Sammy Williams for Unsplash

Do you ever wonder what happened to your best friend from high school that you lost touch with?

What about a date with someone you connected with online?

What about yourself? What is out there online about you?

When I was researching my book about Sara Jane Moore, I needed to find people from all over the US using only the names I found from 30 years ago. I tested several of the sites using my own information to see how accurate they were and found most of them to be quite good. …

Photo by Emily Morter for Unsplash

While the Internet is magic in that it brings the world to your fingertips, it is also a big problem if you don’t follow some basic rules. There is a lot of junk and misinformation out there and you can get into a lot of trouble if you are not careful and discerning.

1. Be skeptical and demand verification

Don’t easily trust a website without doing some important reading.

Reputable websites will clearly state whether or not the content is sponsored, and if so, by whom. This is helpful, but you can’t expect every website to be so honest. Try…

Photo by Emma Matthews for Unsplash

I know I’m not alone in trying to fit in all the things I want or need to do every day.

Our lives are so much busier with the advent of the Internet and how we can add so much more to our creativity because of it.

I can research canning, doggy baths, how to prune fruit trees, and the best method for making homemade pie crust.

All these random topics as well as work tasks fill my days and I need to prioritize what needs to be done first, second, third and so on.

If you haven’t heard about…

SUPER SLEUTHING — Digging Deep in the Internet

Photo by Michael Dziedzie for Unsplash

(Sign up for my blog and receive two blogs a month about Internet Research Skills — )

“Is this Geri Spieler? This is Vito, or Richard Vitamanti to you. I hear you are looking for me. What do you want?” The deep voice said when I picked up my phone.

At first, I was taken aback by the gruff Godfatheresque voice, but very pleased as I’d been trying to connect with him for months.

I’d been a journalist and investigative reporter for most of my career, but now I was writing…

Emily Morter for Unsplash

You can get regular bi-monthly updates from my blog at

A Dark Website can be within the Dark Web and can be linked to criminal activity and illegal market places.

Otherwise, there are browsers that allow you to make a search anonymous and easier, such as DuckDuckGo, Freenet and TOR (The Onion Browser).

TOR Browser

TOR Browser isolates each website you visit so third-party trackers and ads can’t follow you. Any cookies automatically clear when you’re done browsing. So will your browsing history.

There is also Freenet: Freenet is free software which lets you anonymously share files, browse and…

And had a full draft in two months

Hannah Grace for Unsplash

When I finally decided to tackle a new book project and a new genre, I knew I had to find a strategy that get me started and force me to dive in deep.

What helped was signing up for the ever popular, as National Novel Writing Month for November or as it’s known as NaNoWriMo, where the goal is to write 50,000 words for the month of November. …

Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann for Unsplash

Gun shots rang out around 6pm in Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Knowing it came from poachers, the park rangers tried to follow the sound, but in an area about 19,485 square kilometers (7,523 sq. mi) and extends 360 kilometers (220 mi) from north to south and 65 kilometers (40 mi) from east to west, tracking was difficult. The Rangers thought they had located the sound, but after losing track, the rangers called on Air Shepherd to launch drones to try and spot the poachers.

Air Shepherd was created out of a partnership with UAV&Drone Solutions and the Lindbergh…

San Francisco Literary Scene: “A place of escape, refuge, and salvation from the rest of America”

“It’s the dream city at the edge of the continent, an exotic jumble of cultures, a fogbound oasis offering freedom and escape for people hoping to shed the past and begin anew.” San Francisco Chronicle THE LITERARY SCENE / San Francisco, Writers’ Heaven April 14, 1996.

· Writers come to San Francisco in part because of the romance of the City by the Bay, or as the famed San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen dubbed it, “Baghdad by the Bay.”

· Writers come for…

Photo for Unsplash by Valentin Salja

There has been much hand wringing these past several years about finding unbiased news sources. Trying to find that kind of reporting is available. You just have to know where to look, which is why I’m providing this list.

In addition to the big newspapers, there are many other sources to find excellent, well researched stories.

Bias alert here: While I was actively working at news agencies, I did not observe my colleagues slanting a story to suit their bias. In fact, more than once, during an investigation, there were surprises we did not expect while in working a story…

Geri Spieler

Master researcher, journalist and non-fiction author. San Francisco Values launched in 2020 and my new book. Regina of Warsaw in process.

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