What exactly is Phenomlab ?
Mission: Create a technology platform that is Phenomenal 🙂
I’m one of those types that can’t stop thinking. Thinking in the sense of how to combat the latest threats from cyber criminals, how to efficiently run a team with limited resources and budget, and still have time to deal with the day to day operational evolution wheel that shows no signs of slowing.
Ever since I got into this industry over 25 years ago, I’ve wanted to find a way to consolidate my experience into some sort of platform that would allow others to benefit from it – and at the same time, allow me to benefit from whom I’m talking at that time.
I spent a long time looking at existing technology in terms of social media, but really couldn’t find anything that fitted the bill in terms of what I wanted to put in, and in return, get out. I’ve never been a fan of Facebook – in fact, I’d go as far to say that I despise the platform. Yes, I have a login, but it’s only used to publish articles I write, and handle OAUTH logins for those wanting to use their Social Media accounts to either register for this site, or login. Twitter is pretty cool, but with the 280 character limit, does this really allow for in depth discussion ? I don’t think so.
LinkedIn is one of my favourite platforms, and I’ve met literally thousands of like minded professionals there other the time my account has been active. And so, one morning during my usual commute to work, I hit upon an idea. Why not have a platform where these like minded professionals could share their experience, connect with others, and essentially add to their existing skill set, or discuss a particular subject in more detail ? Initially, I thought that LinkedIn would actually be the place to do this. However, it would seem that it isn’t – its a business network mostly aimed at sales, recruitment agencies, Bitcoin enthusiasts,, and those who want to promote “zero to hero” stories.
Sadly, LinkedIn is rapidly losing its appeal, and deteriorating under the load of those who are only on the platform to promote themselves with posts ending “do you agree ?”
I like a success story as much as anyone else – I’m effectively an “underdog” myself. I didn’t go to university, nor do I have a degree – but I realised an opportunity to create a platform that people would actually want to use in terms of technology and its many associated facets.
I even looked at Reddit (yes, I know – I wasn’t feeling well at the time :)), and to be honest, could never understand how something that looks like it was written in the 80’s could ever have become the success it has today. The reason ? The content. Remove the eye candy of today’s platforms, and if the content isn’t up to scratch from the engagement perspective, people won’t stay. Quora and Medium are examples of platforms that probably came close to what I was looking to create, but “not quite there” in my view. Stack Overflow ? Well, yes, but unless you’re Einstein or the most knowledgeable person on the face of this planet, you’ll find it hard even fitting in – or convincing others that your question doesn’t “smell like homework”.
Having looked at all of these platforms individually, assessing their pros and cons, and discovering what made people want to use them, I hit upon the idea of Phenomlab. Yes, I realise it’s a strange name, but I arrived at this for a reason. As I’ve highlighted in the FAQ section of this site, the name is actually derived from two words with distinct meanings. Essentially, Phenomlab is a place that will hopefully breed excellence. You don’t have to be a guru or expert to join, and there really is no entry criteria (as such, although there are some basic rules). The overriding focus of Phenomlab is to be an alliance – a platform of disparate technical and non technical peers that have joined forces for mutual benefit or to achieve a common purpose such as (limited example)
- Discussing current InfoSec trends, threats, and information sharing
- Discussing practical ways of securing your environment using standards and non standards
- Sharing of information and knowledge around technology and its associated facets
- Creation of ideas on how technology should be presented from the sales angle, and C level execs
- Create an technology union that people actually want to be part of
How did I arrive at “Phenomlab” ?
The idea originally started out as “ITOMHQ” (IT Operations Management HQ), but that was a bit of a mouthful 🙂
So, I took two key words – “Phenomenal“ meaning
Something so awesome and borderline miraculous it really has to actually be seen to be believed. Worthy examples may be the Aurora Borealis, the prowess of Michael Jordan, or the abilities of any given Marvel character blessed by exposure to radioactive materials. However, it’s typically used to give positive praise to any person, event or item that seems to transcend the norm.
And “Laboratory” meaning
A workplace for the conduct of scientific research. When you think of a laboratory, you might see men and women wearing face masks pouring colourful liquids into test tubes, and you’d be correct. Any place that is a testing ground for new ideas is a laboratory, like a class full of people thinking up new ways of leveraging and sometimes, even exploiting technology to bolster their knowledge and add to their advantage.
Still a little “too long”, so I shortened it… and arrived at “Phenomlab”.
I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. Share my knowledge with others, whilst learning new things for myself at the same time. I also believe in community spirit, and am of the opinion that if you have a virtual consultancy at your fingertips, technical challenges are much easier to digest. Whether you’re a small team or individual through to a huge corporate looking to expand your technical horizon, this is for you. Experience is welcomed, but not mandatory. Stupid questions are allowed as long as it remains on topic or business related.
No membership fees, no cost – ever.
Now I’ve built it, will you come ? Go ahead and register for an account. What do you stand to lose ?