Many people know how — and do conduct themselves in the real world properly. However, many people are unaware that this same conduct needs to be applied online as well. Net etiquette is basically the rules you should follow while in Cyberspace. These seven rules are what I learned on my Cyber journey and what I try to follow while on the Internet – let’s see if you agree.
First and foremost, you must remember that even though you are sitting alone at your computer – and no one is replying, say to your blog, does not mean they are not lurking (reading and learning but not commenting). Translated, there are real people reading what you are writing – and if you make derogatory comments or accusations – they will be felt by that person. If you do make derogatory comments or accusations – please verify, verify, verify, verify – this is libel.
Second, be ethical – being ethical should not go out the door when you get into Cyberspace – what applies to offline business and personal conduct, applies to online business and personal conduct.
Third, if you go into a forum it is advisable to take the time to do some lurking before posting. Learn the ways of the forum before posting. Some forums will not tolerate any advertising – they are there to discuss their topic and to learn, and to share information.
Fourth, the Internet allows you anonymity, which means, you are not judged by the way you look or the clothing you wear. But you are judged on what you write – that is the only way in which people can make judgments on you and your character.
Fifth, when writing on the Internet, be sure to check your facts. Research and verify before getting on your soapbox – it can save you a lot of grief – loss creditability. Remember, your writing is their first impression of you.
Sixth, be kind and do not use offensive language.
Seventh, share your knowledge and be open to learning from others.
I would like to conclude by saying that the Internet is a vast international community of people, sharing ideas, experiences, and knowledge. It is a great community, yes, there are some bad eggs, but the community is ever vigilant and will alert all to the bad eggs. While on the Internet, be aware of your conduct, for that is how the Internet knows who you are.