Attracting readers and making Crimespace a special place for them was always something I wanted out of this virtual bar of ours. I began with a starry-eyed vision of authors and fans mixing it up in the stalls together, united in a common love of all that is crime fiction.

But it doesn't seem to be working.

I've noticed that there a number of readers who have joined up who aren't quite as vocal as us writer types. I think this is partly the nature of the beast -- writers write and readers read -- but I'd like to see if I can do something to improve on the situation.

One of the features of this site that I've been reluctant to add is that of Groups, a way to band together with like-minded Crimespacers. Groups can exist within Crimespace and have their own Forum and list of members. I've had a number of ideas for particular Groups myself, but I won't mention them just yet.

Have a peek at Library 2.0 to see what I mean by this whole Group thing. You may see that my reluctance towards the feature comes from the fact that most of the Groups only have 1 or 2 members.

Still, one good thing about Groups is that I can choose which ones to feature on the main page, so at least this way I can pick the more useful or popular groups to put the spotlight on.

If this all this talk about Groups is just gobbledy-gook to you, then if you have any other suggestions for changes to Crimespace, feel free to drop me a line in this thread, or send me a message with your thoughts. This site has a limited set of features, so it may not be possible for me to fulfil your requests, but I do want to make Crimespace rock even harder than it does already.

Yes, I grew up in the 80s.

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I'm a reader! Proud of it, too. And the kind of writing I aspire to is reviewing. I've been a member of Crimespace for several months now, and really love it. And while it's true that you don't really have to create your own website to be a member, once I got started building my profile on My Page, I found myself having so much fun that I wanted to add more and more. It's easier and friendlier than any web-building page I have ever experienced. Now I not only have my own "web presence" but on-going e-mail correspondances with various other members who share my type of reading (most notably the wonderful Donna Moore, whose favorite authors and general taste in reading is so similar to mine that it's downright spooky).

But what's been said is true, of course: writers write; and us readers read -- either books or stuff about books and/or authors. The recent reorginization of the Forums into heading is a great idea. That way, those of us who are not budding novelists can either skip those sections or choose to read them if the topic is interesting.

So sure -- Forums about specific authors, or books, or styles, might encourage other readers to be more involved. And I'm certain that once they see how easy it is to contribute, and how friendly us Crimespacers are, they will get over their resistance.

So readers, c'mon along! Take a few moments and let's find each other and chat about what we like, don't like and so on when we read. It's cool...really!
I think you're doing well without creating additional groups, but it's up to you. The general forum headings - the bar, readers, writers, schmoozing, etc. - seem to fill the need for more specialized discussions. I already belong to several writers' lists which I don't have time to read and often delete unread - I prefer Crimespace! So for me, this would just be one more thing I feel guilty about not reading. On the other hand, if you had a discussion about finding agents, publishers, etc., I would be interested.
If it ain't broke, I ain't gonna fix it. So no groups for now.

And yes, one of the reasons I've kept the number of categories to a minimum is that I've seen plenty of forums with plenty of categories that only have a couple of posts in them. Your topic of finding agents, etc. is perfect for the Schmooze Lounge--it's all about the business of writing.
Probably not the response you're looking for, but . . . When I joined Crimespace I was a fairly active participant. For the last month I've been buried in copyediting, and haven't had a moment to look at the site. I was, however, puzzled that I kept getting requests to be my friend. Now, some of these people have asked me to be their friend three or four times.

Believe me, I'm not that much fun. And I'm annoyed that these people seem to be using the site to troll for business or whatever the hell they're doing: spamming, phishing, whatever. So I'm increasingly disinclined to participate if it's going to mean more unwanted emails.
I would think that the forum is critical...if readers don't post, how do we know they've stopped by? Try moving "The Reading Room" to the top of the Forum page to encourage posts there.
I'd rather not mess with the category orders. It took me a while to choose them and order them that way and each category has a reason for its place.

But it's no accident I put the readers above the writers.
I've always loved the law of diminishing returns. My first experience with that involved a number of Mars bars in quick succession.

Okay, a few of you are up for 'working' the reading discussions. I'll start something up about that shortly.

Thanks for your input, Douglas.
You may want to expand your genre's. My novels are suspense/thrillers. I found another writer/author on the site with the same type of writing I do. I hope this helps.

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