Synchronous formats (for example, in-person conversations) require specific, on-time exchanges. Asynchronous formats are used for communication and information exchanges that are intermittent and do not have specific timing requirements. In online conversations, where the dialogue occurs through Internet-based exchanges of ideas and information, asynchronous formats allow the conversations to be extended over time. Freed from the constraints of real-time interaction, asynchronous online dialogue allows time for reflection and thoughtful responses.

E-mail and newsgroups use asynchronous formats to exchange information directly among people, via the Internet. In other asynchronous formats, people send information, via the Internet, to Web site–based newsgroups, mailing lists, discussions, or bulletin boards. When information is posted onto a Web site, it becomes available for others to read and will remain available until it ...

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