I have a middle-grade book out next summer, and it was strongly recommended that I start a myspace page for younger readers. But with the most recent news of a mother faking a myspace page to mess with one of her daughter's former 13-year-old friends (who subsequently committed suicide), I'm having second thoughts. What do you all think? Crimespace is social networking too, but myspace is more oriented towards teens. Maybe social networking over the Internet is here to stay, especially among young people, so I shouldn't have such a knee-jerk reaction. You tell me.

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Just to let you know, Crimespace is a public network, so its content can show up in search engines.
Oh, yes. And it does. It still makes me nervous to see my comments pop up on the Internet. It's a good idea to think before typing -- especially if you use names and titles.
That's one reason that I stopped using my full name when responding to blogs. Crimespace is the one exception.
Well, I was thinking of other people's names and titles. I'm afraid I've already ruined my own reputation. :)
Thanks, Daniel - I know being public has its downside, but if you're gonna put a bunch of content online to attract readers, having it behind a wall isn't productive. Of course, that's not what Crimespace is for ... and one reason why I like it so much.

Oh, and I didn't mean to dump on an Australian, but Rupert's fair game, right?
Hey, we love bringing down our tall poppies. It's an Australian tradition. :)
Personally, I'm not a big fan of Myspace. Mostly because it offends my sense of design and aesthetics.

However, it is the central hub for pretty much every kid on the web from 12 to 20. And older. It's replaced email and phone calls as the de facto communication for kids. Just post an update and let your friends find you instead of sending 20 emails.

Which means if you want to reach them, that's the place to go.

A word of warning, though. If you're going into the soupy morass of teen angst that is Myspace, have some angsty teens vet your stuff first. A lot of companies trying to reach the younger demographic don't get it and it shows. And they get hammered and mocked for it.

The days of build it and they will come ended around 2001. To attract the cool kids, the ones that will pass you onto the rest of the proles, you're going to have to appeal to them. And they're more fickle than a jury of OCD monkeys.
Also, it's not just about finding teens and reaching them. It's about finding teens who read and reaching them.

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