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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And I posted this concern on another thread, but it bears repeating here...how can we be sure that people are properly dressed (or dressed at all) when we are on Crimespace?
Wait, you mean nudists aren't allowed? Aw...
Thank you, Tribe. That was my laugh for the day. And I was beginning to need it, reading through all the comments so far. I was getting seriously depressed and paranoid.
I try not to 'sweat the small stuff.'---I write fiction, I write crime. If I want you, I'll get you. That is our society. I really don't find writers all that dangerous---the readers are a different story...

Seriously, we just can't spend our life worrying...what if?

Now getting in an accident with someone on a cell-phone; is Real & Present Danger.
Julie,

Some of the same thoughts have come to my mind. Though, obviously you haven't seen my cats -- how could there ever be anything but the purest thoughts from or about them (humor and sarcasm are difficult to express in writing, aren't they?).

If you check me out, you'll find I use BeeJay as a nickname, include a picture of me on my page and a link to a web site about me and writing. suspense and mysterires. But is that really me. It could be a total fabrication. It isn't, but it could be.

I think maintaining a healthy curiosity is in order for us all. It's not hard to track someone down on the internet, but I usually keep my refernces general in nature. If a stalker is after me, they'll find me. I don't post pictures of my wife, children or grandchilden -- paranoid? Maybe, but ...

Cheers,
John Achor (BeeJay)
Since I'm a former police detective I'm always a little leery when it comes to things like this; however, I agree with many of the responses I've seen posted here. Just be careful what information you allow to be seen and for goodness sake ignore people you don't know or are uncomfortable with until you know them better.

I think Daniel polices this site quite well. If you're concerned about an individual here I'd contact Daniel or someone else on the site whom you do know to see what they can tell you about the person you question. No one could possibly blame you for being cautious.
"But someone correct me if I'm wrong - in the end, does accepting a friend request give the other person any greater access to you than if you didn't accept it?"

No, it doesn't. From a technical perspective it's meaningless. They have no more access to you, nor you to them, than if they didn't. They can't stalk you any differently than if you weren't listed as a friend.

As to who can post to your chatterwall, and what email notifications you receive, you can set those preferences in the Email & Privacy Settings in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Fortunately, other members don't have your email address unless, as you say you respond to them via email. Private messages go through Ning's systems and then send your email address a notification. If you're having issues with a particular person you feel is harassing you, I'm sure that both Daniel and the company handling Ning would like to know about it so they can boot the person.

It's obviously no guarantee that it will prevent them from rejoining with a different name/email address, but it cuts down on a lot of the looney factor.
On MySpace, if you post a broadcast, then everyone on your friends list will get the message. That is the only real purpose I know of for the "friends." Maybe Dan can tell us more, but I haven't seen any such "broadcast just to friends" feature on CrimeSpace.
I wrote about this in the help page. You can restrict blog posts, videos and photos to Friends Only. So far that's the only purpose of Friends, aside from the bookmarking of people you find interesting or actually happen to know IRL (In Real Life).
I find that having someone on my friends list is a quick way of navigating around the site. I go into My Page and see their smiling faces and think "I'll go visiting!"

It would be very handy if the photos of the friends you visit the most would jump back to the top of the screen instead of just your most recent friends. That way I might have some way of remembering whose pages I left comments on. Us social butterflies find it hard to keep track some days!
On the subject of friends, both Ning and myself have already written a fair amount, so I won't go into that here, but I'll tackle the anonymity issue instead.

Personally, I have no problem with people being anonymous on the internet. There are many authors who publish under a nom de plume, there are readers who are shy or have fears relating to privacy and stalking, there are quite possibly famous authors who would attract too much attention if they went by their real name. It's easy to see how forcing people to reveal their real names would be a minefield of troubles, as well as being non-inclusive. Also, I have no way of enforcing it. Unlike Amazon, I can't verify credit card information, and I don't want to. Crimespace is not a business and I don't want it to become one.

The internet is a communication medium that is in constant evolution. Forums have been around for a long time now, but social networks such as Crimespace are still relatively new. So there's a learning curve for all of us. I'm keeping the help page up to date with any questions I get and I'm also dealing with any concerns that members have as best as I can.

Rest assured that if anyone is harrassed in any clear way, I will remove the member and not lose a second of sleep over it.
Thanks, Daniel, you make some good points - as have many other people. You've given me a better understanding of why people may wish to remain anonymous. It's reassuring that you're here checking in. Now, how can I prove that I'm the person in my picture? I guess I can't - but if I were going to use a fake picture, I'd pick someone a lot more glamorous.

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