We’ve been seeing a lot of new blogs popping up recently, and I wanted to share parts of my recent Enfuse presentation on personal branding in the hopes of encouraging more people to follow suit (that and I’m still trying to post up once a month)
One of the slides in my presentation was about participation inequality. There was some research done by Jakob Nielsen in 2006 (and expanded on in 2011) called the 1% rule. The updated methodology changes the ratio’s slightly, but either way, you can see that there’s a very small percentage of people that are actively creating or expanding on content.
Some might see this as dire, and that there are not many people sharing in the community. They’re not wrong: Proportionally to the number of people in the industry, there aren’t a lot of people sharing. That being said, I still post close to 100 articles a week on my other site (side note; so many people still don’t know about the site, so spread the word!)
There’s another way to look at it though. If only 10% of people are the creators, that’s a pretty low bar. This isn’t Hollywood, where everyone is trying to get noticed. Only a few people are constantly putting out content or engaging with the community. The way I see it is that it’s not hard to stand out, for people to know who you are and what you’re capable of, to give back, to build a brand. The community is very welcoming, and are very happy to see more people (regardless of their tenure in the field) putting out content.
My preference is to tell people to start a site of their own. There are a few options here.
- I like WordPress.com (I even have a referral link, I get a small kickback if anyone pays for hosting). But there are plenty of others – Squarespace, Blogger, Medium, all great at taking care of the backend stuff so that you can focus on posting content. The main benefit is that you can easily log in, type your content, hit post, and be done with it. But you do lose out if you want to mess with CSS, Google Analytics, Custom Themes, Plugins (unless you pay for the top tier plan).
- There’s also hosting on AboutDFIR.com. People may not know, but Devon has expressed that he’s happy to create subdomains on aboutdfir for people to have their own little home.
- Or lastly, you could do it all yourself. It’s probably the cheaper option, but also you have to be on top of security, backup, keeping the site running etc. I don’t want to bother with that, but you do get a lot more control. Plus can run scripts on it to build dynamic content.
Either way, I highly encourage people to start their own home on the web. It lets you document what you’re working on, or work that you’ve done. It also allows me to reference the material and share it out. It also means that people can find you, which is good for you in the long run.
I also think it’s worth it for people to write down some of the stuff that they’ve spent time looking into because
- They will inevitably refer back to it at some point in the future; and
- It’ll probably help someone else in some way.
Two more things and then I’ll finish the post off.
- Imposter syndrome; yes, it’s a thing, everyone gets it. This field is way too big to know everything. But by putting together a small amount of research on a specific thing at the very least you can say “I know this thing because I tested it, and these are the conditions under which I know how to produce this result”.
- I don’t have anything to contribute – You do. Even if it’s something you do every day, someone with less experience doesn’t know about it. Even if it’s something everyone knows about, you are showing that you know about it too. It helps validate understanding, and you may even find something wrong with our current understanding. MFT parsing was a solved problem, Shellbags were a solved problem. Very little in this industry is a solved problem.
If people are interested I can get on the Forensic Lunch and talk more about this topic. It’s something that I can talk about for a while, and eventually, they’ll just cut my feed.
And yes, I know that by getting more people to blog more I’m making more work for myself. But that’s ok, I learn a lot from reading other peoples work, and without other people sharing, This Week In 4n6 doesn’t exist so it’s self-serving really 😉