Info

Internet tool

Summary

Electronic mail or e-mail

Sending messages or documents, such as news about a new product or sales promotion between individuals

Internet Relay Chat (IRC), Instant Messaging (IM)

These are synchronous communications tools for text-based 'chat' between different users who are logged on at the same time. IM from providers such as AOL, Yahoo! and MSN has largely replaced IRC and provides opportunities for advertising to users

Usenet newsgroups

Forums to discuss a particular topic such as a sport, hobby or business area. Traditionally accessed by special newsreader software, but can now be accessed via a web browser from www.deia.com (now part of Google - www.aooale.com)

FTP file transfer

The File Transfer Protocol is used as a standard for moving files across the Internet. FTP is still used for marketing applications such as downloading files such as product price lists or specifications. Also used to upload HTML files to web servers

Gophers, Archie and WAIS

These tools were important before the advent of the web for storing and searching documents on the Internet. They have largely been superseded by the web which provides better searching and more sophisticated document publishing

Telnet

This allows remote access to computer systems. For example, a retailer could check to see whether an item was in stock in a warehouse using a telnet application

Blogs

Web-based publishing of regularly updated information in an online diary type format using tools such as Blogger.com or Typepad

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

An XML-based content distribution format commonly used for accessing blog information

Podcasting

A method of downloading and playing audio or visual clips for portable devices such as the iPod or MP3 players or fixed devices

World Wide Web

Widely used for publishing information and running business applications over the Internet, accessed through browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera

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