The Medium is Not the Message | Mark Traphagen Interview

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Medium is not the message

Has the Medium Usurped the Message?

That quote is a twist on the famous Marshall McLuhan quote: “The medium is the message.”.

It was a revolutionary idea in 1964 when it made its first appearance in his book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.

The theory is still hotly debated today.

At that time, television was starting to have a large impact both on our leisure habits but also on how consumed advertisements.

“A medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by the characteristics of the medium itself.”

Is social media making an even greater impact?


Is Facebook the new Television?

The accelerated pace of new technology has scurrying to fit our message to the medium.

Another manifestation of social media overload is our inability to master them all in spite of being tantalized by each new platform and application.

So we gravitate to our favourites where we feel more comfortable and invested in.

We wrap our white picket fences around them and defend them as our property.

In response to the Forbes article: Has Google+ Really Died?, (and comments it attracted, especially from impassioned Google+ users), our special guest Mark TraphagenSenior Director for Online Digital Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting wrote:

“We can like something, even be a fan of it, we can find great personal value in something, but we need to keep our rational, objective evaluation abilities intact.

That’s especially important if other people look to us for marketing advice.”

This quote was the inspiration for the show’s topic this week.

You can listen to the show on Soundcloud here while continuing to multitask…


The Medium is Not the Message – Audio

Soundcloud audio Medium Not Message



The Medium is Not the Message – Video 


Click on the timestamps to be taken to that specific point in the video.

(Think of this as a tasting menu and the 31 minute video as the full meal. 😉


02:37 –  How has social media changed the way and how we communicate?

Social media made two big impacts of social media – immediacy and democracy
Is it affecting reasoned reflection?
It’s made tremendous impact on Brands because everybody now has been given a mouthpiece.

05:19 –   Randy Bowden: Is Twitter the leading platform for social media fails?

Twitter is best example of how the medium affects the message.
It’s a constricted medium.

The 140 characters means that what you gain in terms of immediacy you lose in context – in particular with things like humour, irony and sarcasm.

07:27 –  B.L. Ochman Seen on Twitter:

I really miss my pre-internet brain.Click To Tweet


07:45 –  Mark Traphagen 

Recommend you follow (circle) martin shervington and David Amerland for discussions about the plasticity of the brain and how our environment affects us.

08:40 –  As consultants, do we bring our own platform biases to our work with clients?

Increasingly see Confirmation Bias as demonstrated by the response to the Forbes article: Five Reasons Why Google+ Died

The response, especially from Google+ fans who say they disagree because they have a wonderful experience on Google+ is a demonstration of confirmation bias.

They look at their experience and project it on to others.
With business, that’s dangerous if we assume our experience with a platform will be the same as our customers.

It’s important to be objective.

10:47Randy Bowden – Do companies see a risk in adopting or allowing the use of social media?

Many companies restrict their employee’s social media involvement.

But there are others who are encouraging it. It works when there is already a great company culture.

There’s risk with anything you do in business.

15:54Jessica Dewell

Consistent and transparent internal communication is essential in setting up a social business cultureClick To Tweet.


17:18How would you describe Google+ to a client?

That’s changed over time. My evangelism is tempered.

I don’t put it out there as “this is the first thing you should do as a business – other than definitely set up a Google+ Page – especially if you’re a local business.

Where it works is if you’re willing to invest the time to bring in your audience to circle your Page.

This allows you to influence them through personalized search.

19:43Scott Scowcroft : “There’s gold in them thar hills – you have to be willing mine it.”

Google plus is an advanced level of strategy of social media.Click To Tweet


22:40What with the anti Google+ articles?

It could be as simple as “laziness”.

It’s an easy story to publish and get links. Because it’s Google, the expectations were high and because it never was the Facebook slayer, it failed.

Last question: Do you tweet on the toilet?

You’ll have to watch the video or listen to the audio broadcast for the answer to that one. 🙂


The RayLunchBunch TakeOut Ep. 77

Lunch Bunch Take Out

At the end of each #RayBunch show, we leave you with our Takeout – links to resources that provide you the opportunity to dig deeper into our featured topic.

Here are the LunchBunch Takeout links Jessica Dewell,  B.L. Ochman, Scott Scowcroft, Randy Bowden and me  shared:


1. “Every weekday in about 3 minutes, Mark Traphagen gives you some digital marketing “fast food that’s actually good for you.”Traphagen's Takeout Order


2. Build Conversation with context. Giving + Receiving = Value 

Build Conversation with context


3. Just how addicted are you? Take this simple test to find out.

How addicted to technology are you


4. Social Media May Not Be Helping Your Business

Social Media May Not Be Helping Your Business

5.  Principles of Community Engagement – Clinical and Translational Science Awards Consortium Community Engagement Key Function Committee Task Force on the Principles of Community Engagement


Principles of Community Engagement


6.”I neither approve nor disapprove,” said McLuhan during his interview with Playboy. “I merely try to understand.”

The medium is the message, 50 years later


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About Ray Hiltz

Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions. Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture. You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call

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