Is TechExams dead?

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  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    TheFORCE said:
    Whats going on people? Haven't been here for a few months maybe a year and this forum seems pretty dead to me. Where everyone go? 
    I have been here since 2008.  Yeah, it feels  like things have died down a lot!!!  I do remember the day when the website changed hands, and Info sec took it over.  Once the website control changed hands,  It  is when there were several members that left.  Of course this is going to happen when anything changes, but it did seem like there was a shift in use of the website.

    What keeps me coming back?

    A lot of the regulars are still here scared of tests, JDmurphy, Databsehead, ScaredofTests, Unixguy,Ect(I nkow I missed several people)   Also, I still feel like I can come here for straight forward honest advice, and this is why I stick around.

    Jon_Cisco said:
    I don't personally think it is because those certs are no longer of interest. I just think the focus of the forum shifted and so they naturally fell out of favor.


    Yeah, the forum does feel like it shifted more to a Info Sec type feel.  The cert advice has really seemed to die down.  I remember people were posting that they passed exams daily,weekly, and monthly.  Also, there were a ton of posts asking for study help[/advice on how to pass certain exams.  Now a lot of posts for exams, seem to have shifted to security related exams, CASP,CISSP,ect..ect.  


    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • Armor149Armor149 Member Posts: 114 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have just recently started coming back to the forum. Hell, I couldn't remember the name of the forum. I was more actively visiting the forum during the the recession years when I was pursuing certifications for fear I might get laid off and need to find a new job. I would bet that when the next economic down turn occurs, the forum will see a large spike in activity. 
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Don't think thats the case.  Forum was very active before, during and after the economic crisis.  Just took a big dive after all the changes. Seriously it's pretty dead.
  • dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited September 2019
     Active user means someone logged in? I've logged in and out about three times in the past 45 minutes. So, I am going to assume that each time I log in and out it counts. I am not going to fight this battle, I think @TheFORCE is equipped to do it. I'll just come back and read comments.  B)
    I don't think there is a battle and would guess activity is down since the switch.   

    Changes are still being made to the site too... below is just an example of a change curve.  



     Possibly this models change to a community, but doesn't model the change when it's of the community itself. This is the difference between giving a car/phone to an isolated community in Africa, or dropping the entire community in the middle of times square. These changes disrupted the community and feel. 
  • MitMMitM Member Posts: 622 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It definitely seems different to me. I don't seem to visit as much
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    NetworkingStudent said:  I remember people were posting that they passed exams daily,weekly, and monthly.  Also, there were a ton of posts asking for study help[/advice on how to pass certain exams.  Now a lot of posts for exams, seem to have shifted to security related exams, CASP,CISSP,ect..ect.  


    I think @NetworkingStudent hit the nail on some points there. He is right,  on Techexams there were daily posts about people passing/failing exams. I don't think people have stopped taking certification exams so they might have gone somewhere else. They got turned off by the sudden change.  There were some really smart people here. Now you see posts/threads every couple of days. Many posts go unanswered too. When that happens people try to find answers elsewhere or stop coming back here. This creates a spiraling effect of less and less activity.
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    dontstop said:
     Possibly this models change to a community, but doesn't model the change when it's of the community itself. This is the difference between giving a car/phone to an isolated community in Africa, or dropping the entire community in the middle of times square. These changes disrupted the community and feel. 
    It was a change in how the site looked and performed... There is a dropoff because a lot of people don't like change and things that are foreign to them, so they stopped using. So it will take some time for the site to either get new members or the old ones to come back.   But changes were for the better.  The mobile experience is many times better and easier to use now.  
    The mobile version sucks. It doesn't even show the profile of the poster. Shows just their name.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,397 Mod
    TheFORCE said:

     
    The mobile version sucks. It doesn't even show the profile of the poster. Shows just their name.
    I use Safari on my iphone and it looks identical to the web version

