Blogs, chats and discussion boards are a way to drive and keep traffic at your site. All of these tools are great ways to attract and keep eyeballs right where you need them.

Blogs enable content producers to publish their ideas in a time-ordered sequence. Readers get the impression of being kept up to date with the blogger's experiences.

Chats put you in direct communication with your consumers. They can ask questions and you can respond instantly. Many companies use chats as another means of technical support. Other geographically dispersed organizations use them as conference calls, reducing costs and automatically producing a transcript of the session.

Discussion boards let your users publish their questions and answers or points and counterpoints on your site. Readers can browse or search the boards for interesting threads of conversation and more importantly, can get involved. It all adds up to increased interaction and retention of your customers.