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Connecting with friends through Facebook

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POSTED January 10, 2009 12:02 a.m.
Steve Walsh has been in the print and broadcasting business for 13 years, spending the past nine with CNN in Atlanta, GA.
Recently, he took on the job as copy editor of CNN.com Live, a live news cast on the CNN web site.
Dave Spencer is an ad manager for OnStar based in Michigan. He was born and raised as a fan of the Detroit professional teams, and recently took his lumps for his support of the winless Lions.
Spencer is raising his two sons to follow in his footsteps. Perhaps not in the professional world of advertisement but rather as fans of the NHL Red Wings, MLB Tigers, NBA Pistons and, yes, the NFL Lions.
Meanwhile, David Mirhadi is experiencing a second go-around as a reporter with The Union newspaper in Grass Valley. He was working for some publication in Montana for several years prior to moving to a Carson City, Nev. newspaper, and eventually returning to Grass Valley during the past eight months.
So what do these three guys have in common?
Answer: They’re all connected to me via Facebook, Inc.
The popular, free-access social networking website has reconnected many old friends, classmates, colleagues not to mention family members. Users have the option of becoming part of one or more networks as organized by city, workplace, school or region.
Often compared to MySpace, Facebook enables its users to interact using plain text. In contrast, MySpace users can be more showy in decorating their profiles, using HTML and Cascading Style Sheets.
I have both MySpace and Facebook, but prefer the latter because I find it much easier to operate.
Like MySpace, Facebook has met some controversy over the years. In October 2005, the University of New Mexico blocked access to the popular web site from its campus computers and networks, citing a violation of the university’s Acceptable Use Policy for abusing computer resources as the reason.
Last New Year’s Day, a memorial group on Facebook posted the identity of a murdered Toronto teenager. The family of Stefanie Rengel had not yet given local police their consent to release the name to the media as well as the identities of her accused killers.
And in February, A citizen of Morocco was arrested for allegedly creating a fake Facebook profile of Prince Moulay Rachid.
My decision to sign-up with Facebook was based on my hope of connecting with people from my past, with many of these old acquaintances — included are the aforementioned — scattered throughout the U.S.
For instance, Steve Walsh is a family man living in Georgia. But I knew when we worked together as reporters for a small newspaper in Fresno County for nearly two years. We often humored ourselves with familiar lines from the movie comedy “Fletch” or the TV show Seinfeld.
He and David Mirhadi attended Fresno State together, receiving their degree in journalism at about the same time. David later moved to Stockton, and was a reporter for the Record at about the time when I relocated back here.
I met Dave Spencer while working retail. It was my second job while trying to make ends meet, financially.
At the time, Spencer was a student at Fresno State, majoring in advertisement. Dave’s roommate, Rob Evans, later worked at the store, and two of us became fast friends because of our similar-type interests.
The last time I heard from Rob was the very day my son, Josh, was born. He was living in the Bay Area.
A few days ago, I searched out Rob Evans on Facebook, referencing his name through his connection with Fresno State. And low and behold, he also had Dave Spencer listed among his friends on his web page.
In addition, I also came across my brother, Pete, on the web site.
I’ll never forget his response upon including me among his list of Facebook friends: “Well, it’s about time.”
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