"Tax Adviser" is the house magazine of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. In the February 2011 edition, page 13 carried an article "Amin's ambitious retirement mission" about why I constructed my website. This was based upon some text I had supplied at their request, edited down for space reasons.
I have reproduced the original text below for the benefit of website readers who do not have access to the hard copy magazine.
Chartered tax advisers have many unusual activities in retirement. However Mohammed Amin's must be one of the most unusual; he has explicitly set out to change the world. The mission becomes a bit more comprehensible when you read his personal strapline:
Each of us changes the world every day. We can choose to make it a better place.
As Amin explains it, none of us have a choice about whether we change the world; the only choice is whether we change it for the worse for the better. Some heroes such as Nelson Mandela have a global impact but even lesser mortals can do their bit, and Amin wants to do the largest bit that he can!
Amin became a chartered tax adviser in 1978 and virtually his entire working career was spent in the tax profession, latterly in his 19 years as a tax partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers. At different times he led their finance and treasury taxation network, their stamp taxes network and most recently he was their UK head of Islamic finance as well as being an elected member of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Supervisory Board. A former chairman of the CIOT's Manchester branch, Amin has also served on the Council since 2003 and is a member of the corporate taxes subcommittee.
When he retired on 31 December 2009, Amin realised that he would need a personal website to act as a calling card and a repository for his writings to share with the world. He had planned ahead for several years by purchasing his own name in the form of the URL www.mohammedamin.com before somebody else bought it, but while at PwC had no time to do anything with the name.
Despite having used computers extensively both at work and at home since the early 1980s, Amin had never been involved with website construction. At PwC he had become famous for a finance and treasury blog and was indeed the first official blogger within PricewaterhouseCoopers anywhere in the world. However all the technical aspects were handled by PwC's IT support team. Undaunted by his lack of experience, Amin bought some books including the obvious "Building a Website for Dummies" although the book he recommends most highly is "Creating a Website – the missing manual." Using Adobe Dreamweaver as a site construction and management tool, throughout 2010 Amin has been constructing as he learnt.
When you visit the site www.mohammedamin.com you get a fascinating glimpse of the range of activities Amin has been undertaking during the year. While 2010 has had many highlights for him, he is particularly proud of the fact that this one-man site is now getting over 1,000 visitors per month and for many Google searches ranks in the first ten, often out of many thousands of search results.