Posts Tagged ‘Prof Axel Bruns’

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Class 10: Content Produser

May 2, 2019

The poor attendance continues with only five arriving for class today and two apologies received.

John suggested we visit Lauk’s Nest, a nature park in SL and one of the first (and now oldest remaining) public places for SL residents and visitors to enjoy in the virtual world. Based on the idea of a ruined ancient Mayan village in a jungle by the coast, it was built originally by Laukosargas Svarog in the very early days of SL’s existence and uniquely, despite changing hands several times, retains its charm. At one stage Linden Lab took on responsibility for the site but it is now owned by a preservation group that fund its maintenance along with donations from visitors. In addition to the lovely views it has some nice interactive features such as a bird feeding table and playable musical instruments in a high tree-house. The video below records a tour of Lauk’s Nest from 2016.

Lauk’s Nest, unlike many public spaces in SL, has the advantage of being a quiet spot which supports voice so we held our class discussion in the inspiring surroundings. To begin we questioned the rationale behind recreating the environments that already exist IRL. What is the motivation? Familiarity? Accessibility? Relaxation? Emotion? Coccinella asked if you wanted something like real life why would you come to Second Life? We decided it must be a matter of perspective. Such vistas are not available to everyone and can be difficult to access; it may be that they provide a taster for the real thing; or perhaps they provide an opportunity for those who have no direct access IRL to have a virtual experience.

EvaKKCara argued that this form of expression is just as valid as any other – it is a form of art. Aestheticant and JCraig added that it is an example of co-creation by a network, or community, of individuals. EvaKKCara added that it has been created by the ‘produsers’ (as described by Bruns) of SL! This process of co-creation also supports the maintenance of a level of quality that in turn ensures the value of what is created.

As the discussion moved on to the creation of content we looked at possible indicators of value. How do we know what we create has value and how can we realise that value? Is it simply about followers and income generation? What is the difference between social influencers, who can be seen as pedlars, and those who generate original content? John suggested that the class in which we looked at identity and personal branding throws some light on the emergence of value. He asked you to consider these in the context of your own blogs and ponder these questions as you move into you own professional careers.

Before we broke up John reminded the class that there is only one more meeting before the Team Work project presentation. You all confirmed that your teams are making good progress! John also suggested that if you don’t have your blogs up to date you should work on doing so immediately – before the end of semester rush to submit portfolios and essays becomes too much of a burden.

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Class 8: Content and the Produser

November 22, 2018

One of the links to the reading material for the week was broken so John gave the class some time to catch up before getting into the discussion around content creation and the concept of ‘produsage’ proposed by Prof Axel Bruns.

We spoke of the changes brought about by the migration from the print medium to digital. One of the principal outcomes is the shift from mediated content, where ‘gatekeepers’ such as newspaper editors, publishers and so on, commissioned and controlled the flow of information to the public. Digital media has eliminated this necessity – authors are now free to connect directly with their readers and viewers through blogs, YouTube and even sites like Wikipedia where the public is invited to edit contributions. As a result, consumers of news and information are required to be their own editors. We need to be more discriminating in our consumption, unable to rely on the frame of reference that was previously provided by knowing the perspective of the newspaper we read, for instance.

Bruns’ proposal is that the web has facilitated the rise of new types of collaborative communities that require a new word to describe their activities:

Produsers engage not in a traditional form of content production, but are instead involved in produsage – the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement. –produsage.org

John suggested that your own blogs are another example of content creation. The ubiquity of the internet supports the niche interests in a way that mass media publishing never could. The extremely low cost base means that anyone with access to the web can share their interest with like-minded individuals and develop a community.

Finally, I referred to the question of value. Does all content have value? How can content developers monetise their material? How can you protect it? For more on copyright read the post from this time last year A Word about copyright.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS:

  1. Read: the short story The Ones who walk away from Omelas by Ursula K Le Guin, 1973 [accessed on 24/11/18].
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Class 9: Consumers to Produsers

March 28, 2015

This week is Spring Break for Akron students so the class was in the DIT seminar room in Dublin for a change of scene. For the first half we discussed progress on the group project and re-emphasised the importance of reflecting on what is not working in the collaboration in addition to what is working. It is important that participants are writing about this in their blogs from now to the end of the semester.

The second part of the class consisted of a discussion based around Prof Axel Bruns’ lecture that students had read over the week. At the beginning many professed confusion about what Bruns was proposing but as the discussion progressed it became clear that most understood it better than they realised. It may be that as emerging ‘produsers’ themselves the concept is so familiar that it is almost invisible to them.

The concept of wikipedia not being about the creation of finished products but the ongoing revision of information – constantly amended and updated by people who may have originally come to it as consumers but have become content creators – was clearly understood. The development of the distribution system for news from the formality of traditional newspapers that are controlled by editors and publishers to the openness of blogs, Facebook and such systems that have eliminated the gatekeeper was considered – with particular consideration of the pros and cons. The issue of reliability was surfaced, leading to a reminder of the importance of reputation – and brand. As users become the producers of content: people who care enough to participate – as opposed to those who merely want to consume – personal brand becomes increasingly important.

DIT students are reminded that their blogs were due for the second assessment (after week 8) but this has been postponed to this week giving you a chance to catch up if necessary. The importance of proofreading posts before publishing was emphasised.

ACTIVITIES FOR NEXT WEEK:

  1. Read: about the girl who resigned her position as uk police youth commissioner due to previous tweets (accessed 02/13/15).
  2. Read: about another example of a person losing her job over a tweet (accessed 02/13/15).
  3. Read: why Dr Phil removed a tweet from his TV show (accessed 02/13/15).
  4. Write the ninth post: to your blog reflecting on the benefits and difficulties of collaborating online across time zones.
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Class 8: Is the medium the message?

March 22, 2015

Last week students were asked to watch a lecture by Prof Axel Bruns but the link was faulty – while the slides accompanying the talk were visible the lecture itself was missing. So, the correct link will  be posted this week and we will discuss the idea of ‘Prosumer to Produser: Understanding User-Led Content’ in another class.

This week in class we discussed Marshall McLuhan’s proposal that the ‘medium is the message’. Use of the smart phone emerged as the dominant theme, particularly the way in which it appears to have replaced face-to-face encounters for many people today.

marshall-mcluhan-quote-the-medium-is-the-message-this-is-merely-to.

ACTIVITIES FOR NEXT CLASS:

  • Watch and listen: to the lecture ‘From Prosumer to Produser: Understanding User-Led Content Creation‘ by Prof Axel Bruns (Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland Institute of Technology) explains his theory of user-led collaborative content creation.
  • Write the eighth post to your blog explaining how Marshall McLuhan’s theories inform the thinking behind this class.
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