Shortly after joining a coffee queue at OSCON 2013...
Hi. I'm Kate... Is this your first time?
Thus, I started an enjoyable hour-long chat with an O'Reilly Commissioning Editor about cybersecurity.
Both insightful to learn what she needed from the cybersecurity community and necessary to warn her about her upcoming trip to Defcon and Blackhat.
OSCON 2013 was a fun conference and a fun time.
But times have changed.
COVID and climate concerns pushed most conferences online.
And relatively few cybersecurity events have chosen to return to in-person.
Now - if you can find an in-person cybersecurity event - the cost of entry is more than a VIP ticket to a Taylor Swift concert.
And - inevitably - the people you are looking forward to meeting have decided to "catch it on YouTube".
As a long-time veteran of these events, I can reminisce about 'better times'.
But for people looking to get into cybersecurity or curious to learn more, there's a bigger problem...
The planned presentations - are easy to find.
They're all over YouTube.
But what about the impromptu chats?
Where can you ask questions?
Or quiz practitioners on their mistakes - and what they learned the hard way?
These are the grassroots conversations that turn book learning into experience.
And - from the numerous conversations I had over the last year - they don't exist in the new world of online conferences and streaming video.
A community is formed by telling shared stories to each other.
Without a place to gather, there isn't a place to foster existing friendships.
Nor a chance to welcome new people.
So we decided to do something.
On 14 November 2023 at 5 pm - I will be hosting a virtual Cyber Campfire.
A place dedicated to impromptu conversations and asking questions.
We'll start with 2 lightning talks to spark the conversation.
Then, it's an open chat about any topic in cybersecurity.
One last thing - there's a special feature...
The Vendor Veto.
The Cyber Campfire is not about sales pitches.
So, if you think you're being pitched or sold a service - veto the conversation - and we will move on.
Bring a brew of choice.
And join us at the Cyber Campfire.