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Produsage and Beyond:
Exploring the Pro-Am Interface
Dr Axel Bruns
Associate Professor
ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Queensland University of Technology
a.bruns@qut.edu.au
http://snurb.info/ – @snurb_dot_info
User-Generated Content
• Widespread trend in media practice:
– social media, social networking
– Web 2.0 technologies
– new, collaborative forms of content
creation
– across many interests and practices
• Has Toffler’s ‘prosumer’ arrived?
– “The word is a combination of
producer and consumer that perfectly
describes the millions of participants
in the Web 2.0 revolution.”
(Techcrunch, 2007)
(Image: http://flickr.com/photos/stabilo-boss/93136022/)
The Professional Consumer?
• What do we mean by ‘prosumer’?
– On-demand production initiated by consumers?
– On-demand production of customer-submitted / modified designs?
– Involvement of customers in design processes?
• Or simply conventional high-end consumers? E.g.
– Hi-fi fanatics
– Car enthusiasts
– Computer nerds
– Individual ‘lead users’ (as described by von Hippel)
• Prosumers remain dependent on industry production
• Is that all there is?
(Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schwenke/3022767703/)
(Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/topherous/93506030/)
Toffler’s Prosumer
• Dreams of a “customer-activated manufacturing system”:
– In the end, the consumer, not merely providing the specs but punching
the button that sets this entire process in action, will become as much a
part of the production process as the denim-clad assembly-line worker
was in the world now dying. (The Third Wave, 1980: 274)
– Producer and consumer, divorced by the industrial revolution, are
reunited in the cycle of wealth creation, with the customer contributing
not just the money but market and design information vital for the
production process. Buyer and supplier share data, information, and
knowledge. Someday, customers may also push buttons that activate
remote production processes. Consumer and producer fuse into a
“prosumer.” (Powershift, 1990: 239)
(http://www.research.ibm.com/visual/projects/history_flow/capitalism1.htm)
• Decline of the traditional value chain:
producer  distributor  consumer
(producer advised by consumer  distributor  consumer)
(customer-made ideas  producer  distributor  consumer)
• ‘Prosumption’ not enough: more than just ‘professional consumers’
Beyond Production
prosumption
(http://labs.digg.com/stack)
Toward Produsage
(as producer)
produser
(as user)
 produsage
(gradual, continuous, incremental, iterative, never complete, …)
content content
Image by XKCD
Key Principles
• Shared across collaborative social media environments:
– Open Participation, Communal Evaluation:
the community as a whole, if sufficiently large and varied, can contribute more
than a closed team of producers, however qualified
– Fluid Heterarchy, Ad Hoc Meritocracy:
produsers participate as is appropriate to their personal skills, interests, and
knowledges; this changes as the produsage project proceeds
– Unfinished Artefacts, Continuing Process:
content artefacts in produsage projects are continually under development, and
therefore always unfinished; their development follows evolutionary, iterative,
palimpsestic paths
– Common Property, Individual Merit:
contributors permit (non-commercial) community use of their intellectual property,
and are rewarded by the status capital
Pro-Am Frameworks for Produsage?
• Commercial opportunities:
– User-led innovation
– Crowdsourcing
– Viral marketing
– Boost to brand recognition
– Improved brand perception
– New markets
– New business models
• Commercial threats:
– Loss of control
– Community backlash
– Transparency tyranny
Success in the Share Economy
• Engaging with produsage communities:
1. Be open.
For users (access) and with users (transparency).
2. Seed community processes by providing content and tools.
Model desired behaviour, assist productive participation.
3. Support community dynamics and devolve responsibilities.
Engage promising community leaders as they emerge.
4. Don’t exploit the community and its work.
Making money is fine, but you don’t own your users.
Adapted from Axel Bruns and Mark Bahnisch. "Social Drivers behind Growing Consumer
Participation in User-Led Content Generation: Volume 1 - State of the Art."
Sydney: Smart Services CRC, 2009.
Image by Maproom Systems
1. Be Open
• Access:
– Allow broad participation
– Don’t build artificial barriers
– Enable community to highlight quality /
sanction disruptions
• Transparency:
– Be honest about your aims
– Involve the community in your planning
– Discuss proposed changes
(Be Wikipedia, not Facebook.)
(http://www.canada.com/technology/Facebook+vows+improvements+after+user+backlash/1426664/story.html)
2. Seed Community Processes
• Content:
– Produsage builds on initial inputs
– E.g. Linus Torvald’s first Linux kernel,
Wikipedia’s first articles, …
– These set the further trajectory
– Ensure that you have great staff creating
this content (and acting as role models)
• Tools:
– Available tools determine the solution horizon
– User toolkits must be simple and powerful
(cf. Eric von Hippel, Democratizing Innovation)
– Track and incorporate user needs and wants
– Prepare for unexpected demands
3. Support Community Dynamics
• Community dynamics:
– Gradual definition of rules and values
– Ongoing process of mutual evaluation
– Emergence of community structures
– Support, don’t stifle – aim for self-regulation
– Plan to devolve management responsibility
• Community leaders:
– ‘Benevolent dictators’? ‘Micro-celebrities’?
