Introduction: Why are so many people struggling to avoid internet comment etiquette traps?
Why? Perhaps some of you are simply unaware of the etiquette around posting on the internet. If that’s the case, here’s a quick lesson that might help demystify some of the murky waters: what is it? Why should you follow it? And, of course, what are some of the consequences if you don’t follow through?
In this introductory article, we’ll provide a brief history of internet comment etiquette and discuss its purposes. We’ll also highlight how some people have found ways to avoid traps, what may happen if they do not follow through and why that’s a good thing.
“it isn’t about the stupid little things that people do…. it’s about the huge things.
Michael Crichton “
First, a little history and context: What is internet comment etiquette? According to Wikipedia, internet comment etiquette is “the standard rules for formatting and commenting on Internet forums, newsgroups and mailing lists, which are expected to provide a safe environment for controversial or potentially offensive material. The term is also used to describe the expectations of users when using online chat rooms and message boards. Guidelines set by the Internet community and individual sites are not binding but establish a standard of behavior, and many individuals provide additional guidelines.”
The True Cost of Internet Comment Etiquette
The internet is a marvelous tool with limitless possibilities, but there’s a catch. The internet also allows EVERYONE on the planet to read whatever you write (regardless of whether or not they care or think it’s appropriate). That means that your every thought and opinion can be seen by everyone on the planet, perhaps without their knowledge or consent.
This is a problem because the internet allows people to communicate in ways that are not obvious. Imagine that you are telling someone a story about an incident you read in the newspaper. If you tell the story in person, everyone present will know that your description of this incident is an actual event, and not something that you made up. The same information communicated over the internet would not be interpreted so clearly. You might type “I saw this crazy thing today…blah blah blah”. Unless your point is clear, many readers will assume that the story you are telling about seeing a crazy thing is something you made up.
The 7 Tips for Tweeting Safely and Avoiding Commentiquette Traps
If you tweet, then you’re a writer. You’re publishing your thoughts to the public just like I am. So when you write a tweet, make sure it’s going to be interesting and intelligent enough so that people will take notice. Here are the 7 TIPS FOR TWEETING SAFELY AND AVOIDING COMMENTIQUETTE TRAPS: 1. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. 2. Don’t be rude, even if people are being rude to you. 3. Be specific, descriptive and contextual; include links and hashtags where appropriate; don’t assume your audience knows what you’re talking about. 4. Use #hashtags (or ask your followers to use them) when it makes sense… 5. …but don’t overdo it. 6. Use spell-check and proper grammar. 7. CLEAN UP YOUR ACT: delete old tweets you don’t like or that are causing you problems before new ones come along to replace them.
Bam! Now let’s look at how Erik uses the same principles, with some variations, in his article on Commentiquette, which is another way of talking about behavior online (computers, phones and other technology).
You are the mirror of your life; you cannot see it for all the refection. – Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Knowledge is not knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. – Lewis Grizzard (1946-1994)
Overview of article: It discusses some common pitfalls people have with Facebook and other social media, and what to do about them.
article title: “The Guide to Commentiquette: Facebook and Other Social Media Potholes”
Background information (to use as knowledge, not to be copied verbatim):