“The medium is the message”

Marshall McLuhan (1911 – 1980)

Media theorist and visionary, Marshall McLuhan said it first – “the Medium is the Message!”

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964)

This famous phrase implies that the “form of a medium embeds itself in the message, thereby creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how an audience perceives the message” … or something like that.

McLuhan coined other phrases, like the ‘global village‘ –the idea that the world is ‘shrinking’ through the diffuse use of technology (Television and Web). McLuhan’s ideas were well ahead of his time. McLuhan also described properties of media as ‘push’ and ‘pull’, or ‘hot’ and ‘cool’. Indeed McLuhan was cool….

He segued from academia to popular culture, when he made a cameo appearance in Woody Allen’s 1977 film, Annie Hall.

In the formative years of the Web, I had the pleasure of working at the McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology at UofT. At the time, I worked for McLuhan’s protegé and influential media theorist, Derrick de Kereckhove along with Liss Jeffries on the New Media Policy Lecture Series. It was a great success and inspired me to pursue a career in new media!

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