Humans have a soft spot for milestones.
Your 49th and 51st birthday may well be unremarkable. But your 50th? That's something—a half-century's worth of something—to celebrate. And chances are good you remember New Year's Eve going into the year 2000, but can scarcely recall 1998 or 1999.
Today, Regulatory Focus reached an important milestone of its own: the 500th edition of our flagship news product, Regulatory Recon.
Sure, it's essentially no different from Regulatory Recons 499 and 498, and we don't anticipate the 501st edition containing any information that will make all of our readers geniuses or millionaires (we'll keep trying), but it's an important milestone for us anyway.
To understand why, it helps to think about where we came from. Originally, Recon was a roundup of the week's top news and information. Here's an example from September 2012, when we were still trying to understand what we were trying to do. Here's another example from October 2012, when we were still experimenting.
While we weren't entirely sure what form our news roundup needed to take, we were sure of one thing: It needed to exist. In surveying our readers, we constantly heard that the most important thing that regulatory professionals needed was easier access to more, and more timely, information.
So on 12 February 2013, Regulatory Focus decided to do something radical: Give our readers access to a free, daily news roundup of all the regulatory information we could find on the Internet.
Our first edition of the daily version of Regulatory Recon isn't much to look at by today's standards—just 28 links in all—but it marked the start of a long process that has helped to make Regulatory Recon what it is today: a unique, diverse and in-depth look at global regulatory information and analysis.
The Big Payoff
It hasn't always been easy. Putting together each edition of Regulatory Recon takes hours of time, a great deal of patience and a lot of technological assistance.
But for Focus, the payoff has been tremendous. For starters, we've heard from dozens of readers over the years who have confided to us that Regulatory Recon makes their jobs easier—that it makes them more prepared each day; that it ensures they aren't blindsided by an obscure regulatory development; that it makes them better able to answer and reassure their colleagues.
That feedback alone would be enough to sustain our efforts. But along the way, we've also been surprised at how popular Regulatory Recon has become. Since that first daily edition was published in February 2013, Recon has been read almost 600,000 times, and its links clicked through millions of times.
We're also proud of how Regulatory Recon helps identify hot topics for further discussion and analysis by other media outlets. Focus is limited (just like any other publication) by our resources to cover every single regulatory development taking place. If we can facilitate and educate other media outlets to dig into topics and explore them further, we've helped to increase awareness of regulatory topics and make it easier for professionals to find the information they need to do their jobs better.
What Comes Next
So what's the upshot of all this? We're not going anywhere. If anything, we hope to expand Regulatory Recon in the coming months and to make Regulatory Focus even more relevant and useful to its readers.
Here's to the next 500 editions of Regulatory Recon being just as enjoyable to write, and our sincerest thanks to you, our readers, for continuing to make Regulatory Recon the success it is today.
Alexander "Alec" Gaffney, RAC
Manager, Regulatory Intelligence