Society has seen a massive shift in the culture of mashups. From the music mix tapes of the 70’s and 80’s that illustrate technologies limitations of that era – to the malleable nature of media technologies that we know today. Through technological support individuals can come together and amalgamate their ideas, resources and circulate the results more easily with the aid of social media and the World Wide Web. This adding, editing and creating of content is the work of produsers and citizen journalists. The results – their materials are more accessible, via the internet, often cheaper and at times more reliable than traditional media’s.
The current mashup culture exemplifies today’s participatory culture whereby the individuals who interact with online content are no longer just users or consumers but also producers of content – produsers. They are merely “part of an ongoing stream of content development and content improvement” (Bruns, 2010). The notion of content improvement and development suggests that there is already established material(s) in existence that is being manipulated and mashed-up to create a new, improved or different subject and/or perspective.
Let’s examine the art of DJ’ing, which I find to be the most obvious example in the mash culture. It seems as though the desire to DJ is constantly increasing – probably because the resources are more accessible and easier to operate than before. Using various different sounds and music that have been previously recorded or produced and new age technologies, DJ’s redesign, manipulate and mash up the material to create something new. The mash up culture is a model of convergence as music, information and other content is reshaped and shared in a way that was once impossible.