    What browser do you use?
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • jasper_zanjanijasper_zanjani Sec+, Net+, Lx+, LPIC-1, Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP) Tampa, FLMember Posts: 76 ■■■■□□□□□□
    honestly we should think about starting a Discord server or Mastodon or Slack channel or something along those lines
  • khaledit2015khaledit2015 Member Posts: 42 ■■■□□□□□□□
    For me I think yeah because of the change this is normal then will be ok for me I like it
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,832 Mod
    edited September 2019
    TheFORCE, you're actually not the only one observant of the activity of the forum. So to be completely transparent, the activity is not what it once was, but I definitely would not consider it dead. There was a huge dropoff in participation but it was actually before Infosec Institute revamped the forum. When I learned the forum had been purchased (well ahead of the upgrade), I actually had been talking to Megan about the transition. Looking back in my PMs, I noticed a dropoff around August last year. I mean a pretty significant drop off. The sections I used to frequent the most were the Security, and the Jobs and Degrees section. Those were the busiest sections with constant posts and new threads throughout the day. I was super busy over the summer with vacation, ramping up in a new job, as well as finishing up my Master's degree, so I wasn't very active that summer. I starting browsing daily again sometime in August/September and noticed the new posts and even responses had slowed to a trickle. 

    I honestly don't know what happened, but it was well before the site upgrade. One thing I noticed before and after the upgrade, is a lot of more well-known regulars have either slowed down in participation, or have not visited the site since. That can be attributed to many things outside of the forum upgrade. I know some that are just super busy with their professional life, and I'd wager some people's focus has changed, or they're not pursuing certs anymore, as well as some that might not agree in the direction that the forum went. 

    So the point I want to make is that the forum upgrade is not the cause of the lack of activity. I noticed it well before. I can say that the Infosec Institute team was dedicated to improving based on feedback after the upgrade (they still are), and they are dedicated to keeping the forums active and growing participation. I myself do feel that altering the branding a bit may help, such as changing the FQDN back to techexams, and doing some SEO to be a top result when people are searching for specific certifications.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
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  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited September 2019


    I went to web archive and looked at afew dates. The attached is one example,  there are many like it. Look at those numbers 454 users online on a single day. People where not coming here for just infosec. Maybe the new branding like some people have suggested confused people and turned them away. Maybe it was little bit of everything,  but i doubt the activity of some old members had such a big impact.  The old data doesn't lie, there where hundreds of people looking for anything tech exam related information.  You had threads on all sections of the forum.  Not just infosec and thats what made the forum great.

  • kaijukaiju Member Posts: 445 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Social media has killed traffic to many of the sites that I frequented in the past. Traffic went from thousands of daily users to less than 10 daily because of FB, reddit, and other platforms. But many people are learning that the full fledged sites offer more in-depth conversations and less quick gratification based troll fights and misinformation battles when compared to social media based sites.

    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
  • khaledit2015khaledit2015 Member Posts: 42 ■■■□□□□□□□
    i agreed with kaiju
  • dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You would need many years of data to see the cause & effect. It's possible that at the time JoJoCal19 mentioned was possibly a low-period for the site usually during that month/period. I know that my own personal usage of the site does ebb and flow throughout the year. The site may have been at a typical yearly "low" point. Once people came back to a new site, the barrier to entry getting back onto the site "oh this looks new, this is all strange" was too great and the next best thing was to just go do something else. So essentially the usual regulars who we expect come back to pickup the site numbers just never returned. Would need like 2-5 years of data to see that trend. 
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,832 Mod
    kaiju said:
    Social media has killed traffic to many of the sites that I frequented in the past. Traffic went from thousands of daily users to less than 10 daily because of FB, reddit, and other platforms. But many people are learning that the full fledged sites offer more in-depth conversations and less quick gratification based troll fights and misinformation battles when compared to social media based sites.

