Passive or Aggressive in Produsage

Through the map of this course it has become increasingly evident that our world is changing socially. Social media platforms along with user-friendly sites that encourage individuals to create their own “masterpieces” make our world one filled with ‘produsers’. These people either create or utilize items such as videos, podcasts, or interactive stories using any material they wish. Herein the problem lies. Since individuals are free to become inspired by preexisting works, much of the content is similar to previous items published. Furthermore copyright infringements occur regularly as music is taken from album ‘leaks’ and given free to any users with the right downloading mechanism. For these reasons when answering the question, “Given your experience with the various tools used in the course, do you feel more inclined to become a ‘produser’?”, I have two answers —  yes and no.

One on hand, this course has opened my eyes to how easy producing my own content can be. Using programs such as Soundcloud, YouTube and Storify has made me realize how small the learning curves for these media sharing sites are, and it makes me want to make more content. In the future I would like to continue to add to a world we ourselves are creating, in hopes of making a difference. Being in a world where our personal opinions on politics can be shared with individuals around the world gives me more motivation to contribute. The ideas and media we put out into the world has a huge opportunity to gain followers and make a difference, and this makes me want to ‘produse’.

On the other hand, this course has taught me to look critically at these media platforms. Specifically, it has challenged me to become acquainted with copyright infringements and privacy terms of service. All content produsers make is owned by the media platform it’s made on. In Bird’s article it states that, “Indeed, media industries are becoming very adept at disciplining produsage. One key way is to impose ‘terms of service’ on fans participating online, so that anything they post becomes the property of the company” (Bird, 2011). This discourages me from making original content since it will no longer be my own intellectual property after I hit “Tweet” or “Post”. This course has also made me aware that almost every new media piece we see is a ‘remix’ of another piece of media already published. This discourages me immensely from produsing media content because it has made me reevaluate my own thoughts – which are original and which have I just mashed up from listening to peers? On the same note, which productions from my peers are original and which are taken, mashed up and copied?

For the produsage that looms before us, I picked a quote from Sterne’s article. Control may be increasingly difficult as different media sites with less restrictions may try to compete with YouTube, Facebook or even Twitter – and users may be able to produce more and more content that they wish to see. When looking at what to do in the future, “Neither activity nor passivity are goods in themselves; both have roles to play in culture, politics and personal life” (Sterne, 2012). Finding a balance between produsing and using media content will aid in the development of creativity instead of the stunting of it. In my personal opinion, validity of sources should be increasing and privacy terms should be decreasing. A lot of content produced is based on false sources on the internet claiming to be of reliable sources. If this false information is being mixed in with the valid information and is being mixed and remixed into new content – who knows what information of the future will hold. It will only be relevant if published in an ‘old school’ newspaper and it will defeat the purpose of logging on to get your daily dose of news.

Read More:

Bird, S. E. (2011). ARE WE ALL PRODUSERS NOW? Cultural Studies. 25 (4-5), pp. 502-516

Sterne, J. (2012). What if Interactivity is the New Passivity? FlowTV. 15.10. Online

2 comments

  1. raymondsg

    I enjoyed reading your blog, Cass. I would like to point out something you said that I strongly agree with:”This course has opened my eyes to how easy producing my own content can be”. I also discovered this when we were required to do our assignments for our modules throughout the year. In addition, I probably would have never known that something like Storify or Mozilla Popcorn ever existed on the internet if it were not for this class. I believe that simplicity is what attracts others to become “produsers”, as well as having the desire to do so. I personally cannot say that I enjoy produsing because it simply does not interest me in anyway. There is a lot of hype when it comes to being active in social media other than Facebook or Twitter. By having first experience with these new online tools, there is a newfound respect for those that enjoy blogging and other activities of that nature. You also mentioned a lot about copyright and reliable information. These also become large factors when it comes to being a produser. I think that piracy will continue to increase over the next few years until the issue becomes more serious. I do not think the issue is that serious yet because large pirated sites have yet to be taken down. We are still able to watch and download movies online at anytime. Through there may be more beyond the surface, this issue will never go away.

  2. Marnie Gontovnick

    I really enjoyed ready your blog as we talked about many similar topics and had similar views and opinions. I especially agree with you when you state, “A lot of content produced is based on false sources on the internet claiming to be of reliable sources. If this false information is being mixed in with the valid information and is being mixed and remixed into new content – who knows what information of the future will hold.” This was my major concern when researching about what the future will hold when dealing with online information. I feel the main problem today when dealing with social media is validity and copyright issues. It has gotten to the point where most information online is false or not original. I couldn’t agree with you more when you stated, “This discourages me immensely from produsing media content because it has made me reevaluate my own thoughts – which are original and which have I just mashed up from listening to peers?” I feel the exact same way. I always contradict myself and what I am reading as I am never quite sure if it’s the truth or even the producer’s original thoughts. It has turned into not who thought of it first, but where you read it first.

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