Skip to Main Content
Marshall McLuhan's writing style has long been a source of fascination and frustration to the scholarly community. Instead of sequentially developed paragraphs and chapters, McLuhan's work often took the form of numerous free-standing commentaries, usually not more than a few pages in length, each self-sustaining yet revolving around some sort of central theme. This `holographic' style turns out to have much in common with the commentaries produced by participants in a computer conference, where individuals engage in multi-dimensional dialogue through comments of usually 20-60 lines of length around several related themes. The similarities in the textures of computer conferences and the books of McLuhan-who knew nothing about computer conferencing when he wrote his books-can aid in understanding both the computer conference as a literary form and the style of McLuhan.