‘ the people formerly known as the audience’ (Jay Rosen)
‘ anyone can edit’ ( Wikipedia ) – users become producers of content
content is no longer a distinct product – it is a temporary artefact of an ongoing process
usage and production are increasingly, inextricably intertwined
strict distinctions between producers, distributors, and consumers no longer apply
a new “ Generation C ” ( Trendwatching.com ) of content produsers?
this is produsage
Breaking the Chains content development space set up by community or company to harbour produsage (e.g. Wikimedia Foundation; Google; SourceForge) commercial / non-profit harvesting of user-generated content (e.g. The Sims , Wikipedia on CD-ROM) commercial / non-profit services to support produsage (e.g. Red Hat, SourceForge) commercial activities by users themselves, harnessing the hive (e.g. support services, consultancies, content sales) initial IP contributions from individuals, the public domain, or commercial sources collaborative, iterative, evolutionary, palimpsestic user-led content development valuable, often commercial-grade content is created Produsage Environment (populated by produsers)
“ By tweaking some of the underlying assumptions behind today's Web, you could design an alternative version that could potentially mimic the self-organising neighborhoods of cities or the differentiated lobes of the human brain – and could definitely reproduce the simpler collective problem-solving of ant colonies. The Web's not inherently disorganized, it's just built that way.” (Stephen Johnson: Emergence , 2001)
folksonomic systems make such tweaks, curating Web content
multiple alternative folksonomic knowledge structures now available
e.g. Google , del.icio.us , Wikipedia , specialist portals, etc.
more alternatives can be created by interested produser communities
they will be successful if a critical mass of users sees them as worthwhile
[The Cosmopedia] serves as a site of collective discussion, negotiation, and development. A pluralistic image of knowledge, the cosmopedia is the mediating fabric between the collective intellect and its world, between the collective intellect and itself. Knowledge is no longer separated from the concrete realizations that give it meaning, not from the activities and practices that engender knowledge and that knowledge modifies in turn. Depending on the zones of use and paths of exploration, hierarchies between users and designers, authors and readers, are inverted. ... In the cosmopedia, all reading is writing. The cosmopedia is a relativistic space, which curves when we read or write in it. (1997)
To help manage that environment, librarians are more crucial than ever!