11 Pointers on good digital manners, yo.

1. For the love of God, give people decent notice for your requests. May I interview you … next week? Can you write an article … in two weeks? Um, no. Most people have commitments and process times. A month’s notice for a request is civilized.

2. “Did you get my Thank You note?” Don’t ask for thanks for your thanks. It kinda takes the fun out of being thanked.

3. “Did you get my email?”. Chances are extremely high that they got your email. Yes, there are over-zealous spam folders and rare Gmail gremlins. But it’s highly likely that they got your email. Give people at least two weeks to get back to you. Remember the days when you’d write a letter, put a stamp on it and just wait to be pleasantly surprised when someone wrote you back? Try to channel that energy into your online communication.

4. DM’ing on Twitter (Direct Messaging) is not necessarily a means of intimate online communication. (And DM streams are getting blasted by so much spam these days, it’s getting harder for people to sift through the trash.)

5. “LOL” isn’t funny. Never has been.

6. No one really wants to hear you bitch about your head cold or your kids. No one.

7. If you can take an hour to write three paragraphs about a typo that you fond in someon’s post and how it undermines the efficacy of their entire theory, then perhaps you need to find more meaning in your life. Volunteer somewhere.

8. People say all kinds of stuff online that they wouldn’t have the audacity to say face-to-face. They get, as my friend, psychotherapist Terri Cole puts it: “cyber balls.” Uh huh. She goes on to say, “It’s time to look at online interaction as real life, because whether you like it or not, it is.” It’s all energy, it all gets felt. Kindness is classy, and you can disagree without being a nasty douche about it.

9. So about those really long emails to thoroughly introduce yourself… ix-nay on the length-ay. Two short grafs, max, with a link to your site. Consider your first email communication a handshake and invitation, not a long dinner on a first date.

10. Putting someone on your email list without their permission is up there with telemarketing and walking in without knocking — tres tacky.

11. Tweeting or Facebook-posting about something great that someone gave you or did for you, i.e., “I just got the best new car from @jane!” is a lovely act of sharing — do it — but it’s not a sufficient expression of gratitude to the giver. It’s kind of like just spreading a rumor that you’re grateful. Be public and be direct. Thank the person. Immediate email is good. Hand written notes are superior. A phone call is like, stellar-stunning.

Vive la digital swellegance.

Tweet it out.

11 pointers on good digital manners from @DanielleLaPorte.


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