Skype and Brun’s 4 Key Characteristics of Produsage

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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Media Brainwashing “Everything is Matter…Except Energy, Of Course”

After the BCM110 Lecture plenty of questions popped up for me to consider on this blog’s topic. Who ‘controls’ the media? Why does it matter? Who owns the media I use? What difference does it make? Why should I care? My lecturer, Sue Turnbull talked about ideas of media ownership, various influential figures in Australian media and control serving to their own interests, ‘The Frankfurt School’ and media regulation informatively yet I still came out as puzzled and confused. So in response to that, I decided to tackle the issue on a level that I could relate to and how I can care about who ‘controls’ the media.

Let’s get a little anecdotal. My uncle is a Caucasian wealthy 70+ gentleman, and while I adore him, he does tend to say things like climate change and global warming doesn’t exist, my figure is a little too curvy and if lost weight, I might be pretty. I asked him once why he would think this way, and his reply was ‘Well, I heard it on the radio so I’m leaving my lights on’ and ‘I just want you to find a boyfriend already’. To me, a teenager girl exposed to plenty of body positive content for magazines like Girlfriend and social media blog, Tumblr, I’m not too worried about it and I don’t give in to absurd theories or ideals. However, the fragility of the self esteem and the compelling influence of the media is a real problem our society faces.

Much too often today everyday people see advertisements and their project level on ideals and standards, and as consumers, we subconsciously or not believe them to be true or not. It matters who controls the media, when they are setting such propaganda for their set ideals for beauty perfection and disregarding the limitation and standards of health and the human body. What is all this effort for? Well, beauty standards have been set for the goal of making profit. Corporations thrive on the low self esteem of their consumers and a delusioned need to fit that unattainable idea of perfection. Women never shaven normal body hairs until razors where introduced by magazines like Harper Bazaar and advertisements on summer dresses, early 20th century.

Spot the Difference (Mirror, 2014)

Miranda Kerr as recently set this example of distorted self image in this photoshopped picture. Previously posting the image on the right in November 2012, has edited her photo to show a slimmer waist and uploaded the image on the left to Twitter on 9th April 2014. She has since apologized but her fans, ranging to impressionable young girls may have accepted her ideal to be theirs too.

Reference:

Mirror. 2014. Spot the difference. [image online] Available at: http://i2.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article3400774.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/Miranda-Kerr-3400774.jpg [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Whovians in the Mediated Public Sphere

The popular British science fiction, Doctor Who follows the adventures throughout space and time led by timelord, The Doctor and the companions he invite on the TARDIS. Internationally cultivating worldwide appreciation,  multitude of fans have actively expressed their love for the show by creating content and generating debate in a mediated public sphere.

The 2005 revival held onto its charming storytelling and became a hit, gathering fans, new and old who call themselves ‘Whovians’. With the incoming wider range of representation, the broadcast has incorporated different notions of gender, sexual expression and orientation and races. Some of the modern characters and themes shown has made the Whovians exhibit great gratitude for highlighting these diverse qualities. Some audience identify well with recurring characters like pansexual time agent, Captain Jack Harkness as portrayed by openly homosexual John Barrowman and the African-English aspiring doctor and strong female symbol, Martha Jones played by Freema Agyeman.

(Weheartit, 2014)

We have many different methods of contributing discussion in a mediated public sphere.  By providing this variety of representation that the audiences can identify with, makes them want to also make their own forms of content. We have Sydney pop culture conventions like Smash, as a gathering of fandoms to buy merchandise, dress up in cosplay and if we’re lucky, talk to cast. On an online aspect, Whovians have taken to media platforms such as Tumblr to vocalise their passion by means of fanart, fanfiction and online discussion.

(Tumblr, 2014)

(Youtube, 2014)

Much controversy came with the anticipation of a new doctor to be announced for the 8th series. Many Whovians wanted to see a variety for the doctor rather than cast ‘white males’. Some Whovians wanted a more diverse image of their community to challenge the conventions of the character such as creating a person of colour or woman doctor. However expectations were not met with the reveal of the talented Peter Capaldi. Amongst disappointed and negative responses. Ageist views on the recent casting were brought up as some Whovians commanded a younger doctor for the means of sex appeal, rather than the fresh portrayal of character Capaldi could provide. Capaldi also contributed in a mediated public sphere by submitting fanart and articles to May 1976 issue of the Doctor Who International Fan Club Magazine in his youth. (Veritas, 2014)

(Capaldi, 2014)

Reference:

Capaldi, P. 2014. Dr Who Titles. Doctor Who International Fan Club Magazine.

