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Editor's Blog

CrimeTalk upgrade, refurb and sustainability

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Thank you  for your patience. I worry that many of you have given up on CrimeTalk, but a special thanks to all those who have urged me not to let this project drop or decline. As you may know, I have given up on retirement and decided I might as well get paid for what I was doing for free, talking criminology. CrimeTalk remains not-for-profit but I am back in the labour force: in the Department of Sociology, University College Cork, Ireland. So, since August 2012, my feet have not touched the ground. I have been overwhelmed by the demand for criminology here and it's been a pleasure to be back teaching. In addition, I am now Head of the School of Sociology and Philosophy, which brings another set of burdens. It's also partly my own fault, for creating a new BA in Criminology, launched in September 2014.

As you may have seen, I have been encouraging students here to write for CrimeTalk, as part of their development and because criminology will be the better for engaging with Irish moral and criminal justice issues. This engagement will grow over the years to come, and I urge all you professors out there to get your students and colleagues to do the same. More on that later but suffice it to say that I aim to sustain CrimeTalk and not let it decline, despite the cost and despite my workload. Progress on CrimeTalk has been significantly held up by the latter, plus [a] the need to keep up with developments in technology, and at my own cost, [b] the problems we faced with unwanted and intrusive advertising, that costs money to eliminate, [c] the various logistics of my move to Ireland, and [d] progress with CrimeTalk Books. Most of these matters are now resolved.

The upgrade is complete and I hope you all like the new look. The major technological advance is that the site now works really well with handheld devices, such as the iPad and smartphones. But do note the new 'add comments' widget at the end of each article. You have to be logged in - it's for registered users only now. We have disabled our social network software, CrimSoc, since few people used it and it's expensive to maintain - it could be restored if funds for it and the demand were there. The biggest change is the creation of an Editorial Board, a list of Corresponding Editors who will commission articles for CrimeTalk. From May onwards, I will also have an editorial assistant. Increasingly, CrimeTalk will become more academic in style, for the simple reason that most of you raeding this are either academics, students or well-educated; although I want to retain the emphasis on plain speech, the style of serious journalism and the aim of being accessible to a wide audience.

CrimeTalk still needs funding, if it is to stay alive. Not-for-profit does not mean there are no costs every year or that I am privately wealthy. To this end, I will increase the amount of [relevant] advertising, continue to seek donations, and even sell shares in the website so that it becomes owned by a group of us. Please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in becoming a shareholder of CrimeTalk. Straightforward donations can be made on the Donations page, under the About CrimeTalk menu. I would be delighted if the professors amongst you tried to get your universities to advertise postgrad degrees and even criminology posts with us: we will now charge for such ads, albeit at very low rates. More from me on all of these developments soon, probably under the About CrimeTalk menu.

Thanks for reading and still being here. As always, this project is to create a resource for you and your students. It hopes still to provide that fascinating, basic, 'grass roots', raw criminology that got us all interested in the subject in the first place. More than ever, it is intended as an educational forum for criminology students, a place many can get their first publication, and to provide a weekly connection to the regular world of crime and justice out there.

Colin Sumner

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