Saturday, June 17, 2006


Google Toolbar
The search giant's latest toolbar, version 3.0, offers at least one piece of business intelligence to users: it allows site owners to find out the relative page rank of competitive sites. Which sites in your category are the top dogs?

Alexa Toolbar
Similar to the Google Toolbar but arguably better for business use. It offers more specific ranking of sites, and it shows some of the sites that link to a given site.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Shopping Carts/E-commerce

Source of some critical tools help run your business on the Internet. Some E-commerce tools are free but there could be catch in it. You choose!


A free open source e-commerce platform robust enough to build your entire online storefront. The catch: you'll need some programming skills to get it up and running.

PayPal Shopping Cart/Merchant Account
The payment processing company offers a free shopping cart bundled with a free credit cart account. (Of course, if a shopper makes a purchase on your site, you'll be charged a percentage of the total and a transaction fee.)

Mal's E-commerce
Mal's free shopping cart is popular and easy to use, and has likely prompted many users to upgrade to Mal's $8 a month premium service. You'll need to supply your own credit cart merchant account with the cart.

Vstore (for "virtual store") provides everything for a budding merchant: the products, the merchant account, the Web site. It's all free, but it's all completely controlled by Vstore. Merchants earn a modest commission on sales.

AdSense Buddy
A statistics package to help users of Google's popular pay-per-click service manage their campaigns. Monitor your campaign without needing to login to Google.

ViArt Shop
A shopping cart and content management system (CMS), along with an integrated help desk. This free version has database restrictions.

Sequoia Open Source ERP 0.8
This is a Java application, compatible with major operating systems. It's designed to manage an integrated e-commerce, inventory and supply chain infrastructure.

AFCommerce Shopping Cart 2
An open-source store building program. Along with the free storefront software, the company offers its development services, which is presumably how they make money.

Free Telephony/VoIP/Videoconferencing

This videoconferencing service offers free software and allows free voice and video one-to-one calls. They make their money from multi-party calls, which require a paid subscription.

Cut your business's long distance phone bills by using the popular Skype Net-based phone software. (Note: the user on the other end must also have Skype.)

Festoon Beta
Festoon allows use you to use Google Talk or Skype for free videoconferencing.

Free Conference
Enables you to schedule and manage conference calls for free. The company also offers a paid version for multi-party conference calls.

Make free call to US or Canada from your PC. What do iCall get out of it? Why would iCall give this to you for free? The answer is simple - iCall wants you to call the businesses who pay to be listed in their directory, and they would also sell you a headset or cheap international calling rates.