This article is, in part, a response to articles for this Journal by Sally McMillan and Spiro Kiousis. The article examines the analytical problems caused by the fact that interactivity is both a property and an activity. It asserts that interactivity is a contextualizing facility that mediates between environments and content and users. The article analyses the modes of operation both for the production of the properties of interactivity and usage/production in the activity of interactivity. The concept of ‘positioning’ is offered as a means of moving the debate on from the application of communication models or the practical development of ‘features’. The article proposes ‘succession mapping’ as a methodology that acknowledges the building up of the interactive offer and also the generative capabilities of packages. The concept of the active user engaged in ‘user production’ i.e. generation is introduced as being of value to academics, practitioners and those who practice, teach and research.