Magazine article Information Today

The Medium Is the Message

Magazine article Information Today

The Medium Is the Message

Article excerpt

While printed books pre-dated Gutenberg by thousands of years, his name is practically synonymous with their widespread availability. But in publishing's digital age, e-terms emerge from the ether, many vanishing as mysteriously as they appeared. It's as if, given the infinite number of "publishers" proffering Web content, a clear point of origin is a thing of the past. Yet digital publishing seems bound to even more profoundly impact how language and knowledge work than, as Marshall McLuhan posited in The Gutenberg Galaxy, the "change of consciousness wrought by the advent of the printed book."

Hovering between an age ruled by the power of the print world and one in which similar power will be measured in zeros and ones, publishers find themselves foraging in the glove-box for a road map to plot a steady course to the digital future. Many publishers travel a route replete with dead-ends, detours and, occasionally, a pleasant road less traveled. And perhaps a desire for a McLuhan's-eye perspective is too much to ask, given that he had a two-century vantage point in analyzing the printing press's ripple effect, while we are mere decades into the digital process. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.