Introduction to Netiquette

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Introduction to Netiquette

Postby Jo » Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:16 pm

If you are used to using online forums, chat rooms and news groups you will have heard all this before. If you are new to it all here is a quick guide to the etiquette of the net, otherwise known as netiquette.

You can't hear tone of voice, see facial expressions or body language on the net, so it is easy to misunderstand something or take it the wrong way - this is the main reason why nettiquette has developed and why it is so important when communicating online. It is also important to be aware of this when writing and before giving an angry response to something someone else has written. See below for a range of ways that you can show how you actually meant your message to be taken...

Using capitals is considered to be SHOUTING and is best avoided.

You can use *emoticons* as a way of showing when you intend something to be funny, cheeky or tongue in cheek. There are lots and lots of emoticons but the most frequently used are smilies, sad faces, winks and wicked grins. Some forums have little pictures of the faces (like this one :wink: ). Visit this web site for more examples of text emoticons;
http://www.bbc.co.uk/joyoftext/facts/emoticons.shtml

Acronyms are sometimes used instead of words or phrases. For example, LOL means Laugh Out Loud, to show that you mean something to be funny. IMHO is short for 'In My Humble Opinion'. FYI is 'For your Information', etc. etc. etc. Acronyms can be really useful sometimes but if they are used a lot they can make your message very hard to read, particularly for those who don't know what all your acronyms mean! The general rule is to use them sparingly. You have more time and space here than you do when writing a text message on a mobile phone so there is no need for everything to be shortened. Go here for a few more examples of acronyms if you are finding it hard to understand someone elses post;
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A292367

Go here for a more detailed guide to netiquette (it's actually the rules and guidelines of the BBC h2g2 online community but its a very good guide and most of their rules apply in most online communities, including ours);
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A644681

Or visit the BBC Webwise site for a good grounding in all things Webby;
http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/
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