Angela Spang

Participate. In the online environment, it’s not enough just to turn up. If you don’t join in no one will know that you are there!

Share questions and tips. Questions you post to the discussion forums will help others, and taking part in discussions will help you to learn. It is often the case that where a participant encounters a problem, it is the experience of the other participants that is most valuable in developing a solution.

Think before you click. Before you post your comments, check through what you have written. It’s always helpful to check if you have written what you meant to write and to think about how the people reading your words will react.

Remember that we can’t see the grin on your face. Help us ‘see’ you by explaining your ideas fully. You could also use an emoticon, such as 😉 to let the reader know that your comment is meant to be ironic or funny.

Remember there is a person who will be reading your message. Because visual clues are often lacking in online communication, electronic messages can easily seem harsher than they are intended to be. If you disagree with what someone has said, please bear this in mind as you express that disagreement.

Keep your messages short and to the point. When composing your  messages, aim to express your thoughts concisely. Obviously you will want to explain your point, but if you write a very long message it has the same effect as someone ‘holding forth’ or ‘rambling’ in a face-to-face discussion. Lengthy postings do not hold people’s attention and are less likely to get a response.

Use paragraphs to break up your text. Even relatively short messages can be difficult to read online unless they are broken up.

Any derogatory or inappropriate comments are unacceptable. 

Content from GS10k with thanks