Seven days ago I read an article in the local paper that talked about 'DIY social networking', mentioning a site called Ning. Having been both fascinated and repulsed by Myspace, I was intrigued. What unites people on the internet are their common interests, so the idea of having a social network dedicated to a single theme sounded very appealing to me.

I checked the place out, saw that it was indeed a slick beast, and promptly grabbed the name 'crimewriters'.

Yeah, real catchy. And so all-inclusive ...

I tried again. It seemed obvious, and as Rob said, I tapped into "that nebulous part of the universe where all the real ideas are," pulling the word 'Crimespace' out with me. Seemed like a good idea, a name that can describe the site in one word, dragging along the entire world's knowledge of Myspace to do so.

After playing around with Crimespace for a couple of days, getting familiar with the tools, and making it pretty (the banner photo is from a hotel room I didn't end up staying in in Melbourne--but that's another story), I thought, hey, I'll email a few friends. That turned into a few more, they invited some friends of their own, I got excited and started asking various bloggers and crime news sites to spread the word and, after only five days, membership has shot past the 50 mark.

I'm really excited about Crimespace and it seems all of you are too. If I'd thought about it some more before I went ahead and started, I might have chickened out. Instead, I've decided not to be half-arsed about it. I'm making a concerted effort to spread the word. Both Spinetingler and Crimespree will be running news items soon, and a few blogs have joined the fray, among them, Murderati. Feel free to spread the word yourselves on your own blogs. I've added a couple of logos to the photos page and you can always use the blurb on the top of the main page. Just saying.

I've also come up with a nifty idea to get people talking. But I won't say anything about that until next week. I know, such a tease.

As the membership grows, and as Ning adds features, I'm sure we'll have some teething problems and subtler issues too (like should I post this on the blog or the forum?). I'll be on top of this, but please remember that I sleep most days. Being Australian, this unfortunately means that I'm asleep while most of you are playing around here. But since Ning does all the technical maintenance, I doubt this will be a problem. And as I've said, the place is pretty slick as it is.

As a way of doing a spot of housekeeping, I'd like to draw your attention to the very bottom of the main page. I've put in a Privacy & Terms Of Service disclaimer which is worth a read. It's there to cover my ass, as well as protect y'all. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, the Google ads on the right are what pay for the site. Ning gets the profits from these and I don't, which is fine by me. This place is a community, not a cash cow.

In closing, I'd like to say thank you to all of you for joining up so quickly and making the place all warm and cosy. You've all been so welcoming to each other, already sharing tricks of the trade and having a ball in general ... sniff ... it's making me all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.

I think I'll go grab a scotch. Virtually.

Daniel Hatadi
Creator Of Crimespace

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Comment by Paul Guyot on March 11, 2007 at 12:57am
This is a solid idea, and I, too, hate Myspace and everything about it.

Here's one thing I hope for Crimespace... that it stays "real" - meaning, the way it is now, in its infancy - people just hanging out and talking, as opposed to using it for BSP or for networking. There are plenty of other places on the Net to do that.

I'm attracted to this idea (so far) because it's not like that. This feels like a virtual version of the hotel bar at a conference, and I hope it stays that way.
Comment by Carolyn Rogers on March 10, 2007 at 3:10pm
Daniel, I absolutely love this. Myspace left me cold, too--and that is where too many of my son's friends hang out. I had a myspace for about a day--two found me in seconds, called Kelly and said, "Hey dude, did you know your mom is like on myspace?" That was it for me. This has great appeal because of exactly what it is--a space for crime. Talking about it I mean... So you deserve the warm fuzzies. Absolutely. Word will probably spread like wildfire. Thanks for doing this!
Comment by Daniel Hatadi on March 10, 2007 at 8:04am
Thank you to you to, Lonnie.

But only one comment? I guess everyone's over at The Bar...

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