They Called Me an Idiot! A Review of Web EtiquetteWritten by Alvin Apple
Recently I received an email from someone who had read one of my articles online. This reader told me that, while reading my article, she had noticed that I had used "their" where I needed "they're." A simple mistake, but one that could have been avoided with a little better proofreading on my part. I would have been pleased to receive this reminder to be more astute, but message didn't stop there. The reader went on to call me, among other things, an idiot.
Now we all make mistakes, and we all have our pet peeves. (Mine happens to be dawdlers.) Clearly this reader's peeve is mixing up of homonyms, and my mistake made me a criminal in her eyes. Thus, hidden behind anonymity of email, she attacked.
As a frequently published author, I am used to criticism, and always open to a reminder to pay more attention, even if that reminder stings a little at time. I am not, however, nor do I think I will ever be, open to being called an idiot. Was I upset by this person? Mildly. Do I think there's a problem with web etiquette in general? Absolutely. The insulting reader wasn't doing anything different than so many other self-appointed web critics do all time.
The basic problem with web etiquette lies in inherent anonymity of e-correspondence. The fact that we can't see someone, or hear their voice, does not entitle us to treat them rudely. Anonymity makes us bold, and some of us tend to forget our manners when sending emails or posting on discussion boards. I have a feeling that if this reader had been speaking to me face to face word "idiot" would never have been invoked.
Ten Useful Delaying TacticsWritten by Andy Walsh
Imagine scene. You need to prepare a report that has to be with your boss following day. It's big one - if you impress him you're on your way up. The success you've craved is only a matter of a few hours away.
Your mind begins to drift and you find other things to occupy your time. The following is a helpful list that will ensure that your report will be delayed and that you'll blow everything you've worked for. Remember, if you do all things on this list, you'll NEVER suffer from executive stress (you'll never be an executive).
1. Start running Norton Anti Virus (or similar). Sit there and watch it work through all your files. At same time, you could use your Maintenance Wizard and defragment your disk. It's probably been a long time since you've done it so it'll waste a good chunk of time.
2. Check all your old emails. Reply to a few that you've neglected. Check your message rules and create a few new ones. Check out some of items on menus that you've not read before.
3. Make coffee. Make lots of it. Invite friends over. Run out of coffee. Have to go to supermarket. Meet some more friends. Be invited out for lunch. Drink too much and come back home in small hours of morning.
4. Look out of window. Notice things that you've never seen before. Count number of leaves there are on tree opposite.
5. Get online and surf. Find a good chat room. Talk to as many people about today's game as you can. Post a few messages on a message board. Find out what's going on in Boulder. Check CNN page. Develop an interest in World Politics.
6. Find that CD Tutorial you bought a few years back. 'How to Speak Spanish'. See if you can get further than ordering a beer in a bar.