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TECH TALK: Finding Value On The Web

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Helping Small Businesses and Organizations Bridge the Digital Divide


Elmer Thomas Jr.
The overload of information we are faced with on a daily basis sometimes causes the decision making process to be unduly difficult. This can be especially true when it comes to choosing a service and/or product provider. On the other side of the coin, you may have great information on the service and/or product itself, but not on the provider. In this article I will show you some ways to use online tools to help make your purchasing decisions easier.

It is not featured on the front page, but Google has a specially formulated search engine specifically for identifying products. You may find this tool at http://www.froogle.com.  Some of the things you can do is search by seller rating, product rating, relevance to your search keywords and by price.

There are many versions of the popular print directory "the yellow pages". One that is owned by AT&T is http://www.yellowpages.com. This service offers a sizable directory of businesses, the ability to rate and view ratings (although it appears to me that this feature is underutilized) and you may search by distance from you.

You can think of craigslist.com as an online classified ads section with a large and vibrant community. Currently there is no rating system, so please be extra careful with using this system. Craiglist.com advises that you deal locally when possible.

eLance.com is great resource for finding freelancing professionals, although this site appears to catered towards technical professionals. There is an excellent feedback system and a large active community.

DealSea.com is a website that collects deals from around the Internet and posts them for you. There is an associated forum for each product where users of the community will provide feedback regarding the deal.

There is a newcomer on the block that aims to combine all of these services into a quick and easy format. You can find out more at http://blog.ThemBid.com.  

Next, I will discuss methods to advertise at a low cost.

Please send all feedback, topic suggestions and/or questions to TechTalk@AboveTheLimit.com Digital archives can be found at www.blackvoicenews.com

Elmer Thomas Jr. is Founder of Above the Limit, Inc., an award winning web and software development company dedicated to bridging the digital divide. You can find out more about Mr. Thomas at www.AboveTheLimit.com.

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