Etiquette online is an important factor to your business existence online, and if you’re looking for a job in the corporate world-offline as well. More and more the an online presence is meshing with the offline corporate world. How? Why? I’ll try to explain.
1. Internet Etiquette and Off-line Jobs
Your conduct online is important. If you have information on MySpace, or on a website, or even in a forum and it doesn’t paint you in a positive light — and you are attempting to get a job offline-the prospective business may know about it. There are some companies and employment services that now have people who do research online for any information about you – be it good or bad — to determine what type of person you are.
So yes, your online conduct and words, are important to prospective employers. If you put yourself in a vulnerable state online — it may prevent you from getting an interview. If you get the interview, a question to your online presence may be asked. So be prepared with the answers if these types of questions arise. And, it has been suggested that honesty is the best policy when these questions do enter in on the conversation.
2. Email Etiquette
Do not use capital letters in an email — unless, of course, you are angry. With caps you are shouting, and in the Internet culture it is considered rude. A better way to get a point across without shouting is by highlighting it between stars or quotes. You can use an underline on each side, but personally, I find that somewhat confusing.
And remember, emotions and their meanings are really hard to transmit in an email. Choose your words wisely, so they are not misinterpreted.
3. Forum Etiquette
In many forums, mailing lists, newsgroups, etc. there is a thing called archiving. Stated differently, if you don’t want your words to follow you around for years, then don’t send or write the message.
4. Respect the Copyright of Others
When you copy an article be sure to give the author the respect and the acknowledgment that he/she deserves. Their name and their signature blurb should be available at the end of the article, with all links active.
In addition, never change someone else’s work; one word change can change the whole meaning of a given paragraph or sentence. And this innocent change can possibly have unexpected unpleasant results — though innocently done.
5. Research before Inquiring
Research your facts before inquiring about a possible transgression. Yes, I know you may be upset, as I would be, and granted, the great software you are using is tracking your articles, scripts, etc., with accuracy-BUT- they do have limitations. Sometimes they can pick up the name of the individual that wrote the article and not the individual that may have overstepped his/her bounds. That seemly innocent mistake, can lead you to accusing an innocent person of a transgression, when in fact you are looking for the webmaster where the article resides. This can lead to a very messy situation on your end. Thus, research. Don’t ever assume that the tracking software is completely right.
To conclude, with information technology now at the forefront, the online culture is intertwining with the offline culture. What does that mean for you? Simple. When you are in the public domain be it online or offline, you must be aware of your actions and words and how they affect others, as well as, how your online actions are going to affect you at a later date.