Monday, August 31, 2009

Explain text messaging using the SMCR model

The SMCR model is a classic model of mass communication that describes the exchange of information as the message passes from the source, to the channel, and to the receiver, with feedback to the source. The SMCR model stands for the Source-Message-Channel- Receiver model and was developed by Wilbur Schramm in 1982 to illustrate and describe the communication process applied to broadcast media.

The SMCR model is broken down into the following steps or processes: The source, which is the originator of the communication. The message, which is the content of the communication, the information to be exchanged. An encoder, translates the message into a form that can be communicated, often a form which is not interpretable by human senses. The channel, is the medium or transmission system used to convey the message from one place to another. A decoder, reverses the encoding process. The receiver, is the destination of the communication. A feedback, is a mechanism between the source and the receiver which regulates the flow of communication. Finally, noise is any distortion or errors that may be introduced during the information exchange.

Now that the SMCR model has been explained in detail, I will apply the SMCR model to text messaging. First, the source is the sender, the person writing the text message. The message is the words or text (SMS), or images, files, or sounds (MMS). The encoder is the sender's cellphone and/or service provider's network and/or equipment translating the digital message into binary code or some other form of "computer language". The channel is both the sender's and receiver's service providers satellites and antennas. The decoder is the receivers cellphone which translates the message from binary code, back to digital form. The receiver is the person who the text message is addressed to. The feedback is any response or text, images, sounds, and/or files sent back to the source. Finally, the noise can be anything that interferes with the flow of the communication, which might range from the service available in that area to typos. The SMCR model can be applied not only to text messages, but to any type of communication involving more than one person.

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