Since my research is looking at how hockey fans are produsers (Bruns, 2008), I think it’s important to compare produsage to prosumerism. Both sound similar, but are very different.
The vast majority of research that examines professional sports depict fans as consumers or prosumers. Consumers are those that consume. Prosumers, coined by Alvin Toffler in 1980, are consumers that become active in designing and improving the products in the marketplace. Current research looks at consumption patterns of sports fans, but also how these fans are having an input on the products they consume.
Produsage, on the other hand, is “the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement” (Produsage, 2007, para.2). Produsers build on existing content to create new content. In this case, fans become unique producers unaffiliated with the main sources such as professional sports leagues and broadcast networks. Information is the content that my research examines, with blogs serving as the specific tool fans use to produse.
The availability of hockey games and related information is the result of hockey prosumers. Fans demand content be available on mobile phones and applications and the league responds. In this case, fans don’t create anything new. They simply assist in enhancing the product.
Fans who blog on their own or in collaboration with other fans, serve as one example of produsers. They create their own content using what’s available to them, which in this case is the game of hockey. They create, maintain and share their information online and are unaffiliated with official producers. Sports fan produsage lacks research right now, and could provide insight into changing role of the hockey fan.
Bruns, A. (2009). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
Produsage. (2007, December 31). Produsage: A working definition. Retrieved from http://produsage.org/node/9
Produsage. (2009, April 5). Beyond Toffler, beyond the prosumer. Retrieved from http://produsage.org/node/58
Prosumer. (2011, August 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:10, August 28, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosumer
Toffler, A. (1980). The Third Wave. USA: Bantam.
Toffler, A. (1990). Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century . USA: Bantam.