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Thursday DC101 could have been better

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  • #16
    Re: Thursday DC101 could have been better

    Originally posted by mstc View Post
    1. If I was looking for something new to try out and I didn't know where to start all I get is a list of things with titles like "Crash and Compile" and "Mystery Challenge". As a noobie (and having been absent from Defcon for a few years I feel like one) I have no idea what I'm getting in to.
    When I know of URL to wesites, wiki pages, twitter feeds, or other online resources for a contests or event, I add those links to the description of the forum for a contest or event or social gathering. When no such links are known, and there are no posts in the forum, you can always ask in the forum to see if anyone else knows about it.

    As a person that has "been around a long time" most of these contests or events are obvious to me. They have grown organically over time, and I see most of them year after year. I don't feel any need to learn what most are about because I've seen them, or read about them before.

    For new people, it may be different, and when Defcon was "new to me" there were fewer things to read about, but I've always guessed the same way that worked for me is what other people would use today.

    Years ago, I would read all I could about Defcon and what was happening, and then after learning about a contests, event or presentation by a speaker, devise a plan and basic schedule:
    * Things I *must* see
    * Thing that sound interesting, worth visiting if I have nothing else better going on
    * Free time, where nothing scheduled has piqued my curiosity.

    Would describing this as a procedure for newbie help?

    This seems like common sense to me, but maybe this is what you are looking for:

    "Before you come to Defcon, read about what is available, and ask questions on the forums, or twitter, or mailing lists. Did you Read the official FAQ? Did you read the unofficial FAQ? Howmany of you can name 10 events that are happening this year? If something sounds interesting, read more about it. If no details are provided ask questions about it. If you want to know where to go to find more details about something, ask at an information booth, where something is happening. However, these are all things you should have done before you started your trip to Defcon; we are in the information age, and if you don't have information, you have nothing. Come prepared. Come informed. Come with a plan, and allow that plan to change. Read the forums. Find online resources. Learn about what interests you.

    Now that you are here at Defcon, it is not too late to plan for the rest of Defcon and remember to plan earlier next year. Review the Defcon Program, right after this presentation, and read about what interests you, and note the times and locations for each thing. If you have access to twitter while at con, consider following any twitter resources related to the things that interest you, if they have a feed, for last minute updates or changes. If you have access to the forums, you can try to use them while at Defcon, but most people use them to learn and plan before Defcon and discuss events after Defcon, and few people will be using them now.

    Build a plan, then follow your plan. If something else comes up, allow yourself the opportunity to consider changing your plan. Don't be rigid."

    Because there are so many events, and different people have different levels of interest, different people will desired different topics be covered to different depths.

    When people know about an event, they can choose to read as much detail as they want, and if they are not interested, sip to read about something else. When there is a captive audience, there isn't much of a choice for people. They can't fast-forward the speaker to the parts they want to learn more about, but they can read their Defcon program and learn as much as they want about each thing, and then visit online resources to find out more.

    2. I have no idea how to involved or if the chance to register has already passed. If there was something that gave updates like "Social Engineering CTF registration closes in 3 days check it out!" It would be way easier to get involved and not miss the boat.
    There are twitter feeds for many contests or events. I populate my own twitter feed with events on the forums or things that I thing are worth pointing out. When a new forum is created, I tweet about it. Sometimes these tweets are retweeted by the defcon twitter feed or others. By visiting the Defcon twitter feed, you can learn about other Defcon people to follow. The public Defcon twitter profile shows you groups of people that can be followed, so you can build your list and choose to follow people with information you might want to learn more about while at con.

    Because most events are organized by individuals or groups, there is no single central authority that can absolutely tell you what is going to happen with a contest when. Only general information about contests or events is known, like:
    Where/when will they be, who is running it, what Internet resources do we know that are associated with it, etc. For details like rules, opening registration, closing registration, or other related details, people are expected to show some initiative and find out on their own, or ask, or search.

    Defcon is a distributed, cooperative system of systems, each one working with a great deal of autonomy within the realm of control over resources they are granted. General guidelines and rules are provided to each group to varying degrees, and the rest s up to them. As you know, some people are very good organizers and try very hard to get their word out, and let people know about their contest or event. On the other hand, some people are poor planners, or are confronted with unexpected troubles that force them to cancel, relocate or postpone their contest or event.

    Maybe, Defcon is like a web page of links and information.
    Some people can provide you with some information, and where to find more information, but leave it up to you to "follow a link" if it interests you. Failure to follow a link means you don't get to learn more about details.

    Next, after people attend Defcon one year, they hopefully learn about the need to plan their Defcon before they board a plane, bus, or car to get to Las Vegas to attend the convention.

    Now before you ask, here are some twitter resources: (The official Defcon Feed) (The guy that has been in charge of Defcon year after year) (Nikita work all year, not just at Defcon helping with planning many parts) (The Defcon Information Booth Twitter Feed, more active during Defcon) (Pyr0: the guy that took over for Russ on Contest/Events space) (GreatScott! has run Defcon Entertainment and also runs:) (this feed (IIRC)) (In charge of Defcon network, and recently also Defcon TV) (He runs the vendor space) (He has run the replacements for the SkyBoxes for many villages) (Neil does Defcon Artwork, and more work during Defcon with organization) (A feed I use for forum updates and occasional non-defcon stuff)

    There are many more than this. For each of these, check to see if any have "groups" or "lists" ...

    Here is an example with the Defcon feed:!/_defcon_/lists
    * Vendors
    * Groups
    * Goons
    * Contests and Events
    * Speakers

    You can choose to stop learning more about Defcon when you want to. :-)