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Produsage: Blog

Produsage and Related Events, Past and Future

This blog has been all too quiet while I've been travelling in Europe to attend conferences in Copenhagen and Gießen, do a guest lecture in Hamburg, and conduct a number of research interviews with the team behind the German myHeimat citizen journalism project. I'll add some more information about these shortly I've now added the slides for the produsage-related presentations in Copenhagen, Hamburg, and Gießen (the latter two are in German, and also feature the audio of my talks) - and for my overall reports from the trip, see here (AoIR 2008 in Copenhagen), here (produsage guest lecture in Hamburg), and here (ZMI conference in Gießen).

New Impulses for Libraries: Drawing on Second Life and Produsage

(Crossposted from

I'm spending the morning at the 2008 Arts Libraries Society of Australia and New Zealand conference, at the Queensland State Library. I'm afraid I'm only here for the opening keynotes (one of which I'm giving) - my hectic schedule for this week between overseas trips doesn't give me any more time to see what else is happening.

The first keynote speaker this morning is Kathryn Greenhill from Murdoch University, presenting on the possibilities of Second Life as a platform. She begins by taking us on a flight around Info Island - the central library island in Second Life - and follows this with a quick explanation of what Second Life is and how it works. The aim here, she notes, is immersion, not just information.

Produsage Research - Further Plans, and Job Opportunities

I thought I'd post a quick summary here on one further direction that my research into produsage will take over the coming years. One issue that has interested me for some time (and that I touch on throughout the book) is the problem of finding ways for 'professionals' and 'amateurs' - as inadequate these terms are - to collaborate fruitfully, rather than stand in inherent opposition to one another.

The oppositional stance is visible for example in the still persistent dismissal of citizen journalists by professional journalists in the industry; in the overly defensive response of Britannica and its commercial competitors to the rise of Wikipedia; or in the lack of engagement with or outright banning of user-generated content by many educational institutions. Against this, we're seeing the emergence of what (following Leadbeater and Miller) we might describe as Pro-Am operations - OhmyNews is a good example here, but so is the harnessing of user-generated content by Amazon or Google.

From Produsage to Produtzung: Upcoming Events in Germany

Following on from my post about the upcoming ARLIS keynote, here are some further upcoming events. In a few weeks' time, I'm going to take produsage on the road: after my presentations at the annual Association of Internet Researchers conference, held this year in Copenhagen, I'm scheduled to present a guest lecture at the Hans-Bredow-Institut in Hamburg on 20 October, as part of their series "Aktuelle Entwicklungen im Web 2.0" ("Current Developments in Web 2.0"), and a keynote at the conference "Das Internet zwischen egalitärer Teilhabe und ökonomischer Vermachtung" ("The Internet between Egalitarian Participation and Economic Power") in Gießen on 24 October. My respondents at that conference will be Jan Schmidt (who has also organised the Hamburg gig), Mario Voigt, and Uwe Jun. (Many thanks also to Christoph Bieber and Christoph Neuberger, who made my presentation in Gießen possible.)

Upcoming ARLIS Keynote: Produsage and User-Led Curation

There haven't been many updates to this site recently, but in the meantime, the book has done very well - many thanks to everyone who's bought it and/or accessed the reading samples and other articles on this site. Keep spreading the word!

Over the next few months there are quite a few produsage-related events coming up for me, in Australia and Europe - and I'll preview a number of them over the coming weeks. The first one of these is a keynote at the biennial conference of the Arts Libraries Society Australia/New Zealand (ARLIS/ANZ) here in Brisbane on 9 October 2008.

Smart Services CRC Finally Launched

Smart Services CRC Company LogoI'm happy to report that the Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre has finally been launched. It's taken far too long to get to this point (initial Australian federal government approval for the CRC application was received shortly before Christmas, 2006), but after a lengthy process of negotiations between the twenty or so universities, government bodies, and industry partners involved in the CRC, the Centre has finally been launched by the federal minister responsible, Senator Kim Carr, on 3 July 2008.

Produsage Book Officially Launched

It's taken me a while to get back to blogging after the CCi conference a couple of weeks ago - for a full report on the sessions I attended, see my coverage at I'll try to post a little more regularly again now, although I'm still in that post-book slump that does tend to set in for a while after the completion of a major writing project. (I'm actually finding a good deal of my time taken up with projects related to my earlier book on citizen journalism at the moment - there's a certain ebb and flow to these things.)

CCi Conference: Brisbane, 25-27 June 2008

I'll be spending the rest of this week at the inaugural conference of the Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCi) here in Brisbane, and I'll try to live-blog as much as possible from the conference. This should be a great event - keynote speakers include Baroness Susan Greenfield, MIT's Henry Jenkins, Mark Deuze (the author of Media Work), and a number of other luminaries in the field. Henry will also be launching a number of books (including my own Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage) on Wednesday evening.

There's a strong citizen journalism stream in the conference, and my own paper operates in that field, too - titled "Beyond the Pro/Am Schism: Opportunities for Collaboration between Professional and Citizen Journalists under a Produsage Framework", it's more of an exploratory rumination on questions which I've found myself coming back to repeatedly over the past few years - from my study of organisational models for the collaborative production of online news in Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production to my work on produsage across various domains of knowledge creation in Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond, it seems to me that the great unanswered question remains how to effectively combine broad participatory (i.e. citizen) involvement and enable the recognition of expert ('professional') knowledges.

The Brownian Motion of Collective Intelligence?

Some of my colleagues at QUT are involved in a new project they describe as 'cultural science' - a combination of cultural studies, economics, and other scientific methodologies, in order to arrive at a more rigorous and testable framework for the study of cultural activity. I've posted some more about this over at, and there's now a Cultural Science Website which has more information. I've cross-posted the following blog post on the Cultural Science blog.

I was lucky enough to attend part of the Brisbane meeting which officially kickstarted the project of cultural science, and I've been trying to trace the connections from here to my own work since then. I know little about economics, but for a couple of years before switching to media studies, I trained as a physicist, and a recent blog post by Yihong Ding has made me believe that some fields of physics, too, have valuable models to contribute to cultural science. In particular, it might be worth examining the way that particle and fluid dynamics describes the transition from random interaction at a micro level to orderly and predictable behaviour at a macro level.

But first, some background: the focus of my research is on user-led collaborative content creation, or what I've come to call produsage. One of the fundamental challenges in this field is to understand the processes of collective intelligence that arise in large-scale collaborative environments, and the conditions under which they flourish best. What makes Wikipedia work, for example? What would make it work better? What enables The Wisdom of Crowds to emerge, as James Surowiecki describes it?

Nielsen Online: Produsage Trends in Australia and New Zealand

Getting into the ANZAC Day spirit here at there's an interesting news release over at Nielsen Online, detailing results of their research into user-led content generation in Australia and New Zealand. As it turns out, Internet users in both countries are already pretty active in their online participation - but a closer look at the stats released by Nielsen's market researchers also reveals that their activities remain largely limited to sharing profiles, photos and links at present, and to accessing user-led content rather than necessarily generating it.


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