Monday, December 11, 2006


In 1979, futurist Alvin Toffler coined the term "prosumer" to describe the open source-like phenomenon of people producing what they consume. The term applies to individuals who prefer to be involved in designing the things they purchase. In other words, new products and/or services are created by combining together the roles of producer and consumer.

Prosuming has rapidly grown right along with the explosion of emerging technologies for digitally making and editing music, videos, and photo images. Especially important is the ability to easily share finished products over the Internet.

The hottest new way to prosume comes from a Web 2.0 development called mashups which enable people to seamlessly combine content from more than one source into an integrated experience. And, of course, the granddaddy of prosuming is open source software which allows programmers to read and modify source code for a piece of software thereby improving it, adapting it, as well as fixing bugs.

Prosumers are passionate about the technology they use for their creative pursuits. Money isn't usually the central goal for prosumers. Rather, it's the satisfaction that comes from people learning something from other people.


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