Different Methods Of Communication Available Computer Science Essay

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An email is usually a form of text which is simply typed and created at a computer system and then transmitted over some form of network which allows the recipient to receive the email and then read it. Emails are instantaneous meaning they are direct/ rapid therefore they give a very meaning definition of communication. An email is cost effective and powerful communication tool. The word 'Email' is an abbreviation for Electronic Mail. An email is a system which allows world-wide communication through the use of a computer as a user can compose a message at one terminal and it can be regenerated at the recipient's terminal even if the user is not online/not available. Emails can be sent to many people and can also be forwarded which means the same email is sent to a different person. Emails can be sent to anyone who has an email address known as a 'mailbox'. Creating an email account does not take long as a step by step guide helps you create an email. When an email is created the addresses are usually in lower case. Also using spaces in your email address is not allowed therefore users have to use full stops as an alternative. The electronic mail is stored and can be read at any time. Emails are an advanced method of communication due to technology progressing. Sending letters - technology has developed because paper is not needed to send information to another person. Instead a computer can do the job a postman would usually do. An email can be misunderstood when read e.g. the tone of the content and this mistake cannot be made when talking face to face. Emails are considered to be used mostly for people talking to each other informally e.g. friends, therefore thorough checks need to be made when it comes to spelling and grammar and also the layout needs to match the layout of a letter. Originally emails were restricted to simple text however as technology has advanced emails are able to handle many formats such as Word documents, graphics and images/multimedia. A user can also send specific files to another recipient in the form of attachments which allows the sending of any file up to a certain file size limit. It is said that emails should reach to the stage of where any file size limit for sending attachments. Emails are very easy to receive and send and they are described to be time conceiving. An email cannot be lost in the post therefore can save a lot of time from having to re-send a letter or maybe even create one. Along with emails being protected from being lost they can be 'flagged' which tells the sender if the email has been opened and read. Emails can be sent to an individual, group or organisation through the click of a button.

Most businesses advertise their email addresses in the form of myname@hotmail.co.uk. There are many ways that business can use emails for example, to provide a better customer service, market their goods and also work more efficiently. However over use of emails can result in lack of social interactions. Many businesses can advertise their email address because it is a free of cost service and can help them save money when it comes to communication. The price of internet just has to be paid and the business can communicate from people over the world. Although emails should not replace direct personal communication, e.g. face to face, interviews and meetings, they can cover many areas within a business/company. Emails can be used for internal communication within a business which allows colleagues and managers to communicate regarding information about new rules and guidelines. Businesses can send an email under a click to many people which help them save a lot of time. It can also help the company save money as they will not have to write a load of letters. Emails can also be kept as proof of consent or receipt and they can also be stored to remind people about any important information. Emails are easily accessible and can be used in a business to as part of their marketing efforts to share information with customers or prospects. Emails offer fast, economical transfer of messages anywhere in the world. Messages can be logged, ensuring some form of record is held, and messages are stored when the recipient is away from their desk. The person you are sending the message to gets it directly, without passing through any third party.

Emails within in a business should always be in a very formal format just like letters are. A company would use emails to reach customers quickly and cheaply. There is no paper cost as printing is not needed. Emails can be read and sent very quickly unlike other forms of marketing. Businesses can also encourage recipients to forward emails they are received to others which is known as viral marketing. A company would need to be careful when sending emails because when someone receives too many emails they simply delete them without reading them. Companies would use emails to communicate with customers and also other business partners. The company can also use emails to send messages to employees about changes in the business which are relevant to them. Employees can use the internet to trade personal emails however they need to be aware that their employer can see everything from an official paper to a joke. Employees can review each incoming and outgoing mails to see if there are any federal records (messages, attachments and also receipt data).

An email is a system of world-wide electronic communication in which a computer user can compose a message at one terminal that can be regenerated at the recipient's terminal even if the user is not logged in.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Emails are sent in an instant - The recipients can receive the emails in an instant too. Emails allow businesses to operate as a quicker rate. Emails allow communication between people in larger businesses to become easier. Employees can receive information in a short amount of time and this can help them make decisions or change what they have to do in their work place. Emails are electronically written which means the text will be very clear.

Emails can carry viruses which are hidden. A sender of an email can be someone posed to be another person. These viruses can corrupt your database or result in the loss of your email account. Important emails would be lost, deleted or tampered with. Hackers will be able to misuse the enclosed information.

You can attach files to an email to send to other recipients. This is useful in a business because they can send information which may be in the form of a PowerPoint (ppt). Emails can be accessed through smart phones and these attachments can also be opened only if the mobile phone supports it.

There is a limit for the file size allowed for attachments. When attaching a file it results in waiting for the file to upload which leads to precious time being wasted in a business. Large attachments can sometimes result in the computer/laptop crashing therefore it is something which needs to be considered.

