Assessment 3 · Uncategorized

What is Produsage? Why it Matters?

By: Yanrui Wang (450470673)

Class: Fiona Andreallo, Thursdays 12pm

Under the impact of Web 2.0 environment, social media has become an indispensable part of people’s life. As Hinton & Hjorth (2013) stated, social media with participation and collaboration is essential, since two-way communication is the fundamental way for web to work. Therefore, in order to have further improvement, everyone can interact and communicate their ideas of existing content without access requirement on social media platforms, which can be seen as produsage.

What is Produsage?

Bruns (2008) defined, produsage is an interactive culture that sees a shift from organizations or professionals as producers to the collaborative engagement of online users in a shared project. Which means the users are not only the consumers but also the producers, the distinction between producers and consumers in social media begins to fall down. Bruns demonstrated for example of YouTube. The inception of online video-sharing website YouTube allows users to distribute creative content (see Figure 1) and participate through ranking videos, which breaks down the barriers between producers and consumers (Bruns, 2008).

Figure 1

Further, Bruns (2008) stated, the core object of produsage is to involve users as producers. We use the term ‘User Created Content’ (UCC) to more precisely refer to the kinds of content produced intentionally by users, usually for the purpose of consumption by other users (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Different from those online material produced by company’s professionals, User Created Content (UCC) means the users contributes, develops and exchanges the content, which emerge in various online environment. For example, Wikipedia act as tool for producing content, where anyone can edit, write the content or rework existing content. (see Figure 2)

wikipediaFigure 2

Meanwhile, in several others (especially where content produsage for computer game environments is concerned), the sites provide or point to useful tools and offer hints, guidelines, and frameworks for effective produsage (Bruns, 2008).

In my personal experience, I felt the emergence of produsage after I used Weibo, which is a similar version of Twitter in China. By using Weibo, people around China don’t know me, but they can found my post through searching keywords, and then they might leave comments or give me a like. And vice versa, since I can click into their personal page through their comments under my post. People post daily life, share their interest with strangers, fans are connected easily and so on. I am a user of Weibo, but I also become a producer. Once people begin to communicate and share with those who relate to them, people are in the social network. Especially, under this situation, produsage is the thing that people are engaging in.

Produsage environments provide tools or informational structures which are preconfigured for collaboration between individual produsers, for example, the placemark sharing and discussion tools available within Google Earth (Burns, 2006). This is so called collaborative engagement, which is one of the common characteristics of Produsage. Hinton & Hjorth (2013) pick up this idea that, while some of the material about user participation explores cases where individual produsers can participate in activities that were once beyond them, others focus on the action of groups of users working together to produce materials or solve problems. This is to say, compare with individual produsers, a large groups of people can be more easily to solve problems through collaboration.

Why It Matters?

  1. Produsage provides people the opportunity to be part of the social media, with a wide range of developing and exchanging content. Users can take an active role in the production of content, and when this extends to reporting on events, it constitutes citizen journalism (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013).

With the development of mobile phones, users can take photos and videos anytime and anywhere. Around the world, millions of people may be doing so at the same time. When an event happens, even only one person sees it and take photos or videos, then share these contents of event to social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, contents can break within minutes and reach a broad audience through social networks. For example, “the united airline violent removal incident”, it is the passengers on that plane first capture, share and report this incident in social media platforms. Then CNN, BBC and other media in the world, use lots of images and videos taken by that plane’s passengers to report this incident (see Figure 3). The news reported by social media users reach audience much faster than traditional media.

cnnFigure 3

Bruns (2007) mentioned, the collaboration between traditional news reporting and participative media, “citizen journalism”, has already shown an impact on political processes in the United States, Europe, Korea, and many other countries around the world.

  1. Produsage may have to revitalize democratic processes overall (Bruns, 2008).

Under the age of mass media, politicians and professional journalists produced the content of politics. As Bruns (2008) said, with the rise of networked, the consumers of politics are enabled to respond to the producers at an unprecedented degree. With the emergence of social media, citizens can participate in the produsage of democracy. Some examples provided by Burns (2007) are Daily Kos and OhmyNews, which provide key spaces for the community-based, distributed debate and deliberation on the political dimension of news reports. And MoveOn, which is a community for the produsage-based development and running of political campaigns (Burns, 2007).

  1. Produsage advances the expansion of grassroots or vernacular creativity (Burns, 2007).

The mode of collaborative engagement with content provides a diverse range of users’ creativity, such as Flickr found by Yahoo for images, YouTube found by Google for video. Bruns (2007) provides an example that the creative commons suite of licenses allow for the re-use and remixing of existing content into new artworks which are then able to be further reworked by subsequent generations of users.

