Content creation has now begun to collapse the barrier between producers and consumers and has allowed participants to be both users and producers in the role of a produser. These produsers engage in the untraditional method of content production known as produsage – “the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement”. (Bruns 2007)
A key characteristic of this progressive technique is that it must remain unfinished; it is a continuing process that creates unfinished artefacts. Artist Brian Eno (1995) suggests that we “think of cultural products, or art works, or the people who use them even, as being unfinished. Permanently unfinished.” Produsage doesn’t work towards completion but instead the steady upgrade of shared content. User-generated content in the world of GoPro (POV wearable & mountable compact camera) is exactly that; unfinished. Users are constantly editing, remixing, re-editing, sharing and re-filming both their own and other users’ footage. The GoPro itself is also an unfinished artefact; the creators are always thinking of ways to improve both the camera and the community of GoPro users where content is shared. Such improvements can be seen through comparison of the original GoPro to the current advanced Hero3+, and also within the website, app, editing software and GoPro social networking sites. To ensure that this positive development takes place, produsage communities rely on negative contributions being identified and counterbalanced by a larger number of positive contributions. The best GoPro footage is viewed all over the world through GoPro’s ‘video of the day page’ and even as GoPro advertisements. This pushes users to continually improve on their creations and means that the limits of the GoPro are never met, it is a continuous process of improvement that is never complete; the content seen “always represents only a temporary artefact of the ongoing process, a snapshot in time which is likely to be different again the next minute …” (Snurb 2007)
As long as users continue to produce, produsage will remain unfinished.
Moore, C. 2014, ‘From citizen journalism to collective intelligence Week 6′, lecture, BCM112, University of Wollongong, delivered 8 March 2014.