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Help, Information and Resources http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=120&Itemid=215 Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:53:56 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Welcome to CrimeTalk http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64:welcome-to-crimetalk&catid=120&Itemid=215 http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64:welcome-to-crimetalk&catid=120&Itemid=215

CrimeTalk aims to be an educational resource for university teaching, public debate, criminological research and professional practice; a site where people can find information, comments and insights, learn from each other, where everyday experience meets scientific research, and where professional practice mixes with popular feeling and academic thought; a site which generates ideas, policies and change.

Because it will be interactive and dynamic, because I listen to your voices, I hope you will be able to make it your own and become part of a diverse community concerned with crime, anti-social behaviour and social justice.  It will be an independent online publisher of research, essays, comments, rants, policy proposals, reviews of media output, printed books, e-books, podcasts, course materials, interviews, and news.

c.sumner@ucc.ie (Colin Sumner) Help/Info/Resources Sat, 27 Nov 2010 02:28:12 +0000
CrimeTalk: purpose and value http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=356:crimetalk-purpose-and-value&catid=120&Itemid=215 http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=356:crimetalk-purpose-and-value&catid=120&Itemid=215

CrimeTalk is unique in form. It is not an academic journal, nor a news vehicle, and is more like a serious magazine. But, because it's online, it has capacities no hard-copy academic journal or magazine can have, and which the big academic publishers steer away from, such as 'live' published comments after articles and daily dynamic exchanges on forums. It is therefore a kind of e-zine, but it could be seen as an online 'common room'. It also has the potential to become a direct online educator one day, and that dimension will certainly be developed.

It provides an opportunity for academics and researchers to write journalistically, to post comments on other people's ideas, and to air their first thoughts, early drafts, basic theories and initial findings - as such it occupies a distinctive space and is not intended to replace academic publications. It is a place to archive work which would not be published in traditional academic journals. It is not a place to dump unpublished stuff that is weak but a chance to record or archive that which, for various reasons, should or will not be published conventionally.

For the public, as well as journalists and politicians, it is an opportunity to make public statements, to ask questions of criminologists and to learn more about the subject. It does not replace gossip, media stories or speeches and policy documents. It is  a chance to engage in intelligent discussion with, or just plain 'grill', people who have thought about the subject a lot, or taught it to thousands of people, or who have policed crime of all kinds for years, or who have wrestled with policy dilemmas. For journalists, it could be an easily accessible and plain-speaking resource when researching a new story, and a source of contacts; as well as an opportunity to publish all that stuff your editor had not got room for or which your television producer said could not be shown for whatever reason.

For students of criminology, law and the social sciences, it is an opportunity to tap into the thinking of the public, their university teachers and the researchers. Students too live in their own bubbles and often fear to write and think because of the disconnect between themselves and the professional worlds out there. They need easy access to information and informal thinking. Postgraduate students in particular have the further need to get feedback informally, from anyone really, on their ideas, project design, research methods and writing up. They also need an informal but educated space to publish their first papers, comments on others' work, book reviews and research diaries.

For criminal justice professionals, Crimetalk enables anonymous whistle-blowing, interchange with public and researchers, and access to a world beyond the in-house bureaucracy. My own personal experience of teaching, or supervising the writing of, many distinguished professionals is that they say they get huge benefit from having the time and space to examine and discuss other people's perceptions and perspectives on crime. Moreover, they have so many great stories to tell us all about, anonymity guaranteed.

The purpose of CrimeTalk is to educate - by providing information, stimulation, resources and facilities enabling the educative process. Educate who? Everyone and anyone. I myself use this site for my own education and archive stories from the press here instead of having press cuttings all over my office. You'll be amazed at what’s in here if you surf around and open some of the links. But, educate where and at what level? Well, emotionally as well as intellectually, and at a publically or widely accessible level, and on an international and global scale.

CrimeTalk is consciously situated in the interface or, more accurately the space, between university research, teaching and publication on the one hand and public experience, action and opinion on the other. It aims to be at the heart of thinking, feeling and doing about crime, anti-social behaviour and criminal justice. The heart is the location between the head, which is cognitive, tries to think things through and directs operations, and the feet, which seem to have a life of their own but are often steered by the heart in directions we don’t yet know about. CrimeTalk will be located in between formal research and informal experience, in order to understand and develop the connections between the two in a way that is comprehensible to both.

