Produsage and the Wiki way it works!

This weeks topic for me has come up in many of my media subjects. Produsage, aggregated media, citizen journalism and gatewatching/keeping are all terms I have heard many times. All related to the way we use and receive information through the network is based on communities of collective intelligence.

There has been many arguments on whether collective intelligence is credible information or is the web a major advantage because it is a quick and easy way to distribute information. Also there is the ongoing issue of those who think online journalism and other online publishers are harming traditional media and other paid professions. The example I want to look at is Wikipedia. A little bit of background information is Wikipedia is a site that was launched in 2001 and  is free access and free content Internet encyclopaedia. Wikipedia basis itself on the characteristic that almost anyone who can access the site can be an editor of many of the articles. This collaborative process of Wikipedia is defined as by Axel Bruns as ‘produsage’. Produsage is ‘the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement’.

As traditional media is a material distribution it therefore needs a careful revision of its content to avoid any issues with misreporting and also the costly process of recalling products in case of content errors. New media’s distribution of content is immediate and there is an increase of networking that allows consumers to coordinate. One major issue with new media forms are that the customers confidence is undermined in the quality. So when we look at Wikipedia we can see that this aggregated form of media is more than often not classified as a credible source as anyone can have a say whether they are professionals or not. But my question is: Does this mean that produsage lowers the quality of content on these online communities? Although Wikipedia is online, wasn’t the traditional encyclopaedia production much the same. One person spoke/produced their view or gave their information on a topic and then others added on it to form a well informed entry. Wikipedia is offering many peoples views which are more diverse and more informed definition or point of view than those who have been deemed as credible. This is not to say that some have more credibility that others but collaborative intelligence is something that can change the way we perceive something or deliver information on a topic that others do not know. Its people helping people!

Bruns suggests that we educate produser to ensure everyone is educated in the process and etiquette of collaborative information online as it is very powerful. Bruns suggests  a focus on what can be described as the C4C: creative, collaborative, critical and communicative. Although the internet has given us the freedom to get information and broadcast our own information to such a large audience there should be some form of filter to ensure that people do this with care. As Bruns mentions there should be an aim to provide ‘all the news that’s fit to print’ and therefore provide quality news and content!