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posted 21-2-2007 @ 09:19 AM www

What Is Netiquette?

Netiquette = Internet Etiquette (originally Network Etiquette).
Netiquette is a set of guidelines for playing nice online ;)

Remember The Human.

The Golden Rule of Netiquette is "Remember The Human".

When communicating via computer, it's all too easy to forget that those are real people out there with real feelings and egos. It's ok to express your opinions, but be sensitive to the feelings of others.

When you communicate electronically, all you see is a computer screen. You don't have the opportunity to use facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice to communicate your meaning; words -- lonely written words -- are all you've got… and that goes for your correspondent as well. Use emoticons and acronyms when necessary to convey your message. If you are joking or happy, include a smiley face :) If you are sad or upset you can use a frowny face :( If you need to type an extra line or two to make sure your intent is clear -- please do!!

A useful test for anything you're about to post is to ask yourself, "Would I say this to the person's face?".

If the answer is no, rewrite and reread.
Repeat the process till you feel sure that you'd feel as comfortable saying these words to the live person as you do posting it on the forum.

Try to be careful about posting late at night or any time you're tired, sick, or having a terrible day. Your judgment may not be at its best. When in doubt, hold off until you feel better.

Another important thing to remember is if what you intend to post will not make a positive contribution to the forum and be of interest to several readers, do not post it! Personal messages to one or two individuals should not be posted to everyone, use private messages instead.

Lurk Before You Leap.

When you join, take a look around. Spend a while listening to the chat or reading the archives. Get a sense of how the people who are already there act. Then go ahead and participate.

Make Yourself Look Good Online.

You won't be judged by how you look, what you wear or where you’re from.
You will, however, be judged by the quality of your writing.

For most people who choose to communicate online, this is an advantage; if they didn't enjoy using the written word, they wouldn't be there. So spelling and grammar do count.

If you're spending a lot of time on the net and you're shaky in these areas, it's worth brushing up on them.

Also avoid using all capital letters in your communications. As there is no volume control with the written word, ALL CAPS LIKE THIS is considered shouting. This can be good if you are excited and wish to yell "CONGRATULATIONS!". More often than not though, it is considered rude if you are typing full posts in capitals as no-one likes to be yelled at.

Know What You're Talking About And Make Sense.

Pay attention to the content of your writing. Be sure you know what you're talking about -- when you see yourself writing "it's my understanding that" or "I believe it's the case," ask yourself whether you really want to post this note before checking your facts. Bad information propagates like wildfire on the net. And once it's been through two or three iterations, you get the same distortion effect as in the party game "Whispers". Whatever you originally said may be unrecognisable.

In addition, make sure your notes are clear and logical. It's perfectly possible to write a paragraph that contains no errors in grammar or spelling, but still makes no sense whatsoever.

Sharing Online Stories.

Many online stories are actually just downright bogus. Before you share an incredible story that instructs you to "read and share" with everyone you know, first check to see if the story is even legitimate in the first place and not a hoax.

Be Forgiving Of Other People's Mistakes.

Everyone was a newbie once. So when someone makes a mistake be kind about it. If it's a minor error, you may not need to say anything. Even if you feel strongly about it, think twice before reacting. Spotting errors doesn't give you license to correct everyone else.

If you do decide to inform someone of a mistake, point it out politely and preferably by private message rather than in public. Give people the benefit of the doubt… perhaps they just don't know any better. Never be arrogant or self-righteous about it.

If you are unsure of someone's intent or meaning, ask them before making assumptions and accusations that you may regret. Remember that you are responsible for every word that you type.

Subject Lines.

Never leave a subject line blank or filled with obscure wording in order to draw attention.

Use brief, descriptive and specific subject lines. This helps others decide whether your particular words of wisdom relate to a topic they care about. People have varying amounts of time, access, and bandwidth. Allow people to easily choose for themselves what they do with each.

Don't Troll.

Trolls are people who post statements deliberately designed to provoke people.
Don’t do it.

Be pleasant and polite. Don't use offensive language, and don't be confrontational for the sake of confrontation.

Don't Respond To Trolls.

Usually those who Troll forums are looking for attention. You're best off not giving it.
If what has been posted is truly offensive to you, use the report button.

That being said, as the internet is accessible to a large portion of the world’s population, please try to keep an open mind and be accepting of things that may well be unusual to you at first.


A fact of forum life is that sometimes messages have to be edited or removed. This will no doubt elicit cries of "Censorship!" from some. Sorry, but there is such a thing as going too far in almost any forum. Privately owned and managed forums do have a right to monitor and censor their contents. The guy who pays the bills gets to make the rules governing usage.

If you have questions or comments regarding any of the above, please u2u me :) ~ brat
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