U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, February 2009 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

The Internet has changed the world as we know it. It allowed for massive music file sharing, effectively killing the music industry. People have lost their jobs as International outsourcing has become much more feasible. These are but a few negative impacts for businesses and their employees.

But the Internet has also opened up many inexpensive and especially free alternatives. It fuelled a whole movement with free “Open Source” software, for instance. Search online and you can find free office software (Open Office, Google docs), website software (Kompozer, WordPress) or accounting software. Just go to sourceforge.net, and you will find thousands of free software titles, on all kinds of topics. The downside of this Wild West of software creation is that not all software is as easy to install. But, like on a yard sale, you may just stumble on that one item that does exactly what you want it to do.

The web not only inspired a lot of free software programs. Feel like listening to your favourite music from your own online jukebox? Then go to last.fm or jango.com. Want to publish your photos online for all (or a select group of family and friends) to see? Try Flickr.com or Google’s Picassa. And of course you know that you can watch (and publish) videos on YouTube.com or Metacafe.com.
You may be able to use all of the above for your business, either to make your company run more effective and efficient, or to promote it. Other ways to advertise your business for free is by using services like kijiji.ca or craigslist.ca to post your classified to a wide online audience. You can also promote your business by putting some thought into your custom profile on the Chamber’s website, and to register your business in several other local websites and online directories. All of this is available at no cost to you, except maybe a few minutes of your time.

Ain’t that the bargain of the year?

Nardo Kuitert is an Internet Consultant with Fergus Website Development and Optimization firm U-C WEBS (www.u-cwebs.com). U-C WEBS also offers Internet advertising opportunities on www.ferguspages.com. (link opens in a new window)

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