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A prosumer is a portmanteau of the words professional and consumer. Generally attributed to writer Alvin Toffler, this term is used in several ways to refer to individuals who are more than just regular consumers and who also may have a professional interest in a company or its products and services.
In general, someone might talk about a prosumer as a person who has certain professional skills or interests. A general consumer might choose a digital camera based on convenience and other general features, where as a prosumer might choose that camera based on professional experience, such as selecting advanced features or favoring a design that serves professionals well.
The word prosumer is also part of an emerging dialogue about how technology serves people. While the consumer is often a passive recipient of technology, a prosumer may help to shape the use of technologies or otherwise get involved in the products and services provided to them, again, because that individual has a certain professional role in the process. The term is useful for IT because individuals have more IT knowledge will be classed as prosumers instead of general consumers who may not have any advanced knowledge or interest about technology itself.