getting started with facebook for journalists
Facebook verifies your identity when you register by sending you a confirming email. You can supply a fictitious name with an email account (as I did by giving my cat Kali her own Facebook account). Once you establish your Facebook identity, all Facebook native services are available to you when you are on Facebook.
Facebook Connect enables you to "connect" your Facebook identity, friends and privacy to any website that supports Facebook Connect.
What does this really mean?
First, it means that developers outside of Facebook can use the Facebook Authentication to implement social networks on their sites without coding a new social networking authentication system. You can participate in this new not-at-Facebook social network without setting up a new account and providing more personal information about yourself at another web site. You use your Facebook identity. The developer uses the Facebook Connect code to authenticate that you are a real person—at least that you have a real Facebook identity.
It also means that you can easily share information on these third-party social networks with your Facebook friends. Your friends will see which third-party sites you join and you will see which friends are on the third-party site.
You have the option, recommended, to not allow friends to view your membership on other sites through Facebook Connect.
Above is the recommended setting for allowing your Facebook friends to see sites you join using your Facebook identify. Note this also blocks the sites you join from spamming your friends with invitations to join you on the third-party site.