- What is the difference between produsage and production?
- What are some of the things that can be created by communities of produsers?
- Can produsage eventually replace production in some areas?
Produsage: A serendipitous word, synonymous with Gen Y inventions of mass participation and involvement. In yesteryears gone by, one would obtain and use media products produced by production companies. Nowadays those companies we once relied on to produce our media products for us have become relics by the wayside. Traditionally structured production companies like Encyclopaedia Britannica, have been blitzed by a democratized force of millions – all produsers; producing the content and using it. Certainly millions of produsers, under the banner of Wikipedia, can at first glance replace the antiquated and comparatively expensive Britannica. In stark contrast, Wikipedia is free. Some of us have been told this once or twice in their lifetime, “You get what you pay for”. This ode has been found to ring true on more than one occasion in the case of Wikipedia. Also how can we forget, if it’s not prudent for one to cite Wikipedia in academia; there is a reason why and hint, hint – it’s not academic “elitism” either.
So yes, we have seen examples of produsage replacing production in the areas of encyclopaedic information (Wikipedia) and various music (Pirate Bay). That said, it’s by no means Orwellian to imagine produsage replacing the production of news broadcasting. We have YouTube, video Instagram and video bloggers. The democratized millions of produsers have the means to generate and replace news broadcasting, albeit without the restrictions enforced upon professional news broadcasters today. In one way, this replacement might result in a new era of media transparency. On the other hand, it may result in a trend of damaging reporting inaccuracies (Hurricane Katrina-Citizen Journalists). Perhaps it will not be any different, we will not know until we try. However, we can be certain of this, the produsers the world over will try because this is a new era; the era of the amateur.