The code of conduct and unofficial rules that govern online interaction and behavior, it comes from "net" plus "etiquette."
Important Do's and Don'ts regarding Professional Online Communication include:
(1) Do not spam.
(2) Do not implement mousetrapping.
(3) Do not rely on e-mail to address problems. If there is a sticky situation that needs to be dealt with at work, do it face-to-face. It will earn you respect in the long run.
(4) Balance work-related e-mail with telephone calls. E-mail may enhance a business relationship but it will not necessarily build one. If you've corresponded via e-mail with someone for the past couple of months, pick up the phone and have a conversation with that person as well.
(5) Intentional or not, e-mail can sometimes come across as rude. Be careful, one colleague had to ask another to communicate verbally because she was offended by the tone of her e-mail. It is easy to misread between the lines so at work, try to be extra polite.
(6) Send mature messages at work. If you use emoticons such as this smiley :-) in business e-mail, it may be interpreted as too casual. Just be straightforward and always use the spell checker!
(7) Don't respond to e-mail immediately. It is easy to hit the reply button and type up a quick response, but this has downsides. You will appear to be constantly reachable to colleagues, and too eager to clients or upper management. Unless it is urgent wait a couple of hours to respond so you can form a plan, and keep focused on your task at hand.
(8) Always make a point. The free flowing nature of e-mail encourages a casual style and back-and-forth communication, but make sure at work, each message has a purpose.
(9) DO NOT TYPE IN ALL UPPERCASE. Uppercase implies that you are SHOUTING.
(10) Refrain from using all lowercase letters in your professional e-mails. There are many of us who don't care about this, especially in personal e-mails, however, there are many more people who do care. They argue that writing in all lowercase appears you don't have enough respect for your recipient to use proper capitalization.
(11) Do your best to use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation in your e-mails. However, using incomplete sentences and lists for explanation is acceptable.
(12) When you're addressing a customer or a client in an e-mail, use their formal title (Dr., Senator, Ambassador, Mayor) followed by their last name unless they invite you to use their first name. If your client doesn't have a formal title, use Mr., Mrs. or Ms. followed by their last name (unless you've been invited to use their first name).
(13) On to faxes, avoid using heavy logo graphics in your faxes (it "eats" your recipient's ink). On the other hand, use a slighter larger and darker font when creating faxes so they can be legible in transmission.
(14) Send faxes during business hours. A fax sent at midnight to a home-based office can awaken a family.
(15) In terms of telephone and voice mail, if you return a phone call and you're forwarded to that person's voice mail, let them know when and where you can be reached: "I'll be at my desk at 4:30 this afternoon if you want to call me then."
(16) Return your calls in a timely manner. Ideally no more than twenty-four hours should go by.
(17) When leaving a voice-mail message, give your number at both the beginning and end of the message. If the recipient didn't write it down it at the beginning, they can either catch it at the end or replay the message and catch it at the top.
(18) When on your cell phone, practice netiquette and avoid screaming into your cell phone. The speaker on your cell phone is very sensitive and can transmit your slightest whisper. Also be sensitive to those around you, because believe it or not, they don't want to hear your conversation.
NetLingo Classification: Online Jargon