Hyperlinking to city hall
- By John Monroe
- Jun 04, 2001
City departments and elected officials use the Internet to gather feedback
from the public in five general formats:
* E-mail links. Hyperlinked e-mail addresses launch an e-mail application
in the user's Web browser. Many city council Web pages include e-mail links
as part of the contact information, either for the council in general or
for individual members.
* E-mail newsletters. As with e-mail messages, hitting the reply button
on e-mail newsletters generally enables recipients to respond. However,
some newsletters direct users to a different address.
* Online forms. The "submit" button on this electronic version of a
traditional comment form sends the information to the Webmaster or a designated
city official as an e-mail message. Agencies frequently ask people to include
a name and contact information with their comments.
* Online discussion forums. Questions or comments are posted on a Web
page, along with the responses of city officials and members of the general
public, creating a threaded discussion that can stretch over days or even
* Online chats. In online chats, a real-time version of the discussion
forum, city officials — usually elected officials — answer questions online
as they are submitted.