The value to professional criminology of this is twofold: [1] it creates a space to expand and explore globally that underbelly of all research -informal talk, rough ideas and life experience; [2] it returns the public to its place in the phrase ‘scientific publication’. It will be a constant reminder to criminology that scientific research and writings do not emerge without reference to public money, political decisions, real life experience, informal beliefs and prejudices, and that technocratic thought should explain itself and its often vulgar roots to its ultimate users and paymasters: the wider public, the mass media, governmental departments and quangos.

Crime talk of all kinds is public in this double sense: it has public roots and is in public. Its progress and limits need to be exposed to public scrutiny – for truth to emerge and slander to be exposed. Criminology has more to educate the public with than mere gossip, but it has much to learn from the public. After a lifetime teaching criminology, I would say that it has a lot to offer the public, the media and the government, if it can be bothered, or find the time, to communicate it honestly in clear language, but also that there is a lot of mutton dressed up as lamb and some real bullshit that is saying nothing. Crime talk is best served dirty and street-wise, and best not by angels.

Public sensibilities on crime and justice need sophisticating by exposure to our scientific knowledge about crime and the operations of criminal justice. The science of crime isn’t really based on forensic or stats, nor drunken Crackers or psychometric wizardry, but on clear thought, penetrating insight, true stories, interesting interviews and biographies, history, analysis of social conditions, moral debate and philosophy.

The public, the tabloid press, the televison news and politicians needing re-election, all need to listen to this stuff and to come out of the dark ages many of them inhabit. The ‘hang ‘em and flog ‘em brigade have had their day and have failed spectacularly, although I’m sure they themselves feel better for having made the problem much worse and having cost us all a fortune. The mass incarceration of mostly ineffectual individuals who’ve committed minor crimes is a really stupid, very costly and an exceptionally pointless way of dealing with…dealing with what exactly? The so-called crime problem needs thoroughly re-defining and our feet are showing us the way already, by looking at hate crime, corruption, crimes of officials, environmental crime, financial crime and the crimes of multinationals, but the head is not looking too much because the heart is torn between morality and money…. 

c.sumner@ucc.ie (Colin Sumner) Help/Info/Resources Fri, 24 Jun 2011 21:05:25 +0000
About CrimeTalk http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=110:about-crimetalk&catid=120&Itemid=183 http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=110:about-crimetalk&catid=120&Itemid=183

CrimeTalk is an educational resource in criminology, combining e-zine, scientific journal, news, forums, comment, reviews, library, social network centre, a bookshop and classifieds. I created it during 2010, although the ideas combined in its formation have much older and deeper roots in my experiences as a research professor, journal editor, curriculum designer, thesis supervisor, funding council assessor, bookseries/reviews/handbook editor, and senior educational manager. I was very much trying to create something that went beyond the many things that irriitated me in teaching, researching and publishing for four decades; the elements of those creative processes that give me pleasure still inspire this project.

Although I did much of the website design, any technical sophistication and efficiency should be credited to Tahir Rasul, of Oogloo web design and development, working in Pakistan through the good offices of US-based company ODesk, whose knowledge of the right software and feel for the project made it possible. My thanks to my son Ben Sumner, general manager at Delicious Digital, for suggesting ODesk and making several valuable comments on my ideas.Throughout this project, my wife, Patricia Sumner, has been ever-supportive and made many astute observations. You need faith in a big project like this: the computing world does not make DIY easy.

Full credit should be given to the many people who have contributed over the years to the Joomla content management system which underpins this website, to the designers of the RocketTheme style template for the site, to the Kunena team for the Comment board, to JoomlaWorks for the K2 CMS we used for the CrimWiki, and to Slashes & Dots in Malaysia for their JomSocial network soiftware. Most of this software is produced by US companies, and my web host, HostGator, whose services have been first-class, is also based over there.

Any queries about the development and history of CrimeTalk should be addressed to the Editor at:


The image on this page derives from an original work by Colleen Allen which you can find at her Girls of Woe site 



c.sumner@ucc.ie (Colin Sumner) Help/Info/Resources Fri, 05 Mar 2010 22:53:21 +0000
Why register? http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=123:registration&catid=120&Itemid=215 http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=123:registration&catid=120&Itemid=215

Why register?  

