An educational resource at the heart of criminological teaching, debate, and research


Newsletter 5

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Hi everybody,

Firstly, thanks for your interest in CrimeTalk. I hope you are finding the site useful and exploring its potential. You are a growing community: in January on launch we had a mere 229 'unique visitors' and we closed June with 1258 that month. 97 people have registered; 364 follow us on Twitter and 40 use our Facebook page. So, growth in our readership is rapid, mostly from the UK and US, and we haven't even made a serious attempt at marketing yet! Next month, I will developing our network in other countries, notably Germany, Spain, Colombia, Tanzania, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.

Crimetalk is still developing of course but we are getting closer to the final model, maybe completing all the aspects of the structure by September.

This last month, Curtis Jackson-Jacobs became our first 'official' correspondent and commissioning editor - for the USA. His enthusiasm for the project and skill with new media are very welcome. As indicated on the revised Editorial System page, under Help/Info etc, I am looking to engage correspondents in other countries with similar enthusiasm and skill. Volunteers please! The role would suit a young professor, doctoral student, lawyer, police, or social worker with new media skills who sees the point of CrimeTalk. On that note, I sharpened my perception of the purpose and value of CrimeTalk in a new article: CrimeTalk: purpose and value.

In June, we continued the series on Bhopal and on Nino, and were delighted to publish several other new articles:

Flowers at the altar of profit and power Part 3: Was the disaster at Bhopal "unforeseeable"?

Nino Part 3: Bad company

Food Frights

The ‘illegal leisure’ of hidden older adult drug users

A new section called In Brief was created for comments and stuff by friends of CrimeTalk that have been published elsewhere already or is, ermmm, quite brief.

Justice: RIP?

Chronicle of deaths foretold

Famous Cases : R v Müller

Distrust of banks and government: implications for criminology

Reacting to petit and grande fraud: Bernie Madoff and Wall Street

Evidence of child abuse in cults and social groups

Terrorism, economic crisis, and state-corporate crime

There were several reviews of books; may there be more but please review films and televison too, eg Luther or Broadwalk Empire.
We also published our first inaugural:
We continued to publish huge numbers of press cuttings, web links and blogs. Here are a couple of examples from each:

At the end of the month, we reorganized the front or home page to reflect more of the content 'behind' it or inside CrimeTalk. We have now collected such an interesting and useful collection of press cuttings, web links and blogs that their existence needs to be indicated on the front page. This is becoming quite a resource for research and just plain curiosity - there is now so much interesting reading inside CrimeTalk the more it integrates within the anarchy and collectivism of the internet. To some extent, we can be described as an 'aggregator' site, but we will remain committed to original stuff, good quality and creative synthesis. Above all, it is a resource.

So, we now have a Blogroll, something maybe alien to academics but normal in the blogosphere. This highlights our currently favourite blogs on crime and criminal justice. The title takes you into a digest of the blog's recent output and from there you can go to the blog itself. Do play with this: you perhaps don't realize how much interesting and valuable material is out there in the blogs. For example, check out Winston Smith to read a witty but biting account of a social worker's experience of the craziness involved in policing the underclass.

As a result, we have abandoned the idea of 'regular columns' and there are now just articles. They will continue to appear on the front page and be placed simultaneously in the Library. The Archive section, under Comment, I created only contains links to stuff published elsewhere.

We continue to tweet useful stuff daily; the first 6 shown on the front page and the last 100 on the Latest Tweets page. These re-tweets contain many valuable links. Twitter has proved very useful for discovering new information; a veritable treasure trove. You've just got to ignore the nonsense on there. Please do message useful info/links to us @CrimeTalkEd and we'll re-tweet them to the world.

I had better stop there - it's time for a week's holiday!  I hope this is useful and explains where we've been and where we're going, especially to those of you not so familiar with the net and all its new intricacies.

Do send us feedback if there's things you'd like to see or change.  And please support us materially by buying your books, and getting students or colleagues to buy theirs, through the CrimeTalk Shop. Our costs are substantial and it is difficult to see how we can ask for subs for the foreseeable future. We will probably be forced to introduce adverts onto the site next month, along with the sale of e-books and a donation system.

Take care all,


Colin Sumner

Editor, CrimeTalk

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