June 22, 2005
@ 04:59 PM
One of the reasons I came to work at MSN is that I believe strongly in the power of software to connect people together. I recently found a post entitled Spaces Friends which shows exactly how strong these connections can become. The post is excerpted below

The Importance of Spaces

 One should never expect the good fortune that has come my way since I was first aware of the MSN Spaces wide beta release last fall.  I first started writing on December 4, 2004, as I recall on a Spaces blog with a different title and editorial theme.  My experience since has been both personally rewarding and life-expanding.

I published (posted) the first poetry I ever showed to anyone in this life here on Crackers.  I’ve made some attempts at humor in some entries.  I have written some serious stuff as well.  All of it is pretty strange coming from an old Electrical Engineer/Physicist/high-tech manager/pilot/geek.  But other guys I’ve known with similar histories have done even more bizarre stuff.

More important than publishing fledging writing has been some remarkable friendships that have developed by magic from initial contacts left in the comments to entries.  The first of these came in late December, 2004, and remains one of my strongest adult friendships, and there is every reason to believe that it is a life-long association even though we may never see each other face to face.  Geographical distance can be a real barrier at times, but one that is breaking down rapidly because of Internet-enabled communication.  Who knows?  We might meet in person someday down the road.  Along the way a few other friendships have developed which span great distances.  Each has been an asset to my life.
Now, as I find myself in a situation I simply can’t manage without help, my friends have made a selfless commitment getting me through the initial phases of my cancer treatment.

As my first Spaces friend said the other day, “Isn’t it interesting how God places people in our path at important points?”  It’s more than interesting, B.  It’s going to help save my life.  MSN Spaces has been of the utmost importance to me.  Maybe it will continue to be.

A number of us working on Spaces read Bill's blog and our thoughts definitely go out to him in this time of need. It is really humbling to see how the work we do is changing people's lives.