  1. To give us some encouragement. It tells us you are interested and read CT regularly. We currently have a 'unique visitor' count monthly of 2,500 yet only 130-odd registrants, which tells me you are reading CrimeTalk but not registering. Please register if only to let us know of your support for what we are trying to do.
  2. It enables you to post, to use our CrimSoc social network and make comments on articles with a profile and photo/avatar. CrimSoc is our 'facebook' and arguably better technically. It provides a contact centre, details of recent site activities, facilities for seminars, group work and online meetings, and an internal secure e-mail system between registered members.
  3. You will get our regular newsletter by e-mail, with news of developments and offers. This will become more valuable as we start to publish our own e-books.

Register by clicking on Create an Account on the Home page, under the LogIn button, and then complete the very short registration form. You can also register on the CrimSoc and Comment/Forum pages. 

CrimSoc enables you to sketch out a profile and provide a photo or avatar in order to personalize your posts and comments. We ask for the minimum amount of information needed and guarantee that this data will not be shared with any other organization.

When you register, you should receive an automatic welcome letter from me, and I will be notified automatically of your registration. 

Before posting or commenting on articles, please remember to log in! Otherwise your name or photo/avatar will not display.

If you don't want to register, you could just click one of the two orange RSS buttons on the Home page and then click Subscribe in Mail to receive notifications and first paragraphs of all new articles....Of course, you could Register and get free notifications too...

DO get involved: I want you to make this yours and make it useful to you. Tell me if there is anything else you'd like us to do: contact me at colinsumner@crimetalk.org.uk  

Please support Crimetalk with a donation. If everyone who regularly uses CrimeTalk contributed £1 a year, I might cover my costs for the last tax year!

This is your forum run for educational purposes without profit for you; not by a multinational company with big salaries, overheads and profit margins to cover.  

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c.sumner@ucc.ie (Colin Sumner) Help/Info/Resources Wed, 17 Mar 2010 19:45:52 +0000
Funding/Donations http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=360:funding&catid=120&Itemid=186 http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=360:funding&catid=120&Itemid=186
There have been substantial costs in building a site like this, and none of the contributors get paid either. But I am not asking for subscriptions. Our labour is therefore currently free. Eventually, once it is clear that we are providing a substantial educational service comparable to that of academic journals, universities, colleges, and other agencies we might go down that route. In the meantime, we need help with our development costs: please donate whatever you can now, using the button below, to help keep this venture afloat.

Alternatively, UK readers, whenever you want to buy anything from Amazon buy it via CrimeTalk. New computer or printer? A Kindle or iPad? Anything! Buy it via CrimeTalk! We get a small commission from your purchase so you support us without spending any more money than you would anyway! Decide exactly which product you want, go to our Amazon Search box on the Bookshop page, enter the object of your desire and buy as you usually would. If you all bought your new lawnmowers from Amazon, this e-zine would pay for itself!

Some blogs will cease or decline because of lack of funding, especially those produced by the employed whose employers have other priorities. See the discussion about reduced academic blogging in the Chronicle of Higer Education: Blogging, Extinction, and Sustainability. The situation is very similar to that which hit the music industry ten years ago or so. Everyone wants free stuff yet agrees that creatives should be paid too. The internet has changed everything and, large or small, we all have to find money. Look at the universities' huge tuition fees! Look at advertising on Facebook. Anyway, all helpful ideas and suggestions will be appreciated. Just write to me here at colinsumner@crimetalk.org.uk  Please remember: if you're in the UK, you can help support CrimeTalk financially by buying your books, DVDs and MP3s through our Criminology Bookshop, established in association with Amazon. If you all bought your criminology books through our bookshop that would make a big difference to our development! It's a simple method of helping us but very effective, and, after all, books from Amazon can be bought at cheap prices!To help CrimeTalk to continue and flourish as an educational resource, please donate £1 now, using the button below. All donations will go solely towards our development costs. 

c.sumner@ucc.ie (Colin Sumner) Help/Info/Resources Tue, 28 Jun 2011 20:33:26 +0000
Editorial Board and Correspondents http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=130:editorial-team&catid=120&Itemid=215 http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=130:editorial-team&catid=120&Itemid=215

