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5/3/2011
03:43 PM
Tim Wilson
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Dark Reading's First Five Years: A Look Back -- And Ahead

Taking a moment to celebrate DR's fifth anniversary of publication

Five years ago, we had an idea.

The idea, originally developed by Light Reading founder Steve Saunders, was to create a single website that provided ALL of the news that IT security professionals needed to do their jobs. Breach reports, product announcements, bug disclosures, detailed reports, user community, and links to everything -- even good stories written by rival publications.

Because it was a spin-off from the news concept begun by Light Reading, we called it Dark Reading, and we put a big picture of J.Edgar Hoover (dressed in drag, of course) on the home page. We had a bit of an attitude. And the early going wasn’t easy -- nobody knew what Dark Reading meant or what we were all about. Some of the big security vendors wouldn’t even return our phone calls.

A few months after we launched, Kelly Jackson Higgins, our newest editor, started calling some of the industry’s smartest white-hat hackers and picking their brains about security vulnerabilities. She found the pulse of the security industry, and she began reporting on its discoveries and its comings and goings. As one researcher put it, she “put a face on the security industry.”

Of course, the close relationship between Dark Reading and the security research community has led to many breaking news stories since then, plus a new perspective on emerging threats and breaches. In the years that followed, Dark Reading has focused its efforts not only on being comprehensive, but on being security-savvy. We wanted to be the site that security researchers read.

And we’ve succeeded beyond our hopes. Just last month, a poll of prospective attendees for the annual Black Hat conference showed Dark Reading as the most widely read cybersecurity journal in the industry, and second only to the SANS Institute as the most frequently trafficked security website overall. We’re generating more than 1 million page views a month, and our writers were recognized in a SANS poll last year as some of the top cybersecurity journalists in the industry. We’ve added more than 30 bloggers to our blog roll, including some of the most widely known names in security research. This year, we’ll produce nine Dark Reading Tech Center subsites, eight digital issues/supplements, three virtual events, and at least one live event.

Not bad for an upstart, strangely named news site that once had trouble getting vendors on the phone.

And in case you’re wondering, we’re not done yet. In fact, as security issues become more prominent in business and more complex in the data center, we hope to bring you better, more comprehensive coverage in the months to come. We’re bringing in top writers and prominent bloggers, and we’re planning new services as well as new features and events. We’re hoping that our next five years will be even brighter -- and that the news and information we bring you will be even more useful to you.

Thank you, dear readers, for your support and loyalty. It has been a great ride so far. Keep your seats, though -- the best is yet to come.

-- Tim Wilson, Editor, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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