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You've heard about intranets--the in-house, Web-like sites erected by large companies to facilitate internal communications--but can a small company really afford one? Go to http://www.excite.com/communities , and you'll find out. Not only does Excite allow you to create an intranet for free, and you can impose entry restrictions (limiting access to employees, say).

What might you do in this space? Employees can use it for real-time chats about pressing issues, company-wide goals and progress can be listed on the site; a list of key phone numbers can be put up for easy access; or you might even allow workers to upload personal photos ("my summer vacation" or a family pet). The space can be restricted to business use or used to create a more personal community among your staff. The choice is yours--and at this price, you can't go wrong.

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This article was originally published in the May 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: E-Gad!.

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