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December 02, 2010

A Butterfly Flapping Its Wings Can Cause a Storm Somewhere

monarch-butterfly_largeIt always amazes me to see the inter-relationships in the security blogging world.  I was on a phone call earlier this week with Rich Mogull and Rich mentioned that no one is blogging anymore it seems.  I guess I am guilty if you are speaking about blogging here at ashimmy.com.

That is not to say I am not blogging.  I blog 3 to 4 times a week in my Network World Open Source Fact or Fiction blog. I also blog regularly on Secure Cloud Review along with some other great security bloggers. On top of this every once in a while I throw up a post on The CISO Group’s Security.exe blog as well.

But where and when you blog is not the point. The influence you have on the public discussion and on your peers is what matters most to me.  I was reminded of this twice in the last few hours.

Jennifer Leggio who in the years I have known her has grown so much from being a PR/marketing person, to a bona fide social media celebrity has a column in her ZDNet Social Business blog called 100 Brains. Yesterday she ran an interview she did with Christofer Hoff (@beaker).  Being as how I know them both, I read the article. About 3/4 down the first page I read this quote from Chris:

I was further inspired in terms of community outreach and expanding my use of social media by Alan Shimel.  He urged me to step up my blogging as a way of inspiring discussion, debate and dialogue in the security community.

I will be honest with you, I was moved to tears. What a nice thing for Hoff to say. More than that, to think that somehow I played a small part in helping Chris reach the lofty heights he has reached was immensely gratifying. You write what you feel, sometimes you can’t find stuff to write about. You meet people, you interact with them, drawing out a dialogue.  To know that from all of that someone like Chris was inspired makes a lot of the drudge worthwhile.

But lets be real. Chris is a brilliant guy.  Whether I encouraged him to keep blogging or not, his talent would have been recognized anyway. He has inspired me much more than I could have inspired him I am sure. But I am humbled and grateful that he mentioned me in the interview.

The other thing I read today was what is apparently the last blog (at least for a while) from my friend Robert “RSnake” Hansen. I met RSnake also through the Security Bloggers Network.  A few years back when my blog was hacked it was RSnake who came in and was so helpful in figuring out who the jerks were who did it. He helped me put things back together much quicker than I could have ever done myself.

On top of this though, as most of you know, he is another brilliant security guy. He and Jeremiah Grossman practically created the webappsec space. I think the podcast I did years ago with Mitchell Ashley with Jeremiah and RSnake is still our biggest download. 

Robert says he is closing down his blog after 1,000 posts and almost 5 years because he is just not into security anymore.  It happens to the best of us. My gut tells me we have not seen the last of Robert in security. Maybe he just needs some time away to recharge the batteries. He still has much to give the security industry. He just needs to find something that will get him excited.

But until he does, there is nothing wrong with following your pursuit of happiness. Over the last year while building The CISO Group I have come to cherish the time home with the family and not running around from one airport to the next. I don’t think Marriott and Delta miss me too much. 

I wish Robert nothing but the best and hope he finds his happiness to as he says “make his life a comedy”.  Interestingly in the comments, Jeremiah thanked Robert for getting him started with blogging.  Another case of the six degrees of separation in security blogging.

So are you blogging? Are you inspiring someone, even though you may not know it right now?  You never know. But you probably have something to say, so say it. Keep blogging, the world really is listening.

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