300 in 3 weeks
That's how many participants signed up to the popular growing CrimeSpace website (http://crimespace.ning.com).
I found out about the growing community when I was setting up my new forum on a great social networking site called ning.com and as always I'm looking for ways to promote myself and decided to drop in and look around.
My! Oh my! Was I overwhelmed and in love at the same!
Immediately I wanted to share this with the world and decided for my entry this week to you, to do an interview with Daniel Hatadi, the founder of Crimespace.
Can you give me a brief Bio on you, Daniel?
Having spent ten years as a computer programmer in the shady field of gambling, I found myself drawn from music, to short film, to reading—something I've ignored since high school. The next step was writing and I've been doing that for the last three years, the first two of which were spent on a novel I never want exhumed from the coffin I buried it in. I've since moved on to a story that could be described in one sentence like this: "An unwilling hitman becomes part of a crime syndicate that stretches back to turn-of-the-century Sydney." To keep me going while I work on it, I've been writing short stories and getting them published at venues such as Crimespree Magazine, Thrilling Detective, Shotsmag UK, and Thuglit. To top it all off, in an insane fit of inspiration, I created Crimespace.
What is Crimespace?
It's a hub, a central meeting place, a bar of sorts, a place for us to share our passion for crime fiction. Like MySpace, but for readers and writers of crime fiction.
Why did you start Crimespace?
Before Crimespace, the crime and mystery community on the Internet was segregated into readers, writers and sub-genres. I saw a hole that needed to be filled. The Internet has had no substitute for the bar at Bouchercon or Harrogate or Thrillerfest. I'm hoping I can turn Crimespace into that bar. Virtually. So far, it's working.
How long has Crimespace existed? How many members?
It's only been going for a single month and members have been joining at the rate of about 100 a week. That makes it just shy of 400 at last check. I've also seen a number of well known authors sign up. These include Val McDermid, Stuart MacBride, Ken Bruen, Sara Gran, John Rickards, Cornelia Read, J. D. Rhoades, Ray Banks, Sandra Ruttan, Anne Frasier, Sandra Scoppettone, Duane Swierczynski, and the list goes on, growing every day.
When you started it, did you expect the instant networking and promotion?
Crimespace was designed to be a social network, so I definitely hoped to see a large amount of discussion centred on crime fiction. But no, I didn't expect to see people doing business or promoting products. I've heard of members who are already getting publishing deals and working together to create like-minded author events, but the promotion aspect of it has me worried. I don't want to see Crimespace turn into the desert of disingenuous "thanks for adding me as a friend" comments that MySpace has become. I've been taking measures to separate promotion from discussion, such as creating a separate Events section for appropriate announcements. Members have responded very positively to this. It's only been one month, so it's hard to tell where it's heading, but so far, as a crime fiction community, Crimespace is thriving.
What is to come for Crimespace?
I have a few plans in store for Crimespace, such as holding a monthly competition, getting together T-shirts and buttons to promote the place, as well as adding a section for crime-based flash fiction. That last one is something I know a lot of members are looking forward to. I'm also trying to think of ways to promote Crimespace to readers. There are already a number of them on board and they seem to be having a blast finding new authors and interacting with the community. One thing I don't want to do is to make money from Crimespace. The ads that run on the site pay for the hosting and software and none of that money comes to me. Profits from the selling of T-shirts or buttons will go back into things like the monthly competition, or anything else I can think of to help promote Crimespace and the crime fiction community. I already have a day job and unless I one day make a living from writing, I'm happy to stay where I am.