Taking care of Turquoise

by Eszter Hargittai on June 28, 2007

I don’t seem to be doing too well playing rock, paper, scissors over on Facebook so I’ve decided to focus my energies on taking care of my adopted turtle Turquoise. It’s good prepartion for when I’ll get a real turtle likely in the near future (unlike some turtle plagiarists, it’s a plan I’ve had for a while).

Unfortunately, you can only earn munny to feed your pet by having your pet pet by someone else or petting other people’s pets. (That’s not as hard to say three times fast as it may seem at first read…) And it turns out that despite having over 150 friends on Facebook, only three of them have (fluff)Friends, one because I asked him this morning. So this is a request that if we are linked on Facebook (or should be since we know each other) then can you please come over and show Turquoise some affection? Thanks!

Anyone wondering why I would spend time on Facebook has to understand that it is imperative for the legitimacy of my research to familiarize myself with these services. It’s a sacrifice, but all in the name of science.

I should add that I have been thinking about a more substantive post concerning Facebook and hope to get around to it one of these days. Lots going on there, it is spreading like wildfire way past college students, and there are some understandable reasons for that. More later. It’s time to check in on Turquoise now.



lindsey 06.28.07 at 9:36 pm

I saw a poster once that said they were looking for students to do a study about facebook. Is that serious? Has facebook really become something worth researching?

For what it’s worth, I think those goofy applications mark facebook’s demise. The turn downhill started with opening it up to highschoolers, and now everyone can join (if my little sister joins, I’m done). Facebook was cool because it wasn’t as creepy as myspace, but now it’s hard to tell the difference. But I could be wrong, because despite it all facebook has mangaged to become the sole means by which college students interact with each other…beating out AIM. I miss the days when there was no such thing as a “facebook friend” (for those who don’t know, someone who you wouldn’t be friends with normally but somehow you are their friend on facebook).


vivian 06.29.07 at 1:24 am

Do you get credit from the producers of Blue’s Clues for taking care of Blue’s turtle? Or do you owe them royalties for the name?


Eszter 06.29.07 at 4:47 am

Vivian – Is that the name of someone’s turtle already? Oops…

Linsdey – Based on your comment, I suspect you’re either a senior in college or a graduate student. Alternatively, you’re someone who just doesn’t spend much time online.

As for research questions, how about studying how communities emerge or, as you suggest, lose steam? Can we predict when the suggested demise might occur? Are social interactions and relationships different in face-to-face versus online environments? How do people negotiate their identities in venues where their various social networks may come together in ways that are rare in offline situations? Just to name a few…


lindsey 06.29.07 at 2:30 pm

I figured you might say something to that extent. And I realize facebook is now an integral part of people’s interactions so it’s probably worth studying… but still. And you guessed correctly that I just graduated, and facebook got it’s start towards the end of my freshman year. It’s just difficult to picture academics taking it seriously (from the point of view of someone who has been on it for a while), though I suppose it’s surge in popularity could be interesting. And now that you mention it, I would be curious if you have a prediction for when it will eventually lose steam…


vivian 06.30.07 at 12:56 am

(Blue’s Clues is a toddler show about a dog named Blue, who gets a turtle named Turquoise. (Most of the other cartoon characters have colors in their names too.) It would be odd for a non-toddler household to know this, but you’ve surprised us all before.)


PHB 06.30.07 at 3:57 am

These social networking programs are important but they all have a major disadvantage to date, yon don’t own the social network you spend your time building – LinkedIn or Facebook or whoever does.

I was complaining about this to Tim Berners-Lee who suggested I look at FOAF as a solution. To provide a system we need to integrate it to OpenID, Cardspace, SAML and the like.

Not sure where fluff friends come in.

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