You shape your intranet. Thereafter, it shapes you.


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The intranet should be the place an organisation starts to talk to people. If it can’t talk to its staff then no matter what it’ll struggle to communicate to the outside world. This blog by Sharon O’Dea talks about an approach to the social intranet.

In his book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Marshall McLuhan said “we shape our tools. Thereafter, they shape us”.

McLuhan’s focus was language; he argued that language doesn’t describe that which is in the world, but rather, we can only see the world through the medium of language. Language is limiting; our tools don’t let us do whatever we want, but instead limit and often dictate what we do.

His thesis is that while the way we work, think and communicate have led to tools being designed the way they have, once this design is finalised it closes the loop and that tool influences how you think or behave.

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