Emails can be sent at any time to groups or individuals under a simple click. This can save businesses time as they do not have repeat a process e.g. write a letter out 20 times.

Your inbox can get flooded with a lot of spam mails and junk mails. Within these spam mails their might be hidden viruses which can potentially give access to hackers to your confidential information. People don't always get your email due to overly aggressive Spam filters.

An email is easy to set up and is free of cost. Companies can benefit from using free services as they would help them increase their profits. The cost for an ISP would have to be paid. The cost of internet is generally very low therefore emails can be a very handy tool in a business. (Can save on telephone bills)

If the internet server goes down them emails cannot be accessed. Sometimes the website to access your emails results in server problems and this can result in time being wasted. This problem can last from hours up to days.

Emails are known as a secure type of communication compared to letters and faxes because emails remain private. To access an email a user has to enter their password. This means emails safe from falling into the wrong hands which could potentially damage the business financially. If letters contain confidential information and they get lost then that information can be used by someone else.

Although emails are a secure type of communication, emails can carry viruses and/or can be hacked by groups. If an email is hacked then it can be used by the hackers for almost anything which can harm a business. If a computer is left un attended then emails can be read by anyone. This can be done without any details or noticeable changes because emails can be marked as 'read'. Emails can be forwarded therefore precautions need to be made when dealing with important emails.

Senders Mail User Agent (MUA) - Hotmail, Yahoo...

1

Senders Mail Delivery Agent

Network Cloud

Senders Mail Server (Email Queue)

2

3

4

Internet Cloud

Spam & Virus Blockers

Recipients Mail Server

Network Cloud

5

6

Recipients Mail Delivery Agent

Recipient Mail User Agent (MUA) - Hotmail, Yahoo...

Diagram for Emails

Step 1 (Creating and sending the Email): The sender prepares an email using their 'Mail User Agent' (MUA) and then clicks send. This application allows the sender to view, read and compose emails. (Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook)

Step 2 (MDA routing the Email): The senders Mail User Agent transfers the email to a Mail Delivery Agent. The 'MDA' accepts the email, then routes it to local mailboxes or forwards it if it isn't locally addressed.

Step 3 (Network Cloud): A network cloud covers a variety of mail servers which are prone to be slow when processing heavy loads. Sometimes network clouds become that slow that they are taken down for maintenance which makes them temporarily unable to receive emails. The network may be protected by firewalls, spam filters and malware detection software that may delete an email. When an email is deleted by this kind of software, it tends to fall under the category of 'failed'. The sender is given no information about where or when the delivery failure occurred. Email service providers and other companies that process a large volume of email often have their own, private network clouds. These network clouds have multiple mail servers. This means that emails are passed through a central gateway server which redirects emails to which ever MDA is available.

Step 4 (Email Queue): If the email is addressed then it enters a queue alone with other outgoing emails. If there are a large amount of messages in the queue or the messages consist of a large size then a delay occurs until the Mail Delivery Agent processes them.

Step 5 (Internet Cloud) When the email has been cleared from the queue the mail delivery agent routes the emails through routers which provide a path for the email to travel according to which server is available. To find the recipient's IP address and mailbox, the DA must pass through the Domain Name System (DNS), which consists of a set of servers distributed across the Internet. 

Step 6 (Firewall, Spam): Once the email has passed through the internet cloud to find the recipients mailbox it passed through a stage which checks the email in case it contains any viruses. Emails with viruses will be marked so the recipient is aware and spam emails will just be deleted or sent to the 'junk' folder.

After this process is complete an MDA accepts the email and routes it towards the recipients MUA. Mail Delivery Agents keep logs of accepted emails.

MMS

An MMS is short for Multimedia Messaging Service. It has been developed by 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project.) MMS messaging allows someone to send a message from one mobile to another mobile phone. This type of communication allows users to exchange multimedia elements between capable mobile phones and other devices such as smart phones. MMS messages not only can be sent mobile phones but also to email addresses. There are many formats which can be included in an MMS. These include: Text (formatted with fonts, colours, etc.), Images (Jpeg, GIF), Audio (MP3, MIDI), and Videos (MPEG). MMS messages may contain imbedded videos, photos or audio recordings. An MMS is an extension of the SMS protocol. This makes MMS messages easy to use for existing SMS users. One of the main practical differences between MMS and SMS is that whilst SMS messages are limited to 160 bytes, an MMS message has no size limit and could be many Kbytes in size, sometimes even larger. MMS takes simple messaging an extra step further. Whilst you can send many things through an MMS it is also used for sending picture messages from camera-equipped phones. An MMS is a typical function which is similar to email in that pictures and videos are simply attached to a text based message instead of combined into a full presentation. Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) can be sent to phones that are MMS compatible. MMS defines a way to send and receive, almost instantaneously. It is believed that when the technology of MMS messages has fully developed then people will be able to send streaming videos. MMS messages are currently used for sending picture messages. By simply taking a picture off your phone MMS messages allow you to instantly send it to anyone. They can also be used to send animations or graphical presentations about stock quotes, weather conditions, sports news and many more. MMS is looking to be developed into two separate phases (GPRS and 3G). Based on General Packet Radio Services (GPRS), the currently available MMS is similar to a brief PowerPoint presentation. The second phase of MMS will require a 3G network to enable streaming video.

