CS101 Introduction to Computing GDB 2 Feb 2015

GDB Topic: 

HOU SHOP” is an online shopping Mall that deals in electronic and garment products. Mr. Hussain and Mr. Omer are the customer support officers (CSO) of “HOU SHOP”.

People get all the required information like, Price, Quantity, size, made, availability of desired product and other needed information online from the website as well as from the CSOs by sending them  E-mails and instant messaging(IM).

Mr. Hussain and Mr. Omer communicate with each other and with customers about their queries/problems through E-mails and IM messages.  These CSOs also remain in contact on and off during their shifts through exchange of messages via e-mail and IM.

In your view point, which source of exchanging information (i.e. E-mails or IM) is best in the above mentioned scenario? Support your comments with solid reasons.

Solution: E-mail has been the most rapidly adopted form of communication ever known. Less than two decades ago, not many people had heard of it. Now, many of us e-mail instead of writing letters or even calling people on the phone. People around the world send out billions of e-mail messages every day.
But sometimes even e-mail isn’t fast enough. You might not know if a person you want to e-mail is online at that moment. Also, if you’re e-mailing back and forth with someone, you usually have to click through a few steps. This is why instant messaging (IM) has become so popular.
With IM, you can keep a list of people you interact with. You can IM with anyone on your buddy list or contact list as long as that person is online. You type messages to each other into a small window that shows up on both of your screens.


Email is nearly instantaneous, while a letter can take several days to arrive. While faxes are quicker than postal mail, they can suffer delays due to busy phone lines, mechanical problems or even lack of paper on either end. Unlike phone calls, emails can be sent without waiting for an answer.


Email grants control to recipients and senders. Recipients have the freedom to respond at will without facing sometimes intrusive interruptions of various kinds, Email also gives recipients time to gather information to respond, and compose more thoughtful, concise, informative replies. Senders enjoy these same advantages.


Email can help increase productivity. Business owners can communicate with established distribution lists, automatically forward information based on a topic, or send information to specific individuals as needed. Most email software provides customization features you can tailor to the type of work performed, volume of daily email messages and the needs of the worker. Effective email use can reduce reliance on face-to-face consultations and meetings.

Lower Costs

Moving communications from physical mail to email can result in significant savings in postage costs, shipping supplies and employee resources. Businesses can also decrease customer service support costs by focusing on email customer support options rather than phone-based services.

Instant messages – Send notes back and forth with a friend who is online.  There are of course disadvantages of instant messaging. While the real time response is great, IMs do take away the face to face, personal experience that people have when they are speaking to someone in person. You can’t really get a very good emotional bead on someone through IM nor are you sure of who you are talking to through IM, which can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. Other disadvantages include –

Uncertainty that the person you are talking to is the person you are talking to, especially when you are not very familiar with the things and risks of the internet. This can be dangerous. Also your computer may be attacked of viruses due to you may accidentally receive some files from the unknown people or click a disguised URL.

In company environment, there will be potential for misuse. People in workplaces may use the IMs during work time to chat with friends and waste time or even bring the possible virus from outside.

There are also some security risks like the content of the instant message may be intercepted. As a result the sensitive data like customer list, sales report may be revealed on the internet.