Editorial system?  It is mainly myself still, but I now have an Editorial Assistant, Steven Robinson, and am developing a new Editorial Board. This is now becoming a more collective project and the list of Associate Editors, forming in 2014-15, is below. It can get even more collective yet - I have created an opportunity for you all to bring your work and ideas to a broad global audience, please use it! Do let me know if you would like to contribute or even to get some experience in criminological journalism as a correspondent. I had initial support from the Correspondents below, for love not money, who see the vision and want to help build it. But they have their own jobs and lives. If there is anyone out there who likes the CrimeTalk project and would like to help me develop it, please get in touch at c.sumner@ucc.ie

For encouraging and helping me during the first year of CrimeTalk's existence, my warm thanks to Professors Steve Hall, Simon Winlow and Steve Tombs, in the UK, Frank Pearce in Canada, Sebastian Scheerer [Germany] and Dr. Curtis Jackson-Jacobs [USA ]; also Prof. Karen Joe Laidler [Hong Kong], Trevor James, sociology schoolteacher, and Professors (the late) Gil Geis [USA] and Maggie O'Neill [UK].

Associate Editors

.....whose role is to commission, prompt, encourage writing for CrimeTalk, often developing the skills of their students, OR to send us information, research reports, weblinks, conference news, press statements,videos etc, OR to advertise jobs, projects and campaigns with us, OR to raise funds to meet our costs through job adverts, events etc

Tony Amatrudo, Reader in Criminology, Middlesex University

Steve Hall, Professor of Criminology, Teesside University

Kieran Keohane, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, UCC

Ronnie Lippens, Professor of Criminology, School of Sociology and Criminology, Keele University

Maggie O'Neill, Professor of Criminology, Durham University

Frank Pearce, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Queen's University, Canada

Steve Redhead, Professor of Sports Media, Charles Sturt University, Australia

Marie Segrave, Senior Lecturer, Monash University, Australia

Steve Tombs, Professor of Criminology, Open University

Simon Winlow, Professor, Social Futures Institute, Teesside University

David Wilson, Professor of Criminology, School of Social Sciences, Birmingham City University

CrimeTalk still needs voluntary correspondents and/or commissioning editors in as many countries as we can reach. I need people to write, commission or generate contributions, to post on their country's crime and justice news and developments, and to tweet useful information, with links, to CrimeTalkEd on Twitter. Maybe also to form graduate discussion groups on particular research topics. An academic or grad student, police officer, lawyer, social worker or journalist would be great. There is no pay but the experience would probably be of career value as well as being very interesting. It would especially suit someone who understands the power and potential of the internet in creating networks and is familiar with Twitter and new social media. So please get in touch with me at c.sumner@ucc.ie

Does this mean articles are not peer-reviewed like those in academic journals? Yes, but that's only right if you discount my thorough editing as an experienced academic editor, for example as co-founder of Theoretical Criminology and editor of The Blackwell Companion to Criminology, and if you discount the fact that I will gladly organize top-class, meaningful, peer review for any academic who wants it. 

A brief note on policy: students, the public and politics

I want CrimeTalk to be open to students at all levels of their education and development. You will see I have published stuff from even second-year undergrads, and of course by doctoral students. CT represents a great opportunity to get published, to enjoy the pleasure of seeing your work in print and to get some feedback hopefully. Many universities now use CT as a teaching resopurce and that can be a two-way relationship. Students are members of the public and deserve a voice.

Is CrimeTalk partisan, political or ideological? Well, not really. It is public. All views are welcome and, unlike many newspapers and blogs, I will publish stuff I strongly disagree with. Crime, justice and anti-social behaviour have always been the subject of huge differences of opinion.

I call it as I see it in my own writings, but, like most academics, I am deeply committed to a notion of the pursuit of truth and well aware that there are many truths out there. I therefore try to be accurate and fair, and do not, on principle, wish to personalize or individualize what are nearly always general, social or systemic issues. Of course, many of my old friends are lefty academics, but I once quit academia gladly so no-one should assume I want only lefties or academics to write to and for CrimeTalk. Far from it, it would be better for the quality level here if all kinds of people expressed all kinds of views, subject to a rejection of hate speech of any kind: see my Disclaimer. Over many years of teaching in universities, I enjoyed sparring with quality Tories and Liberals. The Left certainly does not have a prerogative on wisdom, any more than the Right has over self-serving stupidity.

