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Monday, October 25, 2010

Reflections on 2000 posts

Not that I've been counting, but Blogger has, and tells me that we have just passed this milestone. A bit over 400 posts a year since we started on 3 February 2006. I was pushed in this direction at the time by Susan Timmins, and Nicolette Davey working here while undertaking journalism studies at UTS, who both suggested a blog to replace an occasional  client newsletter that had been around for years beforehand. (Nicolette is doing good things now at Baw Baw Shire Council in Victoria, with this commendation recently for an innovative radio series on sustainability.)

David Fraser's Canadian Privacy Law blog was the first source of inspiration about what might be, although privacy as an issue has been a secondary interest, and such a broad topic that I readily admit failure to do it justice.

Content has changed somewhat over time shifting from an initial focus on NSW, although the local scene still looms larger than others.The publishing philosophy has been simple-essentially what interests me!

The FOI landscape has changed for the better since 2006, these days accompanied by welcome discussion and movement towards more open government generally. 

I've eschewed the invitation to put ads on the blog, or to experiment with pay per view content, so not surprisingly report this is not the way to make money online.

As to psychic rewards, I've enjoyed it, and am pleased if the blog has had a little influence here and there. In the first couple of years it was heartening to have 50 or so readers a day. More latterly it's 200 + and at best around 400. Hardly in the big league but I take comfort from the fact it is a specialised field. Numbers each year have increased by 40% to 50%.

Most readers seem to be in and around the public sector, hence (in my view) the low number of comments and the high resort to Anonymous as the identity of choice. And the drop in readership outside business hours on weekdays.

About 80% of hits are from Australia, 8% from the US, with the UK, Canada, New Zealand, India, Japan, Ireland, Germany and Malaysia rounding out the top ten.  Email contact from students seeking help with projects, often puzzled inquirers from outside Australia, and people on both sides of the FOI table here wrestling with issues and problems have all been welcome. Thanks to those who have had generous things to say in Testimonials posted on the sidebar.

Blogging is terribly addictive. I have no idea how long this will last.

But I do know my golf game has gone to pot.

Thanks for your interest.


  1. Anonymous8:53 am

    Congratulations Peter! Your blog has been interesting and informative and is a top favourite for this anonymous state public servant.

  2. Katrina Hinton10:28 am

    Hi Peter,

    I hope you remain an addict for as long as this country struggles to adopt open government principles...could be a long time till you get your handicap back!

    I haven't found any other blog/site that is so up-to-date and rigorous.

    You are my first port of call for all things FOI reform in Australia.

    I don't need to be anonymous - working for a document and records management vendor and trying to understand the scope and nature of the business problems with which agencies will grapple. We know that technology (and good recordkeeping) is integral to embedding things like administrative release in public servants daily processes.

    Thanks for your tremendous contribution.

  3. Peter Timmins10:25 pm

    Thanks Katrina and Anonymous- feedback like that keeps the spirits up.