I don’t generally do New Year’s resolutions. The fact is, if I can’t work up the will power needed to do something the other 364 days a year, there’s no reason to think an arbitrary date of January 1 is going to make me any more likely to develop the needed internal strength needed to follow through on my commitments. That being said, when you’re doing something public, like blogging, January 1 is as good a date as any to restart efforts. Which brings me to this post, which is basically my New Year’s resolution to blog more.
2012 was a very interesting year for me. I stepped off of planes on four different continents during the year and flew nearly 140,000 miles on United alone. I took on the role of Security Evangelist in 2011 and got to a point in 2012 that I feel comfortable in the role. I can actually answer most of the questions people ask me about the inner workings of the Akamai platform, rather than having to say “I’ll find out” and asking our engineers. I wrote several security sections for Akamai’s State of the Internet Report. I presented at half a dozen conferences during the year and learned a lot about what I need to do to become a better presenter. All in all, it was a very good year from a professional perspective and looking forward to 2013, things will continue to get better if how we closed out 2012 is any indication. And I’ve been told I need to cut back on the travel this year, which may make the year even better.
From a personal perspective, 2012 was a ‘more of the same’ year. The Spawn (as I call my children publicly) continue to grow at an alarming rate and my grocery grows at a similar rate. Spawn0 is already as tall as Wife0 and Spawn1 is threatening to catch up to him before too long. They both continue to expand their horizons and give me at least a little faith that maybe the next generation isn’t as completely hopeless as the current generation. It’s that hope that keeps us from strangling them at birth, I suppose. Neither Wife0 nor I changed much, other than gaining a little more weight and losing a little more hair. Wait, that was just me, Wife0 is still the same beautiful woman I married 20 years ago.
What I really didn’t like about 2012 though was my blogging and podcasting schedule. I resolved several times to write more, but didn’t follow through on it as much as I really should. The podcast recording schedule with Rich and Zach was severely compromised much of the year, with all three of us being on the road more than we probably should have been. We’ll be recording episode 300 of the Network Security Podcast in a couple of weeks and there’s a good possibility that we’ll be making some changes in order to make the podcast something that we can continue doing despite our travel. It was either make some changes or quit podcasting, and all three of us have committed to another year of recordings, so plan on listening to us at least a little longer. I wonder if we have it in us to make it to episode 500?
But it’s the lack of consistent blogging that really makes me annoyed with myself. When I started writing in 2003, I could write about any story or just spew my thoughts on to the page randomly. Everything was new and shiny and I had opinions on it all. Now it’s over 9 years later and I’ve written well over 2000 blog posts; I’ve read and written on almost every aspect of security at some point. It’s hard to think of anything that I haven’t already seen or been involved with previously that I want to write on, and so much of my thinking last year was based on just learning how to do my job the best I can, with little time left over for contemplation. And what I do have time to contemplate creates more questions in my own mind about how we do security in the corporate world with few answers being obvious.
So my resolution for 2013 is to write at least one blog post a week this year. I’m not going to promise that the content of any of these posts will be spectacular or insightful, but one thing I learned from my early efforts is that sometimes it’s more important to write than to write the perfect post. If you write enough crud, someone out there will sift through it to find the one or two kernels of wisdom that make it through the system. Usually those kernels aren’t even what the writer was trying to express, but as long as they resonate with someone, it’s a positive. Which is all I really want to do, create a positive impact on the security community one rambling post at a time.
With that said, this is my first blog post of 2013. In August I will have completed 10 years of blogging. Hopefully I’ll also have completed at least 40 or so posts by that time as well. Maybe one or two of them will contain something you, the reader, find useful. If not, I’ll keep writing anyway. There are still too many ideas in my head aching to get out.