This is it: the 1,000th SmallGovCon post. And if you’re reading this, you are a big reason why we’ve hit such a major milestone in less than five years.
Thank you, SmallGovCon readers.
Before I launched SmallGovCon, I thought it would be a good idea to read a bunch of other legal blogs, just to get a sense of how others were doing it. A few hours in, and I was ready to beat my head against the nearest wall. While, in fairness, a few of the blogs were quite good, most of them were pretty darn rough. These not-so-great blogs proved quite inspirational, however: I figured out what annoyed me about them, and resolved to do the exact opposite.
First things first: most of these legal blogs were chock full of unnecessary legalese, arcane Latin phrases, cumbersome in-text citations, and the like. Sure, we lawyers spend three years in law school learning to read this stuff, but to a regular person, there’s not a whole lot of difference between Legalese and Klingon. I decided that, because SmallGovCon‘s intended audience was smart government contractors and acquisition professionals–not Ruth Bader Ginsburg–I would write SmallGovCon in plain English. (And if you are into random jargon, well, there are other websites for that).
The next thing I noticed was that most of these blogs suffered from a serious lack of personality. Were the authors actual human beings, or jargon-spouting lawyer robots? Sometimes, it was hard to tell. I happen to own this shirt, which expresses an important fact about lawyers: we’re people! Seriously! In honor of my membership in the human race, I decided that I occasionally would subject SmallGovCon‘s readers to random musings about things near and dear to my heart, like my kids and the Chicago Cubs. But beyond that, I decided that SmallGovCon wouldn’t be afraid to express a point of view, like we did throughout our coverage of the Kingdomware saga.
During my “blog due diligence,” it also quickly became clear that many of these blogs were updated about as often as the Cleveland Browns make the playoffs. That is to say, infrequently. It’s hard to imagine becoming a go-to website in any field–much less a rapidly-changing field like government contracts law–without publishing often. Would you visit a website with a tagline like “Your Seasonal Guide to a Few Random Things Happening in Government Contracts”? Yeah, me neither. So I decided to publish frequently.
Due diligence complete, I launched the blog in late May 2012. One big question remained: would anyone read it? Was there an audience for a niche blog on government contracts law?
Hundreds of thousands of page views later, I’ve got my answer. But the feedback that matters most isn’t from Google Analytics. It’s from the readers I meet at industry events across the country, who approach me–completely unsolicited–to say how much they enjoy the blog and our free electronic newsletter. It’s from the readers who take the time to email me to thank me for a particular post, or ask a follow-up question. It’s from my many LinkedIn connections, who frequently comment on blog posts and spark insightful discussions. Thanks to you, dear readers, I know that SmallGovCon serves an important role in the procurement community–and that’s what matters most to me.
Of course, SmallGovCon has grown and changed throughout the last several years, too. My fantastic colleagues at Koprince Law LLC have become co-authors, which has allowed us to broaden our coverage. We added our “Week In Review” feature to help update readers on important government contracting news. We recently kicked off our GovCon Voices series to offer perspectives from non-attorney thought leaders. I’m proud of SmallGovCon, but we’re not resting on our laurels. My colleagues and I will continue to work to make the site even better.
The first 1,000 posts have come quickly. Thank you very much for reading. I hope you’ll stick with us for the next 1,000.