BCM112 Convergent Media Practices Blog No.1

The Medium is the Message- from Marshall McLuhan (Understanding Media, 1964)

The Trajectories of Convergence are:

  1. Technologies
  2. Audiences
  3. Industries

The technologies are:

  1. From analog to digital content
  2. Flow of content across platforms
  3. The effects of convergent media exten beyond the sum of their parts

The audiences are:

  1. From passive consumers to active participants
  2. From paradigm based only consuming
  3. Content
  4. To producing sharing consuming
  5. Consumer-Producers

How do you manage the flow of content?

  • Across multiple channels
  • The people formerly known as the audience
  • Maintaining Control!

The content of a medium in almost all cases is another distinct medium in itself- Mark Federman

For McLuhan a medium is any extension in ourselves and a message is the change of scale, pace or pattern of behaviour.

The medium is the message tells us that noticing change in our societal or cultural ground conditions indicates the presence.

Millions of Facebooks users have no idea that they are using the internet.

What kind of writing fits sequential access reading?

The codes A.K.A. The Book

The book format permits random access

What kind of writing fits random access reading?

Hypertext- The web

The web permits hyper-access

What kind of content formats appear with hyper-access?

  1. New media platforms
  2. New types of writing
  3. New ways of reading

Sometimes, however the medium mutates. The old medium lives embedded in a new platform.

Media Content- Old Media Platforms

  1. Live
  2. Die
  3. Mutate
  4. Reincarnate

Thought of the day….

How long after walking into someone’s house is it acceptable to ask for their Wi-Fi password?

What happens to media content?

The formatting role of cost

  • Production
  • Risk of Failure
  • Consumption

Cost acts as filter

  • Quality Control
  • Distribution Limit

Cost of-Production, Quality, Distribution. It leads to concentration of ownership.

Concentration of ownership falls under the content industry.

Consider the printed book

  • High cost of production-Cost of entry
  • High risk of failure
  • High cost of consumption-Cost of entry
  • Strict Quality Filter

Substantial cost associated with production, distribution and consumption of content. Logic of the content industry.

Consider the web .

  • Low cost of production-Cost of entry-Zero
  • Low risk of failure
  • Low cost of consumption

No Quality Filter

  • Content production and distribution cost is minimal
  • Consumption cost is zero
  • New affordances, new limitations

Consider the Industry

The internet eliminaates the cost of entry

A media platform enabling plenitude. In direct confrontation with the content industries.

A business model based on exploiting scarcity.

For McLuhan, the medium itself that shaped and controlled the scale and form of human association and action. Some people think that the medium is no longer the message, and some people don’t understand what its meaning is. Many people presume that the meaning of the message is the meaning that refers to mass-media in communications. e.g. radio, TV, the press and the internet.

The message is the change of pace, scale or pattern that a new innovation introduces into human affairs.

Also control, over change would seem to consist in moving not with it but ahead of it. Either way I pretty much have a good understanding of what ‘The medium is the message’, truly means.


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