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Open Door leads to Web site use

The world visits Alan Oppenheimer's Ashland home every hour.

Korea. Singapore. Europe. They're all there, big businesses and small,casual browsers and corporate executives.

They make their presence known in a few flashing lights and the constantbuzz of a dozen computers.

They arrive looking for help marketing themselves on the Internet. Andthat's Oppenheimer's specialty.

His Open Door Networks allows even the smallest companies to establisha stop on the information superhighway.

Any business now has to create a Web site, he said. YourWeb site is your image. We happen to be the business to create the Web site.

Companies post Web pages on a computer that is connected to the Internet.People can then access that Web page from their own computers.

The problem is that Web pages take up a lot of computer space. They'realso difficult to create and require plenty of technical skill.

That's where Open Door Networks comes in. Oppenheimer rents out spaceon one of his computers for a monthly fee.

He'll also create a Web page for a business with help from several consultants.

That job is made even more difficult by technology's constant improvements.

There's always new stuff to learn, said Angelea Kelly, OpenDoor's only other full-time employee. I've always looked for somethingthat's always changing and is never doldrums. This is never doldrums.

The company specializes in Macintosh computers because they are simplerto use, Oppenheimer said.

He offers standard Internet access to anyone with a Macintosh, in additionto his larger provider accounts.

Open Door also introduced a new program in April that revolutionizedInternet business.

A business' Web address acts like an address in the Yellow Pages, Oppenheimerexplained.

But businesses that lease space from a provider such as Open Door havean address that's like a post office box in the Yellow Pages.

His software allows businesses to hide the fact that they're using aprovider.

We can tell our potential clients, `Hey, come to us and we canmake you look really big,' he said. It looks like they're runningtheir own Web site.

Open Door earns mentions in national computer magazines almost everymonth because of this technology.

Local businesses that use the service also gain national attention. Forexample, the Country Willows Bed and Breakfast in Ashland attributed almost40 percent of its January business to its Web page on Open Door Network.

It has definitely made the single most impact of anything we'vetried, said Owner Dan Durant. People that don't have a Web siteare really being left behind.

Open Door Networks caught the wave of Internet interest at just the righttime, Oppenheimer said. It should continue to succeed along with the Internet,he said.

It was very clear to me the Internet was going to take off,he said. I sort of read the writing on the wall. And we continue tobe ahead of the curve.

Alan Oppenheimer's office in his Ashland home is full of computer terminals and file servers. His Open Door Networks marketing business specializes in giving even the smallest companies Web page on the Internet. - Photo by Bob Pennell</P