Dueling Modems

Member's Handbook - Netiquette


Discussion Groups
Email Etiquette
Acronyms & Emoticons


Netiquette is simply "network etiquette". Netiquette refers to the rules of polite behavior on the internet. By following simple netiquette guidelines, you can avoid unintentionally offending people.

Discussion Group Etiquette

Dueling Modems' BBS is a conferencing system based on the NNTP news protocol. NNTP news (or Usenet news) has been around a long time (as the Internet goes, anyway), and has its own established set of courtesies and behaviors.

DM is not Usenet. Because Usenet groups are propagated from server to server around the world, there are news behaviors (like quoting and detailed sigfiles) that aren't as important on a non-propagated system like DM and, in fact, can actually get in the way of the open flow of conversation. Following these guidelines will smooth your passage in the Discussion Groups.

  1. Don't type in ALL CAPITALS. ALL CAPITALS is interpreted as shouting. If you mean to shout, there are better ways of expressing yourself.

  2. Trim your quotes! Indiscriminate quoting destroys the flow of conversation. If your newsreader supports auto-quoting, turn it off.

    Quote only the passages that you are actually responding to. Use these guidelines:

    • The amount you quote should usually be shorter than your reply. It's polite to use an ellipsis (...) or the phrase <snip> to indicate that material has been deleted from a passage you're quoting.

    • Remove the original poster's sig line from your quotes, especially if it's long.

    • Try recapping what was said, instead of quoting:
      Joe said that Smith's prose is awkward; can we have an example of that?
  3. Keep Your Sigfile Short. Most Usenet etiquette guides recommend using a signature file and keeping your sigfile to six lines or less. On DM, all messages are posted with headers, so a sigfile isn't really necessary; if you do use one, the shorter the better.

  4. Follow Forum Guidelines. As stated in our Policy Statement, DM does not have system-wide guidelines on the use of profanity or on the posting of personal attacks (flaming). Individual Forum communities do develop their own sets of acceptable behaviors, and DM supports the right of Forum sysops to establish guidelines for their communities. If you have questions about what's appropriate, email the Forum sysop.

  5. Don't Post Personal Information. Don't give out your home phone number or address; if you need to provide this information to someone online, send it via email.

  6. Spoilers. A spoiler is a post that gives away the ending or a major plot point of a book, film, or TV episode. If the subject of a conversation contains the word "spoilers", feel free to disclose the identity of the one-armed man; otherwise, be sure to put the words SPOILER WARNING (or something similar) at the top of your post so that people who haven't seen the show will know to skip your post.

  7. Cross-posting. In the internet news world, cross-posting means posting the same message to more than one Group. Sophisticated newsreaders can be set to filter out cross-posts, so that users read the post only once. However, Free Agent, DM's Web Gateway, and other programs do not filter out cross-posts, so some people may get to read your post several times over. If your software supports cross-posts, use them judiciously; cross-post messages where it makes sense.

  8. Don't Violate Copyright. Don't post copyrighted poetry or song lyrics in newsgroups. Short excerpts from longer works may be posted under the "fair use" guidelines, but it's always polite to credit the original source.

  9. In general, assume good will. Consider whether someone might be kidding with you (irony is very hard to detect online!), or might have been misinformed by a seemingly trustworthy source.

Email Etiquette

  1. Don't type in ALL CAPITALS. ALL CAPITALS is interpreted as shouting. If you mean to shout, there are better ways of expressing yourself.

  2. Spamming. Spamming refers to sending unsolicited email; usually it implies sending advertising or marketing messages to a whole list of people, but some users consider any unsolicited email to be spam. Feel free to politely ask questions or start conversations with other DM members by email, but don't send marketing or advertising messages to DM members or from your DM email account.

Acronyms and Emoticons

Acronyms. If you're new to the online world, you may be bewildered by the acronyms (abbreviations) that pepper many online conversations.

Here are some of the most common acronyms used on DM:

By the Way
Grin, Duck, Run
For What It's Worth
In My Humble Opinion
Laughing Out Loud
On the Other Hand
Rolling on the Floor Laughing
Your Mileage May Vary

Emoticons or "smileys" are used to indicate emotions in internet posts. A smiley :-) usually means "just kidding", but putting smiley after a rude remark doesn't make it any less rude.

Here are the most common emoticons (tilt your head to the left to see the "face"):

Frown or pout
Smile with glasses
Surprise (Oh no!)
Sticking tongue out

There is a more complete list of acronyms and emoticons hosted by GeoCities.



Revised 28 February 2000, nz