It is often claimed that networked media, and in particular the internet, has democratized the production of information and culture. The online encyclopedia Wikipedia is repeatedly used to exemplify how new open models of production, notably peer-production, are radically changing the the way we think about content producers and consumers. In this talk, I will critically examine definitions of peer-productions suggested in scholarly literature. The examination will draw on a range of published empirical research on peer-production providing evidence suggesting that the openness of peer-production is not unlimited. On the basis of this, I will present preliminary findings from my study of independent film making in the Wreckamovie.com community. More specifically, by discussing the trajectory of the crowfunding struggles of a feature length Wreckamovie production, I will question the ideas of peer-productions as being non-proprietary, and existing in an open non-market driven sphere independent from traditional cultural industries.
Isis Amelie Hjorth is an AHRC funded doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. In her PhD research, she examines the emergence of cultural peer-production in the domain of independent film making. Questioning some of the utopian visions of the transformative powers of peer-production dominating discourses in new media research, she seeks to contribute towards a more nuanced understanding of distributed forms of cultural production. Alongside her studies, Isis is engaged in an NESTA/AHRC/Arts Council UK funded research project investigating the consequences of the uptake of digital tools for theatrical production. A firm believer in interdisciplinarity, Isis holds a MSc in Technology and Learning (University of Oxford), as well as a BA and MA in Rhetoric from her native Copenhagen. Before embarking on the route towards an academic career, she worked in the media sector as a journalist at a Danish TV production company, and made a debut as a playwright.