Skype and Brun’s 4 Key Characteristics of Produsage

Produsage is a term coined by Axel Bruns and is a compound of the words ‘production’ and ‘usage’.  According to Bruns it is “the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement.” and this concept is described as user-led content creation via the users’ ability to build, collaborate and change content information in a variety of online environments. The role of the audience shifts from passive consumption to active production.

Bruns argues that produsage has four defining characteristics;

  1. Open participation,
  2. Fluid heterarchy and holoprism,
  3. Palimpsestic artifacts and granularity and,
  4. common property and individual rewards

Bruns used the online resource website, Wikipedia as his example if media meeting the four features of a produsage model. However does Skype hold up to qualification in terms of produsage?

Skype holds the title as one of the most popular media platforms to contact with loved ones through voice or video chat near and far. The application around the multitude of media devices such as phones, tablets and desktop can be updated for callers to use Skype with their latest technology with the ‘Check For Updates’ option. Those who are appreciative and loyal to Skype reassures users for reliable methods of chatting to their friends and family. Users can show their critique of program performance by submitting reviews through Skype as they occasionally ask for feedback on the call quality and they can also discuss issues and ask question through the Skype Community forum. This participation also leads to a sense of community between the registered users of Skype as they offer a customer’s perception and idea of satisfaction thus improving the product, creating success and customer loyalty. Therefore Skype creates community and is constantly improving itself.

Skype, however, is a closed media platform and the content cannot be customised or changed to the liking of a user. By keeping the program simple and easy to use, Skype provides assurance, ease, and efficiency to the users and by acting on copyright laws, this technology reduces the ability of hacking-further reminding the reliability of Skype.

References:

Bruns, A, 2007, Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-led Content Creation in Proceedings Creativity and Cognition 6, Washington, DC.

Bruns, A 2007, ‘Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation ‘, Proceedings Creativity & Cognition, vol. 6, p./pp. 1-3

Jenkins, H 2008, From Production to Produsage: Interview with Axel Bruns (Part One)Confessions of an Aca-Fan, Blogpost, 9th May, viewed 15th April <http://henryjenkins.org/2008/05/interview_with_axel_bruns.html>

O’Malley, R 2011, A summary of “The key characteristics of Produsage”…,HCI Crossovers, blogpost, 9th March, 14th April, <http://hcicrossroads.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/summary-of-key-characteristics-of.html&gt;.

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wow remix much culture

Remixing is defined as the act of rearranging, combining, editorializing, and adding originals to create something entirely new. (Jessel 2013) and it is a form of distributed creativity as they are projects which harness the creativity of a large range of participants to build on and extend an existing pool of artistic materials. (Bruns 2010) It is said that we live in the age of the remix.

The first thought that comes to mind upon leaning about the notion of remix culture, is the association with remix in music, like Australian DJ, Flume’s work, covering an song by your own twist or combing tunes into a mash up. However, it take many forms in our day to day lives and multiple media formats.

An example of remix culture is internet memes which according to Know Your Meme is a “piece of content or an idea that’s passed from person to person, changing and evolving along the way. A piece of content that is passed from person to person, but does not evolve or change during the transmission process is considered viral content.” The idea of remix culture is seen in the famous internet phenomena, Doge.  It evolved to innocent photos of a Shiba Inu on a Japanese Kindergarten teacher, Atsuko’s blog to the “I Swear On Me Mum” meme to it’s final ultimate form, Doge, creating 2013’s trend of speaking ‘doge speech’ like “wow such happy many fluff” and when in written form using the much hated font, Comic Sans as a form of irony. These memes spread across the internet from Reddit, 4chan, Tumblr and eventually as the popularity dies, Facebook. Although, usually the essential image of the Shiba Inu is present, images, words, and meaning interchange while basing its relevance on the existing format.

 

 Know Your Meme, (2008). Know Your Meme. [online] Available at: http://knowyourmeme.com/ [Accessed 15 May. 2014].

M.I.A, Lorde, Diplo Street (2014). Paper Royals. Available at: https://soundcloud.com/dj-eliz-1/paper-royals-lorde-ft-mia-remix [Accessed 16 May. 2014].

McFly, M. (2014). Doge. [online] Know Your Meme. Available at: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/doge [Accessed 14 May. 2014].

Transmedia storytelling in MyMusic

According to Henry Jenkins, “Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience” (Jenkins, 2007) These various stories are told over a range of platform and formats such as online videos, blogs, comics, audiobooks and video games.

