Can we skip over the part where I explain Marshall McLuhan and his famous (possibly infamous) statement that the medium is the message? Please? Is this well-known enough that I can assume people already know what I’m talking about? Because I want to talk a little bit about why I made the conscious decision to use different mediums for different projects, and McLuhan is relevant to that conversation.

I don’t just do one thing. Some of that has to do with being a well-rounded person with diverse interests, which when combined with being a workaholic means I have al ot of ideas for project. Some of has to do with the –ugh — “gig economy”, a term I hate that refers to working as a freelancer, consultant, independent contractor, and self-employed person rather than having one day job with one employer. To make rent, I’ve got to hustle and do a little of this, a little of that. A lot has to do with not wanting to put all of my eggs into one basket, so if tastes change or venues to sell my work go belly-up or other shifts in the economy happen, I’m not completely screwed.

This means that I not only work on different types of projects, I plant each project in the medium that best suits it. This is a matter of where I will have the greatest reach and return on investment, as well as what’s the best fit creatively. It also keeps me from getting bored, because it automatically keeps the type I do varied and interesting.

A podcast is the best format for Proof of Life, because it’s a conversation between Katie and I. That wouldn’t work as any form of prose, because you’d lose important things like my tone of voice and Katie’s laugh. Those communicate things that words alone don’t. It wouldn’t even work as video, because it would lose the casualness of sitting in our living room, in our pajamas, sipping coffee if we had to get dressed and look presentable.

HUBRIS: The Journal of Cultural Horror works best as a zine. I’ve written about this at length. Four issues in and I’ve realized that another reason a zine is best is because the articles taken together are of a piece. Blog posts would be read individually, and the articles in the zine can be as well, but by making them all part of the same issues, a single document, they are connected in ways blog posts are not. Even when there isn’t a specific theme, I think one article informs another, because you can gain a better feel of what my thought processes and emotional states are.

Even the things that I use my journal for, and the layout that I use, count as medium. There are reasons for using paper rather than apps. I’ve got reasons for using a blank journal and writing in my own format, rather than buying a planner with the days and dates already printed in it. This is the medium that functions best for that specific intersection of my personality and the work that needs to be done.

This is all pretty obvious stuff. I mention it because it’s not always obvious to everyone. Some things work great as a book, but not as a movie. Not everything works across any medium. It’s like picking your battles.

 

One thought on “Great McLuhan’s Ghost!

  1. I’ve been thinking about this lately as well for various reasons. I feel it’s leading me somewhere, but I don’t know where yet.

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