Behind the scenes in the life of a blogger

Photo: Sean Boyd/In the Frame Productions
PERSONAL INSIGHTS

In the few short moments that we have together as you read this post, may I begin by thanking you for following my blog during 2021. In the lead up to Christmas, people give shout-outs to loyal clients and I wanted to let you know how much your continuing patronage of Elephant in the Room means to me.

The public comments and private feedback that I receive inspire me to continue as a blogger, and to work hard to curate great content – delivered straight into your inbox. I have a loyal community of readers who click-on each fortnight to view the latest post that I have published in cyberspace.

In our rapidly changing digital world, we must always be learning, which is why the best blogs provide information that help people in search of answers. Lifelong learning is now seen as an economic imperative and well-crafted blogs can assist online knowledge seekers.

This blog is a place for reasoned argument supported by corroborating evidence to give you a clear understanding of the forces shaping our world. My blog brings readers face-to-face with the issues that are shaping politics, impacting economies, transforming societies, and driving technology.

It is my enduring hope that this eclectic mix of topics will pique your interest and encourage you to read more extensively for yourself. Nelson Mandela believed, quite rightly, that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

All posts published under the Elephant in the Room banner are designed to be interesting and educational. They are replete with content which is topical and open to debate and discussion. I do my best to present both sides of an argument before outlining my own position on contentious issues.

While I’m not a journalist, I’m aware that a basic tenet of fair journalism is captured in the Latin phrase audi alteram partem meaning “let the other side be heard as well”. That maxim requires that any report should be balanced and fair towards all parties.

Unlike most blogs, I don’t focus on a single niche topic (e.g., dog training, gardening tips, and so on). Rather, I deliberately cast a broad net and publish posts that are wide in sweep – but that does not mean my blog is a hodgepodge of anything that interests me.

The assorted topics that I cover are grouped under four umbrella categories – Political, Economic, Social, and Technological. These categories work in unison to provide readers with fresh perspectives on the interplay between a range of PEST issues which are of national and international significance.

Elephant in the Room shines a light on some of humanity’s biggest challenges. In a world which is increasingly interdependent, the subliminal message in many of the posts is that we need to reframe our thinking and see ourselves as global citizens working together to create a more harmonious society.

The posts are deliberately designed to make you think as they tangle and weave through disparate but connected topics. By joining the dots, you will gain a helicopter view of where individual disciplines intersect and overlap, thereby enabling you to see more creative solutions to contemporary problems.

For my part, I have an inquiring mind and am always imagining how the world could be a better place. That’s why one of my all-time favourite quotes is by Robert Kennedy: “Some men see things as they are, and say ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were, and say ‘Why not’”.

Each post ends with a pithy one-liner, often in the form of an aphorism. Aphorisms are pointed, witty statements which express a general truth and are sometimes paraphrased quotes. My closing one-liners are designed to pack a punch and leave you pondering.

Blogging helps me keep up with what’s happening in the world. It’s also a great way to become a thought leader, but it does require some effort. Unless you are a walking encyclopedia, most posts require you to conduct research and check facts and this increases your understanding of an issue.

When it comes to blogging, content is king and the seed of an idea for a post can come from anywhere. Some of the articles that I have written germinated when I grew curious about a subject and decided to explore it. Others have been penned in direct response to a contemporary issue.

Regardless, this blog has provided me with a creative outlet in which to share my ideas and opinions. In the process, it has enabled me to create a professional portfolio of “short papers” on important topics. This has required me to distil a lot of information into coherent and cohesive arguments.

The golden rule of blogging is that you have to be authentic as it’s an up close and personal writing medium. So, my relationship with my audience is built on being open, transparent, and factual. My blog is an online extension of my true personality – a real version of my “doubting Thomas” self.

I’m always intrigued as to what subject matter piques the interest of my readers. I still can’t explain what makes certain 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”.

The biggest thing that I have learned in researching and writing blogs is how often supposed experts are wrong. “Experts” who appear on television, get quoted in newspapers, and speak at conferences are often no better than the rest of us when it comes to the risky business of predictions.

I’m deeply indebted to my behind-the-scenes webmaster, Kieran Weston. Kieran is a family friend and one of nature’s gentlemen. He meticulously uploads and publishes each post and professionally maintains the blog site. He is a talented executive and web designer and I salute his unfailing support – on a voluntary basis.

Someone else who deserves praise is my wife, Beverley. She proofreads each post before publication and has developed an eagle eye for spotting grammatical and typographical errors. Beverley is also a volunteer but extracts payment in other ways! I have made a rod for my own back by encouraging her to point out my mistakes – which she happily does!

■      ■      ■

This post is my penultimate missive for 2021. In reflecting on the year that was, humanity faced looming threats and some hard truths. Yet, despite the dire warnings of the headline grabbing doom-and-gloom merchants, we are still here. COVID-19 did not wipe us out, China did not start a nuclear war, and America did not implode. Even the Tokyo Olympics went ahead!

My next blog post on 19 December will be the final one published for 2021 and will take the form of a Christmas parody. It will be set to the rhyme scheme of Clement Moore’s classic poem, The Night Before Christmas. It will broadly imitate the style and form of Moore’s original lyric while addressing a different subject matter – a look back at the biggest news story of the year, COVID-19.

As we approach the season of goodwill to all, my Christmas wish is that we reflect as a nation on all that is good about Australia. In truth, we have little to complain about. There may be a place where the grass is greener, but in all my travels, I am yet to find it. May peace and happiness be yours during this holiday season.

Have a sparkling New Year!

Regards

Paul J. Thomas
Chief Executive Officer
Ductus Consulting

10 Replies to “Behind the scenes in the life of a blogger”

  1. I have been fortunate in meeting both Paul and Bev. They are both warm and friendly people – a quality missing in so many these days. The fortnightly blog is more than just an eclectic essay, it comes from the heart. Does this really matter? Yes it’s everything because it shows sincerity. Thank you for explaining how the blog works.

  2. Have a Happy Christmas to you and all your family Paul, and thank you for everything in 2021 (and beyond).

    Best Wishes in 2022,…Keep Blogging,
    Karl

  3. Paul, your creativity and intellect are a pleasure to read. Have a wonderful festive season and I look forward to reading your work in the new year.

  4. Hello Paul,

    It had been an absolute joy to receive and read your most informative fortnightly Blogs.

    The content has been great for Lifelong Learning and helping us to stay current with these PEST related topics.

    I appreciate the excellent research and your intellect in preparing the content in such a concise and often humorous way!

    Best wishes to you, Bev and your family for Christmas and the year ahead.

    Thank you,

    Des

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