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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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About the Author

Rhion Jones is considered a leading authority on Public Engagement and Consultation. A founding Director of the Consultation Institute, he is co-author of “The Art of Consultation” (2009) and “The Politics of Consultation” (2018). He has delivered over 500 training courses and Masterclasses and is a prolific writer on the subject, having written over 350 different Topic papers and over 50 full Briefing Papers for the Institute. Since 2003 over 15,000 person-days of training based on courses he invented have been delivered. Rhion is in demand as an entertaining Keynote Speaker and Special Adviser, particularly on the Law of Consultation, and its implications for Government and other Public Bodies. In 2017, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

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