    You are right, Facebook Groups has been a forum killer for years. Many auto focused forums died out as people moved to FB groups that were set up. Some of the forums' own FB groups they set up killed the actual forum too. If it wasn't for the wealth of tech info and how-tos that are housed there, I'm sure they'd be completely shut down. Reddit is another big one. I've been using Reddit more and more these days.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I have never used Reddit,  it is the worst medium ever, the interface is so confusing and can't even follow a thread properly.  Im seriously surprised how some of these social networking sites even got to where they are. 
  • advanex1advanex1 CISSP, BSCSIA, CASP, MCSA 2016/2012, CCNA, CySA+, Security+, Network+, Project+, Server+, A+, ITIL Member Posts: 365 ■■■■□□□□□□
    That's because an overwhelming amount of users disagree with you @TheFORCE or else they wouldn't have succeeded the way they do/have. I use reddit quite a bit.
    Currently Reading: CISM: All-in-One
    New Blog: https://jpinit.com/blog
  • LonerVampLonerVamp OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK Member Posts: 518 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I can understand usability, but not understanding Reddit? As an older member who misses the days of straight IRC and not having this need to read full backlogs of things when not at the keyboard, traditional forums and Reddit are some of the better media these days. I get Slack and Discord, but I never feel great using them; too many "channels" splitting up conversations that I can't keep up with more than 1-3 of them ever, let alone across multiple Slacks/Discords.

    That might be why, at times, I get very protective and defensive with changes to forums I like. It's easy to change just a few things and absolutely ruin the way I find, follow, and consume information and make friends.

    That said, Reddit is a fine place for specific topics. Just avoid the lame places and general areas that are just time vampires.

    Security Engineer/Analyst/Geek, Red & Blue Teams
    OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK
    2021 goals: maybe AWAE or SLAE, bunch o' courses and red team labs?
  • ErtazErtaz Member Posts: 934 ■■■■■□□□□□
    What is dead may never die.  
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    LonerVamp said:
    I can understand usability, but not understanding Reddit? As an older member who misses the days of straight IRC and not having this need to read full backlogs of things when not at the keyboard, traditional forums and Reddit are some of the better media these days. I get Slack and Discord, but I never feel great using them; too many "channels" splitting up conversations that I can't keep up with more than 1-3 of them ever, let alone across multiple Slacks/Discords.

    That might be why, at times, I get very protective and defensive with changes to forums I like. It's easy to change just a few things and absolutely ruin the way I find, follow, and consume information and make friends.

    That said, Reddit is a fine place for specific topics. Just avoid the lame places and general areas that are just time vampires.

    I see Reddit as the equivalent of a bar. Too much noise. I see forums like TE as the equivalent of a closed society like a chapter with members that get together on specific topics where everyone has made some acquaintances and know people on a different level. See the difference now?
    Anyway, lets not get too off topic and lets getback to getting some good changes implemented on the forum to get things back on track.
  • SweenMachineSweenMachine MCSA: Office 365, MCSA: Windows 7 (I am old), ITIL Foundations V3 Chicago areaMember Posts: 300 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited September 2019
    I think certifications in general, from the larger vendors like MS and Cisco, have streamlined quite a bit. Microsoft paths are SO different than even a couple years back. I just think there are less people pursuing technical certifications en masse. It ebbs and flows. When I started with my MSP in 2013, they pushed us a lot to get Microsoft certification to maintain our gold partnership. Now, it's much much more important how many seats of O365 we sell, or how much data we are moving into Azure. Partner requirements have changed a lot and while to us PERSONALLY it has always been about our careers and knowledge, to the vendor is usually is about their partnerships.

    -scott
  • LonerVampLonerVamp OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK Member Posts: 518 ■■■■■■■■□□
    We (the US) are also in a job seeker market right now overall. There's a little less need to get ahead of your peers with a line of certs behind your name. And even if you have that, the desired skills have changed a bit. Less about on-prem data centers and those skills and more about cheap development and cloud moves. Not to say those are going away, but there's shifting of the tides.

    Security Engineer/Analyst/Geek, Red & Blue Teams
    OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK
    2021 goals: maybe AWAE or SLAE, bunch o' courses and red team labs?
  • LonerVampLonerVamp OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK Member Posts: 518 ■■■■■■■■□□
    To be more on topic, for me, my usage of this forum is in two forms...and I do visit pretty much daily (it's part of my bookmarks I open in the mornings at work).