Colin Sumner 

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c.sumner@ucc.ie (Colin Sumner) Help/Info/Resources Sun, 21 Mar 2010 01:03:53 +0000
Writing for CrimeTalk http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67:writing-for-crimetalk&catid=120&Itemid=215 http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67:writing-for-crimetalk&catid=120&Itemid=215

CrimeTalk is an educational resource for scholars, students, journalists, social/youth workers, criminal justice officials, lawyers, politicians and the general public. It grew out of my own need to keep press cuttings, to write short articles and comments which couldn't be published in academic journals, to organize my collection of weblinks, to discuss ideas informally, and other such research- and teaching-related tasks. It is not an academic journal but is more like a magazine in that it aims for a broad readership, a light touch and interaction between contributors and readers. Crucially, it is online - and therefore enables various possibilities and styles, e.g. photos, video, cartoons, audio etc - and it is very international. Only 40% of our readers are from the UK, where the editor lives; our web host is in the USA.

I welcome all kinds of writing in non-technical English for immediate publication, ranging from articles, short and long, reviews (books, tv and films), and brief comment pieces, to posts in our forums and comments on articles. You write posts and comments directly onto the site, after you've registered and logged on, but should send articles to me first. I'll work with you to produce a great result, whether you are a student or professor, journalist or member of the public. I edit everybody's work, lightly and mostly to fit the format and style, and aim for quality over speed.

We will publish at least one new Feature Article every month. The front page will highlight feature essays of around 3000 words and In Brief pieces of around 1500 words. Please discuss/send work by e-mail attachment for publication to colinsumner@crimetalk.org.uk. We are aiming for a publication that is readable by a general global reader. They may be quiet but they are there, around 4,000 of them every month. So please try to keep the language non-technical, keep references down to the necessary, and remember that you are all citizens with experience of the subject, not just disinterested observers. 

All this includes fiction, especially can give better insight into reality than science sometimes, and also stuff written in languages other than English, which we will publish occasionally as a part of the site. We are open to our Forums in particular becoming centres for conversations in a range of languages. Please contact me about that.

We can also take videos and podcasts. Send them to me first of course and I'll find the right place for them. 

CrimeTalk is aimed at an international readership - so we want to hear a wide spread of experience, thoughts, ideas, information, theories, and policies from all over the planet.

All our articles are followed by comment sections and you can write comments on the articles of others using the Leave a Reply box or the Replybutton [to reply to someone else's comment]. Nor need it all be serious: humour is both a relief and an insight. We do have a Humour forum for those, like me, who need it.

For professional writers, such as academics and journalists, it is an opportunity to make your writing public and global, to float a new idea or argument or policy, or to present information to an educated niche audience. CrimeTalk in many ways is the underbelly to the final professional product - the important discussion, information, experiment and debate before completion.

CrimeTalk also offers CrimSoc, a social network page for those registered with CrimeTalk. There, you can post informal status messages, as in Facebook, and comment on issues and the news, discuss ideas and  your research. Or you can write to other members, either singly or as a group, via our private, secure, internal messaging or e-mail system. Use CrimeTalk for your needs and purposes! Just contact me if you're not sure how to do it.

You can tweet thoughts, links, news and other messages to CrimeTalk @CrimeTalkEd on Twitter, and I will then re-tweet some of them as appropriate. The latest tweets appear on the Home page and there is a list of the last 100 under the Library menu. 

In conclusion, therefore, apart from the home page, you can contribute your writing to:

1  The forums. There is, for example, a Comment on the News forum where anyone can directly write in observations on news stories in the current media - always include the link to the story. There are other discussion forums too: just register first and log in before making your comment. You can also create your own forums via the Editor.

2 The reviews section, which includes film, television and novels as well as academic books. Review copies of books will be provided on request - write to the editor to arrange. Do review our media - we need a kind of MediaWatch! Just send me your review if it is on a film or tv programme.

3  A Research section where you can publish research reports, notes, and diaries; unpublished essays and information about your works in progress, including student dissertations; student projects, individual or cllective; conference announcements and details; and where you can find many useful web links.  

4  CrimSoc: a social network site, a place where registered users from all over the world can talk/write to each other via secure and private e-mail or write public staus messages of comment or information, or even upload podcasts [e.g. of lectures] or videos.

