Assignment 4: Part 1

In the present era of digital culture, participants are produsers. We, as participants, are both consumers and producers. In the beginning of semester, term ‘produser’ was introduced and it can be clearly applied in the context of using social media platforms as a mode of critical participation. (Bruns, A. 2007) applies the term ‘produser’ in a variety of perspectives “range[ing] from widely distributed, loose and ad hoc networks of participants (such as blogosphere) to more centralized sites of collaborative work (such as Wikipedia)” (Bruns, A. 2007. pg:99). Just like Wikipedia, Flickr, Encyclopedia Britannica, YouTube is also another platform where individuals create content and publish it. One of the popular trends now-a-days is to make videos comprising of personal opinions about a recent news, music video, an upcoming movie trailer or as simple as daily video blogs. Such videos are categorized as subversive videos. (Deuze, M. 2005) states that such Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture started becoming popular during 1990’s “with people increasingly claiming the right to be heard rather than be spoken to…” (Deuze, M. 2005 pg: 12). McIntosh’s piece illustrates different types of subversive video re-makes. These video mash-ups can be thought of as a “connection [between] the emergence of DIY culture with relatively new kinds of journalism as well as with the signalled trend towards accelerated individualization” (Deuze, M. 2005. pg: 15). An example of a subversive video is using original work such a clip from a movie and altering it to make it humorous and personalized by adding voice over to prove a point. With regards to creating a critical subvert work by an individual, Deuze, M. notes, “… a manipulation of the dominant way of doing or understanding things in order to juxtapose, challenge or even subvert the mainstream…what people do or expect from each other as they engage with digital media is primarily inspired by private interests…” (Deuze, M. 2005. pg: 13). This quote demonstrates the rationale behind the subvert videos and it is an individual’s decision to serve as a way of critiquing them.
One of the channels on YouTube is called, “How It Should Have Ended”. This channel recreates endings of various popular movies and TV shows/series based on personal/public opinion and publishes them on YouTube. These videos are animated and there is a sarcastic humour associated with them. A lot of other channels on YouTube have similar purposes where certain famous clips from movies are recreated using voice over or multiple clips are integrated into a single video.
I chose to support my argument about critical participation on social media platforms using videos from ‘How It Should Have Ended’ because they fit the five criteria enlisted by McIntosh. However, other topics may also be considered subversive and therefore be critiqued. A few examples include channels on YouTube dedicated to personal views/opinions about a current trending news, creating mash-up videos including politicians and music videos, altering clips by adding/removing characters and thus imparting a new and modified meaning to the video by modifying the original message.
Bruns, A. (2007). Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. 99-105.
Deuze, M. (2006). Participation, Remediation, Bricolage: Considering Principal Components of a Digital Culture. In: The Information Society 22(2). 63-75.


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