Every day more and more individuals are using the internet and not just for sending emails. People have created whole businesses solely over the internet and are very successful. So much so that I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to revisit some well-known, yet easily forgotten etiquette tips:
Do unto others – “Please” and “Thank You’s” do go a long way. If you wanted to be respected you first have to give respect.
- Be nice – Remember, what you do on the internet is a reflection of you and quite possibly your business. Be positive and encouraging. No one wants to be associated with a negative individual.
- Don’t be too quick to judge– You know the old saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? It still holds true today. When meeting individuals online, you should strike up a conversation, get to know them a bit before you judge who or what they are. In social media and in marketing, relationships matter. Start building yours today!
- Be respectful – Just because you are “hiding” behind a computer doesn’t give you free reign to act as you please. You still need to treat people properly.
- When marketing-use a first name – If you want someone to actually respond back to you, you need to make your connection more personable. Using their first name is a great way to start!
- Don’t be annoying – Don’t continue to send emails out every hour on the hour. It’s annoying and clutters up one’s inbox. If you don’t hear back from an individual right away, give them some time. Some people aren’t surgically attached to their computers like some of us!
- Don’t abuse your network– Use your network the right way. Don’t post how your day is going to your network all day long. It’s unprofessional and quite frankly, unnecessary. If you must post something, post something of significance that your network can actually use, like a great social media link you just found or some sort of tip, advice or quote you find significant.
- Add a profile picture – Everyone likes to “see” who they are talking to. It’s easy to do and having a picture on file does make you look more reputable and professional.
- Above all – don’t be too quick to react. People are trying to figure out the most proper ways to communicate and millions are entering as rookies on a monthly basis, so show patience, kindness and assume those trying to interact are naive before you assume they are malicious.
These are just a few etiquette tips that are meant to be reminders, but do bear repeating. There are obviously many more. Just be thoughtful, kind and use common sense; the rest will come naturally.
Online Etiquette (Netiquette)
Good Practices for communicating and participating online
This guide is intended to be an overview of appropriate etiquette for interaction in Net environment.
A key distinguishing feature of an online discussion is that communication occurs solely via the written word. Because of this the body language voice tone and instantaneous listener feedback of the traditional classroom are all absent. These facts need to be taken into consideration both when contributing messages to a discussion and when reading them. Keep in mind the following points:
Respect others and their opinions. In online learning students from various backgrounds come together to learn. It is important to respect their feelings and opinions though they may differ from your own.
Tone Down Your Language. Given the absence of face-to-face clues, written text can easily be misinterpreted. Avoid the use of strong or offensive language and the excessive use of exclamation points. If you feel particularly strongly about a point, it may be best to write it first as a draft and then to review it, before posting it, in order to remove any strong language.
Pick the right tone. Since we depend on the written word in online learning, it is especially important to choose the right words to get your meaning across. For example, sarcasm is harder to detect when you read the words rather than hearing them.
Keep a Straight Face.In general, avoid humor and sarcasm. These frequently depend either on facial or tone of voice cues absent in text communication or on familiarity with the reader.
Consider others’ privacy. Ask for permission if you want to forward someone’s email messages to third parties. Keep in mind that all private email mail is considered copyrighted by the original author.
Avoid inappropriate material.
Be forgiving. If someone states something that you find offensive, mention this directly to the instructor. Remember that the person contributing to the discussion might be new to this form of communication. What you find offensive may quite possibly have been unintended and can best be cleared up by the instructor.
Think before you hit the send button. Think carefully about the content of your message before contributing it. Once sent to the group there is no taking it back. Grammar and spelling errors reflect on you and your audience might not be able to decode misspelled words or poorly constructed sentences.
Test for Clarity.Messages may often appear perfectly clear to you as you compose them, but turn out to be perfectly obtuse to your reader. One way to test for clarity is to read your message aloud to see if it flows smoothly. If you can read it to another person before posting it, even better.
Brevity is best. Be as concise as possible when contributing to a discussion. Your points might me missed if hidden in a flood of text.
Stick to the point. Contributions to a discussion should stick to the subject. Don’t waste others' time by going off on irrelevant tangents.
Frivolous email. Don’t forward jokes, "chain letter's" or unimportant email to other students without their permission. Not only does it fill up their mailboxes but may offend people who do not share the same sense of humor or who are tired of these types of email.
Read First, Write Later. Don't add your comments to a discussion before reading the comments of other students unless the assignment specifically asks you to. Doing so is tantamount to ignoring your fellow students and is rude. Comments related to the content of previous messages should be posted under them to keep related topics organized, and you should specify the person and the particular point you are following up on.
Netspeak. Although electronic communication is still young, many conventions have already been established. DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS. This is regarded as shouting and is out of place in a classroom. Acronyms and emoticons (arrangements of symbols to express emotions) are popular, but excessive use of them can make your message difficult to read. Some common ones include:
Citations and Other Etiquette Sources
Many of the points made here were taken from The Core Rules of Netiquette, excerpted from the book Netiquette, by Virginia Shea. The Core Rules of Netiquette can be accessed at http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html.
Further information was taken from Arlene H. Rinaldi's The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette, which can be found at http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604/lib/Netiquette/Rinaldi/