What does all this "friend" stuff mean, exactly?

I mean, yeah, I joined, and I promptly went through the lists, looking for people I know and consider buddies and asking them to be my "friend." It's a little pathetic, i guess, but it's sincere.

My yardstick for "friendship" is simple. Would they have a drink with me? Would I have a drink with them? Do they know me from a hole in the ground? Do I know them from a hole in the ground?

But what's the deal with all these total strangers -- or people I know but who I think should be IN a hole in the ground (and feel the same way about me) -- asking to be my friend? My mailbox is full of requests from people I don't know.

Do requests expire, or do they hang around forever? How long do I have to figure out who these people are and respond?

Am I missing the point of it all or what? If I become a friend, do I have to buy them presents at Christmas?

Or are they just kissing fanny wherever they find it?

Are we about to be beseiged by the Self-pubbies and the BSPistas?

Has Daniel created a monster?

Buy my book.

Buy my book.

Buy my book NOWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!

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If there are any pig farms in the area that would be handy for disposal Merlot.

Could launch the first in the Cyber Axe Murderer series - a whole new spin on giving someone the axe.
MySpace was originally intended for musicians and bands to promote themselves. Massive friending, a skewing towards the pre-pubescent demo, and quests for one's 15 Minutes was just gravy. Or blowback depending on how you view it. (An LA chick named "Forbidden" became the MySpace equivalent of Angelyne; her getting in Vanity Fair was her high water mark.)

Online social networks can be support groups, message boards, fan sites, book clubs, Paloozas of Things We Have In Common, or the tried-and-true meat grinder that is the virtual high school cafeteria.

I have to say, though, as a MySpace whore veteran, that I find Crimespace very different in fundamental ways.

The only thing that people on MySpace have in common is Myspace. But here there are people promoting their work (writers), fans of both genre and specific writers (readers), and everything in between (um, lovers?). This place is imbued with a collective and singular passion; taken as a whole, Myspace isn't . It seems to trend older here and for the most part to those who read & love reading. Those aren't what brings people to Myspace. The narrowed universe here makes for potentially more authentic social interaction -- online or Real Time.

I count myself as a total squeeing crime fic fan but I also feel like I'm among peers and equals and kindreds as I hoover up every book I can get my hands on and as I try to hack through my own page counts. I've been turned onto several sites, blogs, and books I'd not heard about and am happy to have discovered because of Crimespace. Even the "chatterbox" exchanges have been interesting.

The other thing CP has that Myspace doesn't (and this may change when sample size grows) is an implicit trust - that we all are who we say we are. There is ZERO of that remaining on Myspace, if it was ever there.

I have eleventy-billion friends on MySpace but don't consider them all "friends." I have met many of them in the real world, I try to if there's common interests or proximity, and it's still one of the best ways to find new or favorite bands/musicians.

My MySpace friending criteria is 101 and lax because I don't care enough about the faceless masses there -- I don't go there expecting to find or meet someone. I check in on my profile because I host parties for a specific demographic there, and also to safeguard against spammers, phishers, trolls, crazies, flame warriors, or stalkers. For some reason I don't worry about attracting Amway or Slack here. Yet, anyway.

I'd say that this is a lot more viable a networking portal than Myspace or the lot of them. Plus Ning's more elegant (as opposed to MySpace, which has 1997 HTML flashbacks on loan). And this place has a well-stocked bar.
One thing you said: It seems to trend older here... That's true compared to MySpace, but compared to the mystery community as a whole this is a hotbed of whippersnappers. Although I know a LOT of young mystery writers and fans... maybe it's an Internet thing.
I thought we were here for the books? I've got so manybooks now there is no way I will ever in my entire life read them all but I'm going to die trying! And I can't stop now....since nobody seems to quit writing, thank goodness.

And if you want to know me before we become friends, read my blog. I'm going to post my "fish" story there right now!
I can't die before I read ALL my books, and the holds from the three library systems I use.
That guarantees we live to be 100, right, Rose? Smart move.
Are we about to be beseiged by the Self-pubbies and the BSPistas?

Has Daniel created a monster?

Buy my book.

Buy my book.

Buy my book NOWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!

Heh. Actually, Kevin, our Glorious Founder (aka Daniel) made a very good post early on, expressing the wish that this would NOT turn into just another forum for BSP, and I agree. There's plenty of space for that on our own blogs and websites. The best way to promote your work here is to be interesting, contribute, and have people go "hey, I want to read that person's work." As the site grows, I hope we can hang on to that idea and make it part of the "site culture", so to speak.
Kevin, I am a hopeless slut, virtually and otherwise. I need. I need.
Well, here's my philosophy on the friend things, as schooled by those on MySpace who know this stuff better than I.

I understand from them it's... impolite, to put it nicely, to decline a friend request. I don't know if this works something like ranking your site's relevance on google but I get the impression the more friends the better it is for you. No Christmas card, birthday, anniversary or book launch gifts required.

I certainly can't keep up with everyone on here. Sometimes I come on and see in the side column some new faces and send an invite. But I haven't scrolled through the list and hit everyone.

Any request I receive I will accept and I'm not concerning myself with knowing people or whatever. There are a lot of readers coming on - some I know, some friends of people I know - and if I went on the basis of people I know only then who would I be snubbing? That's not a way to make anyone feel welcome here, in my opinion. I suppose it would be better if there was no friending thing, as this seems to have been a real issue for some people, and I don't want to see people getting hurt feelings over it.

(Edited to add) And at the risk of sounding horribly rude this isn't the first time someone's mentioned balking at the friend thing on their chatterwall, blog or now, the forum. My apologies to anyone who has been baffled/bothered/offended by a friend request I sent them. For me, anyway, I will take no offense if you reject it. A big flippin' deal is being made out of nothing, again, in my opinion.
And I SHOULD ADD I only saw the friend thing, for myself, as a way of welcoming newcomers. A click of the button that says, "Hey, great to see you here."

'Nuff said.
Good question, Kevin. Sorry I can't be your friend, but I avoid the bars. In the first place, I can't stand the smoke. And, secondly, at my age I do well to hear the person next to me in a noisy background. The rest is all black noise (that's the discordant reverse of white noise).

I've been looking through the list to see who I know and invite them to do the friend thing. A few I only know from corresponding on lists or saying hello at a converence. They may not remember me. But what the hey!

On accepting friends, I just okay them all. I'm nondiscriminatory. You never know when a friend might come in handy.


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