So long, and thanks for all the fish

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

– Douglas Adams, the title of the fourth book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy


My thoughts before and after this course

Social media and how to use it for a business advantage always seemed so simple before starting this course. Now, after this course, I know how to use it more wisely and how to use it more for my advantage.

But the learning did not stop there. For the final paper, I decided upon a topic that the Professor had suggested after reading a blog posting that I passionate about – how companies were exploiting people online without them realizing it.

Abstract of my paper

This paper aims to explore the result of what most people do with technology nearly every day – working for free while thinking that it is play. This working for free while playing is what some people have started calling “playbour” or “immaterial labor.” To avoid confusion in this paper, I will use the word, “playbour” to reference both. Thus, the focus of this paper is the internet and how it blends work and play together and how people are benefiting and/or are being exploited by it. Additionally, because technical communicators are told to create a portfolio of projects that they have done voluntary, these concepts are especially important. Furthermore, this paper also attempts to examine copyright infringement issues regarding work done as playbour, and the advantages and disadvantages of creative commons.

Reflections on researching my paper

 As I have not written a paper in nearly ten years, I was nervous, especially when I tried googling the topic of “playbor,” and Playboy kept popping up instead. (Yes, try to explain this to a boss at work). After those failed attempts, I tried the Stout online library with some success. Luckily, one can ask a librarian anything and they never disappoint. They found several documents for me to begin the paper proposal. But the biggest help came from the Professor herself. Thus, the lesson here is, never be afraid to ask your superiors for help. 🙂

Final thoughts

The only thing that I did not like about this paper was all the research. Most documents were quite long, and two were books. Sadly, I do not have the time for that much reading. In fact, after this semester, I am giving up my college days. My life is too busy at this moment, but I may be back in ten years. =D

I wish everyone much success and happiness in whatever you do. I am sure that whatever it is, it is exciting and a wonderful achievement that will not be taken for granted.



Posted on December 12, 2015, in Blogs, Creative, Social Media, Technology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I hope the certificate does you well in your career! While I haven’t read the paper yet, this statement resonated with me, “Additionally, because technical communicators are told to create a portfolio of projects that they have done voluntary, these concepts [playbour and immaterial labour] are especially important.” I wouldn’t say that the majority of projects are done voluntarily, would you? I guess I need the context, but I know our undergraduates’ portfolios feature works they’ve created while on internships and in classes, and they only help them network and land jobs. For this reason, the people telling them to create such portfolios are their professors, not an employer.
    I have a feeling I might come back to edit/extend this comment once I have read the paper, but I wanted to post before I forgot.

  2. Also, can you edit the post to add the link to your original blog post as well as the UW-Stout library?

  3. Hi Kat,

    I hope you aren’t giving up your college days; your contributions to this course were terrific.

    This is my last course in the MSTPC program, and I want to assure you that it’s unique in the amount of readings and research. Except for reading the whole of Aristotle, none of my classes had this quantity, nor required two papers with the research and length of a final paper. Emerging media strategies and social media platforms are many, so that may have necessitated trying to cram it all into one semester, but again, it’s unusual. At this time, the graduate school has neither guidelines nor rubric for instructors to consider in amount of assigned work, although Dr. Watts was looking at the issue.

    Congrats on the certificate, and good luck in your future endeavors,

    • Thank you, Dana, for letting me know about the usual course load. Besides health issues resulting from a car accident, my son’s grades failing as I no longer had time to help him with his homework, and possible cancer again, I just don’t have the time. Heck, I haven’t even finished this final paper. With dealing with everything and more that is going on, I just don’t have the time. 😦 Maybe in a few years when things have settled down and if I’m still alive.

      Anyway, thank you for the compliments! I do try to help others when I can. I hope that the posts were helpful.

  4. How interesting that you are exploring the topic of “playbor”.
    I remember when doing the readings this was a topic I found interesting as well.

    Hopefully your boss at work was understanding about the Playboy/Playbor search 🙂

  5. Hi, Kat:

    This is a topic that interests me as well. I wish I was going to be able to read your paper. Your insights are always fascinating and I’m sure this paper will be as well. The way that companies exploit information from people is so intrusive. Even those “ads” that pop up in my email after I am on a site are ridiculous and intrusive. Every company you email receives your IP address. I could go on and on as I feel that so much of what we do online is exploited.

    I know your paper will be great and I am sorry to hear about some of the personal issues you are dealing with. I hope that things improve on that front.

    Have a great holiday,


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