When you interact with people on line, there are a set of unsaid rules that you are expected to follow, irrespective of whether you are an experienced user or a newbie. These set of internet etiquette are often referred as network etiquette, or simply, netiquette. These rules sometimes tell the difference between an experienced person online and a newbie.
It has been said that those users just joining social networks and online communities are guilty of flouting network etiquette. However, this is not to say that we do not have some experienced members of these communities doing same, and it would be considered foolish of you if you fall into this category. The steps suggested below are to help you gain acceptance by being more courteous whenever you are online:
1. Be an Observer First
It is advisable for you to learn how things are done, by first observing activities going on in an online community before starting to participate yourself; such step helps to make sure that you do not become the odd one out – a jerk.
2. Be Mindful of The Past
Be kind to new members when they make mistakes since you were at a time a newbie yourself. Tell such new members the right thing to do in such a way that they will not feel insulted; if possible, do this in private. They would surely change for the better, if they are not being jerks anyways.
3. Search Before Posting on Forums
It is an annoying thing on online forums to start a topic that had been previously dealt with all over again; such thread starter is seen as a jerk. To avoid the term “jerk” being applied to you, you should search for a topic before posting. If the forum does not have a search box, you can always conduct searches via Bing or Google advanced search. You should also try to read a forum’s frequently asked questions (FAQs) to know how things are done on the forum.
4. Make Appropriate Posting
You should be familiar with the type of posts that the members of a community expect before you make a post. The kind of comments that could be considered appropriate on YouTube may not be elsewhere.
5. Check Spelling and Grammar
Whatever style you use in writing online does not matter so long you are able to communicate well. In order to check your grammar and spelling, write anything you want to say in a word processor with grammar and spelling checking features, and make sure you go over it before posting.
6. DO NOT Write in CAPITAL LETTERS
Writing in capitals is considered shouting online, and is very annoying. Use caps economically, like to place emphasis on a word.
7. Keep it Simple and Brief
What this simply means is that you should keep your posting short; not too long. Long texts often are boring and inhibit users from reading your postings.
8. Control Your Temper
Make every effort to avoid confrontations with other members; even when you know that you are completely right and they do not want to see it your way. Be completely aware of what you post because once a post is made, they probably remain there for everybody to see; it could affect your image negatively.
9. Put Your Name in It
Though anonymity is one of the hallmarks of the Web, if you are really sure of yourself, and what you are posting, use your real name. Anonymity gives some the freedom to post anything, including those things they are not sure about.
10. Do Not Reveal Identity of Others
Some people are not comfortable with having their real names displayed on the Internet. If that is the case, do not disclose their identities, especially when you have a score to settle with them, such action does not speak well of you, you know?
11. Be Sensitive to Others
Although English is the de facto language of the internet, you should know that not everyone on the internet has English as their mother tongue. People all around the world are trying to make their point in English even though they naturally speak a different language. You should consider this and value the point they’re making instead of pointing out the language mistakes.