– Dependent on continued community support
– Partners in innovation processes
– Involve, engage (employ?)
– But don’t turn into ‘community managers’
4. Don’t Exploit the Community
• Content ownership:
– Intellectual property is dead
– Sharing can be profitable
– Enable content spreadability
– Anticipate user-led content distribution
• User lock-in:
– ‘Hijacking the hive’ is lucrative at first, …
– … but will seriously damage your brand.
– Support content and service mash-ups
– Prepare to lose some control over your brand
– Anticipate the new opportunities this creates
seed content
and toolkits
provided by
commercial
operators
crowdsourcing of
inputs to R&D and
innovation processes
commercial services to
support produsage
commercial activities by users
themselves, harnessing the hive
(and promoting the brand)
professional staff,
kick-starting
community
processes
user-led content development
by produsage communities
(supported by commercial operators)
valuable, often
commercial-grade
content is created
Produsage Environment
(open to all comers)
Pro-Am Produsage Models
Pro-Am Produsage Research Opportunities
• Questions:
– When are participating institutions perceived as ethical and trustworthy?
• cf. problems with comment functions in mainstream news media
• cf. Government 2.0 developments – g4c2c model?
• cf. David Bello on problems with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk
– How do the internal dynamics of social media communities work?
• cf. Leesa Costello and Lelia Green on the HeartNET community
• cf. ACID and CCi research on ABC’s Pool.org.au
• Large-scale social media dynamics tracking
– What technological / social / economic configurations facilitate pro-am models?
• cf. John Banks on Trainz, Spore, and other gamer communities
• OhmyNews, myHeimat, and other pro-am citizen journalism projects
• non-profit and for-profit models for pro-am produsage projects
Viral Marketing
Axel Bruns
Associate Professor
ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Creative Industries Faculty
Queensland University of Technology
Project Leader for Social Media (Horizon 1 – 2008)
Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre
Email: a.bruns@qut.edu.au
Blog: http://snurb.info/
Twitter: @snurb_dot_info
Produsage: http://produsage.org/
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/snurb
Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond:
From Production to Produsage (Peter Lang, 2008)

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Produsage and Beyond: Exploring the Pro-Am Interface

  • 1. Produsage and Beyond: Exploring the Pro-Am Interface Dr Axel Bruns Associate Professor ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Queensland University of Technology a.bruns@qut.edu.au http://snurb.info/ – @snurb_dot_info
  • 2. User-Generated Content • Widespread trend in media practice: – social media, social networking – Web 2.0 technologies – new, collaborative forms of content creation – across many interests and practices • Has Toffler’s ‘prosumer’ arrived? – “The word is a combination of producer and consumer that perfectly describes the millions of participants in the Web 2.0 revolution.” (Techcrunch, 2007) (Image: http://flickr.com/photos/stabilo-boss/93136022/)
  • 3. The Professional Consumer? • What do we mean by ‘prosumer’? – On-demand production initiated by consumers? – On-demand production of customer-submitted / modified designs? – Involvement of customers in design processes? • Or simply conventional high-end consumers? E.g. – Hi-fi fanatics – Car enthusiasts – Computer nerds – Individual ‘lead users’ (as described by von Hippel) • Prosumers remain dependent on industry production • Is that all there is?
