Chapter Five: Internet Etiquette (Netiquette)

Chapter Five: Internet Etiquette (Netiquette)


Course Syllabus

Course Assignments and Due Dates

Tips and Tricks

Part One: Understanding The Internet

Part Two: Getting On The Internet

Part Three: Communicating Over The Internet

Part Four: Finding Things On The Internet

Part Five: Creating Web Pages

Part Six: Using Multimedia On The Internet

Part Seven: Planning For The Future Of The Internet

Send E-Mail to Instructor

Internet Resources Home Page

After completing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Define the term netiquette and explain its derivation.

  • Understand the difference between commercial and educational use of the Internet.

  • Know what it means to "spam" someone on the Internet, and what to do if someone spams you.

  • Understand the concept of lurking, and know when you should lurk.

  • Know what it means to "flame" someone on the Internet.

  • Understand the concept of SHOUTING on the Internet and become sensitized to not overdoing it.

  • Recognize the more common smileys and other emoticons used on the Internet, and know how to look up the meaning of less common sybols.

  • Understand what the more common three-letter acronyms mean, and know where to go on the Web to look up more esoteric acronyms.

  • Understand some of the more commonly used Internet jargon, and know where to find a more complete listing of Internet terms and definitions.

Netiquette (Dos and don'ts when communicating through newsgroups and mailing lists)

On-line etiquette is often referred to as "netiquette." Itís basically a set of guidelines that, if followed, will assure your maximum effectiveness as an online communicator and keep you out of trouble.

1. When you join a list, monitor the messages for a few days to get a feel for what common questions are asked, and what topics are deemed off-limits. This is commonly referred to as lurking. When you feel comfortable with the group, then start posting.

2. See if there is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for a group that you are interested in joining. Veteran members get annoyed when they see the same questions every few weeks.

3. Avoid blatant advertising - create dialogs and offer useful information.

4. Follow any and all guidelines that the listowner has posted; the listowner establishes the "netiquette" standards for her/his list.

5. Keep in mind the broad, global audience that subscribes to newsgroups and mailing lists. Some readers may not understand your references.

6. Donít be offended by other peopleís ideas or opinions. And, if you do read something that you really feel uncomfortable with, try to ignore it. There are people who will post controversial positions just to bait others.

7. No one can see that smile on your face or the twinkle in your eye in the newsgroups or the mailing lists. Therefore, humor can sometimes be misperceived as sarcasm or callousness. Emoticons can help :-) (like this sideways smile).

8. Keep your questions and comments relevant to the focus of the discussion group.

9. If you can respond to someone else's question, do so through email. Twenty people answering the same question on a large list can fill your mailbox (and those of everyone else on the list) quickly.

10. Resist the temptation to "flame" (the Internet word for attacking another personís ideas or actions). Remember that these discussions are "public" and meant for constructive exchanges. Treat the others on the list as you would want them to treat you.

11. When replying to a message posted to a discussion group, check the address to be certain it's going to the intended location (person or group). It can be very embarrassing if you reply incorrectly and post a personal message to the entire discussion group that was intended for an individual.

12. When signing up for a group, it is important to save your subscription confirmation letter for reference. That way if you go on vacation you will have the subscription address for suspending mail.

Online Resources:

RFC 1855: Netiquette Guidelines
The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette, by Arlene Rinaldi
T.H.E. Journal Back Issues 1995
Computer Ethics Institute page
Join the Fight Against Spam!
E-mail Spam and other unsolicited advertising
NetLingo: Smileys & Emoticons
SCS Smiley Page

Assignment to turn in for credit:

Compose and submit a list of guidelines you think should be followed by all users of the Internet.

Define lurking, flaming, firefighting, shouting on the Internet. Give an instance when you might use each of these.

Submit your answers

Go to:
Chapter Four
Chapter Six

Copyright 1999 by Jennifer Lagier and Hartnell College

Web Author: Jennifer Lagier
Copyright ©1999 by Jennifer Lagier & Hartnell College - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED