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Chatrooms

On the Internet, you can talk to other people who are also online by using your keyboard and any number of services (with specific software). This “chatting” is through an exchange of typed messages to a central site to be read and commented on by others. Anyone, anywhere on the Internet can take part in these conversations. Most of these conversations focus on a particular topic. You can also “listen” to a lecture from an expert or interact with a famous person (such as a movie star or super model) in a cyber convention hall. Distance learning uses chat to create an online classroom experience and to allow students to interact with each other and with the instructor.

A Web site chatroom is a place for online communities of users with common interests to communicate. Forums and discussion groups, by comparison, are more like bulletin boards (as they were called some years back) where people post messages for others to read and reply by posting subsequent comments. Many chatrooms need special software. You need an account on AOL, Yahoo!, or MSN to join the main chats, and other systems, such as the IRC (Internet Relay Chat), require you download some simple software to use it.


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