MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE
Medium is the Message is the central idea of communications
theorist Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) who demonstrated that each media (print, speech,
television) is connected with a different pattern or arrangement among the senses and thus
results in a different awareness or perception.
Although the literal message of a radio report of a
disaster and the television coverage of the same event may be identical, medium is the
message because the event will be perceived differently and take on different meaning
because the two media arrange the senses differently. In this sense, the singular for the
word media, the medium, is the message; this message is often more important than the
"By putting our physical bodies inside our extended
nervous systems, by means of electric media, we set up a dynamic by which all previous
technologies that are mere extensions of hands and feet and teeth, will be translated into
information systems. Electromagnetic technology requires utter human docility and
quiescence of meditation such as befits an organism that now wears its brain outside its
skull and its nerves outside its hide. We must serve our electric technology
with the same servo-mechanistic fidelity with which we once served our coracle, our canoe,
our typography, and all other extensions of our physical organs. But, there is a
difference here. Those previous technologies were partial and fragmentary. The electric is
total and inclusive. An external consensus or conscience is now as necessary as private
consciousness. With the new media, however, it is now possible to store and to translate
everything; and as for speed, that is no problem. No further acceleration is possible this
side of the light barrier." Mcluhan, Understanding Media - The Extensions
of Man, 1963
How the Medium is the Message in the Unconscious of
Bob Hodge, University of Western Sydney
This article explores McLuhan's famous slogan `the medium is the message' as a point of
departure for examining current views of the nature of the new electronic media understood
as a revolutionary form, associated with a new (`post-modern') stage of society. It argues
that this slogan packs into itself more layers of meaning than he was able to articulate
in a complex and nuanced theory of the media. It suggests that McLuhan's work constructs a
productive idea of a media unconscious. It shows in detail how `messages' are encoded in
new visual forms associated with the new electronic media, using the logo of `America
Online' (AOL), an internet provider, as exemplary text. This logo carries implicit
messages about the nature of these media, in a kind of dialogue with McLuhan. Messages and
dialogue alike need a new space in which they can occur: a theory of unconscious
dimensions of media.
Medium is the Massage - Marshall McLuhan The Medium is the Massage is Marshall McLuhan's most condensed, and
perhaps most effective, presentation of his ideas. Using a layout style that was later
copied by Wired, McLuhan and coauthor/designer Quentin Fiore combine word and image to
illustrate and enact the ideas that were first put forward in the dense and poorly
organized Understanding Media. McLuhan's ideas about the nature of media, the increasing
speed of communication, and the technological basis for our understanding of who we are
come to life in this slender volume. Although originally printed in 1967, the art and
style in The Medium is the Massage seem as fresh today as in the summer of love, and the
ideas are even more resonant now that computer interfaces are becoming gateways to the
Media: The Extensions of Man : Critical Edition - Marshall McLuhan - When first published, Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media made
history with its radical view of the effects of electronic communications upon man and
life in the twentieth century.
Medium is the Message: And 50 Other Ridiculous Advertising Rules (Ridiculous Design Rules) - Anneloes van Gaalen The Medium is the Message provides a list of inspirational or
delusional advertising jargon for the world to judge.
The Ad Medium Is the Message: Public Attitudes
Toward Advertising Depend On the Ad Medium - SHARON SHAVITT
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Business Administration
PAMELA M. LOWREY, UIUC-CBA Office of Research Working Paper No. 01-0123
Abstract: A total of 2514 adults were surveyed regarding their opinions about ads in
either, 1) TV, 2) radio, 3) catalogs, 4) business classifieds, 5) out-of-home, or 6)
advertising in general. Media that allow for self-selected exposure, where perceived
interest in an ad is the basis for exposure to it, were evaluated much more favorably than
more intrusive advertising media. Catalogs and business classifieds elicited the most
confidence; TV advertising elicited the least. Confidence in advertising in general most
closely resembled that for TV advertising. More confidence in advertising was reported by
males, people under 35, and people with less education or lower incomes. However, media
differences generally cut across demographic lines.