Businesses can send MMS messages to subscribers, customers or even enquirers. Important information can be sent though an MMS message from the company to inform customers, for example a map of the building can be sent through an MMS. Mobile messaging is progressing in its effectiveness and is becoming an essential business tool for communication with staff, agents and customers. Messaging is also increasingly used as a powerful promotional medium. MMS message provide the business with potential to increase on their profits as they can use MMS as a form of promoting the company. MMS messages are not expensive seeing you can send a message including text, an image, audio or video for as little as 25p. MMS messages have the same purpose in a business like SMS messages however the little extra options you have allow the company to advertise their company through the use of videos and also audio clips. The messages allow you to inform customers or staff about recent changes or developments to a service. Businesses can save on sending a large amount of messages at one time as they can save money on doing that because they can receive discounts. Messaging people can make them part of the company as they can get involved in product development by giving ideas in a reply. You can inform staff of procedure changes, product levels and availability. MMS provides a useful method of describing new products and services quickly. It becomes so much easier to describe something using MMS messages because you can send the picture of the product without having to describe it. This cannot be done with speech and via text. The ability to send multimedia can help members of staff understand something quicker. It makes the job for the manager become easier. This type of communication can help with the promotion, advertisement and also marketing of the business. MMS marketing is a system which allows businesses to send MMS messages to a targeted list of interested customers via their cell phone, mobile phone or smartphone. This is particularly effective because it is a fact that people are always with their mobile phones. Once a business has sent an MMS message it is likely that the person will check the message shortly after it has been delivered.

Technology behind MMS's

MMS requires a third generation (3G) network to enable such large messages to be delivered, although smaller messages can be sent even with second generation networks using GPRS. The benefits of using a third generation network are that people will be able to send streaming videos.

Advantages

Disadvantages

MMS messages have no size limit and this means that any sized file can be sent through the use of MMS's. This is beneficial for companies as a size limit would prevent them from passing on important information with a large file size to one another.

Cost more than SMS, as it is an advance method of SMS, so the price would be higher per multimedia message. This could build up to quite a lot of money if MMS is used on a regular basis, where as other method of communications don't cost a thing.

You can send a lot more than just text for e.g. a person can send videos, images, and audio through the use of MMS messages. You can also This is due to advanced technology.

It is dependent on network, if no signals are available it is impossible to receive and send multimedia messaging. This could delay work going on in the business.

The unlimited size limit can allow the message to be more effective and have a larger impact on the receiver.

The sender never knows that if the person he/she is sending the MMS to owns a phone that supports multimedia messages. An advanced phone is needed in order to send and receive MMS.

MMS can be a source of marketing and advertising your company and the business. This could be an effect way of advertising as everybody who owns a mobile would regularly check it and pay attention to the messages they receive and this could result in you getting feedbacks on your business.

You never know what sort of phone the person you are sending the MMS to has, this means that if they have a small screened phone it can cause difficulties for them to read and understand the MMS that has been sent to them.

MMS allows the message to be forwarded and sent to a group of people at the same time; this can attract new customers, and make the company more popular. This could inform the audience of any latest offers or sales that will attract many customers.

Pictures are taken at different resolutions, so the quality of the image may also cause difficulties as they may view in a different display and that could cause it loss of details.

By gaining feedbacks from customers, can help to create and bond a good relationship with the customers. Where trust and reliability can be formed, this would increase the popularity rate too.

Sometimes, as well as the sender getting charged per message, also the person that is going to receive the message gets charged for it too. This could leave a negative impact on the company as audiences may get irritated by constant messages which are costing them.

Paper Based

Paper based communication is the type of communication which involves the use of paper. Paper based communication is anything written on a paper, printed, typed or drawn. Several examples include:

Newspapers

Magazines

Legal documents

Faxes

Personal letters

Greeting cards

Using the methods above paper based communication can help present information to anyone. Paper-based communication is still referred for the personal touch of a noticeable letter or document, especially by those who see electronic communication as impersonal. Sending a letter, thank-you note or other publication to someone in paper form adds an extra personal layer to communication. Unlike other forms of communication paper communication is one of the methods that can have evidence in the form of documents. Papers can be photocopied and kept for proof in case anything goes wrong in the future. This is important to Paper-based communication, because it provides a source of reference. Paper communication allows information to be delivered to a wide range of people. The papers used are presented to a target audience and are easily accessible. There are people who do not like or do not know how to use computers. Paper communication has been around for a long time therefore there are a lot of people out there who are used to paper communication. This type of communication is useful for those people who do not have computers or do not have access to the technology which is present today. Papers can be sent to anyone at any time and they can contain information as little as a word to a full A4 sized page.

