Produsers. Who are they?

With my produsage assignment due date coming up, i decided to do some research on this rather strange looking and sounding concept to me. More importantly, i wanted to know how does prousage “look” like amidst of all the information of what it is as a concept.

Firstly, the term “produser” was coined by Bruns Axle, an Australian media scholar and popularized in his book “Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage”. Bruns explains that when “production of ideas takes place in a collaborative, participatory environment which breaks down the boundaries between producers and consumers and instead enables all participants to be users as well as producers of information and knowledge, they are called produsers. These produsers engage not in a traditional form of content production, but are instead involved in produsage – the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement” (Bruns, 2006).

According to Bruns, the concept of produsage has potential to transform both education and democracy. Firstly, Bruns explains that current education systems “reinforce a hierarchical, instructor-led, and non-collaborative environment which encourages students to produce ephemeral work.” He contents that prousage is able to “prepare learners for a future where they may be required to work in heterarchical, self-determined, and collaborative teams of content produsers” (Bruns, 2006).

Secondly, Bruns noted that “democracy has become a spectacle produced by political parties and interest groups and moderated and distributed by journalists and pundits, with citizens as audiences who occasionally switch channels by voting in elections” (Bruns, 2006). He argues that prousage has the ability to increase civic participation and democratic engagements. This is possible when citizens become produsers of democracy instead of passive audience. You can read more about the characteristics and implications of produsage his paper titled ” Towards Produsage: Futures for User-Led Content Production.”

This goes out specifically to my classmates from EME 6414 who are preparing their produsage assignment as well. If you are still trying to wrap your head around what the end product should look like, i found an example from student who did this module four years back! You will want to check this out on Storify!

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