Social media platforms promotes the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers.
(Social Media. Wikipedia, The free encyclopaedia. November 12, 2009).
Even though the “prosumer“ concept has been around for 40 years (Toffler, 1970), my experiences as an active, involved content innovator as opposed to the traditional passive recipient of a product or service are new-found. I first became aware that I was flexing these powerful muscles as I blog, leave comments, and tweet, after reading Grown Up Digital, written by someone who Al Gore has called, one of the world’s leading cyber gurus, own own Canadian, Don Tapscott. GUD is a relevant and inspiring ‘Field Guide’, of the Net Generation, outlining the survey findings of 11,000 NetGenners (11 – 30 years old), whereby connecting the dots and colouring in the big picture as to how young people are using social media platforms to influence and shape their world.
To get a sense of the prosumer power, watch the YouTube clip of “In Conversation with Allan Gregg” (for those who want quick sound bites, watch 15:33 – 18:00). In a nutshell, Tapscott asserts, “if you understand the Net Generation, you will understand the future.”
Since this first read back in April, 2009, I have become increasingly aware of the innovative ways in which NetGenners contribute to the development, improvement and dissemination of products & services. For a very recent and radical example, pick up a copy of Yes We Did: An inside look at how social media built the Obama Brand (Harfoush, 2009).
Even more rewarding, I am now cognizant of being both participant & recipient of new media techniques that amplify the ways in which we are able to use our voices to advocate change in institutional pedagogy, politics and practices.
What empowering realizations!
I now turn my prosumer-gaze on the fitness world – which is both my workplace and playground. While sport has the privileged reputation of being healthy and green, the fitness industry is a far cry from environmentally conscious. For lack of an academic urge at 2:00 am* this morning, I will cite the Biggest Loser reality television series recent ”Green Week” workouts on unplugged fitness equipment to illuminate the copious electricity consumption of millions of treadmills across the world.
The buzz-word of today is eco-innovation and with that in mind, I encourage everyone to watch this green fitness centre concept video from Casey Shaaf of EcoDev Engineering, LLC, created for the 2009 Kettering Innovation Challenge and to appreciate the implications of this technology. Astoundingly simple, elegant and brilliant solution to recycling energy. Viewing it, I had to wonder, how is it that only 185* people have watched this video since September? Why am I the first to rate it?
I am hereby making it a personal goal to have this video reach 1,000 by the end of the year. 3 weeks left…
You in for the challenge?
* This blog post was originally published on Lighfooted.ca on November 27, 2009 at 2:00 am. Current YouTube count is 259.