Paper based communication has a lot of benefits for a company/business. They can use it in a form of communicating with other businesses such as PLC (Public Limited Businesses) to gain financial information about them which can lead to that business to have an idea of how to improve on a certain area. Paper communication can be used to inform customers about payments e.g. in the form of an invoice, or a business can send out credit notes which state discounts about products. Businesses can also receive these discounts in the form of letters therefore letters play a crucial part in business. Unlike emails letters give you the option to use a pen and sign in the designated areas for proof of consent. This cannot be done in Video conferencing, SMS or MMS messages. You can inform/alert or remind customers about certain things through the use of a letter for e.g. appointments. As paper based communication targets a large amount of people, businesses can publish magazines with sectors filled with information about the business. This can help on promoting and advertising the business in an exciting way. Magazines are often interesting therefore the business has a chance to sneak their article in a magazine in hope of gaining customers.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Magazines are an effective way of advertising your company. Magazines attract a lot of customers and can target a wide audience range. There are a lot of people who are interested in magazines. Companies can also sell magazines at a suitable price for boosting profit.

If information gets in the wrong hands then it can be used against the company. This can damage the company due to information being misplaced or getting lost.

No internet access or other special gadgets are not needed as there would be for emails, and it is very straight forward and clear, so there would be no difficulties in understanding anything.

This type of communication involves the process of cutting down trees which is not environmental friendly. There are many alternatives to paper based communication which save trees and benefit the environment.

This type of communication is very effective because it allows the company to keep a record of every document that is published.

Proof can be kept which can help a company in the future if anything is to go wrong. This is helpful in cases such as proving the identity of someone.

Hand written information can contain many mistakes, such as grammar and spelling mistake. Handwriting can cause difficulties to read the letter. This could make the costumer have a negative point of view towards the business and company.

The customer/client can receive the letter through the post without putting in any effort. A magazine for example would be displayed on the shelves of stores however letters would be posted through the door. An email can be accessed through the use of a computer which is beneficial for customers as they are required to put in a little effort just to receive information.

Important letters can get lost in the post or even misplaced. This is a fact which needs to be given a lot of attention. If confidential letters are in the wrong hands then the information can be used which can lead to a business to be affected. If letters get lost they can be re-found however it means that the letter has taken a lot of time to reach its certain destination. Time wasted means money wasted in a business.

Can cause a lot of money to be wasted just towards paper based communication as money is used for the paper, the ink, the stamp and the delivery costs. Letters will be sent on a regular basis so that can result in totalling up to a large amount of money.

Diagram for Paper based communication

6

Dispatching

2

Document is checked

Creating the Document

1

Documents e.g. Magazines/

Newspapers/

Leaflets

License obtained to dispatch

5

Printing Stage

3

Printing draft (Sneak preview to advertisers)

4

Document is checked

Editing stage

Creating the Document - When creating a document a person will have to decide upon the market for the publication. The market has to be identified to ensure that the publication is ideal for the market. If a letter is being created then it needs to be addressed with both the writers and recipients address. If a magazine is to be made then research needs to be carried out about other magazines in order to have an idea of what standard the magazine needs to be. The dispatching locations would need to be decided for e.g. in local shops or supermarkets... The topic for the document will need to be decided and also whether or not the document is a free publication which will be funded by its advertisement costs.

Document is checked - The document is checked for any errors as these errors could result in a negative image being produced for the company. Along with errors any improvements made could be identified and then made in order to create a professional document. The errors that could be possibly identified could be edited. This stage reduces the chance of printing with mistakes/errors.

Printing draft - This stage involves the process of printing one copy of the document so that checks from another individual can be made. Any improvements or errors that have not yet been spotted can be identified and corrected. You have to work with the distributor to allow any prospective changes they may want in your document. Before printing out a large amount of copies for the document the publisher will need to begin advertising and promoting the magazine. This is vital as it can attract advertisers, encourage them and get them excited about the new magazine as they can see beforehand what they might invest in.

Printing stage - In this stage the publisher will need to decide the page size, orientation, ink colours and also will need to consider the costs for printing. To reach at this stage the publisher will need to know fully that the document is error free in order to dispatch it across to places.

