5 Golden Rules for Polite Social Networking

With social networking starting to make in-roads into the corporate sector (eg NAB, ING), our attention turns increasingly to netiquette.

I feel that existing codes of conduct and other company policies probably cover most cases of unprofessional behaviour, whether in the online space or otherwise. For example, if swearing at a colleague is a no‑no in the office, then why on Earth would it be acceptable on a blog? Same goes for aggression, intimidation, ridicule, rudeness and all the other uglies.

However, the new medium does present some new social challenges. For example, is it OK to poke a colleague? What if she’s female? The double entendre is potentially serious.

In fact, Nicole Martin reports a survey by telco Orange in Britain that reveals almost two-thirds of the respondents are frustrated and confused by online etiquette.

So Debrett’s, the “modern authority on all matters of etiquette, taste and achievement” (LOL!) has produced 5 Golden Rules for Polite Social Networking:

  1. You don’t have to make friends with people you don’t know. It’s not a competition to see how many friends you can get. Think before you poke.
  2. Always wait 24 hours before accepting or removing someone as a friend. The delay will help you gather your thoughts.
  3. Birthdays, engagements and weddings are not “virtual” events. Always send birthday cards or call your friends when there’s important news.
  4. Consider your friends’ feelings before posting pictures. Put yourself in their shoes before uploading.
  5. Think carefully about your profile picture. If you don’t want to see it in your local newspaper, don’t put it online.

It all sounds like common sense to me.

One thought on “5 Golden Rules for Polite Social Networking

  1. So true, but as my favorite saying goes “common sense isn’t always common practice”.
    On the topic of policies and rules, before i started my blog i asked my company’s corporate comms team for a copy of our blogging policy and they didn’t know what i was talking about! After much digging around i found one from our head office in Amsterdam..pretty standard stuff..and yes lots of common sense!

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