The Passing Lane: Passing the Competition Online by Marnie Perhson

Issue #11 Monday, November 30,1998

About the Author:

Marnie Perhson
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants and the
International Association of Computer Professionals, develops products that help computer professionals market and manage their businesses.

She is author of
How to Run a Successful Computer Training Business,

How to Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business

Keeping Your Sanity in a Home Business.

Marnie also develops business plans, marketing strategies, financial projections, & proposals for Internet projects. Her plans and strategies have garnered clients an average of $100,000 each in seed capital.

Marnie lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .

C.E.S. Business Consultants
Ringgold, Georgia
TEL: 706-866-2295


Hit the Fast Lane with
Plug-n-Play Web Technology

Back when I first started getting involved with the Web in 1995, there were little or no ready-made tools for creating interactivity on your Web site. If you wanted a guest book or a poll or a message board, you had to know your way around CGI programming to add these modules to your site. If you didn't know CGI, you had to hire someone who did.

Now, there are several excellent sources that provide free interactive tools that you can easily plug into your Web site. They offer remotely hosted modules that you can customize and link to your site. You might ask, "Why would someone give me a free guest book, poll software, message board, chat room or postcards to add to my site?" The answer is simple -- advertising revenue. Because these tools run on the server of the provider, they can add their own banner ads to your guest book or message board or chat room. Although you lose some of your identity in this, itīs an excellent way to get free interactivity without learning programming or paying a programmer.

These free program modules are also a great way to test what works and what doesn't for your site. Then, when you start really building traffic and want to sell advertising on your own site, you will know which modules are worth purchasing or having programmed directly into your site so that you earn the advertising revenue from them.

A few sources for free interactive modules that you can add to your site are listed below.

Sites Tools available
Be Seen - Chat rooms, quizzes, hit counters, boardrooms, guest books, and quick navigational tools.
Talk City -
Para Chat - 
Chat rooms
Free Polls -  Polls
My Postcards -  Free postcards. They also have several plans for you to grow with as you develop traffic.
One List -
Listbot - 
Free hosting of mailing lists (up to a certain number of subscribers.)
Recommend-It -  Great free way of letting people quickly refer your site to their friends and associates.
CGI Resources - Really good search engine for locating remotely hosted modules.
Big Nose Bird -  Good resource for CGI scripts, if you know how to work with CGI.

Remember, when adding these interactive tools to your Web site, choose those that match your audience. Don't add them just because they exist. Weave them into the fabric of your site and use them as tools for attracting visitors.


Text Copyright © 1999, Marnie Pehrson. Part of the original Sideroad.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at