License - All businesses need to have a license or permit to operate. This also applies to magazine publishers. The publisher must fill out an application in their county to see if they can use the name they have chosen for the magazine. However, if the publisher is publishing the magazine by using their own name, typically no applications need to be filed. This is to reduce the risk of copyright.

Dispatching - The business will need to decide upon a suitable way of dispatching. The documents created can be ordered, dispatched to stores or handed to people by members of staff who may be stood in supermarkets.

This lengthy procedure can cost the business a lot of money therefore it is a valid reason for people to prefer other methods of communication more.

1

Letter is created

Posting

2

4

Recipient receives letter

3

Post office

A letter is created by either typing on a computer or hand writing. The sender will write the recipients address on the top right of the A4 page. The letter would need to be checked once by spell check and once by proof reading. This is to reduce the risk of errors and to reduce the chances of producing a letter which looks informal and unprofessional due to mistakes. Once the letter is completed the sender will need a buy an envelope to enclose the letter ready to send to the recipient.

On the envelope the sender will place a stamp which he will purchase from a post office. The stamp will decide how fast his delivery would take place. The stamp will be placed on the envelope in a corner for a sorting office to see. The letter would need to be placed in a post box so that it can reach the regional sorting office.

Once the letter has been delivered to the post office the post office will sort out the letters according to the address and post code. The letter is then given to a post man who will come and deliver the letter to your door step.

The recipient will receive the letter though his letter box. The speed of the delivery will depend on the stamp which is placed on the letter.

Podcast

Podcasts are files that can be downloaded directly from the internet. A podcast is a digital audio file usually an MP3 or AAC which is made available to download off the internet. An MP3 is found to be one of the most popular formats. The word 'podcast' is a combination of the words broadcasting and iPod. Podcasts can be listened to on iPods or any computer with the default audio players installed. Podcasts can also be found in blogs. Podcasts are all about RRS feed readers (real simple syndication).This reader allows all the information you have subscribed for to directly be focused to one page. This feature allows feed to come straight to you through syndication instead of you searching for files. Podcasting allows you to automatically receive information, new updates or even lets you receive the new episode of something you have subscribed for. The reader can be instructed to automatically download new podcasts of you can either manually download them. People can subscribe to podcasts like they subscribe to blogs. Podcasts are often found in blogs and when a podcast is downloaded it is compatible to play on your iPod or mobile phone. 'Timeshifting' is the term used to describe consuming content when and where you want to. This means you can listen to audio whenever you feel like. Podcasts usually contain radio content because of the copyright law which restricts them from playing music because some artist may want to sell their music and podcasts are downloaded for free. Podcasting is a better alternative to using radios to advertise your company. You can globally distribute your ideas through the use of podcasting. Podcasts are very hard to create and many internet users find difficulties when making a podcast. Recording, uploading, hosting and distributing podcasts require some level of skill which an average internet surfer would not have. Podcasts may seem simple to the average user and their main purpose is to just download audio however the programmer knows the difficulties they have to counter in the process of making a podcast. As technology advances people are looking for ways to make the process easier to ease making podcasts.

Podcasting can give the company that extra advantage in marketing as it allows you to increase your online visibility, improve customer loyalty and also increase your client acquisition rates. Adding podcasting to your business can have a positive impact on your company. Podcasting is used as a communication tool in a business. Businesses can use podcasts to communicate messages to the target audience. Podcasting allows users to be free from reading and it allows them to play the audio whilst completing other tasks on their computer. Value added content increases loyalty from customers and also helps improve your sales. As the internet is the main source of information, businesses can benefit from setting up podcasts because they are wary that the internet can target a wide audience range. The bigger the audience a business has the better the chance of succeeding the business has. By giving the opportunity for the audience to listen to some audio for free you can benefit from giving them free important information about the business therefore advertising the business. A business would need to make regular updates on their podcasts to sustain the interest from the audience. An offer and/or option would need to be given to the audience so that they can subscribe and receive information about the company. Subscription would give the companies loyal customers in a longer term. During the audio a commercial can be advertised which can be linked to a business. The audience will not mind 15 second interruptions. Podcasting can be used to distribute the multimedia news about a business and can also be used for information employees about stock levels, processes, changes in rules and/or regulations. Once a business knows that their podcast is successful they can start with the idea of previewing podcasts to enable them to charge for the full show.

Advantages

Disadvantages

There are people who do not prefer to read things and get bored very quickly. If you have a podcast, they can actually stream the audio and let it play while they are doing other tasks at their computer. People tend to multitask in order to be more efficient with the use of their time. Additionally, most users tend to prefer value added audio content that is specific to their areas of interest. Your quality audio podcast content also tends to have a higher perceived value by your target market.

Sometimes people do not have access to the internet so podcasting is not an effective way of reaching the audience. The internet can also encounter problems or can go down for maintenance which can stop people accessing podcasts. The material needs to be turned into a transcript for people who don't have compatible players and also large files cannot be played from the use of a slow internet connection.

