How interactive do you want to be
(with two-way return communication)?

Another exciting thing about the web is that it's a two-way form of communication. 

  • Include an email address where people can send questions and comments. 

  • You can add forms for people to fill out and email back to you, for everything from signing up for a class to giving their opinion on overtime.  But if you want to use this for member feedback, you may want to require the identities of those who submit them. 

  • In theory, you can have online discussions.  But in reality, this is not easy to do, as it requires resources to monitor discussions to make sure they are suitable for a union web page.  You could be in legal trouble if internal politics take over such discussions, and offensive racial or sexual comments should never be allowed to make their way into those discussions. 

  • Someone who's knowledgeable about the union has to be prepared to take the time to respond to email.  This is not always easy, but can be very rewarding!

Plan for two-way communication: 
The web is a two-way form of communication, and people expect to be able to contact the union through your site.  This can enhance your ability to communicate with the community and members, supplement other communications, and encourage members to participate in the democratic structure of the union, urging them to attend meetings for example.  But since access to computer communications is uneven and insecure, it cannot replace that structure.

  • Plan ahead of time who will be the email contact(s), what kind of communication will be encouraged, and how email will be answered.

  • You can also create dynamic interactive features that invite viewer input.  But remember:  The union should monitor everything that's posted.

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