Remembering 9/11 via User-Generated Content


A key component of convergence culture I took away from chapter two of Media Work is the idea of the “produser” (Brun 2005, pg. 77), or “people who, when online, continually combine some kind of using and producing of information.” (pg.77). An interesting and current manifestation, or rather a reflection, of this element of convergence culture, is the involvement of “produsers” in the commemoration of 9/11. recently released an article about how a number of media companies are collaborating to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The first collaboration of these featured is the New York Times and Youtube. Together, they are showcasing user made videos to tell the story of 9/11.

Similarly, Yahoo! News has started on a unique microsite to showcase text, videos, and photos, to also tell the story of 9/11 through the eyes of users. The Washington Post and PostSecret are doing the same by putting together reader drawings, messages, photographs, and collages.

Mashable claims that using user-submitted videos has “helped garner far more entries than the site would have gotten without Youtube. (Mashable)”

These projects reflect the idea that “instead of audiences, businesses talk about ‘networks,’ emphasizing media work as a practice that would (or should) generate endless opportunities for people to form communities of interest around content.(pg. 79)” Instead of acting in the traditional role of the media organization, these media companies allow readers and users form communities by submitting content that they create.

-Dan Schiffman


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