Sunday, 25 August 2013

Power of the Prosumer

Each and every time I am at the supermarket, I cannot help it.

No, I am not talking about purchasing those Pringles I did not really need. Instead, I am referring to the usage of self-serve checkouts, where customers are able to scan and bag their own items before paying through a machine.

Web 2.0 has been at the centre of the prosumer arena
This act of the consumer simultaneously performing the function(s) of the producer has been categorised by theorists under the term 'prosumption'. 

However, it is not just the supermarket checkouts where the 'prosumer' is active - there is also online.

Web 2.0, particularly, has acted as a prominent arena for prosumer activity, as it has provided internet users with the ability to produce content for media platforms. Such examples of Web 2.0 include YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia, each of which rely on user-generated content.

Indeed, as Ritzer and Jurgenson (2010, p. 20) point out, Web 2.0 'is currently both the most prevalent location of prosumption and its most important facilitator as a 'means of prosumption''. 

Furthermore, the role of capitalism has been raised within prosumption, especially with regard to the idea users of these mediums are being exploited, given the fact they are producing content for the producers free-of-charge (Ritzer & Jurgenson 2010, p. 21).

With capitalism and Web 2.0 at the top of my mind, I have contemplated the role of the blogosphere and, moreover, my own experiences with the medium. 

In June 2012, whilst located in Bosnia and Herzegovina for an indefinite period, I decided to put my time to good use and start up a page on 'Blogger'. The site aimed to provide an Australian perspective of life in Bosnia. 

My blog gained me exposure not only on the internet, but also in Bosnia,
where I even featured in a double-page spread in Bosnia's daily national
newspaper, 'Dnevni Avaz' (Source: Dnevni Avaz / A. Dzonlic).

By the time I hung up the keyboard six months - and 200 posts - later, my blog had accumulated more than 35,000 views. (At the time of writing it has in excess of 53,000 views.)

Given my journalistic ambitions, the blog provided me an opportunity to enhance my writing skills, gain me some publicity, and showcased me to a worldwide audience where I could interact with fellow prosumers. 

Despite the fact I did not earn a single cent for the time spent writing, I feel as though there were many personal gains to make from utilising the medium, and would not hesitate to do so again in the future. 


Ritzer, G & Jurgenson, N 2010 ‘Production, Consumption, Prosumption: The nature of capitalism in the age of the digital ‘prosumer’, Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 10 no. 1, pp 13-36. 


  1. Hi, I enjoyed in reading your post. I think you have a clear content about what is the power of prosumer and how does it force your pesonal activities on the Internet. You also make a link between prosumer and Web 2.0, this is a good idea to illustrate the force of prosumption. Then you give your personal experience on the Internet prosumer, it leads your views of blog increased and it enhances your writing skill which is pretty good. The only limitation of your blog is you can write on your theme more specificly.

  2. Hi Rusty (or should I say experienced prosumer)?! This is a good piece, sharing your personal experience of prosumerism. I think it’s fantastic that Web2.0 gives us so many possibilities to share our thoughts, creativity and talent across the globe - reaching tens of thousands in your case! It’s an empowering concept. And yet, as I get swept up in the glorious thought of being an active producer, I also need to be wary of the great many risks of sharing information online. Surveillance, capitalistic exploitation, trolling, slander … there is so much to consider.
    Just a mention re: style … I found the white font on black background difficult to read.
    But enjoyed your blog.. thank you !

  3. Hey mate,

    Loved the personal touch to it in relation to your writing. I can understand where your coming from and it creates a good sense of connectivity with a reader, myself.
    I enjoyed your opening analogy of the self serve service at supermarkets - that's just a great realisation of being a prosumer. For goodness sakes you're basically doing their job!!

    However, its a small thing - but the design of the page made me squint heaps cause its hard to read white on black.

    Good read!