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Results Relevant for Future system Design

High interest and value put on the documents, but constrained time for their use explains the wide support for a facility permitting ordering of documents according to narrow or variable width categories. Only a small percent believed this might be restrictive or confusing and fewer than 20%believed they would derive no benefit form it. Fewer people (60%) supported the somewhat analogous idea of an interface which would allow people to register views on issues by endorsing previously expressed views. Opposition to the idea included those who wanted an interface through which they could also choose reasons for the position, those who would want to use their own words and those who thought the system could put too much popular pressure on government. However the large majority believed that a facility to email the President is important (an average 4.2 on a 5-point scale) although fewer than half had ever sent email to the President.

To sum up, there is a need for more sophisticated interfaces and publication system that enables people to select and retrieve documents on variable categories and to respond to issues by endorsing opinions. The last facility should also permit users to extend their messages. Yet despite the demand this facility might not be heavily used. One gets the impression that people would see it as one realization or safeguard of a democratic idea.
Sun Jun 5 21:21:16 EDT 1994