Filed under: Produsage | Tags: Active Users, Axel Bruns, kcb201-new-media-1-information-and-knowledge, Media Convergence, Produsage, Prosumer
“Not simply passive consumers, but active users”
As a Senior Lecturer at one of Australia’s most renowned universities and Project Leader for Social Media in the SSC Research Centre, Dr Axel Bruns is a prominent leader in the world of Social Media. His involvement in the New Media movement extends from personal input to education through the Queensland University of Technology and the publishing of his books on the topic.
Bruns initiated the concept of ‘Produsage’ as a means to “connect developments in the cultural, social, commercial, intellectual, economical and social realms” (Bruns 2007). He defined his term as “The collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement” (Bruns 2007). In layman’s terms, produsage is the ability for a user of media sources to influence the outcome of the source. Bruns’ concept creates a new niche of people, a combination of producer and user, for which he calls ‘Produsers’.
PRODucer + USER = PRODUSER
The term explores the ability for a ‘user’ to have their personal input into the production and maintenance of media sources. An example of a user becoming an active Produser would be a person’s ability to utilise a media source such as Wikipedia and to not only view, but edit an entry. This person becomes a Produser the moment they change/edit the entry as they are then producing a media reference, it is here that they become an active user.
Bruns highlights four key principles of Produsage. These principles build upon preconditions of Produsage for which it operates. These principles are:
- Open Participation and Communal Evaluation –
“Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”
This concept assumes that open participation within the media community acquires a high level of accuracy through high rates of evaluation and examination. That is when, a single person creates a blog/online statement, then the blog/statement is viewed by a series of other people (professional and non professional) who are able to change and edit the work. This, in turn creates a refined text that would have been edited by several sources therefore eliminating any real risk of false information.
- . Fluid Hierarchy, Ad Hoc Meritocracy –
This concept describes the hierarchy that exists within networked projects. It embraces that fact that knowledge of all participants may not and would not be equal but that their ability to participate is. It is therefore recognised that hierarchical margins must be fluid, which is, having the ability to move freely. This is beneficial to online networking as content does not require the input of every member of a team, a person can have free reign over how much or how little they contribute.
- Unfinished Artifacts, Continuing Process –
This concept embraces the fact that content as a result of produsage will never be complete. Projects are not designed with an ultimate goal to be finished. Online networking and projects are infinite, always to be edited and changed with the discovery of new information, technology, view and perceptions.
- Common Property, Individual Rewards –
This final concept describes the fact that all produsage is held as a community asset; therefore producers of the content of shared projects are to be recognised and rewarded. A producer may seek personal merit from the fact that their contribution is communally recognised and from this can take further motivation to participate within produsage communities and projects.
In future weeks I will be discussing a series of media topics like this week but I will link in its impact on and relationship to public health in Australia today, as this will be my future career path. I hope that you have enjoyed my first entry and come back for more….
Axel Bruns. (2007). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage. New York: Peter Lang.
Axel Bruns. (2009). Produsage: Key Components. [Online] Available at: http://produsage.org/node/11 [Accessed: April 20, 2009]
Axel Bruns. (2003). Professional Information. [Online] Available at: http://snurb.info/information [Accessed: April 20, 2009]