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Business - Written by on Friday, January 9, 2009 11:40 - 2 Comments

Denis Hancock
Exploring Prosumerism through a Dilbert cartoon, Part I

Much of the research I am doing for nGenera’s Marketing & Sales 2.0 program is focused on what we call prosumerism. While I’m sure some eyes will roll in reference to yet another buzzword, I find it to be a useful one. It describes the process by which customers are becoming actively involved in the innovation and communication around the products and services they consume (i.e. producer + consumer  = prosumer). Once you really start digging in, it is an extremely rich and interesting topic – but it can often get a little confusing.

Because of this when I speak about prosumerism, I like to start by looking at some questions around a very special Dilbert cartoon. Dilbert cartoons, as most people know, poke fun at society and particularly workplace culture, usually highlighting some absurdity that people can relate to. But in this case what I’m saying is that, for perhaps the first time in history, we can argue that companies need to start acting more like Dilbert cartoons, rather than less.

The reason I can say this (and long time wikinomics readers certainly already know this) is because last year, Scott Adams made a major change to the Dilbert.com site – they turned it into a Dilbert Mash up platform. Every day when Scott publishes his new cartoon, an alternate version goes up. In this alternate version,  the images are present in each of the three boxes, but the text in only the first two. Anyone could then login and add their own punchline to the cartoon (it’s since evolved to include Group mash ups and other things I’ll talk about later).To tie it back to the opening lingo, the site is now a prosumer platform.

I was participating in this quite a bit last year, so effectively Scott Adams and I were co-creating cartoons, such as this one:

july-24th-2008

Please, hold the applause… and the laughter is becoming overwhelming :) .

Back to the story. So this looks like a cute, fun little example – what could the possible business implications be? Well, let’s start by looking at the perspective of Scott Adams and United Media – why would he/they do this? And would you do the same thing in their place? Would your company – and how would the decision get made?

Read the rest of this post here.



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Wikinomics – Car 2.0 – How a Community Builds a Car
Feb 18, 2010 9:56

[...] an exciting concept, they are offering their customers a very personalized experience. Taking the prosumer concept to the next level is no doubt creating a loyal following and a significant group of [...]

Car 2.0 – How a Community Builds a Car | Oh,Wiki Blog!
Feb 24, 2010 22:45

[...] an exciting concept, they are offering their customers a very personalized experience. Taking the prosumer concept to the next level is no doubt creating a loyal following and a significant group of [...]

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