And boy, there sure were some major online etiquette train wrecks in 2009.
Here at Poked, we realize that every day we're all learning new things about netiquette and best practices. Social media is constantly evolving, and tools like Twitter were new for tons of people this year -- especially folks trying to jump on the trend and use it as a business and customer relations tool.
So today we
count down the five worst (and most frequently committed) online faux
pas that we witnessed in 2009. Hopefully, history won't repeat itself
5. Following porn. Sometimes people have a bad habit of automatically following back everyone who follows them on Twitter -- and it's especially true for people who use Twitter for business. They think if they use a tool to automatically follow back everyone, then they will have a more popular account.
But it just makes you look like a social media loser
when you don't pay attention to the names and bios of who you follow
(like hotsuzy_camgirl), and you start following accounts created for
porn or for spam.
4. Talking smack about your job online.
If you wouldn't say it to the boss, don't say it on Facebook or
Twitter. It's amazing how many folks complain about work -- during work
hours -- on places like Twitter. Maybe they think their bosses aren't
wise enough to see what they're writing. But nothing is truly private
online, and someone you work with is likely to see it. Chances are your
company doesn't appreciate you broadcasting negative views about the
company, and you're left looking like an employee who isn't a team
player. Not a good impression to give during tough economic times.
3. Sending private messages publicly. Twitter and Facebook are all about instant communication. But we get so used to responding quickly on the go, that maybe we're moving too fast and not thinking before we hit send. Every so often you'll see someone send a message on Twitter that probably wasn't designed for the world to see. Like: Hey, call my cell 305-555-555 to talk about that exclusive secret business deal.
You can rush to delete it, but
nothing is ever erased on Twitter. It gets picked up by search engines,
even if it only exists online for a few seconds. Trust us on this one:
Bridget learned this the hard way. While using text messages to talk to
Niala on Twitter, she intended to send her a direct message and called
a certain social media consultant annoying. But it went public. She
deleted it within seconds, but it only took a minute for the consultant
to see it and comment. Fortunately, that consultant was gracious enough
to accept her apology.
2. Responding to e-mail with Reply All. We've had e-mail for awhile now, but it's still a hot zone for netiquette disaster. Why do people hit ``Reply all'' in mass messages when it's not something everyone needs to read? It only adds to the in-box clutter and could make you look foolish.
August, one public relations consultant accidentally put 350 e-mails in
a CC field, instead of a BCC field (which privatizes the e-mail
addresses). Within two hours, our mailboxes were filled with tons of
unsubscribe requests from strangers who hit reply all. It made people
annoyed at the PR consultant and everyone who hit reply all.
1. Unintentionally sending spam or malicious links. Please, think twice before you click a strange link. You can't be so trusting on social networks these days. Facebook and Twitter accounts are being infected by malicious links through private messages. Click a strange link (usually something like: Hey you're in this video lolz!!!), and you won't be aware that you sent spam or a virus to most of your connections. And if you are a business account, you just lost the trust and respect of many of your followers.
Did you learn a netiquette lesson the hard way this year? Did someone's social media screwup seriously annoy you? Post a comment below or e-mail us at Poked@MiamiHerald.com.