Learn About Software Security With A Directory of Web Articles

It’s been quite sometime since I’ve done a ReviewMe review. Although I haven’t really missed doing them, I guess it’s time to whip up another one just to stay limber. Just in case you aren’t aware, the rules for a ReviewMe review are all built in favour of an honest review despite the fact that I’m being paid for it. If the product or service sucks, you’ll know and I won’t hold back. If it’s great, all the better. The bottom line is that no matter how much the advertiser pleads for a “nice review” I don’t have to be. So from the depths of the Interwebs comes a review that’s about a site that informs you about issues regarding “Software Security“.

Software Security is something that people should be aware of. With all the recent media coverage about people’s systems being hijacked and used to hack small European countries, we have to be ever more vigilant about taking responsibility for our systems. In fact, security is so important that the US Military is creating a cyberwar division to defend against cyber attacks. I guess they’ll be doing an “Extreme Makeover – Pentagon Edition” to put in that sixth wall.

Because this is an important topic, I was eager to see what this site had in store for me on this topic.

First Impressions

Upon first glance, the site looks clean and well laid out. You’ll see three tabs on the right that take you home, allow people to submit articles, and grab free content in the form of the site’s RSS feeds. The article submissions area provides guidelines for what the site is looking for in terms of content, however, the site offers no renumeration and limits your submission to only ONE single link to your own blog or website. However, for the writer looking to gain exposure and establish oneself as an expert, it might be worth it to give it a whirl as a start. The only thing I found a little strange was that the URL provided to me took me to a mere subsection of a larger site. Hmm…

So It Isn’t A Site About Software Security?

Apparently no. The home button takes you to a site called Web Articles where the Software Security category is but one of many categories of articles that are available on the site.  According to the site:

Web articles was founded this year (2007) to publish all written articles, received articles by the visitors of our network. So, we thought that creation, publishing and promoting an online article directory would be a nice idea. We tried to create a simple yet clean design, easy surfing, comprehensive information.

It’s pretty clear that they succeeded in building a very clean design. However, one area where the site gets a failing grade is in the grammar and spelling area. Even in their introduction above, you can see grammatical errors, and you can easily pick out spelling errors throughout the site. It’s almost like someone translated it from a foreign language. With this lack of attention to detail, it makes me wonder what the quality of the content is. However, they do cover their butts by saying that they will pretty much post anything in their mission statement. This turns my attention back to the Software Security area.

A Little Lacking In the Software Security Area…

Clicking back over to Software Security area, I was greeted with a listing of…TWO…articles. There was one on Software protection and Intrusion detection and another one on Open source in the enterprise. Although I did find some interesting nuggets in both of them, the eye bleeding, never ending paragraphs made my eyes water. Even worse, in a subject area where things seem to change every couple of weeks, the information in both articles is almost a year old. I guess learning something new, which I had initially hoped to do, is definitely not going to happen.

The Bottom Line…

After observing the staleness of the articles in the Software Security category and noticing the “Submit Articles” area in my initial pass through, I can only see that they are desperate for new content. However, they don’t really give a whole lot of incentive for people to submit their articles. Without some sort of incentive (besides the ONE single link back to the writers’ site), why would anyone want to write content for you?

The site also needs a good spelling and grammar check. Some of the mistakes are blatant and downright embarrassing. Mispelled words and awkward titles litter the site. As a content site, it really reduces the perceived quality of the content and if you want people to read your stuff, you just can’t be making those types of mistakes. Most disappointing was the fact that I didn’t really learn anything interesting about Software Security. Sigh.