Last week I traveled to Oregon for an annual event that brings together CIOs from colleges and universities around the country. I gave a talk about network security, specifically on blocking malware at the DNS level. Standing before a packed house, I first asked the crowd: “How many of you have heard of OpenDNS?” Roughly 75% of the audience raised their hands. Not bad. Next: “How many of you are using OpenDNS today?” A solid half put their hands in the air. That was powerful. On the one hand, I’d never met any of the people in the audience, but 3/4 of them had heard of us and 1/2 were using the service today. On the other hand, it meant that half the room either hadn’t heard of us, or wasn’t convinced they should be using us… yet.

I tell the above story to illustrate the way OpenDNS has grown — by building a great product, listening to customers, and having our customers tell their friends and colleagues.

OpenDNS will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year. We’ve come a long way, and it’s largely thanks to you. Today 1 in 3 public K-12 schools in the US is using OpenDNS (with over 40,000 schools using us world-wide.). And so are more than 20 million people in homes and businesses, from small mom and pop shops to Fortune 100 companies with offices and stores all over the world.

Every day we see people spreading the word about OpenDNS. Whether it’s simply through our tell-a-friend email, a post on their Facebook wall or a presentation at a community center, school, church or company.

I want to do more to support those of you who speak about OpenDNS, so here’s the deal:

If you’re part of a user group, or have an event where you’d like to give a presentation about OpenDNS, we want to support you. Email success at opendns dot com and tell us about your user group or presentation. We will send you presentation materials and mail out a bunch of stickers to hand out. If it makes sense, we will help reimburse you for snacks and sodas and even send you some free OpenDNS clothing to give away. 😉

Hopefully this helps all those who speak about OpenDNS on our behalf. We’re thankful for it, and we want to help you in any way we can.

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