5 Our new Education section, which offers articles of interest to our many readers concerned with education and its current state, including a strong archive on education and the internet.


c.sumner@ucc.ie (Colin Sumner) Help/Info/Resources Sat, 27 Nov 2010 02:28:12 +0000
The Editor, Colin Sumner http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=140:colin-sumner&catid=120&Itemid=215 http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=140:colin-sumner&catid=120&Itemid=215


Colin Sumner

LLB, LLM, MA, PhD.  Now finished with 'retirement' and delighted to be at University College Cork, in its Dept. of Sociology, over in the charming emerald isle. Formerly Professor of Criminology and Head/Dean of the School of Law, University of East London, 1995-2000. Lecturer in Sociology at the Institute of Criminology, and Fellow of Wolfson College, in Cambridge University from 1977 to 1995.

I have been Visiting Professor of Law at the Universities of Dar es Salaam and Victoria [Canada]; of Sociology at Queen’s, St. Mary’s, and Simon Fraser Universities in Canada, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong; of Criminology at Barcelona and Hamburg Universities; and a Visiting Research Fellow in Sociology of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

Co-founded and edited Theoretical Criminology, the first global journal of criminology, published by Sage. Also edited The Blackwell Companion to Criminology and a book series called New Directions in Criminology [Open UP]. Associate or reviews editor on various international journals in the sociology of law, criminology and criminal law.

Fields: sociology of deviance, social theory, criminology, sociology of law, media studies, research methodology, and jurisprudence. Supervised 13 students to doctorates and over 130 M. Phil. dissertations. Director of the Cambridge M. Phil. in Criminology for 4 years, member of the Institute’s Management Committee for many more, an External Examiner at various universities, and an Assessor in Sociology and Social Policy for the Welsh Funding Council.

As Head/Dean of Law in East London, I led a multicultural School with over 1100 students and 50 staff in 2 countries, whilst also active on Academic Board, Professorial Designations Committee, International Marketing, and Research/Research Degree Committees. Created new degrees in Criminology there, and later at Salford University; developed and launched a School extension in Haifa, Israel, in partnership with a private college; and fostered a vibrant research culture in the School of Law with great results in subsequent Research Assessment audits.

Books written or edited: Reading Ideologies (1979), Crime, Justice and Underdevelopment (ed. 1982), Crime, Justice and the Mass Media (ed. 1982), Censure, Politics and Criminal Justice (ed. 1990), The Sociology of Deviance: an Obituary (1994), Social Control and Political Order (1997, ed. with Roberto Bergalli), Violence, Culture and Censure (ed. 1997), Policing in a Multicultural Democracy (ed. 2000) and The Blackwell Companion to Criminology (2004). Plus 30-odd articles and reviews, many now translated. Currently editing and publishing the Spanish translation of my 1994 book Sociologia de la Desviacion. In 2012, I will finally begin a book on Social Censure.


"It was but yesterday I thought myself a fragment quivering without rhythm in the sphere of life. 
Now I know that I am the sphere, and all life in rhythmic fragments moves within me.

They say to me in their awakening, 'You and the world you live in are but a grain of sand upon the infinite shore of an infinite sea.' 
And in my dream I say to them, 'I am the infinite sea, and all worlds are but grains of sand upon my shore.'"

(Khalil Gibran, Sand and Foam, 1926)


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c.sumner@ucc.ie (Colin Sumner) Help/Info/Resources Wed, 31 Mar 2010 20:14:54 +0000
E-books and publishing with CrimeTalk http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=191:e-books&catid=120&Itemid=215 http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=191:e-books&catid=120&Itemid=215

You could write your next book as an e-book with CrimeTalk, and get a decent return on your labour. I will be doing exactly that with my own book on The Sociology of Deviance, in English and Spanish. Just contact me directly if you want to discuss doing the same: colinsumner@crimetalk.org.uk  Royalties will vary with author and project but will be over 50% of profits. E-book length could be anything between 10,000 words and beyond, with perhaps between 10- and 40-thousand being normal. Your e-book would be published in both Kindle and ePub to enable all the major outlets. CrimeTalk Books is interested in both academic and more journalistic or popular books.

We will publish print books in the traditional way. Indeed, our first publication will be in hardback, paperback and e-book [Kindle and ePub]. But we are particularly interested in publishing e-books and developing a new style of criminological publishing which is attractive, multimedia, shorter than print books, and fully integrated with the web and social media.

In both cases, the quality will be high, thanks to the printing and other technical services of York Publishing Services and my own high standards, and your book will look how you want it to. If you yourself want to get involved in cover design and other aspects of presentation you will be very welcome.

