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Old June 7th, 2005, 11:56 PM   #1
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The end of the prosumer

My wife and I are moving our studios from our cramped home offices into our master bedroom. Why use all that wonderful space for sleeping when it can be a fabulous editing suite? Cables are everywhere, computers and monitors are in a jumbled pile, and I'm taking a rest. So here are my ramblings:

I'm posting this thread in this subforum because I believe this is the appropriate place to kick it around. After reading and re-reading an interesting thread discussion about the AG-HVX200 at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=44371, something keep bugging me all day long.

What bugged me? No, it had nothing to do about the technical aspects of the discussion; it was not about the issue of whether DV is on its way out (it is not when you consider that DV is an acronym that encompasses all of digital video). The thing that kept bugging me was the issue of what should low-end, affordable, professional equipment be called.

Most people call this type of equipment prosumer. This elevates the high-end consumer to the ranks of a wanna-be, semi-professional, entry-level individual. Not too flattering. To the career professional, this type of equipment can often be viewed as substandard or, at least, equipment-not-to-be-seen-with-but-love-to-use-anyway.

But what really matters about a piece of DV equipment is the quality and functionality of the design. Does it offer the professional the features, the dependability, and the necessary output options?

Cost should not be the deciding issue in determining whether a piece of DV equipment is consumer-level or professional. Functionality should be the major determining factor. After all, when the day is done, if I can get almost as good of quality from a $7k machine as a $30k machine, it does not matter if (and I repeat , if) the quality is sufficient for the project.

So, what should we call that grey area of high-end consumer, entry-level professional equipment?

Here are some ideas mentioned in that post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
Maybe they could all be lumped together and called something like Affordable HD, or HD for the Masses--oops, nope, 2-pop has that one. Somebody needs to come up with a word better than "prosumer," which is really a disgusting non-word.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Bruner
How about Cheapro? Or, AffordablePro. Or, BargainPro? Or, Blue Light Special Pro?

Whereas Guy's ability to successfully make a living coming up with brand names is in question, his spirit and humor are appreciated :)

Of course we don't, and the equipment manufacturers don't, want their product lines to be associated with cheap quality. Cheap price is one thing, but cheap quality is entirely something else.

So I propose the following replacement to the antiquated, misinformed moniker of prosumer--micropro.

Micropro connotes two images. First, the small production house just getting started and not able to afford the bloated-priced "high-end" equipment. This term would be similar in usage to microbrewery. A home grown, but very serious small business owner. It is from these micropros that the next big production houses will come from.

Second, micropro relates directly to the size of the equipment. It is professional equipment downsized into a highly flexible, portable package. By branding it this way, those professionals that have a hard time justifying buying the type of wonderful equipment that you and I buy will finally be liberated to dive into the world of low-weight acquisition equipment.

(Hum? Low-weight acquisition equipment isn't a bad brand-level name either.)

But, the most important issue to resolve is, What features and standards must a piece of equipment have to be labeled micropro? That may be the discussion that will be the hardest to resolve.

What are your thoughts?

I'm done and I'm sure you're glad.

Last edited by Jeff Sayre; June 9th, 2005 at 08:44 AM.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 09:34 AM   #2
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I like it.

:up:
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Old June 8th, 2005, 09:42 AM   #3
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Micropro is an >excellent< term; proves once again that the best solutions are often the most direct and insightful in their simplicity.

And yes, I think I qualify as a *micropro*



:D
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Old June 8th, 2005, 10:16 AM   #4
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Jeff,

you hit the nail on the head with a sledgehammer about prosumer! I love it, I think i'm going to start using that term when i describe my company and equipment.

quick trademark that name so you and your wife can retire early to that beach and earn your 10% :-P

~Mike
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Old June 8th, 2005, 10:18 AM   #5
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How about semi-pro? Maybe small business owner.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 10:36 AM   #6
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Mike:

Of course late last night I checked Network Solutions to see if the various micropro domain name derivations were available. But alas, micropro.com, .net, .org, etcetera are already registered--about 2 years ago. They appear to be unrelated to our purposes.

Trademark, huh? Sure. I could see the day when all the hardware and software vendors put the MicroPro trademark on their equipment--and pay a small fee each time. Uh, yeah, right. ;P

But then again...If a couple of people want to go in on the trademark of MicroPro, I'm willing to share the glory. Boy it sure doesn't take much to give me glory, does it.

Bob:

Semi-pro could work as well. Only, semi often connotes a "halfway there" mentality. So, how about this hierarchy:

Professional
MicroPro
Semi-pro
Consumer
luddite (a.k.a. nosumer)

More suggestions and discussion are welcomed

Last edited by Jeff Sayre; June 9th, 2005 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Alter proposed hierarchy
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Old June 10th, 2005, 11:27 AM   #7
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microlud?



;D
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Old June 10th, 2005, 11:51 AM   #8
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I think the term "Indy" has cachet for what you're addressing. There's the 'independent' filmmaker and videographer. The guy who has to wear a lot of hats and damn near (but not quite) go it alone.

IndyPro

... just a thought.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #9
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"IndyPro"

We named the dog Indy.....
- as quoted from Sean Connery in IJ & TLC
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Old June 10th, 2005, 02:06 PM   #10
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I like Indypro better than micropro. Micropro sounds so... un-masculine ;D
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Old June 10th, 2005, 02:07 PM   #11
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Richard,

Indypro could work, though in some circles the "Indy" filmmaker is considered too 'out there' for traditional corporate work. not trying to knock indys, but public perception is a hard thing to shake....sort of how in most places volunteer firefighters are equated to drunken hicks driving large trucks.

hmmmm, so since i am a volunteer fireman, and and independant production person, does that make me an 'drunken hick who's vision is too out there?" :-P

~Mike
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Old June 10th, 2005, 05:06 PM   #12
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Well, there are some interesting suggestions here. Are any of them useful?

Barry-

I like microlud as the last class before luddite. Is a microlud someone who refuses to use PC's, someone who uses the bare essential technology, or a small luddite? ;)

Richard-

IndyPro is good. Could it be a subcategory of MicroPro to address the concerns of Mike, (a.k.a. "the hick fireman" :D)?

George-

At least I didn't suggest metropro! But let's also remember that we're not looking for a term that appeals only to the male professionals. We need a strong yet gender neutral name that gives us that truly-deserved professional cachet.

So far, though, IndyPro has more backers.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 06:26 PM   #13
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IndyPro makes sense to video/film people, but think most people are going to think you're into car racing or something.

Personally, my vote is for semi-pro. The equipment is designed for consumers, and has some features used by professionals, thus semi-pro. Might as well call it what it is.

I think you're definitely on the right track, but haven't quite hit the nail on the head yet. But the whole process might make an interesting documentary, this quest for "The end of the prosumer".
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Old June 10th, 2005, 07:09 PM   #14
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Wouldn't "MicroPro" conjure images of someone with a tiny cam? They say size doesn't matter, but a huge lens gets their attention every time ;)
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Old June 10th, 2005, 07:46 PM   #15
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Micro does conjure up 'small'..... uh, not that I have issues with that or anything. But hey, my xl2 with Mattebox, dual batts and fu-1000 viewfinder is practically a shoulder brick.

Semipro is good... though that conjures up sports images as well. SemiPro ball player...

Which I guess, is why they aren't called "MicroPro ball players..."
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