Like bulletin boards,
chat rooms can enable a community element to added to your web site.
However, quite apart
from considering whether there is any commercial benefit for a small
business (as discussed in bulletin boards)
in running a chat room - you need high visitor numbers to make it practical.
Whereas a single visitor can post a note on a bulletin board, and be
happy to wait a day or so for a reply, in a chat room - the reponse
needs to be within 5 seconds. As you can imagine the odds of two people
being at your chat room within 5 seconds of each other, and wanting
to talk about something - are very, verylow, unless you have very high
traffic. Thousands per day.
It is unlikely that
most small businesses could sustain these numbers or find the exercise
If you want to give
it a go, you are advised to start with a bulletin
board or news group first. Then try
a pilot chat service through Yahoo Clubs,
Yahoo Chat or MSN
Communities. If you want to incorporate a chat room into your website,
then you can use Bravenet.