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Netiquette: What it is and how to use it  

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


[net-i-kit, ‐ket]
the rules of etiquette that apply when communicating over computer networks, esp. the Internet.
I love to write, and I studied journalism in high school. Back then, I wanted to be a journalist. (I still wouldn't mind it but other things have captured my interest.) I'm still a writer at heart, and that's the driving force behind my blog.

I'm also a stickler. I'm a good speller, and I use proper terminology that I learned in English. I'm THAT mom who is constantly correcting my children: "Dave and I, dear"... etc.

One thing that really bothers me when I'm online is misspells and acronyms. I hone right in on a misspelled word like it's highlighted on the page that I'm reading, whether it's in a newspaper or online. It's one of my biggest pet peeves. I use acronyms in certain instances, but I can honestly say that you probably have never seen me write one here on my blog.

The purpose of this post today is to educate you, if you're not familiar yet, with netiquette. I've consulted some sites here, just for clarification, but I'm going to share with you the main netiquette rules you need to know.

1. Remember there's a human reading what you wrote. Don't be offensive.

2. Be ethical. My fave: The Golden Rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (Funny how this applies to every situation in life!)

3. Know your audience.

4. Respect your audience.

5. Brush up on your writing skills. Take a class, if necessary. Don't curse unless in an acceptable arena for doing so. (leads back to #3)

6. Share knowledge.

7. Respect people's privacy.

Here's my personal fave tips:

  • Typing in all caps is yelling. Only use all caps when there is something you really need to get across or you feel really strongly about.

  • If you're going to use an acronym, make sure it's the correct one. i.e., ROF is not the correct acronym. ROFLMAO is. (now you've seen me use an acronym on my blog... it was unavoidable!)
  • Use your spellcheck! Even browsers underline a misspelled word - all you have to do is right-click on the word to see spelling suggestions. It's quite easy!

Here's a Netiquette quiz you can take to learn more about how to behave online.

Any tips? Share them in the comments!

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1 comments: to “ Netiquette: What it is and how to use it

  • Terri
    May 11, 2010 at 7:19 AM  

    I agree. Misspelled words are easy to correct. I will admit though, I can spell, it's my typing that is bad. Firefox underlines the errors and a quick click of the mouse makes for an easy correction. I don't recall Internet Explorer having that feature though.

    As to using all caps, its horrible. I feel that it's alright to capitalize a word or two on occasion to stress a point or an emotion but doing it for the whole sentence or paragraph makes me want to scream.

    Now I feel better! This gave me a chance to vent a little bit early in the day. Now, hopefully, I can be stress free for the remainder of today.

    Enjoy your day!

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