With podcasting you do not have to worry about the audience being offline when you make your sales pitch. The audience can access podcasts at anytime and anywhere. Podcasts are downloadable and can be played on iPods or other media devices. Employees can hear what you have to say as they can just listen to your podcast instead of gathering for a meeting. Podcasts can also be downloaded automatically if they are subscribed to.

Podcasts are easy to share therefore it becomes a concern when it comes to copyright. If you use someone else's work in your podcast you have to go through a certain stage to protect it from copyright. The same applies to someone trying to use your work. As anyone can access your podcasts it means people might retrieve information you didn't want them to hear.

To make a podcast all you need is a computer or smart phone, software to record your presentation and a connection to upload it to the Internet. There are many sites which you can upload your podcast to reach a wide audience. You can buy software to edit your podcasts to make them sound more professional.

Allowing iPods at work or in school can result in employees and students working less. They can be a source of distraction. They temptation to watch movies or listen to some audio can put them off doing work. They can be side-tracked by the endless media possibilities that an iPod provides. This could mean less than average performance and less productivity.

With a podcast, you can easily reach your students or employees, any time. Information that is sent can be conveniently accessed. Podcasts do not have expiration dates and they can be permanently archived.

There are podcasts which are very useful and entertaining however there are also some which waste your time. Some podcasts can potentially offend. You get podcasts with nothing to say and podcasts that say way too much. 

While users have the ability to download and listen to individual episodes of a specific podcast manually, many are automatically delivered to the users as they can subscribe. Many media players sync the podcasts onto your iPods quickly without any effort required therefore a person can have up-to-date music with very little effort.

Not everyone owns a mobile phone. Some people are not interested in having to download files from the Web in order to have access to them, and some will prefer reading instead of listening to an audio file.

Podcasting is beneficial to individuals and businesses that are looking to reach large. A wide audience can be reached through podcasting without being expensive. Podcasting is known because of its cost effectiveness. A podcast requires only basic audio recording equipment and also an Internet connection.

As anyone can publish podcasts people need to spend time checking if the files and data published are verified. It can also be very time consuming especially for larger files. It is estimated that it takes 45 minutes to produce an 8 minute show.

Technology behind podcasts

A Podcast is created when an MP3 file is made and sent to a client or server. After this the podcast can then be converted to an XLF (Extensible Log Format). The Podcast is published through common internet servers and can be uploaded to various blog sites and community areas for people to see. It costs nothing to make or receive Podcasts and can also be described as a visual text message that you receive daily or hourly. To create a podcast, a microphone is needed to record your own voice. To record your own voice a software is needed which can be found anywhere on the internet for free, (Audio recorder for Windows - Audacity). You simply have to create an audio file and record yourself and then upload it onto a podcasting site.

Diagram for podcasting

Podcast creator

Creates podcast (MP3)

Internet

Converted to XLF

1

2

Podcast Host

RSS

3

Podcast software 

MP3 Device

Can be downloaded/synchronised straight onto your MP3 device

4

C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\RY4JPIK5\MC900441491[1].png

http://www2.macleans.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/rss-icon.jpg

Step 1: Digital audio file - A podcast creator will create a podcast that will involve a number of digital audio files hosted on the Internet. Each podcast episode is represented by one of these files. In general these are audio files created in the format of an MP3 so that they can be played on a majority of digital media players such as iPods.

Step 2: Internet - After the first procedure the podcast has to be converted to an XLF (Extensible Log Format). This is so that the podcast is compatible on the podcasting websites and is available to subscribe to though RRS. The podcast is passed through a web server which makes the podcast available on the Internet. A Podcast feed is a simple file which basically consists of a list of the podcast episodes with some additional descriptive information which helps the user decide whether to subscribe to a podcast.

Step 3: RRS - This feature allows podcasts to be centred into one page. This means information will come to them instead of them looking for the information. The RRS feature gives you a hyperlink which you simple copy and paste into your own website into the subscription text box.

Step 4: Podcast software - This is PC based software that provides specific functionality for subscribing to and receiving existing podcasts. This software allows the user to see all the podcasts he has subscribed too and alerts the user when a new podcast is available. The software will also play podcasts and will help in Transferring the audio file onto a portable media player (e.g. synchronising with an iPod).There are many software's that provide these functions which are available for free off the internet e.g. iTunes.

SMS

SMS or Short Messaging Service is the name given to a service which can deliver messages from one terminal to another e.g. from one mobile phone to another. An SMS is a type of silent communication between two people. SMS services are available from over 700 countries. SMS's can be sent to people without other people knowing what is being said. They are usually restricted to 160 characters per message and when that amount is exceeded the message becomes two messages. For other languages the characters are limited to 70. An SMS is completely dependent on network signals therefore if a mobile phone has no signal the SMS cannot be sent/ received. However when a mobile is in use, off or out of network coverage then the service holds the message until the mobile phone is available. About 700 billion messages were sent in 2007! SMS's messages are sent with the second generation (GPRS).

