If you are reading these words, you probably participate in blogs and forums. Based on my experiences (both positive and awkward), I suggest these 10 rules of etiquette for public postings. Please add your guidelines!
Note: As usual, I am thinking of business writing.
- Never shame anyone who participates in the blog or forum. No name-calling or sarcasm.
- Be extremely cautious about shaming people outside the blog or forum. It's bad karma to go negative on individuals.
- If you ask a question on a forum, say thank you for the answers you get from others. And not just "thank you"--dress up the words with some details. Example: "Thanks for sharing your terrific ideas on my marketing postcard! As usual, you thought of something I had never considered."
- If you want to ask questions on a blog or forum, participate actively. Give to others--don't just show up to take.
- Remember that your comments are written, and follow the rules of writing. Use standard grammar, punctuation, and usage. It takes only a moment to capitalize your name and the first word in a sentence.
- Don't give unsolicited advice to individuals, or you will come across as a parent or know-it-all. If people ask for advice, give it if you can.
- Don't comment in anger. You will not be angry tomorrow, yet your comment will display your old anger indefinitely.
- Forgive people's off-moments. If they come across oddly or ignorantly, brush it off. Perhaps tonight they will get enough sleep, and tomorrow they will be brilliant and clever again.
- If you actively participate in a blog or forum, let people know when you will be away. With that information, they won't worry about you or ask for your comments when you are unavailable.
- Be human. Let people get to know you. Don't hide behind a screen name. Assume that you are communicating with human beings who are as wonderful as you, perhaps more so.
Please add your ideas.