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Ebaby! Etiquette

Humans love ritual. There’s a style for doing anything. So why would social networks be any different? Of course there’s behavior that’s looked down on in online communities. And leave it to the British to formalize it.

A fancy etiquette organization recently published guidlines for good manners on Facebook. Unfortunately, these aren’t too helpful here on English, baby!. Most of the tips presume that you know your online contacts in real life as well, which usually isn’t the case on a global network like ours.

So with a little help from Jewel, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a short guide to proper behavior on Ebaby!. Stick to these rules and penpals will be yours in spades!

1. Show yourself! A lot of members post an image of a celebrity (or even a cartoon character) as the only image on their profile. Jewel writes: “I always wonder if they just like the celebrity or are trying to use the photo thinking people from other countries don’t know better.” Well, when we see a photo that obviously came from a magazine, we know! If you want to make friends around the world, show them who you are. It’s even better if you show something about where you live or what you do in the photo as well. For instance, when I had a photo of me playing the trombone, lots of people wrote me about music.

2. No one-liners! I can’t tell you how many messages I get to the effect of: “hi wil u help me lern english i am luv u!” And I just don’t know what to do with that. I suspect these folks send the same message to lots of different people. But think about it for a minute, how is anyone supposed to respond to that? Instead of sending tons of meaningless messages to everyone you come across, why not wait till you see something on someone’s profile that you find interesting and then send him or her a message about that? That’s how to start a conversation.

3. Don’t push your agenda. Ebaby! is about making friends, practicing English, and learning about other cultures. It’s not an appropriate place to try to convert people to your religion or put down people with other beliefs. Be tolerant. Be tactful.

4. Stay on topic, please. There are thousands of forum threads and lessons on English, baby!. Since our members are so eager to converse, most of the pages are really lively. If you want to talk about something, there’s probably a page about it, and if there isn’t, you can start one. But for crying out loud, don’t hijack a totally unrelated topic as your soap box. I don’t need to hear about how much you dislike gypsies in a lesson on country music, OK? Oh, and #2 applies here as well. Posts like “Sbdy talk 2 me!” on a forum about the election aren’t the best way to make friends.

5. Share! Since Ebaby! is all about cultural exchange, you’ll have more fun if you bring more to the table. Make sure your profile is full of information about you. People in Russia are interested in what life is like Mexico and vice versa, so tell them something about you and your life on your profile and get the conversation started! Give details and make yourself stand out.

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2 Responses to “Ebaby! Etiquette”

  1. Jewel Says:

    Jewel…

    Very interesting post. A little bit confusing, but still ok….

  2. Jeryyms Says:

    Nice site you have

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