Happy New Year! New attitude? New habits? How about 10 Little New Year's Netiquette Resolutions?
Yep! Almost every New Year's resolution is based in improved attitude and habit changes. From loosing weight to getting out of debt to trying to live a happier life, almost each of us does have some sort of conversation with ourselves in regard to the New Year and changes we have the control to make. If we follow through on 50% of them, we're ahead of the pack!
So, here is your Netiquette version of New Year's Resolutions. Everyone can improve on their skills, if they are willing. I am constantly working on my grammar and writing style to ensure my points are clear and that my emails are received and understood in manner in which they are intended. Remember, perception is the only reality online! And, whether you agree or disagree with this topic, perceptions are made all the time which are within your control - positive and negative alike.
For the most part, the following "resolutions" are covered throughout my Web site, OnlineNetiquette.com's Netiquette 101 Courtesies. However, for whatever reason, these issues in particular are those that I notice are not practiced on a daily basis.
Make a committment to improve on the issues below. It won't hurt; rather it will only add to the positive impression you will make on those you communicate with. The perception of the person you are, and whether you are a fish out of water online or not, will certainly be apparent by efforts made in these areas:
1. I will not forward a single email unless it specifically applies to the person I am sending to. I will include a personal note to that person so they know why I am forwarding the email their way. If I must send or forward the same email to a group of contacts, I will be sure to put their email addresses in the BCC: field to protect their privacy.
2. I will take the time to make sure that my sentences are complete, capitalized and include the proper punctuation. This goes a long way to making communications with me easier and has the added benefit of helping to avoid misunderstandings.
3. I will not send a large attachment of any kind (over 100K bytes), even one I think is a very special photo of [insert here: my grandbaby, my child, my pet, my car, my vacation...] until I ask when would be the best time to send it to the intended party first. This way, I do not fill their email box without notice causing all their other email to bounce. If I do not know how to determine an attachment's size, I'll learn how before I send it by email!
4. Every email I send will be courteous and include a proper greeting and closing which includes my name. My extra effort in this area, when many feel these details are not necessary, will have me viewed as someone who "get's it" and is a pleasure to communicate with.
5. I will understand that not everyone will have the same opinions as I do and that is A.O.K.! Constructive conversation and exchange of ideas is one of the great things about being online and not everyone will agree with my POV. Boy, wouldn't that be boring!?
6. There is no place online for profanities, accusations or rudeness. If I run into problems with another onliner in a chat room, message board or by email who does not communicate with clarity and courtesy, I will simply cease communications with them. If I need to respond, I will take the high road and not stoop down to that level. I will report ongoing abusive emails or threatening behavior to my ISP for proper handling.
7. I will be very respectful about how I use my employer's technology resources understanding they are paying the bill and I am on their time. I will make a point of reviewing my employer's policies to avoid any problems.
8. I will avoid formatting my email communications with colored text, bolding, italics (unless I am a professional coder) because I know it may not look the same as I intended when received on the other side. I understand that many prefer plain text in their communications and that if I communicate with clarity formatting really is not necessary.
9. If I do use the "leave mail on server" feature of my email program, I will be diligent about unchecking it and clearing my email account's inbox to ensure my email box does not become full and bounce/return emails to those making an effort to communicate with me.
10. I will make a point of understanding each online service or Web site I choose to use by reading their Frequently Asked Questions or Help area before blasting the site owner. I understand that if I do not review these areas, I could misunderstand or do something incorrectly and need to eliminate my actions or lack thereof as a possible cause of a perceived problem before pointing fingers at others. If in fact something does appear amiss, I will email with courtesy asking for their assistance in resolving my difficulties rather than making blunt demands or accusations.
There you have it! Your 10 Little Courtesies to work on for the year ahead so that folks don't cringe when they see your name in their inbox. Just imagine if everyone online made these efforts? Joy, joy! ;-)
About the Author:
Judith Kallos is an authoritative and good-humored Technology Muse
who has played @ http://www.TheIStudio.com for over a decade. Check out her popular E-mail Etiquette site @: http://www.NetManners.com