Prosumer, prosumption, prosumerism – basic definitions (pt 2)

The three problems depicted in part 1 leave us a wide field of speculation and yet a narrow field of action. Our action should lead to the most satisfactory (the most useful?) definition, but concerning the 3 problems, we should rather look for an empiric solution, hence this field is narrow (no adequate and helpful empirical studies)

I think the best thing to do here is give the prosumerism phenomenon a general name, basing on a priori, and try to keep in touch with the latest directions of developing the prosumerism studies.

I’ll try to deliver a definition by generalizing and synthesising (trying to keep it formally valid) the most crucial aspects of definitions already given by other authors. So here are the aspects:

  • motivation by trying to lower the cost of the end-product
  • motivation by trying to obtain an upgrade of the market version
  • collective intelligence
  • crowdsourcing
  • product hacking
  • having a resp. good access to market goods

So here’s how I would define a prosumer.

A prosumer is a member of the market that produces or co-produces the products and goods that he or she consumes.

This definition is obviously very general. However it serves our need perfectly, because it doesn’t stand in contradiction to the aspects listed above it.

If we assume, that the definitions above don’t stand in contradiction with the aspects, prosumption, as an activity of prosumers, should be coherent with those aspects. So, apart from saying that prosumption is a regola constitutiva, we should say that it can differ within a genre, and as the prosumer phenomenon continues, we should see different models od prosuments and prosumption.

However this definition raises another problem, a rather classic one:  is the line between a prosumer and a consumer drawn trough quality or quantity of prosumption? More coming up in pt 3.

Quick links to other parts:

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5 thoughts on “Prosumer, prosumption, prosumerism – basic definitions (pt 2)

  1. Thank you for any other fantastic article. The place
    else could anyone get that type of information in such an ideal way of
    writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such information.

  2. Right now I can only think of two – it may be not precisely what you look for, but may help: http://thesis.erikdebruijn.nl/master/MScThesis-ErikDeBruijn-2010.pdf (there’s a chapter with a survey) and http://surveys.peerproduction.net/2012/05/manufacturing-in-motion/ Maybe Tapscott has something is his new book. In this topic you can often find something useful in marketing scope – resources for this article came mainly from there. You can also ask PJ Rey, author of http://sociology-compass.com/2009/10/18/when-prosumption-is-law-the-prosumer-is-king-or-is-he/

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