ASK EM — Online Etiquette

Keyboard with Tips and Tricks Button.

I’m going to spell out the point of this post first, then explain.

You can be outrageous and be yourself without hurting feelings.

Having bad etiquette online doesn’t mean getting slapped by Facebook for dropping the F bomb or posting a too-sexy photo. (anyone else guilty?)

I’m talking about:

1. ranting on someone else’s post and risking losing a friend
2. going off on a bad review
3. sabotaging another author for a bad review, better sales
4. ignoring a comment that obviously requires your response. I don’t mean accidentally missing it. I mean IGNORING it.
5.taking from others and never giving. ie: never sharing their posts when they share yours
6. sending emails that sound short, snarky, don’t have salutations
7. talking in the third person: Em rocks. Em is the rock-in-ator
8. spamming where it is clearly not welcomed–groups, personal messages, friend’s FB pages, selling yourself on someone else’s post
9. texting always counts. think before you text
10. personal attacks

Committing these crimes will put you in jail with your friends and colleagues. Yes, you may have an opinion. Yes, you should express it if you desire. But be aware of where and when you should express it. If you’re unsure, sometimes it’s better to refrain from replying until you have some distance from the topic.

Of course you want to promote yourself, but going overboard just annoys the shit out of readers and friends. They don’t want your newsletter twice a month, believe me.

Emails are IMPORTANT, folks. If you sound too abrupt, the reader is offended. I’ve received emails that sent me into a raging fit after reading them. Think of your language and make sure to sugar-coat some bad news. People can’t hear your voice inflections or see your face, so use those emoticons– 🙂

Be kind, don’t spam. Don’t send a constant stream of links into your feed. Don’t continue to post every time there’s a new review on your Amazon page. Don’t post the same thing to 500 groups. Try to mix it up.

Be kind, don’t attack. I’ve had to block a few assholes who attacked me on my FB page. You might not love someone. That’s okay–expected, even. So unfriend or take them out of your feed.

Don’t ignore people. I know someone who was ignored by an author and stopped reading her books. Also, don’t post and run and forget to interact.

Don’t make fun of people’s photos they post. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Remember that rule?

In the end, use the manners (most of) your parents taught. Online presence is SOOOO important.

Thanks for reading,

6 comments on “ASK EM — Online Etiquette

  1. Well said, Em. Once I see someone is an over-promoter they go on my never-to-read list. I am often shocked at some of the things people post — opinions on politics or religion, for example. To me the worst are the authors or friends of authors who leave trashing reviews when they obviously haven’t even read the book, just to bring your ratings down. Jealousy is a destructive emotion — to the jealous person.
    I am careful what I post. I save my raving for a small private group or my family. Sigh, they have to put up with me, readers don’t.

  2. My main ‘problem’ is expressing my opinion on my own page. If I see a meme on a ‘hot button topic’ and like it, I’ll share it on my page (not tagging anyone else), but then my ‘friends’ who disagree seem to jump down my throat for My Opinion. Just because I’m trying to ‘balance’ the messages on my feed. Apparently there are more ‘we’ll be friends only if you agree with my views’ out there.

    If I cannot keep my mouth (or fingers!) silent, I rant in a private journal. I know you can’t please everyone, but more people need to remember to respect another’s viewpoint.

    And yes, that drives me crazy when people post their promo on my wall. That’s just rude. I usually do share promo posts, esp if I’ve read the book or if it’s on my TBB/R list.

  3. Those are all very excellent points Em. One of my pet-peeves is going to the different groups and seeing the same promotion/buy link for the same book. I prefer to spread them around to different groups at different times so I’m not driving people away. Another thing I hate is when I post a promo, which goes to the top of the group but another person, who had a book promo below mine comes along deletes their post then reposts it, thus keeping theirs at the top.

  4. Em, thank you so much for posting this. People forget their manners on facebook and texting. I try to remember how I would feel if I got a snarky FB message or text(which I have gotten more than my fair share). I will be quite honest, I will unfriend anyone who is ugly to me. I do not have to put up with things like that. I think we all need to remember the golden rule….treat people the way you would want to be treated. Thank you again for posting this!!!

  5. Excellent post. It’s amazing how this common sense stuff can be forgotten. It can be hard to sort the bots from the real readers, but being ignored by an author you’ve enjoyed is no fun. There are so many great authors out there that I’ve had no problems in ignoring the rude ones for the nicer ones.

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