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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
netiquette
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convention, networking /net'ee-ket/ or /net'i-ket/ Network
etiquette.
The conventions of politeness recognised on Usenet and in
mailing lists, such as not (cross-)posting to inappropriate
groups and refraining from commercial advertising outside the
biz groups.
The most important rule of netiquette is "Think before you
post". If what you intend to post will not make a positive
contribution to the newsgroup and be of interest to several
readers, don't post it! Personal messages to one or two
individuals should not be posted to newsgroups, use private
e-mail instead.
When following up an article, quote the minimum necessary to
give some context to your reply and be careful to attribute
the quote to the right person. If the article you are
responding to was posted to several groups, edit the
distribution ("Newsgroups:") header to contain only those
groups which are appropriate to your reply, especially if the
original message was posted to one or more inappropriate
groups in the first place.
Re-read and edit your posting carefully before you post.
Check the spelling and grammar. Keep your lines to less than
70 characters. Don't post test messages (except to test
groups) - wait until you have something to say. When posting
humorous or sarcastic comments, it is conventional to append
a smiley, but don't overuse them.
Before asking a question, read the messages already in the
group and read the group's FAQ if it has one. When you do
post a question, follow it with "please reply by mail and I
will post a summary if requested" and make sure you DO post a
summary if requested, or if only a few people were interested,
send them a summary by mail. This avoids umpteen people
posting the same answer to the group and umpteen others
posting "me too"s.
If you believe someone has violated netiquette, send them a
message by _private e-mail_, DO NOT post a follow-up to the
news. And be polite, they may not realise their mistake, they
might be a beginner or may not even have been responsible for
the "crime" - their account may have been used by someone else
or their address forged.
Be proud of your postings but don't post just to see your name
in pixels. Remember: your future employer may be reading.