Without tooting my horn too loudly, I seem to have established a credible voice as a thought leader among a community of loyal followers.

The fundamental aim of the Doubting Thomas blog is to create relevant and engaging content that educates and informs readers about contemporary issues. As it’s not overtly technical or narrowly targeted, this blog has become a valuable resource for those wanting to learn more about the world around us.

As a blogger, you are always trying to churn out interesting content. But coming up with great topics week after week is challenging. Inspiration comes when you least expect it, so I keep an online ideas folder which contains a list of potential topics that might one day blossom into fully-fledged blog posts.

The Internet is replete with advice about the need to publish “awesome” content. Frankly, that’s easier said than done because a blog’s appeal is in the eye of the beholder. My strategy is to lure readers with easy-to-consume content that demystifies the key issues impacting our day-to-day lives.

Unfortunately, I can’t claim to have ever published a post that has gone viral. Having a blockbuster post read by millions has alluded me. Nonetheless, my content has spread, even though (alas!) I’m not an Internet celebrity. That is largely reserved for posts and videos which are insanely controversial, quirky or funny.

Online readers love bite-sized information on the web and that, I’m told, is my forté. Each of my blog posts is succinct and can therefore be digested quickly and easily. They are perfect for the time-starved reader and for those with short attention spans as all posts are concise yet informative.

I’m always intrigued as to what topics pique the interest of my readers. This is my 448th blog post and I still can’t say with certainty what makes some posts more popular than others. The reality for all bloggers is that some posts rank higher than others on Google and attract more social shares and “likes”.

My most popular post ever - Cashless society - was published in April 2016. It clearly touched a chord with people and increased traffic to the Gateway website. I ended that blog by opining that “a truly cashless global society will happen one day … but is still a long way off”, and I hold to that view.

Just over a year later, in May 2017, I tackled another topical subject - Robot workers. As well as being the fourth most read Doubting Thomas blog ever, it generated a sizeable number of “likes” on the social network site, LinkedIn. Indeed, the high level of audience engagement resulted in it being featured on the LinkedIn Pulse channel.

My rant in May 2016 about Australia becoming a Nanny state also resonated with many readers. My penchant for less government regulation has found expression in several of my posts over the past decade. We Aussies live with more rules and regulations than many other countries, leading some to label us as the nanny capital of the world.

I was really pleased that a post I published in June last year, Disappearing manners, was greeted warmly. One reader called it a wake-up call and another thanked me for the timely reminder to be courteous to one another. We humans are all flawed, but I cling to the belief that deep-down the overwhelming majority of us want to live decent and caring lives.

My reflections on this milestone occasion would not be complete without mentioning my all-time pet topic - government debt. Regular readers would be all too aware of my repeated pleas for citizens NOT to view sovereign debt as a bad thing. My latest attempt to promulgate the benefits of debt occurred in September 2016 in the second most popular post that I have ever published - Deficit myth.

It has been said that blogging is akin to having a personal printing press. Just as Johannes Gutenberg’s invention allowed authors to share their knowledge, the Internet allows bloggers to do the same. While the printing revolution and digital revolution use fundamentally different technologies, both created paradigm shifts in communication and information flow.

So let me conclude by firstly acknowledging Gutenberg for laying the foundations for today’s social media revolution. Secondly, please allow me to thank my loyal readers for clicking on each week and providing me with an audience. Thirdly, please indulge me as I extend my heartfelt gratitude to my wife, Beverley, who - in my writing endeavours - is my biggest fan to the point of her own sacrifice.

Beverley happily allows me to write my weekly posts on Saturday afternoons even though this impacts our time together. We are great collaborators and to her I truly owe an unrepayable debt. One thing is clear: Without her unfailing support, you would not be reading this now!

Paul J. Thomas, CEO


avatar Des Tubridy
Congratulations Paul (and Beverley) for the very useful flow of information and ideas. Always appreciated. Thank you, Des
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CEO Paul Thomas