Internet Conferencing Guide

John Furnem

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The growth and advancement of technology has allowed many of us to communicate effectively even without the need for face to face meetings. The introduction of the Internet to our daily lives has made not just the pursuit of information a more convenient and faster task, but also made person to person links a quicker and more natural occurrence.

Before, people were only able to relay messages using snail mail, the standard telephone or the telegram, all of which were either costly and slow. Now, all we have to do is log on to the Internet and we can send and receive huge chunks of information, and open and close transactions in just a matter of seconds.

Businesses have taken advantage of the Internet's many features, particularly Internet conferencing. What this technology does is allow a multiple number of executives and staff to log on to one line simultaneously and talk to each other even if they are at different locations and time zones. As long as the other person has an Internet connection and present at a given Web room at a specified time, getting in touch with that individual will not be a problem. And it won't be difficult for him or her to get in touch with you, either.

In most board meetings today, especially in multinational companies that have offices at various points of the globe, Internet conferencing is commonplace. Decisions are made among key officials after meeting via the Internet, while certain departments make their monthly status known to the proper authorities via Internet-based presentations and status reports.

What does a normal Internet conference include? In the world of business, Internet conference typically consist of Web co-browsing activities, slide and Power Point presentations, the sharing of major applications and data, text messaging, the answering and releasing of surveys and polls (particularly for companies that have many off-site staff), and annotation (where participants can actively interact with the data that is being presented by making highlights and comments in real time).

In addition to allowing participants to transact in real time, Internet conferencing also allows people to save a certain conversation or meeting, for future reference. This is done for the benefit of those who are not able to log on at a particular time. They may choose to comment on it via the Internet also, at a later date. Or they can simply view the file or video, and write in their reactions.

In order for Internet conferencing to work, all participating individuals must understand the value the Internet brings to the business or the partnership. While Internet conferencing is mostly employed by businesses, it can also work for personal communication. Friends who are far apart can meet at a virtual reunion online; so can families.

In short, Internet conferencing is not just an effective business tool, but also a great way of bringing families closer together and strengthening relationships. Sure, some people say that it eliminates the sincerity that comes with person to person interaction. But with the distance many people face between them right now, Internet conferencing is a viable alternative. It may not be able to replace face to face meetings, but it can already work wonders at improving the value of communications.

John Furnem is a dot com veteran, specializing in human resources and work psychology he has written articles about stress management and business themes. John currently writes about the business conference call market and conference calls strategies, especially the new age of calling, the Internet Conference Calling at


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