November 10, 2005

Kevin Mark's Brilliant Idea

Kevin suggests, in response to my earlier piece on the terminology of Users and Consumers, that we instead bring back the original meaning of 'amateurs.' Well, I love this:

Fantastic. Because it means we take back from the concept of 'professionals' the notion that 'good = professional." Instead we claim the aspects of our experience through creation that are so humanly, actively ours to own and enjoy, as unpaid creators. 'Amateur' has been derogatorily used to convey 'less than' status. Sometimes one or another works is less than, but it is not due to whether or not someone is paid for their work. A work should be judged lesser or greater because of its intrinsic qualities and value to those who apprehend it.

So, take the label 'amateur creator' as a point of pride. It means you create for love, and not for money.

Oh. Btw. Just in case you think there is confusion about the other term in my earlier post. 'Consumer' is still unacceptable in so many ways. Don't use it.

Posted by Mary Hodder at November 10, 2005 03:17 PM | TrackBack

I love use of amateur! Great idea. Olympic athletes are amateurs too.

I call myself an amateur journalist on purpose. I wrote a post on amateurs recently because I was fed up with Nicholas Carr's "hegemony of the amateur" and then immediately read a column by Mike Langberg of San Jose Merc titled: "An Internet Fed Mostly By Amateurs is Frightening". My response:

Posted by: Evelyn Rodriguez at November 11, 2005 04:25 AM

Nice. I wrote about this back in 2001 on my blog: I really like the word amateur in this context.

There's a great quotation from the legendary choral conductor Robert Shaw (also referenced in the above post), which I modify here as "Creating things on the Internet is like sex. Both are too important to leave to the professionals."

Posted by: Tim Jarrett at November 11, 2005 08:13 AM

Welcome to the new Age of the Amateur

Posted by: Josh Petersen at November 11, 2005 02:20 PM

I guess you really hated the prosumer label. If that comment didn't survive your delete key, can you explain why? I can't imagine that suggesting an alternative label was off topic, offensive or in some other way needed to be removed.

Posted by: mobilejones at November 14, 2005 01:58 AM

Mobilejones, I didn't delete your comments on prosumer. I didn't hate it at all. It's located in the comments of this other post:


Posted by: mary hodder at November 14, 2005 05:31 AM