Though computer conferencing can refer to a few different ideas, in general it indicates that two or more people are communicating through the use of computers. This is typically done in a way similar to teleconferencing that might take place over a telephone, in which multiple people are able to communicate together and listen to a single person talk at once. The use of computers in this sort of conferencing, however, allows individuals to share ideas more effectively and see visual aids that may accompany what is being discussed. There are a number of different programs that can be used for computer conferencing, and options available during such conferences often depend on the program being used.
Computer conferencing is a means by which multiple individuals can communicate and share ideas through the use of a computer system. Due to the expansive nature of the Internet, this can be done over great distances and may allow people to share ideas more easily than other means of communication. One of the most common types of computer conferencing involves multiple users at separate computers. Each user is able to communicate, often through instant messaging applications, while they are also able to look at images sent through a host system.
This type of computer conferencing allows a single person, usually a manager or team leader, to show others images and documents that are being developed, while the other users provide feedback about that content. Such conferences can also use a phone system to allow for easier verbal communication, or the use of microphones and computer speakers to allow for speech between the different users. Some computer conferencing programs can even allow multiple users to share or host images and documents, which may then be modified by other users and viewed together in real time. This allows for individuals separated by great distances to more easily brainstorm and share ideas.
Computer conferencing can also be done in a way that is not at all commercial. Chat rooms and instant message programs are forms of conferencing that utilize computers, and these are often used for recreational purposes rather than for professional use. Computer conferencing can also refer to hosted databases that can be accessed by remote users, allowing a single resource or program to be accessed by different users to take advantage of the resources provided by those users. Such applications can allow for greater processing and resource sharing among users, and is commonly utilized in business, as well as for open source programming and development projects.