Judy Nollet
White Plume Communications

writer, instructional designer, eLearning developer

Medium vs. Message

"The medium is the message." So declared Marshall McLuhan, noted communications theorist, in 1964. This catchphrase is probably the most-quoted piece from Understanding Media. McLuhan—who also coined the term "global village"—proposed that the medium we use to communicate can have a greater affect on people than the information itself.

No content provider wants to believe that their message takes a back seat to the medium. However, the presentation format certainly influences who will receive a message and how they will perceive it.

Multimedia programs can use interactivity, graphics, sounds, and video to augment text. But it doesn't take many mouseclicks to realize that some software provides more flash than facts. Animated graphics can act like a magician's smoke and mirrors, creating the illusion that something is there even if it's not. Hypertext can help someone follow a more interesting path through information, or it can lead them on a wild goose chase to nowhere.

Next time you've got something to say, be sure to ask yourself, "Is the message getting through the medium?"

And remember: White Plume Communications provides writing that's matched to the medium. So put White Plume in your corner, and help make it a fair fight.

return to list of articles


Copyright Judy Nollet, White Plume Communications. 
		All rights reserved. Phone 6 5 1 9 9 4 6 7 1 2. Email white plume at comcast dot net. link to email Judy

White Plume Communications logo
Contact information. Phone 6 5 1 9 9 4 6 7 1 2. 
	Email white plume at comcast dot net. link to email Judy

Want to read more? Return to the list of articles.