“The collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement” (Bruns 2007)
So that is a basic definition of the term ‘produsage’. I thought I would start off with that quote so you could all follow where I’m about to go with this blog post. Produsage has 4 key characteristics listed by Bruns (2007). They include:
1. A shift from individuals and teams as producers to a broader based, distributed generation of content by a wide community of participants
2. Fluid movement of produsers between roles as leaders, participants and users of content and can either be professional or amateur
3. Unfinished and continuously under development
4. Based on merit more than ownership- frequently employ copyright which prohibit unauthorised commercial use but enable collaboration on further content improvement
Bruns (2007) describes that originally products are controlled by producers and distributors and not by consumers. However this is not the case anymore in produsage environments. Consumers are no longer passive but consistently participate and are active in the development and updates of products.
Instagram shows themes particularly of an unfinished characteristic in Bruns terms. Instagram is a never-ending product as it allows endless ‘comments’ and ‘likes’. “Regramming” is also a frequent term now used on the social platform site. It describes the re-posting of images almost like “re-tweeting”, it is endless. The disposable nature of photographs these days also allows you to easily edit photos using other apps and then post the edited photo on Instagram.
You could also tie Instagram in with two of Bruns other characteristics. They are that the app allows for fluid movement and that it is permissive. We are producers and users of the app. We participate in communication and we use the app by sharing photos. Most users of Instagram are amateurs in terms of technology but the professionals are the ones that can update the app and have access to programming but they most likely use the app too. Instagram does not use the app but Instagram uses us. Instagram obtains information on our activity to develop the features that we want in it for example direct messaging which means we do not have to change between text messaging or Facebook IM but can be on the one app the whole time.
Bruns, Axel (2007) Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. In Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6, Washington, DC.