Increasingly, businesses, households, and organizations have access to the internet, email, and a wide range of applications. Online access can provide you with an array of opportunities to engage a larger portion of the public in multiple ways: in discussions, deliberation, and decision-making related to community issues.

Websites, discussion boards, blogs, social media, list servs, bulletin boards, and video-teleconferencing provide avenues for individuals to access background materials and engage with experts and other participants (sometimes from far away). It allows you and other individuals to offer suggestions, give recommendations, discuss options, identify preferences, and vote. Electronic access can also help participants overcome barriers to participation, such as geographic location or availability (Adapted from: Bassler et al., 2008).

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