In the popular television shows Dexter, CSI and Quincy, the title characters examine specific items or scenes and issue reports on their lab analysis. The detective unit then introduces the findings to the formal investigation process. Although, in these fictional television shows, the forensic examiners are featured throughout an entire investigation, this is not the case in real life. By the time the detective has come to his conclusions, the forensic examiner has moved on to dozens of cases just like it.
Now that the computer forensics field has become a fast-growing one, the line has blurred between detectives and forensic examiners. Some of the recent laws requiring these examiners to obtain state-issued private investigator licenses began with geek squad types helping wives spy on their cheating husbands' computers. Thanks Dexter. I got this.
What makes anyone good is that they are passionate and highly qualified at one thing. A racecar driver is no mechanic, Samuel Colt was no Wyatt Earp and vice versa. Forensic examiners are good at examining blood spatter, ballistics, computers, or something else. Detectives are good at determining whodunit, often using those reports. A good detective in the online space spends most of her/his personal and professional time socializing online. In other words, take the time to be a person in that space.
I consider myself one of the best at investigating Intellectual Property issues online. I am successful because I have a passion that is unbound and experience that derives from that passion. Nobody expects you to be good at everything. Have the courage to be pigeonholed.