• Forensic 4cast Awards 2011 – Your Thoughts

    Posted on December 2, 2010 by Lee Whitfield in News.

    It is becoming more apparent to me that the Forensic 4cast Awards are becoming a huge deal. This thing seems to be snowballing into something huge. I ran a search for “forensic 4cast awards” today and was surprised to see many references from all over the world. Cellebrite even did a press release on winning two years running!

    It is funny to me to see what has happened over the last two years. We started with Simon and I standing in front of a camera and, within a year, had moved to SANS presenting the awards before a live audience. The question is where do we go from here?

    I’ve had a few people talking to me about different things such as doing an awards ceremony in the UK just for us Brits, and one in the USA for everyone, down to the format of the awards ceremony, and so forth.

    I’ve always said that these are not my awards, they belong to the community, all I do is to provide a platform for them to take place. That being said I want to know your thoughts on next year’s event. Where, when, how, who, etc. I’m willing to listen to everything and anything that you might suggest. Be warned, however, if you have a good idea I might ask you to help implement it.

7 Responsesso far.

  1. Joe Garcia says:

    Lee,
    I think the 4Cast awards are fantastic. What started out as a lighthearted event, has turned into something that is very respected.
    I for one, would love to see SANS bring you back for the 2011 Forensics & IR Summit and have it set up like last year. Streaming video feed & all. It was a great time and had good turnout.

    Joe Garcia

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  3. Rob Lee says:

    Two things I think to make it better.

    1. Nominations: I think the nominations process needs to be structured better. For some, I think it should be things released in the past year. Get more specific. Doing an annual award for best company or best product doesn’t encapsulate something that occurred in the past YEAR. Make things more “year” specific with cutoff dates like the Oscars. Id also automatically include the obvious. Nominations could be run like the SC Awards nominations where each organization should send a 250-500 word statement of why they should be nominated in the category. Again focus on things that have changed in the past year for annual awards. For the voting, you can include each statement as a part of why they should be considered for the final award. Much better than just saying… Which game console rocks the most? XBOX360, PS3, Wii? Which game console changed gaming in 2010? XBOX360 with Kinetic, PS3 with Move, and Wii with being first in motion controlled games two years ago.

    2. Again like the Oscars, I would leave the nominations “more open to community suggestion” but the actual awards process limited to a smaller group to avoid ballot stuffing. You need to eliminate the facebook effect of “vote for your favorite mascot” and have everyone send it out with the link. It also precludes it being gamed. If you intend that these become more serious, Id recommend a “panel” of 100-200 forensic experts/organizations/companies that will be sent the nominations forms and have them vote for the best of year. Open voting leads to ballot stuffing.

    But I digress…

  4. Lee Whitfield says:

    Rob,
    Thanks for your comments. As always you have come up with some fantastic suggestions. I will certainly be looking into implementing at least some of your ideas.

  5. Joe Garcia says:

    @Lee- As far as “Ballot Box Stuffing” goes, I wonder if there is a way to weed that out by filtering numerous entries by the same IP address?

    @Rob- Great suggestion on voting for accomplishments in the specific year.

  6. Rob Lee says:

    @Joe- Ballot Stuffing occurs even when you have a link posted on facebook and has 100 relatives and 500 friends vote. I do think that this leads to a horse race versus a careful review of the nominations and having a hard look at who truly should win the award.

    It seems most award shows have an open nomination process. Finalists announced and a panel/sample of neutral individuals vote on the awards. Lee may not be a fan of this since this is how England and the US had the world cup stolen from us. There are some really quiet people out there doing fantastic work.

    @Lee – Id like to propose a new category (two in fact). Best Law Enforcement/Military/Government Forensic Team. Best Civilian Forensic Team.

  7. @Joe- Ballot Stuffing occurs even when you have a link posted on facebook and has 100 relatives and 500 friends vote. I do think that this leads to a horse race versus a careful review of the nominations and having a hard look at who truly should win the award. It seems most award shows have an open nomination process. Finalists announced and a panel/sample of neutral individuals vote on the awards. Lee may not be a fan of this since this is how England and the US had the world cup stolen from us. There are some really quiet people out there doing fantastic work. @Lee – Id like to propose a new category (two in fact). Best Law Enforcement/Military/Government Forensic Team. Best Civilian Forensic Team.

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