The Essence of Email Netiquette

4/11/2012 9:37:46 AM

Description: The Essence of Email Netiquette

The advent and spread of computer technology has rapidly revolutionized the sharing of knowledge and global communication.

Harnessing the incredible power of the internet for good, while restraining potential misuses of that energy, has been a catch-up game at best

As most of the world was surprised by the speed at which the world embraced Internet communications, there was no precedent for teaching Internet etiquette. There was no “netiquette manual,” nor had such courtesies been passed down by previous generations.

The etiquette of email is a new art, still evolving with the ever-changing technological landscape.

For successful online communication, contemplate the following:

The main consideration of Internet etiquette, or “netiquette,” is the heart of all etiquette- the Golden Rule: “Communicate with others as you would have them communicate with you” is the perfect guideline.

Application of this precept begins with careful selection of words from the subject field to the closing.

The subject should be worded in a clear, concise manner to portray the topic of the email.

Avoid dramatic hyping or using the words “urgent” and “immediate” in the subject field.

Select a pleasant greeting as well as an ending. Emails without either may be interpreted as rude or terse.

It between the greeting and closing, choose wording to appropriately reflect the intent and meaning of each message.

Confirm that grammar and punctuation contribute to, rather than detract from, the clarity of the email,

Remember the wording; punctuation and grammar represent the sender to the recipients.

As a general rule, keep emails short. When necessary to communicate several details, bullet points organize material for easier accessibility.

Save slang, cultural abbreviations and acronyms for communication with closest friends.

Resist sharing confidential information via email, recognizing that emails can easily be broadcast to an endless audience.

When a response is requires from the recipient, express that request at the beginning of the communication.

Avoid writing in all capitals. The emphasis can be interpreted as shouting. Also, emails written in all capital letters are more difficult to read.

Business emails should be strictly professional. Any fonts, logos, emoticons or icons that would not be used on excluded from business emails

All wording, quotes, and personal inquiries should appropriately reflect the business situation.

Refrain from sending emails to friends and associates that are not applicable or of interest to them.

Always ask before sending a large attachment to friends.

Rather than forwarding an interesting email to large groups of friends, consider sending only to friends individually with a personal note.

When necessary to send an email to a large number of people, list their addresses in the “BBC” field to avoid exposing their addresses to others, thus protecting their private.

The “CC” field should be used to inform others of matters pertaining to them or to share needed information.

Using “CC” to include a third party in a private conversation without the sending party’s awareness, can possibly be interpreted as a breach of confidentiality.

Should an offensive email be received, take a deep breath. Before responding hastily, re-read the email aloud to better interpret the intent and tone of the message.

If a response is definitely called for, waiting until the next day may prevent sending an unnecessarily emotionally charged response.

Respond to emails in a timely manner.

Use formal words of courtesy to express appreciation and request assistance. Using “please” and “thank you” costs nothing, but yields noticeable dividends.

Before sending each email, proofread for mistakes and for clarity. Reading each email aloud is an easily employed tool to review emails for tone, proper grammar and spelling.

By utilizing these keys of concise wording, proper grammar and punctuation, regard for the private for others and courteous professionalism, the world of Internet communication can be harnessed for respectful communication and relationship building.

Whatever technological changes may come, treating others with courtesy and respect will never be outdated.

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