March 23, 2010

I’ve been hearing from a number of readers who followed me here from the Security Fix blog at The Washington Post, asking if I plan to resume my bi-weekly “live” chats wherein I attempt  to field questions from readers about security, privacy and other tech-related matters.

I hosted roughly 50 of these live Web chats with readers between Jan 2008 and the end of 2009. They were usually fun, but almost always took up a lot of time. I’m amenable to restarting them at Krebs on Security, but I’d like to get a better feel for public interest in this. So, I’ll put it to a vote. Please take a moment to list your response in the poll below.

[poll id=”4″]

27 thoughts on “Bring Back ‘Live’ Web Chats?

  1. wiredog

    Ummm. What’s the difference between that, and responding to questions quickly? Couldn’t you just put up an entry at a set time every week (Tuesday at Noon, or whatever) askign for questions in the comments, and then answering them in the comments?

  2. BrianKrebs Post author

    Could definitely do it that way. Just more formalized, that’s all. Lots of readers send me questions, but don’t necessarily want them blasted onto the Internet or my blog.

    1. MK

      Perhaps you could make it more clear that you are willing to answer reader questions, protect their anonymity, and maybe put up a biweekly post with some of the questions you find most interesting or illuminating? Definitely doesn’t have to be a live chat.

    2. Ben

      Either way, Brian, I must ask you this: on the WP blog, you stated that just about any malware on a system should be detected by scanning with malwarebytes and superantispyware. Is that still current? Thanks!!!

      1. infosec_pro

        @ Ben, no scanner should be trusted to detect all or even most malware. It is too easy for malware to obfuscate itself. Look at the detect rates reported for samples of well known and common malware like Zeus and they are abysmally low. Using multiple scanners will improve your odds but don’t trust the lack of detects to mean your system is clean.

  3. qka

    I agree that some sort of Q&A mechanism would be great. I just don’t see the point of “live”, and the required synchronization of of moderator and audience.

    “Appointment” TV is dead, why bring that idea to the Internet?

  4. JCitizen

    I’m not sure, I just started following Brian just before his exit from the Post. Maybe his time would be better spent not doing the “Live” concept. I really don’t know?!

    When I was a team member at our IT meetings we would have loved to bend our schedule for such a thing, but I’m independent now and don’t have the time.

    I abstain from voting, because none of the answers fit my situation.


  5. AJNorth

    Brian, let me reiterate that the Post lost one of its premier assets when you retired in December, but us loyal readers (present and future) are most fortunate that you created ‘Krebs On Security’ afterwards.

    Hopefully, should you reintroduce your live chat, their archives will again be available (which would address the needs of many).



  6. Miles Baska

    I can’t see any advantage whatsoever to “Live”. Brian, I’ve been following you for a long time, and I ignored your live stuff back when — no offense, but information has to flow on my schedule. Now, if you were going to do a podcast, that changes things.

  7. John Bambenek

    I’d defintely approve as long as it was a themed chat, namely, use flash animation and use Home Star Runner as an avatar. 🙂

  8. Alastair

    It seemed hard to locate your web chats previously – or listen to them. I assumed it was because I’m not in the USA.

    What about a monthly podcast or similar? Invite people on to discuss your stories, maybe have people send in questions?

  9. Glenn Fleishman

    The NY Times approach of “we’re answering questions all this week” might make more sense. They collect a bunch of questions, answer the most interesting, relevant, or popular topics, and then post that as an article.

    Live text chats seem very 1997.

  10. David Chasey

    Monthly would be OK Or do it when ever followers start hounding you to do it.

  11. dahacker

    Don’t do a live chat. The questions are largely boring live and nobody reads that stuff.

    Just do as suggested above and collect questions somehow and maybe answer them all in one big post once a month.

    PS. Keep posting the small business banking fraud news until the banks and/or congress get some real banking security.

  12. Dave Newbern

    I like the Q&A approach where you pick out the best questions. I always find it hard to be available when a “live” event is on – most of the time falls into the middle of work. I really dont want to tie everyone up in the evening. So I hope you will keep up the Q&A approach.

  13. J

    I just think it’s great that you cared enough to ask, really. 🙂

  14. Allen Baranov

    I voted “…about time” but reading the comments, I realise that you are talking about an IRC type thing. I don’t like that.

    I’m going to vote with the other comment writers for a Blog with questions and preferably a podcast.

    A podcast would be amazing.

  15. Bart

    I usually read your live Post chats after they finished and found them useful.

    One thing I always went to your Post blog for was information on the reliability of the monthly Microsoft updates.

  16. dward

    What ever you do with the live thing I’d like to see some sort of transcript of the Q&A. Or at least what you view as the best questions you got.

  17. Peter

    While this is slightly off topic, I think it fits the jist of communication here.

    Brian, as a new reader it would be nice if you created a list of the software that use as “instead ofs” such as FreePDF instead of Acrobat Reader. Thank you for the time you take on this. I love reading the blog.

  18. Brian H.

    I’m a long-time listener to the Security Now podcast by Steve Gibson with Leo Leport. Never once have I caught their live version. I am a daily reader of your blog, as well. I would never use a live event with Krebs. Podcast perhaps, if it was “IT professional level”, not if it was primarily “user level” questions.

  19. Ed Foster

    Do it only if it doesn’t subtract much from the time you spend on more important matters. I always read the live chat on Washington Post, but most often after it had closed.

    It would be better to do a Q&A, but do it only when a sufficient number of interesting questions has accumulated.

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