Schneier Blogging Template

Eerily accurate:

Catchy one-liner ("interesting," with link):

In this part of the blog post, Bruce quotes something from the article he links to in the catchy phrase. It might be the abstract to an academic article, or the key points in a subject he's trying to get across. To get the post looking right, you have to include at least a decent sized paragraph from the quoted source or otherwise it just looks like crap. So I will continue typing another sentence or two, until I have enough text to make this look like a legitimately quoted paragraph. See, now that wasn't so hard after all.

He might offer a short comment about the article here.

Finally, he will let you know that he wrote about the exact same subject link to previous Schneier article on the exact same topic and link to another previous Schneier article on the exact same topic.

I don't always do this, but it's pretty common.

You can see the template in these two posts.

Posted on March 26, 2010 at 1:16 PM • 44 Comments


ScottMarch 26, 2010 1:23 PM

Based on this, I wonder if one could create an automatic schneier blog post generator, similar to that automatic paper title generator.

Andre LePlumeMarch 26, 2010 1:37 PM

I also like that the only Friday in the last couple of years at least that Bruce doesn't blog about Squid, is the same Friday he blogs about how to do a canonical Bruce blog post.

greenupMarch 26, 2010 2:06 PM

Anyone else suspect that the squid thing is part of a semi-encrypted communication? Or maybe providing the corpus to use as a seed for a one-time-pad block? It's probably just a simpler plot to make us think he's clever when he's actually just obsessed with arthropods.

pendantic biologistMarch 26, 2010 2:11 PM

@greenup ...obsessed with arthropods.

That would be cephalopods. Arthropods have joints.

GweihirMarch 26, 2010 2:29 PM

Nothing wrong with having a good template and using it often.

Also gives me a warm fuzzy feeling whenever I visit ;-)

jgrecoMarch 26, 2010 6:57 PM

@Tracy Reed

"Bruce Schneier doesn't template blog entries. Blog entries template Bruce Schneier."

In Soviet Russia!

Werner AckermannMarch 26, 2010 11:00 PM

If it works, don't fix it :)

I see he added a "Edited to add" on his post!

Had me grinning on this early Saturday morning.

John FaughnanMarch 27, 2010 10:11 PM

In Google Reader I write "Very meta".

Then I see the second comment.


BobMarch 28, 2010 8:33 AM

How do I know this is really Bruce Schneier and not an MITM attack based on the blog template?

ArikMarch 28, 2010 6:00 PM

The format of the Standard Bruce Post have changed considerably from the Cryptogram days.

Back in the day it wasn't mostly about media commentary.

However one of the unwritten rules about blogs is that you have to blog often, and you just can't produce an original masterpiece every day. I guess that's what happened to this blog as well.

-- Arik

Bruce SchneierMarch 28, 2010 10:08 PM

@ Arik:

Crypto-Gram has always been several essays and a whole lot of news items. Since I've been blogging, those news items are what mostly appear day-to-day, with those several essays appearing here and there throughout the month. I don't see much difference in content, only in delivery time. Look at the current Crypto-Grams for a fairer comparison.

AdamMarch 29, 2010 9:52 AM

Read an interview by Milton Friedman where he stated something like, forgive me my memory has taken great liberties with the quote ,"You will be amazed how far people will take your arguments and papers if you refuse to be involved in any answer, argument, or refutation."

I immediately thought of Bruce's blog.

AdamMarch 29, 2010 10:01 AM

Found the real quote Friedman; "{Laughter}If you want to get controversy about one of your articles, write something which will be attacked and then don't answer the attackers because it opens a field day."

Clive RobinsonMarch 29, 2010 11:43 AM

@ Arik,

"The format of the Standard Bruce Post have changed considerably from the Cryptogram days."

The world moves on.

You either move with it or get left behind.

If you have a blog about any subject I would expect the blog contnet to change as the subject its self changes.

Thus as the number of interesting technical articals involving security has dropped, the oportunity to post about them has diminished.

Also however security research has diversified into many other fields of endevor (economics, psychology, etc) of recent times which gives a larger selection from which to pick. Thus very technical issues of less interest in general are more likley to be sidelined in favour of the more general interest items.

All of this is well within the bounds of "just moving with the times" not indicitive of any "editorial bias".

However you also have to remember that this is a "personal blog" of what "Bruce finds interesting" so you should expect some bias in favour of those interests.

DurandalMarch 29, 2010 12:44 PM

Fingerprinting By Blogging Style:

I wonder if Bruce's next article will be about identifying anonymous blog postings based on writing style. There seem to be enough studies done on individuals' personal writing style as an identifier, and even as a profiling tool. The latter tends to occur more often with handwriting analysis, but it might be possible with text analysis.

John Joseph BachirMarch 30, 2010 9:37 PM

Well, to be complete, the two closing links should have been links to previous posts, that YOU wrote, about your writing style or your blog (if such posts exist), instead of two posts demonstrating it.


Long Time Listener, First Time PosterMarch 31, 2010 6:44 PM

I know this is tongue in cheek, but I really appreciate the concise form of the posts on this site. Bruce adds commentary where he is qualified to do so, or has something interesting to say. In all other cases, a representative quote/abstract and a link is all that's needed.

I don't want to read essays every single day, and I don't want pointless commentary on every single link.

TK_MApril 15, 2010 8:26 AM

Don't you get it yet?

Bruce does not exist - "He" never actually has. Bruce is simply a [CLASSIFIED] acronym for the world's first successful Turing test.

How deliciously ironic that "it" should have been tested on seasoned security researchers first - Who else would be best trained and positioned to put it though such a through test?

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