Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Mobile Multi-media Messages (MMS): Show-don't-tell in a Communication

Horel, Bertrand (2005): Mobile Multi-media Messages (MMS): Show-don't-tell in a Communication. Published in: International Journal of Digital Economics No. 59 (September 2005): pp. 17-34.

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With its complex intersemiotic and intermedial textual configuration, the multimedia mobile message (MMS) offers a unique opportunity to apply visual semiotics tools to the theories of communication. By means of an experimental technical device used by a sample of MMS users who exchanged real image-containing messages, the author highlights the ways in which individuals play with the technical constraints of the MMS application during message production. The analysis of a set of simple messages reveals the extent to which the natural indicial tension of photography impregnates the messages, to the point of their assuming a playful dimension, through ingenious playing on meaning within the framework of a private message.

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