Marshall Mcluhan

Marshall McLuhan? A theorist, a specialist, a professor,a scientist, the Nostradamus of technology? Maybe a little bit of each, in my opinion. Marshall McLuhan was an English literature professor who also studied social communications and technology.  He is also known for predicting the internet before it was heard of. He theorizes about technology, media  and social communications. How these aspects shape our societies and individual characteristics. As far as being a version of Nostradamus, I think he made a very well educated and researched guess in the general prediction of technology and social trends.

Marshall is also known for the tetrad. The tetrad is more like a structure for mediums and their effect on human behavior. The tetrad consists of four basic components including; enhance, reverse, retrieve, and obsolesce. Enhance, what can the medium make better? Reverse, what are some of the reverse(potentially bad) outcomes the medium could incur? Retrieve, what can the medium restore in a new direction? Obsolesce, what will become a technology that will be replaced?

I found this blog when trying to further understand how to apply the tetrad to different mediums. When applying the tetrad to social media and social media marketing I found various results in various aspects. Social Media – enhance: communication, reverse:poor communication, retrieve: community, obsolesce: instant messaging. Social Media Marketing- enhance: the ability to market to the world,  reverse: bad marketing, retrieve: audience, obsolesce: flyers. Those are my results, I do believe they can be more then just these results. And I believe that is the point.

I think the tetrad is an extremely useful tool when building a social media/marketing site. I think it is innovating in a way, it helps you to challenge your own ideas and think outside the box.


~ by confusedkarma on September 19, 2012.

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