Collaborative Intelligence & Produsage

Created from the words ‘produce’ and ‘usage’ PRODUSAGE isn’t the prettiest new word around but it is soon to become one of the most talked about in the arena of collective / collaborative intelligence. The blurring of the distinction between being a producer of content and a user of content is increasing day on day. Clay Shirky’s book ‘Here Comes Everybody’, which I talk about in an earlier post, does not mention ‘produsage’ but talks about everyone being a media outlet. To me these are essentially the same thing.

To go to one side for a moment – if you look at Proctor and Gamble’s strategy of enabling their consumers/customers to make significant contributions to the creative process for new products and services. This takes out the middle man (piles of market research and concept designers). By asking their customers what they want they can be sure they are on the right track.

That sort of process has been going on for quite a few years. The change we are seeing lately is the degree to which the consumer is becoming embedded in the production process. Beta testing websites to refine features or introduce totally new ones, is becoming a necessary way of launching new sites. Our expectations for customization of features and for ‘high tech – high touch’ are growing.

Collaborative intelligence grows each time a group of people are enabled to better tap into the shared wealth of the groups life experience, knowledge and desires. A very obvious example of the connection between produsage and collaborative intelligence is YouTube.  YouTube is providing a platform for everyone who has access to a video camera and a computer to share something they know with everyone else who has a computer. Once this capability has fully reached all hand-held- web-enabled devices there will be an explosion of information trasnfer through society.

Here is an interesting article at Trendwatching.com about how YouTube is transforming the way we interact with media and media production.