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Chat Rooms

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 worthwhile.

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.

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