OK. Iíll admit it: I crave fried chicken. Even better. I love
getting he lovely clucks at a bargain with coupons. Unfortunately,
there's been a drought of coupons lately, so Iíve been reduced to paying
retail for the golden fried
The wait just got too much and I slipped into Herndonís Popeye's for a
fix and imagine my surprise when I spotted some cards on the counter
inviting patrons to check out the Company's Web site
(www.popeyeschicken.com) for "fun, coupons and more!"
Since I'm basically a fun-loving guy I rushed home
took a drumstick firmly in one hand and with my free digits fired up my
account with wizardnet. In a few seconds the friendly icon for Internet
Explorer popped up and I typed in Popeye's URL. Yep, there as promised
were coupons offering MORE bar-gains on chicken. All I had to do was print
them out on my printer and save several bucks on various serving sizes.
Even better, I did a little looking around on the
page and found a button that, once clicked, asked for my e-mail address
and then promised to electronically send me MORE coupons in my inbox at a
Once I had my fill of dinner I got to thinking this
Internet coupon deal was a great idea. In fact, I thought I might look
around with a few of my favorite search engines to see if any MORE coupons
were out there on the Internet.
To shorten this down to a manageable tome, I found
LOTS of coupons, but it took a few minutes of tweaking my Net searches.
Just putting "coupons' in a search engine such as Infoseek or AltaVista
found savings on pizza in Oregon and bike rides along the San Antonio River.
By typing "coupons".+Virginia the list became
more manageable and I found the folks in Blacksburg and Charlottesville
were really into the Internet coupon thing. Here's a site with coupons
from around Virginia:
Another is http://www2.hotcoupons-.com/coupon/us/VA/.
Our Maryland readers will want to check out http://www.kwikkoupon.com/states/maryland
and /maryland.htm and if you are going to the shore here's a great coupon
The same thing holds true in almost any part of the
country. Merchants of all types are turning to the Internet to draw new
customers through their doors.
Newspapers and magazines have been the historic
vehicles for coupons, but I notice in my trips around the 'Net that very
few newspapers or their advertisers are using their pages for coupons and
I think it's a darn shame. Apparently, newspaper ad (directors cannot see
the forest for the trees and if an advertiser runs coupons in their
printed edition then by gum those same coupons should be on the
newspaperís Web site.
Small businesses spend thousands of dollars a year to
have third party coupon consolidators mail envelopes full of coupons that
most of us just toss in the trash. Why not take just a small part of that
money and put up a Web site with electronic coupons customers can print on
their own machines at home? The total cost for a YEAR of Web site hosting
would probably be less than the cost of one mailing.
Take a page from Popeye's Chicken and tell folks about
your Web site and coupons. There're lots of us out there with computers on
the Internet or online services such as America Online.
I'm sure the printers who produce the millions of
coupons wouldn't agree with me (grin), but I'll also bet if they put up a
Web site with a coupon discounting business cards or other printing
services business would increase.
What makes Web couponing so easy is that all a user has
to do is print the page and the coupons themselves can be as fancy or
plain as the merchant wants. Even little mom-and-pop businesses can be
like the big boys and use coupons that donít cost an arm and leg to
Deja vous you all
Many moons ago I wrote a few stories about a guy who
had one of the best BBS systems in the nation, Tony McClenny of Reston,
Va. He was very helpful and kind to me when I first moved to Virginia.
I was amazed when he showed me around what was then the
"Virginia Connection" BBS. I told my readers how easy it was to find new
files on McClenny's BBS and how e-mail only took a few hours or days to go
around the world.
Then, one day I told McClenny about the Internet. I
used his equipment and dialed into my local provider showing him all the
neat toys like File Transfer Protocol, Archie, FAST e-mail, and USENET
news groups. Initially, he was very polite, feigning interest in this
Keep in mind McClenny's system had graphics and all
kinds of bells and whistles and the Internet was kinda boring when
compared to it. But my little demonstration planted a seed in his mind.
It wasn't too long thereafter that he had contracted
with a local ISP to be connected to the Internet so his customers could
use e-mail. read selected USENET news groups, etc. To shorten this,
McClenny is now a full-fledged ISP offering the latest in all kinds of
services for a reasonable price. He and his buddy, Andrew Bilski, have
made their new World Data Network (www.wdn.com) one of the best small ISPs
in the area.
I spoke to McClenny the other day on a personal matter
and he filled me in on the changes he had made and I was surprised to
hear how inexpensive his Web services were AND he said clients could use
either UNIX-based servers or NT. WDN is also one of the few ISPs I have
found around which offers the use of Microsoft Front-Page extensions for
If you are a former Virginia Connection client like me,
give McClenny a call for old timeís sake at (703) 648-0808. He said the
BBS is still up and running, but the Internet is most customersí
"We still offer both."
Speaking of old friends Ö. One of my dearest is Doug Cifers. We
worked together in Guam, Saipan and Illinois. He was my publisher and I
was his lackey (grin). Now Cifers is doing gangbusters in Florida running
a bunch of magazines down there. His "Florida Living"
publication was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal. If your
Interested in diverse stories about my beloved Florida, check out the
magís Web page at www.floridaliving.org.
Thanks to reader Larry Lowe for his favorite genealogy
site at www.genserv.com. He said, "It has a database of over 12 million
name. For a good entree into massive genealogy info, check our 'I Found
It,í a genealogy search engine."
Need a driver for hardware and can't remember where to
find? How about one for really old stuff? Here's your salvation:
Free animated GIFS for your Web page and other goodies
Just what we need ... another search engine. Try it at
http://designlab.ukans.edu/profusion/ and tell me what you think.
Women artists and writers hang out on
David T. Hughes is an Internet professional and
computer consultant and does free-lance writing for publications such as
Washington Technology. He may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or
snail mail at The Journal, 6408 Edsall Road, Alexandria, Va. 22312.
He may also be
reached any evening at his home (don't be shy) at (703) 904-9699. His Web
page is http:/ /www.nec1701.net.
All opinions expressed herein are his own and do not
necessarily reflect those of this newspaper.