Since joining Crimespace, I've clicked "Approve" whenever I got someone's request to be my friend, but I just added one that made me wonder. When I checked the page, there was no way of identifying the person, even though there was a link to an interesting website. And there was no indication that the person had any specific interest in mysteries.

I'd say more, but the site made me feel too paranoid. And it got me thinking - I'd really like to know who's posting here. Weird aliases, featureless silhouettes and endless photos of cats don't do it for me. Most of you seem to be genuinely interesting individuals with a real interest in myseries, but who knows? Maybe I need to be more cautious. As my husband always reminds me, this is a highly public space, and anyone could be stalking. What do others think?

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This is a very real concern. I'll be interested to read what others think. As for me, I think I've come to accept that fact that the internet in general is a place where you have to take the risk in order to experience the advantages. And there are a lot of advantages. Since I've been stalked and had a brush with identity theft (see my forum post on author websites for an example), I've had the negative experiences but I'm still here.
If you post on a blog or send in photos, that info could occasionally go to everyone anyhow on the main page. Certain information you don't give away to people, unless you know them personally, and not when there's a chance others can see it. There's still lots of stuff leftover that's okay for everyone to see.
Morgan Mandel
What? My picture of Kate makes you nervous? :)

Seriously - I agree. I've already noticed that people I "recognize" in the crime fiction world don't post as much as I hoped, I think because there are so many names here that I/we don't recognize from blogs, etc. I'm a little nervous about putting more of myself out there for that reason. I have seen some scary things happen on another forum I've been part of for more than 4 years - it's one reason why I stick to the boards from which I've actually met people.

I would hate to see our "friendly bar" aspect here undermined. I've been starving for a crime fiction forum since Mystery Circus shut down, and there is so much great conversation here. I really hope folks honor Daniel's original intention.
I share some of your concerns Julie. I'm happy to see booksellers and legitimate companies on here, particularly since I know some are using it as a way to keep their finger on the pulse of the mystery community. Going back to the concept of a bar, there are people who go to the cons representing their business/organization, so it's fair for them to be here in that capacity, but some...collective generic memberships (for lack of a better term)... seem ridiculous to me. Are we a person or are we part of a clique? And why be on here twice? It seems to me the only reason is to promote the group. For me, that's a major turn-off.

I'm way behind on the 'friendship' thing, and had taken the line that I would accept anyone who invited me. However, I think I know exactly what member you're referring to, and I do have misgivings about it, the same way I had misgivings about a recent member who was subsequently removed.

At least here on Crimespace we have Daniel at the helm and he is very good about listening to concerns and acting on them when necessary. I encourage anyone with serious concerns about members to take them to him. He can't be here 24/7 - there are going to be times he'll be relying on us to let him know if we see anything questionable.

Some people have the shadow avatar because they haven't found a suitable photo or figured out how to upload it. In some cases, the generic photos may be just jokes - some of us know each other from the Mystery Circus and there's a natural bit of carry-over from there. I can certainly vouch for the legitimacy of Evil Kev - he's my husband.
I'm okay with booksellers, magazine editors and other related businesses being here - as Sandra says, they're part of the community. In many cases, I'm glad to learn about them. Organizations like SinC are OK with me too. And I'm glad of the reassurance about Evil Kev.
I'll vouch for Sandra (and Kev), if she'll vouch for me. We've been in communication since before Crime Space. In general, I would think that people's web sites should tell us who they are and what they are about. I did come across one instance that made me uncomfortable (a woman on a crusade), but I believe she has disappeared.
I am so, so with you. I really resent being studied, probed, advertised to, solicited. Why can't everyone just get along?
Patti, act now and purchase my new self-help book, "How To Be Conflict-Free on the Internet" for only $39.95 and you'll receive this lovely set of Ginsu knives absolutely free! Slice 'em, dice 'em, perfect for a killing spree...

(Joking everybody!)
Ha! For half that price the Ginsu Tongue will take them on.
Avatars? What avatars. That there's a self portrait.

And I like getting probed.
So...how are we to be sure that that picture you have as an avatar is really you, Julie? In fact, what assurances do I have that you really are Julie Lomoe?
Your avatar scares me, Tribe.

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