What is Netiquette?
Netiquette means Net Etiquette, or 'minding your manners on the Internet'. There are certain general rules that form the basis of courtesy and good behaviour when using electronic mail or forums. By following these simple rules of Netiquette, you can avoid giving the wrong impression or accidentally offending or inconveniencing someone else.
The biggest problem with forums and e-mail is that, unlike personal meetings or conversations, the recipient cannot hear the tone of your voice. He/she cannot judge whether you are joking, being humorous or being perfectly serious, except by reading your text.
Personal traits don't translate very well into text. It's all too easy to give an impression that is completely different from the one you intended, especially if you dash off a quick E-mail without really thinking about how it could be interpreted by someone reading it for the first time.
How many times have you poked fun at someone or cracked a joke? In person, it's easy to tell that you're kidding. That twinkle in the eyes gives the game away! But send E-mail in the same style and all those visual clues are lost. Therefore you should avoid using a form of expression that could result in ambiguity or doubt arising in the mind of the recipient.
Sarcasm especially can very easily be taken the wrong way and should not to be used in routine messages to anyone except your friends (who hopefully understand your sense of humour!), because others may not give you the benefit of the doubt. A lot of damage can be done with a careless choice of wording in E-mail. It can sometimes help to use smiles to convey your expressions
Finally - remember to pause, proofread and re-read before pressing SEND. Luckily You get 30 minutes to edit your message in Moodle before it is posted to the forum, which is often useful.