Pass the Netiquette, Please
The rules of Netiquette are based on courtesy, common sense, and a basic
knoweldge of computers, as well as human nature.
Reread your post both for content and style before you send it.
No one likes to read sloppy thinking or writing.
And when they see sloppy thinking and writing
they often hit the delete key.
Edit judiciously when you are quoting someone else. If you are following up
or responding to another's message, delete all but the lines you are
discussing, but do keep the attributions so people know whom you are
following. Many people are reading their e-mail on slow modems and perhaps
paying toll charges; time is money.
Use a good subject line. Watch out for "thread drift" which means
the subject line no longer matches the content of the message.
Respect confidentiality. People will write things privately or even on a
list that they may not want broadcast to a larger group. Always get
permission before reposting someone else's message. By the same token, if
you are sending a message to a group of people, use the blind carbon copy
feature for your distribution list so your recipients won't see each other's
e-mail address. This also saves space when the receiver opens the message. If there are 6 - 10 pages of header and sent-to's, folks will simply delete the message. This is common in spam chain letters, which BTW, are a no-no.
No shouting please. Capital letters are considered SHOUTING which is
very rude. If you wish to emphasize something use *the asterisk*
to highlight the important word or phrase.
Flame with caution. A virulent, personal attack on someone in a forum,
newsgroup or list is called Flaming and you should do so at your own
peril. Some groups ban it altogether; on others you may be attacked for being a blue meanie.
On the other hand, sometimes it is warranted, but be prepared for the
Understand the difference between private e-mail and a group posting.
There is nothing more embarassing than sending to an entire group a message
meant as private correspondence. Double check your address line before
sending. And then look again!
Lurk before you post. The Internet is one of the few places where lurking and loitering is permissible and encouraged. Stop, look and listen before you open your big mouth. On any list, forum or newsgroup, it's a good idea
to read for a while before posting; each place has it's own ethos and it's
own lead posters.
Be aware of different computer formats. ASCII is the universal computer
language so if you are sending a file, that's the only format you should
use. Also, make sure your e-mail has hard carriage returns (most mailers
handle this automatically).
Finally, be aware that anything you write is beyond your control once
you hit the send key. It could end up in someone's web page where it can be
accessed by the world or forwarded to another list. While it's
common courtesy to get permission to repost, it doesn't always happen.