Tuesday, 14 August 2012

A 'Produsage' Revolution: The interactive culture of Web 2.0

User led content creation is not a new concept, but rather an evolving one that has become more prolific as technology and the way society communicates changes. The interactivity of Web 2.0 increases the visibility of user-generated content. This blurs the boundaries between audience and producer, allowing people to connect, communicate, document their lives, and share content on a much larger scale. (Burgess and Banks, 2009, 299.).

With the shift towards Web 2.0, new media technologies provide businesses with new ways to construct and build audiences. Traditional forms of media that enforce a primarily passive audience have been challenged to integrate interactivity into their business practices in order to remain competitive. By comparing traditional television viewing with YouTube it is possible to highlight the changes in the relationship between producers and audiences. This is evident in television’s monological communication approach whereby the programs communicate with their audience via a purely top down-down model of interaction (Harrington, 2011). This one-way communication method is primarily program based where the sender has the ability to control the message (Fiske, 1990, 2). 

In contrast, YouTube establishes a participatory culture around video production. This creates an empowered, transnational audience with the ability to craft their own relational viewing experience, where audiences no longer watch television but databases (Turner 2009, p. 143). Turner (2009, 145) goes on to suggest that YouTube’s novelty lies in its ability to harness the hive (Bruns, 2008). By combining an expansive database of material, the ability for viewers to share their favourite selections, and facilitating in the creation of produsage artefacts inside the community it provides a high level of interactivity not previously possible with traditional media. By examining YouTube through Andrew McAffee’s SLATES model it is possible to see how they are utilizing key elements of the Web 2.0 framework to find valuable outcomes from participation:





Rather than creating content purely for a passive audience, Web 2.0 allows for the collaboration and expansion of media texts. As information becomes more malleable, the emphasis on creativity changes to suggest a more vernacular creative culture. This reinforces Jenkins (2006) view of a shift toward participatory culture facilitated by the rise of social network platforms for ‘produsage’ where audiences not only engage in consumption but also extend and create new content (Bruns, 2007; 2008). These types of creative platforms foster a freewheeling exchange of information and ideas that are indicative of the changes to the ways that businesses and audiences interact.

Thanks for reading, 



  1. Great post Justin! It's really interesting looking at YouTube in comparison to the traditional television and media models. You make a strong point about how YouTube establishes a participatory culture. This really exemplifies how Web 2.0 has impacted on the traditional business models and ultimately led to the explosion of the social web.

    1. thanks for your input. When i was looking for an example i found that all these companies were using YouTube and then it hit me, YouTube is probably the biggest offender!

  2. I rarely watch TV anymore since they didn't provide what I want at the right time. I watch TV only when I'm having dinner at home so that it'll the dinner is a bit more amusing. Youtube is a good social media that give people what they want. We get access to hobbies, work, news, comedy and a lot more. You can also share your experiences to Youtube to establish your brand too.


    Prapat W.

  3. Hi Justin!
    Great blog post. YouTube is an excellent example of Andrew McAffee’s SLATES model. YouTube can be quite addictive as well. I rarely look at TV anymore, it's so much more fun to decide what to watch whenever you want to. The interaction on YouTube is also much more appealing. Without the SLATES components YouTube would only been a normal TV experience.

  4. Hey Justin, that's a really good post which uses YouTube as an example. Like the others who commented, I seldom watch TV these days and prefer to go on YouTube to look at what the creative minds of the world have to show us.

    I think you mentioned a great point with "extensions" as most of the time, I look at the suggestions at the side and will often click another suggested video. It gets so addictive! Guess that strategy works targets people like me. Haha! :P