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Presentation on theme: " The Future Is User-Led: The Past towards Widespread Produsage Dr Axel Bruns Creative Industries Faculty Queensland University."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Future Is User-Led: The Past towards Widespread Produsage Dr Axel Bruns Creative Industries Faculty Queensland University of Technology Brisbane, Australia

2 User-Led Content Production emerging in various domains: open source software development online publishing: blogs open news – e.g. Slashdot, Indymedia, OhmyNewsSlashdotIndymedia OhmyNews knowledge management wikis – e.g. WikipediaWikipedia social bookmarking – e.g., diggdel.icio.usdigg geotagging – e.g. Google Earth, FrapprGoogle EarthFrappr multi-user gaming: e.g. The Sims, Everquest, Second Life, SporeThe SimsEverquestSecond Life Spore creative practice e.g. Flickr, ccMixter, YouTube, JumpcutFlickrccMixterYouTubeJumpcut reviews and social shopping e.g. Epinions, IgoUgoEpinionsIgoUgo (Image:

3 decline of the traditional value chain: producer distributor consumer (producer advised by consumer distributor consumer) (customer-made ideas producer distributor consumer) Beyond Production

4 Whats Happening Here? emergence of: the prosumer (Alvin Toffler)? the citizen-consumer (John Hartley)? pro-am production (Charles Leadbeater & Paul Miller)? customer-made products, produced by a new Generation C ( corporations harnessing the hive (J.C. Herz)?

5 Beyond Products traditional value chains rely on key assumptions: products exist in discrete versions, and producers decide when these are to be released the distribution of products is controlled (and controllable) by producers and distributors, not by consumers consumers are relatively isolated – only producers have access to the whole community the core business lies in the sale of copyrighted products but in a user-led, digital environment, this is no longer true: the latest update is always immediately available – e.g. open source, Wikipedia content is available for direct access online – users become producers, and the Net replaces the distributor consumers join together in enthusiast groups, interest groups, developer groups the core business lies in providing value-added services around freely available content

6 Common Characteristics shared across these environments: Open Participation, Communal Evaluation – the community as a whole, if sufficiently large and varied, can contribute more than a closed team of producers, however qualified Fluid Heterarchy, Ad Hoc Meritocracy – produsers participate as is appropriate to their personal skills, interests, and knowledges; this changes as the produsage project proceeds Unfinished Artefacts, Continuing Process – content artefacts in produsage projects are continually under development, and therefore always unfinished; their development follows evolutionary, iterative, palimpsestic paths Common Property, Individual Rewards – contributors permit (non- commercial) community use and adaptation of their intellectual property, and are rewarded by the status capital gained through this process

7 A New Value Chain? (as producer) produser (as user) content

8 Produsage beyond production: anyone can edit – users become producers of content content is no longer a distinct product – it is a temporary artefact of an ongoing process usage and production are increasingly, inextricably intertwined strict distinctions between producers, distributors, and consumers no longer apply a new Generation C of content produsers?Generation C this is produsage

9 content development space set up by community or company to harbour produsage (e.g. Wikimedia Foundation; Google; SourceForge) commercial / non-profit harvesting of user- generated content (e.g. The Sims, Wikipedia on CD-ROM) commercial / non-profit services to support produsage (e.g. Red Hat, SourceForge) commercial activities by users themselves, harnessing the hive (e.g. support services, consultancies, content sales) initial IP contributions from individuals, the public domain, or commercial sources collaborative, iterative, evolutionary, palimpsestic user-led content development valuable, often commercial-grade content is created Produsage Environment (populated by produsers) Breaking the Chains

10 Collective Intelligence Questions and answers: creative potential of distributed collaboration – grassroots, vernacular creativity; shared folk culture sustainability of voluntary labour – reliance on interest communities and enthusiasts intellectual property issues – building a new creative, information, knowledge commons trust, authority, responsibility, liability – communal evaluation of content quality emergence of new cultural, social, economic structures – towards a new collective intelligence?

11 Produsage Economics Economic potential: cheap workforce for commercial producers but also post-Fordist production/produsage models possible opposition to traditional business, and opportunity for new businesses Economic models: harnessing the hive – by produsers for produsers harvesting the hive – by produsers for wider community helping the hive – promoting and supporting produsage harbouring the hive – providing the spaces for produsage hijacking the hive – locking users into spaces of produsage

12 Political Implications Towards post-Fordist politics? growing effect of produser news on political process towards more dialogue and deliberation, or more argument and conflict? rear-guard battles by governments and news organisations against citizen journalists – but not only in authoritarian regimes conflict between alternative and mainstream media coverage (e.g. Howard Dean campaign) digital divide opening between traditional audiences and new produser- citizens? Is it possible to harness produsage to support a move of citizens from being a passive audience for to being active produsers of democracy?

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