Monday, September 12, 2011

Content, Kings, and Libraries

 Image: Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!

What happens when content is no longer king?  What if we do move to a world where the medium is the message?  How will this affect libraries?

I was reading the comment below that was posted on a review for Douglas Coupland's biography on Marshall McLuhan.

McLuhan is a central figure in speaking to what technology does to human beings, as was Jacques Ellul. Both these thinkers are extremely pessimistic so it's ironic that they're celebrated by technophiles. In this contradiction, I think, probably lies the heart of what digital technology is doing to content.
Content was king. Now content is giving way to that new 'something else' that can loosely be described as 'notion' - a creation of sound-bites, images, impressions, misquotes etc that attach to a singular emotion. McLuhan's content is terrifying; McLuhan's notion is however uplifting. We attach to his notion.
I really liked this review of the book.- J.S. Kitololo [Emphasis added]

If devices, such as mobile devices, change how we we think, how we organize, disseminate, and process information, what are the implications for the institutions we've created (i.e. libraries)?  And if content truly is no longer king, do libraries need to place more resources into the medium?

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