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7.4. Contact options in DIALogue prototype

7.4.1. Mailing Panelists

By checking the appropriate boxes, a user can choose to send a message to one or more of: As illustrated in the screens above, the selection of options is by check-boxes.

7.4.2. Mailing Authorised Users

Sending mail to other Authorised Users follows the same procedure. Mail can be send to all users in the following sub-categories: Member Country Users; ADB Office of General Counsel Users; and Project DIAL Users.

7.4.3. Mail all DIALogue participants via the DIALogue Discussion List

If a user checks the box for this option, his or her message will be sent to all DIALogue participants - all Panelists and Authorised Users. Replies to messages will also go to all participants.

An archive of past messages to the DIALogue Discussion List is available within the password-controlled DIAL area[140]http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/dialogue/discussion/threads.html], where the messages can be browsed in hypertext form, including with live hypertext links. The archive is created by use of the MHonArc software, an e-mail-to-HTML converter[141]http://www.oac.uci.edu/indiv/ehood/mhonarc.html]. The rationale for this is that if a user has decided to communicate the original message to all DIALogue participants, then the message is an open message between all DIALogue participants, and it will be useful if current and subsequent participants can browse a copy of it at a later date.

Hints for use of the DIALogue Discussion List: are in the DIALogue User Manual[142]http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/dialogue/dialogue_user.html].

7.4.4. Mail ing to the LAW-DEV List , and viewing the LAW-DEV archive

The LAW-DEV Internet Forum is operated by the Office of the General Counsel of the Asian Development Bank as a law and development electronic mailing list service, established to provide an international forum for discussion and exchange of information on issues conducive to economic growth and equitable social development in the emerging markets of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. LAW-DEV has about five hundred subscribers around the word who are interested in law and development. Subscription to the LAW-DEV Internet Forum is free, and subscription information is available on the Bank's web pages[143]http://www.asiandevbank.org/law/forum.html].

LAW-DEV is therefore like a `public' version of the closed DIALogue Discussion List. Both serve a similar function of allowing subscribers to request information and advice from a large group of people interested in law and development. However, since anyone may subscribe to LAW-DEV, there is no inherent `quality control' in the information received via it, although it is often of high quality. Nor is there any expectation by LAW-DEV subscribers that requests for information are coming from senior government officials. Requests on LAW-DEV often come from students and general users of the internet. The DIALogue Discussion List is therefore likely to create different responses in the answering of enquiries.

Most DIALogue participants are probably not LAW-DEV subscribers, though some may be. Some will not want to subscribe, as they do not wish to add to the quantity of e-mail that they receive daily. Nevertheless, when the occasion arises, it may be very useful for a DIALogue participant to be able to submit a question (or information) to LAW-DEV, and to then follow the ensuing discussion on the LAW-DEV list.

The inclusion of the LAW-DEV components in DIALogue addresses these needs. First, by providing a convenient means of automating a mailing to the LAW-DEV list, each DIALogue participant does not need to remember the address to mail to LAW-DEV. More important, the LAW-DEV archive allows DIALogue users to follow the discussion that takes place on LAW-DEV without being a subscriber, and to do so at a time of their own choosing. The DIALogue home page suggests to users that they check the LAW-DEV and DIALogue Discussion List hypertext archives before submitting questions, in case the question has already been discussed on one of those lists.

LAW-DEV only receives a moderate amount of traffic, as is shown in the following headings of the first week in which LAW-DEV traffic was captured in the archive. However, the relevance of some of the messages to those interested in development of legislation is obvious, and there is no doubt that it is a valuable resource for the project's primary audience.

Headings of some recent messages to LAW-DEV, from the archive





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