Thank you all for an amazing 2017
On 27th December 2016 I sat at home and bought the domain name www.securityoperative.ie . I had a WordPress blog that I had been messing with for a couple of months before that and had put some articles out on my personal Facebook and LinkedIn which had gone quite well. I sat there with my new domain name and a YouTube tutorial on how to build a website for the next 2 days and built the site that you are now reading this on. The site launched on New Year’s Day 2017 and the Facebook page was published in mid January. The results have been staggering and I’ll list them below but they aren’t the purpose of this article. The purpose of this article is to give a massive thank you to all of YOU in this industry who have read, engaged and shared the message in 2017. It means a lot to me and shows that there is huge hope for this industry. I also want to tell you a little about what’s coming in 2018.
Why I build The Security Operative?
As I sat at home that day thinking about some incidents and situations I had come across during 2016 I was worried for the security industry. I had seen good people lose jobs, lose claims and almost lose their freedom in a single year. I had seen companies do unsafe, unethical and downright stupid things. I had also seen some real talent begin to emerge in the industry and some really great initiatives from both security providers and in-house security teams that I thought should be publicised. Mostly though I started writing because of the small things I had seen on a daily basis. The crazy online advice being handed out on social media and some of the things I had heard said by security operatives in the field. I always talked about spreading information and knowledge for free in the industry and I felt it was time to practice what I preach. Being a voice for change is important to the sector but only if that voice is spreading information that is correct, legal and safe and a lot of what I was seeing wasn’t. I don’t claim to be an expert but I’ve invested a lot of my life into this industry and I’ve spent a lot of that time studying and learning my craft academically and on the ground. I felt I had a message to share that was worthwhile.
Since January 2017 the feedback has been huge. The response has been mostly positive and the small negative pieces have all been in good taste (so far).
- After a slow start in the first 6 months of the year I decided to change from a fortnightly blog article to a weekly article and the numbers went crazy. This year we have received over 10,000 unique visitors the the website.
- Produced 52 blogs at the time of writing (sorry if that’s overkill)
- The Facebook page has over 1000 followers many of whom regularly comment and contribute (so thank you).
- There have been numerous articles featured in Risk Manager magazine
- I got to speak at the ISEC 2017 conference.
- I was interviewed for 2 episodes of the Tao of the Velvet Rope podcast in the United States
- I was appointed as a QQI Subject matter expert for the security industry.
All of this I directly attribute to the willingness of you and many others like you who take time out of their busy lives to read my rants once a week and provide feedback and commentary.
Sharing the Knowledge
I’m a big believer in sharing the knowledge and in trying to make the industry better. I’ve designed templates that I’ve used over the years and put them out there for free. To date they have been downloaded almost 1600 times. These include the notebook inserts, report templates and security procedure template. The CV template is still the most popular with almost 500 downloads from all over the world.
I also did something I never expected to do. I launched my very first online product in the CCTV data protection impact assessment template. I did this due to the number of queries on the subject. I had undertaken some of these assessments in my professional life and I know that many small businesses can not afford to bring in a security consultant to design their DPIA for the one or two body worn CCTV cameras. I decided that while there had to be a cost to the product I would make it as cost effective as I could (€9.99 is a bargain to be honest). The feedback I’ve had has been great and I’m glad to see that it has solved some legal and procedural problems for several venues around the country and led to a number of security teams changing the way they operate their systems.
All of this has been alongside my full time job designing and delivering training and running my own consultancy project work. I’m privileged in so many ways that my passion, my hobby and my job all merge into the area of security. I’m lucky that I get to meet thousands of people every year in person and online who still want to make this industry better and I try my best to take what I learn and spread that into the wider industry. Despite working with a very large training provider I still only ever get to train a tiny amount of people personally and the website has given me a way of getting the message out to a much wider audience who thankfully are willing to listen.
New friends and new faces
in 2017 I have gotten to know so many new people both in person and on-line due to this blog. People with similar interests as myself trying to make a difference like myself. Both here in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States there have been great pages and websites set up trying to help the industry and this blog of mine has led to me meeting many people who I now consider friends and colleagues despite having never met face to face. I really do encourage more people to do it and if anybody wants any help in setting up a page, website or any other forum then please get in touch in 2018 and Id be happy to help.
Next year is already shaping up to be busy. I’ve left so much stuff half done this year and I’m finally getting to plan it in for early in 2018. I have 2 e-books almost finished and ready to release in late January or early February.
We have a set of free instructional videos on basic procedures such as searching, making an arrest and refusal of entry in the making which will also come out in the first quarter.
I’ve already lined up some guest blog writers and interviews for next year based on feedback(thanks George) and hope to get somebody apart from me ranting at you once a week in the near future. There’s only so much of me you can listen to and there is so much valuable experience put there that Id like to share with you all.
We have just started to produce our weekly newsletter which will go out to our mailing list every Friday with the latest blog post and other bits of interest from the industry. If you’re interested you can sign up for it on the website here
Who knows where else 2018 will take me but I’m optimistic so far. As long as the feedback continues to be constructive and the real professionals in the industry continue to try to make it better then Ill be here trying to help and do my bit.
I’ve run a couple of competitions throughout the year and given away some great prizes but I spend so much time working, writing and answering feedback and questions that I often don’t get the time to say thank you. Thank you to everybody who has taken the time to read, like share, comment, question or get in contact. Every one of you in some small way has helped me to make a small difference to the security industry for the better. If we change one persons views or give one person advice which helps then we have achieved something good. So a massive thank you from me and I look forward to making a bigger and even better impact on the industry in 2018.