Many public agencies hold public discussion forums to be able to assess public opinion. Typically these meetings take place in an open forum and are lead by public bureaucrats who open the discussion and allow public comment. Discussion forums are an ideal method to openly express ideas since they have no structure for making any decisions or reaching any official conclusions.
In an on-line setting, discussion forums are done through e-mail discussion lists or on web-based forums, commonly known as bulletin boards. These settings allow for an open discussion among the members of the forum. In order to control postings that have no bearing on the current discussions, some of these forums can restrict membership and may be moderated.
At ECIE, we have a great deal of experience in running and setting up discussion forums on e-mail lists. We are also working towards methods to be able to provide web-based forums. If your organization or group is interested in running an e-mail list, we can provide those services at a reasonable cost. Our lists can be easily controlled and managed through a web interface. For more information, give us a call or contact us.