What is the QotW?
At nearly 3,500 questions we have a wide variety of topics, answers and styles, and in general when someone comes to the site they are looking for answers to a specific problem, or to give answers to questions in their field so they may not see the vast majority of questions. Question of the Week posts on meta.security.stackexchange.com allow the community to vote for their favourite question to be discussed on the blog. This blog itself is quite young – we have 44 posts published, of which 24 are QotW posts.
Why do we do it?
On the Internet, getting visitors to your site is the key metric – QotW is another avenue to get what we do in front of a wider audience. Our QotW blog posts link to questions, answers, community members and external sites where relevant in order to add context and depth, showcasing our site, and this is demonstrated in our referrer stats: we get good traffic from slashdot, reddit, facebook, twitter as well as Bruce Schneier and Dan Kaminsky’s blogs, and even explainxkcd.com so we are doing something right and gaining visibility.
How do we do it?
@Iszi’s answer here lists the process in detail, but to summarise:
We post a QotW meta question on a Friday to invite ideas for the following week. In order to avoid dupes, we maintain a list of previous questions featured on the blog, as well as those which have been proposed but not yet published.
By Tuesday we have topic and author decided (typically individuals volunteer on our chat room, the DMZ - feel free to become a volunteer, we can add you as a contributor role on the blog site.)
The administrators manage the workflow planning through a Trello workspace.
QotW posts aren’t expected to be in depth treatises so drafts are ready by Thursday morning so they can be reviewed in time for a midday Friday publication (we’ve gone with UTC timing for this schedule as we have members from Australia to west coast USA)
Why should you contribute?
First, and most importantly, because you want to. You’ve seen something interesting happening on the site, or have an interesting topic you want to cover and you’d like to share it with the world.
In addition, you help grow the community you are a member of (now over 8000 individuals – a good blog post can more than double the rate of new users joining that day). Your words and name will be attracting the up and coming security experts of tomorrow.
We welcome all contributors to the blog, and the light touch of the QotW posts is a relatively easy way to start security blogging. Seasoned reviewers will be more than happy to assist.
Liked this post? Have questions of a security nature of your own? Security expert and want to help others? Come and join us at security.stackexchange.com.