Producer? Consumer? I guess a little bit of both…

Everyday millions of people are online producing and consuming videos, remaking songs, and putting out their own intellectual property. Personally, I see myself more as a consumer then a producer, I use the internet to gather information whether it be for school, or just my own leisurely browsing. I would say the only producing part of me is my Facebook usage, which is something we “producers” all have in common. Being a quite frequent Facebook user, I do frequently post my opinion on certain issues, or share videos I think merit recognition. Beyond Facebook, I do not contribute to online content and can safely say I am totally a consumer. Personally I give producers kudos for being able to share what they have created with the online world, because I would not have the courage to do so, and this is what inhibits me from producing my own online content. People who post their own videos or other types of online content are subject to judgement and conflicts of differing opinions, and to me this type of online “confrontation” is what prevents me from producing my own online content.

In Miller’s (2004) article A View From a Fossil: The New Economy, Creativity and Consumption- Two or Three Things I don’t believe in, he discusses issues with copyright and that what online producers share is often shared by a small group of people and public and cultural production is not necessarily as strong as these small “interpretive communities” Miller (2004). This is evident in his quote “the active audience is weak at the level of public cultural production, but strong as an interpretive community” (Miller 2004). To me these interpretive communities produce what they think is important and covers information that is based on their beliefs as well as what reflects their personal opinions, however this does not necessarily mean that these ideas are correct. Another quote I found relevant to support this is also in Miller’s (2004) is “the all-powerful; customer-consumer, and the all-powerful creator consumer are said to be so clever and artful that they make their own meanings”. To me this means that we all derive our own meanings and opinions from things that us consumers see on the internet.

In Jenkins (2013) article the cultural logic of media convergence he to me also touches on this point, “our media future could depend on the kind of uneasy truce that gets brokered between commercial media and collective intelligence”. Jenkins talks about two kinds of media power one that comes from media concentration and the other through collective intelligence, where media output only gains recognition if it is deemed relevant to a diverse group of people (2013). This could be my own interpretation of things but this kind of resembles Miller (2004) interpretive community idea, what producers put out is only relevant if consumers recognize it. Lastly in terms of copyright laws, I think they are completely ignored within the Internet world. People are constantly producing and putting out new material it is almost impossible to put a limit on what is sent out in the Internet world.

Jenkins, H. (2004) The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence  International Journal of Cultural Studies March 2004 7:
33-43

Miller, T. (2004) A view from a fossil. International Journal Of Cultural Studies,
7(1), 55-65.

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5 thoughts on “Producer? Consumer? I guess a little bit of both…

  1. I am also a consumer, using the Internet for school or for my own enjoyment. I would not even consider myself much of a “producer” on Facebook. I rarely add photos and I never post statuses. It is more of a means of connection with friends and family than it is for me to produce some sort of image of myself. I don’t like to produce because I don’t like being the center of attention and I don’t feel comfortable with the world knowing everything about my personal life. I believe that we do derive our own meanings from the things we see on the Internet. We do that all the time, with movies, TV shows or any type of media.

  2. I am also very much a consumer rather than producer of online media. I find this is because like you brought up people who post their own videos or other types of online content are subject to judgement and conflicts of differing opinions, and to me this type of online “confrontation” is what prevents me from producing my own online content. Also due to the fact that I have little experience or consider myself lacking the ability to create any form of media. Another point you make is that people are constantly producing and putting out new material it is almost impossible to put a limit on what is sent out in the Internet world. I agree but at the same time I think on platforms such as Youtube if they get a request to take a video down because of copyright issues they can easily do so which can limit us as producers.

  3. “Beyond Facebook, I do not contribute to online content and can safely say I am totally a consumer. Personally I give producers kudos for being able to share what they have created with the online world, because I would not have the courage to do so” I completely agree, although our identities are or can be completely hidden it is hard to put original content out for people to view and comment on. I myself do not have the will or courage to do so and maybe also not the technological no how, have you ever put out any original media on the web Cole?

  4. For one, I agree that copyright laws seem to be ignored when it comes to the internet. I feel like there would be too much material online to compare and make sure it wasn’t similar, or make sure lyrics weren’t the same, etc. I also agree that I don’t put things online to be a producer because I am scared of others’ opinions and criticism. Unless someone has a very strong opinion on something, it could really damage someone’s ego. It seems to be a trend in our group that we are all consumers, besides using Facebook. We all say that is something that we produce is our Facebook page, however if our privacy settings are strict, I don’t think our Facebook page would count as being a producer. I think if only close friends and family can see what we put on our page, that doesn’t make us a universal internet producer. I think it is just a different way of contacting those close to us, rather than an e-mail or text. It’s just showing them our opinions and pictures.

  5. I am also mainly a consumer. I have not kept myself up-to-date on the programs available to create content. I have to say it was pretty interesting creating the video for our class project. The YouTube video editor is pretty easy to use. As a kid, if this technology had been available, I would have had hours of fun creating and editing movies. In the adult world, with the responsibilities of kids, work etc., it’s hard to find time to produce online content just for the fun of it.

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