These features allow a company to communicate effectively with users, and can be used to promote user involvement on the Web site. Chat functionality allows users to execute a real-time typed conversation with other users or site administrators. In order to enhance and streamline customer service, some sites have integrated Chat functionality into the "Help Desk" portion of their presence. Bulletin Boards allow users to post their input about a particular topic of discussion, which can later be reviewed by another user. This feature is similar to Chat functionality in that it allows users to converse with and advise one another. However, because Bulletin Board conversations do not occur real-time, they are easier to monitor and less expensive to develop than Chat functionality. The award-winning Doonesbury site, which OMIX built in 1995, marked the beginning of OMIX’s experience in working with these community-boosting technologies.

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