  1. For me personally, Produsage provides a better environment for higher education.

For instance, having a social media account on platform for a course has been useful and convenient. Fiona Andreallo, the tutor of MECO6936 Social Media Communication, created a Facebook group for students to get information, share ideas and ask questions (see Figure 4). This not only make sure students do not miss any information, but also help everyone can see the answer from tutor when someone ask question about the course on Facebook group, since social media has been integrated into our daily life, students having an always-on lifestyle on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

smcFigure 4

Moreover, education begins to focus more on a collaborative engagement between teachers and learners as well as between learners themselves, and provide opportunities for learners to work on groups and on ongoing, longer-term projects (Bruns, 2006).

Related to Our Lunchbreak Concerts Campaign

In our social media campaign, we make some short clips with background music from lunchbreak concerts and upload them on YouTube (see Figure 5), which shows the emergence of produsage.屏幕快照 2017-04-23 上午1.33.11Figure 5

Furthermore, Facebook is mainly for updating regular information about the lunchbreak concerts. By posting pictures and videos to attract target audiences, the use of Facebook in our strategy explains the concept of ‘User Created Content’ (UCC), which refers to content produced intentionally by users, usually for the purpose of consumption by other users (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Obviously, the distinction between producers and consumers falls down when we post relative information about lunchbreak concerts on the social media platforms, since we are not only the user of those plafroms but also contributing content as a produser.



Bruns, A. (2007). Produsage, Generation C, and Their Effects on the Democratic Process. In Proceedings Media in Transition 5.

Bruns, A. (2007). Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. Retrieved from

Bruns, A. (2006). Towards Produsage: Futures for User-Led Content Production. Proceedings Cultural Attitudes towards Communication and Technology.

Michale, M. (Producer). (2012). What Is Collaboration Anyway? . The Social Media Reader. Retrieved from;cc=acls;rgn=full%20text;idno=heb31970.0001.001;didno=heb31970.0001.001;view=image;seq=00000063;node=heb31970.0001.001%3A4.5

Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Participation and User Created Content. Understanding Social Media, 32-54.

Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Social Network Sites Understanding Social Media, 32 – 54.


2 thoughts on “What is Produsage? Why it Matters?

  1. The example of United Airline provides an excellent illustration of produser’s implication. Citizen journalism has been a hot topic since the emergence of new media, especially social media. As we are in the Web 2.0 era, the variety of electronic devices allows people increasingly opportunities of participating in the media world. Social media and citizen journalism can reach the audience directly and rapidly because of their locations (the closest group of people to the event). Professional news agencies can also benefit from the footage and photos taken by netizens, as the journalists cannot get to the story that quick. In addition to which, journalists would ask these witnesses if they can interview them by sending private messages through social media.

    Another example that attracts me is the Facebook group set by the coordinator of the course. Before reading your article, I’ve never thought that produser would provide a better environment for education.

    I would argue that despite the side effects caused by new media, the interaction and collaboration opportunities brought by them could benefit the society and people in the long term. In terms of journalism, because of the speediness and convenience of reaching the target audience, alternative approaches to accessing the media can push the limit of the existing media system and the journalism as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your sharing, and your post is great. It is true that produsage could provide the opportunity for users to participate into the production of media content, which could facilitate the development of democracy and advances the expansion of grassroots or vernacular creativity. Citizen journalism is a good example. However, we also need to pay attention to some problems related to produsage.

    Firstly, there is inequality between different groups when they produce content on social media. The contents from the social accounts with many followers are more likely to be concerned by public. The status of social accounts is usually related to owners’ social and economic capital, as well as media literacy.

    Due to the lack of gate-keeper on social media, there are considerable fake news and information which would mislead public. Just like the recent news about United Airlines, the information and details published and communicated on the social media, which accelerates the progress, but it is difficult for users to distinguish the information which is true.

    According to Bird(2013), while the produsage means that users could be initiative and have the platform to use creativity, media industries could learn quickly how to use produsage to meet their goals. Some famous social accounts actually are supported and operated by professional media companies. For example, just like you said be before, Weibo is a great platform for users to create and share their media content. Nevertheless, there are “marketing accounts” which look like operated by individuals, actually these are controlled by media companies.

    Therefore, from my perspective, everyone has microphone, it does not mean that the voices of ordinary individuals could be heard and the voices could be believed. When we celebrate the active and participatory of users, we also need to be aware of the inequality between different groups, and media industries still have significant influence on audiences.


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