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From Gatewatching to Produsage

Well, it's always nice if things have good timing. The other day I found two letters from my publisher Peter Lang in the mail: one, from the Switzerland office, was a royalty cheque for Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production - we've sold over a quarter of the first print run already, even though reviews are only just starting to appear. I was tempted to have it framed - but then, it is an actual cheque... The other was a letter from the New York office, with the contract for the next book, which currently has the working title Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage. Due in mid-2007, it continues my work on Produsers and Produsage, and provides a guide to the landscape of produsage across a wide variety of domains.

Of course I'll blog the progress of the project, and I've started by posting the blurb and chapter list for the book. More soon! I've also updated the Produsers and Produsage page, and I'm in the process of developing a tighter framework for the study of produsage. This has already led me to clarify the four key characteristics of produsage:

  • users are productive - produsage is user-led or at least significantly user-involved, and requires heterarchical, permeable community structures,
  • there is collaborative engagement between users and/or between users and other stakeholders,
  • prodused artefacts are unfinished - produsage is palimpsestic, iterative, and evolutionary in its development of ideas and content,
  • alternative approaches to intellectual property are employed in the produsage process.

Virtually everything else flows from this, I think - and we'll see how far it will extend... So, one book done, one book about to hit the stores, and the next one is getting started - I could get used to this.

Incidentally, to order my thoughts on this complex topic I've started to play around with Freemind, an open source mindmapping tool, which is quite handy for my purposes. I think I'll give CmapTools a try soon as well - the hierarchical structure of Freemind maps may not be the best option for my purposes. If there are any other options I should pursue (we're Windows-only here), please let me know!

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