Lesson Ten: Speaking Clearly. And by that I mean typing.

17 Feb

This is the 10th part is a series of discussion about topics pertinent to Etsy inhabitants.
And when I say “discussion” I mean “she’s your mother, you deal with her!”

Today, let’s talk about communicating effectively with one another in this online environment.  Here are some tips I think might help us all communicate better with one another.

1.Type like they taught you in school. When an entire message or thread title is in CAPSLOCK you look, at best, a bit shouty, at worst, somewhat deranged. If you hate having to cap things periodically, like at the start of a sentence, just forget about it all together. The ALL CAPS MESSAGE has roughly the same effect as standing three inches away from the face of a clerk at the pharmacy and screaming for the anti-fungal ointment. It causes nothing but recoil.

2. The Etsy forums do not allow for the use of bold and italics, so some people will default to partial caps to EMPHASIZE parts of their sentence because they feel these parts to be IMPORTANT. While this can be an effective communicatory gambit when used sparingly, when it is constant, the overall effect can be that the reader imagines you talking to them, while periodically leaning forward and HURLING some of the words at them, like so much unwanted spittle. So use it wisely.

3. Emoticons. At Etsy, we are restricted to the use of text emoticons – but even in this most crude form, they can be a very handy tool. The tone of a statement is easy to misconstrue in print, so a quick 😉 can let everyone know you were joking. Like the CAPS for emphasis, they should be used sparingly and with a purpose. Otherwise, their little smug smiley faces can really push people’s buttons. They way they stare at you from the screen, with their blank, dead eyes and false smiles, all “Oh hey yes I did just call your mother out, but check out my smile…hm? See that? Little joke. Little joke about your mom being the town bike. But I’m smiling!” Smug little bastards. I’ll punch that smile right off their texty faces!!
Also, if you are one of those people who knows how to make emoticons for every possible sexual position that one can imagine a human body taking, please get a real hobby. Or a girlfriend, or  porn or something.

4. If you start a controversial thread (otherwise known here at Etsy as “any and all threads about all topics”) and you start to get some feedback that you don’t like (otherwise known as being hosed down with flamey shit) don’t announce that you have better or more creative things to do with your time and flounce off. AND THEN COME BACK 18 TIMES. (see that…sparing use of the capslock in a bold or italic-free environment. The joke worked better if I shouted it a bit, and that is why I opted for caps there.) This really isn’t a big point about effective communication, but it does stick in my craw a bit. Flounce or get off the pot.

5. Don’t mix your metaphors.

6. Don’t’ take things that people say in the virtual world too seriously – you’ll give yourself an ulcer. These days every crank has a keyboard and internet connection, and they will use them in an attempt to rankle you. Or write a faux-advice column or something. Stay cool fool.

7. Keep it short.

8. Always check your spelling/typing. HAHAHAHAHA. Oh Hi, I’m Cheryl. Have we met?  ha. Anyway,  do as I say, etc.

9. Finally, pointing out when others might be contradicting themselves is bad form. And I don’t pay attention to it anyway.



2 Responses to “Lesson Ten: Speaking Clearly. And by that I mean typing.”

  1. Davis February 17, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    These are great tips. Any ideas for getting them ENFORCED? (Oops, sorry about the caps)

  2. Tammy February 17, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    Amen sister!

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