This week a site visitor e-mailed asking why I felt the “need” to invent Netiquette (giving me way too much credit) and who was I to tell anyone what to do. I’m not “telling anyone what to do.” I am making suggestions on how to use technology properly while integrating a bit of courtesy along the way. Why some are so opposed to that concept, I really have yet to understand or have logically explained to me. Long time readers know I get these type of e-mails on a regular basis. Usually from those who find no need for “using technology with knowledge, understanding and courtesy.”
While I would love to take credit for such a wise idea, I am only one of many who have been adding, morphing and updating the original concept that was first put into writing way back in 1995. Netiquette and E-mail Etiquette have been a topic that many have carried the torch for since technology began becoming such an important part of our lives.
Network Etiquette = Netiquette
In 1995 an Intel employee took the initiative to put together an RFC document. RFC stands for Request For Comment — more or less a living document that others can contribute to and help to create. The RFC on Netiquette, RFC1855, can be viewed here. It starts out…
This document provides a minimum set of guidelines for Network Etiquette (Netiquette) which organizations may take and adapt for their own use. As such, it is deliberately written in a bulleted format to make adaptation easier and to make any particular item easy (or easier) to find. It also functions as a minimum set of guidelines for individuals, both users and administrators…
After paging down, you’ll see 28 resources that were available at the time to come up with this one document. So in essence, Netiquette was invented by the online community at the time. Not one person; not a single individual trying to tell you to do what you see no need for.
Netiquette, just as with any guideline is just that — a guide. No, you won’t be thrown in the pokey if you don’t embrace Netiquette and E-mail Etiquette issues. The only thing that will suffer by minimizing these issues or not making any effort to integrate them in your day-to-day e-mail activities, is how you are perceived.
So rather than ask why Netiquette was invented; the better question is to ask yourself how do you choose to be perceived?