Archive | February 2012

Producer + Consumer = Prosumer

Watch out world.  The amateur is having her hayday: forums to publish on, videos to create, affinity groups to join and everything that might crumble the hierarchy of the entertainment business.  Okay, it might not be THAT bad.  We are, however, in a serious state of flux, and we humans don’t particularly love this idea of change, now do we?  or maybe we want to like it?

So first, Consumers: passive, observer. Producer: active, distributor. Prosumer: consumes and produces
Example: Films

A) Excerpt from Jaws

B) My Nephew’s Version

My nephew was a consumer.  He watched Jaws, but he did not want to stop there; he (and his dad) created a video to depict Ben’s favorite scene as well as “pay tribute” to the film in his own way, thus developing into a prosumer.

We do consume products; however, these products that we buy frequently do not just feed us information (not even TV’s anymore). Our ipads and laptops CAN entertain us but they also provide us with the medium to create and contribute.

Passive Consumption

Active Consumption

Due to the ability to create.  Let’s think about  zones of tolerance. 

Henry Jenkins establishes that a zone of tolerance is a place wherein “fans can operate while asserting some control over what happens” in Convergence Culture (154).  His example here focuses on Star Wars and how Lucas has created spaces that the fans have control, but he has still orchestrated them.  One such location is http://www.lucasarts.com/  . While it’s not ALL about the money… it is about the money. Who is profiting? How? Why?

The fact that LucasFilms creates these spaces for the fans does not make them the evil corporation that “we” frequently depict big companies to be.  True, Elizabeth Durack’s claim that “That’s the genius of LucasFilm offering fans web space–it lets them both look amazingly generous and be even more controlling” (157) can be supported easily.  While it is true that LucasFilms are not going to “feel the hurt” from amateur endeavors that connect to StarWars, other less established companies could be ruined.  As a member of society, I suppose first we should decide if we care?  As a prosumer, I want to be able to keep all my freedom to create, publish, remix, remediate etc., but I should probably think about the points at which my creations infringe upon someone else’s.  There is no easy way to achieve this balance.

Think about the TV we watch today.  It is participatory.

We vote on American Idol

We discuss the Bachelor on Forums to forecast “who gets a rose”

http://www.fansofrealitytv.com/forums/bachelor-spoilers-speculation/

Why is this participatory culture so scary? It has brought about a huge amount of change in a small space. Ownership as we know is changing. Production is changing. Consumption is changing. Technology is changing. Access is changing. The scope of audience has shifted from intimate groups to public domains. Stability is non-existant. We are all prosumers in some way.

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The Monthly Marine

Rationale:

This document represents a shift from HANDOUT to E-news Letter for the Military Phonetic Alphabet.  I fashioned it loosely based upon the “Monday Morning Memo” I receive from the Huntington Chamber of Commerce (don’t judge, my home dance studio is a member); it houses upcoming events, links to affiliates, stories, “community trivia/raffle information” (on occasion) and meeting sessions.The news letter would be distributed via email to all Marines on base at Parris Island for BootCamp: First to Drill Sergeants then to Privates and Private First Classes. Here it is linked as it would be in the following email:

OOH-RAH!

Greetings.  It is the dawn of a new month, and it is time to explore yet another important component of the USMC.  This month’s newsletter reminds us of the importance we should place upon our communication and communication devices.  Outlined in the newsletter is a story of triumph, training session schedules and the popular trivia for liberty time. It all connects to our communication and the NATO Phonetic Alphabet.

Remember, the first sunday of each month, “Liberty Sunday” will be used to peruse this document; Drill Sergeants please observe the information prior to the group viewings.

SEMPER FI!

Devil Dog Publishing

Monthly Marine, February Edition

Technology(shifts)

We only "see" the technology when it fails.

Technology permeates our existence; however, it does not only fall into the realm of “digital” technologies. The focus of this unit highlighted the malleability of technology, immediacy and hypermediacy, the interchangeability of audience and publisher, and the reality of connection and sharing.

Baron reminds us that writing is a technology that was not trusted in ancient times (think:”getting it in writing”), but writing itself has changed, shifted.

Shifts in Writing Technologies

How many of us hand write (regularly, say an essay)?  Writing for many of us means hands to a key board, not pen to paper. The medium through which we write (including the pencil) was remediated because the potential was realized that shifted it from its original purpose (Bolter & Grusin 68).

For Bolter and Grusin, immediacy is central to technology (and the production of remediated texts); however, Delagrange supports a focus on hypermediacy.  The most important difference between these two terms is that hypermediacy “calls attention to its mediation through the accumulative effect of stacking, layering,linking, juxtaposing, and other visual, verbal and aural strategies” (Delagrange 27).

Just like the existence of the phonograph did not ruin our vocal cords, the remediation of audience/publisher and the value of the amateur has not ruined society (most likely); it has simply tapped into our cognitive surplus and shifted us from simple consumers into producers.

Publisher/Authorship can shift from this...

to this…   and even this

This shift represents some of the fears about ownership and “piracy”: WHO OWNS IT?! I ask, does it matter? How do you cite it (if you wanted to)?

SOPA: piracy or remediation?

Connection creates opportunity for sharing and technology is the means through which we connect and share: “media is the connective tissue of society” (Shirky 54).  Do benefits outweigh consequences? Arguably, we are tapping into our cognitive surplus as we share, connect and remediate; it is a fulfillment of potential.

Technology has also uncovered a shift (or continuum): deep and hyper attention.  Multiple stimuli has opened up opportunities for pedagogical shifts.

Visualization of "hyper attention" (Hayles)

Technology is constantly shifting, and it is possible that we rely upon it too much–the separation of me and the machine is narrowing: I’m followed and tweeted and friended and linked in nearly 100% of the time. It’s at my finger tips, in the palm of my hand; The scope(Globalization) of my connection leaps time zones and countries. I “talk” in real time to someone stationed in Afghanistan while I grade papers in my office on Blackboard. It is the fluidity of technology as it is in constant stage of change that threads through this unit; the changes do not replace the old but enhance it and remediate it into new and interesting territories.

Technology: "to infinity, and beyond!"