Free Stuff: Guestbooks

Written by Richard Lowe

Visitors to non-commercial websites expect to find guestbooks. In fact, they often get quite annoyed when they cannot find one, especially if they want to complimentrepparttar webmaster. Many visitors are disappointed if they cannot find one even on commercial websites.

Imagine how it feels to really want to tell a webmaster that he's done a great job, and you cannot find an easy way to do so. It's enough to make anyone annoyed ... upset enough not to come back? Perhaps not, but after working so hard to get a visitor to your site why anger someone who only wants to tell you that you've done a good job?

On our site we have gone through many different guestbooks. Like many sites, we began withrepparttar 113284 standard remotely hosted versions. In general, these didrepparttar 113285 job but as our site matured we jumped from service to service, attempting to find one that suited our needs. After much searching, we decided to maintain our guestbook by hand (what a pain that was), until stumbling onrepparttar 113286 best guestbook script we have ever seen. Once we installed vizbook we realized we were in guestbook heaven.

Anyway, virtually all ofrepparttar 113287 remotely hosted guestbook services will dorepparttar 113288 job. If your site is based on a web host that allows for user installed CGI routines, then vizbook comes highly recommended.

User Installed Scripts

User installed guestbook scripts are most definitely preferable torepparttar 113289 remotely hosted versions. If you are allowed to install your own scripts, then by all means do so - you will get a much better guestbook.

Vizbook I personally tested virtually every guestbook script that was available on cgi-resources ( Once we stumbled uponrepparttar 113290 script called vizbook, we realized we had foundrepparttar 113291 perfect guestbook. Let me emphasize that point - this guestbook is absolutely incredible. It has everything, and was even completely customizable to match our site perfectly. If you can install CGI scripts on your server, then there is no other choice as far as I am concerned.

Remotely Hosted

Many sites take advantage ofrepparttar 113292 many remotely hosted guestbook services that are available. The advantages of using a remote service include:

- The maintenance required to upkeeprepparttar 113293 guestbook is minimal and generally consists of reviewingrepparttar 113294 entries.

- Your bandwidth and disk quotas are not affected byrepparttar 113295 guestboook.

The disadvantages include:

- Remotely hosted guestbooks are supported by advertising, which means banners. These cause visitors to be drawn away from your site.

- Configuration of remote guestbooks is usually very limited, sorepparttar 113296 guestbook will not match your site.

- You are stuck withrepparttar 113297 features provided byrepparttar 113298 guestbook provider.

- Most importantly, these services have proven to be highly vulnerable torepparttar 113299 slowdown of internet advertising. As a result, quite a few have disappeared or become fee driven in recent months. This can be disastrous for a site when a guestbook with hundreds (or even thousands) of entries is lost without notice.

Free Stuff

Written by Richard Lowe

For a long time it was a complete mystery to me. Why on earth would anyone devote an entire site to giving away free things? Even more perplexing wasrepparttar vast quantity of sites which did exactly and only that - allow people to get something for nothing. To add torepparttar 113283 mystery wasrepparttar 113284 fact that these sites tend to be heavy purchasers of internet advertising and they promote using every means possible. This strongly implies that they have money to spend. How are they making money if they give away stuff for free?

As I exploredrepparttar 113285 internet more and more I began to gain an understanding of how it all worked. There are a number of ways that money can be made by giving away things for free.

The first thing that must be understood isrepparttar 113286 relationship between producers and affiliates. A producer produces a product or service of some kind. In order to sellrepparttar 113287 products (and dramatically expand their ability to reach potential buyers) a producer will allow others to sell on their behalf in return for monetary compensation. Since, as you will see, free stuff is intended to or actually does produce income forrepparttar 113288 producer, it is quite common for an affiliate to get a small fee for giving things away.

Some ofrepparttar 113289 ways that giving away free things actually makes money are explained below.

Advertising supported products - Many products are "free" because they display one or more advertisements at a time. You haverepparttar 113290 dubious honor of getting to view these ads as you userepparttar 113291 product. The advertisers pay to display those advertisements.

Upon closer examination it turns out that these products are not as free as they appear. In general they load advertising banners and text from a central server on a periodic basis. This results in increased bandwidth utilization, which makes your connection slower while usingrepparttar 113292 product.

In addition, it is very common for advertising based software (and some hardware, believe it or not) to covertly send data about your system and surfing habits back to that same server. These products are becoming known as spyware, and, in my humble opinion, they should be avoided at all costs.

Why? Think of it this way: in return for a free newspaper, would you allow someone to sit behind you as you flipped throughrepparttar 113293 pages, recording every single thing that you read or looked at? Would you allow someone to record every television program that you watched, every video that you rented, or perhaps every item you purchased from a store? I surely would not ... and I'll bet you would think twice about this kind of behavior if you knew it was happening.

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