Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Glendale Star & Peoria Times: Facebook junkies

Note: This column appears in the 9/3 issue of The Glendale Star and the 9/4 issue of the Peoria Times



There is little doubt that many of our loyal readers have asked themselves this question since at least the dawn of the Internet, and possibly even before that: How do I express my love and affection for both The Glendale Star & Peoria Times in an online forum?

Well, I have great news. We are on Facebook.

For those unaware –- a lack of awareness that must be purely intentional, as this website has not so subtly taken over the free world –- Facebook is a social networking site. What does social networking mean? It means you can do stuff on the Internet at the same time as somebody else! Or at a different time. Social networking, ideally, can lead to marriage, divorce, a new job, a lost job, and tentative plans to meet in Vegas that never come to fruition.

If you haven’t already raced to your computer to socially network, allow me to relate my own experience with Facebook. I joined about a year-and-a-half ago. Since then I have become friends again with many people from grammar school, high school, college, past jobs that I was unceremoniously fired from, and random encounters, many of which I have little to no recollection of. For the most part, the extent of these renewed relationships involves the simple fact that Facebook recognizes the friendship. There is no required interaction. It’s perfect!

On a more important level, Facebook has allowed me to interact more easily with family and actual friends. It has enabled me to look at pictures of people I know, and also people I do not know, and judge them, which has been, obviously, awesome. I can also express myself by becoming “a fan” of certain things. For example, I can become a fan of the band so-and-so, and people can be like, “I like that!” or “They’re the worst!” or "I hate you" and other crucial dialogue. Last week my friend Lisa became a fan of ice cream. So the options are limitless.

Which brings me to the Star & Times. We are now on Facebook under “Pueblo Publishers,” so check us out. (You need a Facebook account to do so, which is free, and which will change your life.) Become a fan, and get instant links to our own revised websites, write comments on our wall about how much you like us, and post provocative pictures of yourself reading our newspaper at home! You won’t regret it. Well, you might. But still.

The Glendale Star & Peoria Times have covered their respective cities for decades, and I doubt the great forefathers of this family-owned company could ever foresee the impact of Facebook. Yet here we are, an active part of this ever-changing media landscape which has made news and pointless columns such as mine more accessible to more and more people.

I imagine that by the time Pueblo Publishers establishes its online fan base, Facebook will have been surpassed in popularity and relevance by some other social networking site. (Twitter is an example, but it’s different. And stupid.) If that should happen, we’ll join that site, too. Because that’s how we roll here. Always adapting. Always networking. Always newsing.

Some have said we’re better than ice cream.

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