FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Francisco -- A newly-published book about Netiquette, or network etiquette, is helping new network users understand the informal rules of cyberspace, the vast collection of computer networks that millions of people around the world turn to for information, companionship, and sometimes, mischief.
Netiquette, by Virginia Shea, is instantly becoming the standard reference for etiquette in cyberspace.
"Recent New York Times and USA Today stories about problems on the Internet and online services highlight the need for this book," says Seth Ross, Publisher at San Francisco start-up Albion Books. "People on the net frequently refer to the rules of network etiquette. The problem is that there hasn't been a definitive guide that explains those rules. Until now."
Cyberspace -- defined as the intersection of the Internet, commercial online services like Prodigy and America Online, and corporate email systems -- is booming. There are 20 million users of corporate email systems alone, a number that's expected to grow to 125 million by 1998.
This explosive growth has been problematic, as millions of new users sign on without being exposed to the informal rules of network culture that have evolved over the years. "I can't imagine how much trouble and how many mumbled apologies would be averted if everyone read this book before posting that first message," says Kevin Savetz, Internet wizard and compiler of the Unofficial Internet Book List.
Among the questions answered in the book: When is it OK to "flame" or harshly criticize another network user in a public discussion forum? What's the best way to handle problem flamers? When is it acceptable to send an email message to the CEO, the whole company, the world? What are emoticons and sigs and how should they be used? How can I protect myself against online harassment? Does online sex count as infidelity?
Advance reviewers have hailed the book's publication. "A lot of the information in Netiquette is very basic, but exactly the sort of stuff anyone who just got their first Internet account needs," notes Elizabeth Weise, columnist for the Associated Press. "Much better to read Shea's appropriately breezy admonitions than to be flamed mercilessly by someone you've never met in front of several thousand others."
"When I die, I am going to have a handful of books placed in my coffin," writes Guy Kawasaki in the book's foreword. "Now whoever buries me will have to squeeze one more book into my coffin: Netiquette by Virginia Shea. Where I'm going there will be electronic mail. For all eternity, I want to follow the rules that Shea has established for network etiquette."
Albion Books plans to aggressively promote Netiquette by making an
electronic excerpt of the book freely available on the Internet. "Our
goal is to get the book in the hands of every email user," says
Catherine Hubbard, Business Manager at Albion Books. "Anyone interested
in finding out more should send an email query to the Internet address
email@example.com." The book is available directly from the publisher
(415-378-5922) and from leading bookstores nationwide.