2017 Wrap Up

Another year has passed! I figured I did a wrap-up post last year so I decided I would do it again. (Most people relax on Sundays right? I wonder what that’s like…)

This year has been as interesting as last year from a personal growth and development perspective. I decided to change a few things about how I manage my time which means I’m able to cover more in less time, and the minor changes that I’ve made haven’t caused any complaints. For anyone interested, I used to copy and paste the links manually out of Feedly, but now with a combination of Feedly Pro, IFFFT, Google Sheets, and a mail merge app I can save a lot of time for a small fee. The only downside is lately I’ve found that some of the articles from Feedly haven’t properly been migrated through IFFFT; If I miss something during the week that you think should be there (read: useful information for the DFIR community that isn’t solely marketing), then let me know. I try to find everything, but I’ll definitely miss stuff.

I also started up the podcast to talk about some of the things that had happened in the previous month, which I think people enjoy (I’ve got about 50 subscribers on iTunes and views of the posts range from 200-400…so I think people are listening? No objections yet so that counts). I even managed to get a few donations through Patreon (still waiting for that Tulip delivery 😉 ). 

I noticed a lot more of the same with regards to the sharing of information, but with a few extra people popping up. The second half of the year seemed to be better than the first, with ThinkDFIR, Troy4n61234n6TM4n6, Initialization Vectors, and I’m sure others that I’ve accidentally missed all starting up. I even saw a rumour that there might be a 4cast episode coming up. The Cyberspeak podcast came back briefly early on but unfortunately didn’t stick around long. And the Forensic Lunch stayed strong, which is great!

As evidenced by the number of blogs that have gone by the wayside, it’s difficult to keep posting regularly. Often you’ll write part of it and think of all the reasons why it still needs work. Or something else comes along and takes you away from the keyboard. That’s ok, you can always caveat your posts with “this is what I’ve got so far” and come back to it. I’ve found a number of times that someone’s posts have helped me do my job better, so that’s good incentive to keep it up. And save the ones you find useful because they can disappear at a moment’s notice. (maybe AboutDFIR can start caching them all ;))

Something that I’ve found helpful is either setting a schedule; obviously for this blog to work it’s done weekly, but even just saying I’ll post once a month is good. It means that you have an achievable goal to reach. Dave’s Forensic Lunches are a good example of this; he strives for an average of twice a month. Sometimes that means we get four days of Test Kitchens, which are a great example of something that is easy to do and helpful to all involved. Something mentioned in the above link is also that having more people involved reduces burnout. 

In terms of site stats, I’ve had a pretty successful year, with views moving upwards month-month, which is nice. It’s fun to look back at the start and see how things have progressed. I was asked about the most clicked-on links throughout the year, which funnily enough was to my Twitter account. Other than that, people seem to be interested in the links shared by the guys at Cyber Forensicator and Digital Forensics Corp, as well as various YouTube presentations (WordPress groups things by domain, so granularity isn’t great). In terms of vendors, Magnet Forensics, Elcomsoft, and Blackbag Technologies have received the most clicks. From my end, Twitter has been by far the best source of referrals, along with people coming from search engines – I find using the “site:” operator with Google works really well to find articles that I’ve read. 

So what’s the plan for the site next year? More of the same really. I may be travelling for a month so I may have to plan around that a bit. I travelled for two weeks this year and decided to just link to articles; I found that I didn’t read those articles as well as I do usually. So we’ll see how it turns out. There’ll be something put out for the 4-5 weeks, I’m just not sure what the form will be.

Otherwise, it’ll be business as usual…posting every Saturday/Sunday and then a podcast once a month.

If anyone has any suggestions for things that can be improved or things I’m not covering then please reach out through the Contact form.

Hope everyone has a happy new year!

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