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August 30, 2008




Doug Riddle

Nope. But I have found several in author interviews, where one author has mentioned another's work.

Philip Hawley, Jr

This is only tangentially related to the topic, I realize, but your question/poll gives me a chance to express a thought:

I am virtually certain that some savvy person will someday make a fortune writing a book revealing the obvious: that social networking sites are to human culture what malignant cells are to the human body. They steal time from our families, they reduce our productive output, they replace face-to-face interaction with yet more time in front of a computer screen, and they reduce the concept of friendships and "friends" to a commodity no different than the marbles we collected as children.

And speaking of children, social networking sites draw our children into a virtual world that corrupts their view of the real world. I spend much of my time with children and adolescents. There seems a direct and inverse correlation between those who spend large swaths of time on social networking sites, and those who achieve good grades in school or volunteer in their communities or have healthy relationships with parents and friends. Not a one-to-one correlation, for sure, but a strong one nonetheless.

Whether participating on social networking sites sells a few books—and I doubt it does much more than that for most authors—seems akin to justifying a $7,000-a-month credit card spending habit by pointing out that you earned $30 worth of frequent flier miles along the way.

There…I feel better now. :)

David J. Montgomery

Although I have accounts on MySpace and Facebook -- not really sure why, but I do -- I'm left a bit bewildered at what I might do with them. How does one spend time on these sites? What are these people engaged in doing? I know there's Scrabulous (until it was shut down) and Endless Movie Quizzes and the like... But why are adults sending each other "drinks" and "pokes" and all the rest?

I don't get it.

John McFetridge

I have discovered quite a few good authors on CrimeSpace:


John Dishon

I've been able to reconnect with lost friends from high school through facebook. Facebook was a lot better when only college students could join, before all the extra applications were added. Now it's a sloppy mess, though not quite as nauseating to look at as Myspace.

In fact, I wouldn't have found out about a friend's wedding without Facebook. Because I did, I was able to go and see several friends I hadn't seen in about five years. So these kinds of sites do have their advantages.

Wasting time on the internet is a big issue, but you can't blame it on the sites. That's just scapegoating. I waste plenty of time on the internet, and it's my own fault.

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David J. Montgomery is a writer and critic specializing in books and publishing. He is an emeritus columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Beast, and has also written for USA Today, the Washington Post, and other fine publications. A former professor of History, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two daughters.

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