What if Health Care Town Hall Meetings were Held Online?

Posted on August 14, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Every day in the news I see political town hall meetings where the debate on health care issues gets…well a little intense. By the look of the crowds it is a wonder some people are not hurt as they physically enter and exit the rooms. What if these town hall events were held as online meetings? Would it result in a more orderly debate on the topic?

Today’s web conferencing services, particularly those with video conferencing, seem to me to be an ideal format for a group of people to discuss issues. The politician could display their live video, give their talk in the manner of a webinar, and field questions from the constituents via audio or chat. An online meeting would be fast and efficient, allowing multiple sessions to be held each day with no travel time, no travel cost, and no cost to rent a venue for the day.

To make it easy for the constituents the online meetings could be accessed from personal computers. And the service provider should not require a software download. Browser based video conferencing services like Vonei Meeting allow anyone to access the web conference right from the browser on their PC, Mac, or Linux computer. This functionality helps make the meeting widely available to constituents. Attendance in the online town hall meetings would be diminished if people had to travel to a special location where expensive video conferencing equipment was located.

Online meetings enable you to get the word out quickly, and with the impact of video you can make a powerful impression. In addition to live online video, companies like Vonei offering video conferencing allow the host to share presentations and documents which the constituents can download. What if the politician shared the key facts of the proposals in a document and debunked the myths? By enabling chat or VoIP audio the host can interact with the constituents live during the event. The host also receives a list of all constituents in the event so they can follow-up personally.

Online events can take place at night, over the weekend, or any other time that is convenient and no travel is involved. Don’t confine yourself to “standard” business hours, but hold the live video event whenever people are available, from wherever they are.

Desktop based video conferencing services make it easy to present and share information online just like you would in person. Perhaps with the ability to share information quickly and easily we can all better understand the issues and the truth behind what is being proposed. What do you think? Would online town hall meetings be an effective means of communication between the politician and their constituents?

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