Last week, Tamar Weinberg at Techipedia did an incredible post on the Ultimate Social Media Etiquette Handbook. Throughout her post, Tamar identifies key “rules of engagment” and tips for anyone currently using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, social bookmarking sites (digg, delicious, etc.), FriendFeed, YouTube, StumbleUpon and blogs.
The comprehensive post, concludes with this key statement that drives it all home:
“You’re leaving your digital signature on the Internet right now. Think about the consequences of your engagement on any social site.”
Whether it’s a blog comment, wall post on Facebook or reaction to a YouTube video, think before you type. Google can be your best friend or your worst enemy and it’s up to you to brand yourself and develop a reputation for being a thoughtful, considerate individual who understands the existing nuances and repercussions that can result from not being smart about your Social Web presence.
Aside from sheer networking and overall etiquette in using different online tools, how you engage with others online speaks volumes. In many cases, online communications can be a more honest depiction of someone’s personality due to the openness that results from perceived anonymity that might not otherwise exist with in-person interactions. On the flip side, tone is often misconstrued online and thus it is easy to have your thoughts and emotions misinterpreted, causing a false perception of one’s personality.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t question or challenge ideas. Healthy dialogue and conversation is one of the core benefits of social media in helping solidify community and bring together smart, thoughtful minds to make new discoveries and answer tough questions. Just be cognizant of your approach and think about how that approach will be perceived based on the tool you’re using to channel communications.
Be sure to give Tamar’s post a read and pass it around. It’s one of the best posts I’ve seen this year.