1000 Posts in 1000 Words & Still Counting!

Image of First PostThis one time at ShmooCamp … I had an urge to start a blog. Well long story short … I came home after a late night at ShmooCon, setup a blog and posted the following article.

Welcome to the NovaInfosecPortal – Security News, Events, and Resources for Infosec Professionals in NoVA

We’ve been planning to start a site dedicated to information security for a long time but just never got around to doing it. Tonight, however, after the excitement of Saturday at ShmooCon in Washington, DC, we finally decided on a good niche – centralizing security news, events, and resources for infosec professionals in Northern Virginia (NoVA) – and took the first step into making this idea a reality. Enjoy!

Ok … maybe the title was a little too long but with those 66 words I started this site. I actually did end up returning to ShmooCon the following morning but since I had been up until 5:00 AM or so, I obviously missed the first few talks.

Thanks to the WayBack Machine I can even get a snap-shot of what this post actually looked like as you can see above. The first actual snap-shot didn’t show up in the WayBack Machine until the following month on March 26th.

Original Site Design of NovaInfosecPortal.com(click to enlarge)

You’ll see some favorites there … mentions of ShmooCon as well as the OWASP DC and CapSecDC meetups. The Sections area on the right still pretty much maps to our current menu. If you would like to navigate the old site, check it out on the WayBack Machine.

History

Over the years we’ve added numerous updates with the goal of helping bring together the growing infosec community. First there were several design updates … thank goodness. Of course being a blog we’ve always had an RSS feed … not sure if anyone uses that or not. At some point Twitter started playing a big role so we created the @novainfosec account. This also started the NovaBloggers feature, where we let the community know of some of our local bloggers.

One of the original features we added was our popular calendar. We started on Google and used it through this January. But we wanted more flexibility and so it was time to roll our own. Two of the improvements included a more customizable iCal feed that you can subscribe to and event comments. We are hoping the comments feature helps form more community interactions in that people can summarize what they thought of the event afterwards.

And of course a huge portion of our content are blog posts. You may remember “paques” from a few years back. She was influential in trying to turn many of my original ideas into reality. We currently have @nathiet‘s standard “Where You Want to Be this Week” (WYWTBTW) and “Top 3 NoVA Infosec Blog Posts of the Week” posts. There were my Grecs’ Infosec Ramblings post, which have since morphed into the Weekly Rewind. Periodically I’ve been known to put out news commentary or some simple how-to’s. Also @judykavuo just started posting commentary on news as well as managing job posts.

We’ve had several external contributors over the years as well. There are too many to mention here but you know who you are. And with permission, we’ve cross-posted numerous articles from some of the local websites. Many of these same individuals not only offered their words but also helped get the word out about the site. On a similar note we also started a localized version of Andrew Hay’s Security D-List Interviews. So far we’ve had two posts but if you’d like to nominate someone let us know. And overall we are always looking for more blog contributors. So if you are interested in putting out a weekly or monthly “column” … or even just a one-off rant … contact us!

Recent Updates & the Future

More recently we’ve been trying to push our content out more to make it accessible elsewhere. We finally updated our FaceBook page to be more than just a placeholder. The Wall includes all our blog posts and tweets and the Calendar pulls in our iCal events feed. Our event listing was also incorporated on DcTechEvents.com. This is another site to not only find our events but also other tech activities around town.

Going forward we have even bigger plans. I’ve thought of many ideas including more community-based offerings such as a mailing list (another one?), a meetup, a forum, an IRC channel, a wiki, etc. Others included a weekly or monthly newsletter or some member-only services (e.g., consolidated list of local CFPs). That’s nice but what really matters is what YOU want. If any of the ideas above look good or if you have other suggestions you’d like to see, please let us know.

We have a small budget and a platform so by letting us know what you want, we can better spend it to help improve the community. And of course we’re always looking for more funding sources (besides my rapidly depleting bank account) so we can offer even more. One way you can help here is to download our Media Kit and pass it along to your company’s marketing/advertising people.

How You Can Help

Lots of people have asked over the years how they could help. Well … all that we ask is that if you find this site useful, review the following suggestions and do as many as you feel are appropriate.

To close this post out I wanted to again thank you … the local community … for continuing to support our site through the years. Every once in a while someone will approach me at an event and compliment the site. It’s little things like that that keep me going … that inspire me to continue on through the next 1000 posts.

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