The rise of the prosumption has been facilitated by the collaboration of producers and consumers coming together to co-create goods and services and then consuming what has been produced. Toffler (1980) (as referenced in Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010:17) introduced the term prosumer in his book The Third Wave. He predicted as how as a society we had slowly become accustom to being a prosumer.
We as a society have slowly become accustom to being a prosumer from using cash points, self service checkouts and kiosks for checking into hotels, and printing plane tickets. Some consumers find this enjoyable while others realise that the company providing the good or service is eliminating staff, but are doing so and passing the savings onto the prosumer. Another group of people feel capitalism is taking advantage and making money off prosumers. Ryanair and Aerlingus charge a handling fee for booking a ticket online, and charge a larger fee to book over the phone or in person. They like to make us feel like we are empowered however they are taking advantage of us.
Bloom (2006) derived the definition of prosumer into ‘a blurring of roles of producer and consumer’ and believes it now describes people who have professional knowledge but are producing amateur content which is especially prevalent with the introduction of Web 2.0, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. Previously Web 1.0 was provider generated content but we have quickly moved on. (Collins 2010) Youtube’s ‘broadcast yourself’ has created a community based on collaborate sharing around these centres of prosumption. Youtube has created a ‘mass adoption of digital technologies and (created) the rise of Web 2.0 applications’. These prosumers are creating discussions, blogging, sharing opinions and spreading information to be enjoyed by all.
The market is full of content that is freely produced in abundance by producers who are not charging for their work. Wee have consumers who want to place their creativity on display and don’t wish to pay for the expense of being able to feature whatever art they have produced to whomever wants to consume it. Much of the UGC is free to watch, the vast majority ad free and the small selection that has ads are so popular that the addition is an expectable compromise. Tapscott & Williams (2006:20) coined the term wikinomics which is the base concept for the prosumption of user generated content that it is based on openness, peering, sharing, and acting globally which are allowing both sides to participate on their own terms.
The Inability of Capitalists to Control Contemporary Prosumers and Their Greater Resistance to the Incursions of Capitalism
There is a wave of digital socialism on web 2.0 to resist the efforts by capitalist to control and exploit the prosumers and promote freedom. Often the corporation is able to profit from the advertisement that can be attached to the content. Tapscott & Williams (2006: 1) explained that the structure of capitalism is not disappearing but there will be changes which will give way to new production models based on a sense of community, collaboration and self organisation instead of being controlled. The prosumer always has the power to take their content, service or good else where or consumer elsewhere.
Youtube is not the only video hosting website (List of Video Hosting Services) according to wikipedia there are currently 66 video hosting websites world wide that are accepting new content. Megavideo is headquartered in San Francisco, Megavideo is in Hong Kong and Dailymotion in France. While they would all have different rules for content acceptance it shows that consumers have some of the power in where they choose to upload their content. Not all prosumers are happy and some are rebelling by taking their content to the other providers that would not have the same capitalistic tendencies.
Prosumers enjoy what they are creating and producing even if a...
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