01 March, 2013

Reflections on Over Five Years of Blogging

My first post to this blog was in September, 2007. Professionally speaking, I have gone through major changes since then. I've changed employer, though amazingly enough in this line of work that happened only once during that time. I have also learned a lot and my duties have changed quite a bit.

Though I try to stay plugged in to incident response, NSM, and all those other operational bits I love, I am definitely a step back from directly responding to incidents compared to a lot of my previous experience. Another big change for me is that I no longer run a bunch of NSM sensors though I still do that type of administration on my home network. On the other hand, one of the wonderful things about my current employer is that they allow us a lot of freedom to identify problems or challenges then take them on without trying to pigeonhole us. I look forward to 2013 as a year in which I will continue being challenged by taking on some new projects of interest to me.

I've gotten a number of links and traffic bursts on some of my past blog posts, which is flattering. I don't particularly feel like a unique snowflake that should get a ton of web traffic and don't usually get a ton of traffic, but occasionally I will really hit the nail on the head with a technical post and get a lot of traffic and links from other bloggers. Unsurprisingly, many of my top posts are in the system administration category since the more security-focused posts probably have a narrower target audience.

I attended FloCon 2013 in January, which made me reflect on a couple things. First, I am going to try and blog a little more often this year. It was very flattering to talk to people at the conference and have them say they have read my blog or to find they were using content I had contributed to NSMWiki. When I started this blog, my two main goals were to provide references for myself and to make those references available to others in case they also found them useful. It is good to know that my blog and other public contributions have been useful to others. I would not be where I am without similar help from others and I think that sharing of information, advice, experience, and debate is a great thing about much of the security community.

The second thing it drove home is that I need to end the semi-anonymous nature of this blog. At FloCon I found that I had coworkers following me on Twitter without even realizing it was me that they were following!

My previous employer knew about my blog and did not give me any grief whatsoever, but at the same time they were somewhat nervous about it. My current employer embraces public engagement to a much larger degree. Plenty of people already knew my name prior to this and Richard Bejtlich even linked to my blog using my name at least once, but generally I did not promote myself as the author. It is time to change that.

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