"The Medium" Is the Message - Bill Wadge
Abstract: It is our position (following Plaice and Kropf) that mathematics and software
engineering does not provide a very good basis for understanding communities. These
formalisms are necessarily influenced by a mechanical, atomistic outlook which sees
collections as arbitrary assemblages of self sufficient individuals communicating point to
point in a vacuum.
I suggest instead that ideas of Marshall McLuhan provide a much better starting point
because they give a central role to the medium by which the members of a community
communicate. Furthermore, I argue that the phrase "the medium" should also be
interpreted in the sense used in (say) biology, as a nurturing extended substance (a
plenum) which fills the space between the individuals and to some degree permeates their
Multimedia Reviews: Multimedia Overload Produces
"Symplexity" - Frank Zingrone
Introduction by the column editor: We humans "know" from information mediated
through our "natural senses." All outside signals come to us through some
medium, sound waves, pressure and touch, light waves, radio and television waves, and so
forth. McLuhan's famous mantra "The medium is the message" paradoxically
highlighted the critical transformation of meaning when each type of medium, radio,
television, drums, hand signals, by its very nature modifies the message it is
Is The Medium The Message?
themodernartsite.com - Review - by Jeff Lee
Colville Place Gallery - Penelope Wakeham - Painting with Numbers
'The Medium Is The Message' is a slogan from a media commentator called Marshall MacLuhan.
He proposed that the innate qualities of a medium determine the content of the message put
through it. If we have TV, our message is made up of movement and sound, and if we have
drawing, our message is made up of marks on a surface. The limitations, goes the argument,
aren't so much the midwife as the parent. This was exciting stuff in the sixties, and is
now a standard discussion in art institutions. "Oh but the message is pure" wail
MacLuhan's critics, "artists determine their message, not mere paint." Or do
The medium is the message: A media specific analysis of the Communications Decency
Act - Janet Osen
The medium is the message. Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The
Extensions of Man When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase in his 1964 primer on the nature
of the media, television was king. At the time, McLuhan postulated that television as a
medium would have far greater impact on mankind than its programming content. The argument
of carrier versus content has since broadened to include new technologies. With the
decision of the Philadelphia Federal Court on the unconstitutionality of the
Communications Decency Act, McLuhan's theory is once again in the spotlight and the debate
over the power and scope of the media has reached the Internet. Available online 19 March
Marshall McLuhan and the WWW: Is the Medium Still the Message?
Russell McNeil, Malaspina University-College, March 29, 1999
Introduction: I met Marshall McLuhan 42 years ago - once - he drove me and his twin
daughters to an engagement where we all were competing in an Ontario wide competition
using the medium of speech. Marshall - the father - sat politely and indulgently in the
audience absorbing the machinations of some 30 of us who were offering opinions and
oratory and rhetoric on issues of the day - as seen through the filters of our 11 year old
minds. I waxed poetic on the theme of conservation and ecology, although that word had not
yet been coined.
From "The message is the medium An interview with Manuel Castells"
"The medium is the message means that the materiality of organizing the
communication process fundamentally shapes the ways the message is going to be received.
If we say that The message is the medium it means that the content of the
message organizes the process of communication. As you suggest, and I agree with you,
communication is also the message. To take an example, there are all kinds of studies that
show that there is little correlation between advertising and consumers actual
behaviour. Yet, billions are spent on advertising.
If the Medium Is the Message, What Does SMS Say?
Overview: There is something wrong with short message services (SMS). By wrong I
dont mean that the system doesnt work or that it is not popular, indeed
nothing could be further from the truth. No - based on the web orthodoxies SMS
shouldnt work. Typing an SMS means using a tiny non-querty keyboard. SMS allows only
160 characters of text, no fancy pictures and sounds and no bandwidth or multimedia.
Customers have to pay to send an SMS (shock horror!) Yet for all that, SMS is
spectacularly successful, particularly with the youth market.