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New Stuff — The True Crime Weblog Board and Tumblr

I wanted to introduce readers to some works in progress. It’s important that I make it clear that the following two features are experiments and not stuff I’ve set in stone. There are several reasons I’m calling them experiments at the moment — one is my own ability to keep up with them, depending on my health and/or professional workload.

Another reason it’s important to note the ‘work in progress’ nature of these sites is reader confusion. Whenever I do something new, there are inevitably a number of people who react with something like panic, or at least confusion. I know this is mostly my fault, but to some degree it’s a problem with people just not liking change.

I have to admit, that’s always confused me, and at first, it annoyed me. Then I realized that for some folks, this site is a daily destination, and when I muck with it, it messes with their groove. That’s a nice thing for a blogger, though — realizing you have regulars.

Anyway, because the sites I’m about to link are experiments, you must NOT consider them new destinations in lieu of reading The True Crime Weblog. If there is ever a new destination where my energies will be focused, I’ll let readers know in no uncertain terms.

You should still come to this site for in-depth treatments of crimes in the news. Especially now, because I’m adding some excellent new contributors.

Okay — the new stuff.

  1. http://truecrimeweblog.freeforums.org/The True Crime Weblog Message Board. I set up this classic forum/message board/what have you with a particular set of readers in mind — those who like to utterly dissect a subject, chew the fat about it, parse each detail. I also think a message board presents a nice opportunity for some folks to do something like blog about a particular issue themselves. Because when you leave a comment on a blog post on any weblog anywhere, you are NOT BLOGGING. A message board, however, can provide a somewhat blog-like environment. I consider forums/boards to be more like a community than a weblog (there are notable exceptions, the left-wing Daily Kos, a weblog, also functions like a chaotic message board). If we keep the board, I can see it morphing into a platform for generating story ideas for this blog, as well as research and discussion. One forum I set up as soon as I got the thing is already fairly active. If interest and membership grows, we’ll add more forums devoted solely to one case. For now, if you want to use it, you need to register. Then, if there is a crime in the news you want to discuss, you can start here. Ideas for permanent forums on the board can be generated from the “general” crime news thread. Any simple questions about the board, you can post ’em in the comments on this entry. I am the admin for the board — I’ve already made a steady, stalwart poster from open threads here about Meredith Kercher, Skeptical Bystander, a moderator.
  2. http://truecrime.tumblr.com/The True Crime Tumblr. Okay, my new true crime tumbleblog is bound to confuse people, because it basically looks just like a blog. A really stripped-down blog. No sidebar. No links to other blogs. But if you really examine tumbleblogs, they aren’t like a classic weblog at all. One key way a tumbleblog may differ from a site like the one you’re reading now is not obvious to the reader at all — tumbleblogs are designed to be published on the fly. I can basically publish links, posts, photos, audio, whatever, as I surf. That’s not the case with the blog you’re reading right now — when I sit down to do something for this blog, or for my professional work at Radar, it’s a project, and my main focus. An in-depth entry can take hours to create. Still, why the tumbleblog? Well, when I realized how easy it is to use, I began using it as a kind of online notepad. What you’ll read there are short, quick takes by me on crimes in the news today, yesterday, whenever. I don’t edit much, and I try to cover a lot. While I try to use a more formal voice when I blog here, you’re getting a straight shot at the True Crime Tumblr. I’ve added a comment function to the tumbleblog as well. Look at the difference between this blog and the tumbleblog as being the difference between a composed piece of music and a riff. I’m just riffing with the tumblr. It’s pretty fun for me as a blogger, incredibly easy to do, and surprisingly non-time-consuming.

If any of the above has confused you, befuddled you, well — don’t worry about it. Just stick with this site. I should note though — if you check out TrueCrimeMagazine.com — the site that now holds all the content from CrimeBlog.US — you will see that the main page is a feed-through of the True Crime Tumblr. To find entries you’ve read in the past at True Crime Magazine, just use that site’s search page, which is powered by Google. Everything that was on CrimeBlog.US is still there, as is the content I’ve added since I changed URLs.