Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Am I a produser?

Being a student of Media and Communication, I am constantly learning, studying, analysing and basing my university life around concepts and new media technologies such as Web 2.0, blogs, wikis, social networking sites, produsage, etc... and being in my fourth year at uni I feel like I know a whole lot about all of this. However, sometimes I sit back and think... am I really a produser? Sure, I participate in social networking sites, I have a Facebook account, but who doesn't these days? And sure, I have a blog (obviously)... but if I weren't required to do it for this subject, I wonder if I would have ever got around to making a blog on my own terms? Although technically I AM a participating in new media technologies, when I am constantly learning about the wide world of Web 2.0 I realise that MY personal use of these technologies is quite slim. Don't get me wrong, I find it all extremely interesting (otherwise I wouldn't be doing this degree)... it is more so that I have so little free time to participate actively in these sites and technologies. Even something as simple as my Facebook account gets regularly rejected... imagine if I was part of a fandom site or user-generated Creative Commons style project! So tell me people of Web 2.0... how do you find the time to so actively participate in your "real world" and your "virtual world" at the same time? Because I am finding it extremely difficult...


Demetri said...

I found your introductory post very interesting as I too share similar views. I am sure you are not alone when you comment about actively participating in the online community as a produser. Like many others whom would otherwise be unexposed to this kind of interactivity before the Bruns commanded KCB201 (also previous and future) I find myself participating more and more in these kinds of behaviour. In response to your closing statement I propose that it is not the problem of 'finding time' rather 'finding enough time'. I find that initially people are afraid to contribute because they feel that they do not have anything worth contributing. However over time this fear dwells less and the process of participation and leaving your own individual footprint throughout the world wide web, participation and produsage comes natural. Some people pursue this behaviour as a career, a mentor to other lesser informed users or simple just to get noticed. Whether it is as simple as a Facebook page or a blog as you put it that in a sense is the active transition into this new 'virtual world'. And as a result of your findings throughout the way it enables you to be in a position to teach others; further utilising your produsage abilities.

Doug_Hainstock said...

I too tend to agree with you Cheese. What is it that determines whether you are a produser or not? Does having a Facebook account mean you are automatically a produser? Sure we are contributing to the World Wide Web in some way but not technically mixing and mashing content and spreading it around the web for others to view and edit and then keep sending it on its way around this virtual interface. It is more of a social contribution between me and my friends and occasionally between colleagues and fellow students. I am in my third and final year and also feel that new media technologies such as Web 2.0, blogs, wikis, social networking sites, produsage, etc take up most of my university assignments, lectures, theories or learning ... and I feel like I know a whole lot about all of these concepts. I do not however feel like I make a lot of productive contributions, sure I add academic bookmarking contributions to del.icio.us for example, but only for my own personal academic use – not necessarily for the purpose of claiming I’m no longer a consumer and more a produser. I feel this kind of interaction is rather ‘consuming’ the virtual environment for what is was designed for – book marking web pages or in facebook’s case socializing with friends. As Time magazine explains “We're looking at an explosion of productivity and innovation, and it's just getting started, as millions of minds that would otherwise have drowned in obscurity get backhauled into the global intellectual economy.” With an online community that feeds off collaboration perhaps it is the minor contributions that collaborate together to for this produser title. Perhaps everyone’s contributions (no matter how big or how small and some more than others) are what make up this participatory culture. Only time will tell.


Grossman, L. Time’s Person of the Year - You – Time. 2008. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1569514,00.html (Accessed May 10, 2008).