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Forums And The Town Hall

Feb 20, 2008
In the past, and sometimes even today, town hall meetings were (are) used to inform individuals in a community about events, projects and perspectives that would have some impact on those in attendance.

Sometimes these meetings were to inform the public of new projects of policies that might change the way certain things are handled in a community.

Leaders who call town hall meetings do so in order to explain their perspective, invite questions and welcome feedback.

Sometimes these events get heated with emotional energy flowing throughout the building. Misunderstandings occur and feelings are stepped on. Leaders must step in and help guide the conversation while seeking to moderate the overall discussion.

Politicians often encourage this kind of gathering in order to explain what they stand for and what they stand against. The questions posed help to either galvanize individuals to help elect the politician or it convinces them there must be a better candidate.

Town hall meetings have even gone hi-tech as global meetings and debate are conducted using video streaming technology and then archived for later review.

The Internet provides a tool for online business owners to use as a means of soliciting debate, entertaining questions or stating personal opinion. This tool is known as forums.

The role of forums in business may be limited to simply allowing individuals to voice opinions on your product, service or industry in general. However it can also be a catalyst for conversation regarding company policy, direction or industry perspectives.

For instance if you are involved in an industry and you do not share the specific views of most in regard to the direction the industry is going your business forum can provide a means of stating your dissenting opinion and allowing others to discuss the merits of your argument.

You can do the same thing via a business blog, but a forum allows individuals to more freely converse about your perspectives and share their own point of view. The result is a cyber town hall meeting for those most concerned with the issues you are addressing.

Forums are perfect opportunities to allow full personal expression by potential consumers. It also allows you to interact with consumers in a way that provides an opportunity to explain issues that may be difficult to accept at first read.

This format for conversation often feels very much like community. Obviously this is a community you may never see, but the psychology of the Internet indicates there often becomes an emotional attachment by those who regularly use this medium of connectivity. Forums, blogs and social media sites are prime emotional connections for online users.

It is not uncommon for online users to gravitate toward their computers many times throughout the day in an effort to connect with individuals from other parts of the world on issues they feel strongly about. Your online business forum could be the place where connections are made.

Bring the town hall to your business website it may be the perfect way for visitors to develop an emotional attachment to your brand.
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