Digital Products III. The Empty User

»Usage«: Predisposition and Context

Because of said empty form, usage may be about anything: receiving, producing, buying, selling etc. It is a kind of predisposition, an event before the event.

Ways of the Consumer in Hi-Res

Therefore the user is an economical frame commanding a much higher resolution than the good old consumer. Consumption calculates with conversions into money, but looking at the user is to observe the prequels and sequels of buying something.

New Name, Old Problems

The user is a new packaging for the frame of the consumer. It enhances complexity, but the new label is also helpful in avoiding problematic associations of the old term.

The Path of Media

Since this little series is still about the connections between new and old media — books, films, radio, etc. — we arrive at the beginning. As mentioned, the newness of Web 2.0 was its ability to transform recipients into producers.²

  1. See again: Adrian Daub. What Tech Calls Thinking. 2020
  2. Just to be thorough: others have already tried to understand reception as production some time ago, on the levels of appropriation and rewriting, via individual and collective projections of meaning. From these people, we might learn that using a keyboard or taking photographs is not to be confused with tactical or strategical, i.e., political actions. Cf. Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life. 1984 (1980), and, of course, the texts associated with »Cultural Studies« in the UK.

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Robin Baum

Robin Baum

UX Designer. Occasionally writing about design, marketing and everyday practices from a cultural point of view. Cologne / DE