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Communication services

  1. Internet Relay Chat (IRC): Connects multiple computers in public areas called channels where subscribers communicate in real time
  2. List Server (LISTSERV): Sends subject-specific emails to a group of email recipients
  3. User Network (USENET): Facilitates newsgroups and bulletin boards about particular topics and is generally maintained by volunteers

Basic, Services, Portals

The Internet is a system of computer networks designed to send and receive data. This module explains the basic concepts of Internet navigation. It explains
  1. what the Internet is,
  2. the infrastructure (both hardware and software) needed to access it, and
  3. the services and facilities available.
Internet navigation includes the use of communication services such as electronic mail (e-mail), listserv and mailing lists, news groups, (IRC) Internet relay chat, downloading services such as file transfer protocol (FTP), and search services like the World Wide Web.

Internet Services that support Electronic Commerce

Electronic mail (e-mail), Internet relay chat (IRC), instant messenger, and the Internet phone are among the services offered by the Internet that could enhance a successful e-commerce program. In this module a brief overview of these services are presented.
Electronic mail or e-mail is one of the most popular services available on the Internet. Using e-mail a user can create a letter electronically and send it over communications media. New products and services can be announced to the customers using e-mail and confirmations can be sent using e-mail.
In addition, many business communications can be effectively performed using e-mail. When a user sends an e-mail, the message usually stays in the recipient's computer until he or she reads it. In many e-mail systems, the receiver is able to store the e-mail message in an electronic folder for future reference. E-mail is fast and will get to the recipient's computer in a matter of seconds or minutes. The only thing required in order to send an e-mail message is the e-mail address of a recipient on the Internet. A user can also send a single e-mail message to a group of people at the same time. A user can apply all the word processing tasks such as spell checking and grammar correction before sending the e-mail message. Document files and/or multimedia files can be attached to an e-mail message and a user could ask for delivery notification. With e-mail a user can usually establish various folders with different contents and send a particular e-mail to a specific group. Using e-mail enables a user to establish an effective message distribution system for advertising products and services.

Middleware Web Services

Discussion Groups

The Internet brings together people with diverse backgrounds and interests. Discussion groups that share opinions and ideas facilitate this. Each person in a discussion group can post messages or articles that can be accessed and read by others in the group. Newsgroups can be established for any topic or hobby and allow people to get together for fun and entertainment or for business purposes. For example, a user may join a newsgroup interested in object technology, or a user may join a newsgroup that can help in writing and debugging a computer program in a specific programming language such as C++. Newsgroups can serve as an effective advertising medium in an e-commerce environment when using the Amazon Advertising API.
(IRC) Internet relay chat enables a user to interactively communicate in a written form with other users from all over the world. It is similar to a coffee shop where people sit around a table and start chatting. The two major differences between this electronic coffee shop and a real coffee shop are that there is no coffee and the user does not see the people that he/she is chatting with. However, a user is able to participate in many different discussions with people anywhere in the world who have the same interest.


Instant messenger is a communication service that enables a user to create a private chat room with another user. Different instant messengers offer different capabilities. They typically alert a user whenever somebody on his/her private list is online, then a user may initiate a chat session with that particular individual. Internet telephony is the use of the Internet rather than the traditional telephone company infrastructure and rate structure to exchange spoken or other telephone information. Because access to the Internet is available at local phone connection rates, an international or other long-distance call will be much less expensive than through the traditional calling arrangement. This could be a major cost saving for an e-commerce site offering hotline services, help desk.