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Stack Exchange is providing communities with blog functionality if there is demand and the enthusiasm to create and maintain a valuable blog. Discussion over here on Meta.SO

Key points from @Rebecca:

Here are some guidelines that I would expect to see from a community wanting a blog:

  1. Raise the idea on the child meta. A community blog needs the involvement of community members.
  2. Define the scope and purpose of the blog. Is the blog about the site? Is it about the site's topic? Is it about the industry around the topic? Keep in mind the audience of your community and their interests. Another generic blog about may not be all that interesting.
  3. Recruit contributors. Who will write entries for the blog? Starting a blog is a bit like going through the buffet line. Be realistic - don't let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. Think seriously about if and how often you will be able to contribute a blog post, including research/prep time.
  4. Plan a schedule. Given the results of steps #2 and #3, think about a rough idea of a schedule for the blog. Will there be one post a week, posted Mondays? Will there be posts on Tuesdays and posts on Fridays? You don't need to be pushing out posts daily, but I would say at least one post a week.

Please respond if you are interested - we'll need to get an idea of whether we have enough volunteers, enthusiasm, hot topics etc.

10 Answers 10

5
  1. IN! (numbered because the software prevents starting at 2)

  2. I'd say articles based on the site's topic. Target would be sysadmins and people who should be hiring sysadmins.

  3. Hopefully a group of regulars around here. Probably pulling from the 1,000+ rep pool.

  4. Starting with Tuesday / Friday sounds good. We should be able to get one article every 2 weeks from four people, I think.

  • 5
    Heeeey... this site is not just for sysadmins! ;) – AviD Jun 7 '11 at 0:26
  • +1 @AviD: Agree. – blunders Jun 7 '11 at 0:49
  • The site isn't for it... but who is the target audience of the newsletter? Where do we bring in fresh blood? – Jeff Ferland Jun 7 '11 at 2:10
  • @Jeff Ferland: While I'm guessing your comment was aimed at @Avid, I'll comment on why I agreed with him. In my opinion, SE-Security is more than "just" for SysAdmins, but it's not to say they should be excluded, or for that matter would not form the core of the community. – blunders Jun 7 '11 at 12:54
  • @Jeff Ferland: Thought of an an example. Clearly Cryptologists are not SysAdmins, but it'd be great if we had an active Cryptologist among us. – blunders Jun 9 '11 at 20:45
  • 2 posts every week is VERY difficult to start right away. It takes a lot to write up every week. I would suggest starting out at 1 per week, and then build up a 'queue' of posts. If you can consistently build up that queue then move to more a week. – James Mertz Jun 28 '11 at 19:44
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Guessing the answer is no, but do you know if SE offers a shared email account for "official business" on behalf of the community? Clearly this account would be subject to monitoring by SE, and the point of such account would be to represent the both the "professional" and "collective" nature of the community.

Reason I ask is that my idea would be to attempt to contact top professional security professionals, and offer them a chance to do a guest blog on the SE-Security site.

While doing this via a non-SE channels is clearly possible, it would not reinforce the nature of the request, nor for that matter would it allow SE-Security to maintain relationships with external experts as a community.

If admins had access to a shared account, then I'd be happy to help generate a list of professionals to contact, guidelines for posting to the blog, emails to solicit engagement, etc.

I'd also suggest that the SE-Security community be encouraged to market the blog on behave of the community, possibly in a way that would results in reps being earned by the member.

It would also help if the blog post is VERY clearly marketed on the main SE-Security site and SE-Security-Meta via the standard inline banner alerts at the top of the page; meaning a user always get the alert once, and only once per posting, and that if more than one posting has taken place since they were last on the site, they one get one alert for the most recent SE-Security blog posting.

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    some very good ideas here. Post these seperately, as feature requests? – AviD Jun 7 '11 at 0:28
  • @AviD: Please feel free to repost any sub-statements as is, or edited as you see fit. If you post a comment here with a link to the repost I'd happy to follow-up. Simply put, it's not clear what exactly you'd like me to do, and it'd be much easier if you just executed whatever you'd like done. Thanks! – blunders Jun 7 '11 at 0:56
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Sure a blog is cool.

I am concerned that we don't find enough interesting topics so that we can do two postings a week for at least a month.

Just copying existing questions and answers (perhaps rephrasing them) does not feel like an good approach to me.

