January 25, 2010

In Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage, Axel Bruns introduces the idea of produsage. Produsage is the term that captures the making of information consumers into interactive users—many hands can mold one project. Bruns is talking specifically about Web 2.0 technology that refers to blogs, videos and “social software,” which is a term that can also encompass many things.

According to Bruns, there are four distinguishing characteristics of produsage.
1. Inclusive Open Communication: Everyone has a say
2. Lack of a hierarchy: Literally and on the basis of the value of everyone’s input
3. No finish: There will be continual additions and improvements
4. Shared project: Rewards in terms of social capital… say, accreditation or future employment

When reading the beginning of Bruns’s book, I immediately thought of hitRECord, which is the epitome of produsage. The online community of filmmakers, artists, graphic designers, painters and photographers gather on It was started by actor, writer and wholebunchofotherthings Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 2005 as a project to group and grow film talent. Now in 2010, it has become a “full-fledged professional collaborative production company.” The mission remains the same. People can go to the site, upload their work for someone else to pick it up, and mix how they want it. Pictures, sound bytes, film clips, and music—all of different origin—are mixed into a cleverly labeled RECord. Like this one…Re: Love

It’s the perfect place for amateurs or professionals to intertwine in a vision for the sole purpose of loving what they do. As I understand it, money has only just now entered the hitRECord picture.

Bruns brings up the point of ownership of this kind of new media. Is it the “casual collapse of traditional content and copyright industries.” No, I don’t think so. With the circumstances now, where there is SO much talent to be realized in any field, it is important to expose yourself to the community in which you call home. There are loads of young Scoreses and Spielbergs. I feel as though now with Web 2.0 possible, and produsage possible, there is a right of passage to stardom or success. Sharing what you got with the world, solely for the pure joy of it at first.

Share your wealth of being with the world.

Official site [hitRECord]
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Tells Us To hitRECord [Cinematical]
Produsage: A working definition [Axel Bruns]


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