Netiquette - Dane Hartman's suggestions

General netiquette
The following netiquette guidelines are intended for Mr. Hartman’s ‘Big Questions’ 2009-2010 elective internet research class, as well as for all of you wonderful people out there who don’t think before clicking 'send'.

General netiquette:

Capitalization: Avoid typing in all caps – it’s more difficult to read and it’s considered screaming.
Colors and Background: Use colored text and background colors sparingly. Background colors are almost always distracting. Subtle use of colored text can be a positive distinguishing touch.
Grammar and spelling: Make use of spell-check and proofread emails for errors. Capitalize your sentences and use appropriate punctuation.
Put yourself in the reader’s shoes: The person reading your composition does not have the benefit of hearing your tone of voice or seeing your body language. Your words may be interpreted in a different ways. Be sure to use appropriate language and to phrase your statements as politely as possible. Passionate writing is not a bad thing, but save your composition before posting or sending so that you can proof-read it in a relaxed emotional state first. Once something is out there, there’s no way to take it back. When evaluating your composition, ask yourself if you are holding yourself to the same standard of conduct that you do in real life. Remember that smileys and emoticons can be valuable if properly used. A simple colon parenthesis can completely redefine the emotional mood of your text.
Privacy: Remember that you are not anonymous. What you communicate on a website or via email can be traced back to you.

Email netiquette:

Use of quotes: When giving an in-depth response to a multi-faceted email, incorporate relevant quotes from the original email and write your responses under each one. This makes for a clearer response and uses less bandwidth than simply replying at the top while quoting everything beneath. For complicated back-and-forth discussion emails, use color to help clarify the author of quoted text.
Mass-emails: For high-traffic mailing lists (emails destined for many recipients), keep it short and sweet. Respect other people’s time and bandwidth. If you are forwarding something (jokes, interesting tidbits, etc) make sure that it’s appropriate for everyone on your list of recipients. Don’t forward everything that you find entertaining – be selective. Be sure to use the BBC (Blind Carbon Copy) field so that the recipients are not able to access each others’ email addresses. This prevents the obnoxious reply-alls that plague our inboxes.
Subject Field: Make good use of the subject field by summarizing the theme of your email with a short, concise statement. Never leave the subject field blank. Using generic, unspecific phrases in the subject field (such as hello, hi, or help) may result in your email being misidentified as spam.
Courtesy: When reading emails from other people, be forgiving of their mistakes. If you decide that you need to inform someone of a mistake, do so politely and in a private email.