Produsage and iOS

Produsage is “the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement” (Brun’s, 2007) – So basically, it’s innovations. It’s how people work together to create and further currently technologies to make them better for us, and it has four main characteristics:

Producer Shift:

This is where you see a move away from a few individuals at a company making the products and toward crowd content. The iOS SDK, which launched in 2008  is a perfect example of this. It started allowing people to create and submit their apps for iOS to what is now the App Store juggernaut integrated into all iOS devices and iTunes on the desktop.  You check out Todd’s blog for more detail about the App Store specifically. This Software Development Kit (SDK) is what has given iOS such a jump in the market, beating Android for app downloads year after year.

Unfinished and Re-mixed:

This characteristic is concerned with how content generated is not necessarily the product in all cases. It’s similar to the increasing growth of remixes in music, and is reflected in copyright licensing though specific Creative Commons licenses that clearly define if a work may be remixed or edited. (Which is also a part of the Open/Permissive characteristic)

This part of produsage could be seen as important to iOS, as once again, apps for the device are repurposed and sometimes-identical ones are made – possible with slightly differing features. Examples of this could be the apps VSCO Cam and Afterlight. Both are photo-editing applications, but they have different filters and some different effects, and both likely sprung from the popularity of Instagram.

Afterlight Source: iPhone Screenshot

Source: iPhone Screenshot

VSCO Cam Source: iPhone Screenshot

Source: iPhone Screenshot










The other two characteristics of Permission/Openness and Fluid Movement between leadership and content users aren’t really embraced by iOS. It’s a product that’s for sale with only a select group of people who know how to write apps that really create content for the device, and the head-honchos at Apple definitely don’t sit around trying to help these at-home app creators come up with new ideas. This is also why iOS isn’t all that open. You still have to fit within Apple’s little guidelines.

So, while some elements of Produsage do apply, Apples closed nature means it can’t completely apply – Hopefully this wont hinder their innovation in the future, after all, their reputations is based on it.

PS: I still don’t like the word produsage…


One comment

  1. […] that has come out of a continuously expanding “Prosumption” lifestyle. Prosumption is the producer shift of Produsage, where tweeting back to students and Instagramming behind the scenes of a TV show are the norm. […]

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