Knowledge Management resources

Interesting Blogs

Google Analytics

« Global Tech Spending on the Rise According to Forrester | Main | The 2010 Global Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE) Winners »

January 11, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I agree that it would be interesting to understand the perspective of this great thinker on the advent of Twitter and other social media tools. I believe as well that the 140-character limit would have inspired other revolutionary statements. I also like the paradox of homogeneity and the dehumanizing effects of the medium as these are intrinsically intertwined with each other. These contradictory characteristics and their inherent division between them seem to grow exponentially larger as technology progresses. It is good to be reminded that we should continue to seek wisdom in unconventional places like the valleys of human history.



John Maloney

Hi - Thanks. 'Been a McLuhan evangelist for 30yrs. Despite all the hype, definitely think Marsh would have NOT been surprised by two recent things --

- The short life of social media apps
- The farce of TV-Internet integration

Yesterday Myspace laid-off 500 people, half its people. They follow the long-line of failed social media like AOL, Compuserve, Orkut, Friendster, etc. Trust me, Facebook will have their comeuppance and it will be ugly. If you want to know why, read McLuhan. The medium is the message.

Concerning TV, as Marsh predicted, it delivers the persistent vegetative state that viewers crave. After pouring asphalt or bookkeeping all day, the last thing people want is media interactivity. The Number One criterion for TV content is ease of watchability. The medium is the message.

Annoying media dilettantes see McLuhan’s notion of the “homogenizing and dehumanizing effect of mass media” as a pejorative. Absolutely wrong. Quite to the contrary, these media properties of the global village all led the Modern period in the Western world: individualism, democracy, capitalism, etc., etc. The medium is the message.

An ardent Roman Catholic, McLuhan attended Mass every day. His faith was the embodiment of his theories and vice versa. As many perceptions an observations originated from Oxford and Toronto as they did from The Vatican and Dublin. The fluidity and travel between idea and metaphor and rigor and perception was ultimately validated by Catholic faith. The medium is the message.


bill  Ives

Ronald and John

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. McLuhan continues to spark conversation and i think this is one of his contributions. he saw things differently than the norm and thus caused people to think, even if they disagreed. I think that he went too far in some ways but that is what often needs to happen to get people to think differently. In my view the medium is not the entire message. Content still has a role but the medium does a great deal to shape the message both for the creator and the consumer of content. However the "medium shapes the message" would not have been as provocative and not started as many conversations.


John Maloney

Yes, anyone that spawns so much thinking, conversation and, yes, disagreement, has to in the pantheon.

So here goes, the medium really IS the message. Content is completely irrelevant. For example, from professor McLuhan, the MEDIUM of movable type greatly accelerated, intensified and ultimately enabled cultural and cognitive changes, aka, the MESSAGE.

Not to trivialize the prosaic, day to day uses of the MEDIUM, but it is how, in the fullness of time, the medium impacts humanity – that’s the real MESSAGE!

Anyway, debating HMM in a blog comment is like deconstructing Joyce in Taki Taki (341 total words in the language).

On favorite quote from Professor McLuhan that is germane…

“Catholic culture produced Chaucer and Cervantes. Protestant culture produced Milton, Tennyson and Winnipeg, Manitoba.”


epm consulting

Primarily aimed at teaching the would be internet marketer but helps anyone who may be struggling right now to grasp methods and techniques that distinguish success from failure.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

RSS Subscribers

Share Portals and KM on Facebook

  • Share on Facebook


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Some Recent Articles

Linked In

  • View Bill Ives's profile on LinkedIn

Site Meter