Etiquette Newsletter #2 "Traveling Politely Through The Internet."

Etiquette and manners are doing things in an appropriate manner. What is Netiquette? It's network etiquette - that is, the etiquette of cyberspace or doing things in an appropriate manner or a set of rules for behaving properly online. On the Internet "netiquette" is how to travel by FTP, TELNET, and electronic mail without annoying others.

Here are a few tips on traveling politely through the internet to keep you in good standing with other users.

  • Always remember that the person on the other side is Human
    Since your contact with the network is through a computer, it is easy to forget that there are people "out there." Situations arise where emotions go off into a verbal scuffle that can lead to hurt feelings. Strongly attacking messages on the network are called "Flames" The following will help you to avoid sending an annoying flame.
    • Try not to say anything to others that you would not say to them in person in a room full of people. Remember that when you send a message to a bulletin board or mailing list, people all over the world are reading your words.
    • Don't argue with people - try to plead your case to them by presenting facts. Cursing and mistreatment only make people less willing to help when you need it. Remember the Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would want them to do to you."
    • When you become angry at something or someone, you need to wait and calm down and think about it. A good night's sleep works wonders on your perspective. Speedy words produce more problems than they resolve. Once you press send it is out there.
  • Be Cautious What You Say About Others
    Keep in mind-thousands of people may read your message. They might include your neighbor, your friend's neighbor, your girlfriend's brother's best friend and one of your father's golfing buddies. (And the list goes on). Information that you post on the net can come back to haunt you or the person you are talking about. Think twice before you post personal information about yourself or others.
  • Be Brief
    Say what you have to say briefly and it will have a greater impact. Remember that the longer you make your response or article, the fewer people will bother to read it.
  • Your Postings Mirror You - Be Proud of Them
    The only contact people will have to you is by what you post and how well you say it. Don't be hasty. Take time to make sure each posting won't embarrass you later. Reduce your spelling errors and make sure that your work is easy to read. Remember using all caps comes across as shouting.
  • Remember to Give Credit to Appropriate References
    When you use someone else's ideas, state where the facts came from. You would not want someone to use your ideas as theirs.

Helpful Terms

FAQ is short for "Frequently asked questions.

Flaming is attacking someone on a personal level on the internet.

Spamming is the practice of sending repeated identical pieces of mail to a wide variety of newsgroups and e-mail.

Sliced Spam is just like spamming except it is all sent individually.

Line Spacing, it's much easier to read e-mail when there are line breaks between paragraphs.

These guidelines provide you with a brief overview of basic "Netiquette". Help others learn more about traveling politely through the internet by setting an example and helping them understand.