By using telephone or wireless systems, one’s microcomputer can be connected to other computers in the world to get access to information sources almost anywhere. This connection provides a link to the world of larger computers which include minicomputers, mainframe computers, and their large devices like disk packs with their large volumes of information.
ICT devices are continuously evolving and individuals, businesses and organizations actively look for ways to use the different types of ICT to access, receive and send information. This together with the connection mentioned above provides many services and options for us to communicate using these electronic devices.
In this post we take a look at the following types of electronic communication.
- Electronic Mail (Email)
- Facsimile (Fax)
- Telephone Conferencing
- Shared Resources
- Online Services
Types Of Electronic Communication
Electronic mail (e-mail or email) is a way of using electronic devices to transmit and receive electronic letter or message (mail) between individuals, organizations, or computers via the internet. The most common form of electronic communication is email. Some early email systems required the author and the recipient to both be online at the same time, in common with instant messaging. Today’s email systems are based on a store-and-forward model. Emails are ideal because apart from generally having text as the main content, files, graphics, images, as well as sound can be sent along as attachments. Email can also be used to communicate with more than one persons at a time. One needs to have an email account in order to use this type of ICT communication.
There are many email providers that allow individuals to create an email account free of charge. Businesses and organizations usually have an inside provider they use to setup email accounts for their employees, clients and other personnel.
Facsimile or a Fax machine operates by scanning the image of the document to be sent, and convert it to signals that can be sent over a telephone line to another fax machine which is receiving the document. The receiving machine will print the image out on paper.
Fax was more common before email came along. Faxes are still viable for many information transactions and at times, are often the preferred method of communication for businesses and organizations. Microcomputers today using fax/modem circuit boards can be used to send and receive fax messages.
Voice-messaging is a communication system that allows computer systems to be linked to telephones that convert the human voice into digital bits which can then be exchanged. Voice-messaging is similar to conventional answering machines and email systems. They can however receive large numbers of incoming calls and route them to the appropriate voice mailboxes and can deliver the same message to many people. With these systems, callers can leave recorded messages that can be forwarded to one’s home. One can later check for these messages and dictate replies into the phone, and the system will send them out.
Videoconferencing is a computer communication system that allows people located at various parts of the world to have face-to-face meetings. Video conferencing is ideal for business communication when different persons may need to be reached across the country or across different time zones.
It uses a camera, microphone, monitor, loudspeakers and an Internet connection to enable people see, listen and speak with one another. Many corporations have used specially equipped videoconferencing rooms to hold large group meetings. Today, inexpensive desktop videoconferencing systems are available and widely used.
Telephone conferences can be used by organizations and businesses when they have audio portions for participants to listen to. Phone conferences operate as listen-only sessions which also allow listeners to participate. Participants are phoned to get connected into the conference and they also have the option of calling into the conference with a code or special number to bridge the call. Telephone and video conferencing may at times be combined when cameras and microphones are not available.
When computers get connected, users will be able to enjoy the communication service where they share expensive hardware resources. Some of these resources are printers, disk packs, and magnetic tape storage. Computer users on the network will also be able to share data and information with other users.
A lot of businesses offer special services to microcomputer users who have their computers connected to the internet for effective communication. Social communication platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype and others allow people to create and share contents and also engage in real-time communication activities.
Another important service is electronic commerce which enable people to buy and sell on the internet, promote their businesses and products through advertising, conduct banking activities, and pay bills. People can also perform many other financial transactions such as making payments and transferring money between accounts, getting access to current prices of stock, making travel reservations, and ordering tickets.
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