…would be a silly idea. The internet has always been an open place, the product of its users. A code of conduct is a waste of time, a limitation. In the early days of the net (and before that, the days of suburban BBSs) there were certain protocols/etiquettes – “netiquettes” you had to adhere to. From memory (and please feel free to add more if you can remember them) they were – in no particular order:
- Don’t waste bandwidth – if someone writes a big long important email, don’t respond with “cool” – it’s unecessary. Respond properly or don’t respond at all.
- Remember the human – if you’re going to bag someone on a Usenet/Newsgroup ) or now a Blog, remember that there is a person behind the pseudonym/alias or their real name.
- DON’T SHOUT! Capitals are loud and rude.
- CAPITALS for shouting, *asterix* for italics or emphasis.
- Remember that in normal conversation, facial expressions and vocal tones can change our preceptions – when writing emails or posting on a USENET group, use smileys to reflect the tone 😉
- Be conservative in what you send and liberal in what you receive – self explanatory
- If a message, email or post is over 100 lines (remember the thing abotu conserving bandwidth, it’s good to put (LONG) in the subject line
What has changed? These netiquettes are relevant, even if they were developed in those early, nascent days of the net.