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Internet Communication Vehicles
Email, Instant Messaging, Blogs, RSS,
Forums and Listservs: What's Next?
By S. Housley
How do we keep Internet communication
simple? Let's start by taking a look at the different
methods used to communicate on the web. It is important
to understand the nuances and benefits of the different
This is the most popular communication method. Users
typically use desktop software to receive, read and
respond to messages. Some users use web-based mail and
manage messages in a web browser like Internet Explorer.
The downfall to email communication is that anyone can
send email messages to anyone else if they have (or
guess) the correct email address. This system's Achilles
heel is its simplicity and universal popularity.
Email accounts are often burdened by
spam or unsolicited email. Despite software developers
having created complex spam filters and legislators
having introduced new anti-spam legislation, the problem
persists and spam continues to burden email as a messaging
Email Clients - http://www.messaging-software.net/e-mail-client-software.htm
Spam Software - http://www.email-software.org/spam-filter-software.htm
Instant messaging allows users to "chat" in real time.
Users can send text messages to anyone online and receive
instant replies if the user is also online. The "instant"
fad gave way to parental fears as children made "friends"
online. With no way to confirm if "friends" are who
they represent themselves to be, and multiple security
holes, instant messaging has taken a back seat in internet
Instant Messaging - http://www.instant-messaging-software.com
Online journals and daily diaries have taken hold. Some
blogs are interactive, allowing users to respond and
comment on posts. Locating topic-specific blogs that
provide relevant and interesting content on a daily
basis can be a challenge. The nature of a blog is to
contain fresh public content. As our lives become more
complicated blogs are often abandoned, as they require
Blog Connections - http://www.blog-connection.com
RSS is the latest messaging medium and shows genuine
promise as a means to communicate. RSS files are produced
as XML files and are designed to provide content summaries
of news or information. The biggest benefit to RSS is
that it does not have the spam issues inherent to email;
users opt-in to the RSS feeds that interest them.
RSS Specifications - http://www.rss-specifications.com
Forums / Newsgroups
A forum is an online discussion group. Forums can be
newsgroups, or they can be web-based discussion groups.
Forums have proven themselves as valuable business resources
- often creating communities of customers helping customers.
Without moderation and oversight they can potentially
create an unfriendly environment.
Message Board Software - http://www.messaging-software.net/message-board-software.htm
Liststervs are mailing list programs for communicating
with other people who have subscribed to the same list.
Using e-mail, you can participate in listservs pertaining
to your topics of interest. When you submit a message
to the server, your message is relayed to all on the
listserv. You receive messages from other participants
Yahoo Groups - http://www.yahoogroups.com
Internet communication is intrinsically tied to
the hardware options available. Wireless technology
has accelerated the development of messaging software,
opening the market to a dizzying array of devices for
web access. Where we were once tied to a keyboard and
mouse, we will soon be navigating the web with our voices
from a moving automobile, or browsing via screens in
our eyewear, with tiny cameras reading our eye movements
to move the cursor and make selections. Our interactive
conversations will include more and more participants
at once. Evaluating the many options and choosing what
works best for you is the first step to effectively
communicating on the web.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc.
a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and
wireless messaging software solutions. Other sites by
Sharon can be found at http://www.feedforall.com
, and http://www.small-business-software.net
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