    1. I hit the front page, then click Recent Discussions. I scan maybe half that page for new things that are interesting. This is why I sometimes end up contributing or wasting time on necro-threads since I can't tell what's new or what's stale, thread-wise. Just recent posts. (I sometimes wonder if this means I'm missing things in some section...)

    2. When I want to look at a particular cert that I'm pursuing or thinking about and do a search for it, or just flat out browse its forum section. This probably happens...eh...once every few months.

    One use-case I could use, but don't, because I've not tried to see how easy I can make it: Participating in conversations in forums on certs I have earned, tried, or know a lot about (even if I've not tried them, like CEH). I'm really at the mercy of the Recent Discussions, since I didn't, in the past, feel like browsing the awkward tree structure of sub-forums. I see now it's pretty flat, but it's not easy to scan down and see which are active and which are stale boards. It's possible, but it's a lotta scrolling (older forums like phpbb squish these boxes down nicely) and the most recent post/date are not right-justified, so it's always at a different spot on the page as I skim down.

    Security Engineer/Analyst/Geek, Red & Blue Teams
    OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK
    2021 goals: maybe AWAE or SLAE, bunch o' courses and red team labs?
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,397 Mod
    I think certifications in general, from the larger vendors like MS and Cisco, have streamlined quite a bit. Microsoft paths are SO different than even a couple years back. I just think there are less people pursuing technical certifications en masse. It ebbs and flows. When I started with my MSP in 2013, they pushed us a lot to get Microsoft certification to maintain our gold partnership. Now, it's much much more important how many seats of O365 we sell, or how much data we are moving into Azure. Partner requirements have changed a lot and while to us PERSONALLY it has always been about our careers and knowledge, to the vendor is usually is about their partnerships.

    -scott


    ^^ This 100%

    Gone are the days "Get MCSE and you will land a 6 figures job institute ads"  as well. I remember 10 years ago every man and his dog wanted to get CCNA to work in networking, now things are different.
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Things haven't changed that much i don't think so. The big certificates are still being asked for as requirements in job postings and some new ones as well. Are there new jobs out there that require new skill? Sure there are but they haven't completely killed the old jobs in IT or Security. 
  • SaSkillerSaSkiller OSWP, GPEN, GWAPT, GCIH Member Posts: 337 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree, change does often have an effect. I used to post over at EHnet, but even after it's re-vitalization I really don't go there anymore. For this place, well I don't have that many certs in my forward window. But when I do, I end up coming back here.
    OSWP, GPEN, GWAPT, GCIH, CPT, CCENT, CompTIA Trio.
  • Cat5Cat5 Member Posts: 297 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I haven't done any scientific measurement but my impression is that it has slowed down considerably after the revamp.
    Yeah, I think the umbrella name of the site now has made some think it's something other than what it used to be (and still is). It did me after I left for a spell and came back.

    Btw, back in the day there used to be a moderator named Mike512 or something similar to that. He had virtually every Cisco CCNP-level cert there was and everything underneath. Whatever happened to him? He's completely disappeared.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,832 Mod
    Cat5 said:
    I haven't done any scientific measurement but my impression is that it has slowed down considerably after the revamp.
    Yeah, I think the umbrella name of the site now has made some think it's something other than what it used to be (and still is). It did me after I left for a spell and came back.

    Btw, back in the day there used to be a moderator named Mike512 or something similar to that. He had virtually every Cisco CCNP-level cert there was and everything underneath. Whatever happened to him? He's completely disappeared.
    Ah yes I remember Mike. It is a shame that he and many of the others from a long time ago have moved on and no longer participate. I remember him, Turgon, Blargoe, Dynamik, and others. They probably got to a point to where they no longer needed or wanted to pursue certs and no longer had a reason to come back, even if their participation was valuable for others. Some people are so busy they don't have time to come on as often or at all. I know Iristheangel is so busy doing great things in and for the tech community she doesn't come on as often as she used to. There still is a lot of old timers and people who have participated a ton, that still are active though.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
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