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Re-Public: Who Controls the Means of Produsage?

I'm very pleased to see that a new article of mine has just been published in the energetic Greek online journal Re-Public. Editor Pavlos Hatzopoulos invited me a little while ago to respond to a first wave of articles discussing and critiquing the emergent phenomena of the social Web, and the contributor list already includes a number key thinkers in the field, from Michel Bauwens to Trebor Scholz. In fact, I responded specifically to the opening discussion between Trebor and Paul Hartzog, which revisits the industrial-age question of "Who owns the means of production?" for the new, information-age context.

What was missing from this, from my point of view, was a concern not so much with the means of production, but with the next step in the chain - with the means that connect producers and users, the means that facilitate the interaction, collaboration, and ultimately the produsage that takes place when the producer/consumer dichotomy diminishes. This, I feel, should be the main starting-point for critique now - the question should be "Who controls the means of produsage?" In fact, its claim to exclusive ownership and control of the means of produsage within its gated community is one of the reasons why I am so concerned about the rise of Facebook, as I've noted previously.

Anyway - the article is now available on Re-Public, and reprinted below. A special thrill for me (having studied ancient Greek at school) is that Re-Public also published a (modern) Greek translation of the piece: Ποιος ελέγχει τα μέσα παραγωγής/κατανάλωσης; Cool...

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