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Online discussion forums – vanity consultation? – Are on-line discussion forums an effective and legitimate form of e-consultation? …………or just a self-indulgent form of vanity publishing?

An enthusiast for online discussions recently claimed that the aim was to replicate on the Internet, what he considered the most effective and genuine debates – namely the cut-and-thrust of the argument in a pub! One of the aims of e-democracy after all is to encourage open and transparent debate, and to make it easy for citizens to participate. No wonder discussion boards (sometimes called bulletin boards) are beginning to proliferate.

But what value do they offer as a consultation tool?


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