Citizen Media, Participatory Media, or Democratic Media refers to any form of content produced by private citizens, which has as its goal to inform and empower all members of society. This includes inclusive production models such as public access, community technology centers, digital storytelling, e-democracy, citizen journalism, zines, Independent Media Centers, blogs, vlogs (video blogs), and podcasting (audio blogs).
Wikipedia defines civic engagement as individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Civic engagement can take many forms— from individual volunteerism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. It can include efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy. Civic engagement can mean not only a set of actions and efforts, but a feeling of belonging, an experience of investment and ownership in the local, regional, national, and/or international political communities to which citizens belong.
Do It Yourself, or DIY, is a term that is used by various communities of practice that focus on people creating things for themselves without the aid of a paid professional. Many DIY subcultures explicitly critique consumer culture, which emphasizes that the solution to our needs is to purchase things, and instead encourage people to take technologies into their own hands.
Media Democracy is a production and distribution model which promotes a mass media system that informs and empowers all members of society, and enhances democratic values. The term also refers to a modern social movement evident in countries all over the world which attempts to make mainstream media more accountable to the publics they serve and to create more democratic alternatives. It is a concept and a social movement that has grown as a response to the increased corporate domination of mass media and the perceived shrinking of the marketplace of ideas. Its proponents advocate monitoring and reforming the mass media, strengthening public service broadcasting, and developing and participating in alternative media and citizen journalism.
Media literacy is the process of accessing, analyzing, evaluating and creating messages in a wide variety of forms. It uses an inquiry-based instructional model that encourages people to ask questions about what they watch, see and read. Media literacy education is one means of developing media literacy. It provides tools to help consumers critically analyze messages to detect propaganda, censorship, and bias in news and public affairs programming (and the reasons for such), and to understand how structural features -- such as media ownership, or its funding model -- affect the information presented. Media literacy aims to enable people to be skillful creators and producers of media messages, both to facilitate an understanding as to the strengths and limitations of each medium, as well as to create independent media. Media literacy's purpose is to transform the process of media consumption into an active and critical process, helping people gain greater awareness of the potential for misrepresentation and manipulation (especially through commercials and public relations techniques), and to help people understand the role of mass media and participatory media in constructing views of reality.
New Media loosely describes those forms of media enabled by digital technology. The term "New Media" is currently used to provide a broadly accurate (but also somewhat imprecise) sense of those communications, technologies, and artworks made possible or actual by advances in digital computing. "New Media" communication environments are readily interactive, which opens new possibilities for conversation and feedback.
A nonprofit organization (abbreviated "NPO", or "non-profit" or "not-for-profit") is an organization whose primary objective is to support an issue or matter of private interest or public concern for non-commercial purposes. Nonprofits may be involved in an innumerable range of areas relating to the arts, charities, education, politics, religion, research, sports or some other endeavor.
Open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials—typically, their source code allowing users to create user-generated software content. Some consider it as a philosophy, and others consider it as a pragmatic methodology. Before open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of phrases to describe the concept; the term open source gained popularity with the rise of the Internet and its enabling of diverse production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. Subsequently, open source software became the most prominent face of open source practices.
The open source model can allow for the concurrent use of different agendas and approaches in production, in contrast with more centralized models of development such as those typically used in commercial software companies. "Open source" as applied to culture defines a culture in which fixations are made generally available. Participants in such a culture are able to modify those products and redistribute them back into the community.
User-generated content (UGC) is a term that has come into the mainstream during 2005 in web publishing and new media content production circles. It refers to online content that is produced by users as opposed to traditional media producers such as broadcasters and production companies. It reflects the democratisation of media production through new technologies that are accessible and affordable. These include digital video, blogging, podcasting, mobile phone photography and wikis. Prominent examples of websites based on user-generated content include Flickr, Friends Reunited, sourceforge, FourDocs, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Second Life and Wikipedia. The advent of user-generated content marks a shift among media organisations from creating on-line content to creating the facilities and framework for non-media professionals (i.e. 'ordinary people') to publish their own content in prominent places. The concept of users generating material is similar to, and may stem from, free software which encourages projects to be licensed in such a way as to allow users to contribute and improve it, as well as learn from it.
*All definitions are borrowed from Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, unless otherwise noted.