Netiquette

Overview Netiquette, or Net etiquette, has become an essential part of communicating over the Internet. All to often people forget that they are, in fact, communicating with other people and not just some remote computer. A standardized set of rules--known as netiquette--has been developed to aid in human-to-human communication using simple text via a computer. Additionally, with the clever use of text characters, a general set of emotion-expressing icons and acronyms has been developed to further aid online communication. A list of the core rules of netiquette can be found at www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html. The Computer Ethics Institute outlines its “Ten Commandments for Computer Ethics” at this tekmom.com page.

E-mail Netiquette Following proper e-mail netiquette not only aids in concise information exchange but it can also help you avoid e-mail server congestion and breakdown. For advice on how to handle attachments, how to use threads, and how to use proper formatting, go to www.writerswrite.com. This site provides concise guidelines for good general e-mail behavior. For those in the business world, the site www.bspage.com/1netiq/Netiq.html offers in-depth information about international business e-mail netiquette. Here you’ll find topics such as creating proper letterheads, correct grammar and punctuation, and the use of titles, to name a few. About.com (email.about.com) gives a glossary of e-mail terminology, which is handy for a better understanding of the e-mail process. Finally, netiquette guidelines written specifically for children are provided at www.bpl.org/kids/Netiquette.htm. This site has useful advice about politeness and respect.  

Smileys and Web Acronyms Smileys, emoticons, symbols, and acronyms are all ways of expressing emotion and common ideas within the boundaries of text-only communication. Smileys and emoticons are symbols used to convey emotion, often in ingenious ways. See www.muller-godschalk.com and www.computeruser.com for user-updated lists of emoticons with their intended meanings.  A list of common Web acronyms used for chat groups, newsgroups, and e-mail can be found at http://silmaril.ie/cgi-bin/uncgi/acronyms. Here you will also find some interesting, and even useful ways to abbreviate common responses. 

Newsgroup and Chat Netiquette Newsgroups, chat rooms, and discussion groups are all public forums with many different people and just as many differing opinions. Here, maybe more than anywhere else on the Internet, it is most important to observe good netiquette. The Web pages at  www.smartcomputing.com or home.arkansasusa.com/bborsodi/newsgrp1.html offer netiquette advice for using groups and chat. They point out to the reader that each group might have their own quirks and customs among frequent users.