Evidently, Skype does not have the ability to supply distribution channels that would contribute meaningfully to a transmedia narrative. Jenkins says “Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story” I imagine that could be extremely difficult to achieve that through Skype. Hypothetically, If the creators of content in the bleak chance, chose to allow their characters to speak to individuals or taking advantage of the free group calling now available, It would not be very effective anyway. Ultimately, Skype is not the best example for transmediality.

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(TheFineBrothers, 2012)

A great example of transmedia storytelling is the mockumentary sitcom, MyMusic created by youtube content creators, Benny and Rafi Fine. The plot follows the transmedia production company, MyMusic in which all the staff are referred to as musical genres with which they identify with for example, the CEO and founder, Indie. While the story is primarily based on 10 minute episodes, this story experience is also branching out to various formats, like character tumblr and twitter accounts, weekly audience interactive channel shows such as the Mosh, Tumblr Tuesday, video/audio podcast and merchandise.

However, in the case of MyMusic, The Fine Brothers succeeded in tying in many channels of content via Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, and Facebook, while individually giving off various new information while collectively making sense to the narrative system. By using transmedia storytelling practices, MyMusic has marketed their brand by allowing a range of entry points for the difference audience. Each form of media that the MyMusic universe initiates “addictive comprehension” through the various media outlets as the audience is pushed to review the overall understanding of the story. The producers managed to improve the experience by allowing real time interaction and participation by constantly breaking the fourth wall. These various channels are also all managed by the creators to ensure smooth coordination through out all of the media and shaping its essence.They also used these media channels to fill in plot holes, give extra details and lead to greater story lines. Unauthorised expansion has also taken place in the form of fan fiction, an unofficial extension of the MyMusic world and eases the audience’s want for extra content and explanation.

References:
Jenkins, H. (2007). Transmedia Storytelling 101. [Blog] Confessions of a Aca-Fan. Available at: http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html [Accessed 14 May. 2014].

 TheFineBrothers, (2012). MyMusic Teaser Trailer. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmvbYbL2dOY [Accessed 15 May. 2014].

TheFineBrothers, (2012). MyMusic Extended Trailer. Available at: http://youtu.be/O8LbT34kCYc [Accessed 15 May. 2014].

By the rage of angry Asian girls, Unite!

Screen Capture of Blog

Screen Capture of Blog

“We will no longer tolerate or endure silence. We will fight, we will scream and we will be heard. “

On Tumblr, I follow a blog, AngryAsianGirlsUnited and as the title of the blog suggests, It is made, run and for angry Asian girls. It is meant to be a safe space for women to celebrate their cultural Asian heritage and while there isn’t a clearly defined goal, one could argue that they aim to gather and empower like minded individuals who identify as an Asian women, diminishing social expectations and negative stereotypes, sharing and comment on Asian female representation in the media and providing an outlet to voice our relevant opinions and experiences. Followers may submit their personal stories, creative writing, web comics, selfies and relevant articles to the Tumblr blog and the moderators will publish their content as well as answering questions. The blog’s activity raises awareness of female Asian struggle in white society and boosts the moral strength of followers for reminding us of standards we do not have to meet and making us feel empowered by our gender and race. They do not tolerate racism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-blackness, ableism, misogyny, cultural appropriation and fetishization.

I’ve decided to follow this blog as an effort to be informed about the female Asian culture and the effects of Western society. Far too often, I’ve forgotten my Chinese roots while living in an Australian Western society because while the signs are present like eating Oriental meals and listening to my parents in Cantonese. I found the blog through a fellow blogger’s repost-meaning AngryAsianGirlsUnited succeeded in audience participation and creating awareness for the blog’s content.

Prior to writing this blog post, I find that I make little efforts of online participation because I only take in the content created, while in exchange, I merely ‘like’ their posts, thus acknowledging I viewed the post . Possible forms of online participation could be sharing the content via ‘reblogs’, submitting the follower’s own or other’s content and generating commentary in a public sphere. AngryAsianGirlsUnited’s effect on my offline lifestyle is considerably minimal and internalised. While it makes me self aware of my ethnicity, I has simply created awareness rather than the needed active action.

Angryasiangirlsunited.tumblr.com, (2014). Angry Asian Girls United. [online] Available at: http://angryasiangirlsunited.tumblr.com/ [Accessed 12 May. 2014].