Today's post marks a milestone for us: This is our 1000th post at the Drug and Device Law Blog!
That's 1000 posts in not quite three years, or better than 5 posts in an average week.
But enough about us; let's talk about you.
We see you! If you subscribe to our blog (other than by an RSS feed), we see your e-mail address. If you arrive here from the web, we see the search term that brought you to us. If you subscribe by Twitter, we see your user name and the icon (or photograph) by which you identify yourself on-line.
(You could confuse us with the all-powerful Oz.)
Here's what we see. First, about the subscribers:
We currently have over 1000 subscribers to this blog (in addition to 20,000 to 25,000 visitors who find us through the web every month, but who don't subscribe). Nearly 500 folks subscribe through the Google e-mail group; nearly 250 through an RSS feed; and over 300 through Twitter.
Members of our Google e-mail group include a lot of defense lawyers at firms that resemble ours, a fair number of plaintiffs' lawyers or folks affiliated with public interest groups, a bunch of people who work at drug or device companies, law professors and students (or at least people who log on at domain names associated with universities), and lots of people with generic e-mail accounts that don't tell us anything, such as aol.com or gmail.com
We've noticed that our Twitter subscribers are -- how can we phrase this delicately? -- more eclectic than those who subscribe through RSS feeds or the Google group. We can't explain that, but we suspect that Twitter is a bit different from other social media.
What's bringing those folks to us, do you suppose? The fact that the word "drug" is in the title of our blog, or are they simply indiscriminate Twitter "followers"?
(Please don't get us wrong here. If one of our Twitter "followers" happens to be the general counsel of a major pharmaceutical company, then we'd be delighted to make your acquaintance. We're actually flattered by your attention and would like to schedule an appointment with you to discuss our firms' capabilities.)
Second, about search terms:
It's no surprise that a disproportionate number of people find us by plugging the words "drug and device law" into Google. (We assume those are people who have mastered Google, but haven't yet figured out how to subscribe to a blog. Believe us -- despite the apparent technical sophistication of this blog, we empathize with you.)
Many folks find us by searching for the name of a case. We assume those are lawyers doing legal research.
If we mention the name of a law firm (or a company) in a post, we tend to get a bunch of visitors from that firm (or company). We assume those people are receiving Google "alerts" noting that their institutions have been mentioned on-line, so they've come to take a look.
A few people also search for this blog by author. Don't do it!
When you plug "Beck blog" into Google, you annoy Herrmann, and when you type "Herrmann blog" into Google, you piss off Beck.
Don't stir up trouble behind your computer screen! Keeping this *!**!! blog going is hard enough without you throwing fuel on the fire. Just type "Beck and Herrmann." (Or, maybe, occasionally, "Herrmann and Beck"; fair is fair.) We'll be first up in your search results, and you'll avoid creating dissension in the ranks.
Finally, we've recently heard from two readers about subjects we thought we'd share with you.
Many of our posts are dated as of 5:00 a.m. on the day they're published. A reader asked whether we're really up that early in the morning.
Nah! We're bluffing.
Blogger -- the platform for this blog -- lets us draft posts in advance and schedule them for publication at a pre-set time. (That's what makes it look as though we're tending to this blog even on days when we're both pinned down in meetings or at depositions.) We tend to schedule the pre-written posts to appear at 5:00 a.m. blog time, which corresponds to 8:00 a.m. on the east coast. We figure that publishes posts at an early, but civilized, time for many of our readers.
Finally, a plaintiffs' lawyer called us recently with a tip for the blog. We asked if he'd like us to recognize him on-line for having provided the tip. He was horrified:
"Don't name me! I'm a plaintiffs' lawyer! The whole plaintiffs' bar will hold it against me if they find out I called you. Around here, we call you guys 'the Voldemorts.'"
With that kind of encouragement, there's a chance we'll still be publishing at post number 2000!