Annotated Bibliography Online Etiquette

As more business communication moves to computer-mediated means, the unique etiquette that evolves online differs from face-to-face communication. This annotated bibliography provides a brief overview of online communication etiquette, particularly in a business setting. The sources included pull from business magazines, etiquette blogs, academic articles, and professional publications.

Bailey, L. [Web log message]. Retrieved from

This blog focuses on social media and email etiquette from the perspective of small-scale organizational management. The moderator includes Top Tips for quick and easy rules.

Coppola, N. W. (2011). Professionalization of technical communication: Zeitgeist for our age.  Introduction to This Special Issue (Part 1). Technical Communication58(4), 277-284.

In this two-part article, Nancy Coppola looks at the current trends in technical communication professionalism. Three trends are established and discussed in depth: “emerging paradigm for the body of knowledge, evolving consensus on core competencies, and economic markers of disciplinary status.” The development of bodies of knowledge addresses a growing area of online business communication and the peer-editing process.

Johnson-Eilola, J., & Selber, S. A. (1996). Policing ourselves: Defining the boundaries of appropriate discussion in online forums. Computers and Composition13, 269-291.

When looking at online forum conversations, the authors study the democratic nature of internet forums. The authors touch on issues of sexism, racism, user ranking, and silence and how each of these can affect a democratic online community.

Post, E. (2012). Tech etiquette. Retrieved from

For the nuances of online etiquette, Emily Post provides the rules and niceties for proper online communication, both in and out of a business setting. She says the rule of thumb is to be aware of how your technology use impacts those around you. This site covers everything from email to texting, to personal mobile devices, and social networking.

Preece, J. (2004). Etiquette online: From nice to necessary. Communications of the AMC47(4), 56-61.

This article discusses the diverse and constantly changing frontier of online etiquette. Preece focuses on discussing how rules develop for online communities, and the complications that come from international communities and the absence of non-verbal feedback. If you are interested in developing rules and guidelines for online communities, this article will be particularly helpful.

Walther, J. B. (2006). Selective self-presentation in computer-mediated communication: Hyperperonsal dimensions of technology, language, and cognition. Computers in Human Behavior23, 2538-2557. 

From a more academic standpoint, this article looks at strategic misrepresentation of people engaging in computer-mediated communication. The study finds that relationships and degree of perceived intimacy with the message recipient correlate to the amount of time spent crafting and editing a message. Immediacy, affection, and mindfulness were contributing factors for varying amounts of time spent composing messages.