Deeper Than McLuhan

I have read all of McLuhan’s books over the span of a few months. One thing to point out is that McLuhan did not say “The Medium is the Message”. McLuhan said, “The Medium is the Massage”. The medium was the cause of change, reformation and revolution not the message.

Another thing that stands out is that the scope of McLuhan’s system had only two dimensions where one could be the other. That is fine, but it is extensible to a six dimensional framework.


What I mean by this is that any of Zachman’s six focuses (who, what, when, where, why, how) can be the message contained within the medium. This agrees with McLuhan’s four laws of Media Theory. More simply put, each of Zachman’s focuses can be a system its own right and any system can be the container for another lesser system. The system is the massage. Or the message.

I will look further at how McLuhan’s four laws apply to Zachman in later posts.

7 Responses to “Deeper Than McLuhan”

  1. Robert K. Blechman Says:

    Actually, McLuhan did say “The Medium is the Message” before he said “The Medium is the Massage.” The latter was a typographical error which he requested by kept. See Understanding Media (1964) p. 7. It is the title of chapter 1.

    I discuss McLuhan and other Media Ecology issues at my own blog “A Model Media Ecologist” at

  2. grant czerepak Says:

    It is interesting that depending on who you read regarding McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Message” quotation you always get a different answer and a different story to support it. A testimony to how much of McLuhan has become legend.

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