  • 6. Toffler’s Prosumer • Dreams of a “customer-activated manufacturing system”: – In the end, the consumer, not merely providing the specs but punching the button that sets this entire process in action, will become as much a part of the production process as the denim-clad assembly-line worker was in the world now dying. (The Third Wave, 1980: 274) – Producer and consumer, divorced by the industrial revolution, are reunited in the cycle of wealth creation, with the customer contributing not just the money but market and design information vital for the production process. Buyer and supplier share data, information, and knowledge. Someday, customers may also push buttons that activate remote production processes. Consumer and producer fuse into a “prosumer.” (Powershift, 1990: 239)
  • 8. • Decline of the traditional value chain: producer  distributor  consumer (producer advised by consumer  distributor  consumer) (customer-made ideas  producer  distributor  consumer) • ‘Prosumption’ not enough: more than just ‘professional consumers’ Beyond Production prosumption
  • 10. Toward Produsage (as producer) produser (as user)  produsage (gradual, continuous, incremental, iterative, never complete, …) content content
  • 12. Key Principles • Shared across collaborative social media environments: – Open Participation, Communal Evaluation: the community as a whole, if sufficiently large and varied, can contribute more than a closed team of producers, however qualified – Fluid Heterarchy, Ad Hoc Meritocracy: produsers participate as is appropriate to their personal skills, interests, and knowledges; this changes as the produsage project proceeds – Unfinished Artefacts, Continuing Process: content artefacts in produsage projects are continually under development, and therefore always unfinished; their development follows evolutionary, iterative, palimpsestic paths – Common Property, Individual Merit: contributors permit (non-commercial) community use of their intellectual property, and are rewarded by the status capital
  • 13. Pro-Am Frameworks for Produsage? • Commercial opportunities: – User-led innovation – Crowdsourcing – Viral marketing – Boost to brand recognition – Improved brand perception – New markets – New business models • Commercial threats: – Loss of control – Community backlash – Transparency tyranny
  • 14. Success in the Share Economy • Engaging with produsage communities: 1. Be open. For users (access) and with users (transparency). 2. Seed community processes by providing content and tools. Model desired behaviour, assist productive participation. 3. Support community dynamics and devolve responsibilities. Engage promising community leaders as they emerge. 4. Don’t exploit the community and its work. Making money is fine, but you don’t own your users. Adapted from Axel Bruns and Mark Bahnisch. "Social Drivers behind Growing Consumer Participation in User-Led Content Generation: Volume 1 - State of the Art." Sydney: Smart Services CRC, 2009.
  • 15. Image by Maproom Systems
  • 16. 1. Be Open • Access: – Allow broad participation – Don’t build artificial barriers – Enable community to highlight quality / sanction disruptions • Transparency: – Be honest about your aims – Involve the community in your planning – Discuss proposed changes (Be Wikipedia, not Facebook.) (http://www.canada.com/technology/Facebook+vows+improvements+after+user+backlash/1426664/story.html)
  • 17. 2. Seed Community Processes • Content: – Produsage builds on initial inputs – E.g. Linus Torvald’s first Linux kernel, Wikipedia’s first articles, … – These set the further trajectory – Ensure that you have great staff creating this content (and acting as role models) • Tools: – Available tools determine the solution horizon – User toolkits must be simple and powerful (cf. Eric von Hippel, Democratizing Innovation) – Track and incorporate user needs and wants – Prepare for unexpected demands
  • 18. 3. Support Community Dynamics • Community dynamics: – Gradual definition of rules and values – Ongoing process of mutual evaluation – Emergence of community structures – Support, don’t stifle – aim for self-regulation – Plan to devolve management responsibility • Community leaders: – ‘Benevolent dictators’? ‘Micro-celebrities’? – Dependent on continued community support – Partners in innovation processes – Involve, engage (employ?) – But don’t turn into ‘community managers’
  • 19. 4. Don’t Exploit the Community • Content ownership: – Intellectual property is dead – Sharing can be profitable – Enable content spreadability – Anticipate user-led content distribution • User lock-in: – ‘Hijacking the hive’ is lucrative at first, … – … but will seriously damage your brand. – Support content and service mash-ups – Prepare to lose some control over your brand – Anticipate the new opportunities this creates
  • 20. seed content and toolkits provided by commercial operators crowdsourcing of inputs to R&D and innovation processes commercial services to support produsage commercial activities by users themselves, harnessing the hive (and promoting the brand) professional staff, kick-starting community processes user-led content development by produsage communities (supported by commercial operators) valuable, often commercial-grade content is created Produsage Environment (open to all comers) Pro-Am Produsage Models
  • 21. Pro-Am Produsage Research Opportunities • Questions: – When are participating institutions perceived as ethical and trustworthy? • cf. problems with comment functions in mainstream news media • cf. Government 2.0 developments – g4c2c model? • cf. David Bello on problems with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – How do the internal dynamics of social media communities work? • cf. Leesa Costello and Lelia Green on the HeartNET community • cf. ACID and CCi research on ABC’s Pool.org.au • Large-scale social media dynamics tracking – What technological / social / economic configurations facilitate pro-am models? • cf. John Banks on Trainz, Spore, and other gamer communities • OhmyNews, myHeimat, and other pro-am citizen journalism projects • non-profit and for-profit models for pro-am produsage projects
  • 22. Viral Marketing Axel Bruns Associate Professor ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Creative Industries Faculty Queensland University of Technology Project Leader for Social Media (Horizon 1 – 2008) Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre Email: a.bruns@qut.edu.au Blog: http://snurb.info/ Twitter: @snurb_dot_info Produsage: http://produsage.org/ LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/snurb Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage (Peter Lang, 2008)

Editor's Notes

  1. Start by showing http://www.lkozma.net/wpv/index.html -> German version (live Wikipedia edits)