Listen: Private Eye Newsgroups–The Good, Bad and Ugly
Private investigators are an interesting group. A combination of rugged individualists, mousy ex-librarians, storied ex-law enforcement officers, ex-arson investigators, doggedly determined ex-claims adjusters and even people who saw one to many episodes of CSI and decided to jump into the business. Many of these folks arrived with ego to spare. I’ve known private investigators that were television journalists, recent widows and radio personalities. If you put 10 private investigators in a room you’re probably going to get 11 different opinions on the best way to accomplish a task. This gallimaufry of personalities carries over into the world of private investigator internet newsgroups. For the uninitiated, newsgroups are public (and private) on-line discussion forums. There are literally hundreds of internet newsgroups for private investigators covering every conceivable topic of the private eye world. I’ll go over a few general rules first and then list some of the best internet newsgroups you should be a member of.
A few things to remember when you’re participating (and here’s where the good, bad and ugly come into play): DON’T TYPE IN ALL CAPITALS. IT IS THE SAME THING AS YELLING! Use spell check. It’s free and well worth it. Don’t just sit on the sidelines. Make sure you contribute. But give your ideas some careful consideration before you commit them to the permanency of the internet. As Mark Twain said “It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.” Also, as Bill O’Reilly, that bold, fresh piece of humanity is want to say, “Keep it pithy.” It never ceases to amaze me the lengthy epistles that some participants write. I don’t know about you but I’m busy. I don’t have time to read a 12 page missive complete with addendums and an index. Your signature line should contain more than your first name. People, especially private eyes, like to know who they’re dealing with. Consider a signature line that, at the very least, includes your name, company name, address (because it’s nice to know where you’re from), your license number and a way to contact you, such as a telephone, email or website address. And finally, we know that you are a rare and delicate flower. So avoid personal attacks, flaming and ad hominem comments. It’s not nice and it’s rarely germane to the conversation. There are many sources for good private investigator newsgroups. Some of the more popular newsgroups are on Linkedin and Yahoo Groups. I am not necessarily recommending any of these newsgroups to you (although I am on several of them myself). I just wanted you to be aware of them. You may or may not find value in subscribing.
As far as the Yahoo Groups, go to www.Groups.Yahoo.com. From there you can search for just about any type of newsgroup you want. For example, check out PIcases, GroupsThePIgroup, PIdomestic, PImarketing, BlackBookOnline, Private-Investigators-PInow, PIweekly, Private Investigator and Surveillance, to name just a few.
On Linkedin make sure to navigate to the “Interests” tab (on top) and then click on “Groups.” The Linkedin Groups tend to be much more professional. You can find newsgroups for all aspect of our chosen profession. While you’re there check out Professonal Private Investigators, PI Marketing, PI Partner Search, Surveillance Investigators, Worldwide Covert Surveillance Network, Investigation Network and PI Magazine.
You can find newsgroups in both, Yahoo Groups and Linkedin that are based on certifications (such as the CFE), your state and region, and the type of investigative work you do. There’s something for everyone. Interacting with other professional private investigators in these newsgroups will help you learn about new techniques and methods. You’ll be able to ask questions and get some good feedback. And you may find other investigators you can turn to in other parts of your state, region or the world.
Until next time,
This is Scott Fulmer, the Utah Gumshoe, reminding you that the game…is afoot!
About The Utah Gumshoe Podcast
The Utah Gumshoe Podcast follows the real-life exploits, riveting case stories, investigative tips and insightful advice of Scott Fulmer, The Utah Gumshoe. Scott is a 20 year veteran Utah private investigator, surveillance expert and President/CEO of intellUTAH, a private investigation firm based in Salt Lake City.
He has written numerous articles on investigative and surveillance techniques that have appeared in PInow.com and other industry journals. He is a decorated combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War where he served with the famous 2nd Armored Division (Hell on Wheels). Whether you're a novice or an experienced investigator this is the podcast for you.
Articles from Scott Fulmer