Graceblair’s Blog


The Great Divide – Pro vs Amateur

“A manifestation of the Web population’s collective intelligence which, though not new, is now becoming increasingly visible and accessible (Bruns, pg 199). The great success of the online world of produsage leads to the great divide of amateur and professional. In previous entries I have discussed the lack of importance placed on the educational status of the contributor to online forums.

Spawned from produsage cultures, professionals are no longer the only contributors to educational resources. Collaboration is the key to online resourcing in the twenty first century. Open source software allows the general public to contribute to its entire network of information.

The amateur versus professional debate has before been mentioned in this blog in regards to Wikipedia. The validation of its content is somewhat speculated against because of its nature to be open sourced. I have further justified the credibility of these sources  by explaining the effects of having the sources open to large numbers of contributors. With a great range of people able to add/delete/edit information, what is left behind after countless attempts at edited would most likely be what the group as a whole finds to be a true representation.

When professionals and amateurs are placed in the forum the total information gathered is more likely to be accurate and of assistance. For once, the consumer (or prosumer) is given information from two sides of the spectrum. They are receiving accurate information seen through two very different sets of eyes. Ultimately this information is going to be more sought after then one sided views.  

Amatuers are given a wide range of sources through the Web 2.0. Not only are they now provided with sources, but these come from professionals from various professions. As discussed in last weeks blog on Wikipedia, amateurs are able to source information quickly on just about any topic they can think of. This is a second example of the bridged gap between the professionals and the amateurs.

In a public health perspective we must acknowledge the importance of medical based sights such as www.wiredmd.com in providing amateurs with information. These sources deliver accurate personalised information that may otherwise be quite difficult for an amateur to freely find.

Next week I will be discussing DIY Culture and Design.

Feel free to leave any comments or additional information.

References

Axel Bruns. (2007). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage. New York: Peter Lang.

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