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Re: "Definition of media

>> From avatar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Tue Mar  5 08:38:27 1996
>> Subject: "Re: Definition of Xanadu (fwd)
>> To: xanadu@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> From: katherine@xxxxxxxxxxx (Katherine Cochrane)
>> Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996 09:05:43 -0600
>> I wasn't very clear in my original statement.  Maybe this will better
>> convey my intent.  In my lexicon media is the wires, CDs, computer screens
>> -- the mechanical things that enable us to move information.  Content is
>> the information itself, in whatever form it can be.  Xanadu is a system for
>> managing changes, re-use, intercomparison and ownership of connected ...
>> information in digital form?  This digital information can consist of
>> content and links between elements of content, and tracking and controlling
>> meta-information such as ownership records and change files, and other
>> attributes.  Somehow, though, I don't think you mean to include the
>> mechanical devices used to transmit or store or retrieve this information,
>> do you?  I have a feeling I'd better go back and read some more recent
>> discussions of the system before I really get in trouble here.
>It's all connected.
>To me, "media" are books, magazines, letters, movies,
> recordings, speeches, cooking-- TEMPLATES FOR INFORMATION
> PACKAGES.  I believe this is McLuhan's usage, which came
> (I think) out of the advertising industry.
>Information packages have creators and points of view.
>The design of these templates-- for example, HDTV or email--
> is crucial and complex.
>PHYSICAL or perhaps BASAL media-- floppies, tape, 35mm film,
> Dolby stereo-- are engineering issues, but they have
> ramifications for media.  (The term LOGICAL media is sometimes
> used for the conceptual structure of physical media, such as
> hierarchical directories, which I despise.)
>And contents are what you put on or in the physical media,
> creating WORKS IN MEDIA.  Which have VERSIONS.
>(Within the Xanadu tradition. Works are also called DOCUMENTS.)
>So probably I do mean contents, but the others are all
> very much involved.

Certainly the medium does INFLUENCE the the way the message is
received/perceived.  Hyperlinks are an important part of the "new media"
paradigm.  I recently had a technical article published in a (print)
magazine, and the poor exasperated editor finally told me I obviously was
more used to writing hypertext.  At least half the information was in the
form of sidebars, which in the future Web version will be available via
hyperlinks -- the way I thought of them to begin with. I think the
electronic version will be much easier to grasp.  The perception of the
document will be affected by the medium used for each version, although the
content itself will not change.