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From Production to Produsage: Book of the Week

Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage has been chosen as book of the week on the P2P Foundation Website, and over the next few days a number of selected excerpts will be published on Michel Bauwens's P2P Foundation blog. The first two of these have now gone up - check them out, and feel free to leave a comment on the blog or discuss them over at the P2P Foundation Ning site.

The first excerpt provides a general outline of and motivation for the produsage concept - it outlines the decline of the conventional production chain as we were familiar with it during the industrial age, and the corresponding rise of produsage as a hybrid model of content creation which involves users as producers: in other words, produsers. Necessarily, this also fundamentally reshapes our understanding of the outcomes of such processes: produsage generates only temporary artefacts which themselves remain up for further development, not fixed and finished products - even though many such artefacts (from open source software to the Wikipedia, and beyond) can be used to substitute for the products of industrial processes.

The second instalment addresses an important consequence of this shift from a closed production model (where only a select group of participants are able to produce content) to an open produsage approach: it highlights the question of how this changes relations between professionals and amateurs, experts and folks. At present, that's a question which exercises debate especially in areas such as citizen journalism and knowledge management - witness the different approaches of Wikipedia and Citizendium, for example -, but its implications reach well beyond these flashpoints into virtually all domains where produsage models are now being established.

I'll post up these excerpts here on the site soon, too - but for now, head over to the P2P Foundation blog to read more. There will be another excerpt or two in the coming days!

Update: I've now also posted all four excerpts on this site.

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