Like much of social media, blogging activity first reflected people who were writing personal Web logs to share with others. Five years ago, my friend Ralph was writing one that I thought was pretty funny, that included a Friday installment of “This Week in Jewish Baseball”. I thought – hey, I could write one, but make it a professional blog, to talk about things that interest me in connection with the work that I do. And so the work began on Eye on FDA to bring you thoughts about how the complex nature of the regulatory environment for medical and food products affects communications and impacts the way we need to think strategically.
Along the way, I’ve learned a lot. In fact, I am convinced that writing this blog, and the accompanying Twitter feed (which came later, of course) has genuinely made me better at my job. That is true for a number of reasons.
First, because I have to deliver content on a regular basis, I keep up with what is going on more closely than I would have otherwise. I have an RSS readers set up to aggregate news for me from multiple health care and social media sources that I am almost constantly reviewing. So I get to keep my finger on the pulse. Another reason is that writing the blog has brought me in touch with a pretty dynamic community of people – many of whom also write blogs and put together resources, from whom I’ve learned and to which I turn when I need information, such as Jonathan Richman’s Dose of Digital Pharma and Social Media Wiki.
Also I’ve been invited to conferences where I’ve met extremely interesting and talented people like Fabio Gratton at IgniteHealth, the super-smart Wendy Blackburn at InTouch Solutions and author of ePharma RX, and many, many others to numerous to name.
One of the greatest learning opportunities has been with the many people who have agreed to sit with me for putting together a video or a podcast. People like Dr. David Kessler, who has done both a video series and podcasts with me; many people at FDA such as Dr. Janet Woodcock, Dr. David Acheson, Deb Autor, Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein and of course, Jean-Ah Kang and Tom Abrams from DDMAC. And there have been journalists such as John Carey of BusinessWeek, Andrew Jack at the Financial Times and Adam Feuerstein of theStreet.com who have also been kind enough to make a podcast appearance and provide us with their insights.
And, many, many colleagues of mine at my employer deserve heartfelt thanks for their support and thoughtfulness throughout this effort – especially Ralph. And special thanks to my buds who helped with the re-design. I hope you like it.
Lastly, I want to thank each of you – readers and subscribers. There are now about 3500 subscribers and it is a list that includes many top tier health care journalists, people working in the FDA-regulated industries, law firms, stock analysts and others. Your interest in the topics and your patience with my gaffes have been much appreciated. Thanks for an interesting five years, and for letting me get to posting 1000!
Now if I can just get me a facelift!