The reasons for publishing e-books are the same as for print copies: they are not to be seen as a last resort. Far from it. E-books enable more creativity with communication, because they enable graphics, photos, video and the weblinks which connect your text directly up to the web. They are an opportunity to develop your writing. They are also an opportunity to present you work in a shorter, more accessible form because many younger readers today already use iPads, Kindles and iPhones, often read on the hoof, and sometimes, dare I say it, want their information in shorter forms yet still of the highest quality.

So, why not also publish a digital essay or paper here, say between 5,000 and 10,000 words, and sell it through CrimeTalk? The product price can be kept very low indeed and you get the bulk of the revenue from the e-paper. You may well find that your return on a number of essays or research papers is better than on a full book published in the traditional way. And it all stays very much under your control.

Not only that but I would like to think that, as an experienced writer and editor of both books and journals, and ex-university professor, I am able to provide a top-quality and customer-friendly publishing service for authors. I have learned the value of Twitter and social media in developing CrimeTalk so the sales of your publication will benefit from my social media marketing experience. My website presence on CrimeTalk is also a huge bonus because it will aslo market your work to a global criminological audience.

In today's world, you do not necessarily get more quality from academic/scientific journals or books than a decent magazine, website or e-book. You may even get less quality by way of comments and editing. Too often you get little back, and too often you did all the marketing, in what is essentially a feudal system of scientific publishing to fit a feudal university system. Now both those systems are being 'modernized' and whilst capitalism has its problems it is an advance over feudalism.

So, do consider publishing and selling your books and research essays here on CrimeTalk. They will be archived safely for ever and will never be out-of-print or unavailable because the journal has been 'cut back' - and always their publication is under your control. Academics are more and more turning to the e-book: see the articles archived here in CrimeTalk on education and the web.

Read the article below from The Guardian and the comments on it to consider the enormous rise in e-book sales and the pros and cons of e-book readers. Of course, most scholars and students can and do read many digitized materials on their desktop or laptop computers, and no-one wants to do away with books and hard copy anyway!  The bottom line is partly about control and fairness, and partly about the increased capacity of the e-book.



c.sumner@ucc.ie (Colin Sumner) Help/Info/Resources Mon, 06 Dec 2010 23:11:47 +0000
Navigating the site http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=231:navigating-the-site-and-general-help&catid=120&Itemid=215 http://crimetalk.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=231:navigating-the-site-and-general-help&catid=120&Itemid=215

1 Registration

Please register your interest in CrimeTalk so that you get future Newsletters, offers and freebies, and are automatically updated with developments.  You can do this either via the CrimSoc page, the Comment/Forum page, or the LogIn and Register box on the Home page. The CrimSoc page is best, because there you can develop your profile, upload a photo or avatar, to give your postings some personality. We ask for a minimum amount of information and that data will not be shared with any other person or organization, other than my web developer, Tahir Rasul. When you register, you should receive an automatic welcome letter written by myself, and I will be notified automatically of your registration.

2 The Forums or BBs

The Forums amount to a number of bulletin boards or talk spaces where you can discuss stuff. Within a particular forum, just hit the New Topic button below the last message if you want to make a new post or the Reply button to reply to an existing one. If you want to launch a new forum yourself, then go to the top menu and click on New Topic and make the first post on it. Remember, give your post a title and also that you can use the mood buttons if you want to give some tone to the topic or post. I think all the other buttons are self-explanatory.

3 CrimSoc

CrimSoc is a full-fledged social network space, like Facebook, enabling you to connect privately with friends or colleagues all over the world, within CrimeTalk. You can message each other privately and securely within CrimSoc, or post podcasts and other video messages. You can also create groups and message selected groups of fellow users. It could be the virtual home for your research group, your seminar group, your lecture class or just your friends.

When you go into CrimSoc, having registered and noting to click on the Remember Me button on entry, you'll see that all the Recent Activities onsite, that is, the titles of latest articles and comments and any of my updates, are listed on your home page. There are several other buttons to click.  Go ahead and see what they offer.  You can even install various applications into your own page.

4 Comments and User Ratings

You will notice that all articles have comments bubbles next to them, showing the number of comments made on the article, and also 'User Ratings' with 5 choices from poor to Best. Yes, you can comment on and rate articles. DO feel free to use both rating and commenting on CrimeTalk. But please register and log in first so that your identity shows by your comment. You don't have to, but it would be nice to know who is making the comment and we really want to discourage anonymous abuse. It is my way of encouraging taking responsibility for comments and joining into the community we are trying to form here.

