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DEF CON Hacking Conference

DCG POC FAQ

In the beginning, DEF CON expects that the POC will be the person "coordinating" their DCG. This includes meetings, local area advertising, logo creation, tech talk creation or review, etc. As a new POC, you'll more than likely have a bunch of work to do in order to make the DCG a success. It's not the easiest job in the world, but it can also be extremely rewarding. This FAQ is for those individuals with the strength to give it a shot.


Q: How do I become an Official POC?

A: Head over to goo.gl/hqGQ3 and fill out the form. International requests take a bit longer to process so please be patient.


Q: Do I need to have a website?

A: A website is not required, but we've found that those groups willing to put up a website, email lists, project listings, and blog/chat functionality tend to survive at a greater rate than those groups without these items. Also - social media is encouraged to promote your group.


Q: What are my responsibilities as POC?

A: The POC is the person DEF CON will contact regarding questions, concerns, comments, promotions, etc. You wll be directly responsible for the success of your DCG. You will need to advertise the group and gather interest from the various hackers in your area. You'll also want to ensure that you're keeping the group on track; e.g. coordinating projects, keeping discussions on track, ensuring you have interesting speakers/talks, and keeping the technical infrastructure available to the group members.


Q: Is this the POC the President of the chapter?

A: Not necessarily. It's just a consistent person that DEF CON can use to communicate "stuff" to the group. DEF CON considers this person to be the primary person responsible for communication of group activities to the DEF CON staff.


Q: A bunch of jerks run the DC-Group in my town, what do I do?

A: There are no restrictions on the number of DCGs in a single city or region. As with all things in life, the weakest groups will likely expire over time. If you want to start a new group in your area, feel free. Just bear in mind that you'll likely have more work in front of you to make the DCG successful. We first ask that you consider the following: 1) Attempt to talk with them first and see if there is something you can do to help out. 2) If you find there is a distinct difference in points of view, email us at dcgroup@defcon.org for opinions. 3) In the end, we would prefer that any differences are handled within your area, we understand there may be times when a DCG has "fallen from grace" and has become strictly a social event versus a technical meeting. In those rare circumstances, don't start a gang riot, just let us know.


Q: How do I advertise my DC-Group?

A: Be creative - use word of mouth, fliers, postings at local computer stores, etc. We will try to keep an archive of sample flyers, etc that may help. If you live near a university - hit up the social media for the groups in CS there. Also - post on any listing service (freeware classifieds, etc).


Q: Where is a good Place to meet?

A: Parks, library, mall, food court, schools, colleges, etc. Any easily accessible place where people can sit and talk comfortably.


Q: What topics should we discuss?

A: The meetings are meant to be technical/social in nature. Other than that, it's totally open. We recommend sharing the presentation and speaking tasks among the group members. It's also beneficial to have guest speakers come in and present on new and interesting topics in which the groups members may not have direct or in depth experience. You can also do community outreach. Anything to hack your local community (ie, improve it) is welcome. Anything to better our communities image is a plus.


Q: Do all the talks have to be security related?

A: Not at all. Security is cool but hackers are far more diverse. Any and all technology is up for grabs. Do what is interesting to the group. The real key is the DCGs are technology based and we would prefer to steer clear of a constant "policy driven" meeting structure where we all sit around and bitch and moan about whoever else pisses us off this week.


Q: How do I deal with the media/Law Enforcement inquires/ coming to the meetings?

A: Sit down and talk with the Media/LEO about the purpose of the meeting. Explain to them that this is not an illegal hacking organization. Welcome them to come to the meetings to see exactly what goes on. Be careful in how you talk to the media and remember that nothing is ever off the record. You are the front line as to how the community receives us as a whole. As for Law Enforcement just be kind to them and help them understand what you are doing. They may be an added resource in hairy situations, you never know.


Q: What are the available resources for DCG POCs?

A: Our primary resource is a mailing list run by noid for all DCG POCs. Once your new group has been approved, you will automatically be added to this list. The POCs from all the DEF CON Groups will be on that list. You'll find help from a variety of individuals around the world on how they made their groups successful. We're also hoping to have a set of standard flyer templates for advertising your group and a standard DCG logo, in the near future.


Q: My group isn't successful or I've run out of time. What should I do?

A: If you're out of time, consider handing off the reins to another group member who might be interested. If you just can't seem to get traction with generating interest in your group, it might make sense to talk to the other POCs on the list for help. Worst case scenario, please let us know that you're abandoning the group so we can remove it from the list. Just send a termination email to dcgroups{ax}defcon[dot]org.


Q: How do I deal with/co-exist with the 2600 groups in my area and not as a rivalry?

A: Just run your organization. DC-Groups are not out there to compete with other organizations. Make this clear to the other organizations, and tell them exactly what you are trying to accomplish, then invite them to come to your meeting. Don't turn this into a "them versus us" situation. DEF CON and 2600 have coexisted over 20 years. There are seldom problems or issues that can't be resolved.


Q: How do I deal with jerks who attend the meetings?

A: Create an environment that makes jerks not want to attend. The easiest way to do this is to create an environment at your meeting that is openand friendly. Welcome new members and encourage the other 'regulars' to do the same. Encourage attendees to help each other out and build relationships with people in the group. In a group that is friendly and supportive, someone acting like a jerk will stick out like a sore thumb and make them feel awkward. This individual will probably not return after their first meeting. If the individual does return, there is a good chance they will not act like a jerk. However, some folks just don't get it. If you have a recurring problem with someone being a jerk, deal with the individual as a group and let them know that their attitude is not welcome by the group. From the jerks perspective, if one person has a problem with you, its his problem; if the group has a problem with you, its your problem. You will find the easiest way to avoid having jerks show up is to lead by example and not be jerks yourselves.


Q: Who runs the program?

A: Currently the groups are managed by blakdayz. He would like to send a shout out Salem for the help updating the html for the listings and to blackBunny for the clerical work in managing spreadsheet cleanup. You can reach blakdayz by emailing b[remove]l[remove!]a[removeit]k@defcon.org.


For more information email dcgroups{at}defcon(døt)org