Tumblr. 2014. Jack, meet the 12th Doctor, (re)meet Jack. [image online] Available at: http://halorvic.tumblr.com/post/81722664355 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Veritas, U. 2014. Oh, nothin’, just some Doctor Who fan art… by Peter Capaldi!?. [online] 1/18/14. Available at: http://observationdeck.io9.com/oh-nothin-just-some-doctor-who-fan-art-by-peter-c-1504177150 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Weheartit. 2014. Captain Jack Harkness. [image online] Available at: weheartit.com/entry/97594512 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Weheartit. 2014. Captain Jack Harkness. [image online] Available at: weheartit.com/entry/97594512 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Youtube. 2014. *SPOILERS* Peter Capaldi is introduced to the world as the next Doctor! – Doctor Who – BBC One. [image online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Zim8zL3Q5k [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Jenkins and the Downfall of Skype Mobile

427487283_640

10 years ago, Henry Jenkins said “convergence is more simply a technological shift. Convergence alters the relationships between existing technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences. Convergence refers to a process, but nor an endpoint” in 2004. The way that audiences receive content constantly evolve as they transition from passive consumers to active prosumers. We are now the media. The shifting role of audiences and their participation in response to content is a key change in the world of media.

In relation to Jenkin’s notions that consolidation of platforms and technologies in mobile devices and new forms of community, participation and knowledge production with migratory habits, we can view my case study of Skype. Skype is a closed source media platform and its capabilities are limited by the willingness of users to invest in premium options. Despite being accessible to many devices such as mobiles, tablets, TV, homephones and game consoles, Skype has been too preoccupied with makings sales and getting profit to properly adapt Skype to a mobile format. The app design is inconvenient with its poor access of sent files, poor video quality, frequent crashes and call drops. Skype mobile is capable of basic messaging, and free voice and video calls but not much else.

Consumers have been granted access to increasingly popular apps like Whatsapp, Viber and Kik. With a collection of greater variety of companies and individuals to download from with a more concise focus of mobile messaging, users are migrating from Skype to a platform which are better suited to their needs.
Personally, use Skype for my PC whereas I have KakaoTalk on my iPhone because its easier to use and has the same abilities but more suitable to my needs and wants i.e. cute animated emojis, quick access to sent files, display customization and read receipts.

In our present day, we are able to see Jenkins 2004 predictions about the tensions and points of conflicts in media convergence in action in the media world around us.


 

– Leo Burnett, (2013), Henry Jenkins. Available at: http://b.vimeocdn.com/ts/427/487/427487283_640.jpg (viewed 04 April 14)

– Jenkins, Henry (2004), The cultural logic of media convergence, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Volume 7(1): 33–43.

 

 

Skype and the Fight with Copyright

Everyone knows of it, but the concept is hard to grasp sometimes. The complexity of it and the blurred lines makes it difficult to be defined. People often tend to break the prewritten boundaries without any intention of committing criminal acts. It’s not exactly common occurrence for police to knock down your door for playing music during a family BBQ because it just isn’t a big deal. The laws of intellectual property is disregarded.


Often while my mother sits besides at her desk, she is often watching korean reality shows (pirated of course), I often wonder how on earth these programs could play clips of songs like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and even the harry potter soundtrack. Like what Eat Your Kimchi suggests, It’s although the copyright laws in South Korea aren’t strictly enforced or even exist at all!

Another case which is concerned with my chosen media platform, Skype is the March 2009 heated copyright suit between the company founded by Skype’s developers, Joltid and Microsoft’s Skype. A quick run down of the ordeal would be that for 2.8 billion dollars, eBay bought Skype in 2006 however not the rights to the program’s Global Index Software, a peer-to-peer technology produced by Joltid. According to CNET article, “Joltid terminated its license for the software after learning that Skype had allegedly acquired unauthorized versions of the source code, made unauthorized modifications, and disclosed the software to third persons”.As the founders sold Skype but not the rights to the software, it was not open content form of licensing. By doing so they were able to restrict the consumer’s capabilities of customization, profit by ‘Skype credit and premium subscriptions and the software is more easily managed and simpler to consult for technical problems.However, hypothetically if Skype was using an open content form of licensing, more variety of options are available, company independence would suggest that use of software can be continued regardless of the activity of the company, however this freedom might overwhelm users with confusions and chaos when you navigate on your own as there will be a smaller support group who are willing to assist.


 

CNET. 2009. Skype Founders File Copyright Suit against Skype. Available at: http://www.cnet.com/news/skype-founders-file-copyright-suit-against-skype/. [Accessed 01 April 14].

NY Times. 2009. Skype Founders File Copyright Suit Against eBay. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/technology/companies/17skype.html?_r=1&amp;. [Accessed 01 April 14].

Business Week. 2009. Skype Lawsuit May Complicate Sale. Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/09/skype_lawsuit_m.html. [Accessed 01 April 14]

Eat Your Kimchi. 2013. Copyrights In Korea. Available at: http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/copyrights-in-korea/. [Accessed 01 April 14].

Eat Your Kimchi, 2013. Intellectual Property and Ripping Shit Off in Korea, TL;DR Wednesday [Youtube Video] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9AwCkzr_e1E [Accessed 1 April 2014].

CNET. 2009. Sold Ebay Jettisons Skype in 2 Billion Deal. Available at: http://www.cnet.com/news/sold-ebay-jettisons-skype-in-2-billion-deal/. [Accessed 03 April 14].