What is Netiquette?
Netiquette is "network etiquette"; put simply it is a convention or standard that guides social interaction on a network such as the internet and all of its varied protocols or applications. One classic example of traditional etiquette would be hand gestures -- a single finger may mean the difference between communicating a greeting or a flagrant insult.
Our site enables people from all walks of life to communicate with each other via text. Textual communication has many benefits, but a few glaring faults: namely the difficulty of communicating tone and cultural differences. When chatting in person the other party can decipher your meaning based on your words and how you say them; on our site, we have just the words.
What does this mean for me?
It is expected that all members are cognizant of and apply the following points to their communications on the site. This list will be as imperfect as our community is fluid and diverse; it is recommended that one lurks for a while to ensure a handle on the general style of our site is obtained.
Be sensible in what you send and sympathetic to what you receive.
Do not assume: The person on the other side of the screen will have a different point of reference for interpreting culture, language, humor and especially sarcasm. Consider your audience carefully.
Be aware of the dragons: Each and every one of us are emotional creatures. Treat everyone as a person, and err on the side of caution when reacting to what someone else has posted. If you are upset by a post, take a break before a reply is sent and consider if your post fans the flames or douses them.
Be ready to explain: It is unacceptable to simply say, "I don't understand!", "I need help!", or "I'm offended!". In any of these cases a brief explanation of what you do not understand, how you need help, and why you are offended should follow closely after. Doing so will make it much easier for those who are apt to reply.
Use good style.
Everyone has a personal style of writing; some are formal while others are very casual. We desire to have a middle-ground, with the goal of discussion that is easily readable, concise and accessible to everyone. To that end, here are some examples of what might detract from your post:
- Lack of moderation when using formatting options such as color, font, size, etc.
- Indiscriminate use of caps-lock may indicate to others you are always-shouting.
- Use of netspeak or l33t5p34k makes posts harder to understand and read.
- Lack of proper grammar, spelling or sentence structure.
We wish to encourage everyone to participate to the best of his or her own ability. For that reason we acknowledge the heavy influence of the Anglosphere on our community. If your primary language is something other than English, please do not be afraid to participate -- just do your best!