In Europe SMS's where found to be great successes in the trade market. They helped companies pass messages on very quickly and also allowed them to advertise their company. Businesses have started to benefit from SMS's as they allow them to keep in contact with their employees to deliver important information e.g. changes in the business. SMS's can be used for information being passed onto employees such as sales, updates or messages. They can also be used for issuing immediate alerts about emergencies and critical situations. Important information that needs to be sent to key customers or suppliers can be sent through the use of SMS's. The main use of SMS's in a business is for marketing purposes. SMS's are personal and have a high response rate. The likelihood of a consumer making an impulse purchase can be considerably improved by providing the option to send a SMS text message. In addition to sending text messages some businesses have a 'Call-back' option where a customer will type a keyword and send it to the business and they will receive a call back. This technique may increase customers as many people do not ring businesses due to the call rate that is being charged. This way the customers are not kept waiting in a queue for someone to pick up and assist them. This option Suggests business confidence and it attracts new customers. 'Call-back' appeals to consumers as it involves no cost and makes sales enquiries simple. Consumer details can be collected and used in future marketing campaigns but the most important thing is that the customers are only charged for standard SMS network rates. Businesses use SMS's as a cost effective way of communicating. SMS's are a way of reminding customers about certain things such as appointment reminders and also renewals. Businesses send emails about information on offers which is a way of promoting the company. Redeemable SMS vouchers can be given to customers in the form of advertising the company in an exciting way. Businesses can receive texts from customers about orders and queries. Businesses can also use computers to send messages to mobile phones therefore they can stay in contact with customers whilst multi-tasking using computers for market research. SMS's can also be used within a business to alert members of staff about emergencies or situations which may cause harm to them. SMS's could be used by customers to order products or the business can send an SMS to remind people about appointments. A business would need to take extra care because their messages need to be kept private as information in the wrong hands can cause a disaster for a company. SMS's can be sent to a number of people under the click of a button which saves a lot of time for the business.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

Disadvantages

SMS's are very common as they are a great way of communicating with friends, clients or even customers. It is a process which allows a message to be sent to someone else in an instant. The rate of sending a message is cheap therefore cost effective. A business can sent numerous amounts of messages under a simple press of a button. This is a time saving method and it helps the business improve in time management.

Some messages that people receive are pointless and are considered as 'spam or junk'. This can have a negative impact on people who use SMS because if a business sends an SMS it may be deleted without being read. If so, the business can lose out on the benefits of SMS's and also lose customers.

SMS messages can be sent to many people under the click of a button. If there is a large amount of people within a business. SMS allows one text message to be sent to a large number of recipients at the same time. This could be beneficial for businesses as there are many people associated with one business that need the information, so the SMS can be sent to all of the employees.

As a message is limited to 160 characters people must be prepared to send 2 text messages which could incur in an extra charge. SMS is only involved with text and large number of texts sent at once can make a phone freeze which is very time consuming and also annoying!

Through the use of SMS employees can build a relationship with another which can help the business succeed because employees will be able to communicate easily and make decisions quickly because they are comfortable with talking to one another.

If you are in an area or region which suffers from network problems or has low signals then SMS messages can become a problem. The SMS would be delivered to the recipients' mobile phone once the signals have returned. This can result in messages being delivered late which leads to poor communication.

SMS is a source that guarantees you that the recipient will read it as soon as possible and you will get a quick response as all mobile users keep their phones with them all the time and this results in fast responses.

Texts maybe limited as prices are increasing per text message. This could result in fewer responses from customers and employees due to the price. Also sometimes it also charges the other recipient that you are sending the text message to.

SMS messages are a lot more discreet than phone conversations so they are ideal if you don't want someone to hear your conversation. If is usually less time consuming than making a phone call. SMS messages do not require you to have a computer to access them. You can simply access your emails from anywhere at any time. SMS messages are a convenient way for deaf people to communicate with others.

People may not be able to access hyperlinks through the use of a mobile phone or a smartphone. This is a disadvantage because people are missing out on information and there is no way to get around this problem. The user may only log onto a computer and check what information the hyperlink is providing them.

Diagram for SMS

After that a process is taken place where the recipient's information is collected from the Visitor Location Register.

Then the SMS centre transfers the message to the Mobile Switching Centre

After that a process is taken place where the recipient's information is collected from the Visitor Location Register (VLR).

Recipient receives the message.

HLR collects the routing information for the recipient.

SMS centre sends request to the Home Location Register (HLR).