Each article has a Leave a Reply box after it. Click on it to comment. You will also see various buttons which enable you to edit your comment. Comments themselves have Reply buttons to enable comments on comments. With user ratings, just make sure you click the rating number you want before you click the 'Rate' button.

Comments and ratings added to an article give it life. They give the publication a dynamic, interactive and contemporary quality. Ratings are an  anonymous and quick way of commenting without getting into a discussion of your opinion! After the Leave a Reply box, you'll see that there is a little box to click which enables you to be notified of follow-up comments. If you're registered, this is a useful facility in a debate.

5 The Shop

Shopping for books to support CrimeTalk would be something you can do at no extra cost to yourself if you were going to buy the book anyway. Our bookshop is associated with Amazon and you in effect buy the book from Amazon with CrimeTalk getting a small commission. This is one way of recovering our costs on this project. Please support us this way and if you are a teacher please encourage your students to buy their criminology or law books through us. As you will already know, Amazon is very reliable and often sells new or second-hand books below their ordinary bookshop prices.

The Editor has hand-picked a large number of books already and these are displayed in the main panel. To change categories, just click on one of our other related categories in the box on the right. To buy a book just click on it.

Please note that you can buy any Amazon book, or indeed any Amazon product whatsoever, through the CrimeTalk bookshop: just use the Search box at the bottom, click on the product you want and that will take you into the Amazon website.

Note also that we have a DVD and MP3 shop, under a separate menu sub-item, where you can buy DVDs of top tv crime dramas, such as The Wire and crime-related tunes. Please again consider this as a way of supporting CrimeTalk.

6 Tweets

I now make several tweets daily for your interest; in fact usually they are selective re-tweets of other people's messages from all over the place. Our own Correspondents also send useful and interesting tweets to me and I re-tweet those too. CrimeTalk 'follows' the messages of some 870 twitterers, including politicians, government departments, newspaper editors, journalists, criminologists, forensic scientists, psychologists, sociologists, lawyers and rights groups, students, prisoners, reform movements, support groups, victims' groups, offenders' organizations, censured groups, rebels and various kinds of commentators all over the world, They show in the Latest Tweets module on the Home page and the last 100 are archived on the Tweets page in the Library. They usually contain links to valuable online resources and stories. 

I'm very happy for registered users to use CrimeTalk's Twitter account to send out tweets - you would do this if you wanted immediate global publicity for a piece of information, or to publicize your latest research or publication, or to make a comment in an important public debate. To send out a tweet through CrimeTalk,you could either e-mail your message to me in the normal way, OR message me privately from within Twitter, OR message me from within our CrimSoc pages and I will re-tweet the message to the world from our Twitter page. The latter is called CrimeTalkEd, so within Twitter you message me @CrimeTalkEd.

7 CrimeTalk's Facebook page

We now have a CrimeTalk page on Facebook. All the titles and links to our latest articles and comments are published there. That page can be accessed from the CrimeTalk Home page via the blue Facebook button above LogIn on the right-hand side. If you have your own Facebook page you can link CrimeTalk's FB page into that and so always be kept up to date with what we're publishing.

8 Social sharing buttons

Every article now  has social sharing buttons at the bottom. The 'Share' button enables you to tell your friends about that article - it places a link to it on your FB Wall. The 'Like' button puts a link onto your FB profile page. The 'Tweet' button enables you to tweet a message about the article via Twitter to particular people or everyone.

9 The RSS button

Really Simple Syndication can be initiated by the orange button at the top of the Home page, above LogIn and left of the Facebook and Twitter buttons on the Home page. Just click on this and you will see the titles and opening paragraphs of our most recent articles. These are linked so you could click on the links to take you to the articles themselves. On the right of this summary page or digest is a column of menu items which are fairly self-explanatory. If you want an automatic update from us by e-mail when we publish a new article, click on Subscribe in Mail. You should find that it will automatically mail you with the last 10 article titles, with links, and put a CrimeTalk RSS button in your e-mail software.

The same RSS button can be found at the bottom of every page of CrimeTalk. If you're very busy, it is an efficient way of keeping up with CrimeTalk and getting notified of the latest articles.

c.sumner@ucc.ie (Colin Sumner) Help/Info/Resources Sat, 12 Mar 2011 19:13:19 +0000