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Produsage: Implications

New Produsage Articles

Hello produsers – it’s been too long. I’m afraid I’ve been sidetracked with other research projects and haven’t had much time to update this blog – but at least I wanted to post a quick update to point to a couple new publications.

My new article on produsage and business, published in Information, Communication, and Society, extends my thoughts on how community and commerce may be able to co-exist alongside one another:

Axel Bruns. “Reconciling Community and Commerce? Collaboration between Produsage Communities and Commercial Operators.Information, Communication & Society 15 May 2012. DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2012.680482.

Exploring the Pro-Am Interface between Production and Produsage (Internet Turning 40, 2010)

Axel Bruns. "Exploring the Pro-Am Interface between Production and Produsage." Paper presented at The Internet Turning 40 conference, Hong Kong, 19 June 2010.

The emergence of Web 2.0 and social media sites and projects has highlighted the development of new forms of social organisation that facilitate online collaboration between peers. Major projects such as Wikipedia embody the fundamental principles of an approach to distributed and communal content creation that is best described as produsage (Bruns 2008) or commons-based peer production (Benkler 2006), and these principles - which trace their origins back at least as far as the emergence of open source software development, but have antecedents in the offline world, too - are beginning to promote innovation and change in an ever growing range of intellectual practices across the content industries.

g4c2c: Enabling Citizen Engagement at Arms' Length from Government (EDEM 2010)

Axel Bruns and Adam Swift. "g4c2c: Enabling Citizen Engagement at Arms' Length from Government." Paper presented at EDEM 2010, Krems, Austria, 6 May 2010.

The recognition that Web 2.0 applications and social media sites will strengthen and improve interaction between governments and citizens has resulted in a global push into new e-democracy or Government 2.0 spaces. These typically follow government-to-citizen (g2c) or citizen-to-citizen (c2c) models, but both these approaches are problematic: g2c is often concerned more with service delivery to citizens as clients, or exists to make a show of 'listening to the public' rather than to genuinely source citizen ideas for government policy, while c2c often takes place without direct government participation and therefore cannot ensure that the outcomes of citizen deliberations are accepted into the government policy-making process. Building on recent examples of Australian Government 2.0 initiatives, we suggest a new approach based on government support for citizen-to-citizen engagement, or g4c2c, as a workable compromise, and suggest that public service broadcasters should play a key role in facilitating this model of citizen engagement.

Produsage and Democracy in German(y)

Looking back, my stay at the Hans-Bredow-Institut in Hamburg during May and June this year was exceptionally productive. In addition to the various conferences at which I presented, I also conducted a range of interviews with German media - and the latest of these, for Polar, the voluminous twice-annual magazine for political philosophy and culture, has now been published. I was interviewed for the magazine by Jan Engelmann of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, which is aligned with the German Greens party.

Here's an extended version of the interview, slightly longer than what was published in Polar. It's in German, of course - try Google Translate for a rough translation to other languages?

"In der Open-Source-Demokratie wartet man keine Einladung ab"

Bloß zuschauen war gestern. Im Web 2.0 entwickeln Leute gemeinsam freie Software, redigieren Texte in Wikipedia oder beraten auf Blogs die Sicherheitslücken von Windows. Könnte diese Beteiligungslust auch der Politik zugute kommen? Ja, wenn man die Philosophie der Netzkulturen ernst nimmt und schrittweise in das institutionelle System integriert, sagt der in Australien arbeitende Medienforscher Axel Bruns in einem E-Mail-Interview mit Jan Engelmann.

Produsage (and Business) in HD

The next09 conference last week was very interesting (but, at one and a half days, too short!), and very well organised - one of the benefits of a PR company organising a research/industry conference, I guess. A particularly welcome addition was the participation of German video sharing platform Sevenload , who are now also beginning to post videos of presentations and interviews during the conference. For the full stream, check out Sevenload's next09 channel (or search for 'next09') - but feel free to skip right over Andrew Keen's rant...

'Produsage and Business: Sharing Your Brand with Users (next09, 2009)

Axel Bruns. "Produsage and Business: Sharing Your Brand with Users." Paper presented at next09, Hamburg, 6 May 2009.

Relations between brands and their users continue to be affected by a traditional perspective that sees the producers and consumers of goods and services as inherently different animals. In the emerging information and knowledge economy, and especially in online contexts, this model is no longer sustainable. Instead, spearheaded by the Web 2.0 phenomenon, there is a trend towards the fusing of production and usage as a new, hybrid process of produsage.

Produsage and Emerging Talent

Following up on my last post with another answer to a really sharp question from a reader of the book, in what I hope may become an occasional feature of this site: one of my LinkedIn contacts asked

Does produsage create emerging talent, or does it merely point it out? Okay, probably not a "quick" question, but my study of produsage makes me wonder if there has been any case studies on this topic. Any thoughts?

From User to Produser: The Continuum of Participation

The other day, I received a very insightful question from somebody reading Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage - pointing to a line in the book which states that

participation in these social spaces a continuum stretching evenly from active content creation by lead users ... to the mere use of content by users who perhaps do not even consider themselves as members of the community (18)

and asking, in essence, where mere usage ends and real produsage begins. In particular, what about the differences between spaces such as Second Life, where usage and content creation are necessarily part of the same process, and Wikipedia, where content creation and usage can remain separate, but individual users are free to move between the two? I thought it might be worth posting my reply here, to further explore this issue.

Blogs und Bürgerjournalismus: öffentliches Nachrichtenforum oder Startpunkt für neue politische Bewegungen? (ZMI 2008)

Axel Bruns. "Blogs und Bürgerjournalismus: öffentliches Nachrichtenforum oder Startpunkt für neue politische Bewegungen?" Keynote at the conference "Das Internet zwischen egalitärer Teilhabe und ökonomischer Vermachtung", Zentrum für Medien und Interaktivität, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, 24 Oct. 2008.

Blogs, die sich mit politischen Ereignissen befassen, werden zumeist als neue, von Bürgern in Selbstverantwortung betriebene Alternativen zum traditionellen Journalismus dargestellt. Internetnutzer aktieren hier nicht mehr allein in einer Rolle als Informationsabrufer, sondern beteiligen sich in mehr oder weniger großem Umfang als Produzenten von Inhalten - insgesamt also in einer Mischrolle, die als 'Produtzer' (engl. produser) umschrieben werden kann.

All the World’s a Library: Produsage and User-Led Curation (ARLIS 2008)

Axel Bruns. "All the World's a Library: Produsage and User-Led Curation." Keynote presented at the Arts Libraries Society Australia and New Zealand conference, Brisbane, 9 Oct. 2008.

With the continuing growth in user-led content creation, or produsage, comes an increase in user-led information management, organisation, tagging, classification - in short, a growing trend towards user-led curation of the digital media universe. What Mark Pesce has described as 'coolfinding' is now no longer an isolated activity conducted in small-scale networks of friends, but - through the tools of Web 2.0 - has become an organising principle for the entire Web. Specific social media spaces from through Flickr to the Wikipedia are leading the way, but their increased networking and interconnection is making Pierre Lévy's once utopian vision of the 'cosmopedia' appear more and more like a realisable possibility.


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