Firstly the text created is given into the wireless service provider which is the SMS

SMS centre then reports a short message back to the sender to inform them that there text has been sent this makes the sender certain that the recipient has received the message and will shortly read it and respond to it.

Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is a technology that allows communication to users anywhere in the world through the use of video and audio. This type of communication is carried out through a computer/laptop, a camera, a microphone, a video screen, and also a sound system. This term usually refers to communication between two or three people. Another requirement is that connection is needed to the Internet. This type of communication allows participants to see and hear each other in real time or close to real time. This allows an experience of face to face conversations which can't be done through the use of voice-only communication. As the two people speak to one another, their voices are carried over the network and delivered to the other persons speakers, and whatever images appear in front of the video camera appear in a window on the other participant's monitor. About 2-3 participants can sit in a virtual room and communicate as if they are sat next to each other. This system supports 2 way full-motion video, audio, graphics and also data communications. This is done at data rates of 56Kbps to 2.1 Mpbs on digital networks. This system is highly functional and is compared to 'watching television'.

This technology is popular in businesses because it allows conferences or meetings to be held without everyone meeting in one particular room. This saves valuable time. It can also help speed up sales, boost efficiency and productivity as deals can be made quickly through the use of audio. This type of communication presents a quick return on investment meaning. No matter how far apart people are video conferencing can be useful to get into contact with people. This means that meetings can be scheduled at any time and any place. Video conferencing would be used by a company because it provides upper management with better visibility of employees, allowing businesses to connect more often and more quickly to whomever they want. It gives businesses better and more interactive communication between each other and it decreases the costs for the business as they do not have to travel on lengthy trips for meetings. The audio decreases the bills for phone calls needed to be made which is beneficial for the company. Video conferencing allows account executives to meet with customers faster at less expense. The increase in reach may lead to increased sales and improved relationships between customers. This type of communication can improve safety because video calls can be recorded and kept for evidence. It also prevents travel risks from being made and it bring telecommuters closer together. Staff can work at home through this type of communication when it comes to weather problems. It ensures the ease of management this is because a manager can use video conferencing to get in touch will all the workers at the business. The video call can appear on large plasma screens in rooms with integrated microphones. Picture quality, ease of use and reliability now makes it a common business communication tool. Businesses can share documents and discuss topics together about situations which are affecting them. Another important use for video conferencing is that companies can contact other businesses and gather internal research to find out about the market which will indeed change their views about their products.

Advantages

Disadvantages

It reduces travel costs as employees do not need to travel to anywhere to attend meetings. Unnecessary telephone calls do not need to be made and contact can be kept through the use of video conferencing. Companies are able to have meetings easily between branches that are situated very far. Whilst communicating with other people employees are saving a lot of time e.g. Travelling, waiting...

For online meetings and web conferences to be productive, people are required to have suitable hardware in their computer, appropriate software and also Internet connectivity. Poor web conferencing technology or inadequate training using the technology will result in poor communication.

This type of communication can improve decision making because it does not take time to re-connect to the person you are talking to. Businesses can communicate with speed to other firms and/or their managers which can help in making decisions.

Suitable facilities are needed for being able to communicate using video conferencing. This includes cameras, microphones, monitors and speakers. Computers need to be situated in a quiet room to experience excellent results because noise reduction will result in clear communication. In order to conduct a lengthy meeting comfortable seating and proper lighting conditions are required in a room which can cost the business money.

Meetings can be held through the use of video conferencing and it can increase the productivity of the company. It allows more people to participate and video conferencing reduces the need of meetings having large room facilities.

When using video conferencing to contact people from abroad time issues can occur. It may be hard to find a time which is suitable for you and the other person. Where one place might be day time the other may be night.

Provides an effective way of delivering cost-efficient training to individuals without the requirement to consistently travel to several locations and wasting time and money.

Video conferencing is the type of communication which needs to be with the use of Internet. If a business does not have the access then they cannot use this type of communication. In some cases where the internet goes down it becomes difficult to communicate so all the business has to do is waste time and wait.

Video conference meetings can lack in bonding a good relationship with customers and other company staff. Having a good relationship is important in a business and the use of video conferencing makes it difficult to make this bond. A lack in bonding with a customer can result in a negative way for the business.

Analysis of experience

During the process of creating my communication method reports I have gained skills such as being able to skim read text, understand it and then put it into my own words. I was able to find and extract important information from websites and books and understand what is being said. From there I was able to reiterate the information in both the websites and the books. I was made aware of not being allowed to copy and paste therefore I have completed this task by understanding the information on the internet and on books and then rewording it to make sure I am free from copyright. During this task I feel that I was more organised because I was given a set instruction of what to do. I have gained knowledge about different types of communication methods. I feel that I can complete my work better when I am given an outline of what to do.

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