  • Hmm, just a small point, have you looked at every single single question, answer, comment posted in the last week, and even if you have, do you think that's the norm? Check out @makerofthings's answer and my comments for additional thoughts. – blunders Jun 9 '11 at 20:39
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  1. Reiterating my in-ness.
  2. Scope - this is a bit tricky, since as has often come up, this site has several distinct types of users, and different areas of (exclusive) interest: networks, operating systems (further divided by Windows / Linux / etc), attacking applications (e.g. pentesting, exploits, etc), building applications (e.g. secure coding, code reviews, etc), cryptology, and risk management, just to name a few.
    I think the blog should cater to all these, perhaps alternating between them - and preferably, focusing on the "high level issues" that should interest most. Given the wide range of specialties of the bloggers, I think it could work to have each blog about their own, with (hopefully) some thread in common. E.g. A monthly "theme" could be really interesting, and then "examine" it from several different perspectives and focii.
    The tricky part is finding the correct balance... and then once in a while, mixing it up by throwing in something not as relevant, but esoteric and interesting nonetheless (I can think up a few ideas like that).
    Also, periodically we can check which questions/answers garnered exceptional interest (views+votes), or generated potentially interesting discussions but were not really questions, and do a post on that.
  3. .
  4. I think we can aim for 3 posts every ~2 weeks, but I dont think we need to keep to a strict schedule. Though if we have a large enough pool of potential bloggers, we can set up a rota a few weeks in advance, and even have a few posts in queueue.
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    I like the idea of having a theme that then looks at a topic from different angles. – Rebecca Chernoff Jun 10 '11 at 9:01
  • @Rebecca the problem is coming up with non-trivial themes that would work well... I could think of maaaaybee two or 3. – AviD Jun 10 '11 at 10:28
  • Come to think of it, 2 or 3 monthly themes is not bad at all... Lets say, (1) authentication / authorization / IdM; (2) PCI; (3) logging / SIEM / SOC... Of course this should be fleshed out a bit, but thats just off tip of my gorgeous head... – AviD Jun 10 '11 at 10:30
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So:

  1. I vote yes please.
  2. I think what we need here is in fact a mixture of topics. Interesting discussions from the site should almost definitely feature, along with "guest bloggers" if you like. Basically, I agree with AviD. I would like it to be about itsec rather than about this particular stack exchange site since we already have metas, a SE podcast etc for discussions on the SE engine. However, interaction on the site (questions, answers, even disputes of a technical nature) are all material that could inform the blog.
  3. I am sure you can find better contributors than me. However, if you really want a contribution from me I'm sure I could write something.
  4. Over to the guys who are managing this project really. Unfortunately I don't have time to be blog-man, but I'll do I can to make encouraging noises in the general direction of the blog and generate topics for discussion.
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Borrowing the numbers from the question:

  1. I think it's a great idea, and could probably contribute regularly-but-infrequently. Due to time commitments on other community projects I'd better not be driving it :)
  2. Putting on my "pro tem mod" hat, I think the audience has to be site contributors and those who are not yet site contributors, but would be if they knew about the cool discussions we were having. That informs the choice of content too. I say a good way to pick a topic is to find an interesting question on the site, then talk about issues related to that question (without necessarily answering it in the blog post). This can get readers interested in that question and perhaps thinking about new answers, from where they might answer other questions and even become regular contributors. Eventually such posts can be derived from "recent" interesting questions, but initially they can come from any interesting question because most potential blog readers won't have seen any of the site content.
  3. If you can find four people who are willing to write a post every month, you already have a post every week. If you can harangue people in the main site to write guest posts every now and again, then you don't even need a core of regulars :).
  4. I don't think a schedule is a key feature for any blog. Looking at stats for my blogs, more than half of the readers come from RSS and most of the remainder are 'refered' (to borrow HTTP's spelling) by Twitter. This makes me think most readers see a new post and read it: they aren't checking in at 9am every Friday because that's New Post O'Clock™.
  • I agree. The "have a rigid schedule for your posts" recommendation always seemed funky to me, your #4 is what I would expect. Then again, I didnt have my own stats on my own blog that I could verify, at least anecdotally... – AviD Jun 21 '11 at 13:02
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I'm interested in seeing the outcome, and am willing to contribute.

I've seen requests on SO Meta to favorite an answer, instead of a question. Perhaps the blog could serve as a compromise to this feature request, culling the most salient points from all good answers.

  • Awesome idea, though why exclude a content type? Great content could be questions, answers, comments, or something else; no idea what it'd be, but maybe updates to the FAQ, who know's. If you want, to see if this idea will work, just create a SE-Security meta question called something like "Week #1, SE-Security Weekly Highlights" then find content, create one answer per segment of content in the SE-Security-Meta question, and then... comment in the source of the content updating those nominated that it has happen. – blunders Jun 9 '11 at 20:33
  • If you post the question, and a few highlights as answers, I'll post three. Also, in the body of the question you encourage those high-lighted to find high-lights to, it'll help find even more high-lights and members to help out. Also, whole point is to get community feedback on what it likes, visitors to vote as many times as possible. Guess it goes without saying, but members should not be high-lighting there own content. And great idea!! – blunders Jun 9 '11 at 20:36
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Rory Alsop, creating an answer stub in response to your comment: "@blunders, this idea could be excellent for a series of blog posts if you are interested. See the link to the meta question on a security stackexchange blog", found on this question: Crowd sourcing response planning to very public security issues

If possible, please clarify what your idea is, either by commenting, or just editing the answer to create the answer you're looking for. Thanks!

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Sounds worthwhile. Count me in :)

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I'm definitely in - have various areas I'm happy to talk on:-)

I have no time until the 21st (busy turning 40), but can then pop up one I am presenting live on the 20th on practical security for professionals and amateurs.

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