Most people know, but I suppose I should make these things clear. You probably don't actually want to read this, it will be pretty boring- but I feel compelled to CMA and make the following perfectly clear.
I am an employee of Astaro Corporation. This blog is not their corporate blog, the opinions expressed here are mine, not those of my employer. I occasionally contribute to their blog, and there may be some overlap in topics, I may even plagiarize myself occasionally. I am not compensated by my employer for anything I say on this blog.
Nor am I compensated by anyone else for what I say on the blog. I rarely comment on specific products, and when I do, what you read are my opinions, not influenced by any gratuities. I am not shy about enjoying the company of vendors when they offer food, drink, entertainment, etc., but these never alter what I write about them, except for the occasional notes of thanks. I am likely to thank sponsors of the events I'm involved in, and will continue to do so, without prejudicing anything else I may write about them.
I do a lot of things in the IT and security community. My employer is supportive of this and provides assistance in a variety of ways, ranging from tolerance for my absence to paying me to participate, and providing sponsorship of events. The sponsorship of events has included financial sponsorship of the events, as well as non-financial assistance (logistical planning, use of equipment, etc.). I was very active in community events before joining Astaro, and should I leave Astaro I expect to remain active in the community.
I present and talk at a variety of meetings and events, sometimes as an employee of Astaro, sometimes not. I try to make it clear which is which. (When I use terms such as "sales weasel", or "vendor shill", it is a hint that I'm probably on my own).
Free stuff. The only things beyond the routine free vendor freebies I have received from my blogging are access to events, the following are the events I have attended free, but with no quid pro quo or other arrangements:
- SOURCE Boston 2008
- I received a complimentary press pass, and did write about the event for both this blog and the SOURCE blog.
- I was so impressed with SOURCE that I worked as a volunteer for SOURCE Boston 2009, and expect to do so for 2010. I received free admission in exchange for this work.
- RSA Conference USA 2008 and 2009
- I received complimentary press passes both years, for which I am grateful to the RSA Conference. They were one of the first to treat bloggers with respect and consideration, and they are to be applauded for this. I did write posts on this blog about the RSA conferences and related events.
- I also worked at the Astaro booth part-time during 2008 and 2009, during which time I was compensated as an employee.
- I will not have the time to properly cover RSA 2010, out of respect for the conference's generosity I have not applied for press credentials this year. I may purchase an expo pass to visit some vendors, and I may or may not write about it.
- SC Magazine's World Congress 2008
- I received a complimentary press pass, and did write about the event for this blog.
- BlackHat USA 2009 and DefCon 17
- I received complimentary press passes to both events.
- I am grateful for the passes, but I was unable to participate in BlackHat or write about it adequately due to other, last minute commitments that week.
- I am unlikely to apply for press passes for BlackHat events in the near future. Due to schedule conflicts with Security B-Sides events it would be inappropriate for me to do so.
- If they want to offer, however...
- I expect to pay for DefCon Press credential this year.
Security B-Sides is not as clear cut, so I'll ask you to trust me on this one. Astaro has and will sponsor B-Sides events. They may or may not cover expenses for me, and may or may not pay me for my time while helping with events. My time and labor may be considered part of Astaro's sponsorship of the events. I will be as involved as possible, regardless of Astaro's role in the events. B-Sides events are NOT Astaro events, they are community events- but my employers and I are supportive of community events, and we both, independently and together, support them. Some people would call this "synergy", but I hide from people like that (and vice versa).
HEY! Wake up! I'm done with this tedious, but necessary post. Any questions, just ask.