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A Quick Review of Netiquette

Page history last edited by Rita Simons Santiago 13 years, 9 months ago


Netiquette is the term used to describe the various social conventions for interacting in online spaces.


The Basics

  • You can use emoticons like :) to indicate tone of voice, but use them sparingly.
  • Follow the fair use guidelines when working with copyrighted information and always give credit where credit is due.
  • Remember the golden rule and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.


In Email

  • In professional email communication, including emails for courses, you should always identify yourself by first and last name.  Many email programs allow you to set up an automatic signature for this purpose.   
  • Email messages should always contain a descriptive subject header.  Also, if the email that you are sending is longer than 100 lines, you should include "LONG" in your title as a courtesy to your reader. 
  • When you reply to an email, always make sure that you are replying only to the person or persons that you want to read your message.  Do not "reply all" unless you really mean to reply to an entire group of people.
  • Mass forwarding of chain email is an egregious violation of netiquette.  Resist the urge to forward that joke, story, poem, or request for a transfer of funds to a Nigerian banker no matter how compelling you find the message.  At best, chain emails clog inboxes and delivery systems at worst they carry malicious code like viruses.
  • If your email editor does not allow rich text formatting you should use symbols for emphasis. For example, "That *is* what I meant". You can use underscores for underlining. For example, _Catch-22_ is my favorite book.


Instant Messaging

  • Remember that messaging is often an interruption and be considerate of other people's time.
  • Say goodbye or something similar to let the other person know you are ending the IM session.


Blogs and Wikis

  • Tell the truth.  If you write something on a blog or wiki, be sure you have the facts to back it up. 
  • Stand by your words.  If you prefer not use your real name, use a consistent psuedonym.
  • When responding to another commenter on a blog discussion, use the "@" symbol before their name.  For example, if you want to agree with "firstyearteacher", you may respond, "@firstyearteacher--I agree completely." in your comment.
  • On a wiki, the editing process may require you to make change other people's work, but refrain from deleting large portions of other people's work.  If major revision is necessary, discuss your proposed changes with your collaborators. 

  • Do not "steal a lock" on a wiki page unless the user has not made an edit in over 30 minutes.

This page was written by Kimberly McCollum.

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