2023: the blog year in retrospect

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There are days left in 2023, I admit. But, the year is sufficiently over to reflect on it.

My year really began when I kicked long-Covid off after eight months in February. I am seriously hoping I do not go there again.

In March, I took a week off to celebrate and realised this blog needed some redesigning, and then a new name. Over a quite short period, lots of new features were added, from polls, to like buttons, to different ways to view it, and much more. The glossary also expanded. And then it became ‘Funding the Future', after much debate. Andy Moyle's help with all this should be noted, with thanks.

It seemed you liked it. This is the annual readership data for the blog since it began:

Traffic near enough doubled over every month the year before from March onwards. 'Thank you' is all I can say to that.

The number of people subscribing to the blog's newsletter also required me to expand the capacity on that service twice during the year. Almost 2,500 people a day receive the newsletter now, which is more than double a year go.

Most things I tried on the blog worked, except the podcast and my own videos. There are plans for them in 2024, though.

Twitter was also pretty busy. Right now, I have 249,400 followers;

I guess it will hit 250,000 very soon, although the rate of growth fell considerably during the year due to Elon Musk's best efforts. That said, my Tweets got 210 million impressions (reads) in the year. You can see why I have not given it up as a medium.

Regular posting on Facebook, Mastodon and now LinkedIn now take place.

For what I think to be my largely out-of-hours activity, this is a busy social media enterprise.

In addition, I wrote for the National every week during the year, the Mirror occasionally and made rather more BBC appearances than I expected. I was also on LBC and Times Radio fairly regularly. I tend to duck other requests: I am finite.

As for work outputs, my work on water companies has achieved continuing attention, which is good, but it was the Taxing Wealth Report which dominated my writing from June onwards.

Colin Hines had suggested earlier in the year that whilst we had talked a great deal about QE and the reformed use of savings as ways to provide finance for climate change we had not discussed tax enough, and he thought a short report on the issue was needed.

I began in July, and started publishing in September. I am still not finished, and having Covid this week (which has been exhausting) has not helped as I planned to work on some of the final reports over these few days and have not.

The whole report now looks as if it will be around 150,000 words. I hope to finish in January. But the core recommendations are already out. It is easily the biggest and most comprehensive set of proposals for reform of UK tax to tackle inequality in the UK that currently exists.

Of course, there has been other work. The Accounting Streams project could take a lot of time in 2024.

There have also been a number of really useful developments with major tax organisations on tax spillover work.

And much of this is being noticed in behind-the-scenes discussions.

Overall, that's been useful.

And thanks for all your comments, notes of support and donations. All have been appreciated. I have never quite worked out why I wake up every morning with the desire to write, but I do. I would probably do so even if there were very few readers, and maybe none at all. But it is (overall) fun to share ideas, and I appreciate the feedback.

So, there will be more of the same in 2024, and no doubt some changes as well.

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